The moment of decision

Sent in by AJ

Names changed for anonymity

This moment of decision was triggered by my conversation with Ryan at Erica's wedding. He was trying to pull me back into the "fold." But, the more I look, think, read, and talk, the more I am pushed away from faith. I even finally admitted to my parents last night that I don't have a clue. Their answers weren't very satisfying. They've closed their minds to make themselves happy. Their opinions and rationalizations seem senseless and misguided. They are robots, controlled and blinded by their faith. Which is sad, because they will not open their minds and really listen to what I say, instead they reply with the pre-packaged Christianese answers I rejected many months ago.

After Ryan's urging, I decided that it would be a good thing to go to Great Big Church with my roommates. Hurray! All the roommates go to the same church. How harmonious! The sermon was on the "peril of falling away." AKA, you cannot leave this cult. "Don't fall away, Don't fall away" Keep playing your delusional mind game, keep out bad opposing thoughts, only allow good ones... What if they actually enticed the apostates with reasons to believe?

Ahh, Christianity, an emotional aneurysm it is. Where is the risen Christ??? Where are the healings? Where is the holy spirit? They are in the WORD. And in that book only.

Everyone told me to pray and read the Bible!!! What the?!?! That's not right. The people in Acts at least pretend to have some knowledge of a risen Christ, and make their appeal based on that. I will not believe unless I see Christ himself. There are not sufficient grounds for belief.

Why should the question be on me, if you cannot give intelligible reasons for your belief?

I will not delude myself, or engage in wishful thinking, just to get what I want. It is tempting to live a lie, profess a falsehood, to get into the social circle, get the Christian wife, etc,. and to be a miserable hypocrite

I will not be that person. It will take nothing less than the living God, if there even be such a being, to change me.

The God of the Bible is not worthy of my worship or praise. And even if he were my creator, judging from His supposed works as written in the WORD, I would still scorn him. I would never obey a command from God to sacrifice my son or to kill a woman and her sniveling child. The God of the Old Testament is a bloodthirsty savage. A despicable bastard. The God of the New Testament is worse, a sadistic torturing fiend.

I am even more driven away from my faith than after I first spoke with Ryan. I suppose I am under demonic attack, under the cavils of the devil himself. Yep, I ate three demons for breakfast this morning...

This is sad because I come from a family and circle of friends that is drenched in this stuff. And breaking from the dogmas will in some sense break me from them... But in the end, I care more for being truthful... Here I stand, I can do no other.


TastyPaper said...

I come from a very similar situation. My family spends a lot of time in or out of the church. They may not like the fact that I am living as an atheist, but it seems like they've accepted it. In the course of seperation, I've discovered other family members with doubt that we discuss openly, which has made the process easier. Go down that road, it will open up your life, and you may find allies you never knew were there.

xrayman said...

Great letter AJ. I've never been anything more than a half hearted believer in my life. Thankfully my parents weren't religious so I was able to think for myself without the fear of Hell getting in the way. I totally read myself out of God belief last year, and I am completely at peace with our death being final.

I have had friends tell me I should believe just in case, you know the old Pascals Wager bullshit. AJ this is the bottom line.......I have read it many places. We don't choose our beliefs or beliefs choose us. I could never believe in God/Jesus again, any more than I could re-believe in the Easter Bunny, and I certainly can't fake it to fulfill Pascal's Wager.

Now don't get me wrong I will believe in God in a heartbeat the second I see some proof, and if I do I will shout it from the highest mountian top, but I kind of doubt that is going to be happening.

Jamie said...

I will not believe unless I see Christ himself.

That's what Thomas said. And Jesus showed him. Someone in another post here asked why Thomas got yelled at for wanting proof, but in the actual bible story he didn't. Jesus simply showed him what he wanted to see.

The way I look at it is if Jesus did it then, he can do it now, if he exists. Or God, if they are not the same thing. I, too, am willing to believe at that point.

I am not an atheist, at least not yet. As someone said above, we do not choose our beliefs, and it seems that I can't just simply choose to be an atheist. That leaves me not knowing how to categorize myself, other than to say I'm a guy who believes in something, I'm just not sure what are who that is, and along with my belief comes the nagging doubt that maybe it's just all chemical reactions in my head.

skeptic griggsy said...

Rational beings do not want worship in the first place! And we discern from so many evils that no rational being has created us.It is mere rationalization to call for soul-making or other reason for all the excessive evil .And it, in part, is to obviate the need to explain all the imperfections of apparent design. One uses pareidolia - to see what is not there-anthropomorphism - to establish design .

muttmutt1978 said...

then there is the possibility that the Gods that predate the christian one are also true, and the idea of a monotheistic supreme God is a flawed one.

I think you made a good decision for yourself, and i hope that you dont think all religions bad because of *those damned christians.*

skeptic griggsy said...

No, just consider that all religions rest on sand - no evidence for their bold assertions. As Dr .Albert Ellis would say, we have no "mustabatory " need for a god or other transcendence. For thorough quoting theists and commentary read and reread Jordan Howard Sobel's "Theism and Logic ."

jimearl said...

AJ, thanks for a nice post.

My wife still attends church and I'm pretty much the only one that lives as a non-believer in my circle of friends and relatives. But they know and respect me and even my wife has defended me recently to a missionary she went to hear speak. I make no apologies for living my life the right way, with no fantasies.

A note to Jamie:

Don't waste a lot of time waiting on Jesus to show himself. He does exist, but not in a way you will ever see or experience him. You see, he exists only in the minds of believers.

Also, I hope you aren't afraid of using the word atheist to describe yourself. A lot of people here don't seem to like that word.

I am an atheist and I don't apologize for it. I am proud of the fact that I am different from all the many people who claim belief in a deity. Beliefs are a dime a dozen. Being an atheist is a good thing, not a bad thing. If someone calls me an atheist, then I have done something right!

eel_shepherd said...

A_J wrote:
"...Yep, I ate three demons for breakfast this morning..."

Glutton. That's one of the Deadly Sins, you know.

Now that they're coming in vegetarian, I don't mind maybe half a demon, or even a whole one on Satyrday morning, crumbled into my Grape Nuts, if it's fresh.

But THREE! No, I'm sorry, I can't go along with that.

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