I was pointed to the blog of a former-Christian (now Atheist) to read an interesting quote:
“If I were still a Christian, I’d most likely be on my knees every night… in constant “conversation” with God, asking “Him” to make everything “work” for us to buy this home (which, of course, involves selling our current home and getting the price we need)…”
The majority of my readership is Christian, so I have to ask. Does that sound familiar?
Do you ask God to make everything “work” for you?
“The question is primarily directed to ex-Christians, since you’re the ones who in a past life (like me) probably asked/begged God to make things “work” … to make everything “come together” and grant the desires of your heart…”
I’m not going to address this blogger’s “question,” because my dad already has an Atheist Advice Column, and I’d rather let him tackle that. (Edit: His advice post is here.)
Instead, I’m writing to the Christians who still sound like this Atheist used to sound…
Do you think God is waiting to grant the desires of your heart?
When a friend is struggling with something they really want, do you share stuff like this?
Or maybe you’re fond of saying things like, “Keep lookin’ up!”
or “God’s got you covered!”
or “Get ready for a blessing!”
If these are your go-to cliches when you’re trying to be helpful, stop.
It’s not helpful.
Your Osteen-inspired T-shirt wisdom is shallow and naive and not Christian.
That religion might work to help a 10-year-old feel better about a disappointing grade on a test, but it’s not good for much else.
Although you can convince a child that life is all about wishing really hard for something from the Great Genie, eventually that concept of God is supposed to grow up.
The former-Christians who mock the way they used to beg for goodies from God are right. That’s ridiculous.
What many professing Christians are practicing is called “Moralistic Therapeutic Deism“–because they have virtually no need for God, except to solve their (usually self-caused) problems.
“Please pray for my boyfriend to get out of jail.”
“Please ask God to help us find a house we want.”
“I’m asking for prayers because we’re going through a lot right now, and we just need peace.”
And, of course, all the professing Christians respond:
“God is in control!”
“Everything will be fine!” (Which means, “You’ll get everything you’re hoping for, if you fold your hands and say ‘Amen’ enough.”)
Again–it’s shallow and childish and useless. If THAT’S all that happens when Christians get together to share wisdom, then the Atheists are correct when they decide they don’t need it.
The human relationship with God isn’t about asking Daddy to make life comfortable.
Therefore, we’re not helping anyone with our air-headed promises that he’s going to “come through” and give our friend everything she thinks she needs.
Moralistic Therapeutic Deism is selfish and stupid.
So can we stop selling it?