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Atheists Know There’s a God, Says Elizabeth Prata

romans 1:20

Elizabeth Prata, a “Christian writer and Georgia teacher’s aide who loves Jesus, a quiet life, art, beauty, and children,” recently pontificated on the existence of God; how EVERYONE, including atheists, KNOWS that God exists:

Why does every culture in the world worship something? I’d learned in my twenties that every culture that ever existed worshiped something greater than themselves in some way, from the beginning of recorded time to this moment. Why is that, I’d wonder, and why is it that of all the animals on earth, that none other ever attained that transcendence of self, and looked up to a God?

Could it be…because God designed it that way?

….

The fact of the matter is, whether a person believes in God or not, all of Ecclesiastes reminds us that life without God is empty and vain. Every person ever created has the opportunity to see the world and His invisible attributes within. Every person has the opportunity to seek the fulfillment of that empty place inside us where we groan and discover what it is we groan for. The Lord made us with sinews and blood and DNA and a place in our brains (it seems) where the seat of heavenly longing waits for the Holy Spirit to connect with it and AWAKE our soul unto Jesus. The key is whether a person suppresses the truth in unrighteousness and continue kicking against the goads. There IS a solution for that burden of sin and guilt we all carry.

….

Will you harden your heart to the questions that arise in you? Will you push out of your mind the unanswerable that is before your eyes? Or will you accept the Holy Spirit’s conviction and seek until blessed belief in repentance to Jesus overwhelms you with love and grace?

….

I urge all of us to think these things. If you are speaking with an unbeliever just know that they already believe in God because they can see His invisible attributes through His creation, they suppress it though.

His creation has His signature on it. His formation of humans has in us implanted longing for His Magnificent self. If you have ever looked at the beauty of the world and wondered Who made it, or felt within yourself a longing and unfulfillment, a seeking for something more, it is the Spirit knocking on the door of your heart ready to reveal the kingdom to you. If you only believe, and ask.

Where, oh where, do I begin?

First, let me be clear on Prata’s behalf, when she talks about “God,” she doesn’t mean “choose one from the panoply of deities worshiped by humans.” Prata believes there is only ONE God — her God: the Calvinistic Christian God. Her use of a “generic God” in her post is a smokescreen meant to hide the fact that she believes worshiping other Gods is just a path to the true God — the triune God of Protestant Christianity.

Second, Prata’s contention that EVERY culture “worship something greater than themselves” is patently false. Prata thinks cultures are monoliths, when in fact they are quite diverse. I’m sure she thinks that the United States is a Christian culture. However, there are tens of millions of Americans who are atheists, agnostics, humanists, and nones; people who do NOT “worship something greater than themselves.” For me personally, I only worship one person, my wife! 🙂 She is my partner, equal to me in every way. But worshiping someone or something greater than me? That’s absurd.

Prata refuses to accept the stories (testimonies) of atheists, agnostics, humanists, and nones at face value. According to her, she KNOWS what we really believe and who or what we really worship. How does she know these things? Cuz the Bible says so . . .

According to the Bible and Prata, when non-Christians look at the natural world, they KNOW the Christian God exists. They know there is a divine Creator. Yet, billions of people deny the existence of Prata’s peculiar God. To claim otherwise is a denial of how things really are. Of course, when you believe the Bible is Big T TRUTH, reality can be dismissed with the wave of your hand. “God said” becomes the answer to every question.

Prata tells her followers:

I urge all of us to think these things. If you are speaking with an unbeliever just know that they already believe in God because they can see His invisible attributes through His creation, they suppress it though.

Instead of accepting non-Christians at face value, Prata tells her followers to ignore their stories, knowing that they really, really, really know the Christian God exists, they just suppress that knowledge. This simply is not true. I do not suppress knowledge of God’s existence. First, what a weak God that I have the power to suppress knowledge of him; that I am able to withstand and deny God himself, in the person of the Holy Spirit. What a weak, pathetic God, that a broken down, disabled man can suppress knowledge of him. Second, Prata is a Calvinist, so I am perplexed about the notion that I can actively suppress knowledge of God. Isn’t God the author and finisher of faith? Can anyone save themselves? I thought it is God who draws people to salvation? Since our salvation rests in the hands of God alone, how is it possible that I can suppress knowledge of him? According to orthodox Christian theology, God is the sovereign Lord over all, including salvation. This God predestined who would and wouldn’t be saved from before the foundation of the world. How then, am I, in any way, responsible for not believing. God knows where I live. He even knows my phone number and email address. If he wants to save me, he knows where I am. If he wants me to “know” him, all he has to do is provide persuasive evidence for his existence. Instead, all I get are the Elizabeth Pratas of the world calling me a liar, denying that what I say about my life is true.

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Bruce Gerencser, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 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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16 Comments

    • Avatar
      BJW

      It seems the box that Ms Prata is in keeps her from seeing the majority of the world. She has no way to relate to an atheist, and it would take actual work for her to do so. These types aren’t real interested in self-reflection.

  1. Avatar
    GeoffT

    I’m technically an atheist agnostic, because I require evidence before I accept that something is true (agnostic) but I can still form a belief on the matter (atheist). Basically, our heads can assess the evidence but our guts tell us what we really think (the two, of course, are heavily interlinked). My gut tells me there is no god. Can I be 100% certain? Of course not, but I’d bet the farm on it.

