His Truth Will Set You Free

Listen to what Jesus says; “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)

Message to Atheists – what if I’m wrong?

11 Comments

I believe in God and His Son, Jesus Christ. But what if I’m wrong? What if I come to the end of my life and discover it was all a lie? What if the end is truly the end; no benevolent Father in heaven, no heaven, no after-life? What a drag that would be. All this effort to believe, worship and follow – all for nothing.

But would it really be for nothing? This morning I started wondering how I might feel if I discovered it were indeed all a lie. Since I was agnostic up to my late 30’s and an atheist during part of those earlier years, I had a baseline for evaluating how my faith has affected my life. What did that faith do to me? How did that faith change me; the faith that I was now considering as possibly based on a lie?

Here are some of the changes that faith has made in my life:

  • I don’t swear like I used to.
  • I don’t lie like I used to.
  • I’m not as arrogant as I used to be. I’m much more humble.
  • I’m willing to acknowledge when I’m wrong, instead of trying to blame someone or something else (I used to do this a lot).
  • Faith has taught me to be much more patient than I used to be.
  • I don’t worry about things like I used to. I just trust that God will make the right things happen.
  • I used to run away from relationships that didn’t serve my self-interests. But with faith, I’ve been more willing to accept circumstances that are not always pleasant.
  • Faith has given me the strength to resist the temptation to cheat on my spouse, and I’ve been tempted a lot.
  • I used to be afraid of death. But now, the only thing that concerns me about death is the welfare of those I will leave behind.
  • I don’t agonize over people who have wronged me. Instead I’m now able to forgive them and very effectively let go of the pain. My relationship with God has taught me to replace hate with forgiveness, sorrow and sympathy. And now, memories of past wrongs bring peace, not pain.

I could go on, but it all boils down to the following: my faith in God and Jesus Christ has taught me about humility, love, hope, and how to more easily relate to and accept others.

In looking at all this I realize that I like what my faith in God has done for me. So if I discover tomorrow that my faith is based on a lie, I will be crushed and greatly disappointed, but I will definitely not feel that I wasted my life on something false. No matter what, I’m happy with what faith has done to me.

************************************************

But dear Atheist, what if I’m right? What if you come to the end of your life and discover it’s not really the end? What if you discover all this propaganda about heaven and hell, about salvation by faith in Jesus Christ, about God; what if it’s all true?

C.S. Lewis (Chronicles of Narnia fame), is quoted as saying, “Christianity is a statement which, if false, is of NO importance, and, if true, of infinite importance. The one thing it cannot be is moderately important.”

I don’t know about you, but I would rather be a Christian and be wrong, than an Atheist and be wrong. The potential outcome isn’t nearly as devastating.

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Author: C.J. Penn

Reflections on a double life... I'm just a wanna-be writer. What's it like trying to do serious writing while also being consumed with a full-time engineering job? Between the two, I sometimes don't get much sleep. But I love writing - it gets me out of bed when it's way too dark, just so I can do some work on my book before heading off to work. I'm also passionate about the truth of God and Jesus, a truth that is not always visible in the outward view of the Christian religion. It's this passion that has pulled me out of bed to write for over 6 years now, still working on the same book, a book about truth. Will it ever be finished? God knows.

11 thoughts on “Message to Atheists – what if I’m wrong?

  1. This entire entry seems to be an appeal to Pascal’s Wager, which is a line of argument which has held no weight for about two minutes after it was originally proposed.

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  2. Well, first of all, if you’re wrong then you won’t discover it was all a lie, that’s our point. lol

    From the sound of it, you were quite the immoral person and religion seemed to straighten you out. Since I’ve become an atheist I’ve actually become a more moral person.
    I now volunteer my time and money to causes I support because I no longer think a god will help them out, I have to do it because no one else will. I behave morally now because I’ve reasoned out why I should or should not do things instead of some “hollow threat from a book”. When I was a child the threat of Jesus felt very hollow and I wasn’t punished when I did wrong, just threatened with Hell when I died. Now I’m free to do what is good for the sake of doing it, without an eternal threat or reward.

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  3. Mr. Jones,

    I’m going to assume you’ve never actually heard of Pascal’s Wager, because if you’ve heard of it then you’ve surely heard why it is wrong. And making an appeal to someone based on logic you know is faulty would be akin to bearing false witness. I wouldn’t want to automatically assume you to be a hypocrite on the very same post you profess your piety.

    There are hundreds of thousands of gods and millions of variants with which way to pray to the mentioned characters. This wager of yours assumes that your god is the only one that is valid to worship but your god has just as much proof as any of the other gods.

    Why is Yahweh more valid than the Flying Spaghetti Monster?

