We’re Not All Happy. They’re Not All Miserable.

Are we putting too many false images on Christianity? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

There is a meme that I have seen and it looks like it first showed up on the Freedom From Atheism Foundation page, which tells me I have no need to take them seriously until this is changed. This meme there developed great controversy and I am not going to show it because I find it exactly that horrid. The meme is to illustrate the difference between Christians and atheist. On the left is a picture of a father and mother happy with their children playing together. It’s a beautiful picture and meant to show what Christians are like. On the other side, meant to show an atheist, is a punk goth kid in a Nightwish T-shirt about to cut his wrist. Am I going to put a picture up of it? No. I don’t want to see it and I don’t want to do it justice.

I tend to be a guy with a very long fuse.

This set me off immediately when I saw it.

You see, it’s true no doubt that there are many Christian families that are very happy. That’s wonderful. It’s true that there are many atheists that could say they are miserable. That’s true and that’s not wonderful. Of course, I want them out of atheism, but I don’t want to see someone miserable just because they’re an atheist, though I would hope God will use that misery in their life to show them Christ. Yet we all know in reality that this is not the way the world really works. There are also Christians that struggle with depression regularly. There are atheists that are having the time of their lives and are quite happy.

We do not want to send a promise that Jesus never gave. Now I think in reality, we should all be much happier if we’re Christians. We should realize the joy of Christianity, and if we don’t, we might have to strengthen our understanding of what we believe, but I also know there are times of sorrow. There are chemical imbalances some people have that leave them depressed. There are times that are temporary but we have to deal with. Paul said when it comes to death, for instance, that we grieve, but we do not grieve like those who have no hope. Being a Christian does not mean that you have to be happy all the time. In the same way, while I do think atheism is a hopeless and miserable worldview, I do not think that means an atheist will be miserable all the time. There are plenty of good and wonderful things to be happy about on this Earth.

Also, I have a great concern of what an image like this does to Christians who do struggle. There are Christians who wrestle with cutting and depression. What happens when they see something like this? Well you’ve just added guilt to the grief over whatever it is that they’re already struggling with. In fact, this is one reason we should support the ministry of counseling. It’s good that we have these people and I have in fact taken use of a counselor in the past myself. We all could use people to help us with these issues.

In the end, wherever I see this meme, I do intend to go against it. I think it makes a false reality that will drive more people away than bring to Christ and it will hurt many that do belong to Christ.

In Christ,
Nick Peters