Voice in the Wilderness

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.

7 thoughts on “Voice in the Wilderness”

  1. That was a great post. It’s all about understanding the heart of your own beliefs about your life so far. It’s cool to to see it open up as you’re doin’ the work to open it.

    It’s funny though, I read the whole post before I got to the, for me, disturbing last line. Jesus is nice for kids because there aren’t a lot of personally negative images of him. He’s a personality they can love. I sure know that I did when I was a kid.

    I would evangelize seeing what is there and understanding it, and once in a while, if it makes you happy, thankin’ Jesus isn’t goin’ to hurt anyone.

    RAmen :-)

  2. If I may ask, why was that last line (“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.”) disturbing to you?

  3. Oops, a li’l typo there.

    RAmen

    Adults perpetuating a Faithful belief in childrens’ tales just may be the primary cause of manufactured misery among our species.

    No worries though. Every individual has their own beliefs, per se. I believe some silly things myself. Watching sports on TV gives me a lift and a little something extra to look forward to everyday. I even get goofy explaining to people why NFL football is by far the best professional sport around. I’d never suggest legislation relegating other sports to 2nd or 3rd tier status though. Not unless it could be shown that watching them has direct and dire consequences for the public.

    The same goes with the RAmen above. Just silliness I enjoy and which helps me keep some perspective other than my own.

    Mostly, I just mentioned it cuz it was such a beautiful post, and that made the disturbance more profound for me.

    You’ve got a cool blog here, Jim. Thanks for asking me for clarity.

    And maybe I do have a Science Fiction/Fantasy novel in me! It would be about how Homo evolves to a world-wide, Gaianesque soul; supported by immature individuals who muse experience their way through material reality until they’re developed physiologically enough to become part of Gaia.

    Then, lookout Galaxy! lol!

    Have a great weekend.

  4. Thanks for the clarification, Michael. I do realize that atheists view religion as being pretty silly, and that they view it as even sillier that adults go around “perpetuating a Faithful belief in childrens’ tales”. It is true that a lot of harm has been done in the name of religion, a product, unfortunately, of the fact that the followers of every religion are flawed people.

    Thanks, as well, for the compliments. I always appreciate and enjoy my readers whose views differ from my own and who can converse with me in a civil, cordial, and respectful manner. My goal with this blog is simply to share my beliefs and the reasoning behind my beliefs, the logic that I believe supports the continued practice of these beliefs, and to encourage both those who believe as I do to continue in their own beliefs and to explain to those who do not believe as I do why I believe there is ample evidence for the existence of God and why my beliefs are neither childish nor silly.

    I do hope you will continue to read as I share my beliefs and ‘talk’ with me as I do.

    And, oh, yes… I’m familiar with Mr. Spaghetti Monster. An interesting satire, to say the least. Perhaps at some point in the relatively near future, I’ll be able to find the time to address it more fully.

  5. Great post, Jim!

    I guess I agree with pretty much everything you said, particularly your point about relationships & actions weighing a lot more than mere words and ideas.

    I dunno, these days it just seems to me that worrying about other people’s souls and minds is not really our job. Sometimes people’s actions and hearts are in the right place, even if their beliefs don’t seem right to us, and I suspect God places more weight on the former than the latter.

    Besides, I’ve seen enough in the way of gradual and/or unexpected conversion that I think nobody’s safe from the Hound of Heaven.

    And hey, this could very well be utter arrogance on my part. For example, I find it really hard to take statements like this seriously:

    “Adults perpetuating a Faithful belief in childrens’ tales just may be the primary cause of manufactured misery among our species.”

    Yeah, yeah, yeah. Nice bombastic Dawkins imitation. Cut back on the posturing.

    See? So maybe I’m just an arrogant jerk. But I’ve seen enough of reality that teenage rebellion and edgy atheism seem insubstantial and downright ridiculous.

  6. To some extent, worrying about other people’s souls is our job. It’s our job as Christians to win the lost to Christ and to make sure that our fellow believers are keeping their minds on Christ. Of course, we must do this without erring into sin, whether it be arrogance, anger, pride, or whatever the vice.

    Thanks for stopping by, Elliot.

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