Responding to Atheists: The God I know
Responding to Atheists: The God I know
In my travels through Cyberspace I’ve had the opportunity to engage in fervent discussion with several fellow travelers of the, shall we say Atheistic persuasion. And the one thing most of them seem to have in common is an arrogant disdain for anything Christian.
Why is that I wonder?
I am a Christian.
Have been for 21 years, actually August 11th 2009 was my 21st anniversary of receiving Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. It happened in my living room on a Thursday evening surrounded by my wife and three other really great friends, but that’s another story, for another time.
I wrote an article some time ago and published it on Gather.com entitled, “Speaking in Tongues: The Baptism of the Holy Spirit Pt 2” which is the second part of an article written to help Christians who may want to experience Holy Spirit baptism and begin speaking in tongues, but may not know how to go about it.
This article has spawned close to 100 comments so far, a lot of which were written by my fellow Atheist Cyber-pilgrims.
Why do Atheists feel they have to respond to everything Christian on the web? That’s the question that’s been needling me in the back of my head for a while now.
I wasn’t thinking about it consciously but this morning as I began waking up these thoughts were swimming around my mind and I decided to put pen to paper or more accurately finger to keyboard and share my thoughts with the Cyber-community at large and especially with my God-denying comrades.
So, here is a little bit of info about the God I know; the God with whom I have been sharing a personal and intimate relationship for the past 21 years.
You cannot prove God exists!!!
I’ve heard that famous Atheistic challenge spewed more than once.
The thing is I don’t feel the need to prove anything to anyone. Believe what you want, that’s your funeral.
However, I don’t just believe God exists I know He does! He’s my friend, we have a relationship.
I’ve been walking and talking with Him for 21 years. If I were to stand here and tell you that I only believe but I’m not totally sure He’s real I’d be a crazy man.
Whom have I been speaking with every day for 21 years of my life? Whom have I been having daily conversations with ever since I was first introduced to Him on Thursday August 11th 1988 at about 4:30PM in my living room?
I know exactly who He is He is the Lord Jesus Christ God Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth! He is the Holy Spirit who lives inside me imparting eternal life moment by moment, He’s God the Father who shows me daily what a real father is supposed to be like.
There’s one other thing I find consistent with most Atheists. For the most part they seem to be highly educated and intelligent people. They can carry their own in almost any conversation and debate the issues with relevant points of reference.
I like that.
What I don’t like is when they assume that Born Again Christians are by definition mindless religious drones that have all been lobotomized and need to be viewed with patronizing scorn and treated with veiled contempt.
That rankles me – Especially when the Christian world-view is infinitely more sensible than the Atheistic.
It’s interesting to me that most of the Atheists I’ve spoken with seem to think there’s something inherently foolish in one believing in and worshipping God and believing in the Bible and the Lord Jesus Christ when many of earth’s foremost scholars share these very beliefs.
For instance, when asked the question: “Do you accept the historical Jesus?”
Here’s what one noted scientist answered:
“Unquestionably! No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life.”
This same scientist further stated:
“In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what really makes me angry is that they quote me for the support of such views.”
Who was this scientist?
You may have heard of him, he was awarded the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics for his contributions to Quantum Theory and for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect.
He is one of the founders of modern physics and the author of the Theory of Relativity. In December 2000 he was named “the personality of the second millennium.”
His name is Albert Einstein; arguably the smartest man that ever lived, after King Solomon and Jesus, of course.
My Atheist friend, the next time you’re tempted to call a Christian by some derogatory name, make a snide remark about his faith or insinuate that he or she is not playing with a full deck, I advise you to think carefully before speaking.
There’s a saying that goes, “It is better to remain silent and thought a fool than to speak up and remove all doubt.”
“Atheism is so senseless. When I look at the solar system, I see the earth at the right distance from the sun to receive the proper amounts of heat and light. This did not happen by chance”
“This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being. This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of His dominion He is wont to be called Lord God.”
This is the God I know, the same One who wakes me up every morning, the very One who protects me when I don’t even realize I need protecting. He’s also the same God with whom I get angry at times when I think He’s being unfair or moving too slow to bring me something I desperately want.
He’s the same God who sees me with all my human weaknesses and inconsistencies and loves me in spite of it all, He’s the One who respects me even when I don’t think I deserve respect, who always lifts me up and encourages me especially when I don’t feel like going on.
This is the God I know.
This is the same God who died for you and I so that each of us might have a chance at redemption.
This God is real and has a plan for each of our lives, one that if followed will reap for us both temporal and eternal benefits.
This is the God I know.
By the way; that entire quote above from the words, “Atheism is so senseless” to “He is wont to be called Lord God” aren’t my words.
Those words were actually spoken by Sir Isaac Newton.
In case you don’t know who he is, let me introduce you.
Sir Isaac Newton was an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist and theologian. He’s the founder of Classical Physics and Infinitesimal Calculus.
His “Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica” published in 1687, is said to be the greatest single work in the history of science. In this work, Newton described universal gravitation and the three laws of motion, laying the groundwork for classical mechanics, which dominated the scientific view of the physical universe for the next three centuries and is the basis for all modern engineering.
