O Me of Little Faith

O Me of Little Faith


Atheists Know More about Religion than Christians

posted by Jason Boyett

Today the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life released the results of a new “religious knowledge” survey that came to a discouraging — but not unexpected — result.

It discovered that, on average, atheists and agnostics are more knowledgeable about religion than believers.

Participants in the survey (which controlled for differing levels of education) were asked 32 questions about religion. On average, atheists and agnostics gave the most correct answers, with 20.9 correct replies. Jews scored next highest with 20.5, followed by Mormons at 20.3.

Protestant Christians averaged 16 correct answers. Catholics averaged 14.7 correct answers.

• Forty-five percent of Catholics thought the bread and wine of Holy Communion were only symbolic of the body and blood of Christ, rather than actually becoming the body and blood via transubstantiation — which is what the Catholic Church teaches.

• A majority of Protestants were unable to identify Martin Luther as the primary instigator of the Protestant Reformation.

• Mormons showed a better knowledge of the Bible than evangelical Christians.

Why do atheists and agnostics tend to know more about religion than devout religious people? Alan Cooperman, associate director for research at the Pew Forum, explained that non-believers typically grew up in a religious tradition and gave it up on purpose — after a period of reflection, study, and conscious decision-making. “These are people who thought a lot about religion,” he told the L.A. Times. “They’re not indifferent. They care about it.”

On the other hand, many Christians come to faith and then stop searching. The L.A. Times story also quotes Methodist minister Adam Hamilton, author of When Christians Get It Wrong, who said, “I think that what happens for many Christians is, they accept their particular faith, they accept it to be true and they stop examining it. Consequently, because it’s already accepted to be true, they don’t examine other people’s faiths. That, I think is not healthy for a person of any faith.”

My evidence is anecdotal, but I am not at all surprised at the findings. Most atheists and agnostics I’ve encountered are extremely knowledgeable about the Bible and can quote it as well as any preacher. (If you want to learn something about the Bible, just ask an atheist to list some of the contradictions in the Old and New Testaments.)

In response to the survey, Dave Silverman (the president of American Atheists) told the New York Times, “I gave a Bible to my daughter. That’s how you make atheists.”

Zing. But the fact remains: frequent surveys find that atheists and agnostics are more educated than people who do believe in God.

The reason I wrote books like Pocket Guide to the Bible was to attempt to counter some of this ignorance. It just doesn’t make sense to me that Christians know so little about the Bible, since we are basing our entire lives on a faith tradition that arose from people believing and practicing its teachings. Yet most of us haven’t read it, we don’t know its content, nor do we know much about its history — from the development of the canon to the battles over translations in the 14th and 15th centuries.

I’ve made a statement like that before among Christians, and more than once, have had a fellow believer ask me, “What’s the canon?” (Sigh.)

What about you? Are you surprised by the results of this survey? Why do you think nonbelievers tend to be more knowledgeable about religion than believers?

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Update: I changed the title of the post. Originally it said “Atheists Know More about the Bible than Christians,” which is what I wrote when I first read the study late last night and began the post. I finished the post this morning and realized the title didn’t reflect the survey accurately, but forgot to fix it. It’s more accurate to change “Bible” to “Religion.”



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Adam Shields

posted September 28, 2010 at 9:41 am


Is it that Athiests are more knowedgeable about a variety of religions than Christians or that Athiests are more knowledgeable about Christianity than Christians? Different issues.



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David Vollstedt

posted September 28, 2010 at 9:42 am


I believe that Sunday school curriculum contribute greatly to many Christians’ ignorance…



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Josh

posted September 28, 2010 at 9:51 am


I second Adam’s point, the survey measured much more than it is claiming to measure in the headline, including knowledge of other religions and celebrations as well as the role of the Constitution. It also doesn’t take into account the distribution of cultural Christianity: the number of congregants who are committed to faith vs. those who attend on Easter and Christmas out of obligation.
It doesn’t excuse us, but the title is certainly deceptive.
That said, I had a couple of thoughts. The first is that our education as religious people is severely lacking. I can confirm your anecdotal experience with my own: our congregations are overwhelmingly under-taught.
Second, I’m not sure how useful a religious education is for many congregants. The experience of Jesus and the Holy Spirit is what drives faith, and how we understand the Old Testament doesn’t necessarily affect how we understand why we follow Jesus. I’m not saying the two aren’t linked (they are fundamentally the same) but I think generally when people encounter Jesus they don’t care as much when they reach seemingly contradictory verses.



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David Morris

posted September 28, 2010 at 9:51 am


I’ll have to go check out the study you mention. I think people certainly would be surprised that many people who don’t go to church, are disillusioned, or are clear about not being affiliated will surprise you with their knowledge. Sure, once you accept your faith, you might not tend to examine it, but on the other hand, there’s a heart knowledge, or an emotional intelligence about one’s religion, that I would presume goes beyond cultural/historical/intellectual knowledge.



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Alise

posted September 28, 2010 at 9:52 am


When I watched “Lord Save Us From Your Followers” by Dan Merchant, it had a scene where religious people played a “Family Feud” style game against non-religious folks and they got SMOKED. It was incredibly disappointing to me to see that happen.
Christians don’t know about themselves and they don’t know about “the other.” How do we have any hope of reaching people?



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Danny Bixby

posted September 28, 2010 at 9:58 am


Like you, I’m not surprised. But I am discouraged.
I think Adam Hamilton is dead on. And the correlation between general education levels and religious knowledge is also worth noting.
I have a bit of an extension of Adam Hamilton’s perspective. Generally, Christians rely on experiential knowledge, and act as if it supersedes actual knowledge. Honestly, I think that’s dangerous.
Also, @ Adam & Josh, “Is it that Athiests are more knowedgeable about a variety of religions than Christians or that Athiests are more knowledgeable about Christianity than Christians?”
I’d say yes, to both.



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Jay

posted September 28, 2010 at 10:07 am


This will not change as long as people are okay with sitting under pastors/teachers who are into tickling ears instead of changing hearts. In my opinion, there will be a lot of Christian “superstars” who will have a lot to answer for one day. If you are are not getting fed the Word at your church, find a place that makes that a priority. Believe it or not there are still churches out there that preach straight through the Bible. Find one. American Christianity is pathetically shallow and easy. And if we were ever really challenged in our faith and in what we believe? The results would be interesting. Would there still be mega churches? Would there still be tares on the fringes? I got no idea but I’m betting the true believers would be viable and influential and right where they needed to be. (Breathe out…) Okay, rant done. Discuss amongst yourselves…



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Xander

posted September 28, 2010 at 10:18 am


I wonder if the “once saved, always saved” mentality adds to the lack of knowledge on the part of the Christian. Not trying to preach theology, but I can see where people would think that there is no reason to learn about their faith unless it is required.
It really is a sad state for the religion, but maybe it is a wake up call for some that we are called to make disciples of people not just to get our numbers up.



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Pianolady32/Muddled Mawkishness

posted September 28, 2010 at 10:29 am


It’s not surprising. People just do not study like they used to. I think there are many who are content just to ‘feel’ their religion, or their chosen interpretation of the religion they join, rather than delve deep into Scripture to seek for confirmation or contradiction of the why’s and wherefore’s. And even then, stopping with Scripture may not be the best idea. I think it’s important to know what was going on historically when the Bible was being formed into what we see today. As one of my friends mentioned to me, ‘to the victor goes the spoils’ and ‘The victorious are the ones who write history.’ If the Bible is indeed considered a history book, even if you still believe that the authors of the books were inspired by God, then you still have to consider the state of the world of that time. It’s still important to know about the life of the society of that time. I think that if we only study Scripture, we are shorting ourselves in a most detrimental way. Some of my favorite Biblical discussions have been carried out with people of other faiths and atheists. I’ve learned quite a bit from all of them. Those discussions didn’t hurt my faith but made it stronger.



