Everything sublime is as difficult as it is rare. Baruch Spinoza

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Atheism & Evangelicalism

This is what comes from having a job that leaves the mind idle! I am of the opinion that atheism is a religion. If one can only think of religion as a God based entity, then there is a difficulty in understanding the connection, but there are religions which are not God based. Atheism is dogmatic, rigid in its view and practices proselytizing.

So what, you ask, does this topic have to do with evangelicalism? It is dogmatic, rigid and practices proselytizing!

I was listening to the radio this past Friday while I was working in the barn. I always try to listen to Tom Hartman in the afternoon, he is very smart, informed and interesting. For some reason he was on this subject and I was surprised to hear him mirror my own thoughts. I had not extended my thesis to the connection between the atheist and the evangelical, though. I thought this a very interesting point and one he made by observing that really only two religions recruit; atheists and christians, with the fundamentalists doing so with more gusto than other christian religions.

Tom Hartman's take on this is, the more strident a group or individual is concerning their 'rightness', the more unsure they actually are about their opinion. Therefore, they proselytize, for if they can convince 50 people they are right, they must be right. I found this interesting, but I usually find him interesting! It helps when someone agrees with your hypothesis to begin with, though. : )

I have no reason for this topic other than it interested me and has been rolling around in my mind for a week. I'm a self-identified heathen, but I have never identified with atheism, anymore than I could identify with evangelicalism (try spelling that word 10 times really fast!). I am open to possibilities on all levels, so I have no room for rigidity of thought. But I sure do enjoy the time I take to think about it. And if someone wants to wish me a Merry Christmas, I'm more than happy to accept it and return the favor. If someone wants God to bless me, I would be pleased, because whether God exists or not, the sentiment from the blesser is one of kindness and well-wishing and there can be nothing wrong with that.

Anyway, this is the stuff that rattles around in my brain. I need something to do that makes my brain busy!





10 comments:

  1. It may surprise you to know hat I agree with you about atheism being a religion but even as a Christian I have issues with the hard line evangelization that goes on in the name of Christ. It is my belief that we've misunderstood what the Great Commission was all about ~ but hey, I'm a lone voice crying in the wilderness therefore I must be wr..wr...wrong. :)

    I think the need to keep the old brain ticking is why I actually like repetative mindless tasks like cleaning the loo or hanging out the washing but those that require minimal thought & attention [like cooking] drive me to distraction. The mindless ones I can think big thinks. The other just creates chaos. Now I'm rambling. Happy Christmas. ;P

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  2. My life is a series of mindless tasks, so I have a lot of time to spend on topics of little interest to anyone but me!

    That word, wrong, is a tough one, but I think in this instance you are rrrrright!!

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  3. Just stopping by to say I have posted a pic of a kookaburra for you with a link if you want more info or actually want to hear the thing laugh. Not recommended for the faint~hearted. ;)

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  4. I do enjoy reading your blog,
    Sandra. It sure does make me think. And mostly savor.

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  5. We had a self-described "hard-line" atheist tell of his "conversion" experience at church, and he did describe his life as an atheist as more "religious" in some ways than his his new life of following Christ. He said that he could give you the "tenants" of atheism etc. and also had every "disproof" for the "proof" of God if you asked him for it, as an atheist. He said that as a Christian, things were not as much in his control, and described a peace he now has, that he didn't before. That said,our pastor has done a whole post on his personal blog, about how he will not identify himself with the term "evangelical" any more. I definitly would say we are not in the fundamentalist camp,for sure. Far from it. I've lived and seen a lot of what you speak of concerning hard line evangelicals in my days of being a pastor's kid, missionary kid, etc. Very baffling to me these days, but I do understand wanting to share blessings, good news, hope, love or truth.

    these are definitly good observations of yours.
    I could go on, but school is starting.:) my head spins with thoughts a lot too, just not as many quiet moments for me these days.
    have a great day.

    christy

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  6. Jean, It probably makes you think you are glad you're not me! Thanks for reading and enjoying my efforts.
    : )
    Christy, I guess great minds think alike. It's interesting that you know a converted atheist. Did this person grab hold of Christianity with the same vigor he had for atheism? There is an evangelical minister who is a guest on a radio program I listen to who shares your pastors point of view. I enjoy listening to him.

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  7. The only part that angers me is when an opinion is shoved down my throat. Even if it's an opinion that I agree about.
    I find it incredibly hypocritical of evangelicals (I'm generalizing here) to force their beliefs on people - and that there is absolutely NO grey area. Everything is black or white. Right or wrong. Left or right.
    There is no in-between.
    If you don't do things their way, you will go to hell.
    The hypocritical part about this is that they are themselves forgetting that the Bible tells us not to judge - and they are being extremely judgemental.

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  8. I think there is a difference between a movement and individuals. I happen to know several people who are a part of what would be considered 'evangelical' churches. There has never been an attempt to convert me, nor have the religious beliefs interfered in my relationship with them.

    For myself, where I have seen the judgmental, holier-than-thou attitude has come on the national level, through some politicians and national , so called, religious figures. MN's own governor and his wife, for example. Very proud of their 'born again' status, while he wipes out programs designed to help the poor, needy and helpless. While he is jealously guarding the wealth of some of his supporters. I guess he never heard that thing about it's more difficult for a rich man to get to heaven then putting a camel through the eye of a needle!

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  9. i don't know him well, but he did visit our community group once.

    i know he is involved with a doctrinal study course at church for seekers. he hasn't seemed to try to start any evagelism groups, that i know of. still a very deep thinker probably.

    he desribed an actual physical "presence" of peace,that came over him, that he couldn't shake, when he was really wrestling with the beleif in God's existance at some point. since it was so personal, i doubt he feels it should be duplicated as an experience.

    we also have a lady in my community group who was raised by an atheist father, and describes the point where she finally believed in God as when she was so mad at the death of her husband's grandfather, that she blamed God, and if she could blame him, than she said that she must have somehow believed he existed, even though she couldn't prove it.

    interesting stories for sure.

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  10. "that she blamed God, and if she could blame him, than she said that she must have somehow believed he existed, even though she couldn't prove it."

    One of the reasons I can't say "absolutely not" anymore than I am able to say "absolutely".

    I never expected this to spur so many interesting responses.

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I really appreciate the concept and sentiment behind awards, but I cannot participate in them anymore. I have too may and I have not got the time to devote to participating properly. To all who have honored me, I am grateful but I don't have seven more things to tell anyone about myself! And I'm a terrible passer-oner.