In the pride of his face, the wicked does not seek him; all his thoughts are, “There is no God.” (Psalm 10:4 ESV)
Atheism is like spending too much time looking in the mirror; in the reflection, there is only room for one person – self. Life without God is the kingdom of self. I must admit here that I was an atheist for many years before becoming a Christian. I can testify that I once lived a life centered totally on myself and I am still a work in progress.
Let us take a moment to define “atheism”. The American Heritage Dictionary defines “atheism” as “Disbelief in or denial of the existence of God …” Disbelief in God is driven by the overwhelming desire to be personally in control and accountable to no one. It is a powerful motivation for suppressing the truth of God. (Romans 1:18) The natural (sinful) man prefers to set up his own standards of righteousness.
The sin of atheism is all bound up in the wickedness of irrational pride. We wish to be the center of all things. Therefore, as the center of my universe, I cannot tolerate a god more powerful than I am. A self-centered man cannot abide a deity to whom he is accountable. William E. Henley spoke of such a person when he penned the words, “I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul.”
Thus, the pride of life drives men to “suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” (Romans 1:18-21) Atheism requires a cycle of censorship to support its self-assurance. The sin of pride is the impetus to deny any truth that supports the existence of God.
Therefore, atheism is not a morally neutral position. To deny God, is to deny the moral foundation of the rights and dignity of man. Think about this quote from Alexander Solzhenitsyn: “If I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some sixty million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: ‘Men had forgotten God; that is why all this has happened.’”
In John Milton’s 17th-century epic poem, Paradise Lost, Satan attempts to seize control of heaven from God. Satan claims that the angels are “self-begot” (Evolution?) and he denies God’s authority as Creator over them. Because of his rebellion, Satan and his followers are cast down to hell. Here, Satan speaks that often quoted line: “Better to reign in Hell than to serve in Heaven.” Is it, really? Atheism demands the answer, “Yes!” This viewpoint, however, has led to very unhappy consequences in Russia, China, and North Korea – among many other nations. For the individual, the consequences are reaped in this world and the next when men forget God.
Atheism will be humiliated and abandoned one day before the terrifying judgment of the one holy omnipotent God. His justice will demand that, “The haughty looks of man shall be brought low, and the lofty pride of men shall be humbled, and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.” (Isaiah 2:11)