Faith Will Fail: My letter to a Church Elder

So a while back one of the elders delivered a message at the church.  And this was just a few weeks after I deconverted.  In his message he talked about faith, doubt, belief, and unbelief.  And in his message he said that unbelief and doubt were not just a sin, but one of the worst kinds of sin.  Then after the message, the pastor of the church, gave like a blanket open challenge to atheism at the end of the service.  I have to say this was the last day I felt welcome at the church, and the last day I felt like I was on the inside of the faith.  My blood was boiling I wanted to scream with frustration at both of them cause of the blatant carelessness and rudeness of their words.  Even now that message still bothers me when I think about it.

So what I did after that message I wrote a letter by e-mail to the elder who delivered that message, because I absolutely abhorred his message, and also cause he needed some correction.

Click Faith Will Fail, A Letter to a Church Elder if you would like to download the whole letter.

Here is an abbreviated excerpt of the letter…..

I remember when giving your message you mentioned after your period of unbelief and doubt, you felt God give an impression into your heart that you should just have FAITH.  That God won’t give you a sign, he won’t give a message in the sky or stars that he won’t give you evidence, but that you should just have faith and obey.  I find this part somewhat unsettling for me, not just because of the unsound perspective of rationalization, but because from a biblical perspective I never found this to be the clanging message of the bible.

YES, in the book of Hebrews chapter 11, faith is the substance of things not seen; however the bible never gives us the impression that we should neglect natural or physical evidence all for the namesake of faith.  In fact the bible says:  “It is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual.”  1 Corinthians 15:46.  Even in reading that, how could I take things on spiritual faith, and neglect the reality of reason or evidence, when even the bible does not encourage that.  I am reminded of a quote that I saw early on in my de-conversion:  “I don’t see how faith is more valuable than a well thought out conclusion.”  So if in a predicament, which one should I make a decision out of: Faith or Evidence?

You may or may not agree with this, but unbelief is only an internet search engine away.  And anyone who has questions about the bible no longer has to go to their parents or pastor or elders of the church.  They can go to the internet.  And from what I’ve seen and read….The internet is killing faith in God.  There is a saying I read before—That the internet is the place religion goes to die!!!…I bring this up, because the message of just have FAITH, will certainly FAIL.  You don’t have to accept this reality, but here is a statistic on this matter.  Since the dawn of the information age of the internet, atheism has doubled in the last ten years.

You may keep your Faith and hold on tight to it, but for those of us who are seekers of truth will recognize that truth is not held in unwavering faith, but in reasonable answers with evidence and rationality.  And for people growing up in the age of the internet, don’t be surprised when you see more and more push blind faith aside and happily eat off the plate of reason, evidence, and science.

Now I do recognize and further apologize if my words seem harsh, but the reality of a godless world is much more truer, than you might think.  America is not becoming a godless society, we have always lived in a world without god, some of us just didn’t know it until now.

Sincerely,

M. Rodriguez

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About M. Rodriguez

When I first received Christ salvation, I made it a priority to read the whole bible and I did. But it was the Bible that made me question my faith. For I found it flawed and lacking. Due to this I launched a personal inquiry/investigation into my faith, and ultimately realized that the Christian God of the Bible was indeed man-made. Now I Blog about those findings and life after Christ.
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14 Responses to Faith Will Fail: My letter to a Church Elder

  1. The last sentence is BRILLIANT!!!!

  2. Nate says:

    I agree! Very well done. I’ll definitely check out the full letter.

  3. ... Zoe ~ says:

    Sounds like a sermon to head off anyone out there who is thinking about the fact that you are an atheist. The heavy emphasis on unbelief being a sin is so typical of fear-mongering. Very manipulative.

    When we resigned from our youth ministry positions, the senior pastor and chairman of the board told the t.v. and sound guys not to record or film that days service and the two of them went after the congregation with a fine tooth comb. People actually left the church after hearing their tirade. They were mindful that the entire congregation as well as the town in which we live would be wondering what in the world happened that Zoe and Biker Dude felt the need to exit the church. So, they went after the congregation that Sunday putting the fear of God and hell in them. What the pastor didn’t know is, one of the sound guys did tape the abusive sermon. He and his wife left the church as a result of what they heard.

    Did the two of you continue to correspond or have you met with silence?

    • M. Rodriguez says:

      it is very minimum talking between me and any of the church elders. And when we do talk it is somewhat basic conversation….Hello, how are you? how’s your week. In fact the elder I wrote this to, did greet me with a handshake and hug last week. So there is no hard feelings there

  4. exrelayman says:

    I read the whole letter. Pretty nicely done, but as local vernacular goes, “good luck” on making an impact there. Sonny concurs with Martin Luther: reason is the enemy of faith. Likelihood of meaningful dialogue seems miniscule. Of course airing the difference out here on the net may cause the seed of the notion of contrasting faith vs critical investigation to reach some other fertile ground. You know in that Gog and Magog business, Gog seems rather close to Google phonetically, doesn’t it?

  5. fabryhistory says:

    An excellent letter – I would be very interested if he responds.
    The sad thing about people behind the wall of religion, is that they deny the existence of the wall, even as they add the bricks. You’ve come a long way to get to your conclusions, don’t be too disappointed if your church elder fails to see reason, or to appreciate your inherent worth.

  6. Noel says:

    Rodriguez, sadly, you are right about many believers using fear and the discouraging of using reason to maintain their religious agenda. It is a massive manipulative approach. However, personally, I have not concluded that there is absolutely no God. Being religious and believing in God is not necessarily the same. I applaud you for standing up to this clergy, since telling people to simply have faith without using evidence is simply wrong.

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