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Return of the Village Atheists!

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Every now and then an atheist website will call attention to my humble little blog and then all Hell breaks loose. I mean that literally. All the minions who are destined for perdition (should they remain in their lost condition), take potshots at some of my articles.

Here are some samples:

Concerning the quote about my daughter in the article “My Daughter Gets Persecuted,” Jim wrote: “Don’t try to proselytize me and convince me to switch to your faith, unless you want me to do the same to you.”

Phil said: “The fact is, the WalMart employee was NOT singling out and ‘judging’ the child… the employee was showing SYMPATHY for the child, in light of the unconscionable CHILD ABUSE (religious indoctrination and brainwashing) that had been inflicted upon the child.”

MFZ penned: “Shame on you for making your child a tool for YOUR religious agenda.”

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And Kenton had some strong feelings about my preaching to the crowd in line at Pink’s Hot Dog stand: “I have to say your “evangelizing” strikes me as very discourteous. People who are just in line for a hot dog probably don’t appreciate having religious dogma preached at them. I know I certainly wouldn’t. Doesn’t the religion you’re peddling teach you the value of common courtesy?”

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  1. My wife and I were talking about this while preparing supper last night. She brought up some good points that these atheistic types, who are so disgusted that we Christians “brainwash” our kids, have no idea that:

    1) If they are parents, by example and teaching, they would no doubt “brainwash” their kids into believing the same kind of ‘faith’ as theirs. But they would not call it “brainwashing” and they would not call atheism their “faith”. Hmmm….

    2) Their kids would not even think of keeping their ‘faith’ to themselves either. Their worldly language, clothes, music, attitudes, promiscuity, greed, movies, videos, games, etc…all point to what and who they WORSHIP. And they’re not shy to let others know!

    Kenton is concerned about Steve being ‘discourteous’ about preaching the love of God to a lineup of people at a hotdog stand.

    I’m more concerned about the 15 year old pale-skinned girl who got on my bus wearing skin tight pants, exposed midriff, half her hair shaved off, heavy black make-up and a T-shirt that said “GO (fill in the blank) YOURSELF” in large bright letters!

    Would an atheist look at her and express relief in saying: “Well, at least her parents didn’t try to ‘brainwash’ her.” ?

    It is young people like her whom my heart goes out to. It would be more than ‘discourteous’ of me (it would be downright negligent) to withold the gospel message of love, hope, forgiveness and eternal life with God with them. Better than NOTHING, wouldn’t you say?

    Time to eat. Our Bible is open. We’re about to devour a large plate of hot dogmas. And OUR KIDS can’t wait!

  2. When I saw this blog entry, I went back to the comments I placed on the “My Daughter Gets Persecuted” item, and I confirmed what I already suspected: I never specifically said that I’m an atheist. The closest I came is in my distaste for having someone try to convince me that I’m going to hell because of my beliefs unless I repent. I don’t take offense at my having been labeled an atheist, however I could just as easily have been a Jew, or a non-evangelical Christian, or a Buddhist, or a Hindu, or a pagan, or who knows which religion…. So let’s get this out in the open: I am an atheist.

    Now that that’s out of the way, I’ve got three separate thoughts to make in response to this site:

    First, this website is far from “humble”. The sheer number of “categories” that you can put various entries on, and the amount of pride you clearly take in the presentation of this site cause this site to be anything but humble.

    Second, I have two children; the older one is 3 1/2 years old and the younger one will be fifteen months tomorrow. I will teach my sons to live honest, hardworking lives. I will teach them to think for themselves and to think critically. I will expose them to the various teachings of as many major religions as I can find (and maybe even a few minor ones), and, armed with the ability to think, I will allow them to make up their own minds about what, if anything, to believe. I will not specifically tell them that I don’t believe in god until I’m sure that they’re old enough to understand that they are not obligated to believe the same thing I do. (My wife is more of an agnostic than an atheist…)

    Third, I wanted to give some mention to something that I read when I was a teenager. It was the mid-1980’s and I was a typical red-blooded adolescent male: among my interests were girls and the macabre. The Twilight Zone had just gotten started up again with new episodes in prime time, and I regularly bought a comic book called Tales of Terror. By the standards employed by modern horror movies, this comic book wasn’t scary at all. I vividly remember one story that involved a young boy in early 1900’s Americana. At home, his father refused to let him read in his holy texts, but at school, where all of the children were required to say a prayer at the beginning of the school day. The boy raised his head during the prayer and was punished for it. He then asked the teacher if she would let him pray “his way”, and the teacher begrudgingly relented. That night, the boy stole his father’s holy books and read from it in the class the following day, invoking demons and monsters that essentially demolished the school and killed the teacher. The final frame of this comic book involved the police who investigated the incident: “Don’t impose your beliefs on other people unless you want them imposing theirs on you.” Sage advice, if you ask me.

