Many non-Christians, particularly atheists, think Christians are ignorant people. ..
On a visit to my country of origin a couple of years ago I got on the phone to an old friend of mine who I hadn’t seen or spoken to for over twenty years. I had always known that he was an avowed atheist, and my intention was not to start an argument or even to mention my faith, but to ask him how life is for him these days.
His first sentence was not, “how’s life for you these days?” It was “You don’t still believe in that stupid God of yours do you?” As soon as I replied that yes, I am still a Christian, he launched into a series of venomous attacks on my intelligence and on my God and refused to chat with me, so that I finally had to say goodbye and hang up. For all he knew I might have been to university and earned a couple of degrees in the time we’d been apart, but even that wouldn’t have stopped the verbal attack, because to him, no matter what I could say, I was and still am “ignorant”.
I’ve noticed that atheists resort to insults far more often than “religious” people do, and the “i” word flies freely.
The word “ignorant” is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “lacking knowledge or information”, but also as “not polite, rude”. I will freely admit that I am ignorant about many things in the sense that I lack knowledge: will atheists admit that they can often be impolite and rude and are therefore “ignorant” themselves?
Atheists and unbelievers in general make the mistake of thinking that anyone who is ignorant, or uneducated, is automatically wrong about everything. If we were to adopt this line of logic and follow it through its natural course, we would have to hunt for the most educated person, the highest achiever, the one who could answer every single “Cash Cab” and “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” question correctly, and make him or her President. We could look up to him (or her) as some kind of a god, because not only would he know all things, but he would be “right” about everything. Our system of government would change overnight. All of our financial, political and social problems would be solved.
However, we know that we can have two candidates for the job who are equally well educated, who could answer the same number of questions, but who would also prescribe two opposing solutions to our problems. Why is that? It’s because decisions are made based not upon our intelligence or lack of it, but upon preference, upon personal opinions and desires, and upon our view of the world. I am not ignorant of the theory of evolution, I have just chosen to reject it.
Scientists haven’t solved all our problems. We still have cancer, heart disease, HIV, death: do we consider them to be “ignorant” just because they don’t know everything?
It’s very important to see that God does not reject ignorant people just because they are ignorant. If he did, we would all be rejected. He does not ignore the ignorant and love the intellectual. He does not grade people on their IQ or on their degrees and diplomas. If some Christians are uneducated, this is not evidence that God does not exist! Christ came for the poor, the sick, the lowly, the meek, the humble. He didn’t head straight for the local university and try to cozy up to the faculty, although he does love the educated just as much as he loves the uneducated. He didn’t head for the palace in an attempt to gain acceptance by the movers and the shakers and the “important” people in society. In this materialistic, vain society we tend to think that clever people are valuable, and ignorant people are worthless. That’s not the way God thinks.
There are plenty of uneducated people who believe in evolution from nothing and who are atheists. There are also many highly educated people (admittedly a minority) who are Christians. Some of them are scientists or qualified and trained in science. For example, peruse this list:
Such Christians do not believe in spite of the so-called “evidence” for evolution from nothingness and against God: they believe because they reject the idea that such evidence is valid. They are aware that a person’s worldview is not just decided by knowledge, but by the heart, the will, and by his or her view of life, the universe and everything. One of my favorite Creationists, now passed on, scientist Dr. Wilder-Smith, had three earned doctorates from Oxford.
Many of the pioneers of history have been Christians, such as Copernicus, Pasteur, Joseph Mendel, JS Bach, Van Gogh, CS Lewis, JRR Tolkein, Werner Von Braun. Many Christian thinkers and scholars of today are as well educated as any atheist, and are able to defend their faith and to debate anyone you can mention.
What atheists, skeptics and unbelievers mean when they say that Christians are ignorant is that much to their annoyance (and anger) we do not agree with them. We do not agree that nothing created us. We do not agree that life is all about what we can detect with our five senses. We do not agree that there is no evidence to support our faith. We do not agree that the beauty and design we see all around us is all an illusion and came about by an expansion of nothing from that imaginary “singularity”, causing a perpetual change for the better, like some cartoon explosion of junk which brings about a Boeing 747, complete with passengers, control tower, itinerary, and lunch menu.
We could say that atheists and unbelievers have chosen to be “ignorant” of God and of the Word of God. They are ignorant of all that exists beyond the five senses. The Bible says that they are “willingly ignorant” (KJV), or they “deliberately forget” (2 Peter 3:6 NIV). They have made a decision based upon their preferences, opinions and desires, and upon their own view of the world. They filter all observation of the universe through their bias.
Going even further, and sounding rather like an insult, the Bible says:
“The fool has said in his heart, there is no God”, and;
“Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools”
The truth is that the believer and the unbeliever are on two totally separate tracks, and the two will never meet. The atheist will never say, “hmm, yes, I think you may have a point about God’s omniscience”, and we believers will never say “hmmm, yes, I think you may have point when you say that we can’t see God in a telescope or a microscope”. It’s the unbeliever’s determination to not see God which ensures that, short of a miracle, he never will.
This is God’s intention. This is an integral part of God’s plan. God hates human pride – the kind of pride that says that the intellectual, the arrogant unbeliever, the highly educated should be able to see God, so that they can put Him into a tube, run tests on Him, measure and categorize Him, and then charge us plebians to see Him in a museum, and that the ignorant – the uneducated – should not be able to know Him. Here is what Paul had to say on the matter:
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God. For it is written, ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate’…..”For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe….”For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength…”God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong…so that no one may boast before him” (1 Corinthians 1:18-31).
The scientist can study the world of amazing true science, but once he chooses to believe we evolved out of nothing, he is not going to see God, even though he is daily staring at abundant evidence for Him.
I am very happy to be labeled “ignorant” if it means that I am being true to my God, and I would rather associate with the “ignorant” than the arrogant.