Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Letter to My Christian Friends

Dear Friends,

I know you have questions, scratch that, I know you have a TON of questions. And I would love to answer all of them to the best of my abilities, but for me to answer you need to listen. I mean really listen, not just to what I'm saying but what I'm trying to share. Let's face it, words have a limit to what they can express and I'm not a master wordsmith myself (although ironically I deal with words on a daily basis at my job and on this site). I want you to know that beneath the layers of belief (or unbelief in my case) I still have a human heart. Our beliefs may shape and mold us into the people we are now but they don't have to define us.We are wildly beautiful, fantastic creatures capable of tremendous love and empathy. That wondrous potential is what drives my love affair for my fellow man despite all of our brokenness and faults. This is why I can not help BUT love my neighbor. (Although in person I am more reserved and less vocal than here on my digital pulpit.) I don't follow prophets, preachers, or philosophers, I follow that which makes me vulnerable, open to the universe so that she and I may grow with AND into one another. It is love which makes us vulnerable and open to each other. As Christians you may be saying "love is exactly what drives us as well", if so then let us share with one another and walk away from the dialogue changed by the love we share.

I am an Atheist in the sense that I do not believe in the traditional monotheistic view of the divine, at least not anymore. But the imagery and symbolism used in religion still touches me on a very deep spiritual level. I'm not out to attack religion, God, and faith, I simply want to experience, learn and share my own humanity. As a rational human being I've come to cherish the stories of my parents' faith without taking them literally. The story of Adam and Eve doesn't have to be literally true for me to see the Truth expressed in the story. Don't get me wrong, I'm not writing the Bible off as merely a fairy tale book. I simply hold the Bible to be equal to other sacred (and non sacred) texts. My spirituality isn't based on what I exclude (i.e. Christian, Muslim, etc. beliefs) it's based on what I CAN include which helps me self-cultivate my love for my fellow man. That's it. Simple, no?

So to my Christian friends, I'd just like to say I'm no longer exclusively Christian because I find it boring, pointless, or backwards, but because I can't imagine containing myself to one set of religious symbols and language. There is so much more to reality that we have yet to discover or imagine that to limit the description of our human experience to a dedicated set of words and images is like painting a portrait with a handful of colors. Everything about mankind is infused with such immense diversity and creativity that we can't help but experience Reality differently. It is in that chorus of unique experiences that we share a common voice, a shared humanity. We forget that shared experience at times, but whenever we do remember I believe that is when we are closest to the divine experiencing the kingdom of God within us and among us.

8 comments:

Doug B said...

I expect this will to go over like a lead balloon with your more conservative Christian friends. This is a dialogue truly difficult to maintain with those devoted to worshiping the shadow over substance. But try we must.

captron52 said...

Very well said Sam! Hope the new year will be filled with lots of peeace . love,joy, and understanding for you and yours

Don said...

Well put Sam. You have more or less stated my own feelings about Christianity today.

Chris Ledgerwood said...

Great post!

John said...

This post reminded me of something that happened a while back. My computer kept adding strange bits of code and text in places they didn't belong. It would take files and folders and move them, erase data, add data, and so forth.

I finally realize that my hard drive had gotten corrupted. I threw it away, bought a new one, re-programmed Windows 7 on it, and I was good to go again. Things ran smoothly again.

I say that because just like my old hard drive, your mind has completely lost touch. You are desparately adding/deleting/modifying spiritual worldviews and trying to place them in a new package.

Your mind has been corrupted by none other than the master of corruption. So all day and all night your brain toils to try to find some connection, some belief that makes sense and weaves the mysteries of life all together in a way that satisfies you. You bounce from Christianity, spirituality, new age, atheism, and back again.

You eat, but your stomach is not filled. You drink, but your throat remains dry.

Friend, remove the secular corruption from your mind. Unload the nonsense that you have adapted and accepted as fact.

Re-program your brain with the truth. Reprogram your mind with the software that the master creator designed to run in your mind. Stop trying to solve a puzzle in which the answer has already been provided.

If you don't do that, I fear for your soul. I have seen a downward spiral before, and you are in a deadly spiritual downward cycle. It only gets worse from here, trust me. I have been where you are now.

I wish you the best, and may you find your way back. I will pray for you.

Eruesso said...

@John-

Thanks for visiting and commenting. Instead of squeezing my comment into this cramped space I have posted my response here.

Thanks again, and hope to hear from you soon.

Peace and blessings.

Andrew said...

It's funny... I don't get as many of those "John" responses as one might expect....

Sam Morales said...

I wonder how many "turn your life around" comments online (or even in person) actually work? I wonder if any has tried to gather statistical data on different types of conversion methods. If anything the data would help evangelicals keep their members...nah probably not.

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