When I did my post about how I stopped believing in god, I tried to focus on three main events that changed my thinking – realizing the power of the mind to convince us something is real, examining the logical problems with my beliefs, and experiencing the superiority of science versus superstition in treating my son’s ADHD.
There were many other things that influenced my doubts that I didn’t include for the sake of brevity, but they were also very influential.
That post explained how my frame of mind changed, which allowed some of these other events to be re-examined in a different light. Before my frame of mind changed, I was able to dismiss all of the doubts raised by these other events because, at my core, I still believed.
So, I want to talk about some of those other things.
One of my best friends was in a car accident with her husband and three kids, five days before Christmas in 2008. Their small car was struck by an 18-wheeler on the highway. They were all alright, except for their 6-month-old son, who died.
One day a couple of months after the accident, my friend told me that she wanted to go to church with me. I remember thinking that this was the way God was using her tragedy for good – it was bringing her closer to Him.
For an evangelical Christian, there is no greater good. For all of God’s lost sheep to return to him is the ultimate purpose of this life. That is why evangelicals are so annoying. There is nothing that matters more. Nothing.
So, if she had to lose her baby boy – a baby she had never been apart from and was still nursing – that was worth it if it brought her to Jesus.
Then, I remember thinking that I hated myself for thinking that. I hated the entire belief system that made that an okay thing – no, the right thing – to think.
At the time, I was still in deep. I had no way to explain my “supernatural” experiences, feeling “god’s presence,” and what have you, so I wasn’t ready to throw the baby Jesus out with the bath water just because it made me uncomfortable that God would allow a baby to die in order to bring the mother closer to himself.
God didn’t kill the baby, the truck driver did.
That’s what I told myself. We have free will. God doesn’t control what will happen, but he uses our bad situations for good. The good was that she was finding Jesus.
Still, I felt sick over feeling that the death was ultimately a good thing. It seemed so wrong.
But, like everything, I brushed it off.
I am so glad to be free of that belief system. It feels good to know that the reason I felt sick for thinking her son’s death was for the greater good was because that was wrong. There was no greater good. It was an awful thing that happened.
You can argue about whether or not my problem was god or that I had a flawed theology, but it doesn’t matter. Christianity places God above all else, no matter what flavor you follow.
I much prefer my new belief system where family, friends, and the people we care about are what’s most important.