You Are More Loving Than Your God

There I sat in a booth at Panda Express as a very old friend of mine, with tears in his eyes, tells me how much he loves me and that he doesn’t want me to burn in hell. He quotes to me John 3:36 and assures me that if I die on this “journey” that I’m destined for hell. God won’t look at my heart and allow me passage into heaven. I’ll be cast from his sight and tortured for all eternity.

My friend’s concerns and pleas have been echoed in the faces, letters and discussions of a large percentage of my believing friends and family.

This rouses several feelings in me, not the least of which is pity. For one thing I’m touched that they care enough to voice their concerns for my well being. I know it can’t be easy to be so direct as to tell someone you love that they’re going to hell.

Another thing it made me feel was anger. Anger at a belief system that so effortlessly and without evidence draws lines in the sand of “us and them.” A belief system that has such massive baggage of fear. One very dear person to me wept uncontrollably at the thought of me not being in heaven with them. “It’s such a terrible thought, Nate! I can’t take it!”

Which brings me to the last thing I felt, pity. Pity that these smart, caring and good natured friends and family have their minds enslaved to such a horrific idea. The idea of hell is so terrifying that they’ll cling to belief in a rather sad display of Pascal’s Wager while never understanding how poor a reason for belief it is.

Long and hard I’ve pondered on what grip religion would hold people in without the fear of hell. What a sales pitch! “Accept my Son as the One True God and spend an eternity in paradise. Reject him and burn in hell for eternity.” Wow. If a sane person truly believed that these options are the reality, then only a loon would choose to reject Jesus. So much for free will when such coercion is being paraded around like a toddler with a gun.

One thing that these encounters kept bringing to my mind over and over again was how loving these people are. They’re good people. They care about me. They love me.

The big revelation happened when I was responding to my friend at Panda Express. It hit me that he was more loving than his god. Here he is, warning me about my impending doom while the god he believes in sits there and lets me stumble and fall without a seeming care in the universe. All the while knowing that he’s going to toss me in hell.

Please allow that to sink in and then apply some logic. The god I’d always loved and believed in had allowed me to stumble in my walk. Then it allowed me to work and try and find him because I’d always been assured that “all truth is God’s truth.” Then, when I didn’t find him anywhere, allows me to lose all reason for belief. What kind of deity or god allows such a thing to take place? I see only 2 options: one that doesn’t care or one that doesn’t exist. When your god has everything to gain by strengthening your faith and refuses to, you have to wonder where it’s priorities are or if it’s even there.

So, I’d come to the realization that all my friends worrying over my soul and proactively working to save it are more loving and caring than the god they serve. They showed up. Their god didn’t.

Please don’t think that god put these people here to share himself with me. If he can’t be bothered to do a bit of his own work then why should I assume that he empowered somebody else to? Especially when these people are giving such weak arguments for god and all without evidence because who arms someone for verbal combat so poorly? It all comes back to faith and as I’ve spoken of briefly in the past, it’s not a good thing to have. It’s believing in something that has no reason for being believed or to put it as Christopher Hitchens did, “That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.”

As a believer you may bristle or balk at the idea that your god isn’t loving, but it’s how I and every atheist I’ve come to know view him. Think about it. Would you ever consider sending someone to a place of eternal torment? Even the worst of psychopaths doesn’t deserve it for all eternity, let alone someone for committing the thought crime of unbelief. Is having someone tortured for eternity love?

Your love for your fellow man and helping with food drives, money, time, resources, relationships and energy all display love for people in far greater ways than your god ever can or will.

Certainly you can, and more than likely you already are, telling yourselves of all the times “God showed up” in your life and showed his love, but how do you really know this to be god? Is your church helping you pay some late bills really god showing up or is it the tithes of your fellow church goers going into you bank account? Is your doctor catching an early sign of cancer god showing up or is a person that’s spent years in training doing their job? Is you finding a parking space at the mall on Black Friday god showing up or is it just the ebb and flow of traffic? Is the rain holding out on your wedding day god showing up or just weather patterns with no cares about you? Does every coincidence have to be draped with the blanket of god showing his love for us?

With no way to evaluate god’s love for you or how much he shows up in your life how can you even assume that he’s ever been there? Hell, I still have things happen to me that, in the past, I would have attributed to god. A close call at a stop sign not long ago reminded me of how I used to always think that that was god looking out for me.

You are a better and more loving being than your god has ever been. Such empowering thoughts are not only true, but entirely freeing of the ideas of a heaven or hell.

 

 

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14 thoughts on “You Are More Loving Than Your God

  1. Well said Nate. Thinking with my former Christian mind, I might go down the road of the flood and the man in the house whereupon God sent person after person. You eluded to it. The religious mind is not easily convinced otherwise.
    But consider this my religious friends….. The man crying out for help, and getting help, gets help. Through people God sends to him. Or directly. His prayers are answered. He gets saved. He gets his cancer cure. He gets his home back. He gets his sister back from near death. And he thanks God. Etc, etc. Oh yes, I forgot to mention. It’s the wrong God. It’s not the God “you” wanted to come through for him. It’s the false God. It’s not your God. And this happens millions upon millions of time now and through history. God does rescue through natural means if you are going to consider that God “can” do that. But so can any other of the thousands of gods. In the end there is still no evidence. If god saves you, you still don’t know if its the right god.

