I Stopped Believing in god

May 14, 2012

I’ve been taught to believe in God all my life.

And I came to faith at a young age.  Sounds simple, right?

Well, it’s been a little more complicated for me.  For all the believing I’ve done, there’s been a lot of not believing.  Not believing doesn’t feel very Christian, does it?

See, for a long time, I thought I knew God.  I had never not believed in Him.  But then, without a whole lot of effort on my part, I started not believing things about God.  Huge parts of God’s personality, I just dropped.  The more I got to know God, the more things I didn’t believe about Him.  The things about God that I believed became fewer and fewer.

Many times when talking beliefs with atheists, they’ll start a sentence with, “I just can’t believe in a God that…”

And I say, “You’re right…”  I’ve got a lot in common with the atheists.

I Used To Believe…

I used to believe in a god who only cared about people believing all the right things about him.  I don’t believe that anymore.  That god is now just an idol to me.  It’s not the real God.  So I stopped believing in him.

I stopped believing in a god who doesn’t need me to do anything to save myself…except have enough faith, and don’t lose it, ever.

I got bored with the god who could be figured out with a simple formula.

I doubted the god who tells any expert on TV exactly what he’s thinking.

I ran away from the god who looked a bit too much like me, as much as I like myself.

I believe in a God who wants us to know him better.  But I also stopped believing in the god who requires his followers to know him as well as he knows us.

I forgot the god who had an easy list of rules for me to follow, but didn’t mind my pride.

I Deny the god That…

I deny ever having met the god who’s always angry.

I stopped believing in the god who loves to punish people.  But I also stopped believing the god who never punishes people.

I stopped believing in a god who gives people what they deserve.

I don’t need the god who’s merely fair.

I denied a god who only cares about getting people to heaven, but doesn’t care about hell on earth today.

I’m pissed off at the god who’s not even as pissed off about the nightly news as I am.

I told god to not call me anymore if he was going to tell me to help someone in need, but then criticized how I did it.  God should know how I’ll do a job when he picks up the phone.

I Went AWOL on god…

I stopped worshipping this idol god who rallied us like troops to fight our neighbors instead of being a light to our neighbors.

I beheaded this god who prefers swords to plowshares.

I melted down the god who says he hates some people, but not others.

I forgot about the god who is able to never forget…or forgive.

I had little mercy for the god who isn’t even as merciful as I am.

I renounced the god who was willing to share the stage with a flag and an eagle, and whose central act of worship was voting.

I told god he didn’t exist when he decided passing laws and amendments was more important than winning hearts.

And I left behind the shepherd god who is willing to leave sheep behind.

I stopped believing in the god who who is able to incarnate himself on earth and rise from the dead, but doesn’t get what he wants in the end.  I stopped believing in the god who loses.

It might seem like as the pieces and chunks of God fell off, the God I believed in got smaller and smaller.  But I have to say, just the opposite has been true.  As I’ve believed fewer things about God, God has only become bigger.  I don’t miss any of those things I used to believe about God, because they aren’t true.  And there are probably lots more things I’ll one day stop believing about God.

What little gods did you used to believe in, convinced that they were the real God?

23 responses to I Stopped Believing in god

  1. Reading this, I couldn’t help but think of the “All right, I’ll go to Hell” passage from “Huck Finn”.

    The events of the past week have made me think that a lot folks, Christians included, eventually reach the point where they must choose between a)”The God I believe in isn’t like this” or b)”The God I believe in IS like this–therefore I no longer want to be around Him.”

  2. I stopped believing that faith was all that was required for the Christian life… it’s simply the doorway in.

    I stopped believing that God doesn’t speak to us specifically. I learned that he does through a variety of ways including His word, prophecy, dreams, visions, and even an audible voice.

    I stopped believing that God was in a bad mood.

    I stopped believing that everyone that claims to be a Christian is.

    I stopped believing that there is a perfect theology, but I still believe in a complete theology.

    I stopped believing that faith came by saying a sinners prayer and learned that we are judged buy what is written in our hearts regardless of theology.

