Recently, the Pennsylvania Senator who declared 2012 ‘The Year of the Bible’ was sued by Freedom from Religion (Atheist group). Although this is tragic, I’m confronted with the reality that too many Christians live as if God and His Word don’t really exist (or at most have relatively little impact in society). Notice how many of these common attributes of atheists are easily labeled on the church (below).
What Atheism is Famous for…
…taking 10 commandments (God’s laws) out of our culture
…taking prayer out of the lives of our children
…giving rights / control back to women over their own bodies
…does not really understand what faith can do
…has no idea about the power of prayer
…will not relinquish control / will not submit to authority
…rebels against the authority of the Bible / marginalizes its truth
…despises the institution of the church
…is skeptical of Christians [i.e.- Gandhi]
…ultimately pragmatic: the end justifies the means (results-oriented)
…motivated by a law of love (brotherly concern for humanity)
I think flying planes into a building was a faith-based initiative. I think religion is a neurological disorder. -Bill Maher
The opposite of the religious fanatic is not the fanatical atheist but the gentle cynic who cares not whether there is a god or not. -Eric Hoffer Quotes
Our ignorance is God; what we know is science. -Robert Ingersoll
If we go back to the beginning, we shall find that ignorance and fear created the gods; that fancy, enthusiasm, or deceit adorned them; that weakness worships them; that credulity preserves them and that custom, respect and tyranny support them in order to make the blindness of men serve their own interests. If the ignorance of nature gave birth to gods, the knowledge of nature is calculated to destroy them.
**Romans 1 says it wasn’t the ignorance of nature that gave birth to gods, but to IDOLATRY!
What is CHRISTIAN ATHEISM?
…believing in God but living like He doesn’t exist
… a disconnect belief & behavior; professing faith, but not practicing it
… religious but not spiritual
Symptoms of Christian Atheism
-fleeting peace (if there’s no God, there’s none of what He gives)
-no power (Holy Spirit)
-no purpose (evolution, accidental)
Causes of Christian Atheism
-no fear (respect, reverence)
-little faith (only logic, reason … hopelessness)
-divided foundation (learning it w/o living it)
FOUR WAYS to Fight Christian Atheism (in me):
1. Appropriate God’s Grace & FORGIVENESS
I fail to take God’s grace personally (live in condemnation, guilt, shame)
2 Cor 5:17 – I am not the same person… I am a new creation
New position, new nature, new identity because of salvation
Once a sin is confessed & forgiven, it doesn’t need rehearsed over & over…
I have an easy time believing it for you… but do I believe that for me?
2. Accept your RESPONSIBILITY to Walk with Him
I don’t take my spiritual responsibility seriously (not a priority)
2 Pet. 1:3 – He has given me everything I need for life & godliness
He gives me air to breath and provides food to eat
He gives me the Word and Access to His presence (prayer)
Will I make spending time with God a priority?
3. Allow God’s Sovereignty to Give Me REST
I can’t relax – because it begins and ends with me
I can relax my grip on life… stress less, trust more
Ps 115:3 – God is above all, He is in total control … gives me such peace!
Can I trust God enough to stop my worry, fear, and anxiety?
4. Act on God’s PROMISES & Commands
I don’t respond to God’s truths (even though I will listen)
Luke 6:46 – Why would we call Him ‘Lord’ (Master) and not obey Him?
Real Christianity is active (not just big ears, big rears) – hands/feet/mouth!
What am I going to do with God’s Word? How will you respond?
Gospel: REVELATION, INVITATION, SATISFACTION (woman at well)
“Rom 1:21-25 They knew God but glorified not as God … Knowledge w/o words
>Isaiah 29:13 Drawing nigh w/ words, heart far from God … Words w/o heart
“Matt 7:21-23 Saying Lord, Lord yet not knowing the Lord … Actions w/o heart
24ff Hearing the words of Christ, yet not acting on them … Knowledge w/o actions