From my previous post “Are You Religious? Or Are You Superstitious?”, one can assume that I might have ‘lost’ my so-called Christian faith. Well, or as my cousin put it, I’m “looking for truth.”
Hell, I don’t even know which one I really belong to.
I used to claim I’m being agnostic. But then, confronted by a missionary friend, he said I’m not actually being an agnostic. Agnostic means I’m questioning the existence of the so-called God. (First I thought it’s being atheist, but turns out an atheist don’t even question that because they don’t even believe God exists.)
I do believe in God. I believe He exists somewhere up there (or as the Christian faith put it: He’s everywhere, watching over us).
I believe there’s a greater power beyond logic that rules and control this earth and all mankind. I believe some thing beyond rationality do happens.
I do realize that I hate science, I’m not even that smart to understand anything so scientific-related and logical, yet I still demand scientific and logical explanation to irrational things.
Everytime I watch or read something that explain something irrational to be logical, I feel reassurance, even if it is fiction.
It’s like, getting a guarantee there’s always a logical explanation beyond the illogical things. And I wanna cling to that. It’s like I finally found something that I could hold on to.
Yet, again, as I stated before, I don’t even think I actually fully comprehend those explanations.
In conclusion, I’m just someone pretending to be smart while actually I’m not at all.
But that’s not exactly what I wanna talk about here.
Ever since I stayed in Malang, the very question that I avoided the most was finally asked.
“So, are you a Catholic? A moslem?”
No matter how much I hate to answer that question, some other part in me kinda urged me to explain honestly about my faith. What for? To make me looked different than any other Indonesians who are mostly devoted to their God and their religion? I guess.
So I told him briefly, “I believe in God,” and without any further ado, I left him.
Well, not that fast, actually, since he asked me again,
So I added, “I believe God exists,” and I quickly rushed to my room before he could process that answer and asked me a more complicated “personal” questions.
And so I thought that topic is resolved between me and my friend.
Until one morning, we were alone, and he was trying to get a confirmation by asking,
“Eerrrr, so…, remember when I asked you about your religion? What did you say back then? You believe in God?”
Dammit, I thought. Still, I managed to smile.
“But what’s your religion? Are you a moslem?”
“I believe God exist. I believe there’s a greater power in this very earth that cannot be explained rationally.”
“What? Is that a kind of belief or something?”
And I’m wishing so bad he’d stop. If only I’d finished making my morning coffee.
“But what are you exactly? Are you a Christian?”
Good God, I wish I could just say yes to simply shut him up. Yet me and my big mouth keep trying to explain.
“What? Do I have to choose?” So I asked him sarcastically.
“What?” And he did, looked very much surprised. “Of course you are!”
“And why is that?”
“What??” Oh great. And so he provided me with an answer.
And so I’m back to brewing my morning coffee. Yet he kept standing there, looking at me, as if he’s waiting for an answer. So I looked at him.
“What? Are you serious? So I have to choose? Now?”
“What? Yes, of course!”
“And why is that??”
“Are you serious?” And he looked at me like I’ve lost my mind.
“Seriously, what’s in your identity card?” So he finally asked, keep looking for an answer.
“Ooohh, no. I’m not telling you that,” so I told him, with a sarcastic laugh.
“Because then you’re gonna ask me more questions, and I don’t want that.”
Wow, surprising how easily I said those words.
“Oh.” He finally said. “Okay, then… It’s just… pretty shocking.”
I hate myself.
Why can’t I just simply told him I’m an atheist? Or I’m an agnostic. Although that might not describe my current faith precisely, but that surely would shut him up, right? So I’m an atheist, I don’t believe in God. End of story.
Or I’m an agnostic, I’m still questioning the very existence of the so-called God, finito.
Even if it might be shocking to him, he might shut up because…
(well, I can’t even guarantee he’d shut up, I guess. He might even come up with more question, like, “Are you serious? How did you become an atheist/agnostic? What was your religion?”)
but maybe he might shut up since I belong to something.
And that pretty much implies that I don’t really belong to anything right now.
But why I can’t simply state that I’m an atheist? Or an agnostic? Or why I can’t simply state I’m a Christian? That would sure shut him up.
I suppose that’s because my Christian faith affects me much after all.
Even now, I’m still refering back to the bible sometimes, in my daily life.
Considering to state I’m an atheist or such, I’m still thinking of a verse in the bible where God says that if I deny Him on this earth, He shall deny me as well.
Another thing that comes to mind is whenever the so-called rapture occur, I might not be one of those people who might be neglected. And sure, I still believe in heaven and hell, and I kept thinking what if I died tomorrow and go to hell and suffer for eternity. One cannot say he might live for a long time, right? I could as well got hit by a truck or in an earthquake. I can’t deny such possibility as they do exist.
