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Stood Up By God

Over the weekend, I had a pretty long conversation with an old friend of mine who up until recently was a Christian. In fact in the ten or so years that I have known him, this was the first conversation we had together in which we were both atheists and he is still having difficulty with the transition.

I asked him about what it was that finally led him t realize that there probably was no God and how he felt after coming to that realization. To be fair, he is very well studied in the Bible and Christianity and I had known for a while that he was having doubts. I even predicted that he would lose his faith and come over to the side of reason. Just as an aside, why aren’t CNN, NPR, MSNBC, and The Religious News Service covering my friend’s de-conversion? “Yale seminary graduate leaves Christianity and becomes an atheist.”

In any case, the final straw for him was sort of a variation of my Ontological Argument for Disproving God. If God really does exist, then God should know what evidence to present to him, be able to present that evidence to him, and would actually do so out of a desire for fellowship with him. Christians have often told me that if I sincerely prayed for God to reveal himself, God would. In the case of my friend (and myself) God didn’t.

My friend relayed an interesting story to me that came from a recovering drug addict that he was counseling. I will paraphrase the story. The addict told him about something that happened to the addict’s sister. The sister was a high school student and a bit of a geek. She was picked on a lot by more popular people and guys were just not into her. Anyway, she started having a conversation with someone online. After several communications, things really started getting romantic and between her and this guy. He seemed to really like her. This went on for quite a while and they finally set up a place and time to meet in person. But when she got there, he never showed up.

As it turns out however, the guy wasn’t real. Two of her female classmates made him up and were carrying on this online romance as a prank. She felt betrayed. While she enjoyed herself a great deal when she believed the guy was real, learning the truth has soured that enjoyment.

This is how my friend feels about God. He had wonderful time as a Christian and Christianity brought him a great deal of comfort and enjoyment, but now that he knows the truth, all that has been soured to him. While he understands that he was never lied to by people who deliberately tried to deceive him, he still feels anger and betrayal similar to that of the high school girl who was the victim of that prank. God stood him up.

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