Saturday, January 5, 2013

"My Journey" comments






An atheist recently tweeted to me her blog post regarding her journey from fundamentalism to atheism.





Here are the comments I left on her blog.   Her words are in blue, mine are in black:  




Thank you for sharing your story with me; however, there are a few things I want to comment on that stood out to me.   


You wrote:
"I was raised to believe in Jesus because “that is just how it is supposed to be.”


My response:
Cultural religion is typical especially among ethnic groups.  Religion plays a big role in human society.  For most groups, especially when coming to the United States, religion was all they had.  Religion helped them with their struggles and inspired them to progress.

Jesus is important to African Americans for this reason.  In Him, they saw suffering.  A suffering that wasn't in vain but that had value.  This suffering helped them endure their own whether it was from slavery or racism/discrimination.




You wrote:
" I mean how can someone love everyone, but say that if you do not obey him you will go to Hell? How does Hell even exist? How is Heaven even possible?"


My response:
Your mom loves you I assume and has punished you as a child, correct?  If so, then did she stop loving you when she showed parental justice?  Hell/heaven exist because justice exists.

Heaven and hell are possible just like anything else in this universe is possible.  The difference is that these must be understood abstractly.


You wrote:
"Science held every answer that I needed."


My response:
If so, then what is science's answer for:  "...how can someone love everyone, but say that if you do not obey him you will go to hell... how does hell even exist... how is heaven even possible?"  

Science doesn't answer much.  It explains certain processes that are observable, nothing more.  As a matter of fact, science changes constantly.  For example, people who died before 2005 went to their graves believing Pluto was a planet.  In 2006, the planet was downgraded.  Basically, those deceased people were lied to.  Science is therefore not a rule for life.



You wrote:
“you are crazy to believe in an imaginary being.”


My response:
What evidence do you have that God is an "imaginary being?"  Moreover, what does science say of this since you said it held every answer that you needed?

If you can answer this, please do so here for all to see:  http://rationallyfaithful.blogspot.com/2012/12/god-is-myth.html



You wrote:
" I stopped going abruptly because I just could not take the messages anymore. It was all such a lie to me"


My response:
How do you know they were a lie?  In order to know a lie one must know the truth.  What was the contrast that allowed you to see the distinction?


You wrote:
 "...study Christianity and the most popular work of fiction in the United States–The Holy Bible"


My response:
Again, no scholar secular or religious describes the Bible as a "work of fiction."


"The Christian evidence for Christ begins with the letters ascribed to Saint Paul. Some of these are of uncertain authorship; several, antedating A.D. 64, are almost universally accounted as substantially genuine."  - atheist Will Durant (Caesar and Christ)


"In recent years, 'no serious scholar has ventured to postulate the non historicity of Jesus' or at any rate very few, and they have not succeeded in disposing of the much stronger, indeed very abundant, evidence to the contrary." - atheist Michael Grant - (Jesus: An Historian's Review of the Gospels) 



You wrote:
" I didn’t understand what the problem with homosexuality is especially since Jesus Christ himself never said a word about it"

My response:
Jesus may have spoken on it, but it was not documented.  Nevertheless, He always spoke about the important of marriage between a man and a woman.

Matthew 19:4-6 says:
"Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh' ? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

Notice how Jesus is specific on heterosexuality as the norm of God's plan.  He does not include homosexuals or any human construct that today is being pushed as a normal union.


You wrote:
"For me it was more of an excuse to hang out with my friends, rather than a time to learn about God"

My response:
I think this is why you did not grow spiritually and intellectually.  You had a social need, instead of a spiritual or intellectual one.  When we go to Church, we go for God, not for other members.  I understand human beings are a relational creature, but the main focal point in Church must be God.

People will gossip, people will scrutinize you head to toe, but God is the reason the people gather.  If you got discouraged by the behavior of these people then you paid more attention to them instead of to God.

Granted you were part of a fundamentalist sect which operates with the Finneyite mentality.  Nevertheless, where sin abounds, grace abounds even more.  (Romans 5:20)


You wrote:
"I don’t believe in any gods at all and they can not change that"

My response:
Never say never.  Atheists have the lowest retention rate of any religion.  Many atheists leave atheism and join Catholicism.

Take a look at this:  http://www.sacerdotus.com/2012/12/never-say-never.html  



You wrote:
"“Since you are black, you have to believe in God.” I did not realize that religion was a racial thing. That is news to me!"


My response:
As I stated before, religion plays a big part in ethnicity.  Africans when they were brought as slaves had their own religions.  Their ancient ways gave them hope.  Most, eventually became Christian and corrected the white man for not following the Bible and oppressing them.

It was Christianity that inspired Dr. King to dream of the "Promised Land." (Exodus 12:25)  This  remark was made to connect the Hebrews who were slaves going into the Promised Land of Freedom with African Americans who were still slaves to society and he saw them as moving into America's "promised land" of freedom.



In conclusion,

I apologize for the behavior you saw in those churches even though I am a Catholic.  I too was an atheist and joined the Catholic Church.  It was ironically science which opened my mind and heart to God.

No church is free of sinners.  One will find all kinds of personalities there.  A Catholic Church is larger than Protestant non-denominational ones, so it is hard to get caught up in that atmosphere of gossip, and scrutiny that you experienced.  It is impossible to get to know over 2000 parishioners so usually issues develop when a few get to know each other and see each other's weaknesses.   In any case, as I stated, we go to Church for God.

To your questions there are answers.  Atheism offers nothing but speculative reason using intellectually decorated sophism.  No argument of atheism stands on its own.

Please see this in regards to bad behavior in Churches: http://www.sacerdotus.com/2013/01/i-give-up.html


Again, I thank you for sharing your story with me.  You will find no rash judgement from me.  I only critique the thoughts and ideas of others.  Each person knows him/herself and why they are on the journey they are on.  You are indeed on a journey.  God is not finished with you.  God does use atheism believe it or not.  In His infinite wisdom He brings faith out of doubt.

With a clean slate, everything is much clearer to observe.  

2 comments:

  1. I don't believe in any god so I honestly don't believe anything will change in my heart.the religion I most respect is Buddhism. Im completely content being an atheist. Also, atheism is not a religion, it is the lack of a religion. A disbelief in all gods. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Never say never. Atheists don't last long in atheism. Why Buddhism? It presents ideas that are not rational.

      Atheism is a religion in the sense that it is a cause, belief or principle that is held onto with ardor. A religion does not have to have someone worshiped in order to be classified as such.

      Delete

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