Confession of faith of an atheist (Ps. 14)

Publié le 29 août 2020 dans Non classé

Trevor Knight was for many years the director of a British inter-church youth movement. One day while preaching the gospel at an open-air meeting in the center of a town, a well-known atheist heckled him saying, « I’ve been an atheist for 84 years … » Trevor asked him his age, to which he replied « I am 96 years old and I have been an atheist for 84 years! » Trevor replied, « Well, that shows that you weren’t born an atheist … »

Indeed, if you question atheist people, they will say that they came to this position because they were disappointed with religion and religious people. People who in the name of God have committed scandalous things … To those I would like to say that God is also scandalized and will judge more severely the sinful behavior of those who have taught in his name or claimed to do so. But let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

We don’t reject the entire medical profession because we had a bad experience one day with a caregiver. Nor any authority because we once had to deal with a rogue policeman, politician or judge …

Others will say they have become atheists because they have known sufferings which they cannot reconcile with a good and almighty God. Like some Jews with the Shoah, or Holocaust. I remember a neighbor who told me that he had become an atheist the day he found his mother unconscious as a child: she had just swallowed some medicine. He said he begged God to save her, but he didn’t… The fact that God does not answer a child’s desperate prayer shows that he does not exist. In any case, he doesn’t want to know him.

To be sure, evil causes terrible emotional pain, but it is not a convincing intellectual argument for denying the existence of God. Indeed the good and almighty God can allow evil as long as he has a morally sufficient reason. And this is the experience of many biblical characters (Job, Joseph, Esther, Naomi…) whose lives confirm that God can use evil to do us good, here on earth and in eternity. A young woman in our church testified that suffering experienced in her childhood led her to seek God who restored and filled her heart, bringing meaning, consolation, the ability to forgive and hope to her life.

If you ask these people, they will tell you that they never wish to go through such trials again, but they will also tell you that they do not regret going through it, considering what they have discovered in God.

It should also be said that God cares so much about human suffering that He has already implemented a plan to deliver us from it. This plan led him to suffer rejection, abandonment and death on the cross himself to offer us full forgiveness and a new eternal life never delivered from suffering.

Man’s atheism begins in his heart rather than in his head. v.1

«  The fool says in his heart: there is no God »

The pain, the emotion, the betrayal, the disappointment… made the man say: « there is no God » not the reason. Let’s think for a moment.

1 – If atheism is true, life has no meaning

Timothy Keller, in The Reason for God, says: « If there is no God and if everything in the world is the product of a ‘fortuitous assembly of atoms’, then our existence has no purpose: we are accidents. »

Even Luc Ferry recognizes that: « religion is irreplaceable as a purveyor of meaning ».

The purpose of the game is determined by the creator of the game. No creator, no goal. 

The purpose of life for Christians « and to know God and to glorify him » and one of the ways of glorifying him, of course, is to love him. Now if God does not exist, each person runs after his or her personal goals, which are all different and sometimes opposite, which then generates conflicts, but these individual goals are not THE goal of life. They are always below and never have an eternal perspective.

  2 – If atheism is true, good and bad do not exist

If God does not exist, who can say what is right and wrong? There is nothing left for us to say who is right. There is no reason to say that Adolf Hitler was worse than Martin Luther King or Nelson Mandela.

If it is society that defines right and wrong, that doesn’t solve the problem. If the majority decides to kill a minority, will it be fair because the majority has decided? When the Nazis exterminated the Jews, was that right? No. But how do you know, if there is no God?

But God created us in his own image and he wrote his law in our hearts. Conscience warns us that something is good or bad, regardless of the time or society in which we live. However by rejecting God we distort our conscience, we make it permissive, it becomes less and less reliable.

  3 – If atheism is true, human rights do not exist

This is only a consequence of the previous argument. If God does not exist and humans are nothing other than evolved animals, they are no different from other animals. The stronger animals do not violate any rights of the weaker by eating them, it is « just like that ».

Our schools teach the theory of evolution, and evolution would be based on natural selection, the survival of the fittest. It is not love that drives evolution, but survival. Why are you upset about the disappearance of certain animal species, then? So why fight against the coronavirus, it hits the most fragile people, it is simply a natural accelerator of evolution? But in our conscience we know that it is wrong not to help the weakest.

It is the fact of being created in the image of God that gives man his worth, his dignity regardless of his age, his origin, his state of health.

Man’s atheism breeds sinful behavior v.1b-3

Whoever say: «there is no God » claims to be omniscient: « I know all things, it is not possible for God to exist beyond the limits of my knowledge ». He also claims to be omnipresent « I am present everywhere at the same time and it is impossible for God to exist anywhere in the universe without my knowing it ». It is a little bit proud, is it not?

