The Church Of No God

In what is surely a first, atheists have started “… an atheistic church that teaches on the principles of good, ethics and reality.” While on the surface this appears as a laudable endeavor with lofty goals, it does have serious shortcomings. However, despite arguments to the contrary by atheists, the above statement made by the president of the American Atheist Incorporated, is a contradiction in terms. It’s like teaching the principles of God without God.

According to an article in the Christian Post [CP], modern day Churchianity, i.e., mainstream Christianity, is responsible for this mindset. As the article quoted one skeptic regarding these atheistic churches, “It’s to give atheists a chance to band together to fight the harms of religious faith.” I would argue, however, that the deplorable state of Churchianity is due to a lack of knowledge and faith, which the Biblical record defines as a conviction of the truth. It is the weakness of the flesh and the false teachings that do us harm, not the truth of the word of God. Modern day Churchianity is riddled with gentile customs and false perceptions of true Christian ideas. [See the Home page Feature articles in The Holidays and Theology sections, for a start specifically see the Feature article, Moving Forward].

But rather than react by jumping out of the frying pan of Churchianity into the fire of atheism, it might be better to go directly to the source and prove the veracity of the word of God. [See the Sneakers article, Don't Take Our Word For It]. The Christian Post article quoted a former Roman Catholic chaplain as saying, “In completing my graduate degree in theology, I had to learn the history of the Bible and [Catholic] church. I found that the ideas were not of reality.” What is ironic here is her saying "the ideas were not of reality." What this usually means is that churchy ideas and doctrines are not based on scientific evidence of the "real" world. The one major problem with this is that this "real" world upon which observable science is based is merely an illusion. It is not, quote unquote, reality. As Einstein said, “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” Or as Elon Musk recently said, " ... the reality we think we’re living in may not even be basic reality."

God is the reality and this world, our universe, is the mirage or anomaly. But these folks who have fallen away from the truth have been duped into turning true reality on its head. Atheists miss this point entirely. They jump to the false conclusion that "what you see is all there is." Nothing else exists, nor is possible to exist. However, most of "reality" in our universe is made up of things we cannot see or directly experience, like dark matter and energy. [See the Feature article, Is Genesis 1 A Jolly Good Myth?]. Hence, jumping out of the frying pan of Churchianity and into the fire of atheism. [See the Feature article, Brown Paint: Quantum Potentialities; also the Sneakers articles, All That Is Done Under The Sun and His Treasured Possession].

Nevertheless, this critique and reaction to what passes for modern day Christianity-Catholicism is, regrettably, spot on. It is a far cry from the teachings of Christ and the church in the first century, which is 100% reality. But it is totally different than what passes for modern day Christianity. [See the Feature article, The Good News Colour Revolution]. It’s a shame that these disillusioned people are throwing the baby out with the bath water. A more productive route would be to throw out the dogma, the false traditions, the internal politics and seek a one-on-one relationship directly with the word of God as was intended in the first century. As Christ told his followers, “Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone?” [Mat. 7:9; see the Sneakers article, 23 Skidoo and the Feature article, Is That You, Big Brother?].

It is a rather amazing occurrence that so-called Christian churches are pushing people, some of them clergy, not just out of their denominations, but into atheism. That is a staggering dose of disillusionment and speaks to the lack of relevancy of these denominations. It is an increasing trend according to The Global Index of Religiosity and Atheism as reported in the CP article. In 2005 their findings claimed one percent of Americans were atheists. That number has jumped to ten percent in 2019 according to polls. Its no wonder many leaders in Churchianity are worried and alarmed. They can’t figure out why this is happening. However, if they truly listened to these people who are leaving, they might get a clue. It is as the prophet Jeremiah wrote of our people, “The shepherds are stupid. And they have not sought the LORD; they have not spiritually prospered and all their flock is scattered.” [Jer. 10:21; See Atheist churches].

But those who leave the denominations, and have started “atheistic churches,” can they really teach good, ethics and reality without God?

Our English word church comes from the Greek ekklesia. Generically speaking, it simply means an assembly of individuals. Of course, over the past two millennia, church has come to mean an assembly of people who believe in God and belong to a particular denomination. One would have thought that these atheists would have chosen a different word due to its common connotation and association.

But what about teaching good? If atheists are going to exclude God from their minds, then they also need to exclude the definitions and roots of certain words in our language. Our modern day word good comes from the Old English word gōd. And as Christ said in Mark 10:18, “… there is none good but God.” Atheists need a new word.

The entire basis of the concept of good comes from God. It all goes back to the garden in Eden. “And the LORD God said, ‘Behold man is become as one of us, to know good and evil ….’” [Gen. 3:22]. Evil is the antithesis of good. And in the Biblical record, those that do evil are called wicked. The word evil in Hebrew comes from the primitive root word, a verb ra’a’ that means to be evil. The noun, rasha’, refers to those hostile to God as in an evil or wicked person. Thus, even the word evil is defined as contrary or hostile to God. Therefore, both of the concepts of good and evil go back thousands of years and have their basis firmly rooted in our relationship to God.

Ethics, while a large and varied field of study, fundamentally refers to the concepts of right or wrong. This is another way to say, good and evil. To do good is to do that which is considered right, and to do evil is that which is wrong. The field of ethics is wide open to deciding whose standard of right and wrong, good and evil are being used, other than God’s, of course. 

Anyone who subscribes to a theory of ethics rooted in Western philosophy is free to determine what they believe is “good.” For example, the German philosopher Immanuel Kant favored the school of thought where, paraphrasing here, humans are bound to behave as rational beings in to respect other rational beings. While this all sounds very nice and logical, all we have to do is look around our war torn, global warming planet to see that this school of ethical thought is not highly practiced today.

One problem with “teaching on the principle of reality” without God is quantum physics. If reality is defined as the absence of God and that which we experience with our five senses on this planet Earth, atheists have a slight problem. For what is commonly called reality is just an illusion as Einstein and other noted quantum physicists and mathematicians have shown us as noted above. Atheism will need to explain their classical view of reality while incorporating the discoveries of quantum physics, including the wave-particle duality and superposition, including quantum entanglement, which put a whole new spin on the notion of reality. In light of quantum discoveries, atheists teaching the principles of reality without a Creator are akin to hiding a globe before teaching the principles of a flat Earth to kids in their class. [See the Feature article, Is Genesis 1 A Jolly Good Myth?].

While many of these people who’ve left Churchianity for atheism may be highly principled, though greatly disillusioned people, those of lesser moral fiber have an excuse to let their base human instincts run wild and free.

By definition, for atheists, reality excludes God and therefore focuses solely on physical creation. And from this their ethics and their definition of what is “good” are determined. This is nothing new. The apostle Paul in the first century Roman Empire experienced this same approach to life without God.

Those “… who changed the truth of God into a lie and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator … Because of this, God gave them over to vile lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves [STDs] the due penalty for their perversion. Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done ….” [Rom. 1:25-28]. This is what we see more and more of with our young people who've gotten to the point of destruction of the minds and flesh. [Transgender Misery].

When we swap out God’s direction in determining what is good, ethical and real, we are left to follow the desires of our own hearts. Herein lies a conundrum. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” … only those who truly know God. [Jer. 17:9].

Italics and [ ] are the author’s.

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