He’s the one who said, “Atheism is senseless!”
What do you think about that? Is Sir Isaac Newton a mindless drone who can’t think for himself and needs religion to comfort his feeble mind? What say you?
Call me stupid for being a Christian and believing the Bible but if I were you my Atheist friend, I would pay attention to who’s agreeing with Christians, before I open my mouth.
In his book Pensées, Blaise Pascal wrote: “Jesus Christ is a God whom we approach without pride and before whom we humble ourselves without despair.”
“We know God only by Jesus Christ. Without this mediator, all communion with God is taken away; through Jesus Christ we know God. All those who have claimed to know God, and to prove Him without Jesus Christ, have had only weak proofs. But in proof of Jesus Christ we have the prophecies, which are solid and palpable proofs.
And these prophecies, being accomplished and proved true by the event, mark the certainty of these truths and, therefore, the divinity of Christ. In Him, then, and through Him, we know God.”
In reference to the prophecies Pascal mentioned let me explain that the Old Testament has over 300 prophetic references to the Messiah and every one of them was fulfilled by Jesus Christ, conclusively establishing Him as the Messiah, the Son of God.
By using the science of probability we find that for just eight of these prophecies to be fulfilled in one man it would take a probability of one in 100 trillion!
Let’s put that into perspective, shall we?
If we took 100 trillion silver dollars marked only one of them and laid them on the ground they would cover the entire state of Texas two feet deep. Now, mix the whole pile up and instruct someone to find the marked one – Blindfolded.
What chance would he have of picking the marked one?
The same chance the Bible writers would have in having 8 of these prophecies fulfilled in the life of one man if they weren’t divinely inspired by God.
What about having 48 of these Bible prophecies fulfilled in one man’s life?
The chance of any one man fulfilling all of 48 prophecies is one in ten to the 157th power.
The electron is about as small an object as we can get. If we had a cubic inch of these electrons and tried to count them, it would take us (at 250 per minute) 19,000 times 19,000 times 19,000 years to count them. Now mark one of them, mix them up and have our blindfolded guy find the right one.
What are his chances?
The same chance as one man fulfilling 48 of the prophecies about Christ without Him actually being the Son of God!
Now here’s the clincher, Jesus Christ fulfilled not 8, not 48 but all 300 prophecies in His life!
Now, you tell me, is He worthy to be worshipped as God Almighty or not?
Am I stupid for trusting and relying in the truth of the Bible?
(The above illustration is paraphrased from an article by Dennis Crawford)
Pascal went on to say:
“Not only do we know God by Jesus Christ alone, but we know ourselves only by Jesus Christ. We know life and death only through Jesus Christ. Apart from Jesus Christ, we do not know what is our life, nor our death, nor God, nor ourselves. Thus without the Scripture, which has Jesus Christ alone for its object, we know nothing, and see only darkness and confusion in the nature of God and in our own nature.”
What I glean from Pascal’s words is simply this; in order to understand the nature of life and the world around us, to find true purpose and gain the ability to fulfill such purpose one must come into intimate contact with the Author of it all, The Lord Jesus Christ, who is the central object of the Holy Scriptures.
One must submit and receive the free gift of eternal life, only then will we be able to understand clearly enough to make the necessary adjustments in our lives and achieve true lasting success!
But who is this Blaise Pascal and why should we listen to him anyway?
He was a physicist and philosopher. A child prodigy and mathematician of the first order who helped create two major new areas of research. He wrote a significant treatise on the subject of projective geometry at the age of sixteen, and later corresponded with Pierre de Fermat on probability theory, strongly influencing the development of modern economics and social science.
His earliest work was in the natural and applied sciences where he made important contributions to the construction of mechanical calculators, the study of fluids, and clarified the concepts of pressure and vacuum by generalizing the work of Evangelista Torricelli. Pascal also wrote in defense of the scientific method.
I have much more to say but won’t weary you with more verbiage at this time. Let’s save some for later, shall we?
For now, I trust that this article will provide some food for thought for all my fellow Cyber-travelers and especially for my Atheist friends.
May God deliver us from our ignorance and bless us with divine wisdom!
So by that logic it’s ok to own slaves?
No Bernhard. It’s not OK to own slaves as we understand it in the 21st century.
It’s not OK to allow children to suffer before they can get close to Jesus either. Yet Jesus said, “Suffer the little children to come on to Me”
Some biblical words, phrases and concepts take on completely different interpretations when you take them out of their original context and try to apply them according to our 21st century language and culture.
This is the reason why accurate Bible interpretation is not something that can be done by just anybody. It usually takes a skilled and seasoned minister of Jesus Christ to accurately interpret the Scriptures and then preach or teach it to others.
This is NOT to say that any Christian cannot accurately interpret Scripture but it typically will take a profound love of the Truth, years of study and an intimate fellowship with the Holy Spirit to consistently interpret Scripture accurately.
Hope this answers your question.
