Why Believe In Jesus?

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Dog in the manger?

Posted by whybelieveinjesus on November 13, 2010 at 9:19 AM

No, this blog entry is not a bizarre take on the Nativity! "Dog in the manger" is instead referring to a fable most commonly attributed to the Ancient Greek thinker, Aesop (as is the fable of the Sun and the Wind; see below!) Basically it's a short story about how a dog decides to sit in a manger full of hay which prevents the horses from eating it, and yet the dog does not eat it either.


I can't help but think of some militant atheists as being like that dog. We all have the right to personal opinions and the freedom to express them but I find it insanely detrimental for staunch advocates of a Godless world to insist that Christians would be happier and better off if they were to reject God.


Christians believe that God wants to have a deep and loving personal relationship with each and every single person on this planet, so much so that he sacrificed his very own Son to die on behalf of us sinners. No one can earn their way to heaven and perfection; we depend entirely on God's mercy and true generosity. Life is a gift.


To use a different example, imagine two little brothers, perhaps four or five years old, who are each given a very exciting new toy by their loving father. One adores his gift and takes great pleasure in playing with his new toy. He is happy with it and his face lights up as he engrosses himself in it. The other boy, however, rejects the gift, even though he could really enjoy it. Imagining this, we may be saddened by the fact that the latter boy has thrown aside his father's gift. Or perhaps we are just sad that the boy doesn't like it and isn't able to enjoy it like the other one. Either way, ultimately it's the boy's decision not to play with his new toy and we accept it as such.


Imagine though, if the story did not end there. While the first boy is playing happily with his wonderful new toy, the other boy is not content to have simply thrown his away in disgust. He despises seeing his brother playing with his toy and in a fit of annoyance tears the new toy out of his brother's hand and throws it out also, declaring "you can be happy without it, like I am". Imagine that child's reaction. He'd cry, scream, and shout at his brother. It was not his brother's prerogative to throw the toy away. He threw his own out, but he didn't need to prevent his brother from enjoying his own.


There are times when we all express our views and explain our reasoning to other people in the hope that they will see our way of thinking and acknowledge them, and perhaps even adopt them themselves. But trying to take away the most wonderful gift a person could ever receive - the promise of salvation and life after death - which is offered to everyone, is not beneficial to anyone. Atheists cannot claim that we would be happier as humans, or that the world would fall into order if we were to start by doing away with Christianity. One can't take away someone's hope, joy and reason for being and replace it with a void, saying that they have done them a favour. People who have a personal relationship with their loving Father God do not want to be torn apart from Him in the interests of satisfying someone who doesn't want a relationship with God themselves.

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