sermon: Are You Sure You Believe in God? (Part One)
The Fool Says 'There Is No God'
Martin G. Collins
Given 05-Jul-08; Sermon #890; 67 minutes
Martin Collins cites some quotations from an atheist writer who rationalizes his belief in no God by stating that suffering could no longer be blamed on an omniscient deity, allowing him to pursue his narcissistic lifestyle without guilt. The psalmist, David, (Psalm 14:1) insists that all people having this mind set are fools, antithetically contrasted with people of understanding. To refuse to acknowledge or fear God is to hate knowledge. Unfortunately, some in the church of God are hesitant to stand up to scoffers out of fear of peer pressure or public opinion. Failure to keep God in our knowledge subjects us to acquiring a reprobate mind. The atheist mindset can be found in the intelligent and illiterate alike, and is not an evolving perspective. Many highly educated individuals, including Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Kelvin, and Einstein, recognized God"s existence from the physical creation. Indeed, Dr. Francis Collins, director of the Human Genome Project, found no conflict, but instead profound harmony between science and faith. To many, belief in God has been replaced by belief in the product of advertising agencies.
A researcher and lecturer at major universities who has co-authored three best-selling books and is an executive film producer had this to say about his view on God. You are not going to like what he wrote, but it does make a point. Here are some excerpts from what he wrote:
"... anyone with a love for truth outside of herself has to start with no belief in God and then look for evidence of God. She needs to search for some objective evidence of a supernatural power."
"But, this "This I Believe" thing seems to demand something more personal, some leap of faith that helps one see life's big picture, some rules to live by. So, I'm saying, "This I believe: I believe there is no God....."
"Believing there is no God means the suffering I've seen in my family, and indeed all the suffering in the world, isn't caused by an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent force that isn't bothered to help or is just testing us, but rather something we all may be able to help others with in the future. No God means the possibility of less suffering in the future."
"Believing there is no God gives me more room for belief in family, people, love, truth, beauty, sex, Jell-O and all the other things I can prove and that make this life the best life I will ever have."
Wow, how does one equate love and Jell-O? Something is greatly amiss in this man's whole belief system. What a hopeless future that man has given himself, if he thinks in his last comment "make this life the best life I will ever have."
Psalm 14:1-3 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. They have all turned aside, They have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, No, not one.
Speaking mostly and specifically about the person who says in his heart that there is no God.
Maybe the greatest subject confronting every last man and woman, is the subject of Psalm 14—the denial of God. Nothing could be more important than this issue of our relationship with God.
Today, there are a great many questions confronting us and confronting the world in which we live, matters that are not only occupying the minds of our political leaders but also of the average person.
If we take our existence in this world seriously, then we consider all of the national and international problems that arise. God has given mankind the capability to succeed in mind-boggling scientific and technological discoveries. We have succeeded in doing so many things that have both tremendous and terrible possibilities for the future.
This issue that is put before us by the psalmist transcends all those other issues in importance. In Psalm 14:1, we are dealing with something that is absolutely certain and continues, and no matter what may happen with respect to any of the other cares of the world, this issue of Psalm 14:1 is the most important of all things for the world.
Whether there is war or not, our relationship to God still must remain. Our lives are limited regardless of the situation, regardless of the problems that we may face. And, if and when world-war comes, then clearly, there will be nothing more important at that moment than our relationship with God.
If famine, pestilence and disease increase to devastating global proportions, which they are poised to do, immediately it brings us to this issue of the health of our relationship with God. So, especially at this time, this is incomparably the greatest and the most important issue that can ever face us.
Today, I am mostly concerned about this attitude succinctly described in Psalm 14:1, "The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God."
This, as you know, is a very common attitude in the world; many live and think as if there is no God! They plan their lives and order their existence on this supposition. And sometimes members of God's church live their lives as if even they are thinking this very thing.
So let us consider what the psalmist has to say about that insane attitude.
Notice that he makes a very blunt allegation. What he says about all people who are of that attitude is simply that they are fools. It is obvious, here, that the psalmist is making a universal statement. He does not say some of the people who say there is no God are fools; he was inspired to indicate that every one of them is.
He does not say, "Of course, there are fools who say this kind of thing, but on the other hand there are well-educated people who also say it." What the psalmist does do is make a universal statement without any qualification or exception whatever. He does not put it the other way either. He says that anyone who says, "There is no God" is just a fool.