So are we speaking selfproclaimed “minister of God” or those appointed by the church? If selfproclaimed any person with an aim can twist the word to make themselfes rich or even turn people into sin. And if appointed by the church makes one a trustworthy person then why is the sin so large within the church itself (sexual predators and greedy ministers)?
Bernhard, no true Minister of God is self-proclaimed.
God Himself calls, anoints and appoints His Ministers to perform His will in the earth! It seems when you say, “The Church” you’re referring to the Roman Catholic Organization.
FYI… The Roman Catholic Organization is a man-made organization and is absolutely NOT sanctioned by God and is NOT the Church of God/Jesus Christ mentioned in the Bible!
The true Church referenced in the bible is made up of individual human beings from every part of the world, every race, every language, every culture.
These are individuals who have expressed faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ at Calvary! They have believed that Jesus Christ is God, incarnated as a Man so He could die to pay the penalty for their sins and rose from the dead justified because He did not sin personally and so was not worthy of death.
Because of this expressed faith in the risen Christ they have had their spirit recreated and reconnected to God and their inner nature transformed so that they now share in the divine nature of God.
The Holy Spirit also now takes up residence in their reborn spirit and guides them from the inside, continually imparting eternal life to them from within… These make up the true Body of Believers, The true Church of God and of Jesus Christ!
It is important to note that even after having gone through such an experience these people are still human beings clothed in flesh and subject to the faults and frailties of the human condition so that they may through their own free will, contrary to the mandate of God participate in any number and manner of sins to their own hurt.
But who, because of the matchless grace of God are living under the perpetual forgiveness that the shed blood of Jesus Christ provides.
The long and short of it is that a true born again Christian is someone who was born a sinner like everyone else but who has chosen to no longer remain condemned but rather accept the free gift of Salvation that God freely offers to every human being and who strives everyday to live a life pleasing to God and worthy of emulation.
See that right there is the issue i have with morals based on holy writings. You have your faith and i accept that but you seem to view it as the only true faith. If the same question would be asked a catholic he would claim only his faith is the true faith.
So any follower of said faith will have different moral standpoints and the whole idea of a “moral based on god” is nonexistent since the morals change depending on what faith you have.
True humanitarian morals that come from a good heart needs no scriptures since IT IS wrong to murder, rape, steal and pray on your next man.
Any man NOT raping and killing because a god tells him so IS evil at heart and his kindness is only there because of selfishnes. (I am Swedish so hope my English is understandable)
Your English is perfect!
I wouldn’t have known you were not a native English speaker if you hadn’t said so.
You’re doing an excellent job!
Bernhard, you said, “Any man NOT raping and killing because a god tells him so IS evil at heart and his kindness is only there because of selfishness.” There is great truth in that statement!
The Bible declares that ALL men ARE evil at heart! And because of this ALL men ARE doomed to eternal punishment!
That’s the very reason God became a Man! It’s so He could die to pay for man’s sin.
The righteousness of God demanded that blood be shed as payment for man’s sin and since it was man’s sin to be paid for that means it was man’s blood that needed to shed as payment.
But ALL men are born sinners, unrighteous and they only get worst from that point onward.
The problem facing the human race was that only pure, holy blood that was not tainted by sin could atone for the sin of the Human Race that’s why God Himself had to become a Man so that He could shed His blood for the sin of the entire world!
The beauty and power of becoming Born Again, Bernhard is NOT that once you surrender to Jesus Christ you now have to struggle to TRY and do the right thing BECAUSE God said so and if you don’t, then you are in danger of some sort of punishment. That’s NOT it at all!!!
After you accept God’s free gift of Salvation and become born again He changes your inner nature so that you don’t WANT to sin anymore! Plus… He gives you The Holy Spirit to continually impart wisdom and strength for daily victorious living! Victorious life in Christ is effortless when we do it right!
Christians who struggle to live right and constantly find themselves participating in sinful activity are not accessing the power God gave them and are trying to live a supernatural life with natural abilities… that will never work! NO ONE can live up to God’s standard of holiness without God’s divine power working on the inside of them.
Even if you are already born again you still have to submit yourself to the guidance and empowerment of the Holy Spirit for daily strength and wisdom to overcome the temptation to sin. If you are NOT born again this is quite impossible! (Con’t)
The unfortunate reality is that for the unsaved person, i.e. someone who is NOT born again it does not matter how good a life you live you can never attain God’s standard of righteousness!
The reason is that your primary problem is not about good vs. bad but rather life vs. death!
Every human being is born spiritually dead i.e. their spirit is separated from God and it does not matter how much good they do in their entire lifetime it cannot give life to their dead spirit.
They are born spiritually dead and will die spiritually dead! They are born separated from God and will die separated from God! And no amount of good works can change that!
That’s the reason Jesus came and died and resurrected from the dead! It was NOT to make bad people GOOD but to make dead people LIVE! This is the true power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
It, and it alone has the power to give spiritual life to dead humans… NO religion on earth can do that! And that is the primary experience that all humans need… to be made spiritually alive!
This was the entire conversation with Bernhard but there were other comments made by different people about this same topic which I will share in another post.
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