Reasons why I can no longer believe: 2 – God as a ‘no show’

November 8, 2007 at 7:24 pm 41 comments

When you look through the Bible, you don’t see God hiding. He’s quite visible in many ways. Here are just a few appearances by God and company: a booming voice from the mountain, a pillar of cloud/fire, sending angels to wipe out armies, sending fire to consume sacrifices (and people), causing earthquakes, choirs of angels, Jesus, voice + blinding light. There are many more. And you read about a fair amount of miracles and theophanies in early Church writings. In fact, when you read the New Testament and very early fathers, visions, miracles, visitations and so forth seemed to be expected.

Empty 1Pardon me then if I expect that the same God ought to be similarly visible today. But of course He isn’t. The best anyone seems to be able to do is vagaries like, “He lives in my heart”, “I feel His spirit in me”, or “God miraculously fixed my bike.”

Sorry but I can’t live on vagaries and apologies for a no-show God. Nor do centuries old stories carry the day. Like the song says, “Used to be’s don’t count anymore.”

All the apostles needed more than vagaries and promises. They hid in the upper room and were convinced it was all over, until the risen Jesus appeared to them. Thomas wouldn’t believe the other apostles until he could see Jesus. Paul wasn’t listening to anyone’s arguments or evangelization until Jesus hit him with a flash-bang. And when the apostles went out, they backed up their words with demonstrations of God’s power.

So pardon me for expecting an active, ‘on site’ God, like the one described in the Bible. Pardon me if apologetic explanations for a God who must remain hidden don’t carry me. Sorry man, but the faith of the apostles would interest me a lot. The faith of the apologists does not.

To end this, I’m reposting something I put together before to explain just what I mean when I say, “God is a no show.”

God is no show in that He never responds to anything. Like, “Loving father who did promise in your Word that if 2 or 3 agree on anything, and that if we pray according to your will, you will grant us good gifts even more readily than our earthly fathers: we ask that you [heal Nancy’s insanity and restore her to her right mind; bring Joe home alive from Iraq; restore Jane from her paralysis; bring Jim into your kingdom; stop the horrible storms in Bangladesh, or the war in Iraq, or the genocide in Darfur, and so on and so forth]. So there’s God not showing up by answering prayer… any prayer. [Yeah, I can say it myself. “God does respond. Sometimes He says, ‘Yes’ and sometimes, ‘No’. He has a plan for those people, in His own time. Keep praying….” And so on. You do realize don’t you, that the ‘sometimes God says yes and sometimes God says no’ bit is a logical fallacy? It’s circular.]

You know as well as I do that these prayers go unheeded: that believers don’t have better physical health, or better mental health: that believers have the same troubles with divorce, alcohol, promiscuity, and other sins as the rest of the world. In short, you can’t see any difference in the lives of believers. [Yes. Some believers are wonderful people. So are some non-believers.] And this does not change over time either. Chuck was an impatient, opinionated jerk who shows no respect for his wife, and 5, 10, 25 years after his conversion, he’s still the same. You’ve seen any number of similar cases. So there’s God as a no show in the lives of the people He’s supposed to be dwelling in.

Look at the Church. In Paul’s day they came with both a message and with power. Know anyone today who can say that? Plenty of messages, but “if you don’t believe my words, believe on the evidence of the miracles” would fall flat on its face today. So God’s a no show in the Church.

And then let’s look at me and a few other de-converts I’ve heard from. We saw our faith slipping. We didn’t want that to happen. We read books about our struggles, we read our Bibles, we prayed fervently, we talked to other believers, we fought the direction we found ourselves falling in. And we screamed, “God! I do NOT want to lose my faith. I want to know you. Please: show up. Do anything: a vision, a miracle, a dream, anything. You’re all knowing and all powerful. You can come up with whatever is needed to pull me back from this precipice. DON”T let me go!” And from our loving, heavenly Father, we heard………………………………… So God’s a no show in the hour of our most desperate scream for help, assurance, comfort, visitation, and rescue.

