6/21/2015 Ivan about 22
“Christianity is no flying spaghetti monster” I told a young man named Ivan in a marketplace conversation. I was referring to the common claim by atheists and skeptics that faith in Jesus is so arbitrary that we might as well believe in our own made-up god, like a tree or a unicorn or, as they often say while parroting prominent atheists, a “Flying Spaghetti Monster”. Ivan’s parents had taught him to respect all religious faith and beliefs as being equal, and to choose his own faith, or none at all. While this sounds like a tolerant and noble view to some, it is really an abdication of parent’s – and especially father’s – responsibility to raise their children “…in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Eph.6) Not all religions are the same. Ivan’s parents didn’t bother to teach him about Christianity, the religion they had rejected, so at least he could know about the God he is rejecting. They hadn’t even bothered to teach all the different world religions so at least he could know what choices there are. Instead, Ivan was left with his own imagination, and he has constructed his own hodgepodge of religious ideas. He claims belief in a “life force” that has put into motion an endless cycle of reincarnation. I listened to Ivan’s beliefs for a while, and his claim that religious people like to “shove religion down my throat” and with just a few simple questions helped him to see many of the logical flaws in his own beliefs, his lack of knowledge about the religions he rejects, and the historical background of the Jesus he claims is just an arbitrary belief. Fathers, on this Father’s Day, let’s stop being spiritual couch potatoes and start living up to the noble task God has for us, to “bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord”!