Answer For An Atheist


question2-724662

Pastor Steve from Hope Chapel put up an “Atheist Tuesday” blog today.  I wrote a response.

The blog entry:

http://stonethepreacher.com/2011/11/29/atheist-tuesday-youtube-comments.html

And my comments to the grumbling Atheists:

And an atheist who lives their life as if there were no God is better off than I am?

Let’s go through the 5 main questions in life as viewed through the two filters of atheist, and the other one who believes in God.

1. Who am I?
According to atheists, I am an accident.
According to Christians and Jews, I am created in the image of God.

2. Why am I here?
According to atheists, there is no reason, no purpose, I’m just the culmination of zillions and zillions of billiard balls bouncing around.
According to believers, I am here to glorify God and serve Him, I have tremendous purpose!

3. What happens when I die?
Atheists: Worm food.
Believers: I either go to Heaven (if I believe in Jesus and have accepted His sacrifice on the cross as sufficient for my salvation) or I go to Hell.

4. Is there a right and wrong and why?
Atheists: No. Whoever is strongest determines what is right.
Believers, there is absolute truth, moral and ethical truth, standards by which God will judge us and our actions, the “Standards” are based on the character of God.

5. Finally, does human history have any meaning?
Atheists: Nope, nada, no value, no meaning, life is all just meaningless. Eat, drink, and be merry, tomorrow we die!
Believers: Yes – tremendous purpose! All of history is focused on the single defining event of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross at Calvary. All of human history prior to that points to His coming, and after it points backwards to what He did for us.

You know, it really doesn’t get much simpler than that. This is why we have Pastors and teachers whom we look up to and respect, because they have studied this stuff before us and figured most of it out.

In spite of how I wanted to go my own way as a young man, and try to “Fake it” and pretend there was no God to whom I would have to answer, He chased after me and saved me. While I was yet a sinner, God died for me and saved me and asked me to “Follow Him.”

He’s asking all of you the same thing right now. In light of what you’ve learned above, are you really willing to take a chance on “There’s nothing out there?” Does it make more sense to believe in God and find meaning and purpose for your life? It really is that simple folks. Don’t cut your nose off to spite your face. Think it through!

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12 thoughts on “Answer For An Atheist

  1. Hi Scott,

    I’ll be replying to your post on Steve’s site soon (within the next hour or so, I hope), but one quick thing:

    You clearly have no idea what atheists actually think, and I ask you why you felt the need to either make up answers for people (that aren’t like you) or take the dumbest answers from the dumbest atheists you can find.

    It makes me question your honesty, but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you’ve been told these “atheist answers” by a pastor or some other authority figure and did no research to find out what atheists actually think about these five questions.

    Additionally, please note that there is no such thing as an “atheist worldview”, so for some of these questions you’d get completely different answers from various atheists. For example, I’m a determinist, but not all atheists are determinists, and let’s not even get into the arguments that you’ll find between Democrat atheists and Republican atheists.

    • I based my atheist answers on what atheists believe, or “Don’t believe” would be more accurate. There’s an old adage that says “If you don’t stand for something, then you’ll fall for anything.” The same is true of “Athiesm” in general. You are deceived (deceiving yourself) if you believe that this all happened by chance (and that’s what “Determinism” says btw). Determinism works to a point, that point has been recognized for thousands of years (starting with Plato and firmed up by Thomas Aquinas) as the point at which there must be an “Uncaused cause.” Modern science has now affirmed that in the mystery of gravity alone there is substantial evidence for something outside the system having acted upon the system to set it up in precisely the manner required to have a universe as we see it.

      In similar reasoning a “Worldview” can be characterized either by what you believe or do not believe (what you choose to remove from your worldview by virtue of the fact that you will not believe in it). I could argue these points until we are both blue in the face. It’s fun, but in reality, has little purpose. Christianity cannot be attained by reason. It’s up to God whom He chooses to save. My purpose is merely to be a “Seed planter” and to sow the Word of God. The Word says in Romans 1 that “They are without excuse… the evidence is all around.”

