Monday, April 04, 2011

On the goings and doings of a nation gone skeptical

Last week I went to a meeting titled "Heretics Bible Study Group." It's a monthly Bible Study group in which the attendees critically discuss various aspects of the Bible. Most of the members are atheists. All are skeptics. I was the only believer (but supposedly there is one other believer who frequents the group).

My mother and father were horrified that I went and thought they were witnessing my demise into atheistic doom. I am sure my mother even prayed for me. She may have even used rosary beads even though she has never been Catholic.

A few of the people who knew I had attended always asked the first question something along the lines of "did it ever get scary?"

And my initial response is always to giggle.

Because the way I think most Christians think about atheists is that they somehow have a "secret code" to prove the non-existence of God. So when I am asked if the meeting every got "scary," they really mean "did they ever tell you the secret code to get you to stop believing in God?"

I can easily tell them "no, i was never scared." But I feel that would mislead. Because I never went thinking I would even be tested. My Christianity rests on faith. It's an entirely different plane than "empiricism" or   "rationalism."  Many people on this blog know that I am somewhat more of a "skeptic" but in no way does this entail a lack of belief in God. I think doubt is not opposed to faith, but works in conjunction with faith ("faith is the substance of the things unseen").

So my interest in the Bible study that i attended and will keep on attending is finding myself in a group of like-minded individuals in terms of discussing the Bible in a critically-engaging approach.

Notes about the group study:

-Most of the atheists there were former Christians (one was an ex-Pentecostal). Sometimes they would get lost in polemical rants against the "stupidity" of Christians. I would quickly chime in of the lack of logical in their "rants" which was politely accepted.

-One of the attendees was a humanist. I don't like them (the difference between a humanist and other atheists is that humanists don't believe man is "fallen" or "incomplete"). My glorious moment was calling out the humanist on an unfounded leap in her logic.

-I was able to share my beliefs which were taken with absolute openness. Never once did I feel that the group was against me (I think this "feeling" was helped by a few "critical" remarks I made of the atheists' stance regarding some things).

-Best Part: The topic of discussion that day was about the Trinity! Which was a delight for me to discuss (because, naturally the atheists hated the logic of the trinity, and had never heard of a Oneness Christian).  The  Jewish atheist in attendance said he couldn't figure out why Christians don't just say that Jesus was a manifestation of God in flesh! I struggled not to yelp in delight.

Anyways, excuse my rants without a purpose...


brian said...

Way to go Joel! This should be very interesting....keep us updated.

Anonymous said...

Wow! So interesting? Can I come?

Pumice said...

People don't realize that they have conversation with atheists every day. Have you heard of the magazine called "Skeptic"? My son shared a copy with me once. The theme was evolution and I found the magazine anything but skeptical. It was the most conformist, party line thing I had ever read including repeating old "scientific" evidences of evolution that had been debunks years ago.

I agree with Anonymous, It sounds like a fun evening. How did you find out about it?

Grace and Peace

RilianSharp said...

I don't think most atheists believe that humans are "fallen" or "incomplete".