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Mrsmith

posted September 28, 2010 at 10:34 am


OK, the fact that atheists and agnostics scored the highest has NOTHING to do with their faith or lack thereof. Statistically, atheists and agnostics have more formal education than others and therefore inherently have a wider breadth of general knowledge and are more likely to question EVERYTHING, which makes it harder for them to believe in a higher power.
The people that win week after week, answering knowledge based questions on Jeopardy, probably can’t fix a toaster oven or problem solve their way out of an awkward social situation. Book knowledge is just that… sterile facts. Religion is based on FAITH, BELIEF, and living a purposeful LIFE. Just because someone from a suburb in Connecticut knows that the primary religion in Indonesia is Islam doesn’t make them better in some way that this study is trying to identify.
Oh, and by the way, I’m an atheist…



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Kris Cash

posted September 28, 2010 at 10:44 am


Too many people profess faith and then fall away when crisis, questions or doubts come. David was onto something when he said to hide the Word in your heart. You can’t hide something you don’t have. A thriving, growing, life changing faith comes when we devour the Word of God and let it pierce our hearts and minds.



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Jason Boyett

posted September 28, 2010 at 10:48 am


@Mrsmith:
I don’t think the study was insinuating that anyone was better than anyone else, nor was it about faith at all. (Or, for that matter, the mechanics of toaster ovens.) It was just trying to quantify knowledge. Why are you upset?



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Denise

posted September 28, 2010 at 10:56 am


My husband and I both went through a difficult period of re-examining our faith when we hit a major crisis in our lives. I am feeling thankful for our church right now–one we came to during that season of re-examination–because their value of “grace and truth” is so much more than words on a website. It was unusual to meet strong believers who were not defensive when we asked our doubt-filled questions. Our tiny church seems to have an invisible banner that reads like the inscription on the Statue of Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” This has always baffled our leaders, who while they lovingly accept this fact, neither asked for it nor expected it. After reading today’s post I realize it must be the “grace and truth” value. They welcome all and accept the varying ways people flesh out their faith journeys (grace), yet they also teach expositorily through the Bible while addressing issues of intellectual dishonesty and false cultural interpretations (subjectivity) head-on.
Long story to say that I think many of the atheists and agnostics mentioned HAD to go outside the church in order to face and ask their questions. Most churches are defensive about this sort of thing, in my experience. But to unashamedly teach the Bible (and to be clear, I meant THE BIBLE and not “family values” or some other cultural idea that married itself to mainstream Christianity) while providing an environment of people who care and don’t feel threatened by doubt and questions they can’t answer with a bumper sticker….well, I think those things go a long way in fostering unshakable, real faith.



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Kristian

posted September 28, 2010 at 11:03 am


This does not come as a surprise. Anecdotally; I’ve participated, and followed, religious debates here and there. Christians, especially the LOUD ones, have fairly poor knowledge of their own faith.
I’d be curious to see how the results differ in a culture where Christianity is a bit less overbearing. American atheists grow up and live in a very hostile environment. Atheists in many other western countries are much less likely to have to defend their lack of faith. Does that make them less likely to learn about religions?
I wonder though, should Christians just be happy about their ignorance? Perhaps, if they knew more, they’d abandon their faith. Sometimes ignorance can be a bliss, and contradictions and absurdities won’t bother you if you don’t know about them. I agree wholly with Dave Silverman; the best case against Christianity is the Bible itself.



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Terrie Lynn Bittner

posted September 28, 2010 at 11:07 am


The LA Times article on this said that the results were the same when controlled for education, so the higher education levels of atheists were not really a factor.
I’m a Mormon and I can tell you why we know more than any religion but the Jewish people. First, we have a huge education program and a mandate to be spiritually educated. We have a three hour block of meetings each Sunday consisting of a service in which ordinary members research and prepare “sermons.” We each speak about once a year. In addition, we have Sunday School, which teaches the scriptures systematically, and auxiliaries for men, women, teens, and children, which also include scripture study and religious history. (We’re not Protestant, but we are taught about Martin Luther in a very positive way even in childhood.) Teens and college students attend a daily religion class during the school year and have a weekend activity that is religiously-oreiented. All are taught by members, who must learn in order to teach.
We also instruct families to study at home. Mormon families have a weekly Family Home Evening, just for the family, in which family members take turns teaching religious doctrine. They have daily family prayers and scripture study with their own families.
It’s not magic–it’s just a matter of well-thought out and inspired educational programs. If your faith teaches you God expects you to read the Bible and to be well-informed about what you believe, you most likely will be, particularly if the structure is there to help you.



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Jason Boyett

posted September 28, 2010 at 11:11 am


@Terrie:
Thanks for sharing. If more believers were that intentional about study and education, even at home, we’d certainly be a lot more knowledgeable about what we believe and why.



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justanatheist

posted September 28, 2010 at 11:19 am


I think this may surprise a lot of christians but most of the atheists I know & have known where some of the most devout christians prior to becoming atheists.
Most of us were at church more than three times a week, read the bible many times, prayed, fasted, taught classes, & could quote bible verses all day long, etc. Not one atheist I know became an atheist overnight or did it without serious serious thought (and it might surprise you but prayer). You essentially have to change your entire life. Your christian friends don’t want to hang out with you (whether religion is mentioned or not), some family members disown you, and all you hear is that we lack morals, values, and are evil. Yeah, I really wanted that to happen for just nothing.
It would take me a book to explain fully why I could no longer believe……….



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Kristian

posted September 28, 2010 at 11:53 am


I think the conversion from faith to atheism is an interesting backdrop for religious knowledge of atheists in the US.
Almost all atheists I know have been atheists since birth. The few exceptions come from somewhat fundamentalist background. In my country, most kids, atheists or not, go through semi-mandatory religious classes in public school, so perhaps that would offset the knowledge balance a bit.
Now to think of it, I think religious teaching in public schools is a major contributing factor to huge numbers of atheism and agnosticism in the nordic countries.



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mouseytalons

posted September 28, 2010 at 12:47 pm


Hi All,
I do see this as a very interresting subject, Thank You Jason, for bringing it to the surface.
I was raised in the Christian Belief System. When I became an adult, I came to many areas of questioning, most of which I could not get or find adequet answers for, so I started “searching”, and “researching” other Beliefs. I ended up with a lot of knowledge, but no answers to my many “original” questions causing me to run from the Christian faith. I am now pagan, but like justinathiest, not without extensive prayer, research, and personal searching.
I would only tell the christians: “If that is the spiritual path for you, GREAT! Study it!, If not, or not sure?, Examine yourself, Study other beliefs, and learn why you believe or don’t believe.”
Blessings!



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shawn smucker

posted September 28, 2010 at 1:10 pm


Jason, in response to your question to Mrs. Smith, I think our culture automatically equates “knows more” with “is better than.” This is the fallout of the modern era.
I am concerned by the number of Christians who have never read through the Bible, or who do not read it on a semi-regular basis. So many of the concepts we have been taught in the church (salvation, sin, interaction with people who are not Christians) have been derived from a few specific verses and taken out of context.
On the other hand, I’m excited to see many of the folks in our generation reexamining what the Bible really has to say about these topics.



