First of all: A Proper understanding is needed!Wrong-headed thinking about Atheism and Christianity!Just what is FAITH?
To many times I have seen definitions of Faith on Atheist web pages that are outright FALSEHOODS. Why? Because the ONLY definition of Faith that is TRUE is found in:
Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."Now from the Amplified bible
"NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, [a]the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]."If Atheists are going to get their facts right they must stop defining Faith like this:"Faith means believing something without proper evidence to support it."This is the silliest definition of Faith I've ever heard and is based in the mind of the non-factual person who defines things based on their own beliefs instead of the source of our beliefs!True Christian FAITH is just like a seed that contains all there is to grow up to solid belief just as a tree grows from a seed.
Would that same Atheist say that an Apple seed doesn't have what it takes to grow apples?
Or would he have knowledge to believe that nature has put within the seed all it takes to become an apple tree?
Many people do not know that "How a person, or even a family group THINKS and how that will determine where they end up both physically and spiritually in life!How we THINK inwardly about life causes us to ask questions a certain way with the intent of receiving an answer a certain way. This means that throughout our lives we will reinforce just what we believe without ever getting to God's truth, though we may THINK we are where we should be!It's not always a bad thing but it is a hinderence to freedom from "brainwashed thought" of religous and NON-Religous types alike!Atheists have a completely "wrong headed thought PROCESS" about true Christian working because of THE FALSE CHRISTIAN WORKS IN THE WORLD TODAY!Just because it looks like Christian and acts like Christian DOES NOT MEAN it is Christian any more than someone who says their Atheist and acts like their Atheist and goes to church and gives to christian things is an Atheist!There must be a way to know for SURE IF THEY ARE WHAT THEY SAY THEY ARE!
This stems from the wrong view of believers that God is the only thing that can be believed in. This is not true, most any object, person, place or thing can be believed in to any degree you like while excluding all others.
Many Christians seem to think that atheists don't believe in anything at all, nothing would be further from the truth, I know many Atheists that live admirable lives and that's good but that in and of itself is no better than false Christians living religiously!It is not possible to believe in NOTHING at all any more than it's possible to accept all beliefs at the same time without contradiction!
People's misunderstanding about the nature of atheism can sometimes be traced to a misunderstanding about the true nature of disbelief. Disbelief is simply not accepting what is commonly believed about anything in life, religious or otherwise.
Even I disbelieve MOST of the common "Christianity" I see daily as false and hypocritical at best but that is a good disbelief! Not to follow the crowd is always a prudent thing if the crowd is hurling over a cliff. Don't accept garbage just because it's wrapped in a nice wrapper or behind stained glass windows hiding from what God wants!
I believe that there are just many Misconceptions by Atheists against TRUE Christianity as there are by Christians against Atheism. If we could learn to look at these differences closely there might just be more to like about each side making it easier to discuss the real differences that divide us.
Many theists argue that people "choose" to be atheists and, hence, will be held accountable for such a (sinful) choice (no more sinful than lying that is).
But is atheism chosen?
Are any beliefs chosen at all?
Of course they are, every thought that man has in his mind is chosen to be believed or rejected at some point in their lives. Upbringing plays a big part too, but even then you must chose to hold to what your taught as a youth and grow up to mature knowledge.
Choice is in play throughout ones life no matter what is being believed, the DIFFERENCE comes in how that belief is attached to your life.
Do you THINK FOR YOURSELF finding out in detail what you believe and why?
Or are you a person who "Follows the crowd and believes whatever is in style at the moment?"
To decide to be attached to a certain belief requires us to look at certain evidence that changes or reinforces what we think about life in the first place. It is a miracle to change the way we think and have been reinforced to believe throughout our lives.
This is how God changes lives, by taking our thinking and renewing us to THINK HIS THOUGHTS AFTER HIM!
Most of us go through life meandering between all of these forms of belief until we rest upon the "Evidence and Answers" of detailed belief. These are the kind of people who CAN find truth! Both Christians and Atheists are better served to be DETAIL FINDERS rather than mindless followers and I've met both!
This question is a misnomer at best because to attempt to argue from this perspective leads to insanity of reason for a man can believe in any foolishness throughout his life Smart or stupid and still never convince others that they are right!
The point is it's not what a man thinks in the end its what's right to God himself that matters. True answers will come ONLY when FAITH is received from God to believe, because within that FAITH seed is all the evidence and answers the Atheist wants to know. This means that we don't know anything until the seed of faith opens and reveals God to us.
This is why God hates false religion and all those who mock what they can only know through faith.
This line of reasoning comes from those who do believe so it's not the same line of reasoning an Atheist who does not believe in Hell would take. It is logical from our perspective NOT theirs.
"Aren't you afraid of hell?" means nothing to the mind that cannot know its reality. "Don't you worry about what might happen to you when you die?" means something totally different to a person who thinks that after death is NOTHING!
All rebels against God do not worry and sometimes even mock the Idea of Hell or in some cases relish the idea of an eternal party, but to the Atheist who is well-informed of their belief there is nothing to be concerned about, THEY THINK!
This is what the Bible says of a "Hardened Heart" unable to see or JUST unwilling to be convinced OTHERWISE.
A common understanding of atheism TO ATHEISTS themselves is “not believing in any gods that men believe in, in ANY faith on earth.” They say that no claims or denials are made and this seems a cop-out to those of Faith, BUT as Atheists they will say "The proof is ON YOU not me, because I make no claims!"
(This to me is a foolish way to express belief in any thing, I could do the same thing by saying "I believe in God and that's that so the proof is on you to disprove Him!" and be justified in doing so. )
In a simpler sense the atheist is a person who is not a theist. This understanding is sometimes called the “weak” or “implicit” atheism just as the person who says "I believe in God" but does NOTHING to live as if he does! Since they present NO evidence to PROVE or to DISPROVE anything they believe, it's weak.
There is also another form of Atheism and Christianity, called the “strong” or “explicit” view where they present at least a form of strong Evidence to support their positions to one another.
How a person LIVES what they believe is just as Important as what they SAY about what they believe because if its important enough to preach its important enough to LIVE!
MOST in the churches have forgotten that the World around them is READING them as book right now.