If any of you reading this is an atheist, I can understand that correcting atheist misconceptions about Christianity may seem like I’m imposing my religion onto you, but this is not my intent. However, I don’t see that it’s productive to perpetuate lies about Christianity in order to justify atheism. So I feel that correction about these misconceptions is beneficial to your belief.
Atheists have this misconception about Christianity. Here is a book quote from a well-known Jewish atheist:
“We normally think that theist religions sanctified the great gods. We tend to forget that they sanctified humans, too. Hitherto Homo sapiens had been just one actor in a cast of thousands. In the new theist drama Sapiens became the central hero around whom the entire universe revolved. The gods, meanwhile, were given two related roles to play. Firstly, they explained what is so special about Sapiens and why humans should dominate and exploit all other organisms. Christianity, for example, maintained that humans hold sway over the rest of creation because the Creator charged them with that authority. Moreover, according to Christianity, God gave an eternal soul only to humans. Since the fate of this eternal soul is the point of the whole Christian cosmos, and since animals have no soul, they are mere extras. Humans thus became the apex of creation, while all other organisms were pushed to the sidelines.”—Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari
This is how atheists show that religion is evil: religion, especially Christianity, allowed humans to justify exploiting other living creatures as well as other humans who don’t share the same religion. While on the surface, this seems to corroborate with historical observations with Western imperialism, colonialism, expansion, and devastation of native populations as well as the environment, we have to understand that events happening in the physical world do not happen independently from the spiritual world.
If we want to understand the spiritual world, we have to turn to the Holy Scripture that is shared by Christianity and Judaism.
From a Judeo-Christian point of view, according to the accounts in Genesis 1 and 2, it’s true that humans are special in that we were created in God’s image and tasked to rule over living creatures, but the foundation of life which is the breath of God is given to all living creatures. And Genesis 2 clarified that ruling means to “work it and take care of it.” Namely, the earliest humans were gardeners tending to the needs of the garden, not to exploit it. Adam was supposed to choose among one of the living creatures a helper to help him do his gardening chores but wasn’t able to find a suitable helper. Husbandry using animal labor is a partnership with animals.
The exploitative attitude of humans towards God’s creation started in Genesis 6, when the Nephilims (meaning: fallen angels) descended onto Mount Hermon. They married the daughters of humans and brought wickedness to the earth. The fallen angels rebelled against God because they thought they were the most beautiful beings. God created them to serve the humans, just like how humans were tasked to tend to the garden, but the angels refused. Throughout history, the fallen angels sought to boost their status using different tactics: (1) by intermarrying humans to elevate their bloodline; and (2) by making the humans rebel against God, just like them. Their first attempt to separate human from God was in the Garden of Eden, when the great serpent tempted Adam and Eve so they ate the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil.
Because the Nephilims were the fallen angels, they had superhuman abilities: “they were the heroes of old, men of renown.” The great flood (for which Noah built the Ark) was supposed to wipe them off, but some of them persisted and lived in Canaan. When Moses was leading Israelites into Canaan, the scouts saw the giants who were the descendants of Nephilims. The Israelites disobeyed God’s instruction to wipe them out but instead the Nephilims women seduced Israelites to take them as wives. These wives then encouraged the Israelites to worship more false gods.
The fallen history of Israel can be read from the Book of Kings and Book of Chronicles. During the time of John and Baptist and Jesus Christ, these descendants who were the “brood of vipers” (referring to the serpent) actively persecuted the early Christians. The Christians were persecuted by Romans as well, until the Roman Nephilims realized they could just convert to Christianity as a mean to assert divine power and control over the masses. The rest of Western imperialism, conquest, and devastation of the world followed.
This is not the way God intended the creation to be. As angels tend to the needs of humans, humans tend to the needs of other living creatures. The order that God created was to serve one another (see Mark 10:42-45).
And while these so called “christians” devastated the world with conquest and slavery, they actively sought out the salvation and forgiveness of Jesus Christ. Even today, Disney Princess Theology is prevalent in White Evangelical church which tolerated and even encouraged white supremacy. They are the ones hoarding guns and preparing to restore slavery through a second Civil War.
Atheism’s qualm about the mutual sanctification between the religion and the worshippers is really an observation how the Nephilims celebrated themselves as the apex of all creations. They are not Christians, but are the false prophets who are the wolves wearing sheepskin. Jesus warned us about them: “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” (Matthew 7:15).
Again, please don’t feel that I’m imposing my religious beliefs onto atheists, but we must give credit where credit is due. The brokenness of the world has always been a result of the spiritual battle since the very beginning when the Serpent tempted Eve to eat the forbidden fruit, and order won’t be restored until Christ returns again.