Category Archives: #HUMANISM
By John MacArthur
The atheists’ dilemma: whom do you thank when you think there’s no one to be grateful to?
Thankfulness is one of the distinguishing traits of the human spirit. We sense the need to say thanks, and we realize we ought to be more grateful than we are. We furthermore perceive that we are indebted to (and accountable to) a higher power than ourselves—the God who made us. According to Scripture, everyone has this knowledge, including those who refuse to honor God or thank Him (Romans 1:19–21).
Ingratitude is dishonorable by anyone’s reckoning, but to be willfully ungrateful toward the Creator in whose image we are made is to deny an essential aspect of our own humanity. The shame of such ingratitude is inscribed on the human conscience, and even the most dogmatic atheists are not immune from the knowledge that they ought to give thanks to God. Try as they might to suppress or deny the impulse, “what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them” (Romans 1:19).
During a November 2009 debate in England sponsored by a rationalist group known as Intelligence Squared, Richard Dawkins admitted that when he looks at the Milky Way or the Grand Canyon, he is overcome by a profound feeling of thankfulness. “It’s a feeling of sort of an abstract gratitude that I am alive to appreciate these wonders,” he said. “When I look down a microscope it’s the same feeling. I am grateful to be alive to appreciate these wonders.”
But to whom does an atheist like Dawkins express such gratitude?
I’m by no means the first person to point out this conundrum. In fact, the Internet is peppered with failed attempts to justify an atheistic celebration of Thanksgiving. Atheists insist they are not ungrateful. They confess that they feel thankful, and they clearly sense a need to avoid the ignominy of brazen ingratitude on a cosmic scale—especially at Thanksgiving.
One atheist has practically made a hobby of writing articles to explain why atheists feel the need to be thankful. He tackles the question of whom an atheist is supposed to thank. His best answer? Atheists can be grateful to farmers for the food we eat, to doctors for the health we enjoy, to engineers for the advantages of modern technology, to city workers for keeping our environment clean and orderly—and so on.
Here’s the problem with that: Tipping the waitress or tipping one’s hat to sanitation workers doesn’t even come close to resolving the problem of whom Dawkins should thank when he looks at the stars, stands at the edge of the Grand Canyon, or studies the world of countless wonders his microscope reveals in a single drop of pond water.
Of course we ought to be thankful on a human level to people who help make our lives better. But if thanking people exhausts your sense of blessedness and satisfies that “sort of … abstract gratitude” you feel when pondering the vastness of the universe, you have already suppressed your own conscience to a frightening degree. Your worldview is spiritually bankrupt.
Another atheist writer, acknowledging this problem, says the answer is easy for her: she thanks her lucky stars. “What it comes down to,” she writes, “is that an atheist is generally thankful for good luck, serendipity.”
That’s an odd and ironic answer from a point of view that repudiates theism on the grounds that it is not “rational” to believe in God. (Not that atheism itself truly stands on solid rational grounds. After all, the starting point for atheistic materialism is the equation Nobody times nothing equals everything. What could possibly be more irrational?)
Chance, luck, fortune, happenstance, fate, kismet—whatever label you want to put on it—is not a force or intelligence. “Chance” has to do with mathematical probability. Flip a coin and there’s a 50-50 chance it will come up tails. But “chance” has no power to flip the coin, much less design an ordered universe.
Nevertheless, this is how atheistic materialists have trained themselves to think: chance is the ultimate creator.
In the words of one Nobel Prize-winning atheist, “Pure chance, absolutely free but blind, is at the very root of the stupendous edifice of evolution.” Fortune has thus been personified—imbued with the power to determine, order, and cause everything that happens.
That’s mythology, not science. At the end of the day the atheist is no more rational and no less superstitious than the astrologist (or the animist) who thinks impersonal “lucky stars” determine one’s fortune.
On some level, atheists themselves surely realize this. Proof of their internal angst is seen in the fact that so many of them are not content merely to disbelieve. They are militant in their opposition to God. They hate the very thought of God and would love to have every mention of Him removed from public discourse—as if that would somehow remove the burden of their own ingratitude and relieve the pangs of a guilty conscience.
Such hatred is as irrational as atheism itself, and it is further evidence that atheists have some awareness of God that they desperately want to bury. Who nurtures such hatred for someone they truly believe doesn’t even exist?
