God. Is he or ain’t he?

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“Dear Heavenly Father, I believe that you died on the cross for my sins, and I’m asking you to come and live in my heart. I accept you as my Lord and Savior, and dedicate my life to good deeds and telling others about your goodness. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”

I prayed that when I was 7, prayed it again when I was 11, again when I was 18 and in Basic Training and feeling like I had nobody, and again at 22. I’ve “gotten saved” a few times in my life. I grew up in a family that embraced the Christian faith intensely. So intense that we went to church on Sunday mornings, Sunday evenings, Wednesday evenings, and Thursday nights for music practice. We went to church. A lot. I listened to bands like Stryper and Petra (hey, it was the 80’s) and all those folks. I can quote scriptures fairly well, and definitely know the basic principles that the bible teaches. I believed in a God that demanded complete compliance and constant praise. I listened to many preachers’ views on God and life, and I tried to keep myself on the straight and narrow. All for a deity that I’d never seen, heard, or felt.

Thing is… why?

I’d been questioning God’s existence since age 12, when I heard someone give the parallel examples between Christianity and ancient Egypt, and how close the two religions are. I won’t go into detail, but watch the movie “Religulous” and they cover it pretty well. Heh… my parents HATED that movie. Anyhow, I started to wonder how come we prayed to this god who never talked back, and never seemed to really give a shit one way or the other WHAT we did. I mean, in the Old Testament, God was one jealous cat. He would jack you UP if you didn’t believe in him. He told King Saul to “smite the Amalekites and leave not one of them alive, down to the last dog or mouse.” Jesus! (pun intended) God told a king to basically commit genocide and kill women, children, babies, animals. All because He was pissed they weren’t praying to him.

I’ve gone to many churches over the span of my life. I’ve known pastors who were alcoholics, who were sleeping with the female members of the young adult ministries, and pastors who could preach a tough game, but their personal lives were all sorts of fucked up. I thought a lot about churches, and pastors, and all of that. Basically, a Pastor is the guy who has excellent public speaking skills, knows the bible, and is able to convince people that HIS interpretation of the bible is the way they should live their lives. If they’re any good, they gather a large following of people, build a huge church, and drive around in their Mercedes convertibles to their $500,000 homes. What these Pastors do is preach the bible, while inserting their personal brand of values and suggest strongly that everyone live by them.

I saw a lot of families at church that had money. Hell, my family was one of them. There were churches we went to growing up that placed my parents in high positions – simply because they made $100 offerings once a week. Money buys a lot of redemption I guess. I also saw poor families that went to church dutifully and tried to interact with all other members. Problem was, the rich folks just didn’t want to associate with the poor folks. Been to jail/prison and got saved there? Don’t go to church to find people who will accept you. You might get to go up on stage a few times to tell your “story” about how bad you were and how good you are now, but I’m telling you people honestly: Christians don’t like dirty people. They don’t like those folks who live in halfway houses and come to church wearing jeans and dingy sweaters. They’ll smile, sure… but you don’t get any invites to Sunday Lunch.  No, I have NEVER been arrested or incarcerated, but I do know several people and have seen for myself the several examples of new Christians getting roundly ignored because of their history.

So, back to my original question. God. Is he or ain’t he?

I have a very hard time believing that this god, who did all these miracles 2,000 years ago, is mutely silent today. I mean, shit! There’s wars and death, and unbelievers, and all that all over the world. Where’s the damn heavenly fire and all that? God supposedly stopped the Sun in the middle of the sky for 3 days so Joshua could win a battle – way back in the old testament. How come that doesn’t happen now? There’s some prophet in the bible, Elijah or Elisha, who made fun of these other religious priests who tried to call down their god to burn up this symbolic pile of wood. Basically, the pagan priests prayed and they couldn’t get a result. The holy prophet guy starts messin’ with them and says “Hey, maybe your god is taking a shit or something. Where is he?” He then proceeds to douse his ceremonial thingy with water, prays to God, and *ZAPPO* fire comes outta nowhere and burns that bastard right up! Pretty cool huh? Why hasn’t’ it happened lately?