- LeoPardus

See Also:
Reasons why I can no longer believe: 1 – God is “we know not what”

Entry filed under: LeoPardus. Tags: , , , , , , .

Religion and Atheism: Cultures in Conflict The stages of grief over my loss of faith

41 Comments Add your own

  • 1. heatlight  |  November 8, 2007 at 9:15 pm

    Might it be that the Bible is mostly a RECORD of the times God thought it best to show up? There are even whole books of the Bible where God doesn’t show – one where He’s not even MENTIONED! There were 400 years between the end of the Old Testament and the beginning of the ministry of John the Baptist where God was – apparently – totally silent. And even in the Bible, God only shows Himself to some – it’s not as though everyone on earth is swimming in a lake of miracles daily. Life seemed to be – generally – quite normal, except for moments of spectacular acts. Stop by my blog http://respondingtoskeptics.wordpress.com/ and read my blog “Whatever happened to Miracles?”…I touch upon some of this there. All that said, I feel your pain – I do hate the silence at times, and forget the spectacular times rather easily.

  • 2. heatlight  |  November 8, 2007 at 9:16 pm

    p.s. – 2 or 3 agreeing, in context, refers to issues of church discipline, and 2 or 3 agreeing on a disciplinary issue, and God finding agreement on it – it’s has nothing to do with prayer, unfortunately. Wish it did, sometimes.

  • 3. Lyndon  |  November 9, 2007 at 10:41 am

    Isn’t it far more feasible that he never showed up back then either rather than he just stopped showing up? These biblical accounts sound far more like ancient people trying to cope with natural disasters, death, disease, and suffering. Just my opinion.

  • 4. ESVA  |  November 9, 2007 at 11:06 am

    Leo:

    Thanks You’ve articulated, much more clearly and passionately than I could, many of my own thoughts on these matters.

  • 5. Paul S.  |  November 9, 2007 at 1:40 pm

    heatlight said,

    Might it be that the Bible is mostly a RECORD of the times God thought it best to show up?

    Do you live your life based on “might be’s”? Even if one was to concede that the Bible is a record of the times God thought it best to show up, where are the records since then of God showing up? There are none.

    Or could it be that the writers of the Bible were a group of uneducated gypsies roaming around in a desert 2500 years ago? From The Rationalist’s Manual :“From the earliest ages man has believed in the supernatural. Primitive man had no knowledge of the laws of nature and of their uniformity; he had no conception of cause and effect, nor of the indestructibility of force; ignorant of medical science, he believed in charms, magic, amulets, and incantations. It never occurred to the savage that disease was natural. Unacquainted with chemistry, medieval man sought for the elixir of life in cunning compounds, and hoped to discover the philosopher’s stone which should turn the baser metals into gold , unskilled in mechanics, he has searched for an instrument which would produce perpetual motion and keep up a ceaseless creation of force. The source of political authority was traced to a supernatural will. For ages man’s only conception of morality was embodied in the idea of obedience, not to the requirements of nature, but to the supposed commands of a being superior to nature.”

    It’s always been amazing to me that throughout the course of human history, each subsequent generation has built upon and improved upon the knowledge of previous generations. It took roughly 60 years for man to perfect flight and put a human on the moon. But at the same time that civilization has progressed in so many areas, religion has been stuck in the same Bronze Age to medieval era mindset that defies any comprehension. Ask any Christian today if they believe a woman is “unclean” during her menstrual cycle and that anyone who even touches a woman during her menstrual cycle is unclean as well, they will laugh you out the door. But that’s exactly what Leviticus 15 says. If Biblical authors were so clueless to such as to have these ridiculous opinions of the natural menstrual cycle, does that not beg the question as to what else in the Bible should be laughed out the door?

  • 6. heatlight  |  November 9, 2007 at 2:24 pm

    Oh, I don’t deny that what you say is true, Paul.

