I was 17 years old and I taught Sunday School. I remember one of the older ladies doing the rounds as I was teaching three little children. She offered each child in turn some jelly beans. The kids loved the coloured ones, red ones mostly – the black ones were discarded. As we all know black jelly beans are far and few between and they happen to be my favourite. So I took one. I took one because the children didn’t – they choose coloured ones. This god fearing older lady – and older and wiser Christian, looked at me and said to me in front of the children, “that was selfish.” As an not very confident 17 year old – that actually upset me a great deal. It had not been my intention to be selfish and I actually don’t think I was. If I took a red one then yes perhaps that would have been selfish?
We were taught to live our life by comparing it to “what would Jesus have done.
My opinion at that time was that Jesus was caring and loving, fair and just. I do not think he would have reprimanded me for taking the jelly bean, especially in front of young children?
I know it was not a major event – but it had enough of an impact on me for me to remember it more than 30 years after it happened. And still to this day I look at the actions of some people who have faith and I wonder how they can say they believe in a loving God. I guess my disappointed comes from having HIGHER EXPECTATIONS of those who “have faith” and therefore are meant to be accountable to GOD for their actions.
Or do they justify their actions by asking forgiveness – after all the devil probably made them do it. No I don’t buy that – surely God expects them to make amends with those they have wronged. From day to day life to religious wars – I do not see how religion has improved life on earth.
So I was a believer. Then I fell in love with the world – the land and its creatures and saw that it is up to us to care. I have known and know “church goers” who bully, and lie and do not stand up for what is right. I see them take the easy way out and sit on fences. I find more conviction and integrity amongst people who do not decorate church pews. This is the main reason I do not have faith anymore, in addition to the more obvious reasons that science provides. I am not and will never be perfect – I don’t need religion to know that I will just try my best to be a good person and care about the world around me. I do not need faith to do that.