The test of a false god; Why I am an atheist.
I was born into Christianity and indoctrinated while growing up. My extended family was extremely religious as well, we even had a few preachers. I grew up in the First United Methodist church, my sect was particularly literalist, they believe that all scripture was inspired by god. They believe that Satan was actively doing harm in our world and we were involved in spiritual battles constantly.
I wanted to become a preacher, more specifically a teacher of gods word. I realized that different Christian religions believed many different things. For example: In some churches females were not allowed to be in leadership. In others lesbians could be preachers. (Not at my church). They all were interpreting the Bible different and stood fast by differing beliefs. They all could not be right. Either God wanted lesbian preachers or forbid the practice as he hated lesbians and women could not be leaders in the church. It could not be both ways. This was just one of many differences in churches that god could only have one opinion on.
I did not care about what man said, the church said or even preachers. I wanted to follow god and do what god wanted. I could not bring myself to teach as I knew I could be wrong about what I believed as no one could agree what gods word actually was. I decided to delay going to seminary as I knew that I would learn mans differing beliefs from a given sect and not necessarily what god wanted. I needed to be alone with god and study the bible myself without the churches bias. I prayed to god to give me clarity so that I could move forward and serve him the way HE wanted, not how I thought he might want.
I had been taught not to investigate or study anything that was secular. Secular meant anything that was not godly. I had been taught that everything is either with god or against it. They also taught me that god was all powerful and would protect me. I was such a hard core believing young man that I did not care or worry that secular information would possibly corrupt me. God would be there to guide me as they promised.
At first I noticed inconsistencies in my bible studies. I found that the Bible Said all sins are forgiven and that blasphemy was unforgiveable. It could not be both ways. I found there was a reason that people had many different beliefs about the Bible. It said many contradictory things and many could not be reconciled. I again had to know why and what god intended.
I started by praying constantly and studying the Bible intensely. I honestly don’t know how many times I read it straight through or how many years I put into more traditional studies. I also began to study history(my favorite), literature, languages, geology, cosmology, anthropology, archeology, statistics, philosophy, etc. Anything that related to Biblical studies including writings from Biblical scholars both secular and Christians. I spent two years just studying the apocrypha and the gnostic gospels trying to find answers.
This led to what I call the test of a false god.
I began to question how was my god any different from any other god. As many different types of gods were described in the ancient Christian writings. There were many false gods out there (that being any god that was not mine). So I asked myself how would one differentiate between a real god and a false god? So what would a real god look like? Many gods are unknowable or unperceivable. Oddly enough if that is the case how could anyone tell me about an unperceivable god? How would they know? None the less an unperceivable god can not be proven to exist by definition. So it would be impossible to define or prove that any god existed even if I just made it up. One can not prove that they exist.
So what qualities would a god that does not exist have?
They can't work miracles.
They don’t answer prayers.
They can not be perceived.
Most of all it struck me that a god that was not real required faith to believe in them.
All gods required faith!
So how did my god stack up against a false god?
My god did not work miracles. There were claims that were no better than other religions without any evidence.
My god did not answer prayers. There again were claims that were no better than other religions without any evidence. There was certainly no obvious things like limbs being regenerated.
My god could not be perceived. He was unknowable.
But most of all, My god required faith to believe in it. In fact believing through faith was the ONLY requirement!
Then I realized that my god was no more valid than what I knew to be a false or made up god.
When I realized this it was real hard to believe that there was any real god. Even it there was a god it did not care enough to be actively involved in the world as said god was not relevant and there was no reason for me to care about the god either. In which case a god that does not do god stuff is not a god.
When It came down to understanding that my god was no more valid than a god that was not real I simply could no longer believe.
This is the first time I have publically spoken about The test of a false god. Let me know what you think of the concept. Thank You!