Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Atheists are Winning

Dr. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Seminary, hosts a daily radio show. He always begins the show with commentary on current events. On 23 Jan 07 (Click here to listen), he discussed what a couple of secular people had written about Richard Dawkins' book, The God Delusion. One of those people is confirmed atheist Dr. Steven Weinberg, Nobel Laureate and professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Texas. He writes a critique of Dawkins' book in the The Times of London, stating the book didn't need to be written. Why not? ...because the atheists are already winning. The rationale he uses is that "Americans may look religious, may look like they believe in God, but when you actually peel back the surface and start to scratch underneath, you'll discover they don't know much about any belief in God." He also states, "Americans may claim to be Christians, but they have virtually no idea of what Christianity really is. Although most Americans may be sure of the value of religion, as far as I can tell, they're not very certain about the truth of what their own religion teaches." Mohler asks a question of himself, "What's my response to that?" His answer? "All too true."

As a dad, this is incredibly frightening in its implications, both for the world my children will enter as well as for their own souls. It is especially so since it is an observation from someone "outside the camp."

We have a "Christian" society (hey...some huge percentage identifies themselves that way) that is functionally atheist. They don't know Christian doctrine. They don't read their Bibles. They don't evangelize the lost. They don't live lives conformed to the commands of Scripture. They have a societally-based Christianity that adds the Christian faith to their secular world as one more separate piece. There are no absolutes. Multiculturalism and "diversity" reign in everything from schools to work to the marketplace. Absolute truth is nonexistent. Emotions and feelings rule the day, with a therapeutic worldview governing all our problems. Abortion...no problem. Divorce...hey, I have a right to be happy! Fornication...oh, that's such a judgmental word! Sodomy...it's only another kind of love! Exalting motherhood...that's SO patriarchal! Women in the military and dying on the battlefield...hey, there's no difference! And on and on. Sadly, many of these ideas and thoughts are present even in most evangelical circles.

This is the world into which our children will go...one where the only acceptable intolerance is toward a Bible-believing Christian, which is what we are hoping our children will be. Will they be ready for the onslaught? Will they be able to stand? Will they be a faithful witness to their Lord and Savior? Not unless they have been soundly saved and faithfully discipled before they go....

And what of their own souls? If the statistics are correct, 3 of 4 or 4 of 5 (depending on study) of our children will turn from their faith as young adults. If that happens, what good was all else that was done in childhood? The sports, the recreation, the academics, the vacations, the awards, the accolades... not an iota of any of it matters, because your child's soul is bound for hell. They MUST be discipled. You MUST be in their lives, teaching them the Word and living it before them. Your life MUST NOT show your faith as only a moral code. You MUST show them Christ in you! They MUST see a faith that is REAL, that causes you as the Dad (and the Mom) to form a family that honors and reveres the Word of God, living according to God's principles, precepts, patterns, and commands. (Here's one way to live it out.) They have to see it in action; otherwise, their finely-tuned "hypocrite detectors" will quickly see that your faith is a sham. That will set them up for any other system of thought that comes along once they are out of your home. They, too, will become a "Christian" who doesn't know Christ, and will ultimately hear those horrendous words from Jesus as they perish (see post on what it means to "perish"), "Depart from Me for I never knew you."

So now you're asking, "How?"

Dad....

Read your Bible in consistent quiet time. Pray Bible verses for your family and for each member by name. Expect God to answer those prayers according to the promises of His Word.

Apologize sincerely for not leading in devotions/worship previously. (I heard a statistic recently that Barna said less than 1 in 20 evangelical dads have ever led their family in devotions/worship!)

Read the Scriptures with your children, no matter how old...even if they roll their eyes and are sullen. Start with a "practical" book...say James, for example. Discuss what God is saying, (and then live it yourself!)

Have family worship, to include prayer...and maybe singing, if possible.

Don't give up. Do it every day; over the phone if you are traveling. Make it a priority in the day. Make it a family habit that is missed by all if skipped.

Do you want to help turn back the functional atheist tide? Do you want to start to lead your family? This is the place to start....

My prayer is for myself and for all dads who read this, that we will take up this challenge for the sake of our families and for the sake of the Gospel....



2 comments:

Tony said...

Charley:

While we may be a nation of “functional atheists” it may be more true that we are a nation of “functional polytheists” as we worship all too many things except God.

A few years ago we went through Judges at church and I got to preach on Judges 2. Judges 2:10 says: “And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers. And there arose another generation after them who did not know the LORD or the work that he had done for Israel.” This is so true of today as while people may know the name “god” they do not truly know “God.” As in the time of Judges this problem arises from the combination of no teaching of the fathers and the church as well as incorrect training of the same.

How true Ecclesiastes 1:9 is : “…..there is nothing new under the sun.” We think we are smarter and wiser than our predecessors, probably one reason very few people read anything “old,” but in the end we end up in the same place. From the nation of Israel till today God has used the means of the family and primarily the fathers to pass on His name and we over and over miss this point. The church fails in calling men out for their failure and men fail for not doing what they are called to do regardless of the churches failure.

Thanks for your words as I continue to try and make sure, through the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit to disciple my family to not be as the world is.

Stephanie said...

Thank you for such great words! I wholeheartedly agree and I put a link from my blog as well.