The first step if you want to start over with Christianity is to put out of your mind everything you’ve heard about Christianity. All the beliefs you grew up with, all the things you’ve always heard about God, all the things the preachers and the Christian authors and the evangelists say, you’ve got to put all that out of your mind.
You’ve got to start with a blank slate.
The second step is to not try to harmonize Christianity with 1950’s science. This will actually be the hardest step. 1950’s science says there’s nothing but the physical realm. But, you cannot have any kind of religion unless you are willing to at least consider that there is more than just the physical realm.
If you accept 1950’s science and believe nothing exists that’s not made up of protons, neutrons, and electrons, you might as well forget about religion of any kind. All religion starts with the premise that something exists behind the physical realm, beyond the physical realm, in another dimension, or however you want to put it.
The basis of any religion is the belief that there is “something else,” the belief that what we can see, sense, and understand is not all there is. It doesn’t matter what you call this “something else.” You can call it the heavenly realm, the spiritual realm, another dimension, the realm beyond, or whatever. But whatever you want to call it, you have to be willing to consider there is something beyond protons, neutrons, and electrons.
If you can’t get beyond 1950’s science, you have no choice but to see life as nothing but a set of meaningless coincidences. There is no purpose, no meaning, no direction to anything. It’s all meaningless chance occurrences. With that belief, you consign your life to the despair of meaninglessness.
But I’m going to assume you don’t want to see life as a set of meaningless chance occurrences. I’m going to assume you’ll let yourself be open, even if just a little bit, to at least consider the possibility that there is more to things than 1950’s science says there is.
If you can clear the slate of all you’ve been told about Christianity, and if you can open yourself to the possibility that behind the physical universe lies “something else,” below you will find the next step to starting over with Christianity.
Realize that Christianity will not answer all your questions. Sometimes people expect religion to have explanations that answer all questions. People expect everything to be lined out in simple terms so that all questions are answered.
That’s not going to happen. By its very nature, religion talks about the “something else.” Whatever this “something else” is, it lies outside of our experience, comprehension, and perception. For that reason, it will always to some extent remain a mystery. We can talk about it and think about it only in approximate terms. We are limited to human understandings of something that is beyond human understanding.
Christianity uses human terms to talk about something that is beyond human comprehension. Christianity tries to reduce that which lies beyond our ability to understand to terms we can understand. It uses human concepts to talk about things that are beyond human understanding.
Christianity offers us a journey toward understanding. We never quite get there, but we make progress along the way. As we move forward in the journey, we find that we understand some things better. But we also find that we have even more questions.
But that’s what makes a journey so fun and interesting! There’s something new around every bend. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, you see something new.
Christianity is not a destination you reach. It’s a journey you’ll be on for the rest of your life here on earth.