Thursday, May 25, 2017

5 Ways To Understand Athiesm

These days it seems fashionable to be identified as an atheist. Atheism has gained an exalted place in our modern culture because it is portrayed as an intellectually superior philosophy. But is it really?

Here's what the Bible says:

"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: 'I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.' Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe."
I Corinthians 1:18-22

The great British preacher, Charles Spurgeon once said, "There are no atheists anywhere but on earth. There are none in heaven, and there are none in hell. Atheism is a strange thing. Even the devils never fell into that vice, for 'the devils also believe and tremble' (James 2:19). And there are some of the devil's children that have gone beyond their father in sin. But when God's foot crushes them, they will not be able doubt His existence. When He tears them in pieces and there is none to deliver, then their empty logic and their bravado will be of no avail."

So, what do we need to understand about these who arrogantly deny the existence of God and who demean those who believe in Him?

1) Most of them carry spiritual and emotional baggage that are the real reasons behind their refusal to believe. Unfortunately, their reasons for not believing have little to do with God and much to do with misconceptions about Him. Perhaps they have been disappointed by faith or by a person of faith. Maybe they were hurt by a church or damaged by a parent who used faith to shield their abusive behavior. They project their disillusions onto God.

2) Atheism is often portrayed as the modern and trendy way to think and people of faith are belittled as archaic and backward in their thinking. The truth is that people have been rebelling against God and trying to rationalize Him away since the Garden of Eden. Unbelief is nearly as old as belief.

3) An atheist's claim that there is no God is intellectually dishonest for this reason, it is an attempt to make humans into gods. That, in a way, is the ultimate irony: atheists in their denial of God, cannot help but replace the truly omniscient God with a cheap imitation - themselves.

4) Also, his claim that God doesn't exist is intellectually inconsistent because the only way that could be true is if the atheist knew everything it is possible to know. Otherwise, it would be possible for God to exist but that He existed outside of his knowledge or beyond his ability to know. Since there has never been an omniscient human being, there has never been an honest atheist.

5) God believes in atheists even if they don't believe in Him and He sent His Son to die for them. So we should pray for them and reach out to them in love. We should live our lives in ways that make God seem real.

Lest we be too negative toward atheists, let me remind you that at times each of us behave as practical atheists. How is that? When we know what the Bible says and we fail to obey it, we are acting as though there is no God - or as if we are gods. Before we criticize or condemn them, let's repent of our own disbelief and rebellion. God help us, so we can help them.

May 29, 2017

We learned the song as kids, "Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so." Faith is easy for us. The Bible says it and we believe it, case closed! It never occurred to us to doubt the existence of God. That's always been a given.

Ask us if God exists and we'd reply, "Does oxygen exist? Does gravity exist? Of course God exists!"

However, for many in our world God is grouped in with Santa, Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. Santa leaves toys under the Christmas tree, EB leaves colored eggs and the Tooth Fairy slips some coin under the pillow, what evidence do we have of God?
That will be the topic of my next few blogs. I'll deal with two proofs in this article.

Every Effect Has A Cause

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands." Psalm 19:1

The law of cause and effect is best described as the law of life. It is the law by which all the other universal laws are based upon. Understanding that everything in the universe is energy and therefore everything is connected. Then we can see how through this disconnectedness, what happens to one thing must effect another thing. The old saying “what you give is what you get” is entirely true of life and directly describes the law of cause and effect.

In the entire universe, nothing exists independently. Everything has been created by something else and nothing is permanent. The law of cause and effect is commonly known throughout science. For every action there is a reaction or similarly, for every cause there is an effect and from every effect there must have been a cause. This law is an inescapable truth and until you learn and accept it you will be like the cat chasing its tail. 

Here is a point of agreement between believers and unbelievers - the universe is vast and awesome and is the result of an incredible cause. Everywhere you look you see the wonder of our world and it came from something somewhere. That is undeniable and not debatable. From there the opinions vary widely.

Atheists and agnostics usually align with the evolutionary theory of a "Big Bang". Christians accept the Biblical record of a Creator, God, speaking the world into existence according to His plan.

As Alex McFarland writes in the text we are using for this series, "So the question up for debate isn't whether the universe has an origin, it's who - or what - prompted that beginning. Imagine you are in your living room, enjoying a peaceful afternoon while reading the paper. Suddenly, a baseball flies into the room, shattering your window. Obviously, your first question wouldn't be, 'How did this get here?' It would be in a highly-bothered tone, 'Who did this?!'" The baseball didn't just smash through your window for no reason. Some agent acted upon it, causing a "disturbance in the force" that ruined your perfectly good afternoon.

Just as that baseball didn't launch itself through your window, but it was propelled by a person either accidentally or in anger. There is zero percent probability of a baseball throwing itself through a window.

Likewise, as the baseball could not throw itself the universe did not generate itself. To believe either of those could happen is to defy significant mathematical odds. And as that baseball had to be thrown by a person, so Christians believe the Biblical explanation that the universe was created by a Person, God. It is a far more reasonable and logical explanation.

Every Creation Has A Creator

I have been around for quite awhile but I have never heard of anything that created itself. Everything on earth is made by something or someone. I did not create myself. You did not create yourself. We were created by our parents who were created by their parents all the way back to the original parents, Adam and Eve. Where they came from is a point of some contention.

Either they spontaneously constructed from some random convergence of flesh and bones and blood or they were created by Someone. Which sounds most plausible to you? Which one takes the most faith to believe?

If you feel confident with the probability that your Honda constructed itself from raw iron ore, bauxite, petroleum based materials and fibers, and assorted electronic components, then you can be comfortable with the atheist and agnostic ideas of creation.

Personally, I'll line up with the Genesis account.

So, why would someone align with the highly improbable concept of the origin of the universe when it defies all the odds and many accepted laws of physics? Maybe because they desire control and no consequences more than they desire truth.

How could someone subscribe to a random, irrational, demeaning, and impersonal version of creation when you it makes more sense to believe the Biblical account? It makes no sense unless they are more committed to being in control and escaping consequences than they are to truth.