The Time I Thought God was Leading Me to Atheism

Did I ever tell you about the time I thought God was leading me to atheism?

Yeah. That probably tells you something about how my pointy little head works, eh?

I’d discovered on a religion forum that I seemed to have more in common with the forum’s atheists – many of whom became and continue to be dear friends – than I do with most of the people who identified themselves as “believers.” I came to realize that I probably actually WAS an atheist when it came to the concept of “God” that most people were describing.  The concept of God I was raised with in Christian Science was much different than the anthropomorphic wrathful, jealous, angry, vengeful, send-his-children-to-hell god that so many people seemed inclined to follow on the forum.

In the textbook for Christian Science (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures) Mary Baker Eddy writes: “The word anthropomorphic, in such a phrase as “an anthropomorphic  God,” is derived from two Greek words, signifying man and form, and may be defined as a mortally mental attempt to reduce Deity to corporeality… The ideal man corresponds to creation, to intelligence, and to Truth.  The ideal woman corresponds to Life and to Love. In divine Science, we have not as much authority for considering God masculine, as we have for considering Him feminine, for Love imparts the clearest idea of Deity.” When I’d share this concept of God with my forum friends, I was often asked why I even bother to call God “God” then – why not just say “Love” or “Truth” and be done with it?

What they were suggesting made a kind of sense to me.  And I wondered if God was leading me to atheism.

So I put atheism on and tried it out for a couple weeks. Walked around in atheism and tried to look at the world as I thought an atheist might see it. It was interesting. It wasn’t horrible. I didn’t feel like the spawn of Satan or anything.

But the thing is… well, the thing is that in the end I realized it just wasn’t me. It felt really silly and dishonest for me to deny the presence of God in my life, and to deny the wonderful things I’ve witnessed that, to me, are proof of God.   God is Love, yes. And Love is God, too – a presence and power – a verb AND a noun.

So there you have it. I am a theist. Do I think I’m in any way better than my atheist friends? Nah. I think we all find the path that makes the most sense to us – and for some of us that will include a belief in a god, and for some of us it won’t.  I can’t force myself to NOT believe in God, any more than my atheist friends can force themselves TO believe in God. And it’s all good. As my beloved Aunt Junie used to say: “Whatever makes your socks go up and down.”

“God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” – I John 4

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15 thoughts on “The Time I Thought God was Leading Me to Atheism

  1. I had tried this in many different ways to find who I am in relationship to the concept of The Divine. I am a monotheistic, panenthist pagan. Yeah, those are the words that describe the basic premise of where I see myself and God in relationship. It doesn’t make me better than or less than any atheist or Christian. It just means that I have had to come to understand my understanding of God.

      • Thank you Karen. I know that my path isn’t conventional. Yet, I do not ask anyone else to walk my path. I believe that we all believe in some of the same basic principles such as Love, and Compassion. I have a feeling that many of my personal beliefs about healing and the mind-body-spirit connection are most likely similar to some of the beliefs in CS.

  2. Why believe what you WANT to believe, why not believe what is TRUE instead? If we are believing what we WANT to believe then we are deceived by fallen angels. I know that YAHUVEH, YAHWEH, YHWH is the true Creator Elohim.

    The reason you were led to(and have fellowship with) atheism(and atheists) is because atheism is a form of spirituality(sounds wierd huh) of satan. In other words its a device cooked up by his fallen angels. I mean not to offend, but I must communicate the truth urgently, that souls may be saved.

    • yahporpoise777 – Although I appreciate your kindness in wanting to “save” me – worry not. We’re good here. 🙂

      You write: “…atheism is a form of spirituality of Satan…”
      Nah. The definition for “atheist” is “One who has no belief in a god.” Atheists don’t worship Satan. They don’t worship or believe in ANY supernatural being. And neither do I.

      My God is supremely natural Good – another name for Life, Truth, Love, Principle, Mind, Soul, and Spirit – the power of Good. My God is unchanging and constant Love – always with me, and always available. .

  3. So, truth is mutable? It is how each of us sees it? What is divine about something that is only true to a couple of people? All religions teach absolutism, how can a person be partially right? How can an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent god be true for only some people? Such a god is either true or it is not. Truth that is dependent upon experience is not truth for everyone and therefore not truth. Sitting on the fence is not something that religions allow.

    • myatheistlife, you write: “So, truth is mutable? It is how each of us sees it? …Truth that is dependent upon experience is not truth for everyone and therefore not truth.”

