I’m not extremely religious. I come from a family that was pretty mixed on what we believe. I have siblings that believe in many different things. Some of my siblings are Christian and they follow the teachings of the Bible loosely. I have family members that are Christian and they follow the teachings of the Bible strictly. I have family members who changes their beliefs like the seasons.
However, we were raised Baptist and at one point in our lives we attended church pretty regularly. I remember sitting in church and being the big reader that I am I opted to read the Bible for myself rather than listen to the Pastor preach on for hours. While I read I came up with many questions that I wanted answered. No adult in my life could answer those questions to my satisfaction. Also, there were things that you should not question. At least that is what they told me.
I spent many years of my life trying to find my spiritual self. What do I believe versus what people tell me I should believe? I knew that I believed people should be good to others, they should look out for one another and you should try your best to be the kindest and most empathetic and sympathetic person that you could be.
It took at least 30 years of my life before I figured out what exactly I believed. Once I discovered it I wanted to know if there were others that thought like me. I mean it’s in human nature to not want to fill alone, to want to feel a connection to others and to know that you’re not the only one that feels that way.
After much soul-searching and research I discovered I was an Agnostic Theist. What is an Agnostic theist? Does it mean I’m an atheist?
To answer the first question and probably the second question as well, I would probably have to explain what a theist is, what an Agnostic is, what a Gnostic is and how none of the three means I’m an atheist.
First I’ll explain what an agnostic is. Agnosticism means not knowing. Being an agnostic means you do not know if there is a God or if there isn’t one. It means that either could be true but…there is no proof. The opposite of that would be a Gnostic. Gnosticism means certainty. A Gnostic believes that they know without a doubt.
Theism is a belief in a higher power. A theist believes that God exists or a higher power. An atheist does not believe that God exists and that there is no higher power. Therefore an agnostic is not the same as an atheist. They are not mutually exclusive.
I’m an agnostic theist. I believe there is a God or a higher power yet I feel this belief is based solely on faith alone because there is no proof God exists or doesn’t exist.
A Gnostic Theist says and believes that the Bible is definitive proof that God exist. I do not.
I must admit, it was much easier telling people I was bisexual and that I have bipolar disorder than telling them I was an agnostic. Either way it feels good to finally know where I stand.