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Deconversion – Losing God

11 Jan
from Google Images

from Google Images

In the final video of the second part of Chris’s three part series: “Why I Am No Longer a Christian”, Deconversion – Losing God (HERE), he vividly expresses his feeling of emptiness over his discussion with the professor. Actually, it wasn’t much of a discussion, since Chris obediently sat back, relaxed and listened. It was evident that Chris was discouraged, and he was having trouble denying the plausibility of the professor’s exposition. With all the underpinnings of Chris’ faith undermined or destroyed, Chris was left with what appeared to be the only rationally sound alternative, namely the professor’s position.

Chris seemed to regret taking this course. Its end was completely unexpected. Looking back, it didn’t seem like God was behind his discussion with the professor at all. Chris had hoped to be led by God to show the professor something he hadn’t considered before, but nothing Chris said was persuasive. Chris’ logic failed him—it seemed he had been wrong about this whole course of action. He cried out to God, to give him a logical reply for the professor’s devastating arguments, but God was silent—nothing came to mind. Why?

Trying to keep his head above the ever darkening waters of unbelief, Chris wrote back to the professor, saying he “made a choice” to trust God even if it wasn’t logical to do so. Almost immediately the professor retorted with: “You made a choice? …you’re only 21 years old! You have no idea who you are or what you want to do with your life.” Or, in other words “let me help you make a better decision!” Lt. Keefer[1] pops in once again to push his friend’s head beneath the dark waters of despair and unbelief, because he’s the one with the greater education and knows what is best. He won’t have to shoulder the responsibility of Chris’ choice, but he wants to help him make a choice more to his—the professor’s—liking. Who really has the “open mind” in this story?

Chris was beaten up by an academic bully, but he was unaware, because the bully did it with such finesse that Chris couldn’t help but appreciate his manner. Hurting and backed against a wall of poor logic and emotional despair, Chris sought help from his parents, but neither could they help their son escape the grip of the professor’s arguments. Chris had made the mistake of believing truth and God were in conflict. Jesus tells us “I am the …truth” (John 14:6). Anything that is good and true is from God. Anything that is false or a lie is not from God. What is in conflict is not God and truth, but worldviews—what makes sense to us. If our worldview embraces God, then all things are seen from a perspective of having their first cause in him. If our worldview rejects God, then all things are seen from a perspective of randomness, having no real focus except to be focused upon what is unsound or what is not true.

With God out of focus, Chris reasoned he had to choose between God and truth, not realizing that God and Truth are one, and God is not schizophrenic. Yet, if Chris hoped to find Truth outside of God, he would be doing the impossible. One can no more separate truth from God, than one can separate oneself from self. Chris believed he was never closer to God one moment, and never farther away the next. He rightly (intuitively or inspired by God?) compared his plight with Jesus in Gethsemane.

Most Christians believe Jesus’ plight in Gethsemane was a struggle to do the will of God and go on to the cross, but that doesn’t make sense with the context, and folks who think this way would be wrong. Actually, communication between Jesus and the Father was interrupted, because the sins of mankind were being thrust upon Jesus’ shoulders, beginning at that time, and didn’t end until about 12 to 15 hours later. Sin separates us from God and hides his face (Isaiah 59:2). Jesus felt Chris’ feeling of separation from God. He prayed God would reconnect, because Jesus felt he was near death without it (Matthew 26:38). He kept coming to the three apostles hoping to find a connection to the Father through one of them, because Peter had shown earlier that the Father did speak through him (cf. Matthew 16:17). Three times Jesus came to them seeking an answer to his prayer, and three times he found them sleeping, because the flesh is weak, though the spirit is willing (Matthew 26:41). Finally, because the Father **always** answers Jesus’ prayers (cf. John 11:42), God sent an angel, as an answer to Jesus’ request for a word from him, and Jesus was strengthened (Luke 22:43).

Chris’ feelings of closeness to God were real, for Jesus knew exactly what he was going through, but Chris didn’t wait for God’s reply. He was overwhelmed with his new colorless world that only seemed to imitate real life. He felt disconnected, not only from God but also from the world around him. Chris found himself as the professor predicted—like a turtle without as shell. After about a week, Chris turned to the professor, who replied, “This was normal! Sometimes it takes awhile for the emotional part of the brain to catch up with the logical part of the brain.” In other words: “I feel for you, friend, but you have to go through this alone. I may have advised you, but I take none of the responsibility for your decision.” On the other hand, Jesus knows what Chris was going through. Jesus went through it before him and with him. Jesus said he would never leave or forsake us, and was there with Chris, for according to Chris’ own admission, although the feeling fluctuated, he never felt closer to God. He just needed to wait.

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[1] See my previous blog post: Chris’ Personal Relationship. Lt. Tom Keefer is from The Caine Mutiny, played by Fred Mac Murray. He was also an educated man who used his friend to make a choice, the responsibility of which Keefer wanted no part.

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Posted by on January 11, 2015 in atheism, naturalism

 

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