I’ve been noticing more more use of words like “battle,” “war,” “enemy,” “danger,” and “threat” by Christians to describe atheism. Since Chuck Colson made statements recently comparing atheism to “Islamo-fascism,” preachers everywhere think it’s now okay to declare that atheists are a danger to them and to society.
Are these people just giving atheists a dose of their own medicine? Do a google search for “battle against atheists” and you’ll get your answer. They’re responding to the feeling of being attacked. Between all the books and media that atheists have presented in the last several years, evangelicals feel like they’ve been attacked. It’s an interesting headline when a minority group opposes the majority. It sells newspapers, because everyone wants to pretend they’re being persecuted. No one truly wants to be persecuted, they just want to feel like they are.
Atheists are a group of people who have, through time, been legitimately persecuted and looked down upon. Until recently, their complaints fell on deaf ears. No one wanted to talk about atheism, because it was taboo. So much so that only 3% of Americans will admit to their atheism.
Now, more and more people are not afraid to come out and say “Hey, I don’t believe in a God, and that’s okay.” And we’ve got to prove to these folks like Colson that we’re not a threat. We’re moral, decent human beings who know right from wrong, show compassion, have families and we don’t eat babies.
Tony Beam, guest columnist for the Christian Post, writes:
A strange thing happened at the first Battle of Bull Run during the Civil War. People packed up their picnic lunches and loaded up in their fine carriages to ride out and watch the opposing armies do battle. But shortly after the battle began those sideline thrill seekers realized being mere bystanders was not an option. Three times in this passage Paul says the key to the fight is to stand. It really doesn’t matter how well equipped we are to charge the gates of hell if we retreat or outright refuse to enter the battle. We must replace “Regressive Christianity” with the mystery of an aggressive yet gentle faith that is firmly grounded in God’s Word and faithfully demonstrated in the lives of God’s people.
Aggressive yet gentle? He’s comparing a battle against my lack of belief in his God to a bloody civil war battle.