Summary: This is a look at those who hate God
If you remember reading the August 22 1949 edition of Time Magazine then you would remember seeing a young Elizabeth Taylor on the cover and various articles that almost sound current.
Under the National section, for example, there was a little bit of a scandal in the white house. Really? A scandal in the White House?
There were concerns that even though nationally the economy was doing well that there were various areas in the US where they were dealing with a 12% unemployment rate.
In the main article for the world section it was interesting to note that as the United Nations was being ramped up that the decision was made that the sessions would not be opened in prayer. Bowing to the fact that the UN is made up of many faiths and no faiths it was decided to simply open and close each annual session with a moment of silence.
And the concern in the Business section? Well, the main article was entitled: “Railroads: The Danger Signals.” And it asked the question: Are U.S. railroads pricing themselves out of business?”
But what captured my attention was the article in the religion section that was simply entitled: “The God-Haters”
And no, I didn’t read the article in 1949, I read it the other day online.
So how did I get there? It was a Denn journey, a while back I had lunch with a gentlemen and he was telling me about an in-law of his and he said “It’s almost as if they hate God.” Hmmmm.
And that made me think about a book I purchased this summer that has been sitting on my bedside table, written by Bill Myers who wrote one of my favourite books, the book I had read before was entitle “Eli”. And I assume that some of you have read it, considering that all three of my copies are missing.
But the new book was simply entitled “The God Hater” and I just finished it this week, and it was a great read.
Add to that our Tuesday early morning guy’s group has dove into the book of Romans and during the first couple of weeks we’ve been reading the first chapter of Romans and it in I stumbled on these four verses.
Romans 1:28-32 NIV Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.
So, I thought maybe I should preach on God Haters. And that’s how we got here.
I’ve often said that writing a sermon is a lot like making sausages, you are often better off not knowing the process.
So, I googled the phrase and the first hit I got was the Time Magazine reference, and it was about the rise of atheism in the United States.
Part of the article quoted Roman Catholic Philosopher Jacques Maritain, who wrote. "The genuine, absolute atheist, with all his sincerity and devotion, is but an abortive saint and, at the same time, a mistaken revolutionist."
Personally I kind of like the definition on the tombstone that said “Here lies an atheist. All dressed up and no place to go.”
The next hit in Google was entitled “On the Death of a God Hater” and it was about the death of noted atheist and writer Christopher Hitchens.
So, the first question has to be Who Are God Haters? Well, in the Time article from 1949 they were talking about atheists. And certainly, today those who spew the most venom about God are those who claim they don’t believe in him.
Men like the late Christopher Hitchens or Richard Dawkins have made millions of dollars writing to disparage someone they claim to not believe in. They don’t seem to feel the same about leprechauns or fairies. And it’s interesting that it is primarily the God whom we worship that they seem to take issue with. It seems that if you were to suggest that Allah was a myth that you would be branded islamophobic not to mention that it would be fairly dangerous.
This brand of God Hater was best described by George Orwell in Animal Farm when he wrote “He was an embittered atheist (the sort of atheist who does not so much disbelieve in God as personally dislike Him).”