Catching up with another good old Christian mate.

The 27th September 2018 was a significant day for me. On that day, for the very first time, I told a Christian friend that I didn’t believe in any of that religious drivel anymore. It was significant for me because I had spent most of my life growing up in a Christian environment and believing in it all. Pretty much all my friends were Christian, so telling them you don’t believe in that stuff anymore can be a bit of a big deal.

Now, for the most part I keep my newfound beliefs to myself, because, I really really don’t think it’s such a big deal that I don’t believe in a God, nor should it be. I also really really don’t think it’s a big deal if you believe in a God either – it’s what you do with your beliefs that count more. Bringing up your religious beliefs (or lack thereof) when it isn’t warranted, can often create unnecessary divisions. Now I don’t think it should be that way, but it often is, unfortunately. Mental note: If there were no religions, would this even be an issue? However, if people want to know what my beliefs are, then I will certainly discuss with them my newfound atheism, and it seems that there are a lot of people out there who want to know what I believe (for some reason).

Enter Lance, an old church friend of mine. Every time I meet up with him he would ask me about church for some reason. Getting sick of this, I told him that no, I don’t go to a church anymore, because I don’t believe in Christianity and Jesus anymore. Now Lance is generally quite a friendly guy, and our conversation certainly started off friendly. He wanted to know why, and for how long my beliefs were like that. I told him a few years, and said that the Bible, in particular Genesis, just really doesn’t line up with science, nor make a lot of sense. I also told him the problem with Hell, since it’s clearly not the product of a loving, just God. He then responded with something along the lines of: “You’ve got to understand that God is perfect and just and holy, and that he can’t tolerate any sin or unholiness. What is just for God isn’t necessarily just for us, but his ways are right.” Alright then matey.

Interestingly, Lance admitted that he too had similar doubts to mine when he was at university, blaming the ‘secular system’ we were brought up in. He also said that there were a lot of things in the Bible which don’t quite make sense, but that we weren’t expected to make sense of everything here. An interesting approach there Lance, I don’t think you’d apply that to anything outside of the Bible, but whatever. Of course, I had to ask him my favourite question: how do you know the Bible is true? His response was that it made sense to him and that when we look at creation, we see proof of a God, and that there can’t be any other explanation. Yeah not a satisfactory answer to me sorry.

The conversation started to turn a bit sour though. It started with Lance saying: ”I say this respectfully but I’m saddened and a little bit disappointed with your decision, Covert.” He then added: “I say this respectfully, but sometimes when we have a problem with understanding the Bible, it is us. It is because we haven’t bothered to read and study the Bible properly, so we interpret it wrongly. Not always, but sometimes.” He seemed to insist that my sin was from not wanting to follow Christ, due to my misunderstanding of the Bible. Finally he said that I should think really seriously about my decision, saying that: “I say this respectfully, that since you have heard the truth (in our church and Bible study), yet you decide to turn away after, you should really think about what you’re doing, lest you end up in the opposite to heaven.”

Yeah what a dick I know. What started as a pleasant catch up between friends at a pub ended up like that. But the thing is, I couldn’t be too mad at him. Having grown up in that religious environment, I completely understand why he thinks that. His views are the product of his religious indoctrination, which I had learnt too. I am sure that if he wasn’t Christian, he would be a totally OK person. I then had to step in and tell him that we both believe in different things and that neither of us is going to be able to convince the other. He looked a bit shocked for some reason, but respectfully changed the conversation, thankfully.

After all that, we said our goodbyes, but he indicated that he wanted to chat more about it some other time, and said that I should think about what we discussed. Not wishing to argue more or anything, I was just like ‘yep’, and we went our separate ways. Having these conversations over and over again is going to get a bit annoying.

– The Overt Atheist.

17 thoughts on “Catching up with another good old Christian mate.

  1. One of my old time school friends pestered her father to death (literally) He had never accepted Jesus, then as a hospice patient on a pain pump he finally caved in. It was a proud day on her Facebook page. When you mentioned being bothered the rest of your life….easy visual. Might actually happen that way

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Grr, well if someone kept pestering me about it, I’d eventually get nasty and probably tell them to piss off. But, I wasn’t in the fathers vulnerable position. He obviously couldn’t remove himself from that situation, which makes him a prime target for Christian evangelists.

