Pointless Past, or Precious Purpose

Nothing.
Radiation… Gas…Energy.
Time.
Water.
Time.
Single-celled amoeba’s.
Time.
More time.
You.
Does this make sense to anybody?

We teach this to children, at least in the U.S., starting from a very young age, but then wonder why they grow up with a devalued sense of another person’s importance.
For instance, if I raise my children believing that they’re only slightly more intelligent than a primate, with ultimately a survival-of-the-fittest mentality, because it’s a dog-eat-dog world, why would I wonder why they might cut themselves, bring guns to school, bully, steep in great depression, self medicate, or contemplate suicide?
No, you say, that’s unfair. There are so many other factors that go into account than a complete lack of faith in God…
But in all the reasons you could come up with, barring a genuine medical mental issue, they all can be traced back to the lack of morality- the lack of God, when we raise our children with no higher purpose.
You could get frustrated, like so many, and say, “Well that’s ridiculous! I can be an anti-theist, an agnostic, an atheist, or simply not care about any deity at all, but still be ‘moral’. I can still teach my children to be ‘good’. I have taught them to respect others, and to be ‘tolerant’ of anyone.”
I guess my question to you is what is good?
What’s good enough?
Where’s the limbo bar of perfection, where we can’t bend far enough, but we still go to the back of the line to go through again, still playing the game…
“Well, good is loving people..,” you say.
“Where does love come from?” I’d ask you.
You see, love comes from God. God loved us first. That’s the whole reason you’re even here. But if you’re not telling them that, then their moral compass is shaky, and doesn’t even point true north.
How about these truths?
God made you. He created you to know Him.
He loved you even before you would ever wonder if He’s real..or decide if He was worth knowing at all.
You have a great purpose for being here. You have a purpose designed for you before the foundations of the world were laid.
All you have to do is ask, in faith that He’s there, to show you who He is.
He wants to walk with you.
He wants to speak with you.
Now that, is something which kids can look forward to in their lives. I know because I’ve lived it. You can read my God-filled adventure stories in past posts. God is very very real.
If you haven’t, may you introduce yourself to Him, and if you already have, you know exactly how real He is.
Peace,
A

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15 Comments Add yours

  1. Taryn says:

    I’m really interested in finding out if you and your church actively push purchasing only fair trade products. I don’t see how you can claim to teach your children to value another person’s importance if you aren’t doing that. If you need information about this because you were previously unaware and so that you can get your church to spread the news then I would be more than happy to help out.

    1. Tidbitter says:

      Hi Taryn,
      In answer to your question, yes our family is well educated on this topic. Honestly, I was pretty uneducated on the subject until 2 years ago when ironically I purchased a Christian homeschooling curriculum called Winter Promise. They have many books, such as Working Children that spell out in depth the atrocities going on globally, and fueled mostly by the Western culture.
      No, I do not drink coffee, purchase chocolate, or trinkets. I don’t buy party supplies, (we make our own) nor do I purchase world market rugs and other things that I’ve learned about. Our family cares deeply about other exploits of children as well, and give our time and resources to help. We also feel partly responsible for this world we’re living off of. Our family practices organic gardening, we compost our own soil, and recycle every bit. I also do not drive an SUV, and am a proponent of solar power. There is much more, and I only state all of this because of your persistent interest. Not all followers of Jesus are irresponsible, gluttonous, cheek-turners. If the topic comes up, I will share my views, but it will be no surprise to you that if I preach, I preach Christ, and Him crucified. There are some really important stuff in the world to be involved in, and as a family we are….I just happen to believe that finding faith in Jesus is the number one top priority. Thanks for your comment.
      A

      1. Taryn says:

        I’m frankly horrified that you will not preach loving and caring for others by buying fair trade items only.Yes you are being an irresponsible Christian who is not placing a great deal of value on the lives of others if you don’t put the lives of other people as a top priority and spread the word.

        What does it say that I, a godless person care enough about the lives of the poor, kidnapped, enslaved, exploited people in other countries that I actively try to tell as many people as possible, while you, someone who in this post claims to value the importance of other lives will not do that? The problem with so many Christians is that they are so focused on the afterlife that they forget to care about this life, and you are an example of this. I have no afterlife to care about so I put my focus on this life. It kind of throws a kink in your claim that the ungodly grow up with a devalued since of another person’s importance. No, my children know. And they know that it is a top priority to care about others.