      That, of course, refers to “Natural” revelation. There is to our way of belief another type of revelation called “Special” revelation, and that would be the Bible. And it’s not that other works are not inspired, it is that the work of the Bible is sufficient for salvation, and all the books therein are considered to be inspired, or written by God Himself through authors who were indwelt by the Holy Spirit. The Bible is the only book I’ve ever read that is self-fulfilling, self-referencing, self-validating and also alive and capable of speaking directly to my heart. That last part is perhaps most important of all!

      What you must remember is that I was, if not an atheist in my young life, certainly a doubter, and most certainly a “Heathen” (one who lived only for the sensual life). I attended no church as a small child. I didn’t get saved until I was 35 years old, and that after spending 9 and a 1/2 years in Universities! I graduated “Cum laude” from University of Washington in 1994 with a B.S. in Computer Science (and that my 2nd B.S. Degree, my first was Business Management from Pepperdine where I graduated with Honors), I was basically “In” the Ph.D program but due to divorce, wound up going back to work for a living. At the time I was doing research in self-timed circuits, we were designing what we hoped would be the next generation of microprocessors. I worked with Professor Ted Kehl who had a whole group of us he was mentoring at the time. Most went on to work at Microsoft (including myself) where we either stayed or moved on. Some of my friends are still there.

      I say all that to assure you that I have a brain, a good one. I just choose to analyze “Sensual” evidence differently these days and to listen to my heart. I say again, you will never “reason” your way from unbelief to belief. You must bridge the gap between your head and your heart and believe! That’s what faith is all about. The Bible says “Faith is being sure of what we hope for, and certain of things we cannot see” (Hebrews 11:1). After coming to belief, and I admit, I had to be “Broken” before I believed (brought to the end of myself by God Himself), I was quickly able to see the futility of all my earlier “Worldview.” The Worldview that is unsupported by any spiritual system (what is commonly referred to as “Metaphysical”) is simply empty and sensual, devolving down into Darwin’s simplistic arguments of determinism. Living systems under that worldview are characterized by a continual struggle of the strong to subdue the weak, and, contrary to ecologists and others who would like us to think so, those systems are not “Static” but are highly dynamic.

      Look at the evidence around you! Think! Darwin based his work on a geologist who proposed a “Geologic” column, or a hierarchy of species, from most primitive to most evolved. Of course, man is at the top, right? Well, according to this geologist, those species have “ages” and dominated those ages in which they developed and were dominant. Thus, he and Darwin supposed we should find rock strata demonstrating those hierarchical relationships, you should find older fossils in one strata, then more recent ones on top of that, and so on in layers with the most “evolved” near the top, right? Well, the only place you find more than a few layers like that is the Grand Canyon, but guess what? They’re upside down!

      Think – think – think! Darwin and that geologist (Charles Lyell) supposed that geologic forces were very slow, and acted somewhat uniformly over time to cause speciation and extinction. What have we learned in just the past 100 years? Things happen quickly! Check out Mt. St. Helens, I’ve been there! Enough earth was moved (magma, ash, mud from pyroclastic flows, etc…) to fill the Grand Canyon! Think man – THINK!

      That’s hardly the only evidence we have either. Take NASA. Those fools down there keep telling us that Mars was COVERED in water at one time! Where’s the evidence, what reality are the using to base this theory? Mars is less than 1% water! Earth, on the other hand, is 70% water and yet they tell us that a global flood could never have happened! What? Think!

      And again, have you BEEN to the Grand Canyon? How high is the rim of the Canyon? How low is the floor? In places it’s over 6,000 feet from rim to floor. The river flowing out of Colorado (where I lived for many years) is only at an elevation of 3,500 feet (or so) and could never have caused all that canyon if “Scientists” would have us think how they propose. Think – think – THINK! Have you been to Utah and seen Monument Valley? I have! The evidence that water covered all that part of the continent, and thus not too far a stretch to imagine all of it covered) is all over the place! There are seashells on the tops and sides of those buttes – just like in the Grand Canyon – you find seashells near the rim of the Grand Canyon!

