Today, I want to talk about how atheists so often make these assumptions about believers and the Bible — and because of those assumptions, they decide to dismiss religion altogether. It’s a mistake. It needs to be addressed.
Here are some of those assumptions that they make:
First, you hear all the time about how, in the Bible, the notion of the eye for an eye or a tooth for a tooth is so barbaric. That’s wrong. In actuality, it’s about commensurate justice. You want to be able to make sure that the punishment fits the crime. So, in other words, an eye for an eye — a tooth for a tooth…
The sentence goes together as one, meaning if you poke somebody’s eye out… then the punishment should be commensurate with poking somebody’s eye out. And likewise, a tooth for a tooth. It doesn’t mean that you actually go ahead and poke someone else’s eye out. It’s about measuring the punishment according to the crime.
Another assumption that you hear a lot is about how cruel God must be… because after all he smited the Canaanites in Canaan when Joshua and the Israelites finally came into what is now Israel. Therefore God is CRUEL. Just as vicious as any of the other primitive gods.
To say this, would be like saying that if God got rid of the Nazis… that somehow God is a horrible entity. If God got rid of the Nazis, and killed them all, that would be a good thing. The Canaanites were even worse. The Canaanites were engaging in all sorts of barbaric cruelty including child sacrifice. To say that the Canaanites were somehow a peaceful, loving people… that were just simply trying to till their own land and survive… When these horrible Israelites… just TOOK OVER and DESTROYED them all, is simply, breathtakingly shallow, and inappropriate and wrong historically.
It took centuries before God actually decided to smite these Canaanites after warning, after warning, after warning.
At some point, had God not issued the instruction to smite the Canaanites, then one would say “How could God have allowed such horror to continue unabated?”Just like people say today, “How could God have allowed the Holocaust to happen?”
The next point is about the notion that FAITH and SCIENCE contradict each other. From the person who believes in GOD’S point of view… He believes that SCIENCE and FAITH are one in the same.We believe that science is a gift from God. That God gave us science so that we could find him. In fact, the Catholic Church created the university so that we could find greater truths and advance the cause of science. It was a Christian monk from Belgium, Georges Lemaître, who discovered the Big Bang.
Finally, the last assumption that the atheist makes… is that the REASON why we believers believe in God at all, is because we want to get to HEAVEN. Or that we might get to this dastardly place called HELL. That’s not the reason WHY we believe in GOD.
We believe in God because we believe that God wants us to advance the notion of freedom. To FIND him, to get CLOSER to him. That in and of itself is our reward.
These are just some of the assumptions that atheists make… that are simply WRONG. They never ask believers why they believe what they believe. Were they to do so, they might very well themselves understand that they’ve been making assumptions that are just WRONG. They should open up the door and perhaps see a new way of looking at the reality right before them.