Learning from the Atheist's Bible?

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Puritan Board Doctor
I was at boarders the other day with my family who were in search of a good book…I had brought my own, my Kindle! I was busy reading when one of my family members handed me a book entitled The Atheist’s Bible. I was intrigued to say the least. I glanced through it and realized that is was a book full of quotes from atheists. I thought to myself, “What a great reference book on which to draw incorrect ideas and dispute them from the Holy Bible!”. I quickly downloaded into my Kindle and will begin my Bible studies by disputing their claims. Here is the first quote:

“Perhaps our role on this planet is not to worship God- but to create Him.” Arthur C. Clarke

My first reaction to this quote is to shudder, which I should most violently, but do I in my daily life? What is God’s law and how do I break it like this man?

Exodus 20:3 “You shall have no other gods before me.

4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.

Arthur is in rebellion and does not have a new nature. He cannot love God and serve only Him, therefore, he has to create a god with whom he is comfortable. I do have a God to whom I own all my allegiance and love, but I do have other gods before Him and those gods show up as graven images.

When life isn’t exactly what we want it to be we tend to create a god and normally it shows up as graven images. I should be careful not to think of the Second Commandment as something only pagans do…the building of images to which they burn incense and pray. This commandment is far more reaching than that common idea of a graven image. God says that we are not to make a graven imagine of anything in the universe to serve neither of Him nor those things He has created. To serve something is to be a slave to it. This image could be as “righteous” as the love of theology or as sinful as viewing p0rnography. We’ll leave the “big sins” out of this post since we all can agree and readily see it as breaking many commandments.

If my love is found in the image itself and not God, it is a graven image no matter how neutral that image might be or even how good that image might be. If I’m serving my brother or sister because I want recognition, the need for recognition has become my god and the work a graven image. Another example would be dissatisfaction or boredom in my circumstances. I might spend a reasonable amount of time on my favorite hobby. My hobby begins to give me some measure of happiness and I am able to find some personal acknowledgement from others when they view my handiwork. Nothing wrong with this so far until I begin to find my worth in my hobby. My hobby begins to fill most of my thoughts throughout the day. I get excited about resuming my work on my hobby. I quickly try to do all the work that needs to be done in order that I might return to my hobby. Reading God’s Word and praying begins to take second place, and I do it only as a duty. I have now lost my way, at least temporarily, all because I was bored (feel free to put a word in here that best describes you). Dissatisfaction of one’s circumstances isn’t always bad. Had I gone before the Lord and told Him that I was dissatisfied and needed a closer walk with Him, asked for the grace to better pray and read/understand His Word, then I would have grown in my walk with God. However, this dissatisfaction would have been a God sent. The dissatisfaction I described above is a sin. It is a love of self that is greater than a love for my God. In order to resolve my boredom, I created a god with whom I could live, conquer, and manipulate. So what have I done? I’ve taken Arthur’s advice and have broken two of God’s commandments. Yet, we have hope in Christ!

Philippians 1:6 “6And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
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