My evolution as a Christian

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My evolution as a Christian

Postby Otaku Jordan » Tue Dec 17, 2013 7:31 pm

This morning I got to thinking on how my view of Christianity has changed over the years. I went from being a fundamentalist Christian who thought of those nasty liberals as "them," to someone who has embraced the idea of theistic evolution and rejects the ideas of biblical inerrancy and a rapture. I now adhere to post-millenialist covenantalism, and I'm down with drinking in moderation, among other cardinal sins of the Baptists.

What amazes me is that I would have had serious doubts about the salvation of anyone who professed such beliefs back in the day, and might have even labelled them as false teachers/prophets if I was in an especially judgmental mood.

My point in posting this isn't to start an argument on those topics. I want to know if other CAAers have had changes in their belief systems since becoming a Christian.
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Re: My evolution as a Christian

Postby SilverToast » Tue Dec 17, 2013 10:49 pm

Yeah, I've had a similar experience. I used to have conservative views. Now I'm more open-minded on most views. This kind of thing just sort of happened over some years as I've gotten older and more open-minded. Also what lead to it was coming into contact with a bunch of different views that others had.

Right now I'm trying to focus on loving others and loving the Lord rather than getting obsessed over interpretation of the bible on current issues like I've done in the past. The two greatest commandments are so hard to follow.
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Re: My evolution as a Christian

Postby Peanut » Wed Dec 18, 2013 12:23 am

Of course. If you believe something for long enough, especially from High School through College. Its part of any human's development to question the things they were raised to believe and reject somethings while keeping other things. When I got to college, a lot of my beliefs did indeed change and they've continued to change ever since. You could say I've become more liberal in my belief but really that's not accurate. When it comes to theology and Biblical scholarship, I'm still very conservative. Its just I now look at the Bible in a more scholarly way and as a result I question and reject aspects of the Bible that other people probably don't however this doesn't mean I've rejected it as inspired scripture just that I now read it in two different ways: devotionally and scholarly. I'm now much more critical then I used to be. I can't read a book or here a sermon without picking it a part and I hardly agree 100% with anything I hear or read these days that is in these fields. And I'm not ashamed of it. That's really what every person who leaves college should be doing and able to do.
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Re: My evolution as a Christian

Postby ClaecElric4God » Thu Dec 19, 2013 10:10 am

I'm not going to get into this subject too far for fear of blowing my top, but I'll answer your question. Yeah, I've changed some as a Christian. I suppose it's largely thanks to CAA. I'm by no means scholarly or learned, but I've definitely been exposed to ideas other than the ones I was raised with. That said, and with plenty of study and independent thinking, I've largely held to the beliefs, doctrines, and standards of my parents and other Christian authority figures involved in my upbringing. But one thing that has changed is, I've learned to accept others regardless of their beliefs. No, that doesn't mean embracing their ideals and agreeing with everything they say just because to disagree is a mortal sin, but I'm willing to let people have their own beliefs. I'll share my opinions and the backing for them, but I'm not going to shove my beliefs down anyone's throat. I still do my best to dispel misconceptions about my doctrine when I see it attacked, though.
But the thing that has changed the most about me is that I've gone from a viewpoint of "everything I don't agree with is pure evil" to "I don't particularly like or agree with this, but is it something that God can use for His honor and glory?" If anything, it's helped strengthen my beliefs to look at things that way. But I've also learned to appreciate things that I didn't before, because my primary desire is to see the Lord praised and glorified, by whatever means, as long as He approves of it.

Edit: Got mad, got over it, end of story.
Last edited by ClaecElric4God on Thu Dec 19, 2013 8:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: My evolution as a Christian

Postby Otaku Jordan » Thu Dec 19, 2013 8:46 pm

ClaecElric4God wrote:Not really, I'm still a narrow-minded, hypocritical jerk Baptist.


Is there any other kind?

Jk, jk.
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Re: My evolution as a Christian

Postby Sammy Boy » Fri Dec 20, 2013 2:51 am

I have changed some of my beliefs in similar areas.

I used to take Genesis' creation story as literal, but now don't see it that way. I used to think biological evolution was without any evidence, but now believe there is a lot of evidence from various areas backing it up. I made these changes slowly after reflection through years of reading and personal research.

On the other hand, I have also come to the view that as important as it is to have knowledge, it is more important to live in such a way that people can see the love and hope of Christ in you (something which I am still learning to do) and that they will be keen to find out why.
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Re: My evolution as a Christian

Postby Otaku Jordan » Fri Dec 20, 2013 9:21 am

Sammy Boy wrote:On the other hand, I have also come to the view that as important as it is to have knowledge, it is more important to live in such a way that people can see the love and hope of Christ in you (something which I am still learning to do) and that they will be keen to find out why.


This is something that I've been learning lately as well. I only wish God had started teaching me this sooner, haha.
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Re: My evolution as a Christian

Postby drill » Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:22 pm

I dont really think I have changed much from when I first started as a Christian. The beliefs that I grew up with were challenged and I found proof of their existence, so overall my beliefs were strengthened. Not that I want to start a debate, but I do have different views from some of the people that have posted thus far (like I believe that Genesis is literal), but just like Claec, I have learned over time to accept others despite having different beliefs.
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Re: My evolution as a Christian

Postby Nate » Fri Dec 20, 2013 4:54 pm

I'm...I'm not the only liberal socialist Christian who accepts all scientific fact?

