Archive for the ‘atheism’ Tag

I Am Not a Muslim!   5 comments

That might seem like I’m stating the obvious, but a commenter forwarded a you-tube video featuring a self-described angry atheist who grouped all religions together. I’m posting on my husband’s tablet, so I can’t post the video (others probably could) so I’ll do that later or you can find it in the comments for “A Message to Atheists”.

What this woman does by lumping all who claim the label of Christianity with Muslims, Hindus, cult groups and just about anyone else who acknowledges the reality of the metaphysical is create a logical fallacy based on a false dichotomy.

The false dichotomy is that all religions are equivalent and that only atheism is a reasonable response to the world. In the video, the speaker makes the case that all religions are capable of atrocities in the name of religion. Tomorrow we can expect the Amish to launch the next 911.

Clearly the Amish bear little resemblance to Sunni Muslims,but pay no attention to the evidence. Their belief in the metaphysical is dangerous.

My faith teaches me nonaggression. As far as he world allows, I practice my faith in peace. I won’t violate God’s laws to make the world like me, but I’m not going to blow anything up for my beliefs. So don’t lump me with Muslims who do believe the sword is an appropriate way to advance heir god’s agenda.That is not the god of the Bible and the fruit of our different faiths are evidently different.

The false dichomy of religion versus atheist leads to all sorts of logical fallacies, not the least of which is that Christians whose Bible teach them nonaggression are going to launch the next 911.

Interview with A Former Atheist   4 comments

The Markham clan discussion group started with reasonable adults who wanted to understand one another … or at least convince each other that we were reasonable.

But we didn’t start out like that. Rick is older and grew up in Seattle, while Bai, David and myself were all kids together here in Fairbanks. Growing up, Bai and David’s mom was Catholic, but the family quit going within a year of arriving in Fairbanks and so the boys didn’t really grow up with that tradition. Toward the end of high school, I became interested in Christianity and Bai dated one of my Christian friends in college before he became a Christian himself. He and I both agree we were something akin to rational deists before we came to Christ. We didn’t have a personal relationship with Christ, but we also both saw evidence for the existence of the metaphysical before our salvation experience, so when God called us, we wanted evidence, but we didn’t demand proof because we already knew something besides the physical existed.

In high school, David dabbled in Eastern Mysticism and researched Catholicism. He announced that he thought Christianity was cannibalism because of the whole transubstantiation dogma. He was surprised to find out that I (the only evangelical he knew) agreed. The Bible describes a memorial feast. There’s no actual blood or flesh involved in the bread and wine/juice no matter how many magic words a priest says. It’s all symbolism.

In college, David was surrounded by atheists professors and was particularly drawn to a philosphy professor who was an avowed Christian hater. I’d had the same professor a few years before and found him charismatic and intelligent, and managed to get a B out of his class without renouncing my faith. David never really needled me about my faith probably because there’s nearly five years age difference, so we weren’t close friends in college. The few conversations we had were reasonable enough, though I found myself having to correct his misperceptions about Christianity a lot. When Bai accepted Christ, however, David exploded. He became determined to prove to Bai, if not me, that Christianity was unintelligent delusional crap! He played the battering ram for years before Rick suggested a reasonable discussion over the controllable environment of email.

A few years ago when he announced he’d become an agnostic, in my capacity as chronicler of our group, I asked him why?

Why have to decided that agnosticism is a more reasonable response than atheism?

“I got tired of being angry all the time against people who were irritated by me, but who I knew wished me absolutely well. If I needed a kidney, Bai would be the first one to offer. Rick would figure out how to cure my kidney disease before I needed the kidney. You were there when (his wife) went into labor and I was half a world away. No matter how much I wanted to say your beliefs turned you into monsters, that wasn’t true. You’re all good people.

Then there the questions I see in my own profession. Rick especially helped me to see that too much certainty is not a scientific way to view the world. Evidence is not proof. Evidence can be interpreted different ways and sometimes the pet theories of yesterday turn out to be ridiculous in the next generation. I still think my view of the evidence is the best way to view it, but I wouldn’t be shocked (now) if I was proven wrong.”

What sort of evidence would constitute proof for you of God?

“Honestly, although I say I don’t know if God exists, it would still take something very definite to convince me of his existence. If he really does come back, I’ll believe in him then — I think.”

So at least one ticket on the Post-Tribulation Believers’ Express?

“Yeah, I know — that’s what you guys don’t want for me, but unless I can see, feel, touch God in the physical world, I don’t see myself accepting a phantom as real. I put God with the multiverse theory of universal origins. You may want it to be true, but there’s no evidence. It’s just conjecture, so I’m abstaining until some more evidence shows up.”

What drives you crazy about Christians?

