United Church of God

Prophetic Times: The Modern Leaven of Christian Atheism—God Is Dead

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Prophetic Times

The Modern Leaven of Christian Atheism—God Is Dead

It should not surprise us. The trend is toward an increasing percentage of Americans who are losing their religion. In 1965, a Gallup poll found that 70 percent of respondents said religion is “very important” in their lives. Today, fewer than half of Americans (45 percent) say religion is “very important.”

At Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, in the heart of the Bible Belt, the late Associate Professor, Thomas Altizer, became the face of the radical 1960s “God is dead” theological movement. He stated, "We must recognize that the death of God is a historical event: God has died in our time, in our history, in our existence." 


Jesus warned His disciples to beware of the leaven of the religious leaders—the scribes and the Pharisees (Matthew 16:5-12; Mark 8:15). He compared their doctrines and teachings to leavening, which spreads quickly when placed in dough until the whole lump is leavened. 

During the time of the first century church, the apostle Paul prophesied there would be those who would want to affiliate themselves with the church, “having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” (2 Timothy 3:5).

From no God to lawlessness

A study was conducted by the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University under the direction of Daniel C. Dennett and Linda LaScola. Dennett is a primary figure in the "New Atheism"—the newly aggressive and influential atheist movement that has gained recognition among the intellectual elites and the media.

The Christian Post published an article stating: “Dennett is a cognitive scientist whose book, Breaking the Spell, suggests belief in God must have at one point served an important evolutionary purpose, granting an evolutionary advantage to those who had some belief in an afterlife as compared to humans without such a belief. The reality of death, Dennett surmises, might well have been the precipitating factor. In order to make life meaningful in the face of death (and thus encourage reproduction), Dennett suggests that primitive humans invented the idea of God and the afterlife. Now, he argues, we have no more need of such primitive beliefs” (“Preachers Who Don't Believe - The Scandal of Apostate Pastors,” March 21, 2010).

Here’s a statement they attribute to “Wes,” pastor of a Methodist congregation: “I will be the first to admit that I see Christianity as a means to an end, not as an end unto itself. And the end is very basically, a kind of liberal, democratic values.” 

“Darryl,” a liberal Presbyterian pastor outside of Baltimore, Maryland, likes the spiritual trappings of church, but is an atheist. (beliefnet.com, Pastors who don’t believe in God, 05/2010).

The archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, the spiritual leader of an 80-million-strong Anglican church, has admitted to having doubts about the existence of God. On a recent morning jog with his dog, he disclosed he questioned why the Almighty had failed to intervene to prevent an injustice. 

They deny the power of God by denying His existence. Why? In this so-called enlightened time, theologians do not want to accept the authority of God over their lives. They refuse to accept the Bible as God's authentic revelation to mankind! 

With this kind of “convenience” theology where God is out of the picture, there would be no need to obey the laws in the Bible, no need to adhere to God’s inspired Word. Each man can do what is right in his own eyes and establish his own code of conduct. Everyone becomes a law unto himself. 

What is the result of this concept? It leads to confusion, anarchy and ultimate chaos. It reflects the true origin of the creator of this kind of thinking—Satan. He is the author of confusion. God is the opposite. He is author of order and peace, “as in all churches of the saints” (1 Corinthians 14:33).

There were often times when ancient Israel departed from God, and they began to worship foreign gods. Twice in the book of Judges it states: “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6; 21:25). Even though they did what was right in their own eyes, it was not at all what God intended. Eventually, God delivered them into captivity by the hands of foreign powers.

If truly God is dead, then man can do whatever he pleases, and he will never be accountable. He will never be judged! Then man is left on his own to work out his  or her own system of ethics—or lack of ethics. The governance of the morality in the Bible is tossed out the window. As the world drifts farther away from God, the morals of right and wrong have descended into the abyss. 

They think they are wise 

Paul wrote to the church in Rome speaking of those theologians and teachers who reject the knowledge of God:

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened” (Roman 1:18-21).

Beware of them

Beware of man’s incessant desire to teach the nonsense that there is no God. Beware of those who reject the Bible as His instruction book to humankind. They present themselves as being wise, but in reality, they become fools. 

In Psalm 14:1-4 King David wrote: “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none who does good. The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek God.”

Are we of those yet seeking God in our lives? God says in Jeremiah 29:13: “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”

This is my Perspective.