When I think of a theist, particularly the more fundamentalist types, it brings to mind a particular set of words: I think arrogant, boastful, and condescending. I might be stereotyping here but it seems that every theist I have encountered either in person or online is the proud possessor of the aforementioned qualities. This is particularly true when they are trying to convert you to their beliefs or as I prefer to call them superstitions.
The above mentioned accusation is especially true when you inform them that you were once a former theist or believer yourself. I consider myself to have given the biblical deity more than a fair try and to have educated myself thoroughly on what at that time I once professed to believe. I will even go as far as to say that I have gone further into my beliefs and practices in those days than most. I prayed constantly, fasted often, read the bible on my own and in church daily, and when called upon to preach I preached and ministered to the flock of my home church and other local churches I was invited to preach in.
As a Christian I read the bible from cover to cover a total of three times in English and once in Spanish. I’ve read the book of Mormon, and the New World Translation of the bible (Jehovah’s Witness translation), and most of the key JW proselytizing materials. All this: to inform myself and be ready to counter competing belief systems I might come across during my street ministry. I laid hands on the sick, gave some a prophetic word of the Lord, cast out demons from those with apparent demon possession or oppression. I did all of these things believing with all my heart that God was using me as a vessel to carry out his will and to strengthen and minister to his flock and those without a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
One thing I find most offensive is when I am discussing my beliefs (atheist) now as opposed to then with a theist. I get the standard; “maybe you did not have a true conversion experience,” or “you were not as committed to the Lord as you thought.” If this response is not arrogant or condescending then I don’t know what is! It’s a literal slap in the face is what it is. But in all fairness, the theist is not entirely to blame. You see as opposed to what many think, the bible teaches this us against them mentality. It gives believers this superiority complex and the idea that they are above the rest of the human race that disagrees with their beliefs. This is one of many contradictory teachings of the bible that is seldom addressed.
On the one hand as it is adequately demonstrated in Jesus alleged sermon on the mound, believers are instructed to be poor in spirit, gentle, upright, merciful, pure in heart, and peacemakers. (Matthew 5: 3-11). But historically, what the Christian faith has given the world is the complete opposite. Christians are instructed in Matthew 7:1,2
1 'Do not judge, and you will not be judged;
Yet it seems that being human makes this little commandment impossible, since we are all opinionated about something and tend to judge everything and everyone around us. While Christians are told to be meek, mild, patient, and longsuffering etc. they are told how important they are in the eyes of God. The bible teaches that they shall inherit the earth and that they are the salt of the earth and the light of the world (Matthew 5:13-16). They are told that they are not of this world but chosen by God (John 15:19). Christians are expected to focus on the things of the spirit and on pleasing God alone. The bible makes a clear distinction between the world (us) and the man of God (them). Our lives are different as well as our ambitions and goals.
In James chapter 4:4 the church is admonished “Adulterers! Do you not realize that love for the world is hatred for God? Anyone who chooses the world for a friend is constituted an enemy of God.” The love of the world over the things of the spirit is equated with adultery which is basically being married and engaging in an illicit affair with someone who is not your legal partner (unfaithfulness). But in the religious sense it is being unfaithful to God.
As I have demonstrated, while the bible admonishes believers to be humble etc. It also strokes the egos of believers by telling them how special they are. How much more significant they are in the eyes of their imaginary guy in the sky as compared to the rest of us who refuse to believe the myth. Is this not a formula for disaster? Church history has thoroughly confirmed this by being one of the bloodiest histories ever recorded. Of course you may argue that man used the bible and misinterpreted its meanings for evil, but then you would have to try and justify the Hebrews actions for doing the same things as written in the bible as being commanded directly by Yahweh. The early church believed that they were doing what was right before God by eliminating all nonbelievers, heretics, pagans, etc. but they learned from the bible itself that this was okay.
Christians claim their beliefs to be absolute truths without any evidence and yet they claim that secularists, scientists, and nonbelievers are arrogant? Isn’t this the same as the pot calling the kettle black? This is the greatest and most shining example of hypocrisy ever known. And what does the bible say about hypocrites? In the book of Revelations 3:15,16 in an admonishment to the Laodiceans it says: