Have you ever said something along the lines of the following; “I believe in God, but…”? It is so easy to fall into that mindset. We see something that we think should be different, and it makes us wonder about God. Culture around us does not want us to take God too seriously. For the most part it is fine to say that you believe in God or a god, but the moment your belief and faith start changing who you are, people think that you are taking it too seriously. In other words, you can believe in God, but don’t let it change who you are.
We have been taught this for so long but the culture around us, that it has created an interesting phenomenon. Craig Groeschel of Life Church, in his book, The Christian Atheist, calls it being a Christian Atheist. At first glance, I am sure that most of you are thinking that those phrases do not really go together, and I would agree. That is until I read the book and realized what Mr. Groeschel is actually talking about. And I realized that I have lived a big part of my life as a Christian Atheist, in one way or another.
So, what is a Christian Atheist. It is simply someone who says that they believe in God, but their lives are not transformed by that relationship they claim to have. They say they believe in God, and then add a qualifying statement to it. Something like, “I believe in God, but I don’t think He’s fair”. That was a big one for me. It was tempting for a long time in my life to say that I did not think it was fair that my dad passed away when I was fifteen years old.
The thing about our relationship with God, however, is that we have to be fully committed. The way we live our lives have to match up with what we claim when we say that we are Christians. To be a Christian means to become a follower of Jesus, trying daily to become more like Him. And that means to change who we are at the very core, to look more like Him. Titus 1:16, the verse that this idea of Christian Atheism is based from, says, “16 They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.” In other words, you cannot claim to know God and then not back it up by your actions if you want to be taken seriously.
Starting May 9th, at Central Christian Church, we are going to be going through a series based off of this idea, called The Christian Atheist, looking at topics such as “I believe in God, but…I don’t know Him, I don’t fear Him, don’t go overboard, don’t trust Him fully”. I would love to see you here, and feel free to get in contact with me if you have any questions going forward. Let’s all strive to live like we truly believe in God.