"An atheist's most embarrassing moment is when he feels profoundly thankful for something, but can't think of anybody to thank for it." ~Mary Ann Vincent ~
One of the things I strive for in my life is to be the type of person who is non-judgmental. I try to be accepting of all people regardless of where they are on their spiritual journey. I certainly don’t agree with every religion - even though there is usually a bit of truth to be found in each one. I try to accept people no matter what their religious background is or what church they go to, or even if they choose not to go at all. Personally, I don’t believe you have to be a member of any church if that is your preference. And for those who choose to call themselves atheists (and I know a few) I will not cram my beliefs down their throats, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be praying for them. (I was not a believer until the age of 25, and my conversion was directly related to a dear friend who prayed earnestly for me for three years.) She did not force the issue, but she never gave up on me either. Jesus has a way of softening even the hardest of hearts. And regardless of the name of your religion, Jesus will always be the ONLY way for true salvation. Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14: 6
I also believe that the Bible is the infallible Word of God. All truth can be found within its text. Many people insist that the Bible contradicts itself, and some try to interpret it on their own - making for a lot of confusion. However, I believe if you ask the Lord to help you understand the Bible, the Holy Spirit will lead you into all truth. Period. “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” 2Timothy 3:15-17
There are those people who think that we shouldn't talk about politics or religion – ever, but I don’t mind getting into a heated debate with people if the time is right and they choose to have the discussion. Sometimes it is downright entertaining! Besides that, it’s a great way to get to really know someone: how they think, where their heart is, what they believe in.
All that being said, I have many friends on Facebook who probably don’t see eye to eye with all of my beliefs, and some, in fact, may be unbelievers. I usually look into a prospective new friend’s info section to see what their background and their outlook on life is all about. Some are very secretive, and some are very blatant. I had met a person recently on one of my writer’s groups, and I even noticed that they listed their religious views as atheist. I saw that, and I accepted the friend request anyway. As I stated earlier, I try not to judge. That is the Lord’s job. And for all I knew, the Lord had a plan to use me as an instrument to change another heart.
Yesterday, I had to "unfriend" this person. It’s one thing to be accepting and non-judgmental, but it’s quite another thing to see disparaging pictures of Jesus, (along with nasty comments) in my news feed. I freely admit to posting (on occasion) religious quotes or pithy sayings that have to do with God, (especially during holidays) but I have never posted anti-atheist sayings, calling them stupid or unintelligent. Right now I can’t even remember all that I saw streaming by, but I was appalled by the pictures and derogatory comments that were posted. The negative comments were aimed not only at the Lord, but also at anyone who believes in Him. There was name calling and there was belittling, and many references to the “fact” that anyone who believes in God has to be brain damaged, retarded, uneducated, or at the very least, a fool.
I could have retaliated. But I didn’t. I could have posted this photo:
But I didn't. I didn't call names. I scrolled down the person's wall and realized that almost everyone on there was posting the same types of things. I simply clicked "unfriend".
I didn't need to stoop to their level...I didn't need to tell them they were wrong. And I don't think I have to put up with seeing that garbage on my news feed, so I don't feel like I made the wrong choice.
The Bible says it quite well: The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt. Their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good. Psalm 14:1
Note: The Hebrew words rendered fool in Psalms denote one who is morally deficient.
What would your reaction be if the same thing had happened to you?
Please feel free to comment.