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  • Atheism vs. Christianity

    April 26, 2022 — Jonah Evans

    I have always been a critic of society, so in a way, my adoption of the Christian faith has fit right into the alternative lifestyle I have always lived. Having Biblically-based Christianity as a lens through which I see life and current events has been very interesting. From the mundane shortcomings of American culture to my confusion over my mother's rejection of the form of Christianity which I embrace to the much more horrifying, life-and-death situations in Ukraine, Christianity offers both a grounding for my views, as well as an explanation of and solution for many of the troubles we see in the world today.

    My mother's rejection of Biblical Christianity in particular has been on my mind lately. Before I discuss that though, I will give a disclaimer and say that my views on this subject are not an attack on any belief system to which anyone else may adhere. I do not aim to degrade anyone else's religious or spiritual views. I am trying only to express my own opinion and confusion on this matter. That being said, I will not be including the specific arguments that my mother has used, as that is beyond what I want to explore right now.

    As a former atheist who became a Biblical Christian over the course of nearly three years of debates, arguments and discussions with my boyfriend, as well as via many other traumatic life experiences, I feel that there are only two belief systems that I personally see as options: atheism (possibly agnosticism, but likely only as a passing belief system, on the way to or from Christianity/atheism) and Biblical Christianity. I personally feel that anything between these two worldviews lies somewhere in the realm of denial of reality/evidence, delusion, or ignorance, the latter of which I mean in the best sense as just the lack of any knowledge or information regarding either Christianity or atheism. Why do I feel this way? I have not explored the ins and outs of every worldview, though I have taken sociology, anthropology and philosophy classes and have a fairly good grasp of progressive or liberal Christianity and a much deeper (though not deep enough) understanding of Biblical Christianity, so my arguments on this will be mainly based upon my knowledge of progressive Christianity. What I feel is that this form of Christianity stands no ground when compared to conservative Christianity. I have done a fair amount of research into the evidence for a Biblically-based Christian faith, and all the information I have found points to the reality of the Bible as being historically accurate and true. Acknowledging the testimony of experts who have researched the topic in-depth is something that makes logical sense to me. The idea that progressive Christianity sets forth, on the other hand, which is that the Bible has a mixture of applicable moral suggestions, untrue comments and some ideas tainted by New or Old Testament era culture, does not seem rational to me. The Bible makes very clear claims to its supremacy, truth and reality, and systematically ignoring those parts of its text seems like a fallacy to me, a fallacy that is subjective and incorrect. Ignoring any portion of the Bible based on a personal, subjective opinion such as "I just don't think that's true" is redrawing reality into something that one likes better or that makes one feel more comfortable. To me, you might as well reject the whole Bible as false if you're going to pick and choose parts of it to believe. In essence, what happens when you do that is that you create a new religion, the religion of you, which is not Christianity at all. Christianity is not meant to be subjective. It is very clear and definitive on that: Christ is the Messiah, the awaited Savior. He's not just a good guy or a good teacher. He's not just what you make of him, either.

    My argument for atheism stems from these arguments. If you reject evidence that the Bible is supremely true, the real, accurate word of God, and choose to fragment it into parts that you like and want to believe and parts you don't want to believe or don't think are true, then the Bible becomes meaningless. You say it is not the word of God, so my question is why bother believing it at all? You'd be just as well-off using any other legends as your moral guidance and your hope in this life, which is exactly what many people do. Yet, if you, like me, have a deep need for something evidence-based, these other legends will do nothing for you, in which case you may instead turn to atheism or possibly agnosticism. Yet in my view, neither of these worldviews offer the sort of concrete comfort and hope that humans crave and that Biblical Christianity offers.

    I think the real thing that's going on in the secular parts of our world is that people don't stop to think if their atheist, agnostic or progressive Christian beliefs are logical or not. Public universities often don't challenge secular ideologies, and at least in my upbringing, I was never taught to think critically about why my family held progressive views, nor taught arguments for those views. Instead, all I got was the clear message that conservatives were narrow-minded and stubborn. Aside from that, progressive views were just a given. They were treated as the truth, and that was that. (Obviously, this sort of mindless conformity happens in conservative Christian circles as well and is just as damaging as when it happens in liberal spheres.) This is not a helpful way to be raised and is a good chunk of the reasoning for what I see to be people's adherence to confusing worldviews. I think this also contributes to the stereotype of the "angry atheist," which is something I used to be. Since I'd always tried to stay away from more conservative people (because I was given the implicit message that they were incorrect), when my Christian boyfriend starting pointing out the errors in my thinking, I was defensive and annoyed. I'd never experienced anyone actively engaging my progressive worldviews, so I was unprepared to deal with it in a civil or measured way and had no good arguments for my beliefs. I have since come to feel that there are very few good arguments for progressive ideologies in general.

    © 2019-2024 Jordan Bancino.