Disclaimer: The names of people and places are imaginary,but the story is based on real-life experience.
They say that airplane faith is too light.If the airplane is the way, board it… If getting to town from where you stay needs you to get into your car and drive there or board a matatu or a bus.Use the means to get there.
In Psalms 53:1,David writes, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God’ They are corrupt and have done abominable iniquity…”
“Why are atheists,atheists?”…I always had this question in mind and so I decided to take a journey to ‘the land of atheism’…I had to board a mat,get a plane,take a boat and sail through mucky waters.A huge colourful signboard written, ‘Welcome to the land of atheism, where science and rationalism are superior to fairy tales’…stood by the lake.
I knew this is the place I have so desired to visit. All alone, with my sling bag hanging on my waist and a bottle of water on my hand,I begin to follow a narrow,meandering road that gets me to a huge gate.I show my passport to the guard and get a pass through the huge gate!…My goodness the people in this land are so friendly,so attractive and jovial… They just live their lives!…I finally got into my room and decided to take rest before I set out the next day…
So bright was the next day, I could not help but remain optimistic!…I made a stop at a huge research centre on ‘Open-minded Street’ and began going through their findings…very interesting ones to say the least…
According to a research done by Religious Landscape Study in the year 2014,8% of those who call themselves atheists say they believe in God or a Universal Spirit and 2% are absolutely certain about the existence of God or a Universal Spirit… “So,their issue could be admitting that they believe in the existence of someone somewhere,Sovereign and Ultimate,”I thought to myself.
Flipping through the same study,I notice that compared to 45% Christians,54% atheists often feel a sense of wonder about the universe.”No wonder atheists who become theists make the most loyal and dedicated Christians,”I thought to myself again… It was already 2pm,never noticed the time fly!.I was exhausted and decided to go back to my room and think through what I found.At around 4.00pm,I decide to take a stroll down ‘Quest lane’…
I see a young man,under a tree humming and staring at the sky.I decide to join him hoping to start a conversation about what I found out today. ‘Hi?’ I carefully greet,hoping to get an answer… ‘Hi there young lady,what are you doing walking all alone at this time of day along this very lonely lane?’…’Well,I was just stretching,from a long day…(silence followed)… ‘Isn’t nature just beautiful?’ I divert. ‘My name is Justin by the way,and you are?…’Vivian,’ I respond shyly.
For an hour we just sat there quiet.It was such an amazing experience because at that very moment my heart burst into worship and awe of God.I was lost in His presence…
“…it was then that I became an atheist,” concluded Justin. I never heard a word he said,except for the last few words. “What do you mean when you say,you became an atheist?…are you one?,” I naively asked. “You mean all this while I have been talking to myself?” Justin asked looking at me. “I am so sorry Sir,my mind had strayed,looking at God in…” “God??!!”he interrupts,”You also believe in those fairy tales?”He asked his eyes turning red,while clinching his fist. I knew there and then it was time for me to go,and like a cat whose tail was stepped on,I excused myself and walked back to my room and into my cosy bed with pen and notebook at hand.
“Why was he so angry?” I wondered…I woke up the following morning and realized I actually blacked out.My pen and notebook were still at hand!…Strange.
My conversation with Justin triggered a familiar question in me, Why are atheists, atheists? and this is what brought me here in the first place.After an hour of freshening up and taking breakfast, I step out again and this time,headed to ‘Testimonial library’.On getting there, I randomly pick testimonials of various atheists and begin to read,as I note down.A number of questions were common to almost all of them, ‘Who created God?’…’How is God three in one?’…’Why did a loving Father have to send His only Son to die such a grotesque death?’ ‘Why does God allow me to suffer?’… An atheist boldly concludes, ‘There is no God’
I concluded that first and foremost,the reason as to why atheists are atheists is because they never find answers to their difficult but genuine questions from Christianity or Judaism or Islam.Science and rational thinking does it perfectly for them.
“How does the Creator feel when the created openly denies Him?” I wondered in disbelief.
To be honest,I cannot blame an atheist because as Christians, we tend to shy away from questions regarding Christianity,but let’s look at 1 Pet 3:15, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you,with meekness and fear”
It is expected of us to know why we believe in what we believe in.Paul,Barnabbas,James and Peter in the book of Acts of the Apostles did encounter situations where they needed to give answers and defend what they so boldly proclaimed.
The worship of God does not only entail reverence and awe of Him,but also consists the defense of who God really is and why you are a Christian in the first place.
Still at ‘Testimonial library’ I come across a lady who has a T-shirt on,with the following printed words, “God is not merely good but goodness; goodness is not merely divine, but God”… For the first time since I stepped into this land I saw someone who had boldly declared her faith using C.S Lewis’ words!…I ran towards the lady and tightly hugged her!…” Am so sorry ma’am,was overtaken by excitement,”I defended myself…. “No problem my dear,I have had a gazillion of such from strangers like you…lemmi guess…you are a Christian?”…” Yes!… I am one! Just like you are!” I said excitedly!…”Shhhhh…lower your tones dear,follow me,lemmi take you to the ‘Redeemed section’of this library”…I followed her closely looking around in curiosity.First floor…second floor… Third floor… “This is the place,take in as much as you can and in case you need anything, this is my card…” She left me there standing on my own…I couldn’t stomach what I saw…
Is this it?…Turning to my left I saw a huge signpost written,
“YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW”
Overwhelmed,confused, condemned and feeling lost…
(Next week my adventure continues…)
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