Monday, March 01, 2010


Ever heard.."You may be a red-neck if....?

I recently found what was called the "Top ten signs you may be an ignorant, unquestioning Christian" according to a post on an Atheist blog. I have to say I saw some good thoughts in the "top ten list" and decided to test our ability as Christians to answer each with some thought and scripture if there are, in fact, answers to be given.

I'm smart enough to know this could be a stupid thing to do knowing human nature as I do and knowing the propensity for SOME Christians to make a fool of themselves with anger and disrespectfulness. Some one said.."The prayer of a wise Atheist is..God save me from your followers, please!!"

I have to also admit that anger and disrespect are not reserved for believers ONLY but can be found in some unbelievers as well. So I'm requiring that we all [believers and any unbelievers that might comment] abide by the wisdom of Ephesians 4:29.. "Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift." [That is our guideline..whether you believe Ephesians to be inspired or not.]

Someone may ask.."Who decides whether something is "foul" or "dirty" or what "helps" in a comment?

The answer is___I do. And my decision [as administrator of this blog] is final.

Someone may also say "that isn't fair."

My answer is.. You can tell I define "fairness" as well.

I probably didn't need to put up those last few statements, but I DO believe ground rules established ahead of time openly and honestly will make for a better comment section on this kind of post. It could be fun and informative. It could be disasterous. We'll see which.

[I may be way off base here anyway with my blog being read by only a half a dozen people.. :) ]

Remember..if you have a response in answer to the charge or a response to a comment that's made, that's what the comment section is for.

[THINK EPHESIANS 4:29]---------------------------------



You actually know a lot less than many atheists and agnostics do about the Bible, Christianity, and church history - but still call yourselves a Christian.

Your answer or comment is.....?

Paul B.

UPDATE:: :It has occured to me how long it might take for us to take all ten separately so I have added number 9 and we'll take them two per post until the last one. So add to this discussion...



You define 0.01% as a "high success rate" when it comes to answered prayers THEN consider that to be evidence that prayer works and you think that the remaining 99.99% failure was simply the will of God.

Your answer or comment is.....?

[Those commenting on # 10 feel free to weigh in on this one anew.]


Chris Ryan said...

It's true. There are a lot of Christians who don't know anything about Church history after the Bible closes. And the favorite Bible verse of the American public (80% of which claim to be Christian) according to one newspaper pole (and I wish I could remember which one) was, "God helps those who help themselves." I don't think that one is actually in there, however.

On the flip side, it has been my experience that there is a great deal about the Bible and Church history that atheists think they know but don't.

Ignorance is not a characteristic reserved for any particular demographic.

security word: denied

Paul Burleson said...


That's interesting.

That's true.

That's ABSOLUTELY true.

That's funny.

Finally, that's a good start for us. Thanks.

Rodney Sprayberry said...

This one is more accurate than many realize.

On one side...

Erwin McManus says this:

"America's best atheists are children of the church. It is rare to find an enemy of the church who has never had contact with her!"

He also adds "that the church is having a diminishing influence on the culture because Christ is having a diminishing influence on the church!"

So maybe over-exposure to "Christianity" i.e. doctrine, theology, practices, and history without evidence of life (that result from a relationship with the Living Lord) cultivates atheism outside of the church and legalism within.

On the other hand...

I am not anti-intellectual but I have met men and women that knew very little church history/ theology but knew Jesus (and maybe the Bible). They were warm, wise, and Godly. They were also a joy to be around.

Maybe that is some of what Jesus had in mind in Matthew 11:25-26 and what Paul was thinking in I Corinthians 1:20-25.

Paul Burleson said...


IMHO a wise and balanced statement that may not satisfy an unbeliever. But these two passage you linked to really DO say something to believers whether understood by all others or not.

"At that time Jesus said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. 26Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure."
Matt. 11:25-26 NIV

"Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength." ! Corinthians 1:20-25 NIV

Bob Cleveland said...

In that scary passage in Matthew, where some guys boasted about casting out demons and doing other great stuff, Jesus' response was "I never knew you ... depart ... ".

Seems being a Christian is about knowing Jesus, and not about how much we know about the bible.

In fact, my old Dell computer knows a lot more bible than I do, but I figure it's not saved.


Paul Burleson said...


Your old Dell computer may not "be saved" but my old Dell computer sure is "demon possessed." ;)

Aussie John said...


