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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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What Is Behind The Curtain Of Atheism?

Is logical reason the primary objection of the atheist to the existence of God?  By this I mean, “Is the lack of objective evidence for God’s existence the foundation on which atheists rely for their conclusion that God does not exist?”  Also, one would have to ask, “Does there exist objective evidence that disproves God’s existence on which atheists rely for their conclusion that God does not exist?”

Having been an atheist from the time I was a teenager until the age of thirty-one, I personally look back and think that my objections to God’s existence may have been more than a pure intellectual exercise.  There was an emotional component to my objections that often blocked the unbiased pursuit of truth.  Possibly, it was the need to be in control or to seek status as a “modern intellectual.”

Dinesh D’Souza, in an article titled “Halting the Hitchens Express,” posted on ToTheSource.com, points out that there are other reasons besides faulty logic to try to erase God from our thinking:

“From Darwin‘s own day, many people were drawn to his ideas not merely because they were well supported but also because they could be interpreted to undermine the traditional understanding of God. As biologist Julian Huxley, the grandson of Darwin‘s friend and ally Thomas Henry Huxley, put it, ‘The sense of spiritual relief which comes from rejecting the idea of God as a supernatural being is enormous.’

“And from Julian’s brother Aldous Huxley, also a noted atheist, we have this revealing admission: ‘I had motives for not wanting the world to have a meaning; consequently I assumed that it had none, and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption…For myself, as no doubt for most of my contemporaries, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation. The liberation we desired was…liberation from a certain system of morality. We objected to the morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom.’

“As the statements of the two Huxleys suggest, the reason many atheists are drawn to deny God, and especially the Christian God, is to avoid having to answer in the next life for their lack of moral restraint in this one. The Huxleys know that Christianity places human action under the shadow of divine scrutiny and accountability. Christianity is a religion of love and forgiveness, but this love and forgiveness are temporal and, in a sense, conditional. Christian forgiveness stops at the gates of hell, and hell is an essential part of the Christian scheme. The point here is not that atheists do more evil than others, but rather that atheism provides a hiding place for those who do not want to acknowledge and repent of their sins.”

D’Souza’s entire article may be read at ToTheSource.com.  His conclusions draw us back to the explanation of man’s need to suppress the knowledge of God given by Paul in Romans:

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness 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.  Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

“Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.” (Romans 1:18-25, ESV)

In an attempt to escape the reality of our accountability to an all-powerful Creator, we ineffectually hide behind the fig leaves of atheism.  We are like small children who believe that because their eyes are shut and they cannot see – neither can they be seen.  Therefore, even though “what can be known about God is plain to” us, we do not acknowledge Him because to do so requires our  admission of responsibility to Him.  So, we deny Him or we redesign and morph God into a more acceptable form and character who provides us with more flexibility concerning our moral behaviors.  The later strategy is still a type of practical atheism only it is dressed with “religious” form.

Someone once said that, “The atheist can’t find God for the same reason that a thief can’t find a police officer.”  The most frightfully relevant comment on this topic for our generation may come from the words of Nicolai Berdyaev: “We find the most terrible form of atheism, not in the militant and passionate struggle against the idea of God Himself, but in the practical atheism of everyday living, in indifference and torpor.  We often encounter these forms of atheism among those who are formally Christians.”

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