Last night I put up some posts on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, Tumblr, etc., about atheism. I caused quite a stir. It shouldn’t come as any surprise to our regular readers as we know I’ve talked about atheism quite a bit. In fact, some of the most prolific sharers of my cartoons are atheist sites, such as the friendly atheist.
So let me explain.
- The bible gives room for unbelief. For instance, in Mark 9:24, a man exclaims, “Lord I believe. Help my unbelief!” And there’s Thomas who can’t believe until he sees and touches. And Peter. And the disciples. And on and on. This isn’t to say that the bible extols this, but it is a way of being human that is always met graciously. When I say, “Embrace your inner atheist“, I mean be honest with yourself. Accept the fact that there are areas of unbelief in your life. Or perhaps your whole spirituality is characterized by unbelief.
- Remember that the bible doesn’t place a greater emphasis on belief than practice. I know you might disagree. But when James states that even the devil believes, isn’t this a clue that practice is key? And when the bible says those who are standing before the Lord on the last day wonder when in the world they ever served Jesus, they are informed that even though they didn’t do it knowingly, they were serving Jesus when they helped others. Those who claimed to know the Lord were sadly informed that they weren’t known because they were stuck in their sterile belief.
- Theologically, the incarnation implies that That-Which-We-Call-God is no longer enthroned in the Heavens, but condescended to completely invade the all. The All-in-all. The incarnation is thorough. There is no “god” out there, separate and apart. The Spirit permeates all things and there is no divining a distinction. The story of Jesus and the incarnation suggest that Deism and Theism are now seriously thrown into question as valid postures of belief.
Does this make me an atheist? Does this not make me a Christian? I don’t see how what I’ve stated above makes me not a Christian. I don’t know how what I stated above makes me not an atheist. I feel no urgency for a label. I feel no fear. I do not agonize over this any longer. I’m not anxious about it at all. My mind and heart are finally at peace.
I think there is Grace for that. And there is grace for where you are too. Accept it.
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