De-converts: Are Christians Really as Bad as You Think?
I am a Christian who reads this blog quite a bit. However, I find that the debates seem to always go back to the uselessness of faith. This is kind of strange – on a personal level – like Christian faith is ‘bad’ or something. It is this issue that I would like to ‘flesh out’.
How is it that the Christian faith is something ‘bad’? I cannot find concrete reasons to believe this. Science cannot provide this reason – it cannot because science does not delve into morality and immorality per se. Science is really of no use in this debate.
(a) The core Christian faith teachings deal with moral ideals – like the ‘do nots’ of murder and adultery or ‘love your neighbour as yourself’. I cannot find places where the teachings actually allow for the immoral behaviour of someone committed to this faith. We know that it happens – but any small reading in the gospels will reveal they have no right to treat people like crap – none whatsoever.
(b) The Christian faith, if it is bad, does not produce very many bad people (per capita). I see the odd bad person crop up – that will commit murder in the name of God or picket funerals. However, they are the exceptions to the norm (deviations from the standard). If it was reverse, and they were not exceptions, the news and history pages would be littered with their vicious exploits. This is not the case at all.
(c) People that join the Christian faith actually can do a 180 degree turn in their life. Now we cannot scientifically prove the change in someone’s life or their 180 degree spin – but for those personally affected by that individual – they can see the change. As much as people do not want to give merit to personal stories of change – it is the best evidence of a person’s actual change in behaviour. No test can exist to show someone has changed – but as humans we can all admit when we have seen it.
(d) The Christian faith provides (and fills) something in society – a place to belong and find a value system. Most places you attend will not guide you into some type of value system – it’s just not going to happen…and sometimes families fail to fill this role. The church just happens to direct people into values that may help them become a functional piece of society. What they lack in culture, vision, ethical development, attention, community – all these things and more can be given to a person via a church.
(e) Christians say some strange things – I agree – and hold some strange theologies – I also agree – but how often does what they ‘believe’ make those same people into criminals or shady characters in society? Very, very, very rarely.
I admit the Christian faith has it drawbacks – namely in some of its weak theological ideas. However, I would not call it a faith that makes ‘bad’ people or makes society inherently ‘worse’ by being there. I admit they have some questionable behaviours – like being overly judgmental – but even within these behaviours they do not commit crimes against you or society. Churches actually help society in many ways – and can in many more.
I think most of the things said by de-converts about Christians is pure BS and a mass generalization. They have an axe to grind concerning the treatment they received from Christians – and I receive my share also – but at the end of the say I don’t let a few bad apples determine for me the whole apple orchard is rotten.
– societyvs (Guest Commentary)