How Valid Is The Atheist Position?
Does Atheism Have Any Merit?
I am prompted to ask this question in light of the following article that was posted on the Fox News Website. The article is as follows.
Religions are 'Scams,' Atheist Group Declares in Alabama Advertisement
A new advertisement in Alabama by a national atheist group is reportedly declaring religions to be "scams." The Huntsville ad -- produced by the American Atheists -- displays the message "You know they're all scams" alongside pictures of religious symbols, such as Islam's crescent moon and star, the cross and the Jewish star, according to the Christian Post. The billboard also claims that the national group has been "telling the truth since 1963." The American Atheists define "scam" as a fraudulent business scheme or ploy to intentionally mislead a person, usually with the goal of financial gains, the Post reports. According to the group, "all religions make lots of promises about an afterlife that doesn't exist."
As I read this article I was not surprised as I know very well the “opinions” of the Atheist. I say “opinion” because his view of religion is one of religious conviction not fact. I am reminded of a passage of Scripture that points out what is the root flaw in the Atheist’s attack.
1 Cor 1:18-22, “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, And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent." Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.” (NKJV)
God has made it very clear that those who are not Christians will consider the things of God foolishness and their own ideas “wisdom.” However God gives warning to these misled and often willfully blind individuals that He will eventually destroy their wisdom by showing it to be false. At the time of the White Throne judgment at the end of the world, all atheists will become believers. By this I do not mean they will become Saints. However, when they stand before God to be judged regarding the degree of punishment they will endure for all eternity, there will be no denying that there is a God. They will be forced to admit that God has a law that they have transgressed and in doings so have brought upon themselves the wrath of God. Likewise they will admit that Jesus Christ was the only way of salvation. This is what is meant when Paul writes,
Rom 14:11. “For it is written: "As I live, says the Lord, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God." (NKJV)
Phil 2:9-11, “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (NKJV)
Even without the testimony of Scripture, the statements of the Atheist show the flaws in his thinking. Let me give you a few examples.
1) They claim that Christianity is a scam, “a fraudulent business scheme or ploy to intentionally mislead a person, usually with the goal of financial gains.” Though there are some in religious circles who could fall under that definition most do not. Yes Churches collect money however whether it is a scam or not is determined by the purpose in doing so. Much of the money that comes into the church goes to pay for the operational expenses of the church. At present, about 80% of what we take in goes to cover electricity, water, gas, insurance, repairs and upkeep, and staffing. The remaining money goes to meet the needs of others through such things as social programs and missions work. In recent years our congregation has given needed financial aid to members of our congregation who faced financial collapse. At least twice we have seen newer vehicles donated to those whose lacked transportation. This is not what one expects of a scam!
In consideration of this fact it is interesting to that the Atheist groups take and solicited donations. Under their own definition does this mean that they too are scams?
2) They claim that Christianity is a scam for we intentionally try to mislead people into joining our congregations and faith. Once again there are some individuals and congregations who have been guilty of this but they are in the vast minority. We do not seek to share the gospel in order to add people to our church or to get wealthy off of them. We do not seek to mislead them with false promises that can not be kept. We reach out to people with the gospel because we believe it to be true and the only means by which people can receive everlasting life. We do it for the good of others not for our own good. If I have a chance to lead some one to Christ, yes I would like them to come to our church however what is most important to me is that they have passed from eternal punishment into eternal life in Christ. That is where the real joy is. I gain no personal profit from this but the individual does.
In considering this it is again interesting to note that the Atheist are doing the same thing. They are seeking to recruit others to join them. Why else would they pay to put up billboards advertising their beliefs? I personally believe that some of their promises and ploys are misleading. Do I get to call them scams?
3) They claim that Christianity is scam because we "make lots of promises about an afterlife that doesn't exist." On their recent bill board they said they have been “telling the truth since 1963.” This is not an accurate statement. What they should say is they have been telling “their truth since 1963.” How do they know that there is no afterlife? What factual proof can they give that an afterlife does not exist? Do they use “life after death” experiences? If so, most who have these speak of an existence beyond life. Have they known someone who has been there and has returned with the proof to back up their statement? How ridiculous to declare there is no afterlife when they have no way of knowing if this is true or not. I believe it is their conviction, their belief, and their hope there is no afterlife. In essence it is “their religious conviction” that there is no afterlife but not something they can declare as factual. They charge us as misleading people however the atheist in doing so is a hypocrite.
In contrast to their hollow declaration of so called “truth”, as a Christian I know there is an after life. We have the testimonies of Lazarus, Samuel, Paul, Steven, John, and most importantly of our Lord Himself. They all had opportunities to see into or visit the place where individuals go when they die. They all agree that not only that there is existence after death but also there is a heaven to gain and a hell to shun. We have eye witness accounts that the afterlife exists. Where is the Atheist’s proof? It does not exist.
In conclusion, let us be careful to search out what the critics are saying. It is amazing how many things that they declare as “truth” falls apart under the light of facts and the Word of God. Are you reading for the existence after death? You can be by trusting in Jesus Christ alone for you salvation.