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.