The Religion of Atheism

Religion is a system of beliefs and faith in which someone ascribes supreme importance. It is a bond, reverence or obligation to something or someone. Religion can only bring you so far. In the end, belief systems can only be taught and expressed in detail to a certain point. Eventually, religion will die. Humankind can only maintain religion for so long before we exhaust ourselves and cry out, “No more!” Belief in religion for religion’s sake will bring one to the point of desperation. The best religion has to offer is a form of sedation where one fools them self into the belief that all is well with their state. Religion to it’s fullest extent only ends in bitterness and hopelessness.

Richard Dawkins, prominent author and atheist states, “Religion is about turning untested belief into unshakable truth through the power of institutions and the passage of time.” There is no escaping belief. Definition of language can not excuse one from ultimately finding faith in one belief system or another. “No absolute truth” is an absolute truth statement. “Denial of deity” is a faith system which ultimately must be explained with doctrine and creedal statements.

Atheism in today’s scholarly, social and political realm has become that “unshakable truth through the power of institution.” Man was born with the insatiable craving to worship something, so let us never be misguided in the discussion that the “something” is different for many, yet it is still worship and religion nonetheless. An atheist’s faith and beliefs are expressed in the same ways as any other faith-system in which man has come to formulate their religious affections.

For such a people, God’s wonderful grace was extended to humanity to save us from dogmatic religiosity. The worship of fallible man is replaced by the joy of worshiping an infallible God. And what a joy it is. Religion and devotion to system has been replaced with relationship and devotion to a Savior. Mankind is utterly incapable of saving themselves. Our best science and education can never overcome the need for spiritual regeneration and sanctification through the work of the Holy Spirit of God. Paul says:

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.” – 2 Timothy 4:3-4 NASB

The great apostle also gives us this word:

“See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.” – Colossians 2:8 NASB

Finally the words of Jesus give us the final challenge:

“For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? For what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” – Mark 8:35-38 NASB

Mankind has for too long been attempting to gain the world through empty philosophy and deceit, rather than trust and submission. The act of submission, against human reason, produces abundant joy. The realization of one’s depravity and the recognition of the sacrifice of the sinless Savior breaks ones soul into everlasting peace and joy. God’s wrath removed, there is now no condemnation for those who find themselves in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).

Friedrich Nietzsche states his belief, “I cannot believe in a God who wants to be praised all the time.” Man has exchanged worship of the Creator for worship of the creation and has fallen deeper and deeper ever since. Exchanging religion for relationship will bring forth a fountain of inexpressible joy and relief that can only be found worshiping at the feet of our Father’s heavenly throne. This belief has proved unshakable, not because of institution, but through the grace of God and the power of the Spirit. Man’s best efforts to subdue the truth have only made it evermore relevant and diligent, and that’s more than religion could ever offer mankind.


Coleman

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2 thoughts on “The Religion of Atheism

    • I believe that this is true. The concept of grace, Christ-likeness and John 13:35 come to mind. If we take ourselves, our achievements, our programs and our buildings too seriously then we will inevitably lose sight of the Gospel and it’s message: Christ came into the world to save sinners, of which category we all belong.

      However, I found the ultimate conclusion of this article interesting:
      “In any case, self-criticism (without caveat) and compassion ought to override the current view of what being a scripture means. Ironically, by admitting the human element in religion, we can make our religions more closely approximate the divine, and the more we treat our own handiwork as divine the further we fall from our ideal. It is our choice–not a given.” – Laurie Goodstein, “Three Clergymen, Three Faiths, One Friendship,” New York Times, 24 November 2009, sec. A., p. 16.

      This is interesting as I believe no religion is going to admit the “human element” within their religion as the means to “override the current view” of Scripture. Certainly Christians believe that Scripture does contain a human element. Peter tells us in 2 Peter 1.20-21 that “no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” Scripture was penned by men, however, the key phrase is “spoke from God.” Paul confirms this though to his disciple Timothy when he says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3.16-17 ESV). So unfortunately I don’t believe any Christian should be willing to “override the current view” for the sake of making our religion more “divine.” When one starts to make this allowance, then interpretation becomes highly subjective and suitable for just about anyone’s taste. Subjective interpretations of Scripture lead to the formation of cults.

      In the other monotheistic religions of Islam and Judaism, the same thought is going to be prevalent and hence the same conclusions will be drawn. Divine inspiration is claimed in both faiths (Angel Gabriel to Muhammad for Islam and God to Moses for Judaism) and are essential to the orthodox understandings of those faiths. I do not know enough about the revelation of the Qu’ran (Koran) to Muhammad to offer any more analysis.

      My final conclusion in response to this article is, Christians can not make the mistake of subjecting Scripture to personal interpretation for the end goal of tolerance. The fact is that the Bible is offensive. It’s offensive because it offers mankind no way of redemption apart from God’s grace. There is no ladder we can build, no program we can construct or no ticket we can buy, God saves and man responds. The Bible is offensive because the message of Christ is offensive. Christ came into this world to save sinners, and we are all sinners, no matter how much we try to “override the current view.”

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