Why I want to believe in God.

An atheist asked me a great question:

“But anyway: if this way of thinking makes you happy, then go ahead, as this doesn’t disturb me. But you would be exactly as happy as you are if you would stop in having the need to related to something which is out of reach. What for? Why? This aspect interest me, can you comment on it?”

I love a question that cuts through the tangential and secondary obfuscations and gets to the pragmatic bottom line: Why do I want to believe in God?

I didn’t have a succinct processed answer. I guess I thought it was self-evident. Obviously important. And my Christian friends have asked what is essentially the same question:

“Chris, why are you spending so much time trying to find answers to unanswerable questions? Just accept it on faith and quit tormenting yourself.”

So I am sitting down at my desk this Saturday morning to see if I have an answer.

ONE: Science is good for How but incompetent for Why. 

Many of my atheist friends say they believe in science as if that precludes the metaphysical and the spiritual. As if science and spirituality answer the same questions. I believe that science and the spiritual are both part of Ultimate Reality. Two sides of the same coin. One is focused on discovering Physical Reality. The other is focused on Metaphysical Reality. There are aspects of life that depend on metaphysical revelation to find the ‘good’ understanding and the ‘good’ action. Pure scientific pragmatism produces Eugenics and its moral equivalents. Even my atheists friends are ‘borrowing transcendence’ on a daily basis. Because the things that matter most to us are ‘the good things’ that are valued far beyond their material and pragmatic value.

TWO: I want to know the Best Way to Live. 

Often the wisdom and religious streams of mankind are rich sources for the best way to live. We join the ancient conversations and bring our contemporary and individual understandings to them. It doesn’t require being stuck in pagan thought and superstition. It means building upon the spiritual work that has been done just as we build on historical knowledge and experience in disciplines such as Psychology, Science, Politics, and Economics.

It is significant if there is a Higher Consciousness guiding humans to make progress in all aspects of the human experience. It is even more significant if I can make conscious contact with that Higher Consciousness and involve that Higher Consciousness in the daily experiences that add up to the sum total of my life.

THREE: I want to understand my Many Spiritual Experiences. 

Right now I am sitting at my desk in my bedroom looking out the window on the on the early November snowscape. It is a beautiful mix of fall colors and white snow. When I take a moment to be present with nature I feel my internal RPMs downshift to an idle. My breaths naturally come deeper and slower. The voice in my head becomes quiet. I feel at one with the rhythm of nature rather than my typical Race Against Time mindset. I would also say that I feel Love. And a Presence. And a Connection. And I gain Clarity. Out of this place my intuition is very powerful. I am able to reframe and find perspective.

Many would say that is simply Mindfulness. While Mindfulness does describe my experience I believe that term falls short of a full explanation. A more comprehensive and satisfying description would be a personal connection with a Higher Consciousness.

FOUR: I want to participate in a Meaningful Meta-Narrative

Of course Atheists can find meaningful ways to engage life. But then the earth will eventually be engulfed by our sun when it swells into a Red Giant. For me it would be very meaningful if our existence is more than a random occurrence. Most humans intuitively believe there is more to life and existence than that we are simply the result of a long, random chain of cause and effect that can be traced back to the Singularity. If life was created intentionally then there is some purpose to it. Maybe we can examine life and, in combination with our spiritual experiences, discern what gives life meaning.

FIVE: I want there to be Life after Death

If there is Life after Death it significantly re-frames this life.

I want to be reassured that I will see loved ones from this life in the next. And that I will see them set free from the faulty material of their bodies. Free from disease, injury, addictions and mental illness.

At nearly 54 I have entered a season of life where my chances of dropping dead significantly increase each year. Each year my body loses functionality. And I am definitely not getting better looking. My life will end before get a chance to do and to learn and to experience many meaningful and engaging experiences.

I know. I should have a bucket list.

But I am not talking about parachuting or getting a tattoo or going to see the Eiffel Tower.

I am talking about studying physics. I am talking about mastering a musical instrument. I am talking about living out entire new careers. Living lifetimes in different places.

I am also talking about my Personal Progression. At 54 I feel like I am just beginning to learn to be the person I was intended to be. I am just beginning to understand situations and circumstances and how to engage and respond.

I am just beginning to gain Wisdom.

I am just learning to Love.

I would like that progression to continue in my own life and others and experience what that life would be like.

What would I be like at 250 years old? I want to know that.

SIX: Now that I am free from the superstition, the dogma, the bigotry, the paganism, and the tribalism of Conservative Christianity I believe my new openness to follow the truth where it leads creates an opportunity to more fully experience God. 

In the Christian circles I ran in we often talked about “Defending Our Faith!”. Conservative Christians believe they are in a “Spiritual War” against the world, the flesh, and the devil. This inevitably leads to Conservative Christians living in isolated bunkers. Often these Conservative Christian will only allow Christians in their bunker who share their own very particular version of Conservative Christianity. This creates a Brainwashing Echo Chamber that few escape from.

