Theism, Atheism and Agnosticism… What’s All the Fuss?

Mike Ritt:

In recognition of National Atheist Day (April 1st), I wanted to re-post the following article that I wrote last year in honor of the unofficial celebration. Feel free to leave a comment or to share it to your favorite social media.
“If I did not believe in God, I should still want my doctor, my lawyer and my banker to do so.” – G.K. Chesterton

Originally posted on The Emmaus Road:

National-Atheist-day-2

You may not be aware of it, but every year on April first we celebrate Atheist Day! OK…the official designation might be April fool’s day, but I think that the two names are interchangeable, and I believe that I have biblical precedence for believing so. In Psalm 14:1, King David writes, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” Why would David, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, make such a claim? Why is it foolish to say that “there is no God?” To answer this question, let’s take a look at what atheism is and what it claims. You may be surprised to discover that this task is not as easy as it might seem.

Language is said to be arbitrary. That is, there is no natural relationship between words and the concepts that they represent. However, words, as a linguistic form, do have a history…

View original 864 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What Does It Mean To Be Born Again?

Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”  (John 3:3 ESV)

Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
(John 3:3 ESV)

Being “born again” is one of those phrases that we hear so much that it has become a staple of our Christian-speak; almost to the point of taking for granted that everyone means the same thing when they say that they have been “born again.” But what does it really mean, and what does the Bible really teach about being born again? Here is a good article by Pastor Sean Cole on the subject.

http://emmanuelsterling.wordpress.com/2014/03/23/what-does-it-mean-to-be-born-again/

 

Soli Deo Gloria

Posted in Gospel, Theology | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Gospel of Jesus Christ: A Weapon of Mass Destruction

weapon_of_mass_destructionMuch has been said in recent years about WMD’s, or “weapons of mass destruction.” Nations have engaged in arms races to see who could develop bigger and better WMD’s, until they are like two little boys standing waist deep in gasoline arguing over who has the most matches. Wars have been fought to keep other nations from developing WMD capabilities. Dictatorial and tyrannical third world nations, by virtue of their ability to slaughter tens of thousands of people with a single bomb, can now take their place at the table of world super powers.

While the world looks with keen interest at such places as Iran, Iraq and North Korea, and tries to assess the WMD capabilities of these nations, one of the largest organizations in the world has gone largely ignored, even though it has been in possession of a WMD far longer than any other world super power. That organization is the universal Christian assembly known as the “church,” and their WMD is the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Apostle Paul wrote in the epistle to the Romans, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”

(Romans 1:16 ESV). What did he mean by “the power of God?” What is the power of the gospel? What does the power of the gospel accomplish?

The word that we translate “power” is the Greek word dunamis, meaning strength, ability or power, particularly an inherent power residing within a thing. It is where we get the word “dynamite.” In Romans, it refers to the miraculous, inherent power of the gospel to bring a person into a saving relationship with God. But why do I refer to the gospel as a WMD? Let’s take a look at some of the things that the gospel has the power to destroy.

  • THE GOSPEL CAN DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE:

1 Corinthians 1:19 - For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

The Apostle Paul did not preach the gospel “with the wisdom of words” (1 Cor. 1:17), or with “the enticing words of man’s wisdom” (1 Cor. 2:4). Matthew Henry has this to add:

“He did not preach the gospel in this manner, lest the cross of Christ should be of no effect, lest the success should be ascribed to the force of art, and not of truth; not to the plain doctrine of a crucified Jesus, but to the powerful oratory of those who spread it, and hereby the honor of the cross be diminished or eclipsed.” – Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible

Paul understood that the power of the gospel message was not in worldly wisdom or fancy oratory, but was inherent in the message itself. He recognized that there was more power in the plain preaching of a crucified Jesus than in all of the worldly wisdom and philosophy of his day. It was the preaching of this simple gospel message, by simple men, that turned the whole world upside down (Acts 17:6).

  • THE GOSPEL CAN DESTROY THE WORKS OF THE DEVIL:

1 John 3:8 – “Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.”

Satan’s purpose is always the same: he seeks to exalt himself above God by opposing God and men, and his “works” are always performed with this in mind. What are some of the ways that Satan works to oppose God and men?

