We are enemies of God?

Sent in by Brooke T

I'm 21 years old. Up until a few weeks ago, I was what is known as a Born-again Christian. I converted when I was 16 and soon had a couple of the best years of my life. My soul felt sincerely clean, and I wondered how I could go on living in such a filthy world (as I perceived it to be). I had a Bible and a couple of devotial books that I used to read all the time. I went to a sweet little church that I still miss despite not believing in the religion anymore. I thought I would never stop believing in Jesus Christ. It felt like a sheer impossibility. I mean, look at all the proof! Emotional and physical signs during a baptism, spontaneously speaking in tongues, answered prayers (I had those too), and... so many other things.

Nevertheless, during those five years as a Christian I began to discover various facts that contradicted the truth of the Bible and of Jesus Himself. At first I was terrified. The concept of "falling away from the faith" haunted me on a daily basis. I felt faint with fear during those times of doubt. Frequent trips to Christian apologetic forums helped build my faith up again. And there were, after all, those spiritual signs that accompanied the born-again Christian experience. Who could deny those? I relaxed and went on with praying and reading my Bible and devotionals.

But over time something else happened that caused renewed panic in me. I began to lose interest in God. Praying became a drudge, a bore. As far as I was concerned, I was becoming what is known as "lukewarm". I tried telling myself that lukewarmness had to do with sin, not apathy, but a talk with another Christian I knew caused another wave of despair. She said that if a person never prays again, how could he expect God to let him into Heaven? This was when I started clinging to the teaching of "once saved, always saved". This was the only way that I could remain sane, without being constantly weak with fear.

I stopped praying altogether before long, not wanting to present a dishonest image to God of being devoted to Him. I knew of no way to regain any of my past love for Him. In my mind, I was doomed no matter what. I must not have been one of the true Elect after all, is what I thought.

Around this time, I still wished that I could go back to experiencing God as the close, loving Father that I had known once upon a time. But I couldn't. I was too far gone. With weariness, I resigned and gave up the effort completely, thinking with whatever last shred of faith in Him that He would find a way to bring me back to Him sometime in the future.

Before long, I discovered pictures of outer space. I thought with wonder about how unimaginably vast and beautiful the universe was. No longer could I think of the human race as being more than a tiny, tiny part of the whole of creation. My mind began to construct a different personality for God than I originally thought He had. I welcomed it.

In one way or another, this led to my exploration of other realms of faith. I discovered that Christianity doesn't own the market on miracles and spiritual experiences. I realized a greater and more loving way of thinking, far removed from what Christianity taught me. Christianity teaches that we are enemies of God by default, all for the crime of being born with the stain of a single man's sin on our souls. It teaches that the only way we can escape the inevitable punishment for such a heinous crime is to believe in a man without the aid of any helpful proof.

I reject those views, and welcome the one that says we are children born of love with the freedom to see the light of Love in any way that we would like to. I believe that the universe and our very selves have more value than we can imagine, a contrast indeed with the Christian view that we're lower than the nastiest virus in God's eyes. I read near-death experiences that described encounters with an equally loving and welcoming deity. And I still believe in the authenticity of spiritual experiences... only now I no longer think that it's limited to one faith.

And at the very moment that I began to believe these things, I felt such an incredible freedom from everything that had held me in chains before: fear of hell; low self-esteem; an intimidating perception of God. In fact, I'm going through every website I can find that argues against Christianity, trying to convince myself that Christianity isn't true... just so I won't have to go back to believing those things.

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SpaceMonk said...

If bible-god was real it woud be him that has decided to make enemies, not us.

Anyway, welcome. Sounds like there are plenty of mind-boggling discoveries still ahead of you. Have fun.

Plato said...

Welcome to a great website and also to the beginning of a new journey of many discoveries. Fact comes before feelings - reality is always better than what is called faith (wishful thinking)!

Kyan said...

you are on an important journey!

try reading sam harris, richard dawkins, and daniel dennet for starters. http://www.samharris.org/

Pantonality said...

Yes, there are many philosophies about God. If you're looking for a solid debunking of the Bible read The Laughing Jesus (or this web site). Perhaps the most important thing is to not rely on external sources, but what your mind and heart tell you after you've studied up on things. The whole story of how the Bible came to be is quite interesting (well covered in The Laughing Jesus). I also enjoyed the Conversations with God books. That God makes much more sense and seems like a lot more fun to be around. But what I came to believe is that we're all individuations of a single living entity. The entire universe is one thing and we're all little parts that make up the whole, kinda like a glass of seawater bobbing around in the ocean. That makes my view of God very different from the Christian view.

BTW, spiritual experiences are easily manifested from any emotional response. I've had spiritual experiences from meditating.

Finally, I'd also like to congratulate you for taking the step of examining your beliefs. Science has much to offer the modern day human. Yet there's still much we don't know. 95% of the universe of made up of stuff we have no clue about (dark matter and dark energy). But at least we don't try to explain it with Bronze Age superstition.

par4 said...

I, too, had the fundamentalist upbringing with the idea of saved/santified/filled with holy spirit (i.e. speaking in tongues). The abilities of the human mind still baffle me. It took me many years to finally define what you have at an early age: Christianity, and religion in general, is an elaborate hoax.
I'm new here too and looking forward to learning.

