When I was growing up, Joni Eareckson Tada‘s book was always around as an inspiration to us all that handicaps didn’t mean you couldn’t serve god.
In school, we were bombarded by stories of Helen Keller, but never told about her atheism or communism. Keller stories of the miraculous overcoming nature’s woes were round pegs forced in circular holes.
Well, those stories cannot be matched by current stories of great handicapped, non-Christians who have overcome their handicaps. How about this one (below) that makes Joni’s paintings look like a five-year old’s finger paintings.
41-year-old Huang Guofu, from Chongqing, China, has learned to master the paintbrush with his mouth and right foot, after he lost both his hands in a childhood accident.
Huang Guofu lost his arms in terrible electric shock accident, at the tender age of four, but that didn’t stop him from following his dreams, and at age 12 he began painting with his feet. The talented artist remembers that in the beginning, his artworks didn’t look at all like what he intended to paint, but as the years went by his skills improved considerably. Huang quit his studies when he was 18, as his father was very ill and he needed to make money for his treatments. He started travelling to other Chinese cities, creating beautiful paintings on the side of streets and selling them to passers-by.
11 thoughts on “Yeah, go ahead and sit down Joni Eareckson Tada”
I’m an agnostic borderline atheist, working for an overtly religious Christian organization for blind children in China. The name Joni E popped up in today’s work mail and my Google Search led me to your blog. Huang Guofu is so awesome! And thanks for letting me know that Helen Keller was an atheist!
Thanks for your response and happy that you found this blog through this round about way.
I quickly browsed your blogs, and it appears we might have a bit in common. I might not post enough about food, but food for the mind mixed with a whole lot of silly is my modus operandi.
Hope you have a great day!
Don’t knock Joni Eareckson Tada for acknowledging her faith through her artwork. Just because you personally don’t believe in God doesn’t mean that you have to put down those that do believe. And why would an agnostic/borderline atheist work for a Christian organization? I’m not going to judge someone that does because I hope they come to faith in Christ which is a free gift for anyone, but obviously that seed of God has been planted in that person’s life that commented previously on this post. The fact that you mention other people’s faith and discount their beliefs is evidence that you are dogmatic about faith. If you’re so interested in the fact and are dumbfounded why people even do have faith in Jesus, I dare you to take a pledge to just listen to Christian testimonies of how people come to Christ. Most of them have a common thread and it’s that they were searching for the truth. If you are searching for the truth, please read this quotation from C.S. Lewis, “Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.”
I have listened to those testimonies. Thanks for trying. Christ’s message is not a good one. It’s not even a relatively good one. The so called “gospel” is like saying a cancer diagnosis is positive.
This response of yours is missing the point.
Thanks for trying!
I know I haven’t replied in almost a year since my last post, but this blog is basically singles out Joni Eareckson Tada’s artwork and adds insult to injury by comparing her artwork to that of a five-year-old’s finger paintings. Huang Guofu looks like a gifted man that overcame his impairment with amazing artwork to show for it.
My response simply does not miss the point because I recognized that you knock both Joni Eareckson Tada as a Christian and her artwork. I may have went off on a limb talking about other comments on this page in reference to the “agnostic, borderline atheist” working for a Christian organization above.
Obviously if you believe Christ’s message is “not a good one” then I’m sure you may have misinterpreted the Gospel(s). The word gospel in Greek translates as “good news.” Christ’s message is good news! Jesus literally sacrificing himself and taking upon himself the judgement of the whole world for the salvation of sinners is good news.
I used to not believe in Jesus or the gospel, and I was even raised in a church that preached such things. I didn’t even believe the Holy Spirit could’ve impregnated a virgin. I thought to myself, “WHAT! That’s not possible.” However, God opened up my eyes to the truth that is Jesus, and what he truly did 2000 years ago on a cross alongside two thieves.
I’ll keep trying as long as I’m alive Jeremy,
I’m fully aware that “gospel” means “good news”. I was brought up in the church. It was pounded into my head.
The problem is that — while i understand that you and many people think Jesus is a positive — I see him as a negative. His effort was so mismanaged.
His whole purpose was to bridge the gap that was widened as a result of Adam and Eve’s sin … the sin of disobedience. Disobedience caused separation from God? How pathetic is that.
And the best God could come up with was sending himself to earth and telling everyone that following Jesus wouldn’t do anything more than help you live eternally. It wouldn’t cure your cancer. It wouldn’t cure hunger of so many starving children. It wouldn’t grow your limb if you were born without. People claim that Jesus healed the sick and fed the hungry, but that would have been 2000 years ago. Now, he does nothing. Absolutely nothing.
The secular world takes its best care of the world. It provides health care, and respite for the weary. It’s modern science that helps the weak. It took 2000 years for us to live in a world that Jesus should have miraculously gave us way back when.
Everything he promises ( is empty, useless and if you think that’s good news, your bar for “goodness” is set way too low.
Good luck with your low bar.
