I watch a lot of videos on YouTube. I watch videos where atheists are giving proof and reasons there is no god and other videos where christians are proving that there is a god. It’s an interesting debate. But it’s irrelevant. It’s a useless effort to simply convince someone there is a god. The challenge is to get someone to believe your particular god is the real one. You want to convince someone to be a christian. That is a much harder thing to do. Proving there is a god of some sort doesn’t even come close.
The definition of “atheist” is “a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings.” What is a supreme being? Dictionary.com says it is “(in many belief systems) the eternal, infinite spirit, mind, or other transcendent entity that is the creator or ultimate source of the universe and that rules or orders it.” Supreme being is, of course, a synonym for god. If you or someone manages to prove there is a god, aka, supreme being, I might no longer be an atheist by definition. I would by no means be a christian.
Proving that there is a god is only a starting point. It will get my attention. That is all. The next thing you have to do is prove the god who exists is your god. There’s two parts to this. First, prove he is Yahweh, the god of the Jews. Next, you have to prove he’s also the god referred to in the New Testament. After that, prove that the story of the New Testament is a true one. Prove that Jesus is real.
If you get past all those hurdles, you’re still not going to convince me to “believe in Jesus.” You must first validate your particular sect or denomination. Explain how it is the most accurate. Tell me why I should believe the tenants your denomination teaches are the precise ones to follow as opposed to some other sect.
Next, is the text upon which you base your faith: the Bible. It may be possible to validate god and Jesus without it but the Bible is the “rock” of your faith. It is the source and validation of your religion. I have quite a lot of problems with that book you must get me to trust.
Is the bible to be taken literally or just philosophically? Are all the stories true or are some of them fables? Most christians will say the stories are true and it is a literal message from god. If that is what you believe, we have a problem.
The god of the old testament, Yahweh, is hardly the loving and tender god christians claim he is. From the very first, that god is cruel and vindictive. Why place a fruit tree in the middle of paradise and without any explanation just say “leave it alone?” If he is god would he not know the humans he created would not leave it alone? Is he not all knowing?
A few chapters after cruelly casting Adam and Eve out for being themselves, he gets pissed at how his entire human race turned out. Would he not know that would happen? He chooses to destroy all of them in a very bad way, by drowning. And not just the lascivious adults but the innocent children as well. He only spares an old man and his family, a family that hardly represents the best of humankind.
You will have a very hard time convincing me that an old man and his few sons built a boat the size of the ark. You will also have to convince me how all the animals from all over the world got on it. How did they all fare on that boat for a year? Explain why there’s not a single shred of evidence validating a world-wide flood. And there were other civilizations at the time, the Chinese, the Native American cultures, that were not “washed away.” What of them?
After the flood, Noah got drunk and had sex with his daughters. Where did the wine come from he drank? Why does god ignore his incest and debauchery? But then god repopulates the earth via incest. First Adam and Eve’s kids then Noah’s kids.
The Old Testament is filled with wild stories and horrible events. God actually spoke to Moses? The Red Sea actually parted? Why does Egyptian history not record the loss of its entire army? Why is god so cruel as to require his people to kill entire cultures, men women and children? All killed except sweet young girls. Those were kept as sex slaves. This is a good god?
Move on to the story of King David, the man “whom god loved.” What a lovely piece of work, this David. He lusted for his best friends wife. Being king, getting her was easy. He just sent her husband, his friend, to battle where he would be killed. This is only one thing in David’s life that prove he was a bad person. It’s not all.
There’s the delightful story of Balaam. Old Balaam gets called by god to do something but he’s a stubborn guy. Not as stubborn as his ass, though. No, he slapped the poor animal around until it just told him to quit. Literally. And poor of Jonah. He blew god off and got ate by a big fish. Even so, god was not finished. The fish puked him up in three days right at the place god told him to go. Amazing.
Get me to swallow those stories and we can move on to the New Testament. Tell me now about Jesus. Let’s see how this part of your story goes. Maybe this will be an easier task. Or not.
You believe god impregnated a young virgin to bear a son. But then he let so few people know it that the boy had to be born in a barn? After he was born god sent hoards of angels and wise men from the east to meet him. What are wise men? Why didn’t the story of all god’s fanfare not spread far and wide? How could the entire world not be talking about choirs of angels in the sky or a moving, glowing bright star? I guess people were used to god popping up all over the place back then, in burning bushes and talking asses and up on mountain tops.
Jesus, his mother Mary and Joseph his step-father flea to Egypt. Why Egypt? Wasn’t that a terrible, pagan place? Seems kind of sketchy. Then Jesus comes back to the temple when he’s young and freaks the priests out. After that, what? Why nothing until he’s thirty? Where was he all that time?
According to the gospels, Jesus wandered around preaching, teaching, healing, and astounding people for about three years. Then comes the nasty crucifixion. Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a sweet little donkey, all humble and kind. People love him. They throw fronds along his path. In a couple of day’s, however, he gets caught up by the Sanhedrin, tossed before Roman leaders, and is led out to be crucified while the same crowds that loved him drool at the mouth watching him die. How did that happen?
Why were so few told about him being resurrected? If Jesus was only dead for a couple of days and came back, how was that a sacrifice of his life? Seems like there’d be a lot more said about him if he’d told the world. Sneaking around doesn’t make sense.
How could the so-called gospel writers know exactly what Jesus said, word for word, when they were a century removed? You may think they were not so far removed but there’s no indication they were actually with Jesus. There wasn’t any tape recorder back then. Did someone else write his words down? If so, where’s that stuff? And why did the gospel writers cite their sources?
I did not walk away from belief lightly or quickly. I am not stupid. The reason I was a christian was because I was brainwashed and convinced from the time I was a toddler. How could I not believe the things my parents told me? I accepted everything I question above. That does not mean I accepted them unconditionally. I had questions but just wrote it all off as god being god. It was only a combination of factors that eventually pushed me away. I realized that I’d never had a single prayer answered in fifty years. Literally no christian I’d ever known lived their faith. Many ministers, preachers, and evangelists were lascivious, greedy, liars, or worse. I stepped back from my blind acceptance of everything christian and saw how totally fraudulent, deceitful, and dishonest everything was.
Trust Me, try Me, prove Me, saith the Lord of hosts, and see
If a blessing, unmeasured blessing,
I will not pour out on thee.
I sang lots of hymns when I was a christian. An old favorite was “Trust, Try and Prove Me.” I did. I did not get a blessing. In fact, I just got hurt and confused. If your god isn’t going to speak up, why would I believe anything you say?
Good luck with that.