The Greatest Cause of Atheism…

“The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians, who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, walk out the door, and deny him by their lifestyle. THAT is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.”
~ dc Talk

To sum it up even shorter, the greatest cause of atheism is hypocrisy… Think about that the next time you have the urge to flick someone off in your car with the Jesus bumper stickers…

What about you? Do you agree with this quote? Disagree? Why?

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8 comments on “The Greatest Cause of Atheism…

  1. Eh, I suppose that that has something to do with it. I think atheists value transparency and relateability just like every other person on the planet. For a majority of atheists relatability is a great issue. For them, their issue is a leap in logic that they can’t settle. A majority of atheists understand that Christians are humans and thus are susceptible to hypocrisy. It’s something that occurs in our species. The ideology of most atheists is that believing in God is childish and has no basis in truth/fact in the physical world. Many athesists think that belief in religion/faith is a lapse in critical thinking. The perception is that Christians (people who follow any religion, really) haven’t utilized their critical thinking skills. Instead Christians follow a book they say is infallible though it is full of contradictions, use prayer as a crutch instead of following through a problem with reason and logic to a proper and effective action/solution, use mysticism to exude simultaneously a sense of self-righteousness and self-guilt, use God as an excuse to delay decision-making, use their own sense of morality to proselytize to people outside their social group/”church body.” Basically Christians are viewed as ethnocentric, proselytizing people, lacking critical thinking skills, in some circles. I hope it’s okay that I was so frank. I’m not saying that’s what all atheists think, but it’s a common thread. Just like Christians don’t like to be generalized, lumped in all together, neither do atheists. One thing I forgot to mention which is pretty huge is that atheists hate the fact that a majority of Christians think that they haven’t any morals. The morality issue is paramount. Atheists believe that one can be moral without a god, whereas Christians obviously don’t. That’s a divide that will probably never be resolved. Alos, It’s been reported that most Americans would prefer that their son or daughter be gay than an atheist. I don’t share their distaste for gays or atheists, but I can see that there is a serious problem. I hope it’s okay I shared this lengthy, controversial thought. I hope that it gets the brain juices flowin’.

  2. I agree with this statement for the most part too, as well as Jessica’s comments.

    Just as with any group of people, there are those that handle criticism with dignity and those that do not. Atheism is seeing a surge due to the internet. The internet is a place where some of Atheism’s biggest “celebrities”, for lack of a better word, are getting more exposure than usual, but as Christianity is being used as the basis for a lot of cultural laws and movements in government and society recently, they’re coming out of the woodwork more then usual as well. Seeing people like Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney running for President and being somewhat successful puts Christianity in the hot seat right now. Mitt Romney due to his magic underwear and Santorum due to his religiously based bigotry. These things are hard to ignore in a presidential candidate, Christian or no.

    There are general preconceptions about atheists just as there are for any other group. Morality is one of them. However, you look at the response to that girl, Jessica Alqhuist, in Rhode Island getting the prayer banner taken down at her high school, you can see how people have little morals even as Christians. When a 17 year old girl is getting threats of death and rape for using her Constitutional rights, there’s a double standard that is set. Hypocrisy is the leading cause of Atheism.

    A good example is how the Bible tells you not cut your hair in the Old Testament, but tells you it is a disgrace to not cut your hair in the New Testament. Even as Christians, we have to not get tunnel vision to those parts of the Bible we agree with and ignore those that we don not. If the Old Testament is not a part of Christianity, then it would not be preached during any Sunday sermons. It’s a minor subject, but definitely something that shouldn’t exist in something that is called by many to be “infallible”. I’m a Christian, but I don’t see the Bible as infallible, I see it as a man-made text laying out the guidelines of our religion. However, men are quite fallible.

  3. Excellent points all, and Joel, thanks for posting this. The atheist – religion (Christian) problem often seems hard to tackle, even to discuss, and I’m glad you’re able to make specific points for us to address. So, thanks dude.

    I agree with Jessica when she said most Christians see atheists as immoral by default. This is one of the main problems with Christians and has always bothered me. If a Christian needs Commandments to tell them not to steal, then maybe they shouldn’t be a Christian. The single most moral person that I know is frighteningly atheistic and has been an excellent example that I wish more Christians would emulate, myself included.

    Thinking that Christians have had a communal lapse of reason is perhaps the most important point here, even if it’s not apparently obvious. Everything else mentioned here can be argued by each side, and is not necessarily true for both groups. But the underlying premise is that Christians believe in a self-contradictory magic book, and atheists believe in reason and science. I’ve found no more pressing issue to address across this debate.

    Unfortunately, I’ve met very many atheists that are science proponents without knowing much science, and I’ve met just as many Christians with strong faith in Christ who are ignoring basic science because it’s been drilled into the nation (and world) that the two are incompatible.

    In my opinion most Christians need a basic science background and most atheists need the same. The majority of people, atheists and the religious, have seen or felt something they can’t explain. If we start trying to understand those experiences from the position that science will take us pretty far and faith might help at the end until science catches up, we’ll probably see much more understanding between the groups.

  4. By hypocrisy I mean saying you are one thing and not being it. I say I try to live a moral life, but I don’t. That is different than saying “I am moral” when I’m not. One is a perfectly understandable fallacy of human nature. The other is hypocrisy. I think atheists do understand messing up what you are trying to do, as long as you are honest that you are trying and not claiming that you are. As Christians, we claim to be more “moral” than atheists, because we are “following God” but in reality we aren’t. I am not more moral than anyone. I strive to be moral, but I’m not perfect at it. I’ll mess it up… But as far as bothering me that Christians need a commandment not to steal, maybe they need to be christian more than ever, maybe they need someone to tell them why it’s wrong. Again, as long as they don’t claim to be more moral, just striving to be more moral…

    As Jessica said, I agree that many christians are viewed as lacking critical thinking skills. As a Christian, I find myself thinking that about many other christians at times. And to expand on what Joseph said, I believe that science is not at odds with religion. One is intended to explain the “why” and the “so what” and the other is to explain the “how”. Who says that God has to work outside of the laws of physics to do things? He created the laws of physics. When people talk about moses parting the sea, and they take into account that it probably wasn’t the red sea actually (I forget what sea they think it actually was), but the sea he parted actually parts naturally on it’s own given the right circumstances. That’s great. But there is no way to predict these circumstances. So rather, the miracle is in the timing. They showed up, the sea parted right when they needed it too, stayed open long enough for them all to cross, then closed behind them. Science can explain how it happened, but they can’t explain the timing, unless you want to call it “luck”. I call it God. My point is that science and religion aren’t at odds, you have to use critical thinking skills with both. I think we’ll find they get along much better than we originally thought…

  5. That’s a great quote, in the words and voice of Brennan Manning, and given at a private retreat that Manning did for dcTalk just before one of their concert tours.
    He made that statement at that retreat, and they were hit so much by the power of those words that they included the taped comments at the beginning of their song, “What If I Stumble?”.

  6. If I am to suppose that it can be primarily my fault that somebody rejects Christ, why should I not think that it can be primarily my responsibility to cause someone to be saved. But the testimony is clear that salvation is the work of God and not man.

    On another note, the majority of atheists in the world for quite some time now resided in the Soviet Union, China, and North Korea. The majority of atheists had never met a Christian, much less a hypocritical one.

    As well-meaning the quote is, I think the better diagnosis is that God and the Bible convicts of sin, demands a change and promises judgment and people, fancying themselves as their own judge hate such an idea and hate such a God, and so they reject it, often engaging in slander to justify their rejection.

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