My parents think I’m going to hell for my thinking. Sucks. I’m sad, because they really think that way, but I can’t for the LIFE of me understand why they have to put their faith in some invisible deity? My father retired from GMC a couple years back. He’s now got some form of blood cancer that requires chemo, Motrin, and hope that it helps him out. My mother has been dealing with Degenetive Disk Disease for over 20 years now.  She’s messed up! She can’t get around very well because of how bad she is. They haven’t been to church in 10 years. I just don’t understand why they keep praying blindly to some deity to make them better, when the power of human will is PROVEN to be so incredibly strong, that people have completely turned their lives back around from the abyss of death – through sheer force of will. My father is the strongest man I’ve ever known. He’s got a demeanor like granite when he’s onto something. He’s honest and adroit, and will tell you how he feels about something. He’s too smart to be relying on this invisible man to magically take his cancer away. Can’t tell him that though. He won’t listen. So, they think I’m headed to hell, and I am sad that they’re wasting away in their home, praying for some cure or relief, when they could be out there living their lives and enjoying their twilight years.

I can’t believe in a God that does nothing to help his people. I can’t believe in a religion that preaches goodwill and peace towards all, but abuses its followers and forms cliques. Fuck that.

-T-

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About jeebuslubsyou

Die-hard Phish Phanatic who uses this blog as a pressure-valve to get things out. It's basically my online journal. Don't care who reads it really... I'm writing it for me. View all posts by jeebuslubsyou

5 responses to “God. Is he or ain’t he?

  • Jack

    I have cll, that is chronic lymphocyte leukemia. A cancer in the blood with no cure. Why did I get cancer?
    Some have asked, Why do you have cancer?
    You have been a Christian for 34 years, you have told others about Christ, taught Sunday school, even preached in some churches. I thought God loved you, you are part of His family, why would He do this thing to you?

    Well is it God who did this to me, or is it something else that did? The following is what really happened!

    Lets take a look at what God did do.
    Day 1 – Created the heavens and earth. Day 2 – Separated waters from waters. Saw that it was good.Gen.1:4
    Day 3 – Dry land-saw that it was good. Gen. 1:10, grass, trees, seeds – saw that it was good. Gen 1:12
    Day 4 – Sun, moon, stars – Saw that it was good. Gen.1:18
    Day 5 – Birds and fish – Saw that it was good.
    Gen. 1:21
    Day 6 – Animals, man and woman. Saw everything He had made, and behold, it was very good. Gen. 1:31

    So what happened? Genesis 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. When Adam ate of the fruit, the human race had the death penalty placed on it. Romans 5:12

    The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was the tree that they ate from — How do we know what is good and what is evil?
    Governments have rules and laws, Christians, athiest, evoluntionist, all have rules and laws. We know it by nature, it is written on our hearts. Romans 1:18-20

    So why do I, and others get cancer that has no cure, and can and does cause death? Why are you going to die? Whether from old age, accidents, diseases, war, you name it, all of us, and those who are considered the very best of us will die. Why? Because of the law, which gave us the knowledge of sin, which Adam and all of us chose by disobeying God. God didn’t cause me to have cancer, my race and I chose it.

    So what has God done, what great miracle has He performed? Jesus in John 11:25 said, I am the resurrection and the life, he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. Paul wrote in 1 Cr. 15:26 that the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. And then in Romans 6:9 he said that knowing that Christ being raised from the dead, dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.This is good news, true news, needed news, and eternal life giving news.

    So now I can say that I live in this phsical body, trying daily to obey the law, but know that I, that is my eternal spirit, is no longer judged, nor accused by the law. I thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord, So then with my spirit I myself, serve the law of God; but with the flesh, the law of sin. (There is therefore no condemnation to them, which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit (Romans 8:1).

    Why have I said all of this to you? There are some out here that believe we are the cause, not God. In all my 68 years, I have seen what blaming others, instead of ourselves have done. I also want say that religion is phony, but that is not Christ, that is religion.

    Thank you for your honest and heart felt blog.

    • jeebuslubsyou

      First, I appreciate your reply. Typically, I get people who take an immediate stance with me on God versus No God, and it just tends to degenerate from there.

