Turning to God for Help

I figure that the best question to answer first is the one that is the most pertinent to recent events.  This question was posed by Abandoned Barns regarding Jack’s concussion.

“Any point during this ordeal you thought about turning to God for help?”

Simple answer.  No.

I did not turn to god for help.  I did not even think about praying or putting it out there that I needed his help.  When I prayed about the little boy who was verbally abused by the teacher I had time to think and to mull over the situation.  There was time to reflect and time to for the idea to get in my head.

This was my child, my emergency, my right now.  Even after my husband ran with my unconscious child up the stairs at the stadium I didn’t have time to think about asking god for anything?  Why? Because I am not a Christian.  God is not where I go to for help.  I don’t ask magical forces to fix my issues or my child.  I can say things like “I hope that x, y or z does or does not happen” but I am not asking a mythical figure to change the things in my life.  I am really just talking to myself knowing full well that what will happen will happen.  Somethings are just out of my control.  That does not mean they have to be in the control of someone else.  I suppose that is the big difference.  I know that some things are out of my control, and some things I can control if I would just do something.  Christians want to have God in control.

One of the comments I have received has been about the difference of living “like” a Christian versus “as” a Christian.   I cannot live as a Christian because I am not one. I do not believe.  I have been trying to live like a Christian but it does seem that “fake it til you make it” doesn’t work with belief.   I can pretend and I can do all the things that Christians do like go to church and pray and red the bible but overall that has not changed what I believe.  So when it came to a moment in my life where I was not in control of the situation at all I did not turn to God because he’s not there.

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23 thoughts on “Turning to God for Help

  1. You are right. It can’t be faked.
    If you really want to dive deep into your experiment, you have to trust. And you have to ask for forgiveness. You have to humble yourself.
    Otherwise it’s just play acting and intellectual gymnastics.

    • I tend to agree with Vince on this one. It is interesting to watch, but it is acting…Not that you aren’t doing well at that. I myself love a good show. But, being a Christian starts with something deep inside of you…not going through the motions. There are actual people proclaiming to be Christians that go through the motions, but it never reaches their hearts. And it shows.

      • It’s not about being “willing” to believe. Belief is certainly not a choice. I can’t choose to believe that my neighbor telepathically communicates with President Obama without some sort of evidence. It’s just too far-fetched for my brain to decide that it sounds legit. By that same token, the whole Christian religion (and all the other ones) is too far-fetched and not backed up by any observable evidence that my brain can’t process it as being legit. It’s not that I’ve “hardened my heart” or that I’ve “turned away from God”, it’s that I don’t believe and I can’t believe. And trust me, I’ve tried!

        • Hi, Molly.

          I am the first to say I am completely hopeless in arguments like these because I don’t have all the answers. I do my best debating when I can understand the other point of view, but when it comes to this argument, I have no point of reference. I find the complexity of life all too big to not have Someone behind it. That being said, it is what it is. People have free wills, and they are entitled to believe what they want….

          • Oops, I responded to the wrong comment.

            But I will say, it’s not about believing what I want to believe. I would actually prefer to be a Christian. Christians in America have it so easy, why wouldn’t I want to be a part of the dominant group? But I can’t, and believe me I’ve tried.

  2. Hi there, yes you can only live a Christian life if you do believe and do trust, and if you know that God is real, not a ‘mythical figure’.

    I’ve not yet come across anyone who is willing to believe that God is real and who has sought him who has not found him.

    Interesting experiment!

  3. findingthewaytogod, the two are not mutually exclusive. It is possible for God to be both real and mythical. A myth is merely an explanation as to why or how something is. People often wrongly assume that a myth is not real, but this does not have to be the case. Of course, the most common myths that people think of tend to be (eg) Classical Greek and Roman religions. Any religion is a mythology. I know of several Christians who are quite happy to acknowledge that God is mythical, but know that he is real.

