Today I am sharing a video that I used to watch frequently in my faith crisis. Its a video that is deeply popular among atheists. Its a video of Richard Dawkins reading his hate emails, especially with email by Christians. The goal of this post is to expose Christians to how they are perceived and stimulate discussion. There are a series of questions for both Christians and Atheists below. The video has strong language for those of you squeamish. Please feel free to respond.
“Jesus lays on that hippie stuff pretty thick. He has lines like do not repay evil with evil, and do not take revenge on someone who wrongs you. Really its in that book you hold up when you scream at gay people.”
“Unhappy, let alone angry, religious people provide more persuasive arguments for atheism and secularism than do all the arguments of atheists”
“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.”
Romans 12:9 NIV
I had a really busy weekend and didn’t have time to work on something long and in depth. This is kind of impromptu but its something I have wanted to do for a while now. I would like to write and journal at length about atheism and doubt. In the course of time I would like to share videos that I would consume in my faith crisis. I would like to spend a lot of time writing about some of what I learned when I brushed up against atheism and explored it. I would suggest to you that there are many notions about atheism that are untrue or suggested by many evangelical Christians. In the course of time I would like to explore these misperceptions.
- Atheists just want to argue and fight.
- Atheists are closed minded.
- Atheists love to mock and bait.
- Atheists are far from the Gospel
- Atheists, or people who walked away from Christianity were never Christians to begin with.
- Atheists cannot be moral people because you need God to live a moral life.
- Atheists don’t have ethics
- Atheists are not upstanding citizens.
Again some of what I wrote above I believed until my faith crisis which turned the tables on me. Now I was suddenly on the outside looking in, and in some cases I was the one that some Christians tried to avoid or who went cold. In some cases I pulled back from many…in a few others I just had to ask a number of questions and that was the kiss of death. I already wrote a post a couple of months back which explained why many evangelical Christians are not going to be able to reach atheists with the Gospel. You can read that post here. In addition I wrote about my personal reflection on Christopher Hitchens which you can read here.
When I was in my faith crisis this Richard Dawkins video would be traded and passed around in the atheist community. It is quite popular and many atheists enjoy it. I enjoyed it immensely when I was being invited to Sovereign Grace. In the months ahead I am going to throw up stuff like this to stimulate discussion and ask you to give your thoughts. There is going to be a lot of atheism material that you will be introduced to when you read this journal. Before I list some questions for both atheists and Christians let me state this first. I understand that Richard Dawkins is a polarizing figure. There are atheists who disagree with him and he has created some of those issues. If you read the link above about Hitch I touch on that issue in that journal entry. I view Richard Dawkins as being the “atheist John Piper” someone out to hoard the attention, who thrives on being center stage. That being said you can’t deny the fact that he has done gifted work in biology.
Some Questions for Atheists to Ponder…
- What experiences have you had with Christians? Have they been mean? Unpleasant? Angry? Can you relate to these emails that Richard Dawkins is reading?
- Have you felt like a project by some Christians?
- Have you been treated rudely by Christians?
- What is your take on Dawkins video? Can you see this happening or is Dawkins sensationizing this situation?
- Have you had any experiences with Christians that were pleasantly surprising?
- How have you been wounded or hurt by Christians?
Some Questions for Christians to Ponder…
- What is your take on Richard Dawkins’ video?
- Do you think he’s being intentionally belligerent? Or do you think Christians are emailing him hateful notes?
- How does it feel to have episodes like this define your faith?
- What would you convey to Richard Dawkins if you had the opportunity?
- What would you say to those Christians emailing Dawkins?
- Are you angry that I am posting this video to begin with?
In my faith crisis as I brushed against differing schools of thought outside Christianity I learned something that I think many evangelicals can’t comprehend or realize. There are atheists and those outside the faith are not that far from the faith. The problem, or the obstacle is often the evangelical church or culture, or the lack of intellectualism. I honestly believe that many Christians will be surprised upon death as to who got to heaven and who did not. I think some are in for a surprise. That said some people who are at the door of the church will not cross over due to how the evangelical Christian church functions. I find that to be profoundly sad. Since we are talking about atheism today in closing I will leave you with John Lennon singing “Imagine” in which he imagines a world where no religion existed.