I see myself as a follower of Jesus Christ, who believes in the existence of the Sovereign God and whom I fully recognise as the Creator of heaven and earth and the entire universe. Having grown up in a religious country – although I did not get to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and personal Saviour until I was a teenager – I can recall no time in my life that I ever doubted the existence of God.
But as I grew older, it began to dawn on me that not everyone believes that God exists. Not only that, I also came to realise that there are people whom it is that they do not believe in God, they as well either go out of their way engaging in (fruitless) exercises to ‘prove’ that God does not exist or make all efforts to discredit the notion of God in the hearts of people. These are some of the kind of people I have encountered on this platform.
Before I began posting on this blog, I never got to meet an avowed atheist face to face (I still haven’t met one yet). But after a few posts deliberately targeted at the (unknown) atheistic audience, I began to be engaged in multiple online conversations by self-proclaimed atheists on the internet. Some of those conversations were reasonable while many others were nothing but properly orchestrated hostile attacks from faceless people who claimed God does not exist.
As it turned out, one of the people who engaged me in a most reasonable manner told me he is a Jew but he does not believe in God. A few years ago, the thought of a Jew that does not believe in God, would been nothing but preposterous to me; I would have sincerely thought that all Jews believe in the existence of God, although I am aware that many of them deny Christ His Son. But the sad reality is that even though the revelation of the true God came by the Jews to the world, most Jews in the modern world have turned secular, without retaining any belief in the supreme Being.
In this post, I present to you an online conversation I had with a Jew who claimed he does not believe in God. Enter the conversation, in its original state!
Rejection of all religions
Jayson: I grew up “spiritual” with no religious training other than the random Christianity events for holidays. As an adult, I became a Christian, then got into messianic Christianity. Then I rejected Christianity and became a Jew. Then I rejected that too. I can’t say with 100% certainty that there is no god, but I’m about as certain as saying there probably aren’t unicorns either.
Ultimately, it was my incessant needs to have questions answered. Religion couldn’t answer them. I found the natural world to provide a better source of understanding the world than a sky man watching me.
Me: Jason, thanks for stopping by and for commenting.
As you found out, engaging in the so-called Christian holiday events doesn’t make one Christian. To be a Christian is to ‘know’ God. To know God, one has to begin with a personal relationship with Jesus Christ which is based on faith.
It is not religion or religious training that can save anybody, but faith in Christ. Anyone who talks about being a Christian without a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is involved in mere Religion not Christianity.
It is good that you have not come to that point of categorically saying there is no God. I hope I understood you well there? If yes, then I take that to mean that you still have an open mind about this ‘God exist or not’ stuff.
When it comes to ‘searching’ for Him, God speaking through prophet Jeremiah said, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13). This shows that anyone who seeks God with all his heart will find Him. You can say it is guaranteed!
I am not talking about religion in the common sense of it, because religion is not what makes the difference. The difference comes from beginning a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
In my own case, I found that knowing God through Jesus Christ helped me get answers for the questions that most troubled my heart. So if you don’t mind, I would gladly recommend that you establish a PERSONAL relationship with Jesus Christ. Only then will some things begin to add up for you.
You said the natural world have helped your understanding than the “Man in the sky”. First, we believe that God put the natural world in place too. In fact the Bible has it that “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” (Psalm 19:1). Although some people do not agree, nature itself speaks eloquently of the existence of God.
Simply put the natural world was created by God. “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” Romans 1:20,
Secondly, my own concept of God includes the fact that He is inside of me through the Holy Spirit, not some unimaginable being out there in the sky as you put it. I totally understand if the last statement didn’t make any sense to you.
In conclusion, let me add that what God offers us is a close personal relationship with Him through Jesus Christ, not religion. This is what true Christianity is all about. I once heard a preacher explain it like this: “Religion is man attempting to reach God, whereas Christianity is God reaching out to man.” Understanding this simple analogy will make a whole lot of difference in anyone’s life.
