That was it. This actor set himself up as a god and said, “No, no, no!” when asked if he believed there was a God. He went on to say, “I’m probably 20% atheist and 80% agnostic. I don’t think anyone really knows. You’ll either find out or not when you get there, and then there’s no point thinking about it.[i]” (Atheism blatantly denies that there is a God, while agnosticism says that it is impossible to even know if certain things about theology, the afterlife, and ultimate reality are true.)
Such apathy shocks me.
You have probably also heard of bestselling books like The God Delusion and God is not Great, the titles of which are enough to make my fingers stiffen on my keyboard. Psalm 14:1-2 says, ‘The fool has said in his heart, “[There is] no God." They are corrupt…. The LORD looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek God.’
The question is, when He looks down what does He see?
According to surveys by the Barna Group, the percentage of atheists and agnostics in each generation stays virtually the same. Thus, the generation of those 61 and older contains about 6% atheists/agnostics, close to what it was fifteen years ago. My generation, on the other hand, is 19% atheist/agnostic[ii]. We will live our lives with these people for maybe seventy or eighty years, brushing shoulders with them, making small talk, perhaps never seeing the same “man on the street” twice, and probably never giving them a second thought.
What was I saying about apathy?
According to the Barna Group, less than half of one percent of those in my generation (18-23) have a biblical worldview[iii]. While we idle, however, those who reduce our great God to a delusion are united in viewing Christianity as a threat. “Most atheists and agnostics (56%) agree with the idea that radical Christianity is just as threatening in America as is radical Islam.[iv]”
Perhaps our sin is greater even than those who turn their back on God. We know the truth—we know the greatness of our God, and we know the consequences for those who reject Him. And yet, what do we do?
Here is our challenge and the promise to those who reject God. Here is the antidote to our apathy:
‘“You are My witnesses,” says the Lord, and My servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, nor shall there be after Me. I, even I, am the Lord, and besides Me there is no savior….Is there a God besides Me? Indeed there is no other Rock; I know not one. Those who make an image, all of them are useless….I have sworn by Myself…that to Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall take an oath….To Him men shall come, and all shall be ashamed who are incensed against Him….Though one cries out to [gold], yet it cannot answer nor save him out of his trouble. Remember this, and be men, take courage.'
[iii] http://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/21-transformation/252-barna-survey-examines-changes-in-worldview-among-christians-over-the-past-13-years [iv] http://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/12-faithspirituality/102-atheists-and-agnostics-take-aim-at-christians