  2. Avatar
    Brian Vanderlip

    Sad that Ms. Prata is working in ‘education’ .. If she had an interest, a true interest in learning and/or assisting others in learning, she would be open to questions and not so anxious to shut down questions, doubt, lack of belief. What she actually accomplishes as a teacher’s aide is more likely not aid at all but something else.
    The Bible says this and that so its true! What utter bunk. And there is some offense in being told by somebody with numb Reason that one really believes something they have stated they do not believe. The Bible says some interesting and things I have found worth holding: ‘Pride goeth before a fall,’ seems to me a thoughtful observation but the Christianity of our world is founded in harm.
    The basic premise, that humankind did not obey a God and are therefore bad/fallen is an ignorant, even malevolent structure. In time, we might be fortunate enough to better understand the basis and history of our humanity and then it might be possible for a clearer understanding of why so many of us are willing to be abused by others, how we have been disarmed and undermined sufficiently to allow not only others to abuse us but to think so little of ourselves as to actually accept the outlandish premises of fundamentalist Christianity.

  3. Avatar
    ObstacleChick

    Can Ms Prata just accept the conviction of Vishnu, and worship Vishnu and follow the teachings? Vishnu loves her and wants her to accept Vishnu’s plan for Ms Prata’s life. How can she possibly be happy and fulfilled without following Vishnu? All she has to do is believe and worship. It’s really that simple. Vishnu can fill that Vishnu-shaped hole in Ms Prata’s heart, if she’ll just believe.

  4. Avatar
    JW

    This is the crux of the matter isn’t it: “Why does every culture in the world worship something”? Has God unequivocably signed his name on creation in general and humanity in particular?

    If the, more-or-less, global search for something greater to believe in (debate-able, but let’s run with it), or the “God-shaped hole in every heart” as a pastor of mine was known to declare, is evidence of God, it would seem that all worship is ultimately equal. If God is reaching out to humanity through the created universe, than any response by humanity should be honoring to God. But….that appears not to be the case.

    Instead, my Christian upbringing taught me that only those who worship the God who decided to specifically reveal himself (in spite of the evidence of creation) to a tiny people group in an obscure, backwater, middle-eastern region know who the ‘right’ God is and this God is content to let the entire rest of humanity, quite literally, go to hell. So, even though all humanity yearns to know God, God won’t take the initiative to reach out to them, even though special revelation was still needed to get through to Abraham, Moses, the prophets, Jesus’ disciples, Paul…… Heck, the evidence of creation wasn’t enough even for Paul-he clearly lied in Romans since Paul’s own testimony states that Jesus had to knock him down and blind him to get his attention. (Strangely, it seems that Christians today are required to exercise more faith than Jesus’ own disciples.)

    Of course the answer is that through Jesus God is finally blessing the entire earth. That still doesn’t settle the question of why all those other billions throughout history had to go to hell in the meantime. And Christians argue about who is worshiping the “right” Jesus, because those who got it wrong get to go to hell as well.

    I want there to be a God. I really, really want it. I don’t like the implications of a God-less universe. But…each time I read through the Bible (yes, I have read through it multiple times in multiple versions) it makes less sense, not more. As I examine the world around me I do not see the fingerprints of God, I see evidence that contradicts Biblical creation. The more and more desperate my prayers are, the more convinced I become that nothing is listening to them. If it is so easy to find God, then why am I losing him? (Now queue the evangelical to tell me that I never knew him in the first place and Satan is hardening my heart against him, or the Calvanist to say that God, in his sovereign will, has not chosen me)

    • Avatar
      clubschadenfreude

      “I want there to be a God. I really, really want it. I don’t like the implications of a God-less universe. But…each time I read through the Bible (yes, I have read through it multiple times in multiple versions) it makes less sense, not more. As I examine the world around me I do not see the fingerprints of God, I see evidence that contradicts Biblical creation. The more and more desperate my prayers are, the more convinced I become that nothing is listening to them. If it is so easy to find God, then why am I losing him? (Now queue the evangelical to tell me that I never knew him in the first place and Satan is hardening my heart against him, or the Calvanist to say that God, in his sovereign will, has not chosen me)”

      I was right where you are. And yep, heard all of that victim blaming bullshit that Christians give to excuse their non-existent god.

      It is very hard to give a best friend who controls the universe and agrees with me. Heck, I still play clerics in D&D since I do like the idea of gods.

      • Avatar
        JW

        This is what has attracted my to this blog and its community. Many experiences so closely match mine it’s almost eery.

        Growing up, my conscience had trouble with the D&D cleric class. I actually edited my AD&D rule books by hand to remove some of the references about gods (but I liked the game too much to just give it up-that is a whole other discussion). I usually played the old boxed sets instead because they were more ambivalent about where the cleric got their power. Now that I’m losing the hangup, the game setting is richer. Today my reason for not playing clerics is just because playing bards lets me pretend I have musical talent, an even bigger leap of imagination.

  5. Avatar
    Jaqen H'ghar

    Elizabeth can post about love (i.e., for her Jesus/God, church family, children), but she obviously can’t live with them 24/7 evidenced that she’s divorced and single and barren. Just like her Jesus and God. Funny how people talk about love, but they can’t last being with another human for a long time. She probably would divorce Jesus after a few years like she did with Mikey, first husband.

  6. Avatar
    clubschadenfreude

    oh I did have some entertainment showing Elizabeth how she was wrong and ignorant about her own bible. She allowed a single post of mine, and when she couldn’t contest what I said, she invented excuses that my response was suddenly “too long”. She of course didn’t allow that post to show, and prated on about how she “shared the gospel” and she doesn’t have to do anything else. She did a wonderful job at demonstrating how Christians must intentionally make false claims, ignoring what their god has to say about that (you may see the carnage at my blog if you are curious).

    • Avatar
      Astreja

      Speaking of carnage at your blog, Vel, I’m sitting here with my popcorn in eager anticipation of the evisceration you will doubtlessly deliver to “Alex.” 😀 Go Team Snow Leopard!

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