This letter was posted on another website. Short evaluation to follow.

First off, I feel I should state that I am only 19, and not what you could call “heavily-educated in religious topics.” I was raised, strictly, on Lutheran practices, and for quite some time, I guess as a blind child, believed all I was told. I went through baptism, as well as confirmation, still believing everything I was told. It wasn’t until 3 years ago when I found a loop hole that no one would answer, or contradict… and instead of answers or help, I received condemnation, and the joy of being ignored by EVERYONE in my church going congregation who have heard of my simple statement, that still lies unanswered after so long. . . .

According to your writings, god does indeed create evil according to the bible. One thing I have been stuck with thinking about for the past 3 years is that god did indeed create Satan. God, being all knowing, all seeing, etc. etc. knew prior to Satan’s creation that Satan would turn against his instructions as an angel? I mentioned this to my ‘Sunday school class’ of 2 people of my age, the rest 6 graders (this was when i was 16 and a sophomore in high school, very small church)… I was pretty much kicked out of class, and was no longer allowed to ask such blasphemous questions of such utter ridiculousness.


This illustrates once again the problem that I have seen so often in the church. Good questions being rejected by well meaning Christians. These Christians probably rejected this question for two reasons: 1) People’s misconception that “faith” is to be separated from reason. Why do we believe? Because we take a blind leap into the dark, covering our eyes to the troubling difficulties that appear in the distance. 2) They probably did not know how to answer.

Jamie did not cover her eyes. She looked ahead and asked a sincere honest question (giving her the benefit of the doubt). I know that you may think I am putting to much burden on a 6th grade Sunday School class and leader, but they should have engaged Jamie honestly, affirming the question and providing the options. Yes,

C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Find him on Patreon Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. Join his Patreon and support his ministry

    5 replies to "Why Jamie walked away from Christianity at 19 years old"

    • Sara

      As an 11 year old, I faced the same question that Jamie did. I was not brave enough to ask it (nor did I know how to ask it), and refused to become confirmed into my church. I also left the church, but not the essentials of the faith, until my higher education was completed in my mid-twenties. Then I was able to overcome these doubts and return. I still don’t have the answer to the question, nor can I deny the same conclusions that she has about evil ultimately originating from God (since he is the creator of all things). But I do trust in faith to provide the answer in time. While evil inevitable came from God, he gave us both choice and salvation as tools to face and deal with it, and to save us from it in the end. In an adult Bible class we discussed the same question, and the best answer we could find is similiar to C.S. Lewis’ discussion about the effects of war. While war (in my opinion at least) is a product of evil, people turn more towards God and are willing to sacrifice more of themselves for a common good. In the most horrific tragedies (take this past week for example), we are shocked out of our comfort shells and are compelled to seek God and to help one another. This isn’t a cruel trick to make us love God or each other more, but to keep us active in a world that leads us towards laziness, comfort, and apathy.

      Though I still don’t know if that is a good enough answer. After reading about the holocaust and visiting cities like Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I don’t know if C.S. Lewis’s answer can still make either Jamie or I completely satisfied. From here it just takes faith. I’m interested to see more replies on this, as this is a question I’m asked from non-believers all the time.

    • kolabok21

      Maybe perhaps it was purposed by God to show is fallen creation that in the end evil will not (NEVER) overcome good. I believe the defining moment is the condition of the heart, you see God knew in eternity past down thru the ages to eternity future, that good (heart) would triumph over evil (heart).
      God already knew any evil thus created was doomed by the very same hand that spoke it
      Evil was brought into existence to be made an example of, a bench mark of what not to do

    • nathanimal

      I’ve got a long list of questions I want to ask God when I get to heaven (at least from my perspective now). For now, I must rely on what God has revealed to us and work with what we have. I will always be asking and probing other Christians on similar matters till the day I die.

      Here is a good verse to remember when I come to an impasse:

      Deuteronomy 29:29 says, “The secret things belong to God, but the things revealed belong to us and our children forever…”

    • tnahas

      Michael, as always you test our beliefs way beyond stretching but I for one have no answers but to know that each one of us has our own personal faith where we can be united on essentials and yet expand the borders on non-essentials. Evil, its existence and origins, are in the non-essentials to coming into true saving faith and as such we can not go into the counsel of God on this since so little is said in Scripture about the fall of Lucifer except illusions in Isaiah and Ezekiel written long after the Pentatuch. Even the origin of original sin is not detailed for us except for a few verses but compare the Tabernacle where over 50 chapters are devoted to it.

      We as Christians must devote our time from getting out of and away from evil as exorted to us from Genesis to Revelation. But yet there is a fascination to know more and more about evil and its origin and its author than the author and finisher of our faith, the Lord Jesus himself.

      God has provided the way out of the mire and muck of this world. Some of us are able to handle the doctrine of evil at a younger age and others can’t handle it at all.

      Would the world and the Church spend more time in the greatest sermon, bible study or the like of all time than the greatest tragedy the world can offer? I think not.

      As C.S. Lewis once said if we all spent more time on heavenly things than the things of the earth then life on earth would be better. Me thinks there is no evil in heaven.

    • C Michael Patton

      Great answers you all. I really believe in this dialogue, even if we don’t find ALL the answers, we are still in the battle.

      Did you see the poll on the RMM website? It was created because of this post.

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