        I am honestly saddened that you know but do not tell. Does your church at least refuse to buy the cheaply made trinkets made by exploiting poor people and teach it’s members to only buy fair trade items? I don’t see how you can say your church teaches people to value other’s lives as important if they do not do this. It would give me hope that most Christians are selfish people if I found out there was at least one church that cared enough to teach its members to care about people in other countries who are being exploited to provide cheap items for America.

  2. L.M. says:

    Oh hum! I know this might seem odd, considering that this poem has been spreading around the internet like a wildfire, but I do feel strange about reproducing it in full. Is there any way you could edit the comment to delete it or delete some of it? Is that within your power? Thanks.

    1. Tidbitter says:

      Out of respect for you I did as you asked. However, I would encourage you to ask yourself if you’re too easily offended. Poetry, as well as music and art are subjective. It is a persons response to their emotion. You’re not going to like every song I like. If you and I were walking the Museum of Art, both you and I might have different taste. I’m not offended by music that blasphemes God, I just don’t listen to it. Perhaps the Jewish family read the poem with nothing but a simple shrug. Not everyone gets uptight. Just my opinion…

      1. L.M. says:

        Just to be clear: I did not ask you to remove the poem because it offended me and I felt it should be supressed. I realised (only after leaving the poem) that I felt uncomfortable reproducing copyrighted material in full.

        But, you know, maybe this discussion does prove my point. You seem to think that I’m being overly sensitive. What if it swings the other way and you are being too insensitive, too unfeeling, too numb? What if you’ve reached a point where you assume that everyone is just as hard-hearted as you are (or they should be, otherwise they’re just being ‘uptight’) and you just don’t see it?

        There is a possibility that the Jewish family shrugged off their dead child being used as Christian propaganda. Maybe they didn’t care at all that their child’s death was used in a way that explicitly referenced Christianizing their country and Christianizing schools (acts that would force an alien religion onto them and marginalize their own faith). And maybe posthumous conversions and forced conversions have absolutely no negative connotations for them… because they’re not uptight like I am!

  3. Taryn says:

    I’m also not really sure why you think non-believers raise their children to believe it is a dog-eat-dog world and to put themselves first. I’ve explained to you several times how I taught my children and how it isn’t anything like you describe. I don’t know if you are purposely ignoring that because it doesn’t fit your preconceived ideas about how atheists believe or if you truly don’t understand.

    I wouldn’t actually say good is loving people. People do bad things out of what they consider love. From beating and mutilating their children to refusing life saving medical care. They do these things, not because they hate their children, but because they love them and think that those actions are helping the children in some way. You can also be good towards people you don’t like or even love.

    To me good is subjective. To go back to the Nazi Germany/Jew time in our recent history. For many of those Jews good was to kill, lie and steal. Their actions were not bad. But for me, in my current place and time in this world killing, stealing, and lying would not most likely be a good thing. There might arise occasions where these actions would be good, but at this moment they wouldn’t be. Good depends on the situation and people need to be equipped to evaluate situations and determine what actions brings about the least amount of harm.

    1. Tidbitter says:

      Taryn, I am not surprised that you’re “horrified”, or disappointed. You will never be content with anything J or I ever say. You speed-read past what the majority of Christ followers in this world do right, to be critical and libelous. That’s okay. You don’t like God, so you don’t like us. I get it.
      What I’ve seen hundreds of times over, and what you do not understand, is that if someone places their life in Jesus’ hands, their lives are changed…Radically. Factories shut down, addictions and aimless ambitions cease, and innocent people are set free. You can put a dent in the problem, or you can eliminate it.
      You are entitled to your opinions, but you disrespecting our beliefs, or slandering our character is not going to inspire anyone.
      A

