What begins in Europe…

Christians need not fear such things, the world will hate the message of Christ.  Now, atheists may not always be responding to the true gospel message.  They could be responding to many who claim Christ that are more antagonistic in their methodology.  Regardless, the scriptures say clearly…

14:1 The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds,
there is none who does good.

The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man,
to see if there are any who understand,
who seek after God.

They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt;
there is none who does good,
not even one.

Psalm 14:1-3

This is the Psalm that Paul quotes in Romans 3.  When you combine that with Romans 1:18, we understand that sin and Satan blind the eyes of the lost and unrighteousness suppresses the truth in us that says there is a God.  So, there is a sense that we should not revile atheists because they are sinners just like all of us were (who are now in Christ) and apart from God’s grace, we could have lingered long enough in our darkness for truth to be suppressed so far that we too could have said, and even promoted, that there is no God.

But God…

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 4:6

2 thoughts on “What begins in Europe…

  1. I am stunned first and foremost by the fact that this appears to be the first comment here in six weeks. Kudos to Mike for posting here consistently both in timeliness and good content, even when there appears to be just one voice speaking. [ Well, the quality of some posts we’re going to have to discuss 🙂 ]

    Having considered myself an atheist as a youth and then an agnostic as I entered college, I have a more personal connection with those that champion these positions. I was seeking in every sense of the word and found what I was looking for at an InterVarsity retreat in 1971. So when an atheist crosses my path, I don’t react confrontationally with comments made and conclusions drawn. These are symptoms of an inner condition, not the root diagnosis. Their comments and conclusions stem from their world view. I don’t have a problem with their statements and attitudes or even their vocabulary. I take issue with their world view.

    People don’t change their world view overnight. A thinking person typically will have to search their soul and interact with authors and friends before changing positions over time in a calculated way. Often when interacting with people of opposing view and the argument is losing traction, the temptation is to make a natural adjustment – get louder. This just transitions the discussion away from the real issue and makes it all about winning the argument. A better plan is to examine and give serious consideration to the foundational pinnings supporting each view. Upon what fact or point does this position turn?

    I had an opportunity last year to have a serious conversation with an atheist for about 30 minutes. It was remarkably civil and constructive. We both were genuinely seeking improved understanding of the opposing position, respecting the fact that those positions were unlikely to change. I moved the conversation early toward what I consider the final question, “How do you know if something is true?” or “What is the ultimate authority on a subject?”. He was answering my question, but his answers were so foreign to me that I didn’t understand what he was saying until later. I kept asking the same question because I wasn’t understanding the answer he was giving me. Ultimately this process frustrated him and he began increasing the tone of his comments, so that I suggested perhaps the constructive part of our conversation was over, and we cordially parted ways.

    It was hours later in reflecting over the conversation that it finally sunk in what he was saying. He kept referring to recognized leaders and celebrated scientists. I can now put what he was saying in my own words so that I can understand it, “Truth is determined by a consensus of the best minds”. It hit me like a ton of bricks when it finally clicked, because nothing could be further from my understanding about truth. Jesus didn’t say he could be a good example and help us find our own truth, he claims to BE the truth…. personally, incarnate. What took me back was not only the fact that it was hours after the conversation that I finally realized what he was saying, but also that one could build an entire world view on this foundation. Years ago that was my foundation. Today I stand on a rock solid.

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  2. God’s Word tells us that Jesus will be the stumbling block for unbelievers. What is amazing is whether someone claims atheism or agnosticism, or simply by choosing to break the 1st commandment they live out their lives loving another god instead of the God of Creation. That god could be worldly wisdom and deep thinking, which results in always seeking to confirm their supposed intelligent decision to avoid worshiping the one true God.

    The Holy Spirit is the only agent that can truly open the eyes of the blind. Our witness should be to do as Jesus commanded which in Matthew 28:18-20 is to go and make disciples of all nations and to share the love of Christ with one another like in John 13:34-35 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

    The world, whether it is your friend, family member, co-worker, the atheist down the hall, whatever description you want to use for the “Lost”, they will surely see Christ in us if we love them like Christ loves us.

    If we can see the Cross and pick up ours daily, we can give an answer for the “Hope” that is in us and through the Holy Spirit’s work, our lost friends and family members and the ones God puts in our path daily can come to know the Savior that we know and be saved from the penalty of sin.

    The Gospel of Christ shines brighter than any star or the noon day sun. We just need to share that Gospel that has saved us!

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