Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Tragedy of Atheism

"Beulah! Peel me a grape!" Who could forget Mae West's famous quip in her second film, "I'm No Angel"? Her ribald lines, superficially innocuous, were delivered in a lazy, mocking elocution that had audiences either loving her bawdiness or up in arms over propriety. The line itself was hilarious because of the visual of Mae telling her black maid to peel the tiny fruit, an effort that was ridiculous but perfect in highlighting her character's gross self-centeredness.
"Bring me evidence, Beulah! And while you're at it, peel me a grape!"

'God! Peel me a grape!' Is the same attitude atheists exhibit today. Their mental laziness, mocking tone, and orders to bring them some evidence of God and then they'll think about it, only serve to highlight their gross self-centeredness in which they proudly luxuriate.

Imagine if you had a loving husband, your groom, who daily gave you beautiful gifts. Who served you, ministered to you when you were sick. Who told you that could trust completely and said he never would leave you. Where his loving effects on others around him were obvious. And one day, He came up to you and said, "I love you!" and you answered, "PROVE IT! BRING ME EVIDENCE!"

First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. (2 Peter 3:3)

Worse, what if your 14-year-old son responded that way? If, there he was, in his well-appointed American bedroom, stuffed with laptop, digital camera, games, comfy bed, with his bank account passbook noting his growing college fund, and the key to the deposit box containing his inheritance. And you walked in one day, bringing him his supper that he wanted to eat in his room, and you lay it down and said, "Honey, I love you!" What if he answered, "PROVE IT! BRING ME EVIDENCE!"

I would think there would be punishments all around. I'd think he would receive a stern talking-to, and a grounding from his fun activities. And yet, our Lord, who has all power, does not respond this way. He patiently accepts mocking, self-centeredness, and constant demands for evidence that He has already provided (in His love and mercy). He has given us the world and we demand more.

Jesus, Lord of the Universe, Who has the worlds as a footstool for His feet, as your loving groom served us. He healed, ministered, told us in a thousand ways that He loves us and wants to be with us forever. He even dispensed with His own glory, and poured Himself into the form of a man, and washed feet, served food, and died for us whom He loves. Jesus still loves His children, all of them. And when you relate this eternal fact to unbelievers, they scream, "PROVE IT! PRODUCE SOME EVIDENCE!"

This selfish attitude should not surprise us. We are told by Paul in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 that "People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them." This is an age of unrestrained revelry and self-indulgence. Humility, diligent searching, and submission are anathema to culture today. 

The tragedy of atheism is the hopelessness of the self. People who refuse to believe put their entire stock into their own strength, brain, abilities, and they say that any day now, the world will be better because of their own strength, brain, and abilities. It never will be, because we are sinners. But the proud refuse to accept their own sin as the stain that it is and humble themselves to Him who heals, loves, and saves.

The tragedy is that a whole class of people deliberately shrink their world to the provable and seen. Their world is of the brain, but not the mind. It is of the natural and not the supernatural, of the drearily provable and not the awe-inspiring mysterious. Their world is littered with decaying peeled grapes, while the believer's world is endless, eternal, and perfect. The tragedy is in thinking that peeled grapeskins is all there is to life, when they could have so much more. Even in Apostle Paul's day this attitude of 'serve me' was prevalent: "Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles." (1 Corinthians 22-23)

Is this you? "Bring me evidence! But let me finish indulging in my debaucheries first..."

The tragedy is in the non-believer passively lying on a reclining Roman couch, demanding evidence when the bible says "Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. (Psalm 105:4). This is an active command, not a passively receptive one. He even told us how to do it:

"My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God." (Proverbs 2:1-5). Again, this verse is full of active verbs, not passive tenses indicating a lolling receptivity.

Atheist, get off your lazy duff and seek His face! He is right in front of you!

How do we accept Jesus? Admit your sin. Yes, we all do wrong things, and we should be sorry for those. Apologize to Jesus and ask Him to be your Savior (saving you from eternal separation from Him) and also your Lord, (humbling yourself and admitting you need Him to lead you in life). Immediately you begin to understand how low you really are in your sin, and how permanently you deserve to be low forever compared to His holiness and glory. However, immediately begins His gifts. Far from your worst fears realized, that this is a permanent abasement, (as it should be) instead in His mercy He will lift you up! He will give you good work! A plan for your life that spiritually you intuit as better than the one you created for yourself! Talents and abilities to accomplish this work! A guarantee of your place in heaven and an inheritance of eternal life! It is within your reach, non-believer. But first, you have to get off the couch.

