I received this comment on a post entitled ‘Fairest Lord Jesus-Sufficient above all.’ I gave him the benefit of the doubt of not calling him an atheist even though he assumes the title. At this point I’d say he has too many absolutes to not be a believer in something. But I thought because it is so well written and that it is right in line with this weeks series on the creeds of the essentials of the Christian faith, I thought I would work my way through some of the paragraphs of his thoughts and share my perspective from a Christian Theist point of view. My comments in italics will follow each paragraph of his.
ROBERT: In the beginning man created the gods
HOLD TO TRUTH: [Clever. I will save the long dissertation but it would be beneficial for everyone to think and study the Cosmological, Teleological (or Design), and Moral Argument for the existence of God. If you are an atheist you reserve the right to come to your own conclusions, but at least you can say you thoroughly considered all points.]
ROBERT: What I think of organized religion. I hope you gleam a small bit of useful information as I have. What games religion is playing in America and the world today? We live in a rare time and country where we can choose for ourselves how much or little Religion we want in our lives, but the followers of most religions just don’t understand the word no! Not in my life not in my schools not in my government, NO! is the choice I have made for me and my family, the following reasons are part of the problem as I see it.
HOLD TO TRUTH:[Actually I agree with you Robert. When I think of organized religion I see the same games. I see politics superseding truth and tagged with religiosity to give it credibility. I see a lot of folks who do not know how to say no too. But then I see a lot of people first hand who do not say no to turning their cheeks when attacked. I see people who give their last to help someone else. I see firsthand accounts of people embracing those who suffer with sickness, homelessness, pride, filth and love them as their brothers and sisters and they will not stop doing it. And it is their particular religion that motivates them: Christian, Judaism, Islam, etc. You seem to have judged the book by the holder, and neither the writer nor the content. I will do my best not to assume the same about you and understand where you are coming from. So lets hear your reasons.]
ROBERT: First: religion is in no way real. The word religion or god is nothing more than an expression or product of human fear and weaknesses or imagination in some cases. The Bible/Koran, a collection of ancient myths and stories borrowed from many cultures over hundreds of centuries or longer. Sadly the followers of Christianity, Islam, and others want to make decisions for us all based on their interpretation of books that are in no way real. These groups are working hard and spending millions trying to influence our politicians to pass laws based on their interpretation of these books. Trying to convert the USA into a religious state. I hope to never see any religious icons on our flag, because then it would be a good time to leave.
HOLD TO TRUTH: [Do you believe that religiously? Or just on occasion? We must be careful with absolute statements because they often push a limit that we are not capable of holding up to. It is the very weakness you are speaking about that affirms this point. Who told you that we are weak (which we are?) In order to have weakness you must have known something else is strong. And you seem pretty humble so I assuming you were including yourself in that camp of weak people who I find myself in most days. The same implications go for what you seem to be implying with your discourse that what religion does is wrong. That really speaks to a morality. I believe it was Ravi Zacharias who unpacked the idea that if there is bad, there must be good, if you have good you must have a moral law. If there is a moral law you must have a moral law giver. But if there is no moral law giver, there is no moral law, and if there is no moral law there is no good and thus no evil and your whole post falls apart then.
There then is a reason to consider the authority of a book, which came well before you. And it sounds like an apology may be due to you to what many Christians tend to run to as the basis of their faith, ‘What He did for me.’As Christians we do need to be mindful in sharing The Faith that the authority is not based in our own experience but in what the Bible says about God. And this is important to remember because what God does for one may not necessarily be exactly what He will do for you. But what we can both agree on Robert is that the bible is historically accurate and affirms itself by over 40 authors over the course of over 1,500 years. If it is not true it would be the biggest conspiracy known to man. Nobody gets along that well to pull that off. No to mention all of the artifacts and fragments of scriptures dating closer to the original date than any ancient writing. There is just too much there to draw a quick conclusion. I admit that as Christians if we affirmed the historical validity of a sovereign God, the incarnation of Jesus the Messiah and the certainty by even skeptics that He existed, the validity of His death, the prophecy of it hundreds of years before (a type of death that was not created yet,) the reason for his incarnation and death and THEN what He did for me, it would be more helpful to believing why we follow Him. And then also what true religion should be. What we aspire to be not necessarily what we do infallibly.
You speak to other religions that seem to have similar stories and I find that intriguing. I went to Mexico a few years ago and learned about a sport where the best player from the winning team would be sacrificed at the end of the game as an offering. It seems to me that all these religions are looking for atonement perhaps there is something to that. Everyone is dealing with the need to be forgiven. Maybe you are looking for forgiveness also?
Lastly. You are right about the influence of religions on politics. But again lets balance the picture. Was slavery solved without the impact of people following religion? (some who originally admittedly were proponents) Or what about civil rights, women’s suffrage, seat belts? All of these were only pushed forward by Atheists, opponents to religion? Or are you saying that religions are pushing this agenda? In that case is it wrong? Would it be better to be a slave state again? I personally would not like that option.]
This is probably a good breaking point. We’ll pick up the conversation tomorrow with CREDO in DEUM- CONVESATIONS WITH AN ‘ATHEIST’ (PART 2)
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POST A COMMENT: Do you agree? What do you need to refine in sharing OUR faith? What about the Gospel do you need to contemplate and study more?
I’m considering doing a post on the Cosmological, Teleological, and Moral arguments for the existence of God. Would you be interested in reading those?