Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
August 14, 1969
NUMBER 15, PAGE 4-6b



Atheism is an age-old problem, evidence of which is seen in the beginning of the 14th Psalm: "The fool hath said in his own heart, There is no God." Hundreds of years later the apostle Paul encountered the same condition in a sense, as he wrote of the Gentiles who "refused to have God in their knowledge" (Romans 1:28). And atheism is no less of a problem in this "enlightened" age. We are faced with it in government, education, religion, and philosophy. Although most all are familiar with the term "atheism," many are not acquainted with the various forms of it, and do not realize its effects upon mankind.

Forms Of Atheism

Traditional and orthodox atheism is philosophic in nature. Most philosophies do not actually deny any idea of a supreme force in the world, but in their teaching, they tend to unsettle the faith man has in God. But there is a denial of the God of Theism, or Christianity. The materialistic philosophies glorify the creature and deny the creator. In light of this, man is actually walking dust, with no hope, no future, being a machine of nature or an accident of chemistry. To this atheist, matter is the only basic reality, and the universe and nature are all explained in simple (or complex) terms of matter and motion. Thus even the highest human values are centered in material considerations — pleasure, self-satisfaction, etc.

Included in this type of atheism in one sense or another would be the systems of Idealism, Pantheism, Materialism and Communism.

A second form of atheism is dogmatic in nature. These systems absolutely deny the existence of God, and are prominent in certain areas of the world, although not so much in this nation. However we do have various societies here doing their bit tor the propagation of atheism. One of the greatest world forces of dogmatic atheism is Communism, which is both philosophical and dogmatic in its approach and teaching.

A third form of atheism is practical atheism. This has nothing to do with one's belief, for the practical atheist usually accepts the idea of the existence of God. Practical atheism rather has to do with one's manner of living, i.e., he lives as if there were no God. We have many of these, even within organized religion.

Fruits Of Atheism

But atheism, as with any system, is best judged by its fruits. "Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but the corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit" (Matthew 7:17). Because atheism removes a sense of accountability to a Supreme Being, and through its teaching of evolution places man on the same plane as animals, we charge that atheism destroys belief in the worth and dignity of man (after all, he is just a high class ape); destroys belief in mutual responsibility (every man for himself, or survival of the fittest); destroys belief in the purpose of life (as one writer expressed it: "Life is a tale as told by an idiot: full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.); destroys belief in stewardship (to whom shall man answer?); destroys belief in moral values (animals are amoral beings); and destroys belief in love for our fellow man (no room for such under the "law of the jungle").

Consider a few statements that reveal the moral and social fruits borne by atheism. In a 1961 funeral speech made by Gus Hall, General Secretary of the American Communist Party, he stated: "I dream of the hour when the last congressman is strangled to death on the guts of the last preacher — and since Christians seem to love to sing about the blood, why not give them a little of it — slit the throats of their children and drag them over the mourner's bench and the pulpit, and allow them to drown in their own blood; and then see whether they enjoy singing these hymns." The words of Karl Marx: "Religion, the opiate of the people..." "We will destroy God." Lenin suggested that "Our morality is entirely subordinated to the interest of the class struggle. ' "We never reject terror nor can we do so — morality is strictly a 'bourgeois' (uncultivated; aired — JDT) device."

If there is no God, then there is no right or wrong; there is only that which is convenient and inconvenient. Who would have the right to impose any laws or restrictions on another. Government comes from God, for we are taught in the Bible, "Let every soul be in subjection to the higher powers: for there is no power but of God; and the powers that be are ordained of God" (Rom. 13:1). This is not to say that God approves of every action by every ruler, but rather than God ordained the concept or principle of government for man's good. But the ultimate fruit of atheism is anarchy. "Only individuals have rights." "Government by man is oppression." "Property is theft." "We will destroy religion, state, all laws, etc." These are statements made by Pierre Joseph Proudhon, a French philosophist and socialist of the 19th Century.

The summation of the fruits of atheism is given in Romans 1:28-31: "And even as they refused to have God in their knowledge, God gave them up unto a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not fighting; being filled with all righteousness, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity, whisperers, backbiters, hateful to God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, unmerciful..." These things can be seen in any atheistic society, whether it be Russia, Cuba, or among the practical atheists of America.

The Present Danger

The spread of both philosophical and dogmatic atheism is rapid and worldwide. It is taught in our schools through the theory of evolution, where seeds of doubt are sown, and believers in the Bible record are ridiculed by teacher and fellow student alike. It is taught in the churches where the Bible is made to conform to the theory of evolution, and where the Bible is made more "acceptable" to the educated by taking out "objectionable" and "unreasonable" teachings. But the greatest threat to mankind is practical atheism. When we by our lives show we really do not believe in God or what he says in his Word, we practically hand over our children to the philosophical atheists. How many times those who are indifferent in their religion cry out in amazement and dismay when their children reject Jesus Christ and his teachings altogether. But the children are really more honest than their parents, for they do not hide their atheism in a cloak of indifferent religion. The warning is clear.

Brief Arguments Against Atheism

The nature and length of this article prohibit any thorough consideration of the arguments. but briefly, some are: (1) it is contrary to reason. All history shows the impossibility to repress the inborn desire of man to worship some form or another a divine being. How can man originate that which has no basis for conception? Buddhism is atheistic in basis, but idolatry is widespread in the lands where it prevails. The Positive Philosophy of Comte was based on a denial of God, yet his new religion of humanity included rites and ceremonies of worship. And so it goes throughout history. (2) It is contrary to human experience. It cannot be denied that personal instincts of religion and worship are present in all humans, unless they are deliberately repressed and pushed out. Reville said, "It would be irrational in the last degree to lay down the existence of such a need and such a tendency, and yet believe that the need corresponds to nothing, that the tendency has no goal." (3) It fails to account for the design and wonder of the universe. "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork" (Psalm 19:1). (4) It fails to account for the existence of life, man, and the world in general. (5) In the words of James Russell Lowell: "The worst kind of religion, is no religion at all, and these men living in ease and luxury, indulging themselves in the amusement of going without religion, may be thankful that they live in a land where the gospel they neglect has tamed the beastliness and ferocity of the men who, but for Christianity, might long ago have eaten their carcasses like the South Sea islanders, or cut off their heads and tanned their hides like the French Revolution monsters. When the microscopic search for skepticism, which has hunted the heavens and sounded the seas, to disprove the existence of a creator, has turned its attention to human society and found a place on this planet 10 miles square where a decent man can live in comfort and security, supporting and educating his children, unspoiled and unpolluted; a place where his age is reverenced, infancy respected, manhood respected, womanhood honored, and human life held in due regard; when the skeptics can find such a place on this earth 10 square miles, where the gospel of Christ has not cleared the way, and laid the foundation and made decency possible, it will then be in order for the skeptical literati to move hither and thither to ventilate their views. But long as these are dependent upon the religion which they discard for every privilege they enjoy, they may well hesitate a little before they seek to rob the Christian of his hope of life eternal which makes life tolerable and society possible, and robs death of its terrors and the grave of its gloom."

But after all is said and done, what a bad joke for us to cry out against atheism and its fruits, and then practice practical atheism ourselves! Dear reader, are you among those "holding a form of godliness, but having denied the power thereof" (II Tim. 3:5)? Take warning.

— Jefferson David Tant