Any follower of this blog would already know that I believe in God. That fact has never been hidden in any way.
I would add that I do not just believe in God in the general sense of it, I believe in Him in the sense of having a personal relationship with Him through faith in His Son Jesus Christ whom I have willingly accepted as my Lord and personal Saviour.
On this blog I have written sufficient number of posts to have made it clear enough that I don’t belong to atheists’ camp. So you can imagine my surprise when one of my readers (ostensibly a first-timer) suggested in one of his comments to the post The Problems with Atheists that I could be an “atheist masquerading as a Protestant Fundamentalist.”
In the referenced post, I had pointed out that:
Atheists do not have what it takes to come to the conclusion that God does not exist. So when you have anyone claiming God does not exist, understand that he or she is either being insincere or is displaying his or her ignorance. Or as the Bible puts it, he or she is simply being foolish.
Just like the Sadducees that accosted Jesus over a question on resurrection, whereas they didn’t believe in resurrection, the problem with atheists who go about discrediting God and the notion of His existence is that they neither know the Scriptures nor the power of God.”
Though not unexpected, there were many backlashes from atheists over that post. Sad to say, many of the comments from them went off course. One of such comments was what inspired the title of this present post:
Are you a Catholic? Do you accept the teaching of the church? Isn’t it the church that interprets the bible? Or are you really an atheist who is masquerading under the mask of Protestant Fundamentalism?
If you’re a Fundamentalist, the former Fundamentalist pastor (now atheist) called Bruce Gerencser will chop your arguments up and make mince meat of them. He doesn’t hate God. He just doesn’t believe that God exists. What he hates is Fundamentalists pontificating on God and Fundamentalists misrepresenting atheists.
You guys, both Catholics and Protestants, are suffering from what Richard Dawkins calls “The God delusion”.
Although the comment was full of rabbit trails, I cut to the chase in the response I gave to it:
I’m not a Catholic, neither am I Protestant fundamentalist, as you put it. And your suggestion that I could be an atheist is even more laughable. How could I be so foolish to be an atheist? I know better!
For the avoidance of doubts, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ who believes in God as the creator of all things, who has accepted the saving grace that is available in Christ Jesus alone for the forgiveness of my sin and I’m living my life to please God.
I understand what the Bible says, “only fools say God doesn’t exist.” So between those of us who believe that God exists and those [of you] that don’t believe, we know who is delusioned.
Dawkins’ book is seriously mistaken in the claim that there is no God. From the reviews I have read, I know the book is an attack on God and Christianity. Anger. Hatred.
It is okay to note that the God he claims doesn’t exist, makes him so angry. That’s the same trait I have seen in many atheists I have interacted with.
Talking about the atheists I have had online conversations with in the past, many of them (if not all of them) would also call us delusionists for believing that God exists. Recently, I had to quip to one of them:
“If those of us who believe in God are delusionists, then those [of you] who don’t believe in Him must be worse off because atheism does not make sense at all.”
That response may appear harsh to some people, but that was as nice I could be. I believe the irony in it is clear enough for everyone to understand.
For emphasis sake, I am not an atheist. And I don’t want to be one. I believe that God exists and I believe in His Son Jesus Christ as my Lord and personal Saviour.
Atheism does not make sense to me at all. It’s all foolishness parading as knowledge. “”The fool says in his heart, “There is no God”” Psalms 14:1. I stand on that Biblical position.
All the same, I thank God for His mercies that are seeing some atheists come to Christ. How I wish these ones here will one day see their folly and also come to Christ before it becomes too late for them.
Recently, I commented on a post appearing on the blog The Closet Atheist. Following that comment, I found myself also responding to other comments clearly directed at me by some readers of that blog whom I perceived to be atheists.
Amongst other issues raised, the author while relating his experience in a so-called secular university in defence of the purported claims of an unnamed professor from an unidentified Christian college, ostensibly suggested that Christians think that atheists must be savages – brutal and vicious, lacking in morality – because they have rejected the notion of God…
My initial response to that post and part of the conversations that later ensued between other readers and I form the bulk of the texts presented in this post:
My initial response…
The point of being a Christian is not on the basis of simple morality… It is about having a relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ. One is not a Christian if that understanding is not there, including the so-called Christians cited in your statistics.
