Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Hostile co-worker?

Religion in the workplace? How people will react can vary greatly. Sometimes things are fine, and sometimes people greatly exaggerate differences.
DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: Why are some people so hostile toward religion? One of my co-workers claims to be an atheist, and if anyone says anything about God, their church or anything like that, he gets very belligerent. Why is this? — P.T.
Why are some people hostile toward religion? Usually people are actually being hostile to the hurt, damage, or hate that religion can cause. Or they are hostile to the religious trying to illegally force their religion into the government. These are things that believers and non-believers alike should stand against. Yet for some reason, atheists pointing out very real concerns is considered hostile. No one is trying to take away people's right to worship... we're only hoping to help right wrongs and for people to open their eyes to aspects that they may be unaware of in hopes of improvement and change.

And what's with the phrasing of 'claims to be an atheist'? I've seen this many times in the past. It's as if the believer thinks we are lying about not believing in God. But it just doesn't make sense. If we secretly did believe, we would know that acting as if we didn't would send us straight to hell. Purposely acting in a way that we supposedly actually believe will send us to a land of eternal torment would be no less than idiotic! How would PT like it if I were to say that he 'claims to be a Christian'?

Belligerent you say? Any time anyone says anything to him about God or their church? What is the context here, because it can be very important. If many people keep talking to him about their religion/church then it almost sounds like he's the victim of endless proselytizing. Perhaps everyone at work knows he doesn't believe, so day after day the same people keep trying to convert him. It could very well be that he has had enough of the constant pestering and can't take it anymore.

Or it could be something completely different. Sometimes, believers can be very very touchy. I once had a local Baptist church member knock on my door and ask me a question about Heaven. When I responded that I didn't believe there is such a place, she responded as if I was being extremely rude and unreasonable. I've spoken to atheists who have been yelled at and told by Christians that they aren't allowed to even say 'Christmas' if they aren't a Christian. I've had a Christian call me mocking and disrespectful just because I corrected some of the errors they were repeating. Sometimes believers can consider just disagreeing with them as being 'belligerent'.

It could be that PT's co-worker was in fact rude. But without actually being given an example, we have no way of knowing if they actually where.
DEAR P.T.: Most people don’t like to be told they’re wrong (even if they actually are), and this may be one explanation for your co-worker’s hostility.
So that's the explanation for the hostility many believers show in debates. They don't like being told they're wrong (even if they actually are).
This is particularly true if down inside he has doubts about his supposed atheism (even if he vehemently denies that he does).
Ah, so all those believers secretly have doubts about their 'supposed Christianity'. That's good to know...
But in some ways his belligerence isn’t really logical, is it? After all, if he truly believes God doesn’t exist, then why should he get upset if people say God does exist? Why doesn’t he simply laugh at them or ignore them?
Just like it doesn't make sense when some believers get angry when I say that I don't believe? That's just as illogical.

I must say that I don't know of any atheists that get angry simply due to the mention of God, or because someone else is a believer. If someone is a Christian, I don't really care. That's their business. When Christians mention God to me, talk about their faith, prayer, or just use religious overtones do you know what I typically do? I just ignore it.

The point that many Christians miss is that atheists are are not concerned with people's personal belief, or them talking about God. What we are concerned about is these ideas being taught in public schools or belief being legislated.
Sometimes people who strongly oppose Christ are simply reacting against their parents’ faith.
People still peddle this myth? I can't say that I've ever met an atheist who is an atheist due to their parent's faith. In fact, when it comes to extremely religious parents I've found the two most common results to be either very religious children, or children that are members of one of the more liberal sects of Christianity, or even non-denominational Christians to contrast their ultra conservative and literal Christian parents.
Sometimes they don’t want to give up their sinful lifestyle.
Why the absurd assumption that all believers are just sinful? What if I where to suggest that Christians just don't want to be accountable for their actions? After-all, believers can just do whatever they want and just be forgiven.
Some day you might ask this man whether he knows why he reacts so strongly whenever God is mentioned.
I wonder if it would go like when I ask Christians that react so strongly when they hear of someone not being a believer. The typical responses to that are an extra helping of crassness, an angry denial, or an attempt to change the subject or just ignore the question.
Throughout history, those who believe in God often have been persecuted by those who deny him — sometimes very violently.
...until Christianity became the majority religion and became the persecutors. Also, many times believers today confuse not always getting their way as persecution.
Instead of allowing others the freedom to believe in God, they want to suppress them and restrict their rights.
Um... Does Billy not realize that non-believers aren't trying to do anything of the sort. Actually, we would stand against any group trying to take away any group's religious freedom.
Pray for your co-worker, as only God can convict him of his sin and disbelief, and convince him of the truth of the Gospel. Pray, too, that you will be a witness for Christ to those around you, not only by what you say but also by the way you live. Sometimes the most persuasive argument we can give someone is the reality of a Christ-filled life. Do others see Christ’s love and patience and peace in your life?
Or maybe just leave him alone. Because if my guess is correct, PT is the problem and not the co-worker.


-Brain Hulk

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