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Ten Years Ago I Started this Blog Because I Stopped Believing in God

It’s hard to believe it’s been ten years since I started this blog. I don’t post often on here anymore. I was initially pretty active in writing about my journey in leaving the Christian faith that was kick started after my oldest son declared he was an atheist at the age of 20.

I’m now 58 years old. My oldest son is 38. There’s been one unusual event related to my oldest son’s faith since that I’ll share in a moment.

Ten years ago, my great aunt was on her death bed. She was 92 years old. I remember the 5 hour drive to my hometown, hoping to make it in time to say goodbye before she passed. It was February 2014, and I was still wrestling with my faith. I was still on the fence, but I would soon fall over onto the other side — about to call myself an agnostic — someone who didn’t know if there was a god or not.

During the long car ride, I listened to a variety of debates including one between Christopher Hitchens and John Lennox. The title of that debate was, Is God Great? I was impressed by both men. Both were articulate, intelligent and compelling. I also listened to the debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham on the question, “Is Creation A Viable Model of Origins?“. That debate took place in early February, 2014. I remember concluding that Bill Nye was the clear winner and by far, the more logical and reasonable thinker.

I arrived to my great aunt’s house around 9 PM. My mother had been caring for her during her final days, and my aunt passed away shortly after I arrived. Funeral home caretakers came promptly after her passing, and my mom and I then spent several hours talking about a variety of topics well into the night. I did not share with her that my faith was on its own deathbed. I knew that my mother’s faith had grown in her later years, and this was certainly not the time to discuss all of the troubling questions in my mind.

I stayed in town for several days as plans were made for my great aunt’s funeral. It was nice to spend that substantial time with my mom even though the circumstances were less than happy. On my return trip to home, I contemplated life quite a bit during the five hour trip back to Virginia.

Roughly six weeks later in April 2014, I created this blog to serve as a cathartic outlet about my journey with faith. While I worked to compile my thoughts on the series I would eventually call My Son Told Me He’s an Atheist, I wrote my first post about John MacArthur’s book called “The Gospel According to Jesus”, which constituted my first profound experience with cognitive dissonance while reading that book in the late 1980’s. In a nutshell, I realized that Christians were often deeply divided on the most important part of the whole Bible: what must a person do to be saved!  It was a stunning revelation to me at the time. Christians couldn’t even agree on something as basic as how to be saved.

I feel very fortunate to have received good genes from both my mother and father. My dad is 77 and still plays some tennis every week. My mother has been in good health but she just had a major cancer scare last week. Her prognosis is pretty good so far though.

Experiences with death and severe disease can definitely hit us hard. In the case of my oldest son, his maternal grandmother passed away a few years ago and it played a role as he reconsidered his own faith. He actually shocked me late last year by sharing he now considered himself an agnostic Christian. I’m still not even sure what that is! He met a new girlfriend a year ago. She’s a Christian and my son was truthful in telling her he was an atheist. But it seems the combination of his grandmother’s deathbed pleas about his lost faith and falling in love with a Christian was compelling enough for him to reconsider the value of prayer and faith.

For myself, after living a deeply committed faith for over 30 years, we have to be willing to admit that the Bible was all penned over a long span of time, some 2000+ years ago, by a diverse group of men who lived in a relatively confined area of desert in the Middle East. We don’t have any of the original manuscripts. The hand-written copies we do have are from copies that were made from other copies, ad nauseam. Significant portions of the old testament along with at least 3 of the gospels were written by anonymous authors, and the collective whole contains many contradictions, errors and logical fallacies. The Bible is a very poor source of actual truth, and the only thing that would convince me to reconsider would be solid irrefutable evidence.

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