One thing I’be been thinking about lately is the importance of Jesus in the lives of Christians. Nothing else comes close to their dedication to him. Not their love for their families or respect for others, nothing. This post on Ruth Hadock’s blog really brought it home for me. I had a similar experience growing up. I remember singing worship songs at church that have pretty full on lyrics. I used to sing them with all my heart:
“All I am is yours,”
“Every breath I take I breathe for you”
“Everything I am for your kingdom’s cause”
Now I cringe whenever my parents play songs like this at home. When I was becoming an atheist, it was a harsh realisation when I understood that my parents loved God more than they loved me. I wonder if they would go as far as their beloved Abraham did, sacrificing their own child on His command.
In church a few months ago, one of the speakers was talking about the death of his non-Christian father. When he found out his dad had only a couple of weeks left to live, he went straight to the hospital and started preaching to his dying father. His father did not want to hear it, so much so that he spent his last days with his lawyer, taking his son out of his will.
Some Christians seem to lose all sense of human decency and respect for others when it comes to proselytising. Instead of spending the precious last moments having quality time with his father, he ruined the entire relationship. All for the sake of Jesus.
Matthew 10:34 -37 jumps to my mind:
“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household. Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”
I had a really uncomfortable and slightly upsetting experience at church this week (my parents make me go, even when I’m hungover like I was this week. Lol.) I’m moving away to go to university in a couple of weeks, and this same church speaker who preached to his dying father, wanted the whole congregation to pray for me. Now, this guy is a pretty close to my family. He knows I don’t believe Christianity. He knows that I don’t want anything to with the Christian God. Yet he called me up on stage to be prayed for. I said no. So he came down the aisle, put his hand on my shoulder and said a massive long prayer. It took all I had in me not to walk out. I was sitting next to my grandma (who still doesn’t know I’m an atheist) which made it even harder. Everyone in the church had their head bowed in prayer for me, while I sat there staring straight ahead, fuming. It was completely humiliating. I’m an atheist! Don’t fucking pray for me in front of a couple hundred people! He even prayed that God would help me through my questioning. It felt so patronising! Your God isn’t real, dickhead.
The guy even thanked God for my passion for law and that he would help me in pursuing it. I’m not even studying law. Thanks for getting to know me. (I only got accepted for law at shitty, small universities, so I’m doing International Studies instead. Which I’m totally cool with. Lot less debt.) As my boyfriend said after the service: “You’re not passionate about law, you’re passionate about what’s right and wrong.” Damn straight. And Christianity is bloody wrong. Especially when some Christians forget the “love your neighbour” verses in favour of the afore mentioned ones.
I fully understand that this guy honestly believes that enough prayer will save my soul. I know he means well. But please, have some respect for other people and their right to peacefully disbelieve without being put-on-the-spot unwillingly in front of so many people who are so disappointed in me.
Just Saying: This post is more about venting than any logical objections to Christianity. Sorry if you don’t like swear words. Also, I understand that not all Christians are like this guy. It just made me a bit cross and upset and I need to let it out.