      Yes – I see your point. 🙂

      Hunh.Well, I have a suspicion that what I call God – the power of Good (Love, Truth, Life) is something that most people actually believe in – they just don’t call it “God.” Is there a universal Truth? Yeah. Yeah, I think there is – and I think it comes back to “Love.” I think Love is God. And I think most people would probably be in agreement with me that Love is always available to us – we can always choose love over hate – and it’s always present, and powerful.

      You write: “Sitting on the fence is not something that religions allow.”
      Couple of directions I can go with this…

      – Not all theists are religious. For these type of theists, no institution is telling them what they have to believe or not believe. They believe in a god because they’ve seen proof of a god in their own lives. I, for instance, believe that God is Love, another name for the power of Good – I’ve seen proof and evidence for my God in the kindness, beauty, honesty, and intelligence expressed around me, and in healings I’ve experienced in my life by drawing close to this power of Good. https://madcapchristianscientist.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/cognitive-dissonance-and-proof-of-god/

      – In your post, you’ve lumped all religions under one big umbrella and declared that “sitting on the fence is not something religions allow.” Not all religions have the same agenda, hold the same beliefs, have the same purpose, or include a belief in a god or gods.. Buddhism, for instance, does not include a belief in a god, or any rules about god-belief. And the definition for “church” given by Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Christian Science church, is: “The structure of Truth and Love; whatever rests upon and proceeds from divine Principle. The Church is that institution which affords proof of its utility and is found elevating the race, rousing the dormant understanding from material beliefs to the apprehension of spiritual ideas…” The purpose of the CS church isn’t to order people about,” allow” or disallow their actions, tell them who to vote for, or provide them with some rigid code of conduct. “The time for thinkers has come,” writes Mary Baker Eddy, “Truth, independent of doctrines and time-honored systems, knocks at the portal of humanity.”

      • ==Hunh.Well, I have a suspicion that what I call God – the power of Good (Love, Truth, Life) is something that most people actually believe in – they just don’t call it “God.” ==
        Why call them/it god? The exist independent of humans, but are subjective experiences in the fine details. Do you call hate/lies(untruth)/death Satan? Do they have the same imbued deification? Is the power of ‘not good’ a force in the universe?

        If there is a universal truth, there is universal untruth – that which is wrong for all beings in all times and places. Can you identify it? As for the power of ‘love’ – will it feed a starving child? Can it save a sinking ship?

        The proof of ‘god’ that you claim is indeed anecdotal. Were it so that such did exist it would be common knowledge and not something that needs proof. Your idea of ‘god’ is not new as you state, yet it is not common belief nor in common use. Your claim that almost everyone believes in ‘god’ as you describe it yet very few claim miracles as you describe and none claim them that have documented evidence etc. You can call me a doubter but you are asking me to believe on your claim alone that all these things happened as a result of prayers.

        == And the definition for “church” given by Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Christian Science church, is: “The structure of Truth and Love; whatever rests upon and proceeds from divine Principle. The Church is that institution which affords proof of its utility and is found elevating the race, rousing the dormant understanding from material beliefs to the apprehension of spiritual ideas…” ==

        Apparently just about everyone with an interest in it defines ‘church’ in their own way – making most definitions of little use generally. Further, is there a wrong way to practice your faith? Any doctrime that defines the right way to do things also defines the wrong ways. Defining the wrong ways also scopes the right ways. Is there a right or wrong way for a ‘practioner to pray’? If there is no wrong way, why call for a practitioner? You don’t seem to be sitting on the fence – calling for a practitioner in time of need rather than sit on the fence about it.

        Truth, as I understand it, does not need anecdotal evidence. Either a things is true or it is not. We may not be able to determine which without evidence. A claim of truth requires evidence that can be shared, tested, repeated. No matter what you believe happened in your life it is not evidence so long as it is only anecdotal. If millions of people have the same anecdotal evidence daily, then we have something to talk about but that is not so in this case. Everytime that prayer is tested, it fails to be more efficacious than luck. If you could show that your prayers actually did work, there are millions that would like to see, millions who would leave their curent faith. It would be in all the newspapers/news media. That it is not is telling.

        The purpose of the CS church isn’t to order people about,” allow” or disallow their actions, tell them who to vote for, or provide them with some rigid code of conduct. “The time for thinkers has come,” writes Mary Baker Eddy, “Truth, independent of doctrines and time-honored systems, knocks at the portal of humanity.”

        Now, we haven’t even begun to define truth yet. For truth to be truth doesn’t it necessarily require that it apply to the best of us and the least of us? To be truth under such conditions it must be true for rodents as much as it is truth for humans. Do you agree? It should not be mutable. Not between humans nor between species. Is that reasonable?

