I stumbled across a quick post today entitled “Is Atheism a Crutch?”. It made me go “hmm” because I have been thinking a similar thought these days.
Ravi Zacharias postulates that most atheists are not so for intellectual reasons but for moral reasons. In other words, many have not chosen atheism because they don’t think there is enough evidence for God or anything like that, but because they echo Huxley’s sentiment that they want this world to be without God and without meaning so they can do whatever they want without consequence. I tend to agree.
I am not saying that all atheists are immoral buffoons, but I do agree with Ravi. At the heart of atheism many times is not the rejection of God’s existence but the choice not to serve, worship, or really think of him at all. At the heart many atheists are not really atheists but simply irreligious.
Most of the people I have encountered who profess atheism do so out of rebellion in one way or another. They do not want to have God on their consciences telling them what they are doing is wrong. They do not like feeling guilty about sin and fearing hell.
By the way, conviction is not a bad thing, and fear of hell is not a bad reason to seek God’s mercy. In fact these are the very reasons we seek God – so he will make us into new creations in Christ Jesus. Salvation is not just “fire insurance,” but a new life that is born out of true sorrow and repentance.
So the root of both atheistic irreligion and Christianity is morality. Many atheists are so because of rebellion in one way or another, wanting to write their own moral laws. Many Christians have become Christians because they have seen the moral bankruptcy of their lives and the moral perfection of a holy God.