Something I Don’t Understand About Christians (or Atheists)

In fact I don’t understand this about human beings in general. Why are we/they so surprised, shocked and even appalled when we discover that people (sometimes millions of them) disagree with our basic theory of life – the way we make sense out of life – the things we choose to feel certain about.

Certainty is a fact of life. It is the set of assumptions and beliefs that we choose to hold. The alternative of being uncertain about everything would be completely disabling. We would simply never be able to make up our mind or belong to anything.

For example I believe (deeply and profoundly) that God is a personal being named Jesus. I believe that there is one God who lives as three persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I believe that there are no other gods and that Jesus alone is all in all. I personally thank him everyday for being able to say thank you to someone beside myself. I am utterly dependent on Him and am thankful that he saved me from myself.

Having said all that I could be completely misguided and some would say delusional. I mean look at how serious I am about this whole Jesus thing.  So what am I to do when perfectly reasonable people give me their story of reality? Run away, call them names, tell them to stop or invite them to tell me more?

In recovery groups they have a rule- no crosstalk. That means, you only give advice when the person who is talking asks for it. My experience with most Christians and Atheists for that matter is that they cant find a way to sit in the room with difference. They can’t stop themselves from mentally comparing their best with their ideological opponents worst. They either try to re-educate them, control them or exorcise them.

Why? One simple reason-We’re afraid of discovering that our version of reality may not be the right one. We’re insecure. We hold onto our beliefs like a security blanket.

Christians need to trade their certainty in for faith – hope- confidence. Christians need to renounce beliefism (the worship of right/my beliefs) and embrace the beauty and mystery of following Jesus. I’m not sure what Atheists have to do but I’m sure someone will tell me (or them).

My grandson Huck is going on 3 years old and is just about ready to let go of the last fragment of his “blanky”. I notice that he will go to sleep now without it and he is becoming less and less interested in it as his interest in the wider world grows.



3 thoughts on “Something I Don’t Understand About Christians (or Atheists)

  1. Jim —This is a nice summary of a long conversation we had over lunch a few years ago, and somethings you taught me long ago. We need to be able to enter into conversations with those who hold other views without fear of losing our own! If the Jesus you describe is real, and I am “certain” that He is, then how “small” do we make Him when we are afraid to expose His truths and teachings to the views of others.

  2. It’s amazing that this line of reasoning never gets old or less necessary. Seems like I have a similar conversation with some Christian friend at least once a week. Keep it up, brother.

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