Happy New Year! 2009 is finally here and the challenges that await us are probably hold-overs from 2008! I pray that you will have a prosperous New Year...begin the New Year right by committing your life to Jesus Christ...the time is drawing nearer to His return!
I have often wondered at why atheist say and do what they do...why they claim no belief in God and so forth...the following article will provide some unique insights:
What Atheists Believe and The Elephant Joke
by Jason Lovelace
Psalm 69.4 – “They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took not away.”
Psalm 14.1 – “The fool hath said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.”
Psalm 53.1 – “The fool hath said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good.”
Matthew 7.13-20 – “13Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. 15Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”
John 4.24 – “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”
John 5.37-38 – “And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.”
Hebrews 11.6 – “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that seek him diligently.
Hebrews 11.13 – “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”
1st John 5.10 – “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.”
Probably everyone in the world today has heard one childhood joke or another. They vary in type and in make-up, but probably everyone in the world knows at least one. Upon reading the title to this lesson, a question may have formed, “Just what does an elephant joke have to do with what Atheists believe?” This begs the question, “What do Atheists truly believe?” Let’s take a look.
Atheist = Someone who Does Not Believe God Exists (Really?)
Webster’s Dictionary (www.merriam-webster.com) defines the word “Atheist” this way:
one who believes there is no deity. (www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Atheist).
However, when talking to an atheist, do they really and truly believe that there is no God at all in the entirety of the universe or in life? On the surface, most Atheists do say that they think that there is no God; that God doesn’t exist; that Jesus Christ was merely a man (maybe they’ll say good; maybe not). Very likely the Atheist in question will point to some particular instance where they, at one time, may have believed in God, may have prayed to Him, yet, their prayer wasn’t answered in the way that was desired or desirable. They may point to a tragedy, such as the December 26th, 2004 Sumatran Earthquake and Indian Ocean Tsunami in which hundreds of thousands were killed. Perhaps they will point one to the September 11th 2001 terrorist attacks. Perhaps the Atheist in question will call back to a time when a loved one passed away, despite the prayers of him/herself and/or of others. Maybe the Atheist in question will talk about a home and a family where one or both parents were abusive, were abused, and despite calling out to God to help, the prayer was not answered in the way that was deemed beneficial. In just about every case, Atheists likely deemed God as non-existent thanks to a past experience in which God didn’t reveal himself in the desired fashion. Further, Atheists also often disbelieve in God out of rebellion to Godly parents. This writer knows several such Atheists here in Japan who became such because they were “tired of having the Bible shoved down” their “throats” or in their “face”. Whatever the case, most people who choose to become Atheists do so as a result of a reaction to some unsavory experience in which God either did not do what the Atheist wanted, or because someone who claimed Christ did something horrible to them. However, do Atheists believe that God doesn’t exist totally and 100%, or do they merely believe that God doesn’t exist in their lives?
The Elephant Joke and Atheistic Beliefs
Probably everyone has heard this rendering of the Elephant Joke, though in a different version. The Joke goes this way:
A. Why do Elephants paint their toenails red?
B. I don’t know, why?
A. So they can hide in strawberry patches!
B. That’s not true!
A. Have you ever seen an Elephant in a strawberry patch?
B. Well, no!
A. Then it must work!
The question may arise, “What does this joke have to do with the beliefs of Atheists?” Change a few words, and basically we have what Atheists believe.
A. God doesn’t exist.
B. How do you know?
A. I’ve never seen God.
B. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t exist!
A. Have you ever seen God?
B. Well, no!
A. Then he must not exist!!!
This, truly, is the kernel of what Atheists believe. In one way or another, there came a point in Atheists’ lives, and because they did not “see” God, they dismissed him as not ever having existed. But again, is this only in the Atheists’ lives, or over the entire world? Though many Atheists will claim loudly and proudly that they believe God does not exist, when diving deeper into discussion with Atheists, their true beliefs, with unanimity, come shining through their outward words.
Atheists Are Really Agnostics
This is a quote spoken by an evangelist this writer heard during his college days. The Evangelist in question went on to explain his meaning, and much of what he said is reflected in this point below. In reality, Atheists tend more to be Agnostics than to truly be an Atheist. What is an Agnostic? Webster’s defines an Agnostic in the following way:
a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and probably unknowable; broadly: one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god (www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Agnostic).
