The Power of Atheism to Change Lives
by Rich Deem

Introduction

Okay, so the title of the page is a little misleading. But it did get your attention. And you immediately reacted to it, because you knew that the title made no sense. Is there any advantage to being an atheist? Testimonies about the power of atheism to change lives are difficult to find. When you do find them, most atheists talk about being free to think critically - being a "free thinker." However wonderful this freedom is, one must acknowledge that the atheist's freedom is not at all complete, but is very much limited by the philosophy of atheism. According to atheism, all phenomenon have a naturalistic explanation. With this as its overriding paradigm, the atheist never considers a supernatural explanation, even when such an explanation makes more sense. In fact, the atheist will believe in wildly unlikely explanations, for example, regarding the origin of life and the origin of the universe. How much "freedom" does an atheist really have?

Faith

Most atheists believe that Christianity teaches Christians to ignore the facts and base their entire lives upon some sort of touchy-feely kind of "faith." Contrary to that view, the Bible teaches the importance of knowledge and wisdom and making rational decisions based upon the facts. The Bible challenges believers to "Test everything" and "Hold on to the good."1 God Himself in His revelation to Isaiah stated, "Come now, and let us reason together..."2 The very reason why atheists attack Christianity above all other religions is because Christianity directly challenges the atheist's assertion that belief in God is irrational.

A more complete examination of what the Bible says about knowledge and reason can be found in the page, Why are Christians So Stupid? - Does the Bible Teach Blind Faith?

Morality

When it comes to morality, atheists tend to be very quiet about what role atheism plays in shaping their personal morality. You won't find atheists saying that their atheism was influential in getting them off of drugs, stopping their alcoholism and ending their addictions to pornography, gambling, or any other personal moral fault. The fact is that atheism has no power at all to change personal morality (in a positive way).

Helping the poor

From a societal viewpoint, atheists are generally not involved in helping the economically and socially disadvantaged. Of course, there are some exceptions, but in general atheists tend to be involved in legal/legislative issues, if any at all, to the exclusion of the needs of the poor and uneducated. The truth of this statement was never made more clear to me than last Christmas. A local church, the Dream Center, in downtown Los Angeles sponsored an outreach to the 500 neediest blocks in South Central Los Angeles. Ten thousand Christians volunteered to deliver food for families and toys for their children on December 23, 2000. I cannot be sure that there were no atheists at the event, but all of the 60+ people in our bus were Christians. Where were the atheists? Why should they be involved in helping the poor? There is no atheistic moral dictate that would require or even suggest that atheists should help anyone. In fact, in a survey of 1,600 Canadians, only 37% of atheists ranked generosity as a very important moral value (see Are Atheists and Theists Morally Equivalent?).

In the community in which I live, city officials, along with our state and Congressional representatives held a Poverty Summit to try to deal more effectively with homelessness. Numerous Christian Churches were represented, which provide food, clothing and referrals for those who are in need. Here are the groups:

All the organizations who provide food and services for the poor were Christian-run (other than governmental agencies). No atheist-run organizations showed up.

This concern for the poor originates in the teaching of Jesus Christ, since He reminded us to provide for the poor.3 The Bible says that those who follow Jesus have the mind of Christ.4 The Holy Spirit, given to followers of Jesus Christ, puts a desire to have compassion for others within the hearts and minds of believers.5 Did I ever do anything for the poor before I became a believer? No! I had no desire to help them. The desire to help those with which you have very little in common is not natural. It is given supernaturally by the Holy Spirit because of His love for all people. I can tell you from experience that the Holy Spirit will change you into a person of love and compassion. Christianity is not just a belief system or a series of rituals that one does at church. It is a living, vital relationship with the Lord Himself. The evidence of the reality of the risen Lord is the work that He is doing right now in the hearts and minds of those who follow Him. You will find below a list of links to testimonies of people whose lives have been changed through the power of Jesus Christ.

