I saw this video earlier this week after it was posted on The Resurgence blog. They have a great blog with a lot of good material, it’s one of the few blogs that I subscribe to. I think the video posted is clever enough that most Christians will agree with it and even pass it along to their atheist friends. And frankly, I find that unfortunate. Here’s a key line toward the beginning:
“No one holds grudges against Santa and the Tooth Fairy or mythical beings like Thor and Zeus…but there’s something about Jesus.”
The basic premise in all this, is that if Jesus isn’t real or isn’t who he said he was (God), why are people so frustrated about him?
Coming from my Christian perspective, I obviously think there is some truth here, but I think the video fails to recognize the bigger issue. The atheists I’ve talked to and read rarely seem to have a problem with Jesus and even more rarely are they frustrated by him, it’s the Christians who believe in him that give them angst. They often choose to not believe in Jesus as God because of the actions of people who do. How can a loving God and a enemy loving Jesus produce such judgmental, hate-filled followers? To them, he must not be real because those who are supposed to be carrying his message don’t seem to be much like him.
So my problem with criticizing atheists for not seeing the fullness of their argument, is that it tries to take the onus off of Christians who have failed to fully be Christ followers. When it comes to the lack of faith in America and around the world, we have to start with owning where we’ve fallen short. We can’t just pass the blame onto others.
This points a finger, instead of extending a hand.
This builds a wall, instead of opening a door.
Instead of passing the blame off of ourselves onto them, let’s own our mistakes and the way we’ve failed to live into truly following Jesus. What kind of witness would that portray?
In all this I’m mostly talking about myself…the way that I’ve talked above atheists in conversations and how I’ve ended friendships with people who didn’t see life and faith the way I did. It’s sad to me that I’ve lived that way and I hope that I’ve learned enough to not think of people as any different than me.
I continue to pray for those who do not know Jesus, especially those who I’m close with.
I hope that I’ll continue befriending them, extending a hand, opening a door, instead of criticizing their beliefs.
Don’t pass the blame.