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Hehasrisen

posted September 28, 2010 at 2:36 pm


Many people claim to be Christians, but do not really know the Lord Jesus Christ or have a personal relationship with him. Jesus said to him “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6 (New King James Version)). I believe it takes more faith to be an Atheist or believe in other religions then it does to be a Born Again Christian. In all the other religions in the world, you as an individual must accomplish something or do something to be spiritual, saved, go to paradise, or whatever you believe. However, in Christianity, GOD did it for us. Ephesians 2: 8-9, states “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
In your survey, it sounds as though you ask a lot of people that claim to be Christians, but in fact were they really? I believe, if you would have asked the same questions to ‘Born Again Christians’, his children that Love him with all their hearts, and study his word, there would be no comparison.
For the Atheists readers and all the other religions on the earth: If I am wrong what do I lose? As the Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:17-19 – “And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.” But on the other hand, If I am right and you’re wrong, where will you spend all eternity? One more thing, just look around the earth and the heavens and think about what God said in Psalms 14:1, The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”



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Jblack

posted September 28, 2010 at 2:45 pm


Here’s the thing about survey’s and polls. They are so flawed and can be swayed one way or the other, ask any statistics expert on this matter. What controlled group was this survey taken? What region of the country? Was it over the internet? What types of questions were asked and how were they asked? This is clearly geared towards attacking religion and more specifically Christians and even more specifically Catholics. Don’t buy into this obvious fallacy. I am not surprised a group would do such a ridiculous survey or poll. These same types of polls and survey’s were done during the last 3 elections and they caused mass confusion for the American people. This survey is clearly geared to fuel the equal rights for the homosexual community fire. Notice that the top three religions that oppose homosexual marriage were pointed out. Jews, Muslims, and Christians. Give… me… a… Break!



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Jason Boyett

posted September 28, 2010 at 3:03 pm


@Jblack:
What does the homosexual community have to do with this poll? Those “top three religions” are also monotheistic. Using your logic, should we also believe that the poll is an attempt to fuel equal rights for polytheistic religions? Does the Pew Forum have an agenda based in ancient Norse mythology? Give ME a break.
To answer your questions about the polling procedure, here’s what the Pew Forum says: “These are among the key findings of the U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey, a nationwide poll conducted from May 19 through June 6, 2010, among 3,412 Americans age 18 and older, on landlines and cell phones, in English and Spanish.” Pretty standard stuff.



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justanatheist

posted September 28, 2010 at 3:15 pm


Jblack – Wow! It is amazing to see that the dam* homosexuals are at it again. Oops, I forgot the lefties too. God forbid some of us believe in freedom for all not just the select few you see fit. I guess I am not a “real” American either. How did you get so off point? Oh that is right – you just love Jesus! And you people wonder why people think christians are nuts?



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Will H

posted September 28, 2010 at 3:21 pm


It’s quite true: most Christians do not know their Bibles. They don’t study their religion or history. Indeed, most Christians are not active in their religion at all. Perhaps 10% volunteer, give, etc.. Most Christians are content to go to church one a week or once a month and that is it. They never do anything else. It’s not true that Christians are less educated in terms of degrees- several studies indicate that. Even more embarassing is that only half of pastors actually follow what is in the Scriptures, which might account for part of the problem. If the pastor isn’t following the Bible, why would the parishoners? Takes the wind from the sails, so to speak if the head person isn’t doing the right thing, does it not? The reason for it is that in the 1960s and 1970s, a large number of individuals entered seminary to avoid the draft. There’s no evidence that they believed in what they did and they head many churches today.



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Sandra

posted September 28, 2010 at 3:22 pm


It wasn’t until a few years ago that I learned about the whole “transubstantiation” thing–and I was raised Catholic and even went to catechism (almost got kicked out, but I digress).
Now, after being a believer for about 10 years, I feel I have a better grip on the major tenets of my faith and the basics of other faiths. Still, there’s always more to learn. This survey serves as an encouragement to learn more about our faith and the faith of others. And also the homosexual agenda, which this survey is “clearly geared toward.” ;-)



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Kristian

posted September 28, 2010 at 3:53 pm


I’m not sure if it’s funny or sad, but whenever anything that’s possibly controversial comes up regarding Christianity, there are hordes of people declaring that THEIR specific subtype of Christianity (be it Born Again, Baptist, Catholic, whatever) is the REAL Christianity and all others are fakes. I’m happy to admit that my camp has its share of idiots, bigots and general asshats. So is yours. Live with it.
Also, it’s incredible that someone manages to attach gay rights into a topic like this. It makes zero sense, but then again, gay bashers have never made any sense whatsoever.



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Tess Mallory

posted September 28, 2010 at 3:56 pm


“Whoa!” on the comment that this poll is about homosexuality. Are you freaking kidding me? Christians need to get over this thing about homosexuality. All have come short of the glory of God. We all sin, and continue to sin after we are saved by God’s grace, but guess what?–Christ’s blood COVERS our sin so that God sees it no more according to the Bible. So if my sin of, say, coveting someone else’s clothes is covered by Christ’s blood, doesn’t that mean someone else’s sin of practicing homosexuality is covered too? “Oh, but that’s a much worse sin.” Oh but NO. Sin is sin. Sin is equal in the eyes of God. It has to be. Otherwise, this whole thing falls apart. Judge not lest you be judged — and Jesus didn’t say “Except for homosexuality!” Arrgh.
“Hmmm.” on the poll itself. I think I need to know if the poll was about all religions, including eastern, pagan, western, Christian, Jewish, etc. If so, then I can see where Protestants would come in last on this. The fear of learning about other religions is deeply instilled in most Christians, which is unfortunate. Only recently have I been able to explain to people why I don’t think what Jesus taught is the same as what other “prophets” taught. How could I do that unless I am familiar with other religions? If you’re afraid to read about other religions, it’s time to look at what you believe.
Thanks once again Jason for shining the light. :)



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Christy

posted September 28, 2010 at 4:26 pm


As someone raised in the evangelical church who has since de-converted to the “spiritual but not religious” category, I find it discouraging how little church-going, highly committed, well-educated American evangelicals know about Christianity – so this survey is not surprising to me.
Whether it’s Bible knowledge, basic theology, or knowledge of other branches of Christianity, my experience has been that few evangelicals have any desire to grapple with the intellectual content of what they say they believe – or even to develop much of a spiritual practice – even those that are very thoughtful and well-informed in other areas.
I find it puzzling. It’s easier for me to have an intelligent discussion about Christianity or theology with my completely non-religious boyfriend than with 75% of my evangelical friends. The other 25% are the ones in a spiritual crisis who talk to me about the stuff they can’t say in church. I’m happy to be a safe sounding board, but if evangelical churches want to keep people in the fold, y’all should probably stop sending your flock my way.:-)



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Charlie's Church of Christ

posted September 28, 2010 at 6:15 pm


I think the unexamined Christian faith is a product of the way we sold the Christian message to be the one that gets you to heaven. People only bought in so they could get that ticket, and they don’t care for much else.



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Cecelia Dowdy

posted September 28, 2010 at 8:52 pm


Nope, not surprised at all. The Jehovah’s Witnesses are the same way. They know so much more about the Bible than most Christians, in spite of their twisted beliefs…



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Dale

posted September 28, 2010 at 8:53 pm


Tess, yes Homosexually is a sin just like all others. Just like all other sins, we are told to repent and turn away. Paul said, “…do we then continue in sin so that Grace may abound? God Forbid!” We are to turn from all unrighteousness…gossip, coveting, stealing, and YES, homosexual and other sexual perversions. Where did this come up anyway…homosexual wanting everything to be about them? Get over it.
Second, a lot generalizations are being made about other “Christian denominations” that are just simply not completely true (ex. “few evangelicals have any desire to grapple with the intellectual content of what they say they believe”) There are plenty of evangelicals that consistently examine their belief system…just as others. Christy, could it be that you have problems communicating with 75% because they call things the way they see them and hold strickly to Biblical standards.
The problem with the church (universal) is that of failing away from knowledge of church history, biblical literacy, and conforming to the world. To turn around the church does not need to become more liberal in its teaching, or more contemporary in way it views issues…it needs to turn back to the Bible and do what God has taught us in His word.