In each of us something deeply refuses to accept that there is a Being who is superior to us to whom we would be indebted since he is our creator. A perfectly righteous Being, foreign to all that is bad and having a perfect knowledge of everything, including of course everything of my life and my thoughts. 

By rejecting God one frees oneself from any moral code, if there is no God there is no judgment either … 

CH Spurgeon wrote: « I am convinced that men think that God does not exist because they wish there was no God. They find it difficult to believe in God and continue to sin, so they try to ease their conscience by denying his existence. 

Hence v.1 « They have corrupted themselves, they have committed abominable deeds ».

Do not think that the psalmist’s words are exaggerated. It’s just that we are able to bury these things in our memories, we are very good at minimizing our bad actions …

And this observation is universal, it affects all men v.2-3 « There is none who does good ». 

Part of me does not want a God to obey. All sin is, in a way, a kind of practical atheism: we behave as if God does not exist. Have you noticed that when we sin, God is like non-existent for us.

The Bible does not deny that unbelievers can do good in human society in a certain sense. Indeed no need to be a believer to do one’s job properly, or to achieve  a generous deed, but she denies that they can achieve spiritually good deeds  in harmony with the purpose of God (his glory).

She also affirms that all have sinned (this is also our observation) therefore we are all guilty before God. It also says that the natural man does not seek God (v. 2). Our natural attitude toward sin is to hide it, explain it, or justify it. In fact, no one naturally likes to come into the presence of God any more than a tax evader invites a tax inspector to his home because to do so is to condemn himself.

Man’s atheism will be judged by God, v. 4-6

Why ?

Because atheism is not simply the absence of an encounter with God, but the refusal to meet him. The refusal to give him glory and authority in our lives.

Romans 1.18-21

Creation is a universal witness given to every man of the greatness and wisdom and beauty of God. 

« The heavens declare the glory of God, and the expanse reveals the work of his hands » Ps 19.2

Furthermore, God has revealed Himself through His Word. When he made himself known to the people of Israel as they came out of Egypt, he gave commandments that reveal to us who he is in his character. Some would say but I don’t have the Bible

Romans 2.15-16

Men are equipped with an alarm system (conscience) that activates itself when they choose to ignore or break the laws written in their hearts. We should not ignore the warnings of our conscience because we make it numb.

Even the most mocking, the greatest oppressors, opponents of the Christian faith go through moments when their conscience plunges them into cold sweats. 

“The ghosts of past sins are a terrible specter that haunts every man” (C.H. Spurgeon).

The Bible warns us that everyone will appear before God v. 5.

Finally, God spoke through his Son Jesus Christ. Have you read the biography of Jesus : The Gospels ? 

The character is astonishing in his origin, in his actions: he shows the blind, heals lepers, drives out demons, creates bread and fish to feed 5000 men, he calms the storm and raises the dead all with one single word. 

In his teachings, he speaks with such wisdom that the crowds follow him, he denounces the hypocrisy of certain religious and approach the neglected to whom he shows love and arouses hope. 

He claims to be the Messiah announced in The Old Testament, the only begotten Son of God, THE way Truth and THE life. 

He declares that he came to save the world and that he should be given his life or lost. Our salvation he says to accomplish it by dying on the cross in place of us.

How do you know if this is good news or fake news? He gives us sure proof by rising from the dead. His resurrection powerfully testifies that he is the son of God.

So on the day of judgment, creation, conscience, the Bible and Jesus Christ will argue against the atheism of men.

Conclusion

You may understand today that your doubts about God do not all come from your intelligence and reasoning, but many of them come from your heart, which struggles with the idea of ​​someone dominating over you, to whom you will be accountable. It’s your heart that needs to be changed. This is why God sent His Son to this world.

Left to ourselves we would never want to seek God, let alone know him. So let’s be courageous : if we want to know God, it is because he wants us to find him. So do not harden your heart but believe in him, believe in Jesus.

If you are already a believer, you may have already suffered some mockery, from the v.6 opposition. The Lord is your refuge. There are good reasons for your faith.

God of the stars, God of the ants (Ps. 8)

Publié le 16 août 2020 dans Traductions

One night during the heatwave last week, Brigitte couldn’t sleep, and got up to sit in the garden to get some fresh air. In the morning she told me that she observed the starry sky and even saw shooting stars. We could say to ourselves “What could be more normal” But we could also say “what could be more magnificent than this”. King David would have found it magnificent. Let’s read Psalm 8 together which he wrote.

(la suite…)

God has an announcement to make! (Ps 110)

Publié le 9 août 2020 dans Traductions

Societal introduction!
According to the Usine Nouvelle newspaper of 06/24/2020, the days go by and the economic consequences of the Covid-19 crisis seem to be worsening.

(la suite…)

The righteous grow like palm trees (Ps. 92)

Publié le 2 août 2020 dans Traductions
  1. What does it mean to be righteous?
(la suite…)