    I was simply responding to the particular statements in the post:
    “pardon me for expecting an active, ‘on site’ God, like the one described in the Bible”…
    I simply pointed out that such a picture of God is not actually Biblical, particularly if you spread out the events recorded there over history…the Biblical God is NOT always “active” and “on site” in the sense that Leo thought, so I understand his disappointment. Personally, I have experienced some pretty radical miracles, which I write of in my blog, and at the same time I’ve had times when I would’ve liked one, and nothing happened.

  • 7. athinkingman  |  November 9, 2007 at 2:32 pm

    Thanks for a wonderful posting. I appreciated it and I found it very re-affirming of my own decision. You made the point very eloquently.

  • 8. Richard  |  November 9, 2007 at 3:22 pm

    LeoPardus-

    I agree! This in fact was the main intellectual reason for my own deconversion. The way I framed it was “why isnt the evidence clearer?” This issue is usually called “divine hiddenness” and a guy named JL Schellenberg wrote a book on it some years ago.

    Its also sometimes called tha argument from nonbelief. It relies on drawing a distinction between culpable and inculpable nonbelief. I.e., inculpable nonbelief is when you have tried hard to find ways to believe, but cant — just as you so well articulated above. You do not believe, through no “fault” of your own, because you assesed the evidence and found it wanting.

    Many Christians precisely deny such a possibility — i.e., there is no inculpable nonbelief. You choose whether or not to believe. Of course, this rests on a nonfalsifiable, because defintional, assumption that if you “really” seek God, you will find him, which means you will be convinced of the truth Christianity. Therefore, it follows that if you have not come to the conclusion that Cx is true, you did not “really” seek him, usually because of some secret sin you are unwilling to relinquish.

    This is pretty bogus, of course. Just as heatlight above can find a way to “explain” God’s apparent silence, to me it is not a question of whether it can be explained. It can *always* be explained, somehow, just like evil. The question for me is, is this explanation the simplest one? Or is it a post-hoc rationalization?

    Richard

    PS. I heard a comic somewhere say, “When I was young I prayed for God to give me a bike. Then I realized it didnt work that way so I stole a bike and asked God to forgive me.”

  • 9. Paul S.  |  November 9, 2007 at 4:51 pm

    heatlight said,

    I simply pointed out that such a picture of God is not actually Biblical, particularly if you spread out the events recorded there over history

    That would be a solid argument if it was a fact that the Bible contains EVERY incident of God “showing up.” But do we know that there were no other writings or letters that claimed God showed himself at other times? What percentage of ancient religious documents have survived? Additionally, why is it that there haven’t been any “accepted” incidences of God making Himself visible since the 1st century? The further man advances in knowledge and understanding of our natural world, the more “hidden” God becomes.

    Curious…very curious.

  • 10. Doctor Jota » Herejes ociosos  |  November 9, 2007 at 7:05 pm

    [...] un buen rato de sus peregrinos argumentos ya doy la batalla por perdida. Tomemos el post titulado Reasons why I can no longer believe: 2 – God as a ‘no show’. Básicamente el que lo redacta se queja de que mientras que en la Biblia Dios aparece bajo [...]

  • 11. joshalthorpe  |  November 9, 2007 at 9:00 pm

    …and here i was was thinking the bible was allegorical

  • 12. societyvs  |  November 9, 2007 at 9:21 pm

    The god that was a no show – I would agree if it was true. But I am not sure this is always true. So for me this is a tough one to even comment on. The fact this God that stretches back like 4000 or so years is still being mentioned is quite the thing to be honest. I mean, why would eons of people perpetrate such a belief if it is all for nothing (a no show)? Why not drop it by the wayside like many other gods that have come through the ages? Was there more to it than we all give credit? Or is this about the fact we don’t see miracles anymore?

  • 13. infinitygoods  |  November 9, 2007 at 10:32 pm

    Ah, the argument from petulance: God isn’t the way I expect him to be, so I won’t believe in him. At its root, it smacks of pride.

