I don’t believe in atheists

People who claim to be atheists are a confusing bunch.  Whenever I confront one of them about their belief system they get upset with me, sometimes really upset.   I usually tell them that even though they claim to be atheists, they really are not because there is no such thing as an atheist.   What sometimes ensues is a debate where they assure me, with passion, that they are indeed atheists and I explain to them from the Bible that God has put a knowledge of himself within all of us.    A person who does not believe in God has denied the truth which he instinctively knows and has intellectually convinced himself that God does not exist.   This is the meaning in Romans 1.

Rom 1:19-20  Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.  (20)  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.

In reality I understand that there are people who have succeeded in suppressing the “knowledge of God” with which they were born and truly no longer believe.  This is the result of sin and is also explained in Romans 1.

Rom 1:21-22  Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.  (22)  Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

Rom 1:24  Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

Rom 1:28  And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

Man’s persistence in sin causes God to do some things.  “God gave them up to uncleanness” and “God gave them over to a reprobate mind”.     This allows man to continue in his sin without thinking about God, without feeling guilt, and even convincing himself that there is no God.  He can call himself an atheist.   However, underneath all the sin an denial he still knows the truth.  Consider how Romans chapter one ends:

Rom 1:32  Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

Man is so wrapped up in his sin and the enjoyment of it that while knowing he will be judged, he still enjoys doing it.  Contrast this to Christian’s who go through periods of rebellion but later give testimony that even while living outright sinful lives, they could not truly enjoy their sin.   In their rebellion they tried to enjoy the sin, but found they couldn’t enjoy it like the person who has never come to Christ for Salvation.

I conclude with a quote from Kevin Bauder’s recent article.   The whole article may be found here , but this paragraph is particularly gripping.

This point cannot be overemphasized. We do not discover God. We already know God. The knowledge of God is hardwired into us. At the most fundamental level, no one needs to be convinced that God is and God has spoken. Every human being has this knowledge. To resist it is the epistemological equivalent of building a sand castle to conduct war against the tide. The effort is ultimately futile. One’s defenses are being constantly eroded. Through the porous ramparts seeps the constant and (ultimately) irresistible conviction that God is and that He has spoken.

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9 Comments

Filed under Atheist, God

9 responses to “I don’t believe in atheists

  1. Awesome post! I love Romans 1, I think you worded that beautifully and truthfully, look forward to seeing more of your posts!

    Chris @ Truth4Grace

  2. Thanks for the comment Chris. I’ll be sure to check out your blog.

  3. Your Bible, and the people you quote, are wrong.
    You’re welcome not to believe me about the contents of my own mind. But unless you claim to be a mind reader, I have no reason to take your claims seriously.

  4. Hi NotAScientist,
    You are right that I can’t know your thoughts. This debate quickly becomes an epistemological argument over how we now anything. We could take it to another level and ask the question, “how do we know what is right or wrong?” or even “is there such a thing as right and wrong?”. For me those questions are simple because of my belief in God and the Bible. I live accepting the higher authority. But how do you determine what is right and wrong? The argument of our pluralist culture seems to be that no person should judge another person’s beliefs. But what are we to do with the abuse of women throughout the world. Even the women in many cultures accept their abuse as right. Does that make it right? What about dictators who kill millions in the name of ethnic cleansing. They have convinced masses of people that it is right, but is it. Who gets to determine right an wrong in your world view.

    Looking forward to your reply,
    Pat H

    • “Who gets to determine right an wrong in your world view. ”

      Definitely not a book in which the moral law-giver sanctions genocide, insists that wives be submissive to their husbands, refuses to say that slavery is wrong and in fact gives ways in which you are allowed to take slaves, and claims to punish people for thought-crime, and to punish people infinitely for finite crimes.

      Whatever I used to determine right and wrong, it wouldn’t be that book or anyone associated with it.

