Atheists and Agnostics Can Turn to God Without Turning to Organized Religion

Atheists often rail against the evils of organized religion.  Who can blame them?  Organized religion has indeed been responsible for much evil in the world.

The good news for atheists and agnostics alike, however, is that they can have a relationship with God without having to make peace with organized religion.  Jesus Christ is Lord of heaven and earth and He will receive all who come to Him.  Trust Him in your heart and live according to His example and teachings.  Continue to steer clear of organized religion for this will please Him. 

Who is Jesus Christ?  The truth about Him is told in the Bible, but you know Him as the One who has given you your innate sense of morality.  Trust Him…and take your morality to a new level.  For without acknowledging Him, the best you can ever do in this life is to be self-righteous.  And then how would you be any better than the organized religionists?

Bible notes on this post.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus to those who want to hear about Him without having to join a group.

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5 Responses to Atheists and Agnostics Can Turn to God Without Turning to Organized Religion

  1. As a skeptical activist and secular jew, I’m actually more interested in promoting the ability of atheists to turn to organized religion without turning to god. While organized religion has led to many deplorable actions throughout history, it has also had many beneficial functions. I think that it’s possible for people to benefit from the latter while avoiding the former, either with or without belief.

    • Mike Gantt says:

      It sounds like you value benevolence and peace. I say benevolence because you seem to want atheists to work with organized religion when it comes to “beneficial functions.” I say peace because you seem to be searching for common ground between otherwise “warring” people. I certainly agree that benevolence and peace are good values and that it’s even better when humans collaborate in the pursuit of them.

      However, I can’t celebrate your choice to leave God out of it. That would be like saying, “I want to tend a fruitful apple tree but I wish nothing to do with the roots.”

      Nevertheless, I think you might find many churches to embrace your approach, for organized religionists almost always have their faith in people and not in God. That’s why they’re organized. If faith in God was what was important to them, they wouldn’t need an organization in order to express it.

      (Isn’t there an old Yiddish tale about A going to synagogue not because he has faith but because B does, while B is going to synagogue not because he has faith but because A does. I’m sure this is an inept telling of that story, but perhaps I’ve said enough to jog your memory about a better-told version.)

      You might want to read the short post Professing Christian, Practicing Atheist to see that you have even more in common with organized religionists than you thought.

      • I think that mutual goodwill is definitely an important starting point in this particular discussion, yes.

        Your analogy is precisely where we differ: I don’t see faith-based belief as the root of religious benevolence or solidarity. I’m aware that this opinion is quite controversial among the faithful.

        I think the parable you mention has been told about various religious traditions but I haven’t looked it up yet.

        I read ‘Professing Christian, Practicing Atheist’, and while it does clearly articulate your religious statement I can’t say I agree that it’s instructive about atheism (even in reference to religion). Atheists often make similar arguments about religious followers acting in ways inconsistent with their stated beliefs, but I don’t consider those arguments more than peripherally relevant to the main questions. More often, we raise the point that religious believers are atheists with respect to all gods other than their own; this I feel is a valid and important observation.

        Generally though, the piece uses atheists only as a negative stereotype; a rhetorical weapon with which to attack other believers. Being used in this way is not new to me, but it also does not make me more sympathetic to the case you make in the piece, or even to the other group that you attack therein. Atheism pertains to belief, period. Over many conversations with different religious people I’ve learned to take them at their word no matter how they identify. As an outsider I don’t have the luxury of making statements about what a ‘real’ christian is. You are of course free to leverage my position in order to malign theirs, but I think you’re extremely unlikely to persuade either group by doing so.

        • Mike Gantt says:

          I am not attacking anyone.

          I had quite a log in my own eye (I was a pastor encouraging people to faith in God while I was desperately hoping they would express that faith by coming to my church so it would grow), and in the piece I was simply showing others in still in that position how I got it out. I point out to them their similarity to atheists because it is an important truth to which they are blind – as I was. They like to think they are very different from atheists (just as atheists want to think they are very different from Christians and other organized religionists), and it’s an assumption that deserves challenge.

          If I am attacking anything, it is attitudes that divide us as human beings. Group identities like atheist, Christian, Jew, American, African-American and so on are quite dominant is peoples’ minds today and often lead to the petty thinking we call political correctness. When a person has a strong group identity it is another way of his saying he has faith in what he can see. Atheists are not lacking in faith – they are just placing it in the wrong things.

          Jesus Christ lived an unparalleled life. His life was not only unique, it was provocative. It’s a life that calls for a reaction, though reactions to it can be polarizing – albeit temporarily so. For example, Jesus said, “No one is good but God alone.” I take it you would disagree with this statement. I, on the other hand, embrace everything He taught. I must therefore choose between solidarity with you and solidarity with Him. He died for the entire human race so that everyone goes to heaven. Therefore, by siding with Him I am siding with the entire human race – which, of course, includes you. Therefore, any disagreement between you and me regarding Him is only temporary. Therefore, minimizing group identities while maximizing identity with Christ is the best way – and really the only way – to express and live out solidarity with every other human being.

  2. Mike Gantt says:

    To My Atheist and Agnostic Friends (I wrote this short post about a year and half ago shortly after I began writing this blog, mindful that many of my friends are atheists or agnostics; in fact, I myself used to be an agnostic.)

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