The Road To Impiety (From “use me Lord” to “fuck that shit”)

“What happened to you? How did you turn into this despicable infidel? Aren’t you the guy who used to preach to us?”

Those are some of the questions in my facebook inbox and have always had to answer every time I meet friends my last interaction with whom dates 5 years back; the days when I was a staunch born again Christian who strongly believed to have been predestined by his heavenly father to do mighty things for ‘the kingdom’. Because of the strenuous work of going over the drill, I’ve decided to reduce it into writing so the next time someone asks me one of the questions above, I’ll just send them this link.

To be honest, I would be lying if I said that those were the worst days of my life. On the contrary, I have many good things to say about my ‘saved days’; I was a sweet boy (not that I’m not anymore), I minded my own business (when I was performing my celestial duty of spreading the “good news”) and led a quiet life. This humility also contributed greatly to the fact that I’ve never got a suspension or warning letter in my entire school life. And this, coupled with my good grades, made my parents quite proud of me.

So what happened? Why would anyone throw away a life that good? Well, let me try to break this down like this. See, as I intimated earlier, I was a passionate believer; radical for Christ is the cool word we liked to use. In my Senior four class, I read this book called God’s Generals and for some reason I convinced myself of a future when Balamaga Rogers would be quoted among names like Aimee Semple McPherson, Smith Wigglesworth, William J. Seymour and Kathryn Kuhlman. But as I widened the scope of the books I read to include secular literature, that’s when the moonwalk started; this is how a believer turns atheist.

Choosing not to believe is hardly ever a decision people make because of the longing to gratify one’s “fleshly desires” like some people are mistaken to think. You just don’t wake up one day and wag a finger to a being you venerated (and mostly feared for the power he’s believed to wield over life and death). There will be that part of you that reminds you of the bipolar nature of your loving father who rips the ground apart and remorselessly entombs 250 men alive with their property, wives, and children for questioning the authority of his loyal servant Moses. Then you tell yourself “that was in the Old Testament and dude doesn’t roll like that anymore.” But still the thought of hell makes every fiber of your body cringe in fear of an eternity spent weeping and gnashing teeth in a lake that burns with fire and brimstone.

Certainly many believers undergo a phase of doubt through which most simply shrug at the face of strong contradictions and find solace in corny sayings like “I would rather live my life as if there is a god and die to find out there isn’t… ” The problem starts when you try to rationalize inconsistencies in the foundation of your faith but you get smitten by the disconcerting reality that the deeper you dig, the more dirt you find.

In most cases, this continues through months (or even years) of silent distress. A period of wondering whether you believe because your faith is the only and absolute truth, or because it’s your family and immediate society’s truth that you’ve come to adopt as your own, a truth for which you’re staking your one and only life here on earth in anticipation for bigger but obscure rewards beyond the sky. You keep wondering whether you would still be as spiritual if the hell aspect was not part of the faith.

At this point you’re not sure of anything. You’re still anchored onto the bible, but the questions keep poking gaping holes in your faith and this makes you batshit scared. You don’t want to throw away your faith…yet, but at the same time you’re not very enthusiastic about the “my-sheep-hear-my-voice” doctrine because you don’t want to be a sheep. You want to know and rationalize what you believe but this bubbling new evidence contrary to what you’ve always believed start to breed mental anguish.

With time, this tennis match in your pious mind degenerates into treasonous fears. For a devout, just reading anything that seeks to satisfy your curiosity from a secular perspective feels like you’re plotting—in his own castle—to oust the omniscient king. You try so hard to fight off these “evil” thoughts but like a drowning man, the harder you fight, the more you’re doomed.  This is occasionally followed by days to weeks of prayer and fasting as the only way you know how to subjugating a pride and evil gripped heart. Day and night, you bury your face between your thighs, asking the God you so badly want to believe is real to do something, anything to save you from drowning, and guess what He does; nothing!

When you finally decide to let your spiritual superiors in on your “dark passenger”, you always get the same not-so-helpful advice to wait on the God who apparently can’t be rushed by a mere mortal to reveal Himself in unambiguous ways. It’s around this point in time that you consider the possibility that the only reason God is not bothered anymore to show He’s God (like he used to in the Biblical days when it was harder to prove the authenticity of tales of miracles) is because you’ve just been talking to yourself all this while. You later realize that even after you decide to move on with your God free life nothing really changes, not even with your oxygen supply. You still succeed in a number of things like you used to in your prayerful days, and fail in others like any committed believer.

Robert Green Ingersole said;

“If there be an infinite Being, He does not need our help, we need not waste our energies in His defense.”

After considerable thought, I also came to a realization that I have just one life to live, if I’m to live it for God then these questions need to be rationally answered. But if they won’t, then fuck that shit.

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21 thoughts on “The Road To Impiety (From “use me Lord” to “fuck that shit”)

  1. Sorry, clicked send before completed sentence.

    I mean that it is not an easy decision to come to. Face up to. When you have known the cosy confines of religion and opt for the scary ‘freedom’ of being irreligious.

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    1. So do you believe because it’s all true and every single bit of it makes sense to you? Or for the fear of being wrong that you would rather live your life as if there’s a God and find out there’s none than risk hell?

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  2. See, as I intimidated earlier, I was a passionate believer;- No you did not intimidate, you intimated, maybe. Naye Roger, leave us alone and we go to our ancestral eternal life – pliz tell me you believe in ‘our’ African spirituality – it is different from the hell and heaven spirituality, you know – just admitting that we humans have two forms, the flesh and the spiritual, full-stop – simple, non? It explains telepathy and other things, it is nothing like the genocidal passover stuff!

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    1. Thanks, I meant to write intimated.

      I don’t want to believe in African spirituality either. I’m not sure I want to believe in any spirituality, I haven’t got a reason to. Many mysterious things (like natural disaster and diseases) for which religion offered God’s anger and demons as an explanation have been clarified by science. A lot more haven’t been explained yet but they may be in due course.
      But even if they don’t, I’m not in any rush for answers, I don’t need to jump onto anything that claims to offer an explanation to what’s going to happen to me when I die. While some people are comforted by the belief that they will enjoy an eternity with their creator, and others cling onto the hope of reincarnating into another form; I would rather believe that I’ll go back to the place where I was before this life and it should feel the same way it did before I found my way here.

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  3. In Rogers Balamaga I find a companion. One who can say what I cant dare say but I believe in. I always thought that it was humanity which created divinity because of many situations they cant explain and so elect to attribute it to super natural divinities. Unlike Rogers when I dared a priest in that school of thought, I was expelled from a seminary but I still think in that direction. Rogers thanks for the guts

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  4. I loved the post as a non-believer myself. It must have been harder for you though because for me I was never really religious beyond believing that there must be a god out there. Loved this

    “You later realize that even after you decide to move on with your God free life nothing really changes, not even with your oxygen supply. You still succeed in a number of things like you used to in your prayerful days, and fail in others like any committed believer.”

    Very true

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  6. Its a good read. I got some perspective. I once had your thoughts. I am a believer. Your questions aren’t unfounded, but asking for rational thought when it seems you’ve made your mind up is unfair to the person answering them. Faith in Christ is given to us by Christ. He is more than evident to me than that next breathe of oxygen I need before I type another word. I would keep searching. Maybe you should read about the conversion of C.S. Lewis. It might kindle what you thought was once there. I hope you can get revelation instead of rationale.

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