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What's So Great About Christianity


     Many atheists are former Christian believers. A large number left Christianity because of one or more experiences that left them hurt, disappointed or both. This letter has been written by  someone who was also very hurt and disappointed in the past but chose to blame the source of his problems and that source was not God.

     This section is very hard to write as I too have been hurt by fellow Christians along my Christian path. In a few occasions my hurt reached the level where for a brief while I was tempted to question the goodness and fairness of the One we worship and who really had nothing, but nothing to do with my pain and disappointment. Some of you where hurt and disappointed so much that you did question and then went on, I believe, to punish the One who "allowed" your anguish and your pain. Then, I would propose, you punished God by rejecting Him and everything that previously nurtured your faith and your joy.

     There are quite a few former Christians who have embraced atheism. Many will tell you that the reason they did so is the fact that the evidence for God and Christ did not hold up to close scrutiny. I would like to propose that their hurt favored a rejection and clouded their judgment. Deep inside, they know full well that the Apostles would have never lied about a Being called Christ, about the miracles they witnessed, His death and resurrection. You know full well that there was no reason for them to conceive such an intricate set of events, preach it to hate-filled crowds and then be persecuted for and die for only a set of lies. Deep inside you know that the coming of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost was not creative writing and that all 21 Epistles support the same message and the same events, because they were not lies but undiluted truth.

     I believe that most of  you gave all of you had  to being good Christians and then maybe people let you down. Some of you were committed totally and then your minister hurt you or disappointed you terribly. Perhaps you saw the hypocrisy in some people; perhaps their weaknesses overwhelmed you. In some cases God did not answer your prayer at a critical moment. Some of you felt rejected and abandoned when you felt that you needed him the most.

     Whatever happened was very painful. The hurt must have been unbearable and then you reacted  -- and God went by the way side. This is what happened for a great many and, for a few, there was more than one cause.

     The past thirty-five years as a Christian I had to learn a lot of lessons, and the greatest lesson was to accept the fact that I am a created being totally dependent on a Benevolent Force that keeps me alive, and that this Being owes me nothing. If fact, I am the one who owes all to Him. He is not my Genie. He is not there to fulfill my wishes and needs. He is God, and I am nothing but a puny little speck of dust in the vast universe. I am the servant, not Him. I have to obey His wishes, and He doesn't have to obey mine. His will is best because He sees what I could never see, and because it fits His plan, and His plan is ultimately best for all.

     There is another great lesson I had to learn: humans are humans and God is God. Humans are weak, frail, not always wise, not always well-intentioned. Humans can be insincere, hurtful, reactive, hypocritical and sometimes mean. But I too am weak, frail and not always wise. In the past, I have not always well-intentioned, and I may have been sometimes insincere and, on occasion, hurtful, reactive and perhaps a few times even hypocritical.

     I have been hurt, and I have hurt people. I have been mistreated and without doubt I have mistreated others. I have at times been unkind and not always totally Christian. Most of the time I believe I have been a decent person, but on occasion I have failed and, when I failed, I may have hurt fellow Christians. For some, my rare action may have been "the straw that broke the camel's back," and it may have aided their decision to leave Christianity and forget it all.

     But in all this it was I and you and them that caused the mess not God. Yet, we like to blame the Boss. "He allowed it," some say, "thus He is to blame, and since He is to blame He deserves to be punished and the best punishment is to blot Him out of existence."

     My dear friends, the time has come to be honest with ourselves and to be truly objective about the whole thing, and then to re-evaluate the whole brutal experience with a different frame of mind. In so doing, let's be honest about our part in the whole mess. Let's admit that we may have been weaker than we would like to admit. Let's give others the benefit of the doubt. They might have been hypocritical or maybe they may have been plain "human." Most of all, let's leave God aside and if He did not answer our prayers let's not forget that He did not answer Christ's prayer either, before He was about to be brutally flagellated and crucified. "If possible let this cup pass from me," Christ begged, and the answer was negative. The difference between us and Him is that He did say, "Nonetheless let your will be done," while we tend to want our will to be done, not His.

     Please allow my heart-felt words to enter your heart and do consider returning to the Master once again and submit as a Son to a Father, and allow Him to rule in your life, as we all should.

     While you do so, I would like to suggest a booklet offered by a Church organization for free: "Why Does God Allow Suffering?" It helped me put much into perspective, and I believe it might do the same with you.

     Furthermore, I would also like to suggest an excellent, recent work that effectively addresses some of the issues dealt with above and much more. It is titled,  If God Disappears: 9 Faith Wreckers and What to Do about Them, by David Sanford. (Click on title for more information).

     God bless you with healing and a renewed commitment to the Almighty and Jesus Christ.

M. C.