Ronin of the Spirit

Because reality is beautiful.

More God Babble

So, I grew up a conservative Christian.  Recently I made the decision to live like an atheist even though I don’t necessarily believe there is no God.  I decided to not trust God to make me happy, but to make myself happy, and not trust God to take care of my needs, but to take care of them myself.

I thought at the time that this would truly show me how much I relied on God, and restore my breaking faith.  Instead, I found that I was  peaceful and joyful.  The two things I had always wanted but never gotten from Christianity.  I also found I was better father and husband, I guess since happy people are less likely to be assholes than people who are depressive and angry all the time.

Most of my good friends are Christians.  Because I love them and am honest with them, I’ve told most of the ones I really care about that I am (1.) A very poor atheist [I prayed about the decision to become one!] and (2.) That I have no explanation for why trying to live like I didn’t believe in God would bring me more inner peace, and make me a better person than than when I tried to live like I believed in him.

There answers are various.  At least 3 people have told me that this is the process by which I drop the “false religion”  that I learned at home.  I grew up in a family that was both abusive (in multiple ways) and Christian, so there is probably some truth to that.

I’ve also been told that this peace is the peace of the damned, like the criminal who stands at ease on the gallows because he has accepted his fate.

I’ve been told that before I was struggling, so now, of course, not  struggling, I feel better.  I was on the fence before, so I am more comfortable not fighting to be with God.  Of all of them, that is the most offensive to me.

I do not consider the 25 years I spent racked with guilt, tithing 10 to 30 % of income, terminating relationships with good people “lest they lead me to sin” and spending hundreds of hours in prayer and Bible study to be “on the fence”  I consider it to be the best I could possibly do to walk out my faith. I didn’t think these things earned me a place in heaven, I thought that these works were the mark of faith, the same way my helping my wife with household chores is a mark of my love for her.

Finally, last nigh, I was told that all of that was a waste, because I had been trying to get to know God by what he had done for others.  I have to meet God not considering what he has done for others, but investigate on His own, without carrying in any emotional baggage of any existing relationship.

This personal God business is a weird one.  In a bit I write more that confuses me about it, the above is just me catching up anyone who wants to know with where I am at.

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August 22, 2008 - Posted by | Religion, skepticism, Uncategorized | , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. I can relate to so much of this! Especially this:

    I do not consider the 25 years I spent racked with guilt, tithing 10 to 30 % of income, terminating relationships with good people “lest they lead me to sin” and spending hundreds of hours in prayer and Bible study to be “on the fence”

    You’re so right! I got so sick of people telling me that the problem was that I had been “lukewarm” when I know I was “on fire”.

    I can also relate to the weirdness of sorting through all this. I appreciate being able to follow along with you. I only hope that nothing I’ve said has offended you in any way. I just really enjoy talking about all this! You can always tell me to bug off! Haha…

    But as long as you keep writing, I’ll probably keep reading! 😀

    Comment by Lottie | August 23, 2008 | Reply


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