“Your certainty. I used to call that arrogance or non-thinking, but I can’t call Rick non-thinking and you, Brad and Bai have not been arrogant to me. Your certainty in the face of so much opposition is hard to grasp. I see the same evidence you guys see, but you come to different conclusions. I used to think you had to go through some delusional mental gymnastics to do that, but over the last 20 years, I’ve recognized that you don’t. “

So, how do you see things differently from when you said you were an atheist?

“I don’t know that I do. I think it’s more my attitude. Before I was very zealous. My ‘faith’ in science and materialism was so absolute, I felt I needed to beat you into believing it. It was a crusade. And, now I don’t feel so messianic. I don’t know that I’m right. I don’t know that you are either.”

So do you think some of this new softness comes from the birth of your son?

“Cheap shot, but yeah. It’s hard not to wonder about miracles when your wife gets pregnant when she’s supposed to be unable to conceive and then she goes into labor a month early and you just happen to show up with a midwife. And, he’s gorgeous and healthy! I know the pregnancy was medically possible because it happened and the midwife was a mountain-biking coincidence, but wow …. Yeah, that definitely made me think. But I’m not going soft-headed.”

Just soft-hearted?

“Maybe. Being a parent does make you think about the future and even eternity. Is my atheism best serving my child?  Just as I am now planning more time at home, which means less time in the field, I also want to be less angry and argumentative. And, when I think about the cold, material world that I believe in, I’m not sure I want that for Dylan. If there’s an alternative, I might prefer that for him.”

Does that mean you’ll let him spend time with his heretic relatives?

The answer was “yes” and Dylan is on our son’s babysitting list for the summer and our son is a 15-year-old who lives his faith. To the extent that you can have a theological conversation with a four-year-old, they’re talking about it.

As I’ve said, I have no problem with agnostics. Of course, I live my faith in front of them and they can accept that or not. The Markham Clan Discussion Group continues to this day and David remains the sharp counterpoint who can be counted on for a non-believing perspective. We’ve also added a cousin who is an engineer. He’s afraid to call himself an atheist, but he’s definitely a non-believer.

Posted June 16, 2014 by aurorawatcherak in Christianity

Tagged with , , , , ,

A Message to Atheists   45 comments

You may think I hate you, but I don’t. Your aggressive arrogance irritates the stuffing out of me, but that’s an inconvenience in my life and a huge cancer in yours.

The last think you want to do is admit that God exists or that you are not the highest form of intelligence in the universe. You tell yourself that atheism is just unbelief in a divinity and that your anger is motivated by Christian arrogance in refusing to accept your benighted wisdom. Hatred fills your heart at the very thought of Jesus and, you know what, it would fill my heart too if I didn’t know Him in a personal way.

There … you feel it. That anger is the fruit of your real problem which, at root, is hatred toward God. Yeah, yeah, you don’t believe in Him and … yada … yada … yada …. Why would non-belief engender so much anger? If you really didn’t know at some level that God is real, you wouldn’t care.

So, here’s my prayer for you —

Jesus is your only way to be free of anger and arrogance. It’s not necessary to fix up your life or do good works to become a Christian. In fact, those methods will get in your way. Just admit to God that you might not have been right about His non-existence and that you would welcome His making Himself known to you and then open your eyes and see what you’re missing. Once you’ve let go of that eyes-sealed-shut rage, the atheistic theories you now cling to like a barnacle on a rock will begin to dissipate in your mind. As with all of us, there is much in your life that needs to be forgiven. Trust me, there is nothing Jesus cannot forgive. If you choose love right now, you will begin to come free of the hate that is driving your worldview.

Some of you may have a very strong reaction to reading these words. Recognize it. Own it! Overcome it!

Or not. The choice is truly up to you. Your reaction is evidence of either atheistic rage or God’s grace at work in your heart. One or the other is at work inside of you and there’s no way to get around it. God won’t force you to start loving when you are willing yourself to continue hating. It would be ironic if your recognition of your hatred for God became the very thing that finally convinced you of His existence!

Beware the Three   Leave a comment

When you point the finger at someone, you should always be aware of the three fingers pointing back at you.

So when discussing the arrogance of atheists, it’s a good idea to judge yourself according to your own standard.

I’m proud to proclaim that I am a Christian, not because I’ve done anything to deserve salvation, but because God is worth bragging about. He created the universe, He made mankind in His image, He didn’t fry us to bacon bits when we screwed up His creation, and He loved us enough to step down into this messy cesspool we’ve created, spend 30-odd years hanging out with thiefs, liars and murderers, and then willingly died a horrific physical death so that He could take on the sins of every man, woman and child who has ever lived on this planet from creation to Judgment Day. Think about it! He took on the sins of Hitler, not because He thought Hitler was worth saving but because He thought you are worth saving.

