I don’t really write about atheism, but as I was getting into bed last night I felt urged to say something. I had been looking on Facebook and had seen some people who just a few years before claimed to be Christian but were now quite outspoken on the opposite side. Somewhere, in the past 4 years, these people had decided that atheism, (the belief that there is no God), was right for them.
And as I crawled into bed I pondered why these people had gone the way they had gone. Why had they gone to atheism when Christianity was set right before them? I know that the road is narrow and thus hard to travel, (Matthew 7:13-14), yet it’s still sometimes hard to think why people would change like this.
And while many atheists try to argue for the scientific, (although I believe Christianity is the only belief, including atheism, that makes sense based on the most current scientific findings) or truth, (which I find odd that atheists try to claim there is no objective truth yet make statements that they claim are objectively true), aspect to their belief, I honestly believe there is much more going on philosophically than anything else. And that is what I want to discuss today and the implications for all of us.
And so my bedtime musings led me to this conclusion: Atheism is the most logical means for the greatest amount of self-indulgence. Let me explain what I mean by this and give some implications about this statement.
First, I think it is obvious that people would choose atheism because it removes responsibility. Think about it. If there is no God, we have no one to answer to. If I have no one to answer to, I can do whatever I want! Now many atheists don’t do whatever they want because they wish to live within certain societal constructs and laws. But, it still makes themselves their highest moral standard to which they must live up to. They claim morality, like truth, is subjectively based on an individuals choice rather that some objective standard, (like the Bible for Christians).
The implications of this way of thinking are massive. I can do what I want as long as I stay within the law of the land. Yet, many see this as a means to create a new, better law of the land. These men have names like Hitler, Stalin and Jong-Il just to name a few. The greatest wars, atrocities and mass murders were committed by men who claimed there is no God, not by religious turmoil. When people have no higher power to answer to, they are free to do as they see right, even if that hurts, destroys or murders millions.
Or those who choose to stay within the law still find an outlet for their desire for sin. Extramarital affairs, abortion, drunkenness, lying and divorce are all legal and are now common things for everyday Americans. Sadly some of these have crept into the Church. I will talk about that later, but when you don’t believe in God you have no higher standard than yourself. If you are your own highest standard it’s leads to a devaluation of any sort of responsibility.
Second, atheism creates a “me” centered universe. While Christians see the universe centered around our Lord, atheists are forced to place their focus elsewhere. Some atheists place their universe onto a cause, (which is why there are so many politically outspoken atheists), while others to a vocation, (which is why many atheists fill high positions, because they devote their entire life to their work). Yet, I would argue that most atheists, (based on human nature), devote their lives to their own greatest gain, (life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness anyone?). I haven’t heard of many atheists who have had 50-60 years of happy marriage, it’s just not something a “me” centered person would devote their life to.
The implications created by this are also far reaching. We start to devalue human life and treat others needs and wants under our own. Things like abortion, sex/slave trafficking, lying, cheating and anything else you please becomes a reality. And while many atheists have joined the fight for human rights, they do so because of their belief in equality but not in the actual value of life, (otherwise there would be more atheists against abortion). Human rights can’t exist without a God who makes those lives valuable. All of the above things were started by people who have no fear of God.
And so what does this mean for those of us who call Christ our Lord? Well my warning to you is to be cautious not to let cultural thinking transform you. Christians in America are so shaped by our politically correct system that we often let go of objective Bible truth for freedom of choice. And while freedom is an amazing thing (Galatians 5:1), out ultimate pursuit must be after God. We pursue human rights and equality for God’s glory, honor and praise. We pursue the stopping of murdering innocent lives through genocide and abortion for God’s glory, honor and praise. We stop those who traffic humans because of who God is.
Secondly, Christians I hope this will give you hope in engaging the atheists around you. I know sometimes I personally don’t even bother to try and share because I feel like they will only treat me poorly for my heartfelt attempt to share with them. Instead of trying to get in an argument and “win” them by shouting over them, why don’t we try and win them with love? “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21).
Finally, to my Christian brothers and sisters but also to those who call themselves atheist I say the same thing. You do the things mentioned above, (abortion, affairs, lying, cheating), because you are a slave to sin (Romans 6:16-17). Your nature is to sin (Romans 3:23). So even the good you try to do will be tainted with sin, (those who stand for a good cause who do so for their own glory or gain or for equality), because you are forgetting the true reason to do it. Rather, we must choose to be a slave to righteousness which only comes through the blood of Jesus Christ (Romans 6:18).
I want to end with 3 things. First, a quote by avowed atheist Sam Harris. While he is talking about Christians, his thoughts are mine about atheists. “Let me assure you that my intent is not to offend or merely be provocative. I’m simply worried.” Second, a link to a book attacking some of the modern atheist way of thinking. It’s a free download so check it out: http://photo.goodreads.com/documents/1241093826books/1142464.pdf. Third, a prayer. May we all, Christian and atheist alike, learn that there is a God and our ultimate purpose is to honor, serve and know Him. To Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.