What I would give to have escaped decades earlier!!

But my new openness combined with a lifetime of spiritual experience puts me in a good position to come to a fuller experience and understanding of God.

CONCLUSION: I want to believe in God because: I BELIEVE IN GOD. 

In the process of thinking about this I came to an important conclusion that just became obvious to me. I want to believe in God because I already believe in God. I know so many people whose lives have been positively transformed by God. People so naturally believe in God. I believe the Universe is obvious evidence of Intelligent Design. And I have a deep, unshakable belief that this life matters and is rooted in something beyond this life.

I am not a Christian.

Or any other organized religion.

I believe in God.

8 thoughts on “Why I want to believe in God.

  1. You’re very close Chris. Try to express your sense of the Devine (a word you never used) without using the word “believe”. Once you use that word all bets are off. We are free to believe anything! It discounts your heart felt expression of the divinity in your living experience.

    Try changing it up from
    “ I believe in God” to I am god. Small g. We are all a piece of the original Devine. God is not out there…he’s in there. Has been all along.
    Good luck on your journey

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I wonder – and this completely without authority of any kind – if there’s another point implied in those you posted. Do you also have a desire for God? Think of a hunger. I’m a Christian mutt, but at present do a lot of reading in Ignatian spirituality. St. Ignatius emphasizes looking at and for one’s own deepest desires, and finding in them clues. For me at the end of the day, I want God… and in particular Jesus. He is the key to belief itself for me… a suffering God. A God who so identified with us that he entered our finite reality and experiences and limited himself as we are limited… by and in and even as a human body. Incarnation. But at any rate, apart from my rhapsodizing about my hunger for Jesus…. do you hunger for God? It sounds like it to me from the above.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you are right. I have a desire to believe in God. I don’t disbelieve now. But I don’t have a clear belief. I agree that getting in touch with our deep desires guides us toward what is True.


  3. Congrats on moving away from most of the superstitions and tribalism and toward something more realistic. The post says you no longer identify as “Christian,” does this mean you’ve dismissed the Jesus parts of the bible stories?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I no longer read the Gospels as a literal, historical account of Jesus’ life, although there is certainly history in the accounts. I approach the Gospels as a mix of Jesus’ actual life and teaching and legends and myths that developed around those. I think there is certainly value in the Bible’s presentation of Jesus, but I also am working through a bad case of Evangelical Christianity PTSD and have put Jesus aside for now.


  4. Of course you need a god. It’s a human need – the need to feel watched, protected, looked after, defended against the cold hostility of the universe. It is estimated that there are currently 4,200 religions in the world. It’s part of the human condition to feel wanted, but that doesn’t mean that a god is real, that it exists. With all the wondrous things in the world, the sheer beauty of everything from a flower to a microbe, the amazing experience of simply being alive and part of nature, it’s so sad that you immerse yourself in a need to explain yourself and your surroundings in terms of a deity, though you have not a single iota of proof of its existence. But I understand your need.

    You and I are the lucky ones. The ones able to live and to die. Billions of sperm, fetuses, aborted babies and millions who die of hunger and malnutrition will never see the wonderment of life that we have and experience. And yet you want another life in eternity! The only explanation I have for your perceived need is that you simply don’t either understand or appreciate the sheer wonderment of nature, evolution, Darwinism, logic and reason. It’s not enough for you because you don’t understand it. It doesn’t make sense to you. Read Dawkins: the Devil’s Chaplain, Mount Improbable, the Blind Watchmaker. Query what he writes – try to follow the logic, the stark rationality of his discussion.

    Our lot is threescore years and ten. I am 75. We only have one life and it is so tremendously easy to say “god did it!” It answers no questions, it solves no mysteries, no enigmas, no riddles. It’s the cop-out, the easy solution. You must remember too that the vast majority of god’s are dead. And many of those were more powerful, more feared, more revered, and lived longer than those worshipped by the Christians or the Muslims today. There will be other, new religions in the future. Man needs them. Read Fromm: “The Fear of Freedom.” Saying that there is a god absolves you from thought, from analysis, from an understanding of how we got here, from nature, physics, evolution and a hundred other disciplines. So much wonder in this small planet over 70 years, and you are replacing it all with a little god. Sorry – doesn’t cut it. Who made god? Who constructed it and where is he? Turtles all the way down is no answer to anything. Open your mind! Superstitious tribes living in mud huts in Judah two thousand years ago should not control or provide credence to your mind. What’s left of the object of their devotion lies buried in the vast labyrinth of catacombs under Jerusalem.

    I classify myself as a Biblical scholar and an atheist, and have been for over half a century. And take it from me: the historical Yeshua is far, far more interesting and amazing than the Yeshua of faith. The two hardly ever converge.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s