  2. Kaboom! This is a slayer, man.
    I love the paragraph about tithes and doctors. I prefer to reserve my praise for those responsible. If I did a good job, good on me. However, I wouldn’t be in a position to succeed without the support of hundreds of actual, living, breathing, helpful people. All praise to them.

  3. So, I’d come to the realization that all my friends worrying over my soul and proactively working to save it are more loving and caring than the god they serve. They showed up. Their god didn’t.

    Pretty much says it all, really? Hey Yahweh…you’re a dickhead.

  4. You don’t have to be an atheist to find that concept of god utterly repugnant. But then, fanatical religionists surrender their intellects to a belief system in exactly the same way as fanatical atheists do.

  5. What kind of eternal reward involves knowing your loved ones are suffering in hell at the same time? Kind of puts a damper on the angel-wings party. “George couldn’t be here today to see me get my angel wings… because he’s burning in a lake of fire at the moment. Anyone for another piece of cake?”

  6. Well, I suppose someone’s gotta piss on your Cocoa Puffs, might as well be me. Shrug. While I understand fully what you are saying, as I’ve heard it said ad naseum, this line of reasoning shows a profound lack of understanding of the most basic principles of Christianity.

    Redemption for the sake of reward or to avoid punishment, is not Christianity. Such belief is centered around the concept of a Santa God, rather than the omnipotent Creator of all things. The created cannot be morally superior to the creator — so either we’re not quite as morally righteous as we think we are, or our concept of divinity as revealed in the Book of Books is flawed. Or both.

    Personally, I don’t care one way or the other what you believe about the writings of Middle Eastern nomadic sheep herders. I only know what pertains to myself and what is required of me. (For all I know, nothing else I imagine in this world is real, anyway.) So by all means, make yourself happy by surrounding yourself with yes-men and convince yourself it’s all one big buffet of buffoonery with nothing due at the end, and let’s all strum our guitars and sing Lennon’s “Imagine” while we sit in a circle and scarf down pot brownies. Because, hey, if God really does exist, He’s a heartless dickhead so who cares what He’s gonna do?? PEACE.

    • I’d reply now, but I’m too buzzed from all the weed constantly being smoked in my house…..well….that and the meth lab in the basement.

      This was hilarious, btw, and full of holes large enough to drive your inflated ego through.

      I’ll respond more tomorrow when I’m at a proper keyboard.

      • ROFLMAO…Couldn’t have put it better myself brilliant, Nathan.

        They always seem to assume they are arguing against someone who has just been baptized and decided they didn’t want any cos the water was too cold, and never consider anything else.
        What a wunch of bankers.

  7. Reblogged this on Natural Spirituality – Loving Forum for Spiritual Harmony & Growth and commented:
    I rarely reblog other posts. But when I saw this on my “Follow” board, I found it to be one that cuts to the chase about the deep and often anguished emotion people tend to carry, tied to their belief systems about God. I don’t end up where Nathan does, disbelieving in ANY kind of God. But the weighty matter (to many) of going to heaven or hell tends to be a major distraction from what Jesus was actually about and taught. It comes out of a lower stage of spiritual development that unfortunately many people do not move beyond.

  8. I’ve had similar anguished concern poured out for me also, Nathan. This post is well written and points out some key issues. I find a more robust and satisfying “solution” to the apparent absence and uncaring of God than disbelief in God’s existence entirely… often called panentheism. And, then, how to look at the Bible is another massive (and important) subject. To me it is an entirely fascinating one I continually work on and share a bit of it on my blog.

    • Interesting response, Howard, and I appreciate the compliment as well as the reblog.

      Truth be told you’re the first panentheist I’ve run across and it’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance.

      The believers I’m most interested in are people that admit to problems with scripture or see some of the moral issues present in belief and work to find ways to reconcile that.

      One time I had an old friend basically agree with me on almost every point I had. He talked about the barbarism of the bible and the absurdity of hell. What he then stressed was that Jesus (the man that ushered in the idea of hell, mind you) is all that matters in the bible. That he’s the ultimate model for how we should live our lives.

      I then bluntly asked what makes following Jesus different than being an exceptional humanist and he had no response.

      My conclusion is agnosticism. I don’t make the claim that there are absolutely no gods. I don’t have all the information to rule that out. I do think it improbable that there is a god knowing what we know so my opinion is atheism.

      Thanks so much for the feedback.

  9. This is a great post. Really great. It hits home with me; I’ve had conversations (even as recently as yesterday) much like the one you are sharing with us. Thank you for sharing; this is very helpful and refreshing for me!

    • So glad you were able to identify with it. People that come to me with that mentality are much less grating than others that just want to prove me wrong.

      Keep up the good fight!

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