promoting their message when it is safe and convenient for them to do so... (are there Atheist missionaries?)
Meanwhile, others are seeking out their faith in these hard times. Looking to God for peace, comfort, and security. Some of these folks are discovering faith for the first time while others are getting closer to God. Many families are scaling back Christmas to focus less on giving (intentional or out of necessity) and more on the gift of Jesus and the message.
With so many people looking for something to fill the void, and militant Atheists looking to demoralize believers, I thought I'd post a few items that keep coming up with militant Atheists...
This is what God is not (Biblical references intentionally withheld)....
1. God is not your personal court jester who performs parlor tricks to prove his own existence. If you are looking for this kind of God, good luck with that! The odds are good that you need God more than he needs you to believe in him.
If you are asking God to change something in your own life as evidence of his existence, you've entered an illogical paradox; if you don't have faith, who are you asking for help?!?
2. When God does intervene, he does not swoop down for the heavens. The hungry are not fed with bread falling from the sky, they are fed via the generosity and righteousness of others. When government fails people, and it is failing as I type, it is the church that fills the gap. Government has been working hard to marginalize the church in recent years, but there is one thing the last few years have proven--government can't keep its promises. When those promises are broken, who will step up to make sure folks have food, shelter, and clothing? Probably those evil believers...
Also keep in mind, sometimes God's interventions were laid years ago in the resources he gave us; our minds, hands, family (values, work ethic, etc). Sometimes it is the contributions of others. I thank God for the Marines and Soldiers sleeping in dirt and getting shot at--where would we be without men like that?
3. God does not prevent bad things from happening, even to innocents. And this is fundamental... It invalidates the whole purpose of this exercise we call existence. Think hard about this: Why would God create the known universe, giving man free will?
This is why Atheism doesn't bother me. The fact that we have people who don't believe in God, and do so without fear or harm, is proof that we have created the most just and fair society we can. And isn't it interesting that a group of Christians were the first to pen religious freedom?
It does bother me that some Atheists want to persecute believers, but that's another issue.
4. God is not defined by those who believe in him. Something I learned years ago in church and throughout life--I have been treated terribly by people who go to church every Sunday (another post).
There are deeply flawed Christians in this world, and there are those who aren't flawed who will make mistakes. There are those who call themselves "Christian" who have little idea of the message of Christ--hence the gullibility when it comes to the "Jesus was a Socialist" claim.
5. Belief in God, something greater than man (government), is not a bad thing. Consider the fact that amoral, atheist, hedonist government/societies have murdered more humans in the history of mankind than religion/church. Think about that. When the monsters of our past have ordered men to do horrible things, what internal check-and-balance was missing? What conditions consistently proceed the rise of evil tyrants?
On the other hand, societies with a consistent, functional and regulating value system are the ones that have thrived. We can never have a police state--even if we were willing to accept it, it is logistically impossible to regulate the every act and deed of every person.
Societies must be able to define what is right and what is wrong. Even in America, these lines are becoming blurred. Just a few years ago, theft was immoral, now it is acceptable if your victim is "rich" or "white" or "male" and you use the government to do it.
6. God does not require anyone to forfeit his sacred rights--he is the source of them. It is very hard for an atheist to defend his unalienable rights without invoking God or "natural law." Natural law itself is difficult to defend without a creator in world where man is directly opposed to nature.
If there is no God, there is no Divine source of our rights. Which means our rights are decided by man. Since we live in societies with governments, those rights can defined/redefined by government at any time.
7. God does not require your belief.
Please understand that I have used the phrase "militant Atheist" intentionally to separate the Atheists who respect believers, religion, and who are decent upstanding folks from those who want to persecute believers, ban religion, and regulate free speech.