First of all, let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room (or in the “blog post”, for those literal people)… we have differences. We don’t believe the same things. We don’t have the same understanding of a “higher being”. We think differently. We act differently.
But does that really make us different from each other?
I don’t believe that because we think and act differently means we are completely different from each other. However, before I go any further, I want to apologize.
- I’m sorry for the Christians that have convinced you (and themselves) that we are different from each other.
- I’m sorry for the legalism that has surrounded Christianity for so long and has tried to force many who aren’t Christians to believe Christianity is all about perfectly following a list of rules.
- I’m sorry for the times you felt judged.
- I’m sorry for the times you were accused of something that you were not.
- I’m sorry for the label that society has placed on you as being an atheist.
If you never hear (or read) it from anyone else, then I want to be the first Christian to tell you that I genuinely love you and want you to know we may have different beliefs, but we’re not different from each other.
I want you to know that just like you’ve felt judged or convinced that you’re different or crazy, so have I. By other atheists. Just as you’ve been given a label in society, so have I as a Christian. By other atheists. Just as you were accused of being something you’re not, so have I been accused of something I’m not.
You see, we have different point of views. Yes, we follow different belief systems, but we need to BOTH understand that we come from different backgrounds and have different angles and approaches to situations. But that does not mean we are different from each other.
Let me explain a little further.
I’m sorry for the legalism that has surrounded Christianity for so long and has tried to force many who aren’t Christians to believe Christianity is all about perfectly following a list of rules.
We both wake up every morning with ideas of what may take place during the day. We eat. We breathe. We live. So in reality, we’re the same. The only difference is what we believe about God.
Let’s get to that point. After all, that’s a big reason this post was written. I’m not an atheist, therefore I cannot say what ethical code you follow. I’m not going to pretend I know everything about your way of life. I can’t say whether or not you have hope for another day. I can’t say for sure whether you’re happy or sad. I can’t say I know all there is to know about living as an atheist. I’ve never been an atheist, so I can’t give your point of view on life. But I can give you mine.
I come from a background of depression and anger. Abuse and mistrust drove my childhood and formed me into a human being I grew completely disgusted by. I had no joy. I had no hope for another day. I didn’t want to live another day. I had no peace. I felt as though my world was as smooth as the waves of a sea in the midst of a storm. Chaotic. Uncontrollable. Broken.
That was before I became a Christian. When I finally realized I wanted more out of life, I decided to believe the God of the Bible. I had no hope, so I clung to the one hope I was told to believe in. Jesus Christ. Since meeting Him, I’ve never wanted to go back to believing (or not believing) anything other than Jesus.
So why am I sharing this with you?
Again, it’s because I love you. I won’t go into a tangent about where you’ll go after death. You’ve heard that from other Christians. At some point, you’ll have to face that reality. I don’t want this to be about where you’ll go when you die. I simply want you to know that the joy I now experience — the peace I have and hope I cling to — it’s an overwhelmingly phenomenal feeling. I have such a passion to share this joy with everyone! …Even other Christians that don’t fully understand the aspect of Christianity that’s about embracing people and loving others.
Christianity is much less about hate and following rules, and much more about loving others and spreading hope and encouragement to everyone.
I want you to know, if you don’t have hope, there IS hope. If you don’t have joy, there IS joy. If you don’t know peace, there IS peace. His name is Jesus and He wants you to experience His hope, His joy, and His peace. Instead of writing off Christianity based on what a small amount of Christians believe, open the Bible and discover it for yourself. If you truly don’t have hope or joy, then what do you have to lose?
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
- Romans 15:13 (English Standard Version)