June 3, 2011

Defining Atheism from the Bible

If you want to stir up a debate, just try to pin down a definition of Atheism. I often times mused over it's meaning within this very blog. A Christian typically sees it as varying in degrees from believer to disbeliever with Agnostics somewhere in the middle. It is thought of as "Yes, No or Maybe" there is a god. This is how I used to think about it. This "maybe"  is the heart of this argument.

Typically, an Atheist sees it as belief v disbelief - either you believe or you do not. Maybe disbelief is the wrong word - more accurately would be the lack of a belief.
An atheist is someone who does not believe in any deity. Atheist is the term for people who don't have any religious beliefs.
But is it that simple?

The sticky point comes in when dealing with Agnostics. To an Atheist, they still are lacking a belief in God or any god. To an Christian, they haven't denied the existence of God and are a class of their own that fits somewhere in the middle. But, how does the Bible define Atheism?  There are many verses that define what it means to be a Christian, but a verse that defines Atheism?
[He said to them,] Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
It looks pretty clear to me now. There are those who believe, or (mono)theists, and then are those who disbelieve, or atheists. There is no middle ground. To suggest that there is middle ground, is to suggest that there is an alternative to Heaven and Hell. There is no alternative... It is as simple as black and white.

But it takes more to being a Christian that checking a box on a census form. It takes more that filling out forms or celebrating holidays in church like Christmas and Easter. And that is the part that most people will miss. And, to God, these people will suffer the same fate as the Atheists, despite the label they embrace. For they are a "wolves in sheep's clothing."
Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man..."