Even if someone rejects the notion that God exists, that doesn’t automatically make such one a ruthless savage, contrary to the picture painted in the post. That much is clear to me and to most other true believers in God.
Besides, there are already enough laws in the civilised world to hold people accountable for their behaviours.
What should bother one is the eternal consequence of a disposition that rejects God. And it would be laughable to suggest that the Creator will have no way of holding His creatures accountable.
Let me add that the whole notion of God is grossly misunderstood and misrepresented: Misunderstood by those who don’t believe in His existence and sometimes misrepresented by those who do.
For the records, God loves everyone -whether they believe in Him or not. And contrary to the picture you painted, He loves gay people too – although the gay lifestyle is what He doesn’t approve of – according to Biblical guidelines which clearly show that heterogeneous relationship is God’s perfect plan for mankind.
God gave us a special gift called freewill. Unfortunately some of us are using it against Him. But we can never outsmart Him. In any case, we make our choices and our choices make us.
God’s love and hellfire?
One of the readers took the reference to God’s love out of context by bringing in the issue of hellfire, saying:
“So, he (God) loves us so much he invented Hell to reinforce that fact? Sheol wasn’t good enough, so he had to up the ante? Misunderstanding is not the sole province of unbelievers. Believers seem to believe what they want to believe and disregard the rest.”
Well, I was obliged to respond to that as well:
God loves us so much He has made a way for us to have an eternal relationship with Him through His Son Jesus Christ. Hell wasn’t originally meant for human beings. It was meant for the devil and his demons. Unfortunately, anyone who rejects God has sided with the devil. As a result, such people will end up where the devil himself will end up.
Believers in God don’t believe what they want to believe as you suggested. What they believe about God is what God’s book, the Bible, says about Him. It is another thing if one doesn’t accept the authority of the Bible.
Talking about Freewill
The reference to freewill in my initial comment appeared to have been misunderstood by some of the readers of that blog who commented.
One of them questioned, “…People rape, murder, abuse, rob and torture because YHWH has given them free will? So, his sovereignty allows their heinous crimes to happen?…”
“…Yes God is responsible for giving humans the freewill,” I replied, “but He is not responsible for what we do with it…
We would be mere robots if God took away our freewill. That’s why it is important He left it with us. He gave us the CHOICE…”
Along the same line, another reader scoffed the idea that we have freewill saying, “Some guy is raping a woman and he says, “But officer, free will!”. Would that fly in court? lol.”
To that I responded:
That was never implied in my comment. But I did say that everyone would be held accountable for whatever he or she did with their freewill.
Of course, freewill as an excuse to commit rape (or any other crime at that) will not fly in court. The rapist will be judged according to the law.
In the same way, God will eventually judge everyone who rejects Him based on their freewill.
The moral compass inside every man
Speaking further, another reader opined, “The moral argument for God’s existence just shows an ignorance of the field of ethics in general. There are many accounts of morality without God, but apologists won’t even address them. Most of the time they pretend that they don’t exist.”
To that claim, I simply pointed out that:
God is the original Source of morality. Inside every man is a moral compass called the conscience. And whether we agree or not, it was God who put it there.
If you are reading this piece right now, it means you are reading the 150th post here on Victors’ Corner. I thought I should mention it because it has been a while since I heralded any major milestone achieved on this blog.
“Identify a specific group of people you have never met before to whom you feel you have a word for. Through the avenue of an open letter, send them your words of encouragement, hope, rebuke or advice as the case may be.
If you have an issue you feel you have a strong position for, to which you would like to draw public attention to, why don’t you air your view via an open letter? I assure you it will not go unnoticed.”
In addition to the referenced suggestions, here are some possible idea topics to write open letters on, to get you started:
1. The Families of victims of terrorist attacks.
The recent Manchester and London City terrorist attacks are still very fresh on our minds. One way or another, the reports about these ugly incidents must have filtered into your ears.