      How do you KNOW that god did all those things? 6 days? To create the world? Where’d the Dinosaurs go? Why is it more believable to Christians that their deity made an entire world out of nothing in 6 days, than it is that life, the world, animals, plants, rocks, etc. all fit together and grow accordingly throughout the millions of years that our world has been in existence?

      Seriously. That’s like believing that a fat guy in a red suit flies around the world one night a year and gives gifts out.

      You listed biblical miracles that god has performed, but what actual miracles has he done for you? I remember people in church saying that God cured them from this or that, only to find out later that they’d underwent treatments for their various ailments or something like that. How can you follow a god you don’t speak to physically? I’m very, very sorry about your cancer. Honestly, I’m devastated by my father’s cancer too, but I encourage him and anyone else to do everything they physically can to fight it – if they’re so inclined. I also encourage you and anyone else in similar conditions to not waste any more time praying feverishly to the invisible man to take away their incurable disease. You seem like an intelligent man who has devoted a lot of time to Christ. Why not put that blind devotion to better use?

      Not one Christian has ever offered me solid proof of the existence of God. The bible counts about as much as the Book of Mormon does. Stories are stories. Fiction is fiction.

      Thanks for the well-written reply Jack. I wish you all the luck you can handle, and I thank you for your willingness to step up and try to show me your thought process. I hope I’ve given you some insight into mine as well.

      -T-

  • Jack

    Thank you for your question -“How do you KNOW that god did all those things?” By faith, “Now without faith it is impossible to please God, for the one who draws near to Him must believe that He exists and rewards those who seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6, and “For we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.” Romans 3:28.

    But it is also a rational faith. By rational faith, I am saying that since the God of the Bible is immaterial, sovereign, and outside of time, it makes sense to have laws of logic, that are immaterial, universal, and unchanging.

    In order to do any science, I have to take for granted that the universe is understandable. I assume that the universe is logical and orderly and that it obeys mathematical laws that are consistent over time. For example 2+2=4, without uniformity in nature, predicting this result everytime would be impossible. The person who believes the Bible would expect such things. Genesis 1:1, John 1:3, show that God imposed order on the universe. Hebrews 1:3 teaches that God upholds all things by His power. So I expect the universe to function in a logical, orderly, law-like manner.

    The Bible says that God is consistent (1Sam. 15:29, Num. 23:19. Again God is beyond time (2 Peter 3:8) and choses to uphold the universe (what we call laws of nature) in a consistent fashion for our benefit.

    For me, my Christian beliefs are absolutely essential to science.
    Now respectfully, I have to ask you the same question. How do you know God did not do all those things in six days?

    You also asked me, “what actual miracles has he done for you?” I do not know all of your stances nor your all your beliefs, so I will use empirism as an example. An Empiricists believes that all knowledge is acquired by observation. In other words observation is the ultimate standard by which all truths claims are tested. Obviously this I do not believe. Of couse my first question is how would someone know that all knowledge is gained through observation. To me this is a fair question, since it is clear that, since knowledge cannot be “seen”, how has he observed it? If knowledge, which is not physical, cannot be observed, then how is it possible for empiricism itself to be true.

    Okay now back to your question. Being that I do believe in things that are immaterial, I can answer your question. Just as the Bible teaches, when I placed my faith in Christ, I died with Christ, was buried with Christ, and rose again with Christ, a new person. Now I am smart enough to know that I did not physically die. So if I believe the Bible, what happened? I became a new creation in Christ, born again with a new nature, God now sees my new nature, even though I am still stuck in my physical body. Notice that I said God now sees my new nature. He only sees Christ in me, His Spirit in me, and my born again spirit in Him, perfect, loved, loving, sinless, that will live forever. So then, it is my old body, my physical body (sins of the flesh) that is going to die. It is the sins of the flesh which is still under the law, that is emnity with God, that will die. In Christ, God only sees me as righteous, as Christ is righteous. My new man, my new nature, my spirit, in my new body, is living forever, and not just for ever, but forever with Christ.
    To me, this is a miracle.

