Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Is The
Christian Church
Producing Atheists
Because
Of A Lack
Of Substantive
Teaching?


Probably. It makes sense to me. I find that many of the young people at my church don't seem to know what "we" believe. Many have learned to be nice, meek, and mild in their behavior towards others, but don't seem to know anything of the core beliefs behind the beatitudes.

For men, especially, I believe this is a problem. As G.K. Chesterton said, "When a Man stops believing in God he doesn¹t then believe in nothing, he believes anything."

To which I would add, even atheism. Atheism is an logically unsustainable belief.

What the hell are you saying, Pastorius? It is belief in God which is not rational, but is instead depenedent upon Faith.

Yes, this is true. Faith is required for belief in God. But, Faith is also required to not believe in God, and yet, if one insists there is not God, then there is no reason to have faith that there is no God.

The fact is, and this is a law of logic, it is not possible to prove a negative. Therefore, it is impossible to prove that God does not exist. Therefore, it requires faith to insist that God does not exist.

Truth is, at best the issue is a shrug. What I mean by that is all we can do is shrug and say we don't know.

Unless..

... we have Faith.

At the very least, those who do, indeed, believe in God, have the logic behind them that their Faith has an origin. Atheists simply lack that. Therefore, all who proclaim themselves atheists lie to themselves above all else. Truth is, they have no idea what they believe. They are Agnostics. That is a very different thing from being an Atheist.

Anyway, let's get back to the primary subject of this post. The Christian Church, especially in Europe, seems to have developed quite an incredible taelnt for producing people who proclaim themselves to be Atheists.

In other words, we, the Church, are good at producing people who are in rebellion against God, and who would lie to themselves, in order to sustain their rebellion.

Why would human beings do this?

Because, the Christian Church is not good at teaching the foundational ideas upon which our Faith is based. Instead, we teach mushy doctrine, and mushy doctrine leads to ideas which are logically unsustainable. Therefore, like the computer Hal in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, many people who were raised in the Church find themselves unable to live with the contradictions in their programming.

And, they set out to kill themselves, and God, because the fact of their sheer existence is a logically unsustainable event.

Ooh, I can't believe you said that, Pastorius. Surely, you don't really believe that that is the origin of man's problems. No, it is not the origin. Pride is the origin. But, having fallen into sin through Pride, man now finds himself living with logical paradoxes which are perceived as contradiction, if one is not sustained by Faith.

Because we were Created by God to be Rational, we are programmed to be unable to live with irrationality. It kills us, and it leads us to kill. The wages of sin are death. It is as simple as that. Eat of the fruit and you will surely die.

And, the only way out is to turn to Faith in God, and to thank your Maker for His Grace in providing Salvation, which I believe comes through the Blood of the Lamb which God provided. And His name was Yeshua Ben Josiah, which means Jesus Son of Joseph.

There you go.

Thanks to my friend Lady Vorzheva for passing this along to me:


Christian webmasters: Anthony Horvath - Snt Johnny

Self-described Christian apologist and 'Snt. Johnny' webmaster Anthony Horvath explains why he's using the Internet to spread the Word

By Robert Duncan

The Internet era is opening new communication avenues - and with it an ever-increasing number of electronic missionaries. Self-described Christian apologist Anthony Horvath is one such person who is uniting a love for his faith with technology.

That said Horvath, who runs the
Snt. Johnny website, starts from a pessimistic outlook toward what he believes is the current status of Christianity, and the Christian Church in general. The response, according to Horvath, is to be obedient to Peter's charge in 1 Peter 3:15 to always be ready to give the reasons for what we believe.

According to Horvath, who has a BA in pastoral ministry and is working on a Masters in Philosophy and Apologetics, the Church "is near total defeat because it has failed over the course of recent decades to present itself vigorously."

Horvath - who has worked as a religion teacher and Director for Parish Ministries at a Lutheran church in Wisconsin - says that many modern-day atheists claim to have had a Christian upbringing. And that is where the technology part of Horvath's mission meets his faith.