Indeed, as Scripture says, it is the ultimate folly to try to suppress our own innate sense of obligation to our Maker. “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (Psalm 14:1). In short, to deny God is to debase one’s own mind and dehumanize the whole person (Romans 1:28).
That’s why we remind ourselves to give thanks to God—specifically, the one true God who has revealed Himself in Scripture as a God of grace and forgiveness, who so loved the world that He gave His Son as an atonement for sin, so “that we might die to sin and live to righteousness” (1 Peter 2:24).
He graciously compels us to thank Him, and He himself should top the list of things we are thankful for.
This article is from the November 22, 2012, edition of The Washington Times. © 2012 (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/nov/21/the-atheists-thanksgiving-dilemma/).
Mitt Romney certainly is not a Christian. He has been spiritually deceived into giving his heart to a false religion that masquerades as Christian.
Since its founding back in the 1830’s, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the Mormons) has taken the position that it is the one and only true church and that all the rest of Christendom, both Catholic and Protestant, is apostate.
The Mormons teach and preach a false Jesus who is not God in the flesh. Instead, He is portrayed as one of thousands of subordinate gods who were created by the super god of this planet, who is an exalted man.
The Mormons thus deny the trinitarian concept of God that is revealed in the Scriptures. They reject the truth that Jesus was God in the flesh, and they view the Holy Spirit as an impersonal force.
The Mormons teach salvation by good works, in direct contradiction to the Bible’s teaching that salvation is by grace through faith, and not by works (Ephesians 2:8-10). And the Mormons teach that their most faithful followers will become gods themselves with their own planets to populate and rule. In short, Mormons are polytheists.
Mormonism thus presents “another gospel” that is foreign to the gospel of the Bible. And the Apostle Paul declared that all non-biblical gospels are an anathema and that those who proclaim them are to be “accursed” (Galatians 1:8-9).
President Barack Obama is also not a Christian,despite his claims to be one. I proved this conclusively in the third edition of my book, America the Beautiful?(2009).
In an interview he gave in 2004, Obama stated point-blank, “I believe there are many paths to the same place [Heaven].” To the contrary, Jesus said there was only one, and He was it (John 14:6).
When Obama was asked, “Who’s Jesus to you?” he responded that Jesus was an “historical figure,” “a bridge between God and Man,” and a “wonderful teacher.” There was no expression of Jesus as God in the flesh, the Savior who died for our sins.
Obama shocked his interviewer by saying that there was one thing in particular about Christianity that he had difficulty dealing with — and that is the tendency of many Christians to engage in evangelism! He said he believed the desire to proselytize was based on a belief that if “people haven’t embraced Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, that they’re going to Hell.” Obama has obviously never heard of Jesus’ Great Commandment to preach the Gospel to all the world (Mark 16:15-16).
Because of highly unorthodox comments like these about Christianity, and because of his obvious enthusiasm for Islam, many have concluded that Obama is a closet Muslim. I don’t think so. Based on his statements and his policies, I have concluded that Obama is a classic Humanist, meaning that he is a person who believes in the essential goodness of Man and his ability to achieve fulfillment on his own through the power of reason.
One of the main points I made in my book, America the Beautiful?, is that when a nation blessed by God turns its back on its Benefactor, God will place remedial judgments upon the nation in order to call it to repentance. And one of those judgments can be that of giving the nation the kind of leaders it deserves.
That was certainly the case in 2008 when Barack Obama was elected president.
The continuing judgment of God upon our nation can be seen in the choice for President we are now presented with. For the first time in U.S. history, neither candidate is a Christian.
A Clear Choice
But despite that fact, we are confronted with a real choice. It is not a matter of Tweedledee and Tweedledum.
On one hand, we have a candidate who is a non-Christian Mormon. He believes in traditional family and moral values, he respects the heritage of America, he supports Israel, he recognizes Islam as our nation’s enemy, and he believes in Capitalism.
On the other hand, we have a candidate who is a non-Christian Humanist. He rejects traditional family and moral values, he despises our nation’s heritage, he holds Israel in contempt, he loves Islam, and he believes in Socialism.
The choice is not an ideal one. But there is a clear choice.
May God have mercy on our nation.