Being an evangelical was the happiest days of my life. I was at peace. I loved everyone, friend and foe alike. I had purpose. Life had meaning. My heart was filled with hope. God loved me and that was all I needed. But I gave it all up.
Had I never pursued theological training, I probably would be an evangelical today. Unfortunately, I decided I needed to understand God and the Bible more so I diligently and passionately dedicated myself to mastering His Holy Word. I can say with certain confidence, if every evangelical or Christian were forced to study the Bible before converting, Christianity would have died centuries ago (no one could truly understand the Bible before the Age of Enlightenment). Christianity only makes sense when viewed through the eyes of faith.
The Bible makes perfect sense when you remove God.
When I was first converted as a teenager, I was biblically ignorant. I had never read a real book. I was a below average student with no academic interests whatsoever. I used to try to stay awake Sunday night because I dreaded Monday morning and another week of school. I hated education. When I started to read the gospels, I was immediately struck with many questions. I wondered why Jesus did not act or talk like a Christian. I asked my elders and they told me about “Dispensationalism.” This temporarily satisfied me but troubled me for years. It would take leaving the faith before I finally got my answer.
I could list many questions I collected over the years: Why was the God of the Hebrew Scriptures so merciless to Gentiles and was so sectarian? Why were the Israelites so prone to rebellion in light of the many wonders God performed? Why were the Hebrew prophets so vague and enigmatic about Jesus coming? If Jesus was such a great miracle worker, why did everyone desert him at his trial? The day I finally realized the God of the Bible was a fiction, the veil lifted.
If you approach the Bible with the hypothesis, “There is no God” (of the Bible at least) the mysteries disappear. The prophets were not divine mouthpieces but devout and often radical proponents of Yahwism. Jesus was not the eternal son of God but a disillusioned Galilean Israelite who had a profound spiritual experience. He interpreted this to be a divine calling. Later he would bow to the whims of his followers and accept the title of Messiah.
Had Christianity not taken hold and captured the attention of Emperors Constantine and Theodosius I, the study of Christianity would be relegated to a subtext of the Roman Empire. It would hardly garner any attention because it is so obviously lacking in theological substance. Jesus like many messianic pretenders had aspirations which transcended reality.
I have undertaken an exhaustive exploration of the Bible to plummet its depths. I have never wavered in my pursuit of the truth. I thought I was once absolutely certain the Bible was the divinely inspired Word of God and Jesus the Savior of mankind. I know with more certainty I could ever express, these assertions are false.
Many have asked me how I can be sure? What proof do I have? The answer is twofold. First, Christians are the greatest evidence of Christianity’s falseness. There are undoubtedly a handful of amazingly sincere and godly Christians, just like in any religion. The bulk of Christians are no different from anyone else but they’re supposed to be much different. Second, the Bible is its own worst enemy. It is laden with errors, inconsistencies and incongruences. Anyone who has studied it intensively without a preconceived conviction of its infallibility knows this to be true. It is an unreliable source for making absolute claims. Period.