Will P.Z. Myers change his policy after Reason Rally? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.
P.Z. Myers isn’t too happy. Who is he? He’s the evolutionary biologist who is the blogger at Pharyngula. Apparently, he’s upset that a number of Christians plan to attend the Reason Rally. The post can be found here. Now he’s made a statement about a personal policy of his that I’d like to comment on.
I’m beginning to feel like my long-standing personal policy of not intruding on their church services needs to be questioned, because man, is this ever arrogant and obnoxious.
First off, a problem with us. One thing that I am sure of is that in a lot of churches, if someone like Meyers showed up, they would not be ready. Where there could be well over 100 Christians, not one of them would be able to give an answer and most of them would say that you just have to have faith.
Ugh. Makes me sick.
If you’re someone new to the faith, maybe I could grant you some leeway, but by and large our churches are failing at this point. We are not educating our members and sometimes I can understand why atheists think they are the champions of reason because there are too many Christians out there who aren’t thinking about their faith. They’re just living in their own world content with just knowing that Jesus loves them.
These churches will be trounced and there will be casualties leading to either new atheists who really don’t think seriously about religion (Several of which you can find on Meyers’s own blog) or else the situation of the Christians in these churches just further retreating into themselves and cutting themselves off from the world.
You will have a hard time getting the gospel to the world the more you retreat inside yourself.
That gets us to another point. Why is it that we have made churches more like isolation chambers. Now I do know we need places to congregate, but these should also be places where unbelievers can expect to have their questions on Christianity answered and where they can think they can go to to get those questions answered instead of having the mindset of “Just let them be.”
In fact, in 1 Cor. 14 Paul talks about how Christians should behave for when unbelievers come in. He is talking about the appearance that we will have before a world that is watching. Why is it that the church is not seen as a beacon of intellectualism? It is because we Christians did abandon intellectual grounds among the laity and much amongst the leadership as well. If we think the new atheist movement is truly lacking in reason, which I think they are, it is because the church lacked it first.
However, as to what Meyers has said, I will say that whatever church I find myself in, and I do not know which that will be since my wife and I will be moving soon, I would be delighted for Meyers to come to my church and to ask the hardest questions that he can think of. In fact, I would actually celebrate that opportunity. I would love to tell all my friends and family that Meyers came to my church today.
It would be ideal if this could happen in any church, but sadly, it wouldn’t. As I said, too many are unprepared and there will be a lot of casualties in the faith in several churches. Whose fault is this? It is not the fault of Christianity. It is not the fault of the new atheists. It is our fault.
Our churches do several great ministries by and large. We are often willing to set up soup kitchens and food pantries for those in need. We will help people with their bills when things get too difficult for them financially. We will help them with alcoholism and working through a divorce and with grief counseling when a loved one dies and we will send missionaries overseas to spread the gospel.
How much is the church investing in apologetics?
If Christianity is not true, then we are doing some nice things, but we are to be pitied for believing a lie.
Yet I am regularly concerned about churches that will spend millions on big buildings and gyms and everything else, but when it comes to supporting the work of the apologists, the ones who are on the front lines defending all the other work that is going on, there is nothing.
That’s why the people at True Reason also need your support. They are out there on the front lines. For my own self, I’m out there as well. This blog is not the only thing I do, but there is a donate button for a reason. It is people like you that keep this going.
Maybe if the church returns to being a force in intellectualism again and regains our apologetic ability, maybe we’ll actually start seeing a turnaround. Many of us complain about the evil we see in our society, but our idea is to sit back and just pray. Prayer is a good thing to do. It is never to be used as an excuse to laziness. I suggest we use Nehemiah 4:9 as an example. When the walls of Jerusalem were being rebuilt and the people were in danger, Nehemiah said they prayed and posted a guard. We, the apologists, are the guard. Support us and pray for us as well. Some of you I am sure cannot support financially, and in that case do pray, but also be an encouragement. Those of us on the front lines need it more than you realize.
Be a support today. When Meyers comes to your church, be ready to prevent casualties.