Hello, my name is Mike, and I am a former fundamentalist.
“A fundamentalist is a person who considers whether a fact is acceptable to his religion before he explores it, as opposed to a curious person who explores first and then considers whether or not he wants to accept the ramifications. A curious person embraces the tension between his religion and something new, wrestles with it, through it, and then decides whether to embrace the new idea or reject it.
“Curious is the key word. It has nothing to do with income, nothing to do with education, and certainly nothing to do with organized religion. It has to do with a desire to understand, a desire to try, a desire to push whatever envelop is interesting.
“Once recognized, the quiet yet persistent voice of curiosity doesn’t go away. Ever.”
“Curiosity” describes what has happened to me. I have always had an inquisitive mind but until the last few years it has been held in check by a concerned heart. Being a people-pleaser, I didn’t want to challenge those I respected or hurt those I loved. I still don’t.
Yet somehow I’ve wandered off the spiritual reservation. (Probably due to a lack of adult supervision.) I’m out where the buses don’t run, as Kinky Friedman would say. At least the church buses.
I sometimes refer to myself as a Christian Agnostic, an oxymoron I know, but no more egregious than “progressive brethren” or “bipartisan support.”
I BELIEVE in God but not in all the doctrines or deeds attributed to him/her/it.
I BELIEVE theology reveals more about its authors than its subject.
I BELIEVE curiosity comes from being made in God’s image. If he was not curious we would not be here.
I BELIEVE asking questions is not a sin, even if we sometimes come up with the wrong answers.
I BELIEVE changing your mind can either be a sign of gullibility or maturity and that it takes some of the former to acquire the latter.
Are you a former fundie? Or perhaps a closet questioner? Share your insights and experiences with the rest of us by posting a comment.