A Question from Facebook

I have had some interesting exchanges on Facebook.  Sometimes I am surprised at what gets a response, but as I considered what to write about here on my blog, a lot of ideas that came to mind are directly from those exchanges.  So, for the next few blogs, I think I will write about that.  I will start with my most recent encounter.

Yesterday I was having a cyber discussion with a Christian friend from my old church.  Finally, he asked me a question at the end of his long comment and  I responded to him, in short, asking him to clarify what he meant, but in the process of thinking about it, I wrote this.  It’s far too long and not really appropriate to post on my facebook wall, so it’s going here.

He asked how I could reject Christianity and questioned if perhaps I was deceiving myself.  This is what I came up with:

Am I deceived?  Well, I hope not, but I believe I was and was for many years.  I used to believe that there was a god that made everything all at once including a man out of dirt and then a woman out of the dirtman’s rib.  All was beautiful and then a talking snake came (who was really the Devil), and tempted the woman, who then tempted the man (nasty woman) and then because of that, all people have a sin nature even before they are born and women, well, they may want to lead, but as punishment they must always follow AND it will now hurt like hell to have a baby (that’s right god, throw some labor pains in while you are at it). If Eve hadn’t sinned, it would be, “Whoo hooo, I feel all happy inside,” whoosh!  Ta Da!  It’s a girl! Or, even better, a boy!

It’s weird too, because this god was all good and perfect and yet there was this evil that happened upon the scene because that pesky woman just had to seek after the knowledge of good and evil.  Why couldn’t she have left well enough alone?

Evidently the evil that Eve brought upon us is here to stay too, because try as God might it has stubbornly persisted.  He tried sending his children to annihilate entire cultures of men, women, children, babies and, on occasion, animals, because they believed differently. Sometimes God let his soldiers keep the virgins though, which is great…well, not for the virgins. Once he tried destroying everyone except Noah and his immediate family.  We all know how that went—vineyard, naked drunkenness, etc. and so soon after the rainbow too… God also had his children slaughter and offer up, who knows how many, animals as sacrifices to atone for their sins– so many that the rivers flowed red from their blood—nice, but this was only a temporary fix. Nothing worked and then finally—possibly as a last ditch effort–he decided that he would send his son, who was basically himself, to be the final, perfect sacrifice.  One might wonder how that works.  Well, no one really knows.  It is mystery.  Anyway, he sent his perfect son to be violently murdered so that we could finally be free from this sin that Eve foisted upon all of us.  According to God’s plan, his children crucified him, or his son, or both. He suffered and died, but then he rose again and flew up into heaven saying, “I’ll be back,” or something like that. Even after all that, we are still tainted by this sin, even when we accept that this son, Jesus, who is also God, died to free us.  No worries though, someday when we die, yes, that’s right… then we will all be sin free and perfect, and worship God and Jesus all day.  Given God’s track record though, in my mind, this promise is on shaky ground, but if we don’t believe in this god and his son Jesus, well, then we will be trotted off to hell.  You know, eternal fire and damnation and not just for a period of time so we can see what it’s like and say, “okay, I believe now, my bad”…nope–it’s forever.  The End.

This God has not left us though, He still intervenes in our lives, mostly helping us get better jobs, parking places at the mall, or a date with the hot girl in biology class—not so much for the sick, starving and abused though, and that is because “his ways are not our ways,” and then there is that whole mystery thing again too.  How do I know all these things?  Well, the Bible tells me so…how do I know that the Bible is true?  God says that it is.  How do I know God says this?  Duh…the Bible told me…Wait a second… So who’s deceived?  Not me, not anymore.  I see this story for what it is–fiction and I’m free.

So, that’s what I wanted to say, but, alas facebook isn’t good for long diatribes.  After he responds to my request for clarity,  I will try to respond in kind.  A few weeks ago, he asked me if he could prove that Jesus existed would I believe again.  I said that I would, of course…so far he hasn’t come up with anything, but I’m still waiting.  I’ll keep you posted.  Next up: (subject to change, of course) Goofy things Christians say in their status line on facebook.  Whoo boy! There are some doozies.

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9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. scootwes
    Jun 05, 2010 @ 13:42:25

    Just discovered your blog from comment you left on de-conversion.com.

    I so wish I could use my facebook page like you do, to announce that this evangelical of 46 years no longer believes, for most of the reasons that you describe above. But I’ve got an 87-yr-old fundamentalist mother, who I wish to spare the anguish of finding out that her ex-missionary son is now an agnostic. Maybe if she was a couple of decades younger I would do it. Plus I might get cut out of her will, ha!

    Reply

  2. notabarbie
    Jun 05, 2010 @ 21:08:23

    Thanks for reading and commenting! I can totally relate. My mother is in her 70’s and she found out by accident. I would have loved for her to have never known. She won’t even discuss it with me. Sadly, it completely changed our relationship, as deconversion typically does. I just thought it would be different with family…it isn’t. She will just drop me a line now and then to tell me that she loves me “unconditionally,” like I’ve committed a murder or something. I know the things on my wall hurt her so I’ve blocked her ability to see my status –don’t want to rub salt in the wound you know.