1. Satan opposes the gospel message and attempts to keep men from salvation in Jesus Christ:

“Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.” (Luke 8:11-12 ESV)

“And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:3-4 ESV)

2. Satan holds men and women slaves to sin and captives to his will:

“And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.” (2 Timothy 2:24-26 ESV)

3. Satan seeks the destruction of believers:

“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8 ESV)

4. Satan tries to corrupt the gospel message and the word of God through false prophets and teachers:

“And what I am doing I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.” (2 Corinthians 11:12-15 ESV)

“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.” (2 Peter 2:1 ESV)

 

  • THE GOSPEL MEANS THE DESTRUCTION OF SATAN HIMSELF:

Hebrews 2:14 – “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil.

1. Satan’s destruction foretold by Jesus:

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.’” (Matthew 25:41 ESV)

2. Satan’s destruction foretold by the Apostle Paul:

“The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.” (Romans 16:20 ESV)

3. Satan’s destruction foretold by the Apostle John:

“Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, ‘Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.’” (Revelation 12:7-11 ESV)

“Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.” (Revelation 20:1-3 ESV)

 

  • THE GOSPEL BRINGS ABOUT THE DESTRUCTION OF DEATH AND THE POWER OF THE GRAVE:

“When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:54-57 ESV)

When a person responds in faith to the gospel message, they pass from a state of spiritual death to one of spiritual life (Romans 8:10). They are then sealed by the Holy Spirit as a promise of the redemption to come (Ephesians 4:30). Matthew Henry has this to say about the redemption that is promised:

“There is to be a day of redemption; the body is to be redeemed from the power of the grave at the resurrection-day, and then God’s people will be delivered from all the effects of sin, as well as from all sin and misery, which they are not till rescued out of the grave. – Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible

“If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” (Romans 8:11 ESV)

“…and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” (2 Timothy 1:10 ESV)

 

  • THE GOSPEL IS POWER FOR DESTROYING OUR SINFUL DESIRES AND OUR SINFUL NATURE:

“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.” (2 Peter 1:3-4 ESV)

“Put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24 ESV)

“Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.” (Colossians 3:5-10 ESV)

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV)

 

  • THE GOSPEL DESTROYS OUR HEARTS OF STONE THAT WANT NOTHING TO DO WITH GOD:

“And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.” (Ezekiel 36:26-27 ESV)

IN SUMMARY - This is not an exhaustive treatment on the power of the gospel, but it should, at least, begin to show the mighty way in which it works in the lives of believers to effect the changes that God wants to make in them to bring about their sanctification and their redemption and conform them to the image of Christ. I will close with these words from John Piper:

“We remind ourselves that the gospel alone brings forgiven sinners to final, everlasting joy. Nothing in the world can do this except the gospel of Jesus Christ. Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam – they do not have a Savior who can solve the problem of separation from a holy God through sin, and offer sinners hope by grace and not works. Only one message saves sinners and brings them safely into the presence of God – the gospel of Jesus Christ. It alone is the power of God unto salvation.”  – Sermon by John Piper entitled, The Gospel Is the Power of God unto Salvation, June 21, 1998

(Soli Deo Gloria)

Posted in Gospel, Theology | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Case for the Pre-Existence of Christ: The Birthday that was Not the Beginning

Mike Ritt:

This is a very good article, written by Pastor Brian Chilton, to remind us that although Christmas is a wonderful time to remember and reflect upon the incarnation of Jesus, his incarnation was not his “beginning.”

Make sure to read his article and leave a comment for him to let him know what you thought. Then check out some of the other articles on his blog.

- Soli Deo Gloria

Originally posted on Pastor Brian Chilton:

View original

Posted in Theology | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Christianity vs. Christmas

 

A lot of Christians struggle at this time of year with how, or even whether, to celebrate Christmas. They see all of the commercialism and greed that has become associated with the holiday, and they wonder whether Jesus has any part in the celebration anymore.

This is a link to an article written last year that might help put some perspective on the issue. I give a little history on the Christmas holiday, but I particularly want you to check out the links at the end of the article. They address more of the Biblical/Theological issues involved.

Soli Deo Gloria

Christianity vs. Christmas.

Posted in Culture | Tagged , | Leave a comment

30 Abbreviated Arguments for the Existence of God

universe-2Apologetics is all about presenting a reasoned defense of the Christian faith. Contrary to popular belief, the Christian faith is not “blind.” Christianity is a rational belief system built upon compelling evidences. Christians are required not only to know what they believe and why they believe it, but we are also required to be prepared to share with others the reasons for the hope that is in us (I Peter 3:15).

