The Atheism of Today
The ingenious but atheistic leaders of today who labor so hard to rid themselves and the world of God and His Son, Jesus Christ, are really under obligation to offer something better in exchange. To assert that “the gospel is behind the age” without supplying a gospel that is abreast of the age is not the way to lead Christians away from the comfort of the religion that has proved itself to be of enduring satisfaction and always helpful in time of need.
Modern atheism, “Christian atheism,” is soliciting sympathy everywhere through many forms of propaganda. But what is there in atheism to seduce us from our allegiance to the Son of God? Atheism, communism, rationalism — all really speak one language: “This world is all in all to us. There is no Heaven. Man is self-sufficient. There is no God. Let’s be content with life here — all beyond is no concern of ours.”
The modern atheist has nothing new to offer mankind. He has his stream of tradition, running down like a narrow thread from the earliest times, if that is any consolation to him. There were atheists in Palestine when the Psalmist wrote the famous words, “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.” There were atheists in Greece when Plato wrote to one of them, “You and your friends are not the first who have held this notion. There have always been people more or less sick with this disease.” There were atheists in the sixteenth century when Bacon wrote the words, “I had rather believe all the ancient fables than that this universal frame is without a Mind.” There were atheists in the eighteenth century, when France inscribed upon her cemetery gates, “Death is an eternal sleep,” and enthroned a harlot as personified Reason on the desecrated altar of God. And there are atheists now, inheritors of the traditions of their fathers. What could be more foolish than to embrace their system of negations, and thus feed “on ashes” (Isaiah 44:20).
But beware! The atheism of today assumes a respectful, even deferential tone toward the faith it seeks to destroy. It often has an air of modesty about it, and eagerly repudiates the idea of uprooting the foundations of morality. It exhibits a more Christian-like method of attack than was shown in former generations.
But assume whatever outward form it may, and clothe it in whatever garb is popular, atheism always has failed, and always will fail, to commend itself to the inner longings of mankind. The fatal weakness of the atheistic cause is this: It is a system of negations. The fatal want it always betrays is the want of harmony with the whole nature of man. Man’s soul craves for certainty and satisfaction. He was made by God, and therefore has need of God, and a resistless instinct of nature urges him to feel after and to seek for God. Man was made to worship and adore; and consciously or unconsciously, he is impelled to carry out the end and purpose of his being. Man may try as he will to suppress and stifle the voice that God has implanted within him, but that voice must and will be sooner or later heard.
Blessed is the man who desires to know God, whose eyes can see His handiwork in the natural world, and whose ears can hear His voice, saying, “This is the way, walk ye in it.” And having heard, happy is he who walks in God’s way — the way of everlasting life.
Guest Editorial, by Ernest Lloyd
(From AVERY JOURNAL)