An article earlier this week on Angus Buchan caught my attention and got me to thinking: what is it about men of God, such as Angus Buchan, that brings out the worst in certain atheists. As a once militant atheist myself, Billy Graham was my pet hate. Why? Because he preached the Gospel; he parroted, in my mind, the same old tired message over and over again. And because there was no God. Not the one he spoke of, nor any other.
In addition to all this, he made huge sums of money. Milking the poor, in other words. Not that I was doing anything for the poor, mind you, but it irritated me that he would, in the name of God, milk the poor to the degree he did. And he preached an unadulterated Gospel, a risen Christ, forgiveness for your sins, no matter how ghastly.
Then, thirty two years ago, I had the privilege of meeting the Lord Jesus Christ, and making the decision to make Him my Lord and Saviour. It’s been a fairly long and ultimately rewarding journey, but the one thing I’ve discovered is this: Jesus said He would be a friend who would stick closer than a brother.
Someone who understands my frailties and doubts, because He’s been there Himself. It’s why He became flesh.
This is not a distant God who has no idea of the daily problems of being a Christian! The Bible says He was tested in all ways as we are, but He never succumbed to temptation. In other words, He lusted, He coveted, He became despondent, He felt betrayed, His faith was tested. If we’ve been there, He was there before us.
All the movie representations of Jesus show him in these snowy white robes, when if you think about it, it’s utter tosh! He walked everywhere he went, on the dusty roads of Palestine. It’s more likely his robes were a brownish hue of what had originally been off-white.
This is what sets Christianity apart from all other religions. It alone offers friendship with God. In the Old Testament there is a hint of it; there would have to be. Abraham was called a friend of God. David, for all his faults, was a man after God’s own heart. Why? Because no matter how far he fell, he truly repented. None of us is perfect, and the Bible shows this so glaringly, which is what makes it such an obviously truthful document. The main characters are flawed, often deeply, but remain faithful.
Which brings me to the point of this article.
I’ve mentioned Angus Buchan before, in a previous post, but I’m going to do it again. Angus Buchan is a farmer, who has become an evangelist. He says God gave him the idea to write ‘Faith Like Potatoes’ and he wrote it out of obedience to God. He had to self-publish, as no-one was interested in publishing a book of this nature. He then went from bookstore to bookstore, asking them to put the book on display, to which they grudgingly agreed. It has since become an international bestseller and been translated into sixteen languages.
A movie of the same title was made and did fairly well worldwide.
I have no idea how much money Angus Buchan made from the royalties, but I do know that he used the money, his money, to fund his ministry. When he started the Mighty Men movement, he charged enough to cover costs, and that was it.
His ministry daily feeds, clothes, houses and educates hundreds of poor children in rural Kwazulu Natal. Why does he do it? Because he loves Jesus, and Jesus loves people. This is not for some heavenly pie in the sky sometime in the future. This is serving God by serving people.
KP Yohannan, the founder and president of Gospel for Asia, has built up a vast ministry throughout South-East Asia, where they have built hundreds of schools, thousands of houses, and hundreds of wells, so that the people can have access to clean water, a rarity in the remote rural areas of India.
Again, he does what he does out of a love for Jesus. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less.
Then we’ll have a look at the so-called atheist churches, and movements. American Atheists is an organisation whose purpose is freeing people from the bondage of religion and helping them see the light of reason. They also have billboards all over the USA trashing the claims of Christianity.
Then we have the First Church of Atheism, which is a misnomer if there ever was one. Their purpose? To offer fellowship to like-minded people and to marry people who want a church wedding without the religion. They also do burials.
The North Texas Church of Freethought is an interesting one. In a country where it is illegal to pray in public, where it is illegal to preach the gospel in public places, this church wants to fight the oppression of Christianity.
The Calgary Secular Church is the most amusing of all. The founder went to England for two years with his wife, who is a Christian, and he joined the choir at the local Anglican Church and enjoyed it so much that he became an active participant in the church because, as he said, ‘…they were light on the gospel and other religious teachings, but concentrated instead on charity work. The beer was also good.’
He started The Calgary Secular Church because he wanted the same sense of fellowship without all the religious trappings. So they have a choir, they do social work and drink beer.
Then we come to the little demigod of atheism, Richard Dawkins, as nasty a piece of work as Christopher Hitchens, but lacking his moral and intellectual courage.
‘The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.’
‘Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings.’
‘Religion is about turning untested belief into unshakable truth through the power of institutions and the passage of time.’
‘To be fair, much of the Bible is not systematically evil but just plain weird, as you would expect of a chaotically cobbled-together anthology of disjointed documents, composed, revised, translated, distorted and 'improved' by hundreds of anonymous authors, editors and copyists, unknown to us and mostly unknown to each other, spanning nine centuries’
‘It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I'd rather not consider that).’
‘Indeed, organizing atheists has been compared to herding cats, because they tend to think independently and will not conform to authority. But a good first step would be to build up a critical mass of those willing to 'come out,' thereby encouraging others to do so. Even if they can't be herded, cats in sufficient numbers can make a lot of noise and they cannot be ignored.’
The master has spoken.
But not to William Lane Craig. Why do you think that is? He sounds so sure of his facts!
Herding cats? I think the atheists have done it quite well, if you look at the evidence offered above, and you may Google it if you wish.
Now Richard Dawkins and the American Atheists and the atheist churches and the particularly virulent atheists on this site talk about bringing the sweet light of reason to people, taking off the blindfold of religion and a number of other high-sounding ideals.
I have a question for them.
How many marriages have they saved? How many drug addicts have they rescued from the brink? How many broken homes have they restored? How many schools have they built? How many people now have hope where before they had none?
I’m well aware of the work done by Bill Gates and at least one other atheist on this site, but as a group, how much do you do?
Alberton Methodist Church, of which I’m a member, feeds, clothes and houses hundreds of people; the poorest of the poor. My son, when he was part of the Church Youth, went out to Thokoza on a number of weekends and built house for these people. Because he loves Jesus.
If you can show me where atheists, as a general rule, do anything like that, out of a love for their fellow man, I might begin to take you seriously when you talk of reason, but I don’t believe you for a minute.
Like your demigod Dawkins, who claims to be an agnostic, you are anti-theists.
And this is the sweet light of reason you want to bring to people? Christianity has long been side-lined in this country and many others besides, so you are not delivering them from the bondage of religion, but to the bondage of intolerant, blind hatred of anything which does not meet your approval.
A bit like Stalin.