Christians Vs. Atheists
Wemple posted this great find about how Christians are threatened by Atheists in the US. It got me to thinking, and you know how I can be when that hamster in my head goes into turbo mode. The following is a comment I posted in response to his post:
You really hit the hammer on the head. I think Nietzsche really had some great points to bring up about Christianity, and the sad thing is that the rise of Evangelical Christianity has done nothing but prove him right on so many counts. Does that mean that God is dead? No, but his followers sure act like it. Christianity has started to become so humanistic that it is hard to tell the difference between a Mega Church and a self help seminar. Christians these days are about, “Having a personal relationship with Jesus,” and, “Are you walking right with the Lord,” and jumping on bandwagons that point out the problems that everyone else has. They have developed that same kind of pretentious spirit that the Roman Empire had when if fell. After all, God is on their side so they have to be right…Right?
I think what struck me most about your post was this: in order for there to be growth there must be conflict. What makes us question who we are, that which forces us to think about why we believe what we believe, is a catalyst that makes us search deeper for the truth behind the reality that we see. These days the Christian Reich has helped non-believers paint the rest of the church as uncaring activists who only want to mold the world into their ideal version of perfection. Why should we fear people who have conflicting views? Why should we jump on and kill anything that might stand against what we believe? The only way that Christianity can actually be effective in a post-modern world is if the activists back it up, and actually listen to the opinions of others around them instead of treating these opinions like they were the plague. There is a reason the Nazis burned books during WWII: in order to keep your people under control you have to make sure they are not exposed to ideas that conflict with what you have told them to be true. I think that the Fundamentalists need to check their enthusiasm for do the, “will of God,” and start remembering that God has called us to be loving, compassionate, and caring.
Oh yeah, and to work with the people he has put in power over us. I’m sick of Christians complaining about how God has left the government, and how politicians do not do his will. I think I remember a passage in the gospels where the Pharisees asked Jesus about paying taxes, and his response really is a kick in the pants. He basically tells them that all power on heave and earth is given by the Father above and that they should, “render to Caser what is Caesar’s.” Stop trying to blame the problems of the country on all of these liberals who get elected into office, as if they were put there specifically to rob God of his power. If God did not want them there, they wouldn’t be there. Maybe what God is trying to show us is that we do not need him to “Heal our Land,” like so many Evangelical Rallies are proclaiming. Maybe, instead, he is trying to show us how to first accept people who have different views on how a life is to lived so that we can lovingly show them why we live life the way we do. The down side to this goes right back to how you opened up your post. If we are only doing the Christian thing because we are in it for the fire insurance for our soul, then we can’t really minister to those who thing differently by any other way than scaring them. The reason being: the only reason we jumped on the bad wagon ourselves was someone scared us into it.
Thanks again for such a great post, it got me to think about a lot of stuff that has been stirring underneath the surface of my mind for a while.