Evidently they do, according to recent reports of the tremendous rise of "atheist mega-churches" across the world. How can this be when by common definition an "atheist" is one who does not believe in God? The agnostic is one who questions God's existence and, for the most part, simply ignores the issue. But not so with atheists, who have become increasingly aggressive and even militant in recent years.
Significantly, Madalyn Murray O'Hair, the crusading atheist in the 1960s, was responsible for removing the Bible and prayer from the public school arena. The results of that "legislation" have brought devastating consequences on our nation to this day. Amazing how someone not believing in God could be so intent in removing God's Word from the public work place! If she "didn't believe in God," why make an issue about it? Why not just let "believers" alone? Ironically, her own son, Bill, became a Christian and later a Biblical evangelist.
It's interesting how aggressive atheists can be with their message of "unbelief." This is evidenced by their prominent spokesman, Richard Dawkins, who is considered the outstanding atheistic "evangelist" of our day. In his book, The God Delusion, he expounds his thesis of the irrationality and harm caused through "belief in God." It's obvious that he's serious about his "Godless faith," and intent on "preaching" it. How bizarre is this scenario?
Now we have some idea as to why atheistic "churches" are springing up worldwide. They are copying the format of Christian congregations, with "rousing music, an inspirational sermon, a reading, and some quiet reflection. The only thing missing is God," says an AP release. The Sunday Assembly, as it's called, embraces the motto, "Live Better, Help Often, Wonder More;" further, it "taps into that universe of people who left their faith but now miss the community church provided," said Pitzer College Professor Phil Zuckerman.
This movement is spearheaded by two British comedians (no joke!), Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans, who are presently touring the U.S. and Australia raising "donations" to launch new assemblies. They don't "bash believers," but want to find a "new way" to engage in community life, and "make their presence more visible " Jones got the idea while leaving a Christmas carol concert six years ago. He relates, "There's so much about it (concert) that I loved, but it's a shame because at the heart of it, it's something I don't believe in." He then extolled the church, and its singing of "awesome songs, hearing interesting talks, thinking about improving yourself and helping other people What part of that is not to like?"
I am somewhat enamored by this whole development. Some may not "believe" that godless atheists are seeking a "faith" of their own choosing. But this scenario proves that every human being is born with the desire to seek the Creator. God has placed the "light" of conscience into every human being, which can be ignored, hardened, or rightly utilized. Bottom line: I'm convinced that there are no "atheists," just those who are in denial. This "mega-church" movement proves that! If there's no God, then why do they keep "pushing" their "unbelief?" What are they really saying?
If it were not for this sense of right and wrong in the human soul, there would be no system of justice. There would be no anticipation of a future accountability or judgment before the Creator. I think that atheism, along with evolution's denial of God's creation, is attempting to stamp out God-consciousness, so as to escape the validity of morality. Yet, atheists are "trying to be good" like other "believers;" How come? I say, "It's built in!"
It must also be said that there are many so-called "Christians" in "mega-church" settings that need to reevaluate their "faith." Is it possible that many are swept up with the "assembly program" and not with Jesus Christ Himself? How many practicing "atheists" are there among "professing" Christians? Is it possible to be an "unbelieving believer?" Just asking.
Finnigan is a Howland resident. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org