Home > Christianity > Day 3 in the Life of a Christian Atheist

Day 3 in the Life of a Christian Atheist

So far, atheism FAIL for me. Seriously. The em-phah-sis has decidedly been put on the Christian aspect so far. (Also, I have no issues splitting infinitives in case you didn’t know.)

The ironic thing about trying to live as if God doesn’t exist is that my mind has decidedly shifted to constantly thinking about God. For example, I catch myself doing “Christian” things when I don’t want to:

These certainly are not the actions of someone who wants to be an atheist or even thinks atheistically.

One could argue that I’m just following habits and that habits, including Christian ones, are hard to break. But why am I developing Christian habits once I’ve decided to try and abandon my faith for a week?

Or perhaps, a likelier scenario: these habits have been here all along and I’ve been so consumed with perfectionism in the Christian life (trying to “do” things on my own) that I’ve never noticed them.

One of my struggles as a Christian has always not been doing enough for God. I’m always frustrated by how I’m not doing the MAJOR things in life, ie, converting masses of degenerates to the praise and glory of God!!!  (Sorry, I couldn’t resist the fundy Baptist term “degenerates.”)

On a more realistic, practical level, I am frustrated that I haven’t accomplished the following:

  • Organizing seminars and workshops through my church that ministers to the practical needs of women in the community, ie, shortcuts and tips to navigating a computer; 30-minute meals (or 15 for when the kids are screaming); audiobooks & e-readers: why use them and how?
  • Setting up a breakfast/soup table on a Saturday in a poorer area to minister to the people of that community
  • Spearheading events for women who need monthly fellowship to relax, unwind, or discuss issues that are weighing on their hearts (à la “Mental Health Anonymous”)

Those are a few practical ideas I have in mind (inspired by library events) that I think could be a good part of church outreach. Perhaps they’re middle-class-ish, but I don’t think too many women would be put off by prayer at the beginning and end of a seminar if they can walk away with some useful and valuable tips that make their lives easier or more enjoyable.

These are things I haven’t done and want to do. As a result, I constantly count my missteps rather than my steps:

  • Didn’t do devotions today!
  • Didn’t pray today!
  • Didn’t bless a Shih Tzu today!
  • Didn’t do the sign of the cross while driving past St. Katherine’s today! (Oops, wrong denomination.)

You get the point. I’m so busy focusing on all the things that I don’t do as a Christian that I begin overlooking the things that are good and right and noble and all those nice things that are somewhere in the Bible. (And because I’m a demi-atheist, I am not looking up the chapter and verse which is probably somewhere in Philippians 4:8.)

And perhaps—just maybe—some Christians trying to live as atheists for a day may improve their relationship with God (as mine seems to be slowly doing; ugh!). Maybe by actively avoiding God, some Christians will be drawn closer to Him instead of trying to passively grow closer to Him.

What think ye?

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  1. February 2, 2011 at 11:23 AM

    At this point you are still confused. You are torn between serving God and enjoying the old habits that are very hard to break. It is okay for you to put everything in balance. The Lord did not say that you stop enjoying life but what He ask is that in everything that we do, seek His kingdom first.

  2. estreitta
    February 2, 2011 at 3:25 PM

    Kass:

    I’ve always believed that God looks at our heart first and foremost. “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks…” It’s what we have in our heart that affects and reflects all aspects of our faith or even lack of faith. Many times our mind or thoughts get in the way of our heart, but thats why we are called to transform and renew our mind.

    I think that many Christians view God as a Classroom Teacher grading us on every action. I do believe He always wants us to make choices that produce life and not death, because that leads to righteousness. But He isn’t wanting us to fail only the enemy does. Even when we do mess up or fail God is always waiting with open arms.

    I thought maybe Ephesians 4:7-12 out of the Message Bible might bring you some encouragement:

    You were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly. You have one Master, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who rules over all, works through all, and is present in all. Everything you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness. But that doesn’t mean you should all look and speak and act the same. Out of the generosity of Christ, each of us is given his own gift.

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