I’ve written on this topic before but since its been the topic of some of the discussions I’ve participated in recently… it seemed once again the time to share more on the topic here…
What has always been a bit interesting to me is the attack on Atheism in light of what we can read in the pages of the bible.
Jesus is shown to have said that if one did not see evidence for himself of “works” that one was not to believe because of words.
Jesus said that no man knows the Father but the Son, the Son but the Father, and to whom He chooses to reveal Him…
Jesus said it is those that have His saying and keep them that He will manifest/reveal Himself to them… along with the passage that instructs that those that come in his name saying he’s Christ/Messiah will deceive many….
So why would the atheist who has not had a personal or direct experience with God sufficient by the evidence of the works for him/her to be convinced in whom they had heard/or seen…. be dong anything other than simply living according to the very words of Jesus we can read in the pages of the bible?
The idea that an Atheist or Atheism is attempting to prove a negative seems to be illogical when examined carefully. Atheism isn’t about attempting to prove a negative.. it’s about not excepting the words of another…. not accepting the claims of another because of words that lack evidence sufficient for themselves.
Its doing as Jesus said.. if you don’t see the evidence, believe it not because of the words.
So often it seems that people forget that it is the one that makes a claim about something that the burden of proof lies upon… when the one making the claim cannot and does not produce evidence sufficient for one to see for oneself… then one is left to take such because of the words… devoid of evidence… or to do as Jesus said in the matter… look for the evidence for oneself.. and believe not because of words.
The bible writings point out that it was God that appeared to each person whose wrote of in the writings… that the appearing took place in various ways, each in which the one that had such an experience knew who it was…. without the words of any other about the matter.
There are only two or so accounts in all the writings where anyone mentions that they were not sure who they were hearing from… one is said to have tossed out a fleece to be provided sufficient evidence for himself…. another heard a voice calling to him and thought it was another only to go find out for himself the evidence that it wasn’t. The latter account was of a young boy who had not been taught or knew about God when the voice spoke to him calling his name.
So do we toss out the bible that shares with us that God revealed himself in whatever means or manner in which it was that God determined that one would have need of to know in whom they were hearing so as to be convinced by God… not man…. and that if God has not revealed himself to someone…. or made it known to them, with sufficient evidence… then one is not to believe because of words?
Isn’t the atheist, who has had no such personal experience to provide sufficient evidence that he/she can see for oneself ……. simply following the teachings of Jesus and the examples in the bible… by not believing because of words, devoid of personal and direct evidence for himself/herself??
Would it be considered logical to have Jesus say those things.. including that He calls His own by name.. they hear His voice and they follow Him.. when He calls to them… and that they will not follow another… in the writings in the bible we have.. people claiming to believe the bible to be the word of God… and Jesus to be God incarnate, the one God sent…. and then denounce or reject the clear instruction that one is not to believe because of words… or to speak against those that simply refuse to believe without evidence that they have seen or experienced for themselves???
So if refusing to believe because of the words of another in matters pertaining to God and Jesus in which one has not seen or experienced for himself/herself sufficient evidence (works) to convince and confirm for oneself (atheism) is “a fallacious construct that is intellectually vapid, as are most of its adherents” (as some have claimed) …. then isn’t the issue really the words and teachings of Jesus we find in the pages of the bible… and the adherents of his teachings that refer to themselves as “atheist”?
Jhn 14:23-24: Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.”