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Story ID:4898
Written by:Frederick William Wickert (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Location:Any All 50 USA
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By Fred Wickert

Robin, I hardly know where to begin, but I will try. To begin with, I suspect you think I am one of those so-called “religious nuts.” You know, like the ones who come knocking on the door handing out pamphlets and reading paragraphs of the bible to you. You will be wrong in thinking that, because I am not. I don’t like that either.

You might also be surprised that I am not a church goer. I once was, and I once was very active in the church. I am no longer. It is that way because the church of which I am a member and have been a member for the last 60 years, I consider to be hypocritical. The congregation professes to believe in the teachings of Christianity but in practice, do not conduct themselves in that way. Until the congregation begins to practice that which they profess, I cannot and will not support it. The denomination of the church is unimportant. Churches more and more have become social clubs rather than religious.

The two articles you referred me to admit that organized church behavior contrary to their teachings is largely responsible for parishioners leaving the church. That is understandable. Sincere people cannot support the negative way in which they have dealt with priest pedophilia for example.

Again, I agree with you when you point out some of the horrible crimes that have taken place in this world in the name of religion. I have to point out however, that these atrocities have not been the true teachings of the particular religion. They are brought about by gross corruption on the part of the organized hierarchy of the church and even lesser leaders. It is not the teaching of the religion itself.

You cannot intelligently deny the existence of deity, solely because of the misbehavior of those who profess belief. One has no bearing on the other. It will be akin to declaring all educators are child molesters and rapists, based on the fact that a few have been in the media in recent years after being caught at it.

As I told you in the beginning, I am 75 years old. I have led a widely varied life and have seen much as well as experiencing much. I served in the military for 20 years and fought in two of our nations wars. I have also served as a civilian police officer for five years. I have observed life at home and abroad as few ever experience it.

I have seen many who came into the military service believing there is no God. Soon after being in combat, they suddenly believed there is. Many in other walks of life have done the same. Something has happened in their lives to convince them that there is a God.

Science and archeologists are constantly setting out to disprove the bible, only to prove more and more the accuracy of it. There have been so many discoveries of things that were previously believed to be something made up.

I cannot and I will not try to prove to you the existence of God, but I can tell you from my own life experiences, that I have come to feel his presence, have come to feel his touch more than once in my life. I do not believe in God because somebody told me about God or Jesus. I believe in him because I have had personal experiences with him and I know far beyond what anyone can tell me or show me, that he lives and is very real. I also know that he controls my life whether I want him to or not. I know that but for God, I wouldn’t even be alive now. I have come through so many close calls unscathed.

I feel great sorrow for you in my heart. I feel it because of the terrible affliction you suffer with from Cystic Fibrosis, but far more than that, I feel that sorrow for you because you have no knowledge of or a relationship with God. To me, that is a far greater burden to you than the disease you suffer from.

You have claimed that God is someone people have made up. That deity is man made and not real. You couldn’t be more wrong. We didn’t make him up. He created us. I know I cannot convince you of that but I know from my personal relationship with him that he is more real than the universe itself.

I believe in the power of prayer. Because of that belief, I will be praying for a cure of your Cystic Fibrosis, and I will be praying that you too, may one day come to know God.

As you ask for those of us who believe not to condemn you for not believing, I ask you not to condemn my belief, just because you have none of your own.