Thursday, January 01, 2009

Maybe I'm Wrong!

Recently, I’ve had flashes of “I wonder if I’m just wrong. Prideful. Just angry at God that my life hasn’t gone how I wanted it to.” Maybe all my blogging is just that of an exceptionally angry person who is rebelling against God in an elaborate and drawn out way.

Two things have triggered this kind of thinking.

One is the general sense of aimlessness I’ve had over the last year or two. Life used to make so much sense – my (divine) purpose in life was clear, and it was the touchstone by which I measured everything I said and did. Obviously there were some big down sides to that (it didn’t necessarily bear a close relationship to truth, and there was a lot of guilt/fear involved)… but there were some up-sides that I miss. Namely, I am a much more selfish person these days. Maybe some of that is simple backlash after not having paid much attention to my own needs and wants for so long. All the same, I don’t have the same sense of altruism (for lack of a better word) or “others-focus” that I once had. That feels like a huge loss and I’m not sure how to recapture it without also taking back on board the unhelpful theological baggage I’ve been trying to get rid of. I don’t have much of a concept of God at all anymore – not just a Christian god. ANY god. Or a benevolent, loving one, anyway. Yet how do you cultivate deep care for your fellow man without some overarching bigger “story” about what life is all about? Maybe I’d be better off trying to cobble some kind of faith back together. Or maybe I’ve been really wrong about all of this de-conversion stuff, and this is my conscience (or “the holy spirit” as some might say) telling me so? I don’t know. I just know I feel restless and not-yet-settled in my theological thoughts and views.

I’ll write about the second one in the coming days… I am still trying to sort it out and put it into words.

6 comments:

Heidi said...

I've really enjoyed reading your writings about your journey away from faith/struggle with faith/whatever you call it....even when what you say makes me uncomfortable or challenges me to think through things. See, I'm still a Christian, although I've struggled alot with the same baggage you have. I'd encourage you to really listen to your heart and realize that there are more options than "the faith I used to have" and "no faith." I had to realize that the Christianity I grew up with isn't the only version of Christianity...and I don't believe it has much to do with Jesus. I kept coming back to Jesus, and I still leave most of the baggage I grew up with behind. I don't go to church anymore, but I do feel like I have a strong faith.

I'd especially recommend the blog of a friend of mine who has gone through a leaving-church/struggle with faith story in the last couple years:

retrofited.blogspot.com

Also check out the book "The Shack"...quite a different view of God than you and I grew up with, but one that is filled with hope and faith and no baggage!

Joel said...

I think the problem with reason 1 is its basis in utilitarian reasoning, e.g. "this sucks because it's not doing as much for me." If the theology's irrational it's irrational. I can't tell you how much I empathize with what you're going through, but I don't think there's any way back without putting blinders on and/or lobotomy.

jennypo said...

I hope this means that you are willing to consider that God might be what is REAL, and not that you are tired and ready to give up looking for what is real.

Jonathan Blake said...

Sorry to hear that you're struggling. I was lucky enough to find purpose pretty quickly once I had left religion. I only struggled for a little while coming to terms with the loss of the grand vision of my life that religion offered. Each person has their own path, and I often suspect that we can't hurry the process. All we seem to be able to do sometimes is give it time and ride it out.

For me, I'm with Joel and George Bernard Shaw:

“The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.”

That is harsher than I would state it. I don't know that choosing truth over happiness is the right choice, but it is the one that I'm disposed to make.

exrelayman said...

Slapdash,

My first comment here. Found you via de-conversion site. Am responding only to your last 2 blog entries.

My heart goes out to you so much (not to worry, I am maybe 40 years your senior). With no religion, how could the painfulness in your relationship with your mother arise? Atheists are accused of being bitter or angry. Besides the crusades, inquisitions, witch hunts, jihads, etc, how much of this invisible pain has come to us by supernatural beliefs? How much has the hell fear paralyzed our thinking? Perhaps some anger is justified.

So in hearing you say, "maybe I'm wrong!", I feel pretty sure you cannot really go back to credulity over reason. But hey, maybe I'm wrong :) - I'm new here. Besides heaven and hell as motivators, religion does offer a belonging to a purposeful community. Where do nonbelievers find community and purpose? This is not easy, and I am a very alienated person, having no affinity to churches or bars. Wish I could be of more help here. (Well, 1 little fun thing. Use your image search function and seek the image 'never give up'. Think frog.)

Just a little thing for you to maybe play with. In the morning when you wash up preparing for the day, look yourself in the eyes in your mirror. Say to that person in the mirror something to this effect: "You are wonderful. I love you. I know you are trying to forgive others, with greater or lesser success. Do not forget to forgive yourself also."

Steven Bently said...

I think it funny how we all think we need a g-o-d to make our lives complete. It's because there is something greator than us(out there), but we weak minded humans can only attribute this unknown to a giant super human god with a gray beard, hairy chest and knobby knees who wants and desires our love to complete him and he who sent his only begotten son to save our nasty wicked souls and if you do not believe in his son he will send you to hell.

You see slap, this was the best reasonable answer a bunch of superstitious sheep herders could come up with over 2000 years ago, they thought they had discovered absolute universal truth, because they thought that whatever they thought in their heads, it was a message sent to them from their imaginary make believe god.

They thought that their very thoughts and dreams were a message from their god. Alot of people still believe this is the way a god communicates to them, because this is what they want to believe.

It's not a god talking to anyone, it's your subconcious thoughts, your internal voice of reassurance from your brain, from self preservation.

That's the reason no one person wants to die, the brain does not want to die, it wants to live forever, that's the reason all religons are based upon the event of death, and people attribute this internal voice to a god.

Since we all know that all of us will die someday, we humans have made up rules, creeds and dogmas to justify in our heads the reason that we all die, but it has absolutely nothing with a god being in control of the universe.

Because every living thing, animals, trees, insects, etc. even planets, and suns will eventually cease to exist as we know it, is this because of sin from the first two people, Adam and Eve? Is that the excuse this god has for destroying the whole entire universe?

You see, the people who wrote the bible, never knew about other planets and galaxies, they thought that the earth was the center of the universe and created it just so he could keep an eye on us humans, they had no knowledge of the brain, they thought the heart was the center of all thought and emotions.

We now know that the earth is not the center of the universe.

We now know with the invention of the microscope, that diseases are caused by viruses, bacteria and microbes, and not by demons, evil spirits and witch spells.

We now know that rainbows are caused by the prismatic reflection of the suns light rays and not put there by a promise from a god not to flood the earth again, ever see a rainbow a night? Ever notice god's holy promise not to flood the earth is only valid during the daylight hours?

Just something to think about!