Christian Atheists. Sounds like a contradiction in terms, doesn’t it?
I’ve debated whether to talk about this, given the complex, varied and sometimes volatile view of Christianity in the blogosphere. And while there is an official definition of Christian Atheism, I’m going to be playing a bit fast and loose with my interpretation.
My definition of a Christian Atheist can be found in every church and in every denomination. The type of Christian Atheism I’m talking about can affect every single Christian at some point in their lives. And we’re all susceptible to its theology, and might not even realize it.
Simply put, it’s professing to being a Christian, but living like God doesn’t have any real bearing on our lives, or has any impact in how we make decisions. It’s when we insist we believe in a God of the Universe; a God that hears our prayers; a God that’s in control of events…..yet we put strict parameters on where, when and how He’s involved in our lives. It’s the resistance to having a personal relationship; always keeping Him at arm’s length so not to get too carried away with “that sort of thing” so we don’t have to give up too much of our precious time. Or, be too accountable for our actions.
Sometimes we want God’s guidance, but are quick to try and take back control when life gets scary and bumpy…thinking we can take care of it much better all by ourselves. Or, we live like He’s not part of our lives until life gets scary and bumpy…then we’re all about making spiritual back-room deals.
If we’re Christians, and honest ones at that, we’ll admit this happens to us…a lot. After all, we already know we’re fallen creatures, unable to live up to those pesky commandments that mark a perfect life. That’s just a fact, Jack. We’re all works in progress.
I’m sure none of us consider ourselves to be Christian Atheists, but we all have the potential to fall into that mindset. We may call ourselves Christians, yet there’s a definite disconnect when it comes to how we conduct our lives.
And aren’t we masters of the excuse?!
I believe God’s providence, but am still worried about……
I believe happiness lies with God, but to be truly happy, I need……..
I believe in God’s comfort, grace and forgiveness, but can’t move past……
I believe God hears prayers, but not sure it makes any difference because…….
I want a deeper relationship with God, but can’t find/don’t want to make time to………
See what I mean? We have a gazillion excuses on how NOT walk the walk even though we try and talk the talk.
We may pray…occasionally…but deep down, we don’t believe it really makes any difference. Sometimes there’s a grand canyon chasm between our actions at the Saturday night partay! and Sunday morning worship…if we even make it there. And for that matter, sometimes there’s a deeper chasm between how we act in Sunday morning worship and Monday morning at the office.
And, while we’re being honest, don’t we all have a little difficulty getting our arms around some of the things God does and doesn’t do? After all, why do good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people? Why can’t God just make everyone’s life a bed or roses and leave it at that? Why are there struggles, hardships, broken relationships, death? If He was truly powerful and in control, He’d………
See what I mean? The second we begin second-guessing the Creator of the Universe, we have the potential to become Christian Atheists.
How do we get our beliefs and actions to align?
How do we develop a faith that is genuine and authentic?
How do we put our happiness into the hands of something we can’t see, hear or touch?
How can we not latch on to the latest culture-craze mindset and focus on developing a solid foundation for our lives?
Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
Those who believe that they believe in God, but without passion in their hearts, without anguish in mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, without an element of despair even in their consolation, believe only in the God idea, not God Himself.
~Miguel de Unamuno, Spanish author and philosopher
Just a bit of randomness today. Hope you all are having a great week.