When You Find Yourself Answering Questions on an Atheist’s Blog

Victor Uyanwanne

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.

God loves everybody

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.

The aftermath…

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.

Feel free to lend your voice to the discourse.

Being A Cultural Christian Is Not Enough

Can you be a cultural christian?
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I’m a Christian atheist.” How possible is that?

Recently, I heard something on an international news channel that I consider worth talking about here. An aged author and ostensibly an intellectual man who was being interviewed about a book he wrote (amongst other things) was asked:

“You are an atheist and a Christian. How is that possible?”

“I’m a cultural Christian: I’m a Christian by my culture, but not one by my belief,” he replied.

Really? An atheist and Christian in the same breadth?

Can someone be a Christian who does not believe in God?

The answer is obvious!

Unfortunately, this man in question is not the only one making this type of “cultural” mistake. There are people around the world who think that they are Christians simply because of the home or geographical location they were born into.

Those things as factors may exert some influences on who you become but they are not what will make you a Christian. And of course, being a Christian goes beyond being born into, or living in, any of the so-called christian nations.

I would like to further explore this topic in subsequent posts, but here it suffices to say that being a Christian is not about the culture you were born into or the one you live in. It is about you having a personal relationship with God through faith in His son Jesus Christ.

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.

John 1:12

Unlike the man mentioned above, it is not enough to to see yourself as a cultural Christian; you should be a Christian by heart as well.

In the first place, being a Christian presupposes that you believe in God. And in fact, a Christian does not only believe in God, he or she also believes in God’s Son, Jesus Christ.

It is therefore a mistaken identity to be called a Christian if you don’t believe in God and in His Son Jesus Christ.

What do you think?

©Copyright 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

How About Sharing The Gospel With A Smile?

Why can't you smile as you share the gospel? Good news is fir sharing.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is goodnews and goodnews is for sharing. But do you share goodnews with a frown on your face? No!

How come you always put on a very ‘serious’ face whenever you share the gospel? How about sharing the gospel with a genuine smile plastered on your face?

This last Sunday morning, I was driving to church when I noticed a middle-aged lady standing at the edge of my street handing out some gospel tracts to passers-bye. Such practice is a usual sight in the part of Lagos where I live, so there is nothing spectacular about it.

But as I looked closely at the lady, I observed that she was wearing a very serious look, not smiling at all. Her hands were handing out the supposed printed messages of love but her face didn’t show any happiness or enthusiasm. That got me thinking!

“Why can’t she just put on a smile while dishing out those leaflets to her target recipients?” I asked myself under my breath as I waited for my turn to negotiate the intersection next to where she stood.

I didn’t mean to judge her but I couldn’t resist thinking about the observation as I drove along to my destination. But before I could push the thought any further, it dawned on me that many Christians make the same mistake while sharing their faith with other people. (I am not exempting myself either).

I recall an incident in that regard in the year 2000. I boarded a city mass transit bus to work. I took the opportunity to openly share the gospel with everyone on board. (Unlike what is obtainable at present, preaching, advertising etc were not banned on some public buses then).

My voice was loud enough to be heard in all corners of the vehicle. So I declared the gospel message to my audience to the best of my understanding….

  • “Jesus loves you, He died for you and is calling you into a personal relationship with Him…”
  • “Only Jesus can save you. There is no other name through which you can be saved….”

I went on passionately along those lines for a couple of minutes with all the energy and enthusiasm in me. But I didn’t realise how too straight-faced I was until I overheard a co-passenger say something like,”This is not a quarell here, we got your message.”

Really? I was preaching like it was a quarrel? Of course I didn’t realise it. But whether the comment was unwarranted or not, I got the message…

A natural smile flowed from my heart to my face as I heard that comment. My voice had been too tough and my look so stern, may be. I took the unsolicited correction and began speaking in a more loving way, without compromising the message.

Since then, I have come to know better on how to carry my face or body language while sharing about Christ with someone – be it on a one on one basis or with a larger audience. It doesn’t mean the gospel should be preached with levity or with a “take it or leave it” kind of attitude.

Agreed that the message of the gospel is a serious message. But it has to be delivered in love.

  • Realise that the gospel is better shared with love, with a smile than with a frown.
  • The gospel is a message of love. It should be shared in love.
  • Let not your attitude confuse your hearers.