First, let us answer one of Christ's statements that come into question on this subject of calling someone a fool:
Matthew 5:22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, "Raca!" shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, "You fool!" shall be in danger of hell fire.
How do we rectify these two statements: the one in Psalm 14:1 and this one here in Matthew 5:22?
What is "fool" in reference to? In the original Greek the word is "moros" from which we get the English word moron. A moron is defined as: "a feebleminded person or mental defective who has a potential age of between 8 and 12 years and is incapable of doing routine work under supervision; a very stupid person." That is the Webster's Dictionary definition.
Becoming angry and assuming a position of superiority over another by calling him a derogatory name, like moron, manifests a sinful problem of the heart.
There is a righteous anger against sin, but Jesus was talking about an unrighteous anger against people. The word "angry" that He used in the first sentence, in verse 22, means "a settled anger, malice that is nursed inwardly." This translates to it being an attitude problem.
Jesus described a sinful experience that involved several stages. Initially, there was causeless anger which then exploded into words: "Raca" or, "empty-headed person!" These words added fuel to the fire so that the person said, "You fool" or, "You moron!" "You moron" is meant to degrade and humiliate. We begin to see the difference between the fool that is being talked about in Psalm 14, and the one here in Matthew 5.
Anger is such a foolish thing. It makes us destroyers rather than builders. It robs us of freedom and makes us slaves of sin. A hateful anger breaks the spirit of the law which means murder has been committed in the heart. Sinful anger robs us of fellowship with God as well as with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
A person's folly may sometimes lie in his being unable to perceive the issues, but more often than not, a person's folly manifests itself because he has made an unworthy choice.
Galatians 3:1-4 O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? Have you suffered so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain?
Paul was chastising them because they were foolish for having surrendered to the influence of the false teachers, and for having held doctrines that tended to subvert the truth. The original word used here from which foolish is translated signifies that they are void of understanding. Foolishness is always a symptom of a lack of understanding.
The Galatian members had exposed their weak faith by rejecting the doctrine of the apostles, which is the same as the teaching of Jesus Christ. They also allowed themselves to be enticed by the errors of the interpretation of scripture by the false teachers who were trying to draw them away. In effect, they were saying:
"We do not believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob."
"We do not believe there is an omnipotent God who reveals things to His servants the prophets and the apostles."
When I use the word "fool" to describe the spiritual state of unbelievers, I am saying that they are superficial people. The fool is a man who does not think. He is always contrasted with the wise man or, as the psalmist puts it, with the man of understanding. Remember what the Psalmist said in Psalm 14:
Psalm 14:2 The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, To see if there are any who understand, who seek God.
So, the fool is the man who lacks understanding; he lacks the ability to think clearly; he is someone who acts in an impetuous manner, who does not consider the consequences. That is the biblical meaning of the word "fool".
The fool is someone who acts in an idiotic manner; he is lacking in reason, insight and vision. He is linked closely to the scoffer, the scornful person. The most hardened folly is that of the scoffer.
Proverbs 1:20-22 Wisdom calls aloud outside; She raises her voice in the open squares. She cries out in the chief concourses, At the openings of the gates in the city She speaks her words: "How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? For scorners delight in their scorning, And fools hate knowledge."
That is a key to the blindness of fools, they hate knowledge. Three different terms are used here to describe these same kind of unwise individuals. They are: simple ones, scorners, and fools. Simple comes from a word that literally means "open". It means that they are fatally open to evil. Scorners describe people who mock all good. And, last, fools depict people who are hardened, obstinate, perverse, hating the knowledge that they have rejected.
Proverbs 1:29-33 Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the LORD, They would have none of my counsel And despised my every rebuke. Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, And be filled to the full with their own fancies. For the turning away of the simple will slay them, And the complacency of fools will destroy them; But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, And will be secure, without fear of evil.
To refuse to fear God is to hate knowledge. These fools hate true knowledge partly because of their easy-going indifference to higher truths, the rejection of which will eventually destroy them. It is so serious that folly ultimately ends in death.
Wisdom dictates that they will reap what they sow. In contrast to the judgment promised to unbelievers, wisdom promises security and peace to those who will listen to God and believe. In order to seek the wisdom from above we must believe in God. That is just common sense.
