“Atheism & Emotional Denial: Romans ch.1 v.18-25”
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There is a God who has so clearly and manifestly demonstrated His existence to mankind that knowledge of Him is virtually inescapable. This is a much better explanation as to why there are so many false religions in existence. Man clearly has the instinct to recognize that there is a transcendent cause for his own existence even if he is apt to corrupt and personalize God through idolatry.
To the Atheist: I will grant you that mankind is obviously psychologically motivated to create his own gods and religions. Are you willing to grant to me that there are also powerful psychological motives for man to deny the existence of the Christian God? A being who demands accountability from you.
There are people for whom the worst possible news they could ever discover is that there is a God who would hold them accountable for their choices in how they chose to conduct their lives. Strong psychological reasons to deny – not epistemological reasons – not great arguments for why – but strong psychological reasons for denying the existence of God. That is what we find when we look deeper. The truth is, we all should fear God. Because we are all guilty before Him and we are all going to be held ultimately accountable. If I am in disobedience to a God who can create universes, then I am in a terribly perilous condition and I might just be more willing to convince myself of a hundred different reasons why I should deny His existence rather than to acknowledge and submit to Him – because if I were to acknowledge Him, then I would have to be obedient to His law – I would have to change my life and that is unacceptable – I am the god of my life!
This is the mindset of most skeptical deniers I have met in my life. In fact, I once held a similar mindset myself. So, I understand why they might think this way. This is why, when speaking to an Atheist or skeptical denier, and they give me the old “give me your best evidence” charge, I always ask first, “Are you inquiring sincerely? Do you want there to be a God? Or are you busy playing the role of skeptic? Is this an emotional quest or an intellectual one? Most often it is an emotional quest of confirmation bias and cognitive dissonance.
You see, nobody is truly neutral about this question. I’ve yet to meet anyone who just had no opinion one way or the other. That is because there is no neutral position when it comes to moral responsibility. One either attributes morality to an objective law giver or he makes himself the god of his world. There is NO OTHER POSITION. And the latter is the heart of moral relativism – a truly untenable worldview.
This is not simply an amoral, intellectual question. The question of your affirmation or denial of the existence of God is a matter of moral responsibility. The one excuse that every Atheist and Agnostic will want to use on the final day of judgment is the excuse of ignorance. He will say, “God, I didn’t know You were there. If I had known I would have believed You. I would have followed you. I would have obeyed you.” Sadly, in debates or diatribes online you can see Atheists and skeptical deniers make wry comments exactly like this. How tragic a commentary it is when they cannot see through their own prideful self-reliance to properly perceive the reality they inhabit. Just another obvious sign of the presence of Satan and the fallen nature of man’s heart.
Ultimately, affirmation of the existence of God is not an intellectual question; it’s a moral one. We choose to engage the Atheists and skeptical deniers in intellectual forums because it is the only way to reach a man who worships intellect above God. But, the final truth of the matter is this: if you refuse to affirm the existence of God, you are in moral opposition to the objective moral law giver of the universe. That is like denying that if you jump from a ledge you can will yourself not to crash to the ground – a deadly mindset to hold.
So if we’re going to debate the existence of God, we ought to consider the psychology that we are dealing with first. Because if we are talking about Yahweh, if we are talking about “God with us in the flesh”, Jesus Christ, then we are talking about a God that people have a driving passion to deny.