If you have the time, you may visit the link below for some more answers: http://www.everystudent.com/features/isthere.html?gclid=CKjkj8Hg38kCFScFwwod0dILxg
More Insights on the journey to atheism
Jayson: I guess I should elaborate a while. I was a devoted Christian for about 15 years before I converted to Judaism. I no longer believe in God and have not only rejected Jesus, but also blasphemed the Holy Spirit.
The god of the three monotheistic faiths is a sado-masochistic tyrant who creates us sick and demands us to be well, at the threat of eternal hellfire. What a spoiled twat. Who needs that?
Me: Jason, thank you for throwing more light into your position. Now I know where you stand on the belief in the existence of God.
When you said you were once “a devoted Christian…” I would really like to know exactly what you meant by that. I am familiar with a few people who call themselves “devoted Christians” simply because they go to church regularly, help the needy, gave money in church, fast two times a week, ate holy communion, partake in Christian events and all that. But they have not come to the knowledge of Jesus Christ as their individual Lord and Saviour.
The next questions I would ask would be these: Did you ever come to the point of having a personal relationship with God, by accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Personal Saviour and living by His grace? How did you arrive at the point of not believing in God anymore as you indicated?
I am not to speak for the other so-called monotheistic faiths you referred to. But for the avoidance of doubt, the God that I believe in is the One who “… so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). This God is calling us (all mankind) into a personal relationship with Him through His Son Jesus Christ who died and resurrected for our sake.
This God is a God of love and He could never be a tyrant as you called Him. Only someone who hadn’t known God would describe Him as such; those who truly know Him know better than that.
At creation God created man in perfect state of health. It was the corruption of sin that gave birth to the issue of sickness (and other evils), which you wrongly attributed to God. If for anything, God wants us well – in spirit, soul and body.
Hell is not a threat from God as you put it. It is a real place prepared for satan and his angels who rebelled against God.
It is not the will of God that anyone should perish and go to hell, but rather it is the will of God for all to come to repentance and be saved through faith in His Son Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, rather than accepting the Lordship of Christ, many people have sided with Satan. For such ones, hell is a beckoning reality.
But to anyone who is still alive, hell is absolutely avoidable if they accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. We definitely need that God who has made a way of escaping hell through faith in Christ. Regards.
Did Jason ever know Jesus as his Saviour?
Jayson: It wouldn’t matter if I told you that I had a “personal relationship with Christ” because you would just come back with “I wasn’t doing something right and missed it.”
The long and short of it is, there is no god. There is no Jesus. Modern religion is just the Zeus stories evolved into some place where we cannot go to prove whether the gods are there or not.
I don’t believe in anything of this sort because it cannot be proven. To quote Hitchens, what can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof.”
It’s all rubbish. I chose to reject the god worldview and live simply as my own man with the world around me as it is.
Good sermon though. You got it down. It’s a shame that it misleads so many people away from a life of curiosity and learning to one that is simply satisfied with not knowing and looking forward to a world for which there’s no proof or evidence for.
Me: I read your comments again Jason. I am glad that you also took time to read mine.
I am convinced you got the message already. So there wouldn’t be much use repeating myself. But allow me to say that Zeus compares in no way with our Lord Jesus Christ, who died and resurrected. Did you ever hear that that any god claimed to have died and resurrected?
Dear Jason, God is real and so is Jesus Christ His son. The proof is in me and in any one that believes. If you seek Him with an open mind and with faith, you will find Him.
Allow me to end this comment with a quote from Marilyn Adamson who once didn’t believe in God:
“When it comes to the possibility of God’s existence, the Bible says that there are people who have seen sufficient evidence, but they have suppressed the truth about God. On the other hand, for those who want to know God if he is there, he says, “You will seek me and find me; when you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you.””