Where does the scoffer fit into all this?
Proverbs 14:6-9 A scoffer seeks wisdom and does not find it, But knowledge is easy to him who understands. Go from the presence of a foolish man, When you do not perceive in him the lips of knowledge. The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way, But the folly of fools is deceit. Fools mock at sin, But among the upright there is favor.
The successful pursuit of wisdom presupposes at least that a person is earnest and respectful toward the One he seeks wisdom from. In contrast, the scoffer shuts himself out from being capable of recognizing truth; he is blind because he lies to himself.
Satan is the epitome of the scoffer; he is the great foolish deceiver, who has deceived himself into believing that he is sinless, and greater than God. In his mind, he has no need of forgiveness, since there is no God in his mind. To Satan there is no God, there is no Supreme and Sovereign Being. If there was he would submit to Him. But he has placed himself, through pride, above the God of all things, the God of the universe.
Proverbs 24:9 The devising of foolishness is sin, and the scoffer is an abomination to men.
So, the fool, the scoffer, is not a light thing to God, and he is labeled an abomination. An abomination is something that is absolutely disgusting to God.
Why is a scoffer an abomination to men? Because he is the person who continually thinks up evil schemes which means he is also a schemer. In verse 9, the term from which scoffer comes literally means, "an owner or possessor of evil plans."
So the scheming scoffer actually has evil in his heart; he is not sincere, truthful or straightforward about his intentions. The foolish scoffer has said in his heart, "There is no God!"
Regarding God and His way of life: folly in ancient times is still folly today. God says, "I don't change!" People who say, "There is no God" are no less fools today than they were 5,000 years ago! Nothing is as tragic as when people say in their folly, "There is no God."
As a word in common secular use, folly is a weak or absurd act, and foolishness is a lack of wisdom or judgment.
Let me ask you this question. Are you sure you believe in God? We know those in the world that say they do not believe in God, and even mainstream Christians do not, but as a member of God's church, are you sure that you believe in God? As we go through this sermon, and on into Part 2, I will be answering that question.
To tell a person the truth is an act of love; to lie to him is an act of hate. We can see the real intent of the fool. So, you should never get embarrassed when the fool ridicules the idea of a Sovereign God. Stand up for God! Not arrogantly, but humbly without doubt and with conviction, and be a true witness for your God.
We can do that with confidence because it is the immutable truth; there are no doubts in it.
This very blessed nation is collapsing in every way, partly because Christians have remained silent when God has been ridiculed and attacked.
II Timothy 1:12 For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.
I am not saying that we should stand on our soapbox on a street corner and annoy people. I am saying, "Do not back down in a conversation with a fool while he is denying the existence of God." It is easy to expose the atheist's utter folly of the position that they have taken up. But remember "to answer a fool according to his folly." And if he will not listen, "do not answer a fool according to his folly."
We should be somewhat concerned for these people who are fools. We groan for them in their self-imposed ignorance. We agonize that they are in such a sad spiritual and physical state.
Even more important than this, is that we members of God's church do not think or act like we do not believe in God. Being ashamed to be openly associated with God is a denial that God exists, because it is a denial of His power. But the just shall live by faith.
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
Remember how Peter denied Christ three times? This was the same as his saying, "I do not believe in Jesus Christ the Son of God."
My daughter was visiting some friends in one of the churches of God in England. As several of them were walking together down the street, my daughter mentioned something about God, and immediately she was hushed by the others because they were unaccustomed and embarrassed to mentioning God in public.
It seemed they were ashamed to mention His name openly, maybe even fearful to do so. No wonder the Muslims have just about conquered England without firing a shot.
The apostle Paul described the process of degeneration that goes on in the mind of those who deny God's existence. They quickly deteriorate into the fool while believing themselves to be wise. Here is how Paul describes the process:
Romans 1:17-28 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith." 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. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four?footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;
So we see in this nation and other nations of the world the perversity of everything from human slavery all the way down to bestiality, incest, torture, and such things.
All that is listed here, and on through verses 29-32, is the direct result of the attitude and actions of the fool.
"The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God.'" He therefore thinks he answers to no one.
