I am not a Christian, but the sad thing is I feel like all Christians will be able to empathise with what I’m saying, because this is also what many Christians I knew felt like when I was still Christian.
What are the benefits of Christianity? If you asked me back when I was a Christian, the only one that I truly felt to be tangible was a decent afterlife.
Why is that? I felt like the other benefits didn’t really mean anything. The personal relationship with a divine creator should be another benefit. As well as this, help from prayer when you need it. Then morals and a person guiding your life. Let’s talk about all of these.
I was told my entire life that Christianity was not about religion, but about a relationship with Jesus. So how do you get this relationship?
Well you read his holy book, which is about him. You develop your relationship with Jesus through reading a book.
The problem I had as a Christian was that the book was complete trash. Every time I read it, not only did it feel completely random and like I wasn’t being spoken too directly to aid in development in a relationship, it wasn’t even very specific either, rather broad and obvious enough to give only the most basic messages to everyone. It didn’t feel like learning about God either, because everyone tells you about him every week, so it rather reinforces instead of teaches.
Then there was also the matter of all the corrupt and horrible teachings that are in the bible. Every time I read them as if it was a direct word from God it was difficult to justify, and only opened more questions. I instead defaulted to ignorance, trying to ignore and forget that these exist just because they were in contrast to everything I had been told about Jesus.
Reading the bible was not fun nor interesting nor useful, opposite to learning all things about how God should be. If I was developing a relationship with Jesus through reading the bible, then I was learning he was boring and miserable. It wasn’t a matter of opening your heart, because every time I did, before reading the bible I prayed and stayed open, but it was pretty much always the same.
You don’t develop a relationship with anyone by reading about what they say about themselves.
I have over written over 800 blog posts, but if you read all of them I would still say that you didn’t know me. You would know a lot about me, a lot of it would also be wrong because I change my mind a lot, but we would definitely not have a relationship.
How do I know this? Well a friend found my anime blog, read some of my older posts, brought them back to me and I had no idea what he was talking about, nor did I claim to have any of the views he thought I did have based on reading my posts.
In fact reading about someone, instead of physically communicating with them can often lead to misconceptions and many different interpretations. Not only demonstrated by my friend, who already had a relationship with me personally, but with all the various sects of religions who have read their holy book, and have all decided it means different things.
It is not a great way at all to develop a relationship with anyone.
So how do you get a more physical relationship with God? The answer is prayer of course. You can get to develop a relationship through psychic communication with your mind.
The issue was of course, talking with God was like talking to a brick wall, but that’s quite an unfair thing to say, because at the very least you know that the brick wall does indeed exist for a fact.
Can you have a relationship with someone who every time you talk to them they don’t reply? Of course not. Communication with God was one way, I never myself heard God speak physically.
But that’s not how prayer is answered. Often it’s answered with a feeling, or an answer to prayer, but that in itself is still not very good.
Let’s say on Twitter you kept on sending me voice messages to talk to try and have a relationship with me. If I were to have my message made widespread that “I work in mysterious ways” and “I answer Twitter messages in mysterious ways” then what would I have to do to create that relationship to help make you know me better. It is perfectly in my control to reply to your messages, and let’s say I also want a relationship with you too.
So what should I do to have a relationship with you? Answer your questions indirectly by going back through my blog posts and changing little things, sending subliminal messages that you cannot see through online mediums to make you feel good, and doing everything indirectly? Of course not.
But I work in mysterious ways! I am mysterious! This is how I need to operate, you don’t understand why I need to talk in messages in this way, but this is the best way to have a relationship with you, you don’t realise it yet.
You see how ridiculous that sounds? It’s obviously and blatantly not true. Yet for God, people seem to think it’s ok. God’s mysterious ways coincidentally always align in the exact same way you would expect if he didn’t exist, as in nothing he does is tangible, and no communication is possible to prove it’s true, and is fact just as likely as coincidence.
