Thursday, May 28, 2009

Religiously Biased Thoughts on The God Delusion #2

On page 77 of The God Delusion (the paperback edition) Richard Dawkins repeats a strategy used by many other atheists. Dawkins writes, “I have found it an amusing strategy, when asked whether I am an atheist, to point out that the question is also an atheist when considering Zeus, Apollo, Amon, Ra, Mithras, Baal, Thor, Wotan, the Golden Calf and the Flying Spaghetti Monster. I just go one god further.” I will give Dawkins credit that this is the best form of the argument that I have run across, but he is not correct, at least not for an authentic follower of Jesus.

I am not an atheist when it comes to other gods. The reason is because I believe that there are spiritual beings that are at work in this world trying to deceive people and steal their worship. The apostle Paul is states that Satan is the “prince of this world” and that “he is the spirit at work” in the hearts of people to cause them to disobey God (Ephesians 2:2; NLT). Also in Ephesians Paul tells us that our fight is not against other humans, but it is against “the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms” (Eph. 6:12; NLT).

Dawkins, like other atheists who use this strategy, confuses worship and belief. I believe in different spiritual beings that are indirectly worshiped by people. This is why I am not surprised that worshipers of other religions have intense spiritual experiences (what better why to deceive people and keep them for Christ Jesus?). Since I have a believe in the supernatural I am not an atheist when it comes to other gods.

I might believe in numerous little gods, but I worship the one true God, who is both the Creator and the Savior. It is our worship and our commitment that God desires, not our belief. God isn’t interested in a Kingdom populated with people who believe in Him, but He desires a Kingdom populated with people who are absolutely committed to Him and worship Him alone. There is a huge difference between belief and worship. Atheism requires the absence of belief as well as the absence of worship. I do not worship all the small gods that exist, but I certainly believe that they exist. That means I am not an atheist on any level.


Makarios said...

Nicely thought out. Thank you.

Ruth said...

Some good points here, Paul. Reading this reminded me of the verse "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble." There is much more to following Christ than believing, and believing the Word of God means we must believe that there are other spiritual beings outside of the Trinity.

The true atheist, in my understanding, has no belief in any spiritual being. It's hard to fathom someone who believes there is nothing beyond the material or flesh-and-blood beings that we see.

Thanks for getting us thinking about these things.

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