Welcome Atheists.

Lately, I’ve been reading atheist blogs because I am fascinated by faith in all its forms.

I’m not interested in shouting over who’s right or wrong – there are enough people doing that. Rather, I’m interested in how people decide what to believe.

An avid rejection of church behavior (Christian in particular) seems to fuel many of the blogs. The Crusades, the antics of Westboro Baptist Church, the flaming mess that is the homosexuality debate in America, all seem foremost in the minds of a lot of bloggers.

I get it. My conscience recoils at that behavior too, and for years, it helped me rationalize my rejection of God. But had I shut out the noise and read what Jesus and his disciples actually said, I might have seen things like this:

You my brothers and sisters were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh, rather serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: Love your neighbor as yourself. Galatians 5:13-14

The Bible has a lot to say about love, but I’m not sure you’d know that by casually observing the church. Where in scripture does it say, Christians must deliver a constant public service announcement about the justice of God?

Yes, I believe in the God of justice before whom we will all stand and explain ourselves, but I also believe in the God of love and mercy. And if, as the Apostle Paul says, it’s the kindness of God that leads men to repent, and we’re so concerned about the repentance of others,

why aren’t we kinder?

So, my intention with this space is to highlight people living the freedom, kindness and love of God, whether they call it that or not – the sort of love that makes the world more fragrant and beautiful, like orange blossoms do in spring.

Photo Credit: Jennifer Foster

Look at this cop giving socks and shoes to a homeless guy. Is he a Christian? I don’t know, but he is doing what Jesus said: Love your brother. Clothe him.

Yes, the Bible is controversial and demanding, it always has been. Of course there are things in it I wish were not, but conventional wisdom is overrated. I love that Jesus is still defying conventional wisdom:

  • Stop grumbling.
  • Forgive your enemies.
  • Don’t be proud.
  • Pray for people who persecute you.
  • Trust Me.
  • Give money away.
  • Feed the poor.
  • Worship God.
  • Serve one another.

It could take the rest of my life just to get that right, so I really don’t have time to get that splinter out of your eye. I’ve got a big log in my own.

Ultimately, holiness is always an inside job, and when it’s done well, it’s illuminating. God willing, those are the people you’ll find here.

So welcome to a conversation about freedom and love. I follow Jesus Christ but I welcome atheists, Buddhists, Jews and Muslims to the conversation. Welcome gays and lesbians. Welcome hunters and PETA activists, left-wing, right-wing and whatever the Tea Party is. Welcome all you who are heavy laden and weary.

Let’s go find some rest.

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6 thoughts on “Welcome Atheists.

  1. “Lately, I’ve been reading atheist blogs because I am fascinated by faith in all its forms.” – That statement will piss atheists off. We don’t have faith. We have evidence. This is a whole other argument.

    “Rather, I’m interested in how people decide what to believe.” – That statement will also piss atheists off. We don’t view belief as a choice. Again, another argument.

    You say you’re not interested in “shouting over” who’s right or wrong but you start the post by telling us that we’re wrong in two different ways. Were you unaware of the atheist opinion on these topics? Were you trying to provoke us? Did you want to start a debate about it? If you’re going to welcome atheists, those first couple of sentences might not work so well. It kind of distracts from your overall message (which is a really, really great message).

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