      You can distinctly see shorelines on the buttes in Monument Valley as well, up near the tops and some lower down on the buttes. Everything was once covered with water, and the water gradually drained away, or the land rose, probably both, but all that water is what carved out the Grand Canyon – obviously! Have you seen these things – have you OPENED your eyes? THIS – is the evidence God speaks of in Romans 1 – it’s all around you and He simply wrote it down for us and put it into a book for us to read so we wouldn’t have to go all over the place to figure this stuff out!

      Go look at NASA’s latest video they produced using time-lapse photography from the ISS as it shows the ISS going over various parts of the earth (at night), showing thunderstorms (lots of lightning!) and the Aurora Borealis. The magnetosphere is another simply amazing thing! Think, if that didn’t exist perfectly, we would not be here! Who arranged all this? Is it really some kind of great cosmic coincidence? Determinism? As Carl Sagan used to say (and I used to hang on his every word believe it or not) “Billions and billions of stars, billions and billions of years.” His point was that given enough time, and enough attempts, that eventually the universe would have “evolved” life all on its own. But, that defies the principles, the LAWS of thermodynamics – now how can that be? Think! Think! Think!

      No, sorry, don’t think anymore. Just turn your brain off for a moment. Say a silent prayer, ask God to reveal Himself to you in some way. He’s actually here right now. The fact that He sent His son Jesus to die for us should be evidence enough for you as well, but you cannot accept Jesus, until you accept your own inadequacy to explain anything in the universe.

      Now, if there is a God, and if there were such a person as Jesus, then why would God have done it the way He did? Why didn’t He just come down and show Himself to me and tell me all about Himself so that I’d know He is who He says He is? He did. He gave us the Bible. He came – for us. He died for us, because that’s simply how it has to be. We are incapable, inadequate, incompetent, and incoherent if we think it could be some way that we would propose. Any way that you or I would have devised would have resulted in disaster. People do devise their own “gods” all the time, the way they think they should be, we call that idolatry, and they are fools.

      Goodness, I can go on, can’t I? I pray the Lord opens your heart right now, this moment, and that you receive Jesus. Turn from your sin, the lies, the blasphemy, accept Him and His sacrifice on the cross. Then, go and find a good church, where the Bible is taught, where Jesus Christ reigns! In Jesus’ name, AMEN!

      • I’ll reply to the rest of this later, but I want to hit a couple of quick points first.

        You wrote:

        “I based my atheist answers on what atheists believe, or “Don’t believe” would be more accurate.”

        No, neither of those are accurate. You completely made up those atheist answers. Why else would I, an atheist, so thoroughly disagree with points 1, 2, 4, and 5? I’ll point out again that what one atheist believes can be completely different from another, but I don’t know any that would give the answers that you gave in 1, 2, 4, and 5.

        I doubt you’d appreciate it if I made up a bunch of “Christian answers”.

        Are you really buying your own story that your “atheist answers” are *anything* but completely made up to make people (who aren’t you) look stupid?

        Pull the other leg, Scott. C’mon now.

        “There’s an old adage that says “If you don’t stand for something, then you’ll fall for anything.””

        I do stand for quite a few things, Scott. They have zero to do with the fact that I’m an atheist. You assume *a lot* about what other people think, and it’s bothersome because you’re completely wrong.

        “The same is true of “Athiesm” in general.”

        I’ll say again: you quite clearly have no idea what “atheism” is.

        ” You are deceived (deceiving yourself) if you believe that this all happened by chance (and that’s what “Determinism” says btw)”

        Oh my goodness. Look up what determinism is, Scott. “Chance” does not exist within determinism. Sheesh. Research things before you speak on them: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Determinism

        You are talking out of your backside on these particular issues, and I would hope you’d find that to be a bad thing.

      • Forgot to mention, regarding “Determinism works to a point, that point has been recognized for thousands of years (starting with Plato and firmed up by Thomas Aquinas) as the point at which there must be an “Uncaused cause.” ”

        Thomas Aquinas didn’t have access to the knowledge we do know; he’s been shown to be incorrect.