Atheists will claim that Christians are arrogant because we think the universe was designed for us. It’s only arrogant if it’s not true and if it leads you to have a big head. Paul the apostle said, salvation is a great thing, but Christians have no room to boast because Jesus did it all and we just said “amen”.

The fact is that most of the atheists who annoy the snot out of you today are going to Hell. I don’t say that with glee. I weep for them. The anger and rebellion they hold so fast in their hearts will prevent them (most of them) from ever admitting that they are not the smartest people in the room and that God is and always has been more powerful than them. They would rather die than ask Jesus to forgive them of their arrogance of unbelief and anger.

And they will die. There’s only one unpardonable sin — to die without having accepted Jesus in faith. And after that — the darkness.

As a Christian I long to see others, including arrogant atheists, accept Christ and the Bible for the opposite reason that atheists carry out their mission. I want people to experience God’s love and forgiveness so that they will be freed from hatred and anger. Instead of lusting for the destruction of innocence and the persecution of the faithful, I long for the redemption of the lost, hurting and angry — most especially when they don’t deserve it.

Which is not to say I’m perfect. I struggle with my own human tendencies toward anger and I admit it. Surrendering my will to Jesus Christ replaced a good deal of that with peace and love, though I must continually renew it by submitting to Him on a daily and hourly basis.

The Bible cherry-pickers will insist that we’re not supposed to judge, but the Bible also says we will “know them by their fruits”. There is nothing wrong with evaluating the fruit of various worldviews and finding some of them wanting. When we evaluate the fruit of atheism and the fruit of Christianity, it’s obvious which one is based on murderous rage and blind arrogance. Atheism was responsible for 150 million deaths in the 20th century and that’s a conservative estimate for a philosophy that is less than one-twenthieth of the world population. Human arrogance has very little tolerance for difference or liberty and a penchant for genocide. The numbers do not lie about what spews from the heart of atheists when they’re in power.

Yes, I know about the Crusades. Do you? It’s another topic. Let’s not  look at the ancient history of nominal “christians”. That’s a rabbit chase to avoid the real issue.

I don’t think I’m better than atheists. We are all sinners before God. “There is no one who does good, not even one” (Romans 3:12). That includes Christians. If we do anything good, it is because we allow God to do it through us.

Does that sound arrogant?

Or does it contradict the assertions of atheists that Christians are arrogant?

Atheism looks down on those who are not atheists and judges them unworthy. Francis Collins should have been passed for the National Institutes of Health because he’s a theist, atheists say. Forget his truly remarkable credentials as a scientist and eliminate him from consideration because of his faith.

In calling atheists out on their arrogance and anger, however, Christians must be careful to recognize that our human nature is the same as theirs. We’re only different because we’ve been forgiven. We are not better than atheists and if we’ve thought we were, we should immediately and publicly repent of that false notion. We’re still flesh and blood and only God’s grace covers our uglier parts. Remember that in dealing with atheists and don’t match arrogance with arrogance.

Posted June 15, 2014 by aurorawatcherak in Christianity

Tagged with , , , ,

Cat on A Hot Tin Roof   Leave a comment

People get angry very easily. We have an inclination to defend ourselves and our presuppositions. The inclination evidences itself pretty early in life. Just try arguing with a preschooler about anything. And, it’s not substantially improved by the time we’re in our early 20s. Our 21-year-old daughter announced the other day that nuclear power is a horrible and that we should just get rid of it. When I asked what she thought we could replace it with, she informed me that “tungsten is a great source of energy”. Brad, the electrician, allowed that tungsten is a great conductor of electricity, but he had never heard that it could be used to produce energy. How dare we question her information and her generation’s commitment to making things better!

Yeah! Natural man gets angry very easily, especially when our unexamined presuppositions have been challenged.

My experience with many atheists (not all, I will say that up front) is that seething anger at God and Christians lies just beneath the surface of many of their erudite surface demeanor. But why?

A heart in rebellion is a cat on a hot tin roof. Most atheists come from at least nominal Christian homes. For most, the warm embrace of atheism begins in college as an intellectual exercise either because friends are doing it or because a charismatic professor advances the discussion. Even if the student wants to argue for faith, there are often serious negative consequences to face if they do, so they remain silent and soak in the intellectual arguments for non-faith. For many, there is no actual faith to deny. They honestly don’t know the tenets of Christianity and are unaware of the evidence supporting the Bible and they accept whole-hog the atheist non-factuals about what Christians believe, but moreover it feels good to rebel against parents, religious leaders and especially God. Intellectual pride puffs a person up and makes him feel important in the grand scheme of things. We all want to feel important, but the pervasive scientism of our day tells us that none of us really are, so finding a niche of pride in accomplishment by doing battle for the intellect is at least an existential benefit.

