Profession of faith?

I can remember the last time my belief in God was absolute. Unquestioning. Childlike because I was a child then, ten or thereabouts. I didn’t just believe. I wasn’t merely convinced. I looked up into the sky and knew that God resided somewhere up there. I knew that He heard my prayers and loved me but wouldn’t hesitate to punish me if I sinned. I also knew the Bible was His word and it was true from the first verse to the last. Bible verses often accompanied my mother’s reprimands. Like honour thy father and thy mother, the only commandment with a promise. They always prompted me to plead with God to forgive me. I felt sorry for non-Christians because they did not believe in the one true God like I did. No matter how good they were, they’d be denied a place in Heaven because of their unbelief. I had close friends belonging to Buddhist and Hindu and Muslim families. I never questioned why God was going to reward my goodness and not theirs. And, growing up in a poor country, I was confronted by extreme poverty all the time, but I never wondered why God ignored the struggles of poor people, even of those who believed in Him. My faith was unaffected by peripheral vision, insight or intellect. My undeveloped mind was susceptible to indoctrination. I simply believed what adults told me.

And then I grew older. And the way I looked at many things began to change. I asked questions and was told to stop questioning God, stop allowing Satan to undermine my faith. We, mere mortals, could not understand the workings of His mind. The people who told me these things seemed to know some of the workings of God’s mind because they insisted that He answered their prayers, even performed miracles in their lives. I realised that the questions I was asking could not be answered. But they kept coming and the foundations of my faith crumbled.

I clung to my belief in the God of my childhood for many years, just in case all that indoctrination turned out to be true. One day in my late twenties I decided to throw out my religious beliefs. Every single one that defied logic on my terms. I have never returned to them, never regretted that decision. It liberated me.

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