Yet I’m not confident enough to claim to be a Christian.
As I’m not.
I don’t read the bible, I don’t go to church. I’m questioning the sermons I heard at church, and I refuse to refer all my actions for God’s glory.
I live for myself. I don’t live for God, I don’t live for anyone else.
This is my life, and I shall decide what to do with my life.
And I don’t think I deserve the label Christian.
On the other hand, I keep thinking that one day, way in the future, I’ll still come back. Come back as in, becoming a devout Christian, once again. Not now, of course, as I’m still reluctant to do so, but one day, before I die, I might convert back to a faithful Christian.
I also consider the possibility of getting hit by a truck, though, and losing the very chance to covert back my faith.
But I do consider that, every day, every minute, every second.
I’m thinking if I go to sleep tonight and might not wake up in the next morning.
Yet I don’t want to go back and have the irrational Christian faith.
I used to be a devout Christian. I used to be one of those people who said that I would give my heart and my soul to Jesus Christ, and I shall bring back the lost soul to God. So I persuaded the non-Christian to be a Christian.
And that idea sounds very silly to me now, considering how much I appreciate my Christian friends who are devoted enough yet they never try to persuade me to be a Christian. That way, we could be friends.
Not even my mother do that kind of thing, as she always text me every Sunday asking whether I go to church or not.
I’m struggling to find the best words to tell her that I don’t go to church, and that I’m not even dare enough to claim to be a Christian now.
She always blame herself when I tried to explain that, as she believe that God trust her to take care of me, and that she is responsible for whatever happen to my faith. She’d definitely blame herself for this and felt so much like a failure for her only daughter turns her back against God.
My God, I’m such an unbelievable creature.
But looking back at my days as a devoted Christian–even back then, I never really have the unshakable faith. I never did.
One of my friend who I admire very much claims that his faith in God is so irrational that even if one day, someone pointed out to him the evidence that God never did existed, he would still believe in God and remained a Christian. And he, of all people, is probably one of the most rational sane person I’ve ever known. (There’s a reason why I admire him!)
I never really have that irrational faith, to be honest. Even when I was so much involved in church activities. Even when I was up in the stage, singing gospel songs, praising God. Even when I wrote a Christian song.
I always question my faith. I always has.
I remember asking to a senior church full-timer one day, as soon as I was baptized, “How did you know that this faith that you cling to now is the truth? How did you find out that this is the right one?”
I seriously asked him that. I wanted a confirmation that this is the true one.
And he answered,
“Well, I just know it.”
“Yes, but how?” So I was persistent.
You could blame my memory, but I kinda think he was kinda reluctant to answer my question, since he answered it slowly and a little bit “beat around the bush” (I just looked up for this term in the dictionary!)
“Well, one day, I was…” and blah-blah-blah, until we were interrupted by someone who I can’t remember who now, and he never did explained explicitly.
I never get a straight-to-the-point answer up to now.
Even when I discussed this to my cousin (who, gratefully, accept my explanation and appreciate whatever I believe right now) and even he seemed to be out of words trying to explain his Christian faith, and that’s when he finally found the expression that I’m currently “searching for truth.”
Hell, maybe I’m being Thomas right now.
But aren’t there a lot of Thomas in this world? And is it wrong to be Thomas?
Is it even better to have the irrational faith, yet questions keep popping out of your head?
If it is so, then why people keep switching their religions?
Elizabeth Gilbert used to be a Christian (or Catholic?), yet now she’s a Hindu. Same thing applies to Julia Roberts, and they seem to be more in peace with their new faith. Does that mean that Hindu is the right one compared to Christian?
See what I mean here?
I’m just not one of those people who can simply accept their faith without any question. I never was and I simply can’t. At least for now.
And yes, I know, even if I do believe in heaven and hell, I can’t yet answer where would I end up if I’m hit by a bus tomorrow.
“Don’t choose! Don’t take a stance! And don’t choose one set of ideas! If you do, you will only be able to view from that one angle.” ~Kudo, Foreign Studies by Shusaku Endo.
“”If these people are as you suggest, then what about yourself? At least these people have some firm religious convictions. You’re just a coward who changes colour as the occasion demands.” ~Kudo, Foreign Studies by Shusaku Endo.
“By rejecting all ideas of supernatural or extrasensory phenomena, I’m simultaneously adopting a skeptical attitude to all similar concepts within the established religion.” ~Steinn, The Castle in the Pyrenees by Jostein Gaarder.