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Why Do Christians Bother to Proselytize?

It seems to me that Christians who proselytize are actually making a case against their position. Their claim is that their deity of choice is all-powerful and wants everyone to worship him but can’t seem to convince people on his own. God seems to need the Christian to proselytize.

Why would such an all-powerful deity need people to tell other people about him? Can’t God let people know he exists by himself? Instead of just writing a poorly written bronze-aged book and expecting everyone to believe all the magic and make-believe sounding stuff, couldn’t this all-powerful God just implant the knowledge in our brains?

The very fact that God didn’t implant the knowledge of his existence into everyone’s brain and therefore needs Christians to run around the planet telling everyone about barbaric blood sacrifice of God’s son Jesus is evidence against his existence or at least against his all-powerful abilities.

The fact is that an all-powerful god wouldn’t need Christians to spread his message. He would be all-powerful enough to get his message across to everyone himself. Sadly, this all-powerful god can’t even get his message accurately to all Christians let alone all the people of the Earth. So many Christians have so many differing interpretations of God’s infallible divine will that one has to wonder why God doesn’t set the record straight about all this stuff.

God wouldn’t need to use any booming voice from the sky and he certainly wouldn’t need a burning bush. He’s God, right? Can’t he just “make it known” to everyone on Earth at once what his divine will actually is. Instead, he seems to tell different people different things. He told George W. Bush that war was good and told the Pope that war was bad. He told James Dobson that gays were evil shouldn’t be allowed to marry and told Jim Wallis that gays were evil but should marry. He even apparently told Rick Warren that gays should be killed and then told him that he was just joking around.

The point is that if Christians really had faith in their deity they would shut up and let God do his own dirty work. If God wants someone converted to the correct version of Christianity so that they could spend eternity with God, God will make that happen. Just a thought.

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  • http://myspace.com/scott888 Scott

    This implies to me that not only is God not real but it also shows that one person can use their alleged connection to a God to manipulate people.

  • Katherine Heicksen

    Well, I agree with you completely on this one ;-)

  • http://dogmaticatheist.wordpress.com A-Dizzle

    Haha. Nothing is funnier than hearing a believer claim that god “needs” them for some particular purpose.

  • Alaina

    I go to a Catholic college so I must take Christianity/Religion courses.
    What I have learned is that Christians proselytize because they feel the end is near and it is necessary to convert everyone to Christianity. They believe that you can only be saved through Jesus Christ and do not believe that any other religion offers salvation. They really want to save people and are worried that their souls will not be saved if they do not become Christians.
    I’m not trying to defend or anything just answer your question and give you the reasons I have learned.

    • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

      Alaina, I am well aware of the so called “reasons” for why Christians proselytize. But that really isn’t the central issue of this article. As I pointed out in the article the fact that Christians proselytize is actually evidence against their all-powerful deity. That is the real issue here.

      • Alaina

        Just trying to give a reason for why they bother to proselytize, not why it doesn’t make sense. I have never actually thought about what you said before.
        I would try to track down a good religion professor or expert (academically leaning, not a priest) and ask him/her.

  • Laura

    @ A-Dizzle — as an agnostic, I’m neither here nor there on the issue of whether or not there’s a god, but here in Detroit, we had a thug mayor named Kwame Kilpatrick. Calculating, devious, and rotten to the core, but. to this day insists he’s here to do the lord’s work. Not exactly a shining example of a “servant of god”, but rather an example of how “god’s forgiveness” permits sociopaths like him to commit crimes against society over and over and over again, thereby allowing them to believe they’re above man’s law ad infinitum. Satirical perhaps, but not at all amusing.

    • http://dogmaticatheist.wordpress.com A-Dizzle

      Laura,

      Satirical perhaps, but not at all amusing.

      No argument there. I was simply echoing Staks’s sentiment on how silly it is to think that an all powerful deity needs people to do things for him.

