What is Yahweh? This is what it means to me.
‘Yahweh, Creator of heaven and earth, is the supreme being surpassing all else.’
I’ve never really used the statement, “I believe in God”. Nor can I say I’ve actually gotten on my knees and prayed. I was an atheist most of my life. I think because of this my belief in the Creator is different than others. My beliefs mainly come from school. The more I learned about history, the more solidified my atheism became. From the Inquisition to the Holocaust, it was clear to me that religion and extreme idealism are the root of all evil.
Although I did not believe in god, I was still very spiritual. Through my studies of history I found that the holidays commonly celebrated by nearly all humanity were rooted in earth-worshipping “pagan” cultures. I embraced this as my own roots and was a self proclaimed “born again pagan”. I had the t-shirt to prove it! I respected these ancient people for their reverence of nature, and resented those who burned women as witches for being harmless naturalists.
Even now, I understand where I was coming from. I could see the hierarchy of world powers. Many rulers have been bloodthirsty booty hunters, and some found the bible as a very useful tool of oppression by the fourth century AD. Because of this, I saw the bible itself as oppressive. I thought I knew plenty about its message, having attended private Baptist school, Episcopal boarding school and growing up in a half Jewish household. I may have known some stories, but I did not grasp their meaning. If I had, I would have seen that its message is against the very system which I saw as so oppressive.
When I finally humbled myself, overcoming the stubbornness of my anti-bible stance, my heart and mind were opened in a way I cannot convey with words. I’m not sure there are words deep enough to describe the experience of realizing that there truly is a Creator. Yet, If it were not for the knowledge I had acquired in the interests of my atheist paganism, I would not have the same understanding of the scriptures.
Because of my knowledge of history, the books of Daniel, Jeremiah and all the prophets struck me like a flood of arrows. We are all in a hole we choose to keep digging. The burden of idols is materialism, which leaves us spiritually in shallow water. As humanity realizes this, the good people, the truly pure of heart will come out. I believe in a system ruled by love and justice instead of hate and greed. I believe every person that has lived will live again on this beautiful creation earth, and every good heart will beat forever. I believe this because I believe the word of the Creator. His name is Yahweh, “I Am”. I believe in Yahweh.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.