I mean, you tell someone that Jesus loves him or her wearing a frown on your face? How do you reconcile that? Let me say it again:

  • The gospel is goodnews.
  • Goodnews is for sharing.
  • The gospel is goodnews that should be shared with joy and enthusiasm.
  • The gospel should be shared in love, always.
  • If you are telling someone that the Lord is good to you, don’t show otherwise; don’t look like God has forsaken you. As you preach the gospel to someone, don’t let it be a case of “Your message is lovely but the look on your face betrays it.

    Sharing the gospel is a divine call. Why can’t you share a smile as you share it?




    ©CopyRight 2016 | Victor Uyanwanne

    3 Solid Things That Will Make a Christian not Suffer Identity Crisis

    The real you is not the one that stands in front of the mirror every morning. The real you is inside of you. The word of God is the mirror that will reflect your true identity. As a Christian, your true identity is in Christ. It is only in Christ (the Word) that you can discover your true identity….

    (Victor Uyanwanne in 11 Powerful reasons you should improve your interest in the Bible).

    I know who I am.

    Your identity is who you are. And as a Christian, who you are is important, but who you are in Christ is far more important.

    That brings me to this important question: Do you know who you are? Or better still, do you know who you are in Christ?

    You should know who you are! If you don’t:

    • You will go through life not maximizing your full potentials;
    • You will suffer from identity crisis; being unsure of yourself, unsure of why you exist in life;
    • Your self-esteem will not be at the right level;

    You will end up being unhappy or depressed, emotionally. And of course, you deserve better than that! That’s why I am writing this post.

    I know who I am.” That’s the title of the monstrously successful hit song by popular Nigerian worship gospel singer, Sinach.

    There is no time I play that song that I don’t get inspired by its lyrics, which are deeply rooted in the word of God. I could never be depressed or unhappy with a song like that on my lips.

    But just like many other Christians, there were times I wasn’t so sure about who I am in Christ. I would often ask myself questions such as Am I really saved? Are my sins truly forgiven?

    Does God love me personally? Am I completely acceptable to God? Does He have a purpose for me? Am I Sure I am qualified for Heaven?

    Looking at myself back then, those were not easy questions to resolve. But once I began to look more in the word of God than in my feelings, the pictures became clearer. As I began to see myself in the light of God’s word, my doubts began melting away.

    I am not saying I’ve got everything figured out yet. But at least, I am not where I used to be; I now have a firmer grip of my real identity in Christ than before.

    Having said that, I don’t deny that it is possible for a Christian to suffer an identity crisis. But you don’t have to, or why should you?

    Many of the identity issues you might face as a Christian will arise if you continually focus on something different from what God says you are. Whatever you might have gone through in the past or you may still be going through presently, they should not make you confused  about your true identity.

    Who God says you are is your true identity. At any point in time, you ought to be able to say “I am what God says I am.” That is to say, you have to always align who you think you are with who God says you are.

    How can this be achieved?

    As a Christian, here are 3 three sure ways out of the problem of identity crisis:

    1. Knowing who you are in Christ.

    It is good to have a very firm grasp of who you are in the Lord. Who you are by your spiritual birth is far more important than who you are by your natural birth.

    In other words, who God says you are matters more than who others, or you, define you to be.

    At a crucial point in His lifetime, Jesus was cross-examined by the authorities of the day. “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” They asked him.

    “I Am” was Jesus response. No mistake about it. He knew who He was and He embraced it with all His heart, even though it carried a fatal consequence – He was condemned to death! (Mark 14:61-64).

    Jesus Christ never suffered an identity crisis, why should any Christian for that matter?

    1. Embracing who you know you are in Christ with all your heart.

    It is one thing to know who you are in Christ and another to completely embrace it with all your heart.  Sometimes you may not feel like you are what God says you are. But it doesn’t depend on how you feel about it. It is a matter of the integrity of God Himself.

    You have to apply faith and accept that you are who God says you are. Stand on it even if your senses try to tell you otherwise.

    Embracing your identity in Christ is the key to guaranteeing that you will not be caught up in the quagmire of an identity crisis.

    1. Living your life according to your revealed identity in Christ.

    In Christ, you are a new creation, old things have passed away. The point has been made that who you are in Christ is your true identity. And that’s the identity you should live by.

