Cult of Atheism

Cult Profile – Witnessing to Atheists The Bible tells us in Psalm 14:1 “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.” The atheist (“a” = no; “theos” = God) is the man or woman who dogmatically proclaims that there is no God. It is interesting that the Bible proclaims the fool hath said in his heart; not his lips. The atheist just reveals that he is a fool when he opens his mouth! Atheists are one of my favorite people to share the Gospel with since the evidence is so overwhelming. Usually, when witnessing to an atheist, I will use the following introduction, and then focus on three points. For the introduction, I will lovingly tell the atheist that God speaks about him in the Bible, and that he probably wouldn’t want to know what God thinks of his belief system. The atheist will usually be intrigued and say, “What does God say of me?” I will reiterate that he probably doesn’t want to know. At this point, he definitely wants to know. Then, I will turn to Psalm 14:1-3 and read it to him. This establishes the correct authority and sets the foundation for the rest of what is being said. I try to focus the following three major points: First, I tell an atheist that God says to “Look Up.” The Bible says in Psalm 19:1-3, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.” Most people, unless they’re blind, have gone out on a star-lit night and gazed with wonder at the splendor of the starry heavens and mused within themselves how small they are in relation to the vastness of the cosmos. Second, God says “Look Around.” Everything is in perfect order. The sun rises and sets with precise accuracy. The seasons change, the earth rotates, and the earth and planets revolve around the sun with incredible accuracy. Look at the complexity of the human eye; the intricacy of the flower, the beauty and ingenuity of the animal kingdom, the uniqueness of each creature or thing that was made is mind-blowing (to say the least)! Design requires a Designer. When I go to downtown Orlando and see all of the buildings, I don’t think, “Wow, through millions of years of time, chance, and succession, the winds swirled sand and metal particles all around just happened to form these incredible structures.” That would be ludicrous! I immediately would think, “Wow, I wonder who made this?” If I had five rows of ten apples; each row perfectly lined-up on my front porch, I wouldn’t say, “Honey, come here, you won’t believe this! Overnight, a tremendous tornado must have ripped through an apple grove in the state of Washington, sucked these apples off the trees all the way up into the jet stream, and then placed them right here gently in five perfect rows on our front porch.” No, my first thought would be, “I wonder who put these here?” Why, because design requires a designer! Third, I tell the atheist that God tells them to “Look In.” God has given every man, woman, and child a conscious (Con = with; Science = knowledge). Every person on earth, God has hard-wired us with an internal alarm clock the goes off when we violate His holy commandments. Every person knows that it’s wrong to kill, wrong to steal, wrong to commit adultery. A dog doesn’t have a conscience. A cat, a monkey, a fish, or an amoeba doesn’t have a conscience. God has given man a spirit, and within that spirit the discernment to know the difference between right and wrong. Unfortunately, some people continually harden their heart and ignore this alarm clock, or break it altogether. There can actually come a point where they can no longer hear this internal alarm clock going off. The Bible says that Esau sought repentance with tears and couldn’t find it (Hebrews 12:17). Without exception, all atheists will be evolutionists, and often I will discuss the fallacy of evolution, and how it takes more faith to believe in evolution than it does to believe in God. Evolution completely violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics; The Law of Entropy, which states that everything is moving from a state of order to disorder. Everything is wearing out. My blue jeans, my car, my fence – everything is wearing out. The earth is slowing down, the sun is burning out, stars are dying, etc. The theory of evolution (which is just that, a theory), diametrically opposes the Second Law of Thermodynamics and states that man is continuously evolving and getting better. We will discuss the theory of evolution at a later date. Dr. Ron Rhodes who is a phenomenal apologist articulates some excellent strategies for witnessing to atheists: No one is born an atheist. People choose to become atheists as much as they choose to become Christians. And no matter how strenuously some may try to deny it, atheism is a belief system. It requires faith that God does not exist. When dialoguing with atheists, it is helpful to point out the logical problems inherent in their belief system. If you succeed in showing an atheist the natural outcome of some of his (or her) main claims and arguments, you are in a much better position to share the gospel with him. Let us consider two prime examples here. (1) “There is no God.” Some atheists categorically