I spent the first 22 years of my life believing in the God of the Old Testament and the next 18 years believing that I had been wrong for 22 because I hadn’t accepted the Grace of God introduced by Jesus.
So basically, for 40 years, I believed that God was watching me, recording my thoughts, and following me around. How creepy!
At the beginning of the second phase of my life — when I accepted Jesus — I believed, by faith, that God was omnipresent. I had questions about omnipresence, but no real answers. “Who cares how he does it,” I'd have to tell myself, “He’s God; he can do anything He wants.”
I was a computer science student at the time, and when I graduated, I became a programmer. At that time mainframes were "in," as compared to today, when personal computers are popular. After a couple of years of life in Christianity, the idea of omnipresence still puzzled me. I started thinking that God couldn’t possibly be literally everywhere. He was probably more like a mainframe, watching everybody through some sort of computer connection. I still felt, however, that He was personally observing my every move.
After awhile, I imagined that God couldn’t possibly be less efficient than the computer systems I was working with. Therefore, He wouldn't need to follow me around, observing my every move. He could have a video camera of sorts, recording my every move. And somehow he could figure out when I was in trouble and rush to help me. I supposed prayers had something to do with it all.
Then I moved into studying databases and got the idea that God had a database about me where all my actions were recorded. And just like computer databases, there were triggers and stored procedures (pardon my French) to alert God of my dangerous sins and my troubles.
Later, I concluded that God probably didn’t need any “hardware” to keep up his surveillance of me. I had a built-in computer program which ran 24/7. The program was the Holy Spirit, which communicated to God anything He needed to know.
About five years ago, I decided that humans were born with built-in spiritual microchips which connected us directly to God. That’s how we could all have an instant connection with Him. It was almost like a live satellite link, but more advanced, since God knew all.
Two years ago, I finally resolved that God really didn’t give a damn about me — He couldn’t possibly be so freaky as to want to know everything I do all the time. Human laws call that kind of behavior stalking. Stalkers are considered freaks, mentally ill, misfits. Why would the creator of everything behave that way?
I also concluded that if God is loving and mentally balanced, He’s got to have a healthy and non-controlling relationship with His kids. He'd have to be far better than even the good, loving, successful parents I know. If I wouldn't want a freaky, overbearing, controlling parent, why would I want a God like that? No thanks.
Nowadays, I don’t believe there is "a God." I am a pantheist. We are all god. God is all. God is not a person. There is no "One Who Cares." I am no different from a tree. The energy which sustains the universe is the force behind all. There is not a human-like Being behind everything.
But, who knows what I will believe tomorrow. I am not willing to commit to only one pattern of thinking ever again. I retain the freedom to change my mind at will.
Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)