  4. myatheistlife,

    Well, I could be wrong, but I’m guessing that you, too, see the value in love, peace, intelligence, etc. – things that I would call attributes for “God.” Probably most people would agree with me that these things are “good.” What makes me identify myself as a theist, rather than an atheist is that I have proven, to myself, that Good, God, is a dependable power – I have proven, to myself, that I can rely on God (Love, Truth, Life) for healing – that God is not capricious, and Good is not random – something that sometimes happen to people and sometimes doesn’t. The experiences I shared in https://madcapchristianscientist.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/cognitive-dissonance-and-proof-of-god/ are not ones that you have to believe, of course. But they happened to me – I witnessed them and lived through them – so I know they’re real. Would I call them miracles? Nope. I don’t believe in miracles. I believe these are natural proofs of the power of good, and available to everyone.

    Medical research has shown that certain emotions – fear, anger, hate – produce chemicals that can affect your physical health:
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090304091229.htm
    http://psycnet.apa.org/?fa=main.doiLanding&fuseaction=showUIDAbstract&uid=2000-13324-011

    – and I think this research on the mind-body connection correlates well to the teachings of Christian Science which include the belief that our state of mind determines our human experience. On the first website I listed above, the research indicates that your emotions play an even bigger role than having basic needs. If I were a doctor what I’d be investigating is why a placebo sometimes heals a patient as effectively as the actual drug. I mean, what’s that all about? Doesn’t that kind of peak your curiosity? Wouldn’t that be an interesting observation to investigate using the scientific method?

    You write: ” Do you call hate/lies(untruth)/death Satan? Do they have the same imbued deification? Is the power of ‘not good’ a force in the universe?”

    I don’t believe in an anthropormophic Satan, any more than I believe in an anthropomorphic God. I believe “evil” is like darkness – it has no source and no substance – darkness doesn’t come from anywhere – it doesn’t come from a darkbulb or a sun or anything – it’s just the absence of light. Light doesn’t create the darkness but wherever it goes, the darkness dissipates. Truth doesn’t create error, but wherever it’s revealed, the error is destroyed. God doesn’t create evil – but destroys it.

    “If there is a universal truth, there is universal untruth – that which is wrong for all beings in all times and places. Can you identify it?”

    Bigotry, inequity, sweeping generalizations and stereotypes, hatred, dishonesty, ignorance – I would identify these as universal untruth, I guess.

    “As for the power of ‘love’ – will it feed a starving child? Can it save a sinking ship?”
    I believe so, yes. Metaphysics rocks! 🙂

  5. As an atheist and what I describe as a mechanical atheist, I believe that the power of positive thinking is merely us making use of the machinery that is between our ears. We can think positive or negative. To me it is not a case of metaphysics but of chemistry. Our bodies have an amazing ability to heal and protect themselves. Socially, we have the equipment to interact and affect others and positive attitudes positively impact this interaction.

    I’ve been down the metaphysics path. I found it to be just another path in the garden. There are lots of garden paths… no matter which you take, you’re doing all the walking. I just stopped seeing any of the paths as special. To my mind, every day, every moment, every experience is a ride in a huge amusement park that we like to call life or existence. I try to enjoy each of them even though I think some of the rides are boring and some just suck. I ride each one and try to remember it, the experience, the thrills and chills of it. This is the only chance I get so everyone of them is important to me – even the ones that suck. Yes, I took lessons from every garden path I’ve chosen to walk. I no longer believe in good or evil. Life is. I need it to be no more than that because that, that one thing, is more amazing than all that I can wonder at. That I can contemplate the stars and galaxies is more amazing than the galaxies themselves. Cogito ergo sum. I am.

    I was curious about your thoughts. Thank you so very much for sharing.

  6. I have very much enjoyed our dialogue here, myatheistlife.

    You write: “To my mind, every day, every moment, every experience is a ride in a huge amusement park that we like to call life or existence. I try to enjoy each of them even though I think some of the rides are boring and some just suck. I ride each one and try to remember it, the experience, the thrills and chills of it. This is the only chance I get so everyone of them is important to me – even the ones that suck.”

    Yeah – I don’t know if there’s anything beyond this one life – I don’t think I’ve ever died before, so I can’t speak from experience. 🙂 I’m absolutely certain there are no literal places of hell or heaven, though. And yes – I think it’s really important to appreciate every moment of life we have here.

    Thank you so much for visiting with me here. I’ve very much enjoyed your intelligent, reasoned responses.You have stretched and challenged me. I really like that. 🙂

  7. You’re welcome. I’ll stop to comment from time to time. Don’t let this exchange fool you, I can be an ‘angry atheist’ too 🙂 That should be evident on my blog. Just the same, if anyone is to really mean that they are open minded, they should seek to see new information, new facts, new ways of thinking about things.

    I wish you well.

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