Agnostics further believe that God exists, but either (a.) not in their lives, (b.) in the world as a whole, or (c.) both (a.) and (b.) God exists, but to Agnostics, he does not interact with the world, does not bother himself with its problems, and basically, after creating the world, left it and its inhabitants to themselves. Most Atheists, when diving into deeper discussion with them about their beliefs, reveal this belief as the kernel and core of their beliefs with unanimity. Does God exist? Maybe he does for you, but he doesn’t in the Atheist’s life. Does God interact in the world today? He doesn’t in the Atheist’s life (at least, this is the claim). In reality, Atheists are really Agnostics.
Freedom From Religion?
What has been entirely compelling, not to mention quite humorous, is to watch Atheists and their actions in the current Culture War. Most recently, in the States of Washington and Wisconsin on both States’ Capitol Grounds respectively, the Freedom From Religion Foundation (www.ffrf.org) erected a sign prior to Christmas, which states the following:
At this season of the Winter Solstice may reason prevail.
There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell.
There is only our natural world.
Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.
The interesting thing here is that Winter Solstice – while being claimed in the signs erected by FFRF as atheistic in nature – is actually a date which his observed by 34 cultures as a religious day. In fact, the first known observances of Winter Solstice happened in the time of the Celts in Europe, later being adopted as a religious holiday by the Romans. It was further viewed religiously by the early Guatemalan Natives as early as 1800 BC. It is interesting, and yet, quite ironic, that a group claiming that God doesn’t exist would use terminology deemed religious in nature by several religions. Could this slip of print on a sign designed to propagate Atheism is actually telling the world that Atheists are, in fact, Agnostics?
Evolution and Atheism – Like a Hand in a Glove
The reason why Darwin’s Idea of Evolution is so appealing to Atheists and Atheism is precisely because it makes no mention, no allusion, nor gives any credit to God. Much similarly to Atheism, Evolution bases itself on nothing. Yes, it is called a Scientific Theory, and a myriad of scientists attest to books and volumes of data, “experimentation”, findings, research, and other so-called scientific documentation to “prove” Evolution as some sort of fact, but in reality, Evolution is a religion. All the data, experimentation, findings, research, and documentation is basically faith and hope based upon more faith and hope in the idea that a man’s faith and hope (that of Charles Darwin) is correct. As God is totally excluded from Evolution, it, in a sense, is Atheism repackaged with “scientific” wording and terminology. This is why the vast majority of self-professing atheists give full support to Evolution at every turn, using it as much as a crutch as Atheists claim Christians use the Bible. Atheism and Evolution go together like a hand in a glove and are, in fact, two hands of the same belief system of Atheistic Agnosticism.
Pick and Choose
In recent history of the United States of America, it has further been compelling to see the energy, viciousness, and zeal with which Atheists attack Christianity. From the Scopes Trial in 1925, in which Evolution was made legal to teach, all the way to Michael Newdow’s assaults on the U.S .Motto as printed on U.S. Currency “In God We Trust” and the Pledge of Allegiance’s “One Nation Under God”, Atheists have made themselves loud and proud in their assaults on anything that involves Christianity. The Most famous Atheist attack and assault on Christianity in the Public Sector came from the late Madalyn Murray O’Hare, who – in the 1960s – campaigned to have the Bible and Prayer banned from public school. Atheists have been in the forefront ever since in an effort to strip Public School and Public Education, yea, even the public sector itself, of anything that has to do with the Biblical Definition of God and Jesus Christ. However, an interesting silence has come from Atheists ever since September 11th 2001. Since that fateful day, public school has received flooding influx of Islam and Muslim teachings. From the All-Arabic Madras School in New York City to required classes in Islam at State Universities (such as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) to Arabic and Islamic Teachings being introduced in public elementary, junior high, and senior high schools (even required classes in the study of the Qur’an and Islamic Prayer Classes), Islam has been welcomed in the Public Education Sector and in Public School with open arms. The interesting thing is the deafening silence form Atheist Groups. Since the first required classes in Islam and Muslim Belief were first instituted at UNC-Chapel Hill, not one word of protest, not one picket line, not one court case against the public and taxpayer funding of Islam in Public School has been raised by Atheists. While the Freedom From Religion Foundation and the American Atheists Organization and Political Action Committee have been vigorous in cases where Christianity and the Bible were introduced into the public education sector, both the FFRF and the AAO – not to mention other Atheists groups and Political Actions Committees, such as GAPAC – have been eerily silent with regards to Islam being taught in Public School. The same can be said for recent New Age Methodology – Such as Transcendental Meditation (TM) – that has been in practice in Public Schools in the last few decades. Only with Christianity have Atheists and atheistic organizations been rabid, zealous, and pointed in their desire to rid the public forum of “religion” or God, namely the Name of Jesus Christ.