"People aren't going to their pastors for their information anymore. They're going to the Internet. People aren't leaving the Church just because they're bored with worship styles. People want substance and don't know that we have it," he says.

A quick glance at the Snt. Johnny website shows that Horvath at least appears to be avoiding what for many are "ecumenical hangups," to instead focus his attention on what he calls "propositional terms" for determining if a person is a Christian. A person is a Christian, Horvath argues, if he believes the three "Ecumenical creeds."

"At this point, some 1.5 billion people still hold to what are called the Ecumenical creeds, the Apostles, Nicene, and Athanasian Creed. When the Lutherans disagreed with the Catholics, they called themselves something different (because their propositions in some cases varied) but they could still both be called “Christians” because both groups abided by the Ecumenical creeds," writes Horvath on his website.


While not anti-Catholic, the recent reiteration on the part of the Vatican regarding the definition of "Church" - which some Christians and press mistakenly thought the Vatican was declaring that non-Catholics were not Christians – does seem to rankle Horvath and his Lutheran background.

“There seems to be the attitude that merely belonging to the organizational framework of the Catholic Church is all that is 'required' of a person. The Scriptures really don't support that idea, and the apathy that results in many cases is completely predictable,” Horvath says, adding “But the problem isn't just in the Catholic Church. This notion that a person is 'safe' so long as they are members of some official congregation and that their soul is in jeopardy if they are not is seriously harming the Christian church.”

According to Horvath, “There are some people that have the notion that our job on the planet is to maintain the borders of the 'Church' and if possible, grow those borders. In a word, they think the goal is to win people for the Church. But in fact our job is to save those who are in eternal peril, in a word, save them for Christ.”

Horvath also has harsh words for some churches that “focus on entertaining young people - and adults, too - as though if we just keep them entertained well enough they'll stay in the church. That just isn't the reality. Keep them entertained well enough and many will have pleasant memories about the churches they used to go to and won't like it when people make fun of the church, but they themselves will have chosen to leave the faith altogether.”

“We need to ask ourselves what we are about and really live with the implications. Curriculum should be chosen because of its substance rather than its style. There needs to be more clarity from the earliest to the oldest ages on just what the doctrines of the Church are and how they are derived from the Scriptures,” says Horvath.

In that way, Horvath argues that one of his goals is to be a wake-up call to the united body of Christians. Horvath's mission is also in a large part a result of his having toyed with atheism after years of Christian education. Horvath explains, "First and foremost, the Church produces atheists by refusing to address the questions that young people have, but secondarily, the Church has failed to explain what it believes and why. Books like Richard Dawkins's "The God Delusion" and Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code" do not become best sellers in a society that understands what Christianity is all about."

The solution, according to Horvath, is apologetics in the defence of the Christian faith.

"(What) I am talking about is apologetics at a much broader scale then normally understood. It should not be left to professors or specialists, such as C.S. Lewis. It needs to be incorporated into everything we do as the Church from cradle to grave."

Horvath cites the Resurrection of Jesus as an example, "It is one thing to state that the Christian church believes that Jesus rose from the dead, as a point of dogma and doctrine. It is another to state the belief and give the reasons for maintaining that belief."

While Horvath admits there are plenty of “fine apologetic” websites already, he believes his site is different from many others as, “I focus on dealing with the individual arguments of individual non-Christians and don't usually produce material for the broader audience. But the main difference is that this site is mine.”

Furthermore, Horvath notes that by having his own platform he can engage the the world using his own particular strengths. And while Horvath says that he has seen some people turn to Christianity, the thing to remember is that apologetics is very much 'pre-evangelism.'

"I have a real heart for the college kid looking for answers, but I think the big picture requires us to stop sending our youth out like lambs to the slaughter in the first place,” Horvath said. "The battle turns on the success or failure of the local congregations to step up to the challenge."