  2. Determinism, even “Modern” determinism, all derives from the early theory of causality (the “Causal” universe theory going back to Plato). I read some about “Modern” determinism, and the theory that things can only be one way. Well, if you believe that, then you might as well believe you’re a rock, because in the case of ultimate determinism (in that sense) there is no meaning to anything!

    But, I digress. It’s not that I don’t want to debate all these theories, it’s just that it does no good. The only way to combat things that are not truth is with truth. It is really that simple. Once you have found truth you will understand. My life is radically changed as a result of an encounter with the living God Himself, in the person of Jesus Christ. I pray the same for all of you. Please, do not tarry, time is short. No Christian in their right mind would claim to have the day or the time of the end due to some “Special” revelation, however, all Christians do agree the end could come at any time, for any of us.

    I refer you to Pastor Steve Sanchez’s (from my church Hope Chapel Hermosa Beach) wonderful blog:

    http://stonethepreacher.com/

    He has a great weekly article called “Sudden Death.”

    The Apostle Paul said: “And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.” (Romans 13:11)

    Jesus says in Mark 13 (32-37):

    “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch. Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!'”

    • Hi Scott,

      Did you ever see my reply to this post (“Answer For An Atheist”) at Steve Sanchez’s blog?

      If so, what were your opinions to my replies? Do you still believe that your “atheist answers” are accurate?

      Regarding your creationist claims above (e.g., age of Grand Canyon, claims of water on Mars, etc), I have researched each and every one of those in the past, and I have found that the claims are not persuasive or accurate. So, that’s where I stand on those.

      Regarding your comments on determinism (the word isn’t capitalized), I encourage you to read more if you’re interested, as you still appear to make (what I consider to be) strange conclusions without understanding the concept of determism. For example, “if things can only be one way”, then I don’t understand why I “might as well believe [I’m] a rock”.

      If things can only be one way, I’m still a human, and not a rock. So why would I believe I’m a rock?

      As for there being no meaning to anything, we appear to give meaning to (nearly) everything. So, it all works out.

      Oh, and lastly, I have prayed to God multiple times to reveal Himself. Sorry to say that nothing happened.

      But really, I’m mostly interested in what your opinions are regarding my comment (and following comments) to your post of “Answer For An Atheist” on Steve’s blog.

      Thanks!

    • Scott, to this day, do you still believe that what you listed above are actual “atheist answers”, or answers you made up, or some other option?

  3. These are real Atheist answers, compiled by our Church over a very long time (many years). We have video of many so-called Atheists answering these various questions, and I’ve seen them, yes, these are how they answer, pretty much, in a summary fashion.

    We, of course, don’t claim these are the answers all Atheists will give to those questions, but when you pick the answers apart, this is a pretty good summation of the various answers they do give – that are coherent. Not being an Atheist makes it difficult to claim to answer for an Atheist, but at Hope Chapel Hermosa Beach, we’ve done a pretty good job of getting out and talking to folks over the years. I, personally, have spoken with many on the streets while evangelizing.

    I have spoken with homeless, with Veterans, with young, with old, with drug addicts, with you name it. Often, my wife goes with me when we take these trips. It’s quite important to talk with folks about these things, since we really think that belief in God is the foundation of our entire life. The Judeo-Christian God is viewed by us (of course) as being the one true God of the Universe, in fact the one who created everything.

    Most folks stop right there when they are investigating and say something to the effect of “See, you’re being exclusive, you’re not accounting for all the other ‘Religions.'” While that may be true, it’s not me saying it, rather it’s the Bible. The Bible is the single most unique “Book” (rather a collection of books, written by God, with the help of various human authors under His influence) in all of human history. No other book is like it, or can make the same claims that it makes – chiefly that it is Truth.

    I had plenty of the same doubts before I became a Christian. I said many of those things above in fact. Most of them I had never even thought through to any kind of conclusion, but that still fits a person into those general answers above, because the absence of coming to a rational conclusion doesn’t mean that you’re not coming to those same conclusions as outlined above.