What Atheism REALLY Is
We need to understand that Atheism is a religion in and of itself. Though Atheists may disagree, their beliefs are just one more lane in the Wide Gate and Broad Way that leads to Destruction (Matthew 7.13). In essence, Atheism is really Satanism in disguise. Anything that the Devil can use to lead people away from Jesus Christ and from Eternal Salvation, he will (and does) use. Atheism, in its rabid opposition to Christianity yet eerie silence towards Islam, New Age, and other world religions, is showing its true colors that it is nothing more than Satanism in better looking terminology. The Bible makes it clear that anything that denies Jesus Christ his rightful place as God is of the devil. This, sadly enough, includes Atheism.
Conclusion – Is The Joke On You?
Atheist and Agnostic Friends, and anyone else who may happen to read this lesson, may I ask a question? Is the Joke on you? In reality, Atheism, Agnosticism, New Age, and any other belief and religion that deny Jesus Christ, which seek to eradicate the Bible as it is known, and deny or modify the existence of God is a shill of the Devil, designed to lead people astray. Even many so-called Christian Churches, such as Roman Catholicism, Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witness/Watchtower Society, and the Unity Church all modify Jesus Christ form Who He Really Is. The sad fact is the devil uses Atheism and Atheistic belief to draw people astray, and lead them away from the Truth that can save. If you are an Atheist, an Agnostic, or are having doubts about God’s “existence”, then I challenge you to seek for God, for his word declares that anyone who seeks him in truth will find him. If you knock on God’s Door, he will open it. If you ask for God you will receive him. Seek God and he will be found: that is a promise straight from his inerrant, written Word (see Matthew 6.33; 7.8-27; Jeremiah 29.11-13).
A Note to Christian Brethren
Brethren, this is final word is to you, today. When encountering an Atheist, remember that he or she is not the one you are struggling against (Ephesians 6.12). Remember to keep the debate and argument out of the personal realm, no matter how viciously you may be attacked or how greatly your values, beliefs, and ideas are challenged (and this will likely happen when debating and discussing Jesus Christ and the Bible with Atheists). Remember that turning the other cheek, as spoken of in Matthew 5, isn’t just the physical punch, but the verbal one as well. At the end of the day, it is not you who will be convincing Atheists, or any other unbeliever, of the truth of Jesus Christ, it will be Jesus Christ Himself. Keep it real, but keep it in the debating arena. If an Atheist pushes buttons (and likely they will), find a way to blow off steam that is beneficial for the both of you (this writer has found bicycling, weight lifting, and boxing training to be quite effective), and last, but certainly not least, pray: pray for yourself to have the Spirit of the LORD with you when you talk to an Atheist. Yes, Jesus had some hard things to say to the Pharisees, Sadducees, and other Atheists of his day, but he always spoke the truth in love. Pray that your words, while having the cleansing salt of the Truth of Jesus Christ, will be bound in love. An Atheist who talks to you about God is seeking God, and you may be the only Bible he is able to read before making a decision for Christ. Pray for yourself. Finally, pray for the Atheist. If one truly carries out his or her life as Jesus Christ did (and he said he would always be with us, and give us words through his Spirit), it will make a huge impact on the Atheist. Pray for him or her, and fast as the Holy Ghost leads you.
Prayer – Heavenly Father, there are a lot of people out there who say that you do not exist. Really, Father, we know what they mean. Help us, LORD, to deal with them as friends, not as foes, to debate and argue with them in a civilized manner, yet give no ground in our convictions and beliefs in you. We bless thee today, Father, and we pray for salvation for each and every Atheist – self-proclaimed or otherwise – that we come into contact with. Reveal yourself to them, LORD, in your way and in your hour, and, if it’s possible, let us be of use, as well, LORD, will you please? Thank you for this day, thank you for this time, and we praise Thee, Father, for saving us when we came as unbelievers and asked for your forgiveness. We pray all of these things in Jesus Christ’s Precious Name, Amen.
Verse to Remember
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
– Ephesians 6.12