A spam filter in my email revealed requests from you to remove these comments.
I’ve replied to them, but I keep getting the emails returned undeliverable.
I’m hoping you can shed some light as to why you would like them removed. I need reasons.
I mean, I don’t believe anything you’ve written above falls out of line with Christian belief or testimony. You make an identifiably Christian argument. Just go with it.
Drop a line and I’ll weigh in whether it’s appropriate to delete them or not. I’m leaning toward keeping them. Besides, I was taught back in my evangelical Christian elementary school that Galatians 6: 7-8 applies to stuff like this. I think it’s bigger if you wanted to keep it.
Indeed those were emails on my behalf to have my comments removed. I realized that when I googled my name to see what would come up, this was a page that occurred on the first page. I didn’t use an alias username for my comments, and would rather have done that before. It’s just a privacy thing. Kind of like having an avatar and a youtube username, I too would’ve rather used a username that wasn’t actually my first and last name. Thank you for replying to me.
It appears that the comments are made under my new username from wordpress. Not sure if that was related to WordPress doing that automatically, or if that was edited. Thank you.
“A lack of evidence of God’s existence is not the true reason atheists reject a belief in God. Their rejection is due to a desire to live free of the moral constraints God requires and to escape the guilt that accompanies the violation of those constraints.” Gotquestions.org I would say to SeinfeldJerry: You have planted the seed. That is all that is required of you. You are not required to cover that seed up with soil, pull the weeds, water it everyday, or even come back to check on it. You are only required to sow the seed. Matthew 13:19
As a Christian, I acknowledge the apparent contradictions throughout the Bible. That is were my faith takes over. I chew and feast on John 3:16; 1 Cor 13; Ps 31; the faith of Hebrews 11; life tips of James; marital passion of Songs of Solomon; the wisdom Proverbs, the prayers of Psalms, the books of law in Deutoronomy, and the Gospels for the story of our Christ. Jesus did not stay anywhere long enough to watch His seeds take root, grow, and bear fruit. He sowed His Father’s Word and moved on. There are too many fallow fields waiting for your Gospel Seeds, SeinfieldJerry. Move on to the next field and sow there.
Jeremy you are in some pretty awesome company in your atheism or agnosticism. Peter DeGrasse Tyson, Stephen Hawking, John Lennon, and hundreds more. Nearly all say that they don’t believe in the existence of a God because of a lack of evidence that He exists. Once someone gives that excuse to me, I just sow my seeds and move on and not even look back. I would rather be a believer and find out I was a fool for Jesus than to live as a fool without Him. How terrifying it would be to find out when I closed my eyes in death and find my soul facing the very God that I denied in life sitting in judgement of my eternal destiny. As a believer, I am a winner no matter what!
SeinfeldJerry, there are many fields that are waiting for your seeds. Go out and sow them wherever you go. Jeremy, my heart weeps for your wounded spirit and unbelief and others who share your views. I will continue to pray for your soul to the God in whom you doubt. God be with you both.
Thanks for your comments. I’m guessing you didn’t subscribe to responses, but I’ll respond anyway.
I have a point of contention. You wrote: “Nearly all say that they don’t believe in the existence of a God because of a lack of evidence that He exists.”
It’s not “lack of evidence.” Many people make great cases for existence of God. You could walk hand in hand into the room with Jesus, let me finger his wounds, and I still wouldn’t acknowledge him as a God whom I should worship or believe in. The issue is that the idea that God/Jesus/the Holy Spirit sets the bar way too low for what is or is not good, wholesome, awe-inspiring, etc.
It amounts to little more than this: If God is responsible for introducing a separation from himself and all the diseases and chaos to the earth because two lone people’s disobedience(!) however many years ago. And the BEST thing God could come up with to bridge that separation was entering earth from heaven via a vaginal wormhole, only to perform a few miracles and offer the promise of eternal life only if you think he existed, died, and rose again — that’s the best he could do? That, dear Sharon, is a low bar for a being who supposedly created all this awesomeness around us.
And, no, Sharon, being an atheist does NOT give me — or anyone — permission to act the moral-less fool and do whatever I want. Living in reality I accept that love is conditional. I can’t treat my wife like a big jerk and expect her to stick around. I can’t treat my customers “with Christian love” (like yours here) or treat them without socially-accepted, secular morals. Being an atheist requires a level of moral responsibility that rivals that of Christianity, because I don’t believe that people have the mandate to forgive and forget … so I live my life in a way that is exemplary of a standup citizen. I give back. I help those in need. I don’t need a heavenly reward or the indolence that affects those who “pray” rather than do.
You’d do well to learn a little about atheism before rambling on about how superior your views are. Both have their reasoned strengths and — as you pointed out — weaknesses.
Not to mention, if God is ALL-LOVING, whether I believe in him or not, no unconditional loving being would create a condition for love like the one you alluded to called “hell”.
P.S. It’s Neil DeGrasse Tyson (not Peter).