Atheism on the rise …

Atheism on the rise …

This was a very interesting article to read.  One of the most telling things I noticed was that one of the primary reasons for people not only leaving religion, but for actually becoming atheists, is in reaction to the “Religious Right“.  The article cites the politization of Christianity as one thing that has turned people away.  It also cites the judgemental attitudes of many people from the Religious Right toward gays, premarital sex, contraception and abortion.

In truth, a lot of these issues were what led me to start this blog.  If God is LOVE, then God’s followers should be loving.  God’s love does not make exceptions.  God’s love cannot be earned.  God’s love IS …

A long time ago I talked with a gay man who was telling me that he had turned his back on God.  I asked him why? If he believed in God’s existence, and in fact had love in his heart for God … why???  He told me that he had been through a Christian ex-gay program … one of those places that try to “de-gay” homosexuals.  It had been engrained in him that he could not be both gay and Christian.  He had been told that to “choose” to be gay would mean he would be cut off from God completely.  So he tried, and he tried.  He devoted years of his life to trying to eradicate the attractions that felt natural to him.  Ultimately, he could not change them … and he felt that he could not longer deny them … so the only answer, in his mind, was that he must turn his back on God … “disown” his Creator.  I could see and hear the heartache and suffering he had gone through in his voice … a man whose greatest love had been God, was now turning his back on God.

This is truly one of the saddest stories I have ever heard.  To know how much God loves that man, and yet he can’t accept it because he had basically been brainwashed to believe that God wouldn’t love him as a gay man.  It’s heartbreaking.

Luke 17:2 “It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.”

What greater sin is there that any religious person could cause?  Causing believers to turn their backs on God … or causing non-believers to be more entrenched in their views because this perceived ongoing condemnation … all for the sake of being right, or fitting other people into their narrow view of what their faith should look like.  I am not trying to lump all of the “Religious Right” into this category, and I also know people who are extremely loving that are in that category.  However, if we are turning ANYONE away from God … then we are not doing what God wants.

God’s love is definite … God loves each and every one of us … just as we are.

——-

Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.

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6 Comments»

  brettjacobson1986 wrote @

I don’t believe in a personal God and I am not sure if there is some supernatural being that started it all. According to that article I would be counted as an atheist. I am not found of that way of clumping people together because beliefs can differ greatly. I am guessing you are a Christian and I like your view about God and love.
I would probably guess it would be a waste of my time to try and convince you that God did not exist. And by this I mean really try and make you believe the same as myself with the expectation that I would succeed… that would be pointless. And the same goes for the other way around. However I think we should be able to talk about our differences. And people like yourself, I feel make that easy. I like discussing my views with Christians like yourself because I feel validated and know that we could be get along despite differences.
What I want to know is why you believe what you believe? What scriptures do you draw from? What life experiences have shaped your thinking?

  Religion4All wrote @

Firstly, let me say that I appreciate you not taking offense to a post that might seem to be “anti-atheism”. I respect your beliefs, and I have no desire to try and make you believe what I believe. To be truthful … I don’t have the answers, and I distrust anyone who says they do have the answers.

Someone who has lived my life should have every reason to NOT believe in God … because I have experienced a great deal of judgement from religious people. My parents were missionaries, and thus I have been constantly compared to that model by those who knew me during that time.

Truthfully, the only reason that I believe in God … is that I have a relationship with God. From the time I was a little child, my parents told me they used to hear me “having conversations with God”. It has always been this way for me … I could no sooner deny this than deny my own existence.

Being a logical person (who also happens to be spiritual) I have to acknowledge that the possibility exists that I may be wrong. The voice that speaks to me, and the relationship that I cherish, may very well be my own imagination. The spiritual joy and highs that I get may simply be a chemical reaction to how firmly I believe in that. There could be all SORTS of explanations that end with the words, “there is no God.”

The reason for my faith, however, is not because of religion … it is because of that relationship. I would sacrifice anything for it. I get that much fulfillment and bliss from my relationship with God. I spend hours each day meditating and listening to that voice. What that voice says to me is that I am beautiful, and loved … and so is everyone else. Everyone.

I give my nods to science, and any other concepts out there, I mean no disrespect to atheists. Some of my favorite and best friends are, in fact, atheists.

There is no relationship that I have, that is more real to me than my relationship with God … and that is the basis of my faith. I could list meaningful verses of scripture … but in comparison with that relationship, they are just words.

Thank you for your comment … I am sure we could be friends in “the real world” and have many meaningful conversations.

Peace and Love.

  Rev Dani Lynn wrote @

Beautiful post.

  Stephanie Jill Rudd wrote @

Yes, wonderful post. In UK there is now a movement called the inclusive Church which is by its acceptance of all, is finding itself breaking away from the more fundamentalist views of right and wrong, sin and love held by the Church of England. I believe that whilst many people have turned away from the structure of the churches, they hold spiritual awareness as strongly as ever. This awareness can be complex, such as feeling and finding the peace in Nature, loving and comforting others in need, with no need to ever define this is as recognition of a higher spiritual power or reality. I feel perhaps “God” is too big for us to pin down with a set of rules and a name. Someone once said God is the name of mothers. Thats nice!

  Religion4All wrote @

I agree. I have an 80 yo friend/mentor who is an atheist and the two of us used to go round and about every so often. When I saw the tears and adoration that would pour from him when listening to a beautiful piece of music, or being in nature, or just appreciating beauty … I thought, “You know, he knows God … he just doesn’t use the same name.” 🙂

  Religion4All wrote @

Yes, I have gotten to the place where I feel that to try and define God is really kind of an insult … one is trying to limit an infinite and boundless Creator. I like that! God is the name of mothers … nice :-).


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