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A Letter to my atheist brother Mike

Dear Mike, 

for me it really is very difficult to grasp, that you may not believe in God. For whatever reasons and however good, plausible and forcible these reasons may be.

When I see the sunrise, I cannot help but thanking Christ for drawing that beautiful picture for me. And in the close to unending dialogue of prayer that I have in my heart, (I know this may sound silly) I congratulate Him and praise Him for His great taste and pick of colours. When I eat a tuna sandwich, I am sure that the Lord, in His love, was rearing that fish in the ocean, so that I could enjoy it. When I suffer, and as you well know, life is filled with sufferings, He suffers with me, I can offer Him my sufferings and unite them with His sufferings on the cross.

He speaks to me - I don't see the heavens open and angels jumping around with 3-stringed harps. But He can very well express Himself through providence, through the "movements" of His Spirit in my soul, I actually perceive Him. If someone tells me "I don't believe in God" it is like he would tell me "I choose to ignore the greater part of reality!"

You know, I have no fear, because I will live forever. I have no fear, because whatever happens, my Lord will make the best out of it. I have no fear of suffering - because my suffering is not meaningless. The suffering of atheists is often meaningless, they suffer for scientific reasons. For true Christians suffering is a gift that fills them with joy - not because we would be a masochist bunch - but because we suffer for a cause - even if it only be a common cold. 

"Rejoice in the Lord always, for again I say rejoice" (Phil 4, 4)

"I came so that you might have life and have it more abundantly" (Joh 10, 10)

"If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete." (Joh 15, 10-11)

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid." (Joh 14, 27)

You may say all these are "deceptions" or passages "designed" to touch the heart of man. 

But these passages are the REALITY I LIVE IN!!! My apology of the bible is not the empirical, scientific or methodologically correct and technically impeccable proof of the historicity, veracity and accuracy of every word and document. My apology of the bible is the fact that, I - in full power of all my senses - claim that the message of the Holy Scriptures is the objective truth and unequivocal reality that I live!

How do you want to proof scientifically if somebody is in love? How do you want to apply the naturalistic approach to objectivize if somebody's joy is complete? If his life is "fuller" or more "abundant" (not materially!)? The lack of scientific evidence - does this mean that all human beings have an equal "fullness" or "abundance" in their life at all moments from the moment of their birth? or that the "fullness" of life does not exist? You may say it's all emotions, well - we humans "live" by emotions, you don't have a child because you agree with your wife that it is the reasonable thing to do for the continuity of mankind, but because you love each other. And don't tell me that the last time that you laughed and giggled your head off, that it simply wasn't real.

Since I try to live a life in holiness, my life IS MORE ABUNDANT (independent of the material prosperity, that the Lord may grant me or may not), when I look back upon my life, I see, my life without God was empty - however full and overflowing I considered it to be at that time. For me that's evidence enough. I don't need a dude with white hair and glasses to "apologize" or teach me to "apologize" the bible. 

Now about Christianity:
There are very many Christians that give Christianity one miserable name. They are the guys who get all the media attention. And there are many Christians that really try to be holy.

please keep in mind - 

"But understand this: there will be terrifying times in the last days. People will be self-centered and lovers of money, proud, haughty, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, irreligious, callous, implacable, slanderous, licentious, brutal, hating what is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, as they make a pretense of religion but deny its power - Reject them." (II Tim 3; 1-5)

But what does it mean to practice Christianity:

"This is the will of God, your holiness" (I Thess 4; 3)

"So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Mt 5; 48)

"but, as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in every aspect of your conduct, for it is written, "Be holy because I (am) holy." (I Pet 1, 15-16)

"Thus you are to be holy to Me, for I the Lord am holy; and I have set you apart from the peoples to be Mine." (Lev 20, 26)

So being a Christian means being Holy.

How do you do this:

By dying and rising with Christ, by being lead by His Holy Spirit, essentially by renouncing the works of the flesh and following the works of the Spirit...

"I say, then: live by the Spirit and you will certainly not gratify the desire of the flesh. For the flesh has desires against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you may not do what you want. But if you are guided by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are obvious: immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions, factions, occasions of envy, drinking bouts, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ (Jesus) have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also follow the Spirit." (Gal 5; 16-25)

Ultimately, I am a catholic, because the catholic church is the only genuinely apostolic church and because of the sacraments.

I have to go now, I hope I didn't bore you to death. See you in a week,

In the love of Christ,

Richi

17/October/2010 10:24:07 am
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