You do not have to bemoan the situation only in your room. You can reach out by the means of an open letter to the friends and families of the victims of these unfortunate attacks.
Reach out by speaking up against acts of terrorism. Reach out by sending out your love to the survivors of the attacks…
Just reach out. You may not know the victims personally but send their families and friends your words of sympathy, emphathy, condolences, and assurances that justice would be found for their lost loved ones.
2. The victims of the Boko Haram Insurgence in Nigeria.
Many people in the northern part of Nigeria have been severely affected by the rapacious activities of the Boko Haram insurgents. Thousands of people have been rendered homeless, and many children orphaned.
Do you feel like you have some words of encouragement for this sect of endangered humans? The issues of the internally displaced people… whatever you have to say, an open letter can do it for you.
3. Those who are suffering from mental health issues, insomnia, depression etc
If you are a survivor or a therapist on mental health problems, you may take up this one. Share your experiences and suggestions that will help those who are presently having such issues.
Life is already difficult on its own. To suffer any of the mentioned conditions is another huge burden.
Sometimes sufferers may be languishing in their little corner on the false belief that nobody loves or cares about them. And that’s often far from the truth.
You believe that God exists. That’s great. But as you already know, not everyone that lives in your state or country share that same belief with you.
You may not know such people personally but you are convinced that if you ever meet them, you will have something to say to them or questions to ask them. You can do that via an open letter.
By so doing, you are not forcing them to believe in God (although it would be nice to have them believe). Rather you are bearing an open testimony to them about the fact that God exists whether they believe in Him and the need for them to get to know Him, personally.
5. Widows (and widowers?)
Widows are often neglected in some societies. Are you a widow or someone close enough to know, who wants to draw attention to the pains or frustrations of being a widow?
Are there some possible joys (seriously?) in widowhood that you would like to share with the public?
No body will feel the pain of widowhood as much you do. That is to say, you are in a better position to tell your stories like they are. Write an open letter as you deem fit.
6. The president of your country.
You stay in your corner complaining that your president is not doing some things right. Given the chance, “you could pass him some good pieces of advice that may help him”, you console yourself.
Sorry to disappoint you: your president’s handlers may never come to you for advice. But you can get their attention through an open letter.
Irrespective of your country, you can write “an open letter to my president.”
7. Aspiring bloggers
You have been blogging for a while now, so you know some things new bloggers don’t know. But no aspiring blogger has come to you for guidance.
You do not have to wait for that; you can write an open letter to all aspiring bloggers, giving them insights that can help them in their journey.
The idea of being a full time housewife is unthinkable for some people. Yet many women have found it very fulfilling.
What knowledge do you possess that can be of assistance to stay-at-home moms, to help them make the most of their status? To all stay-at-home moms, how about writing an open letter highlighting your experiences – fulfilling or frustrating?
How I wish someone will be bold enough to write an open letter to the husbands of stay-at-home moms! You will agree with me that not many a husband truly appreciate the sacrifices and labour of love of their housewives at home.
9. Those preparing for a professional examination
You are a successful professional. To get to where you are right now, you have had to write your profession’s rigourous exams.
Congratulations! You passed and you recognized as a full-blooded professional.
But you know what? Many People have been struggling with the same exams for years. Why don’t you write them an open letter sharing some insights on how to pass the exam?
10. Pregnant teenage girls contemplating abortion
This happens alot: when teenagers get pregnant, the next thing many of them would think of will be how to abort the foetus. If many of them knew better, they might not have taken that option.
You can write an open letter to pregnant teenage girls who are contemplating abortion, giving them helpful reasons why they must not abort their unborn children. Who knows, one of them could read your letter and have a positive change of mind.
The Mirror, UK once reported that “Cristiano Ronaldo’s mother has admitted she considered having an abortion when she was pregnant with him.”
Just look at the hugely successful soccer star Ronaldo had become today! The world would have been robbed of this football prodigy had his mum gone ahead to abort his pregnancy.
I hope the picture is getting clearer to you now?