    Finally, and perhaps most importantly, is the fact that real Christians have their spiritual eyes opened and are tuned to the spirit world. It is real, and exists all around us, and in us. It is everywhere at the same time. I’ve tried again and again to come up with an analogy based on higher dimensions to explain this to folks. You see, because if God exists, and He did create our Universe, then by definition He exists outside it. One way He could do that is if He inhabits a “Higher” dimension than ours. Perhaps there are many higher dimensions, we don’t know, it’s useful to think of there being at least one higher dimension for sake of discussion. For more on dimensional topics, I recommend Edwin Abbott’s great book: _Flatland_.

    Moving from a discussion of higher dimensions to the spirit realm is but a short leap. It’s not a major leap like jumping off a cliff into the dark. Once you realize there really is something “Meta-physical” out there, then you’re not far from the Kingdom of Heaven I tell folks. Unfortunately, that is also where folks get side-tracked. They get drawn into all kinds of Satanic and cultic and Demonic activities, because they think they can make it into something that they want it to be – for them in other words. It doesn’t work that way. It is there, and there is no “Controlling” it, or any such thing. Demons and Satan demand sacrifices and they will get your soul and destroy you if you try to “Bargain” with them.

    There are plenty of dark arts, and that’s one thing I full well realized when I became a Christian too is that magic is real. It’s not what folks think it is, it’s Demonic power, that Satan allows folks to believe they themselves are wielding. Then, when they’re good and hooked, he pulls the bait and switch on them and they are destroyed. Many go to their graves thinking they have some kind of power, only to wake up in Hell and realize that they were duped. Sad…

    But I didn’t begin this or any discussion to talk about Satan. Satan is a great sponsor of “Religion” and Atheism. He wants folks to believe we are either alone or that we can somehow get to God (Heaven) on our terms. That’s where the Bible and Jesus clearly taught that there’s only one way. Period. No ifs, ands or buts on that either. Didn’t you ever stop to consider that Jesus came along at exactly the right time in history? He came when there were roads, and ships, and the written language to spread the “Good news” as far and wide as it could possibly get? Don’t you ever wonder such things? Or why God chose Abraham and called him out of Ur of the Chaldeans and set apart a “People” for Himself?

    Is the Bible simply a bunch of old wives tales for you? Fables? Meaningless poetry written to a lost generation? Do you really think technology is making us better or “Evolving” us into something we weren’t before? How sad. Folks at the beginning of the 20th Century were totally convinced there would be no more war. Yet the 20th Century was the bloodiest in history, in fact more were killed in wars in the 20th Century than all of history combined prior to it! And to think that the numbers of babies aborted during the 20th Century far surpassed the number of people killed in wars is even more dramatic. Far surpassed.

    Judgement is coming fast. I pray you consider these things. I was a scoffer in my early life. I didn’t believe until I was 35 years old. I chose to believe in “God” when I got clean and sober over 30 years ago. I couldn’t stay sober a single day prior to that. He relieved me of the compulsion to drink or use. I could never have done it on my own. That set me up for my encounter with Jesus Christ. I met the living God. He lives in my heart now. I will be with Him some day. I look around at this world and see terrible evil. But I can have peace, because Jesus gave me peace.

    I pray for you that you can have those blinders removed and that Jesus will make Himself real to you this very day!

    If you really want a good read on Christianity in general, from someone who started as an Atheist, I recommend “Mere Christianity” by C.S. Lewis. Or there’s always “Evidence The Demands A Verdict” by Josh McDowell. He also started (more recently) on a College Campus right here in America to disprove Christianity. He found the _MOUNTAIN_ of evidence was overwhelming and found that he could no longer dispute that Jesus Christ is real and is who He says He is (God). I’m afraid my arguments will, in the end, prove inadequate. As we know from our study of God, He saves those He wants. I cannot save. I can only plant seeds, and water and nurture them. God makes the harvest.

    God bless you!

  4. Ah, came across some good resources today. This one, has a current article titled “Quick Responses to Skeptics” that is very close to what I wanted to convey. I’m reading it fully right now, it has a number of questions from skeptics that it addresses. Good stuff.

    http://www.alwaysbeready.com/

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