I’ve been interacting in the comments over at The BitterSweet End. You can look around for my comments there (right now mainly under the more recent posts Doubt vs Faith and What Kind of Morality Is That? Is God Evil?). I think I also posted under his About page and a couple other places if you want to search around and even join in the discussions.
But the reason for this post is that I just wrote a reply and it really summed up well my thoughts about Christianity and why I would not likely ever return to it. Sometimes it’s neat getting a bunch of thoughts down in one place – so I’m going to share my response here. The other commentator had asked me to give God another chance. This was my reply:
I want to tread lightly in my response to this because I know your faith is very important to you, but I also want to be honest and blunt about my views on this. There are reasons that it’s not likely that I will return to ANY religion (the hiddenness of god, the problem of evil and suffering, etc.) but even if I did – it would not be to Christianity. I left Christianity because I no longer trusted its claims but as time has passed I no longer even respect it. I respect Christians – but not Christianity. I don’t respect its basic storyline – I find it not only implausible but immoral (the need to appease a god through the sacrifice of a life, thought crime, punishment for being human to name a few). I don’t respect its methods of discerning truth (faith, an error-prone ancient book, visions, prayer, etc.) or its use of fear (whether you believe in annihilation, separation from god, or a literal hell).
And I don’t see the need to search for god. If he wants to talk to me he knows where to find me (and then I would ask him to reveal himself to everyone on the planet – not just me). I’ve never been convinced that there is a need for a god to remain hidden. A parent is obvious to his children and yet they are still free to choose to love that parent or not.
And even if I was convinced there was a god – that would only be the beginning of the journey. I would then have to figure out what this god was like and determine if he/it was worth paying attention to – never mind whether it deserved my worship and devotion. Christians assume that if there is a god it is their type of god. There are endless types of gods that could potentially exist. Maybe god is an evil god or a god who doesn’t care much about us one way or the other … the list could go on.
If you or anyone else wants to understand my views and where I’m coming from on these issues then you can visit my website at www.leftchristianity.com
I can respect what your faith means to you and others and I hear the sincerity in your desire to explain the god that you know to others. I was there for 20 years so I understand how it feels. But it’s not likely I’ll ever return to Christianity. It would have to change so much that it would be unrecognizable – it would be a different religion.
If anyone wants me to expand on some of these thoughts then ask away and I may even devote another post to doing that.