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.