      But the fear of death certainly changes ones perspective on things. If there wasn’t a hell in Christianity, would people feel the need to make rash decisions like this? Something tells me they would have a lot less recruits.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I did a post on it a year or so ago. It was quite the fanfare. He resisted til he was 85. He was the sciences director at a local university and the morphine coerced a nice little deathbed conversion. No more hell…lucky guy

        Liked by 1 person

  2. “I say this respectfully…”

    In other words: You’ll end up in hell. Always the veiled threat. Because they’re scared, they think you should be scared, too. It’s got to the point, I think, that if we’re going to engage with evangelicals, we have to be firm in rejecting — on rational grounds — all their basic assumptions and core presuppositions. Otherwise, you’re defending yourself on their terms.

    So, words like “sin” and “evil”, and concepts like Hell, must eventually go the way of failed theistic paradigms like “design.” All these core tenets should be challenged, and having signally failed, dispensed with. Theists are just gonna’ have to learn to deal with a post-theistic, Western world, in which they no longer get to set the terms of the debate.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know they’re going to be a little rude when they say “I say this respectfully” haha. Yeah I think you make a good point. Christians often assume their Bible to be the truth as a default position – you can’t debate properly when things are like that. But when they challenge me, I like to throw some barbs back and challenge them as well, ask them how they actually know God/Hell/Bible to be true.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Most (of the few) people I’ve been honest with have responded in a similar way, and I think I would have too, ten years ago. The funny thing to me is his using the word, “decision.” I had to argue against that word with my wife. “How can you just decide that you don’t believe anymore?” You can’t just “decide.” No one can believe something and then just decide, “Hell, I think I’ll quit believing that.” It’s a long process based on evidence (or lack thereof).

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m an atheist and I follow a few anti theism blogs here, which I so enjoy the logic and rational thinking.

    I’m in the minority,as I’ve always been an atheist and was not raised in a religious household nor had particularly religious friends. My husband was not religious either. So I’ve never been associated with religious people until the last few years.

    It seems to be a growing thing to me and growing in a more hateful judgemental way. I find it rather unnerving and very uncomfortable to be around these people. They have such audacity. I simply can’t be around them or follow any of their blogs. When I see the irrational and arrogant assumptions on some of these blogs I follow, I find it disturbing that there are people who think like this in the 21st century. I feel like screaming… we are no longer in the Middle Ages, folks!

    There’s a world of science out there that is far more thrilling and awesome than some imaginary white man in a robe who commands obedience and worship or you will burn forever in hell. It’s ridiculous that someone could believe in this type of bully, let alone love.

    But alas, they are here by the millions of all faiths and creeds and twisted beliefs. I try to avoid them when possible.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love the fourth paragraph! I wasn’t sure if Jesus was actually real so I looked it up and turns out there isn’t any good evidence that shows he ever existed but it’s impossible to find proof of the existence of most people that lived at the time. And you are so right, if he existed he was definitely a bully.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. The evidence that Jesus existed is very scant and unreliable. I think that if Jesus did exist, much of the quotes which were attributed to him were probably not said, and likewise many of the Christian beliefs that people have, he probably didn’t have either. Jesus never said anything about homosexuality, for instance.
        Some of Jesus’s quotes were quite nasty though, so yeah it wouldn’t be beyond me to say he was a bully too.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Well, isn’t that fun! I grew up Jewish so I don’t know a lot about Christianity, but from what I understand they are basically all convinced that some guy that is likely made up that lived thousands of years ago said that a supernatural being in the sky is talking to him and they all got hooked on it… if somebody would have said that today they would have been in a hospital or something. But I am not sure how accurate my knowledge is.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Well that’s possible. Unfortunately I dont think we will ever know for sure now what happened. It was a long time ago and evidence wasn’t collected so well of most people back then, plus much of the so called written evidence for Jesus reads more like propped up propaganda from Christians.

        Like

    2. Yes it is painful reading some of those blogs, but try spending your life going to church with them, or living with them! That’s what it was like for me. When you’re growing up in it, it’s weird though, you don’t think too much of it, I guess it’s like a fish swimming in dirty water all their life. Of course, once I started to question things, I began to change inside and notice the dirty water for what it is. Now I’m in a much better place, although things are far from over yet.

      Yes I totally agree with your fourth paragraph, and this is from someone who has studied science at university. You have put it very well.

      Thanks for the follow 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s