BUT NOW WHAT WILL MAKE ME UNIQUE AND SPECIAL
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Re: My evolution as a Christian

Postby Mr. SmartyPants » Fri Dec 20, 2013 10:13 pm

Nate wrote:I'm...I'm not the only liberal socialist Christian who accepts all scientific fact?

BUT NOW WHAT WILL MAKE ME UNIQUE AND SPECIAL

lol "scientific fact"

=p
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Re: My evolution as a Christian

Postby Otaku Jordan » Sat Dec 21, 2013 8:42 am

EVOLUTION IS A THEORY!!

...

Sorry, my fundie upbringing made me do that.

I'm not a socialist and I would only describe myself as moderately liberal, so you're still good, Nate.
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Re: My evolution as a Christian

Postby Nate » Sat Dec 21, 2013 5:21 pm

Otaku Jordan wrote:EVOLUTION IS A THEORY!!

But that statement is entirely correct! Just not in the way people who say that mean it. :p

SPOILER: Highlight text to read: It's okay I'm not full socialist either but is it bad if I say I am just because of the reactions it gets?
Mr. SmartyPants wrote:lol "scientific fact"

=p

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Re: My evolution as a Christian

Postby Kaori » Sat Dec 21, 2013 6:51 pm

Sorry Nate, I am going to have to be more-unique-than-thou because I don’t think there is anyone else on CAA besides me who is thinking about converting to Eastern Orthodoxy.

Aside from a flirtation with the Mennonite denomination during my college years, I’ve attended nondenominational Protestant churches for pretty much my entire life. However, after growing up Christian, studying Bible and theology as required classes at Wheaton College, and serving as a missionary teacher for six years, my process of questioning, reflection, learning, and life experience has led me towards the traditional apostolic churches. Specifically, recently I’ve been attending an Eastern Orthodox church and learning about Orthodoxy. I have been drawn towards it by various factors—the beauty of its doctrine and worship, the way that it expresses perfectly some things that I had been struggling with but had been unable to find ways to articulate, its holistic ethos, thirst for liturgy and sacrament and rootedness in tradition—as well as a growing personal conviction that I need to recognize that the consensus of the Church as a whole (e.g. in its creeds, councils, and canons) is more authoritative than my own individual opinions and to be in submission and obedience to it.

TL;DR I grew up nondenominational Protestant, went to a conservative Protestant evangelical college, and served as a Protestant missionary for several years, but now I am learning about Orthodoxy and might be received into the Eastern Orthodox Church sometime in the next few years.
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Re: My evolution as a Christian

Postby Nate » Mon Dec 23, 2013 1:49 pm

I'm almost certain Ingemar was Orthodox, but he hardly posts here anymore so I guess he doesn't count.
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Re: My evolution as a Christian

Postby Otaku Jordan » Mon Dec 23, 2013 3:28 pm

Nate wrote:I'm almost certain Ingemar was Orthodox, but he hardly posts here anymore so I guess he doesn't count.


He was.

@Kaori That's interesting. I am non-denom but I like a lot of Anabaptist theology.
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Re: My evolution as a Christian

Postby Kaori » Mon Dec 23, 2013 6:07 pm

Otaku Jordan wrote:I am non-denom but I like a lot of Anabaptist theology.

Funny you should say that, because although I find a lot of Anabaptist practice appealing (concern for the poor and opressed, active peacemaking) and still admire those things about them, it always seemed to me that doctrine was not a focus and was vaguely defined at best. Theology just did not seem to be one of their strengths, probably because they didn't place much importance on it.

Nate wrote:I'm almost certain Ingemar was Orthodox, but he hardly posts here anymore so I guess he doesn't count.

Ah, but was he born Orthodox or did he convert? Either way, he is already Orthodox, which leaves me as (probably) the only person on CAA in the process of maybe converting to Orthodoxy. ;)

Seriously, though, that's cool; I hadn't known he was Orthodox. But now that I am thinking about it, his avatar is an icon of Peter and Paul, and having an icon as an avatar seems like something an Orthodox person would do.
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Re: My evolution as a Christian

Postby Mr. SmartyPants » Mon Dec 23, 2013 11:07 pm

If you're into Anabaptist thought you should check out John Howard Yoder, granted recently he came under criticism due to numerous accounts of alleged sexual abuse (which I'm inclined to believe happened).That being said, his politics of Jesus is great. Read it.

As for Eastern Orthodoxy, the biggest thing I like about them is their theological concept of theosis, or union/oneness with God. Granted I tend to go through that approach through a rather mystical perspective (e.g. Christian mysticism, sufism, etc).

