I don't know where to begin with this.
I ran across this on an email list while at work.
Its from the Northwest Arkansas Times.
There is so much wrong I don't know where to begin. It just stuns my someone can be so insulated from reality.
I'll have time to look at it more when I get home in the morning.
Not long ago the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette published an interesting article entitled “ Passionate Atheists. ” This caught my attention immediately.
My first thought was, “ How do you get passionate about nothing ? ” If no God exists, what is there to get passionate about ? Why do professed atheists find it necessary to convert other people to their unbelief, since there is nothing of substance there to convince them of ?
My second thought was, “ Isn’t this statement, passionate atheists, close to being an oxymoron ?”
I have been in the ministry many years, and in every one of them the subject of atheism has reared its head. However, periodically (usually about every decade ) there is a push to convince people that there is no God. In the United States, as it has become more liberal in theology, more people have, as the article stated, “ come out of the closet” and admitted their unbelief, much in the same way as homosexuals have admitted their sexual preferences.
Both of these are symbols of the moral and spiritual decline of a nation, and this is happening in the United States with disturbing rapidity.
Contrary to the apparent belief of atheists, their nonbelief is not a danger to Christianity, nor to individual Christians. Nor does it change the existence of God. It does pose dangers, however, and the dangers are these:
The first danger is the unbeliever himself. He is left with no god but himself, no wisdom but his own (except the wisdom of men ) and no hope of a life beyond this one. Worst of all, he is in danger of facing an eternity devoid of the God he denied. In short, he wanted it that way, and that is the way he got it. A solemn and sad situation.
The second danger is that the atheist may be able to persuade others (I knew of one situation like this where an older man concentrated on young people ) that his unbelief is really true. This might consign those he persuaded to the same fate that is in store for him.
The third danger lies in what kind of person the atheist may become when he becomes his own god. If he does not recognize God, he may not recognize any of the restraints that a belief in God generates. Thus, without restraint, he may become a pedophile, a murderer, a thief, or any other kind of a deviant you can think of. Or he might just become one who lives inward, with no concern for the people or things around him. There are tragic examples of such people.
In the long years of being a minister I think I have known no more than two dozen people who loudly declared that there is no God. I did not believe in any of them. I have found that the man who so professes may be just “ whistling past the graveyard. ” In short, because of the life he has lived, he may just be hoping against hope that there is no God to whom he might someday have to answer.
I was not raised in a “ church-going” family, yet the name of God was revered in our home. My parents never used the name of God in vain, nor any of the by-words popular in those days. So I always believed in a God; I just wanted him to leave me alone and let me live my life the way I wanted to. In fact, at an early age I had planned my life, and no god was included in it.
However, my father died of a heart attack when he was 43, and I was 18. I had just returned home after spending a year-and-a-half in a tuberculosis sanitarium in Colorado Springs. When my father died he left my mother and me with six little brothers and sisters to raise.
And, though I did not know God, I became terribly angry with him. In the “ old days” nearly everything was ascribed to God. If there was a tragedy in the home, old preachers would declare that it was “ God’s will. ” I came to hate that expression, and have refused to use it throughout my ministry, as it related to things I just could not understand. I look askance at any preacher who always seems to know what “ the will of God is. ”
Why are atheists coming out of the “ closet” now ? Simple. The country has become so secularized, and has adopted an “ anything goes” attitude, so deviants of any nature now feel it is safe to declare themselves. Also, led by many prominent universities, it has now become “ politically correct” for people to try to be “ different. ” Factually, it does not brand people as intellectual or brave, but contemptuous of centuries of solid beliefs and traditions.
In the Bible, few people are so chastised as are avowed atheists. In Proverbs 1: 7 are these words: “ The fear (awe ) of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. ”
So, unless the avowed atheist is prepared to account for the universe, for man in all of his complexities, and life in general, he certainly is not prepared to declare that “ there is no God. ”
He is revealed, not as an intellectual, but as a gadfly with no answers to anything. It is even more plain in Psalms 14: 1: “ The fool has said in his heart, there is no God. ”
Ted Turner once said, in speaking of the Lord, “ I do not need anyone to die for me. ” Well, perhaps he doesn’t know all of the truth. Personally, I need a Savior, and I am happy I found out the truth as young as I did. The sad thing about the atheist is that he may find out the truth after it is too late.
So please don’t feel sorry for those of us who believe in God, who build churches, attend churches, send missionaries, and do every kind of charitable work known to man. Even if we were wrong in all this, we would still be better off than the atheist. At least we would have lived lives that helped us, and more importantly, helped others.
I know that most atheists are probably not bad people. But they are sadly misguided in their thinking, and in their hearts many of them probably know it. One should not live his life as a fool when he can live it as a child of God, and have the promise of everlasting life.
John Terry of Siloam Springs is an economist, minister and veteran.