  4. I searched for him and I thought I totally found Him. But it turns out I really just wanted to believe something was there and fit in with my peers. While the myths and philosophies can be comforting or useful (and the opposite is true- there are things that are horrible and should never be practiced), that doesn’t make them true. I actually find some of the other comments quite condescending. I don’t know why, but it reminds me of that ridiculous phrase, “There are no Atheists in foxholes.” I don’t understand why Christians feel the need to undermine our choice not to believe in something that has no proof and can’t understand why Atheist prefer logic, reason, and evidence. I’m not sure if they say things like that just to make themselves feel better and reassure their own insecurities about their beliefs.

    • I’m sorry you didn’t find what you were looking for. But I think all your arguments work the other way also. It is kind of condescending to insinuate that Christians don’t have the same intelligence levels atheists do. I, too, prefer logic, reason, and evidence. My conclusions were different from yours. And Christians keep trying to reach the people who don’t believe because by our logic, we don’t anyone going to hell. It shows an ability to care for someone else besides themselves. Because, let’s be honest here…I know I’m going to heaven. Why should I care if you’re there too?

      Here’s my logic: If I’m wrong, and there is no God, no afterlife, no nothing…then what have I lost? I am happy here on earth trying to be a somewhat decent person, empathetic, compassionate, etc. If I’m right, cool. I get to go on living in heaven for eternity.

      If you’re right, great. We still share the same fate. If you’re wrong, then to me, it seems you take a pretty big gamble with eternity.

      I guess I don’t understand what isn’t logical about that.

      • Pascal’s wager is just way too simplistic. You could say the same thing of virtually any religion.

        And what have you lost? Connection with the true nature of reality that could lead to real life changing knowledge and wisdom. And not just life changing for you, but everyone else your life touches. I don’t think you would be fully happy and satisfied with your life if you came to believe late on that Christianity was not true.

        And I don’t think the action of proselytizing is completely altruistic. I find that people who proselytize often strengthen their own faith by converting others.

        • I guess all our arguments work both ways. You can’t prove He doesn’t exist and you say I can’t prove He does. I know why I proselytize… strengthening my faith has nothing to do with it.

          I read all the History of God books, and a person I love very much was an atheist after being a Christian. All I can say is that my God may be, to you and others, a mythological creature, but it seems that atheists work particularly hard to discredit something they tend to dismiss as a crutch for the uneducated and the simple-minded. And I don’t know anyone who’s been swayed from their beliefs based on a couple of good debates. They might exist, but I haven’t seen it personally.

          Here’s the thing. I don’t need to prove God exists. He just does. All the arguments in the world aren’t going to change facts. Once upon a time, the people argued that the world was flat…Because they had well-thought out arguments and excellent vocabulary, was it indeed flat? No. Facts are facts whether they can be proved to our satisfaction or not.

          Just my two cents….

          • People aren’t swayed by debates because as Jon Haidt points out, our mind is like an emotional dog with a rational tail. The tail cannot wag the dog. He also uses the analogy of a rider on an elephant. The elephant is our more ancient and visceral emotional responses and if the elephant wants to go somewhere the rational rider is often powerless to stop him. This goes all the way back to David Hume who was one of the first to really emphasize that rationality is a servant to our passions.

            Also we are a product of our temperaments and personal experience. And it is the variety of human experience that often brings wisdom over time.

            I used to be a Christian, I don’t see religion or spirituality as a crutch. I see it as a very real and salient subjective experience. It took me a VERY long time to leave Christianity after I first had doubts, because at a subconscious level the social ties that bind us together are extremely powerful and difficult to break, regardless of the circumstances.

            People may not be easily swayed by debates but it is important to keep an open dialogue. I appreciate your open and honest responses here, even though I disagree with you.

          • Same here, SciAwakening…It is nice to have a conversation without getting insulting. Thank you too!

      • Yeah, we’ve all heard of Pascal’s Wager. For me, it’s like some crazy person telling me to believe that his parents are aliens who invented bubbles, or else. Well, sorry, but a threat like that is just laughable, isn’t it? There’s no reason for me to believe that some guy’s parents are aliens who invented bubbles, and threatening me isn’t going to make it any more believable. How about, instead of threatening eternal damnation to try to scare people into believing (that is such a ridiculous way of going about that!), Christians find some actual observable evidence that their claims aren’t a bunch of fantastic B.S.