  3. Hi Jim!

    Thanks for your well-articulated thoughts, really.

    I truly don’t mind when you impose your beliefs on me, like when you say:
    “Don’t impose your beliefs on other people unless you want them imposing theirs on you.”

    Where did you discover my prideful little blog (you do have to admit that it’s little. 🙂

  4. You were linked from one of the postings in Richard Dawkins’s web boards…

    Is your blog little? That’s a good question. Compared with a corporate blog, yes, it’s little. But with thirty categories and nearly 1300 unique entries in your archives, I’m not convinced that it qualifies as ‘little.’

  5. Hi Jim,

    You would not go to hell because of your beliefs. If you did end up there, it would be because of your ‘unbelief’ in what God has already revealed as TRUTH. On the Day of Judgement, it would be: GOD vs JIM.

    And, IF God exists and is who he says he is, I think you would even have to admit: it would not be much of a contest. The same goes for all who follow the false religions you listed which, by the way, includes the religion of atheism.

    Jesus said this: “I am the way, the truth and the life. NO ONE can come to the Father (in Heaven) except by me.” (John 14:6) Either what he said is the absolute truth or it’s an ablsolute lie. It can only be one.

    Please be sure when you are teaching your children what REAL biblical Christianity is ALL about that in order to become a Christian, in order to know the love and mercy of God, in order to be saved from hell, that they would have to place their full trust in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins.

    Sins? Yes, they would have to know that WE ALL (including them) have broken God’s law and that WE ALL deserve eternal punishment for doing so. But that is not his will for us.

    “For God so LOVED the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whoever would believe on Him would not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

    Tell them that it was Jesus that took on the the full wrath of God for the sins they committed by suffering and dying on the cross for them, in their place, as their subsitute. Tell them that’s how much GOD LOVES THEM!

    Tell them that if they humbly confess their sins, turn away from them and put their faith in Jesus Christ for their forgiveness, that God will indeed forgive them and bless them with new desires, a new joy, etc. Best of all, they would also be able to look forward to the guarantee of ETERNAL LIFE in Heaven with all those who believe and give glory to God for his immeasureable kindness.

    Please Jim! Take this as a lesson and an offer for you too! I may not know you but I do care for you and your family. Salvation is God’s love demonstrated to you, your wife, your kids, as it has been for me and mine. I would love for you to know the truth. I have known it now for the last 8 years. I was in your shoes and I am so glad I got a new pair! And I’m sorry I had rejected them for so long.

    In all honesty, I do not know exactly how you are going to be able to teach your kids about biblical Christianity when you do not know it yourself. How can you make it even SEEM to make sense? I had to learn it from true seasoned Christians myself when I came to know that one is not a Christian just because they call themselves one.

    And, to be fair to you, I would be more than willing to hear your side of things.That could be arranged privately if you so desired. But I’ll tell you, my resource will be the Bible. A book written by the inspiration of God through over 40 men, over a period of 1600 years with one main thematic thread running through it. And what God says to us in it is still the same today as it always has been.

    And I guarantee: God’s Word holds billions and billions times more credibility and wisdom than any man inspired, morbid, evil “Tales of Terror” comic book could ever offer.

    God bless you, Jim.

  6. Jim,

    Thanks for letting me know where you found this blog. It’s great to have you contributing. Understand though, when you offer your comments (and I hope you will continue to do so), you will get preached to. I won’t preach at you, but others will.

    It’s the nature of the Christian beast… so to speak. 🙂

    Paul: Preach it brother, preach it!

  7. Paul, I’m not going to rebut you line by line (but I could, and in places where I might fall short, I’m sure that I could easily ask my friends on Dawkins’s webboard to jump in for greater rebuttals. I am not a biblical scholar; I just know that the Bible, like all other works of literature, is exactly that: a work of literature, written by human beings with the twofold hope of (1) explaining that which cannot be explained, and (2) giving lessons by which we could/should live our lives.

    There is nothing in either the new testament or the old testament that gives me any reason to think that they are nothing more than works of fiction. At times very creative fiction, but fiction nonetheless. It clearly is centered around the worldview of people who lived in a certain region of the earth, not knowing anything outside of the world they knew. I could point to any number of things that demonstrate this (volcanoes, anyone?), but that is neither here nor there.

    I could take this particular postings in so many different directions, I honestly don’t know where to begin. I think I’ll start with this one: Christians are very good at playing the “not them” game. You even did that in your post, Paul. You painted a very vivid picture of hell, with all of the fire, brimstone, torture, etc., that goes along with it. And then you tried to scare me into believing in god, so as to avoid going to hell. And yet, you haven’t given me a picture of what heaven would be like. In this regard, I give the Muslims more credit than the Christians. The Muslim heaven is very specific, with the whole 72 virgins thing. Christians say that you have to be good unless you want all of this bad stuff to happen; Muslims say to be good in order to get this good stuff.

