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Atheist’s Perspective on Church October 16, 2007

Posted by amybeth in Christianity.
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My mom just gave me a printout of an interview with the atheist who agreed to visit a whole bunch of churches and give his perspective on them. He then wrote the book “I Sold My Sould on eBay”. Check out the full article here. The following are everal comments he made that got me thinking.

 1. He noticed that all Christians gave testimonies that went something like “I was hopeless and miserable. And now that I’ve found God, I’m much better.”  He never heard anyone saying that they were okay and are now better with God.  He himself doesn’t feel miserable so does that mean Christianity has nothing to offer him.  It’s an intriguing question.  I think sometimes we actually try and dramatize our testimonies so they’ll apparently have more pull, carry more weight. But maybe that can actually backfire.

 2. He commented on how, growing up with a religous family, when they saw people having a rough time, or who were homeless, etc. they were encouraged to ‘pray for them’ but rarely did anything. Now that he’s an atheist and doesn’t believe there’s a God that will step in to help these people, he feels more impetus to get personally involved. Ouch!  What a commentary against the apathy that has crept into the church.

3. He describes the way a service was run at a church he didn’t really like. His description reminded me of some of the seeker friendly churches that I’ve been too. Which is interesting…cuz this guy, the supposed target population of these types of churches,didn’t like what they were doing at all.

Read the article. What do you think? Have any of you read his book?

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Comments»

1. patti - October 18, 2007

Haven’t read the article or the book, but it sounds like “Jim and Casper Go to Church”. Which I also haven’t read yet. It’s on my list.

#1 – I have a very non-dramatic testimony in the traditional sense. I’m more interested in sharing my “story” with people, than in sharing my “testimony”. A testimony ends at “and then I gave my life to Christ.” For me that was at a very young age, so it leaves out a lot of my actual story!

#2 – ouch, ouch, and ouch again. Jesus invites us to join Him in loving the world; He doesn’t invite us to become the centre of our own little religious world.

#3 – hmm. Since I haven’t read the article, I really have no thoughts on this.

2. Hamameliss - October 24, 2007

Patti,

I’ve often struggled with a similar problem, where I don’t really remember before I gave my life to Christ. My own study of the word testimony and scripture surrounding it has made me realize that a “testimony” isn’t necessarily what happened when we first began to follow Jesus, but rather, the center of what and who we are. I found it interesting that one of the first mentions of “testimony” refers to the Ark of the Testimony and is the very place where the presence of God dwells both in the Old and New Testaments. Not only that, the ark is the place where evidence of what God has done for the Israelites is stored (the manna and the buds on Aaron’s rod). So, I find it interesting that it says in Revelations that the saints overcame the enemy by the word of their testimony, the blood of the lamb and loving not their lives. Perhaps what God refers to as testimony is nothing more than the evidence of God’s act on our behalf that we have stored up in the very center of our being, the same way that the ark of the Testimony was the very center of the Israelites worship. Just a thought for pondering…so therefore, your “story” is your testimony.

3. patti - November 1, 2007

Yay!

Thanks.

4. Sheepdog - November 7, 2007

He says that if he saw a miracle then he would have believed – but Jesus Himself performed all kinds of miracles, yet people didn’t believe. I think the fellow is fooling himself in that regard. (Not that I actually know – but, like him, perhaps the rest of us need to see that to believe him)

5. Vernon Wease - November 9, 2007

Many christians are not honest with their real needs and simplistic about solutions. I found as a pastor many were oblivious and sounded much more like amway sales than real life change. Jesus did not come to make life easy or give simple solutions but rather to give us resources and character to deal with life. The best thing we can do is to live love grieve suffer and prove to the world that we have an internal strength and purpose that is supernatural.

6. Sheepdog - November 10, 2007

“I found as a pastor many were oblivious and sounded much more like amway sales than real life change.”

I’m not a pastor, but I too have seen this – a lot. It’s like they want to be right but are afraid to truly look beneath the surface.

Do you find they are the same people who judge others? Do you find that they are the ones who are legalistic? Or are these all different things unrelated to each other?

When you come across those people, what do you do to help them? I guess I’m asking what I can do.

“we have an internal strength and purpose that is supernatural.”

That is so cool. Some will notice and ask questions. Some will not believe no matter what happens.


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