    So you were a missionary? I bet you have quite a story…I would love to hear it.

    Reply

  3. Zoe
    Jun 10, 2010 @ 05:29:32

    A recent conversation with my mom in a bookstore.

    Mom: Don’t you think you ought to stop with all this ‘atheist’ stuff.

    Zoe: Smiles

    Mom: You’re too spiritual to be an atheist.

    Zoe: Smiles

    And my mom isn’t a Christian Christian (whatever that means) anymore. Jesus was real, not God…but she believes in God, but that God could be science, a force, a being, but not the Bible-God-being.

    I further explained that I’m intellectually (I don’t know) an ‘agnostic’ and practically (don’t recognize any God or Gods), an ‘atheist.’

    I still haven’t done the Facebook thing. I’ve got enough problems as it is. :mrgreen:

    Reply

  4. Zoe
    Jun 10, 2010 @ 05:32:20

    BTW, I’ve opened up my A Complicated Salvation blog again. 🙂

    Reply

  5. enough
    Jun 10, 2010 @ 11:48:41

    You can do very long writeups in Facebook – it’s the Notes. I’ve written up 1000 word notes. Click on the little “+” sign, the last tab on your home profile page and you can add Notes as one of your tabs.

    Love your write up. Look forward to reading more.

    Reply

    • notabarbie
      Jun 11, 2010 @ 01:43:31

      Thank you. I’ve thought about doing the note thing and I just may start doing that, or taking what I blog here and putting it in note form on my wall. I’ll let you know how that goes. =) Thanks for reading…and commenting!

      Reply

  6. Belle
    Jun 20, 2010 @ 03:20:21

    “This God has not left us though, He still intervenes in our lives, mostly helping us get better jobs, parking places at the mall, or a date with the hot girl in biology class—not so much for the sick, starving and abused though”

    Before I respond to this statement I just want to say that I found your blog on mistake. I read this post and it was pretty interesting. I am a young woman/believer in Christ and served in a ministry in a youth position that used “God” to guilt us into being there sometimes 5 times a week, twice for Sunday service, and ridiculed us in front of others many of times. Most of that I would have to blame on our youth pastor, as it wasn’t the ministry in it’s entirety. After I grew up, I, as well as others left that church. What I learned from that experience was that PEOPLE can make a good thing bad. I believe that many Christians use the bible as a means/crutch to launch their own personal agenda’s, similar to the Pharisees and Sadducee’s. What I got out of my experience is that “man” will do and say one thing and leave you hurt and working your fingers to the bone all in the name of God… but that shouldn’t effect my personal relationship, and it didn’t. In my case it made it stronger because I was able to see what NOT to do as a Christian.

    In another post you spoke to Christian women and declared that we are creative and have many things inside of us to do instead of the whole “your life was made to teach the word”. I do believe that! Except I believe in addition to letting people know how good God has been in my life, I can use the gifts and talents, wants and desires of my heart to live a fulfilled and enjoyable life OUTSIDE of the church walls too. I was blinded for a second to think that I must some how work this magic in my life and follow the “pastors” vision and use my “spiritual gifts” in the church. That thinking broke me down so much because I had so many other things to do as well as my own vision of how I wanted to accomplish things. That thinking had me in total bondage! It wasn’t until I fully realized who I was and read the bible through for myself that I found the flaw/mistake in “man” for guilting me into doing his will because “God said so”. I still don’t blame God for their foolishness.

    Some of the things you said sounds like hurt to me. Like you were at a ministry that worked your fingers to the bone as well and once you took the blinders off you completely denounced God in general…which is fine, that’s your choice. I haven’t been through your entire blog to figure out how you came to the belief that God/Jesus is myth but the statement I choose to quote only bothered me because that has nothing to do with a personal relationship. The fact that “people” attribute God to a good job, parking spot, and a new relationship all while neglecting the poor has nothing to do with God. God has not neglected those people, we can’t take anything with us when we die. “WE” neglected those people. We are all here to help one another and because “man” is so selfish and greedy people starve. Some people are homeless or poor because of their own mistakes. Then there are those in developing countries (and our own) who are being impoverished because of their sick/sad government. So regardless if you believe in an all knowing, all powerful, Jesus/God has nothing to do with the selfishness of man that allows people to go hungry. The reasoning behind…”God intervenes, but people are sick/poor/hungry, so God must not intervene, and there is no God” is pretty illogical even assuming there is a God or not because we are all going to die so the body WILL collect sickness, people are selfish and greedy so there WILL be poor and hungry with or without a God.

    But hey, If your free and God is fiction in your life nobody can stop you from believing that. Just wanted to throw my two cents in.

    Reply

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