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?