On Agony & Intellect

No one commits suicide over intellectual battles. If anyone has ever ended their life about not being able to figure out whether his distant cousin was a single-celled Amoeba, it would be a rarity to a millionth degree. People end up killing themselves because of emotional turmoil. Dealing with atheist younglings (dunno how old they are but they sounded young in thought) has brought to the forefront that even though they keep claiming to their position that the lack of belief in God is caused by what they find to be an “intellectual” inconsistency, the truth of the matter is that it always circles back to emotion – all. the. time. You can also see the same pattern with Richard Dawkins, who asserts God is a delusion but goes right to calling into question ‘non-existent’ God’s character, suddenly morphing from an atheist to an agnostic.

Even the most adept apologist or theologian could present an atheist evidence, but since the atheist carries a clouded emotional premise that God cannot possibly be a God of love because He does not interfere in every single instance that evil strikes, as you read their diatribes about God and towards people of faith, they always without fail, position themselves to be “objective” interrogators feigning to look for answers they have already decided in their hearts to reject.

You can try talking to them without having to quote bible verses and make them substantiate their spontaneous assertions but most (not all) cannot get past their preconception that you are mentally deficient and incapable of thinking since you believe in God. There is no need to address someone who already starts out calling God names because well, you already have a clue what their heart is full of even though they claim to be more moral than God, but His infinite mercy is such that He still sends His laborers to talk to stiff-necked people. We can gain insight on this from the passage below. The rich man may not have been an atheist but he was certainly one who paid no mind to righteous living.

The Rich Man and Lazarus

“There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. 20 But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, 21 desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

24 “Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. 26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’

27 “Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, 28 for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ 29 Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’ ”

Luke 16:19-31

Notice how in verse 27, the man who had no regard for God now thirsts for righteousness? He continues to plead that someone reach his brothers to warn them at all cost not to go where he is in verse 30. Verse 31 shows us that NOT EVEN someone who resurrected from the dead will be able to convince them. This shows us a clear picture of Jesus talking about the reality that not all will be convinced of His resurrection and this can also be applicable to anything else you are trying to show the atheist about God.

This is not a post to discourage those involved in Apologetics to reach out to atheists. Rather, it is a caution that it is not by the power of your persuasive argumentation that you can get an assent. It is ONLY through the power of the Holy Spirit changing the heart of the person who is being dealt with and this will happen during its appointed time.