The Hidden Dangers to the Christian Church
The Denver based and original home of the Free Thought Exchange founded by Jason Testerman wants to get atheists into the churches. That would seem inconceivable until you know why they want this. Some atheists have begun “evangelizing” Christians by going into their churches and “planting seeds” but they claim it is not to “steal their flock” but to plant a seed toward what they call “unconversion.” Today, there may be atheists attending your own church, assuming you attend one in the first place. They are there perhaps to plant these seeds of doubt and disbelief. It is very much like the Parable where Jesus said that they enemy came in and sowed tares among the wheat and that they are both growing together but it’s impossible to tell them by sight. The sad fact is that some pastors are actually inviting these skeptics into their flocks to speak to the church. Testerman admits that it’s very important to them to work with the local pastors. You would be surprised at the number of pastors who are welcoming them in to speak to the church membership.
Atheist Worship Services
What do they worship if they don’t worship a god? Do they worship themselves and their belief of unbelief? Do they worship the creation instead of the Creator as Paul wrote in Romans 1:25 when he wrote that they “exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.” Atheism is actually a faith-based belief because they are taking it in faith that there is no God even though they cannot disprove His existence. To disprove the existence of God would require them to have all knowledge of all quadrants of the universe and to have more knowledge than humans can possibly have. Thus, atheism is a faith-based belief system that takes exponentially more faith to believe that there is no God than to believe that there is in fact a God.
The atheist churches actually have their own minsters and the First Church of Atheism says that you can become ordained quickly, easily, and at no cost. Are there church membership requirements? Do their members have “un-conversion” baptisms? Do they proclaim when someone is “unsaved?” Is a former born again believer un-born? Believe it or not, some do, at least at some atheist churches they have. Just as there are Christian mega-churches there are now atheist mega-churches and the numbers are increasing. There are atheist churches now with attendees in the thousands and they are becoming increasingly larger every day and expanding into the outer reaches of the world. Like Christian churches, they plan to de-evangelize segments of the world to take in the gospel of unbelief into all the world and into every language, nation, and peoples, imitating the Great Commission given by Christ (Matt 28:18-20). They might call this the “Great De-Commission perhaps although the language of such missions is still being worked out but they are arbitrarily stealing from the Christian and Bible vernacular and distorting or converting the missions-language into their own unique purposes.
The Explosion of the Atheist Churches
Don’t believe that this is just a passing fade. More and more people are joining the ranks, not only of atheist churches, but atheistic belief. Some agnostics have begun to attend as well. The difference between atheists and agnostics is that atheists believe there is no god at all while agnostics are uncertain if there a god at all. While atheistic churches grow, the Christian churches are shrinking, and this trend is growing due to more and more segments of the population believing that church is not necessary anymore. Even though Jesus died for His church and said that He would build His church and that the gates of hell (or death) would not prevail (or stop) the church, Christians declining attendance have been the cause for many of the world’s churches to close their doors (Matt 16:18). The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life released some stunning results in a recent poll and the trend is alarming. In a 2012 study, they discovered that 20% of all Americans have no religious affiliation at all. This is an increase of 15% in just the last five years. If this same trend continues, with a decrease in church attendance at 5% a year it could mean that 40% of the population will have no church affiliation in less than ten years.
Suppressing the Truth
God says that those who disbelieve in God are actually choosing to disbelieve because they know in their hearts that there is a God, yet will not acknowledge Him. Paul writes in Romans 1:18-23 that those who choose to disbelieve in God means that “the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.”
When Paul says that they “suppress the truth” the Greek word describes it like someone pressing down on a coil spring where they hold it down by force and “what can be known about God” means that they are willfully choosing to disbelieve because they don’t want to give up their sin. This is what Paul says that they are “without excuse” even though the creation proclaims that there must be a Creator (Psalm 19:1). Even though they know there must be a God they have exchanged worshiping God for worshiping the creation (e.g. “images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.”). Anyone who has watch cable’s many nature programs can easily see that this is true and the many programs on the universe and the outer reaches of the universe. Mankind is spellbound about nature because they refuse to bend the knee to God Who alone deserves worship. They worship themselves (the “creature”) instead of the Creator.
Has the day come to pass where Paul warned the church that this “day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction” (2 Thess 3:2)? Maybe so. All the church can do is to continue to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ so that some may come to repentance and confess their sin and plead for forgiveness from God and then put their trust in the only name by which they might be saved…Jesus Christ and Him alone (Acts 4:12; 16:30-31). For there is no other way that a man or woman might be saved from the coming day of God’s judgment and wrath (Rev 20:11-15).
Jack Wellman is Senior Writer at What Christians Want to Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Blind Chance or Intelligent Design