Freedom had been hunted round the globe; reason was considered as rebellion; and the slavery of fear had made men afraid to think. But such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing.
~ Thomas Paine, Rights of Man, 1791 ~

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Why didn't anyone tell me?!

I grew up as a Christadelphian. I went to Sunday School. I believed all of the Christadelphian teachings. I was baptised in my late teens and regularly attended the meetings, including fulfilling various duties.

In my early thirties, I decided to take a closer look at my beliefs. Actually, I started to become more curious about why other people didn't believe the same things, which led to some introspection about my own beliefs. If I wanted to convince others, I needed to be sure of my own beliefs first. So I embarked on a journey of discovery. Little did I know what lay ahead...

One of my primary goals was to become more familiar with other viewpoints. I wanted to know why other people did not share my beliefs. I read Bart Ehrman's excellent book, "Forged", which opened my eyes to a whole new world of biblical scholarship I never even knew existed. At the same time I also discovered a wealth of evidence from the natural sciences which shook the foundations of my faith and overturned my entire worldview.

I was wrong.

This realisation turned my life upside down. I realised I had grown up being taught so-called "facts" about the world from people who had never done any of their own research. They had simply accepted what they had learned from others over the years, and so it went on. So I set out to rediscover the world for myself. I wanted to know the truth, even if it hurt.

Everywhere I looked I discovered more and more information that challenged the views I had grown up with and inherited. I read more books, from both Christian and non-Christian authors. I watched many debates between prominent scholars. I wanted evidence, but I eventually realised there just wasn't any, or at least not the kind of evidence one would need in order to be convinced. This lack of evidence really bothered me. The arguments presented to explain this apparent lack of evidence started to sound very much like the excuses for why there is still no evidence for Bigfoot, or alien visitations, or Zeus.

My world was changing. I had been a Christadelphian all my life. All my friends and family were Christadelphians. My whole identity was tied up in the religion. It was the only world I knew, and yet with every new piece of information I discovered, that world began to change. It felt like the scales were falling from my eyes, bit by bit. It was scary, but all I wanted was to know what was true. I didn't want to give up my life for a lie. If this was the only life I had, I didn't want to waste it pretending I had another one to look forward to.

All of the research I had done pointed away from everything I had been taught as a Christadelphian. I wanted to scream...

"Why didn't anyone tell me?!"

Well, they probably didn't tell me because they didn't know. Because they never thought to look, or were too afraid to.

So that is what this blog is for. To share the things Christadelphians won't tell you. To share the amazing things I've learned along my journey - things I wish I had been told many years ago.