Christians, could you ever love or even like an atheist?
I'm an atheist and at least 90% of the people I love are Christians. I only have a problem with Christians who use religion as a weapon to harm or control others. Obviously, I know Christians can love atheists because, well, all those people I love seem to love me back. But what I see online makes it seem that some Christians could never, ever see an atheist as an equal or someone worthy of love and definitely never as one worthy of respect.
What do you think?
Of course they can - because many do. Two of my very best friends in the entire world are Christians, and they love me unconditionally and support me in my life and my choices. We can sit down and debate theology or biblical interpretations, and while we usually disagree, we do it in a calm, friendly and intelligent manner. Ultimately, we agree to disagree and talk about family life or the weather or any other topic.
The problem, I think, comes from extremists or fundamentalists which, unfortunately, have the loudest voice. I have a problem with people of any religion or lack thereof that seem to think that they're "special" and then need to try to impose their "specialness" on everyone else. I have a problem with people who use fear or emotion to try to manipulate or control others. I have a problem with people who try to use laws to enforce their opinions upon others who do not share them. I have a problem with people who want to try to restrict or remove the rights from others who do not fall in line with their beliefs, morals or ideologies.
But I would have a problem with those people regardless of whether they were Christian, atheist, agnostic, Hindu, Muslim, etc. Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs and their own opinions. They are not, however, entitled to try and force other people to accept them legally or personally, and they are not entitled to cry foul when they are treated negatively due to their own negative interactions.
Kylyssa, from those, don't expect any different. The basis of fundamentalism is exclusion (to perpetuate the belief that some will end up in hell while others in heaven). So, anyone (Christian) who hates an atheist, hates him or her because the bible tells them that anyone who says there is no God is a fool. And what is it to like about a fool who is headed to hell anyway? Those who tend to love (like those who love you), are those who have come to the realization, that Christian or not, faith or not, belief or not, we are all mere humans. Alike in our dispositions, but different in our choices. My humble thought!
GREAT answer. You hit the nail on the head. I'm often told by some that I'm not worth their time, like they're in some exclusive club and because I don't believe the same thing they do, I'm not worthy,. I feel sympathy for them. It must be sad.
Sympathy indeed. And it goes back to the question too, so that when one encounters such people, there isn't need to desire their love. Rather, show them that in your less exclusive state you love them anyway.
Thank you for your answer. I never thought of it that way. I knew I could learn something by asking this question!
Hate? Hate is a big word. Christians should not hate atheists - "love your neighbor", "love your enemies".
I do think it's possible to be friends with non-Christians and even love them, so long as they are ones who respect your beliefs and do no
I came to truly love an atheist and I am a Christian. He is my best friend and I never even met him in person. Funny and true story, the way I spoke about God was not like anything he ever heard. We talked for hours about God and he actually felt the presence of God and now believes. Never once did I push, and I cared for him even before he was a believer. So yes, it is possible. I am proof
A Christian who doesn't love a person because they are atheist would be like a doctor who doesn't treat a patient because that patient is sick. God's very commandment is to love. We show we love Him in loving others. I will say that love and truth are inseparable. There are many Christians who talk condemnation and ignore forgiveness, but there are also many Christians trying to be loving who ignore truth and when a person comes to Christ they repent of their sins, many preachers are so busy trying to be loving and accepting that they lead people to the notion that Christ accepts the sins of a person along with that person.
When I came to Christ I was into pornography and trying to cheat my way into riches.
As God worked on my heart, they both became things of the past, but reality is my strength is in Christ and I am every bit prone to go right back to those things. Love without truth would tell me those sins were just who I was and didn't need to be forgiven. Truth without love would tell me that because I did those things, I was condemned. Sin is the work of Satan and Jesus Christ came to save the sinner from sin and its penalty, sin is alluring and promises much pleasure and little pain, but it's end is destruction, Satan is the father of lies, he wants nothing less than to steal, kill, and destroy.
Love and truth go hand in hand. I could have a neighbor who's in a burning house and be silent because I don't want to offend him and in that case I'm worse than the one yelling he's going to burn if he doesn't get out.
Ultimately most Christians don't want to get involved in "other people's mess", but one indicator of genuine faith is getting involved in the lives of others without being involved in their sin. My in-laws aren't Christians and my desire is to show them Christ in every way, but my love for them isn't lessened because their not Christians.
A true Christian will love as God/Jesus love...which means loving the person, not the behavior or belief. If everyone hated others just because they are different, would we all not hate each other because every single one of us is different from the other? God is a God of love and truth, not hate.
Those Christians cannot even read their Bibles. They are conditioned to only believe what a pastor tells them. I am a Reverend and I do not care if you were purple with pink polka dots. Jesus told us to love one another and that was it. It does state that in the Bible and like I said many are taught to not even read that Bible but only to believe the one preaching.
Your question would also encompass the Gay community. Every single person who is on this Earth is here for a purpose and not one single one of them are more holier than thou than another. I wrote two hubs on this, one with scripture that tells us that we are no better than another and another one that tell how these people get this awful and do not read their own bibles and would not have any iota of how to even do so. Most pastors do not even teach what Jesus said in that Bible.
