You may be on to something in my case.
I was a Christian for only a few years, and a super-duper Bible-believing church-going God-is-an-awesome-God-and-Jesus-is-Awesome (yeah, they were heavy on the awesomes) Christian for only a few intense months. I loved Jesus a lot. Hoo boy, did I! I went around clutching my Bible like a promise ring, and I couldn’t think of anything else but him. I’d get all giddy whenever he was mentioned, and I’d get all mushy-gushy when I ran across others who loved him, too. I babbled about him to everyone. I went everywhere with him, and loved our super-special times together in church, where everybody seemed to love him just as much as I did. We were going steady. I thought he was The One. I wanted to spend my whole life with him.
But you know what? You’re right. I didn’t love him enough. I realize that now.
- I didn’t love him enough to shut down my critical thinking when it came to him.
- I didn’t love him enough to follow blindly, all the while pretending my eyes were open.
- I didn’t love him enough to overlook his glaring personality flaws.
- I didn’t love him enough to make excuses for him.*
- I didn’t love him enough to stay in an abusive relationship.**
- I didn’t love him enough to believe he’s real despite increasing evidence to the contrary.
- I didn’t love him enough to accept his constant silence.
Yes, obviously, I didn’t love Jesus enough. Bet that means I wasn’t ever a “true” Christain all those months and years too, eh? I’m okay with that. Really – I’m better off never having truly loved a sick fuck whose requirements for love are so pathological. I mean, seriously. He used to come across as a severely bipolar cult leader, and it bothered me, but I loved him anyway because I knew from experience with my mother that a person’s not unlovable because of their disease. But then I started researching forensic psychology and recognized all the sociopathic, serial killer, abusive spouse, and dangerous stalker tendencies in God/Jesus. Holy shit. Yeah, if you want to love that, it’s your business, but I’d prefer healthier relationships with less fucked up imaginary friends. Also, I’ve already got one psychopath in my life.
One unbalanced entity who demands my unconditional servitude and visits arbitrary destruction upon me without warning is quite enough. Also, mine is cuter, and less non-existent. I’m sorry, but there’s no way I can love that God of yours anymore. It’s kind of comforting to be told I never really did. So, thanks!
But you may want to think twice before questioning the love of those who poured their whole hearts into Jesus, and did it far longer than I did, before painfully extracting themselves from the relationship. They might become very upset with you – and rightfully so. Also, they may have a dangerous suggestion for you:
Why don’t you, dear Christian, for once in your life, question your own goddamn intellectual conscience instead of other people’s commitments to Jesus.
But you’d never do that if you love Jesus enough, because that might lead you to a place where, to those still trapped deep in the abusive relationship, it would look like you never actually loved him at all. Amirite?
* Theodicy pretty much got me in the end: I never have found anything that squares an omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent god with the horrors of this world. Apologetics ring hollow to me, and I can’t engage in liberal Christian handwaving that poofs all the bad bits of the Bible away. (Also, other religions had cooler gods. But I apparently didn’t love them enough, either.)
** I realized that if God/Jesus was directing the course of my life, he’s responsible for the bad just as much as the good – and what’s with this love-me-or-suffer-eternal-torment schtick? The more I looked at it, the more it looked suspiciously like the kind of relationship professionals advise you to get the hell out of. If I wouldn’t accept this treatment from a human, I sure as shit wasn’t going to take it from a god.