Testimonies

 

Christian CADRE "Why I am a Christian" Page
Truth Saves Testimony Page
Eric English - dived right into the party world after high school and stayed high on drugs and alcohol for years. According to Eric, "The drugs didn't satisfy me. The girls didn't satisfy me. My friends didn't satisfy me. My family didn't satisfy me. Basically, I lived for number one and I lived to get wasted." However, the perseverance of some Christian friends eventually paid off and Eric is now an awesome testimony of the power of Jesus Christ...
John Clayton - ...I have sat on the edge of my bed with a 22 caliber rifle between my legs, trying to have enough guts to pull the trigger. I bottomed out that low; I got that emotionally disturbed and upset with my desire and attempt to find happiness. Please listen to me and profit by what I am saying. You can try every conceivable thing that this world has to offer. You can try sex, drugs, alcohol, stealing, and all kinds of things in a desperate attempt to find happiness. I can testify from experience that you may find pleasure, but you will not find happiness...
A.S.A. Jones - Humanity had become nothing more to me than an organized network of molecules and enzymes. I viewed people as mere organisms going through their daily routines of metabolizing nutrients and expelling wastes... They were like guinea pigs, only more predictable, and my chief form of entertainment was to see how skillfully I could manipulate them...
Dawn - was raised in an Irish Catholic home, where both parents were alcoholics. She was abused by relatives, and ran away from home to join the "hippy" lifestyle of the occult, drugs, and New Age practices. After hearing the testimony of a Christian women who had experienced similar hardships in her life, she turned to Jesus...
Angel - was born in the home of an alcoholic father and experienced many abuses there. As a child, she could remember hating her father and dreaming of how wonderful life would be if he were dead. But Jesus changed her life and the lives of her parents...
Michael Fisch - was raised in a conservative Jewish family until age 21. During that time he attended Hebrew school, was bar-mitzvahed, and participated in Jewish activities at my Hebrew center. However, because of the outreach of several Christian, Michael discovered that Jesus was his Messiah...
Debbie - In 1982 she was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Disease (a type of cancer) that had spread into her bone marrow. She was given six months to live...
Drew Beck - One person's testimony about his journey from Atheism to Faith--a Work in Progress
Marcia Edwards - came from a broken home, married her first husband and had her first son at 17, but after 4 years of marriage they separated. She got involved in another relationship that lasted a little over a year, but about 7 months into the relationship, he began to be physically abusive and she found herself to be pregnant. Two years later she got married again, but became bored and started going out to bars on Saturday night to get drunk and snuck bottles of wine into the house to drink during the day. However, she was delivered from her addiction through the power of Jesus Christ...
Richard D. Dover - while in college, he started drinking and living a loose lifestyle. When he got out, he started having a relationship with a coworker, who got pregnant. He forced her to get an abortion, but later married her. However, a week before the marriage, he was unfaithful to his future bride. He went through 3 marriages and divorces before he gave his anger to Jesus and started living in the Spirit...
Jolie - was rebellious in her teenage years, which included running away from home, many bad relationships with guys, and the drinking and partying scene. However, her life was empty and meaningless until show prayed for help and heard the voice of Jesus...
Jennifer O'Neil - Model and actress - she had it all - or did she? From Fallen To Forgiven by Jennifer O'Neill
Patrick, an old Irish guy - Self described as "a sinner, most unlearned, the least of all the faithful, and utterly despised by many." He was taken captive to Ireland and enslaved. However, he trusted God and became a great evangelist for the gospel in Ireland.
Rich Deem - An independent guy who could do just about anything he put his mind to. Until one day when he realized that he needed help that could come from only one source...


  1. Are Atheists and Theists Morally Equivalent?
  2. Is Christianity True? Evidence for the Truth of the Christian Religion
  3. 'People are Basically Good' - Proof to the Contrary
  4. Are Atheists and Theists Morally Equivalent?
  5. Why are Christians So Stupid? - Does the Bible Teach Blind Faith?

References Top of page

  1. Test everything. Hold on to the good. (1 Thessalonians 5:21)
  2. "Come now, and let us reason together," Says the LORD, "Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool. (Isaiah 1:18)
  3. Jesus said to him, "If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." (Matthew 19:21)
    "But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous." (Luke 14:13-14)
  4. For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE SHOULD INSTRUCT HIM? But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16)
  5. And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:5)

http://godandscience.org/apologetics/power.html
Last Modified May 15, 2008

 

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