This is heartbreaking stuff. If you haven’t been following Nate’s deconversion story at Finding Truth, I highly recommend it. Read the whole series. Nate seems like a decent, humble, caring person, but because of his family’s and former church’s strict beliefs, they have “withdrawn” from him. Yesterday, at the conclusion of Nate’s series of posts, his father commented, in part:
I know this has been a painful journey, but even more so for your family who loves you more than life itself. It is obvious from many of the comments that quite a few people who have a belief in God think God requires nothing of them. However, if one believes that God is, and that Jesus is His son, and the Bible is the Word of God, the guide for our lives, then withdrawal is not a choice, but a duty. Submitting our will to God’s is sometimes difficult, but we must do it if we are to be pleasing to God… I would rather forgo this short time on earth with someone I love and cause them to rethink their position and circumstance and hopefully return to God, thereby spending all eternity in Heaven with them….
I understand that the great majority of Christians would not go this far. But based on Nate’s writing, I take this man at his word that he truly loves his son, and that he feels that the logic of his beliefs requires him to do this.
My point in linking to this is that I think it demonstrates, as tragically as anything could, the moral abomination of a deep, consistent faith in a judgmental god. It’s a good thing that most believers–even those who believe in hell and that unbelievers will go there–are too weak in their faith and too unconsciously humanistic to apply the logic of their beliefs in this way. Thank goodness for make-nice hypocrisy!
And it is one of the perversions of religion that its most dedicated believers–the people who are sincerely committed to doing the right thing regardless of personal cost–are the ones most likely to inflict this kind of needless misery on the people around them.