by John Waddey
Atheism is the belief that no god actually exists. In our secular age it is thought that perhaps 3-4 percent of our population actually subscribe to the doctrine, while far more live as though it were true. Over the years, atheists have received some bad press for their thinking. Recently, however, I read a piece by a proud atheist cataloging a number of "advantages" for those whose faith is in "no-god."
The atheist has no moral or spiritual restraints on his lifestyle. His only real concerns are will this hurt me? Can I get by with this? Can I avoid getting caught?
The atheist has an "advantage" over the Christian in that he has an extra day for personal use and pleasure. He can sleep, golf, fish or anything he chooses on the first day of the week. Christians are obliged to devote part or all of the day to their Lord.
The atheist has extra funds for his personal use. He is not expected to share his prosperity with God's cause and for such Christian endeavors as caring for the poor, orphans, those who are down and out. He sees no need for taking the uplifting message of Christ to the citizens of the most backward and downtrodden nations of the earth.
The atheist has no concerns about right and wrong. He need not search his soul or apologize for violating any ancient precept of moral behavior. As Dostoevsky said, "If God is not, nothing is morally wrong." He can do whatever he wishes and the world be hanged if they don't like it.
The atheist has no need to worry about such things as death, life beyond the grave, judgment, heaven or hell. Such things are all tied to Jehovah and Christ his Son. They are out of his purview. For him they don't exist.
The atheist has no need to own, read or believe the Bible. He can devote his reading to something more meaningful, such as novels, romances, etc.
One would think that all of these advantages would bring abounding joy and happiness to atheists, but they seem to have trouble finding such blessings. The members of this sect of unbelievers which I have encountered all seemed to be bitter, angry, unhappy souls.
On the Other Hand
There are, however, certain downsides to the faith system of atheism.
All atheists must die (Heb. 9:27). Not one has escaped this fate.
All atheists will be resurrected by Christ (John 5:28-29). Since they have rejected their opportunity to live with God in eternity, they have only the other alternative to look forward to!
All atheists will one day stand before God and give an account to Him who created them, provided every blessing they enjoyed and gave his Son to save them (Rom. 14:10; 2 Cor. 5:10).
All, including atheists, must spend eternity somewhere, either in heaven or hell (Matt. 25:46).
The atheist gambles his all on the hope that there is no God. Therefore he must face the possibility that he may have guessed wrong. In those quiet moments in the dark of night, in times of serious illness, in those frightening moments of dangerous accidents, or serious injury, he cannot keep doubts from flitting through his mind: "What if there really is an all-powerful, intelligent, moral Governor of the universe? What if Jesus really is God's Son sent down from heaven? What if the Bible really is God's authoritative message to humanity? What if I really do have an immortal soul that will survive the grave and live forever? What if judgment, heaven and hell are realities?"
No wonder men have observed that in time of war, few atheists are found in foxholes. To be worthwhile, a system must not only be beneficial in life, but also in death. There, unfortunately, atheism fails its adherents. Well did Hugh Miller write, "Atheism is the death of hope, the suicide of the soul."