Seek and you shall find.

This is the number one piece of advice you will hear if you confess your doubt to a Christian. I haven’t written much on the blog this week, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been having the conversation. I believe there were at least eight separate attempts to save my soul this week. A side-effect of choosing to engage with Christians respectfully is that I am often mistaken for a walking talking sign from god.

It may not be a popular idea among all atheists, but I really don’t mind what others believe in as long as it does not affect me. I don’t have an agenda. I’m not laying traps. I am too aware of the differences in our brain wiring to go thinking I can or should start changing minds. I’m in this for the conversation on a topic that interests me, and to offer something to those who are stuck in-between. I will fight against what hurts others and I will work toward steering communication in everyone’s best interest. Nine times out of ten I end up walking away to avoid a fight.

But that tenth time…. I give in just enough to keep it civil. Because I possess the luxury of having nothing to lose in a god debate. I remember a time when that wasn’t true. Then I lost god, and I was miraculously cured.

Ten out of ten times a Christian will tell me that I cannot find god because I never truly looked for him. Well, god IS mysterious because I spent an awful lot of years thinking I had found him. If I was wrong, I wonder how anyone else can be sure. I guess they can’t. You’d think such a revelation would bring us to a standstill. But no. Any Christian who would say that I never “truly let god in” is also sure that I have never known faith the way they know faith. Unlike me, they could never give in to Satan’s temptation.

And let’s face it. In that very moment they have already assumed that I am Satan and this is spiritual warfare. Telling them that I once had that kind of faith, too, is automatically going to be a lie. That’s Satan’s thing. And, lucky for them they never can know for sure. They would have to take my word for it. Who would take Satan’s word? If we are taking anyone’s word for anything, it’s going to be theirs.

So what do they know that I don’t? Is god really blinding me from his very existence until my heart can be as pure as theirs? I thought Jesus came to save the lost, but this Christian over here is telling me that he only reveals himself once a Christian has mastered perfect faith. I’m confused.

Here to clear things up is a Pascal quote another blogger recently shared. I am always surprised when a Christian mentions Pascal, whose wager theory isn’t getting anyone into heaven according to Christian rules. But poor arguments do not define a man’s personal relationship with Christ. However, I think this quote he offers about god might sum it up rather nicely:

“Willing to appear openly to those who seek him with all their heart, and to be hidden from those who flee him with all their heart, God so regulates the knowledge of himself that he has given indications of himself which are visible to those who seek him and not to those who do not seek him. There is enough light for those to see who only desire to see, and enough obscurity for those who have a contrary disposition.”

That quote was shared on a Christian blog, meant to inspire and congratulate like-minded Christians in their faith. I’m not kidding. So god regulates how he reveals himself according to how much we want to believe? The Bible certainly does support that idea, which is one of its all-time biggest red flags. Christians are selling the message that the more we want to believe in something, the more success we will have in believing it. And the less we want to believe in something, the more it will seem untrue. And they are selling it so good that they can say the words plainly like that and still find it inspiring.

You don’t have to sell me on how confirmation bias works. And it’s good to see that god rewards it. It’s this same principle that leads Christians to assume that lost faith must come from not wanting to believe. Apparently believing in what we want to believe is the only available option. And yet, every ex-Christian will tell you that doubt is what happened when we wanted to believe but couldn’t. Clearly we are all lying. I mean, if that is what you want  to believe.

Seek and you shall find. Finally…. something a Christian and an atheist can agree on. Faith is the ability to want to believe in god so badly that you actually do believe.  But is this really the best answer to doubt? Never mind. I think that question just answered itself.

 

8 thoughts on “Seek and You Shall Find Whatever You Want to Find

  1. For all the talk about “seek and ye shall find,” try asking these Christians about Proverbs 1:28 which says that there are some people whom God won’t answer when they call and from whom he will stay hidden when they seek him.

    1. And to that they would say….”I just answered it! God won’t answer when you call because you don’t really want to know him.”

      I’m going to try this tactic with my husband. I’m going to hide and then have the neighbor come over and tell him that I am hiding until I believe he truly wants to find me. Sounds reasonable.

  2. I’ve recently been thinking about the existence of God like the existence of our minds. We don’t have to think too long and too hard before we know we have a mind! The very act of thinking is confirmation that we have a mind! No one ever tries to disprove that the human mind exists, even though we can’t see it on a microscope or touch it… we know it is there because of our ability to reason alone.

    I think atheism is silly because you are asking for proof that there is a GREAT MIND. The fact that you have a mind, should help you to see the very real existence or possibility of a much greater mind. You’re over thinking it. The evidence is before you.

    Losing God can only mean losing your mind. We know it is possible to lose your mind, because there are so many mentally ill people who do not have control of their minds, and those who are unable to reason. Mental Health professionals make a fortune for treating what can not be proven to exist!

    If we say that we believe because we desire to believe, it is only because it is true. It doesn’t present a case against what we believe, just our ability to believe. Some people choose not to see things even when they are blatantly before them! They find a way to make sense of what they don’t want to accept, just like the woman who stays with a cheating man can actually lie to herself about his unfaithfulness. They have lost their minds, not their sight.

    My two cents.

    Blessings, Ufuoma.

    1. “Some people choose not to see things even when they are blatantly before them! They find a way to make sense of what they don’t want to accept….” So, what you are telling me is that I don’t believe in god because I don’t want to believe. Yeah, I already got that message. And when I wanted to believe but couldn’t I must have been lying to myself, right? Because we can only believe what we want to believe.

      What does it mean that you see it that way and I don’t?

      Is your argument that this rule doesn’t apply to Christians because god is so obvious? I assure you that his obvious existence is very subjective. Your mind theory sounds like over-thinking to me. I don’t have to think hard about how god doesn’t exist. And for the record: unless you are asking me to believe in god, I am never asking for proof. But thank you for offering an excellent example of what I was talking about in this post.

    2. A lot of people would try to disprove the human mind if there were no evidence that we had one. Luckily we do know about this organ called the brain. We can measure all sorts of things about it. We know this is the part of the body that is in operation when we are thinking, it fact it’s doing all sorts of things that we are not thinking about, but for which we can still measure. I mean you might as well make the statement “we don’t have to think at all to know we have kidneys. The very act of urination is evidence we have them. You don’t see anybody trying to disprove we have kidneys.”

      The fact that you have a mind is not proof at all that there is a great mind. Any more than the fact that you might have breasts or a penis indicates that there are great breasts and penises out there. It’s an organ. All multi-cellular organisms have them. None of it implies a greater version of that organ on a greater plane of existence. Evolution explains quite well how such organs develop and change in complexity.

      There are tons of people who are mentally ill who are also very religious. So I am not sure what your point is there. Many people have been successfully treated my mental health care experts and go on to live healthy lives. So they must not be getting paid for absolutely nothing. Neuroscience has shown that people with strong beliefs have also limited ability to reason. Beliefs form neural pathways in the brain which then release dopamine when those beliefs are reinforce. Thus strong beliefs act like a drug, and reduce one’s ability to think along alternative neural pathways thus reducing one’s ability to reason.

  3. “Losing God can only mean losing your mind.” I’d like to assume Ufuoma that you would only make such a claim on an atheist’s blog because you haven’t a clue just how arrogant and insulting this statement may sound for those of us who are simply no longer able to believe. And not because we didn’t have enough faith, didn’t seek god enough, didn’t really “want” to find him/her. But because the evidence for your god, or the thousands of other versions out there, is simply no longer…well..evident!

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