The following article, written by Pastor Brian Chilton, is a great summary to be used as reference for some of the more popular arguments for the existence of God. I highly recommend that Christians take the time to become familiar with several of these arguments. Some of them are better than others. Most of them have been around for a long time. Do some further research on the ones that you like until you know them inside-out. But remember, arguments have never led anyone to the Lord. That is the exclusive work of the Holy Spirit. Using arguments to defend the existence of God is not the same as “arguing” with someone. I Peter 3:15 admonishes us to be prepared to make a defense for the hope that is in us, but it also instructs us to do this with “gentleness and respect.”

Click here to read the article: 30 Abbreviated Arguments for the Existence of God

Soli Deo Gloria

Posted in Apologetics | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The Exclusivity of Jesus Christ

Jesus is the only way to God

Jesus is the only way to God

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.   (John 14:6 ESV)

I – Not Muhammad. Not Buddha.  Not Krishna. Not Confucius. Not Moses. Not the Pope. Not Zoroaster. Not Laozi. Not Guru Nanak Dev. Not Joseph Smith. Not Mary Baker Eddy. Not Charles Taze Russell. Not L. Ron Hubbard. Not Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Not Sun Myung Moon. Not Anton LaVey, or any of a thousand other pretenders and false prophets. Only Jesus.

AM – A verb. An action. To exist. To live. To be.

THE – One in particular. Distinct from all others. Not “a” or “an”.

WAY – The manner. The method. The path. The door. The direction. The means. The road. The mode. The gate. The entrance. The opening.

AND – In addition to. Also. As well as.

The TRUTH – Not a lie. Not a falsehood. Not a deception. Not a fake, a phony, or a fraud, but a fact. A reality. A certainty. An assurance.

And the LIFE – That quality of existence characterized by growth and change. Living. Existing. Not dead or dying. Not stagnant or unproductive. Active. Abundant. Fertile. Full. Meaningful. Joyous.

NO ONE – A universal negation. Not anyone. Not Mother Teresa. Not Martin Luther. Not John Calvin. Not Saint Augustine. Not the missionaries. Not the preachers or the priests. Not your Sunday school teacher. Not your mother, or your father, or you siblings. Not your grandparents, or your neighbors, or your friends. Not you. Not me.

COMES – Approaches. Draws near. Gets closer to. Moves toward.

TO – In the direction of. In the vicinity of.

The FATHER – Abba. Daddy. The creator. The sustainer. The giver of life. The designer. The author. The provider. The protector. The judge. YHWH. Jehovah. GOD.

EXCEPT – Other than. But. Excluding. Apart from. With the exception of.

THROUGH – By way of. By means of. Via. By the use of.

ME – The one speaking. Jesus.

Jesus is the only WAY to God. He has the only TRUTH about God. He alone can give us LIFE with God.

Soli Deo Gloria

Posted in Contoversial Scriptures, World Religions | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

The Faith of Our Founding Fathers -

hiddenFaithFoundingFathers_600Were our Founding Fathers a bunch of atheists and Deists who purposed to establish a new government totally separated from the influence of religion?

I had not planned on posting anything for the Fourth of July, but after reading a number of articles and posts on Facebook about our Founding Fathers being a bunch of “free-thinkers” (whatever that implies), atheists, and deists who mandated a strict separation of religious life from the political process, I decided to weigh in with my two cents. Everyone has a right to express their own opinion, and I am going to exercise my right to respond to these types of revisionist ideas.

The first amendment to our constitution reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” The rest of the first amendment deals with the freedoms of speech, the press, of peaceable assembly, and of the right to petition the government.

The prohibitions mentioned in the first amendment are all placed on “congress,” not on anyone else. This was done to keep the United States from committing the same error that some of the European nations had made by establishing a state or national religion such as existed in Germany, Spain and Great Britain. In these countries, membership in the state church was necessary for economic, social or political advancement. Our Founding Fathers placed this shackle upon congress to prevent them from doing the same thing.

Then they added the second clause, which most of the people who cry, “Separation of church and state” tend to ignore. They added the prohibition that congress could not pass any laws that prohibit the free exercise of religious beliefs. There are obvious exceptions for when a religious practice is deemed harmful to individuals or to the nation as a whole.

