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Do I Have the Spirit of God?

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Good day, friends! In this post I’d like to tell you about a recent Twitter engagement I had that is philosophically very interesting. It’s on the subject of whether it’s possible for true Christians to renounce their faith, and the related issue of whether the spirit of God resides in all people or only born again Christians.

In case you don’t know me very well, I should first say that I have had a very deep experience with the Christian faith. During a spell in psychiatric hospital in 2008, I read the Bible for the first time and was profoundly moved by what I read. I became acutely aware of the reality of God, was praying and reading and writing out Scripture constantly, and after I was discharged from hospital I embarked on a journey into Christian spirituality, which involved time in Catholic, Anglican, and Evangelical Protestant churches.

During my time in hospital I had surrendered everything to Jesus, and I reaffirmed my commitment to give my life to Jesus in a Hillsong Church London service a few weeks after I had been discharged from hospital and was living back in the community. I was completely living for Jesus, praying for friends and strangers on the street, attending house groups, reading the Bible every day, and studying Philosophy and Religion at a Christian college in London.

Regular readers of this blog will know that in the years that followed I had spells where I was a very passionate and evangelical Christian, and spells where I questioned the core doctrines of the faith on a deep level. I got baptised in a Baptist church (it seemed to me that would be the proper place to do it!), but also spent time writing my book Ultimate Truth: God Beyond Religion in which I talked about the reasons why I feel many aspects of Christianity are irrational and nonsensical. If you’re a Christian reading this, I want you to know that it was not without great fear of God and reverence for Jesus that I questioned the Christian faith — the struggle happened on my knees and over many years. Those of you who have read my essay ‘An Almighty Predicament’ (available as a free PDF download here) will understand the core issues that I was wrestling with.

I reached a point where my concerns about the logic of Christianity were too great for me to continue in the faith, and so I settled into the incredibly difficult role of understanding myself to be a kind of ‘post-Christian’ person who nevertheless is an ardent theist, fervent about serving God, desirous to worship Him, who prays every day, says grace at meal times, and does so with the agonising loneliness that comes from the fact that there are very few people in a similar position.

Taking all of the above into consideration, I’d like to say a few things today in response to some Twitter comments I received this week. When I mentioned on Twitter that I am no longer a Christian, several commenters chimed in to seemingly question whether such a thing is even possible.

Here are the comments quoted directly:

The implication that is evident from these comments is that it is impossible for a believer to leave the faith. I’d like to now explain why I think this is highly illogical.

What is the spirit of God? Having pondered deeply on this question, I came to the realisation that God is omnipresent. This being so, when you look around the room you are in, you must know that God is present in every part of the room, including every cell of your body (that’s what omnipresence means, if you think about it). Therefore, the spirit of God is animating all activity in existence, including all the manifestations related to human beings, including our thoughts and actions.

If what I’ve said in the preceding paragraph is true, it would be illogical to argue that the spirit of God is in some people and not others. To argue this would be to deny God’s omnipresence, and in order to deny God’s omnipresence, we would have to place boundaries and limitations on His being, which is theologically highly problematic.

In reality, the spirit of God dwells in all men. And also in all other creatures, and also in all inanimate objects. I am completely convinced of this, for the reasons given above.

God still speaks to me today, in a very real way. I still feel His presence when I pray and worship Him, I still know that He is unfolding my life with great care and attention to detail, and I still know that (if the phrase means anything) God’s spirit dwells within me.

I really think that Tim and Mateo’s comments demonstrate shallowness of thought, and are representative of the kind of blind indoctrination that is sadly characteristic of too many Christians. I hope that Tim and Mateo will at least think through the issues and arguments I have presented in this article, and if they fail to see the logic, I don’t mind at all — there is no reasoning with some people! But I wish them well, and am grateful that they provoked me to write this post.


If you’re interested in exploring the issues raised in this article in more depth, my latest book entitled God’s Grand Game presents a comprehensive overview of my philosophy. It is my hope that many people will consider the ideas presented in that book with an open mind, and I believe that if they do, light will be shed on many problematic areas of the Christian faith. Thank you for reading!