At this juncture, Anne of FREEDOMBORN … AUSSIE CHRISTIAN FOCUS (lent me a helping hand with answering Jayson)
Great Message Victor, I was wondering if Jason has died and come back to be so certain there is no God or Heaven or Hell. We have our assurance through The Holy Spirit and as you shared Victor, we can see God in Creation so there will be no excuse. Also The Bible confirms God’s reality without a doubt; there are Truths that only God could have known when He had man record them, such as that the world was round when everyone believed it was flat because they had no other way of knowing and D.N.A which you can read about on the link below, also proves we could not have evolved from animals and there are other Truths too that only God could have known.
Having been an Atheist for almost 30 years, (well I was one in my head not my heart or I would still be one), I was deceived as a young Teenager that I came from an Ape and Jesus who was my Best Friend and the Bible were just made up. I know Satan’s lies and God’s Truth shows without doubt they are lies.
I don’t accept that anyone has the right to reject their Creator but they do have free will to choose to do so and they are also choosing their own Destiny which will be a eternal suffering, it is clear Jason hasn’t asked the right questions so does not have the right answers, sad but True!
Christian Love – Anne.
Me: Thank you Anne for your contribution. Your points were very clear.
Finding the proof of God
Jayson: Victor, you seem very nice and patient. I’m sure you’re a pleasant person to be around.
I may need to define proof in this case. Something that can be seen, tested, and repeated, like gravity. You can test gravity. Anyone can. It hasn’t been disproven yet.
You can’t test god. There is no way to see that someone is there. I could find no proof of him as much as I wanted to. And the proofs mentioned in the link: Points 1-4 have explanations in science. They’re not explanations that require faith. They’re explanations that you can see for yourself in local university or college. You can email the people who study the world and universe around us. You can also study their tests and see their failures and successes. Points 5 & 6 are completely subjective. 5 especially – last I looked, there was no one chasing me. I’m 100% confident of it. 6 is also incredibly subjective as any other worshiper of any other god, Islam is a hot topic now so I’ll go with that, can state the exact same thing about their god or belief.
Death and resurrection is a common theme in other religions. Yes, I’ve heard of other gods that died and resurrected. Here’s some proof for you: http://listverse.com/2013/03/30/10-resurrected-religious-figures/
Finally, there are over 5000 gods worshipped today. Isn’t it convenient that yours is the right one? And that the thousands of others have the same conviction of faith about their gods as you do with yours. Very convenient. And yes, Jesus has many counterparts in other ancient religions. I should have been more specific mentioning Horus, an Egyptian god, instead of Zeus. Though the Greeks and Romans have their counterparts predating Jesus’ time. Sorry for the rabbit trail…
What’s not tyrannical about a being that is solely responsible for bestowing life, tossing his creation into hell for a disease he’s not responsible for, to be punished terribly for eternity? God has to keep this person alive to suffer. Forever. I don’t think tyrannical is a strong enough word and doubt that one exists in any language to accommodate that level of savagery.
I’ll close with a small thought experiment. I’m interested to hear your response to this question more than anything else.
Stare at a dark sky and consider any one of the dots of light… “for any length of time and then try to convince yourself that God created the whole Universe for one of the 10 million or so species of life that inhabit that speck of dust [in this case Earth]. Now take it a step further: Imagine that everything was made just for a single shade of that species, or gender, or ethnic or religious subdivision. If this doesn’t strike you as unlikely, pick another dot [another star in the sky]. Imagine it to be inhabited by a different form of intelligent life. They, too, cherish the notion of a God who has created everything for their benefit. How seriously do you take their claim?” Excerpt From: Carl Sagan & Ann Druyan. “Pale Blue Dot.” iBooks. https://itun.es/us/dm6Yz.l
Me: Jason, thank you very much for the generous compliment. That was huge coming from you.
Permit me to add that I have not always been like that. It was the ‘knowing’ of Jesus Christ as my Lord and personal Saviour that gradually transformed my life. What you described of me as being “very nice and patient” is a veritable manifestation of what we refer to as the fruit of the Holy Spirit (in this case, love and patience) in the life of a believer in Christ. Religion didn’t give them to me but Relationship (with Jesus Christ) did.
