I recently had a conversation with someone who doesn’t know my God; he’s an atheist.
I’ve lived a pretty sheltered life since it has taken me 27.5 years to find one. I grew up in a conservative Christian home and attended a country high school, where most kids at least acknowledged God, even if they didn’t serve Him. Then I attended a private Christian college. Now I work at a non-denominational mega-church. I don’t meet many atheists.
So when I asked someone recently if he went to church and his response was, No. And if you knew what I thought of religion, you probably wouldn’t like me anymore, I nearly gasped.
And so I pushed for more information. I discovered that he believes the Bible is just a book of stories, which he claims has been proven false over and over.
Religion is a government formed by people to domesticate, he said. He thinks heaven is an idea formed to give people hope; hell is an idea formed to instill fear, so that people will, in essence, live moral lives.
He’s all about facts and science. He’s a big proponent of evolution, survival of the fittest.
He claims to live by the same morals I do as a Christian. Yet if there is a God and if he must answer to this God upon his death, he wants nothing to do with a God who would condemn him to hell just because he didn’t believe in God – even though he was a good person.
I listened intently, rebutting very little of what he said. I admittedly don’t have all the answers, but he certainly wasn’t open to hearing them.
At the end of our conversation, he asked, So, do you hate me now? Apparently I’m the first Christian he has encountered who has not condemned him to hell and walked away.
No, I replied. I’m fascinated that we can have such opposite beliefs. The part I left out was And I’m absolutely brokenhearted that you don’t know my God, because you don’t know what you’re missing.