We want to discuss a part of a comment by an atheist, namely,
- Atheists do tend to take a disliking to people who hold the idea of a god over them as a badge of superiority.
- The arrogance of believers cannot be backed up by reason but it’s affects effect all people in very real and measurable ways.
- I worry about what the believers in Christ do because they belittle humanity and enslave and repress for no other reason than their own belief in a myth.1
How much are general statements worth?
There is a saying, ‘So many heads, so many opinions,’ which is very true. Therefore statements should be backed by proper references, not Mickey Mouse allusions. If Christianity is so detrimental to society, what about the book by Rodney Stark, How the West was Won? 2 It discusses the influence of Christianity in Europe and how science developed as a result of it. General statements are just that. Why should we take notice of them? They are just personal opinions like, the moon is going to turn blue in 2018 and Superman will do many miracles there.
1. God as a badge of superiority
- It is not Biblical to think you are superior when you believe in God. Jesus is our example, ‘Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who…did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant…. He humbled Himself and became obedient to death….’ 3 In addition, ’…as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.’ 4
- There are people who profess faith in Jesus, but their actions speak louder that their words. Compare it to apples. Among good apples on a tree, there are often some bad ones. Are all apples therefore worthless? O course not! Similarly, if an unbeliever denounces all believers in Christ, he implies that he is omniscient and knows what all followers of Jesus do.
- The lifestyles of many people who call themselves ‘Christians’ have no resemblance to what the Bible teaches. Churches as well as the members of their congregations differ, ‘For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.’ 5
- The mark of a follower of Jesus is the Holy Spirit, ‘…if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.’ 6 The Holy Spirit helps a person to obey the teachings of the Lord God Almighty.
2. ‘The arrogance of believers …affects …all people in very real and measurable ways.’
- We would like more tangible evidence of how badly followers of Christ affect people. If ever there is an unfounded statement that is completely vacuous and devoid of truth, it is this one. Maybe the critic should give evidence of where followers of Jesus kill people, burn houses, commit atrocities and disrupt governments to support his statement.
- The Bible tells followers of Christ that, ‘Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities….’ 7 and to ‘Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities….’ 8
- Anyone who is a danger to society and claims to be a ‘Christian,’ does not follow Christ’s example of obedience. Jesus lived under Roman domination, but never organized or took part in a demonstration, riot or revolt against them.
- It is true that, filled with the Holy Spirit, the followers of Jesus are, or should be, eager to spread the message of the Kingdom. This brings them in sharp contrast with the world which generally prefers to lead people away from the Bible and its message. However, followers of Jesus have no right to impose their values on those outside the Kingdom of God. 9
3. ‘Christians belittle humanity and enslave and repress….’
- This is possibly because the real followers of Jesus believe in marriage between a man and a woman. They frown upon adultery and immorality. They regard the killing of babies in the mother’s womb as a sin. Often they don’t accept that Charles Darwin’s version of evolution is remotely true. To believe in only one holy God is not politically correct.
- The ‘enslaving’ metaphor is quite appealing. The people of Jesus love to be His slaves, because He enables them to live holy lives on earth, ‘Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day He visits us.’ 10
Hatred towards followers of Jesus is nothing new. Jesus warned about it, ‘If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me [Jesus] first.’ 11 That is the motive behind the attacks against Christians.
- Simon Hyde, July 7, 2017 on Ken Ham and the ark project
- Rodney Stark, How the West was Won, ISI Books, Wilmington, Delaware, 2014
- Philippians 2:5-8
- Colossians 3:12
- 2 Timothy 4:3-4
- Romans 8:9
- Romans 13:1
- Titus 3:1
- 1 Corinthians 5:12-13
- 1 Peter 2:11-12
- John 15:18