Winsome Christians

We are commanded to Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. Fortunately, we have been given an idea how to do this: I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,  I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.

And, love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Hear also what St Paul says: Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

In blogworld, where nothing matters, and people can get happily steamed up, sometimes Christians frequent atheist blogs. I like Violetwisp’s blog: she creates a space where Christians and atheists may join in dialogue. Here she explains that atheism is not a belief system. Arguably it is: if you should not believe something unless you can prove it, then I have no reason to trust the voice of the Holy Spirit in my head. Not trusting that voice because of my understanding of the world requires as much a belief system as trusting it. I take a great deal on trust without proof. A good example was on The Musketeers, a silly BBC drama set in the 17th century: the surgeon boiled his instruments and found that his patients were less likely to suffer disease. Having no idea about microbes, he thought this the blessing of God. He trusted his observation without proof: the rationalist might say to him, erroneously in this case, that post hoc ergo propter hoc is a fallacy.

But telling atheists that ALL atheist arguments are based in ignorance, bigotry, logical fallacy, elitism and 100% faith in the absurd notion that everything just happened all by itself will just rile them. They believe that the universe follows rules which may be discerned, but should not be postulated without evidence.

Fortunately there is an alternative to win souls for Christ. Follow the commandments of Jesus and Paul quoted above. Then those in your immediate circle will see the light of the Holy Spirit in your countenance, words and deeds, and be won over by its beauty. The heart of our religion is the personal relationship with Jesus Christ. But in argument on blogs, the atheists are unlikely to be persuaded.

Thomas Eakins, The Wrestlers

4 thoughts on “Winsome Christians

  1. Thanks for liking my blog! “Here she explains that atheism is not a belief system.” Didn’t realise I’d done that, I think my posts are pretty incoherent at the moment, everything’s fuzzy. It’s not a system certainly, but I don’t mind atheism being called a belief, given that the vast majority of humans have some form of religious belief.

    I’ve noticed that since I’ve been offline some your regular commenters have gone astray. What happened to Mr Pink, the condescending elitist?

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    • He got married! And moved to the South of France. I would object to “condescending elitist” not necessarily because he isn’t one, but because he is so much more than that. Moving house, he had far less time to play on the internet.

      Maybe you didn’t. You started with a quote that atheism is a belief, then said Christianity is so ridiculous (just as the other religions are) and I inferred that you don’t need a belief system to see them as ridiculous.

      Google’s first definition of belief is “an acceptance that something exists or is true, especially one without proof”. So a “belief” is less than a certainty, or a statement of fact. SOED, which places definitions in order of age, puts the definition “v.i. have confidence or faith in” first, then “accept the truth or reality of (a proposition)”. I may blather on about epistemology if anyone asserts atheism is not a belief system.

      Added: Ha! That many ridiculous things have been said about God does not mean that God does not exist. Many ridiculous things have been said about the Solar System.

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