silvanis2.0 wrote:This was written by a good friend of mine, Kevin O. I take no credit, but thought I'd share.
How Atheists Convinced Me To Lose My Faith in a God I Didn’t Know
I was reared as a Christian. My parents reinforced in me the values that they thought were the best, but they always let me make my own decisions. They believed in informed minds, questions, and finding the proper answer. Sometime in middle school I made up my mind, convinced in the Christian God.
But it wasn’t until college that that all changed. See, I had always been taught about God by preachers, pastors, and church-goers. Believers, as they are commonly called, seemed to be generally united in their understanding in scripture. This was encouraging to me, as strong dissension is not an attractive aspect of any culture that wants to get their beliefs known. Anyway, in college I encountered another group of people who were quite adamant about my Faith. Not their faith,but mine. I assume they were borrowing mine because they had abandoned theirs or had not gotten one to begin with. Regardless, they were incredibly interested in it.
This was good for me. I liked it when people were interested in my faith because it was then that I could share it with them. But this was a different kind of interest. These people were trying to SAVE ME. Apparently, I needed salvation from salvation, and these people were saviors from my savior. So, understand how interested I was indeed in these claims. I did, after all, want to be saved.
While I met many people who were like-minded in their atheist servanthood, I can conglomerate their ideals into one person who will represent them all. I will name him Richkins.
It started one day in the cafeteria. I was talking about Jesus and His love toward others when Richkins interrupted.
“Your God is a god of hate,” he said with conviction.
Surprised,I turned to look at him. He stared back with concerned eyes and I knew he was going to try to save me.
“And here I thought He was a God of love,” I responded, “He says that repeatedly in scripture.”
“Well the scripture you are reading is wrong unless it’s from the Old Testament.”
I was shocked at how much Richkins new about my Faith,
“You mean where God commanded that war should break out.”
“Merciless, brutal war,” said Richkins with a shake of his head, “how could a God of love command people to do such things?”
“I had heard that the Old Testament was a different time. A time to show how we are not prepared or able to fulfill every law God set forth for us. But those wars were not sudden slaughters,” I said, “But the result of a people unwilling to take the many, many chances that God had given them to turn away from their destructive ways.”
Richkins looked at me in a way I can’t quite put my finger on. I could tell that one part of his many emotions was pity for me. How lost I was.
“God hates gay people. God hates those who don’t follow him.”
“I never knew that,” I responded, “Considering how God never says that in His Word to us. I’m glad you’re here to set me straight on this issue. The message of hate that God has for us is so hard to see in the overwhelming references to Love for all mankind.
“Glad I could help,” said Richkins with an understanding smile.
It was at this point that I realized that people who were not, in the most superficial way to put it, subscribed to the Christian culture could tell me so much about what I believe in. It was as amazing as watching an Argentinean describing the finer points of pasta making to an Italian, or watching a Muslim council as Buddhist in a Buddhist manner. I was amazed at what I apparently believed in. Maybe even appalled.
I wished,then and there, that God did not hate gay people. I wished that He was patient,kind, and slow to anger. I wished desperately that God had prepared good things for me.
Please understand, all I had before was the Bible, logic, my mind, and a deep sense I could not fully explain. Now I had this guy- somebody who could explain to me my beliefs so wonderfully.
“Your Godsends people- GOOD people- to hell,” he followed up.
Now I didn’t remember where God did this in the bible, but another look at Richkins and I knew that it was important that I knew this.
“I always believed that God gave us the choice,” I said quietly, shaken, “I hope I don’t go to Hell.”
I did have some questions myself, “You don’t believe in God, do you?” I asked, only a little fight left in me.
“No, of course not. Bedtime stories and superstition for the stupid and hypocrites,” he said confidently, “I believe in logic and science.”
This was mind-blowing. I could not quite comprehend how someone who did not believe in God could speak so concretely and with such assurance on His qualities, but here he was before me. His addition on believing in logic was further distressing. I thought I believed in logic, too, and I have always loved science. Clearly Christianity and logic could not co-exist, and I had to choose one or the other. A tug-of-war played out in my head, but nothing was moving.It was as if the rope that Christianity and logic were playing with was a circle, and each pull helped the other team.
I broke down silently at this point, and Richkins continued, “These are just some of the reasons I don’t believe in a big bearded man in the sky.
There was no was I could describe my despair with this new revelation. Absurdly brought unto me like an afterthought. GOD WAS A BIG BEARDED MAN IN THE SKY? This was so different from how I thought of Him.
I wept,thinking of how much of the Bible I misunderstood. Richkins consolidated me with a hand on my back, shuddering with my sobs.
“Well I can’t believe in that god,” I concluded as I composed myself.
“I understand,” said Richkins, “That is the place I arrived as well.”
“Can you save me from this?” I asked hesitantly.
“Yes,” he said, “just confess with your tongue that God doesn’t exist and believe it with your heart, and you will be free from our judgment that is to come.”
I left after confessing that that god did not exist. I was now enlightened and so much more confident in Abba, Father, Alpha and Omega, His son Jesus who loves us(John 3:16), cares for us (Ephesians 1), gave us everything, and can’t wait to see us again, and the Holy Spirit who empowers us (Acts 1:8). I left reminded that God is not limited to our understanding, but what He reveals to us is Love(1 John 1:5). Agape, unconditional, unending love for each of us individually(1 John 4:7-12). I don’t know what god Richkins believes in, but that sounds like a very poor god indeed, so I was happy to leave that behind. My prayer now is that Richkins will see that God is beyond the misinterpretations, beyond the uninformed theories, and beyond our worldly descriptions. And for myself, that I would stand strong, deeply rooted in Truth, and not wash to and fro like a wave in the wind.
Comments? Questions? Discuss kindly below!
feel free to share if you agree!
note- not at all a representation of all atheists.
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