Sent in by Kelli
Hi, I'm a 29-year-old, happy agnostic. My struggle with the faith began about two years ago. Up until then I was insanely devout. I had accepted the fact that most of the people I love will probably spend eternity in hell and tried not to think about it except when I was busy blaming myself for not being able to convince them of God's saving truth. I read my Bible, sometimes for hours a day. I prayed, for around an hour every day and still it was never enough. If I woke in the middle of the night, it was because God wanted me to pray more, and so I did. My husband and I were "equally yoked," and spent many hours discussing God's purpose for our lives and our terrible failure to live up to His standards of purity and devotion.
Yet despite all this, the truth somehow got to me. Around two years ago I began to have doubts which felt like moments of clarity — moments where the fog of self brainwashing lifted and I saw reality — moments where I perceived Christianity to be just like all the other false belief systems and superstitions. I quickly apologized to God whenever this happened and begged His forgiveness. I began fasting and decided to read the Bible strait through to try and fight the satanic attack against my faith. Of course, you all know what happened next. Every day there was something else in the Bible I had to ignore to keep believing in God. I was a living paradox. Part of me knew I was really alone when I prayed and what a foolish waste of precious time it was to talk to myself for an hour a day, repeating the same prayer I said yesterday and the day before and the day before. This other part grew in "faith" until I was almost ready to raise the dead. (Or just make a real spectacle of myself at a funeral.)
Then last year my cousin actually died. (Don't worry, I didn't try to raise him.) He was a non-believer. At first I cried for him, believing him to be in hell. People tried to say he could have asked Jesus into his heart in those last moments before his death. Isn't it convenient that you can do that? You can just assume all the non-believers who you love actually did accept Christ at the last second, and then you don't have to face the actual scary, cruel teachings of your religion.
So there was an internal struggle between someone I'd actually known and loved and the imaginary being I thought I knew and loved. I felt it was a test. The ultimate test. I had to accept God's divine wisdom and goodness for sending my unbelieving relative to hell just because he didn't believe. I turned to the Bible for comfort but for the first time I couldn't just bury all the disturbing things I saw there. Even the good parts were disturbing. For example the Bible says we're going to spend all of eternity singing praises to god. Just standing there singing praises to God is not my idea of a happy eternity. It's just better than hell, right? And what kind of being creates other beings just to do that? And how could the same being who created other beings to worship Him for all eternity have to create me with the internal logic that makes that seem crazy?
I could go on forever but the real reason I wrote this is actually to ask for some advice. My husband can't accept my loss of faith. He can't accept it because it's messing with his faith. I'm happy, I'm agnostic, I'm still a good person. This is all too much for him. He says seeing what's happened to me and hearing all my arguments against the Bible is bringing his faith down. I say we just shouldn't talk about it anymore but then he puffs his chest out like a rooster and says he will not remain quiet about his God in his home. I try not to laugh.
He can't believe I don't realize that the Devil is using me to bring down his faith. He says that the Devil uses women to get to men, as in Eve with the apple and Solomons wives. He said the very fact that I'm so good to him and have always been such a good person is what will make it the ultimate trick when he goes to hell because of me.
I'm trying to be patient because I know he's brainwashed. It's amazing how I can show him out right contradictions in the Bible and he'll twist them to try and make sense. What's worse is when he's doing it and I'm seeing myself two years ago doing the same thing.
He has two arguments that I'm hoping someone will be able to help me with. One is if they didn't actually see Jesus resurrected then why did they martyr themselves for their faith. I'm not entirely sure where he's getting his facts from but he's sure all the original disciples died for refusing to deny Christ and can't see why they would if they hadn't seen him resurrected. Does anyone know anything about this? The other question he posed has to do with prophesies. He says Jesus fulfilled all these Biblical prophesies and that's one of the reasons he can't stop believing. Can anyone give me any ideas of where to go in my research to come up with answers to these challenges?
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Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)