From Pastor To Bastard: Sometimes You Have to Ask if Anyone Wants to Kill a God
25 September 2012Written by Matt Debenedictis
Thanks to the technology of social interaction we are all pretty annoyed with each other. Conversations transformed to minor-debates are now in the open and ad nauseam. Friends that are far removed, linked by past employments and classes once attended, wreck time meant to be killed trying to create shouting through over uses of capitalization.
I get it old friends, you believe in the supernatural. There is an afterlife designed that your earth-life is modeled around. That’s fine. That’s dandy. However, a good number of people don’t hold to your afterlife. The natural, the measurable, of this world is where my concerns rest.
There was religion, man’s philosophy and source of reason of what was before and what there would be. Humanity grew, giving more land ownership and binding closer in communication. Alchemy led to the first steps of chemistry and science. What we once feared enough to create stories in order to understand — the seasons, the animals, and death — we now accept as a part of the natural world. As Steven Pinker wrote, “We are not angels who have fallen; we are animals on the rise.”
But what happens after each of our heartbeats stop cannot be proven. Any religion’s heaven ends in a tie with the idea that our existence is only a detailed dream in the mind of a greater being.
A concept passed around in memes and actual debates is this: Why are atheists spending so much time and energy fighting a God they don’t believe exist?
No one is fighting a God. By a theist’s theology not only is that not possible, but that would mean believers are spending their time and energy denying aspects of life to those who will burn in an eternal basement fire. That’s pointless and morally sad. Would it not be more Christ-like to give a string less compassion to those who will be judged guilty?
To the believers of modern Christianity and those considering it beneficial to a fulfilling existence I’d like to share two thoughts with you. You may call them warnings from someone who used to believe if you’d like. I’d rather you do so.
You’re better than this God. You don’t need this God and the shifting beliefs that inevitably follow. All scripture is wrapped around the story of a wretched humanity that needs to be herded, slaughtered under specific conditions, and is unable to function without a sacrifice to something above.
The smoke cauldron of Alcoholics Anonymous (a place I know very well) displays the scapegoat mentality of a created God. There are no hymns and long-winded sermons to mask the idea that a higher power is needed because people are helpless. All accomplishments over failures are required to give praise to the unseen; all missteps are blamed on a disease of choice. A life forced to give adulation when there should be none is a life in bondage.
My second warning, so to say, is please know that the acceptance of Christianity as a whole religion is heresy unto itself. To each denomination there is an interpretation of the words called holy, and nearly every one holds to a different value of what constitutes saved from hell: for many just a simple voicing of acceptance, to others a constant repentance for all actions guarantees an admittance to paradise, for a small few all were saved by an act of sacrifice and resurrection. Not all can be correct; if truth is truth then there will be large segments of Christianity destined to damnation.
As years have passed the accepted interpretations of the scripture have changed; what once was embraced now gets tossed aside. Ideas spread as absolute that coincide with shifts in culture. The writers of the bible disdained women and other races in equality with themselves; a concept tailored to their small worldview and limited life spans. The theologians took credit for what humanity did on it’s own.
Over forty percent of Americans believe in heaven, though no one believes it is just above the clouds as few scribes of the bible wrote. Many theologians have pressed the question that heaven is not a specific place but a state of being. Removing it as a focal point of faith and teaching is becoming highly recommended. By man’s own thoughts and ideas in the modern light heaven is fading out of glimpse.
With this comes a hypothetical question to those who do believe, who do find their peace within the walls of a religion that dominates much of the conversations in the United States.
Your God has become tangible, a being in the physical, but with the revelation of existence many beliefs are proven to be off course, one being heaven. An afterlife with loved ones is off the table, betrayed by sheepherders’ writings and preachers appealing to a base, would this give you a thought of killing your God?
Matt DeBenedictis is a former pastor of Revolution Church. Questions and comments can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Eyes can glance at wordsforguns.com.