What Keeps Souls Outta Heaven? (personal musings)

Pride.
It’s the número UNO reason for why some won’t even admit an existence of God, let alone a worshipful heart towards Him.

Pride speaks louder than words. It’s wrinkled and gnarled hands grip invisibly around the necks of unsuspecting victims; those unwilling to stand in diligent guard against it. It’s an insidious enemy, painlessly choking out the chance for correction; the very breath that’s so desperately needed.

Pride. The first original sin. It’s what got us in this mess in the first place. The serpent appealed to their pride in Eden, questioning God’s judgement, and asking basically, whether they wanted to know as much as God, or wanted to become one themselves.
Ultimately, that pride, the inability to see themselves who they really were, lent itself to smile at mankind’s great demise. The trick of the ages- to get people to think of themselves more highly and of greater importance than they really are, but then watch as the glass house shatters.

It’s all about you. Why should you believe in someone or something bigger than you?
Why should you apologize for things you’ve done, and words that you’ve flung?
Why should you give up your Sundays to go to church and worship? You’d much rather do something you want to do.
Why should you bow down to another, even if that other is the Creator God?
Why should there be only one way to God?!
Why should you live your life for Someone you’ve never seen?
Why be a humble servant to a God who makes decisions, or allows circumstances beyond your comprehension?

Pride. It’s age-old plans allow you to follow in many well-worn footsteps to the land of IsThisAllThereIs? Unfortunately, it leaves you lonely, afraid, and insecure of anyone who will say there’s an answer, and that there’s peace.

If you don’t like that Jesus claimed to be the only way to Heaven, there’s why. But there’s also hope. On the off-chance that someone out there will try this; ask God to break through your pride. Ask Him to knock down anything in your life that is hindering God’s plans for you. Jesus loves you. Not a hypocritical, smirk behind your back kind of love. Don’t judge Jesus by the people who have misrepresented His love towards you. Jesus’ love is passionate. He formed you, sustained you, upheld you, guided you, helped you, and compassionately waits for you to come to Him. Alongside Jesus is real life. True love. Grace. Peace. Hope.

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14 Comments Add yours

  1. L.M. says:

    It’s funny, I think you’re the one making incorrect assumptions! In your latest comment you point out that you and I could have different experience of people ‘without God’ and yet you are the one who generalized your (extremely localized) experience to a scale so big that you presented as an explanation of the beliefs of atheists in general.

    And no, I do not think you set out to strike at all atheists. I think you wrote something that was incredibly offensive and insulting, not because you were hoping to lash out, strike out, or make anyone angry, but simply because you are inconsiderate, to the extent that you still cannot see how other people could read your statements as rude.

    As for me believing that other people can’t think for themselves, well… that’s the point of my comments entirely. You trot out flawed logic and your personal perspective portrayed as absolute, universal truth, and project your own personal arrogance about your beliefs onto your god. The point of my comments is to point out the flaws and the alternatives to readers who absolutely can think for themselves. If they want to disagree with me, that’s fine. If they think I’m rude and sarcastic… well, I am.

    I do not hate Jesus. I never quite understood why other people liked him, or why people thought he was sinless or perfect or any such thing. I think of him the snotty, show-off kid in class who says of a subject: “Don’t you even know that yet? I do! I’ve known for ages!”. But hate? No. Not even a little bit.

    To give you credit on one point: Yes, I do have a bad habit of making up analogies and alternatives. They’re not all perfect, some are very flawed and I admit that. A big part of the reason that I make them is that you do not seem to think through what you are saying, it’s impact, or it’s logical flaws. You seem happy to say things like “this is logical”, “this is not offensive”, “this is just a general statement” (I’m paraphrasing) with apparently no understanding that your opinion of it is not a universal truth and that tacking on that kind of statement does not make it so. I can only hope that my (sometimes sketchy) analogies can at least hint at some of the flaws in your statements. And yes, when my analogies are good, I do indeed think that they are equivalent to your points.

    Your point was what? All human beings sin and find sin enjoyable, atheists are atheists because they sin and find sin enjoyable. My example was: All human beings are stupid and gullible, Christians are Christians because they are stupid and gullible. I do think the two are comparable. It’s “All human beings are [negative flaw], [worldview] is [worldview] because of [negative flaw].” I was not trying to offend your or make you angry, I was simply trying to point out that associating a negative flaw with a worldview can still be offensive, even when you do not present that negative flaw as unique to that worldview.

    I was not trying to provoke you, I was trying to encourage you to engage logical thought and human empathy.

    1. L.M. says:

      Ugh! I still manage to make stupid typos. I swear I reread this at least four times before I published it. I do know the difference between ‘it’s’ and ‘its’.

