Letter to an Atheist
Have you heard that atheists believe that all Christians are hypocrites? If you have, then you know that it is impossible to have a religious discussion that ends in a meaningful way. This article will help you to understand the atheist and their mind set in today’s world.
It is well known that Antitheism is in active opposition to theism. The term has had a range of applications. It typically refers to the direct opposition to organized religion or to the belief in any deity, while in a theistic context, it sometimes refers to opposition to a specific god or gods. Yet, Theism, in the field of comparative religion, is the belief that at least one deity exists. In popular terms, theism often describes the classical conception of God that is found in Christianity and in other religions.
How do those who are theists then understand the atheist? Almost all dictionaries have it completely wrong. An atheist then is a person who disbelieves or lacks belief in the existence of a God or gods. Restated, atheism is not a disbelief in gods or a denial of gods, it is a lack of belief in gods.
Since atheism is only the disbelief in gods; this means that some atheists may themselves be religious while others may not care about either theism or religion. Theism, in the field of comparative religion, is the belief that at least one deity exists. In popular parlance, the term theism often describes the classical conception of God that is found in Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Druze, and Sikhism.
Unfortunately the atheist has been pigeon holed by others into thinking that atheists do not care about society or others in there time of need. This is not a Christian view but a universal view based on society as a whole. This stereotyping is far from the truth.
When times of trial exist (refugees) the Christian is moved to pray for those who are in need while the atheist would say, “At this time, others can pray if they want, but we want to help.” “These families and the citizens who were left with no homes, will need help.” Atheists are more driven by their compassion to help others.
Atheists do give time and money to charity, but how come no one knows about it? I think that atheists are more concerned with helping others then getting recognition for efforts. That is the rub. The effect of this unselfishness is that efforts of atheists are ignored. Also, atheists don't tend to organize well. While there are great free-thought groups out there, an organization with its members can have trouble getting enough volunteers to help with a road side clean-up, but it's members on their own volunteer at homeless shelters, animal shelters, collect food for food shelves, donate blood, and help sick children. While this helps humanity as a whole, it does nothing to rid the stereotype of atheists as a bunch of intellectual nihilists who have turned their back on humanity.
Their knowledgeable nature allows them to have a ready insight and understanding of things. At no time are atheist’s hedonist. They take no pleasure in the trials of others. They do not value sensual pleasure above all else.
Society as a whole tends to have a visceral approach to the trials of humanity. By dealing with coarse or base emotions, the product of a well thought out solution evades them. Atheists are congenital by nature and are concerned with the act or process of knowing and perceiving the basic nature of society’s problems. Many times questions will be asked based on the relevant need to understand more, while at times creating great dismay in the minds of those that the question was asked. Christians when confronted with personal calamity or the distress of others, will immediately resort to prayer. This is based on their belief that God is greater than all things. Prayer then is to be expected. While prayer is and can be solutional to these events the Christian will then marshal their resources of money, time, effort, skills etc. to further support those that are in need.
Unlike the atheistic community, the Christian community is well organized when dealing with calamitous events. The Red Cross is possibly the largest Christian charitable organization in existence. Like so many institutions, organizations, and benevolent agencies, the Red Cross had its origin in the Christian Faith. Jean Henri Dunant (May 8, 1828 – October 30, 1910), known to the world as Henry Dunant, was born in Geneva, Switzerland to a devout Christian.
How much do Christians give annually? Charitable giving by Christians in the US reached a record $358.4 billion in 2014. Christian cognitive reasoning is not based on emotional or volitional processes. The Christian belief system does not recognize a prosperity gospel.
This document was not based upon the premise that minds would be changed by its writing. Rather that minds would be open to a greater understanding. This process should be appealing to the antitheist. Since atheism is not a disbelief in gods or a denial of gods, it is a lack of belief in gods. The Bible gives us a strict understanding when dealing with others outside of the faith. The book of 1 John is a guideline when dealing with those that do not believe in the Son or the Father. John is talking about the time of the end.
1 John 2:18
Dear children, this is the last hour (time near the end); and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour.
1 John 2:19
They went out from us (believers), but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.
1 John 2:20
But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth (of the gospel).
1 John 2:21
I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth.
1 John 2:22
Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist denying the Father and the Son.
When an unbeliever is encountered, a Christian will pray for them. This act is unknown to those who have a hard time believing. They ask that God would eventually show them the mystery of His existence. That God will find favour with them. That He will go to them wherever they may be in life. That atheists too will find salvation in the one called Jesus.
Your questions and comments are always appreciated.
2015 – 2016