To give some further context to my readers the words in bold italics are my present response to a rather fiery sermon that I wrote toward Atheists in early 2011. I split this dialogue into two blog posts. The irony in all of this is that I never anticipated that I would someday advocate for reason over faith. I was a conservative Bible Thumping Christian through and through.
This is a frightening reality that I think gives a very adequate explanation for why the world is the way it is. It’s a broken world full of people who are cut off from God because “we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23). Every single one of us has lived according to our own selfish desires and committed shameful acts for our own gain, at the expense of other people. As the common slogan goes,” if it feels good, do it!” Lets take this statement to its logical outcome shall we? So if hatred feels good, hate, if murder feels good, murder, if adultery feels good, go for it, if lying feels good, keep it up, if persecuting other people feels good, don’t stop! I think anyone with a shred of a conscience would agree that, that kind of standard is no standard at all!
Again you are simply continuing to advocate that all of human knowledge can be summed up within your Bible. Your argument is also not very polite at all. I feel as if I’m being talked down to and degraded into some kind of shameful worm that must fall to my knees and beg for forgiveness!
Now some of you may still be wondering, does sin really lead some people to atheism? I would argue that anytime anyone commits a sin that it is certainly a symptom of growing atheism. Here’s why, when we sin we deny the God who created morality, who created our conscience so that we can tell the difference between right and wrong. Psalms 14:1-3 in the Bible says, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.” They are corrupt, They have done abominable works, There is none who does good. The LORD looks down from heaven upon the children of men, To see if there are any who understand, who seek God. They have all turned aside, They have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, No, not one.”
Your tendency to spout off various Bible verses in defense of your position is very unhelpful. Many of us Atheists have read the Bible quite thoroughly and have simply come to a different conclusion. The fool says there is no God right? 1) When was this Bible passage written? Was this ancient human informed by the development and advancements of Science and Philosophy as we are today? Is it truly foolish and uninformed to remain open minded about the question of origins? I can say that people are idiots if they do not believe in the existence of fairies. This doesn’t make the point valid in any way. The question of the Bible’s God remains in a criteria set that cannot be readily confirmed and validated in our world. Evidentially speaking this God is just as plausible as thousands of other Theistic and Polytheistic formulations.
According to the Bible we have all been atheists in the sense that we have all rejected God’s reality at different moments in our lives! When we’ve been so steeped in our own sin and rebellion we have told ourselves that since we don’t feel bad about our wrong doing, and since I have no sense of God in my life, and since I’ve never seen a light from heaven to tell me to change, I can keep living my own way and who’s to tell me I’m wrong?! There is no truth since I don’t care about whether there’s truth or not! Do you think that a real God, a Holy God who believes in justice is going to justify your soul when you’ve spat in His face and never even given Him a chance to bring you true light?! You’ve told God that you hate Him even before you’ve ever said that you’d like to actually put some effort into investigating whether the claims of Jesus Christ could actually be true!
Sir, you pretty well have just cut off this whole conversation! You have actually just accused me of not caring about the truth? I think about the truth everyday! I’m a human being just like you. We all have the same amount of evidence or lack thereof to work with in this life. Again, your error is quite extreme in this regard, you are actually assuming and believing that I possess some kind of internal knowledge about the God of Christianity. This is blatantly false! My advice to you. Pack up your bags and interact with various religious and secular people throughout the world. If you can’t do that, then at least expand your horizons and learn from other perspectives.
John 3:17-21 gives the verdict of God towards people who do not believe. “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. ‘He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. ‘And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. ‘For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. ‘But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
Therefore as long as anyone remains stuck in a line of thinking that they don’t need to do anything to show God that they are serious about actually knowing Him, God will keep that person in darkness, God could ultimately give that person over to a debased and corrupt conscience if they persist in sin! For anyone who’s actually serious about finding God and knowing the truth Scripture tells us how to begin. Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for He who comes to God must believe that He is (exists!!!), and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Do you want to know God? Then I challenge you to seek him with all of your heart, mind, soul, and strength! When you’ve put some effort into showing God that you know you’re a sinner in need of a Savior, when you’ve come to God on His terms and acknowledged that you’ve been a wicked person, when you test the truth claims of Jesus Christ and realized that the argument that he was a lunatic holds no water, the evidence that he was a liar is a complete lie in itself, and that the only conclusion is that He must be the Lord from heaven who came down to rescue sinners from death and hell, then you will find Him!
You will not find God in simply believing! You will not find God in simply praying a prayer! You will find God when you start living like he exists! You will find God when you start taking part in bringing His kingdom and will into your heart and life. God is found in repentance, which means to consciously turn away from everything in your life that God has defined as sin in the Bible. When you realize that nothing else matters in life except knowing the true God and obeying His will. This involves a supernatural work in your heart that only God can do! We all by nature hate God and his commandments. It’s because we’ve been corrupted from sin. This supernatural work becomes our greatest proof of God’s existence because it will completely transform your mind and heart to the core! You will not be the same person and your own pathetic will power will have no comparison to the transforming work of the living and resurrected Jesus that you will meet and encounter everyday!
I will find God when I start living like He exists? Wow, so I am actually being encouraged to blindly accept the existence of your God? You have nothing else of substance to offer me so as to bring me into an intelligent, objective acknowledgement that this being does in fact exist? In that case I should just place my bets on every brand of religion out there. I don’t want to risk being wrong!
2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
Seek God until this happens and you will surely find Him! That’s what I did when I was 15 years old and I have never been the same! I’m not perfect, and the Bible doesn’t say that Christians don’t struggle with sin from time to time. However the Bible does teach that we are free from sin and therefore sin and carnality will not be a regular part of our lifestyle! Holiness will and God will actually become exciting when we’ve actually found Him and don’t go to church out of obligation but rather our love for Christ and His people.
My own conclusion from years of self evaluation is that when I was 15 years old I did not find God. I was in fact placed into a very conservative fundamentalist church that indoctrinated me quite thoroughly. Prior to this my family was rather poorly committed to attending the Catholic church on a not so regular time schedule.
I became very excited from this supposed knowledge that I had gained. I experienced a lot of euphoric moments in this community. Times where the goosebumps would come on very strong. I interpreted these times as being some kind of supernatural encounter with Jesus and the Holy Spirit. That was it! That was what I truly thought was the intervention of God into my existence.
The critical thinking and deep evaluation started in my early twenties. Religious and secular minds alike all desire to engage in this process. Some more than others! One thing that I find especially alarming and insulting from my past is that one previous Pastor that I looked up to actually took it upon himself to discourage me from being intellectual. I distinctly remember him telling me this!
This is what some church leaders (not all) deliberately do to young people. They teach them not to value higher forms of evaluation and critical thinking. It is actually said to be a waste of time. Their time is better off spent making converts. This is nothing other than brainwashing at its best. Knowledge about the world is not something to be feared! One of the most honorable pursuits is the pursuit of knowledge and finding the proper methods of confirmation within that process.