In this video posted the other day on the Christian website Crosswalk, an ex-atheist named Kristin — no last name given — becomes tearful when she recalls how she finally found faith.
Over the course of six minutes, Kristin (cool name for someone fated to love Jesus!) describes her bleak past and her happy present.
I was sincerely hoping to find some real insight and explications here. Am I just too dense (or wicked) to see it?
In the first two minutes, she explains her old state of mind as an atheist.
I didn’t believe there was hope. I didn’t believe in true love. Five years ago I didn’t even believe in myself.
If God really cares about people… he wouldn’t let children starve, and cities burn down, and he wouldn’t let people get into situations where they hurt each other.
A common but excellent observation. This is where my heart beat a little faster. Wars, cancers, and plagues are logically incompatible with the concept of a loving God. Maybe Kristin has at long last solved the problem of evil for us.
I just thought Christians were meddlers and they took away the rights of people and they were just trying to create this New World Order.
Many, yes. Check, check, and check.
I became really combative. Like, I’m not going to let them get away with this. This is a fairy tale. This is crap. Like, they cannot just come and fill people’s heads with this fantasy.
If that’s the sum total of Kristin’s former feelings about Christians, she was doing it wrong. It’s important to occasionally laugh at them too.
Still, that quote describes pretty well the driving force behind some of religion’s most formidable opponents. Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens come to mind. There’s nothing wrong with such motivations, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with seeking truth. If the opposition to religious nonsense is carried out well — publicly and with intellect, eloquence, and hopefully wit — that approach is brave and completely admirable.
I faced life feeling like every day should be awesome and it should be fun but I did that with drinking and drugs and boyfriends.
Ah. A hedonistic heathen who succumbs to the lure of the fateful apple, who slips into substance abuse and promiscuity. Are we sure this isn’t scripted by the God’s Not Dead folks? Is “Kristin” an actress? I mean, next thing you know, they’ll have her saying she got knocked up and went to an abortion clini– Oh. Yep. There it is.
I met a really awesome guy and we got close but, probably a little too close because I got pregnant only a few months after we met. I decided, I got to get rid of this problem.
But at the clinic, Kristin couldn’t go through with it. Of the fetus, the size of “a dot,” she wondered
… how on earth that was going to become a life. This had to be something bigger than me.
Evolution and biology are arguably bigger than Kristin. But she leapt to the conclusion that that “something bigger” was God, without the apparent bother of connecting any dots. And of course, she didn’t believe in just any god, either. Not in Zeus, Ra, or Vishnu; nor in Odin, Buddha, Allah, or Huitzilopochtli. Kristin picked the Christian deity. Big surprise.
Weeks or months earlier, Kristin, who we’ll assume to be smart, would’ve rejected the notion that “something bigger” and “God” are synonymous. And she probably would’ve pointed out that people born in Pakistan overwhelmingly become Muslims, and Indian citizens Hindus, just as most Americans become Christians — damning facts for anyone who thinks they’ve rationally chosen their religion, and that it’s the only correct one.
Anyway. Like a mosquito on a blood run, a Christian friend of Kristin’s sensed that she was ready to come to Jesus, and invited her to church with the promise “There are answers. Just give it one month!” So she did.
Kristin recalls that the worship team performed Cannons by Phil Wickham. The lyrics contain lines like
You are holy, great and mighty
The moon and the stars declare who You are
I vividly remember … thinking, Wow, that’s what I feel.
What? How? And why? We never find out.
You know, having been an atheist, and believing in science, … the moon and the stars declare who You are, it took me away from that happenstance. And [it] put me in the position of, just like I was created, and my baby was created, this whole world, this whole universe was created.
And they all proclaim what a power He is.
The heavenly bodies, or the worshipers around her? If the former, maybe a book on cosmology would help. If the latter, argumentum ad populum.
And on a personal level, it says, I am so unworthy, but still You love me. For me, this didn’t make any sense. He can redeem good people, and people who’ve made little mistakes and messed up. … He doesn’t redeem women who are pregnant out of wedlock who have a path of emotional carnage behind them.
That’s a little odd. Christians and their god forgive real genocidal maniacs and actual serial killers with startling effortlessness. That’s one of the central schticks of the Jesus faith. It’s obvious — a given — that the Savior wouldn’t blanch at someone like Kristin, whose sins are negligible next to those of the Christians we’ve featured on this blog for their involvement in rape, child rape, child porn, murder, torture, and so on. Surely this feature of the faith — it might actually be a bug — was known to Kristin.
I called Him names, I laughed behind His back, I mocked Him in public. And I realized, you know, I’m no different than all those people that were right in front of him, as he bled.
And if He went for them, He went for me too. It’s a struggle to believe every single day that Jesus really did die for me.
No worries, Kristin. We don’t believe it either.
And when someone challenges what I believe now, I remember being that person.
The condescension is probably unintentional. Let’s go with that.
I promise if you give me just a few minutes, I’ll talk about it with you.
I actually wouldn’t mind a dialog with Kristin, but it has to be fact-based — hold the Bible verses and the Jesus jabber.
I’d like to know if and how she ever answered her own question about why God lets children starve to death. Then we’ll move on to the mystery of why a rationally-inclined person abandoned her critical faculties and gave herself up to mere faith.
Also, had she never before pondered the progression from zygote to newborn? Although that process is as wonderful to behold as it is perfectly pedestrian (having occurred about 105 billion times in the human species alone), why would it require a Creator?
How does Kristin know who that Creator is? Why is she a Christian instead of a Muslim or a follower of Viracocha?
Has she considered whether her past of “emotional carnage,” combined with the hormonal vulnerability of her newly pregnant state, made her ripe pickings for God’s indefatigable recruiters? Has she ever felt that she was manipulated and exploited?
What happened to the scores of arguments against the existence of gods that, in her atheist days, she must have been aware of and even used from time to time? Has she refuted them, or did she sweep them under the faux-fur rug of her new-found faith?
So many questions. Add your own in the comments.