God is not afraid of your brain.
I write this because I used to think he was. I would never have phrased it that way, of course, but that’s the reality of it.
When I was a Pastor, I picked up a little book in the library called ‘How To Know God Exists.’ About the size of a napkin, it had a cartoon on every page and no more than one sentence under the cartoon, aimed at the 5-8 year old market. It shocked me that a book of such clearly Christian persuasion would be in a Public Library and I wanted to find out how they managed to do that.
Turns out, they managed to do that because it wasn’t actually arguing for God’s existence. Quite the opposite actually. It’d be more aptly titled, ‘How To Know God Doesn’t Exist’. The book ended up in the boot of my car for a few weeks as the return reminders piled up. One afternoon, one of my staff members – a mum with 2 kids – saw it when we were collecting some items from my car and picked it up.
‘Ooh this looks interesting!’
‘Er… yeah. It’s not Christian.’ heart beating a little fast at the discovery of a ‘bad’ book in my possession.
She dropped it, releasing her fingers and closing the boot of the car almost in the same movement. ‘Oh.’
This story fascinates me. I wondered, ‘Are we really so afraid of opposing opinions that we can’t even read a book written for 5-8 year olds?’
The answer, if you haven’t worked it out already, is yes. Every de-converting Christian has those moments of, ‘Are these my own thoughts or is this Satan deceiving me?’ Christianity has a built-in mechanism to keep people believing and it’s called the Devil. Otherwise-intelligent people have a genuine fear that if they don’t ‘protect their mind and their heart’ from the Enemy then he’ll get inside their brain and deceive them. He’ll pull them away from God and all that is pure and right. They’ll become blinded to the Truth and live for their own desires.
I’m sure they use my story as an example of how this can happen.
The thing is, God is not afraid of your brain. If he was afraid of you Thinking he wouldn’t have given you the capability to do so.
I was at war with my brain the entire time I was a Christian.
The thought that kept me locked in was that it’s ‘too great for us to understand’. ‘God’s ways are higher than our ways.’ ‘It’s like trying to explain television to a cockroach… there are some things we just don’t get.’
The problem is, it’s not that I don’t understand it. I do understand it. For instance, I fully understand that God is all-loving. I also understand that he is all knowing and created the world fully aware of the fact that most humans would end up burning in hell, tortured for all eternity.
Those two things are pretty straight forward. What’s not to get? It’s not that I don’t understand it. It’s that it doesn’t make sense.
When something doesn’t make sense, that’s not an immediate indication that you don’t understand it. There are many other plausible explanations for why something doesn’t make sense.
Number one being that it simply doesn’t make sense.
It was like a bomb went off in my brain. All the hours of reading apologetics books. The arguing on forums. The desperation for simple answers to simple questions.
It was right there in front of me the whole time. It just simply doesn’t make sense.
God gave me this brain. It thinks this way because He made it do that. If he expects anything of me, it must be something that resonates with the brain he created.
So let it read, think and question whatever it wants to. You are smart enough to come up with your own thoughts and conclusions. God, whoever, whatever, if-ever, is not afraid of your brain.
He can’t be. He made it.