Even though I no longer believe in God’s existence (Abrahamic God) I often find myself still thinking about things I would say to him if he ever spoke to me, showed himself to me or at least sent me a talking donkey like Balaam (Num. 22:28-30) and Shrek. And one of the funny things is the fact that if I stood before God ready to be judged I could honestly say to him that while I no longer had faith in him I was, in a way still dedicated to him and that despite my rejection of him my entire life has been devoted to him, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael and Jacob.
My whole life has revolved around God (evangelical Christian version). It began in the 5th grade when I chose to become a Christian (not that there were any other choices). Then in 8th grade was when I first read through the entire bible. In high school I spent all my time bouncing around from bible studies to prayer meetings to outreach events all in the name of God. In college I majored in Jewish history because of the biblical studies it entailed and its religious focus. Then I went to seminary to study theology and in my first year I began researching various monastic orders hoping to become a monk. My beliefs and focus changed greatly during these times but I can honestly say I’ve poured every ounce of myself into the study of God and religion beginning as a passionate believer to then becoming a doubt-filled Christian to now being a fairly content atheist. And while I am now an atheist I still spend most of my time reading, writing and thinking about God and religion. There have been times I’ve looked back on my religious life and had regrets thinking that I’ve wasted most of my life on something that’s not even ontological real (God) but most of time I’m glad of the journey I’ve taken and still enjoy pondering about spiritual things.
And yet despite all my devotion, passion and effort to understand God and religion (mine and others), based upon orthodox Christian doctrine I would be sent to hell for no longer believing the right dogmas or being part of the Church. I’ve noticed that as an elementary school teacher I value the wrong answer of the child who thought about the problem and tried hard to understand the material over the right answer of some kid who just guessed or looked at their neighbor’s paper because they’re the ones who actually gain insight and skills in the topics being studied but sadly this God does not share my standards as he values conformity over knowledge and obedience over inquiry.
Still I remain the oddity of being an atheist obsessed with God. I will continue to ponder religious and spiritual issues and if one day I stand in front of God discovering that Christianity was true and he asks me to give an account for myself I will tell him that truly he has always had my devotion both with and without my faith but that I am extremely disappointed to discover that he is real and that Christianity was the best he could do for it will simply confirm what I feared that he is not worthy of my love, worship or even attention.
If one reads the comments to this post one finds that another blogger and I decided to begin a discussion on the problem of evil. If one is interested in that discussion look here