Thursday, April 16, 2009

An Atheist Pointed Me Toward Jesus

Ironic, isn’t it? It was about thirty years ago now. None of my friends were Christians. I thought Christians were idiots. They believed in things that were simply false. Worst of all, Christianity threatened the good things in my life. That I knew for a fact.

Then, one night I was sitting at a party when the woman beside me (even though we worked together I can’t, for the life of me, remember her name), an atheist said, “Is life ever a bag of shit.”

I looked at her kind of like, “Are you nuts? We’re having fun!”

Well, that comment stuck. I couldn’t shake it. The reason I couldn’t shake it is because I knew she was right. Our world is broken, and no amount of logic is going to fix it. “We” are broken, and no amount of wealth or education is going to fix us. No amount of sacrifice or effort or logic or reason can make our fundamentally flawed character right. The reason that logic will never heal us is because a lack of logic is not our problem.

From that night on I looked at my friends, I listened to our conversations, I observed our relationships, I evaluated our goals and what we thought was important, I analysed the things upon which we were building our lives and I realised that my friends were some of the saddest, most pathetic people on the face of the earth.

And DUH! I was one of them.

We were hypocrites to the core. Pretending we were happy when we were terribly dissatisfied, confident when confused, courageous when afraid, friendly when judgmental, kind when cruel, compassionate when self-obsessed. We were seriously damaged and wounded individuals.

The question of course is why. Why is our world broken? Why are we incapable of changing ourselves and our societies? Why do we continue to hurt those we claim to love? Why are we unable to shed our corrupted self-love? Like most people I wanted to know if there was a philosophy, a belief system and way of thinking that explained the why of our damaged world. More importantly, I wanted to know if there was a philosophy or system of belief that provided a workable solution to our sad situation? All systems of thought, it seemed to me, were incomplete, incoherent or incomprehensible; all that is except Christianity. None offered an coherent description of our dilemma. None offered a means of redemption, forgiveness, and change. None, except Christianity, offered a known and knowable Saviour. None except Christianity had a Saviour that was solidly grounded in history. None except Christianity had a beginning that was practically begging the seeker to check out the facts, to look at the historical claims to see if they were true.

Our problem is not what we do. Our problem is who we are and only Christianity identified that problem and provided a solution for that problem.

It still took me about a decade of searching and questioning and weighing the evidence before I turned my life over to Jesus, but I am so very thankful that I did. I am so very thankful for that atheist. She pointed me away from the absurd, contradictory and incoherent life of a naturalist, and toward the most fulfilling, and exciting journey possible. She pointed me toward freedom and Truth. She pointed me toward Jesus.

5 comments:

Volker The Fiddler said...

Our problem is not what we do. Our problem is who we are and only Christianity identified that problem and provided a solution for that problem.

The problem with this statement is, of course, that since the dawn of humanity religion has 'recognized the problem' and provided the solution. The same solace and resolution you find in Christianity has been found, felt and expressed by members of many diverse religious faiths. An accident of your birth--being born in a country whose predominant faith is Christianity--is the principle reason you have found Christianity the answer to life's complex questions. The same sorts of religious sentiment are felt by Muslims, Hindus, Animists, Pagans ad infinitum. Christianity is far from being in a unique position.

Makarios said...

I've got to go out for the afternoon but you've raised some interesting points. Tell me about the hat - in the picture - where was that taken?

Volker The Fiddler said...

The hat is a superb protection against cold weather, having a rabbit-fur exterior. The picture is taken in Budapest, in January. The Danube, and the Parliament of Budapest are in the background.

Makarios said...

So do you live in Budapest or were you just visiting?

Fiddler, I can't do it. I can't make short answers. I just can't do it. So, I'm going to reply to your comments in a post tomorrow.

Volker The Fiddler said...

Please do. I was visiting Budapest, while a exchange student at the University of Paderborn in Germany.