I guess I can understand why some choose to not believe in God. If they are looking for visual evidence in the world, I suppose they can answer many of the questions about life through the sciences. If they are looking for proof of a Deity through the behavior of believers, they will likely be disappointed. But more than any other reason, I suspect atheists don’t believe in God because they don’t want to. They somehow feel that to believe in something greater than themselves minimizes them. What they don’t understand, is that God is not something greater than us. He is not some Being we can wrap our thoughts around and tie up in a neat and tidy definition. He is so beyond us that he is not even in the same plane of existence that we are. So many people in modern society feel perfectly capable of handling whatever life throws at them through their own self-sufficiency and the brains that they think only DNA gave them. They feel that those who succumb to belief in One other than themselves are delusional or weak or simply superstitious. I’ve heard the arguments against God. I’ve heard the arguments against organized religion. I’ve heard the arguments against life after death. I get that increasing numbers of people see no need of God. But what I don’t get is why my belief makes them so angry.
Yes, bad things have been done in the name of the Church. Yes, atrocities have been committed in the name of God. Yes, believers fail all the time to exhibit evidence of the love they supposedly feel for their fellow humans. One of the differences between those who believe and those who don’t is that believers know they are sinners. Oh, I know, if there is no God, there is no sin. Spare me, please. Whatever you choose to call it, evil exists in this world. Most of it is perpetrated by people, many of whom profess to believe in something or someone who they call God.
Some parents beat their children. Does that mean that all parents are evil? Some Americans have done hellacious deeds, some in the name of fighting for freedom. Does that mean that all Americans are evil? Some Muslims hijacked airplanes and flew them into the Twin Towers in New York and the Pentagon in Washington. Does this mean that all Muslims are evil? Some priests abused children. Does that make all priests guilty? The answer to all of these questions by intelligent, thinking people is a resounding “NO!”
So why is the argument that religion has harmed people over the centuries so popular of an excuse to those who refuse to believe in God? Medical science has harmed hundreds of thousands, probably millions of people. Is there a demand to erase medicine from society? Does the fact that most people continue to go to doctors for help in alleviating their physical ailments anger people to the point of ostracizing those who are patients?
If I pass you walking down the street and wish you a good morning, do you find offense because I’m trying to force my wish for you to have a pleasant start to your day? Probably not. But if I say that I will pray for someone to believe who doesn’t, it really seems to tick them off. If they believe that my prayers are just a bunch of nonsense and hot air, what can possibly come from them?
I’ve heard the argument that I have no right to impose my will on others. Okay. So why do they have the right to impose their will on me? Why does my desire to spread the news of Jesus Christ to others become more offensive than their desire to keep me quiet? If I had a great story that would keep people from dying and I kept it to myself, I’d be considered selfish. But since my story of the One who has conquered death by His death is religion, it is reprehensible to those who choose non-belief.
If you don’t want to believe, there is nothing I can do to coerce you. The purpose of Evangelization is not to force anything on anyone. Those who desire to spread the word of God are impelled by the One who is Love Himself to share the radical story of His incredible ability to forgive all our shortcomings and who wants nothing more than to share His love with us forever.
I can understand how some people can’t bring themselves to believe in something that is just a higher version of what we are ourselves. That’s not enough. And it isn’t God.
So before you atheists write a reply full of expletives about my belief in God, take the time to understand Who it is you’re rejecting. I’m willing to bet that you have no idea of why your unbelief makes you so angry. I’d be pretty upset myself it I thought there was no God.