The enjoyable exercise soon becomes a crusade, not because they care about the world around them being ignorant, but because they themselves are deeply disturbed by their own rebellion, but refuse to acknowledge it. It’s not enough for many atheists to espouse their worldview and simply be irritated by Christians and any other religionists who happen into their pathway. No, they want to make others just as arrogant and angry, first because misery loves company and second because they feel vindicated if they can notch their belt with impressionable young people with some measure of faith in God. However, the greatest anger is reserved for those who actually believe in Jesus as Savior and in the Bible as God’s inerrant Word. We are an affront to them that must be removed from society or at least silenced, marginalized and humiliated.

Why?

Why would Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins and other atheists so vehemently oppose a distinguished scientist like Francis Collins as head of the National Institutes of Health?

It wasn’t about scientific credentials, now was it? Collins’ credentials are much stronger than Dawkins in the same field. No, their objection was based on Collins’ theism, as if that somehow taints his science. Because the last thing a close-minded atheist can tolerate is anyone with the credentials to make scientific discoveries that might destabilize their presuppositions.

 

Posted June 14, 2014 by aurorawatcherak in Christianity

Tagged with , , , , ,

Missing Connections   Leave a comment

David has slowly come to admit that paleontology can’t explain some of the gaps in the fossil record. In his more-atheistic youth, he was sure paleontology would soon answer his questions. These days, he admits, it doesn’t look like it will.

To the layman, that means paleontologists are still operating in the realm of theory, but that doesn’t prevent many who don’t enjoy mystery in their world from acting as though scientists have found iron-clad proof of what they desperately want to be true.

Most scientists know what they have is evidence, not proof. That’s why discerning readers will note the small disclaimers found throughout evolutionary literature. For example, when parts of a foot, hand, pelvis and skull were uncovered in a South African cave in 2008, it was hailed by the media as a “missing link” between modern man and the ancient ancestor we supposedly share with apes. ABC News called Australopithecus sediba it a “game changer” because the cave the remains were found in dated to 1,977,000 years. The media announced the fossils were that old as well.

Of course, if you’ve got your reason cap on today, you recognize that a cave almost always predates someone living in it, but that gets lost in the shuffle of announcing a big discovery that seems to silence skeptics of evolution. Nobody notices the small words that disclaim that this is an unproven theory. The finding is a “strong confirmation of evolutionary theory”, but it isn’t proof because the actual events were not observed and are not repeatable.

Such disclaimers are often skipped over by Americans when reading about science because our public school system guides our youth to believe in experts, especially scientists, regardless of the evidence. We are taught that a theory is the same thing as a certainty if it comes from an “expert”. We ignore the disclaimers that serve as quiet admission that the “experts” haven’t found proof, just evidence they hope confirms their theory.

So what happens when an “expert” realizes that if macroevolution ever occurred, there should be millions of transitional fossil forms documenting the evolution of the various species?

Darwin himself expected to find an enormous number of these once that we knew to look for them. Yet, after more than a century of fossil mining and analyzing the geologic strata, the “experts” have found only sporadic and questionable fossils that even the evolutionary community cannot agree upon.

If atheistic explanations for the origin of the universe were true, we should be witnessing the spontaneous generation of life and matter all over the place. Or maybe at least once somewhere. We’d see transitional forms between different varieties of living organisms. But science hasn’t found that, even as they continue to hold out hope that they will.

David now calls himself an agnostic because he recognizes the truth of the following statement.

“Faith is being sure of what we hope for and being convinced of what we do not see.” Hebrews 13:1

Actor Chris O’Dowd Equates Religion With Racism   Leave a comment

Actor Chris O’Dowd Equates Religion With Racism.

And, for an example of what Sorbo is talking about ….

atleastihaveafrigginglass

What could possibly go wrong?

Who the Hell Knows?

The name says it all.

Rebellious Hazelnuts

Surreal Stories, Very Tall Tales

Adjusting My Sails

When the wind doesn't blow the way you want, adjust your sails

Stine Writing

Poetry, Positivity, and Connecting!

Writer vs the World

In search of beauty, inspired by literature.

Inside My Mind

Words from my brain

Happiness Between Tails by da-AL

Tales + Tails: Novel Writing + Culture + Compassion

Fairfax & Glew

Vigilante Justice

The Wolf's Den

Overthink Everything

SaltandNovels

Sprinkling wonder into writing

Remmington Reads

A book enthusiast bringing you all things bookish

MiddleMe

Becoming Unstuck

%d bloggers like this: