A Christian Prayer Challenge

acceptchallengeI actually saw a Christian on Twitter challenging atheists to a challenge.  This is something I brought up a while back, having rarely ever seen such a thing, but as expected, it was a toothless tiger.  The theist challenged atheists to sincerely pray for God to come into their lives and for Jesus to touch their hearts.

It’s not a new challenge, I’ve run into that kind of thing in the past.  Theists seem supremely convinced that any atheist who dares sincerely ask God to reveal himself will magically become heartfelt Bible believers.  Of course, this being a somewhat common belief, I’ve done so quite a few times in the past, since I gave up Christianity, and I’ve never felt a thing. Believers will declare that any failure to get the “God feeling” means that you were not sincere and there’s really no way to prove sincerity, but I can assure you, I’ve done it as sincerely as I am capable of and not a damn thing has happened.

The problem is that the Christian would only set the challenge, not participate in it.  If the atheist prayed and some conditions were met, the atheist had to agree to be a Christian, but apparently, the Christian didn’t have enough faith to accept the reverse, that if those conditions were not met, the Christian should agree to stop being a Christian.  I find that very troubling.  After all, in every “atheism challenge” I’ve seen, if the theist managed to prove their point, the atheist has said they would cease to be an atheist and convert to whatever brand of theism was demonstrated.  Why, then, are theists so afraid to do the same?  As I said, the system is rigged and any failure will be excused as a breakdown on the part of the atheist, for not believing strongly enough or for missing the clear signs that God was real.  As far as these theists are concerned, there is no possibility that they are wrong, thus no reason to even consider the prospect.

religion-Pastafarianism2Or at least that’s what they say.  From where I’m sitting, it’s a clear and obvious sign of their lack of confidence in their own position.  They aren’t sure enough that their God will make himself known in an unambiguous way that they’re willing to put their faith on the line.  They can’t even do it for the sake of argument, especially since no one could force them to stop believing in their deities if they wanted to.  No, they have to remain “strong” in their faith, even if it makes them look terribly weak to all the non-believers around them.  It’s all just an excuse after all, I don’t know that they really believe that any of these “prayer challenges” actually work anyhow.

But what would happen if an atheist, just for shits and giggles, took their “prayer challenge”, prayed for God to reveal himself to them, and then reported to the theist that it wasn’t God that answered, but Krishna?  Or Thor? Or the Flying Spaghetti Monster?  It wouldn’t phase the theist one bit, even if it was true because they cannot conceive that they might even remotely be wrong.  Any response other than what they expect will be rejected out of hand.  That’s why it’s utterly pointless to engage in these kinds of exercises, they’re just not honestly suggested.

In the end, we couldn’t convince our theist friend that his challenge was flawed, or that he was too afraid to even deal with it fairly and he went back to spamming the #atheism hashtag with the same load of nonsense he had done all along.  Fanatical faith doesn’t prove anything, except how absurd the mind of the faithful really is.

10 thoughts on “A Christian Prayer Challenge

  1. The other thing I love about this sort of challenge is that the Christian nearly always blames the atheist for not hearing from his or her preferred god. When the atheist reports that he or she prayed as instructed and nothing happened, the Christian almost always insists that the atheist did not do it correctly or has closed his or her heart to this supposed god. The possibility that no such god exists is not considered; the fault lies solely with the atheist.

    My recent post How an Atheist Could Become a Christian

      1. My problem is that it isn't a testable hypothesis. From the religious perspective, there's no way to test it. If you fail to get their expected results, it isn't evidence that the hypothesis is false, it only shows that you didn't do it right.

  2. When I tried the theist challenge God actually did show himself to me and told me that the devil has been pretending to be God/Son of God/Holy Spirit/ etc. for the last few thousand years. This explains the multitude of religions and confusion over who's got the real God. Of course, God can't intervene, because he wants everyone to have free will, but he said it really upsets him that so many people are going to hell because they believe the Devil's nonsense. He also said it was rather ironic that atheists would be the only ones going to heaven because, even though they don't believe in him, they are the ones who actually do what he wants and use their intelligence to try and find the truth instead of just doing what the so-called holy men tell them to do. Your move theist.

    1. That's something I've tried before, although not in that format, what you did was creative. However, I've asked Christians how they know that what they worship as God isn't really the devil of another pantheon, trying to lead them astray from the one true deity and they have no answers for that. They have no answers for anything. They just have blind, mindless faith.

      1. Here in Catholic Poland, I've often heard theists, when faced with an unanswerable dilemma, say that they aren't really concerned with whether their belief has any validity or not, they simply 'want' to believe it's true. Of course, the 'what' they want to believe is the fluffy clouds and God loves you stuff they're spoon fed at church. Most people I've met here haven't even read the bible for themselves, I wouldn't even say it's mindless faith, just an extreme form of wishful thinking. A bit like somebody claiming their favourite football team is the best in the world and the fact they haven't won a game all season is just them going through a 'bad patch'.

        1. The exact same thing happens here, especially among the more liberal Christians. They don't care if what they believe is actually true, they believe it because it makes them feel good and any request to back up their beliefs with actual evidence is soundly ignored because it doesn't make any difference to them at all. In fact, even suggesting that they ought to believe things that there's a good reason to think are true pisses them off.

  3. Things are slowly changing here and the Catholic church itself is the main reason. People are starting to tell me, at least in private, that they find the church's ceaseless opposition to marriage equality, gay rights and abortion and its shameless money-grabbing quite repulsive. Not to mention the constant stream of child abuse cases and inability of the church to accept any form of responsibility. With a record like this, it's no wonder they are finding it increasingly difficult to convince believers that they are the defenders of morality. With only one major player here it's also rather more difficult for people to compartmentalize their beliefs with the not a 'True Christian' argument which often seems to be used against the beliefs of the more rabid Christian groups in the States. I can only hope the Church continues to keep up its 'good work' for atheism.

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