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CTDL 071: Belief’s and Understanding

During my high-school and college years I, while starting off a very devout believer, went through the usual “questioning my beliefs” period. Having come from a school with half a dozen kids in it (and all of us from fairly similar backgrounds), the culture shock of even going to a christian boarding academy with a couple hundred kids was big enough for me to rethink a lot of things. I changed hobbies and music tastes (leaning toward more hard-rock and indie-rock within a year and moving on to more indie-rock/punk/ska mix by the time I graduated), had a friend commit suicide, another friend get kicked out of the school for an alleged homosexual pass made at another friend. There was also the first girlfriend, the first getting dumped, the multiple unrequited loves and the eventual dating of the girl who would become my wife. Throughout this my interests moved from technology, to art (photography and literature), to music, and picked up a few other things along the way. By the time I reached college in fall of 1994 I was involved in the punk rock music scene, and hanging out with people from “the scene” and my acting classes at Valencia Community College.

Image from Flickr by YoLoPey

Skip ahead a couple years and even though I had spent a lot of time in the punk rock scene, a largely atheist or agnostic one, I still held a basic world understanding that was based in the SDA version of Christianity. In 1996 I got married and in 1997 I became a parent. Though my wife and I were not practicing Christians at the time she got pregnant, she was quickly motivated to go back to church, hoping to find something less legalistic and judgmental than what we had experienced growing up. During that time I had become a more avid and varied reader and, although I had my doubts, I went on the theory that it was “better safe than sorry” on the whole “God thing”. We eventually found a great church community where we clicked with a lot of people who had grown up SDA but were looking for something a little less “Traditional SDA” (though not all were in that boat there was a significant percentage).

It was that “better safe than sorry” concept that got me started going to church again, and eventually it was the friendships I’ve formed that kept me going. Over the years I’ve done more and more reading, and in the past year pushed through the “it’s easier to not hunt for answers” barrier and have really delved into both sides of the Science Vs God debate. I’ve read Dawkins and Shermer’s Athiest/Agnostic point of view, and Francis Collins’s Theistic Evolution point-of-view, and skimmed some of Hugh Ross’s… whatever it is you call his belief recently, along with a healthy historical dose of young earth creationist POV. I don’t give them all equal credence as valid. And this isn’t a public-school science class. This is me, trying to determine what I believe, for good or ill.

Now that all the preliminary hand waving has happened, the next entry in this series will address where I currently stand in my understanding, limited as it is, of the way things work. My main goal is to keep an open-mind and not let myself get locked into anybody’s dogma.


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