The times are so serious that I hope to show you before I have finished, that the things that depend upon this attitude are so momentous, and so terrifying, that I feel compelled to emphasize it for the sake of anyone who doubts, but is willing to listen to reason.
Here is the contention. People who say in their hearts that there is no God are fools. And the first reason why this is true of them is that they are people who listen to their hearts. Psalm 14:1 and 53:1 say the same thing. God repeats this for emphasis. "The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God.'"
Fools, according to the psalmist, are governed by their desire; their outlook is determined by what he calls the "heart," which is the seat of the sensibilities. They are governed by what they like and by what they want to do rather than by God and certain other things. It is a decision that they have arrived at in their hearts.
Proverbs 18:2 A fool has no delight in understanding, But in expressing his own heart.
Why is this a foolish thing to do? Well, let us look at some reasons in the form of contrasts.
These people are fools because they listen to their hearts and their desires instead of listening to God.
It is in every human being to have a sense that God exists. And of course, people try to stifle that; they try to argue it away. Even so, there is still a sense of God in every human being.
Remember what Paul said, "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."
There is a feeling in all of us that there is behind everything that is seen—the Great, Unseen, Eternal God. There is this natural awareness in us all, and with people in the world it is accompanied by an element of fear that this powerful Supreme Being may exist.
By investigating the condition of the most primitive peoples that are in the world, anthropology has found that both in the past and present of all peoples there is a sense of God. Many of them worship stones, trees and find spirits in animals, but they all have this sense of a supreme being, of a God who is behind it all and who is beyond all the other gods that they worship.
Satan is there constantly trying to counterfeit God's design and plan for the ultimate salvation of mankind. God has planned the eventual salvation of mankind; but Satan has planned the ultimate destruction of mankind. Satan is in conflict with God. Satan and his demons know that human beings have the God-given promise and potential to become greater than the holy angels, and the fallen evil spirits that we call demons.
Those who brush that aside and who listen and who are governed by whatever they want to be the truth so that they can live a certain kind of life apart from God, are just simply fools.
Acts 17:21-32 For all the Athenians and the foreigners who were there spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing. Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, "Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you: God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men's hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, 'For we are also His offspring.' Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man's devising. Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead." And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked, while others said, "We will hear you again on this matter."
Fools go against the voice of their conscience. We all have a conscience within us. People often wish they did not. But we do have it; and when we do something that is wrong, our conscience tells us, and it condemns us, and it makes us feel miserable and uncomfortable. People who habitually and flagrantly sin, are able somewhat, not totally, to push that to the back of their minds.
I know a man who is an alcoholic; he sleeps with women of all kinds. He lies, he smokes, he curses, and I am sure that there is more wickedness in his life that I am not aware of, because his whole lifestyle is narcissistic and self-destructive.
And through it all, he has a conscience. But he has lied to himself so much, and for so long, that he actually believes he is a good Christian even though he never even attends church anywhere.
He has openly stated that he thinks he is a fairly good Christian. How can this be? How can anyone deceive themselves this completely and so totally?
The answer lies in the originator and instigator of lying.
John 8:37-47 I know that you are Abraham's descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father. They answered and said to Him, "Abraham is our father." Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham's children, you would do the works of Abraham. But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this. You do the deeds of your father." Then they said to Him, "We were not born of fornication; we have one Father—God." Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? He who is of God hears God's words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God."
A person who denies God does not believe in Him.
Satan and his demons have rebelled against God for so long, and have worked so hard to destroy and torture mankind that if they ever had a conscience? it is probably mostly gone, if not completely.
But, we do have consciences. We may pass through an agony of remorse, if not repentance, and that is the voice of conscience speaking—the voice that says, "You should not have done that! That was wrong! That is against God, a sense of Whom you have within you."
In all of mankind, there is a conscience that they cannot explain. But here is a man, according to the psalmist of Psalm 14, who violates that in the same way. He does not listen to it; he does not pay attention to it. "The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God.'"
So what is he governed by? He is governed by another type of life that he has conjured up; and he sees other people living it, and he says to himself, "Wow, I sure would like to live that kind of life."
But his conscience bothers him, maybe only for a second, but it is active long enough for him to make a decision for or against.
