When it comes to apologetics, it’s a very helpful tactic to show unbelievers the truths of the Bible. But when evangelizing, is apologetics helpful or necessary? Read what Steve Ham has to say on this subject.
March 4, 2020
There are supposedly real benefits to being an atheist, ten of which I’ve listed below (those in quotes are from actual atheists1):
- I can embrace new scientific theories about human origins, without being saddled with the belief that a god created everything.
- I’m free from church hierarchy telling me what I can and can’t do.
- I can embrace a woman’s right to make choices when it comes to her own body.
- I don’t have to give my money to a church, so that the pastor can afford his own personal jet.
- People don’t look down on me intellectually because I believe silly Bible stories like Noah and his ark.
- I don’t have to prepare for an afterlife I believe I will never get. I instead enjoy the life I already have.
- “I don’t feel any guilt about enjoying my sexuality, quite the converse. I often see crippling guilt over sex, especially, among the religious or recently recovering.”
- “I get to do what feels right to me…I have a freedom of thought that just can’t be achieved within most religions. I’m free to consider all avenues of life and make my own sense of things. I don’t have a superior telling me that my gay friends are evil, or that sex without marriage, even with somebody you love completely, is wrong.”
- “I feel a lot better knowing God doesn’t know my every thought, because then I would definitely go to hell (which I believe is mythical as well).”
- “I get my Sundays back.”
Recently, CBS reported that every day 20,000 new people join a website that links married people with other married people, so that they can secretly commit adultery. The CBS report began with a surprising quote:
“It is the only commandment repeated twice in the Bible, right? Once for doing it, and once for thinking about it,” said psychotherapist Esther Perel, who has been studying infidelity for more than a decade.2
The quote is “surprising” because the last place this world wants to look for instruction is the Bible. This is because the Scriptures say that the reason we want to rid ourselves of God is the same reason criminals want to rid themselves of the police. Criminals don’t like the law telling them what to do or not do, and threatening them with punishment. The Bible puts it this way:
The mind of the flesh [with its sinful pursuits] is actively hostile to God. It does not submit itself to God’s law, since it cannot. (Romans 8:7, AMP)
Our sinful mind’s active hostility is seen in how it despises the God of the Bible. We hear this daily when His name is taken in vain and is used to cuss. What greater contempt could I have for another person than to use their name to express disgust? But the human contempt for God is there for a reason, and it’s the same reason criminals hate the police.
The hostility is there because of His moral Law (the Ten Commandments). The atheist believes that if he can get rid of the thought of God, he gets rid of the moral Law. If the Law can be removed, it then opens the door to the pleasures that come from adultery and everything else that our sinful mind desires.
But there is still the annoyance of the conscience. Despite the massive societal shift in the perceived acceptance of adultery, the still, quiet voice of our conscience tells us that it is wrong. This intuitive knowledge was alluded to in the CBS article when psychotherapist Perel stated:
Ninety-three percent of Americans think that infidelity is morally wrong—more morally wrong than…domestic violence.
One way the atheist quiets the conscience is by believing in Darwinian evolution. If we are mere products of evolution, so is the conscience. It’s just some sort of unknown societal means of survival, and it has nothing to do with the God of the Bible.
However, the average atheist doesn’t realize that his non-belief in the existence of God isn’t the real issue. The real issue is what the atheist does with the Savior. We want sinners to put on the Lord Jesus Christ, because if they die in their sins, God will see to it that they get absolute justice for their sins, and that’s a terrifying thing.
Most of us could probably come up with ten benefits for not putting on a parachute while in a plane, knowing we’ll have to jump 10,000 feet. One could be that no one would be telling me what to do—I’m my own boss—and I don’t want to have that cumbersome parachute on my back.
But the second I’m forced out the door, I will realize what an absolute fool I have been. But then it will be too late.