3/31/16 Chris 30
Atheism is a crutch! I have noticed a rising tide of people claiming atheism in my conversations on the streets over the past several years. Most are white males in their 20’s and view religion in general and Christianity in particular as nothing more than a crutch providing superficial security for weak-minded people. But the more I’ve spoken with them the more I am realizing they are primary targets for the same criticism they use to judge others.
Here’s why. The common belief among atheists is the pride they take in not needing reward or punishment in the next life to be good in this one. They believe they can set their own standard for morality – often around social justice or environmental issues – and have both self-esteem and the esteem of others without spiritual belief. Like the original temptation of Adam and Eve, they want to decide good and evil for themselves, being “good” without God. I haven’t met an atheist yet who doesn’t claim some sort of moral superiority over those who base their morality and behavior on God’s standards.
A conversation yesterday with Chris, 30, who claims atheism, revealed his hidden “crutch”. He said “If I should die today and wake up to find I was wrong and that I am facing God for judgment, I would ask Him two questions. First, I would ask Him why he made me this way.” Chris wanted to turn the tables and judge God before God could judge him. “And second, I’d ask God how he can judge me with all the good I’ve done without even believing in Him.” The mistaken idea of Christianity Chris had rejected is one based on earning salvation, and he uses his professed atheism as a way to earn even more credit with God – he believes he has more sincere and selfless reasons for doing good than believers. He believes in a self-based righteousness, but what he doesn’t understand or simply rejects is that only Christ offers
this righteousness at the cross.
This hidden motivation of self-righteousness is why I believe atheism is a crutch – it has a secret motive for self-righteousness that negates itself if they admit to it. The Christian, however, boasts in his own weakness and need for a “crutch”. Like Paul wrote in 2 Cor. 12 “I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”