On September 30, blogger Brian LePorte asked the question: “What events recorded in Scripture must be historical for you to affirm the truthfulness of Christianity?” (LINK) I thought it would be worth responding to this question from the other side: What level of a-historicity was enough to convince me that Christianity was wrong?
As a disclaimer, I need to make it clear that leaving Christianity did not make me an atheist. In fact, I went through several more phases of “spirituality,” exploring other religions, science, and philosophy for several years before I rejected all religion. So, this is not an “argument for atheism.” It is an argument against Christianity.
I was raised in a Biblical Literalist environment. The preachers told me that the word of God was inerrant, and that everything was literally true. Once I became sentient, it didn’t take long to reject that claim. Between my step-father’s infatuation with American Indian artifacts older than the earth itself, and my growing knowledge of geology, physics, andWorld History, it became clear that the Bible was far from a perfect document. My first rejection of Christianity was the rejection of literal Christianity.
As my education progressed, and I discovered more and more inconsistencies with the Bible, I began to doubt even the metaphorical significance of some of the stories. It was particularly shocking for me to discover that there was likely no Moses, and in fact, no Egyptian captivity, and certainly no Exodus. To me, the Exodus had represented the first massive and powerful demonstration by Yahweh that the Israelites were the chosen people. This line of thought also raised significant questions about the historicity of Abraham, the father of what would become my religion. Once that dike had been breached, it wasn’t long before I started wondering about Adam and Eve.