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  4. Sisyphus,
    One difference between your past and my present is that I don’t believe because of threats. I believe because of love and gratitude. Unfortunately, many churches preach with threats and fear, when that is not at all what Jesus was about.

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  5. Hi again,
    True, I had never heard of Pascal’s Wager until Matt mentioned it. Wikipedia then helped me learn a bit more.

    Sisyphus,
    The beauty of this life is that we can all make our own choices. Out of all the gods you refer to, I choose to believe in only one of them. And you choose to believe in whatever you want to believe in (is it the Flying Spaghetti Monster?). I can share with you some of my thoughts and feelings, and you can choose to ignore them. But I continue to share my thoughts because, out of the handful of people who may read this post, maybe one will find some benefit in reading it.
    But probably most will find no benefit. And that’s okay.

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  6. I have no doubts that you strive towards the real God. I have no doubts that the atheists do, as well.

    It is like the boy who is 13, and lusts for women. He has two competing interests: “#1, I’m a good person.” “#2, I desire to do terrible things to women.” Both impulses are terribly strong, and both impulses are terrifically important.

    #1 shouts to #2, “You’re evil!” #2 shouts to #1, “You’re sterile!” Both are, in their limited ways, correct. Both are, in their limited ways, wrong. They’re clearly both essential.

    Eventually, (within, say, 10 years,) they both are replaced by a new idea.

    You can retain the God that you serve, in a new perspective. But your thoughts on God will change. They will be no less transcendent, radiant, directive, transforming, and lively. In fact, the opposite: All these faculties will extend further, because they will be grounded in the Real.

    Compare: How much energy does that 15 year old boy “waste,” in the tension?

    This is the situation of the Christians and the Atheists. One is dedicated to Life, the Divine, the Lively, the Conscience, the Plan, and Direction. The other is dedicated to the Real, to the True, to the Justified.

    Honestly, it’s inevitable that they meet.

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  7. Strange,

    I don’t drink, rarely swear, am in a committed and loving relationship and I achieved all of this without the need of faith in a god.

    The difference between me and you sir, is that you think you don’t believe because of threats but had already admitted that you did all of these things before you “found” god, and thereby completely negated the idea that you hold no fear of the threats the bible holds.

    I don’t need faith to have a moral life and I don’t need to be rewarded, either. You did, and that’s fine.

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  8. “It is like the boy who is 13, and lusts for women. He has two competing interests: “#1, I’m a good person.” “#2, I desire to do terrible things to women.””

    You and I have extremely different opinions about what the word ‘lust’ means.

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  9. “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise;
    and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;”
    1 Corinthians 1:27

    pattern-(energy/different pattern)=new pattern
    p-(e/d) = n

    This formula represents a simple ‘foolish’ truth that has confounded many wise evolutionists. This formula simply states every new pattern (n) is a result of a previous pattern (p) minus energy (e) being divided into or through a different pattern (d). For example, if you throw (e) a mirror (p) against a wall (d) it would result in shards of glass (n).

    Why is this important? Well it doesn’t just prove God’s existence it disproves evolution. The formula simply claims that every new pattern (n) is a result of a larger more complex pattern (p). This is a simple foolishness that will confound every wise evolutionist. I have presented it to many and the only response I have gotten is… well it can’t prove a specific god or theology or some may say, go read a book on evolution because the evidence is clear. If anyone has a counterargument or an affirmation please do tell.

    To reiterate the argument, we know the human brain exists (n) so what was the original object or being (p) that led to the creation of us. According to the Bible…

    God’s brain or thoughts-(God’s energy/dirt or clay)=human brain

    Amen.

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  10. Your post seems to be appealing, in a round-a-bout way, to the old “it goes against the laws of thermodynamics!” silliness; which basically says (mistakenly) that nothing can be more ordered than what it came from.

    As alluded to, it’s nothing more than a horribly mistaken interpretation of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, which anyone can see it’s false – since if it wasn’t, nothing could have formed at all.

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  11. On one side of the coin, there isn’t one religious person on the face of the planet who could concretely prove beyond a reasonable doubt and in a court of law that a god of any kind or number actually exists. On the other side of the coin, there isn’t one atheist on the face of the planet who could concretely prove beyond a reasonable doubt and in a court of law that a god of any kind or number actually doesn’t exist. Since neither case is in any way possible to prove concretely, why not just let the religious people believe what they wish to believe, and let the atheists do likewise. I believe that my mother summed-up quite profoundly what one can look forward to following their death. She said that if there is no hereafter, then the lights will go out, that will be that, and you will never know what hit you. On the other hand, if there is an after life, then you had pretty much better have lived a reasonably decent and moral life, or be prepared to face the consequences. The bottom line is that whether your are a Christian or an atheist, unless you are a betting person, you would be wise to lead a moral and worthwhile life.

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