“Religion promotes faith over science and logic,” say the atheists, “it promotes wars, bloodshed and intolerance.”
Clearly nonsense, I say, and I challenge them with this: If you are going to say that what you believe is based on reason and ours is not you must first come up with something that us reasonable.
The idea that Science and religion are opposed is a strange one, especially with Christianity. I became a Christian whilst studying physics at university. There is no conflict unless you read ancient texts such as the Old Testament as if they were written as modern scientific texts rather than in the context of writings of their times. Christian Fundamentalists will not like me saying this, but I think that the logical outcome of reading the Bible as science in not Fundamentalism, but New Atheism.
As for the claims the New Atheists make: In the twentieth century more people were killed by atheists Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Pol than in religious conflicts. Wars, bloodshed and intolerance are caused by people regardless of belief. Plus they claim to believe in reason. Did not the theologian and philosopher Thomas Aquinas use reason? In fact their own philosophies are rooted in the ideas of Aquinas.
The pros and cons to being Christian
I have found this post very difficult to write, apologetics, defending religious doctrines through systematic arguments, this has been in my mind to write for some time, but I kept putting it off. The reason that I think I put it off so long, and once started took me 8 days to write, is that philosophy is not a natural state for me, I am much happier with the subjective state of sharing what I feel or think on a personal level than subjecting it to intellectual scrutiny.
There are pros and cons to being a Christian. This sounds subjective because it is subjective, but being a Christian isn’t all it is often claimed to be.
You will feel accepted less
Not being accepted ranges from not being invited along when the people at work are arranging an end of week pub crawl. You will not be alone in this, colleague with young children will be excluded too, and if they see you as a fun person you can join in, have 2 or three drinks and go home early, you’ll get invited again. The problem here is that people have the idea that Christians are killjoys and you may be doing nothing to dispel that myth.
But while some Christians are being excluded for things that are their own fault and claiming it to be persecution, persecution is real, and it ranges from ridicule in liberal democracies to being martyred for their faith in various countries, the worst offenders being North Korea, Afghanistan and Somalia.
You will be accepted…
- by Christians
Being a Christian is being part of a worldwide community. It is populated by people who have come to trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and king, and in theory at least is where other people who put their trust in God will find a welcome. In practise that may not be the case, especially for LGBTQIA+. This should not be so.
- by Jesus
What the atheists don’t get is that being a christian is about having a relationship with Jesus that works. Which has real benefits. We have God’s Holy Spirit inside us that gives peace and joy in the hardest and darkest of places. I have two chronic health conditions and constant pain, yet my relationship with Jesus who is with me in my suffering. Jesus accepts all who come to him, and all who come he accepts into his family: The Bible calls this giving them the right to be children of God. Jesus also gave his followers instruction to accept those who call themselves his followers, it is not our job to sort out who the real Christians are.
There is a cost in following Jesus, but it’s so worthwhile.