    2. L.M. says:

      Additionally, I am not sure how I am responsible for bringing any large amount of traffic to this site. It is not as if I’m some famous internet person that others follow around. Also, your responses to me (and other dissenters) have been so incredibly unconvincing and anaemic that I cannot imagine for a second that anyone is coming here for some great Christian vs. Atheist smackdown.

  2. L.M. says:

    I think I’ve lost a comment! I could have sworn I posted it here but I can’t see it anymore. Essentially, it was about how blaming a specific worldview on a certain set of flaws could be deeply offensive, even if you do not present those flaws as unique to that worldview.

    I contrasted the ideas suggested by this blog (everyone loves to sin, atheists are atheists because they love to sin) with a fictional Christian alternative (everyone is stupid, Christians are Christians because they are stupid).

    I tried to use the exact same pattern that the blog authors used, hoping to communicate to them just how hurtful and nasty their original statement seemed. I was hoping to highlight just how offensive and insulting it could be to associate a belief system with specific flaws. Unfortunately, I can’t seem find the comment anymore. Did I accidentally post it under the wrong blog entry?

  3. Tidbitter says:

    This is nasty and offensive? This is a general statement; not just about atheists, but of all mankind.
    Stealing is one of the Ten Commandments….and Jesus said, “assuredly I say to you, even to look with lust is committing adultery. In other words, even if you’ve never slept with someone, you’ve committed the sin even if you’ve even thought about it. As a matter of fact, Jesus went on to say that even if you’ve ever hated someone you’ve murdered them. Even if its within your heart and thoughts.
    I have written it before. The bar is set high. Who hasn’t lusted? Who hasn’t wanted something that wasn’t theirs, so in reality has actually stolen?
    The Bible says that sin is fun….for a season. I don’t need to prove the inerrancy of the scriptures for anyone else to agree with that particular statement. Is lust/sex not fun? Is indulging our selfish desires not fabulous?
    Logically then, when we ignore the statutes that the Bible puts before us, it’s our pride. Pride allows what you want, and what I want, to rule our mortal bodies. It says, ‘forget you God. I’m going to get what I want, and if I can somehow find a way to make You less real then I won’t have to feel guilt or accountability.’
    That is not offensive. Unless its true.
    Jesus died for you so you could be free from all the sin that weighs you down. By our choices we separate ourselves from God. Jesus came to set us free.
    Please try not to misunderstand. I’m not digging on atheists. Everyone is in the exact same boat without Jesus’ grace and forgiveness. There is no one better than another. We’re all hopeless without Him.

    1. L.M. says:

      Yes, nasty and offensive. Even if you frame it now, very much in hindsight, as a statement about all mankind, you are still ragging on atheists. You are pretty much saying: As much as we normals are tempted to steal, and lie and sleep around…unlike our religious beliefs, which should be respected… the very basis of your religious beliefs (or, more accurately, lack thereof) is an attempt to do bad things, exert no self control, and get away with it.

      How would you like it if I played the same game? Would appreciate me reading your Christian beliefs as merely an excuse to do something that I perceive as morally wrong?

      I’ll give you this example:
      What if I argued that Christians hated gays, hated them vengefully, spitefully, meanly and with cruel hearts. With burning, spitting, bile-filled and hatred (keep in mind this is just an example)? And so I state that one of the major reasons (reason 2 in a list of 5) that you buy into a bogus, self-serving religious mythology and philosophy, is as a cheap justification to oppress and discriminate against gay people, purely as a socially acceptable outlet for your personal reserve of bitter cruelty.

      Would you like that? Would you see it as completely neutral? Personally, I doubt it. Instead, I suspect that you would explain that your belief system is deeper and less crude than that, that it is not a cheap justification for whatever actions, and you would probably see my insinuations about your character as a negative thing. You might even start up with the whole “hate the sinner, love the sin” bit (I urge you not to because, as I say, this is just an example not a reflection of my actual thoughts).

      If you want to say now that you were not, in fact, insinuating that atheists are lying, stealing harlots… well, that’s your lookout. But I don’t think there is any wiggle room at all to pretend you were being nice. Nasty and offensive are exactly the right words.

      And, honestly, if this is your statement about all mankind (which seems pretty dubious since it was presented as the reason atheists do not believe in your god) then it says far more about you than it does about atheists or mankind. Take stealing as an example: I have never stolen, I have I never been tempted to steal, and I don’t think it would be enjoyable. If I see something that I admire, I do not want to take it. At most, I want to ask where the owner got it from, what it’s made from, the story behind it, etc.

