I have talked with a lot of members of The Lasting Supper, many of you one on one. Something that frequently comes up in our conversations is the fear of becoming an atheist. I want to talk about that today.
Let’s look at it from an entirely Christian perspective. This is what I’ve always said to try to encourage people facing this fear: if God is God, gracious, loving, compassionate and fully of understanding and patience, who wants you to be intellectually honest and clear of conscience, then you have to trust that you are not only allowed to explore this path of your journey, but that you must! You have to proceed without being certain of the outcome. This is faith. Like Jonah when thrown overboard, he had no assurance that he would miraculously make it to shore. You need to give yourself permission to enter the darkest depths no matter where it might lead. This is what the metaphor of crucifixion stands for.
From a non-Christian perspective I would say that you have to respect yourself and trust yourself. If your thoughts and conscience are leading you away from belief then you have to proceed. You would be robbing yourself if you didn’t. You would be offending your own mind and your own conscience, and that is not healthy.
The other night during the Potluck Hangout, Pam said, “… and if I were to become an atheist… so be it!” A Christian and a non-Christian have to be able to say this at some point. I know it is scary for many. But isn’t that a part of the human journey? Like a mountain pass, sometimes we have to pass through some very dark tunnels to get to our destination. If you end up still a believer or an atheist, at least you can say you didn’t get there by default, but by choice.
So this Friday at 7pm PST we are having another Potluck Hangout called “I Think I’m An Atheist”. This might not be for everybody. Four of our members who are atheists or at least strongly agnostic are going to serve on a panel to discuss this issue. I hope it will help to alleviate some of the myths surrounding atheism and agnosticism, and perhaps make our journeys through difficult times a little easier. I want to emphasize that the opinions expressed in the Hangouts don’t necessarily reflect the theological position of TLS. The Potlucks are simply a vehicle for our members to contribute their own unique flavors from their own unique lives.
Are you interested? CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP. It will be recorded to view later if you can’t make it.