One by one, they remember when they first decided there was no God. Valerie Spadt was a fourth-grader when she read a book at home on evolution.
"I looked at the book and decided, 'Well, if elephants can be evolved and tigers and lions, then it makes sense that man can evolve from a lesser form,'" Spadt begins.
Raised a Lutheran, she continued to attend church through her teenage years, but her doubts grew. She found herself "disregarding" parts of the Bible that she didn't believe. Then, when she was 24, she took a college anatomy class.
"And I decided, 'Well, Adam and Eve wasn't right, the functioning of the human body is not this miracle . . .' And then I began to think, then there is no God sitting out there looking over us. And that's when it just became crystal clear: We are not immortal souls. We die. And that's it."
The others in the room nod in recognition because Spadt's story is much like their own. They have traveled a common path on separate journeys to atheism.
The preceding quote was the first part of an article entitled "Atheists Say They Have Faith, But in Themselves, and Not in God," that appeared in the San Diego Union-Tribune, Saturday, January 2, 1993.
According to this paper, one of the atheists, Howard Kreisner, heads the atheist Coalition, which successfully launched the local campaign battling the crosses at Mount Soledad and Mount Helix and the Nativity scene at Balboa Park, in San Diego.
Atheists all across the nation have instigated court action to have such things as crosses and nativity scenes removed from public land, as they claim this is an intrusion of church into the affairs of state.
However, consider the teachings of Scripture: "He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad" (Matthew 12:30). 1 John 1:5-7 clearly teaches that either one walks in light or in darkness—there is no "gray" area in between.
Because many Christians don't think Biblically, they sit back and allow atheists to impose their religion on society. Yes, atheism is a religion. In fact, in the above newspaper article, the report states: "They are atheists, people who fervently believe that there is no God. Which does not mean that they don't have faith. They have faith in themselves—and sometimes, in each other."
Christians need to abandon a fallacious idea that non-Christians are not religious. Knowledgeable non-Christians are against God—there is no middle ground. Isaiah 8:20 states, "If they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." The Bible makes it clear that it is impossible to divorce the facts and knowledge of life from one's heart-felt views of life. Proverbs 23:7 states: "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he."
It is true that Christians have a religious agenda—to see people won to faith in Christ. It is also true that atheists have a religious agenda—to see people taken away from Christ and won to faith in themselves!
This same problem of not understanding the religious nature of the opposition to Christianity shows up in many other areas. For example, when Christians have spoken out against homosexual behavior, abortion, pornography, or some other anti-Biblical practice, they have been accused of being intolerant. They have been told that they have no right to impose their religious views on society, and that everyone has a right to his/her own opinion. Because of this, many have become silent in regard to these issues.
But what has happened, in reality, is that those who oppose the absolutes of Christianity have imposed THEIR religious views on society, and not allowed Christians to voice THEIR opinions. In other words, their system of belief is intolerant of the Christian belief.
Another interesting point quoted in the newspaper article was that this group of atheists in San Diego, who convinced the judges to side with them, had only 150 people on their mailing list. In addition, according to the article, reference books estimate that 17 percent of the world's population are agnostics, humanists, and atheists. This figure is much lower, however, here in the United States. Why is that such a VERY SMALL group of people—such a MINORITY—are able to impose their views on the MAJORITY?
I believe that Hosea 4:6 summarizes the problem: "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." Let us consider three ways in which this has happened:
- Most Christians have been trained in a secular education system, and have been thoroughly brainwashed into thinking that Christians are religious, while non-Christians are not. They have been indoctrinated to believe that secular education is not religious—but it is!
- Look back to the beginning of the article. What was the reason given by these atheists for rejecting Christianity? They admitted that they attended church when young, but later rejected Christianity BECAUSE OF EVOLUTION. Now this is the sad aspect of all of this. Because the church has NOT counteracted the anti-God teaching of evolution, and in many instances has even embraced it, an increasing number of people are now rejecting Christianity and imposing their anti-God views on society and are taking over the education, government, and court systems.
- Thus, it is really not just a minority that is affecting society. Many professing Christians in our churches have adopted (on purpose or by default) many of the teachings of this minority, and, together, are imposing their views on society. The real, consistent, Biblical Christian frequently has been intimidated by these people, and, sadly, lacks the knowledge to defend the truly Christian position. Is it not a fact, though, that many leaders in our government profess to be Christians and attend church, but side with the humanists on most moral issues?
What a sad indictment on the church. Here are the atheists admitting in black and white that the teaching of evolution took them away from what they were taught at church. I believe that many of the sermons and teachings in Sunday schools, youth groups, and Bible studies are useless in counteracting the atheist agenda. Why? Because Satan is attacking the Christian faith at a foundational level. The attack goes like this: The story of Adam and Eve is not true; scientists have proved evolution; man evolved from the apes; there was no such event as a worldwide flood as the Bible describes; the world is billions of years old; the Big Bang formed the universe; you can't trust what the Bible states science has shown us it is not the Word of God.
The problem is that most teaching in most churches does not equip people to handle these attacks. Even Bible-believing conservative churches ignore these problems and teach only Bible stories, but are not teaching their people how to defend their faith and how to counteract the false teachings of evolutionism.
Not only this, but also many churches, even many that claim to be "evangelical," embrace evolutionary teaching in one way or another, and allow all sorts of compromise positions in regard to the book of Genesis. Many churches have watered down God's Word, and so they can't and don't speak with authority. The Word of God has not lost its power, but Christians have lost their power because they have compromised the Word.
It is my contention that many of the atheists, other anti-Christians in society and humanistic-thinking Christians who are successfully pulling down the structure of Christianity are actually products of the church!
The results of this have been devastating for society. How long will it be before it will be against the law to speak against homosexual behavior, or abortion, or pornography? If we do nothing, how long before Christians are not allowed to preach openly to try to win people to Christ?
The newspaper article cited above ends with what should be an ominous warning for Christians, from one of the members of this atheist group: "I think in the next few years, you're going to see atheists coming out of the closet more and more, as the blacks did in the sixties and gays did in the seventies and eighties—she says. "In a way, we're the last minority group that still needs to come out of the closet."