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