Recently an article was put out by ABC News titled Atheists Who Go to Church: Doing It for the Children. In the article I saw an interesting statement:
"Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, physicist Victor Stenger and others see religion as a source of evil in the world."
For once I agree with Dawkins. As a follower of Jesus Christ I agree with this statement from these atheists. No, I haven't denied my faith. No, I haven't lost my mind. But I agree that religion can be a source of evil in the world. Dawkins, Stenger and the others may argue that biblical Christianity is a religion but I argue that true, biblical Christianity has everything to do about faith in Jesus Christ rather than the external rituals of religion. This very thing seperates Christianity from the other religions. Religion is a legalistic, man-made idea which tries to earn or appease a god. Biblical Christianity is all about God working in the life of the sinner. Religion has ranks. Christianity has a level playing field. Religion is all about doing. Christianity is all about what's been done.
This is why I agree with Dawkins and his crew that religion can be a source of evil. To believe in an afterlife without knowing how to get there will drive a person mad. The reality is everyone wants an afterlife. Everyone knows this world cannot be it. This world does not satisfy us like we are meant to be satisfied. We all want rescue from this fallen world. Religion tries to earn the afterlife. Atheists try to get rid of God. Both religious people and atheists reject God but they both know there is a God. One wants to earn his favor and the other wants to get rid of him. But notice they both acknowledge that he exists.
What's the point?
The longing for both is a proper longing. Lets face it: Atheists think religion is a source of evil and the religious think atheism is a source of evil. But let me direct our attention to Jesus Christ. Jesus came to bring peace. He came to bring peace or reconciliation between sinners and himself which in turn bring peace between humans. Sin is why we have no peace. This is a fallen world. Sadly we have looked to everything as the remedy. Whether it's earning God's favor by doing "good works" or trying to get rid of God altogether. But there is a remedy. The remedy is Jesus Christ. He is the answer to the problem of sin. And he came to earth to die for sinful humanity. He came to break the bondage in which sinners are enslaved. Remember what the angels declared at his birth:
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!" (Luke 2:14)
Jesus Christ is the one in whose image we are created. He is our Creator. He knows how peace will exist between us and him. But he also knows how peace will exist between you and me. It starts with loving the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength then and only then will peace be among humans. The source of evil lies in our lack of loving God in the way he intends for us to love him. The bottom line is sin is at the heart of evil and we are all sinners. We all need peace with God in order to fight against the sin in our own hearts which keeps us from living at peace with one another. We need grace. We need God's grace. We need God's transforming grace found only in Jesus Christ.
Grace upon grace,