Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Interview With an Atheist

Christian blogger, Demian Farnworth at Fallen and Flawed, is doing a series of interviews with atheist bloggers. Today, he featured me.

Last week, he featured Eshu from Bridging Schisms and before that he featured Hemant Mehta from Friendly Atheist. They're both great articles.

The "interview" consists of a questionaire with 10 questions and a bonus question about Peter Singer.

11 comments:

GCT said...

Well done. Good answers.

Mark Morrison said...

10. Were you ever a Christian? Would you go back?
Yes, I was a fundamentalist. My father is an evangelical minister. I was indoctrinated. I think that I have always been a critical thinker. I would ask my Sunday school teachers some very hard questions. I think the hardest question I ever asked was, “What is God?” I actually got in trouble and was punished for asking that, because, I wouldn’t accept the stock answers. That’s when I realized that if the belief system couldn’t hold up to simple inquiry, then that belief system is likely false.

It’s possible. I won’t deny it. I have jumped that fence many times. It could happen again. However, I don’t think it’s as likely that I would now as it had been in the past. After all, I am human and as a human we all have a tendency toward believing superstition. I am no different. I think that my study into critical thinking in the past two years makes that possibility slimmer, though.

You and I have had this conversation before haven't we? You may have been "religious" but you were never a Christian. There is nothing wrong with critical thinking.Do you think that God would just want us to follow and not ask questions? He provides answers if you seek them. But the only prayer He will ever hear from someone who hasn't been saved is one asking for just that. Repent and turn from your sin. Become that new creation in Christ.

GCT said...

What, pray tell, makes one a "true Xian"?

Robert Madewell said...

Mark,
That tired old line again? No true Scotsman!

When exactly did Christians stop being religious?

As I have meantioned before, the narrow definition of Christian™ that you use is only meaningful to you and your particular Christian group. I used it my self way back when. We didn't consider anyone Christian™ unless they conformed to our narrow set of doctrines. Lutherans weren't Christian™ because they baptized too young, Pentacostals weren't Christian™ because they didn't accept eternal security, and you say I was never a Christian™ because you accept eternal security and God would never let someone have freewill and let him go if he wants to go. Yet, it's my choice to go to hell because God gives me freewill.

However, there is a simpler explaination. You just refuse to see it. Which is your choice.

Mark Morrison said...

Robert,

I don't buy into the only Baptist go to Heaven thing. Only Christians will enter Heaven. I don't care what denomination you call yourself. Only by accepting Jesus as Lord can you get in. It's as simple as that. One simply doesn't "know" God then forget Him unless he never knew Him to begin with.

ethinethin said...

I like the "not a true christian" argument, and I'll tell you why. You hear this line a lot when the great christian leaders fall from their lofty positions, such as when Ted Haggard was caught doing drugs and having sex with a male prostitute.

Oh, well, christians will say, He wasn't a true christian!And why not? Isn't "sin" inherited by all humans?

Yes! But as christians, we should strive to live a sin free life!Oh. But I thought that no human ever lived that didn't sin.

No, there was one man who lived without sin, and his name was Jesus C--Wait, so comparing Ted Haggard to Jesus might be a little blasphemous. Why would you use so high a standard to judge him, and then when he fails to attain that high standard (as all humans will fail), declare he's not a true christian?

And isn't GOD the only one who should be making that judgement?

And if you're so hyped up on living like Jesus, shouldn't you love your enemies and forgive them?

But the reality is that any person that would harm the reputation of the church must be declared "not a true christian" by this ridiculous abandonment of their own creed.

Furthermore, atheists, it's YOUR fault that you didn't hear god, no matter how genuine you say your attempts to hear him were.

Mark Morrison said...

ethinethin again you lack understanding of what makes one a Christian. Does it mean we will never sin? Of course not, were still human. We have a 3 fold enemy the world,the devil, and the flesh. D.L. Moody once said that he had more trouble with D.L. Moody than any other person alive.

You said,
Why would you use so high a standard to judge him, and then when he fails to attain that high standard (as all humans will fail), declare he's not a true christian?

And isn't GOD the only one who should be making that judgement?

And if you're so hyped up on living like Jesus, shouldn't you love your enemies and forgive them?

But the reality is that any person that would harm the reputation of the church must be declared "not a true christian" by this ridiculous abandonment of their own creed.

I never made a judgement on Ted Haggard. Where did Ted Haggard come into the conversation??? I said that one simply doesn't know God then forget Him. Sorry it can't be done. Why say " I was once a Christian" instead saying the truth "I THOUGHT I was a Christian"?

Robert Madewell said...

Mark said, "I don't buy into the only Baptist go to Heaven thing. Only Christians will enter Heaven.I'd almost bet that your definition of Christian and Baptist are pretty close.

However, I do know exactly what you mean. What I am telling you is that you are defining Christian differently than most people do. If you want me to use that definition then, I'd have to say that nobody is a true Christian™ because there is no God or Jesus in heaven to save you.

Also, by placing people in two boxes (Christians™ go here, everyone else go here), you are creating that "us and them" mentality. We've talked about that before. People are not so easy to categorize. Everyone is different. When you lump people into one of two narrow definitions, you're creating an environment for hate. Sure, what you're doing is not that bad, yet. But, it could get that way.

GCT said...

I ask again...what makes one a "True Xian?" So far, all I've seen is special pleading that it's a club that once you join you can't quit, or else you will retroactively purge yourself from ever having actually been a member.

Mark Morrison said...

GCT said...
I ask again...what makes one a "True Xian?" So far, all I've seen is special pleading that it's a club that once you join you can't quit, or else you will retroactively purge yourself from ever having actually been a member.

If your asking what makes one a Christian it is simple. Repent,turn from your sin and follow Jesus. But how can you know it was real right?

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

GCT said...

There's nothing in your definition that says that one must always be a Xian or else one was never one to begin with. It's the No True Scotsman.