Militant Atheism

Atheist Ads on Buses and Billboards

Have you noticed a rise in the number of billboards and ads on the side of city buses advertising atheism? Chances are the United Coalition of Reason (UCR) is behind this as part of their national campaign to ‘evangelize’ America. Other groups. such as the American Atheists, are more militant toward Christianity. Recently on a billboard in Huntsville, Alabama, this group attacked churches with the following message: “You Know They’re all Scams.” In an interview on January 4, 2011 with Bill O’Reilly of The Factor, David Silverman, President of American Atheists stated that “everyone knows religion is a scam and a myth” and that churches are “deliberately misleading people.”

History of Militant Atheism

Over the past decade, we’ve observed the rise of a militant atheism bent on ridding our culture of all religions and, in particular, Christianity. Christopher Hitchens in his book, God is Not Great, wrote, “The real axis of evil is Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.” Believing that “organized religion is the main source of hatred in the world,” Hitchens debates religious leaders declaring God a dangerous myth and that scientific discovery should replace religion as the moral compass in our culture.  Two other advocates for this new atheism are Daniel C. Dennett (“What Should Replace Religions?”) and Sam Harris, founder of The Reason Project, whose mission is to fill the religious void with secularism and scientific thinking that embraces Darwin’s Evolution.

The ‘Four Horseman’ of the New Atheism

Though Hitchens, Dennett, and Harris work tirelessly for the removal of Christianity as an influential force in our culture, perhaps the most hostile and militant of the ‘Four Horseman’ is Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion).  Referred to as “Darwin’s Rottweiler,” Dawkins lays out his vision for the rise of atheism and it’s influence on our culture in a 2002 presentation at the TED Talks (seen below). Openly despising Christianity, Dawkins declares that “evolution is fundamentally hostile to religion” and calls for a militant atheism to rise up against such things as Intelligent Design, belief in the supernatural, and life beyond the grave. In a campaign similar to the Gay Rights Movement, he calls for all ‘closet’ atheists to ‘come out’ and join his movement to sway the educational, judicial, and political systems in this country away from God.

Richard Dawkins:  An Atheist’s Call to Arms

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A Call to Prayer

As I study these intelligent men and their determination to destroy Christianity, I’m reminded of a similar man who also gave his life to persecute the Church. As a result of the prayers of the saints and the willingness of some like Stephen to lay down their lives to the point of death, a radical transformation occurred in the life of Paul as we read about in Acts 9:4-5: “‘…Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’ ‘Who are you Lord?’ Saul asked.” Though we should give a reasonable defense of the Gospel, the course of history will never be changed by our rational arguments but only when we stand in prayer against the forces of darkness and lay down our lives in a ‘militant’ love for those who seek to destroy what God has created.

So How Did We Get Here?

This past weekend I attended the Texas Psychological Association annual convention and listened to seven ministers speak on the following topic:  Ethical Standards, Psychological Research on Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual, and Transgendered (GLBT) Issues, and the Church. It sounds pretty dry, I know, however it was anything but. The panel included an Episcopal priest, a Presbyterian pastor, a Methodist minister, a seminary professor, a Lutheran pastor, a Baptist minister, and a Reformed Jewish rabbi, each of whom spoke in support of homosexuality. (An interesting side-note: Several of the ministers remarked that in those denominations holding to their view, the membership numbers were declining.)

Painful Struggle

I was moved when a young lady in her early thirties stood and shared the pain of growing up a lesbian without the support of a father who happened to be a Presbyterian minister. She had clearly struggled for years to find love and to love herself. My heart went out to her. Several passages flashed through my mind of instances when Christ, too, was touched by the pain in others.

A Different Kind of Homosexuality

One of the ministers commented that homosexuality in the Bible is not the same homosexuality we see today. That when the Bible refers to same-sex sexual behavior, it does so out of a “thorough ignorance” of what is now known about sexuality and its complexities,  suggesting that science, not the Scriptures, is the absolute final authority on what is truth. I mulled over what might happen to the absolute final authority of science if, in the next month’s research journal on human sexuality, a study came out that completely contradicted last month’s research. Science is forever discovering new things that invalidate what we proclaimed to be true yesterday. In the 80’s, for example, science declared that eggs were bad for you. And yet, based on current studies, the Diet Channel suggests that this not the case. Who knows, maybe in another thirty years eggs will be bad for you again.

What Has Driven This Change?

When I think of how our culture has changed in the past sixty years on issues such as abortion, prayer in school, attempting to legalize marijuana (as we recently saw in California), and homosexuality, I struggle to understand how we got here? What changed in the moral fabric of our society to the point that we rationalize away the Scriptures to bring Christianity more in line with the present culture? And what has been the driving force behind this push?

Steady Gradual Change

This change didn’t happen over night, though many predicted this day would come. One such individual was Dr. Francis Schaeffer who in 1982 spoke of the impact of secular humanism on the culture in America and the deafening silence of “Bible believing Christians” in speaking out against its influence creeping into the Church. He stated that “secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries.”  While you may not agree with everything Dr. Schaeffer says, his words seem eerily prophetic for the day in which we live.

A Christian Manifesto

In A Christian Manifesto, Dr. Schaeffer speaks of the role the courts played in advancing this humanistic agenda. “The whole law has shifted,” he states. “Law is arbitrarily decided by a few people on what they think is good for society at that given moment and it can be changed.” Though these words were spoken almost three decades ago, they are as current as your most recent Twitter Tweet.

A Christian Manifesto – Part 1 of 3

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