      1. Taryn says:

        You also speed-read right past what atheist say about how they raise their children. You slander the character and beliefs of atheist so I’m not sure how you are supposed to be inspiring us to want to follow your god. You imply over and over again despite being corrected that atheist raise their children in an immoral fashion to only put themselves first and in a “dog-eat-dog” manner. If the point of your blog is to just pat yourself on the back and talk about how Christians are better than everyone else then you do succeed in that. If your point is to try and convert atheist then you have failed and honestly, I started commenting because I thought you would be interested in knowing why none of your arguments would actually sway an atheist because you desired to be able to sway the beliefs of non-believers. If you don’t actually care about learning these things, please let me know

        I don’t actually dislike you at all. I’m saddened that you cannot take the time to think of a way to share your religious beliefs while at the same time preaching that Americans need to stop supporting companies that exploit people in other countries. I brainstormed for a few minutes and came up with ways to do that and I’m not even a Christian. If someone preached at me while at the same time sharing why as a Christian they care enough about others that they only support free trade items, it wouldn’t convert me, but I would respect the person so much more.

        I’m frustrated that you seem to skip over and ignore questions like “If there is absolute right and wrong and no stealing/killing/lying is in there, then isn’t it absolutely wrong for all times and all situations?” I’m frustrated that you continue to spread the lie that atheists raise selfish children who don’t care about others. But dislike, no, not really. I am blunt and get right to the point without sugar coating it so it might seem as dislike. But you claim I raise children in a dog-eat-dog world and to not value the lives of others, that makes it seem like you also dislike me.

        Does your church value the lives of others enough to tell it’s members to buy only fair trade items? And if not, how does this demonstrate Christians placing a high value on the lives of others? I’m truly interested in how you reconcile this if your church does not do it.

  4. Taryn says:

    I have actually found that my atheist friends place a higher value on their lives, the lives of others and the life of the earth than most Christians I have encountered.

    I have seen so many rabid gun freaks who are Christians because, hey, they have no qualms in taking the life of someone they find threatening. They are usually pro-death sentence even when I point out how this can result in the death of innocent people. They have the “God can sort that out” attitude. That isn’t even addressing the people who don’t care about the lives of children/adults who are exploited or even enslaved to produce cheap products for Americans. I had a conversation with a lady who was trying to invite my children to Bible school and she used cheap trinkets that would be given away to entice my children into wanting to come. But since my children are well educated in why we try to avoid purchasing products that are not fair trade they gave her an ear full on why they did not want these sorts of products. The lady was offended and did not want to learn more about how to purchase fair trade items to give away. No she wanted to stick to the cheap items and ignore the human suffering that is behind it. Do you care? Do you stick to fair trade items? Do you value the lives of other humans enough that you would never purchase things that are made by exploiting the poor in other countries? This includes such luxuries as coffee and chocolate. The kidnapped child slaves behind most of the chocolate you buy in the stores is fairly horrific. As a Christian do you value those lives enough to give up cheap, easy to attain items?

    In their own lives I’ve seen Christians over eat and suffer horrible health problems as a result and say “I’m getting a new body in heaven so this one doesn’t matter.” They view this body as disposable.

    And as for the earth. So many Christians care little about it. They don’t want to hear about global climate change or how their actions might have a long term negative effect on the earth. They are going to heaven and God is coming back so they just don’t care.

  5. L.M. says:

    I have resisted leaving this final note, but I am going to leave it. I know this blog has very limited patience for my metaphors and analogies, but I want to write this one anyway:

    The only reason flowers bloom is because a magical, invisible unicorn sneaks up to them and whispers secrets at them. The flower opens up so that it can hear the secret better.

    Ridiculous, right? Completely stupid? Of course it is, but I’ve done the exact same thing that you just did. Take an existing phenomenon (in my case blooming flowers, in your case love) and tack onto it some ridiculous fantasy story (in my case whispering unicorns, in your case a god). Saying that your god invented love, and the endless blarp of “truths” that supposedly follows on from this, doesn’t actually mean anything. You’ve taken a pretend thing and tacked it onto a real thing. Setting a child’s moral compass with that as “true north” is setting a moral compass on fantasy. That is not stable. It is not reliable. It’s idiocy.

    I’d also like to take issue with this recurring theme in your blog that all you have to do to find out that God is real is to believe in God. That’s not sensible, that’s not a thing. All you have to do to accept our sketchy and unlikely premise is to unquestioningly accept our sketchy and unlikely premise. Then it will seem true to you! Seriously, is anyone biting?

