A rather interesting question crossed my mind when I wrote my autobiography, Atheist Miracles. I’m going to tell you the thought, and then I’ll explain why I’m talking about it now.
What if Christianity itself is the test to see if you deserve to go to heaven? Meaning: If you are a Christian, that is what gets you banned from entering heaven.
I think this is an important question because I grew up being taught that life itself is God’s test, and you need only believe in Jesus’ sacrifice to earn everlasting life. The very core of Christian doctrine. All you need is to believe… But, what if the real test is seeing what kind of person you are when you DON’T believe?
For all the talk Christians give about how nobody can know the mind of God, they are the ones who are so certain about how God thinks. They are certain that God wrote the Bible (or had something to do with its writing), they are certain that God wants this and hates that…..
How? Honestly, how?
Look, I’m an atheist, as well as an anti-theist. I don’t follow any religion. But, it really makes no sense to me how Christians think they can understand even one, tiny thing about the greatest being in the universe because of a book. All because it’s written in some book (which has never been consistently translated or assembled), that’s all they need to get divine insight.
This is what I’m trying to convey whenever I debate/argue with my best friend (who is a Christian), when he tells me he KNOWS something about God. He’s so certain. Every Christian he interacts with, every Christian he and I both grew up around …, they never ask these kinds of questions. I think if God does exist, in some way, the most important question you should ask yourself is: “What if being religious is the exact thing he does not want you to do?”
Here’s why this question is so important:
Christians live a certain kind of lifestyle, based almost entirely on their Christian beliefs. I understand there are countless denominations and no Christian lifestyle is exactly the same as another, but regardless, Christian lifestyles are all rigid. That’s the one thing they have in common. Rigid lifestyles based on how they interpret the Bible. Take any major religion for that matter. Judaism, Islam, Hinduism…. All rigid lifestyles where they have to do this, and can never do that, because the rules say so.
Wouldn’t it make more sense to see how ‘holy’ a person is when they DON’T believe those rules even exist? Wouldn’t that be a true test of someone’s heart?
Are you still a good person when you don’t feel obligated to live this rigid lifestyle? Because if you’re only obeying the rules because, well, you think you’re obligated to, how can that be a true test of someone’s character?
This is along the same lines of following a certain religion for the sole reason that you don’t want to burn in hell. Is it really following if you’re only doing it out of fear?
It makes a lot more sense to me that a true test of someone’s character is not whether they simply believe, but if they are still a righteous person when they don’t even think you exist.
I’ve never heard a Christian address this. Instead, all you hear from Christians is that you need to transition from a non-believer to a believer… That’s not a test at all. That’s just being persuaded to think a certain way. Regardless if a certain religion is true or not, conversion is still a form of brainwashing. It has absolutely nothing to do with character.
I’ll be bold and say Christians cannot answer this philosophical question, because no matter how they answer it, their response will contradict their beliefs. If they agree that non-belief is a better test of character, that would completely contradict their religious teachings. If they disagree with the premise, they can only use their holy book to base that on, which would be circular logic. If God’s ultimate test truly was to see how you act when you reject his holy book, he wouldn’t give away that secret in that very same holy book. So, it’s literally impossible for Christians to properly answer this question, regardless of their answer. They’re trapped.
This all further explains my problem with religion in general. It can only justify itself, explain itself, and prove itself, through itself. No outside sources allowed of any kind. Faith, and faith only. So, if Christians have had it wrong since the beginning, they will never know, because their teachings require them to be closed-minded.
Look, I don’t think there is a god at all. Every religion is nonsense. If some higher power did exist, it wouldn’t care whether you love it or not. It most likely wouldn’t care about you at all. I’m not an atheist because I think some superman is testing me, I reject religion because it’s all nonsense. But, even though I reject all religions, I still acknowledge I could be wrong, and I am always prepared to be proven wrong. I still haven’t seen any proof. The reason I try to be a good person is because I want to be. Simple as that. For me, it’s about what I see in the mirror, not pleasing some space daddy.
Because I am open-minded about the possibility I am wrong, I am automatically that much closer to knowing the truth than Christians could ever be. It is foolish to refuse to change your mind for any reason because your religion forbids it. Hate to break it to you, Christians, but you could be absolutely wrong about what you think. You could be doing the exact opposite of what God wants, but you’ll never know, because the thing that you really believe is infallible is your own mind.