And even though he is a little bit afraid of that, because he has a gut feeling that it is not right, he lies to himself and says, "Maybe, there is no God, after all." Another way of saying that is, "maybe God will not strike me with lightening, maybe God will overlook this sin if I commit it." There is any number of ways of denying God.
Such people are fools because they do not use and do not listen to their understanding of their sense of right, to what they know deep down. We saw the psalmist's contention earlier:
Psalm 14:2, 4-5 The LORD looks down from heaven upon the children of men, To see if there are any who understand, who seek God. Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge, Who eat up my people as they eat bread, And do not call on the LORD? There they are in great fear, For God is with the generation of the righteous.
To make the statement that people today have no understanding because they do not believe in God, is thought by the world to be absurd. Ignorant intellects argue that it is because of their understanding that they do not believe in God!
Intellectuals today say that they do not believe in God because of their knowledge, because of their great brains and their wonderful mental ability. The argument continues with—the only people who still believe in God are primitive types who have not yet developed—people who deliberately put their heads in the sand and will not look at the scientific data and will not face the facts. This is how many educated people view those who believe in God. They think it is a matter of secular knowledge
They label women who work in the home to raise their families, homeschoolers, Christians, fundamentalists, and so on, as primitive types, when in reality, they themselves have become fools—Professing to be wise, they become fools.
So let us challenge and defeat that argument. The psalmist's contention, in Psalm 14, is that these people are fools! And they are fools because they do not act on their understanding, but on their desires.
Is this disbelief in God confined to the educated and to people of knowledge? Is it confined to people with PhDs, scholars, scientists and heads of state? Although many of the decisions that heads of state make does not put them in the intelligence sector.
If this argument is right, then all the ignorant people in the world would be believers in God; but the educated —the people of secular knowledge and especially scientific knowledge—every one of them would not believe in God. But, of course, that is not true. For every educated, intelligent person you can show me in the world today who does not believe in God, I can show you one who is uneducated, ignorant and lacking in intelligence and ability, who also does not believe in God.
These educated distinguished intellectuals snobbishly look down on and ridicule those who believe in God, because they themselves do not. But for every one of them you can find hundreds, even thousands, of people on the street or anywhere else who say exactly the same thing as they do.
So, is this denial of God based on education and intellect? Then why do ignorant, unintelligent people say exactly the same thing?
The intellectuals argue that statistics show that the "Christian" church is just middle-class; it does not touch the masses of the people. The fact is that the masses of the people today are unconcerned, and the "Christian" church is not connecting with them. Disbelief in God is not primarily a matter of intelligence. The facts prove that it is not.
Not only can we establish that both the intelligent and the illiterate do not believe in God, but we can also show that there have been well-educated men of science who have been some of the greatest believers in God.
There have been many scientists who have believed that God exists, and that He is responsible for what we see in nature. Let me give you just a few recognizable ones from recent history. These are scientists who have contributed to the development of modern science while believing in God. I am not saying that they were faithful men, but that they openly acknowledged the existence of God. These scientists and still others alive today, believe because the evidence is irrefutable. They are not lying to themselves about it, they are taking the knowledge and they are understanding it.
God's attributes are clearly seen in creation, "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen. Being understood by the things that are made they are without excuse."
Let me give you just five individuals that you will recognize:
1. Nicholas Copernicus (1473-1543)
Copernicus was the Polish astronomer who put forward the first mathematically based system of planets going around the sun. He attended various European universities. Copernicus sometimes referred to God in his works, and did not see his system as in conflict with the Bible.
2. Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)
Galileo is often remembered for his conflict with the Roman Catholic Church. Galileo expressly said that the Bible cannot err, and saw his system as an alternate interpretation of the biblical texts.
3. Isaac Newton (1642-1727)
In optics, mechanics, and mathematics, Newton was a figure of undisputed genius and innovation. In all his science (including chemistry) he saw mathematics and numbers as central. What is less well known is that he was devoutly religious and saw numbers as involved in understanding God's plan for history from the Bible. He did a considerable work on biblical numerology. Isaac Newton spent most of his time studying the scriptures and writing books about prophecy, and he himself regarded his religious work as being altogether more important than his other work. In his system of physics, God is essential to the nature and absoluteness of space. He stated that, "The most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being."
