Matthew 7:7-8 Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. (NASB)
Ok. Awesome. The bible says all I have to do is ask. All I have to do is seek.
Oh, will you look at that, it's in the following passages as well! (Bear with me. Feel free to skip down a bit.)
Luke 11:9-13 "ditto"
Matthew 18:19 Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 21:22 And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.
Mark 11:24 Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.
John 14:13 Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
wait there's more...
John 15:7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
John 15:16 You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.
John 16:23 In that day you will not question Me about anything Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you.
Ho Hum, even more...
James 1:5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
This is really getting repetitive...
1 John 3:22 and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.
Finally, the last one!
1 John 5:14 This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
Whew! Sorry for going biblical on you. But obviously if the "good book" repeats the same message twelve times, it must be important and it must be relevant. I should be able to believe in it as a Christian. Right?
I guess this is why people rely on prayer so heavily, even in this day and age when it's pretty obvious that prayers aren't answered any better than chance. But I digress. I have a point to make.
How many times as an atheist or freethinker have you been called cold and unfeeling, unemotional, disconnected from God, unable to see the Love of God that Christians feel so effortlessly and in abundance? I get it all the time. And frankly I find it quite offensive.
First, while I embrace science as the best way to observe and understand the universe, and while I cherish reason and logic as tools to make sense of ourselves and our world, I am not a cold, unfeeling, uncaring baby eater. Ok, ok, I have to be honest with you. I'm in BabyEaters Anonymous and it's been 34 days and 6 hours since I last ate a baby. So leave me alone about it. It's not my fault they're so damned tasty. (and if you don't know I'm kidding, I can't help you. There's nothing to see here.)
What is more deeply moving and awe-inspiring than Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot? Or on a personal level, what about the 15 year deep and abiding love I share with my awesome husband? Or the girlish thrill I get when I watch an Assassin Bug catch a Japanese Beetle in my garden? (oh the marvels of nature and evolution! So completely astounding! I get a rush watching such "mundane" things). What about the compassion I feel when I reach out to help a sick child? Yes, even us cold, heartless atheists do volunteer work to help our fellow inhabitants on this amazing planet.
I could go on and on. If I had children I'm sure that would be at the top of the list, but like many godless I'm also childless, a testament that humans can overcome their biological imperative with intellect, and that in itself is amazing. The very fact that we are compassionate and truly altruistic against our biological need to have our genes survive is also marvelously cool.
Anyway, I got completely sidetracked with how awesome the world and the Cosmos is. But as an atheist I supposedly can't feel the same joy, love or awe that Christians can because they have the love of God and I don't. How insulting and condescending!
And the fact that I'm godless is obviously a real lack on my part. I supposedly have chosen cold intellect and icy reason over warm faith and God's unconditional love. (Don't get me started on his love. It's very conditional if you read his book)
Apparently, I've turned from God. I've been told I'm angry at him. But how on earth can I be angry at something that I am pretty confident doesn't exist? I'm not mad at leprechauns either, by the way.
Okay, here's something else. I know 4 people who were all very devout Christians who are now all atheists. They all studied the bible to fully immerse themselves in God's Word. And in that immersion, instead of deepening their faith, reality came calling and they had to listen. Even though it was a painful thing to admit, they all realized that God doesn't exist and the bible is a book written by men.
The same thing happened to me. I went on a Quest for Knowledge when I was in my mid-twenties. I believed and wanted to understand Jesus more completely. I was on a personal mission to seek out knowledge of Jesus. Instead of finding faith and love of God, I found reality. I wasn't looking to become an atheist. That wasn't even a consideration. I wanted to understand God better.
Did God harden my heart like he did to the Pharoah? Is that what he does to people who try to understand him more fully? Is that how atheists are created? If God exists, why would he abandon me when I was trying to understand his son more deeply? Why would he show me reality instead of bathe me in Love for him?
Two men I've known (one mentioned above and a fifth friend not previously mentioned here), have found it very painful to leave their faith. Religion was a comfort to them, but the facts were overwhelming and they had to admit that God doesn't exist. Why would God make them suffer to leave his Love like that?
Occam's Razor must be employed here, and the only reasonable and rational answer is that God doesn't exist. If he does, and he treats people who seek understanding and knowledge of him the way he treated me and my friends, if he really acted the way he did in the bible and other holy books, if he really lets such evil things happen to innocents and does nothing to lift a holy finger, I wouldn't want anything to do with him anyway.
Why would God withdraw the spiritual world Christians seem to find so easily? Why would he sow doubt into good people seeking him out, who just want to broaden their minds? What kind of god would do that? If that god exists, he's malicious. And he goes against the 12 verses in his own book that I quoted above, most said by his own son!
Unless of course we are just removing the veil of illusion from our eyes and seeing the world as it is instead of how we'd like it to be. The evidence is certainly in my favor on that.