Samuel Clemens, more commonly known by his pen name, Mark Twain was a gifted writer. Yet Twain held a deep contempt for Christianity. He once referred to it as a “slaughterhouse religion” because of the doctrine of the blood atonement, and he often turned his ridicule on those who believed the Bible. He met and fell in love with Olivia Langdon, a young woman from a good Christian family. While they were courting he appeared to have downplayed his lack of faith, and she agreed to marry him.
After their marriage, Twain began to openly mock Christianity once again, and before too much time passed, Olivia stopped attending church. Twain and his family suffered many great reversals, including a complete financial collapse and the death of a beloved daughter. At one point Twain attempting to comfort his grieving wife said, “Livy, if it comforts you to lean on your faith, do so.” She replied sadly, “I cannot. I do not have any faith left.”
The people we spend most of our time with, and cultural influences such as books, music, social media, and television that we allow into our hearts and minds have a dramatic influence on us. This is why Solomon warned of the dangers of wanting to spend time with those who are evil.
“Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them. For their heart studieth destruction, and their lips talk of mischief.” Proverbs 24:1-2