Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The atheists have a point

This display at the capitol in Olympia, Washington, states, "At this season of the Winter Solstice, may reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds."

Yes, it's loony. But there is a reason why atheists say things like this. The reason is, they're right. Not as right as they think they are, but right in a way. Religion does harden hearts. Personally, the worst people I've ever known have been church-going people. A few have been downright sociopathic. But the Bible itself says, "Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes" (Isaiah 6:10). The New Testament writers quoted that passage to explain why some people reacted so negatively to the Good News of Jesus.

The gospel softens and illuminates some people, and it hardens and blinds others. With every exposure, we are all different, either a little closer to God or a little further away. But it never just leaves us as we were.

Let's be careful how we hear the Word of God. If we bring to it a humble, honest heart, we will change for the better. But if we come to reinforce our own self-exalting status quo, the atheists, at least, will have eyes to see it.