Problems of Mountains

Word has it that young Timothy Collins of Woodward, Kentucky got chewed out by his father Harry after last Wednesday night's Bible Study. Both father and son are members of the Woodward Street Church where it's no secret that Harry Collins runs a tight ship as an active and devoted member of the church and father.

"I got on my son for talking like an atheist." said Harry. What Timothy did was make reference to it being a fortunate turn of events that a mountain had formed nearby. A big, bearded Harry, being a photographer, was capturing an image of a beautiful tree-covered mountainside. "And my son made it sound like the mountain was 'just there.' That's atheist talk, and it won't be permitted in my home."

Being slightly puzzled, a bright young Timothy clarified his father's position for us: "My dad got mad at me because I made it sound like mountains 'just are.' But nothing 'just is.' As Christians, we are forced to believe that everything that happens happens for a purpose. All things are made of God, from the design of curvitures running along the deepest sea floors to the arrangement of obscure dust particles on the dark side of the moon. My dad was right to get on me. The secular public schools teach a lot of wrong and evil things, and look how they have influenced my thinking."

"It's ok, son." Harry said, nodding with approval at his son's words, and then continuing: "The secular schools are full of atheists who profess themselves to be wise, but are fools. They think they are smarter than God. Think about how atheists perceive a mountain; to an atheist, a mountain is just a bunch of dirt that got pushed up when things got steaming hot under the earth's surface, causing a raising up of the ground. And that the mountain is 'tall' means nothing to an atheist because atheists think 'tall' is just a perceptual difference and that the mountain isn't really big or little. Everything is relative to an atheist. They have no objective standards. We Christians happen to know that God made all things purposely and according to his will, and in the case of mountains, he made them so that we could be impressed with their size and marvel at his creative power (Psalm 65:5). This was the same reason he created big, worthless planets and put them in orbit in space (Psalm 19:1-6). They don't do anything, but God wanted us to get smart and build telescopes and look up at the sky and say, 'Wow, those are big! God must be great!' And without mountains, how could Moses have gone up to Mt. Horeb to speak to God and get the ten commandments? So there is another reason why God made mountains."

Jumping in, young Timothy said: "And the Lord has revealed to me a third reason for why God made mountains. It was so that Jesus could mention it in Matthew 21:21 where Jesus said: 'Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.'"

Amazed, Harry said: "That's my boy! I sure am proud of him. He's no atheist, that's for sure! But the lesson to take from this is how atheism is never very far from invading our thinking the moment we start to use our minds. That's how atheism starts - with us thinking of natural reasons for why things happen - and then it progresses to making people say things like this or that 'always was' or 'just is.' And when you have a natural explanation for something, tell me, why do you need a supernatural one? What need is there for God once you've explained the world naturally?"

"Atheists think that the matter composing the universe just is and has always been while we believers understand that you have to go back one more step and say that God -- an unknown phantom spook -- just is and has always been. That's the true position; God created everything and everything needs a creator except for God. He just exists all by himself some way. That's how Christians reason, and that's how God wants us to reason. Stay away from secular reasoning. It will only lead to atheism and then to Hell. It is an unfortunate fact that using the brains God gave us to reason with can send us to burn forever. So try not to reason, except perhaps when reason agrees with the Bible. Then it's ok."

(JH)

17 comments:

Skeeter said...

I have been reading this blog with reasonable consistency for the past 2+ years. I found the articles and links to resources helpful as I have gone through my own "de-conversion" process.
There is a possibility that I have missed some of Joe's articles, and if I have I apologize. But why do you only post these fictitious, somewhat juvenile, attempts at comedy? I have seen 2-3 other posts that you have made and it is more of the same.
1. There is enough "real" comedic material out there, provided by the religious members of our society, for you to write about.
2. When you make stuff up about religious people, it casts a dim light on anyone trying to have a reasonable debate with them. You are providing them the ammunition to say, "You non-believers hate us so much that you will make stuff up to make us look bad, so why should I believe anything you say?" As stated in point 1, they do that quite well on their own.
3. I appreciate the points that you make through the fiction, but I, for one, do not find how the point made, out-weighs the potential for damage to our credibility as non-believers.

I could have just ignored your article, again. But I think it is an issue worth discussing. As a beneficiary of the efforts of all the contributors to this website, I am compelled to critique.

Joe E. Holman said...

Not all my work is satire, but most tends to be. I'll have some that isn't, but satire is effective while much of the techno-stuff here is unbearably difficult to read for some. Mine is a different take, and if you read my stories, they are fictitious takes on the real problems and fallacies of theism and Christianity.

As for "damage" hurting "our credibility" as non-believers, we're already hated and smirked at by the likes of Theologyweb and other Christian elitists. We can do nothing else but attack the idiocy through whatever means that we find effective. If my stuff's not your thing, well, sorry.