Karen Armstrong once said: "In the Sufi tradition that it was quite common for a Sufi mystic to cry in ecstasy that he is no longer a Jew, a Christian, or a Muslim. He is at home equally in a synagogue, a mosque, a temple, or a church, because when one has touched the divine, one can leave these manmade distinctions behind." I believe that 100%.
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Re: My evolution as a Christian

Postby uc pseudonym » Fri Dec 27, 2013 4:37 pm

Watching this thread has made me reflect that the word "evolution" in the title is more apt than it was perhaps intended. A popular understanding of evolution is that it reflects constant improvements toward a theoretical ideal, when in fact it's a branching tree with no clear endpoint. I think the parallels to the ways we think of ourselves are obvious.

Mr.SmartyPants wrote:If you're into Anabaptist thought you should check out John Howard Yoder, granted recently he came under criticism due to numerous accounts of alleged sexual abuse (which I'm inclined to believe happened).

We might need to say "alleged" in the court of law sense, but I think there's no question that significant abuse happened. I say this mostly because I wish this was publicly acknowledged more often instead of swept under the rug by continued omission.
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Re: My evolution as a Christian

Postby shooraijin » Mon Dec 30, 2013 9:32 pm

A popular understanding of evolution is that it reflects constant improvements toward a theoretical ideal, when in fact it's a branching tree with no clear endpoint.


I'magonna steal that (with attribution). :)
"you're a doctor.... and 27 years.... so...doctor + 27 years = HATORI SOHMA" - RoyalWing, when I was 27
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Re: My evolution as a Christian

Postby Otaku Jordan » Tue Jan 14, 2014 12:28 pm

uc pseudonym wrote:Watching this thread has made me reflect that the word "evolution" in the title is more apt than it was perhaps intended. A popular understanding of evolution is that it reflects constant improvements toward a theoretical ideal, when in fact it's a branching tree with no clear endpoint. I think the parallels to the ways we think of ourselves are obvious


Burn...

But since evolution leads from simple to complex, guided or not, the analogy is still relevant.
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Re: My evolution as a Christian

Postby Xeno » Tue Jan 14, 2014 2:56 pm

Otaku Jordan wrote:
uc pseudonym wrote:Watching this thread has made me reflect that the word "evolution" in the title is more apt than it was perhaps intended. A popular understanding of evolution is that it reflects constant improvements toward a theoretical ideal, when in fact it's a branching tree with no clear endpoint. I think the parallels to the ways we think of ourselves are obvious


Burn...

But since evolution leads from simple to complex, guided or not, the analogy is still relevant.

That wasn't a burn, that's how evolution works. It's the branching of species based on traits as they change over time. It's a great analogy for what is being discussed in this thread. Alternatively, evolution does not necessarily push things from simple to complex. Obviously that has occurred or we wouldn't have the majority of the plants and animals we do today, but if that was the only way that evolution operated then we would have no single-celled organisms like bacteria or viruses. Those things evolve and undergo natural selection also, but they aren't becoming more complex, they're simply adapting themselves to find new ways to survive.

Things can even "devolve", or select for less complexity, if that is what is necessary for adaption for survival.

As far as discussing the actual topic of the thread, everyone knows me, no need to beat that dead horse.
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Re: My evolution as a Christian

Postby Mr. SmartyPants » Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:45 pm

Equestrian violence is part of your theology? I'm confused
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Re: My evolution as a Christian

Postby Ante Bellum » Tue Jan 14, 2014 7:14 pm

It's part of the Atheist Induction Ritual, whereupon we swear our loyalty to Charles Darwin and then go out for dinner at a small, local pub. The bartender, recognizing us by our matching Atheist Induction Tattoos, ushers us into the Atheist Induction Secret Room so we can discuss our plans for the New World Order. After that, we return home for the Atheist Induction Slumber Party. The night is filled with giggles as we paint our nails (Atheist Induction Red, of course), watch movies, and have sexy pillow fights deep, meaningful conversations about the nature of the universe.

No wonder Xeno doesn't want to do it again.
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Re: My evolution as a Christian

Postby Xeno » Tue Jan 14, 2014 7:18 pm

Mr. SmartyPants wrote:Equestrian violence is part of your theology? I'm confused

Little known fact, I'm not allowed near horses after my short stint working on the canceled HBO series "Luck".
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Re: My evolution as a Christian

Postby Mr. SmartyPants » Thu Jan 16, 2014 7:09 am

Xeno wrote:
Mr. SmartyPants wrote:Equestrian violence is part of your theology? I'm confused

Little known fact, I'm not allowed near horses after my short stint working on the canceled HBO series "Luck".

I was sort of hoping for a Peter Shaffer joke here...
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Re: My evolution as a Christian

Postby Xeno » Thu Jan 16, 2014 8:50 am

Mr. SmartyPants wrote:
Xeno wrote:
Mr. SmartyPants wrote:Equestrian violence is part of your theology? I'm confused

Little known fact, I'm not allowed near horses after my short stint working on the canceled HBO series "Luck".

I was sort of hoping for a Peter Shaffer joke here...

But that wouldn't be a joke.
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Re: My evolution as a Christian

Postby shooraijin » Thu Jan 16, 2014 6:13 pm

Back to the OP's original question, please.
"you're a doctor.... and 27 years.... so...doctor + 27 years = HATORI SOHMA" - RoyalWing, when I was 27
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