    You say that because of what you’ve read in the Bible you expect an activist God. Well, maybe you should refer to Matthew 12:38-40:

    ” Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from you.”
    ” He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”

    So a wicked and adulterous generation that asks for a sign won’t get one. Huh. Guess THAT Bible prediction came true right here in this blog.

    Then there’s Luke 4:9-12: “The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. For it is written:
    ” ‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’ Jesus answered, “It says: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

    I can almost hear Janis Joplin: “Oh, Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz. My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends.”

    I can’t help but note your list of God’s appearances and miracles is rather selective. You left out things like the fishes and loaves, manna in the desert, Sarah’s pregnancy, Daniel and the lions, the Hanukkah miracle — just to name a few. God doesn’t just do special effects, he’s the whole show. I think too many people have the idea that miracles defy the natural order. A pastor once suggested that miracles are examples of the highest possibilities of the natural order. If those possibilities elude us, it’s only because of our own failure to understand.

    And miracles did not stop after the first century. They continue to this day and every day, though you don’t want to see them.

    Changing topics:
    “But at the same time that civilization has progressed in so many areas, religion has been stuck in the same Bronze Age to medieval era mindset that defies any comprehension. Ask any Christian today if they believe a woman is “unclean” during her menstrual cycle and that anyone who even touches a woman during her menstrual cycle is unclean as well, they will laugh you out the door. But that’s exactly what Leviticus 15 says. If Biblical authors were so clueless to such as to have these ridiculous opinions of the natural menstrual cycle, does that not beg the question as to what else in the Bible should be laughed out the door?”

    I’m a Christian, and I wouldn’t laugh anyone out the door for asking about Leviticus. “Unclean” is a ritual condition. And yes, there are plenty of people who still follow the rituals around a woman’s menstrual cycle. The status of “unclean” also applies to people who’ve just had sex, people who are ill and people who have sinned. Generally, there is a cleansing ritual, such as confession or sacrifice, sometimes literally a bath. This bathing ritual is called a mikvah, and it is used to this day by women after menstruation or childbirth, by men before rituals, for conversion to Judaism (it’s baptism for Christians), and for the washing of utensils in a kosher kitchen. Frankly, anyone who laughs at these traditions is ignorant, perhaps hopelessly so.

  • 14. Richard  |  November 10, 2007 at 2:43 am

    “Ah, the argument from petulance: God isn’t the way I expect him to be, so I won’t believe in him. At its root, it smacks of pride.”

    Ah, the argument from insufferable egocentrism: you wont accept God as I define him, in my little religion, on my terms, on the basis of what I consider sufficient evidence, so you must be prideful. At its root, this smacks of philosophical bad faith.

    Sneering off criticism by diagnosing pathology on the part of the critic is a well-worn tool in the ideologue’s toolkit. Marxists did it, early Freudians did it, every crackpot conspiracy theorist on the planet does it. Even I can do it. Here, try this:

    “Fundamentalists wont stop believing in miracles because of a precariously maintained narcissism. Any biologist, physicist, chemist, astronomer, geologist, anthropologist, zoologist or, hell, dentist working in the past 200 years who posited a “miracle” as the necessary explanation for any phenomenon studied to date, in a controlled fashion, anywhere, at any point, would have been wrong, without exception. Comprehensible naturalistic causes have always been and continue to be sufficient to explain virtually everything we study. Why don’t fundamentalists see this? They refuse to see what is clear because of a desperate psychological need to maintain their sense of specialness, by being the only ones that know the ‘Truth’. They will accept any rationalization, no matter how contorted, over the obvious truth that there are no miracles – because their psychology is too fragile.”

    There. See how effortless that is? See how no matter what you say to this, it only proves my point? This is what happens when you incorporate, as part of your theory, the amazing prediction that people will be disagree with it. I.e., that they will be too clueless to see its obvious truth. “You don’t agree with me because there’s something wrong with you.” Nice trick – bravo – but, alas, illegitimate, because you cant defend a theory by referring to the theory. That’s what we call circularity.

