Your article re wishing, or frustrated utterings, about God and the clarity of his voice touched me. You wrote on this forum, so one should answer in the same context, i.e. sharing as requested. My experience about the matter has been rather neutral, until I started submitting my small contributions to the melee off the Atheist/Christian debate.
What certainly can be said of these forums is that one will be irritated, educated, amused, perplexed, enraged and bemused; to name a few. Posting here is like entering an environment such as on Mars. You cannot make a mistake, you cannot be lazy, it’s hot, harsh, alien, lonely, unforgiving mostly, but you will certainly learn about things. I have started here nearly 18 months ago.
My 1st article was my take on why I respected Atheists based on my reading of articles, comments and most importantly, having had to refer to my friend Mr G. many a time. I still stand by the content and sentiment of that article, as the crisp, clear and logical reasoning of the likes of Mememan, Siebert Mazus, Atheitis, RabbleRouser , Mike Swart, AldeConing, Barbarossa, reality, Coenraad vd W et al, (and forgive me if I left anyone out), appealed to me. I learned about argumentum ad hominem, cherry picking, YECs, word sosaties and the manners in which people who call themselves Christians defend themselves and/or forward their arguments. I have brashly posted my share of ridiculing them, laughing at them and generally contributed to supporting the Martian atmosphere and landscape.
But, if life were so simple. You see we are talking religion here, and that subject cannot be compartmentalised, as it is part (or not maybe?) of the human psyche, and thus an element of emotion is involved. Well for some of us anyway. Along came MerryMartin. She, who did not post much in the beginning, but since then till now, has portrayed a God that loves, cares and is personal for her. She has held forth a God that she is comfortable with and she makes no excuses. Her brand of religion makes for respect and consideration.
Some psychologists will tell that the nature one attributes to a God is usually the same image as that which one has of one’s father. How true this is I do not know, but I did not have a very loving father, so my image of God is somewhat, shall we call it tainted? I also studied a modicum of science and since my father was perplexed at my accepting, and proselytising evolution, it strained my relationship with him, and thus by proxy a relationship with God, even more. Which makes me jealous of MerryMartin. An unchristian thing to do.
I love Monty Python, the Goon show, esp. Spike, (we all have to get old you know), Little Britain, Casper de Vries etc. So when Tyronehster, Rammsteen, Irukandji or WrefordWhite publish and post, I always laugh. I call them friends. Their humour is mostly my kind. Thing is Iru and Ty are opposites in position with regards to God.
It all leaves me in a position that is painful. I understand the logic and mind of an Atheist, the reasons why one would be an Atheist and even more the reasons that led to one becoming so. (Well so I hope). I cannot fathom the blind violence, mayhem, hunger, poverty and all malaises affecting this world. I abhor the dictators and the oppressors. I cannot reconcile with a violent, unforgiving, vengeful, “Old Testament” God. I have difficulty in just accepting the “God made it” statement when looking at the Universe or contemplating the energy paths in mitochondria. I sometimes despise my mother and aunt for their blind, bovine belief reference frames. I cannot agree that “Christianity” is the only righteous religion.
I love, respect and appreciate the MerryMartins and Tyronehsters of this life though. I also believe that some of us are hardwired to believe in a Deity. Unfortunately/Fortunately I am one, and it is not possible to just let go and renounce God; mental anguish or not. I long for the certainty and peace of the Ty’s and MM’s of this world, but I also cannot refute what science tells me.
The point, I guess, of this epistle is the following:
Make your choices –You have your own path to follow.
There may come times of doubt –It is an opportunity for more searching.
Before Friday came, Robinson Crusoe had it easy to be the most devout Christian in the world.
It takes great effort and pain to be truly spiritual, I fondly believe.
God has never spoken to me; at least I have never heard him, or was too busy then, or did not realise it was happening. Maybe it would be pretentious to expect him to in today’s times. Maybe I have never done anything to deserve being spoken to. Maybe his speaking is too subtle? Or I am just too obstinate? Having also read The Shack, is He maybe a She? Maybe s/he does not exist?
Call me an agnostic theist, render me an object of scorn and opprobrium with regards to religion in general, and Christianity in particular, attribute some gambling characteristics of the Pascalian variety to me, and it will still only reflect some deep unexplored psychological drivers. -Maybe.
Meanwhile I will try living the principles Jesus taught.....
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