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Losing Your BFF

The Comfort of Having no Comfort

or: The Dark Side of Christian Hope

It seems that religion has a monopoly on providing answers surrounding death. Especially Christianity is good in providing comfort, with the streets of gold and a new earth where every tear will be wiped off our cheeks. All our loved ones (or well, those who believed as well) will be there too. Preachers say the loftiest things about the dead who are now at peace with God. I have fervently believed this for some three decades. It was called hope.

Compare that to a secular funeral, at least from a Christian perspective. Death is death, there is nothing more. No afterlife, no hope of ever seeing each other again. This is it, or more accurately: this was it. Gloomy and bleak, right?

Or is there more to it? Continue reading “The Comfort of Having no Comfort”

What Kept Me In, Reason #8: I Went To Heaven

2 Corinthians 12: “I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows.  And I know that this man (…)  was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell.”

On the risk of making myself look like an utter fool, I am going to share something deeply personal with the world that I have rarely shared with anyone at all. I doubt that even my wife knows this story:

I went to heaven. Continue reading “What Kept Me In, Reason #8: I Went To Heaven”

I Went Back to Church – And it was Powerful

“Your daughter would like you to come to church, because she will sing on stage. But she doesn’t want to ask you, because you don’t believe in God anymore”.

So there you go, I was back in church at Easter Sunday. After 34 years on this planet in which I attended church on every single Sunday (sometimes even twice), I abandoned it cold turkey style some 9 months ago.

But today I was back. For my daughter, but also curious how I would (dis)like it.

And you know what? I found the service to be quite powerful. I get it now. This is why church services have survived for centuries. What am I rambling about? Continue reading “I Went Back to Church – And it was Powerful”

What Kept Me In, Reason #7: Jesus Himself

My blog posts so far may give the impression that Christianity is simply a set of arguments, a set of things you believe in, a worldview. But that is utterly incomplete, to the point in which it can even be called a false representation. Christianity, at its core, is a relationship. Yes, it is also a religion, but the relationship aspect of it is so strong that Christians often think they are not following a religion, but simply a person.

This is especially true for the evangelicals/pentecostals, but also the Reformed and the Roman Catholics follow this person of Jesus and seek after reconciliation with God. Why is this relationship so important? Why not just a set of ideas, a philosophy; that we can examine on its own merits (more like Buddhism)? How did that personal relationship keep me in the fold? Continue reading “What Kept Me In, Reason #7: Jesus Himself”

The Invisible Dragon and the Use of Logic

A story this time! First part is a famous piece written by others, but I made an extended version about the brick wall that I hit in conversations with many believers.

The Fire Breathing Dragon – a Short Story

“A fire-breathing dragon lives in my garage” Suppose I seriously make such an assertion to you. Surely you’d want to check it out, see for yourself. There have been innumerable stories of dragons over the centuries, but no real evidence. What an opportunity!

“Show me,” you say. I lead you to my garage. You look inside and see a ladder, empty paint cans, an old tricycle–but no dragon.

“Where’s the dragon?” you ask. Continue reading “The Invisible Dragon and the Use of Logic”

Have You Prayed For Me?

You know what has been the most common response to my de-conversion from Christian friends, family and colleagues?

“I will pray for you”

I have not heard this ten times, or twenty, but I guess at least a hundred times. Some even said that other groups, with people I don’t know at all, were praying for me! Maybe you have been praying for me. Maybe you are still praying for me every time you see another one of these blog posts come by. If you are my parents, probably every day.

Continue reading “Have You Prayed For Me?”

Losing Faith, Reason #5: Prayer

Looking back, it’s interesting how I still prayed after I lost my faith in God. I came to the heart-breaking conclusion that even if there was a God, He had no interest in this world. But for thirty years, I was used to talking to this God on just about any topic; especially the heart-felt cries. A sudden loss of all faith felt like the spine was ripped out of my body, so what do you do in an emergency like that?

Pray!

There was this constant tendency to ‘bring my needs to the Lord’, ‘come to His presence’, ‘connect with the maker of heaven and earth’. Although I wasn’t someone to spend an hour in continuous prayer every day, it was more like a constant conversation in the back of my mind. Like God was reading my thoughts all the time. Yet despite it being such a strong force, I think overall it was rather an element that drove me out. Why? How can prayer get you removed further from God? Continue reading “Losing Faith, Reason #5: Prayer”

What Kept Me In? Reason #6: The Wisdom of God

I have wondered how I would respond to a blog like this a couple of years ago, when I was still a firm believer in Jesus Christ. First off, I would be unlikely to come across it, but I did have my ventures into secular writings.  Second, I would have never believed that the writer was once “born again”. But finally, I think I would have read it with a smug smile on my face, shaking my head, because oh my goodness, this is such foolishness! Such “worldly wisdom”! These things can only be understood by real believers!

Why would I have said such an arrogant thing? Continue reading “What Kept Me In? Reason #6: The Wisdom of God”

What Kept Me In? Reason #5: What If I’m Wrong?

I have often wondered what the most used argument would be from Christian to bring me back to faith, after I had ‘lost’ it. Would it be the grand meaning to life? The truth of the historical Jesus? Creation? The miracles around us?  Questions about my doubting process? Pointing to sin in my life?

No. Out of the responses I got, both online and offline, there was one ‘argument’ that was used the most by far:

“What if you are wrong?” Continue reading “What Kept Me In? Reason #5: What If I’m Wrong?”

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