Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Will You Marry Me?

Scene I: A woman walks up to a guy at a dinner get-together and introduces herself. He says, “Will you marry me?”

Scene II: You see a man dragging an unconscious woman by the arm out the front door and down the steps of their house. Based on this evidence you determine that the man is cruel, vile, vicious, misogynist, and dangerous to the community.

Scene III: Richard Dawkins describes God as, “Arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it, a petty, unjust, unforgiving control freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynist, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.

A Christian says to Richard, “Well, I wouldn’t believe in that kind of god either.”

Rab, who I take to be a normal, average, reasonable man, says that he won’t believe in God until God shows Himself in an irrefutable manner. I, mistakenly, said, “That won’t happen until Jesus returns and by then it will be too late.” Let me explain my mistake.

I believe that God has given me irrefutable evidence of His presence. I say that today, but I wouldn’t have said that thirty years ago. Just as most people would not agree to marry someone they’d just met (Scene I), it is wise for atheists to not commit to their Creator on the basis of not knowing Him at all. Oh they think they know Him but the proof that they don’t is found in how they describe Him (Scene III).

Atheists know God as much as you know the man who was seen dragging his wife out the door and down the steps by the arm. As it turns out, there had just been a violent confrontation with an intruder and both the man and his wife were seriously injured. While he is not able to carry his wife, after temporarily stunning the intruder, that man saved his wife’s life by getting her out of the house and to the safety of their vehicle which was parked out front. The man had a plan the details of which no one on the outside knew a thing. Judgements were made based only on partial facts.

Atheists, as I’ve said many times, fear with utter dread the New Testament. So destructive is the New Testament to their desire to hate Creator God that many atheists have taken to denying the existence of Jesus altogether.

If you’re going to deny God’s relevance in your life, it only makes sense that you deny God as He really is. I, like most others who call themselves Christians can and will tell you that the love of God is so great it’s beyond the human ability to describe. Obviously we have some information that at this time in your life, you’re simply lacking.

When my kids are balking at cleaning up the playroom, a delaying tactic they sometimes use is, they’ll hold up a toy and say, “I don’t know where this goes.” And I reply, “Then put it down and put away something that you do know where it goes.”

If there are parts of your Creator that you can’t understand, then put it down and relate to the parts that you can understand. Put it down and relate to the parts that are drawing you, attracting you, that are wooing you in. It might be Jesus' reaction to the woman at the well, or His reaction to the woman who anointed His feet with costly perfume. It might be the way Jesus rejected the religious leaders and spent time with those on the street instead. It might be something else but start, not at a point where you can't move forward but from a position where you can move forward. A beginning prayer often needs to be nothing more than,

“Father God, I don’t even believe that You exist. Right now these are just words. In fact, the most that I can offer is that I’m willing to admit that You might exist. But if You do exist, I want to know. I want to know You as You really are.”

If you mean that. If you are genuine in taking what, from your side of the fence, seems like a risk, you will be granted entrance into a journey you never dreamed possible. Really, when you think about it, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. I’d recommend doing the same thing with the Gospel of John, the fourth book of the New Testament. Just try it! Begin every day with,

“Father God, I’m doing this even though I feel absolutely stupid doing it. But if you are real, bring meaning to this letter of John’s. Open my spiritual eyes and bring meaning that I’ve never experienced before. If you’re real, show me Yourself as I work my way though the things that John wrote about you.”

Just like I didn’t know my wife on the day that I met her, anything like I know her now, knowing Creator God, having Him reveal Himself to you comes in stages. All it takes is a willingness on your part to begin the process on His terms.

Humble, Seeking, Aware in Whose presence this journey is beginning.

Good luck.


The Atheist Missionary said...

Mak wrote: I believe that God has given me irrefutable evidence of His presence ... and I believe that my peanut butter sandwich is talking to me. Does that make it so?

PersonalFailure said...

Not the New Testament! Anything but the New Testament!

In which Jesus kills a fig tree. For not producing fruit. Out of season.

In which Judas is punished, twice, in conflicting accounts, for doing exactly what had to be done in order for Jesus to save everyone. And for some reason, Judas is the bad guy.

Yeah, I'm scared.

Makarios said...

"In which Jesus kills a fig tree. For not producing fruit. Out of season."

