I had begun to abandon the cult of my childhood long before my “rejection of Genesis.” And while it took a few years after “rejecting” those first few chapters of Genesis because I no longer believed in a young earth, six day literal creation, I finally began to embrace those first few chapters of Genesis, the parts where I found out that I was created in God’s image and that I was supposed to live an authentic life. I believe that the Bible is a library of books, the Christian literary canon, and contains different genres, multiple authors, and different points of view. I believe that a lot of the Old Testament stories such as a literal six-day creation and Noah’s ark are myths, and creation stories and flood stories are common in other mythology, not just Christian mythology.
Another one of the huge things that lead me out of fundamentalism was, ironically, reading a book by a Mennonite author about nonviolence and pacifist theology. It was as if the concepts in that book just clicked for me. It wasn’t even a book I was intending to read by my best friend at the time (who I lost when I left fundamentalism) really badly wanted me to read it, and it’s not like I had anywhere to go or anything to do apart from being with the kids all day every day stuck at home without a vehicle. The book was very convincing and used appropriate Bible verses to back up what the author was saying, and just like that, something shifted, and I became a pacifist.
Becoming a pacifist was just the beginning. I became increasingly disgruntled with fundamentalism and had started to feel like something was really wrong, but I was still trapped because of course I was told that it was just my heart being deceitful and I was allowing my emotions to have a higher place in my life than God. One day, I woke up and it hit me. In a moment of clarity, the thought came into my head: if we are wrong in our beliefs on nonviolence, I wonder what else we could be wrong about. It was a life-changing moment and the world opened up to me. I could not stop the questions after this point.