Always Winter But Never Christmas for An Atheist

Without Jesus it would have been always winter, but never Christmas on this planet (to borrow a line from Lewis). This is especially true for an atheist. If there is no God, then there most certainly is no “Son of God” – no Jesus, no birth in Bethlehem, no 33 years of authenticating our humanity, no cross, no resurrection, no larger story to live for. For the athiest, it’s winter but never a true Christmas.

I’ve got a book entitled What if Jesus had never been Born? by D. James Kennedy. He walks the reader through every area of human endeavor and field of study or inquiry and shows how Christianity has positively impacted those areas.

Kennedy uses as a springboard for his book the 1946 film classic It’s a Wonderful Life wherein the character played by Jimmy Stewart gets a chance to see what life would be like had he never been born. George Bailey (played superbly by James Stewart) grows up in the small town of Bedford Falls, dreaming dreams of adventure and travel, but circumstances conspire to keep him enslaved to his home turf. Frustrated by his life, and haunted by an impending scandal, George prepares to commit suicide on Christmas Eve. A heavenly messenger arrives to show him a vision: what the world would have been like if George had never been born.

Kennedy borrows this and transitions it to this question: What would planet earth have been like without Jesus and true Christianity? Hospitals and universities were first built by Christians. Christians championed the cause of literacy and education for the masses.

Did you know that many of our Ivy League schools and public universities were started by Christians who wanted to train pastors and teach the queen of the sciences – theology? Christians championed capitalism and free enterprise. They abolished slavery. They elevated the status of women. They took in the unwanted children. They clothed the poor and fed the hungry. They discovered new continents. They provided ethics and morality that holds civilizations together. They developed the arts and advanced music. They’ve explored and advanced science and philosophy and every realm of inquiry. They helped author constitutions and books on law. They have proclaimed the gospel. Why? Because Jesus came.

How many institutions of education have the atheists started? (Most atheist and/or naturalistic scholars have simply hijacked institutions for their own purposes) What atheists joined Wilberforce to abolish slavery? How many homes for the orphans have the atheists began? How many hospitals have the atheist built?

Someone once said “Well, the atheists don’t typically organize like the Christian Theists do?” Well, why do the theists organize themselves to do these great and noble things for all mankind (even Christian hospitals will nurse an atheist back to health!) Why do they do it? It’s simple really. Christmas. Jesus came to our planet in the humble manger, denied himself a privileged place, and radically served mankind, and that is our reason. It’s always Christmas for the theist.

But for the atheist… it’s always winter, but never truly Christmas.

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13 Comments

Filed under Atheism, Christian Worldview, Christianity, Christmas, God, Incarnation

13 responses to “Always Winter But Never Christmas for An Atheist

  1. “Without Jesus it would have been always winter, but never Christmas on this planet”

    True.

    It would be Solstice, Saturnalia, Winter Festival, Hanukkah, Yule, etc…

    I’m cool with that.

    “Well, why do the theists organize themselves to do these great and noble things for all mankind”

    Because, generally speaking, that’s what people do when they organize themselves into groups. Either they do great and noble things, or they start wars. Christianity is full of that, but so is humanity as a whole.

  2. I think a deeper answer is that in atheism, you have a belief system driven by selfishness. The true atheist has a tough time serving great selfless causes. Why? There’s no one to lovingly do it for, to honor in extreme service.

    Atheism is a worldview that does not issue forth in great service. It is bankrupt to change the world.

    What you see in atheism, are masses and masses of people, standing on the sidelines, sniping at those who are trying to make a positive difference.

    Get offended if you want, but the record stands true. Atheism does NOT issue forth in great service to mankind and therein, once again, reveals a huge lack of existential repugnance.

  3. “I think a deeper answer is that in atheism, you have a belief system driven by selfishness.”

    No.

    You can have belief systems that include atheism that are also selfish. But ‘atheism’ isn’t a belief system.

    I have a feeling you’ve been told this before, and just ignore it, so I won’t belabor the point.

    “The true atheist has a tough time serving great selfless causes.”

    According to who? And what’s a ‘true’ atheist?

    “There’s no one to lovingly do it for, to honor in extreme service.”

    Wrong. I serve selfless causes to ‘lovingly do it’ for the people I help.

    “standing on the sidelines, sniping at those who are trying to make a positive difference.”

    Do many atheists snipe about the charitable things that Christians do? I certainly don’t. I snipe at the horrible things Christians do, which there is no lacking of.

    I think that charitable acts are one of the few things that Christians, speaking generally, are good at. But you don’t need Christianity in order to do those things. You just need a big group of people and an organizer.

    “Atheism does NOT issue forth in great service to mankind and therein”

    You’re right. But Humanism does. And Naturalists. And many other groups of people who happen to be atheists.

    Funny how I’m an atheist and a humanist.

  4. The Tofu

    “I think a deeper answer is that in atheism, you have a belief system driven by selfishness.”

    I could easily claim that Christianity is driven by selfishness. After all, you’re promised an eternal reward for your service, and eternal punishment for your disobedience. Perhaps you’re just acting morally to save your own skin/soul?

    “The true atheist has a tough time serving great selfless causes. Why? There’s no one to lovingly do it for, to honor in extreme service.”

    Why isn’t doing things for people good enough for you? Just because I don’t do things to please your omnipotent overlord doesn’t mean I can’t do something out of love.

    “Atheism is a worldview that does not issue forth in great service. It is bankrupt to change the world.”

    Atheism as a whole, no, because the only thing atheists necessarily have in common is ATHEISM. Atheism makes no claims about how one should behave. This does not mean individual atheists are unable to act in ways that change the world for the better, and indeed many do.

    “What you see in atheism, are masses and masses of people, standing on the sidelines, sniping at those who are trying to make a positive difference.”

