A Letter to My Angry Atheist Relative
It has occurred to me from our interaction that you must believe me to be a gullible idiot. Either that or I am a great liar. Maybe you consider me a lunatic, certifiably insane. Your thoughts must demand one of these conclusions. If it were just me, that answer may satisfy. Yet, the problem for you compounds in complexity when you consider the billions of those today and throughout antiquity that believe as I do. The apologetic is deceptively simple in its logic yet confounding in its implications.
What is most clear, and I believe you will agree with me, is that our thoughts run diametrically opposed to one another. There is no common ground. We see, in our interaction, a clash of worldview. From abortion to governance to religion, our ideas bear absolutely no semblance to one another. Our interaction is as if we are speaking different languages and we almost always find ourselves in the same terminal positions.
There is a gulf, a vast discrepancy.
My worldview accounts for this discrepancy. Paul writes to the church at Corinth, “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing…” (1 Cor. 1:8) The message of the cross, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, is foolishness to you and that manifests itself in your malice and in your sheer disbelief at the strangeness of Christian thought.
Your mind can never reconcile the things of God because you are not of God, yet. Your mind is darkened in understanding and futile. Your heart is hardened, governed by this same darkness. (Eph. 4:18, Rom. 1:21) Despite what you tell yourself, you do not pursue the things of God. You do not seek after God. (Rom. 3:11) You cannot and even more importantly, you will not ever pursue the truth of God.
Now, at some point you may pursue a god of your own understanding but apart from the supernatural intervention of the Holy Spirit, you will never pursue the God of the Universe, the God of Creation, the biblical Awesome.
Yet, once the Holy Spirit gives you a new heart, changes your heart of stone into a heart of flesh you will necessarily, at some point, seek Him and turn from sin and self in repentance. (Jer. 31, Ez. 36) You will believe in the Lord Jesus and confess Him as Savior. (Rom. 3:10) The blinders will be removed, the veil will be lifted, and you will see, for the very first time. (Jn. 9:25) You will see your separation from God. You will see your sin for what it is and most of all, you will see Jesus for who He really is, an all-sufficient Savior.
Until then, you will live in darkness. You have no choice.
I understand your anger. I was once angry as you are now, a hater of God. The problem is that you know there is a God. (Rom. 1:19) You look at His creation and you know, in the core of your existence, that there is a Creator. (Rom. 1:20) Yet you reject Him. As a rebel, you reject His dominion over you and you rage against His rightful and sovereign claim.
This is why my beliefs seem so confounding to you. We belong to a different order.
What about the billions of adherents to other religions?
My worldview accounts for these. For the other great monotheistic religions, Judaism is incomplete without Christ, the people blinded by nationalism and legalism that they missed the promised Messiah. Islam, the most current version of monotheism, is an aberrant return to an even stricter legalism that leverages the fleshly lusts of sinful men as virtue.
Polytheism flirts with demon worship. Don’t believe me? Check out the Hindu goddess Periyachi Amman who is depicted disemboweling a woman and eating the entrails while holding a baby in one hand. Demonic. Other false religions distort the truth of Jesus Christ usually seeking to undermine the deity of Christ and as such, his capacity to atone for the sin of all men, thus demanding a works-based righteousness. Other traditions drive straight to works, bypassing the notion of salvation by grace through faith, which leaves us with the atheist and the much more academically honest position, agnosticism.
The Christian worldview accounts for these discrepancies, accounts for the sheer number of those who reject the God of the Bible. How does your worldview account for me?
Either I’m right or maybe we are all insane, victims of some mass form of collective hysteria. I pray you would consider another angle.
Author - Founder
Soldier, Pastor, Author – Bradford stays busy, with his wife Ami, raising their 9 children, serving the nation, pastoring, preaching, and writing books (#3 is due out October ’17).
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