    (Mind you, I’m not sure that a successive supply of virgins is my idea of the world’s best time, but that’s another story altogether. At least their definition is something to strive for, rather than to avoid… It’s not unlike in politics when a candidate says “I’m not the other guy, so vote for me…” Um, if I’m going to vote for you, I want to know who you are, other than, ‘not him…’)

    The more I think about things, the more I focus on the four major lies that we adults tell their children in hopes of getting them to act the way we want them to act. All four lies surround the existence of some supernatural entity that, in some capacity metes out either some kind of reward or punishment. They are Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny, The Tooth Fairy, and God. As the child grows up, they come to learn that the first three don’t exist, in spite of all of the “proofs” that we plant to make them believe. The fourth doesn’t have any proof of existence whatsoever, and yet we expect them to carry that one well into adulthood. It needs to end somewhere.

  8. JIM: “Paul, I’m not going to rebut you line by line…”

    PAUL: Good. I can rebut all you said too but my fingertips are starting to bleed!

    JIM: “I am not a biblical scholar; I just know that the Bible…nothing more than works of fiction.”

    PAUL: How does one “know” if they ain’t got the info. “Fiction”? It’s 2008. Two thousand eight years since WHAT? And wrong twofold themes. Correct twofold: God/Us and Redemption.

    JIM: “You painted a VERY VIVID picture of hell, with all of the fire, brimstone, torture, etc., that goes along with it.”

    PAUL: I did? Let’s see…I didn’t say “fire” (check!), I didn’t say “brimstone” (check!), I didn’t say “torture” (check!)…Hmmm. Are you sure you didn’t mistake my writing for a ‘Tales of Terror’ comic book? Those ARE specific realities of hell, but why did you say I addressed them when I clearly did not?

    JIM: “And then you tried to scare me into believing in god, so as to avoid going to hell. ”

    PAUL: I did? If our plane engine quit in mid-flight, would you accuse me of trying to SCARE you if I offered you a parachute (that you didn’t know existed) in order to save yourself from becoming one with the pavement below? Think about it, man!

    JIM: “…you haven’t given me a picture of what heaven would be like.”

    PAUL: Sorry about that. Heaven will be full of people like me: sinners saved by grace (UNDESERVED favor). Only by then, we will be perfect in our being, enjoying our eternal rewards and glorifying God in the new heaven and earth forever. No tears, no pain, no wars, no hate, no poverty, no hardships, no heartbreaks, no aging, no death, on and on and on. (Am I scaring you yet?)

    JIM: “The Muslim heaven is very specific, with the whole 72 virgins thing.”

    PAUL: Dilema x 2 = a) The whole ’72 celestial babes’ reward theory is strictly geared to seduce SPECIAL kind of Muslims who, ya know, kill a pilot or two, hi-jack the planes they were commandeering with hundreds of innocent people on board and fly them into tall buildings full of other innocent people in the name of their ‘so-called’ god. b) There’s no such place as a “Muslim heaven” of any kind.

    JIM: “Christians say that YOU HAVE TO BE GOOD unless you want all of this bad stuff to happen.”

    PAUL: AAAARRRRGGGGHH!!! Who’s feeding you this CRAP?? “Would you like lies with that, sir?” Who said anything about US having to be GOOD?? We could NEVER be good enough! That’s what Christianity is all about Jim: GRACE!

    OPEN YOUR EYES ONCE AND FOR ALL: Here is the whole Biblical point you are totally missing out on: WE are the WRETCHED ones! WE are the SINNERS! WE are the UNGODLY! WE are the ones DESERVING OF HELL!

    JESUS was NOT ANY of these things, YET, he LOVED us so much he took on OUR deserved punishment for OUR sins upon himself and died. By the will and power of God he rose from the grave, defeating death itself, the work of redemption complete, peace being made between God and man (by God).

    Salvation is a FREE GIFT to all who believe and repent! And that’s is why we have no fear of death or hell because our place in Heaven is guaranteed to us through our faith and trust in Jesus Christ ALONE! It is because of GOD’S GOODNESS to us that we can be saved NOT because of anything good in or about us.

    Does that make any sense, Jim? It’s all about God’s love and justice. You can have the first, now and forever. Or you can have the latter, at death and forever. (You can jump without the parachute and die OR you can jump with it on be saved!)

    I’m not trying to scare you, my friend. I’m trying to convey the truth to you out of compassion. Please think about these things. You may shake your head, snicker and sneer…but I am, truly, praying for you.

    Paul

    (I need a band-aid.)

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