I'm so confused. I was raised Christian... (how to respond to my minister brother) [YOU RESPOND]
Sent: Wednesday, February 27, 2008 1:22 PM
Subject: [General Question] How to respond to my minister brother
Robin D. sent a message using the contact form at http://www.rationalresponders.com/contact.
I'm so confused right now. I was raised Christian. My father was a pastor, my brother is a pastor, etc., etc., etc.
At the age of 16 I entered college and slowly but surely became atheist. I didn't tell my family, but my brother suspected it because of comments like "the trinity is incest." After graduation, I had an empiphony. I finally understood Christianity. I wanted to let everyone else understand what I then understood. I joined a Theologiccal seminary, but then I soon realized that I made hastey, unwise, emotional decision. I was in seminary for only one month. I returned to atheism after being a Christian for 4 months.
I told my brother that I was atheist, and we had a philosophical discussion. He gave me three distinct reasons why he is Christian:
1) Because he needs to be (makes him a better person, gives him a moral compass, gives him the drive he needs)
2) No other religion has rocked the world like Christianity, nor does any other religion give so much wisdom.
3) Being Christian has never let him down before.
Unfortunately, I could only give 2 distinct reasons why I am an atheist:
1) I have no reason to believe in God
2) I dont believe in Zeus, Thor, etc.
I later gave a 3rd one, but I hate using this one. 3) Because I believe in the material world and science.
To make a long story short, my brother concluded that I have no reason to not believe in God because I was raised Christian. He would expect someone raised muslim to maintain Islam; someone who is Hindu to stand up for Hinduism; and even someone who was raised atheist to be the best atheist he could be. But I have no excuse for going from Christianity to atheism.
OK, that argument meant nothing to me. But what is tripping me is what followed:
It is arrogance that is my god. I am so arrogant that I wont even give God a chance. Now, lately my entire family has said this to me, and they dont even know Im atheist except my brother. Not only this, my best friend (who is Hindu/atheist) has said that "I'm so arrogant no one can tell me anything." My girlfriend said that I have "such undeserved conceit."
In that 4 month period that I was Christian, however, I was truly different. I was a humble person, and, dare I say, a better person. I was a more joyful person, and I had peace. The day that I resolved my atheism, people noticed a difference in me.
I kind of think that there might be some validity to "arrogance being my god" and I'm too "arrogant to try god." How do I respond to this? More importantly, how do I not carry an arrogant demenor? I lost it during that 4month period, how do I lose it again? Also, how would you respond to the argument that I have no reason to not believe in God?
Atheist Books, purchases on Amazon support the Rational Response Squad server.