    I stopped believing that a Gospel that wasn’t good news, wasn’t the Gospel.

    I stopped believing that the Devil only exists in the minds of the religious.

    I stopped believing that “tolerance,” being “nice,” being “good,” “easy” and avoiding confrontation were biblical terms/principals.

    I have always believed that God loves me, communes with me in all sorts of ways, and desires to use me to preach the Gospel, heal the sick, cast out demons and use other spiritual gifts that he has given me to advance the Kingdom.

    Thanks for a great blog, Matt. Maturity in Christ is a wonderful thing. :)

  3. I have a feeling I’ll come back to this.

  4. Atheists are fond of quoting Steven Roberts: “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.” Sounds like you grok this sentiment too, Matt.

    I am left wondering: what god (or, God) do you believe in? I’m working on a longer and more thorough response, because that sounds rather glib and also something you preempted a bit in the post itself. I’ll hopefully get it up at my site tomorrow.

  5. I like this post. So many of them are good – caring more about amendments than winning hearts, the god who looks like me. Convicting.

    At the same time, though, there are those passages that I struggle with. I don’t know what to do with “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated”, or Romans 9 or any of the other verses opponents of Christianity use to point out how seemingly ugly God can be.

  6. I stopped believing in the god that uses poster board and protesters to speak to the world.
    I stopped believing in the god that cares more about the clothes on my back and the ink on my skin, than about my heart.
    I stopped believing in the god that wins popularity contests.
    I stopped believing in the god who will never give me more than I can handle.
    I stopped believing in the god who hates the sin more than he loves the sinner.
    I stopped believing in the god that fits into a box.

  7. I stopped believing in a god that comes to us with his hat in his hand and says, “Please believe in me. Will you? Will you make a decision for me, please. You know I cannot do anything until you accept me.”

    That is not a God…but a mousey little nothing of a god.

    God acts for us, while we are dead in our sins and trespasses. He does for us when we will not even do for ourselves.

  8. It’s amazing how we can develop notions about God that are not necessarily true and then we have to sacrifice our little god to the real One. Isn’t it great that God helps us identify the false gods we think we want to believe and helps us to demolish them? The more I learn about God, through so many different sources, the more I am humbled by how little I do know about Him.

    ” We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5.

  9. We pretty much have the same list going on. Have you been using your Jedi Powers on me again? Kidding….sort of…

    It is really sad all the things people believe about God AND Christianity that have no basis in scripture at all.

  10. Like one of my favorite lines from a Kevin Smith movie… “The worst thing to happen to Christianity is Religion”

  11. Great post! Honest and raw.

    I’ll add, belief is a pursuit, one that takes a lifetime. And doubt is healthy, it shows you’re engaged. I believe a person’s doubt will actually bring them closer to the real God—the one who knows and loves us in our brokenness.

  12. Whew, there are many things that I come across in the scripture that I feel uncomfortable about God. He doesn’t always do things the way I would do them. In fact, often not. I just have to believe that the mystery of God is much bigger than my finite little brain, and that he has given me the gift of faith so that I could even believe in him.

  13. We are all (basically) idolators at heart.

    We have a nack for replacing the Living God with just about anything and everything, family, career, spouse, vacations, food, politics…you name it.

    I leave Him regularly for greener pastures…every day.

    But He regularly leaves the 99 and comes after me…and brings me back.

    God knows what we are made of. He knows how weak and untrusting we are. How we will follow our appetites right off the edge of a cliff.

    But He loves us anyway.

    What an awesome God we have.

  14. god dose have something for us to do .there are over 175 verses that say or refer to
    they shall not teach.the church don’t believe this .there is not one that says ask and your sins are forgiven. In fact all the disciples teach charity covers our sins. jeremiah 16:19
    says we have inherited lies.the words of the book was sealed until the time of the end
    christ opens the book in revelation (or the last seven years) “i will hold a covenant with
    many for 7 years.Jeremiah 33: 20. 3 1/2 light 3 /12 when the sky is blackened .
    jeremiah 24 the two baskets of figs that were taken before god.
    please look at truthisintheheart.com and see for real with your heart

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