      Finally, even if you think ‘Sin is fun’ and being selfish is enjoyable (again, that’s your lookout) I’d also like to point out that, based on your words above, you seem to have based point 2 in the ‘5 Reasons Why…’ post on a flawed assumption. Evidently, you were working from a theory of sin based on the Christianity, Jesus, the New Testament, etc. and, as a Christian, it makes sense that this is your theory of sin. And, of course, you have already explained that you think certain things are absolute. However (and this is the important part) even if these things do turn out to be absolute, you ought to know by that people’s opinions, beliefs, and philosophical takes on such matters are not absolute. For your theory of atheism to work (e.g. people becoming atheists because they just luuuurve to sin, it’s so much fun after all), your atheists would (inexplicably) be basing their concept of right or wrong on your Christian theology. You are basically making the assumption that atheists make their moral decisions based on a Bible-believing… Evangelical… whatever Christian’s interpretation of the Bible. That does not make sense.

      1. L.M. says:

        Rereading this I can see a ton of spare words in strange places. I promise I do proof read, I’m just not very good at it!

      2. Tidbitter says:

        The funny thing about your comments though, are that most of your personal assumptions are incorrect. First off, that we’ve set out to tick off all atheists. False. That blog post, the one that has you offended, and keeps you coming back post after post to strike at me, was born out of my personal experiences with dozens of people without God on the piers and beaches of Southern California… could i not have different experiences, and meet different people than you do? I’m not going to apologize for the truth of what has been shared with me time and again over many many years.
        2) you assume we believe people can’t think for themselves. If that were true, why blog at all? At least where I live, there is a freedom to speak or publish thoughts, ideas, faith, musings, facts, feelings, and everyone’s entitled to that freedom. Every last reader is also completely entitled to disagree. You seem to write your responses to our posts as if everyone out there needs you desperately to sway them away from two random girls’ opinion of faith. 3) you believe that your what-if’s and how-about-this-idea’s are parallel. They’re not. But they’re not offensive either. You’re talking to the wrong person if you want me mad…I both appreciate your thoughts, and you bringing the exponentially high amount of traffic to this site.
        You can hate Jesus, and all that goes along with those of us that follow Him. There is much to dislike. Hypocrisy, judgementalism, (although I’m learning very quickly that this extends obviously from your side as well) haters, abortion doctor killers, homophobes, money-hungry TV evangelists, and a few dozen other atrocious groups of people who speak on behalf of ‘God’- I dislike it too. Perhaps it’s the only thing we agree on…

    2. Taryn says:

      I must say that the idea of thinking something being as bad as doing it is completely laughable. For example, I don’t personally think this, but I have actually heard a great many fundamental, right wing conservative Christians say it, that the world would be better if all the Muslims were “blown off the map”. This is genocide. Killing an entire group. These people don’t really act on any of these thoughts and many when they sit discuss it rationally agree that they were wrong for saying that and that this should never be done. BUT according to you, because of that moment, when they said that all Muslims should be killed, even though they never killed anyone, they are just as guilty of the sin of genocide as Hitler. That what they said is no different than what Hitler actually did? You agree with that this is what you are saying?

      And then we are back to the 10 commandments and stealing, that pesky little absolute truth, that, frankly, you have been dancing around ever since I pointed out how wretched this beliefs system actually is. Yes, the Jews who stole food to keep alive were sinning, according to this. Yes, you most likely will stick to your vague, “I don’t judge” non-answer because it appears to be too difficult for you to admit what absolute truths mean: that stealing is always a sin, even if you are a starving Jew.

      And with hate being the equivalent of murder, you are now saying that the Jewish mother who watched her children be thrown into open pits of fire to be burned alive and hated the men who did it is just as guilty of murder as the Nazis who killed those children. Is that what you really believe? Or will this just be another case of you refusing to answer and attempting some sort of vague non-answer where you don’t address the question?

      Why is lust a sin? If it doesn’t hurt anyone, why should it be a sin? Because your god said it is? That isn’t good enough of an answer for me. I had sex outside of marriage, didn’t actually hurt anyone, am still
      friends with several of the guys I slept with, didn’t hurt my marriage, has caused no long term problems in my life, so how can it be a sin? If a sin hurts no one, how can it be a sin? I have nothing to feel guilty about because I hurt no one and these experiences added a lot to my life. Indulging my selfish desires, as long as I don’t hurt others or the world isn’t wrong, IMO.

      It isn’t pride or wanting to go out and “sin” that keeps me from following your god, it is the fact that you have done nothing to convince me that these actions are actually sinful and hurt others. If “god says so” isn’t an appropriate answer when other religions do it, why should it be so when you do it?

      By the way, I’m not weighed down by sin. Not at all. Please stop lying about atheist and implying that they are unhappy.

