I spent over three decades of my life as a devout Christian.
I am no longer a Christian. Not even close.
When I ponder the reasons why I first became a Christian back in High School, I come up with three:
1. I really, really wanted to please people (a terrible reason),
2. Both of the major religious groups in my High School (the Christians and the Mormons) were full of really great people who seemed to be part of big, loving, religious groups – like big families – and I wanted that for myself (another terrible reason), and
3. Someone made an argument that I bought, hook, line and sinker.
Here was that argument:
“See that chair you are sitting in right now? I noticed that you sat down in that chair without even thinking. How did you know that chair wasn’t going to collapse under your weight? When you sat down in that chair, it took faith that the chair would hold you up. That’s all I’m asking you to do with God. Just have faith he’s there.”
And with that, I prayed and “accepted Jesus.”
Now, I realize how ridiculous the chair argument was.
It didn’t take any faith whatsoever to sit in that chair. No, it took years of observable, hard evidence that created in me a reasonable expectation that the chair would hold me up.
With god, there is zero hard evidence – none. If he’s there, he’s completely silent, 100% invisible, and he never actually does anything. There is no difference between a universe with a silent, invisible, do-nothing god, and a universe that has no god at all. Believing in a god or gods takes faith – specifically because there is no good evidence. Sitting in a chair does not take any faith at all.
Not to mention that even if that chair had collapsed, so what? I would fall on my ass and my friends would laugh at me. That’s the worst that would happen.
However, if you spend decades wrapping your life around a fable, and basing your life on that fable, choosing your mate and your friends and your job and your possessions and where you live and where you go to church and who you socialize with and who you do business with and what you do with your time and your money and what you tell your children, all based on that fable… well, the fallout from that is way worse than sitting in a collapsing chair.
I can tell you from experience, that when you finally realize the weak reasons why you initially believed, and when you finally wake up to realize you were completely duped, that experience is heart-wrenching.
Which would you choose? A collapsing chair, or wasting what precious time you have left in this amazing, only life you might ever have?
Give me a collapsing chair any day.
I’m curious… why did you first believe?