(JH)

Skeeter said...

My intent is in no way to be offensive. This is not a case of, I don't like this author's work, but I will read it and complain anyway. If it was, then I would not have bothered commenting. My concern is more about proper environment for the contribution.
I think that http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/2008/07/fathers-foreskin-feast.html
is a better representation of the heart of the matter.
If I had read that the first time I visited this site, I would probably have not come back. If I am trying to explain to someone who cares about me, why I no longer believe, and I reference them to this site. A fictitious story about hording foreskins is not going to be productive.

Joe E. Holman said...

What do you really expect to see here, Skeeter? Arguments against Christianity? There aren't that, that many here. Most have been in books already and those that are addressed here are done in part and parcel.

Nothing new is really being added. It's how well you mix up your teaching by way of re-teaching. In other words, there's very little new knowledge in the universe. Most of it comes down to realizing old fundamental truths, and my satire is an effective weapon because it shoots right through some of these meticulous scholarly musings that appear here and are very often...just not that interesting to some.

I'm reaching out to some who, like me, have heard it all before and are quite tired of reading more books on new findings of the Q gospel and the like. I aim to deliver pithy and easily remembered bits of knowledge on why theistic thinking is based on the flawed reasoning of theism. I believe I do that well.

And does not that effort fall under the "debunking Christianity" umbrella? Do I have to say "Christianity is false because..." to debunk?

(JH)

Skeeter said...

I'm beginning to understand better where our difference in opinion might lay. To you, the topics here are "old hat" and it makes sense that having been over many of these topics repeatedly, that you find them tedious. A natural reaction to that is to take a funner, lighter approach. I can see why people with that perspective would appreciate that.
From my perspective, emerging from the clutches of fundamental baptist ignorance, somewhat recently. I take the matter very seriously. I'm not tired of taking it seriously yet. I still have lots to learn and I'm still exploring ideas that I never let myself spend time on as a believer.
I feel a need for real discussion and debate about these ideas. I feel like I'm making up for lost time in a way. Perhaps in time I will appreciate the lighter side a little more.
Thank you for your responses.

btw, since I "deconverted" I have had little desire to read any fiction. The only fiction I have read in the past 2-3 years has been Dostoevsky.

Joe E. Holman said...

It's an understandable disagreement, Skeeter. Let me just cybernetically shake your hand and extend a warm congrats on making it over the wall to sanity!

(JH)

Piero said...

Having met every imaginable argument against Christianity and theism in general, I for one appreciate Joe's satire. But I can also see how Skeeter would like something more substantial to chew on. Skeeter, there is plenty of serious substance on the blog too. I'm sure you will in time, as you say, appreciate the lighter side.

ahswan said...

Satire only works if it actually resembles truth. I don't think this qualifies as satire.

AIGBusted said...

Surely this is a joke?

Pat said...

This is great, but I don't understand why you need to make up people and their stories when there are probably people equally as "devoted" out there who you could quote!

strangebrew said...

I think it likely some folks will deny the logic used in the story...but would accept the same logic when used in bible class!

The story that Joe penned does have a glint of humor...problem seems to be it might be a little to near the truth for some!

Kristen said...

I for one Love your humor! To some of us, it is just so obvious and I think that is what your trying to do here 

Dane Eidson said...

I is the pasture of the first snake handling church of God of the backwoods hears in kentuckee. You is a mocken my lord and I dont appreceeate it won bits.
Dunt you noe that if youins make fun of the lord he is goin to get use?
u aught to noes that ye has to bee real guud and not one of them enflamatory haireetics! And I nose urs in trouble with the lord!

Dane Eidson said...

Hey Joe,
Those that complain about your satire are undercover fundies who believe the way to raise a family is to watch Leave It To Beaver marathons on TV Land. But they would had their way that old comedy 50's sitcom's title would have been banned because it uses a dirty word. They sure preach a lot about sins they think about quite often, don't they?

Dane Eidson said...