I can't help but sense that in writing your response, you wrote in a spirit of anger, not saying that I'm necessarily correct in that assumption, but your writing points to bitterness. Jesus said God would not forgive us if we didn't forgive others.
Whatever and I did not. Maybe you should read it again with an open mind.
Thank you for your explanation. I have found most Christians I know to be loving and it's puzzled me for a long time why others can take the same base religion and make it about hate. The next thing that puzzles me is why they get away with it.
Well I do not know how they away with it. It does have alot to do with psychology and I explained that on my last hub. Really I am not angry.
@fit2day I saw nothing angry in her response. I might have seen frustration and it's warranted if people are using the name of her deeply held beliefs and twisting elements from her religion to justify hatred.
A true christian will realize and understand the two great commandments given by Jesus Christ.
The second of the two is in Matthew 22:39 (NKJV) which states: 39 " And the second is like it; You SHALL love your neighbor as yourself."
Did you notice the command DID NOT SAY; You shall love your neighbor only IF they are a christian.
EVERYONE is my neighbor.
I have many neighbors who are atheists and I strongly disagree with their belief and still love them.
A true christian will love all atheists. Jesus loved the Samaritans, which were hated by Christians in biblical times and commanded us to love everyone.
Slight correction - the Samaritans were not hated by Christians, they were hated by Jews. Additionally, Jesus called a non-Jew dogs, and only helped when faith was evident Mat. 15:21-28
How the hell do either of you know that? Just because it says s
in some ancient text? Wanna buy a bridge...real cheap?
Craig - I'm not a Christian, I'm an atheist - if someone wants to use a book to justify their beliefs, I just ask that they use it correctly. It's sad that I seem to know it better than a lot of the people who believe it's actually true.
Just shows ta go ya JM. None of knows anything about anything divine but I have to remind you, being an atheist indicates that you too believe in something you can't prove either so why claim to believe in anything? That's not bad is it?
Okay, you're a complete stranger, I've never met you, and you couldn't point me out on the street. Agreeing on that, why don't you tell me what I believe? Go ahead.
The only belief you can know about by knowing someone is an atheist is that he or she doesn't think Gods are real. Do you have to prove Zeus isn't real to think He isn't?
As an Atheist, Craig - I lack a belief in a god. I do not therefore assert the positive that there is no God - I simply don't believe in one because none have been sufficiently proven. Is that what you were going to say? Because it would be wrong.
Loving the discussion, keep it civil please guys, we can all learn from each other.
I have an archaeology degree with units of comparative religion as well as a life long study of religion. I can confidently assure you that the comments you make about religion are very poor and grossly biased.
Sorry but you need to know this
I'm almost walking in your shoes for decades now and have been talking, writing, and mostly starting arguments about my religious beliefs. The FACT is, being an atheist is just as bad as being a Christian or any other denomination. Neither can prove absolutely anything about his or her beliefs. On the other hand, I CAN prove that all these ancient beliefs are man made myths simple by siting around 200 common sense, factual, and realistic observations that all boil down to reality, like it or not. the Christians know nothing about the truth and either does anyone else on the planet. However, there is certainly something to be said about endless provable facts, and common sense..
Granted, much of it is circumstantial in nature but stacked up against nothing but adolescent inspired indoctrination, that amounts to proof one can pretty much bet the farm on where i come from.
You being in the same boat as myself, proves that organized religion is the worst thing that ever happened to humanity. It isolates you doesn't it?
In the big picture it does the same thing to humanity pitting one group of believers against another and it's been going on since before recorded history.
So what? Well if BILLIONS of blown to bits and hacked to death mostly children in religious wars opens your eyes then you'll know why ANY kind of unprovable beliefs in the very sad world of religion including atheism is the biggest mistake mankind has ever made.
There is only one way to sensibly believe in God. or Allah, or any of the other thousands of invisible deities, and that is simply this:
"It beats the hell out of me."
A person who refuses to love you due to the fact that you are an atheist is clearly not in love with you and is therefore, not worthy of your time. How dare of them call themselves Christian when they are being so judgmental. I hate it when people use religion to pretend how deep their connection is with the Divine. Christ never did say to ignore or not to love atheist nor Muslims or other people having different faith. Christ certainly do not want Christians to be indifferent towards other people. To answer your question, a real Christian will never judge you for who you choose to be. He will be patient and understanding.
Truth is: Humans are humans and affection is affection. I don't think there is a religious affiliation survey when becoming friends or falling for someone. If you do happen to know the person's religious affiliation, you would also most likely know more about them to determine if they are worthy of friendship or more. As a Christian, some of my favorite people in this whole world are Atheists. I initially wanted to know more about them as where i'm from, it was really just a word I learned in religious studies class; I knew no atheist and simply sought to know more than that which was fed to me. With that said, true Christians do not (should not) hate. It might be a bit tricky if you're going to be talking relationships and likewise, there are atheists (I see some on my atheist friends' pages) who are more angry people seeking an axe to grind constantly than they are atheists. Funny enough, i've lost Christian friends for my suspected association and friendship with atheists...good riddance! In the same way not every christian or muslim or jew or buddhist or whatever is worthy of a friendship, not every atheist is worthy. If my husband was to turn an atheist tomorrow, I wouldn't be going anywhere though.
as a christian i can love an atheist .simply because we are all human beings....we are equal in front of Gods eyes that why he/she as an atheist is stil breathing because God lives and loves them....the word of God tells us never judge your brother for there is one judge....and also remove your spec in your eye first.