    “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” 1 Peter 2:9.

    I know you are familiar with the things spelt out in that quoted scripture above. If you embrace them with all your heart and live by them by faith; If you see yourself in the light of who God’s say you are, you will never again suffer from identity crisis as a Christian.

    I know who I am in Christ.

    Let’s take a further look at who you are in Christ:

    • A new creation. Old things have passed away in your life. You have been reborn.
    • Disciple of Christ. You are not a ‘nobody’. You know and follow Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God.
    • Light of the world. You show the way; you are a trailblazer. Your light shines forth even in darkness.
    • Ambassador of Christ. You are a VIP (very important personality); an approved representative of Heaven on earth, with full benefits attached.
    • Salt of the Earth. The world needs the flavor God has put in you.
    • Son of the most-high God. You are valuable. It cost God His only begotten Son to get you to become His Son too.
    • Royalty – You are a royalty, you became one when you got born again.
    • Holy and righteous – God has declared you guiltless. Your sins are completely forgiven.

    The Bible didn’t leave us in doubt about who you are in Christ.

    Knowing, embracing and living by the revealed identity you have in Christ are solid things that will make you not suffer the issue of identity crisis. And your life will take on a new meaning if you can get to the point where you can boldly say: I know who I am!

    How does knowing  who you are in Christ help you overcome any problem of identity crisis? Please share your thoughts in the comment section.

     

    ©CopyRight 2016 | Victor Uyanwanne

    Like Sheep in the Midst of Wolves

    Written by Victor Uyanwanne

     

    Sheep in the midst of wolves

    You are living in a world where it is not so cute being a Christian any more.  As a Christian living out your faith, you will often have to face hostilities – whether subtle or pronounced – from some people you come in contact with in your daily life.

    There seems to be people everywhere who oppose you simply because you chose to live out your life for Christ. The opposition could come from unsaved family members, your neighbours, your colleagues at work and even from people you meet on the street or in shopping centres.

    But why is it like that? The answer is not so far-fetched: people love darkness more than light.

    And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.   For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.   But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
    John 3:19-21 KJV

    Please read on from my newest article LIKE SHEEP IN THE MIDST OF WOLVES published on Naked Christian blog.

    Thank you.

    11 Powerful Reasons You Should Improve Your Interest In The Bible

    Why you should read the Bible

    Read the Bible Often

    The Bible is the authentic life manual for every Christian to live by. Yet not all Christians take reading the Bible as seriously as they should.

    There is something in the Bible for everyone to benefit from; ‘milk’ for the babies and ‘meat’ for the adult. Therefore every Christian ought to make reading the Bible a priority in their daily lives.

    THE BIBLE IS WITHIN YOUR REACH

    In addition to the traditional hard copy Bibles we are all used to, the use of technology has greatly enhanced access to the word of God. From the Bible apps on our smart phones and tablet devices to the relevant Bible softwares on our laptop and desk top computers, we can easily and conveniently read the word of God.

    If you haven’t been reading your Bible as you should, the problem is not that the written word of God is not accessible to you. The issue is that you have other things taking your attention.

    You shouldn’t be too distracted, too lazy or too busy to read the Bible.

    IT IS TIME TO MAKE A CHANGE

    Would you want to drink the ‘milk’ and eat the ‘meat’ in the word of God on a regular basis? Here are a few questions for you to ponder on. (If you will answer ‘yes’ to any of them, it means you should be reading the Bible more frequently than you are currently doing):

    1. Do you want to know or love God more?

    God knows and loves you fully already – whether you read the Bible or not. But if you want to know or love God more, you cannot afford not to read the Bible. God has revealed Himself to us through His written word.

    The love of God, His power, integrity, mercy, justice, provision, protection – and other things about Him – are all clearly shown in the Bible Scriptures. Through fellowshipping with Him in the word, you will get more and more acquainted with Him and His ways.

    1. Do you see reading the Bible as an absolute necessity?

    It doesn’t work well for anyone to force you to read the Bible regularly; the choice has to be yours. But except you consider it absolutely necessary, you may not be able to cultivate the self-discipline that will help you ensure regular reading of the word of God.

    As a Christian, the Bible should not be a book you read only when you have the time. It should be a book you intentionally create time to read, daily. If you love God with all your heart, you should love and read His word too.

