MacBain, 44, was raised a conservative Southern Baptist. Her dad was a pastor and she felt the call of God when she was 6. She had questions, of course, about conflicts in the Bible, for example, or the role of women. She says she sometimes felt she was serving a taskmaster of a God, whose standards she never quite met.
For years, MacBain set her concerns aside. But when she became a United Methodist pastor nine years ago, she started asking sharper questions. She thought they’d make her faith stronger.
“In reality,” she says, “as I worked through them, I found that religion had so many holes in it, that I just progressed through stages where I couldn’t believe it.”
The questions haunted her: Is Jesus the only way to God? Would a loving God torment people for eternity? Is there any evidence of God at all? And one day, she crossed a line.
Anyone – even a minister – who gives God and religion serious, rational thought can see that it is a sham. There really is nothing there. The equation is: “I can believe in a God who is silent, invisible and a real bastard if he exists. He stands by and lets millions of people starve to death, die in natural disasters and succumb to diseases every day. Or I can eliminate this ridiculous concept from my thinking. When I eliminate it, the world actually makes a lot more sense.”