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In Defense Of Atheism
Given my faith, this may seem like an odd statement, certainly it’s not one you will hear in most churches.
But stick with me here and I’ll explain, in my years of moving through the various types of christian belief, I have rarely run into christians who really understand their faith. Most that I have run across can quote various pieces of scripture and repeat what they have been taught, but few if *any* have the depth to question what they actually believe. This type of sheep like mentality leads to believers who will fall for anything, question nothing and do far more damage than good.
Want some examples?, I’ve heard believers tell teenagers they should host a book burning for Harry Potter (when they themselves never read the books), read only the King James Version of the bible, follow con artists who come in the name of God (whose radical beliefs are swept under the rug). Tell others how to live their lives, spend their money and have no problem prying into the private areas of a family’s life, I’ve heard things that have caused me to groan in embarrassment only to have others accept it with nary a question. This is especially true when you get into areas like creation and Genesis, there is a whole movement of people who read Genesis as a scientific text and condemn *any* belief that does not match their interpretation.
Today Scientists, *real* scientists are learning more and more about molecular biology, the big bang and other theory’s that make young earthers go crazy. Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort have made an entire ministry trying to defeat the evils of Darwin, but neither are scientists nor are they theologins and as you can imagine they make quite a spectacle. And so many in the modern evangelical church follow them without asking a single question, not a single concern, they buy into whatever looks christian and never look back.
So now imagine this, your sitting on the outside and science has answered a good number of questions, (not all of them mind you). Now we can find evidence for various forms of evolution, we know a good deal about the original big bang theory and how the universe came to be. We have been able to empirically prove some of Einstein’s theories as our technology advances, and yet, with all this evidence there are prominent and loud christians who simply deny any attempt at a reasonable conversation. Instead falling back on name calling, and using the bible as a type of blunt instrument to defend their position. Ray Comfort has even stated that ‘You can lead an atheists to the truth, but you can’t make him think!’, nice answer, well thought out and well reasoned.
No wonder those who don’t believe think we are nuts, well I’m here to say that not all of us are that gullible. I will never claim to have all the answers, but I don’t think either side has all the answers either. Intelligent Design is an interesting concept that has some merit, it’s a good discussion point. But as a believer I’ve changed over the last year and I now understand why Atheists think we are nuts… It’s because most of us ARE!
The modern evangelical church is full of people who are running on blind faith, with no depth, no understanding and a wicked judgmental attitude. Most atheists I know can give you a reasonable answer as to why they don’t believe, it doesn’t mean they are right, but at least *they* can explain why they believe what they do. I cringe every time someone says ‘I believe because the bible says it’, I’m sorry to be the one to say this, but if someone doesn’t believe the Bible then WHY EVEN MENTION IT in your conversation. It’s not that I don’t believe the bible, it’s just that despite all that you hear the Bible DOES NOT have all the answers.
Shocking, I know. But the Bible is made of historical books, allegorical stories, poetry, prophecy and epistles. The youngest book is still over 2000 years old, there are culture gaps, language gaps, understanding gaps and let’s be honest, while I believe it was divinely inspired. It’s been written by the hand of man, so it’s not perfect. But that does not mean we can’t learn from it, but to learn from it you have to understand it first.
So when I hear people make stupid statements like that, I cringe because I understand why so many Atheists are former believers. And I share their skepticism, it’s good to be skeptical, it’s good to question. I would differ with my Atheist friends in that I think God gave us those skills to be wary of idiots (sorry had to say it). It’s sad when I see good honest people fall right into the trap of something that looks good, and it’s at those times I really feel like we need more atheists to keep us on track.
So next time you meet and Atheist, shake their hand and learn to listen a bit, you might just learn something about your faith that you’ve been missing…
Interesting observations. I’m firmly in the agnostic camp (as I recall we discussed many years ago). The evangelical atheists make me cringe just as much as the evangelical Christians when it comes to PDF (public displays of faith). They’re in it mainly for market share, and both sides will happily lie their pants off if it results in more converts. Don’t even get me going about the world-class hypocrisy on both sides of the pro-life vs pro-choice factions.
If you’re looking for a mainstream religious affiliation that openly encourages skepticism and questioning rather than blind acceptance, and values secular as well as biblical scholarship, you may find more common ground with Judaism than you realize. We don’t recruit (well, except for Chabad , but they only recruit lapsed Jews, not Gentiles), but sincere, respectful seekers are welcome to inquire.