Kellygorski said...

It is a long and conflicting journey, but you're not the first nor the last to walk that path. Never stop searching for the truth!

RSM said...

I am always amazed at the items that lead people to deconvert. This story is no exception.

For those of you who are new here, if you click on the "Forums" link, you can access much additional information, as well as participate in discussions. The forums have been so helpful for me so I just wanted to make you aware of them.

Anonymous said...

What you experienced in the 1st 5
years is actually common. After becoming born again, for some it comes sooner or than later, person seems to lose faith, he or she may feel far from God. It is referred to sometimes as the dark night of the soul(please look it up).

During that period, people are encouraged to continue seeking God and it eventually passes. How long you are in that state depends on certain things. When it happened to me, I thought I would lose my mind. The way I met God was something akin to Paul's. So it was a dramatic conversion. The Love of God surrounded me everyday - You know what I'm talking about. Don't listen to these people. Haven't you seen the most hardened sinners change after becoming born again? Is it really a coincidence? We know what sin is. Those who believe in this "vague" God are under the power of sin - you also know what I mean here. How has your new life been, you and those who are agnostic? Of course, they live life the way they see fit. Fornication, dishonesty, they can't help it, because only the true God can help us live a life pleasing to him. Jesus that you know is still the same. What you are doing now is just a coping mechanism. You can't understand why you've lost it. Your mind is telling you that what happenned before is all a lie to compensate for the way you feel now. TRUST me, it will go back to the way it was, and at the end of it, you will have grown spiritually. Remember the beginning - it was real my dear. Jesus loves you, you need a saviour. Do you realise that the ideas you have now are just people putting 2 and 2 together? they are saying, well because this is like this, that must be like that. Where is your referrence point? How can you trust the tiny human brain? You already noted how huge the universe is. God gave us his word, because we COULD NOT have come up with this stuff ourselves. Jesus lived on earth, no one disputes that. People only question if he was for real. Everything he said happened. Who else predicted conversions, healing, speaking in tongues and they all happen everyday. And in case you say its a mind thing, there are Africans who can't read who under the influence of the Holy Spirit started speaking a european language they had never heard of before.

Please go back, hang on, pray, stand on the word of God. Don't trust in philosophies that humans cooked up. We are not that smart, we get things wrong all the time. Only God knows everything. And finally, are you willing to find out the truth, when its too late? If God is who you say he is, if you follow Jesus, what difference would it make? It is not a good reason, but at least it Jesus is true, you will be saved.

Jim Arvo said...

Anonymous said "...there are Africans who can't read who under the influence of the Holy Spirit started speaking a european language they had never heard of before."

And you know this... HOW? Somebody told you this amazing "fact", right? And how did they know? Anonymous, look up the word "credulity"; you personify it.

Good day.

webmdave said...

That statement is hilarious. From where did you cook up your entire post? Wasn't it from your brain? How do you expect anyone to accept or reject your religion? Wouldn't the person reading your post have to assess its value from his or her brain?

Unless you're the Straw Man from the Wizard of OZ, every decision you make is made in your brain, is it not? But you don't trust your brain, right? So, explain to me, please, how you decided Christianity is anything other than a bizarre religious fantasy without accessing your brain. If you didn't use your brain to come to your conclusions, what, pray tell, did you use?


webmdave said...

"There are Africans who can't read who under the influence of the Holy Spirit started speaking a european language they had never heard of before."

Really? Wonderful! Documentation please. Sorry, but that sounds like a made up story. Care to provide some reputable documentation of this silly story? Next you'll be telling us that 10,000 watched the sun stand still and dance around while the Blessed Virgin looked down on everyone.

TheJaytheist said...

Anony said...

"...How has your new life been, you and those who are agnostic? Of course, they live life the way they see fit. Fornication, dishonesty, they can't help it,..."

Well, your only half right. The fornication is great!

Anonymous said...


Another full of shit fundynonymous. I can't even take them seriously anymore. "Fornication and dishonesty?" *raspberry* Please. Look, fundy: you're not fooling anybody. You believe this shit even less than WE do. So give yourself a break and admit it. It's hard, but it's the right thing to do.

Anonymous said...

"Fornication, dishonesty, they can't help it"

Why is it that christians imagine us rolling around in gutters, humping anything that moves? Projection?

SpaceMonk said...

Fundy nony, just about every line in your post was putting yourself and humanity down. You have been convinced that we are worthless, that you, yourself alone, are worthless...!

Whoever told you that is your enemy.

Cousin Ricky said...

"The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him." --Proverbs 18:17

Brook T wrote: "In fact, I'm going through every website I can find that argues against Christianity, trying to convince myself that Christianity isn't true... just so I won't have to go back to believing those things."

I recommend that you not stop reading Christian apologetics just to avoid believing them. That is, if you seek the truth; as reality doesn't care what we want.

A good place to get Christian points of view is an atheistic Web site such as the Secular Web theism reviews. One very strong pattern i've noticed is that atheistic critiques usually link to the material that they critique. In this setting, you can give yourself a good idea of just how vacu... er, strong the Christian arguments are as you read them. The Christian Web sites never return the favor, making it difficult to heed the admonishment of their own scripture (which i quoted above). I wonder why...?

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