Is that the best argument against Christianity
Reasons against belief
There are many reasons why people no longer feel so connected to the Christian churches and the Christian faith. For example, they find it simply irrelevant, find God's ground staff to be untrustworthy, lackluster or boring or - that seems to be the case most of the time - they have hardly ever gotten to know faith and the church. But there are also homemade reasons that affect us all: theological credibility problems. I want to write about them now.
When I talk to people about the church or faith, it is usually three topics in different variations that have made them abandon their faith:
When pastors tell about Noah's ark, the Joseph novella or the story of creation, they talk about stories, myths and images. But often enough they do it as if they were talking about the Congress of Vienna, the war in Yugoslavia or the fall of the Berlin Wall. It's not just their fault. Stories only have their power when there is no meta-level that turns the play into a Brechtian theater. This is the price we pay for good stories:
We are in the stories. And we forget their context, their original context and the history of their impact.
But there is a halo of survival surrounding biblical stories. The scriptures are fascinating because they are not just human thoughts and stories about this and that. But because in these texts the truth itself should come to the fore. But what kind of truth can that be that requires us to believe in angels and demons, gods and prophets, miracles and signs? To a god who, with his court, created heaven and earth and everything that lives in them within six days.
We can be inspired by all of this. For example at Game of Thrones. But we can't believe it. We can mentally inhabit them, visit them fantastically at times. But we cannot use them as currency if we exchange reasons with one another, if we want to explain why we politically prefer ‘Option A’ and reject ‘Option B’.
2. The image of God
While the fundamentalist version of Christianity is successful with dualistic worldviews, a punishing and rewarding God, and images of heaven and hell, this God has a repulsive effect on most people in affluent Western societies. We have overcome the justice of vengeance, black pedagogy and the idea of evil. We rehabilitate perpetrators, empower children and treat people with impulse control disorders or mental fixations. It is high time that God succeeded too.
For this we do not need an atonement, no cross on which God acts on behalf of his son to vent his own anger and obtain satisfaction from the innocent lamb.
A relevant God would have to be a doctor against our fear, a coach against our own futility, a lover against our self-doubts and above all a mother who tells us that we are now at home. We are judges and executioners enough for ourselves.
3. The theodicy problem
Believing in a gracious and almighty God without turning a blind eye to an unjust, sometimes cruel world: How is that supposed to work?
Too often God is sold as the solution: God - the compensatory justice after life. God - who has a great plan for everything. God - who knows the meaning behind everything. But the opposite is true:
God is not the answer, God is the condensation of the question.
God is the name for the idea that it should actually be fair, actually loving, actually humane. We could just come out of nowhere and become nothing and it wouldn't matter what happens in between. Whoever says God, whoever names God's name, invokes an external standard. One that doesn't exist. But one that we need against the threatening “everything does not matter”.
Faith works differently
Belief in God is different. We do not pray because it makes sense to us or because we understand God. We don't praise them because we believe in them so much. We praise him until his kingdom comes and we don't stop praying, even if we have long had doubts that there is someone who will listen to us.
Belief is not a construction of logical and convincing sentences that express our sensual experience as well as possible. Faith is a way of life. A practice in a relationship with the world, with everything that is, so that one can live and die and both - his life and his death - in the great drama of the story of God, which is on the way to himself, canceled and feels protected.
Both are always true in faith: We believe because he created us. And there would be no creation without faith. One could get mad about it. Or break away from it. Or pray.
All good is simple
My grandmother was wise. She kept saying: Everything that is good and true is simple. Epistemologically, this is a difficult position. But seriously: God is unlikely to have revealed himself in such a way that he required us to study three foreign languages for several years (even standard Arabic would not be much better).
Whoever knocks will be opened. The sheep know the voice of their shepherd. God knows what we need before we ask them. The Bible is made for man, not man for the Bible.
In faith the beginning of the world is too big and its end too far. Faith places God in both places.
But that's not a cosmological statement. Rather, it is a picture of the certainty of faith that it does not leave us alone between the beginning and the end. Whether we can still knock, hear his voice and even feel what we need or not.
There is absolutely no evidence of this. And it's not very likely. It is the hope that people had in the face of Jesus. So that they have taken heart. Despite all the letter riders and court preachers. Despite all the gods who wanted something from them. Despite the injustice her life was under.
And they said: marana tha. Our Lord, come. And not: Look, the Lord is there. Only: Our Lord, come!
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