As an atheist one of the most common and tiring accusations I find myself facing from Christians is that of being prideful or arrogant. At times it seems it is impossible to question a person’s faith without them thinking you are hard headed and arrogant. I was talking with an old friend of mine and she was asking me about pride, in particular mine. She asked me if my current disbelief in the Christian god wasn’t simply a matter of being prideful/arrogant? Basically who am I to judge God? Of course that meant her god and her beliefs about him.
It is not about rejecting my belief or my interpretation. If you claim that the Bible is wrong or if you claim that the Bible doesn't hold any accountability for you or if you claim that the Bible is not the word of God or if you claim that there is no God then you show yourself to be judging God.
Now as always this accusation was annoying but having been a Christian myself I knew why my friend felt this way but let’s look at the accusation a little more closely by examining what I used to believe as a Christian verses what I believe now.
Here we go with the apostasy.
Previously I knew why the earth, in fact the entire cosmos, existed and that was for us. Human beings literally were the center of the universe.
Here is a claim that many atheists make that they say Christians believe. The problem is that Bible does not agree.
All things were created by him. He created everything in heaven and on earth. He created everything that can be seen and everything that can't be seen. He created kings, powers, rulers and authorities. Everything was created by him and for him. - Colossians 1:16
Currently I believe human beings are only a very tiny speck in the cosmos and its existence has no connection to us.
Funny considering the fact that the universe is so finely tuned we wouldn't exist unless the cosmos was structured and designed the way it is.
Previously I believed God had placed us as rulers over the earth and everything in it until its eventual destruction by God.
With great power comes great responsibility. God is holding us responsible for taking care of the earth and everything He has placed under us. Or as Jesus said.
"But suppose the servant does not know his master's wishes. And suppose he does things for which he should be punished. He will be beaten with only a few blows. "Much will be required of everyone who has been given much. Even more will be asked of the person who is supposed to take care of much. - Luke 12:48
Currently I believe human beings are linked and dependent upon the rest of the planet and as the planet goes we go.
18 What we are suffering now is nothing compared with the glory that will be shown in us. 1920 The created world was bound to fail. But that was not the result of its own choice. It was planned that way by the One who made it. God planned 21 to set the created world free. He didn't want it to rot away completely. Instead, he wanted it to have the same glorious freedom that his children have. Everything God created looks forward to the time when his children will appear in their full and final glory.22 We know that all that God created has been groaning. It is in pain as if it were giving birth to a child. The created world continues to groan even now. 23 And that's not all. We have the Holy Spirit as the promise of future blessing. But we also groan inside ourselves as we look forward to the time when God will adopt us as full members of his family. Then he will give us everything he has for us. He will raise our bodies and give glory to them.- Romans 8:18-23
Previously I knew what happened to everyone after we died. We would either go to heaven or go to hell.
The only reason Christians know is because of the revelation. It's not because we are smarter or something. It's because we believe what has been reviewed.
Currently I say I do not know what happens after we die but I think we merely cease to exist.
So is it more arrogant to believe what has been reviewed or come up with your own answer?
Previously I knew not only where we went after we die but I also knew who went where. I knew who (generally speaking) would get into heaven and who would go to hell. Those who believed in Christ (the right way of course) would be allowed into heaven while those who “rejected” him would be sent to hell.
Zach Dills failed to explain what the right way to believe is and what rejection means. But given he doesn't know why God made the universe, I wonder if he knows. Therefore let's look at what Christians believe. The right way to believe is to accept that you are a sinner in need of a Savior. We deserve hell, but by believing that Jesus sacrificed himself to pay for your sins you don't have to pay for them yourself. Confess with your mouth and believe with everything that make you a living soul (Romans 8:9,10) As for rejection - this is what atheists do. They ignore and glory in their sin assuming that if they are wrong and there truly is a God their righteousness is enough although God has already said that it is not enough. Romans 3:21-26 says:
21 But now God has shown us how to become right with him. The Law and the Prophets give witness to this. It has nothing to do with obeying the law. 22 We are made right with God by putting our faith in Jesus Christ. That happens to all who believe.