    Examples?

    “Atheism does NOT issue forth in great service to mankind and therein, once again, reveals a huge lack of existential repugnance.”

    Expecting “atheism” to issue forth in service to mankind is like expecting people who aren’t fans of Star Trek to throw a convention.

    Once again, atheism is related to belief in gods ONLY. It has no bearing on morality or behaviour, it is merely one lack of belief.

    I could go through your post and replace the word “atheism” with “non-believer in fairies” and it would make about as much sense.

  5. When I refuse to yield my life to another, a greater, a Someone who transcends me, then life is all about ME. I implode on myself.

    Sure, I can do a few good things for my fellow man. But not “great” things, like deny myself the comforts of a life that, as an atheist, I have to cling to, because this life is all there is.

    No, in Christian Theism, you have people literally giving their lives for their fellow man. Name one atheist who has done this – died for a noble cause to serve his fellow man.

  6. The Tofu

    “When I refuse to yield my life to another, a greater, a Someone who transcends me, then life is all about ME.”

    Yeah, because friends/family/loved ones/human beings aren’t good enough for you. Got it.

    “Sure, I can do a few good things for my fellow man. But not “great” things, like deny myself the comforts of a life that, as an atheist, I have to cling to, because this life is all there is.”

    Why do anything in this world if I’ll be rewarded eternally simply for believing? The selfishness argument cuts both ways.

    If god wanted change, he could enact it himself with no effort, so the way things are must necessarily be his will. In fact, I’d be better off not trying to change anything, because otherwise I’m showing that I think I’m know better than god.

    “No, in Christian Theism, you have people literally giving their lives for their fellow man. Name one atheist who has done this – died for a noble cause to serve his fellow man.”

    Someone earlier posted a link to http://www.ebonmusings.org which has a section called “atheists in foxholes.” Interesting stuff, as is the rest of the site.

  7. Would you like a list of Atheists serving in military forces? Who helped drive back forces such as the Nazi’s? Or helped to liberate various places about the globe?

    Once again, your logic is found wanting.
    (Of course, I could point out that it’s generally smarter to live for a cause as opposed to dying for one.)

  8. Tell that t0 Jesus Christ. Or…eh….wait a minute… he didn’t exist…right?

    Here’s the deal guys.

    Choose one thing that will be the most important thing in the world to you (for you, it sounds like your family and friends – which is great, but not large enough).

    You will order your life around this one thing. You will depend on it for everything that matters to you. You will turn to it in times of tragedy and go to it when you need answers to life’s most difficult questions. And when you die, you will stake your entire eternity on it… What will it be? Or, more appropriately, who will it be?

    Do you think that your wife or husband or your kids are going to come through for you like that? Is your checkbook going to do it? Are your friends going to provide this? Is your doctor going to do this? Is your boss going to provide this? Is your neighbor going to be the one that you’ll stake your entire eternity on? Is your government going to provide this? Is your athletic team going to do it? Will your girlfriend or boyfriend meet all your needs?

    The only One who can possibly fill this role is God. When you invite Him into your life and tell Him that you want Him to be the One that comes through for you even though you have failed to come through for Him, God says, “Deal! Consider it done! I’d love to be the One to come through for you.”

    And what He’s hoping for is that you will abandon the shrines of your own making and love Him. In the end, you find a new freedom.

    Doing life any other way is “always winter, but never Christmas.”

  9. “And when you die, you will stake your entire eternity on it”

    You’ve yet to give anyone any good reason to believe that humans live for all eternity.

    What you’re doing, what Christianity and most religions have done, is creating a disease in order to sell your cure. It’s what the New Agers who sell crystals do. And Scientologists with their body thetans and e-meters.

    You have to show evidence that there’s something for our family and friends to ‘come through for us like that’.

    There is no evidence that there’s an afterlife. Until there is, why should we worry about a religion that is claiming to save us from something that isn’t proven to exist, and we don’t believe in?

    Stop the emotional arguments. Show evidence for your claims, and then, maybe, we’ll consider your other arguments.

  10. No need to create a disease; it’s embedded in the the human nature. Despite the love shown and the evidence given, there’s a clinging to “our own way”, a willful intent to live life on our own, without God. We are saved from ourselves in Christian Theism.

    As to life after death, there is no question about this. The resurrection holds out this firm assurance for those who look to the One who did death and conquered it. Death is merely an “endless beginning”, a doorway through which we pass. This life is just the “cover page” to the great epic that lies before.

  11. No need to create a disease; it’s embedded in the the human nature.

    That statement says a lot about your opinion of humanity. It’s not a good thing.

    Despite the love shown

    Such as?

    and the evidence given

    Such as?

    We are saved from ourselves in Christian Theism.

    That is only if a god exists, that god happens to be
    the judeo christian god as opposed to the thousands of deities throughout human history, that your assumption about original sin and eternal life are true.

    Yeah, not exactly a compelling argument you’re making there.

    As to life after death, there is no question about this.

    Oh, there are a lot of questions and an even greater amount of doubt. Since, you know, there’s no actual independent evidence for it ever happening.

    You keep making broad statements but not actually providing any evidence and/or proof. Therefore, you’re not coming across as credible in the least, I’m afraid.

  12. I think what you will find is that the evidence I speak of is buried in nearly 100 posts and comments on this blog. That’s the beauty of blogging, but it also catches some people mid-stream in the conversation.

    You’ll find plenty of valid arguments and credibility for Christian Theism via the posts, including things about humanity, and God’s image, etc… No need to repeat what I’ve written.

    Blessings to you Matt.

  13. I had a quick look through your blog but found nothing compelling or even that logically sound. Perhaps you’d like to handpick your best three or so?

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