One example would be the practice of polygamy by the Mormons. In Reynolds v. United States (1878), the Supreme Court upheld the Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act of 1862, stating that the practice of polygamy tended to violate community social norms and subvert social order. Fortunately for the Mormons, they received a revelation a few years later (1890) that polygamy was no longer approved by God.

Another example of a religious practice that would not be protected by the first amendment would be the Hindu practice of sati, in which a recently widowed woman would join her husband’s body on his funeral pyre or be buried alive with him.

These exceptions aside, neither of the prohibitions mentioned in the first amendment on congress is meant to prevent religious people from being involved in the political process, from serving in public office, or from attempting to influence public policy or their elected representatives.

Furthermore, these prohibitions do not prohibit congress from passing legislation that is favorable to religious expression or religious groups, as long as it does not violate the establishment clause of the first amendment. For example:

• Congress has appointed congressional and military chaplains since before the constitution was ever written, and has continued to appoint them in every congress up to the present.
• Congress has set aside national days of prayer, thanksgiving, and fasting on numerous occasions.
• Both in the Articles of War (June 1775) and in the Rules and Regulations of the Navy (November 1775), steps were taken by congress to insure that Christian morality prevailed, even encouraging attendance in religious services.
• On Sept. 11, 1777, Congress instructed its Committee of Commerce to import 20,000 Bibles from “Scotland, Holland or elsewhere.”
• On September 12, 1782, congress endorsed the printing of the first English language Bible printed in America. (Journals of Congress, September, 1782, pages 468 and 469)
• In 1785, congress passed an ordinance for the disposition of lands acquired from Great Britain in the treaty of 1783. In this ordinance, one section in each newly laid out township was to be set aside for the support of religion.
• In July of 1787, congress passed the Northwest Ordinance, which states in part, “Religion, Morality and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, Schools and the means of education shall be forever encouraged.” We see in this document that not only did the Founders believe that religion was “necessary” to good government, but they expected religion to be taught in the public schools!

The Northwest Ordinance

The Northwest Ordinance

These are just a few examples among many that show that the Founding Fathers were far from being antagonistic toward religion, but instead, supported it on numerous occasions.

Finally, with regard to the faith of the Founders; of the 204 unique individuals who are recognized as “Founding Fathers”:

• Seven of them were members of the clergy.
• There are only twenty-three of them about which we know nothing about their religious views.
• Only six were Unitarian or Deists, who although not Christian, were theists, and were favorably inclined towards religion in general.
• 175 were members of their local congregations.

Not only do we see the high regard for religion that the Founding Fathers had through the legislation that they passed, but we can read it in their own words. Here are just a few examples:

“…we have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” – October 11, 1778 Message from John Adams to the Officers of the First Brigade of the Third Division of the Massachusetts Militia

“We have this day restored the Sovereign to whom alone men ought to be obedient. He reigns in Heaven, and with a propitious eye beholds his subjects assuming that freedom of thought and dignity of self-direction which He bestowed on them. From the rising to the setting sun, may His kingdom come!” – Samuel Adams in a speech delivered at the State House in Philadelphia, August 1, 1776

“That religion, or the duty which we owe to our CREATOR, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity, towards each other.” – George Mason in the Virginia Bill of Rights, Article XVI, June 12, 1776

“God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever.” – Thomas Jefferson, Query XVIII of his Notes on the State of Virginia, 1781 (also engraved on the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C.)

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are ‘indispensable’ supports”.  – George Washington, Farewell Address, September 19, 1796

All of this is very difficult to understand if we are to believe what we hear nowadays about the Founders all being enlightened free-thinkers who wanted to keep religion and politics as far away from each other as possible. We see by their lives, their actions, the legislation that they passed and the words that they spoke, that our Founding Fathers not only supported and encouraged religion, but the religion that they favored was not Hinduism or Buddhism or Islam, but Christianity.

 

Soli Deo Gloria

Quote | Posted on by | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Gospel…The Power of God unto Salvation

gospel

All of the articles that I have shared on this blog up until now have been written by me, and I will continue to write articles to post on this site. But I also want to share articles that I run across that I believe do an exceptional job of presenting a topic or a particular point of view.  After all, God has blessed the church with a great many men and women who are gifted teachers of the word, and it behooves us to take advantage of multiple sources of instruction, all the while exercising discernment in the things that we are taught, just as the Berean believers in Acts 17:11, who “…received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.”

