Pamela is a Melbourne writer who believes that we would all be a lot better off without religion. She makes some good points.
She is tired of being treated like a second class citizen by many people who claim to be religious because she doesn’t hold to their beliefs. “Non-religious people are fed up with all the talk about the emptiness, the barrenness and lack of meaning in “secular society”. It may surprise religious people to learn that our lives are not empty. Some people might need to believe in an afterlife in order to find meaning in this one; others don’t. Some might need to believe in a creator in order to be awed by the majesty of nature; others don’t. Some might believe in something higher than themselves and call it God; others believe in something higher than themselves and call it humanity or nature. It makes no difference to how morally they behave. Everything good in religion can be had without religion.”
I can’t agree with everything Pamela says but she raises an interesting point. Do those of us who call ourselves Christians really believe that everyone, apart from us, lead second rate lives? Do we believe that anyone who doesn’t claim to have a connection with God is morally bankrupt?
I have known Christians who have been morally corrupt and non-religious people who have held to extremely high standards. I’ve also known the reverse to be true in some cases. If you’re someone who has felt the sting of Christians looking down on you for your lack of belief please accept my apology. That’s not the message of Christianity and it’s certainly not what the Bible teaches. I’m no more worthy than any other person on the planet and I’m extremely grateful that God is willing to accept me. I have no right to look down on or accuse others.
Atheism is on the rise.
The God Delusion, a book championing the cause of the new wave of atheism, by Richard Dawkins, is just one of the books mentioned in Pamela’s article. She talks about a range of very popular books promoting an atheistic world view. Atheism is on the rise in the western world and while the majority of people would still claim a belief in God, we need to ask why people are turning away from faith.
My regular Wednesday morning guest on 98.5 Sonshine FM is Ross Clifford is the Principal of Morling College in New South Wales and current President of the Baptist Union of Australia. Each week we chat about a range of issues relating to spirituality and belief.
Today we tackled the recent resurgence of atheism. Ross talked about the origins of atheism and suggested that the church was largely to blame for turning hearts against God. We also talked about Pamela Bone’s article in the Australian. If you’d like to listen to our discussion you can click here. I highly recommend taking a few minutes to listen to our chat. If you want to download the file and listen to it later just right click the link and save.
In the end, I do believe that God and faith add a dimension to my life that it wouldn’t otherwise have. I believe that we were created by God and operate best when we’re connected with him and seeking to follow his direction for our lives.
I believe that non-religious people can be extremely moral but my preference is to know and adhere to moral absolutes that have been put in place by the one who created this world. That doesn’t make me better than anyone else but it does give me tremendous purpose.
Posted by Rodney Olsen
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