Below are some quotes from Atheists and other Skeptics and Unbelievers form various venues in life. The answers are from my own study and understanding. I don't profess expertise concerning some of their observations. I simply offer biblical analysis of them.
Brad Pitt (Actor) - “I didn't understand this idea of a God who says, “You have to acknowledge me. You have to say that I'm the best, and then I'll give you eternal happiness. If you won't, then you don't get it. It seemed to be about ego. I can't see God operating from ego so it made no sense to me.”
My response to Brad Pitt - There is no requirement to acknowledge God in all of scripture because God has given "free will" to mankind to acknowledge him or reject him. It has nothing to do with ego because God is not dependent upon anything from mankind.
He is absolutely self-sufficient and has been long before mankind every came into being. To know God is beneficial to man - not the other way around. God condescends to make himself known to unworthy sinners because of his mercy. Knowing him is a privilege of the greatest magnitude! Not knowing him is to be without hope in a world gone mad.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali (politician and author) - “I looked in a mirror and said out loud in Somali, “I don't believe in God.” I felt relief. There was no pain but a real clarity. The long process of seeing the flaws in my belief structure, and carefully tip-toeing around the frayed edges as parts of it were torn out piece by piece – all that was over. The ever-present prospect of hellfire lifted, and my horizon seemed broader.
God,Satan,angels; these were all figments of human imagination, mechanisms to impose the will of the powerful on the weak. From now on I could step firmly on the ground that was under my feet and navigate BASED ON MY OWN REASON.
My moral compass was WITHIN MYSELF, not in the pages of a sacred book.”
My response to Ayaan Hirsi Ali - Just saying "I don't believe in God" doesn't eliminate your responsibility to prove your assertion. The relief you felt was unsubstantial in the light of what is a serious error. You are flawed as all humans are and you should pay attention to those flaws which the Bible calls sin. Hell did not cease to exist except in your mind and the horizon you think broadened actually narrowed because you accepted a lie rather than dealing with your mortality.
God, Satan and angels are not figments of human imagination as you will find out with deep regret should you die in your sins. As far as the powerful imposing themselves on the weak is concerned; that is a human trait - not just a mechanism of control for those who truly believe in God. In Christianity the only one who truly controls anything is God, and he loans power to mankind but can retrieve it any time he wishes. The very breath that you depend on to sustain you is in his control whether you believe it or not. To navigate based on your own reason is a terrible way to live since the Bible makes it clear that "The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked." Is that what you want to build you own trust on? You have no moral compass within yourself. All morality comes from God, and those who believe otherwise are deceived by the Satan you deny exists. Apart from God no moral compass exists anywhere in the universe.
Bruce Willis (Actor) - “I've always hated the thought of dying. If it were up to me, I would live forever. I can't believe everyone doesn't feel the same.”
My response to Bruce Willis - You and every other person who ever walked this planet or will walk it in the future will live forever. I believe that almost anyone you ask would like to live forever under certain conditions. The Bible offers the perfect conditions after death in a place of perfect harmony and love. That is what people desire but will never achieve outside of a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. The body we inhabit is not the real person. It is only a house for our spirits which are the real us. At death the body will decompose in the ground, but the spirit within will never die. It is intended to be eternal. This life is our preparation for eternity and determines where we will spend it.
Natalie Portman (Actress) - “I don't believe in the afterlife. I believe this is it, and I believe it's the best way to live.”
My response to Natalie Portman - You unbelief doesn't negate the reality of everyone living forever. Your belief that this life is all we have is false as you will see one second after death. The artificial life you enjoy in Hollywood is not the best way to live. It is at best a fantasy world devoid of much reality. People who live their entire lives as actors sometimes become victims unable to discern between acting and the real world. Your
only hope of happiness that will endure forever is in Jesus Christ.
Gwyneth Paltrow (Actress) - “Religion is the cause of ALL the problems in the world. I don't believe in organized religion at all. It's what separates people. One religion just represents fragments, it causes war. More people have died because of religious conflict than any other reason.”
My response to Gwyneth Paltrow - ALL the problems in the world? The statement in itself is absurd and extremely immature. While organized religion isn't always good, it's noted for doing a lot of good. When it comes to helping people during disasters it is the organized religions (especially Bible believing and practicing Christians) that are first to rescue and aid people and the last to leave after all the other have long gone. Nearly every secular agency comes to assist one time and most, if not all, offer no continuing support to the disaster victims.
I am not sure what religion you refer to that causes fragments and war, but if I were to guess, it would be Islam. They even make war against their own people and kill one another in the process. There is no other segment of the religious world that does that. Your statement that more people have died because of religious conflict is in serious error and can be rectified if you simply do a little study. You will find that the people who are responsible for the most wars and deaths because of war have been atheists. See the first article on my random links page dealing with that issue.