    Yes I will be getting chemotherapy, because this old body of mine is physical, and is subject to all the viruses, infections, and yes cancer.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to correspond with me.

    • jeebuslubsyou

      I had a long talk with my folks last night about some of the same things you and I are discussing. I appreciate your well thought-out replies, and I welcome the open “debate/discussion” with you.

      Isn’t “rational faith” an oxymoron? Faith, by christian definition is “the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen.” So, rationally, how can one have faith in something that by its very definition is irrational and impossible to verify firsthand? The belief in an invisible person who lives in the sky, but also made the entire earth by talking really loud for 6 days isn’t only laughable, it’s ridiculous. I don’t mean that disrespectfully, but c’mon. For crying out loud, Mt. Rushmore took years to complete, and that was just carving faces into Granite.

      My stance is this: I have NO clue how the universe, the world, the solar system or anything like that was formed or put together. I grew up in a very Christian household. My parents and siblings are born-again, spirit-filled, and certainly walk the walk. I went to church a LOT. But… I have been asking questions that churchies can’t answer for years, and I just finally got fed up and said “Okay, I don’t believe this anymore. I never really did.”

      I want to know how people can believe in things that are just so unbelievable, that if they were presented in another way, they’d be ridiculed and laughed out the door. Jack, you appear to me to be an intelligent person. Your posts are always cogent, clear, and to the point. How can YOU, as a smart man, accept that a person (or thing) that you’ve never seen with your own eyes somehow magically did all the things he did 2000+ years ago, but hasn’t seen fit to do anything even remotely close to those miracles since then?

      My has myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). It’s incurable. He’s going to die from it (well, most likely an infection, as MDS patients typically die from complications caused by infection) and he recently retired (right before the diagnosis, actually). The man has been a “Good Christian”, obeying God’s 10 commandments and following the word even when he didn’t need to or it would obstruct his daily life. He put God before his own family at times. Why, in the name of Zeus’s Butthole, did God not magically take it away? Why didn’t God say “Hey, you’ve been a great follower, and I’m going to make an example out of you to my other 8 billion followers, so they know that I’m real and I can do anything.” Instead, the guy goes through Chemo every 5 weeks, gets sore and sick, takes massive amounts of painkillers and medicine, and is hoping and praying that God will somehow see fit to heal him.

      I don’t want any part of a god that couldn’t give a shit about his sheep.

      But, before you start to think “Aha, that’s his Achilles heel… he’s angry at God for his Dad’s cancer.” No, I’m not. I didn’t believe in god well before this happened. I’m just saying that if there was indeed a god, he’s an asshole for letting these things happen to his devout followers.

      “Being that I do believe in things that are immaterial, I can answer your question.” That’s what you said in your reply, and while I commend you as a Christian for sticking to your guns with that reply, I have to ask you if you would allow anyone in your daily life to get away with that kind of statement. What if you wanted to go to the bank and withdraw your money, and the bank manager said “Well, it’s not here right now, but if you wait, you’ll see a big Purple Ostrich fly in here and deposit 15 million dollars in your account. Cash.” Would you believe him? He believes that big Ostrich will fly in and drop off your money. I mean, he TOLD you so himself!

      I’m gonna close my comment with this thought for you Jack: You’re a smart man. You seem like a decent man, and you obviously care about your fellow man or you wouldn’t be chatting with me about this. You’re too smart for the bill of goods you got sold. Someone told you that if you wish hard enough, you’ll get to Neverland. Why on earth would you let someone else dictate your destiny? Why can’t you go out and find the answers for yourself? YOU CAN!!! You, Jack, can go out there right now and find out what you need to find out about how your life fits into this world. God isn’t gonna do anything for you brother. You have to do it yourself, and I promise you… the rewards of having done it yourself FAR SURPASS the promise of a better life in the clouds.

      I like talking to you Jack. You seem like a good guy.

  • Jack

    I’m not sure that I am a good guy, but thanks for saying that. I do hope that I will always respect those who have beliefs, that I may disagree with.

    You said, “Isn’t “rational faith” an oxymoron? Faith, by christian definition is “the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen.” So, rationally, how can one have faith in something that by its very definition is irrational and impossible to verify firsthand?”

