I confess, I was weak. I saw the story on CNN about “Famous Atheists and Their Beliefs” and after ignoring it for several days I peeked.
Look, I also confess that we believers make fools of ourselves and one another. Christians despised Jews for centuries, conveniently forgetting that the early Church met in the synagogues. That before Paul got knocked off his horse on the road to Damascus Christian membership was limited to Jews. That the Apostles were all Jews, and, oh by the way, Jesus was a Jew, of the House of David and He was the Messiah promised to the Jews.
After the schism, Protestants aired their grievances (and very legitimate grievances they were) about the Catholics. As time went on, the various flavors of Protestant began to differentiate from one another and rejected each other for reasons real and imagined.
And then there are the Muslims; sons of Ibraham, whom we call our ancestor Abraham. They suffer as much infighting as Christians, and suffer lunatics who have successfully hijacked the title if not their beliefs.
The Atheists seem to have a solidarity with all not believing in the same thing and supporting each other’s disbelief. The believers, on the other hand, are not nearly as supportive of one another.
Maybe we believers should agree on a few things:
- We are all seeking God.
- As much as we’d like to believe otherwise, we humans don’t have the answers.
- God seems to open doors, paths and ways to reach Him.
- God loves us.
We won’t see an article about “Famous Believers and What They Believe.” But as believers, we don’t need to.
With all due respect, atheists and Muslims seem to have one thing major thing in common: They have this burning desire to tell the rest of us we are wrong, that we must not believe the way we do, and that they are charged with the responsibility for changing us to their way of thinking. Their difference is the former seems to be rooted in quasi-intellectual argument that sounds good, and the latter in a “holy [godly] book” that exudes an
exemplary life (no drinking, smoking, etc.)–save for vicious attacks and murder on infidels…those who are not Muslims.
Protestants “protested” against the first, early Church…with reason. In his book, “Here I stand”, Martin Luther (not to be confused with Martin Luther King, Jr.)–upon his death-bed said: “Father, forgive me, for I began the splintering of your church.” And like you say, Steve, today there are many Protestant churches of many flavors.
In my estimation, the vast difference between the atheists and Muslims, and
Martin Luther–the leader of the Protester movement–is “free will,” and how people were not tried to be convinced against their will. Martin Luther knew the only way OUT is IN…(faith, love, hope, trust, kindness, God).
Today, Christians believe “all the known facts (or all the facts we know) are not all the facts.” When faced with trying times and the “known” facts are seemingly against us, we must remember all the known facts are not all the facts, and certainly not all God knows. When we do all we can, God does all we CAN’T! So, it’s okay for us NOT to know something—for it is our faith God knows everything. Just because we don’t have answer…does not mean God doesn’t have an answer.
There’s one other thing that we must also know and remember. History is crowded with men who would be gods. But only one God who would be man. That’s Jesus. That’s the Person in to whom we commend our lives.