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The age of fools

The Bible says in Psalms 14:1, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.'”

Recently, Column One of the Los Angeles Times had an article by William Lobdell, where he gives the history of how his years on the religion beat for the Times converted him from supposedly being a strong evangelical Christian to an atheist. Over the years, he had seen the fraudulent healers, the hypocritical church members, the phony pastors, the greedy televangelists and the sex-abusing priests. He contends that the religion beat destroyed his faith. Sadly, his article may disturb many people who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

There’s an increase in atheists and recent converts to atheism who, according to an article entitled “The God That Whined” in Canada’s National Post, have decided to confront belief in God and especially Christianity. These new atheists with an attitude call themselves “brights,” suggesting that believers in God (including 50 percent of the scientists in the United States) are “dim.”

The problem with their judgment about God and Christianity is they don’t understand grace. Christians are saved only by grace, and that grace that saves us is a gift from God. We live in a fallen world. Fallen men and women are debased, abusive, greedy, dishonest and more; and so, if we keep our eyes on fallen men and women, as William Lobdell said he did when he investigated corrupt evangelists and perverted priests, we are sure to be disappointed.

Looking at the fallen world of pain and suffering and at the vacuous claims of easy-believism is just as disappointing. For instance, my beautiful and brilliant wife has been on chemotherapy for 13 years. Looking at her suffering, I could easily ask, “Where is God?”

Those who fall prey to “give me” theology want God to take care of the bills, clean the car, heal our children and give us prosperity. In fact, they are thinking more like wicked sorcerers and witches than people of faith.

All of creation testifies to God. The dramatic encounter with the living person of Jesus Christ is life-transforming. In spite of the fallenness of the world and of men, God has worked through broken people to change the world from a cruel, heartless, mean place to a much more civilized, charitable, hospitable civilization. Both Alvin Schmidt’s book, “How Christianity Changed the World,” and Dr. D. James Kennedy’s book, “What if Jesus had Never Been Born?” trace the evils of every other belief system, including the cruelty of paganism and atheism, and the light of love and compassion that has transformed societies, which only comes through the Good News of Jesus Christ.

This winter, the powerful movie “Amazing Grace” showed how a small group of Christians, led by William Wilberforce and John Newton, abolished slavery in Great Britain and turned the immorality in that country around. Did they make everything perfect? By no means!

I have documented Wilberforce’s story in my book “The Amazing Grace of Freedom,” and, in the new book “The Culture-Wise Family,” my co-author, Pat Boone, and I show families how they can help turn today’s society around and perhaps even abolish the great evils of our age.

Instead of presenting unconvincing, anecdotal evidence about the sinfulness of some Christian leaders and the inability to invoke God as if He were some fallen spirit, perhaps people with itching ears (like Mr. Lobdell) who are always searching but never finding should look to Jesus Christ and His Gospel for their salvation. There will always be charlatans and hypocrites in the church. Jesus Himself told us so. All of us are great sinners, but Christ is a greater savior! And, the way of the cross is the means of divine grace by which we are saved and morally justified.

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