The stories we have to tell about how we came to or fell away from our beliefs about God is always a fascinating study for me. Last post I offered a few of my impressions about Ryan Bell, whose journey reminded me a bit of my own. Today I'm thinking of well known media mogul and entrepreneur turned philanthropist Ted Turner.
Once a vociferous critic of Christianity, calling it "a religion for losers," (for which comment he did apologize), Turner has softened towards the subject, if not returned to the faith of his childhood. He even says he occasionally prays in hopes there is "somebody out there." And he said (perhaps somewhat tongue-in-cheek) that he doesn't want to go to Hell.
His highly publicized marriage to actress to Jane Fonda was strained - to the say the least - by her decision to become a Christian. In her version of the story she just couldn't stand being smothered by Turner and felt she had to get out in order to go on living happily.
Happily, Turner and Fonda became close again after their wounds healed.
So Turner has softened and as a CNN story states regarding his thoughts about God, "These days, he keeps the door open a crack. He allows for the possibility."
Well and good.
Turner claims to be a skeptic by nature, but it can't be denied that the pivotal season of his faith life came in his youth with the death of his sister, after she suffered a painful death from complications of a rare form of lupus. In his own words, again quoting the CNN story:
She was sick for five years before she passed away. And it just seemed so unfair, because she hadn't done anything wrong. What had she done wrong? And I couldn't get any answers. Christianity couldn't give me any answers to that. So my faith got shaken somewhat.
How often unanswered prayers and the problem of human suffering presents an almost insurmountable obstacle to faith! This was not many years removed from the young Turner who had toyed with the idea of being a missionary.
It's a familiar story. You close the door but then it doesn't want to stay closed. I hope that in the end he finds peace.