May 13, 2010

Areas that Atheists Are Right

Edited for wording and clarity.


"I might believe in the Redeemer
if His followers looked more Redeemed."

— Fredrick Nietzsche


Most of the time, my dealings with atheists are filled with their wild-eyed rants, insults, putting words in the mouths of others, outright slander, profanity, aloofness and other things in their efforts to dodge the truth. (After all, I can prove something until I'm blue in the nose, but that doesn't mean they will be persuaded.) No, we can offer things, but when it comes to actually accepting and believing, "Ya gotta wanna". Otherwise, they pretend to elevate reason and logic, but fail miserably.

Here's a hint: put on your big boy pants and deal with the subject instead of railing, mmmmkay?


One dodge that they use is to attack Christians. The problem is, some of these attacks are accurate observations.

"Why are there so many denominations?" Because we're people, not androids. There have been splits due to interpretations of scripture, maybe from misconduct, other things. Also, when immigrants came to America, they brought their own traditions and language; my great grandparents on my father's side went to a church that spoke Swedish. Of course, they did bother to learn English (unlike some people). At any rate, most denominations agree on the basics of the Bible. So atheists aren't entirely right on this point, but...

"You Christians invent God in your minds to soothe your fears!" You know, some of that is true. Especially when we don't bother to actually read our Bibles or attend a church that gives decent teaching. Then we tend to paint a picture of God in our minds for what we think (or usually want) him to be. Not good. We have to accept the real God, not the one in our imaginations.

"There is so much fighting". I can't argue with that! A while back, I was looking for something online and saw some vicious, venomous attacks on other Christians over a doctrinal issue: "He's a popular TV preacher causing millions to go to Hell!" Wow! Strong charges there, Eustace! No way the preacher in question will please that author, the preacher will have to convert to the other guy's way of thinking, or simply be silenced. (There are more examples, but no need for them, you get my point.) While truth does need to be defended, many Christians forget to practice the love of Christ in their zeal.

"Christians are hypocrites, and they don't act the way Christians should act". This one, I want to slap you for. First, the arrogant part. Second, for being right and I don't like it. The arrogant part is when someone who disbelieves thinks they know how we should act. So many have an idea that Christians should walk around with hands in a prayer position, head bowed, goofy smile, always soft spoken and sickeningly gentle, and if you squint just right, you can see a halo. Wrong! We're people.

Then the second part, about being hypocrites. I know many hypocrites, and many of them are not Christians. As singer Steve Taylor rapped, "Can't understand us Christians, so you type us all in stereo: 'They're hypocrites, they're such a bore!' Well, come on in, there's room for one more." Hypocrisy is not a unique fault of believers! I agree that there is hypocrisy among believers. The problem is, we are all "works in progress", and nobody has a right to expect us to be perfect — or to fit into an unbeliever's unrealistic expectation. The hypocrisy aggravates me, and many other are well aware of it. Chuck Swindoll ("Insight for Living") gave some great messages on the subject (like this one). The worst Christian hypocrites for me are the kind that use "God talk", carry their Bibles and essentially make a big show of it all. I've found that many of the showiest ones are not genuine, and they give real believers a black eye.

When unbelievers (and disbelievers) see these things, I get ashamed. The final truth there is to look at the actual head of the church (Jesus) as explained in the Bible. He is the faultless one, and the actions of his followers should not distract anyone from the ultimate truth. I know that it's a tough challenge, but give it a try. And remember, true followers of Christ, acting in love, have done a great deal of good in the world.

By the way. That quote at the top from ol' Freddie Nietzsche? Don't forget how the author of the "God is dead" philosophy ended up. He died, completely out of his mind, in a madhouse. Rom. 1.19-20 , and see Paul's attitude in Eph. 3.8 .

If there are any intellectually honest atheists reading this and you're not afraid of answers to your questions, I have some suggestions here. If you're sincere, you can also write to me. The address is in the profile.

To any Christians that are reading: Straighten up! 2 Cor. 5.20-21
  

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