Christianity is the underdog. Times have changed. My grandparents have all past away, but if they were here to see our current state, I believe they would be shocked. How quickly the tides can turn. Biblical Christianity is the minority, yet that does not change our convictions. It just makes it harder to stand up for them. These are the times where individuals, churches, denominations will all be tested in their convictions. Below are some thoughts on Atheism today and the changing definition of Marriage, concluding with a video addressing the key need.
In our day Atheism has a new face. It is the normal face. This is what an Atheist looks like today. The Atlantic published an article where they interviewed college age unbelievers to get an understanding of the new mindset soon to be the primary influencers in our generation. Listening to Young Atheists is a revealing article. Check it out in full at the link but here is a summery.
- They had attended church. Most of our participants had not chosen their worldview from ideologically neutral positions at all, but in reaction to Christianity. Not Islam. Not Buddhism. Christianity.
- The mission and message of their churches was vague. These students heard plenty of messages encouraging “social justice,” community involvement, and “being good,” but they seldom saw the relationship between that message, Jesus Christ, and the Bible.
- They felt their churches offered superficial answers to life’s difficult questions. When our participants were asked what they found unconvincing about the Christian faith, they spoke of evolution vs. creation, sexuality, the reliability of the biblical text, Jesus as the only way, etc. … Serious-minded, they often concluded that church services were largely shallow, harmless, and ultimately irrelevant.
- They expressed their respect for those ministers who took the Bible seriously. “I really can’t consider a Christian a good, moral person if he isn’t trying to convert me.” As surprising as it may seem, this sentiment is not as unusual as you might think. It finds resonance in the well-publicized comments of Penn Jillette, the atheist illusionist and comedian: “I don’t respect people who don’t proselytize. I don’t respect that at all. If you believe that there’s a heaven and hell and people could be going to hell or not getting eternal life or whatever, and you think that it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward…. How much do you have to hate somebody to believe that everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?” Comments like these should cause every Christian to examine his conscience to see if he truly believes that Jesus is, as he claimed, “the way, the truth, and the life.”
- Ages 14-17 were decisive. One participant told us that she considered herself to be an atheist by the age of eight while another said that it was during his sophomore year of college that he de-converted, but these were the outliers. For most, the high school years were the time when they embraced unbelief.
- The decision to embrace unbelief was often an emotional one. With few exceptions, students would begin by telling us that they had become atheists for exclusively rational reasons. But as we listened it became clear that, for most, this was usually connected to a deeply emotional transition as well.
- The internet factored heavily into their conversion to atheism. When our participants were asked to cite key influences in their conversion to atheism–people, books, seminars, etc.—we expected to hear frequent references to the names of the “New Atheists.” We did not. Not once. Instead, we heard vague references to videos they had watched on YouTube or website forums.
While belief is under attack, the institution of marriage that has been upheld for thousands of years is being redefined. The recent Supreme Court decision will have ramifications beyond what we can foresee.
Trevin Wax writes a article titled Why Gay Marriage is Good (and bad) for the Church. He shows clearly that things will never be the same, the question is how will the church respond and what foundations do we really have that will guide us in these changing times.
Al Mohler addressed the hypocrisy of the supreme court, and particularly Justice Kennedy, for striking down DOMA with accusations of making “moral judgments”, all the while making an equally moral judgment, just with the opposite conclusion. Read his thoughts in Waiting for the Other Shoe – The Supreme Court Rules on Same Sex Marriage.
Here is an interesting take on the subject. If Jesus were to be interviewed, what might He say about Same-Sex marriage? Joe Dallas takes this imaginative response in this clever article. Check it out – Jesus and Same Sex Marriage.
Above all, the linchpin for how we decide what to do about all these issues, and issues we haven’t even seen yet, are dependent on one thing. Has God Spoken? If He has, we must heed his words and adjust our lives. If He has not, we live as we wand do the best we can without any real consequences or meaning. Has God Really Spoken?
This is an interview between three brilliant minds and godly men: Don Carson, John Piper, and Tim Keller. They are addressing the issue of Biblical Authority in an Age of Uncertainty. How will we respond to God’s Word when our culture rejects it?
We live in a world my Grandparents would not recognize. Yet fortunately I believe there is a God who has spoken to us for this day. He has made a plan and given us hope. Above all He has given us Jesus. So no matter what the winds of change bring, there is one who is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Jesus Christ.
Looking to Him,