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Fred Wilson

posted September 28, 2010 at 9:52 pm


Thank you Dale for your sensible response. You beat me to it, and i appreciate it Fred



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Chris

posted September 29, 2010 at 8:54 am


I’m not surprised. Atheists don’t come to the decision to abandon their faith lightly, it takes a lot of education and deliberation. Think of how difficult it must be for an atheist to acknowledge his own disbelief, for example, in a family of devout Christians, all of whom know less about the Bible than he does. I’m sure there are many people who call themselves faithful out of fear of non-belief and all that comes with it socially.



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Kristian

posted September 29, 2010 at 11:48 am


@Dale,
in order for a church to survive, it needs to become more liberal in its teaching, and more contemporary in the way it views issues.
As any other organization that lives and dies based on its popularity, a church needs to follow zeitgeist or it will die of extinction. Longing back to how things were 2000 years ago won’t cut it. That means abandoning every last bit that’s remaining of gender inequality teachings, and, eventually, embracing homosexuality – including dropping it off the “sin” list through re-interpretation. It’s either that, or dying out.
Whether that’s “good”, “bad”, “right” or “wrong” is irrelevant. Time marches and tramples anyone who falls down.



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mouseytalons

posted September 29, 2010 at 1:18 pm


@ Hehasrisen,
You make some very good points without attacking those of us who believe differently than yourself, Thank You. I saw no judgement in your words, Thank You.
Like I said earlier, I was raised in the Christian Religions, and could write a book on why I believe the Christian Religions are flawed, and refuse to follow them any longer, but enough said about that.
You asked Atheists and those of Other Beliefs: “What if I am right and You are wrong, what do you lose?”
My answer to that: Nothing.
You asked:”
What if You are right and I am wrong where will you spend all of eternity?”
My answer to you is: I believe in reincarnation; so I will continue to be reincarnated until I have reached complete enlightenment, at which time my spirit will go back to (in my case) Mt. Olympus for my reward, to once again resume my duties as goddess.
I felt you deserved answers to your questions, I hope they shed some light on what my beliefs are for you. I cannot speak for all who are Atheist or of Other world Religions. I am Pagan. I hope this helps.
Blessings.



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MARTIN S,

posted September 29, 2010 at 4:40 pm


Knowing religion makes you an
enlightened fool. Understanding
GOD and His purpose and will for
your life makes you wise!!



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The Geoff

posted September 29, 2010 at 4:56 pm


Cheers Jason, another fascinating post for everybody, regardless of belief.
Surveys are always tricky things, they’re normally limited to the bare minimum that you can get away with under the statistical rules (they’re paid for a result after all), So let’s not give this result too much weight.
However, the question alone is fascinating. I’m a near-atheist of Christian upbringing. I don’t believe there’s a god of any description, but religion fascinates me. As a religious outsider I honestly believe I have a small headstart on those who align themselves with a religion – I have nothing to lose by considering other points of view, or by questioning the historical veracity of the one I grew up with.
Technically, a religious scholar, however devout, risks going to some kind of hell by taking my actual viewpoint. Not studying the same subjects as me, taking my independent viewpoint.
It’s one of the great weaknesses of religion. I’m not trying to attack religion with that statement, it’s just a fact of the logic involved; I’m allowed to think about religion in a way religious people aren’t.



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Dandini

posted September 30, 2010 at 12:15 am


I took the quiz and it really was pretty easy.
As a practicing member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it was nice to know that “Mormons” scored highest in knowledge of the Bible and Christianity, and second highest in knowledge of Judaism, after Jewish respondents.
But I agree that a survey can be used any way one wants, to come up with any kind of answer.
It is living what you know that really counts.



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Christy

posted September 30, 2010 at 1:30 pm


Dale –
You said:
There are plenty of evangelicals that consistently examine their belief system…just as others. Christy, could it be that you have problems communicating with 75% because they call things the way they see them and hold strickly to Biblical standards.
Perhaps we know different evangelicals:-) (And I’m not using evangelical as a perjorative term – just a descriptive one. I have very close evangelical friends who I love very much.)
It’s not so much that I have problems communicating or that I need them to approve of my sex life – it’s more that there seems to be a lack of interest or fear of grappling with certain things that to me, seem fairly central to their belief system – like “What does it mean that you see God as intimately involved in your life, but the world is so unfair?”, “How does your belief in hell affect how you see and interact with the world?”, “Does God really have a very specific plan for your life or is God’s will a more general thing?”, “What do you do with all the violence in the Bible?”
My evangelical friends who are asking these questions seem to only be asking them outside the walls of their churches. To be fair, I think most people – of any religious or non-religious stripe – don’t spend a lot of time asking deep questions or investigating their own world view. (And I agree with you in that I would be delighted to see more Christians increase their knowledge of Christian history.)
I’ve just never understood how someone’s identity as a Christian can be so central to their life, and yet they can know so little and ask so few questions of Christianity.



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Kristian

posted September 30, 2010 at 4:50 pm


As for Pascal’s Wager – what does an atheist have to lose if they choose to believe – it’s inherently flawed viewpoint. For one, it assumes that one can be rewarded by feigning faith out of hope of a reward and fear of retribution.
Also, it’s equally likely that there’s an unknown god who punishes those who chose to serve false gods and rewards those who didn’t. In that case, I get to go to heaven while the religious burn in hell.



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Rob the Rev

posted September 30, 2010 at 10:37 pm


The results of this poll does not surprise me as a former Lutheran Misery Synod pastor of 30 years who was pastor of three congregations, one with a parochial school. Lutherans think they have learned everything they need to know about their religion if they attended Sunday School and took Confirmation instruction and many learned little from that. They have no curiosity about other religions be they another Christian versions or not. As adults in the church I was often appalled at what they professed to believe.
I joined the Lutheran Church, Misery Synod as a young adult fundamentalist at age 22 and left it as a mature adult liberal, spiritual not religious, at age 62. Studying the bible and the real history of Christianity turned me into a sceptic. I’ve seen institutional fundamentalist creedal protestant religion from the inside out and can tell you that it is Bullsh-t.
BTW, I took the condensed version of the poll and got 15 out of 16 correct. Missed the one about Nirvana and to which religion it belonged. I’d like to take the full poll. I think I’d ace it.



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Rob the Rev

posted October 1, 2010 at 9:37 am


Tess Mallory on September 28, 2010 3:56 PM posted: “…So if my sin of, say, coveting someone else’s clothes is covered by Christ’s blood, doesn’t that mean someone else’s sin of practicing homosexuality is covered too?..”
Dale on September 28, 2010 8:53 PM posted: “Tess, yes Homosexually is a sin just like all others. Just like all other sins, we are told to repent and turn away…”
Homosexuality is neither a sin or a sickness, Tess and Dale. It is just another natural variation in sexual orientation. And I don’t give a damn what your bible says.