state that there is no God, and all atheists, by definition, believe it. And yet, this assertion is logically indefensible. A person would have to be omniscient and omnipresent to be able to say from his own pool of knowledge that there is no God. Only someone who is capable of being in all places at the same time – with a perfect knowledge of all that is in the universe – can make such a statement based on the facts. To put it another way, a person would have to be God in order to say there is no God. This point can be forcefully emphasized by asking the atheist if he has ever visited the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. Mention that the library presently contains over 70 million items (books, magazines, journals, etc.). Also point out that hundreds of thousands of these were written by scholars and specialists in the various academic fields. Then ask the following question: “What percentage of the collective knowledge recorded in the volumes in this library would you say are within your own pool of knowledge and experience?” The atheist will likely respond, “I don’t know. I guess a fraction of one percent.” You can then ask: “Do you think it is logically possible that God may exist in the 99.9 percent that is outside your pool of knowledge and experience?” Even if the atheist refuses to admit the possibility, you have made your point and he knows it. (2) “I don’t believe in God because there is so much evil in the world.” Many atheists consider the problem of evil an airtight proof that God does not exist. They often say something like: “I know there is no God because if He existed, He never would have let Hitler murder six million Jews.” A good approach to an argument like this is to say something to this effect: “Since you brought up this issue, the burden lies on you to prove that evil actually exists in the world. So let me ask you: by what criteria do you judge some things to be evil and other things not to be evil? By what process do you distinguish evil from good?” The atheist may hedge and say: “I just know that some things are evil. It’s obvious.” Don’t accept such an evasive answer. Insist that he tell you how he knows that some things are evil. He must be forced to face the illogical foundation of his belief system. After he struggles with this a few moments, point out to him that it is impossible to distinguish evil from good unless one has an infinite reference point which is absolutely good. Otherwise one is like a boat at sea on a cloudy night without a compass (i.e., there would be no way to distinguish north from south without the absolute reference point of the compass needle). The infinite reference point for distinguishing good from evil can only be found in the person of God, for God alone can exhaust the definition of “absolutely good.” If God does not exist, then there are no moral absolutes by which one has the right to judge something (or someone) as being evil. More specifically, if God does not exist, there is no ultimate basis to judge the crimes of Hitler. Seen in this light, the reality of evil actually requires the existence of God, rather than disproving it. At this point, the atheist may raise the objection that if God does in fact exist, then why hasn’t He dealt with the problem of evil in the world. You can disarm this objection by pointing out that God is dealing with the problem of evil, but in a progressive way. The false assumption on the part of the atheist is that God’s only choice is to deal with evil all at once in a single act. God, however, is dealing with the problem of evil throughout all human history. One day in the future, Christ will return, strip power away from the wicked, and hold all men and women accountable for the things they did during their time on earth. Justice will ultimately prevail. Those who enter eternity without having trusted in Christ for salvation will understand just how effectively God has dealt with the problem of evil. If the atheist responds that it shouldn’t take all of human history for an omnipotent God to solve the problem of evil, you might respond by saying: “Ok. Let’s do it your way. Hypothetically speaking, let’s say that at this very moment, God declared that all evil in the world will now simply cease to exist. Every human being on the planet – present company included – would simply vanish into oblivion. Would this solution be preferable to you?” The atheist may argue that a better solution must surely be available. He may even suggest that God could have created man in such a way that man would never sin, thus avoiding evil altogether. This idea can be countered by pointing out that such a scenario would mean that man is no longer man. He would no longer have the capacity to make choices. This scenario would require that God create robots who act only in programmed ways. If the atheist persists and says there must be a better solution to the problem of evil, suggest a simple test. Give him about five minutes to formulate a solution to the problem of evil that (1) does not destroy human freedom, or (2) cause God to violate His nature (e.g., His attributes of