Sunday, December 11, 2016

Ending another way of life, Jack's soap opera

 Sadie’s daughter is Sharon.  Sharon is like many of humans, including me. Many religious folk make me scratch my head or palm my face.

I don’t know about other religions, but the Jewish and protestant movement are built on Ten Commandments.  We believe they were God given and I don’t think you will find better life guide lines anywhere.

For many years I had a lapse in faith. I lost my belief in God while in a position where that should never happen. Sherry and I had organized and built a church and had some of the most wonderful  congregants I have ever known.  The ones who are alive are still our friends.  The church is still there and doing good.  My loss had nothing to do with that church and those folk. It was my personal problem. I blamed church leaders.  But it really was not them (blame is easy for us humans).

When I realized my problem, I calmly, bluntly told my sweet wife, “I am turning in my credentials and resigning our church Sunday. Honey, I will not stand in front of our members, live off their hard earned money and promote something I do not believe in. There is no God, this is all a game.”

That hurt my sweet wife about as much as anything I have ever done or said. Of course she did not believe it. Thinking this is only a down time, it will be better tomorrow.

I was no different outwardly. We moved out of the parsonage and bought a small house. I told the congregation I was going back to school, I could not intentionally hurt them. I applied for the GI Bill and entered college studying Civil Engineering.

I was still a nice guy. I still attended church with Sherry. I made no announcement of my lack of belief. I understood these ‘Christian’ folk. Millions of folk are ‘not Christian’, but are still good people. They honor their neighbor and basically follow the commandments.

After regaining ‘FAITH’, I took a minister to task who said an atheist is the most miserable person in the world, they have no hope.  I said, ‘You misunderstand the atheist. They may certainly be wrong, but overall they are very happy and ‘at peace’ people. They do not spend their time worrying about a hereafter.  They go to bed not concerned about a soul’s destination. They ‘KNOWdeath IS THE END, no after life to be concerned about. You see, I know this, you do not. You can only think of it from a Christian point of view. As a non-believer I knew there was no God. I did not brag about it, which would be silly. I also didn’t worry about Hell or Heaven, I just lived.

I still knew right from wrong morally. I would not cheat a person, steal or run around on my wife, because that would be morally WRONG. As an Atheist I was still Jack, a good guy.

This did not go where I wanted it to. I will give it one more shot tomorrow. This is much longer than I planned and I have deleted 300 words.

  Nite Shipslog

If I had thought of this, I might have still been a pastor, ..... No, but it is a good idea.


betty said...

I think an atheist indeed can be happy. The enemy doesn't have to work hard with him. The atheist is secure in his lack of faith and belief. The enemy can go after those that are struggling in their faith and causing doubt. If you aren't for God, you are against him. Again, makes the enemy's work so much easier.

I heard a statistic in church today. 78% of people living in Phoenix profess to be Christian. 13% attend church weekly, of that 1.8% attend at least once a month. Even in times where I wondered where God was and didn't feel close to him, I never stopped believing he existed. I've seen too much proof in my life and my family's life that he indeed can and will intervene when the impossible presents itself and makes things possible. That indeed is God :)


Lisa said...

I read this with my mouth open in "aww". Im glad you "regained" your faith. It can all be so confusing to a non believer. Christians do not live a perfect life. I have never doubted there was a God but I understand how many can. It saddens me to hear someone say God is not real. If they truley know Christ and come to him, then they will see what he does in their lives and how indeed he is and always will be.
Im enjoying your "series".

Until tomorrow

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

It's good to hear your story about your loss of faith. Hopefully you'll tell us what it took to regain it. I'll be looking forward to hearing more. I've never lost my faith, but there were many days, I struggled. Snow is on the roof tops here this morning. We didn't get a lot, just a couple of inches.

Dar said...

Our faith in God can be a very personal thing or very celebrated thing. I'd been lost too but then was reminded that the trials we face in our lives are those gifts from God, Himself, the gift of Remembering that He is reminding us to turn our trials over to Him when we cannot deal on our own. It's a way of life for me. There is always HOPE.
BlessYourHearts and love, hugs, and all that counts from way up north where the Arctic Blast is headed our way. Time to pull out the woolens and hunker down.

shirl72 said...

Jack does your readers know our Dad was a minister. Our Dad was a wonderful person and Christian and Mother was a Saint. I think when growing up in Church and see the way people live and claim to be Christians may test our faith. I look and see the clouds, trees,and earth and I say "GOD is in charge" and created this wonderful world for us to live. We are not responsible for people who don't believe. I heard a sermon "It is OK to question GOD", but want know the answer until the end.

Unknown said...

Jack, I like the simple eloquence you have used in this post, and I look forward to hearing the "rest of the story" even though I already know how it goes.

Mevely317 said...

Only years after the fact, my son confessed he'd had a long period of disbelief (following the death of his grandfather).

For whatever reason, I'm so thankful he -- and YOU! -- made the decision to believe once more. So thankful, too, for Sherry's unwavering belief in her hubby. :)

2023 said...

I'm the Shipslog atheist, & you've always been accepting of that.

Even Mother Teresa lost faith Jack, so you are in very good company.
I think it takes 1 million words to fully explain something like this sort of journey, & then you could reread it & still feel you left out an integral part. Having read this & your later post, I do get it.