      • Laura

        Sure….I understand. ;-)

  • existential blues

    I asked a Calvinist street proselytizer why he was bothering, since who’s saved is predetermined. After a minute of hemming and hawing, he said he’d have to look into it.

    This is the mentality we’re dealing with.

  • Alaina

    It is quite odd that a Calvinist would proselytize since they believe in double pre-destination. I think I’m going to have to ask my religion professor about this.

    • existential blues

      He was with a group of Calvinists, not connected to any mainstream religion or group. They seemed to be their own little cult.

      The guy I talked to had been a Southern Baptists missionary in Pakistan — where he was imprisoned. He came to the conclusion that the SoBas were too flexible and soft on doctrine.

      This guy is pretty hardcore. He was just barely able to keep from hitting me (he did grab my sleeve a couple of times), but we had a pretty long talk.

  • Anand David

    God uses Christians to tell His message to display His glory. Yes, it would be far easier if He just did it on His own, but He loves His children so much that He uses them even though they are a handicap! This gives God even more glory!

    • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

      Lol, That is too funny. So if you use people as means merely and use them for your own selfish need for personal glory that equates to love. I don’t really think that is true and I doubt very much that if someone used you to make themselves feel good you would consider that loving. I think it is you who feels the need to bring glory by pushing your ridiculous ideology.

  • KJ

    God does not need me nor anyone else. The bible even says that if there is no one left to proclaim his name that the rocks would cry out. The great commission, which is what all Evangelical Christians’ mission is, states that it is a Christian’s honor and privilege to bring glory to God not because we have to. I believe this article is quite mis-guided. Of course, you can come up with countless examples of people claiming to do god’s work, but ultimately are working only for their own personal gain. I am not going to try and argue that; I am however going to argue that I will love as much as I can, I will help someone who is down on their luck and I will go to Africa if I have the chance to. I will not do this because I will get “Jesus points” nor because it gains me riches or glory, but simply because God did the same for me and it truly pleases me to show God’s kindness.

    • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

      But why bother KJ? If your God is so powerful, why doesn’t he help the people of Africa or any place else for that matter? You said yourself, God doesn’t need you. So if God doesn’t need you, let him worry about it all. This bullshit line of bringing glory to God doesn’t fly. How can a mere sinful Human bring any kind of glory to the most perfect God? That sounds very prideful of you KJ to think that you could possibly bring glory to God, lol.

  • KJ

    For one, I believe that if God wanted robots who did everything he wanted, he would have done so. I believe that God gave us free will and therefore allows us to have faith or not. If you knew for a fact that God existed, if you watched the Earth and Universe be created by God, then there would be no need for faith.

    As for the whole “Bringing glory to God” topic: Have you ever tried to please your parents? Maybe you haven’t had the opportunity, which I understand, but I know that I have always wanted my parents to be proud of me and wanted them to know that even though I am a failure I do try. I guess that is what I mean by bringing glory to God.

    I know that I am not perfect, if I ever tried to be perfect or told you that I was perfect, I would be a fool or a liar. I think that me taking you, Staks, out for coffee and seeing what is going on in your life; even though you don’t deserve my time, but just to see how I can help you out, would bring glory to God.

    It is a tough thing to grasp. God is perfect, he is all powerful. He could destroy all of his in one day. He could give us all complete knowledge and wisdom. I don’t know why he chooses to do some things and chooses not to do other things. I’m not God nor have I ever sat down and had a little chat with him. One thing I know that is that God is Love, as it says in the Bible. The best way that I can bring glory to God is by showing that Love to people that do not deserve it. I think that would be the mission statement of Christ if he chose to have one. Lol. Thanks for your input, Staks.

    P.S. I understand that you have a particular animosity towards Christians and am curious why. If you’d care to share. Is it what Christianity stands for? Or, does the idea of intelligent design in general rub you the wrong way?

    • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

      KJ, you certainly put a lot on the table. I will try to address some of those issues. Yeah, if God wanted robots, he would have created robots, right? But a careful read of Genesis shows that is exactly what he did create… until that serpent fucked it up. Without the knowledge of good and evil, that is exactly what people are, robots. But let’s not debate the fiction.

      If God is all-powerful, then whatever God wants God gets… instantly. Not in 6 days, but instantly. If God wanted us to believe in him, we would without question. So now Christians invent the “Free Will” excuse. God wants us to believe in him, gives us a brain and the ability to reason and use logic, but doesn’t allow any evidence whatsoever to even suggest let alone prove his existence. All because he wants us to use Free Will? That doesn’t make much sense. We can use Free Will to follow God, but he has to give us some evidence that he exists.

      This is where you come up with faith. So why does God NEED us to have faith? Now, If someone promised me a eternal bliss and all I had to do was have faith in them and do whatever they said, I would be a bit skeptical and so would you. There are tons of religions out there all promising a blissful paradise and all requiring blind faith and offering zero evidence. Why should I follow your view of your religion and not any one of the thousands of alternatives?

      Finally, I have no animosity towards Christians at all. I do have a problem with the beliefs and ideas that Christians hold… namely that they are ridiculous. I also have issue with some of the actions and attitudes of many Christians which are a direct result of the ridiculous beliefs they hold. But I don’t have a problem with Christians as people. Think of it as sort of like hating the sin and not the sinner although in my case I don’t even hate the beliefs, I just find them ridiculous.

  • KJ

    First off, let me thank you for taking the time to write what you have written thus far. I do enjoy sharing my faith and am glad that you equally sharing yours. I also appreciate that you have knowledge of the Bible. I fear that you have misinterpreted the context of Genesis, which I must make a note of. Adam and Eve were never “robots”. They were given free will. Neither are the angels “robots”…(take Lucifer for example). We are all given choices, and yes we are also given knowledge. It is what we ultimately choose to do with this knowledge that means something.

    Next, I do not believe I ever said that God “Needs” anything from me or anyone. If I did, thank you for clarifying because you are correct, the mere thought of an all-powerful being needing anything from us is a very silly thought. I do believe you have hit an interesting point; we are capable of logic and reasoning and have all come to many different conclusions as what or who God is or if he even exists. If you were to use this argument, I challenge you to be intellectually honest and notice that the atheist faith is quite a minority and even in this minority, I am sure that you will find many who agree that the idea of intelligent design is not absurd. As for “which religion to choose”, I think that is up to an individual. Five years ago I was an atheist and could hold my stand in a debate. I then toyed with the idea that maybe there was a being greater than me, maybe God, maybe Buddha, maybe Extra-terrestrials (Star Trek…what can I say). I had to first believe that MAYBE there was something more, before I could get to say YES there is something out there and eventually choose to believe Christianity. Maybe other individuals find Christianity to be their faith by other means besides my route, but I will not try to convince you that Jesus is lord until you can say that it is at least possible that there is a higher force, a “god”.

    Finally, I want to thank you for your honesty about Christians which you mentioned in your last paragraph. I sadly have to agree with you in one part that some Christians have displayed some, let’s say less than Jesus-approved actions. I think that Mahatma Gandhi put it well when he said “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” It makes me laugh, but also makes me sad. Quite often we are televised picketing an abortion clinic or preaching “fire and brimstone” on street corners. All I can do is do the best I can do. Lol. I would like to apologize on behalf of many Christians and those who call themselves Christians. You have mentioned that the ideas and beliefs of Christians are “rediculous”, but gave no specifications; please clarify. The resurection? The Flood? The whole thing?

    So, did you study the Bible in class or were you raised in a Christian home? Look forward to your next post. Sorry if I talk too much. :)

    • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

      KJ, I am going to have to use my new favorite saying. You have put a lot on the table here.