Lance Armstrong (cyclist) - “At the end of the day, if there was indeed some body or presence standing there to judge me, I hoped I would be judged on whether I had lived a true life, not on whether I believed in a certain book or whether I'd been baptized.”
My response to Lance Armstrong - I guess I would have to ask you what you mean by
a true life. If you mean that you lived a good life that was not evil or you never murdered anyone or did any of what people call the worst sins then you have no case. The Bible proclaims that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. God's standard makes everyone guilty and without excuse. The Bible says that our hearts are deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. The true life that God wants for us is to repent of the evil we've already done and to receive his gift of forgiveness and salvation through Jesus Christ which brings eternal life for us. Anything short of that won't do.
It's not just believing in a book, but believing that the author of that book is God and that he demands obedience to his laws and commandments. It's believing that we all fall far short of perfection and need the mercy of God to make up the difference through his most gracious offer in Christ. Baptism is merely an outward proclamation of each individual that they have received that salvation and want others to know it. It has no redemptive value.
Frank Sinatra (Actor - deceased) - “Christ is revered as the Prince of Peace, but more blood has been shed in his name than any other figure in history. You show me one step forward in the name of religion and I'll show you a hundred retrogressions.”
My response to Frank Sinatra - Jesus Christ is indeed the Prince of Peace and there is no lasting peace apart from him. Your statement about blood being shed in his name is false because history proves otherwise. The most deaths in the history of the world are because of atheist leaders. I believe you know that now, but it is too late. Your position cannot be reversed. You have chosen your eternity and now are living it out.
Ian McKellen (English actor and homosexual) - “I've often thought the Bible should have a disclaimer in the front saying this is fiction.”
My response to Ian McKellen - Your statement is unwarranted as you shall find either in this life or one second after you are dead. I am praying that it is the former and not the latter. You certainly have much to fear as a homosexual and homosexual advocate since God calls your sexual behavior an abomination. Unless you repent of that sinful behavior and begin to obey God in regard to it you will die in your sin and be damned forever. Is it worth your never-dying soul to have a few years of earthly licentious pleasure. "For what shall a man profit if he gain the whole world and lost his soul." God is merciful, and wants to forgive you and deliver you from all sin but he won't force you to repent.
Emma Thompson (Actress and writer) - “I'm an atheist. I regard religion with fear and suspicion. It's not enough to say that I don't believe in God. I actually regard the system as distressing. I am offended by some of the things said in the Bible and the Qur'an, and I refute them.”
My response to Emma Thompson - It is sad that you regard religion with suspicion and fear. I personally regard "religion" as spurious; promising something it can never give. Religion is man's wasted effort to please God through living what they believe to be a righteous life. The self-righteousness of such people is no righteousness at all. In the book of Isaiah 64:6 it is stated that "All our righteousness is filthy rags."
It isn't religion that you should fear, but dying without a personal relationship with the only true and living God of the Bible. BUT that fear is not necessary if you repent of your sin and allow the love and mercy of God to touch your life and forgive you and set you free from your superstitious and unnecessary fear.
The Bible states that the gospel is an "offense" to those who perish, so I am not amazed that you find something offensive in the Bible. The Bible is offensive to those who will not repent of their sins and put their faith in Christ. You can refute all you wish when it comes to the Bible but your refutation doesn't hold water with God. He will forgive your doubts if you seek him about them, but if you die in open rebellion to his word and reject his great gift of salvation you will find that all that is written there about you is true. You will also find that your position on the other side of death is irreversible.
Taslima Nasrin (poet and novelist) - “I strongly believe that no one can be a true feminist without being an atheist. All religions are anti-women. No one can be pro-woman while supporting anti-woman dogmas.”
My response to Taslima Nasrin - Why must you be a feminist? What proof do you have for the anti assumptions you are making. You obviously are not a student of scripture from a Christian perspective. Try putting aside your subjective thinking and research the Bible objectively if you can. Let me inform you of some things you don't understand.
Neither God or his followers are anti-women. The reason man was placed over woman in the garden was because of Eve's sin. Despite that sin, Adam and Eve worked together to raise children and do what was necessary for their survival. Adam wasn't a dictator as some feminists would like to believe. Further, Christian men are commanded by God to love their wives as their own selves and love and protect them. As a Christian husband I have great respect for my wife who is a wonderful woman of God, but I still know that God expects me to be the strength in my home for my wife and children, and the provider and the guide in the spiritual realm. I am thankful that God has placed that trust in me but I am not a dictator either. We have a happy life together with our seven children and eight precious grandchildren and we love and serve God together.
I am pro woman and I reject anti-woman dogmas and always will. Feminists are mistaken in many ways because their view of men is perverted by past experiences that were bad for them or because they have accepted the beliefs of other bitter women who have had such experiences. They have no genuine grounds to believe that all men or even most men are anything like what they wish to believe they are. It is a sad way to live and it brings no peace or joy to follow such a twisted system of belief and action.
TO BE CONTINUED.......