Recently, I have had a lot of conversations with atheists. Many express a strong hatred of God. I have been at a loss to explain this. How can you hate someone you don’t believe in? Why the hostility? If God does not exist, shouldn’t atheists just relax and seek a good time before they become plant food? Why should it matter if people believe in God? Nothing matters if atheism is true.

Aldous Huxley (1894–1963), the brother of the atheistic evolutionist Sir Julian Huxley, advocated a drug-fuelled utopia. He gave the reason for his anti-Christian stance:

“I had motive for not wanting the world to have a meaning … the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation, sexual and political.”1 Like Huxley, some people don’t like God because they don’t like moral constraints—you can make up your own rules, or have none at all, if God does not exist. They hate God and Christians because they are actually not confident that God does not exist and seeing Christians may remind them that they are ‘suppressing the truth’ (Romans 1:18).

What about atheists who had a church/religious upbringing? Some of them hate God because of evil things done to them by teachers in religious schools or by church leaders—people who on the face of it represented God. Antipathy towards God is an understandable reaction, sadly (although illogical).

Many complain about hell; they are angry at God because of hell. I understand that teachers in certain church-based schools, and parents in some ‘religious’ homes, commonly used the ‘fear of God’ to make children behave. “You are bad; you will burn in hell if you don’t behave.” But such a simplistic works-oriented approach not only trivializes this most serious of subjects, it negates the Gospel of God’s grace. (We are all ‘bad’ in God’s eyes, and ‘behaving properly’ will not save us—only Jesus can.)….

 

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