“I’ve been where you are…..”

I was ranting to my brother tonight about religious people who say “Oh yes, I had questions like yours a few years ago, but I finally came to the point where I just had to say “God, I’m believing in you.  I know you’ll show me the truth.” and ever since then I’ve just KNOWN he’s real.”  Or something similar to that.  The other night I was chatting with an acquaintance and my unbelief came up.  He had wanted me to pray about playing violin on a worship team he was organizing for some event.  I said I wasn’t the kind of person he’d want on the team, so naturally he wanted to know why and I told him.  After sharing a few of the questions that lead me to where I am today in my current state of uncertainty and unbelief, he said something like the above-mentioned annoying anecdote.  To be fair, he was very nice about everything and the conversation remained congenial.

On Facebook, a friend posted a status about his recent deconversion, and I noticed a comment someone left that ran along the same lines as that of my acquaintance.  Again, the comment was far from harsh or condemning, just an “I’ve been where you are, but I still believe.”

I am not going to argue that the believers who say they’ve been where I am and have questioned the things I question are lying or mistaken.  I cannot say that they haven’t questioned things like I am.  It offends me when Christians claim I never really believed, because I know for almost my entire life I DID believe completely and passionately and based my identity in my belief in God and my faith in the Bible.  I have no intention of doing that in return.  The thing that bothers me is the suggestion or implication that I should stifle my questions, turn to this god I am not sure even exists and say “God, I have these questions, but I’m going to put them aside now and believe that you are real.”

Perhaps I am just too far gone now.

For twenty-odd years I believed whole-heartedly that the God of Abraham was real and good and that the Bible was absolute truth and infallible.  I believed Christianity was the one true religion.  That therein lay truth and any who seek for truth would eventually find their way there and to God.  I believed it unquestioningly.  But no more.

I owe it to myself to find answers to my questions.

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6 thoughts on ““I’ve been where you are…..”

  1. I guess I just have to wonder which answers you are going to accept. I have tried my best to provide some answers to your questions and others probably have as well. What if the answers you”ll accept are the ones that God hasn’t revealed yet, but then it’s too late? He has revealed all that’s necessary for us to believe and be saved. What more do you want? The consequences are great…you need to decide.

  2. I really enjoyed this. I hear the same thing very often and I find it to be somewhat dismissive of my experiences. No one can know with certainty that they’ve been precisely where I am. No one can know that they’ve struggled with the same questions, or even that they’ve believed and acted with the same devotion that I have.

    Usually, when someone says this to me, I let them know that whether they want to accept it or not, I’ve been where they are. I then let them know that if they find themselves with questions and doubts and need someone to talk to that I’m available for that because I care deeply that no one goes it alone in the way that I did.

    Most people who say that they’ve been where I am don’t know how far down the rabbit hole goes. They just dipped their toes into the seas of doubt, and I drowned in it.

  3. According to the “Calvinist” POV, what if you are going to Heaven even if you have stopped “believing”? Is there anything problematic with God still believing in you, even if you have chosen not to reciprocate?

    • God can believe in me if he wants to. My general belief is that so long as you aren’t hurting anyone or imposing your beliefs on other people, you should be able to believe whatever you want. Even if it sounds as ridiculous as believing leprechauns exist and hide pots of gold at the ends of rainbows.

  4. I have heard that questions aren’t important, only the answers God give us but I’ve always found that hard to swallow because I’ve never been given any answers other than what I’ve sought out myself. I can’t put my trust into a blind faith but I do understand the comfort in it for other people.

    I’ve also discussed my doubts with other believers and non-believers alike, including Mr. Oxley in small spurts. Often, believers will take two different popular stances. The first being that i’m flat out wrong for my atheism and they have no idea how I can be happy/satisfied with my life without their Lord and Savior guiding me. Sometimes they come around, only one person to date hasn’t, I’ve been out of the atheist closet for maybe six months now. The second being more accepting believers who still inquire about how I grieve with loss, where I look to for answers, and generally come to the same opinion…it may work for me, but it definitely couldn’t for them and I’ll likely change my mind later. I don’t appreciate it but I appreciate them more than the ones who seem to hate me right off the bat.

    Okay, I sort of went off on a thing there but let me try again to address what you’re saying. I don’t think it’s fair to you, or to the religion, for you to stifle your feelings or questions. If you aren’t going to be devoted to it and believe in it 100%, how can you feel about what you’re following, you know? That’s how I see it. I personally have no doubts how I feel. I don’t think anything is written in stone though, so it is possible that could change further down the road, but not without substantial evidence proving the existence of God or everything written in the bible is factual.

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