  5. You know we love you anyway… that’s what we do. And thanks for the nod, I’m glad something I said made you think. But, I would still like to make an argument for the reality of God in this whole experiment. 🙂

  6. Hi guys, yes Brittany / Bird – I’ve got two scientific degrees and am totally happy with the logic, reason and evidence for my position as an evangelical Christian. Lots are, like Francis Collins and Alister McGrath. I think you can be intellectually satisfied in your position whether you are an athiest or a believer. But is your soul satisfied? I can’t speak for anyone else but me, but before I truly gave my life to God and trusted Jesus, my life was nothing compared to what it is now. It’s been transformed by love.

  7. Good morning,
    Thank you for the candor in the answer above to my question. I hope I haven’t got you sore; your response seems to me as if you may be a little annoyed by my comments. What you should understand is that part of being Christian is the process of becoming a Christian. In fact it’s a process that we as Christians never finish. We share our stories with one and other; to encourage each other, to ask for opinion and interpretation, to help support each other. It’s just what we do. So please understand, I’m not trying to force my beliefs on you, but if you say that you want to live life as a Christian (even temporarily), folks are gonna want to share their stories with you.

    Given your response, I guess what I don’t understand is; why are you actually doing this? What is it that you’re hoping to get out of it? Are you endeavoring to examine your own beliefs, or is this a social experiment, or just something that you thought was a cool thing to write about? Because here’s my concern about your empirical design: that is that the very process of “acting like” a Christian detracts from the experience of being a Christian.

    For example, if an old woman in front of me in line at the Piggly Wiggly turns to me and says “thank you son for your patience” after spending ten minutes digging through her purse to find the exact change and I say “your welcome” is it Christian? That woman has no idea that I’ve secretly in my head been hating her for the last five minutes. I know that as a Christian I’m supposed to show patience:

    “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, competing against one another, envying one another.” — ~Galatians 5:22-26

    but have I? I’ve made it look like I had patience, but on the inside I’m showing my butt like my raging two year old. So what’s more important to behave Christian or to actually be Christian? I think most atheists would assume the former – opiate of the masses and all, as long as religion keeps us from killing each other at the Piggly Wiggly it’s doing its job, but for me it’s not what Paul is saying in the above scripture. He’s not saying you need to act like you have the fruit of the Spirit, he’s saying this is what the fruit of the Spirit is. If you’re not feelin it, something’s wrong!

    The churches are literally full of folks who are acting “like” Christians, but who are unwilling to examine their own hearts.

    ”The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips then walk out the door and deny him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply find unbelievable.”

    ~Brennan Manning

    That conflict between our inner selves and our outer selves, what’s actually in our hearts and what we think it looks like is in our hearts, between being Christian and looking like Christians – this erodes our love, joy, peace, patience etc. – it actually takes away from the Christian experience. So I’m not so sure how you can experiment with living as if you were a Christian, when the process of doing so in inherently not being Christian.

    Dy-Anne, being a Christian is not about going to church, or bible study, or how much you pray, or any of these things, you can do it without ever setting foot inside a church. It’s about having a relationship with Jesus and that’s really it. Everything else; church, bible reading, prayer, good works, not hating old ladies at the Piggly Wiggly… These things become a function of our faith. But faith actually requires faith and without it, I’m not sure how you could gauge, on any level, what it means to live life as a Christian.

    Does that make any sense?

  8. Dy-Anne, I know that you did not pray with your words, but God does hear our thoughts and knows our deepest desires. Do you think that maybe God performed a miracle by protecting your son? Shouldn’t Jack have logically been very hurt from such a nasty fall? You heard the crack of his head hitting the ground, yet your tiny child has no permenant damage from it. That is pretty amazing to me!

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