How much will it cost me?
I am speaking from experience. And what I am sharing with you was gained from experience. In a simple phrase I been there and I done that. When I was an undercover atheist I was miserable. I was afraid of what would happen to my relationships with my wife, with my sons and with my grandchildren and even my close friends. As far as my family and friends were concerned they all knew I was a strong believer in Jesus Christ and involved in Christian ministry.
The fear of loss will drive us to say all sorts of things we know are not true. If I had another catchy phrase to describe my bizarre behavior I would call it a survival technique. We say and do things we know inside are not true but we say and do these same things anyway because we are afraid of loss. Let me offer an analogy.
You are employed with a company. Your salary you make at the company pays your bills and puts food on the table and without this job you would face great financial difficulties or even ruin. You have a demanding boss who is the owner of the company. He sets forth policies you do not agree with however it is your job to be the PR rep for the policies set by your boss. If you admit openly to your boss you do not agree at all with his business policies you know you will be terminated from your position. You know this because the previous PR rep was fired over that very reason. What do you do? Do you continue to argue for your boss' policies and remain in a secure position with a steady income or do you speak out and face the consequences of being truthful to your convictions knowing the cost will be that you will face financial ruin?
As an undercover atheist I found my self arguing hardcore for positions I knew I did not believe but I did so to re enforce what my family and friends assumed what I was. That was a Christian minister who was passionate for Christ and detested atheism and believed radical positions such as abortion was murder at all times and abortionists should be tried and punished as murderers. But inside I hated myself for living a lie and lying to those I cared most about.
Back to our previous scenario. Suppose keeping your secret about your boss' policies is turning into a psychosis? You are slipping deep into depression and it is growing into a mental illness that will eventually destroy you and cause untold emotional damage on those you care most about. You have to make a choice. Either tell your boss what you really think and get fired or continue to lie and grow into an emotional basket case. And you know you will because this happened to you before at another time on another job. I dare say you would decide that your job is not worth the cost of keeping it at the expense of your sanity and emotional harm towards your loved ones!
This was the place I found myself. For all intents and purposes I was the good PR guy who argued and defended the company's policies like a sold out dedicated zealot. I was doing my part for the company even though that I knew I was representing policies that were absolutely not true. In the long run the cost would have been much more for me and my loved ones to continue my charade and far less of price to pay if I were to break free and be open about being an atheist. Sure, even that has cost me. But not anyways near a much if I continue to live a lie!
This is why I waited so long to come clean about being an atheist. For years and years I kept it a secret. But the cost of doing so was becoming too much to pay for.
If you are reading this and you can identify with my recent circumstance I want to warn you that if you do come clean about your atheism it will cause emotional shock waves to blow through your relationships. But ask yourself this question. What will it cost for me be to continue to live a lie?
This is a price only you can decide of how much you're willing to pay.
Dane Eidson

Dane Eidson said...

2 Chronicles 25:12-14 And Judah took the ten thousand to the top of a flowered meadow. He then said to the ten thousand, "Behold the Lord has commanded me to build thee dwellings that ye should live in and be safe. Let us now all gather together and hold one anothers' hand." Then the ten thousand praised Judah and gave him gifts. But Judah would not receive any gifts. He then said to the ten thousand, "The Lord would have ye keep your belongings. He only wants to do kind works to the weak and children. And to tell ye that never judge ye one another but always act in the same kindness towards the other as I have done so to thee as our Lord has commanded me." Then the ten thousand sang a song, "How good is the God of Judah! For his God loves the little children red and yellow black and white they are all precious in his site." Then Judah went back to his own town thanking God for always being kind and gentle to the weak and to children.
In the above text we have the golden rule put into practice. We read that God always treated the weak and children with tender and loving acts of kindness. That He never judged anyone harshly. We should we all do likewise by following this same example of Judah and live according to the golden rule!

Dane Eidson said...

"Ray Comfort Apologizes to Gay Community." (Parody and Satire) by Dane Eidson
Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron held a news conference today in front of the SBTI in Louisville, KY. Ray and Kirk announced they were wrong about gay sexual relationships.
Ray Comfort shared through tears in his religious euphoria, "I was driving home with Kirk my buddy. We just purchased two bananas to prove why God made this yellow domesticated fruit that needs our aid to reproduce as evidence He exists. We planned to use these two fruits at our upcoming creationist convention at the Christians No Sinners Allowed shopping mall plaza located Hooterville, TN. As I was praying and shouting to Jesus about the dirty homosexual agenda the Lord rebuked me. I began to weep. Then the glory of the Lord shone upon me and I shouted out to Kirk, This banana could fit up my asshole couldn't it?" Kirk began to shout through the gift of tongues, She-tie-my-bow-tie-you-ride-a-my-honda-o-shit-passeth-this-on-by-ah yellow mellow the banana-uppa-your-assah." Ray Comfort continued,"God gave me the gift of interpretation of the Holy Ghost's message in tongues and the Lord spoke these words of His divine revelation through my mouth, Thus saith the Lord God of the King James Only Bunch! I have designed the domesticated banana that needs my peoples' help to reproduce by shaping the fruit into a form that will bring anal pleasure to my gay children."
As Ray Comfort held up the two bananas before the Christian World View Magazine's news conference he and Kirk Cameron wept! Kirk Cameron said before the Christian evangelical friendly news media, "We feel ashamed and so bad about slamming gay people's sex lives all these years. We repent. We have God to thank! We realize now that the shape of these two bananas were not only designed just to be placed into our hands! The Lord hath worked in mysterious ways once again!"
TBN founder Paul Crouch upon hearing this rejoiced over Ray Comfort's revelation from God. Mr. Crouch said, "I thank God for the banana. Because of these two fruits I no longer have to live a lie."