It is no different for the Jews than for anyone else. 23 Everyone has sinned. No one measures up to God's glory. 24 The free gift of God's grace makes all of us right with him. Christ Jesus paid the price to set us free. 25 God gave him as a sacrifice to pay for sins. So he forgives the sins of those who have faith in his blood.
God did all of that to prove that he is fair. Because of his mercy he did not punish people for the sins they had committed before Jesus died for them. 26 God did that to prove in our own time that he is fair. He proved that he is right. He also made right with himself those who believe in Jesus.
Currently I again say I don’t know what happens to us after we die but I believe whatever does happen to us it will likely be the same for all.
The one who made all of us says different. If you don't know why not trust the one who does know? There is no need to guess.
Previously I believed that there was only one way to truth and that was through God’s special revelation (the bible), which I just happened to have.
No one just happens to have revelation. In order to have revelation it must be revealed to you. We shouldn't squander it.
Currently I believe that no religion has a divinely authored text that everyone else in the world must read and follow but that truth is open to all through reason.
So reason is enough to understand what truth is? What do you do when someone else's reason conflicts with your own? How do you know yours is right? It's way more arrogant to tell a pedophile or rapist that his reasoning is wrong because you know your morality is better than his. Without an objective moral standard how do you know yours is better? You cannot. I can tell a rapist or pedophile that his morality is bankrupt and corrupt because God, who created all of us, said so. What argument is left to the atheist? None other than I am right because I am better than you. Argument from arrogance.
Previously I knew that God’s revelation had to be properly understood and interpreted otherwise it would lead to errors and sin and I, of course, knew those proper interpretations, particularly the important ones.
Given the complete misunderstanding sin, salvation, and why we are here from a Christian perspective, I wonder if Dills knew what these were when he called himself a "Christian". Maybe if he understood them, perhaps he never would have left the church.
Currently I believe that through the use of our reason and experience we can all move towards a better understanding of the world we live in.
Using human reason and experience is why the world is in the mess it is in today and spiraling worse.
19 But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness;
they do not know what makes them stumble. - Proverbs 4:19
Who are the "wicked"? Every single one of us at one time fit this description. And even after we get saved from our sins, God describes our righteousness thusly:
All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. - Isaiah 64:6
Previously I always adapted any new information I learned to fit into the conclusions I had already made (Christianity was true). If something did not fit into the Christian framework properly then it must either be wrong or simply a mystery but either way I knew I still held the truth.
I always hear those who are apostates from Christianity say this but I can never find anything that they can point to that doesn't fit in the Christian framework. Instead I find that they didn't really search and dig for answers. Instead they seem to forget that there isn't a single objection or rebuttal that has not already been raised or refuted.
Currently I allow the evidence to speak for itself. I am no longer afraid to change my beliefs based on what I learn and to openly admit that I was wrong.
I hear many atheist feign open-mindedness and a willingness to follow evidence. But many times the first thing they do is to take the supernatural off the table or include presuppositions such that there is no way that the people who wrote the Bible were telling the truth and assuming collusion or dishonesty without proof.
So I would ask anyone looking at this list, which set of beliefs, is in fact the more arrogant one? I think it’s pretty obvious that it is in fact the Christian set of beliefs that is the more arrogant and self-important set of beliefs.
Definitely the atheist is more arrogant. They are the ones who routinely accuse theists of being deluded and/or mentally deficient. Bible believing Christians don't look at it that way because to become a Christians is to accept your own limitation and depravity and decide to move your will out of the way and let God fix those things you can't fix in yourself. Atheism is built on arrogance and self-importance.
Written by Zach Dills
At least I know who else to pray for while I ask God to continue working in me to make me more like Jesus.
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. - Romans 8:28-29
Debunking Christianity: Who's the Arrogant One?