Atheists are shit at scripture. However, they are miles ahead of Christian laymen scholastically and in the very practice of Christianity itself.
For instance and for example, a video circulated about nine years ago where an Atheist wanted to encourage complete contempt for Christian doctrine. In the video, they said that we should prove our atheism by committing the “unforgivable sin”. And so, the video author says “I deny the Holy Spirit!”
That’s all well and good, folks, but neither that Atheist nor Christians at large get what in the very Hell that’s all about.
For instance and example, in the course of several years of my Christian experience, I have been told I am not a Christian. In fact, today I was called several names including a “fool” “dishonoring god”. The Christian saying it was upset that I said there is no litmus test for Christianity and the only thing all Christians share as a belief is that Christ atones; and we only know what we mean by “atone” in that whatever beliefs we hold, it is the fruit in our lives as our embodying them demonstrates the meaning.
In my Atheist experience, it was a Christian who slapped me in the face on hearing me say I was an Atheist; even though they knew my life very well, and, why they were so shocked. In fact, every single Christian response to my atheism was “No way! You’d make such an awesome Christian! I would have never guessed.”
Christian, you have this stuff all ass-backward!
Atheists don’t tell me that. What they say is that inspite of what they think are stupid beliefs, they seem to be doing me and others some good. Oh how these Atheists grieve the spirit, eh?! So, no, Atheist video author; you don’t deny the Holy Spirit at all. You affirm it! The Holy Spirit is not an object in the world that we name. It is the goodness at work in our hearts and lives.
Would I expect to find Christopher Hitchens in Hell if it turned out there was in fact such a place? Hell no!
Here’s why: his objection to Christianity was in what folks do as a result of those things Christians believe. He railed against the picture of God they created, the moral insanity of Penal Substitution theory, on and on. In short, he sounded like nearly every single theologian I’ve ever read! In many places, he sounded exactly like Christ.
Did his atheism bother God, do you think? Well, why should it!
The “unforgivable sin” is seeing the fruits born in a person’s life, which attests to the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives, and then denying that Christ is alive in that person; that the Holy Spirit is not at work at all even though it is obvious it is.
To speak to someone’s beliefs as some litmus test to their relationship to God is to judge. To say, regardless of your particular formulaic idea of salvation and atonement, that someone is or is not a Christian, regardless of ANY professed belief in Christ or in fact DISBELIEF in gods at all, is to commit the “unforgivable sin” yourself when there is no distinguishing the kind of life that person leads and why they live it that way, compared to Christ’s!
I’m sorry, Atheist, but you have your shit straight. Keep focusing on people. Keep decentering the ludicrus notion that there is one set of beliefs in Christianity. Keep pushing the issue that all religions are wrong because doctrinal systems are nothing that matter. Keep demonstrating every single thing important to you was what was important to Christ; seeking forgiveness from men, not God, and live to forgive and try to live so that everyone judges you “good” and not needing forgiveness, developing the humanity you find in yourself and all others. You are more Christian than most.
I’m sorry, Theist. For your sake, if you’re a literalist lost in all the minutiae, then I hope the scriptural conversation about the “unforgivable sin” is in fact, hyperbole just saying “this is about the worst way a Christian could be in the world”. If not, you may as well keep being the asshat you were before, during, and after Christ because it only takes one infraction here in order to be unforgiven; irremissible.