    LeoPardus’ main point is valid: almost all of us ex-Christians left kicking and screaming, wanting desperately not to feel abandoned by the God we loved. For most of us, the silence that swallowed our prayers was one of the most gutwrenching things we shall ever hear. This has been very painful for us, and to mock our experience, and to call us prideful – for not, I suppose, showing ourselves to be the stalwart Christian Soldier you apparently are – is insulting. We were not prideful, we were honest – for some of us, perhaps, for the first time in our lives.

    And moreover, it of course rather goes without saying that if your God wishes to torture me in hell forever for making decisions based on erroneous beliefs, perhaps I can be excused for expecting him to make the facts clear.

    For this surely should be easy enough for the Almighty Creator of Heaven and Earth. Let me ask you: how much time, effort, and energy do you spend convincing your best friend that you exist?

    See? Not so much to ask. If you have an argument, make it. Insulting us will not win converts here, if it does anywhere.

    By the way, I predict you will disagree with this.
    Richard M

  • 15. OneSmallStep  |  November 10, 2007 at 9:56 am

    God isn’t the way I expect him to be, so I won’t believe in him. At its root, it smacks of pride.

    No, it’s that some people don’t find God matching up to how religions describe Him. It has nothing to do with fancy cars, but how much evil and suffering one can find in the world. In the biblical examples provided, both were asking Jesus for a sign due to selfish reasons. De-converts asked for a sign out of desperation, because they wanted nothing more than to cling to their faith. Or they ask out of compassion, because they see that thousands of children starve to death in one day.

  • 16. LeoPardus  |  November 11, 2007 at 4:45 pm

    heatlight:

    I did see the very article you mention on your blog. In fact I left a comment to it back in September.

    Regarding Matt 18:19 “Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.”

    I’ll grant that the chapter is talking about discipline, but this verse says they are asking for something and God is doing something. There are also several other verses that touch on this. Like the other ones I referred to.

    “pardon me for expecting an active, ‘on site’ God, like the one described in the Bible”…
    I simply pointed out that such a picture of God is not actually Biblical, particularly if you spread out the events recorded there over history…the Biblical God is NOT always “active” and “on site” in the sense that Leo thought,

    I once counted the miracles in the book of Acts then divided them by the number of years the book took place over. It comes out to at least one miracle every 2 months. FTR, Miracles that were clearly multiple (e.g. Peter’s shadow) I only counted as 3, even though they’d really be more. And that’s not counting any miracles that didn’t get recorded. …. Not active and on site eh?

    Most of the folks around here know the Bible very well. Be careful trying to pull the exegetical wool over us.

  • 17. LeoPardus  |  November 11, 2007 at 4:52 pm

    infinitygoods:

    Richard has already done a fine job of responding to your spite. I’ll leave that.

    What motivates you to spew your condescension around? Does it help your ego or assuage your insecurities?

    I’ll bet you’ve got loads of Bible verses to show why and how your attitude is loving, Christlike, humble, and generally embodies all the “fruits of the spirit”.

  • 18. Mark  |  November 15, 2007 at 2:55 pm

    I totally understand your position. For years I’ve been torn over the same issues. I’m still a believer though. I still haven’t come to terms with these aspects of God’s nature and it’s very frustrating at times. I mostly get hung up on God’s apparent absence in regards to starving and war-torn children around the world. I think of Kevin Carter the photographer who took the picture of the starving child in Africa who was trying to crawl to the food distribution center. Carter didn’t intervene as he thought it would be unethical. My understanding is that the child died. Carter ended up committing suicide because he couldn’t live with himself after seeing all these things and not acting. I believe I would have committed suicide were I in his shoes too. I also believe that God was aware of this child’s struggle yet did nothing. It angers me so much that our standard for ourselves in these issues seems to be higher than God’s. Seeing that picture and the look of total defeat makes me weep and tremble with anger. WHERE IS GOD?! These feelings aren’t new to me. For years I struggled with guilt (which is NOT from God) over these feelings of anger toward God for allowing these injustices. One day while reading the book of Job something clicked for me: God can handle me being angry with him. Think of your child if you have any. My son is about 1. Even at his young age he gets so full of despair and anger when he feels unjustly treated. Do I hate him and condemn him for it? Do I even find him guilty of anything other than a lack of maturity and understanding? Of course not. He’s doing nothing wrong. Given his maturity and level of understanding he’s being 100% honest and open. I firmly believe that it is a similar situation between God and us. He understands our frustration. He doesn’t look at me and say “What a lost cause.” I don’t have answers and in all the years I’ve been searching, this is the sum of all the truth I’ve uncovered. I only want to encourage you to continue to seek the truth in your life. No matter where it leads you, it is the most noble pursuit.