    “Dear God,” I scream at the top of my lungs. “My name is L.M, it’s nice to meet you. Please come into my life!”

    Still nothing.

    1. Oh, L.M…you’re so funny! Earlier today I forwarded your comment to J, and with a note attached that said, “hey, L.M. is being respectful and kind in his comments today…awesome. But then I read this one. Lol. You have a funny way of trying to help me see something clear from that perspective, but those analogies, or perspectives just don’t…I’m sorry. I’m not stupid, but these are just not helping. (Smile) I’m going to kindly leave this one, and comment on the intellectually stimulating other one….
      A
      You know, now that I think about it, and have read this metaphor again and tried hard over the last 90 seconds to think it through you do have a point. IF you had millennium old documents unearthed from caves in the Middle East that are exact replicas of a book so well put together, and written by that unicorn by over 40 authors, and over hundreds of years coinciding, well I just might have to sit down and start reading it with an open mind…:)

      1. L.M. says:

        So you find my first comment intellectually stimulating…. but you completely sidestep it and ignore it? You have no comment on any of it, you’re just going to let it slide?

        I’d also like to point out that just because something is old, it doesn’t make it true. Based on your reasoning, you would have to believe in just about every major world religion. Hinduism is nice and old, there are some lovely old texts supporting that one. So why not?

  6. L.M. says:

    Are you intentionally misrepresenting ‘survival of the fittest’ or do you genuinely not understand it? It is not the equivalent of dog-eat-dog or every man for himself. It is not a ‘mentality’ or a policy or a philosophy. It is a description of a natural phenomenon and ‘fittest’ just means “best suited”. It is not about an individual deciding to put himself first and surviving by bashing the other guy on the head in order to steal his bread.

    For humans, and for other species, being best suited means being sociable. Living together, being part of a group, is GOOD from an evolutionary standpoint. Love, trust, caring, compassion make us better suited to survive as a species. Being able to live together in groups makes survival so much easier. It is easier to feed ourselves, shelter ourselves, defend ourselves from external threats, produce offspring, etc. when we can do so together.

    It’s also worth pointing out that disregarding a god (and whatever other magical, cosmic superstructure for the world) actually forces people to care more. We care more about life because this is the only life we have, we care more about the world because this is the only world we have. Think of the many different ways in which religious faith is used to numb us to our lives and to other people’s lives. The example that sticks in my mind (perhaps due to its sheer tastelessness) is the poem that spread around the internet after the Sandy Hook tragedy. It was about how happy and grateful those poor children were to have been murdered. Being murdered was a good thing! It meant that they could go and live with Jesus!!!!! The horror, shock, disgust, sadness, and sympathy that naturally arose from that tragedy were being tamped down by Jesus, faith and religion. People were made to care less.

    There are a million other examples of the same thing. When someone dies their grieving relatives are told “he/she’s gone to a better place” or “Heaven needed another angel” or something like that. Again, feelings are numbed by your religion.

    Religious people are taught that this life is transient. They are made to believe that this is a mere blink of the eye compare the great eternity that they will experience in Heaven or in Hell. Imagine the cruelty that this inspires, condones and encourages! Anti-gay Christians feel justified in their cruelty and discrimination against gay people because no matter how nasty and awful they are in this life, they are acting out of (so-called) love because they are saving the gays in the next life. There is also that idea that your suffering in this life will somehow be rewarded in the next. It’s the same trick as was used on some plantation slaves to keep them obedient and compliant. Those who are mean to you in this life will be punished, you will be rewarded. This kind of thinking makes people bend to their own horrendous exploitation and accept it. In the even more extreme cases, some religions teach that anything bad that happens to you is the result of your own badness. If you are sick, if you are poor, if you are suffering, it is the result of your own sin and lack of faith. So why care about those who suffer? Surely those people brought it upon themselves?

    There are so many ways in which Jesus numbs people to their own natural feelings – their love, their concern, their recognition of their own suffering. There is so much more emotional anesthetic in religion than in atheism/agnosticism/secularism. Surely you can see that.