There you go again, stealing my thunder with your quotes:) And what's this advertizing for Dell? Build your own. Much more satisfying!

Your namesake wouldn't satisfy the wise atheist, when he said, "For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, not with eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power".

They obviously dismiss Peter's eyewitness reports as well, "When we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, we did not follow any clever myths. Rather, we were eyewitnesses of his majesty"

I feel sorry for atheists for the obvious reason, but also because, as one of your countrymen once said, "The problem for some people is that they DO KNOW someone who claims to be Christian".

Ultimately Bob is spot on!

I would suggest that if I want to look at percentages the answers to prayer would be more than 0.01%. Never-the-less, I would think that even that percentage would say more about God's grace than a percentile success rate.

Rodney Sprayberry said...

I know a young man that I have interacted with in the past who is an atheist. He is articulate and funny! He is not being mean. He really has questions. For a little perspective here is a little of his:

Let us assume that God exists, and furthermore that the Bible is
divinely inspired...Why should I believe what he says? I only have the one source for information, and one must admit that it's pretty
shamelessly self-promoting...

According to Him, I also have the
testimony of his Son, though again, I pretty much have to take His word for that, because the testimony comes to me second-hand...

And even if Jesus himself were here to tell me, that's
hardly an unbiased source. I mean, He's essentially a sock puppet for the same guy...

His motives are utterly opaque. He says he loves me, but he sure has a funny way of expressing his love, even in his own account of things...

He tells us that even in his native realm, there are people who lie, do war, and lust for power. How can I know that God is good and Satan is bad, when I only have God's word for it?

Certainly His pre-Jesus
behaviour lends itself to the idea that God suffers from many "human"
failings and insecurities, despite His claims otherwise...

If he were a human but behaving the same way, living in paranoid
secrecy, unapproachable and uncommunicative except for the occasional cryptic note by post, telling me that salvation and eternal life was available only through him, you and I would both be extremely dubious about his claims. Why not God?

Paul Burleson said...

Aussie J,

Interesting thoughts. Especially this..."I would suggest that if I want to look at percentages the answers to prayer would be more than 0.01%. Never-the-less, I would think that even that percentage would say more about God's grace than a percentile success rate." That, my friend, is as spot on as the one you said was. [Bob]

I would simply add that any percentage about answered prayer is only dealing with a very small part, perhaps the smallest part, of real prayer anyway.

Praise, thanksgiving, adoration, confession, and just plain conversation are more important to me anyway you slice real prayer. I'm not sure an unbeliever can grasp that. But it's there for me.


Now that's what I'm talking about. Your friend has some legitimate thoughts, ideas and concepts. [For an unbeliever] There should be some thoughtful replies made respectfully to him. [By blievers]

Much of what he says will show up in the remaining eight signs. Hang around. :)

Chris Ryan said...

Speaking of church history ignorance:

I was watching CNN tonight (sorry if anyone is offended by that, but you really need to get over it if you are) and one of the commentators was talking about "how it was like during the crusades when Rome was throwing the Christians to the lions."

I lauged, sighed, and cried all at once.

security word: realcom (not sure whether that is short for real comment, which this is, or real comedic, which it also is). Paul, did you do something to make me get these suddenly appropriate words? Twice in one day is kinda creepy.

Paul Burleson said...


They said.."and one of the commentators was talking about "how it was like during the crusades when Rome was throwing the Christians to the lions."

Are you saying they should have said "how it was like during the crusades when Rome was throwing the lions to the Christians?" :D

No really..what do you expect when you could have been watching msnbc?

As to verification words..Bob Cleveland STILL won't tell us what that word he got's too profane for even for cyberspace.

Good laugh to start the day Chris..thanks.

Bob Cleveland said...

As to answered prayers: I believe Romans 8:26. I don't know what I ought to pray for.

Which is extremely comforting to me. Lots of things I earnestly pray for, would be bad for me. I prayed for a job in Orlando one time .. REALLY wanted it .. the company closed a couple months after they hired a guy for the job.

So I figure God says "Come on .. bring it on!!!! I'll filter out the stuff you wouldn't want if you knew everything I KNOW .. with the Holy Spirit!!"

Wow. What a safety valve system. I'm free to pray for what I desire, knowing full well God's going to do what is best for ME!!


I wouldn't dare keep score with a deal line that!