Odd, isn't it? That a piece of fabricated propaganda created to make the case for Jesus as Messiah would include such an account? Unless of course it's true.

"Judas is the bad guy."

You don't think that betraying a friend is a crappy thing to do? Judas certainly thought it was. He hung himself and at some point his body fell to the rocks below bursting open upon contact. Many would think it a deserving end for a traitor.

atlasmann said...

"I believe that God has given me irrefutable evidence of His presence."

I read your entire post and found nothing even presented as "evidence". Please explain.

Makarios said...

No - you wouldn't get it. You start at the beginnng Altman, not at the end.

JD Curtis said...

nsofar as "evidence" is concerned, I watched this video yesterday. It's titled Unlocking the Mystery of Life. There is some very compelling "evidence" on it.

Adam said...

Makarios, what happens if I start at the beginning of a different religion and by the end claim that I have irrefutable evidence of the truth of my chosen path?

Makarios said...

Well, you can claim anything you want. Whether it's the truth or not is another question.

If you want to give it a go, there's a guy called John LaRue looking for converts to Islam. If you're an angry young man looking to stick it to someone, it might be just the thing for you.

Adam said...

Then I have to ask why you're so certain about your claims if you're willing to be so dismissive towards my valid question.

I'm not sure if that was an attempt to characterize me as an "angry young man" or Islam as a religion full of angry young men.

Either way, you misfired with either attempt.

Makarios said...

I answered that on the post "Why Your God?"


Adam said...


And the comments over there pretty much took down your post with a bit of simple sarcasm.

Sooo...still no answer.

What is interesting about the post you linked is that you arrived at the conclusion you planned to arrive at before your mental exercise. Coincidence? I think not.

Makarios said...

"What is interesting about the post you linked is that you arrived at the conclusion you planned to arrive at before your mental exercise."

It's not as black and white as that. One looks at the universe and asks, what must the cause of the universe be like. Based on what we know from science, many of the decriptors come directly from that. i.e., immaterial, all powerful, eternal, etc.

Adam said...

Yeah, but as the commenters over there pointed out, essentially all I have to do is imagine a different god with a couple more amazing attributes than the god you imagine and Christianity is suddenly second best.

Rabhimself said...

I will sincerely address your god in the way you described once you do the same for every other god ever made uo by man kind.

Oh, and mak, i wasn't always an atheist as i've told you before.

Once when i was younger (when i believed) i had a rough patch in life and a hurting little boy tried to pray to his creator for comfort.

I got nothing mak.

There, was no help, no comfort, no sense of well being. No nothing.

At the time i just wrote it off as being part of his 'plan'.

At that time i believed, i was vulnerable and deluded. I never experienced any revelation despite my best efforts.

That is as genuine as i could be with reaching out to god. Now of course i understand why nothing got back to me, it's all so simple.

A simple extension of thought makes it clear that every day, millions of children are neglected by this god in the same manner, most of which are suffering more than i ever did.

He doesn't exist. It's really as simple as that.

Makarios said...

I'm sorry Rab. I truly am sorry for your pain. On the other hand, if your NOT "hearing" from God proves his nonexistence, then the children, and there are also millions of those who do "hear" from Him proves His existence. Both propositions are silly.

Rabhimself said...

I didn't say that not hearing from him proved his non-existence. Indeed, proving his non-existence is impossible. I merely understand why i didn't hear anything now. Like i said, i believed at the time.

Thanks for the sympathy but it wasn't anything really serious, the point is he ignored me when i felt i needed him, and indeed, asked for him. The god you describe wouldn't be selective with who he helps and who he doesn't, particularly with children.

Makarios said...

"The god you describe wouldn't be selective with who he helps and who he doesn't, particularly with children."

Oh I wouldn't be too sure about that. The use of pain and suffering plays a huge role in our interaction with God. Why? For the same reason that God uses murderers, drunks, liars, cheats and adulterers etc. etc. because:

- That's what He has to work with and

- It allows us to see that He can use anyone, even "me" to bring about good in the world.

No, not hearing from God in your time of need doesn't confirm or deny His existence, nor does it support your theory that He doesn't exist.

Again, I believe that pain and suffering are used by God for two amazing events:

- The drawing of those who are destined to accept His offer of salvation, and

- The driving away of those who are destined to reject His offer of salvation.