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Kedric

posted October 8, 2010 at 11:05 am


A main reason that Atheists know more about the Bible is that many of them became Atheists BECAUSE of the Bible. Basically the story is like this: A long time ago, “God” created a dust-man and a bunch of animals (oddly, not made of dust). God took a rib from dust-man and turned it into a woman. (Woo!) Having created these beings and saying they were “good”, God proceeded to kick dust-man and rib-woman out of his crib cause’ they were “bad”. Lots of random violence happened during the next couple thousand years, including God drowning almost everybody at least once, God pounding people with fire and brimstone, etc. A bunch of rules about stuff you need to kill people for and what part of the penis to cut off were also invented.
Then along comes the NEW testament. Yay! God impregnates a virgin girl, and out comes a God-baby! Then he goes around sticking mud in peoples eyes, telling off the Pharisees, tipping over money tables while whipping people, and generally having a good time. Some of the Pharisees get kinda pissed over this, and kill him. But noooo, it’s God-baby, you can’t kill God-baby. So God-baby comes back from the dead! You’d think he’d kick some butt, but he just runs back to heaven after saying goodbye to his pals.
Aaaand, then at the end we have the book of Revelation, which is basically an LSD trip, it’s the best book of the lot.
That, my friends, is the Bible.



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Judy

posted October 8, 2010 at 12:21 pm


Ironic that the scriptures they always focus on are the ones where God seems to be cruel and heartless. Also atheists and agnostics focus on religion while Christians focus on faith. It is a shame and I see it all too often as a pastor, that few Christians esp. in the Protestant denominations do not read their Bibles on any regular basis , if at all. Most leave that up to their minister to do for them. My aim in my church is to correct that. How can you have an intimate relationship with someone you know nothing or just the facts about. And we get that intimacy and relationship with God and Jesus through reading and studying His Word.’How wonderful are the things the Lord does! All who are delighted in them want to understand them.’ Psalm 111:2. Too much time is spent on programs and fun fellowship in churches these days and not enough time reading the Bible



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Chaz

posted October 9, 2010 at 4:34 am


Rob the Rev… I understand your frustration. You do know you have ‘anger’ issues… Right? Return to your first love…He is waiting.
Kedric… Gotta love ya. You have honestly hit it ‘right on’ the nail head. LOL! Can I quote you? But, this is the deal…You obviously have a good understanding..more than most. Stay at it…you are almost there. With every quip you reveal your thirst of and for the God that understands. I know Him…I think you do too. Get to know Him better.
Judy… I was absolutely ‘delighted’ to read your comment. Good verse. Actually great verse. We all want to be of some substance…at some point in our ‘walk.’ Interesting that the early church was ‘The Way.’ Before there was even the N.T. I think Paul was a fun guy. There is loads of room for humor. But I know exactly what you are feeling. Jesus and Him crucified!!



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Merry

posted October 9, 2010 at 5:29 am


From my point of view as a teacher, the students that I teach are largely atheist or agnostic and the reason for this is that they have been brought up by their parents to be agnostic or atheist. It is not due to being brought up in a faith and it is not a rejection of the Bible. They know very little about the Bible. However, they do get told, at home, some of them very aggressively that religion, the Bible, Jesus is wrong and ‘made up.’ They therefore, desperately seek proof texts ideas to prove that God isn’t true and made more actively take on board the history of religion or the more mystical aspects which sound strange like transubstantiation or even consubstantiation.
I think that the results you got definately show that the small sample of atheists and agnostics you asked had paid attention to what they had heard or been taught and focused very much on the details, however, faith is about the leap of faith, it is about giving up as critical cynical mind and placing yourself into the hands of an indescribable eternal loving being. Fear may prevent atheists and agnostics or they may rally against the iniquities which they believe they see in the world. This however, does not prove howver, that these individuals will live their entire lives without God, maybe they are more knowledgeable because these people are secretly earching for the guts to accept that God really does love them.



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Your Name Jermaine

posted October 9, 2010 at 6:48 am


Once again,I think we remember this saying which I will add a little to ,just to emphasize a point…..
“There are no atheists,agnostics or non-believers in fox holes’..I rest my case!



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Kedric

posted October 9, 2010 at 8:28 am


Judy, it may be that Athiests tend to focus on verses where God is cruel or apathetic, but then again, Christians (and I know from having been one) NEVER mention those verses, and only focus on the ones where God is loving or giving them things. If we look at the scriptures honestly, God isn’t either cruel, or a giant Santa Claus in the sky. Justice tempered by love is the Biblical account.
But, in todays world, I have to ask, God, where is your justice? Where is your love?
We all wait eagerly for that answer.



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JR

posted October 9, 2010 at 9:33 am


They may tend to know more about “religion” but they fail to grasp the concept of God’s Grace. However, I will agree that some folks get on board with Christianity and then coast…..which is definately not good.
I feel that religion is man reaching out for God while Christanity is God reahing out to us. It’s all in the Holy Bible……read it.
JR



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JR

posted October 9, 2010 at 9:51 am


Kedric,
I will agree that there are some “feel good” preachers out there that don’t preach hell. The Joel Osteen style of preaching. From that you will get folks that speak of all the love God has for all men…..and nothing about the conseqences and that is very sad.
I would encourage you to rethink your thoughts about being a Christian and really get into the word for , all the answeres are in there. Having said that….I will agree that there are some things that we don’t understand…..My thought on that is if it isn’t clearly pointed out in all your scripture reseach in the Bible and preachers and commentaries don’t lead to the answer then maybe we needn’t be so concrened about finding that particular answer.
I will be praying for you, Kedric……that you come back into the fold with a better understanding of Christianity.
Be blessed,
JJ



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RAFAEL

posted October 9, 2010 at 10:07 am


i am a believer on life , we do not choose where to be born ,and the place you born is already a difference in the future
Plus you do not choose your believe , in your young ages they feed you with their believe .
Then if you get interested to know whom you are you study all what you had been give during your growing ages .
Religion i do not think is an answer to the problem of this world , but religion instead of separating people will have to work in approaching them .
Any one that present his God as the best one , show a luck of respect and humble stature .
every human been have the freedom to think what ever he choose with not been classify in one or other religion .
The challenge here is that religion have to show the infinite as the spot to rich , not stopping the believer in one image .
i think if we give the knowledge to the young kids about the histories of all religion when they mature in consciousness they will chose in what to believe .
this is not what happen



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Mary

posted October 9, 2010 at 10:08 am


Atheists and agnostics also pick and choose to isolate scripture in an attempt to plead their case. They do not take the literary context or historical perspective when speaking of the Word of God. The lens that they do use is that of relativism, and materialism. They do not incorporate faith and reason, when attempting to justify the atheistic perspective. They do incorporate narcissism into their belief system, in the attempt to choose to “not need God.” It takes more faith to be an atheist than to believe in God….way too much evidence to claim there is no creator. I also disagree that atheists and agnostics are more educated. The numbers just are not there.
Taking Bible quotes out of context is pretext.
Just a few thoughts.
mary



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Gwen

posted October 9, 2010 at 10:39 am


Thank you all for your enlightening messages– it brings me such joy (through and in Him) to learn more about what people think or feel– JJ- I greatly appreciate your comments and recomendation to Kedric, and I pray he will listen!!
I would just like to add that there is such great importance in opening your heart to His love, and then accept His word, including what He considers sin, then ask His forgiveness, and truly try to follow His word– this is the way to a more complete understanding and a true relationship with Him. Before, when I was unwilling to leave certain sins, needless to say, He wasn’t truly present in my life!! But when I asked for His forgiveness, and His strength to over-come temptation and sin— only then does His Spirit come into us, and make His path– the only path– clear– AMEN!!
I pray for you too Kedric– as well as you JJ– and to you all–
Thanks for your words– and may the Peace of the Lord which surpasses all understanding!!
Best Wishes– Gwen



