Another atheist blog got added to my blogroll today. Obviously, I don’t agree with the vast majority of this young lady’s opinions, but I do find that her articles are articulate and very thought-provoking. I also find myself deeply saddened (though, I’m sure she would probably say that there is no reason for me to feel that way).
Here is one of those individuals whose writing gives me so much to think about and say in response – counter opinions and counterarguments to every belief, perception, and conclusion she poses, assurances that there are ‘religious answers’ to all her questions, promises that there really _are_ religious people out there who _do_ actually seek unity in their faith, rather than divisions and sectarianisms. But she is also one of those individuals who is widely read by a diverse audience. There are already many believers who are shouting their own thoughts and opinions in response – many of whom seem to have both correct theology and an appropriate attitude of respect and compassions, many of whom do not.
It seems like it would be a vain effort to add my own voice to the throng. I would be just one noise in the din, one that would, in all likelihood, be lost or ignored. Would it even be worth the effort to add my opinion to those already offered, my assurances to those already given? It seems like a futile effort, particularly when there are others who are already saying exactly what I would say, particularly when those others have already been shrugged off.
This is one of those times and places where I feel like it might be wiser to just remain silent. I don’t know if she is even still searching for answers; it certainly seems like she has arrived at an ironclad conclusion, one that she will not be shaken from – at least not easily.
This is possibly the first and biggest proof as to why virtual relationships will _never_ replace real ones. As much as I love the digital realm for sharing ideas and furthering discussion and the expansion of one’s own mind, when it comes right down to it, blogs and discussion forums will never prove an adequate substitute for a physical presence in someone’s life.
It has been “suggested”:http://www.rmcrob.com/?p=2697 that the next “Billy Graham will be a geek”:http://www.e-church.com/Blog.asp?EntryID=53109 ; to wit, the next great evangelist will be a blogger. And this may be true, to an extent. Blogging has certainly allowed many to give voice to their convictions and inspire and encourage others with truth from Scripture. “Talk”:http://open-dialogue.com/blog/?p=201 is “cheap”:http://open-dialogue.com/blog/?p=8 ; it will only convince an unbeliever of just so much. Ultimately, your actions must back up your words, and they have consistently proven to be far more persuasive than anything that can ever be said.
I don’t know if someone like this young lady can ever be convinced that God really does exist, let alone that He loves each and every one of us. I do know that no amount of talk has convinced her to this point, and the actions that she _has_ seen by the religous at large has proven to her that God does _not_ exist. But I also know that a single person can have a profound impact on an individual. I know that even the most hardened atheist can come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. But I also know that it is usually those personal relationships with other living, breathing human beings that serves as the catalyst. So, as much as we all love our little digital worlds, as much as we all love our writing, there comes a time when the keyboard needs to be set aside and the computer turned off, when we need to put on our shoes, tie up the laces, and take a walk in the real world. The sunshine will do us good, and maybe, just maybe, _we_ will be the one who impacts someone in a profound way so that they can see Jesus.