- Religion and Philosophy
Answer to an Atheist
What Atheists think of Christians:
In response to Atheists specifically who do not understand why we Christians continue to believe in what you feel is just a Myth...
First, make no mistake I do feel that you are entitled to your beliefs...(Actually I even believe that the Bible defends your right to Atheistic beliefs to some degree... )
And you are able to believe what you prefer to believe and I accept that you have that right...
What I do NOT accept however is the abuse of your rights towards other people of different beliefs... regardless of what those beliefs may be.
Some of you have said some things in your posts however that make some sense... I have written this blog in order to address those things specifically.
You have pointed at Christians who are "putting their God before their families" and that blows you away... You cant understand that... (this is what some of you have said)
This is a sort of a tricky area... Lets look at it.
Given the right circumstances Christians do seem to come out better for our faith in the long run... But only if that faith is properly applied. (if not properly applied then it is not to be rewarded... untill changes are made. Simple Parent Child discipline issues are involved)
For example: Provided that their faith is not based in Pastor worship or in some fouled up theology that is not biblical.. God will usually reward acts of faith in him... But God does not reward things that contradict his Word or are not in good faith.
There are some people... and they seem to be the loudest ones you will ever meet... Hypocrits... whos homes are a mess... their testimony as a Christian not worth its weight in dirt... who usually bring down their own families etc...
These people are convenient for you to look at I am sure... They are an easy target... Because they will give you (The observer) the wrong impression of Both God, and the people who follow him... It makes it very easy for you to discount anything that the rest of us might try to tell you.
These people, and I have known quite a few of them in the past, usually exibit the same type traits:
- New to a Church... (they change Churches fairly often)
- Sound Really Religious
- Do not follow the bibles example for certain things... especially things that go against their normal nature... They follow the bible when it suits them.. lets put it that way.
- Change churches until they find one that tolerates them and does not encourage them to get their lives straightened out..
- Usually their story ends in disaster.. lots of family problems (DSHS probably gets called in frequently) and they usually end in a divorce.
- Counseling with Pastors and marriage counselors is a mute point... they rarely show up... and when one does show up, it is never as a couple... Only the "Victim" comes to the meeting so they can make their case against their other half...
- Advice that is given regarding Family and Child raising... gets followed only to the point that it suits them.. they hear only what they want to hear and then do what they planned on doing anyway...
- When disaster happens: the Church and Pastor are the first ones to catch the blame. Especially if DSHS and child abuse is involved... think about it... are they going to tell the truth and take the blame for what they have done??? No... they look for someone to to point a finger at and shift the blame onto.
Lets look at it a different way:
If a person goes to colleges... But Parties all the time and skips classes, gets kicked out of school or leaves just before being booted from each one; until he finally finds one college that will just pass him through the grades without much effort... lets say that person then somehow gets a degree and then calls himself a Doctor...
If you were a fellow Doctor would you want that person working in the same Hospital as you?
I am truly sorry that many of the so called Christians you meet today are in so sad a shape that other Christians do not want to claim them either.
But it would be your mistake to in turn label all Christians with that same type of label.
It would be like saying that "all Doctors are Quacks... and they are only interested in money and do not care about their patients."
That statement might hold true for one here or there who somehow manages to slip through un-noticed, but it would be very offensive to the rest of the Doctors who have devoted their lives in the service of mankind... you would even lumping all of those bad ones in with those Doctors (Many of whom are Christians) that spend time each year on the mission fields working in free clinics in third world countries... Treating people who cant afford it.
More to the point...
To you, my God is a myth... To me God is my friend.. and not just some "Imaginary Friend" but a friend I have known and "Hung Out with" for over 30 years...
In that time there have been allot of Bad times... Be sure of that... Like when I was in sin... and God acted like a good parent and made sure that my sin was punished.
If you looked at me in that time, you would have seen my failed existence and say "Man look at that Christian... what a slob... what a poor excuse for a human being... he's a Drunk... just a stinking loser... " .... and you would be right to think all of that. It would have been just a truthful assessment of my situation in that time. Other Christians would have looked at me and said "man if you think your a Christian.. you are out of your mind..."
But what you do not understand... is that those people you are looking at.. some of them are just like I was 15-20 years ago... I look at them... but I see them like they were me.
Like they were that same me... Before the Changes... Before God disciplined me and finally got through to me...
Then several years later. having Repented from the Sins that were destroying my life.. ruining both me and my relationship with God... Having turned away from those things that had caused my downfall... and Having turned back to God, I then recieved Forgivness and he restored me. He Gave me Health again and returned my upside down life, back to what it should have been all along...
There were the hard times...and some good times too... Times when I have needed help... times I almost died... times when I needed guidance... times when I needed help with situations... Times I needed to talk and hear the truth.. times I just needed someone to listen... etc etc etc.
What you do not understand is that "Our mythological friend" (as you atheists like to call him) has already been far more real to me, than you are.
Think about it... there you are, on the other end of this internet connection.. how do I know if you really exist and are reading this? The only way for me to know for sure... is if you respond.
And even then that only tells me that someone is there... it does not confirm what you are or who you are... You could be anyone... I have never met you.. talked with you.. walked with you or received advice from you that worked out and restored my life...
Likewise I know that God exists... by his responses. Years and years of them.
We have established a trust relationship with this Invisible God and we do receive guidance and support... help in times of need.
But there are some rules attached to this relationship... Like any other relationship, it is based upon mutual trust... and understanding what the other person expects of you.
I do not expect you to understand it all really... But if you understand that we have allready spent years testing this relationship.. then you will be at least closer to understanding why we are who we are. And why we believe what we believe.
Oh.. and then of course there are maturity levels:
- some Christians might be very immature even after 75 years of following the Lord... Mostly Because they have not had a very good relationship...
- I see that this happens with people who are always fearful and are unwilling to trust God.
- People who are prideful and who want to do their own thing all the time and do not care to listen to advice... that type person will not usually have a very good relation with God.
- Since they won't listen anyway.. God is quiet... and lets them do it their own way... and watches it fail... waiting for the times when the turn to him so that he can in turn help them.
- Then another person may grow very strong in the Lord in a very short period of time.. Usually because when they first Believe, the start off the relationship by just trusting Him and doing what they know is right... They study their bibles and learn more about God... the relationship that starts off on a better set of conditions usually progresses allot better with allot better results over time.
People are people... and you cant put them all in the same box.
Christians are people too.. and you can't with any honesty label us all the same either.
We are really just a Bunch of individuals... and each one of us is a little different...
But if you look at the common ground we have.. its about trust... and about seeing the fruits of that trust rewarded over time.
Have a good one...