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MERL

posted October 9, 2010 at 12:01 pm


The same bible has produced many religions…therefore I am not a religionist. I was born with intellect and am spiritual.
The Bible consists of two books. The first one is history and the second are made up as a “script” which will be followed…it’s NOT prophecy. Neither we nor any government change the rules of the play, which is what life is.
Science found that God truely does exist before the end of the 1940’s and Physically in 1998.
THIS IS A HOLOGRAPHICAL REALITY…SAME AS A DREAM. THERE IS NO TIME OR SPACE NOR A SOLID…BUT THE SAME SOLIDITY AS IN A DREAM. WE ARE IN A CLASSROOM WITH ONE OF TWO CHOICES…..GOOD OR EVIL. BOTH ARE IN THIS DREAM TO SEE IF SATEN CAN TEMPT US TO GREED (EVIL) OR TO GOODNESS, (COMPASSION)
THIS INFORMATION IS UNDER THE CATAGORY OF TOP SECRET BY ALL GOVERNMENTS OF THE WORLD.
I SEE LIFE AS SYNCHRONIOUS. THE WARS WE ARE NOW FIGHTING AND THE ECONOMY AND WEATHR ARE ALL FOR A DISTRACTION OF TRUTH….IN 2012 A PLANET IS COMING AND ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE ON THIS MATTER WILL BE AS IN THE DAYS OF NOAH. BUT AGAIN…GOVERNMENT IS IN THE EVIL CATAGORY AND KEEPS ALL THIS AWAY FROM US, THE SEEKERS OF TRUTH.
MINISTER/PSYCHOLOGIST/SOCIOLOGIST/PHILOSOFY/ASTROLOGIST I AM NOW 75 YEARS OLD AND MASTER OF KUNG FU AND STILL TEACH IT.(MY STYLE OF KUNG FU I NAMED CHIEN-SU AFTER A PASSAGE IN THE BIBLE. “BE YE AS WISE AS THE SERPENT AND PEACEFUL AS THE DOVE”
M. WEBSTER



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Neil Gilligan

posted October 9, 2010 at 1:06 pm


Chistopher Hitchens is a very knowledgable athiest who decries religion as a poison in his book: “god is not Great” Bart D. Erham a textual critism scholar and possibly a Christian wrote “Misquoting Jesus…” and now Muslims use his work to discredit the Bible.
But I was thinking 1 John 2:27 tells us the Spirit teaches us all things! Athiets do not know more about the Holy Spirit than believers (true believers (Rm 8:16)). God can give us foolish uneducated believers knowledge to confound the wise if we have the Holy Spirit. In addition, we can become a miracle worker with the Holy Spirit–that’s one of the ways we confound people today who run to doctors and drugs for healing. But we can bring Jesus’ healing to them and He heals all the sick. “Transformed by the Power of God: Learning to be Clothed in Jesus Christ” by neil gilligan is a message for the body of Christ to get dressed and demonstrate who Jesus is to the world around you. That’s one way you can confound people like Dave Silverman (the president of American Atheists)who told the New York Times, “I gave a Bible to my daughter. That’s how you make atheists.” You confound him because he will see miracles are true! That’s why he gives the Bible to his daughter to show her the myths but if Christians get clothed we will show athiests the only myth are those who believe Jesus was a myth. Wake UP! Preparing for the End-Times Outpouring.



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JR JJ

posted October 9, 2010 at 1:35 pm


I shall pray for you all. I will pray that those of you that have an issue with believing in Jesus Christ and what he did for us…..I will pray that God will reach out to you and….more importantly….that you will reach back and feel the love, peace and joy involved in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
JR JJ



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jflores_196917@yahoo.comj

posted October 9, 2010 at 4:42 pm


I have never been inspired in my whole life by people who don’t believe in God. I am a firm believer in righteousness taught by Jesus Christ. He is a complete mystery to man. He has lot of personalities in the book of the Holy Bible. Namely among them: Son of Man, Son of God, Savior, Mediator, Prophet, Preacher, Man and God and lot more. There is only but One God. Man in his own wisdom is impossible of knowing God’s wisdom and the mystery of his creations. God is so powerful and can do everything or anything impossible to man. He can transform into any human form. We never knew that this same Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit and God the Father is the same God. My faith is, Jesus Christ came down from heaven to reveal the existence of God and preach the word of God which is LOVE, HUMILITY AND RIGHTEOUSNESS. GOD has never revealed the secret of HIS mystery to man and we have no authority to question his wisdom rightly or wrongly by human reason. I honestly
believe that by following faithfully the THREE BASIC INGREDIENTS of HIS teaching, we will live in harmony physically, spiritually and be at peace throughout our life on earth and be with GOD in heaven after the death of our mortal body. My faith is centerered on the belief that there is life after death. The spiritual life lives with God in the Paradise in Heaven if one dies holy or with complete righteous deeds while living physically on earth. THIS IS MY FAITH, BELIEVING WITHOUT SEEING. I BELIEVE IN THE EXISTENCE OF GOD. I CAN PROVE IT. SUN IS ONE BASIC EXAMPLE. WHO CREATED THE SUN THAN SHINES FOREVER SINCE ITS CREATION? SCIENCE CAN NEVER PROVE IT BY ANY FACT OR THEORY. IT IS GOD WHO CREATED EVERYTHING IMPOSSIBLE TO MAN. I DO BELIEVE THAT THIS IS THE MISSING LINK – FAITH IN GOD THAT SOME PEOPLE DON’T HAVE.
By: J.D. Flores



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Tony

posted October 9, 2010 at 6:00 pm


Agnostics and atheist have a right to their pitiful opinions and beliefs. Truth be told, unless these atheist and agnostics have had a real physical supernatural spiritual experience like I have had (3 of them) their beliefs will not change. Something dramatic and unusual events have to happen, like it did with me, to fully understand the awesome power of the almighty God. I feel sorry for these people that are in the dark of God and Jesus. Once they approach the day they take their last breath, only then will they be calling out to God almighty. As the old saying goes: “there are no atheist in foxholes” which is an old military saying, holds true today. If people only knew how fragile human life is, only then can they appreciate that there is another world outside the one we’re all familiar with. The spiritual world is real and there is no escaping it because we will all arrive there sooner or later. Which side will you be on?



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MARY ANN

posted October 9, 2010 at 7:31 pm


I HOPE YOU WILL FORGIVE MY SENSE OF HUMOR AND TIMING. I THINK THE ATHIESTS AND AGNOSTICS KNOW MORE ABOUT THE BIBLE BECAUSE THEY HAVE STUDIED IT WHILE THE CATHOLICS AND PROTESTANTS WERE BUSY IN CHURCH PRAYING.



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Mea

posted October 9, 2010 at 11:32 pm


The author of “Misquoting Jesus” is a Christian and I have read the book. Too many Christians act as though it is wrong to study about the history of Christianity and the Bible because some of what you learn is contrary to the “Sunday School” lessons you heard as a child which were very simplistic. There is nothing to fear from the truth because it is not facts that make us believers it is faith. Some Christians choose to not be educated about religion and that is their choice, but they should not criticise those who want to be educated but still choose to have faith.



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GaryMac

posted October 10, 2010 at 7:19 am


Few who actually find the way of Christ. Even Jesus said few who find the way. The way is Christ in you. It isnt about what Jesus did for me but it is about what I do for Him. Jesus came for one reason and that is to teach YOU to be like him, have what he had, have the mind of Christ, walk as he walked. How many do you know who actually follow the way of Christ and are as He is with Christ be in them? And remember, Christ simply means to be anointed of Gods Spirit, the anointed one, Christ in YOU. many say they follow the way of Christ but are far from being like Him.