4 comments:

  1. Wow, you have certainly painted a picture.

    First of all, it would be rather stupid to question the existence of my mother, and when the words "I love you" come straight from her mouth, it's rather difficult to believe that someone would question it.

    Atheists aren't asking to prove God loves us. We are asking you to show evidence that God exists in the first place.

    Essentially, we are looking for an empirical demonstration. Something that can be tested. This deity is supposedly able to manifest in the real world, and there should be some way to verify that.

    Now, imagine that you had a child that you were never told about. Imagine that child was never told about you either. Let's say that you send someone named Fred to tell your child that you exist, and that you want him to write letters to you and do the things you say through Fred, otherwise you're going to lock him in the basement for the rest of his life.

    Does this child have any reason to believe you exist whatsoever? Why should he take Fred's word for it? This isn't even touching on whether or not it would be moral to lock your child up for life for not doing what you tell him to do, through someone else.

    This is how I view the whole situation. First of all, I have no reason whatsoever to believe that a God exists in the first place. I have no reason to believe anyone that is telling me that he exists. I certainly have the right to request evidence before just blindly accepting it.

    After all, as far as evidence is concerned, God is completely indistinguishable from no God.

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  2. Thank you for your comment. Yes, I'm sorry I didn't make my point clearer, I was making the same point that you did: atheists demand proof of God's existence.

    You 'certainly have the right to request evidence before just blindly accepting it' and that is your choice. Your request for man-produced evidence, instead of accepting what God asks you to on faith, is the wrong choice. It will lead to eternal consequences for you. God asks us to accept Him on His grace through faith as an act of will. That you decline to do that, again, is your choice.

    God says, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1. AFTER you accept Him through faith, he sends evidence. The process is reversed from what you're used to, but evidence comes. He sends the Holy Spirit and then you see, know, understand. But first, you have to believe. If that is a leap you are unwilling to take, then I am truly sorry.

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  3. Elizabeth:

    My response to Godlessons, the previous commentor, is...the evidence came in the flesh 2000 years ago. His name is Jesus the salvation of God. His birth, life, death, and ressurection are a matter of fact written down in history, not just "the bible" a book that atheists refuse to believe. But we know that it isn't just a book...it is the very inspired, God breathed Word of Life...the logos. They want evidence but Jesus himself said even if someone from the dead that they knew came back to life to tell them this truth, they still wouldn't believe, because they do have the evidence in their conscience that they continually sin against in their unbelief. We can pray that God's mercy help the scales fall off their eyes so that they may see and believe. Amen! God bless you Elizabeth for always speaking the truth.

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  4. Godlessons,
    Your points are valid. I too wanted to find the truth about the existance of God. I was raised as a Christian but I didn't want to blindly believe simply because my parents were believers.
    I had to seek the truth myself. This is really all God is asking you to do first. Simply seek the truth instead of drawing a conclusion based on a lack of knowledge. Jesus said, "let us reason together". He wants you to seek Him. He wants you to question Him.
    For me, it is easy to see the proof in creation. Evolution is just impossible and the evidence does not support it. An intelligent designer had to create the universe. There is just too much precision in everything from our solar system down to your DNA. I know where you are coming from but just look for the truth and you will find God. When you come to a point where you believe there is a God, then you will look for the true God. We know that the Torah and the Bible are true because it is the only book which documents the history of man from beginning to end. Prophecies made 2000 years ago have come true. Interestingly, there is nothing in the bible which contradicts science. For example, the Bible says that we were made from the dust of the earth. Not some extra terrestrial material, lava, or snake vomit, but dust of the earth. Skin, muscle, blood and bones did not look like dust to an uneducated person some 3500 years ago. We know that our bodies are indeed made up of minerals like calcium, potassium,etc. which come from the dust of the earth. If the stories in the Bible were made up by man, you would expect them to say something that we know is wrong like the earth is flat or we are on the back of a giant turtle. This is why we can say that we know the Bible is true. The proof you ask for is all around you and also in the Bible. You have nothing to lose by looking for the truth and reading the Bible.
    If you can prove to me that God does not exist, I will be the most vocal athiest out there.
    But I am 50 and have walked in faith for a long time now. I have seen and heard supernatural events which could only be from God. So I have personal proof that God and my Lord Jesus is very real.
    The bottom line is: "Seek and you will find, Knock and it will be opened unto you."
    To help you on your search for evidence,
    Lee Strobel was an athiest and a news reporter who sought the evidence of God. He has alot of videos on youtube:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EN2oc7l1mPU&feature=related
    He is probably best to answer your questions.
    I pray that you will seek and find the truth.
    Dale

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