I can’t say that I even knew this organization existed, no less had an active Twitter account they use to aggressively evangelize the world for unbelief. It’s always been one of the most curious elements of modern atheism to me – while I understand that some choose to reject the existence of God and attempt to navigate their lives suppressing the truth we all know in order to sustain the illusion of personal autonomy, I have never grasped why they would feel the need to proselytize their faith.
Christians evangelize ostensibly because they desire others have the opportunity to share in paradise. In other words, the Christian winning someone to the Lord benefits the object of their evangelism. No such benefit or promise seems to exist when dealing with a worldview that teaches an indifferent universe with no future state of rewards or punishments.
In the final analysis, Christian evangelism is predicated upon altruism while atheist evangelism is so often the product of a self-aggrandizing sense of intellectual superiority – the effort to prove they are right and everyone else is delusional.
Motivations notwithstanding, one thing that I’ve noticed about our culture’s most vocal evangelistic atheists, like Richard Dawkins, Hemant Mehta, and this so-called Atheist Forum on Twitter, is how often they unwittingly provide incredible opportunities to demonstrate the glory of God.
For instance, from the aforementioned Atheist Forum Twitter account two years ago that is still circulating and just found its way retweeted into my feed last week:
I know they intended this as a mockery of the Christian belief in the existence of a Supreme Being – a belief shared by the vast preponderance of humanity throughout history (not a belief in the Christian God, but in a supernatural being transcendent of mortal man). But in actuality, it reveals in perfect form the jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring nature of this mysterious Mind behind the universe.
What’s really humorous is to recognize that while the author of the tweet undoubtedly believes he or she has composed a stinging indictment of Christian narcissism, they are merely parroting the same deep, philosophical question that Israel’s King David – a man after God’s own heart – pondered himself when he wrote millennia ago,
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet: all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild, the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! (Psalm 8)
In comparison to this remarkable, mind-bogglingly expansive and elaborate universe, mankind is comparatively insignificant, the mere speck on the backside of a grain of sand, adrift in a desert ocean a million miles wide. And yet the Creator of that ocean grants to that “speck” an eternal significance. He chooses to, “crown mankind with glory and honor.”
Far from that being some indication of the Christian’s self-centeredness, properly understood, this reality glorifies God, not man. The glory and significance we possess comes from Him alone; it is not intrinsic within us. We have our worth and meaning solely because of Him and His unimaginable goodness.
If that is the case, then every human being – from the most privileged, Western intellectual to the most destitute, impoverished African villager – has equal value. It is only when humanity departs from this idea of transcendent, benevolently bestowed significance that we adopt dangerous utilitarian views of life. Our world’s greatest tragedies and most horrific systems of oppression all stem from the false belief held by one category of humans that another category of humans have no divine spark or eternal value.
The atheist explanation of all things is the deluded and dangerous one. It presents us a self-focused vision of a mammoth universe, pitiless and ultimately pointless, void of any ultimate dignity, purpose, or justice outside of that which we conjure up for ourselves. We are physically isolated from the start, and once we internalize that truth, we become increasingly isolated emotionally and psychologically.
There’s a word we Christians use for that mental anguish and spiritual torment: hell. And nothing makes the obvious case for submission to our good God more compelling than that as its only alternative.
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