Last year, there was a rash of suicides by several well-known pastors, most notably Jarrid Wilson.
Famous Christian author, Josh Harris, denounced Christianity, last year.
Jon Steingard said:
"I'm open to the idea that God is there. I'd prefer if he was. I suspect if he is there, he is very different than what I was taught."
Actually, I see his soul still shining - because that took guts, risking losing fans and money, simply because he felt dishonest. He said he can't sing songs he doesn't believe anymore because it feels like a lie.
The reason I say his soul is still shining is because even though John doesn't believe in Christ anymore, he's still doing "What Jesus Would Do" regardless - he chose honesty over money, fame, and power.
I wish more people - especially politicians - would do the same, especially those claiming to be Christian ;)
And I get his struggle.
Because we are now living in an age where truth and justice don't matter, where fact, proof and evidence don't even matter - only winning and getting what you want matter, regardless of truth or who else you hurt in the process.
An age where wealth and power are wrongfully equated with proof of righteousness, good character, or even sanity.
An age where where power-abuse and victimizing others, claiming themselves the victim to justify their actions, is what wins.
And worst of all, we are seeing the advent of something we've never seen before - where not only are these things being said and done contrary to Christ's message and justified, but actually encouraged from other Christians.
Thus, we find ourselves asking, "Doesn't God care about truth and justice anymore?"
I get it, this stuff is hard to watch, especially from proclaimed Christians.
But it's okay to ask questions - I'm sure God can handle it.
It's okay to struggle in your faith - you're not alone - no judgment here.
It's okay not to believe, if that's your choice - we DO have free will.
I'm struggling myself, after an event this past weekend.
But the fact is, the last sentence John said was right on the money, when he said:
"... if he is there, he is very different than what I was taught."
The problem may not be God, the problem may be your perception of God, what you were taught (by well-meaning people), or with prior interpretations of the scripture?
(There's a reason why Christ's message is so different than Paul's waffling/contradictory messages. In fact, if you look and read Paul's history and waffling based on politics, which is something Christ would never do - and unfortunately, the bible doesn't narrate Paul's life for us, you just have to pay attention to his waffling choices ;)
In fact, I would imagine God would appreciate it that you really put some thought into this and didn't just choose him blindly.
And that starts with the question: "What if what I was taught and have always believed - at least like I've always believed it - isn't true?"
That takes a kind of bravery not everyone possesses - in fact, most people don't, it's too scary to consider the alternatives of.
For me, after my own time of atheism years ago, I came to the conclusion that the problem wasn't God, the problem was my perception of God.
I already knew you can't prove God exists - but then I realized you can't physically prove love exists, especially different types of love - you can only see the affects of love (and even those are subjective).
Now, I believe there was a master scientist of this experiment, a master chef - this cake did not bake itself.
The odds were around 1:10 billion. I mean, that's like saying a self-driving car with all the computerized features, that can do 300 mph, spontaneously erupted out of nothing and energized by a random strike of lightning.
And the first law of thermodynamics says "Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only transfer."
So if we accept our own scientific law - not a theory, this is law, mind you, which means it performs the same way every time tested - then we have to accept the energy that drives this planet came from somewhere else.
Thus, whether you believe Big Bang Theory and that that energy was an original atom split or you believe it was energy with a consciousness and directed activity (or both, like I do) - these are still both beliefs and require a certain amount of faith because we can't prove either.
I also accepted long ago that God will not intervene in our free will, he promised he wouldn't - which leaves people to do a plethora of horrible things to one another, sometimes even in Christ's name.
However, as of this past weekend, on many fronts, I've been struggling whether God intervenes at all or even cares about us or truth or justice - or maybe he once did and gave up on us.
So the question is, would I still okay if the only thing God ever did for me was his providence of creation itself long ago, and the capacity to love and be loved (which also can't be proven) - which comforts me in times of trouble?
Yes - that is enough for me :)
I could accept that God doesn't or no longer intervenes on our behalf and still be grateful for what he already has provided - and that's what gets me through the tough times.
And the thing is, Christ never promised the truth would come out and that there would be justice in our lifetime - in fact, he didn't receive justice himself.
That's why he encouraged us to love our neighbors as ourselves in the meantime.
He only promised justice in the afterlife - believe that or not, that's the only thing he promised about justice.
So I will continue prayer - but not for truth or justice - because there are many people with worse situations than mine, and many who have gone to their deaths never receiving it, the truth never being revealed/vindicated. I will pray instead for others struggling.
And I will also continue to pray for forgiveness where I've done wrong, as well to overcome my personal smart-ass nature, as well human nature instinct/urge to fight fire with fire and/or nasty with nasty, even if I'm sick to death of it (and it would be warranted).
I will pray instead do as Christ commanded, a divine gift he said we could access - "Pray for those who despitefully use you, love those who hate you, and bless those who curse you" - just because we all know it's the right thing to do - it's just hard, so we just don't do it and make excuses ;)
Even if I'm really just talking to myself or passed on loved ones - just because it helps my soul to examine, reflect, humble myself - even if my prayers are never heard or answered :)
I need a few days, here, to be honest, after a rough weekend and there's only so many lies you can read about or witness.
But no worries, all is well, just clearing my head, self-examining, healing, and being grateful for what and who I have in my life now versus years ago :)