My own spiritual journey is based on a couple of tough positions I have had to form: First, was to believe the inspiration of the scriptures… that they really are the words of God… critically, historically and exegetically. Second, was that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that he really did go through the death, burial, resurrection and ascension. As ragged, piecemeal, and partial as I understand this… I believe it.
I also understand clearly your comment about “the church and religion associated with it” and this has been my personal fight for most of my life. But, I say and know you understand… the church has never been my focus or reason for believing in the above issues. I saw the Kingdom of God as a young man and could never clearly see the church as others do… though I believe in fellowship of Christians around worship, prayer and the Lord’s Supper… whether this is called “church” or whatever it is called (the scriptures seem to call it church… the ecclesia of God, the called out ones). But I quickly add… my church experience rarely matches my faith experience… and I suppose that is as it should be. I’ll just say it: I look for people at church more than I look for the Lord… and sometimes I am surprised and find both. (From a letter to a friend)
“Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” Jesus