And then the warmth left the room


It happened very recently that I had a sit down with some of my christian friends. It was a usual thing, nothing special but as always a few theological fine points were up for discussion. When it came to me, I recalled my experience of finding God and then walking with him. There were smiles all around the room for we all had seen and shared some time and all of my friends had witnessed how my life had had a turn around for God. So recounting what I had been pondering for over a year in silence and what I had begin to properly understand quite recently I mentioned that I found it a real beautiful thing that God had used evolutionary mechanisms to derive life and that the whole structure was so self sustaining that even without any active interference from God, it had the tendency to carry on natural work. I also said that Adam and Eve may have been factual people but the story of Genesis 1 is more of a lesson rather than a strict scientific account and it was never meant to be taken literal. And that I do not think the story in all of its detail is factual.

Silence fell!

Everyone looked at me with mixed expression, raised eyebrows and might I add, a few frowns. A few of them shook their heads in dismay. And then, when I was just a wee bit nervous, I began to understand my mistake. The cat was out of the bag. And then came the barrage of questions and rhetoric and accusations, clocked at 200 miles an hour with no stops. To be honest for a moment I thought I was standing in front of the inquisition.

From being asked why I would reject “The word of God” to “Are you even a christian, do you even believe in a Christ?”…I was spared “the devil’s spawn” but one of my friends even implied that when he said that by holding on to such lies, I was “doing satan’s work” and “pushing others away from God and leading them astray”…one of them called me “spiritually blind” and that “the bible is worthless to you”.

I was dumbfounded, and I noticed while my friends were still there, the brotherly love and christian warmth that I had felt all those years, had left the room.

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18 thoughts on “And then the warmth left the room

  1. John,

    Why most people are willing to put their brain in a jar when it comes to their faith has always mystified me. Bono is quoted as saying “The less you know, the more you believe.” While you can no more disprove the Genesis account of creation than your friends can prove it, it is their reaction to your non-conformance that has been proven to be at odds with the very teachings they profess to hold to. It is this very rejection that forced Ghandi, having studied Jesus teachings, to say “I would become a follower of Jesus Christ if not for His followers.” Hang in there buddy, there’s nothing more powerful than a strong faith backed by a strong intellect.

    Respect REDdog

  2. Yes, I can comprehend your feelings in this situation. I find that being a Christian can sometimes be a lonely place. You want to belong but you don;t want to achieve this my merely agreeing with others and conforming. It makes the admittance of doubt lead to isolation, the expression of ideas lead to accusations, and the transparency of your thoughts and feelings lead to a vulnerability which is too painful. I once disclosed in a Christian Scripture Study group “I disagree with what Paul is saying here in this verse.” and was immediately labelled because i expressed that thought. I learnt to guard my tongue but it no longer felt like I was travelling with my fellow Christians.

  3. This is a sad story, and I can completely relate to the circumstance. I acquiesce that most people are believers, and in order to keep the mood positive, I usually don’t confess that I am an atheist. Yesterday at work, someone asked me to pray for him. I answered, “It’s definitely the time to pray.” So yeah, I feel as though I have to lie in order to avoid the “barrage of questions and rhetoric and accusations,” and, to be honest, the blatant superiority and judgement I typically must stand up to when someone finds out I’m not a believer.

    Your story is at least a way to help you confirm your own beliefs when challenged, and a way to see a deeper side of the people in your life. I can tell you are strong and you’ll find a way to grow from this.

  4. Well done Crystal for making a comment on this blog. Sometimes i keep my mouth shut to avoid a barrage of “questions, and rhetoric and accusations” when surrounded by certain atheists.Perhaps we all feel better if other people agree with us but i do like to retain the right to express my thoughts..

    • Thanks for the props. :-) It is so hard to be loving and open as often as I should, but I keep working at it. I try to stay humble and listen more than I talk. You are RIGHT to want to retain the right to express yourself honestly, and it takes so much courage sometimes. But the payoff can be pretty good, like when an unknown e-person shows some appreciation, like you and Hana.

      • All my life I was an outsider. In basic school, on high school, etc. I heard all the time that I am strange. At the beginning was kind of hard, but then I got used to loneliness. Nowadays I am even thankful for that as I am not dependent of what others think. I stand for what I believe and do not hide it. I am me.
        – unknown e-person Hana :)

  5. You know what, John? It also always kicks me to fight for the love, for the good, and since am already a believer, to fight for Christ. I will never abandon this fight. (i hope i won’t)
    Born as idealist, i hope will die as idealist too.

    • I think that is a great passion hana. There are plenty of unjust people in the world and a lot of people suffer because of such people. I hope we could always stand for Christ and our fellow men.

  6. I find it fascinating that this particular thread has struck such a chord. It must have to do with our deep desire to belong and be accepted. Hanna, like all of us, obviously has a deep desire to be accepted and her experience at secondary school represents the peak of this desire.
    Crystal, the ‘atheist,’ has a sensitivity and broad-mindedness to respond to this Christian blog
    Meanwhile I am enjoying the fact that through the miracle (and the anonymity?) of the internet I can genuinely empathise and feel compassionate about these wonderful human beings. Is this because I don;t know their history, where they are coming from, their appearance, age, social status, so i need not fear or “box” them into some convenient category?

    • Maybe we are on internet since not accepted by people :). (Joke)
      No, we wrote without fear which may partially be caused by anonymity. We were open and now this openess is appreciated by others.
      And people should not be putting other people into boxes. Some months ago one my friend was doing this to me. Trying to put me in one of his boxes instead of exploring who I really am.
      We may not have enough boxes for people we meet.
      You seem to be one who does not try to put us in your boxes. You ask why. Mmm. You should know better than we. So I ask now you – why?

      • Your question deserves an answer, and when I reflect I realise I often do put people in boxes, although I an trying to reduce the habit.Often when I use the word “they” I do this generalising because it makes it easier to communicate and I can feel a little superior if I can objectify a group. Thus if I meet a few atheists like Crystal I can easily say “That’s what they (atheists) think” In fact I have only talked to a few atheists so I have no right to make that statement yet it can often make me more comfortable and feel right in my beliefs if I do so…..a subtle self righteousness if you like. Perhaps the inclination to box people,or things, has saved us in the past. After all if a tiger leaps out in front of me it is best to conclude it Is dangerous rather than hesitate by asking the question whether this particular tiger is dangerous.

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