Tag Archives: atheist

Atheists and Christians: Do Similarities Exist?

The very obvious answer to this question is “yes”!  Not only are we similar we are veryroads-320371_640 much permitted to love one another.  As a Christian myself, I cannot see why I would treat an atheist, Muslim, Buddhist, or any one with a differing belief any less kindly than I would a fellow Christian.  In fact I am instructed not to by what Jesus calls the second most important commandment, “Love thy neighbor as yourself.”  And yet are we not all, especially atheists and Christians, as divided as Conservatives and Liberals, and often times separated by as much rancor as exhibited between the two parties during this recent election?  Just the addition of the word “Atheist” in my title is guaranteed to attract more views because readers from both sides might anxiously be looking for me to fire an inflammatory salvo over the wall at the other.

I’m not here to do that, rather my goal is to point out the obvious. We are more alike than different and the increasing hostility need not continue. Here are just a few and very obvious similarities over which we can bond.

  • We are all human beings.
  • We all have bad days and need comfort.
  • Most of us like sports.
  • All of us have hurt people!
  • We love our children!
  • We like to dance!
  • We like to laugh!
  • We like to sing even if we sing badly!
  • Many Christians and Atheists concur that Star Trek is better than Star Wars.
  • Many Christians and Atheists agree that Roger Moore is better than Sean Connery or that George Lazenby wasn’t the worst Bond.
  • Together many are Cowboys fans. Together many are Redskins fans.
  • Together many celebrated the Cubs’ World Series win!
  • We have both lied.
  • We have both helped others in need.
  • We have both felt abandoned.
  • We have both fed the homeless.
  • We have both bullied others and been bullied by others
  • We have cursed
  • We have stolen
  • But both can be moral.  As Christian apologist professor John Lennox stated, in terms of morals, many of his atheist friends put him to shame.

 So my advice to my Christian friends, especially relevant during this Christmas season, don’t beat judgement, scorn or the fear of eternal damnation into the minds and hearts of your non-believer friends. If you feel they are in the path of a moving vehicle don’t knock them to safety with a sledgehammer.  They won’t be receptive to your words.  Instead I encourage you to just love them and if you find yourself behaving a bit hypocritically, simply ask for forgiveness!  If you know Richard Dawkins, Bill Maher or even Bill Nye the science guy, give them a hug, say, “I love you brother!” and wish them a “Merry Christmas!”

God bless you all!

When We Reject Jesus, What Are We Really Rejecting?

“Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not cross-918459_640withhold your shirt from him either.”

“I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

“Do not judge and you will not be judged; and do not condemn and you will not be condemned, pardon and you will be pardoned.”

“For what shall it profit a man to gain the whole world yet lose his soul?”

“Love your neighbor as yourself.”

The more I speak with non-believers or God haters I’m astounded by how little they know about what Jesus taught or how far they will go to forget what he said.  Their argument that religion “poisons everything” is thin when you read the words above from Jesus.  What part of “love your neighbor as yourself” is toxic to the world? How could, pray for your enemies, don’t condemn others and give freely, be considered venomous?  I suggest that if more people practiced these teachings we would have less of the problems in the world for which the haters blame God.  And yet by hating God and denying his blueprint for life they inevitably create the world around them in which they don’t want to live and blame God for it rather than themselves.  An alcoholic can’t blame his sponsor for the DUI he received.

When the instructions above are spoken and taught by Martin Luther King or Mother Teresa you would not hear people saying, “I hate MLK!” or “Mother Teresa’s teachings are responsible for evil in the world.”  No, they are honored or at the least respected and no one hated them for what they taught.

If we agree that love, forgiveness and selflessness are good attributes then why the rancor for Jesus?  I can’t answer this.  I hear “Crusades” mentioned every now and then.  “Pain” and “suffering” are thrown around a bit but I don’t recall Jesus dishing out too much of that while he was on the earth.  On the contrary he healed people of blindness, paralyses and even brought his buddy Lazarus back to life.  Some say religion causes all the wars but Jesus instructed his disciples not to resist the guards arresting him because as he told Peter, those who live by the sword, die by the sword.

Regardless of whether Jesus is the son of God or whether his miracles are truly historic, still why are his teachings rejected?  G.K. Chesterton said, “The Christian ideal has not been tried and find wanting, it has been found difficult and left untried.”  I submit this is why so many reject Christ’s divinity, his teachings and even his historical existence, because they can’t endure the shame of stumbling on the path on which Jesus wanted Christians to travel.

Alice Cooper once said, “Trashing a hotel room is easy, getting drunk is easy, being a Christian, that’s true rebellion.”  Resisting the lusts of this world whether they be sex, alcohol, money, lies, slander, whatever it is that so easily holds you in bondage, is more difficult than Jesus’ way.  As many struggle each day with their addictions and shortcomings they learn that stumbling short of Jesus’ expectations for them is one more fall they can’t handle.  Dismissing God’s rules or even God himself and declaring oneself a “good person” is far easier than bending a knee and asking God’s forgiveness for falling in the traps we incorrectly accuse God of setting.