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Your NameDanny

posted October 10, 2010 at 7:26 am


What makes a Christian a Christian? Answer, A childlike faith in the death and resurrection of THE SON OF GOD THE LORD JESUS CHRIST,and the admittance of and repentance of our own sins and imperfections and the acceptance of his perfect sacrifice. In other words HIS death and Life for our life. ( No rocket science) yet it is a stumbling block to those who consider themselves well educated and knowledgeable about this existence that we live and waste much time trying to comprehend. The Kingdom of Heaven is meant for those who believe as a child believes, without doubt or question, who are not puffed up by the knowledge of men but filled with the spirit of GOD and seek a better place. Many love the darkness rather than the light, because of their own deeds which shall be brought to the light. Go figure.



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Maegin Zindi

posted October 10, 2010 at 10:45 am


I only have one question about being spiritual. Is it someone who communicates direct with GOD JEHOVAH because of their open heartedness, a christian, or is it someone with a blind faith? Please help.



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Nicholas

posted October 10, 2010 at 2:30 pm


For Maegin,
So faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
(Romans 10:17)
For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we
made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,
but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
(2Peter 1:16)
We must be prepared always to make a defence for the hope that is in us.



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JACK FLORES

posted October 10, 2010 at 3:15 pm


Does this site for non-christians only? I have posted a commentary, but was removed. I want to make a correction, but nowhere to be found.



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JACK FLORES

posted October 10, 2010 at 4:08 pm


I have never been inspired in my whole life by people who don’t believe in God. I am a firm believer in righteousness taught by Jesus Christ. He is a complete mystery to man. He has lot of personalities in the book of the Holy Bible. Namely among them: Son of Man, Son of God, Savior, Mediator, Prophet, Preacher, Man and God, The Anointed and lot more. There is only but One God. Man in his own wisdom is impossible of knowing God’s wisdom and the mystery of his creations. God is so powerful and can do everything or anything impossible to man. He can transform into any human form. We never knew that Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit and God the Father is the same God. My faith is, Jesus Christ came down from heaven to reveal the existence of God and preach the word of God which is LOVE, HUMILITY AND RIGHTEOUSNESS. GOD has never revealed the secret of HIS mystery to man and we have no authority to question His wisdom rightly or wrongly by human reason. I honestly believe that by following faithfully the THREE
BASIC PRINCIPLES of HIS teaching, we will live in harmony physically, spiritually and be at peace throughout our life on earth and be with GOD in heaven after the death of our mortal body. My faith is centered on the belief that there is life after death. The spiritual life lives with God in the Paradise in Heaven if one dies holy or with complete righteous deeds while living physically on earth. THIS IS MY FAITH, BELIEVING WITHOUT SEEING. I BELIEVE IN THE EXISTENCE OF GOD AND I CAN PROVE IT. THE SUN IS ONE BASIC EXAMPLE. WHO CREATED THE SUN THAN SHINES FOREVER SINCE ITS CREATION? SCIENCE CAN NEVER PROVE IT BY ANY FACT OR THEORY, BUT BY FAITH IN GOD. IT IS GOD WHO CREATED EVERYTHING IMPOSSIBLE TO MAN. I DO BELIEVE THAT THIS IS THE MISSING LINK – FAITH IN GOD to be able to understand the nature that surrounds us and its mystery.
By: J.D. Flores



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Abambagibus

posted October 10, 2010 at 6:06 pm


Embedded in the fibers of this thread struts the statement : ‘the fact remains: frequent surveys find that atheists and agnostics are more educated than people who do believe in God’.
By extension therefore, atheists, especially, are logically predisposed to the conclusion that, of Homo Sapiens Sapiens, specimens imbued with a greater erudition are necessarily greater than those not so imbued. By assuming, however, that the greater is necessarily the better, these self-conclusively superior folk unwittingly evince the insipience of their superficial equation of quantity with quality, an indication of an intractable preference for form over substance. Herein enters Paul who, as these more highly developed creatures inevitably must know, favors the Spirit over the letter, a thought which was later reinforced by Luther.
But then again, by further extension, one might believe that Einstein, who profoundly believed in a Transcendental Intelligence, was in reality a specimen of little intelligence indeed. In the Unified Field Theory of Atheism, absolute certainty is as much a fact as the fact that there is no god. There’s a totalitarian mindset here which irks me as much, or nearly as much, as those who insist that all must believe as they, or else they are stupid or worse.



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JR

posted October 10, 2010 at 9:24 pm


Abambagibus,
Let me understand….out of that phsycobable can I assume you are not a believer in God….let alone Jesus? If, indeed, that is the case then would you expound on your thouhgts of how this all came about…..the universe, our solar system….our planet…..us and all living things each with their own unique structure. I’d also like to hear your take on the infinate expanse of the universe.
I am a believer. I also believe that it takes more faith to believe in evolution then it does to believe in all the aspects of a supreme being….the supreme being……our God. Do you believe in the wind? yes, you say…..although wind is unseen you can see the evidence of it. Look around, my friend. the evidence of God is all around you, as well.
May God bless you,
JJ



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JACK FLORES

posted October 10, 2010 at 11:27 pm


Abambagibus,
I do understand the strength of your reasoning power. Assuming that you have the highest human instinct and the most knowledgeable person in the whole universe in any set of discussion including in the field science, I still have the belief that you are nothing in the eyes of GOD. You don’t have to establish fact in order to believe. Not everything beyond one’s imagination can be proven physically or by abstract reasoning. Faith in GOD is the only answer. Science tells us nothing can happen without a cause. Nature on Earth and in the infinite space of the universe and all things we see around us, the Sun, the moon, stars and other planets. All these things could not have existed without being created by SUPREME GOD. This is the full proof that there is GOD behind it. Again science theory can never support or prove it without the belief in GOD THE ALMIGHTY.
By: J.D.FLORES



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heather

posted October 11, 2010 at 12:59 am


Christianity can not be measured by modern-day trivia. it’s based on ones walk with God, personal relationship with Jesus, and faith in the word (the truth).
Atheists and agnostics may be knolagable about religion, but they have no true understanding of the spirit, the extent of Gods power, or the promise of eternal life through Jesus Christ. These things are only known through faith.



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JACK FLORES

posted October 11, 2010 at 3:01 am


There are only Three types of persons mentioned in the Holy Bible namely:
1. The faithful are those who believe in the WORD OF GOD and
follow.
2. Persons who believe in the WORD OF GOD, but do not follow.
3. Persons who don’t believe in the WORD OF GOD.
We are given FREE WILL by the Supreme GOD to chose Two options:
1. The RIGHT WAY or
2. The WRONG WAY
To just prove the strength of GOD’S WORD, follow either One of the
Two options and see the effect in your life.
By: J.D. FLORES



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JACK FLORES

posted October 11, 2010 at 12:53 pm


There are only Three types of people mentioned in the book of Holy Bible, namely:
1. PEOPLE who know the WORD OF GOD and obediently follow regardless
of consequences.
2. PEOPLE who know the WORD OF GOD, but unwilling to follow.
3. PEOPLE who never believe in the WORD OF GOD.
By: J.D. FLORES



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ACEMAN

posted October 12, 2010 at 12:44 pm


I was a christian for years and I always sensed something was wrong. After years of studying and searching, I realized that a lot of what Christians believe was mis-translated. To fully understand our purpose, you must first de-mystify “God”. The english word “God” and the arabic “Allah” both mean the same thing – “Elohim” which really means, “Those who came from the sky”. God is not one being, but many. They are our “Creators”. The leader of which is named Yahweh. And yes in that sense, Jesus is indeed the son of “God”. Jesus’ real name, as he was called, was Yasuah, who is the son of Yahweh, born unto a human mother. Our creators are human, like us – almost. They created us in their image. It even says in the bible that Yahweh was physically in the desert with Moses and people could gain audience to him. So there is no bearded robed “God” floating on a cloud looking over us. Our creators are watching us just like a parent would watch a child grow up. And in the same sense, they had to let us go on our own path, just as a parent would. But don’t get me wrong, if man continues on his current path, they will intervene before all is lost.