absolute holiness, justice, and mercy) in some way. After five minutes, ask him what he came up with. Don’t expect much of an answer. Your goal, of course, is not simply to tear down the atheist’s belief system. After demonstrating some of the logical impossibilities of his claims, share with him some of the logical evidence for redemption in Jesus Christ, and the infinite benefits that it brings. Perhaps through your witness and prayers his faith in atheism will be overturned by a newfound faith in Christ. Remember the three principles: Look Up, Look Around, and Look In! He even says in Isaiah 1:18, “Come now, let us reason together…” Our God is a God of order, and He wants to share His reason and love with the atheist as much as any other person on His earth. Second, God says “Look Around.” Everything is in perfect order. The sun rises and sets with precise accuracy. The seasons change, the earth rotates, and the earth and planets revolve around the sun with incredible accuracy. Look at the complexity of the human eye; the intricacy of the flower, the beauty and ingenuity of the animal kingdom, the uniqueness of each creature or thing that was made is mind-blowing (to say the least)! Design requires a Designer. When I go to downtown Orlando and see all of the buildings, I don’t think, “Wow, through millions of years of time, chance, and succession, the winds swirled sand and metal particles all around just happened to form these incredible structures.” That would be ludicrous! I immediately would think, “Wow, I wonder who made this?” If I had five rows of ten apples; each row perfectly lined-up on my front porch, I wouldn’t say, “Honey, come here, you won’t believe this! Overnight, a tremendous tornado must have ripped through an apple grove in the state of Washington, sucked these apples off the trees all the way up into the jet stream, and then placed them right here gently in five perfect rows on our front porch.” No, my first thought would be, “I wonder who put these here?” Why, because design requires a designer! Third, I tell the atheist that God tells them to “Look In.” God has given every man, woman, and child a conscious (Con = with; Science = knowledge). Every person on earth, God has hard-wired us with an internal alarm clock the goes off when we violate His holy commandments. Every person knows that it’s wrong to kill, wrong to steal, wrong to commit adultery. A dog doesn’t have a conscience. A cat, a monkey, a fish, or an amoeba doesn’t have a conscience. God has given man a spirit, and within that spirit the discernment to know the difference between right and wrong. Unfortunately, some people continually harden their heart and ignore this alarm clock, or break it altogether. There can actually come a point where they can no longer hear this internal alarm clock going off. The Bible says that Esau sought repentance with tears and couldn’t find it (Hebrews 12:17). Without exception, all atheists will be evolutionists, and often I will discuss the fallacy of evolution, and how it takes more faith to believe in evolution than it does to believe in God. Evolution completely violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics; The Law of Entropy, which states that everything is moving from a state of order to disorder. Everything is wearing out. My blue jeans, my car, my fence – everything is wearing out. The earth is slowing down, the sun is burning out, stars are dying, etc. The theory of evolution (which is just that, a theory), diametrically opposes the Second Law of Thermodynamics and states that man is continuously evolving and getting better. We will discuss the theory of evolution at a later date. Dr. Ron Rhodes who is a phenomenal apologist articulates some excellent strategies for witnessing to atheists: No one is born an atheist. People choose to become atheists as much as they choose to become Christians. And no matter how strenuously some may try to deny it, atheism is a belief system. It requires faith that God does not exist. When dialoguing with atheists, it is helpful to point out the logical problems inherent in their belief system. If you succeed in showing an atheist the natural outcome of some of his (or her) main claims and arguments, you are in a much better position to share the gospel with him. Let us consider two prime examples here. (1) “There is no God.” Some atheists categorically state that there is no God, and all atheists, by definition, believe it. And yet, this assertion is logically indefensible. A person would have to be omniscient and omnipresent to be able to say from his own pool of knowledge that there is no God. Only someone who is capable of being in all places at the same time – with a perfect knowledge of all that is in the universe – can make such a statement based on the facts. To put it another way, a person would have to be God in order to say there is no God. This point can be forcefully emphasized by asking the atheist if he has ever visited the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. Mention that the library presently contains over 70 million items (books, magazines, journals, etc.). Also point