Jesus loves you.  He knew long before your grandparents were born that you would fall short of the sinless life he lead.  This is why he submitted to dying on the cross for you which I suggest was much harder for him than asking for his forgiveness is for us.  God’s path is more difficult but don’t think no reward is waiting for you at the finish line.

The next time you are tempted to reject Jesus and therefore his teachings of love, compassion, selflessness and peace, ask yourself this question:

Does no evidence truly exist for the existence of Jesus, the empty tomb and his resurrection? Does no evidence really exist for a creator?  Before blurting out “no” I encourage you to watch one or two of these videos with an open mind and an open heart.  The speakers in all three of these videos were once staunch atheists until they were challenged to examine the evidence.  God bless!

Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels

The Bible is True! The New Evidence That Demands A Verdict

Atheist Journalist Turns To Christ After Investigating Evidence

Understanding Why Atheists Don’t Believe: 5 Reasons

Atheists, strictly speaking, are individuals who don’t believe in any God.  Many are content enough to say simply, “I don’t believe” and leave religion alone while others like Richard Dawkins, the late Christopher Hitchens and thousands of YouTube commenters, actively seek to ridicule, belittle

Prof. John Lennox

Prof. John Lennox

and even try to disprove an entity in which they don’t even believe!  A few go so far as even trying to disprove the historical existence of Jesus.  So why no love for our creator?  I’ve identified five reasons why atheists are so stirred to anger by our Father, our savior and our helper.

  1. Suffering: I won’t try to explain why God allows suffering because any words I could provide, especially to those who have recently experienced a great loss, would do little to satisfy their anguish nor could my words, through their pain, be read clearly enough to prove God’s existence.  I will say only that the existence of suffering whether it be instigated through man’s free will, natural disasters, or disease does not disprove God nor does it challenge that he is all loving.  Christian apologist, John Lennox, offers his much better insight on this through his presentation, “The Loud Absence: Where is God in Suffering?”   
  2. Religion causes all the wars: The 911 attacks provided material around which prominent atheists could rally and claim how throughout history and still today, like the 911 attacks, religion causes most conflicts.  I’m nearly certain that our American Revolution and our Civil War were not waged in Jesus’ name.  Additionally WWI and WWII could not be considered religious wars nor Korea or Vietnam.  One might argue that Hitler was a Christian and he waged war against the Jews in Christ’s name but those close to him knew he secretly despised Christianity and pretended to be a believer to gain the people’s support.  Regardless atheism is not blamed for Joseph Stalin’s slaughter of the Jewish people atheist though he was.  Likewise Charles Darwin was not ravaged because Hitler desired to create a master race through Darwin’s theory of natural selection.  We must also take care not to lump one religion in with others that may be more vocal about using violence to convert non-believers.
  3. God is cruel: God permits slavery. God commands genocide. God allows babies to be murdered.  As Christopher Hitchens one said, “God is a celestial North Korea.” Personally I find comparing God to an atheistic state to be ironic.  To understand God’s actions one must understand the context in which they occur and we must also understand God’s justice.  We expect the wicked to be punished. In fact most of us crave it.  How many of us shout in outrage over simple inconveniences inflicted upon us by our neighbors? So when God witnesses hundreds of years of theft, rape, murder, idolatry and child sacrifice among a people why do we disapprove of his judgment over them? Dr. Paul Copan does a good job of explaining God’s justice in his presentation, “Is God a Moral Monster.”
  4. Science: Science and evolution have, in atheist’s minds, disproved the existence of God.  Perhaps not too surprising, 93% of biologists in the National Academy of Sciences are either agnostic or atheist.  Many claim that evolution is fact and actually there are theistic evolutionists, meaning Christians who too believe in evolution.  With evolution the atheists claim we don’t need a God to explain from where all the complicated organisms, including ourselves, came and with various scientific laws physicists argue we don’t need a creator to explain the intelligent design of the universe.  Then how did our universe come into being? If it was void of time and space then no laws of physics existed. So then what or who kick started the whole process?  Additionally evolution can’t explain how life on earth first came into being.  Apologist Frank Turek gives a great lecture on this called, “I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist.”
  5. They just don’t want to: Even if you gave the most credible arguments to God’s existence, even if the arguments countered and overwhelmed every contrary argument, many atheists simply won’t concede.  I’m sure you’ve seen a questionable call made in a professional sporting event which could decide the outcome of the game.  The way you view the call depends on which team you want to win.  If the call helps your team win, then the call was right, if your team loses as a result, then the call was wrong.  To atheists like Richard Dawkins or comedian Bill Maher, religion is just too dangerous and frankly too stupid to believe in.  Atheism needs to win and therefore no evidence will dissuade them from their faith.

Atheists have plenty more reasons why they don’t believe in God.  A few have merit while other opinions are birthed solely from an irrational hatred towards God.  Frank Turek summed up Christopher Hitchens’ book, God is Not Great in one sentence, “God is not real, and I hate him.”

I don’t hate atheists nor do I pity them.  I have friends who don’t believe. As I’ve heard John Lennox say, many of them put us Christians to shame in terms of morality.  If we are to be good Christians though let’s try our best to be good reflections of Christ and love even those who seek to ridicule us.

“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they (unbelievers) are without excuse.” Romans 1:20