      • GabeC

        Dear NotAScientist,
        I don’t believe you read that book (as you called it), it sounds like you are using the same arguments one would use in a general debate without knowing all the facts. Either that or you are purposely behaving foolishly (Proverbs, have you read that part of that book).
        Listen this is the plain and simple truth and you can take it or leave it, but before you say “I’ll leave it” think long and hard. It’s a decision you will have to live in eternity. Jesus died for you and you can either repent and believe and have eternal life (OR) you can reject Him and live in everlasting hell for all eternity. We Christians were commanded to give you and the world that message (The Gospel) and that’s all. Jesus Christ walked this earth and provided all the proof needed (read that book, it’s historically accurate, and the most Truthful book you will ever read), there is nothing more we can cleverly come up with to prove who Christ was. Son/Daughter it’s up to you to except that Fundemental Truth.
        We welcome you to join us or we’ll join you so we can continue to dialogue, I believe you can agree to that fact that there is nothing with speaking to one another. Please take a moment and say a prayer. God Bless.

  5. “I don’t believe you read that book (as you called it), it sounds like you are using the same arguments one would use in a general debate without knowing all the facts. ”

    I have read the Bible. One of the reasons I became an atheist was finally reading it the whole way through.

    And are you saying God never sanctioned genocide? Or used it? (The flood.) Are you saying the book doesn’t say wives should be submissive to their husbands? Point me where it says that slavery, in general, is wrong or that we aren’t going to be punished merely for thinking things.

    And as I don’t believe your supernatural claims, your ‘join us or you’re going to Hell” pitch doesn’t scare me or impress me.

    • GabeC

      NotAScientist
      With all due respect, your reading of the bible reminds me of when people use CliffNotes to understand Shakespeare’s writings. Genocide, submissiveness( in a derogatory way) and slavery is what you have been able to take out of the bible? Have you ever tried understanding the attributes of God, such as Just, Holiness, Perfection, etc.., if you had you would understand all the topics you just mentioned. You want God to speak out against slavery, yet he did you one better. He sent his Son Christ to die on the tree so you could be freed from the bondage of sin and eternal damnation. Mr/Ms NotAScientist you need to put the CliffNotes down and truly study the bible. I’m not trying scare you at all, as I always say, I’m not here to come up with some clever way of making you believe. Jesus Christ has provide all the evidence (you claim to have read) as to who he was and what he has done for You if you choose to believe. We’ll be glad to study with you and teach about all those topics you mentioned previously, if not us, let someone else try to explain it to you. I bessech you to do so, before it is too late. God bless you.

  6. Those of you who raise questions over difficult subjects in the Bible are right to do so. The Bible is not a book to be understood in one cursory reading. It is a book written over a period at least 1400 years and contains many types of literature. There is no possible way to read it through one or two times and understand it all. However, a person with an open mind and heart can grasp the essential message of the Bible quite quickly. That message is that God created us and loves us. Because we have sinned, we deserve judgment but in love God sent Jesus to die in our place. We will receive forgiveness for our sin and the gift of eternal life if we believe and repent.
    I could try to explain the troubling parts like the Flood, slavery, and treatment of women, but those are topics which require more time and space. I will summarize my thoughts on those topics by stating that while many of those things are reported in the Bible, it is not because they are what God wants. Much of that is simply the result of sin and rebellion.
    God does judge sin and sometimes people die. However, He is merciful and patient too. When we see mass judgment it is after God has given ample opportunity for people to repent of their wickedness.
    An example of this would be God telling Israel to destroy the Canaanites when they entered the land. First, the Canaanites had been given hundreds of years to turn to God but they had refused. Second, the Canaanites were a demon worshipping people who sometimes stooped to the point of human sacrifice of babies. God used Israel to destroy this wicked nation. It was judgment upon the wicked nation and protection for the Israelites so that they would not be influenced by the wickedness around them.
    I’d like to write more on this topic; perhaps a post next week.

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