Skip to main content

To All Atheists, Agnostics, and Nonbelievers

 
 
 
Hi. My name's Avery. I'm a Christian, and I hope you read this through rather than strike your back button.

I believe that Jesus Christ died for my sins and that the only reason why I'm here, writing this post, is because of His Grace.  I understand that this is not a belief shared by everyone. I'm not here to change your mind.

In fact, I'd like to take this moment to apologize to you.
I'm serious.
I'm sorry for how we have treated all of you so far. We have been mean, cruel, judgmental, and, well, I'll just say it. We've been assholes, almost all of us.
 
A lot of us, and I've been guilty of this, are so narrow-minded when it comes to our faith that we refuse to even acknowledge the remote possibility that any aspect of something we hold most dear could be wrong. Most of us don't handle challenge well. This is when we start condemning and saying yergoin ta hail and all that shit.

Before I go any further, I'd like to take a moment to ask all Christians to please stop telling people that they're going to hell.

Please, seriously, we should all stop doing that. We don't know who's going to hell. I don't know. The guy next to me doesn't know. None of us know. We have our beliefs, sure, but none of us actually know who God plans on sending to hell, so we should really stop saying that. It's doing us more harm than good and to be honest, we just look stupid saying it.

I don't blame you for hating us. We've brought a lot of that animosity on ourselves. So many of you actually summoned the courage to come to us with questions and when we could not answer them, or worse, challenged what we had to say, we turned into children and pushed you away.

Again, and I cannot stress it enough, I am sorry for how we have behaved, and how we have treated you. For the most part, we have been poor examples of what God wants us to be.

People have asked me, on numerous occasions, how I can have the attitude I do, or, and I quote, walk as though the world belongs to me. Plain and simple, I believe that I am saved. I know that I screw up every single day and will continue to do so until the day He calls me home, and He chooses to love me anyway. That is tremendously refreshing and invigorating. To know that everything I endured; homelessness, abuse, violence, loss, was to turn me into the man I am today. I know He has a plan for me and I trust it without question.

That is my journey with God. It's not everyone else's. It's not even something I advise. It's just how He works with me.

Everyone's journey through faith is a personal one, one only they can walk. As Christians, we tend to believe we have all the answers for everyone else, and well, that's just not true.

So when people come to me with questions, I do my best to answer them but admit I don't have all the answers myself. If I don't have an answer, I will say so. I confess that I see how God tries to reach so very many people and they refuse to answer, choosing anger instead. I don't condemn those people. I don't pray for their souls because I don't think they're goin ta hail. I pray they find peace in this life.

So as a Christian, in the coming year I will do my best to be better to my fellow man. I will try (and fail, I'm sure, at times) to set an example and answer anything I'm asked as best as I can. I will do my very best to do as my Lord did before me, which is to make those in my life loved and welcomed, regardless of their beliefs.

I will do that because that is what God taught me, and He allowed me to live to write this post and everything else I will write.

Thanks for reading and have a great year.

Comments

David said…
The fact is that we know very little, except what we have been told, and we assume that it is all the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. But what if it isn't? What if it is simply what God has chosen to reveal to us, and that's His choice. And what if he has chosen to reveal (or not to reveal) different things to different people? Just as I choose to reveal different things to my different children? I believe in Jesus, but what if God didn't choose for everybody to connect to him that way?
Avery K. Tingle said…
David, I thought about this long and hard before replying, because I wanted to be sure I was doing so correctly. I completely agree with everything you've said, and I find the myriad of ways God chooses to work with us fascinating. I do often wonder about those He chooses not to reveal Himself too. I wonder why He chooses this, but I certainly don't believe those people are damned or cursed or anything. Everything happens as He sees fit, and maybe it's just not meant for us to know.

Doesn't mean it's not fun to speculate, though. :-)

Popular posts from this blog

America: A True Story About Hatred and Unity

I wanted fast food tonight. That was all. I found myself at Burger King to pick up my wife's order. I was a few cars deep when I spotted the Confederate flag. I surreptitiously snapped a few photos. This was going to be a very different story. When I pull out of Burger King, it turns out there's more than one. In fact, there are four trucks, each flying variations of the flag. I have to go around the front of them to avoid an accident. They're parked right in the middle of the road. As I drive around them, each person in the vehicle makes it a point to ensure I see them. I do. They see me too. When I get to McDonald's (which is in the same lot), I learn that they're not taking debit cards at the moment. Terrific. I wanted chicken nuggets and instead, I get a run-in with the new Confederacy. So I make my way back to Burger King, again appearing in full view of the trucks. I place my order, get it, pay, and pull out. Then one of the

The Long Road Home

I will end you tonight. No, wait. That's not where the story starts. The story starts two and a half years before this, when Michelle (referred to as Michelle for legal reasons because SATAN was too heavily trademarked) reached out to me by Facebook. She mentioned that we played the same Facebook game and she wanted to say hi. I had never, in fact, even heard of the Facebook game. But I was freshly broken out of a relationship and she was pretty with a good body so I said "Hurr, okay." Conversation ensues. She tells me we came up in the same place. We did not come up in the same place. We spent one night in San Francisco talking. But I really wanted to sleep with her. So, "Hurr, okay." Fast forward a few months. I've left Missouri for the beautiful Pacific Northwest. I've settled into the ass end of Lynnwood, a suburb of Seattle. The apartment was so bad that the landlord wrote the mold on the wall off as "crayon coloring

Wave Rocketbook Reviewed

I love writing by hand, and I love notebooks. I'll often devote entire budgets to them and when Officemax has one of their twenty-five cent sales, I'll buy them out. I often draft by hand, finding that the scene comes together more purely when it flows from a pen rather than a keyboard. So when DailyDot advertised a durable new type of notebook that you could use over and over again for the cheap price of twenty-five (thirty after shipping) US Dollars? I'm down. The Wave Rocketbook is meant to be elegant in its design and simple in its execution. The instructions come on the bag itself, and only the pen and notebook are included. The pen feels like any other, so you have to be careful not to mix it into your collection or you will end up marking your notebook with the wrong pen (like I did). The ink is erasable, which is a bonus. A place to put the pen would've been nice, but it clips easily, if not securely, into the ringed binding. The paper is thick and