29th October 2018

Are Atheists Cowards?

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”
John 3:16-17 (NKJV)

In this, our final article about atheists, we ask the question: Are atheists cowards? To be fair we must accept that we are all cowards in some circumstances whatever our backgrounds or beliefs. But to set this question in context, it is posed because of the difference in the way Christianity and Islam are treated by atheists. The current day prophets of atheistism are prolific writers on the evils of Christianity as they see it, on the assumption there is no God, and that only stupid, unintelligent people believe in God. In most of their public statements they happily condemn Christians and Christianity. Their book titles tell the story, as a little study on Amazon will show. These are big sellers including Richard Dawkins with his book The God Delusion; Christopher Hitchens, who wrote God is not Great; and Sam Harris, with a book entitled The End of Faith, Religion, Terror and the Future of Reason. All three are clear challenges to Christianity.

Yet where are the big selling books by these people which are equally blunt and dismissive of the faith of Islam? Again, to be fair, Sam Harris has challenged Islam and written another book in collaboration with an Islamic scholar, Maajid Hawaz, called Islam, but it is notably more respectful, less strident, and less condemnatory in tone than his anti-Christian books. The truth, however, is that these writers know that Christians, while they may write or speak against them are not likely to turn up outside their door. On the other hand if they write in the same disrespectful and disparaging way about Islam there is the possibility of an angry mob arriving on their doorstep in a very hostile mood.

Dr. Phil Zuckerman, an atheist professor, who writes a popular blog that criticises Christianity and Judaism made a statement that reveals the truth. He said, “I absolutely agree that it is OK for those on the left to critique, mock and deride Christianity. But Islam gets a free pass, which is strange because if you care about women rights, human rights and gay rights, then really Islam is much more problematic and much more devastating. What keeps me from criticising Islam on my blog is just fear. I’ve got three kids…I know I can say anything about Christianity and Mormonism and I’m not living in fear.” Indeed Dr. Zuckerman goes further by stating, “As an atheist, where on earth is the death penalty meted out to atheists? It’s only in twenty four Muslim countries. Where have human rights flourished the most? In Christian nations.” That’s an amazing admission from a well known atheist! But it is also an amazing truth, atheists in all walks of life dislike Islam just as much as Christianity, but Christianity is a much softer and safer target! That’s why the question, Are Atheists cowards? can only be answered with a Yes!

Any comments atheists make about Islam are noticeably softer and more cautious than their bold denouncements of Christianity. But as we said in an earlier blog the atheist is not our enemy, we see them as potential children of God whatever their faults or failings today. Their attitude, their outspokenness, their lack of respect for, and belief in, God are a sadness for Christians today. In some way atheists are a blessing to Christians, because they challenge us to examine our beliefs and increase our faith. So let’s close this series with John 3:16-17, the header scripture; I cannot think of anything worse to say to an atheist than not only is there a God, but that God loves you!

Loving Father, while we may all be cowards in some areas our lives, let us always have the faith and courage we need, as Christians, and the grace to love those who disagree with us. In Jesus’ name, we pray.

Study by Keith Hartrick

Note: Recommended reading on this subject is, “ Inside the Atheists Mind “ by An-thony DeStefano, available from Amazon at £13.80. Google Dr Phil Zuckerman for his background and beliefs.
About the Author:
Keith Hartrick is an Elder in Grace Communion Church – Leeds, and serves on the Church Council there.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion – Leeds
Garden Village Welfare Association Community Centre
Pendas Way
LS15 8LE

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2PM

Local Congregational Contact:
Malcolm Arnold
Phone: 01484-312347
Email: malcolm701@googlemail.com

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One Response to “29th October 2018”

  1. John Armstrong on November 1st, 2018 1:05 pm

    Thankyou for these articles.
    I rather liked the quotation by Dr Tkach a few months ago and attributed, I think, to C.S. Lewis that “If God didn’t exist, neither would atheists!”

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