18 comments

  1. It’s fascinating to find oneself feeling an authentic faith that doesn’t match others’ thoughts and perspectives of what faith is.
    Yet there is division and disagreement everywhere, even fiercely within denominations.
    I don’t think it’s possible to convince others that our opinions are correct, diversity of opinion is part of the reality we live in, and God allows it.
    There are plenty of logical arguments for a variety of perspectives, it just depends on your starting premises and which aspects of truth we prioritise 😉
    In the end what is our measure? We have a “knowing” of God and we desire the love, peace and joy of relationship with Him, and we all come by that in slightly different ways. Maybe we each think our way is the best way, but that makes sense too. Perhaps in wanting respect and openness from others we need to instead respect their path, and let go of our need for validation from them?
    Of course in saying that, I must respect your opinion too and not need you to agree with me here 😅
    Thanks for sharing your story, it was a very timely read for me!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for the comment, Zalstin! If I thought validation from others were important, I would water down my views and not say anything that could be construed as controversial. I’m concerned with Truth rather than validation, which is why I mentioned in the post that my path is a lonely one (I’m okay with that!).

      I guess we have to consider whether anything is ultimately absolutely true? Or whether everything is just subjective opinion? I believe there must be some things that are ultimately true (especially in relation to God), though whether people see things in the same way as me depends entirely on how God works in their minds and bodies as they interact with my philosophy. The same is true of everything we read.

      Hope you’re following my line of thinking, and if not, no worries! God bless you! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Steven. I think we are all just so firmly immersed in our individual stories that even the search for absolute truth, or an embrace of subjectivism (or even not caring about the whole subject!) has to be seen as personally meaningful first and foremost.
        I’m recovering from thinking too much about other people’s opinions, for me that is an issue and hence I read your post in that context! For me the search for absolute truth turned out to be a desire for happiness that at the same time would satisfy other people’s opinions. That didn’t really work out, so now I’m opting for happiness and not worrying about the absolute truth part😊

        Liked by 1 person

        1. That’s really interesting! Thank you for sharing that and helping me to understand where you’re coming from. I used to think only of other people’s opinions as well, and lost myself entirely in the process. It was only after a couple of years of psychotherapy that I was able to establishing a grounding in myself and explore my own beliefs and understanding of reality in an independent way.

          Wishing you every happiness on your spiritual path, my friend! ✌🏻

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Terese! Thank you. I think Tim and Mateo would argue that I don’t have a relationship with God at all these days. I guess they would say everything that I experience is delusion, or the devil, or some kind of blanket ‘bondage to sin’, which to me highlights one of the problems with ‘exclusivist’ religions like Christianity that invalidate the lives and experiences of billions of people. Thank you for taking the time to read my post!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Steven! As I mentioned in my tweet, I am working on a more formal reply to this post.
    But first, a question I have for you is, what is your view of the Holy Bible? Do you hold it to be the inerrant, inspired Word of God? Or would you describe your thoughts on it in some other way? That will help me as I think through my response. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Summer! My apologies, but I’m not willing to get into a protracted discussion with you in the comments, here or on Twitter. If you are genuinely interested in my perspective, you should read my book. Happy to send you a copy free of charge if that’s an issue, just DM me your address on Twitter. Thanks for reading my article and best wishes to you.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Steven, I understand and empathize with your position. Trust me, you are not alone. I applaud you for your honesty and heart. Keep writing!

    Blessings dude,
    Dylan (formerly known as Lydia)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am sorry to hear you gave up your Christian faith due to philosophical challenges. However, it’s a very interesting and thought provoking article.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes, you do, Steven, a very bright Spirit indeed! :))

    I belive that our faith in God lies in a constant search for truth and opening the heart to all that have the LIGHT of LOVE and BEAUTY in it!

    To shut yourself up in a little room is not a faith, but dodging…

    You are not alone, Steven, and thank you so much for your wonderful post! :))

    Good luck in unfolding yourself, my friend 🙂
    And let it be in the most beautiful of ways … 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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