A Christian woman was discussing her faith outside. An atheist came up to her and said, “You don’t really believe all that stuff in the Bible, do you?” The woman said, “Yes, I do.” The atheist then replied, “You don’t really think all those miracles happened, do you?” “Yes,” she answered, “I believe God performed those.”
“Well, how do you know that?”
“I guess I’ll ask God when I get to heaven.”
“What if God’s not in heaven?”
“Then you can ask him yourself.”
An atheist is defined as “a person who disbelieves or lacks belief in the existence of God or gods.” I would add to that definition “one who lacks hope.” How can you wake up each morning with a positive attitude if you are sure that God is not surrounding you? How can you look up at the Minnesota sky at 6:00 AM, marvel at the majestic stars, and think to yourself, “wow, what a neat coincidence!”
Admittedly, it is difficult to write about atheism from the standpoint of a believer. I recently searched Amazon’s web site to look at some book titles regarding this topic. The Young Atheist’s Handbook: Lessons for Living a Good Life without God, Living the Secular Life: New Answers to Old Questions, and Christianity is Not Great: How Faith Fails were but a few I encountered. This is entertaining in some ways, but discouraging as well. Contrary to the what the author of the first book believes, it’s not about living a “good life.” And I think this is where the atheist misses the mark (among other things).
Yes, it is entirely possible to enjoy your life as a non-believer. And I would concede that there are plenty of kind and generous folks who are not Christians. These are precisely the type of people we should be reaching. The type of people who need to know that this world is not our home. The type of people who need to be persuaded that an eternal perspective trumps a temporal one any day of the week and twice on Sunday.
Even Job, who suffered as much as, if not more than, anyone in the Bible, recognized God’s awesome existence. When we doubt, when we struggle in our faith, when we fight to believe, God is real. When we wrestle with God, at least we are in contact with Him.
Your neighbor, who happens to be an atheist, was created in God’s image. He may not believe that, but you must.
In His Name,