Does God Believe in Atheists
I get some weird and wonderful questions through this site. Many are genuine heart felt questions from people seeking answers while other show a distinct hatred for all things Christian. I try to answer all of them in one way or another.
The questions that really disappoints me, though, are the ones that come from professing atheists such as the following:
“How can anyone take such a ficticious diety so far?”
What disappoints me the most is not that they have not found Jesus (this is sad enough), nor that they usually base their opinion on little or no evidence but that they have closed their minds to all other possibilities.
Athesism - the thought that God does not exist - is in reality a difficult position to hold. It usually comes from the conclusion that there is no evidence for God therefore he does not exist. This is a reasonable position to hold if you hold it tentatively and are ready to look at any new evidence that comes along. But to hold this conclusion and close your mind to other possibiities is both foolish and dangerous because as finite beings we cannot know everything and therefore cannot conclusively state that God does not exist.
Christianity makes some very big claims. It claims that in following Christ there is forgiveness, acceptance and life. But in rejecting Christ there is condemnation, rejection and the prospect of facing an angry God. Can you afford to ignore such things? Can you afford to make a decision about such claims without looking at the evidence.
I say evidence because there is plenty out there to look at.
The fact that there are many people who believe in Christianity. Not all of them are deluded or mad. This does not mean that it is true but it suggests there must be something in it that is worth looking at.
Secondly the awesome nature and complexity of all we see around us should suggest there is more to this world and life than meets the eye. We all have a sneaking suspicion of this. Again this does not mean that Christianity is has got it right but it does mean that its claims are worth looking at.
Ultimately what will convince us that God exists is if he were to come to earth and show us himself.
This is exactly what the Bible claims he has done. The writers of the New Testament claim to have seen him and spoken to him and have written this down for us. It is worth reading to see what it says.
In the end I am happy to talk to Atheists because whether or not they believe in God, God believes in them and has died for them. Only I ask that they be prepared to look at the evidence as it is presented. If after reading a gospel or two they are still convinced there is nothing in this then thats OK but do it - don’t make a decision about Christianity without looking at the evidence.
Your Comments:Firstly I stumbled across site not looking up religion but something else and had a quick read.
I think I am agnostic I am not sure whether to believe in God but I do believe that many people who believe what they are told and if they are brought up and christianity is all that they know then they have a good chance of believing it. Although I do think most religions teach morality.I think if there was only one religion in the world that every one believed then it would be more believable but the fact that there are different religions all over the world suggests that all religions were invented many hundred of years ago unlike scientology which is newly invented and more criticised as everyone know who invented it. I do not belive in scientology just making the point that it is criticised as it is not as mainstream. Also what's to say that another religion is not the real deal?
maxaitken on 25/08/2008My take on the fact that there are many religions suggests that humanity has a sneaking suspicion that there is more to life than just what we see and hear. Religion is our attempt to understand this.
The point I wanted to make is that these religions make claims about themselves that are quite confronting and have an impact on everyone. Most of these claims are about how we can be right with or gain access to the spiritual realm.
We can approach this issue on two fronts. We can either ignore them or say it is too hard to find out. Or we can look at why they make the claims that they make. I advocate the latter.
There are two aspects about christianity that I think make it worth looking at. Firstly it states that it is not a man made religion - it has been given to us by God. Now while christianity is not unique in this claim, it is important because if it did not come from God then we could not be certain we have got it right.
But in the second aspect, christianity is unique. It claims that we need not do anything to be right with God.
Every other religion speaks about what we have to do to be right with God, christianity states that everything has been done for us.
Every other religion has a god who expects humanity to make themselves worthy in order to gain access to the heavenly realm. Christianity has a God who out of love and not our worthiness paid the price for us to gain access to the heavenly realm.
I don't want people to believe me, I want people to be interested enough to go and look for themselves.
David on 29/08/2008Just because people believe in something does not make it real.People believe in astrology, fairies, ghosts and other things. Whether they believe it or not makes no difference to reality.There is a probality that a god exists, but it is also great improbality that the Christian God exists. Believers are told that they can't accomplish anything of value without god. If they turn their backs on god, they will be punished- that is the sort of "love" of an abuser who threatens, attacks and commits violence to get his own way. The Christian God is described as "jealous". Religions are the first great inventions of fiction writers. The power behind the universe is vast and complex. It does not stand to reason that such a mighty intelligence would be egotistically demanding worship from such a tiny race. Could any being capable of producing such beauty on every scale be interested in pitting one group of devotees against another, or depriving one part of the race to feed another. We are only animals with unusual evolved brains, NOT "fallen" creatures with immortal souls.
