This week, a twist for Questions That Haunt Christianity. Lee Pendarvis (follow him on Twitter!) is a recent convert from atheism to Christianity, but that hasn’t meant the end to his questions. It has only made them more acute:
Tony, I am a new Christian convert after being a skeptic/atheist/non-believer/
whatever since I was 20 (I am now 34), and I’m struggling to harmonize my newfound faith with my more rational world view. Some of Christianity I find actually more rational than my previous atheism but some I still find less so.
Of course one of the most silly sounding aspects of Christianity is this supernatural zoo of unhidden beings, specifically demons. That is why I read your blog post where you say you do not believe in demons, with interest. I was going to comment on the blog post but the last comment was over a year ago.
The replies were typical. With any discussion about demons I can guarantee you that someone will bring up the “fact” that there is a plethora of demonic activity in Africa. I am physically unable to stop my automatic eye rolling reflex everytime I hear that. Apparently Africa is the demonic disney land. It could not possibly be because of the rampant prevalence of old world superstitious belief in Africa, could it?The more a population believes in demons the more they see demons. The more a population believes in elves — same thing. Funny how that works out.
Another clear tip off to me that this demonic business is not physically “real” is this: I don’t think demons would behave like these overt movie monsters. It just doesn’t jibe with their supposed origins. It seems to come right out of people’s imaginations. Why do demon’s always act like drunk, rude, horny, unintelligent teenage boy’s who have thrown a party when their parents were gone for the weekend? I would think that demons would be extremely intelligent instead of being frat boy sex obsessed versions of Freddy Kruger.
Every now and then you hear stories of demons doing something like speaking in other languages, but usually they are reported to behave like crude, stupid monsters. It doesn’t make sense to me and it has all the earmarks of cultural mimicry.
Anyway, I appreciated your blog post and just wanted to comment on it. It seems like lately I have found so many Christians out there who are so very intelligent and are more rational and are struggling with the same stuff I am. People who are on a journey that does not involve dogmatic certitude about 14 impossible sounding things before breakfast.So, my question is: Why do Christians continue to believe in the demonic when as far as I have seen, even in today’s multimedia infested world, we have yet to garner any evidence at all other than perhaps some youtube videos or recordings that are not at all remarkable (someone shouting curses in a gruff voice etc.)? In this sense belief in the demonic rests safely with UFO’s, Bigfoot and Loch Ness/Modern dinosaur* sightings in the category of “not enough evidence for belief”.*I hope I didn’t summon YEC’s by mentioning this. Get the behind me!