Who I Am:
A 43 year old man who has been on an intellectual journey that has culminated in my arrival as a Rational Person
Who I used to be:
A true believer in the one true God. A Christian who grew up believing everything I read in God's Holy Word. A minister and preacher who gave his first sermon at the age of 14. A fierce believer in the power of prayer and laying on of hands. A practitioner of the "gifts of the Spirit" and a believer in others who possessed these "gifts of the Spirit." I was happy, my life had purpose, God had a plan for me and I knew that He loved me because I had a personal relationship with Him through his Only Son, Jesus Christ.
The last in a long series of epiphanies that finally opened my eyes.
As a teenager, I developed a severe allergy. Spontaneously, and with no warning, I would break out in great patches of hives all over my body. My eyes would swell shut, my hands would swell up, my face would swell and contort, my lips would grow to 3 times their normal size, and all of this at a moment's notice. I may be in the middle of high school, or in the middle of church, or on a date, or with friends. I never knew when it was going to happen and it practically ruined my teenage years. Most teenagers only have to worry about acne. I had to worry about suddenly turning into the elephant man.
Since I believed the Bible, I believed in the power of prayer. Countless people prayed for me all over the state of Texas. Faith healers layed hands on me and sent me prayer cloths. Prophets prophesied that God was going to do something glorious through all of this. People who had the "gift of knowledge" spoke a "word of knowledge" over me how God had great plans for me and a great ministry. For years I prayed and believed. God hadn't said "yes", and no one had said He said "no" so He must be answering "wait." So I prayed, believed, and waited.
In the meantime, I grew older, got married, dealt with outbreaks, and took benedryl. For years, different people would pray for me or offer the latest “word of knowledge” from God. For years, I believed and waited. But slowly the questions began to infiltrate my faith. Slowly, rational thought began to replace faith. In all aspects of my religious experience I began to ask questions I never allowed myself to ask. Then one day, a doctor stumbled upon the answer to my physical and spiritual battles.
I had gone to see another allergy specialist ( an earlier doctor had not been able to isolate my particular allergen) to try to get some relief from this near debilitating phenomenon. He ran all the prick tests and nothing was conclusive. As I was leaving, almost as an afterthought, he said I might be allergic to aspirin. The only way to tell was to not take it for six months and then take it one time and see if I had a reaction. I waited the six months, and then I popped two pills. The reaction was almost instantaneous!
Bingo! I was allergic to aspirin. Since that day, I have not taken aspirin and my life has completely changed.
As I reached middle age, I began to realize that I never needed a miracle. I didn't need God to change my DNA or cure some problem within, or change my chemical makeup. I didn't need God to give me eyesight, or cleanse leprosy, or regenerate a missing limb. All this lonely teenager needed was his loving God to tell one of his Servants to give him a simple word: “Don't take aspirin.”
This loving God could have totally changed my life with those three words. He didn't need to walk on water to get my attention. All He needed to do was give me a dream, speak in my ear, tell somebody else. But just get those three words to me. But He didn't.
This final revelation (among many others) brought me to a crossroads in my life. I had two choices. Either God hates me or He is imaginary. Since I am too much fun for anyone to hate, the answer became crystal clear to me for the first time in my life: God must be imaginary.
If He really existed and loved me, He could have shown me with the tiniest of gestures. I didn't need a miracle, just a moment. I never got either and now that I am viewing life through rational eyes I see why. Not only am I free from all the questions, I am also free from the burden that there might be something wrong with me that would keep a loving God from throwing me a crumb.
I am not a Christian, I am not a sinner, I am not a rebel, I am not an atheist. I am a rational person.