      1. Taryn says:

        By the way, I do realize that I’m Godwinning myself all over the place in these posts, but I have found that using the Holocaust is the quickest way to make a point when it comes to things like “absolute truths” and “thinking hate is as bad as murder”. IME(and your blog has confirmed this) most Christians who spout these ideas don’t want to think through the logical consequences of what this belief system means. And when faced with applying them to situations like the Holocaust, they cringe away from having to do that. This isn’t some imaginary situation that you can tell yourself will never happen. The Holocaust was real and if you are going to claim to believe these things, then you must be willing to apply them to that time period and those situations. Not doing that and just saying “I don’t judge” is taking the coward’s way out.

  4. L.M. says:

    So you’ve gone back to insulting atheists, eh? The reason they don’t ‘admit’ that your God exists is that they’re just so stinkin’ prideful, those chumps!

    Is this what you’re doing now instead of even trying to come up with proof that your specific God exists? Are you trying to push people onto the defensive? Maybe they’ll just say: “Hey, no! I’m not prideful, your God must exist!”

    It does not work that way. Would you take someone seriously, even for a second, if they used the same cheap ploy with you?

    Consider this:

    “Hey, you’re a poopyhead. You’re a poopyhead because you don’t believe in Ra, the Egyptian sun god. Only poopyheads don’t believe in Ra, therefore you must be a poopyhead! It must burn you up so much to have a head made of poop, eh? Poopyhead. If you were a cool kid, you would believe in Ra. You should probably just believe in him now; that way everyone’ll know you’re a cool kid! Don’t you want to be a cool kid instead of a stupid poopyhead?”

    Convinced yet? Will you be building a temple to Ra anytime soon?

    No, I didn’t think so.

  5. Taryn says:

    It is no more pride that keeps me from believing in your god than it is pride that keeps you from believing on the Hindu gods. I am not lonely. Not afraid. And since I’m not lonely and afraid, I’m not insecure when people say that they have an answer to a problem that I don’t have. I find that Christians are the ones that are more insecure in their beliefs. They can’t just have faith, they have to have proof. And they are so desperate for proof to support their pitiful excuse for faith that they will grasp at any straws, even those that if looked at logically fall apart. Just look at your blog, it is you trying to find “proof” because you lack faith. You are insecure with your faith, you must “prove” your god. Faith, from your own holy book is described as a confidence in what you hope for and an assurance in what you don’t see. Faith, is something that the Christians is supposed live by but I see little faith in this blog. I see a striving for solid proof so that you don’t have to have faith. I see insecurity in your beliefs. I see someone afraid to delve into the deep, difficult question surrounding your belief system. I see someone who wants to convince themselves that atheists must be miserable and must be horrible people who only put themselves first because to do otherwise is to realize that goodness does not stem from your god and that your god is not always good.

    The real question is, if you have confidence in what you hope for and assurance in what you don’t see, why do you need to have proof your god is real? And if it is just to convert others, have they really converted if they lack faith?

    1. Tidbitter says:

      Taryn,
      Writing posts about ‘proof’ doesn’t make my faith any less important than your atheism proves any less need for Jesus Christ. Lonely and afraid is not the prerequisite for great need of a savior. We’ve all sinned. Both you and I have fallen short of perfect. That’s why you need Jesus. Its why J and I, our spouses, and countless numbers of others needed to surrender to Him. No amount of ridicule flinging toward us, this blog, or Jesus will change that.
      We posted about, and will continue to post about the proof of God periodically in answer to some of our readers. We will continue to post on our blog what we feel led by the Spirit of God to write. However, I will respectfully ask you to think carefully concerning your comments here. No matter how hard you dig- through almost 100 posts so far, neither one of us has ever said “atheists are miserable, horrible people,” and to misrepresent, or abuse the privilege to comment here lends itself to your dis-credibility, and ultimately your irrelevance.
      Furthermore, the scripture you’re misquoting is Hebrews 11:1 which states, “now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
      Here’s a couple scriptures on faith which are my personal favs. 1 Corinthians 2:5, “…that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”
      Romans 10:17 “…faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God”
      Praying by name for you. Be well.
      A

      1. L.M. says:

        Tidbitter, you say: ‘through almost 100 posts so far, neither one of us have ever said “atheists are miserable, horrible people,”‘. While you haven’t used those exact words, you have said some pretty nasty things about atheists.

        I would like to draw your attention to the deeply insulting ‘Sin is fun’ thing from ‘5 Reasons Why You Don’t Believe In God’. I don’t think I can do justice to the nastiness and insinuation so I will just quote it:

        ‘2. You found out pretty quickly, that there were actions and behaviors that you enjoyed performing. Sin is fun. It was ok that people around you were questioning faith and hating religion because it was easier to justify your actions. Lying to your folks, or other adults…Who cares? Sleeping around…Why not? Taking something that doesn’t belong to you…well nobody’s perfect!’

        Golly gee! In your world, is that a compliment?

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