When Christians Were Atheists

Prior to 313 C.E., the dominate religious thought was there were many gods who were regional and/or specific to an area. Some god took care of the sea, another the sky and another was for farmers. The advent of Christianity meant that there was a group of people who did not believe in the existence of these gods. As Roberta Bondi says in her book To Pray and To Love

They did not acknowledge the existence of the gods who watched over the lives of individuals, cities, and empires with eyes quick to be angered by human disrespect. Christians recognized only one God, while they believed the gods of their pagan neighbors were merely demons masquerading as divinities.

The irony should be obvious: Christians who fear and demonize the current incarnation of "atheist" (or any other religious system we consider as "less than") ought to recall our own past. Or to echo scripture:  

  • "You shall not wrong or oppress a resident alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt." (Ex 22:21)
  • "You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt." (Deut. 10:19)
  • "The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God." (Lv. 19:34)

Christians Eating Dog Food

Sitting at the local coffee shop and I met a computer programmer who works for GoToMeeting in the screen sharing department and her boyfriend who is a cancer researcher. They were by far the smartest people in the room. In the course of the conversation, I asked if they travel very often and it was stated that she (the computer programmer) travels a lot for work.

She said that at GoToMeeting they have a product that allows them to work remotely and so it is a great place for her to work at. She said that the company requires the employees to "eat the their own dog food." 

Having never heard this phrase before she explained that it is a way to ensure that the product is a good product: if you make it you have to use it (much like the people who make dog food must eat it to ensure it is not something they would not give their own animals).

Of course this instantly called to mind Ezekiel: 

He said to me, O mortal, eat what is offered to you; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel. So I opened my mouth, and he gave me the scroll to eat. He said to me, Mortal, eat this scroll that I give you and fill your stomach with it. Then I ate it; and in my mouth it was as sweet as honey.
— Ezekiel 3

Superficially it seems like an odd metaphor to talk about eating the scriptures, but it is clearly a powerful metaphor for reflection.

Christians say it is important to love. That is great. Can we eat that dog food? 

Christians say it is important to forgive. Wonderful. When have you recently eaten that dog food? 

Christians say that there is nothing to fear for God is with us, but then we freak out with the rest of the world when things look bleak.

Maybe we Christians need to eat the dog food.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog_food#/me...