I am glad you had time to explore the “Is There God” link I recommended. Did you notice that it was written by a former atheist? That speaks volume on its own!
Your observations that her “Points 1-4 have explanations in science. They’re not explanations that require faith. They’re explanations that you can see for yourself in local university or college” are very correct. Sincerely, you got the point there! Even the writer subtitled the article as “….straightforward REASONS to believe that God is really there” (emphasis mine). I assume she had people like you in mind when she penned that piece.
It has never been that the evidences that God exists are not there. But it’s just that some people have chosen to close their minds on them! Recall that you had indicated you were only interested in ‘things around you,’ that you don’t believe in God. I had also mentioned that even things we see around us have eloquent evidences that prove the existence of God, as the article you read so succinctly explained.
You see Jason, it is not everything, however, that can be seen or tested. But the fact that they can’t be tested doesn’t preclude their existence. For instance, we were told in elementary science that we can’t see air. But who will doubt that it exists? “Of course no one!” you would say.
Secondly, I know you do not see gravity with your eyes, but you acknowledged that it exists. In the same way, it is true we don’t see God but we know by faith that He exists. And some of the physical evidences of God’s existence you already have acknowledged to have been scientifically established. Those evidences were neither the product of the so-called evolution nor the aftermath of the ridiculous big bang theory. But they are the handiwork of the Creator God.
However, don’t you know that science itself is very limited in some way? It can ‘test’ only things in the physical realm – things that can be felt, heard, tasted, seen and perceived. But beyond the experiences we get in the physical world (as passed to us by our natural five senses), there is also the spiritual world, which science at its best cannot explain. That’s the truth my dear Jason!
God is a spirit and the Bible says those that worship Him must worship in Spirit and in truth. It is not everything about God that can be scientifically proven. Can you subject a Spirit Being to the crucibles of science? Impossible! This is where faith comes in. “Without faith”, the Bible says “it is impossible to please God.” I guess this is where the lacuna exists for people like you who doubt the existence of the living God!
You said that death and resurrection are common themes in religion. Well I can assure you that those concepts do not compare to how Christianity speaks about them. The crux of Christianity is the reality of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the salvation of mankind. This alone sets Christianity light years apart from the so-called other religions.
Jason, Jesus Christ is the only One whom I ever know who declared “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore” (Revelation 1:18). He was dead, but He resurrected, never to die again. Are those gods you mentioned still speaking or changing lives today as Jesus Christ is doing? I would say an emphatic NO!
I explored the link to the purportedly resurrected gods you forwarded to me. I observed (not surprised though) that there was nothing fantastic about the so-called gods you referred to; nothing inspiring – all dead stories of dead selfish gods. It leaves me curious why you seemed to have faith in them and yet you claim you don’t believe in the living God that we are talking about here, whom it was that raised Jesus Christ from the dead!
For the records, Jason, I was not born a Christian. In fact no one is born a Christian. (Hope that didn’t surprise you). One becomes a Christian only when one is able to willfully and knowingly by faith ask Jesus Christ to be one’s Lord and Personal Saviour. It is not something inherited, not something that can be forced. It is entirely by choice – the choice of the individual God-seeker.
Those who say they are Christians by birth or by association have only experienced religion and not the Relationship that Christ offers. So I did not believe in God out of convenience as you suggested, but out of my discovery of Him as the only true God, who gave His son to die for me to restore my relationship with Him.
Therefore, again Jason, I say that it is incorrect for you to say that God is a tyrant who threatens to throw us into hell if we don’t believe in Him. Don’t you realise that if what you said was true of God, you wouldn’t be alive here to be engaging in this discourse with me? Because He sure has the power to throw you into hell at once! (Pun intended please). Indeed, God is a God of love, mercy and grace! You believe, you receive!
More so, the first commandment of God remember, is, “Thou shall not have any other God before Me.” So I do not reckon with any of the over 5,000 gods you referred to. But that doesn’t stop me from loving the people that follow those gods; (as disciples of Jesus Christ, we are able to love people whether they believe in our God or not). I can only wish and pray that the followers of the other gods (some of them at least) will one day come to the knowledge of the only true God. After all, “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way” until some of us embraced the saving grace God made available to all mankind in Jesus Christ.
If you say Islam is ‘hot’ these days, may be it is for those who are looking for religion. But some of us are not looking for a religion… What we have is a relationship with God through Christ. The difference between the two is enormous.
Many years ago, a classmate of mine who is a renowned adherent of Islam asked me why I follow Jesus Christ. I answered Him it is because Jesus said He is THE WAY, THE TRUTH and THE LIGHT and that He is the only way to God. I asked Him in return if their Prophet ever said any such thing. He said no. Someone else later told me that their Prophet even said he didn’t know ‘the way’ when his disciples asked him to show them the way. Are you still surprised that I am following JESUS CHRIST, THE WAY? Smiles!
Finally, Jason, I did not really get the clear relationship between the ‘experiment’ you used to conclude your comment and the point of our discourse. It was just too hypothetical to be taken as a valid basis to advance a serious argument of this nature. But I didn’t fail to notice that the writers alluded to God being the creator of the universe. (That alone is significant).
Their argument seemed to bother on ‘whom’ the creations were made for, rather than on whether or not there is a creator in the first place. In any case, as my closing response to that, I will use the following quotations from the Bible which clearly identifies the Creator and the purpose of all creations:
“Thou art worthy, o Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou [God] hast created all things, and for thy [God’s] pleasure they are and were created” Revelation 4:11.
Jason, I know this was a very long response. So I thank you immensely for your time.
Jayson: That was a long response! It’s been nice talking with you, Victor. We clearly have vastly different world views. I’m not going to counter this due to time and I feel it will not do either of us much good. I have given up on believing in God, and being Jewish, I have absolutely zero interest in adding a 2000 year-old Jew (that got into a lot of trouble with the Romans) to the equation.
However, I do want to point out that patience is not a character trait available only in Christians. I am Jewish (yes, a secular Jew), and have several secular & religious Jewish friends that are exceedingly patient. Additionally, I have several non-Jewish secular friends that are also patient. You can rest assured that you can meet people that are not Christian and possess immense patience.
Take care. Thanks for the fun.
Me: You got me smiling Jason. It’s been nice talking with you too.
I would say I agree with your position to a great extent this time around. But I was surprised to hear that you were a Jew. I know that Jewish people believe in God, even though some do not recongnise Jesus Christ as the Messiah.
I pray that one day, you find reason to accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour. He is the only hope of mankind in time and in eternity.
God loves you Jason and so do I. Regards.
Some parts of this conversations with Jay had previously been published under the series, conversation with an atheist. After reading them, Jayson showed up again and so the conversations continued:
Jayson: Victor, thank you for keeping these posts true to our conversation.
When I began commenting on your post, it was mainly for being in a bit of a mood as I had recently discussed atheism with a new Christian, and was in a bit of an ire.
I was once a devout believer. If you, or your commenters had met me, you would have accepted me as one of your own. But it was in the midst of sorrow, hopelessness, and storm that I could not find his comfort, joy, and protection – the time when I needed it more than any other in my life. My wife was recovering from cancer and our best friend was losing their child.
The loss of faith was not instant. It took years to happen. But the questions those events generated could not be sustained by faith. Faith had no answers. Faith could not make sense of these events. In turn, these events opened my eyes to the suffering not only of humanity but also to the cold indifference of nature to all of life. Then there was the matter of the thousands other faiths that exist and the sincerity and devotion to which those people practiced and believed. Then there was the idea that if other life exists in the universe, if they held similar convictions of faith to their own gods, what would be the likelihood of us believing them?
