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  • Samuel at Gilgal

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Why Are There Atheists?

“In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek him; all his thoughts are,    ‘There is no God.'” (Psalm10:4)

What drives an otherwise intelligent person to become an atheist? Having been an atheist for many years earlier in my life, please allow me to share some personal observations with you on this topic. The American Heritage Dictionary defines “atheism” as “Disbelief in or denial of the existence of God or gods.” What is this willing “disbelief” driven by? The desire to be personally in control and accountable to no one is a powerful motivation for suppressing the truth about God in your life and the lives of others. (Romans 1:18 ) We prefer to establish our own standards of righteousness.

The sin of atheism is all bound up in the wickedness of pride. We see our lives from the perspective of wishing to be the center of all things. If I am to be the center of my universe, then I cannot tolerate the existence of a god who looks down on me. Pride sees only its own reflection in the mirror and that is enough. A man who is so self-infatuated certainly cannot abide a deity to whom he is accountable. William E. Henley spoke of such a person when he penned the words, “I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul.”

Thus, pride drives men to “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.” (Romans 1:18-21) Atheism requires a cycle of continuous ongoing self-assurance. The sin of pride provides the impetus required to deny the existence of god.

Therefore, atheism is the result of the sin of pride and must, itself, inspire further sin. Atheism is not a morally neutral position. Once you have denied God, you have denied the moral foundation of the rights and dignity of man. Alexander Solzhenitsyn writes: “If I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some sixty million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: ‘Men had forgotten God; that is why all this has happened.'”

Proverbs 16:18 warns us “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Is it really better to rule in hell than to serve in heaven? Atheism demands that the prideful answer be, “Yes!” Such a viewpoint, however, has very unhappy consequences in this world and the next. The throne of atheism must one day be abandoned before the mortifying judgment of the one omnipotent God. Divine justice will demand that, “The haughty looks of man shall be brought low, and the lofty pride of men shall be humbled, and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.” (Isaiah 2:11)

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