As a Christian I used to view alot of things in a subjective manner or simply put, through the lens of Christianity. Especially when it came to things like Christian doctrine. I used to be infatuated with perusing Christian websites, trying to find the slightest error in their doctrines. I can remember going to the Christian apologetics website, CARM, and emailing them nasty, scornful letters telling them how wrong they were.
Their errors were so obvious to me. I just couldn't understand why they didn't see them. After all, my wisdom on Christian doctrine wasn't coming from me, it came from God. I felt like a modern day Paul going around rebuking everyone and accusing them of infidelity and heresy. I called it, "revisionist theology". Little did I know this would have an adverse effect on my own theology.
After years of trying to convert people from their adulterous ways, I started to feel hopeless. I remember feeling down and out one day, pondering upon my experiences. I kept coming back to the same question I couldn't answer, "Why did everyone have a completely different understanding of doctrine and the Bible?". Sure there were several large groups and denominations who thought and taught the same but overall there were thousands of other systems of thought. Were they just as legitimate? Who was to establish the absolute truth of the matter? Man seemed to be doing a piss poor job at it so far, why would I trust them to get it right this time?
Without really knowing it this train of thought is what lead me down one of my paths towards atheism. For me it provided more questions and problems than it did with providing me answers. But I did come to a conclusion. I chose to look at the problem objectively, without the lens of Christianity. Insanely enough this lead me back to the Bible.
"that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him." Ephesians 1:17
It is God who grants you a "spirit" of wisdom and revelation "in the knowledge of Him". So why all the incongruous claims and confusion? Surely God didn't tell someone one thing and someone else another. And even if God isn't the "author of confusion" and didn't tell people conflicting claims about himself, that still does not answer the question. So my guess is its the devil's fault right? He is the one who confuses and lies to men, right? So that makes your version the "real" version, right?
You see therein lies the problem. No one can know who is right or who is wrong. All knowledge of God comes from God. How can you prove your doctrine is "God's doctrine"? To me this says something about God. He is who we make him to be. God is always congruent within our worldview. He is made in our image.
I understand the feeling of "there has got to be more to life than this". I frequently say this to myself. I understand using God as a security blanket to help you through rough times or even just through daily life. I myself don't partake in this but I get it. What I do not understand is people parading around telling me I am damned to a place where all the cool kids are because they have the truth! When no one can agree on what that truth is exactly.
Which leads me to my second argument. You might think that doctrine is nothing but semantics compared to what is incontrovertible. The fact that Jesus came to save us from our sins. But the place we are supposedly be saved from is doctrine! There are some Christians who don't belive in hell, some even think it isn't eternal and they do it without rejecting precious scripture. So how can you tell me I need Jesus so I don't go to hell if you don't even know what hell is?
This is a systemic problem. The Bible is intrisically flawed in this way. Just look at the God is Love problem. Tristan over at Advocatus Atheist also has a great version of the God is Love problem. To me this is why Christians have a problem being absolute about their claims. The problem is the Bible is just as incongruous and inconsistent so Christians are pretty much SOL from the get go.