The following is a link to a series of articles on the White Horse Inn Blog entitled, “What the Gospel Is & Why We Should Believe It.” In this seven part series, the author, Shane Rosenthal, takes a look at First Corinthians chapter 15, in which the Apostle Paul gives us a very good working definition of the gospel.

There is a lot of confusion today in evangelical Christianity about what the gospel is and what it is meant to accomplish. In this series of articles, the author strips away a lot of the confusion to expose the bare bones of the gospel message.

Enjoy the article and be instructed.

 

Soli Deo Gloria

Posted in Theology | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

An Atoothfairyist’s Tale: How To “Not Believe” In Something

tooth-fairy

I am an “a-tooth-fairyist.” That is to say that I do not believe in the Tooth Fairy. I have been an atoothfairyist for almost fifty years.  As an atoothfairyist, I hardly give the tooth fairy a second thought. As a matter of fact, until I decided to write this article, I can’t even remember the last time that I thought about the TF. After all, why would I spend my time thinking about something that I do not believe exists? There may be rare moments when the TF comes up in conversation, or when Hollywood decides to make a movie about the TF, but for the most part, the TF doesn’t affect me or have any impact on my life, my worldview, or my daily thoughts and activities.

Having this type of attitude as a non-believer makes it very difficult to understand the behavior of another group of non-believers, the atheists. They behave in a totally different way from other groups of non-believers, such as the a-leprechaunists, the a-unicornists, or the a-little-green-man-on-the-moonists. Let me give you some examples.

Although there are probably millions of people across the globe (most of them under the age of five) that hold to toothfairyism, my guess would be that the vast majority of the world’s population are atoothfairyists. There are no reliable figures for the number of atoothfairyists in the world because we just don’t care. It would be an irrational waste of time to number ourselves over a non-belief.

Atheists, on the other hand, take great pains and great pride in keeping track of their numbers, as evidenced by this Wikipedia article entitled, The Demographics of Atheism. They have even taken the time to extrapolate the numbers in order to determine when they can expect to surpass the world’s population of theists. Psychology Today reports in an April 25, 2012 article, how atheists are waiting with eager anticipation for the year 2038, so that they can finally spike the ball and dance in the end zone (Atheism to Defeat Religion by 2038.)

Another way in which atheists differ from other groups of non-believers is in their impressive number of vocal and energetic “professional” atheists – people like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens and Daniel Dennett. These are men whose whole professional identities are wrapped up in their non-belief, and they work tirelessly to spread the gospel of atheism wherever they go. Professional atheists hold seminars and conferences. They debate theists and are in high demand on the lecture circuit. They do pod casts and radio and television programs. About the only thing that they don’t do in their evangelistic zeal is go door to door.

One compilation of the 50 top atheists in the world today makes the following statement about the men and women that they included on their list, “To make the cut, one has to do more than merely question God’s existence or even deny that knowledge of God’s existence is possible.” They list several important requirements for inclusion on the list:

  1. Celebrity – “To make our list, the atheist must have a public identification with atheism and must have made some public impact by challenging religion and/or promoting atheism, either in print or on the Internet. In other words, our ranking is a list of people who are well known because they are atheists.”
  2. Energy – “To make our ranking, the atheist must be an activist. He or she must exhibit some desire to win others over to atheism.”
  3. Seriousness – “…we put a premium on the depth and seriousness of the man or woman’s case for atheism. We ask ourselves this question: How many rounds could this person go in the ring (so to speak) with a top-notch defender of religious belief?”

In comparison, to my knowledge, there is not one single atoothfairyist missionary. Not one! After all, it would be rather silly to put that much effort into a non-belief.

Atheists are also prolific writers. Besides magazines, journals, blogs and a plethora of websites, the last forty years or so have seen the publication of numerous books by the “professionals.” Richard Dawkin’s book, The God Delusion, has sold over two million copies in English, and has been translated into thirty-four other languages worldwide.  In March of 2007, The God Delusion, by Dawkins; Letter to a Christian Nation, by Sam Harris; and God: The Failed Hypothesis. How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist, by Victor J. Stenger, all appeared on the New York Times best seller list. It was the first time in history that three books on atheism appeared on the list at the same time.

