How to Convince an Atheist that God Exists


Man In Pray Cross

by John Ellis

Many Christians appear to hold to the mistaken belief that atheism is a cheap cop-out. Atheists are often viewed as cowards who don’t really believe what they say they believe; it’s merely a position that’s adopted for the sake of being allowed to live a life freed from any moral authority, it’s assumed.

“There is really no such thing as an atheist,” has smugly crossed the lips of more than a few of my conversation partners over the years. That accusation was even thrown in my face several times by Christians when I was an atheist. Trust me, that doesn’t encourage atheists to listen to whatever else is said by the Believer, including any gospel presentation that might follow.

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Escaping the Trap of Poverty

poverty

by John Ellis

Seventeen years ago, I was homeless. Sleeping in my car; taking showers in truck stops; worrying about finding a good spot to park at night that was simultaneously safe and where I wouldn’t be hassled by the police. Over the course of a couple of months, on a night here and a night there, I managed to bum a bed or couch off friends or acquaintances. Most of the time, though, I did my best to fall asleep in the front seat of my 1998 Pontiac Grand Am.

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The First Gulf War, the Rapture, and Lack of Faith

the rapture

by John Ellis

Operation Desert Shield and I share a birthday. On August 2, 1990 I celebrated my 15th birthday. That same day, Saddam Hussein sent the Iraqi Army into Kuwait. The invasion and occupation of an American ally prompted President Bush (I) and his military advisors to commence operations that would result in Operation Desert Storm. Living in a military town (Pensacola, FL) meant that the events over the next few months loomed large over many of the people around me, understandably so. However, the ways in which many of the adults reacted to Desert Shield and Storm were used by Satan-Serpent to solidify my unbelief in God.

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Update on ‘A Godless Fundamentalist’

puplishing

by John Ellis

Several years ago, a student in one of the adult acting classes I was teaching managed to finagle his way into a meeting with one of the top talent agents in the southeast. This agent provided talent for most of the major films and shows being filmed throughout the Carolinas and Georgia. The student’s acting ability and resume did not warrant that meeting, but he was persistent, if nothing else, and somehow figured out a way to get inside this lady’s office.

After I asked him how it went, he sullenly responded, “Like it always does. Hollywood doesn’t care about talent. They just want to put you in a box and misuse you.”

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A Godless Fundamentalist: Introduction

abandonded church

by John Ellis

In 1994, Douglas Coupland, the voice of Gen X, published Life after God. A collection of short stories, the book gave voice to the belief that my generation was “the first generation raised without God.”

Beyond just seeing the release of one of Gen X’s seminal works of art, 1994 was notable in my life for seeing me graduate from high school. And while it’s true that the world around me was busy erasing God, the aisle I marched down to receive my diploma led to a platform from which I had been force-fed God for years.

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6th Grade Terrorists (or, What Happens When Heathens Take Control at a Christian School)


goldfish-bowl-small

by John Ellis

Spelling is not a forte of mine. As a writer, red squiggly lines are my friend. Words like “Wednesday,” “indubitably,” and “cornucopia” are beyond my ability to remember how to spell correctly. One word I’ll never misspell, though, is obedience. The spelling of that word was drilled into me via multiple performances at church and school of the Patch the Pirate song titled “Obedience.”

The chorus includes a chant of the word’s spelling –  “O-B-E-D-I-E-N-C-E” – followed by the lyrics, “obedience is the very best way to show that you believe.” Is the song wrong? No. Was it used as part of a larger program of a Christian version of B.F. Skinner’s behaviorism? Sort of. Enough to be problematic, but not so much as to stray into heresy.

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