Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Atheism Revisited

There have been a few things weighing on my heart recently, and atheism is one of those things. About two years ago I wrote this post on atheism and Christianity. In the post I stated my beliefs that Christians are a leading cause of atheism. I still stand by that statement - let me explain.

I have a very good friend that is a non-believer. I'm not sure WHAT his beliefs are, to tell you the truth, but he says that he doesn't believe in "any of it". By that, I take it to mean that he doesn't believe in ANY religion (he sports a few pagan tattoos and has a few books on druidism, so I thought that was what he was into, but I could be wrong). Now, here's the kicker. His brother is an out-and-out atheist. He believes in NOTHING - not any religion, nothing paranormal, nothing spiritual, NOTHING. As far as he's concerned, there is no point to man's existance on this earth. Now, on the other hand, their father is a devout Christian. He is a believer through and through. Quite often this family gets into . . . debate over religion, because one person will make a comment about the other's beliefs.

Here's my thoughts on this:

As Christians, it is our DUTY and our CALLING to teach others about Christ. That being said, there's a way to go about things and there's a time and a place for things as well.

For example:
Telling someone that they are going to hell because they're Muslim while you're in the middle of a shopping mall is not going about things the right way, nor is it the proper time and place.

On the other hand:
You have a friend notice a cross you're wearing and asks you about your beliefs. They make an offhanded comment about how "every Christian" believes a certain way. This is an opportunity given to you by God to teach the facts about your beliefs, thus opening up a dialogue where you can share your personal faith.

Shoving your beliefs down ANYONE'S throat - NO MATTER WHAT THAT BELIEF - is NOT the right way to go about it.

As I said in the previous post, people didn't come to Christ because he was shouting at them from the street calling them names and telling them they were going to hell. On the contrary, Christ sat and spoke softly to those that were surrounding him and wanted to listen. They may not have agreed with what he was saying, but they were listening because they WANTED to, not because he was forcing them to.

So . . . those are my two cents (again). It's just something I had been thinking about lately, that I wanted to share with you all. What are your thoughts on religion? I would love to hear YOUR two cents . . .


Anonymous said...

Thanks for your thoughts. I'm from Flylady page. I liked your idea of 'not shouting aloud from the other side of the street, but like Christ sitting down and talk softly.' I prefer to that way to talk about Christianity, or God or Jesus... Thanks for sharing the inspiration!

mklaura said...

We were talking about that at Sunday school this week. Jesus attracted people because he was gentle, not forceful and that is how I'm working on acting with my kidsa

Julie said...

Religion is such a deeply personal thing! I believe that people that can be insecure with their faith, and that can drive them to share too aggressively or even force their beliefs on others. I personally believe I can worship anywhere - in traffic or even the shower. It is my connection to Gad that is important, not the show I create while worshipping. My husband has the most incredible faith. He has really brought me closer to God by showing me that the road can be rough, even terrifying and exhausting, but the bad times do not mean that God has abandoned be - rather the opposite. I once asked him what I had done that made GOd angy benough with me to make things so incredibly hard and heatbreaking. He wrapped his arms around me and said he would never let his sadness or angry let him lose sight of one things - God hard to work outageously hard to get us where we were that day. We had each other and an amazing family. The road had been confusing, gut-wrenching, and even terrifying, but look where it brought us - to each other and a love that is unshakable.

The blessings that we receive are frequently not the blessings we expect or wish for, but they often turn out to be the greatest gift we can ever imagine. I never expected to have an autistic daughter, but she is a miracle - one greater than I could ever imagine or dare to hope. Often, people express pity, but I cannot imagine my life without her. She couldn't be a burden if she applied every ounce of effort she had available. Each of my children are the most incredible of gifts.

Keeping God in my heart is something that I do quietly, and with peace, although I understand why many feel the need to share. I only hope that they remember that a love expressed at max volume in a shopping mall is no greater than one shared in pajamas before bedtime.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I love to hear what goes on in the heads if people I hold dear!

Minnesota Mamaleh said...

i thought this was a thoughtful, eloquent explanation of how you *do* your religion.