  • 19. heatlight  |  November 16, 2007 at 9:40 am

    Leo…
    it is a commonly accepted ‘theological concept’ that God’s ‘miraculous workings’ usually take place at an increased rate only during particular ages – Pentecost, of which the first part of Acts is a record, would be one of those times – as would also be the period where Israel was led out of slavery from Egypt. I’m no cessationist (one who believes that no miracles take place) – in fact, I consider myself ‘charismatic’, however my experience isn’t that the laws of nature are bent at every curve, and life with God was one long intervention…but I have experienced things, like those I wrote about in my blog, which to me, at least, are undeniable.

  • 20. LeoPardus  |  November 16, 2007 at 12:42 pm

    heatlight:

    it is a commonly accepted ‘theological concept’ that God’s ‘miraculous workings’ usually take place at an increased rate only during particular ages

    No it isn’t. That is a particular interpretation that has been developed by some sections of Christianity. Other sections of the same faith do not take to the idea at all.

    You must begin to understand that what you happen to believe is not necessarily “commonly accepted” or “majority opinion” or even “absolute truth”. It’s just what you’ve been taught, and it may even be untrue or “minority opinion”.

    I have experienced things, like those I wrote about in my blog, which to me, at least, are undeniable.

    I’ve read them. And left a comment a couple months ago. I’ll summarize.
    -If those really are miracles, then I must wonder why God plays such shell games with us. Very capricious of Him. And I am not keen on following a capricious deity.
    -If those aren’t miracles, then you’re deluded or lying.

  • 21. Mangimosbi  |  November 19, 2007 at 2:04 am

    “…[heal Nancy’s insanity and restore her to her right mind; bring Joe home alive from Iraq; restore Jane from her paralysis; bring Jim into your kingdom; stop the horrible storms in Bangladesh, or the war in Iraq, or the genocide in Darfur, and so on and so forth].”

    I have the same questions but then I look at the cross and how the spotless Son of God,the King of Heaven, the Master of the Universe humbled himself and came down and lived a sinless life and died a most horrible death that I ,sinner that I am can enjoy eternity, with him.

    Its alright to be angry at God,its alright to question Him but take time to listen.He will answer…. :-).

  • 22. From Fundy to Orthodox to Apostate « de-conversion  |  July 18, 2008 at 12:35 am

    [...] Another core issue centered around God himself. When you look through the Bible, you don’t see God hiding. He’s quite visible in many ways. Pardon me then if I expected that the same God ought to be similarly visible today. But of course He isn’t. [...]

  • 24. Clifton Moberg  |  October 26, 2008 at 11:35 pm

    Where two or three are gathered together in my name, is the basis for which group prayer occurs; it seemingly has more effect than a person praying singularly. I’ve read that somewhere in this “2 or 3″ condition is the meaning of “worthy” individuals. That would line up with the verse, The prayer of a righteous man availeth much. The careful study of how this first portion of Scripture actually reads needs to further be understood. Jews, in WWII, had a visceral shock to the system. In their post/aftermath responses, many have disbelieved–God is dead, many have said. But for those who deny, many Jews have picked up their faith and continue to practice its tenets. It is possible that those who are close to Him are exposed, purposely, to a similar doubt/shock to their system so that feelings fail, and only adherence to what Scripture declares–that God is good–gets one through. Luther had his dark night of the soul, as it is caused. But he plowed through and didn’t give up. The devil tempts believers, so that they lose their faith–that rubs salt in God’s eyes. People who do not believe at all often get much of their lives as a free pass without discouragements and excessive temptation. Like a Father, God chastens His children whom he loves. He prunes the vine so that it will produce MORE fruit. I declare to all: This is a painful process. If you lose your faith, you are, personally, too susceptible to “pain”.

  • 25. craig  |  October 27, 2008 at 11:05 pm

    I too have experienced silence when I was looking for God. I’ve also experienced great closeness with Him when I really needed Him there.
    I guess the times He didn’t show, were times when I was forcing my own agenda, instead of being quite and trying to see His plan for me.
    Just a thought, try taking yourself from the front of the line and let God lead, you may be surprised how He shows up.

  • 26. The Apostate  |  October 28, 2008 at 12:51 am

    craig,

    I guess the times He didn’t show, were times when I was forcing my own agenda, instead of being quite and trying to see His plan for me.

    On the other side of this, what if when you think God is showing you His plan for you, it is actually you forcing your own, but difference, agenda and then if it works out, you attribute it to the Almighty? Does this thought process not simply create mini-gods among such ad hoc armchair theologians?

  • 27. LeoPardus  |  October 28, 2008 at 10:50 am

    craig:

    You’ve experienced a subjective feeling of the presence or absence of an imaginary being and you’ve incorporated some fantasy hypotheses into your mental construct (i.e. the deity you’ve created in your own desired image) and now you think I should some metaphorical thought shifts to generate similar subjective feelings.

    Uh huh.

    Tell you what; should you ever actually have any definite, clear, objective encounter with an actual deity (rather than warm fuzzies with your fantasy), then let me know. I’d be interested in that. I’m not interested in your fantasies.

  • 28. TrueAtheist  |  November 17, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    Leo -

    I hope you never call yourself an atheist. You are far from being one. You give us true atheists a bad name as Rev. Jim Jones and David Koresh did for Christianity. You are a *de-convert* and always will be. It took 25 years of religion for you to deconvert? SAAADDDD!!!!! Most of us true atheist didnt need religion to accept the fact that god doenst exist. You were weak to go to church and weaker of a person to leave because it seems from your blog god didnt answer your prayers? Maybe you did it wrong. You sholud of rubbed your bible and god would’ve appeared to grant you 3 wishes. What now? If *de-conversion* doesnt satisfy you then you leave and hop on the next bandwagon or next hype movement in amerika? I just want you to answer one question……

    IFGOD DOES NOT EXIST, THEN WHY WASTE SO MANY HOURS BLOGGING AND DEBATING ABOUT GOD??????

    and that goes for all those other so called *de-converts/atheists* that spend more time writing books, publications, who debate, argue, and hold any type of lecture about the nonexistince of god. How can you write,debate, or lecture about something that doesnt exist?

  • 29. LeoPardus  |  November 17, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    I was sure I wasn’t a true atheist. Hell, I’ll even admit to lingering agnosticism. I feel so bad about not coming to the truth in a pure and untrammeled fashion. I can only only repent in sackcloth and ashes and hope to find peace, happiness, fulfillment, and a winning lottery ticket.

    How can you write,debate, or lecture about something that doesnt exist?

    I dunno. You might try that question at a Star Trek convention. Hold it until after the “When did humans really first encounter the Zinti?” debate.

  • 30. SnugglyBuffalo  |  November 17, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    Obvious troll is obvious.

  • 31. LeoPardus  |  November 17, 2008 at 7:53 pm

    Actually I think whoever it is, is trying to pull our collective legs.

  • 32. mewho  |  November 18, 2008 at 10:20 am

    Heatlight quoted Matthew 12:38-40, the last part being about Jonah:

    “But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”

    Does he realize that Jesus was wrong? He didn’t stay in the grave 3 days and 3 nights. Just wanted to point that one out…Makes it even funnier when Heatlight says the other predictions made in the passage came true in this blog. I love irony…

  • 33. CheezChoc  |  November 18, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    Leo,

    “Zinti”? I believe you mean either the Kzinti or the Xindi. :)
    (Sorry. I am such a total geek.)