Of the nearly 2,700 titles at Amazon that had the words “Tooth Fairy” in them, not one of them was written by an atoothfairyist trying to debunk the existence of the tooth fairy, or ridiculing believers. The reason that you will never find a copy of The Tooth fairy Delusion, or The Tooth Fairy Is Not Great, is because we don’t care if anyone wants to believe in the tooth fairy. We don’t demand that everyone thinks the same way that we do.

That brings me to another way in which atheists are different from other types of non-believers. If an atoothfairyist meets someone who believes in the tooth fairy, we might think that they are a little silly, but I doubt that there would be any name calling or fist fights breaking out. I don’t believe that there is any evidence for the existence of the tooth fairy, but if someone could present such evidence to me, I would be eager to hear it. I mean, could you imagine it? A supernatural being that visits you when you are asleep and pays you for your lost teeth! That would be awesome if it were real.

Atheists, on the other hand, don’t want to hear the other side of the argument. As a matter of fact, at the 2012 Reason Rally in Washington, D.C., atheist poster boy, Richard Dawkins, instructed the crowd of cheering rally-goers that when they meet someone who says that they are religious that they should be “mocked and scorned.” Forget using civility and logic to confront a theist’s arguments or beliefs. Just show your contempt by ridiculing them. Did anyone there see the hypocrisy of Dawkins saying this at the end of a rally for “REASON?”

Atheists are also pretty good at social networking. They form societies, like the American Atheists. You can join the American Atheists with an individual membership for $35.00 a year. Or if you are a true, died in the wool (non) believer, you can get a lifetime platinum membership for a mere $12,000.00. If that is a little steep for you, you can settle for a subscription to American Atheists magazine. As an atoothfairyist, I would have better use for $12,000.00 than to support the promotion of my non-belief in the TF.

Atheists have their own political lobby groups like The Secular Coalition for America, a 501(c)(4) advocacy organization whose purpose is to “amplify the diverse and growing voice of the nontheistic community in the United States.”  They are headquartered in Washington, D.C. where they can have “ready access to government, activist partners and the media.”

We atoothfairyists don’t feel the need to lobby congress. We feel pretty secure in our right not to believe in the TF, and our rights aren’t even covered by the first amendment, like the atheist’s right not to believe.

If you are looking for deity free romance, there are even dating sites for atheists, like Atheists Dating Service, Dating for Atheists, and Atheist Passion to name just a few. No dating sites for atoothfairyists. I checked.

Atheists claim that atheism is not a belief system, but merely a state of being. This works out to their advantage because holding a belief might require an atheist to offer evidence for his beliefs, just like a theist should be able to offer evidence for what he believes. But anyone would be hard pressed to explain their behavior – all of the books and seminars and lectures and debates and attitude and in-your-face-ness – if atheists are not trying to promote something; some kind of belief or agenda. I see several possible explanations for all of their zealousness:

  1. Atheism truly is not a belief and atheists truly do not believe in God. However, they don’t want anyone else to believe in God either. It’s their way or the highway. This would be an extreme form of intolerance.
  2. Atheism is actually a belief in one or more “isms” that atheists are not willing to admit to, such as naturalism, empiricism, scientism, or materialism. This way they do not have to defend their beliefs. They can just go about the business of attacking the beliefs of others. This would make atheists extremely disingenuous.
  3. A third possibility for their fervent efforts to propagate atheism and eradicate theism is that atheists hate God.  However, to hate something that they do not even believe exists would make atheists extremely irrational.
  4. I think that the most likely explanation is that atheist hate religion and religious people because we remind them of their ultimate responsibility towards God, and that is a responsibility that they are desperately trying to ignore. Romans 1:18-24 describes this effort of sinful man to suppress the knowledge of God. Denying God, in the face of what the Bible declares as the evident truth of his existence, would make atheists extremely delusional.

I am an atoothfairyist. If I am ever presented with evidence to the contrary, I will thoughtfully consider whether the evidence is logical and compelling – like any rational person. In the mean time, I will not get excited. I will not get provoked. I will not get worked up or get emotional about the subject. I will not attack those who choose to believe in the TF. I will not be writing any books about atoothfairyism. I will not be networking with other atoothfairyists, attending conferences or seminars or debates. When I am done writing this article I doubt that I will give the TF a second thought. After all…that is what it means to not believe in something.

Soli Deo Gloria

Posted in Culture | Tagged , , | 21 Comments