I’ve been going through a very odd time lately…kind of a Jonah meets Job meets David kinda time.
I’m reading Infidel right now. I just arrived at the point where the author has concluded that she’s an athiest. Reading the account of her life, the torture of her childhood and early adulthood, I understand her conclusion. She grew up a Muslim. To say that she was abused in the name of religion–like most Muslim women today are–is an understatement. The author’s logic is very simple to follow. With some of the church stuff that I’ve gone through, I think it would be reasonable if I became an athiest.
But–I have this problem. I can’t. People disappoint me daily. However, the word that God has spoken into my life continues to ring true despite the worst circumstances that are thrown my way. I’ve seen God work. I’ve prayed for people and seen cancer cured, tumors very present on an xray disappear on the next xray. I’ve seen backs straightened, marriages on the brink of divorce healed. I’ve seen babies that were supposed to be born with severe birth defects born without defect. I’ve seen barren women pregnant. I’ve seen people living on their last few dollars receive a check they weren’t expecting. I’ve seen a child, physically and sexually abused, found naked tied to a pole, healed of her emotional scars.
The problem with religion is that it’s theoretical…it’s not based on anything tangible. Religion tells you how you should act, what you should do, how you should be treated and how you should treat others. Religion is based on pride and arrogance. The permeating thought of religious folks is “I’m better than you because I pray more, fast more, attend church more, am a leader…” You can go on and on. Religion is offensive. I should know. I was one of those people for a bunch of years.
I fully understand how serving in a church, attending seminary or being raised in a religious home pushes people toward atheism. Many times God is less recognized–or recognizable–in those environments than He is in a bar at closing time.
Psalm 84:2 My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord. My heart and flesh cry out for the living God.