The Peace of an Atheist
By Billy Beasley
The year before I was offered a contract to publish The Preacher’s Letter, there was another publisher that was seriously considering publishing my story. During the process they expressed concern over my lack of social media. I have a decent following on my Facebook Author Page so I knew they were speaking of Twitter, which I really did not want to do. But with a possible publishing contract on the line I joined the masses.
On a given day if I tweet anything there are but a few viewers. But one day I made one simple tweet in response to an atheist trend. I believe it was something along the lines of, “me thinks thou does protest too much.” Suddenly my viewership grew dramatically. Of course the replies were not very favorable.
Why does it disturb atheists so much if you and I believe in God? If we believe that Jesus Christ was and is the son of God? I do not get angry with people who do not believe. But they often seem to take great offense if we believe. If they enjoyed a measure of the peace that I have with Jesus Christ, why can’t they just sit back and enjoy the peace that their nonbelief brings to them?
"The resurrection of Christ is either the greatest miracle or the greatest delusion which history records." - Philip Schaff
I copied the above quote last year on social media. The lone comment was, “Agreed.” Knowing the person, I knew the intent of their sarcastic comment.
I wonder why they felt the need to respond. They are smart, accomplished, and highly successful by worldly standards. Why not just enjoy the peace and comfort that brings, leaving me to my delusions?
Because I do not believe they enjoy any peace in their belief of nonbelief. Maybe they were once wounded by religious behavior. That has turned many people off from Christianity. Perhaps if they would have dug a little deeper they might have realized that is not Christianity. Going to church does not make anyone a Christian any more than sitting in a garage makes me a car. Why be angry at God for the actions of people?
A pastor once shared with me.
“Billy, Jesus did not like hanging out with religious people.”
In fact, Jesus was criticized for spending time with people that the religious people thought should be shunned.
When Jesus heard this, he told them, "It is not those who are well who need a doctor, but those who are sick. I didn't come to call the righteous, but sinners." Mark 2:17
We all have heard the saying that there is no atheist in a fox hole. My response has often been. “Don’t tell me when the plane starts to descend rapidly and you are plunging to certain death that you are not going to cry out to God for help.”
Another social media contact used to post of how we are foolish and unwise to believe in God. Why the need to label us as fools for the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Why not just accept a difference of belief and move on with the peace you find in your unbelief?
This same person also posted pictures of grandchildren that he obviously loved dearly. An image came to my mind. Picture the following scenario.
He is walking on a trail, hand in hand with his grandchild. There is a ravine on each side that is a precipitous drop. A slip would lead to almost certain death. He stumbles and in that misstep his grandchild falls over the edge. He manages to hold on with one slipping hand grasping theirs. His grip is loosening and that child is one second away from near death and in his moment of desperation he is not going to cry out, “God help me?”
I hope you are never in that situation but if you say to me I would not cry out for God’s help. Forgive me, but I don’t believe you.
You have every right to your nonbelief just as I have every right to believe that every human being created will speculate, will wonder about God.
My knowledge originated from my Damascus Road moment in my earlier years.
Regardless of how I ran from my calling—of how I tried to escape that night. I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that God was real and for reasons I still don’t understand. He showed up one evening on a long dark road for the likes of me.
Many people did not believe me back then. Many may not today. That is okay. I don’t feel the need to convince anyone. I was there. I know what occurred.
One of my social media friends constantly rails about religion and often in a very condescending manner to us that believe this myth of Jesus Christ.
I find it ironic that the passionate atheist acts almost religious in their belief of non-belief.
I would rather live my life believing in the hope of something and Someone waiting for me when my days are ended, than to simply exist, with no real purpose for being here, and no hope of anything beyond, disappearing like a mist that leaves no trace.
About the Author
Billy Beasley resides in Carolina Beach, NC with his wife Julie and their Australian Cattle Dog, Teke. They are active members of Lifepoint
Church in Wilmington, NC.
Billy is the author of The River Hideaway- a traditionally published work of faith based fiction and the newly published novel, The Preacher's Letter. He shares two simple beliefs with his favorite character in this novel. Faith in God and a conviction that ‘Hearts have no color’.
You can read Billy's "Sunday Inspiration" column on the 2nd Sunday each month here at Pandora's Box Gazette.