I was raised a Christian, and lived that way for my whole life. Was a religious education major in college, worked for a few churches along the way.
For me, it was never about doubting or not doubting. I’ve always understood the stories of the Bible to be stories of faith, not not stories of history. I never really bought into the idea that the miracle stories or the supernatural Jesus stories were factual. They are literary tools, used by countless storytellers before, that make a particular point.
What point? Sure there are twists and turns through the centuries. But seen as whole, I believe this book tells of an imminent and personal God, closely following the events of humanity; a God who cares for his creation–not just interested in the activities of people, but intimate with them… concerned about their well-being and even their feelings. It is a beautiful and noble story.
However, this story plays out differently in the real world. In my experience, god does not personally intervene in the lives of everyday people. Any such intervention is done by other people, maybe (or maybe not) on behalf of this personal god.
In fact, if such a person exists–someone imminent and intimate with people, concerned about their well-being and their feelings–then surely that person is me. That’s certainly true for my children, my spouse. And it’s just as certainly true for people at work or in the grocery store.
In the end, I think that was the core teaching of this prophet, Jesus. Love your neighbor as yourself. You are likely the most divine person your neighbors will ever meet, so you should do what you can to live up to that.