What is a relationship with God? Because it does not conform to any definition I know of relationship!
The “relationship with God” thing doesn’t really seem to show up in the bible. So that means it’s not to be expected. But what does that mean? God just wants us to worship and obey him, and pray to him, without communicating with us in any way at all.
If you think those feelings are good enough. I hate to tell you that everyone from every religion thinks these feelings are good enough to justify their own individual religion. Why is your relationship with God no better than anyone else’s when your God is supposed to exist?
People of course use the free will argument, for why God doesn’t reveal himself. The idea being that if we know he exists he will take our free will away to whether or not we follow him.
First of all, if God appears in the sky today, and psychically communicates with everyone at the exact same time in their language. And continues to provide an endless stream of evidence of his divinity, no Christian is going to say “What the hell are you doing? I liked it better when we didn’t know for sure that you exist. Now it’s not special anymore because we don’t have to take it on faith to choose you. Your breaking everyone’s free will because they’re all converting to Christianity” No they would endlessly brag about it, even though before that God appeared, their belief was unwarranted.
Do you know who Satan was supposed to be? He was an angel that knew God personally and therefore had his free will taken away so he couldn’t reject him right? Wrong, he rejected God, even though he knew him personally. So, if Satan can reject God despite knowing him, why can’t we?
The only thing that would take your free will away is God controlling your head and actions. Simply appearing, and leaving you to make up your own mind is still giving you a free will to choose. Only your choice is more informed.
The last thing of all is the morals you gain for Christianity. But of course, if the only thing stopping us from murdering and raping is the threat of eternal punishment, then we are a sorry lot indeed.
There is no argument for the idea that we need religion to keep a morale society. The most vastly secular countries of the world have tend to often have the lowest crime rate.
The argument is whether morality is objective or not. Is it objectively wrong that killing someone is a bad thing?
The answer for non-religion is “We can’t say objectively, but we can make a good case for why it’s wrong based on other factors” – Those factors being “death better than life”, “happiness better than sadness” and that kind of thing. It is not objective that these things are true, but they are so fundamental to our values that we can still build a set of good morals based on these things.
The answer for religion is “Yes – because my God says it’s wrong, it’s wrong” But that’s even worse in my opinion. Why should morality be based on one entity’s opinion, instead of ruled out and reasoned by many people? How can we trust this entity’s morality, if this entity’s only reason for saying that these morals are true are that he claims it. It’s bad reasoning.
The objective morality of a God must have good reasons, or morality becomes meaningless. And if that’s the case, the only thing God would really need to say is “death is better to life”, “happiness is better than sadness” or something similar.
The moralities are so incredibly similar, that objective morality now doesn’t seem so special.
So why is it that so many people still believe despite there being no benefits? I believe theirs more to it than simply the promise of eternal life.
When everyone around you believes the same things as you it’s difficult to question. When your busy and not thinking about it, it’s difficult to question. When you believe that disbelief has such negative consequences, it’s difficult to question. And when you spend so much time trying to understand and make sense of this incredibly complex being presented to you, it’s easy to question this being’s nature, so easy that you forget to question it’s existence in the first place.
It’s never a good feeling being wrong, and finding out that your wrong. Because it can change your attitudes towards everything and shift your world view. There can also be embarrassment and resentment for when you were wrong, and changing your position may also be very damaging.
The only time you will ever be consistently fooled is when you approach it with the attitude of “I can’t be fooled” or “I can’t be wrong” because it’s in this pride that we don’t realise and question.
But guess what, finding out that your wrong is a good thing, because you don’t have to be wrong anymore.
When I stopped believing, it wasn’t that sad. I compare it to waking up from a really good dream. But life is always far more fascinating to me than any dream can be.
Of course this is my opinion, I do not say this as fact because nobody can say this as fact. What I can say is, this is what it was like for me as a Christian, and it was so bad I’m very unconvinced by it’s claims, and far more convinced by the rebuttals to it. They are far easier for me to believe.