Mike Stern on 18/09/2008Well written by David. Right from my early years of growing up I had doubts of faith and belief in Christianity but today its clear that Jesus is the tru and living God. Its rightly said that through Christianity we find forgiveness and through forgivenenss we receive inner peace. I used to be an atheist at one point and I was filled with alot of resentment and anger for all including myself. But today with my Christian faith I learn to appreciate all of God s creatures and beauty around.
Gill on 18/09/2008David,
Are you not an atheist also? Or do you believe in the various other gods that were part of popular belief at one time or another (such as the Greek gods Hestia, Metis, or Zeus, Inca gods such as Inti, or Egyption gods such as Ra)? Perhaps the people you refer to are doing nothing more than going one god further than you.
Hayden on 22/09/2008I am having diffuculty find a church true to Jesus. I am a catholic seeking truth. jehova witnees, Mormans babtist's ect. don't feed my hunger for knowledege. can you help?
Edd R on 15/10/2008i feel sorry for mike stern (see above). because he is definitely a 'glass is half empty' kind of guy. the christian God is described as 'jealous' because he loves us so much. it is a jealous love. mike may not have children. i dont, but i can imagine that when a child is small, he or she would love his/her parents very much. as they grow older, other things would start to take their fancy, eg. cars, girlfriends, boyfriends. they get their 'fill' from other people apart from you, and if i saw my child spending all their time elsewhere and never talking to me much anymore, ive no doubt that i would be jealous... jealous of the other person/activity who is demanding so much of my child's attention... and its only because i would love my child so much that i feel that jealousy. i want my child to be with me, i love them so much, i care for them, i know whats best for them but they dont want anything to do with me anymore.
thats what God must feel like.. he created us, he loved us, he gives us everything we need, in fact he has made us so comfortable here that some ppl dont even NEED to look for him, their lives are too comfy.. but despite all he has done for us, we chase after money, sex, drugs, etc. etc. and not him :( and he is jealous because he loves us so much and we dont talk to him anymore.
mike seems to have a lot of anger inside him, maybe he has had a bad experience with the church in the past, if so i feel very sorry about it. he doesnt seem to grasp how much God loves us.. he loved us so much that, while we were still not talking to him, he decided to set things right and bring us back to him. he didnt stand by and watch us die (as we deserve), he came to us as Jesus and cried out Come!
(watch video) we pursue everything BUT God so he went about setting it right.
marty on 20/10/2008can a righteous man go to heavan while not worshiping god, are you open minded to the point of veiw that god may not exist? i want to belive in god but would like a lier if i prayed because i have no faith.
ben on 21/10/2008marty,
The image of parent/child is a good one to consider. as a parent of teenage children I feel the struggle between my anger when they are defiant, beligerant and rude to me and the love I have for them as they struggle to face the problems of their own life. Have a look at http://www.christianity.net.au/blog/parenting_is_not_for_the_faint_hearted.
The issue about atheism to me is not whther people belive there is a God or not but why. If Max or Mike or Hayden do not believe in God (or believe in another God) that is their choice but if they choose that simply because its the easiest thing to believe rather than look at the evidence for God (or other religions) then I would challenge them to think again. There is evidence if they are willing to look at it with an open mind.
While there are people who believe things simply because that is the way they were brought up, this does not mean that everyone is like that. The question of God is so important that it needs to be thought about and thats what I challenge people to do.