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BF Atkinson

posted October 15, 2010 at 12:29 pm


I’ve lived through it, and despite the condemnations of some of the respondents, I have to whole heartedly agree with the author.
I was raised a Catholic, and even considered becoming a priest at one point. My faith was strong, and although I did not look at every book in the bible as being historical fact, I thoroughly believed that they all contained valuable lessons for living the life that God intended for us all.
Unfortunately when I returned from overseas in the early 70’s, my faith and everything I had been taught was crushed by the words of a young priest during confession. He allowed his personal feelings about war to interfere with his professional duty when he proclaimed that God would not forgive me, and he could not absolve me of my sins. I was utterly devastated, to say the least. But this gave me both the opportunity and the desire to explore and study other religions.
After several years of study, I realized the common factor in all religions was man, and his absolute need to have something or someone to believe in beyond himself – be it a Supreme Being, a Deity, the Grand Architect of the Universe, or the Universal Law of Cause and Effect, we all have to believe in something.
I have since been re-baptized (born again) into the Protestant faith, and attend a non-denominational church. Although I believe in God, and have accepted Christ as my Savior, I no longer have the blind faith I had as a child. I consider myself a Christian practicing Agnostic. I believe because I want to believe, but I won’t discount or discredit the beliefs of other faiths and religions. There is power in belief and peace in faith. Do not confuse the two.



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Abambagibus

posted October 30, 2010 at 2:11 pm


JR. The invisible wind is perceptible nonetheless. Ultimate perceptibility does not necessarily entail vision. But your allusion to it informs me of your materialism, philosophical and otherwise. Unbeknownst to most, however, Christ was not only a spiritual proponent of immaterialism but the best secular example of it.
And it is ‘this’ to whom I strive. In agreement with the nothingness of Mr Jack Flores who apparently implied it, for all of us the somethingness of thought, no matter how sublime, is inadequate to the task. Intellect may serve as an adequate compass, but alone it gets us nowhere. Augustine and Thomas would agree, I am sure.



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Anonymous

posted December 29, 2010 at 2:49 pm


Surprised? Not in the slightest.
I think that atheists such as myself tend to become atheists because we’ve actually looked at things such as the Bible and we reject is as being a moral compass, a science book, or anything else of any value. It is an interesting historical book and sociological text, especially considering its huge effect, but the Bible itself is not much of an insight into anything greater than human activity.
The only way the Bible is palatable philosophically and morally is through butchering; cherry-picking, extensive (if not constant) interpretation within artificially projected contexts, quiet omission of troublesome sections (most of the Bible) and minimal discussion of the history. That’s why most good Christians today go to church, and come away not knowing what the canon is, or being blissfully ignorant of bloody religious wars within Christianity (including but certainly not limited to things like the, Inquisition, the French Wars of Religion, the Thirty Years War, the Taiping Rebellion, The Schmalkaldic Wars, the First War of Kappel, the Second War of Kappel, the English Civil War, the Scottish Civil War…. and so on) wars with others on the basis of Christianity (The Crusades). If someone was aware of the entire Bible, the violent, hateful consequences of Christianity (Dark Ages, for example) and the ways Christianity was used to justify horrendous crimes (anti-Semitism, slavery, suppression of women and so forth) would a moral and rational person really want to be called a member of the faith? Ignorance is easier.



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jeff

posted April 26, 2011 at 1:00 am


ISIAIh 41 BRING forth your IDOLS did they PREACH to you see they can’t speak they can’t DO ANYTHING all they do is cause confusion. spalms 115 and spalms 135 thier IDOLS are FALSE cant speak can’t hear cant smell and those that make them shall become like them. Jeremiah 10 they nail their IDOL down like a scarecrow it can’t move can’…t speak can’t move must be carried these are nothing but the WORK of CON men.john 10 jesus christ sais his sheep hear his voice and another voice thy will not follow and if another person tries to preach to them they WILL FLEE from him. jeremiah 5 the priests bear rule on their own authority what will you do when your judged my word is not inside them. Now here is the kicker john 5 son of man voice goes back in time mathew 16 jesus christ claims to be the son of man.‎1 cor2 mind of CHRIST preached internally and john 16 sais the spirit of truth comes in the future. Ezekiel 13 lying prophets of ISRAEL my word is not inside them saying god sais god sais god sais wrote hoping mankind would CONFIRM their WORDS. all of this is EASILY verifiable



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Bunny

posted May 5, 2011 at 9:29 am


Being “preached at ” and told that you are being prayed for with the hope that you will not go to hell is not a very effective way to spread your message. What kind of message is that? What kind of God is that? I love God. I work and study daily to know Him more. I cannot accept a god that sends people to hell for ETERNITY (a concept which cannot be grasped) for transgressions they have committed in this very short span of time that is the human life. Especially when the “transgression” can be as simple not choosing to accept something that rings so false to so many. Or choosing the wrong sex partner. God gave us our brains. I intend to use mine.



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jeff

posted May 12, 2011 at 7:57 pm


ISIAIh 41 BRING forth your IDOLS did they PREACH to you see they can’t speak they can’t DO ANYTHING all they do is cause confusion. spalms 115 and spalms 135 thier IDOLS are FALSE cant speak can’t hear cant smell and those that make them shall become like them. Jeremiah 10 they nail their IDOL down like a scarecrow it can’t move can’…t speak can’t move must be carried these are nothing but the WORK of CON men.john 10 jesus christ sais his sheep hear his voice and another voice thy will not follow and if another person tries to preach to them they WILL FLEE from him. jeremiah 5 the priests bear rule on their own authority what will you do when your judged my word is not inside them. Now here is the kicker john 5 son of man voice goes back in time mathew 16 jesus christ claims to be the son of man.‎1 cor2 mind of CHRIST preached internally and john 16 sais the spirit of truth comes in the future. Ezekiel 13 lying prophets of ISRAEL my word is not inside them saying god sais god sais god sais wrote hoping mankind would CONFIRM their WORDS. all of this is EASILY verifiable.



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Christian

posted April 24, 2013 at 1:00 pm


Sure glad you changed the post or your head would have popped off. OMG The lessons in the bible teach you to be kind to arrogant people like yourselves lucky for you I am a Christian and all I need is faith to know God is real which obviously all of you lack. I’m very sorry you are an empty soul without any faith. As one good Christian to an aetheist I will pray for your soul!



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Metacrock

posted August 5, 2013 at 11:37 am


This is just BS. No Pew study showed that atheist know more about religion. It showed that atheists know more about Hinduism. Look at the questions that’s what it’s showed. btw I scored higher than anyone who took it at the time I took it and I”m a Christian. I know more about Hinduism and other religions than any atheist.
‘Moreover I’m not convinced it was a scientific study.



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Brian

posted February 8, 2014 at 4:35 pm


I scored pretty high, and I consider myself Ignostic. Most of my religious knowledge prior to college came from my grandmother, which was limited to Noah’s arc, the lords prayer, and nativity stories. My path I learn critical thinking in college, took some philosophy classes, then once I started to question things, I watch Penn and Teller’s Bullshit series, in particular titled “Bible Bullshit” where I learned the Cannon, Constantine, The Counsels of Nicaea, various translations over the years, etc. I still cannot call myself a full on Atheist, but I believe in God as much as I believe in the tooth fairy, flying spaghetti monster, etc. The bible has a few good bedtime stories to teach children, but it is just not something I can buy into as an adult and take seriously.



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