Summary: It’s is imperative that we regularly spend the day with the Lord. Why, because as we implement this into our lives we become refreshed and renewed daily!
How to spend the day with the Lord?
Thesis: It’s is imperative that we regularly spend the day with the Lord. Why, because as we implement this into our lives we become refreshed and renewed daily!
As I was preparing my sermon one day I ran across a web site dedicated to atheists. As I searched through the site and read what they had wrote I was amazed, perplexed and even astonished at the content. I realized that they were serious about being an atheist, maybe even more serious than some are at being a Christian. So today I would like to read you one of their articles about the day in the life of an atheist.
Opening Illustration: A Day in the Life of an Atheist by August Berkshire [The following events might normally occur in a month’s time. They have been compressed into one day for dramatic affect.]
Shortly after waking up, you sit at the breakfast table reading the morning newspaper. You see there is a "Faith & Values" section, filled with people who are happy because they believe in the supernatural.
This doesn’t bother you, but you wish the atheist point of view was represented more often -- not only because there are atheists in the community, but because atheism has a valuable message: Live life to the fullest, here and now; try and create heaven here on Earth. You agree with the late astronomer and atheist Carl Sagan: the way to find meaning in life is to do something meaningful.
You and your ex-spouse got divorced last year. It was uncontested and relatively straightforward. You’re both glad this isn’t the 1950’s. Because of religion, divorce laws were a lot stricter then. You might have had to charge each other with "mental cruelty." One of you might have had to establish a month’s residence in Reno, Nevada in order to get a simple divorce.
You and your ex-spouse were concerned about overpopulation, and decided to only have one child. It still amazes you that, for religious reasons, until the mid-1960’s birth control was illegal in some states even for married people!
Your ex-spouse has converted to a faith-healing religion. You worry that if your son ever became sick during a visit, your ex-spouse would pray instead of calling a doctor. It’s difficult for you to imagine that most states allow faith healing for children, even if they end up dying from it. Your son could legally be allowed to die.
Your son is staying with you this week. He joins you at the breakfast table. Like you, he has no religious beliefs. He asks, "Can I join the Boy Scouts? All the other kids in school are."
Sadly, you must tell him the Boy Scouts do not accept children who do not believe in a god. You wonder why a group that discriminates like this is allowed to recruit in public schools. However, you do know of cases where they have not been let in, due to their biased policies, and also that some United Way organizations have stopped giving them donations for the same reason.
You know that the Boy Scouts were chartered by the U.S. Congress, and you feel their discrimination is a violation of Separation of State and Church. You wonder why the Boy Scouts can’t be more friendly, the way the Girl Scouts are.
Well, things could be worse. You recall the case of a 9 year old boy in the Minneapolis Public School system. In 1991, his teacher illegally conducted religious exercises in class. Because the boy was an atheist and would not participate, he was persecuted and denied the honor roll certificate he had earned.
Three years later, with the help of Minnesota Atheists and the Minnesota Civil Liberties Union, he finally received his long-overdue honor roll certificate. Unfortunately, by then the family had been so traumatized they moved to Wisconsin.
You kiss your son on the cheek and send him off to school. He arrives there just as the "See You at the Pole" gathering is ending, and a few students pester him for not participating in this religious ceremony.
He’ll face the same pressures after school for not joining in the Bible Studies Club. Some students tell him he’s a born sinner -- a religious point of view you find particularly bizarre and hurtful to young people.
Once he gets into high school, your child will take biology class. However, due to pressure from Creationist parents, he will not be taught evolution, because it is too "controversial." You intend to teach him the basics of evolution yourself, and you wonder why other parents don’t seem to be upset that their kids are being deprived of an education. After all, evolution is accepted as a fact in all other developed countries, and is even accepted by the Roman Catholic Church!