Christians are comfortable. After 2000 years the followers of a humble, unassuming teacher from a small town in Judea have become the opposite. They are loud, arrogant, comfortable, frivolous, consumers of religion. They’ve grown fat and happy on their own works and ascendance in society. Christians have become the popular kid in class that no one can really tell you why they’re popular. They’re secretly despised until one day someone has the guts to stand up and say “no one likes you”. Atheism is doing that and I believe it’s the best thing for Christianity.
I believe Atheism becoming a popular and acceptable alternative to religion is good for believers for a number of reasons. First, Christianity has grown to a point where the Catholic church was at the dawn of the reformation when Martin Luther nailed his 95 thesis to the door of the Wittenberg church. Filled with excess and narcissism, the Christian church today seems far too focused on things other than the good news of the gospel. Feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and visiting those in prison are far less interesting than stamping out homosexuality and building mega-churches. It’s collective political power can crush any ruler much the same way the church had power over kings in medieval times. Can you blame non-believers for looking at the comparison and worrying about being dragged back into the dark ages? Christianity must be questioned as Luther did in order to bring it’s focus back to the proper place. Do churches who make millions of dollars really need tax exempt status? Are Christians truly impacting their communities for the good? Do we care more about indoctrination than personal accountability?
Next, the flock needs thinned out. There are far too many Christians who have never known anything but Christianity. Their faith has never been tested or questioned. They barely know why they’re a Christian beyond it being a good idea for the afterlife. The first Christians didn’t have that luxury. Choosing to be a follower of Christ wasn’t easy. Today’s lukewarm Christian’s give faith a bad name. Their outward actions and speech do not reflect the simple truths of Jesus Christ. Romans 2:24 “God’s name is blasphemed among the gentiles because of you”.
Finally, today’s Christian’s barely know the gospel they claim to live by. A larger percentage of Atheists have read the Bible than Christians. They ignore Paul’s words to Timothy to “study to show yourself approved to God, a workman who doesn’t need to be ashamed” (2 Tim 2:15). Their faith is little more than a feel good motivational speech given by a life coach. These are people who are in danger of Jesus saying “away from me, I never knew you” (Matt. 7:23). Non-believers have the right to call this faith into question. And it is the responsibility of Christian’s to
Now many Christians want to chalk up the push back that Atheism is giving to Christianity as some sort of persecution. They fall back on scripture to say “Jesus said we would be despised and persecuted because of him”(Matt 24:9). The problem is that Atheists don’t despise Christians because of Jesus. Atheists don’t believe in the Son of God and miracles part of Jesus, but they won’t argue with the “love your neighbor”, humble, caring spirit of the teachings of Jesus. Christians need their faith to be shaken. They need to be roused from their perfect contentment with life into a better understanding of why they are who they say they are.
I say let Atheism become more and more popular. Let it question and challenge the church in every issue. Allow those who are part of Christianity just for the ride to get off the bus. And as a result may every Christian be forced to understand their faith in Jesus Christ more deeply and intimately. May they seek Him in earnest, to hold tight to God-inspired truth so that they will be unashamed of the gospel.