4. William Thomson Kelvin (1824-1907)
Kelvin was foremost among the small group of British scientists who helped to lay the foundations of modern physics. His work covered many areas of physics, and he was said to have more letters after his name than anyone else in the Commonwealth, since he received numerous honorary degrees from European Universities, which recognized the value of his work. He was a very committed Christian, who was certainly more religious than the average for his era. Interestingly, his fellow physicists George Gabriel Stokes (1819-1903) and James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879) were also men of deep Christian commitment, in an era when many were nominal, apathetic, or anti-Christian.
5. Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
Einstein is associated with major revolutions in our thinking about time, gravity, and the conversion of matter to energy (E=mc2). Although never coming to belief in a personal God, he recognized the impossibility of a non-created universe. The Encyclopedia Britannica says of him: "Firmly denying atheism, Einstein expressed a belief in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the harmony of what exists. This actually motivated his interest in science, as he once remarked to a young physicist: 'I want to know how God created this world, I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts, the rest are details.'" Einstein's famous epithet on the "uncertainty principle" was "God does not play dice," and to him this was a real statement about a God in whom he believed.
The moment we begin to really analyze this argument that the modern disbelief in God is the result of knowledge, education and understanding, it does not hold water, it is not factual, and it is not true.
In reality, it is clear that whatever the explanation may be for the failure of men and women to believe in God (whether from enmity and rebellion against God, or anything else), it is not due to knowledge and education. It is because these people are fools, and are governed by something else rather than by their understanding that there is a God.
Proverbs 18:2 A fool has no delight in understanding, But in expressing his own heart.
That is what drives him. That is why today in the universities, colleges and public school system it is very, very hard to find truth being taught. This is because these people are being driven by the heart and the world view, and which is every individual's human heart. It does not mean that he cannot get a good education in secular areas, such as mechanical, electrical, civil engineers, biology, etc.
The fool is always the skeptic when it comes to God. He echoes the lies that have been used for thousands of years. He makes such statements as, "We are more intelligent now. We know more than we did."
The spread of biological knowledge, our knowledge of psychology, the study of comparative religion, and all these other things. "That is why we know that there is no God," they claim. Interestingly I think, in order for evolution to remain being taught in the schools, universities and by scientists, the only way for that to survive is for them to continue to promote the lie that the human being is always progressing and always becoming more intelligent. This is the whole idea of evolution: that we are always getting better. But, they are getting farther and farther from God.
But the simple answer to that argument is that in the time when David wrote Psalm 14, people were saying exactly the same thing, which is another disproof of evolution. The Psalmist, King David, was writing about the fool a thousand years before Christ, almost three thousand years ago. There were people saying it then..."There is no God..." the same thing that clever people are saying today.
There is nothing new about not believing in God; it is the oldest thing in the world to deny Him. Wise King Solomon wrote this from his experience:
Ecclesiastes 1:9-11 That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which it may be said, "See, this is new"? It has already been in ancient times before us. There is no remembrance of former things, Nor will there be any remembrance of things that are to come By those who will come after.
Scientists today think that everything they are working on is new.
This is what is so pathetic: that people think it is new not to believe in God, that it is clever, that it is modern, or sophisticated, or cool. In reality, it is degenerate; it is perverse to think that not believing in God is something new, that it is something wonderful.
It is interesting that the fool's argument has nothing to do with knowledge as such. But it is a question of understanding, and that is a very different thing. People may have a lot of book knowledge, but that does not mean that they have understanding, or that they have wisdom.
Psalm 92:6 A senseless man does not know, Nor does a fool understand this.
They may be aware of a lot of facts, and still be fools in their personal lives. We all know people who have a great deal of knowledge about material things. When we need our car fixed, we take it to an educated and trained mechanic. When we need someone to help us with a civil legal matter, we go to a degreed and licensed attorney. When we break an arm or leg, we go to a well-trained experienced doctor. When we pull our backs out of place, we put ourselves in the care of a well-informed and skilled chiropractor.
All these people have a great deal of knowledge. Generally, we take their opinion without a moment's hesitation, because of their knowledge and because of their education. But sometimes we meet an educated person who is an utter fool in his own personal life.
In other words, fools behave like lunatics, as if they did not have an ounce of sense about truly meaningful things in life. They behave in exactly the same way as a person who never had their educational advantages and who had none of their extensive secular knowledge.
