Thursday, March 21, 2013

How to Create an Atheist: Step 1

About a Week and a half ago, I posted a teaser blog about an upcoming blog series.  I called that post:
If you have not read that post, please take a look at it.  If you have and want to refresh your memory then go take a 2nd look.  This will be here when you get back.

I presented the idea that the church has some responsibility in the creation of many of today's modern Atheists.  I have defined and discerned 6 things that church people do that cause people to turn away from the faith, from the church and ultimately from GOD, and if we follow these steps verbatim and exactly then we can create valid and fortified Atheists.  So without further ado I present the beginning.  The proverb says that a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.  So I present to you Step #1 in creating an Atheist


I want you to notice a couple of things that this first step does not say.
ONE: it does not say claim the name of Christ.  There is a difference in claiming the name of Jesus and claiming the name Christian.

TWO:  It does not say don't claim the name Christian.  It says don't be obnoxious about it.

EXAMPLE.  I remember one of the first seasons of a little know and somewhat successful show called Survivor.  For those of you who don't know this is a show that takes people from all walks of life and places them on a island and says survive, and we will watch and be entertained by their antics and issues.  Well in this particular season there was an African American lady (I don't remember her name nor do I care to) who was a "christian".  I put that in quotation marks because of how she used that title.  She was loud about being a christian and would say things like "I don't do that beccause I'm a Christian"  which is not bad, but she also said things like "You shouldn't do that around be because I'm a Christian!"  and "I'm a Christian you better do _________"  or "I'm a Christian so____!"  Every time she spoke she was flaunting in everyone's face that she was a Christian.    It was almost like she was using the name Christian to exert conrol over the people on the island.  As a believer myself I enjoy seeing other followers of Christ on TV and in reality shows and I enjoy seeing them do well in these circumstances, but this woman was annoying the begeeses out of everyone.  I wanted to do more than vote her off the island, I wanted them to throw her in the ocean and let her swim back to civilization.

It is this type of force that has caused the Church to have a bad name and it is what I call OBNOXIOUS.

John 13:34-35" A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.

exerting force upon people to get them to get them to follow your religious ideas is not loving one another!

I see this type of manipulation throughout society. So I present to you a list of christians that are obnoxious and annoying.

First there are the Political Christians. These are the people in politics who have taken the label Christian and placed it on their cause. They are not out to further the Kingdom of God. They are out to further their own political agenda. They use the name of the Church and the name Christian to bend the will of the people to their side. Usually they only seem to want to promote themselves and could care less about the people they are trying to help.

Then there are the Cathartic Christians. These are the ones on TV who seem to have an emotional existential reaction everytime they even hear the words Jesus, Christ, or Amen. They have the distinct ability to cry on cue and seem to have some sort of catharsis every five minutes. They are running on emotional highs and look at you funny when you don't have the same reaction.

Then there are the Bully Christians. These people want to force you to live life the way they live it and force everyone to follow their strict interpretation of the teaching of Scripture. (which by the way their teachings are not always accurate.) We will talk more about these people in Step 2.   

This list is by no means exhaustive. These are just some examples of Obnoxious Christianity. I am sure you can come up with others on your own.

The one thing we need to remeber is what the name Christian means. This is the definition taken from

Chris·tian (krschn)
1. Professing belief in Jesus as Christ or following the religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus.
2. Relating to or derived from Jesus or Jesus's teachings.
3. Manifesting the qualities or spirit of Jesus; Christlike.
4. Relating to or characteristic of Christianity or its adherents.
5. Showing a loving concern for others; humane.
1. One who professes belief in Jesus as Christ or follows the religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus.
2. One who lives according to the teachings of Jesus.

Wiki answers (which is probably not the best source but I like this response) says of the origin of the name Christian.

Christian means "Christ-like." That is the origin of it. The early Christians were noted by their neighbors to be like Christ, so they called them Christians. The Bible states that they were first called Christians in Antioch.

Acts 11:26 And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.

We are called Christians because we claim to be like Christ. If we are going to claim to be like Christ we should strive to be like Christ. In reading the Gospels, Jesus was an annoyance, but he wasn't annoying. He was a stumbling block for some, but he wasn't obnoxious. He was the humble servant who showed the way of Love.

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him athe name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ isLord, to the glory of God the Father.

Phillipians 2:1-11
Remember you are the only Jesus some people are ever going to see and the only Bible some people are ever going to read. Are you going to be obnoxious and chase people away by forcing your religion upon people or are we going to be true followers and disciples of Christ, and win them with the true Gospel of Christ.


Hair (the Theolobster)


Thursday, March 7, 2013

How to Create an Atheist in 6 Easy Steps!

I went to a prominent Christian College in Tigerville, SC.   This was a place where the motto was "Where Christ Makes the Difference."  It was a world where Christianity was accepted, and embraced. There were people praying on the streets, in the parking lots, in classes, in chapels, on the fields, in dorm rooms or wherever it was possible.  There was never the question of the existence of God, nor was there ever the question that Jesus was the Christ.  There was no doubt.  The idea that God didn't exist was almost foolhardy.  It was like telling the elves in the North Pole that Santa Clause didn't exist, or the people in the White House that there was no president.  It just didn't happen.  Almost everyone I went to school with is now serving in some form of ministry whether it is professional, part time, or volunteer.  Everyone I know of of course except for this one guy I know of who graduated the year after me.  I befriended him on a social networking site and have discovered that he does not believe as he once did.  In fact, he has gone the extreme other end of things.  His postings and statuses center around atheism.  My friend who went a Christian College is Now an Atheist?!

This bothered me for some time.  I had to ask myself some questions.  What happened to him to make him not only renounce Christianity, but renounce the whole idea of God altogether?  What did he experience to undergo such a drastic change?  Then I had to ask:  Is he the only one?  Have others gone down a similar path, and if so why?  I then started mulling over the possible causes, and I had to ask did the church do something to help him decide there was no God?  and if so what?

I started pondering this and sought guidance on the internet, in other experts both Christian and non to discover what might be going on to encourage atheism. During this quest I encountered several other people, students at the university where I am a campus minister, who claimed that they were once completely involved with their local congregation or parish and were fully immersed in their religious practices.  They grew up believing there is a God and did not question His existence.  Now that they are being weened from their parents, they are questioning not only their religion and their parents' faith, but whether this God they so vehemently believed in actually exists at all.  So I started to look at the church and see where we have gone wrong.

I made a few discoveries of How We as the people of God have turned people not only into non Christians, but into Atheists. There are certain practices and habits that have permeated our churches and our religion that have allowed this problem to fester and grow.  I have found that there are 6 things that we as the the church do that have led to this birth of Atheist, and over the next several blogs we will investigate it, and maybe we will learn something together.

 I call this How to Create an Atheist in 6 Easy Steps, and if we as the church will follow these steps then we can have bonafide atheists.