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Dear God (One of my Last Posts Before I Deconverted)

dear god

What follows is a post  I wrote for my blog, Bruce Droppings, a few weeks before I walked  away from Christianity (Late 2008)

Dear God,

I can’t pretend anymore.

I can’t lie to myself anymore.

I can’t lie to others anymore.

And most of all I can’t lie to You.

I still believe that You are the Living God.

I still believe Your Word to be Truth.

I still believe I am your Child.

But I can’t stand some of Your Children.

Their hatred wounds.

Their self-righteousness cuts.

Their narrow-mindedness tears.

And I can’t have those kind of people in my life anymore.

What is a man to do when all that he has ever known is found to be a lie?

What is a man to do when hatred and self-righteousness are passed off as virtues?

What is a man to do when he can’t find God where God should be found?

This man quits.

I am sure to be judged as hell-bound

And that is fine with me.

For the religious hell I have lived in for these many years is too much for me.

God if You can only be found in buildings made by men, You will remain lost to me.

God if You only speak through men in buildings, I will remain deaf.

But God if You still speak in the still of the night…

If You still speak through the truth of Your Word…

If Nature and Conscience still declare Your Name…

I am still listening…

11 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Michael

    I’ve said it many times…but the last request was 5 years ago. You know what I got? A book “Cold Case for Christ”. Terrible answer.

  2. Avatar
    Brian

    For me it was more groveling and then depressed silence, then anger and grumbling…. then the peace of decision, the surprised relief and increase in lung capacity, the fullness of the solitary dawn…. (and of course dire warnings, cautions, cajoling from the beloved ‘corp’.

  3. Avatar
    Byroniac

    I loved this post. I struggle with this. I want there to be a Supreme Being so badly. I am not sure why, but I suppose it’s the whole “in loco parentis” thing since my parents are gone, but I’m middle-aged now anyway. I’ve been out of the Christian faith for about five years now, though I’ve dabbled in Deism and some spirituality. I’ve had a couple of very short bouts of resuming a very liberal Christianity and the longest one lasted three days, LOL. I don’t know if I’ll stay in atheism or not, honestly, as I spent 25 years indoctrinated and generally have a religious bent thanks to being stuck in Fundamentalism so long (although in that case, what came first? the chicken of my fundamentalism or the egg in the fact that my personality is geared that way anyway?).

    Long story short, I had found a rabid bat on my back porch, and stupid me, picked it up without thinking and got bit. The bat tested positive for rabies, and I had a tetanus shot and I’m currently taking rabies shots. It got me to thinking: what if God is trying to get my attention? And my blasphemous mental response is, what kind of a terrible God would be so petty and cruel? If it is the Christian God, then I feel no desire to worship what amounts to a heavy-handed Cosmic bully. I’m left with only two conclusions that seem rational to me: that either there is no God at all, or at best, there is an impersonal God who truly acts in mysterious ways and is not omnibenevolent according to the definition of the word. As for a rabid bat showing up on my back porch, life happens I guess. There are bats in my area, though bat rabies is mostly 100 miles or so away in a big city, or so I thought.

    Bruce, I have been reading an Apologetics book by Paul Copan, “Is God A Moral Monster?”. Have you heard of it? It’s actually a decent apologetics book (assuming those two adjectives ever go together). But when I got about halfway into it, I finally figured out that he is just trying to rationalize a defense for his faith while ignoring the most likely possibility that it’s all man-made, and trying to spin that appearance into a deliberate attempt by God to reach us where we are and interface with our humanity. He admits that the OT laws are less than ideal. So somehow a perfect God deliberately gave imperfect laws which were deliberately temporary and would also give way to a more perfect system of laws according to a perfect plan, but an omnipotent, omniscient God is kind of hamstrung by his less than perfect followers and this was the best he could come up with at the time. OK, sure, roger that…. Explain away the better possibility of it being invented by humans with more primitive thinking in favor of the less probable and more palatable idea that a divine God cares about his people and works in ever-so-mysterious ways. Sorry, a little bit of sarcasm is sneaking out right there.

    Anyways, I know not everyone here is an unbeliever. Some do believe, to varying degrees of conviction and devoutness I guess. I don’t think there’s anything I could say which would shock anyone familiar with this blog. But I totally get this post. It’s how I feel right now—wanting to be religious and just not being able to believe because I think the best reasons are not necessarily the most comfortable ones.

    • Avatar
      August Rode

      “Long story short, I had found a rabid bat on my back porch, and stupid me, picked it up without thinking and got bit. The bat tested positive for rabies, and I had a tetanus shot and I’m currently taking rabies shots. It got me to thinking: what if God is trying to get my attention?”

      If God was trying to get your attention, could he not do so in a manner that wasn’t as ambiguous as what you describe?

      • Avatar
        Byroniac

        Yes, good point. I guess that’s the strength of religious thinking, or weakness, depending upon how you look at it. Roughly two weeks prior to that I was on that same back porch having a wonderful morning and I thought I had some kind of spiritual experience. That high lasted for a few days, and then I tried to be rational and objective about it. Then this happened. If nothing else, the brain is superb at trying to rationalize and harmonize data. But I think I have had a confirmation bias here.

  4. Avatar
    Brian

    God bit me once, the prick. I was suddenly terrorized by the fact that Hell is really real and really hot as Hell and would melt the skin off me but I would not die and so forth. I was about 7 ish and pretty bug-eyed about it all. Why does God bite little kids? He’s a prick. (Well, if he was a real thing, then it is definitely a prick he’d be.)
    I would say, Byroniac, that you might indeed be a snake-handler Christian at heart and just need to find the right bat-crazy church. If you believe, then no poison can harm you. God has dropped your ministry right on to your back porch and what do you do but question the almighty.

    • Avatar
      Byroniac

      LOL. Yes, I should. But I’ve read too many news articles, and know exactly where I would wind up with that. At least I’d make the news, even though it would probably be the last thing I ever did, quite literally. Like the saying goes, science works whether you believe in it or not. Well, the flip side is, crazy religion doesn’t work, whether you believe in it or not! And it can be a fatal mistake.

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