Practical atheism

Psalms 14,53

Rev Canon Dr John Senyonyi

Vice Chancellor

The most wonderful thing in observable nature, to me, is the human body. I am fascinated each time I sit with a doctor and hear how the profession tries to make sense of our ailments. Many doctors confess that our knowledge is only a minuscule bit of the untapped knowledge possible.

One of the greatest discoveries in recent decades is deoxyribonucleic acid, otherwise abbreviated as DNA. DNA carries information in a manner unlike anything imaginable, quite superior to the complex computers of our day. Think of the estimated 98.8 percent DNA similarity humans are said to share with chimpanzees. Someone asked, “How can we be so similar and yet so different?”.
The answer is that the information in the 1.2 percent far exceeds that contained in the 98.8 percent! The wonders of nature speak volumes. Paul claims rightly that God’s invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, in the things that have been made. This means that when we see what we see, our hearts get an eureka moment of recognition and exclamation! We now get a glimpse into why the psalmist says, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’.”
The fool sees and learns nothing. Yet it is telling that this self-conversation happens in the fool’s heart. True atheism thrives in the heart, not in what one says or does, though indeed these give vent to the heart. Many
profess faith in God; few know the solid confidence of a heart rested in the God who sent His Son to die for us. Godlessness and wickedness are inseparable. It has been said, “If there is no God, all things are permissible”; we can do as we wish rather than as God commands. This is the next level of practical atheism. A godless foundation builds a corrupt life and an unethical society.
We need not wonder that churched people can live the life of the un-churched! It has been noted in some Western countries that the rates of divorce for Christians and non-Christians compare favourably!
It means the Christianity of many Christians makes no difference in their life. This is practical atheism. There is an ongoing commission of inquiry into land conflicts in Uganda. I bet the evildoers being exposed identify themselves as religious people. The thievery of public resources in Africa meted out on ordinary citizens is not the work of irreligious people. The psalmist tells us that in a godless community, justice is perverted; people take advantage of each other, and the weak become fodder for the more powerful. Public officers live for themselves; other people are their fruit trees where they gather produce for their upkeep. The message here is clear: your life reveals your faith. A Christian may pass for an atheist if his life does not account for God in his heart and life.
If Sunday worship is irrelevant to your Monday through Saturday lifestyle, your Christianity is practical atheism. Jesus warned against calling Him, “Lord, Lord” while failing to obey Him in all of life – both private and public. If the Church ceases to be salt of the earth and the light of the world, the world becomes tasteless and dark. The Lord pegged all hope of the world on Christians! Is that not an awesome responsibility? We are not at liberty to call for less.
Today, we must be disturbed that Christians think little of and rarely talk about sin. They are active in Church but really have no faith in God. If the rot begins among God’s people, nations are doomed. Societies and nations will lose their sense of goodness because their moral campus, the Church of Christ, has forsaken the God of Israel.