      I could sit here all night and respond to each of your points, but the fact is that I have already done so in previous blogs right here and in some of my Examiner stories (specifically the Atheism 101 series). So my advise is to use the category drop down menu located on the sidebar —–> and read some of my previous blogs and also click the “Examiner” tab at the top of the page and check out some of the Atheism 101 articles. Feel free to leave specific comments on the various posts pertaining to the particular issue being discussed and I will do my best to address that particular issue.
      -Staks

  • KJ

    Cool man, will do. Lol, sorry I know I talk a lot.

    KJ

  • George T. Czapp

    A a practicing Christian I must comment on your statement. God does NOT need us to promote Him. The people who know the Lord do it due to the fact that they know God for who and what He is. Period. As to the reason folks try to prostlitize is that they know Him as a loving and forgiving God. He has given us free will, that essentially means that as a resonalblyintellegent adult, you should have sufficiant knowlege and awareness to see His place in the sceme of things and if, once you have that knolege you choose not to accept Him as God then you must face the consequenses.Is there any way you can call the existance of man a accident? is there anyway to say that this world with all of its complexitys was accidental , that some ancient colliding of atoms created the big band and all the different forms of life just “HAPPENED”. Have you ever held a newborn child in your arms and thought …Wow what a fluke this kid is here all because of a accident that happened so far in the past that we still don’t know when it ocured? Get real folks God is real and is willing to forgive all your sins, try taking Him up on His word.

  • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

    You didn’t really answer the question George. You simply claim that God doesn’t need you, but then you go on acting as if he does. If God wants me to be a Christian, then he wouldn’t need you to make me one. He would show himself to me and give me real valid reasons why I should believe and worship him. He has not done this.

    Even if we accept that evolution is false as you are suggesting and the evidence does not suggest, this still doesn’t prove your God or even a singular deity. Why couldn’t a reasonably intelligent person conclude that 5 gods were needed to create the universe? Or maybe it was just one god, but that god was Allah or Zeus. A reasonably intelligent person would not jump to the conclusion’s that you jump to without investigating the facts.

  • Queenofmeanest

    I agree. I’ve developed a total intolerance to xtians that want to proselytize. I ask this question and they come up with every lie and excuse in the book to justify their bothering me.

    Why don’t the church teach that Jesus was illegitimate, b&st&rd born out of wedlock.

    Their reasoning is that Eve did not sin in the garden of Eden

  • Tom Brown

    Why do any theists Proselytize? I think the answer if incredibly obvious. They are afraid of death. They want to think that they are permanent, but there’s no evidence for that, so that’s where religion comes into play. It’s harder to believe a religion if you’re the only one believing it though… it’s a lot easier if you’re surrounded with other people that have the same belief… that way you can share your doubts in a friendly environment and expect your co-theists to support you in your delusion. Having people around that don’t partake of your religion’s shared delusions is uncomfortable for the religious, because the very existence of these people punches holes in their afterlife myth. I think that’s why so many people believe in psychics, crystal power, tarot cards, extra sensory perception, ghosts, spirits, etc. People love that stuff because it looks like evidence for something that goes beyond this material world… and thus leads credence to the idea that there’s something more to this world, and thus indirectly helps support their delusions about an afterlife.

  • http://www.dregstudios.com Brandt Hardin

    O’Reilly is just one of the talking heads guarding the inhabitants of Bullsh*t Mountain from rejoining the world of the sane. Fox News is a propaganda machine which dumbs down America by the day through disinformation and their slanted agendas. See what’s really coming out of their mouths at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-fox-news-scylla-guardian-of-bullsht.html

    • http://skepticink.com/dangeroustalk Dangerous Talk

      I don’t think anyone is disagreeing with that.

  • http://skepticink.com/dangeroustalk Dangerous Talk

    Because it’s great advertising.

  • Rob McClain

    There are many places to be seen in this world. In the company of a world class bully is the last place to be seen. I did think the Humanist guy handled him better than almost anyone else I’ve seen in a clip. Perhaps I hate his style because I live with someone who is the same kind of egocentric ass, and cannot imagine letting another human being completing a thought before taking over the conversation.