    1. You and I dissagree. Survival of the Fitesst originated with Herbert Spencer. He “first used the term in his book Principles of Biology, published in 1864. In that book (vol 1 p444) he wrote: “This survival of the fittest, which I have here sought to express in mechanical terms, is that which Mr. Darwin has called ‘natural selection’, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life”
      Ok, so Natural Selection. Natural selection explains why living organisms change over time to have the anatomy, the functions and behaviour that they have. It works like this:
      All living things have such fertility that their population size could increase rapidly forever.
      Actually, the size of populations does not increase to this extent. Mostly, numbers remain about the same.
      Food and other resources are limited. So, there is competition for food and resources.
      No two individuals are alike. Therefore, they do not have the same chance to live and reproduce.
      Much of this variation is inherited. The parents pass the traits to the children through their genes.
      The next generation comes from those that survive and reproduce. The elimination is caused by the relative fit between the individuals and the environment they live in. After many generations, the population has more helpful genetic differences, and fewer harmful ones.[2] Natural selection is really a process of elimination.[3]”
      Quote taken from Simple English Wikipedia.
      This ‘elimination’ just might have evolved into a philosophy. You can see it in education. Students are self medicating to be able to stay awake to study in direct competition with their peers, or illegally purchasing their grades to stay in their respective universities. You can see it in corporate business, or even in elections. Slander, libel, false reporting, inaccurate headlines, gossip and backbiting just to get the job. So you can eliminate him, and get ahead. You see it even in simpler arenas of life like parenting. “My Johnny is excelling in his class. He’s farther than most of his peers…” The list goes on. I dont think I was that far off…Really, if you want to aim a magnifying glass to it, call it what it is. Sin.

      In your second paragraph, you mention love, trust, caring and compassion, but fail to regard it’s origin. Where do you believe these ‘inherited’ traits came from? Are you saying these evolved from the primordial soup as well? After lots and lots of years even complete strangers will sacrifice their lives for others? The caring and sacrificial public servants and firefighters on 9/11 gave their lives because somewhere way back their great great grandfathers who were primates, or birds needed to bulk up to get through a famine or drought? Come on. The attributes of love, compassion, and sacrifice are far greater than that. They’re supernatural.

      I’m unfamiliar with tasteless poetry, so I cannot comment on that one, but you won’t be surprised to know we believe that when a child dies it’s soul goes to heaven. However, that does not discount the great loss their loved ones feel now. Nor does it negate the great need to find a way for the tragedy to be the last.
      My husband and I lost a child in our second trimester. There were the lamest things said to me by well meaning individuals.
      “God must have needed that little one more than you did.” What?! (As if God needs anything) Or, “you’ll get it back…perhaps when you get pregnant again, that little one’s soul will get to come back” WT?! I was surprised, and more than a little annoyed-disgusted, to tell you the truth, at the absurdityof multiple comments, and crazy things people said about what I was going through.
      But that’s where you and I differ. I completely realize that people are not “tramping down”sadness and sympathy purposefully. They are not “numbing” feelings from the one who is grieving. It’s actually impossible. They are simply faced with this horribly complex moment in time, staring into a red and tear stained face filled with inextinguishable sadness, and they simply do not know what to say. They are frozen in complicated emotional angst, and say anything that comes to mind that will fill the uncomfortable silence. They believe they are comforting. Unless someone has gone through it, they can’t possibly know how completely discomforting their words are, but their heart is trying nonetheless. You seem to have a pessimistic point of view. I see people wanting to do what is right, but finding themselves blowing it. You believe they do incorrect things because of their ‘idiocy’. There is no perfect person, friend.
      Which brings me to my next point. You write, “religious people are taught that this life is transient. They are made to believe…” Yuck. We are not made to believe anything. I hope you will come to realize there are huge numbers of highly educated, some even secularly raised, Christ followers in the world. We’re not ‘idiots’, like you want to believe, and that shows some ignorance. Some who claim to be Christians are not helping, I grant you that. There’s a lot done in the name of Jesus that I disagree with, as I’m sure there are some atheists you wonder about, and disagree with as well. We are an imperfect people, living in a not-so-big world anymore. But if I’ve said it before, I’ve said it a thousand times, just because you title yourself something doesn’t make you what you claim. Actions speak louder than words.

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