While on Craigslist, I've had the pleasure to run across an Atheist who calls himself the Technology Freak, a.k.a. "TekPhreak". He also vlogs on YouTube as well as his own website. I read his testimony on his website, TekPhreak.com, and it's pretty typical.
He talks about being an ex-Christian, who "spoke in tongues" and led youth ministries, that lost his belief when he began to see "reason". I take this to mean that something happened to him in that church setting that deeply hurt him, and the result was that he let this hurt tear down his faith, which was not as strong or guarded as it should have been.
Why would I think this? Because he claims to have "spoken in tongues". It's obvious he DIDN'T speak in tongues, but was probably faking it to please somebody. Don't get me wrong. People DO have the gift of tongues, even today, because that gift has a purpose. Tongues is a gift of the Holy Spirit, who has to indwell you and then "baptize" you before the gift can be exercised. Without a true indwelling and baptism, the "speaking in tongues" is phony and just for show. Unfortunately, many churches misuse this teaching and FORCE people to believe that EVERYBODY must speak in tongues, resulting in people walking around trying to impress their friends with gibberish. I'm betting Mr. TekPhreak was brought up in such an environment.
Tongues is still a real, viable gift, but the Apostle Paul clarified this by saying:
I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but I would rather have you prophesy. He who prophesies is greater than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may be edified.
1 Corinthians 14:5 NIV
Now, brothers, if I come to you and speak in tongues, what good will I be to you, unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or word of instruction?
1 Corinthians 14:6 NIV
The Scriptures reveal that Paul wanted people to prophesy, which edifies the body of the Church, vs. just spewing out utterances.
I'm a leader at a church that believes in and seeks after gifts like tongues, but my Pastor will be the first to tell someone to sit down and shut up if his service is interrupted by baby talk that no one can interpret.
But I digress.
TekPhreak makes comparisons between believers and non-believers in attempt to illustrate some sense of superiority on the part of Atheists. My comments follow each of his claims.
"I don’t worship the devil. I don’t even believe in the devil. I don’t hate believers."
No, sir, you may not think you don't hate believers, but you spend a lot of time on the internet attacking their faith and belittling them. Is this how you show love? By the way, the Devil's greatest weapon is unbelief.
"Surely a Omnipotent Omniscient Eternal God would leave some kind of empirical evidence behind, beyond being a character in a bronze age collection of books."
What do you want? What makes you think the empirical evidence God did leave behind isn't being viewed through the wrong lens?
"there is no one ideology or set of behaviors to which all atheists adhere"
Meaning Atheists have no absolute standards or morals.
"There is a reason I don’t believe in God."
Probably many, but that's just subjective on your part.
There is no evidence to support the existence of any God or Goddesses.
On this, he's simply wrong. This an absolutist statement that Atheists make all the time, while hiding behind the tired 'You can't Prove a Negative' Argument. First, there is documentary evidence that Atheists simply refuse to accept. Second, there is observable evidence in the Universe, which has led many scientists to question Naturalism. Third, there is eyewitness testimony and personal revelation. If Atheists wish to sweep all this under a rug, fine, but to say "there is no evidence" is a bald-faced lie.
1. Atheism accepts scientific facts.
So does religion. Atheists don't hold a monopoly here.
2. You can sleep in late on Sun. mornings.
3. You don’t pay someone to tell you what to believe.
This argument is just stupid. In fact, I'll go further to say Atheists DO pay people to tell them what to believe. Those people are known as "college professors".
4. You can deal with reality if you are an Atheist.
Unless that reality includes a Supreme Deity.
5. You don’t live in a fantasy world.
Uh, excuse me, but I don't think it's Disneyland outside my front door, either. It seems that some people who spend a lot of time on the internet are the ones with a warped sense of reality.
6. Atheists are Humanists, in that they have empathy for how others believe and are not blinded by their own belief.
Really? Then why do so many of them spend tons of time and waste lots of bandwidth bashing Christianity? There are entire websites dedicated to this purpose. Ever heard of Chris Baba's evilbible-dot-com? How about the Humphreys jesus-never-existed site, Pedro Timoteo's Way of the Mind, or the God-is-4-suckers website? Show me the slightest bit of "empathy" in any of those sites.
7. Atheists don’t tell others that they are going to hell.
No, but they tell a lot of people to go to hell, anyway.
8. Atheists are more likable.
As long as you don't mind being told you're an idiot if you're a believer.
9. I’ve never met an Atheist that doesn’t have a sense of humor.
Yes, lots of them seem to enjoy having a good cackle after ridiculing believers.
10. Atheists don’t live in fear of gods, hell, or the end of the world.
Until they're faced with the end of their lives, then I'm convinced many of them say "God, if you're real, now's the time to prove it..."
11. i won’t be punished after death for not obeying arbitrary rules.
A faith-based statement for sure. See? not everything an Atheist believes they can prove.
12. atheists are concerned with the environment because there is no “life of the world to come” and they’re not waiting for imaginary beings to save the planet.
Another stupid argument. The man claims to have been a youth pastor and yet is unfamiliar with the biblical concept of stewardship, which includes God's green earth.
13. Guiltfree sex
Married christians enjoy it, too.
14. No tithe.
Yay! more money for beer and pot, or an overpriced i-pad. The heck with charity!
"If you are a christian, the chances are that you have not actually studied the primary article of your faith with a critical eye. If you did, you would realise that that it falls apart under critical scrutiny. I hope one day you do actually take the time to study and scrutinize it."
TekPhreak followed this statement with a video featuring Bart Ehrman, an ex-Christian who has authored some lousy books that demonstate Ehrman's own intellectual dishonesty, which only fools laypersons. I imagine it was an Ehrman book that hoodwinked Mr. TekPhreak. How Ehrman had such stellar teachers as Bruce Metzger and still could be so terribly misgided is beyond me, but that's for another blog entry.
The fact is, I have studied the Bible as long as (and probably harder than) Mr. TekPhreak, and there is still so much I have to learn. I even fell away for a while, but God called me back (not through friends or relatives, but by a gentle pull on my heart).
My faith is real, my faith is strong, and it's for life. I study and pray to keep it strong, something I'm afraid many ex-Christians didn't emphasize in their own lives.
I'll pray for you, TekPhreak.