    The Bible also say in 1Peter3:15 – Always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asked for a reason for the hope that is in you.

    Christopher Hitchens said that the question of the existence and identity of God is nothing less than the most powerful and urgent question humanity will ever confront and I agree with that. So I have looked at both sides, material and immaterial ways, concluding that laws of logic, uniformity of nature, and morality are consistent with the God of the Bible. They are not and can not be intellectually consistent with secularism. So when looking at the things that are seen, I learn from them, but do not focus on them. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal – 2 Corinthians 4:18.
    I can offer you secular evidence over evidence of why after first believing in Jesus Christ, by faith, I now rationally see why I have a hope, in the things that our unseen.

    We all have presuppositions, and that is how everyone looks at evidence, so if I tell you that after two thousand years, of pointing out discrepencies in the Bible, it has been found to be accurate on every subject to which it speaks. Science is perfectly consistent with biblical creation. Genetics confirms that organisms reproduce after their kinds – exactly what I would expect from Genesis. The fossil record indicates a global catastrophe: that animals and plants were killed and buried by flood waters. Again just what I would expect.

    C-14 dating, carbon14 is unstable and contstantly decaying and changing into nitrogen. After approximately 5700 years, half of the C-14 will have decayed into nitrogen. After another 5700 years, half of the remaing amount will have decayed, leaving only one-foruth of the original, and so on. So by making certain assupmtions, and then measuring the amount of C-14 in an ancient sample, scientists are able to make an estimate of the age. Since C-14 decays fairly fast, it would decay to an undetectable amount a little after 100,000 years. It has surprised some secular scientists when C-14 was found in allegedly very ancient substances, such as coal. Coal supposedly formed mllions of years ago in the evoluntionary veiw. Also diamonds have been found with C-14 which are supposed to be over a billion years old in the secular view. This is certainly a challenge for the billions of years view.

    Comets are certainly consistent with the relative youth of the solar system, and pose a problem for the secular view. Comets are made of ice and dirt and occassionally come close to the sun. When it passes by the sun, it losses some of it icy material, which you see in the tail of the comet. Comets typically last about 100,000 years before running out of material. So the question for secularism is, if the solar system is billions of years old, then why do we still have comets. I know, “the Oort Cloud,” unfortunately the inventor of the Oort Cloud, whose name is Jan Oort, never actually saw that cloud or any new comets being made.

    I could give more examples, but to what purpose? You said – “Okay, I don’t believe this anymore. I never really did.” Why have you never believed it before, is it because churchies can’ give answers? I will respectfully tell you it may not be because of the churchies, you do not believe. I seldom got good answers from chruchies (religious people), when I first put my faith in Christ, and quite frankly, I still don’t get good answers from most of them.

    1John 2:24-27 “What you have heard from the beginning must remain in you. If what you have heard from the beginning remains in you, then you will remain in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that He Himself made to us: eternal life. I have written these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. The anointing you received from Him remains in you, and you don’t need anyone to teach you. Instead, His anointing teaches you about all things and is true and is not a lie; just as He has taught you, remain in Him.

    So I decided to be diligent to present myself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15.

    I am sure that you already know, that no one can convince you of God, it is only God that makes believing even possible. Only you have the choice of whether to believe or not.

    Finally you said, I want to know how people can believe in things that are just so unbelievable, that if they were presented in another way, they’d be ridiculed and laughed out the door. Jack, you appear to me to be an intelligent person.

    I actual think the same thing about people that believe the universe is billions of years old, and that we came about by chance. Especially when you said that Mt. Rushmore took years to complete. What you neglected to say, was that Mt.Rushmore had a designer, and a maker. We unquestionable recognize that, but laugh at that thought for a much more complicated design. It was not rain and water that sculptured those faces. It is amazing to me that when people see my glasses, some have said, man what a nice design, who made those? Yet when they look at my eyes behind those glassed they unwittingly think they just happened by chance. I have to laugh, but I don’t, the subject is to important.

    I know this was long, I just couldn’t figure out how to make it any shorter, sorry. Good talking (writing) with you.

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