Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Expecting God to do something

I read a story on Reddit last night that bothered me all day. The story was posted to r/christianity by Boxmanboxman with the long-winded title, I am a former Atheist no reconverted back to Christianity. I put all my faith in God. I am at the end of my rope. I am not sure what to do anymore. I read the post because I am curious as to why anyone would "convert" from atheism to Christianity and specifically, I wanted to know why the author chose the word "recovered." I was disappointed to find no information on the conversion or the author's sudden realization that Christianity was the right path. Instead I found stunningly simple superstition.

In the author's words…

I just want God to tell me what to do. Doubts are beginning to cloud my mind, I think I have suffered enough. I don't know what more God wants. I love him for everything that he is doing for me. But I just need more help, one more miracle in my life.

The author's life is spiraling out of control. His faith is linked to the miracles that he thinks God is or is not providing in his life. To this Christian, it appears that all that is given to him comes directly from God and when things do not go well, that too comes from God. 

I've suffered from anxiety for the past 7 weeks. Now I honestly feel like I may be sinking into depression. I'm losing hope. It's hard to keep faith when you're entire family is about to broke and homeless with my father in prison.

His faith is being tested because things in his life are not going well. He expects God to deliver happiness and success simply because he is a Christian. As if that means anything… Being a Christian does not mean God guides your life or provides your happiness, contentment, or employment. It cannot keep your dad out of prison or a roof over your head. Believing that being a Christian makes an actual difference is a mistake as it breaks the link to personal responsibility and results. It you place yourself in the hands of a supernatural actor who controls your life while lurking beyond your perception, then each new day is full of nothing but the unknown. You will never know if your flat tire was caused by God or a nail, and you will drive yourself nuts trying to figure it all out. And then you will start to rationalize… If you just believe a little harder things will work out. If you just go to church three times a week then life will work out. If you give a little bit more, or kill a squirrel, or stop eating pork… 

Furthermore, the threat of reverting back to atheism, although unstated, is implied. Please don't. Atheism offers no hope for you because atheism is just a rejection of belief in supernatural actors. There is nobody to provide your happiness or keep your dad out of prison, or keep a roof over your head. I suggest you tries Islam… or Hare Krishna… or anything the keeps the magic alive. Reality may be too hard.