"Lost My Faith In God?" No.
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01-06-2015, 03:38 PM (This post was last modified: 01-06-2015 03:57 PM by WalkingSnake.)
"Lost My Faith In God?" No.
People who have heard about my recent turn to atheism want to know why I lost my faith in God. I lost my faith in God? Is that what happened? I have been thinking about this quite a bit over the last couple of days since my declaration of atheism to my family and friends. And until today I could not put my finger on why that phrase bothered me so much: that I “lost my faith in God.”

That would mean that I had negative feelings toward God. And honestly I do not. I do not feel any ill will toward God. I am not mad at Him, and I certainly do not hate Him. My lack of belief in God, was simply an honest admission to myself. I am not sure that I ever truly believed, and if I ever did, I cannot quite pinpoint the date and time that I ever started to “lose my faith”. So what was it that made me start to wonder about atheism and ultimately made me admit that I am an atheist?

Well, I do not think that I lost my faith in God, but that I gained my faith in humanity. I guess this is where many atheists call themselves humanists. I may owe a lot of my atheism to me asking questions, the hard questions about God and religion. But actually I owe way more to the people around me, and just observing them as examples of humanity.

And the best example: my wife. Until I met her, I still identified myself as a born again Christian. At some point, when we were just dating, the discussion of “born again” came up. I may have asked her, someone may have brought it up, whatever it was, she actually revealed that she was not a born again. She might have identified as Christian, but she believed more in how you live your life than in some prayer contract you made with God to become a Christian. She doesn’t know this (she does now), but I was taken aback by that a little. Oh no, I thought, She’s not a born again Christian. But… I am going to say this, and it may sound unbelievable to some of you: my wife is the best person I know. Yeah, I’m putting that out there. I’m married to the best person I know. (Some of you are like, "Dude, get out more.")

I struggled for a while, trying to figure out why it bothered me that she was not a “born again Christian”, and then why I was not making an effort to convert. And then it hit me: why do I need to? I could not bring myself to believe that Rhonda would be doomed to Hell for not following the procedures to becoming a “true Christian”. This is a big reason, if not the biggest reason why I started to explore and research secular morality vs. faith-based morality. Long story made short (and we can discuss this in length, since I believe morality to be a complex subject): secular morality can actually be superior to faith-based morality.

There was another big event that made me gain a huge amount of faith in humanity. My wife went through a crisis when she found out she was diabetic. She went to the emergency room for diabetic ketoacidosis. She pulled through, and is as healthy as if she never had such an event. Some people may give credit to God. In fact, let’s be fair, I did at the time too. My exact words posted on facebook: “Pray that she and I both have the strength to trust in God, trust in the doctors, and trust in my wife's own willingness as well.” But thinking back, I remember not quite witnessing my faith in God fulfilled during this event so much as my faith in the doctors and hospital staff, but even more so, my wife.

My wife was a fighter. And people hear this about patients, but I can tell you first hand, she was a fighter. She doesn’t remember this, because she was half out of it, but the entire time in that emergency room, she simple refused to believe that she belonged in the emergency room. She kept sitting up, we kept telling her to lay down. She wanted out of the bed, we kept telling her, “no, you need to stay there.”

And every time I came to the hospital after work, and I’d leave for work in the morning, the doctors would reassure me that my wife was still doing great. Even when she went into a short coma, she was still doing very well. There was rapid eye movement, she was snoring. And while I had faith in the doctors and other hospital staff, they kept telling me that my wife is strong and she’s pulling through. You can say this is God. But I simply have no proof of this. And to be quite honest, to me, giving God credit takes more credit away from my wife and the hospital staff. You will notice that I use the word faith in how I feel about my wife's strength and the doctors, but there’s a big difference between faith based on evidence, and faith as evidence (as it's presented in the book of Hebrews). If you want to thank and praise God for my wife or any other great events, be my guest, I won’t stop you. But, yeah, call me a humanist, these events inspire me to have more faith in humanity and the things I see over the things I can’t.

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01-06-2015, 05:23 PM
RE: "Lost My Faith In God?" No.
(01-06-2015 03:38 PM)WalkingSnake Wrote:  [SNIP] to save bandwidth

WS

first, let me say I'm glad your wife is on the way to, or has already reached recovery. That's great news and I wish both of you full health in the future. (This wish is also extended to anyone else on this board...and to anyone else who...OK, you know what I mean).

I became an atheist about 50 years ago. I just gradually decided God didn't exist, or if he did exist, wasn't the one people were talking about. I didn't "lose my faith" - that's a very emotion laden phrase. I just decided he didn't exist. Not really much different to coming to not believe in Santa.

I suspect our personal situations were different. I'm an Aussie and my status as an atheist is of no concern to anyone. Even 50 years ago. So, I never had to experience the disappointment my family and acquaintances felt, because they didn't express any. Even my mum, a Roman Catholic up until the day she died, never gave me any grief about it.

I do have one question for you. Why was the fact that your wife was not born again a problem? She identified as a Christian, just not "born again". So, what was the problem? if I were a Christian and I met a "born again", my attitude would be "OK, let's see if you're still one of us in 5 years."

I enjoy your posts.
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01-06-2015, 06:02 PM
RE: "Lost My Faith In God?" No.
(01-06-2015 05:23 PM)jockmcdock Wrote:  I do have one question for you. Why was the fact that your wife was not born again a problem? She identified as a Christian, just not "born again". So, what was the problem? if I were a Christian and I met a "born again", my attitude would be "OK, let's see if you're still one of us in 5 years."

That's a really good question. And the answer is that it shouldn't have mattered at all. But being raised as I was, I thought it did. I was raised fundamental Baptist, and from the church I came from it was very strict about the definition of salvation. The idea was that many people called themselves Christians, but only the people who went through the actual motion of "accepting Jesus into their heart as their personal saviour" would go to Heaven. It wasn't even enough to just claim that you know Jesus died for you, you had to actually pinpoint a time that you actually said a prayer to accept Christ. It's amazing the different sects of Christianity. Some of them condemn each other for not following a strict version of salvation, others are more open to what most if not all sects of Christianity say as long as they say they're Christian (with the exception of Jehovah's Witness and Mormon of course).

My wife wasn't actually the first to show me the flaw of sects, but she was a big part of it. And like I said she was the main motivation for me looking into morality. Especially since she said she only sort of identified as Christian, but there was no major life changing events for her in Christianity.

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01-06-2015, 10:47 PM
RE: "Lost My Faith In God?" No.
I guess this applies to me, too. Sometimes I'll say that I used to "have faith" as a Christian, but it was more like all of my family and peers at church were telling me that I had faith, and I just sort of went along with it, because I never had an incentive to question it. Every time I professed my "belief," it was simply an automatic response to a rhetorical question. It never had to do with what I actually believed.

If we came from dust, then why is there still dust?
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02-06-2015, 05:44 AM
RE: "Lost My Faith In God?" No.
"God" never bothered anyone.... He doesn't exsist...

It's his "followers" that are the pain in the ass....

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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