Why do people get so angry about something that they claim not to believe in?
There are many people who profess to be atheists; and whilst this may not be true of 100% of them, certainly a great many will angrily defend their atheism. These ‘radical atheists’ are vehemently opposed to those who believe in God, even going as far as to ridicule people for their faith in a God who, apparently, does not exist. But why do people get so angry about something that they claim not to believe in? God is real, but He will never force anyone to believe in Him. He has presented very clear, overwhelming evidence before all of us; but if we choose to ignore that evidence, it is our choice. That is free will in action.
The Bible makes it clear that is a choice to not believe in God.
Atheists may argue against this point, but the Bible makes it clear that is a choice not to believe in God. The J.B. Phillips translation of Romans 1:19-22 puts it this way, “It is not that they do not know the truth about God; indeed he has made it quite plain to them. For since the beginning of the world the invisible attributes of God, e.g. his eternal power and divinity, have been plainly discernible through things which he has made and which are commonly seen and known, thus leaving these men without a rag of excuse. They knew all the time that there is a God, yet they refused to acknowledge him as such, or to thank him for what he is or does. Thus they became fatuous in their argumentations, and plunged their silly minds still further into the dark. Behind a facade of ‘wisdom’ they became just fools“. Now I am sure that is offensive to many people, but it is not my words, it is the words of the Bible and no, it is not tolerant!
Christians are not supposed to be tolerant.
Let’s pause and deal with this tolerance issue, before we continue our main study. Christians are not supposed to be tolerant. People will say, “But aren’t you meant to be like Jesus?” The answer to that, is yes we are – but Jesus wasn’t tolerant. Look at what Jesus said in John 3:18, “He that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God“. Doesn’t exactly sound very tolerant or inclusive, does it? Jesus was never tolerant, when being tolerant meant sugar coating the truth. The truth is, that if you do not believe in Jesus you are condemned. You can pretend that its alright to follow Mohammed, or Buddha, or Krishna, or humanism, or whatever; and you have every right to do any of those things; but the truth is, that all other paths lead to hell (see ‘All Roads Lead To Heaven (Apparently)‘). Or how about the times when Jesus called the Pharisees a ‘generation of vipers’ or ‘whitewashed tombs’? Not very tolerant! Imagine the response, if Christians started using language like that today. So whether you like it or not, we can dismiss this myth that Christians are supposed to be tolerant.
Every single atheist has made a choice to reject God.
Getting back to the main topic, we have seen that, according to the Bible, nobody is born an atheist. It is a conscious choice to ignore the evidence in the world around us and to actively reject God. An atheist may be at a point in their lives now, where they genuinely do not believe in God, but regardless of what they may say, this was not always the case. Every single atheist has made a choice to reject God and, over time, they have deceived themselves into a genuine state of unbelief. Isn’t it ironic, that the very people who would mock and ridicule Christians, are actually the ones who are the fools (God’s words not mine!). “The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God“. Psalm 14:1 / Psalm 53:1.
God is not impressed by their so-called wisdom and neither should we be.
As Christians, we should never feel intimated by atheists who use fancy sounding phrases of worldly wisdom to put down Christians. God is not impressed by their so-called wisdom, and neither should we be. 1 Corinthians 3:19 says, “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God“. Atheists are often (but to be fair, not always) very arrogant in their assumption that people who believe in God are simple-minded fools. As Christians, we should not be like them. Although we know – rather than just think – we are right, we must be confident, but never arrogant. Our confidence appearing to be arrogance may be unavoidable, but that should never be the attitude of our hearts.
It is a path, that even they would acknowledge, has no hope beyond death.
We should wary of getting drawn into pointless arguments with people who stubbornly refuse to believe. These types of arguments are helpful to no-one. If God gives you something to say – say it, but if not, know when to it is time to be quiet. Atheists can often be very annoying in their arrogance, but we need to remember the sad path that they have placed themselves on. It is a path, that even they would acknowledge, has no hope beyond death – which could occur at any moment. The Bible makes it clear that choosing to not believe is extremely serious. In Revelation 21:8 unbelievers are placed in a list with some pretty bad company and the bible makes it clear where their final destination will be. “Those who are cowards, those who refuse to believe, those who do terrible things, those who kill, those who sin sexually, those who do evil magic, those who worship idols, and those who tell lies—they will all have a place in the lake of burning sulfur” (International Children’s Bible). Notice that it says those who refuse to believe – as I said before, this is a conscious choice.
These detractors will point to a verse such as Revelation 7:1 and laugh at how ridiculous the Bible is.
Atheists have many things which they bring up to try to discredit Christianity, which I do not have time to get into on this post. But let’s take a look at one such claim, namely that the Bible teaches that the Earth is flat. These detractors, will point to a verse such as Revelation 7:1, “After these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth“, and laugh at how ridiculous the Bible is. But actually, the reference refers to the four main directions: north, south, east, and west. We use similar terminology today, when we talk about of the sun rising and setting, even though it is the Earth, and not the sun, which is doing the moving. We also say things like “the sun is shining today”, when in reality, the sun is always shining. Bible writers used the ‘language of appearance,’ just as people always have. Job 26:7 in the New King James Version says, “He hangs the earth on nothing“. How could anyone writing so long ago, have known that the Earth is suspended in space?
It takes a lot of faith to believe that everything in existence somehow just appeared from nothing – as if by magic!
Another favourite verse of the mockers is Isaiah 40:22, “It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth“. Again, they will laugh at how the bible describes the Earth as a flat disc. But the Hebrew word translated as circle, can also mean ’round’ or ‘sphere’. Ultimately, we should avoid getting drawn into discussions about proving or disproving the Bible, proving or disproving God. Christianity is about faith – you either have faith to believe that God created the heavens and the Earth or you have faith to believe that everything in existence somehow just appeared from nothing – as if by magic! For me personally, the second option is by far the more ludicrous of the two! So never let anyone look down on you for being a Christian. Remember just what it is that they believe and remember that you cannot look down on someone who is seated in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6).
If you have any further questions or thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment.
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