Of course. We are to love everyone. Just because we disagree on the aspects of spirituality (not religion) I do not buy into religion. My opinion on this is study the Bible and see what it tells you about life.
Saying that, we can just agree to disagree and move on. There is no need for ill feelings as we are all human beings. We all have our faults, shortcomings, opinions, etc. Why should we not get along? It is very unhealthy to harbor any ill feelings towards anyone. "Love one another" is Christ's greatest commandment.
What I've learned from studying the Bible for the last 30 years can easily justify bad behavior in Christians. Just ask a Christian who hates gays; he'll quote the Bible at even you. I'm interested in modern religion built around the Book. Thanks!
You are very welcome Kylyssa. Again, we are to hate no one. Hope you have a great day.
Thank you for helping me separate what is part of modern Christianity and what is a warping of it.
Of course I love atheists. They can't help that they don't believe just like I can't help that I do. They are just people who haven't found God yet. That might change tomorrow. Anyway God commands me to love my neighbors and some of them are, yep, you guessed it.
Some people have strange ideas about "love." The weaponized Christians you talk about have likely never been true Christians. In other words, they don't follow Christ, but follow their own Egos (self-concerned, selfishness).
I have loved even my enemies and found bliss despite their assaults. I have tasted the true meaning of love -- altruistic giving, responsibility, humility and fearless confidence.
We are all children of the Creator. Thus, we are all connected -- one family -- one soul. Loving others as yourself, as Christ said, is, in effect, loving yourself -- the larger self.
I think the key to getting "weaponized Christians" to lay down their arms may lie in enticing them to study their own religion. Heck, I'd be happy if they would just listen to the current Pope! Thank you for more insight!
For me, I like all people, regardless of whether they believe in God or not, and I have to wonder what and by whom have you been reading? There are those that cannot accept atheists any more than accepting Hinduism, which, in my opinion, really begins to narrow your field for friends, and your general knowledge. With every new person you strike up a conversation with, you have the chance to learn, and to teach. There is already too much hate already, we should give acceptance a try... Or tolerance, forgiveness... Why can't we just allow everyone to be who they are, and go on with life, without judgements or condemnation...wishful thinking, huh?
In both my offline & online life I have gotten death threats from Christians. I've been actually assaulted & had my property vandalized by Christians. Replies like yours suggest that they hide what they're doing from other Christians. Thank y
I am so very sorry that has happened to you... the fear, the hate you have experienced is horrific, and that is NOT what Christianity is about. Belief in God is ones Faith, as intangible as a soul, yet people use God like an ax, then as an excuse
Kylyssa my heart goes out to you for your horrific experiences. I can't seem to stress enough that simply believing Christ exists and that the Bible is the word of God does NOT make you a Christian, but instead a person aligned to the Christian relig
I don't have problems with people who are atheist as long as they don't harm me and other people. Who am I to judge? However, it would still be better if we have the same beliefs.
One of my favorite quotes is that going to Church no more makes you a Christian than sitting in your Garage makes you a car. It is the actions of the person that creates their character not their religion or what they believe it is about how they conduct their life. For me the answer is that as a Christian I strive to love everyone regardless of being an atheist or a Christian. I love someone for who they are on the inside not what religion they profess to be or not be.
Thank you for your answer. Is it possible that such people are Christians if they believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God as well as being God and they are trying to live how they think Jesus wants them to?
A Christian in my definition is living the Example that Christ set. So to answer your question yes you can be a Christian by Believing in Jesus Christ.
If an atheist retains the basic principles of compassion and protection of the weak they are quite acceptable to me.
I believe I could, and I have. As long as you agree never to discuss it, I believe you can have a good relationship.
Of course we can. Many of my friends and colleagues are atheists and care for them very much. Yes, I invited them to church once and yes, they know I love God. As far as I'm concerned we as Christians are not supposed to judge but love everyone and welcome others who are different. It doesn't mean I won't stop praying that they see the truth. I understand that it's my truth not an atheists truth but think about it. How long ago was the bible written? Yet there are so many things in it that describe what is happening today. It even warns us that the devil is deceiving...look around you. Anyway, not judging, hating, just praying you find what you're looking for. P.S I'm the furthest thing from perfect, I'm a sinner and have so many problems, I struggle sometimes by I have hope because I have God.
I am an atheist as well, and I've always found it a bit odd to try and have romantic relationships with religious people of any kind. There are just certain things that I cannot deal with. Call me a narcissist, but I don't like the idea of being second best to an invisible sky fairy. Just not my cup of tea.
You're saving yourself a bunch of heartache. For most of my relationship with my ex, every argument, no matter what it was about, turned into a tirade about my "lack of morality" even if it was just a debate over buying a futon or a sofa sleeper.
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