Christians have a lot of clichés — that’s part of why YeHaveHeard exists. But if that ever seems annoying or depressing, it helped me today to recall that Atheists have at least as many clichés, if not more. It was with that reminder that I started this rebuttal to an Atheist, trying (I hope) to be firm and Biblical, yet also kind and loving.1
This sounds like a series — Answers to an Atheist — thus the 1 in the title. Any suggestions for more Atheist clichés to discuss or kindly debunk? Scribble away. Opposed, like sign, if you are an Atheist or Christian who wants to pick at my responses.
Here it is.
Of clichés and chronocentrism
I’m not late, because I arrived precisely when I meant to.
First a few thoughts to [F.O.E., the Atheist], before writing further comments to resume the discussion about morality, its origins and consistency and such with Irina.
How many times is it that I have heard the adjective “petulant” ascribed to the Biblical God? I am seriously wondering whether there is a stylebook out there. However, I hope the following will not be intended as mocking (though you’ve had quite a lot of that to offer against God), but rather will all due respect, though accompanied by a bit of rebuff.
[F.O.E.], please read all of the below, and consider it (for a few days?) before responding.
The bible is the cultural relic of a millenia old desert tribe.
That’s not a very nice way to speak about the Jews (12 tribes, actually), is it?
Perhaps it’s true that despite getting over some past racism, the only acceptable group to disparage is the group of the dead (maybe because they are certainly not a minority, it’s okay to slam them). C.S. Lewis called this chronocentrism, the tendency to hold one’s self up as so much more enlightened than those stupid, nose-picking people of the past.
And I’m not even yet claiming the Bible’s inspiration — though I do know it is God’s word to man and I trust Him and His Word (more on this later, to Irina). You say this is a circular argument? You trust in yourself as ultimate authority — which is also a circular argument.
One can easily debunk Bible “falsehoods,” “contradictions” and all that with some Google searches. Throw some at me and I can likely debunk them too, and I’m not even some great theologian or expert — I just read the Bible, as much as I can and *in its own context*, and know that God is love and not the idiot you’re saying He is.
There is nothing to rebel against.
Do you really believe that?
I wonder what atheists would do for fun without those ignoramus Christians around to pick on. I’m not saying all atheists spend their lives picking on Christians, but I’m not seeing much respect at all from you, for me or of course for a Christian’s belief, much less for God Himself.
Slipping on a bad grade
You cannot prove there is a god, and the evidence is overwhelming that there isn’t.
I doubt you know what kind of evidence you would accept. Think about it. And lest you say “well, if God appeared to me and told me Himself that He existed,” I don’t buy even that answer. An atheist friend once told me that, and I challenged him whether he would really believe that this glowing, blazing being in front of him was God. At this my friend admitted that he wouldn’t accept even that. He would instead wonder if this was some alien trick.
Anything but God. If He doesn’t exist, and there’s nothing to rebel against, why the rebellion?
I am not guilty of breaking any of god’s commandments, because they do not exist.
Then why do you sound so angry against a nonexistent God and nonexistent commandments? Why your own righteous rage against hypocrites and perverts? Sorry, you show you still know there are objective moral standards, even as you argue philosophically against them. The more sobering truth is that all of us fall short of this perfect Law, and God doesn’t grade on a curve.
In the bible, murder is supposedly a sin, except when a jealous and petulant god condones it.
If your god is so wonderful, why does he not do something about the Catholic Churches protection of paedophiles and its hoard of riches, or pastors in New Jersey who sexually assault and film young girls, or Colorado pastors who preach against gays but indulge in drug-fuelled homosexual orgies?
Apparently if it were up to you, you wouldn’t “let” Him do anything about these evils, because you’ve *a priori* declared that if God condones killing or punishment, that’s “murder” and it’s Petulant™. You’ve hamstrung this nonexistent divine dunderhead just a bit, haven’t you?
Somehow I think God knows how to handle sin and sinners better than you or me.
The Biblical answer is that certainly God will punish those who do evil — from pedophiles and greedmongers, to hypocrites and sexual perverts. Right now He’s giving them a chance to repent.2 And be careful what you wish for. If the Lord went ahead and nuked everyone who was evil and hated Him and His love and Law, all those not saved would be among the first to die. Based on your disregard for His existence, love and holiness, I hope that wouldn’t include you.
I’m certainly grateful God didn’t punish all evil in the world before now. Otherwise, He would have never saved me. In fact, I wouldn’t have been born.
Scripture is clear: He has a bigger picture in mind. He doesn’t punish everyone now because He is merciful and offers people the chance to turn from their sins, embrace His sacrifice and forgiveness, and live eternally as changed persons who love Him more than anything else. If you want Him to punish evil, just wait and don’t gave a rat’s rip what He’s given to you — life, a conscience, air to breath, His own love. “All get what they want. They do not always like it.”
The old line is the true line: Repent and believe the Gospel. Sorry if some professing Christians have muddled it for you, but it’s as simple as that. And I don’t even need to pressure and whine and insist that you believe it, [F.O.E.]. If God wants you, He will get to you, using my words or not.
- The original discussion is here. ↩
- “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” — 2 Peter 3:9. God is delaying His inevitable wrath on human rebels because He still wants to save many of them, patiently waiting while He works to save them all. ↩