    1. Do you value the word of God?

    If you value the word of God enough, you will create find the time to read it –  no matter how busy you are. It was Job who said he valued the word of God more than his necessary food (Job 23:12).

    Job wasn’t as privileged as you are in this generation; he didn’t have the word of God ‘compiled’ in one document for him as we have it in the Bible. Yet, he paid attention to it whenever God spoke to Him, esteeming it more than his important meals.

    Like Job, how about saying, “I won’t eat breakfast today until I have read the word of God?” I am not suggesting that you become legalistic about it. I am just saying you should value the word of God enough as not to neglect reading it regularly.

    1. Do you believe the Bible is still relevant for your life today?

    The Bible is not a book to be confined to ancient history, as some ignorant people say. It contains timeless principles of life that you can live by even in this information age.

    There is hardly any situation you face in your daily life that the Bible hasn’t addressed – directly or indirectly. From leadership issues to interpersonal relationships, from marital to business affairs, from health matters to conflict resolutions, and so on, the Bible offers time-tested principles you can successfully operate by. But how can you operate by them if you don’t know them in the first place?

    1. Do you want to know your real identity?

    The real you is not the one that stands in front of the mirror every morning. The real you is in side of you. The word of God is the mirror that will reflect your true identity. As a Christian your true identity is in Christ. It is only in Christ (the Word) that you can discover your true identity.

    You may never appreciate your true identity until you look in the mirror of the word of the God. The questions of who created you, who you are, what happens to you after this life: The answers to these questions and more are addressed in the Bible.

    1. Do you accepts its’ authority as final?

    The Bible contains the word of God. On its pages you can find God’s final verdict on the issues of life. If you don’t hold the word of God as the highest authority in your life, you may not be so interested in finding out what He says by reading and studying the Bible in faith.

    For instance, the people of the world practice sex outside of marriage and consider it normal. But God’s final word in the Bible shows that both premarital and extramarital sex are against His will for His children. God approves sex but only within the confines of marriage. If you don’t know it how would you take a stand on it?

    1. Do you desire your prayers to be more effective?

    James tells us that one of the reasons for unanswered prayer is ‘praying amiss’. You pray amiss if you fail to pray according to the will of God.

    Studying the Bible is a fundamental way of knowing the will of God. The more you understand God’s will, the more on point your prayers become and so the more effective your prayer becomes.

    1. Are you committed to doing what the Bible says?

    A key requirement of Christian discipleship is doing the will of the master. To do the will of God you have to know the will of God. To know the will of God you have to study the word of God.

    The word of God is the will of God. That’s a relationship that can’t be disconnected. James advised, “Don’t only hear the word, do what it says.” Hearing or reading the word precedes doing it.

    1. Do you want to be able to share its’ truths with other people?

    One of your greatest privileges as a Christian is that of communicating the message of the gospel of Christ to other people. How can you share it properly if you don’t know it well enough?

    For instance, Philip was able to correctly explain a passage of Isaiah to the Ethiopian Eunuch because he was familiar with it. I know the Holy Spirit is there to help you in sharing the gospel, but you have to regularly plant the seed of the word in your heart by reading, studying and meditating on it.

    1. Do you want to better understand the events of the future?

    The Bible is historical as well as prophetic. There are many things spoken about in the Bible that have come to pass already. There are still some more that are yet to come to pass.

    For instance, one day, Christians will be taken away to meet with the Lord Jesus Christ in the sky in the event commonly known as the Rapture. Reading the Bible will give you an unparalleled insight into some of the events that will happen hereafter.

    1. Do you take care of your physical body?

    We are often advised to take good care of our body by eating good food, exercising regularly and having adequate sleep. Doing all those will promote physical well-being. How about taking some steps to promote your spiritual well-being? Reading the word is a key consideration.

    The word of God is food to your spirit as physical food is to your body. You maltreat your spirit man if you fail to nourish it regularly with the word of God.

    The Bible is the written word of God. If you love God with all your heart, you should love and read His word too. Read it regularly not with a casual attitude, but with the kind of seriousness and faith it rightly deserves. Don’t wait until you have the time before you can read the Bible. Create the time to read it.

     

    ©CopyRight | Victor Uyanwanne