David on 22/10/2008I just wanted to reply to Mike's assertion that Christian believers are told that they will be 'punished' if they turn their back on God. If the God that i know was a God of hate, vengeance and malevolence i might fear him and resent HIm enough to want to turn my back on Him and be punished. But the God that i know as revealed to all who seek Him in Scripture is a God of love and sacrifice, who is more than worthy of my worship. Like CS Lewis's lion in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, it is always wise to remember that "of course he(God) isn't safe (so don't dismiss him lightly), but he is good". I trust my God, and i don't believe He is the author of evil. Yes there will be consequences for those who turn their backs on Him, but for those who love Him and have experienced the truly amazing God He is, the fear of punishment from turning their back on God wouldn't be the dissuader- living without God would be, as that would be the ultimate punishment. My prayer for you Mike is that you might come to relationship with the True and Living God, who is obviously calling to you on some level or else you wouldn't be blogging on Christianity.net
Skye on 08/11/2008"This is a reasonable position to hold if you hold it tentatively and are ready to look at any new evidence that comes along. But to hold this conclusion and close your mind to other possibiities is both foolish and dangerous because as finite beings we cannot know everything and therefore cannot conclusively state that God does not exist."
Turning this argument on it's head would it not be fair to say that theism (in your case Christianity) is also a tentative position to hold as you must close your mind to new evidence and/or possibilities that may arise? All your really saying here is that all positions must be held tentatively. Which I totally agree with. It forms the basis of (scientific) sceptisism: base your belief on the evidence available at the time, and re-evaluate your position as new evidence comes to light.
It is true that we cannot know that the Christian God does not exist, in the same wayt that we cannot know that Zues exists, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster exists. I think it is a unfair to say that all atheists are close minded and not open to new evidence. As an aside, it is possible to be both agnostic & atheist as they pertain to differant knowlage claims.
"Christianity makes some very big claims. It claims that in following Christ there is forgiveness, acceptance and life. But in rejecting Christ there is condemnation, rejection and the prospect of facing an angry God. Can you afford to ignore such things? Can you afford to make a decision about such claims without looking at the evidence. "
Well, one could argue that the majority of Christians in the world have not looked at the evidence either and take the whole lot on faith (indoctrination at a young age will do this). I would also like to point out that a great deal of atheists do look at the evidence. So what is the evidence?
"The fact that there are many people who believe in Christianity. Not all of them are deluded or mad. This does not mean that it is true but it suggests there must be something in it that is worth looking at."
As you correctly point out, this has absolutely no bearing on Christianity's truth.
"Secondly the awesome nature and complexity of all we see around us should suggest there is more to this world and life than meets the eye. We all have a sneaking suspicion of this. Again this does not mean that Christianity is has got it right but it does mean that its claims are worth looking at. "
There are two things wrong with this: the fact that something "suggests" or "should be" something does not make it true (look up 'argument from final consequences'). The world does not always work as we intuitively think it should. Why should it? Your basically making a teleological argument, which anyone who is interested should look up, as there is a wealth of information on it around.
Then you repeat "but it does mean that its claims are worth looking at." Ok, isn't that what we supposed to be doing?
Having stated yourself the fallacies of your last two arguments, the final 'evidence' you go on to provide is the Bible.
Well as I'm sure you know using the Bible to prove the existence of the Christian God is a circular argument.
How do we know God exists? The Bible tells us so.
How do we know the Bible is true? Because it came from God.
Pat on 14/12/2008Ben, I just wanted to respond to your questions: "can a righteous man go to heavan while not worshiping god, are you open minded to the point of veiw that god may not exist? i want to belive in god but would like a lier if i prayed because i have no faith."
What do you mean by righteous? If you were righteous, then you would go to heaven - but to be truly righteous requires you to be sinless - and we all agree that no-one is sinless. The Bible teaches that there is no-one righteous in this world - every person has turned their back on God and is guilty of sin. But in dying on the cross, Jesus took our sin for us so that those who believe in him are treated as righteous and may enter the presence of God.
The life, death and resurrection of Jesus - if true - is the complete evidence you need to determine whether God exists. I suggest you read through the first few chapters of Romans in the Bible and pray to God - ask that He reveal His truth to you, ask Him to give you the faith you need to believe in Him. Just try it - if He's not real, you have nothing to lose but if He is real, everything is at stake.
May on 19/02/2009We have an interesting debate on this topic at this link:
Come and join the fun
Survey Magnet on 05/08/2010It is sad that people come to the conclusion they decide themselves to be an atheist. God can reach even them however if we pray for them. Many just don't understand the bible and how it is to be understood,they are not open minded most base belief off of science not realizing the bible is a spiritual book. I challenge some of them to read some articles at http://www.spiritualbiblestudy.com they may see something never brought to their attention before.
Christian on 26/11/2010
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