A boy was told that he was betrothed from birth and had to marry a woman in a far away land. He received letters from her, but they were dictated and actually penned by a servant – she didn’t even sign them; he supposed that was another custom. He was allowed to speak to her on the phone, but due to their customs, she was not allowed to speak back through the phone.
He had been told by his parents and others that she was exceedingly beautiful and of unmatched character. The boy read her letters (which weren’t written by her hand) and emptied his heart to her over the phone, and fell deeply in love with her. He agreed to marry her, according to their customs, which meant the ceremony was conducted without them in the same room.
After their marriage, he was still not allowed to move to her or her to him. She sent no more letters, but he could still speak to her on the phone, although she was still not permitted to herself – but he was told that he had the perfect marriage. In moments of doubt or physical need, he would reread her letters and find her there, and would look at his wedding ring and find comfort in his union.
But one day a thought popped in his head; “what if he wasn’t really married.” He first tried to discard the thought, but he couldn’t. It stayed on his mind so much that he went looking for her – where he was told she lived… and found no one. He searched other places to see if maybe he understood the location wrong, etc… but still nothing… He came away feeling stupid, thinking that he had been fooled.
But some in his family kept reminding him about the letters she sent or the phone calls they shared, and the wedding ring – and urged him not to get a divorce.
But he realized that those things weren’t really evidences of a wife, they were evidences in what he had done or what he had, but not in a person. He realized that the reason no one ever spoke back to him over the phone was because no one was there. He realized that he had never received a letter written by her own hand was because she wasn’t real. He realized the wedding ring was just evidence of metal on his finger, and not an actual person. He realized that everything he knew or felt about her were just products of his own imagination and desire.
He realized that he trust he had in wife, was only ever a trust in what people told him about the alleged wife. There was need for a divorce, because there had never really been a union with anyone at all.
The God of Christianity is this wife. No one has ever seen him or heard him directly. We rely on prayers where only we speak, and can only imagine a response if there’s one at all. We rely on the written claims of old men we never knew, which lived in superstitious time. We trust the men who came later that picked which books and letters should be discarded while selecting the books and letters to retain – other men who translated them… where is god? Faith in such a god is first faith in the men who made the claims. With man at the foundation, how could the built up structure of god be any stronger than the men who make up that foundation?
Is there a god? I do not know, but I feel quite certain there is no god of the bible.