Guest Post: “Be wise in all you do” Part II -Casey Hayden

I hope you’re looking forward to reading Part II of “Be wise in all you do” written by guest blogger, Casey Hayden.  Just a couple interesting facts about Casey:   He read the 1st Hunger Games book in 1 day and he get can get motion sick on the Lazy River.

When it comes to living life with people and truly seeing them and loving them for who they are, Casey is the person I think of who models this so well.  This is why I’m anxious for him to share some of his insights!  Yesterday, Casey discussed some dangerous mistakes Christians can make in defending their faith.  Today, he’ll share some more successful approaches to explore.

Be wise in all you do, cont.

1)      Atheism is a metaphysical position- (Metaphysical meaning-relating to a reality beyond what is perceptible to the senses)Leaders in the more militant forms of atheism make claims such as “We have all the strong scientific evidence on our side,” which they use to support their position. So in reality, they have no grounds to really get angry when we believe and practice the same approach. There is strong scientific evidence on our side through utilization of historical evidence as well as natural processes that don’t negate a creator (Authors- Isaac Newton, Galileo, NT Wright, Anthony Flew(Diest, but makes solid arguments), John Lennox).  Remember, it is ok to use evidence to support what you believe, in fact I encourage you to as long as it is empirical and testable… and not from an estranged rouge researcher…

2)      Get to the real point- Most of my friends who are atheists have an underlying point. They either hate the church, were offended by a certain faith, encountered whack jobs who distort any exploration of truth, or hate God for not doing something. I want to know the reasons behind the reasons. I have been there. I grew up a pastor’s kid and have wanted to walk away from faith, not on evidential grounds, but on moral objections, primarily from “followers” of religion. It becomes hard to worship a God who allows those followers to do what they do or allows childhood prostitution or cancer or evil in general. But the more I read the bible, the more I realized that those things were actually counter biblical and counter God’s character. War is not the intent. Prostitution is not God’s best or will. Same goes for all evils. Poverty, disease, rape, abuse… the list goes on. One will just have to sift through the emotional arguments. So, get to the real point, which can’t typically be done on a public forum, but can be done on a more personal level.

3)      Objection on Moral grounds is not scientific evidence- One of the biggest flaws some, more of the militant atheists, adhere to is this concept of poisonous religions and that our God is a dictator.  This is heavily flawed and based solely on emotions. If one hates God, there is little you or I could do to change their minds. However, most claims are shallow. They take this shallow position that does nothing for them in the long run. They hate God because of all the violence in the Bible, or because of the polygamy, or because of the contradictions, or because evil still exists, because of certain poems they take as literal truth . These are simply impossible accusations not to fight against. Most of these come from shallow readings of scripture and little actual interactions with the text itself. Moreover, they miss the philosophical and conclusiveness of Christ by ignoring the teachings of the new testament that center around God’s true character, more so, they tend to miss the point. What is tough is when you are put in this position of fighting their nit-pick attacks, you look caddy, which oddly gives them the power to polarize the discussion. This is still a good position to be in though. They are fighting against God on moral grounds, which is like climbing a mountain in a kayak. Sure, there are things that we have yet to discover, but you don’t throw God out on claims of morality, if anything you attempt to clarify their concerns, point them to research.

4)      Last Point- The other point is this, they will tend to use debate styles that they claim we can’t do. For example, I have heard a debater say that scientists can disagree, and have evidence to support their reasoning, but in the same discussion, they claimed that we can’t interpret the bible differently, otherwise the bible is false. That is simply inaccurate.

In all conversations, remember no one is the enemy when it comes to this conversation. Our world is better off working with them to destroy true evil that hinders peoples beliefs and ability to explore faith and the access to education so one may grow. Never forget that our real fight is not against flesh and blood, but evil that has established itself institutionally and created a structure that has made it capable to be sustainable.

-Casey Hayden

So what do y’all think?  I know there is a variety of people from different walks of life who frequent this blog.  Please feel free to have a voice in this.  

Cheers!
Katy

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2 thoughts on “Guest Post: “Be wise in all you do” Part II -Casey Hayden”

  1. Here’s my idea Casey (well, partially mine), and it’s outlining a solid atheist objection to Christianity, the one I’d like to see Christians deal with. I just thought I’d write this because you talk about atheists quite a bit in your post and this is a viewpoint I think is usually left out of the discussion.

    So, one of the best rejections of religion given by atheist thinkers has nothing to do with evil on a grand scale (childhood prostitution, disease, war, etc.) but with everyday evil. The term used for this smaller evil, and actually nobody really calls it evil, is absurdity. The world is absurd. Our everyday lives, and the lives of most people on the planet, are made up of thousands of little actions and thoughts that we repeat day in and day out until we die. We wake up, eat breakfast, drive in traffic for an hour, work 4 hours, lunch break, work 4 hours, another hour in traffic, eat dinner, go for a walk, watch tv, go to sleep.

    It doesn’t matter what you do, where you do it, this is the structure of life and it will always come to seem just as banal and meaningless as the day I just described. For some reason human beings long for meaning in a world that is inherently without it. We ask: ‘Why?’ and we long for an answer.

    There are two main ways we answer that question i.e. make life meaningful. We either don’t reflect enough on it and so are able to ignore it (you might say through distracting ourselves), or we adopt ‘hope’ (Camus). A Christian worldview and language of meaning is an example of this hope, and I’ll give you my reason for saying so.

    You’ll have to tell me if I’m way off in my understanding of Christian theology, because I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know everything about the Bible and the gospel message more specifically, but the way I see it, Christians believe Christ came to save us from our sins, and that by accepting his grace we are forgiven. However, while we live in this world we still sin, we still perpetuate evils great and small. Now, if Christians claim to be forgiven but still sin everyday in this world, then the hope of Christ, of being one with God and one with each other is a hope for the future, and will never, ever be realized on this earth. You can’t sin and be saved, it’s against both of their definitions, according to the Bible. Sin is what separates us from God. Salvation is being able to eternally commune with him, using the imagery in Genesis of Adam and Eve walking with God.

    Yes, one day all will be forgiven and made right. The unaccountable suffering in the world (again, from prostituting children to the throbbing, unavoidable and many times unnoticeable emptiness of existence i.e. absurdity) will end and everyone will enjoy, in every moment, the salvation Christ promises. But not on this earth. Christ’s promise is a promise for the future, and in that way it is not about ‘life’ but about eternity. The reason some atheists reject Christianity is that they wish to find an alternative to this hope. (straight out of Camus).

    It seems to me that a Christian must understand that their worldview implies this rejection of life and go from there. Many visions of life that I find beautiful are fatalistic in that they say a profound sadness is the lot of every human being (Yasujiro Ozu’s movies). I haven’t gotten to Camus’ answer in “The Myth of Sisyphus” yet, but I will say that in an absurd world, there seems to be nothing wrong with accepting that we will have to wait until the afterlife to truly experience the love of God.

    Let me know what wasn’t clear or how you would respond,
    Justin Titus

    1. I think it’s neat that you read Camus. I decided that I should read your entire comment since it’s on my blog and now I’ve hung out with you two times. I know it was for Casey, but it has me thinking. Maybe you’ll never see this, haha.

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