11. Child prostitution
As much as we may want to shy away from it, child prostitution is a problem in many parts of the world. The problem can be reduced with greater awareness and sensitisation.
As a victim or survivor of that evil, you can raise public consciousness by writing about it in an open letter. Make it anonymous if you like, but draw attention to the issues, and recommend possible solutions.
12. LGBT Community in America
I know that a lot of stuff exists in the public space on the issue of LGBT rights. I also know that in your own little corner, depending on the foundation of your value system, you have your own opinion on this LGBT discourse.
What exactly is your own position? Are you for or against it? An open letter is a veritable avenue to let us know where you stand on the issue, without fear or favour.
13. Sit-tight Presidents of some countries
In my own opinion, any nation’s president who has spent more than 10 years (or more than two terms) in office is a sit-tight leader. African leaders are particularly guilty of that behaviour.
For such people, you cannot contribute your vote to send them packing if you are not a citizen of their country. But such a limitation cannot prevent you from writing an open letter to such president.
Irrespective of your country of residence, you can air your view in favour or against the sit-tight tendencies of some of these world leaders.
14. Facebook Founder
Not too long ago, the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg was in my country Nigeria, on a working visit. During that visit, some young Nigerians were able to interact with him and got to hear him speak to them face to face. But some of us did not have that rare privilege.
Let’s say you were amongst those that did not get to see Mark Z on one on one basis, but in your heart you feel you have something to say to him for the benefit of the public. Just do “An open letter to the founder of Facebook.” Trust me, it will not take many hours before he or his aids will get wind of the message.
15. Adult Children who do not care about their parents.
Our aged parents need care and support for the rest of their lives. But more often and not, the children of these sages are now grown, living and working in different parts of the world, with little or no time for their parents back at home.
Even if the aged parents are put in convalescent homes, regular phone calls or visit from their children will make them happier human beings.
If you had the chance to talk to such people who have abandoned their parents, what would you tell them? Please don’t keep silent forever.
If I were you, I would use the medium of an open letter to write, “Ten things I would say to adult children that do not care for or support their aged parents.”
May be you are the parent who feels abandoned by your children, you can think of writing “5 things I would like to tell my children who have abandoned me.”
Even though your children never call home, such an open letter will get to them wherever they might be. With full disclosure of their identities, they can not escape seeing the letter, not with the power of the internet still holding sway.
16. Immigrants in your country
Immigration is a knotty issue in many developed countries of the world. As a citizen, if you feel you have some contributions to make to the discussions on immigration matters in your country, you can write an open letter to the government of the day.
Similarly, you might have some things you would like to share with the immigrants in your community to foster harmonious relationship amongst them and citizens. It would be impracticable to go to them one by one to pass your advice across. But you can write an open letter in a local medium to that effect.
17. Your future Spouse
You have hopes of getting married some day. Right now, you do not know who your future partner would be. But it doesn’t stop you from thinking about him or her every morning as you wake up.
Long before I got married, I can recall writing down “Three things I expect from my wife.” I never got to publish it, but I had the privilege of showing it to my then-would-be wife when we eventually met. If it were now, I would not have missed publishing it on my blog.
Why don’t you articulate your expectations (or your fears) in an open letter? What you are feeling in your heart for your future spouse will make an interesting read for the young people out there.
18. The good friend you’ve lost contact with
Thanks to the power of social media, many of us have reconnected with our friends from the past that we have not been in contact with for multiple of years gone by. There might still be someone from your past that you would like to renew your relationship with, but you have had no way of contacting him.
Try writing an open letter giving the necessary details about the friend. The feedback might surprise you.
19. Those who want to publish a book
It is the dream of many people to publish a book in their names before they leave this world. But many of such people do not yet have a handle on what to do.
As an experienced publisher you can write an open letter to aspiring first time publishers. I am sure your ideas will prove invaluable to them.
20. Be the one to add this one…
What would you like to centre your open letter on, apart from the area’s I covered in the post? Please share your comments…
P.S. If you decide to write an open letter on your blog following this article, kindly link this post to it to enable my readers and I join in the conversations too.