Emotions and Internet Psychoanalysis
There are a few bloggers out there with whom I feel a kinship. It’s because we’ve experienced some of the same things, shared some common traits, and in some ways invested into one another’s lives – even from a distance. I do think I get them and, in turn, they get me.
What makes a person think that within just a few comments, or having read through a few blog posts, that they have me all figured out? They know what I need. They know why I believe as I do. They know why I left faith behind.
It’s because I was hurt by the church. My particular flavor of Christianity was abusive – but not the others. I should try on a different size if that one didn’t fit.
I loved my church family. I loved the people I went to church with. I still love them. We just don’t have much in common anymore because I no longer believe as they believe.
I protest that being injured by believers is the reason I lost my faith. It was only after leaving my faith that I realized how detrimental belief in the Christian God and the Bible were to my well-being. Hindsight is always 20/20. But, no, I don’t see myself as a victim of other well-meaning believers who are slogging through this life as best they can. Just like I am.
Well, if it wasn’t that then it must be because I was displeased with God. I found his neglect unpalatable. Surely, that’s what it was. Again, I protest this notion. I thought I was talking to God everyday and, moreover, I was quiet so that God could speak to me. I truly believed I was hearing what God said. No, never audibly, lest you think I’m completely bonkers. But through my training and study I learned to “hear” God in the everyday, mundane, things of life. Circumstances, prayer, scripture, and other people were God’s form of communication. It was only after I lost my faith that I realized just how hidden God is. Hindsight is 20/20 after all.
“There are far better ideas of Christ than you have ever known and that you are now unwilling to consider. It’s too bad you got hurt and now have a claque that supports you in your rejection of Christianity. Still, who knows, except your imaginary friend, how it will end. I continue to have hope for you.” ~Waltsamp
“What I think I have found is a person who has expended a great amount of time and effort, and whole lots of words, to create for themselves an impregnable worldview.”
“My supposition that you left Christianity because of some painful experience is apparently wrong. From some of what you have written perhaps it was dissatisfaction with God neglecting you or displeasing you or not measuring up to your standard (although this last one is pretty silly). Perhaps it was that you found Christianity had defects. People have been finding reason not to believe in Christ for 2,000 years so it’s unlikely you found a new one.”
Understand me when I say, yes, I was hurt by my religion. Yes, I was neglected by God. But, no, I did not leave my faith over these things. I know very well that my feelings – good or bad – nor my pain have any bearing on truth. A portion of my pain was the catalyst for giving credence to my doubts. There is a correlation there, no doubt. However, my doubts gave way to questions for which there are no good answers. What kind of faith is it – what kind of God is it – that cannot stand up to scrutiny?
When I began to ask the hard questions, for which I have not found adequate answers, I was unable to close the lid on Pandora’s Box. I couldn’t put the genie back in the bottle. I couldn’t unlearn the things I had learned.
I’m quite well aware that there are people who can do that; people who can reconcile the answers to the realities of life with the magic of belief. I have been unable to accomplish this feat, despite my attempts to do so.
No, I have not found any new reason not to believe in Christ. The reasons are, as stated, 2,000 years old. That doesn’t mean they aren’t good reasons. What I will say in response is that people have been finding reasons to believe in Christ for 2,000 years so it’s unlikely a new one has been found.
I could say by my interaction with those who believe that I know why they believe. I could write it all down to their need for an emotional crutch. Or perhaps it’s their death anxiety. Or maybe need a scapegoat for their behavior. Perhaps it’s because they can’t cope with reality. Maybe they’ve found that the world has defects.
The fact of the matter is, none of that speaks to the truth of Christianity or a god of any kind. Ultimately the reasons I no longer believe have nothing to do with any perceived injury, slight, or defect of Christians, themselves. After much consideration, many sleepless nights, hand-wringing, and even illness over it, ultimately, I find the whole of Yahweh and Christ to be implausible.
Do I have an impregnable worldview? I would say that the fact that I’ve reconsidered everything I believed to be true and changed my mind on at least one occasion should dispel such a notion.
If one wants to challenge my beliefs I’m prepared for that. I do not have all the answers nor do I pretend to. I am, however, extremely unlikely to be swayed by emotional appeals and scare tactics. Bring me evidence, bring me logic, bring me reason and we’ll have something to discuss. Leave the emotional extortion and psychoanalysis out of it. My emotions are not taking me over. Correlation is not causation.
**You’re welcome, Ark. I know how much you love the Bee Gees.