out that hundreds of thousands of these were written by scholars and specialists in the various academic fields. Then ask the following question: “What percentage of the collective knowledge recorded in the volumes in this library would you say are within your own pool of knowledge and experience?” The atheist will likely respond, “I don’t know. I guess a fraction of one percent.” You can then ask: “Do you think it is logically possible that God may exist in the 99.9 percent that is outside your pool of knowledge and experience?” Even if the atheist refuses to admit the possibility, you have made your point and he knows it. (2) “I don’t believe in God because there is so much evil in the world.” Many atheists consider the problem of evil an airtight proof that God does not exist. They often say something like: “I know there is no God because if He existed, He never would have let Hitler murder six million Jews.” A good approach to an argument like this is to say something to this effect: “Since you brought up this issue, the burden lies on you to prove that evil actually exists in the world. So let me ask you: by what criteria do you judge some things to be evil and other things not to be evil? By what process do you distinguish evil from good?” The atheist may hedge and say: “I just know that some things are evil. It’s obvious.” Don’t accept such an evasive answer. Insist that he tell you how he knows that some things are evil. He must be forced to face the illogical foundation of his belief system. After he struggles with this a few moments, point out to him that it is impossible to distinguish evil from good unless one has an infinite reference point which is absolutely good. Otherwise one is like a boat at sea on a cloudy night without a compass (i.e., there would be no way to distinguish north from south without the absolute reference point of the compass needle). The infinite reference point for distinguishing good from evil can only be found in the person of God, for God alone can exhaust the definition of “absolutely good.” If God does not exist, then there are no moral absolutes by which one has the right to judge something (or someone) as being evil. More specifically, if God does not exist, there is no ultimate basis to judge the crimes of Hitler. Seen in this light, the reality of evil actually requires the existence of God, rather than disproving it. At this point, the atheist may raise the objection that if God does in fact exist, then why hasn’t He dealt with the problem of evil in the world. You can disarm this objection by pointing out that God is dealing with the problem of evil, but in a progressive way. The false assumption on the part of the atheist is that God’s only choice is to deal with evil all at once in a single act. God, however, is dealing with the problem of evil throughout all human history. One day in the future, Christ will return, strip power away from the wicked, and hold all men and women accountable for the things they did during their time on earth. Justice will ultimately prevail. Those who enter eternity without having trusted in Christ for salvation will understand just how effectively God has dealt with the problem of evil. If the atheist responds that it shouldn’t take all of human history for an omnipotent God to solve the problem of evil, you might respond by saying: “Ok. Let’s do it your way. Hypothetically speaking, let’s say that at this very moment, God declared that all evil in the world will now simply cease to exist. Every human being on the planet – present company included – would simply vanish into oblivion. Would this solution be preferable to you?” The atheist may argue that a better solution must surely be available. He may even suggest that God could have created man in such a way that man would never sin, thus avoiding evil altogether. This idea can be countered by pointing out that such a scenario would mean that man is no longer man. He would no longer have the capacity to make choices. This scenario would require that God create robots who act only in programmed ways. If the atheist persists and says there must be a better solution to the problem of evil, suggest a simple test. Give him about five minutes to formulate a solution to the problem of evil that (1) does not destroy human freedom, or (2) cause God to violate His nature (e.g., His attributes of absolute holiness, justice, and mercy) in some way. After five minutes, ask him what he came up with. Don’t expect much of an answer. Your goal, of course, is not simply to tear down the atheist’s belief system. After demonstrating some of the logical impossibilities of his claims, share with him some of the logical evidence for redemption in Jesus Christ, and the infinite benefits that it brings. Perhaps through your witness and prayers his faith in atheism will be overturned by a newfound faith in Christ. Remember the three principles: Look Up, Look Around, and Look In! He even says in Isaiah 1:18, “Come now, let us reason together…” Our God is a God of order, and He wants to share His reason and love with the atheist as much as any other person on His earth.