  • 34. LeoPardus  |  November 18, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    Actually the Kzinti are in Ringworld. Oh but they did show up in the ST animated series didn’t they?

    Don’t know the Xindi.

    Yep. Got just a little of a Geek streak in me too.

  • 35. Josh  |  November 18, 2008 at 6:13 pm

    Good try, TrueAtheist.

  • 36. randy  |  November 19, 2008 at 11:09 am

    Leo you have given us the reasons why you longer believe. Sooo what were the reasons you did believe in God?

  • 37. LeoPardus  |  November 19, 2008 at 11:52 am

    randy:

    A good and fair question. Might even be worth a whole article. I’ll put up a little now, and if I find time, I may get an article done on it.

    Why did I believe? ….

    Well, I was raised in a theistic household, though not a devotedly Christian one. So I think I always sort of held a tacit idea that there was a God, more or less like the one in the Bible.

    When I started to seriously look at the faith, in my late teens, I did find some perspective on life that the faith provided, which was lacking from my life at the time. And the morals of the faith were the sort of guidelines that, if adopted, would guide me away from some *ahem* less than optimal actions I was taking. And I found that the people I was befriending at church were mostly decent young folk with solid plans for life. (Quite different from the crowd I mostly hung with at the time.)

    As I seriously looked into the faith and seriously tried to understand the God I wanted to honor and serve, I found understanding, direction, explanations, purpose, and more that made sense and seemed very good. (I can honestly say that I still see much of that same good in the faith. If you look in the archives, you’ll see an article I wrote called “The Good of the Church”.)

    Over the years my faith continued to grow. I felt that I was close to God, that I was serving Him. I read the Bible many time through. I studied theology and apologetics. I witnessed. I sought to live the faith out. And though it seems odd to me now, it made sense and I was sure it was true. I was convinced that I was relating to God.

    And when I moved into the Orthodox Church, I REALLY thought I’d tapped into the Mother Vein of spirituality. (In some ways I did actually.) To say that my faith took a much deeper, richer turn then is no exaggeration.

    OK, that’s some of it. [Dang near did write an article on the fly there. :) ]

  • [...] Reasons why I can no longer believe: 2 – God as a ‘no show’ [...]

  • 39. Country Crock  |  July 15, 2009 at 12:44 am

    It is interesting that when Christians have responded in this thread, they alwasys tell D-Cs what is wrong with them. They do this mind-reading thing to let us know why we deconverted. Isn’t it good they are there with all the answers for all these people from dozens of different backgrounds, and be Christians know all the answers?!?

  • 40. Quester  |  July 15, 2009 at 1:58 am

    Ha!

    Welcome, Country Crock. Good to see someone reading through the archives.

  • 41. Nitin  |  December 23, 2012 at 4:52 am

    . may i please use a piece of this in my own about me page? My gift is not wrinitg but being able to see the miracles that present themselves on a daily basis, most of them easily passed by, like rocks on the ground. I like to recognise the gem in each and every one of them. I guess wrinitg is my way of honouring and appreciating those moments, even if my wrinitg crumbles to dust compared to their beauty. its beautiful and i would love to quote you, if you dont mind.peace and grace,sWelcome. I don’t mind you quoting me, if I can ask for a link back to this sight. Thank you for your kind words. And I’d like to know which website I’m quoted on .

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Attention Christian Readers

Just in case you were wondering who we are and why we de-converted.

de-conversion wager

Whether or not you believe in God, you should live your life with love, kindness, compassion, mercy and tolerance while trying to make the world a better place. If there is no God, you have lost nothing and will have made a positive impact on those around you. If there is a benevolent God reviewing your life, you will be judged on your actions and not just on your ability to blindly believe in creeds- when there is a significant lack of evidence on how to define God or if he/she even exists.

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