The answers Faith provided were superficial and only created more questions. The answers to those were problematic in that they only led to conflict.
There are numerous directions to take the conversation. I’ve been working on a writing project for some months to put my own path into order. I’m considering to publish it, and if you think it would be helpful for you and readers to learn another worldview (not convince of disbelief), I’m happy to start putting something together. What do you think?
Me: Jason, nice to have you back here. Not being true to the discussion we had as published here would have amounted to misrepresentation. And I wouldn’t do that!
Sorry to hear about your wife’s cancer. I hope she fully recovered. And your friend’s child too…my heart goes out to them.
Concerning all the issues you raised, please allow me to respond later. For I now I am exhausted from the day’s work and so in dire need of a good sleep. Thank you.
Jayson: No worries. I wasn’t expecting a diatribe.
The following day….
Me: Hello Jason, please further to my earlier response to your comment, here are my additional thoughts as I promised. The issues you raised were many so I take it that my (usual) long response here will not bore you.
I really appreciate the fact that you commented on the initial post. Our exchanges so far have turned that post into one of the most viewed single item on this blog. I have you to thank for it.
Jason, I know by experience that (Christian) faith has answers; answers to issues of this life and the life hereafter. The issue is that sometimes, the answers don’t please the sensual person. More so, the Christian living is a walk by faith, not by sight. That’s why so many people do miss it.
Life can be so hard sometimes that we begin to question the love of God. But it doesn’t invalidate the love. In the midst of our crisis, God promises to be with us all the way. And He comforts us through the Holy Spirit, whom we know as our comforter. God never promised us a storm-free voyage in life, but He did promise a safe-landing.
With regard to the issue of unanswered questions you had, I concede that not all questions can be resolved on this side of life. But I will tell you that there are sufficient answers in the Bible to refresh an unbiased mind. Even the fact that we may never know everything in this life is also clearly stated in the Bible. But “He is at peace, whose mind is stayed on God.”
Jason, except you are a NASA staff, I do not see why you had to worry if other life exists outside the earth or what ‘they’ believe ‘over there’ for that matter (Pun intended please). As for me, I am satisfied with Biblical explanation that God gave the earth to man to inhabit. The (unproven) possibility of life existing in other parts of the universe, could never stop me from believing in God, the Father of Jesus Christ.
The other thousands of faith you referred to exist because human beings, irrespective of geographical locations, have always felt the need to know “God”. So in a bid to meet this need, they invented various ways to try reaching the “God” they somehow “felt’ in their inner enclaves. This was what gave (and is still giving) rise to the multiplicity of faiths you talked about.
Sadly, these efforts of man inventing ways to please or reach God, have, and will, never be able to find the true God. That’s why there is so much frustration in religion, as you might have possibly noticed.
But you see Jason, Christianity in the truest sense of it is not a call to religion. Like I explained before, it is a call to a Relationship – a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. You may ask, what’s the difference? Simple, “Religion is man’s attempt to reach God, Whereas Christianity is God reaching man.”
Religion is doing all it can to try to find God. But God is saying, “I have already revealed myself through my Son, Jesus Christ. Believe in Him and you will have an eternal relationship with Me.” This is not a thing we can grasp by our five senses, Jason, but by our faith.
Finally, you asked what I thought about your work-in-process project to publish your worldview…. I would say, you are free to publish any of your thoughts or research findings. (By the way, does it really matter what I think about it? I doubt!). I read for information, but when it comes to finding/knowing God, the Bible remains the most authoritative voice.
Thank you for your time Jason.
Anne: Thank you Victor, a Loving response for Jason with much Truth.
Me: Thank you Anne for your comment. God bless your heart.
Your comments and contributions are welcome.
- This online conversation took place in 2015 as comments on my blog posts. Except for minor correction of typos, the discussions were presented unedited.
- It would appear that Jason has deleted his blog as it is no longer available as at the time of writing this post.
© Copyright 2017| Victor Uyanwanne