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Now I Know Why Many Evangelicals Have Empty Heads

don't think 2
Drawing by David Hayward

Snark Ahead

Mike Ratliff, writing for the Christian Research Network, had this to say about faith:

…Human faith is not the same thing as Genuine (saving) faith, which is a gift from God. The former is based in Human reason and intellect. The latter is supernatural. What passes for faith in many professing believer’s “Christianity” is a belief based in who preaches to or teaches them. This is not Genuine faith because it is not a belief in the Word or in God through the Word. These are “believers” who will eventually fall away. Some may last a lifetime, but as soon as the fires of tribulation come upon them they slide into apostasy because their faith is not of the substance that endures…

In one short paragraph, Ratliff reveals WHY so many Evangelicals have empty heads, why they lack any sort of intellectual acumen. Why, you ask? Because God has replaced their human faith with genuine faith. According to Ratliff, genuine faith is a gift from God. Human faith is not from God and is based on reason and intellect.

There ya have it . . . God gives Evangelicals faith and BOOM! out goes reason and intellect. In comes a God-given faith, a faith that leads people to believe things like the Bible is inerrant, the earth was created in six days 6,024 years ago, Adam and Eve were real people, and Jesus really, really did walk on water and resurrect from the dead.

Ratliff’s post is a reminder of how preachers like him keep people enslaved by telling them that their human intellect and reason should never be trusted. Instead, trust the pronouncements of Ratliff, the man of God and the inerrant, infallible words of the Bible.

Ratliff and others like him know that if people really begin to use their intellect and reason they are likely to exit stage left. Thinking Evangelicals often don’t stay in Evangelical churches. Once they see that they have been snookered by their church and pastor they move on to places where reason and intellect are valued and appreciated.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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  1. Avatar

    I saw this William Lane Craig video not long ago which had similar reasoning. It was all about doubts and evidence and wasn’t very helpful. Christians with doubts basically just had to put their faith in the Holy Spirit.

    Any arguments against Christianity’s truth claim that he could not really rebutt were dealt with in the same way. Even if there wasn’t any actual evidence, he still believed in God, the Holy Spirit indwelling was evidence in itself etc. etc. It’s very interesting, because the more I read about or listen to apologists, the more I agree with what many atheists claim: i.e. that the arguments only work if you want to believe them. If you begin with the firm belief that God exists, is present, still works etc. the arguments work (because you want to believe them.) Otherwise not so much…

    It feels strange though. I used to really love C.S. Lewis’ mere christianity which uses similar techniques and I never realized that the arguments weren’t as solid as I thought. I wanted to believe and these rational sounding ideas were emoldening at the time.

    His blogpost follows a similar technique. There’s ordinary human faith and there’s actual divine faith; there’s ordinary human evidence and there’s actual divine evidence… Which one is the real one? Both sides will answer differently.

    • Avatar
      August Rode

      Melody, you wrote: “the arguments only work if you want to believe them.” That’s *exactly* right. I’ve been exposed to the arguments put forward by True Believers for many years now through several of the Usenet newsgroups and I have yet to see any argument put forward by them as even remotely convincing. I have become convinced by Christian apologists of all stripes that no sound argument (an argument with true premises and valid logic) can be put forward for any aspect of Christianity.

      Apologetics arguments seem always to be constructed backwards: when you know what conclusion you want to arrive at, that’ll tell you what kind of premises you need to go off in search of in order to make it appear that the conclusion is a reachable one. For people capable of critical thinking, it’s just so damned frustrating to see this kind of thing time after time.

      • Avatar

        “Apologetics arguments seem always to be constructed backwards.”

        August, I agree completely. They are, but it’s hard or nearly impossible to see that when you need to believe them. It’s really more defending the faith than actually seeking the truth. I’ve been watching these youtube debates lately and the debaters just don’t get each other. It’s like they even can’t. I think Bruce blogged about this before as well, that even words get different meanings: words such as evidence and theory.

        It is frustrating for both sides, I think. As a believer, your faith is so important to you and you want the other person to get it, but as a non-believer you also want to get through to the other person.

        Apologetics are supposed to make a solid case for Christianity and are a tool to try to convince non-christians and validate believers, but they just take many things already for granted and build from there. I do think apologetics are mostly aimed at believers. It makes them feel that they have critically evaluated their faith so they can go on believing in it and feel rational about it. But when the arguments venture outside of that eager and uncritical audience of believers, they begin to crumble. It’s basically a culture shock to realize that all the neat arguments don’t seem to be so convincing after all.

  2. Avatar

    I was always a thinker and before I deconverted, I had to swallow the biblical belief and ignore science and the evidence before me. See, Christian’s are all the same. It was very hard to ignore the facts. Fortunately, science won in the end. Sure glad that battle is over!

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