I recently read an article by a blogger named godlessindixie, linked by one of my atheist friends on Facebook entitled What Has Atheism Done For Me?. This article was this person’s listings of how their life has improved since they have relinquished their faith. What I would like to do is respond to godlessindixie on their points.
1. Introduction: The article begins on godlessindixie commenting on the negative social backlash that they have received since renouncing their faith. I would like to apologize for that since your worldview is your personal choice and no one should fault you for that just because they hold a different worldview. The Bible does teach us to love our neighbor as ourselves, but so many people do not follow this that it becomes a cliché. Please do not think that all Christians are self-righteous judgmental hypocrites behind the curtain, there are still those of us that have a love for everyone around us because we fully believe that God has specially made each and every one of us with a purpose in mind.
2. Peace of Mind: I would comment on the peace of mind part, but this appears to be a more personal comment, but I will say that I find the Christian worldview to fall in line with the workings of the universe as much as you find an atheistic worldview to fit.
3. A rediscovery of a love of learning: For the love of learning part, I am about to start my Ph.D. in Chemistry, and I am a Christian if that wasn’t already obvious. I see no barrier between studying God’s creation in the laboratory and studying the nature of God and where we fit in his creation in my home and church. Psalm 19 states that the heavens declare the glory of God and the skies proclaim the works of his hands. This to me is a challenge to the thinking man to look out at this world/universe we are in and find God’s signature on his creation. I could also go on to say that several of the founders of modern science, Isaac Newton, Blaise Pascal, etc., were primarily theologians and philosohpers, not scientists. To borrow from John Lennox, when Newton discovered the law of gravity, he didn’t reject God because he didn’t need him to learn, instead he wrote the Principia Mathematica in an attempt to encourage the thinking man to believe in God.
4. The ability of accept people I formerly judged and Less judgment towards myself … for some things: This is another misconception from a religious standpoint. We are taught not to judge anyone. I can condemn homosexuality without condemning the homosexual. There is a difference between hating the act and hating the person who commits the act. God created man and woman and made the covenant of marriage between them. To violate that fundamental covenant by having sex with the same sex is an act I would not want to answer for in front of God come judgment day. As for your new morals, where you keep some of your religious morals but eliminate “thought crimes”, you still show what many theologians and Christian philosophers call the “moral image of God”. If you are not familiar with this, many theologians say that when God made man in his image, this was meant to be that we have been naturally imprinted with the morals of God. I am not saying that morals are exclusive to the rest of the world, far from it! If a perfect moral being such as God made the rest of the universe and the creatures that we share the world with, why shouldn’t they have the capacity to care for one another? The difference between man and the rest of the animals is that Adam and Eve ate of the fruit of knowledge of good and evil. We have the capacity to do evil for the sake of doing evil. When you “savor the attractiveness of a Sports Illustrated model”, are you merely acknowledging the fact that she is an attractive woman or are you imagining sleeping with her? This is where David went wrong in the Old Testament. When he saw Bathsheba bathing, he could have looked and then walked away. Instead he gawked and obsessed and that led to the deaths of not only Bathsheba’s husband Uriah, but of the child that was born out of the affair.
5. I give credit where credit is due… both to others and to myself: Whomever it was that taught you to hate yourself is not very well versed in their Bible. As for the credit where credit is due, why can’t someone be thanking God for placing that exact surgeon in their lives to save their life through surgery or what have you? I would say that, while definitely it is the surgeon that saved that person’s life, God is the one who gave that surgeon the skills to do what he/she does and set up the time and place for that person’s life to be saved.
6. Getting Sunday Mornings Back: This I believe can be summed up in a short version of Pascal’s gambit. If there is no God, nothing matters. If there is no God, nothing else matters. If I stand to gain an eternal life simply by spending my time on earth learning the nature of the One who made me and of His love and how to love others and make disciples, I have the best lease on life anyone could ask for.
7. Better health: I can definitely respect you for wanting to take care of your body. I’m no stranger to staying in shape myself. I would back up my reason for physical health with a verse that states my body is a temple for the living Lord, as well as other secular reasons, but yes physical health and spirituality are definitely not mutually exclusive.
8. Friends who are more fun: If your idea of a good time is going out drinking and what have you, this will fall on deaf ears. Some of my best friends have been made within the walls of a church, and we have a blast hanging out together (Religious people have fun too!). We don’t worry about anything we say or do because we know we aren’t perfect and are bound to make mistakes. We forgive one another and pray to God for forgiveness when we do mess up however. This isn’t meant to be fire insurance, but I can go have fun with my same friends after Bible study and have a good time without worrying about what is going to be said on Sunday morning.
9. More realistic expectations about life: Sounds to me like you have been indoctrinated into believing that life is a cakewalk after you become a Christian. This is so wrong I almost screamed at my computer when I read this part. Trials and tribulations will come your way, no matter who you are, who your daddy is, how much money you have, etc. This is stated multiple times throughout the Bible and any professing Christian who states otherwise is cherry-picking their way through God’s word and is teaching false doctrine.
10. A greater appreciation for the preciousness of life: The problem of suffering is definitely a problem and anyone has to approach this problem very carefully. If you claim that this world is all there is and suffering just is, where is hope and justice in your worldview? When natural disasters strike, I don’t see many people who were directly affected reject God, instead I see spiritual revivals in those areas. I see missions go out every year to impoverished areas to help build wells and deliver medical supplies, but these people also take care of spiritual needs. An atheist tries to deny the human need for God by finding something else to worship, but nothing will satisfy as completely as a real relationship with the living God who sent his son down to earth as a sacrifice for all of our past and future sins. This ultimate gift is freely offered, all we have to do is confess our sins to God and believe that Jesus is our Lord and Savior.
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