There is all the difference in the world between knowledge, which is an awareness of facts, and wisdom and real understanding, which is the right use of knowledge. Though people may have tremendous intellects and may know a great deal about different things, they may still be governed by their lusts, passions and desires, and that is why they are fools.
They want to live the kind of life that the psalmist negatively describes in Psalm 14:3, "They have all turned aside, They have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, No, not one."
So, a reason for calling these people fools is that they are men and women who listen to their hearts, and their desires; they are governed by what they want to do, rather than by true understanding. If we are not careful, members of God's church can fall into the same temporary category if we follow our desires and our hearts, and do what we want to do, and we can become fools.
The next point shows, in a more positive way, how these people really fail to exercise true understanding, and this is something that can be demonstrated in two ways:
The first, is that they arrive at earth-shattering conclusions on insufficient evidence, and surely anyone who does that is behaving like a fool. Fools are those who do not reason a thing through. They jump to conclusions; they are driven by their prejudices, or by their lusts and desires.
It is the mark of a fool to always draw important deductions from inadequate evidence, and anyone who says "there is no God" is guilty of that. When people reject God, it leaves a real void in their lives, and so they look for other places to find purpose in their lives.
To show you how foolish people can get and how blind they can get, I am going to read this short article to you.
Ad Agency Claims Brand Names Now More Powerful Than Religion —
The Gospel Of Nike, Microsoft And Disney
March 6. 2001
LONDON (Zenit.org) - From an industry not known for understatement, comes a new boast: Belief in consumer brands has replaced religious faith as the thing that gives purpose to people's lives.
"Brands are the new religion. People turn to them for meaning," the AD agency Young & Rubicam declared, according to a recent report, in The Financial Times.
In heady language, the agency said: "The brands that are succeeding are those with strong beliefs and original ideas. They are also the ones that have the passion and energy to change the world, and to convert people to their way of thinking through outstanding communications."
Young & Rubicam's cheeky claim follows a report last year from Fitch, the London design consultancy, that also deified consumer brands. Fitch said many people flocked to Ikea instead of church on Sundays. Since 1991, it added, 12,000 people had been married at Walt Disney World, and it was becoming common in the United States for Harley-Davidson motorcycle aficionados to be buried in Harley-branded coffins, the Financial Times said.
Young & Rubicam suggested that today's brand builders could be compared to the missionaries who spread Christianity and Islam around the world. [Are we seeing the one world religion?]
"It was the passion with which they communicated those beliefs that led to people responding in their millions, because the religions were based on powerful ideas that gave meaning and purpose to life," said Jim Williams, the AD agency's European strategy director.
In the same way, Y&R said, the most successful brands today were those that stood not just for quality and reliability but for a set of beliefs that they refused to compromise.
The agency named Calvin Klein, Gatorade, Ikea, Microsoft, MTV, Nike, Virgin, Sony and Yahoo! as examples of uncompromising "belief brands." [I might interject here that the symbol for Nike is actually an occult symbol. So how many have religions behind them? Continuing with the article] Paradoxically, Nike is the subject of controversy over labor practices in its subcontractors' Third World factories.
The Anglican Church said that Y&R?s findings were "good news" if they meant companies would come under more pressure to incorporate social responsibility into their brand values, the Financial Times reported. The Anglicans also pointed out that the Christian faith had one of the oldest and most recognized branding devices in the world, in the cross.
The cross comes from ancient pagan symbols and it is right in there with Nike and the rest of those brand names.
People of folly echo similar arguments to what have been used by fools throughout history. Here is a common one: Thousands of people in the world today say, "I do not believe there is a God," and if you ask, "Why not?" they reply, "Well, if there is a God, why are there wars?" Or, "If there is a God, why are there disabled children?" Or, "If there is a God, why are there earthquakes, famines and things like that?"
And on that kind of reasoning they draw the conclusion that there is no God. But, in reality, they are just looking for an excuse to reject God. Because the reality of an Almighty God interferes with their desires and lusts. It really is amazing how intelligent people can reason and argue like that.
Sometimes following the suffering or death of a loved one, maybe a wife or child, a man may conclude that that is proof enough for him that "there is no God." Anger and bitterness build into foolish reasoning. Sometimes people arrive at such a dreadful conclusion only on that one negative experience.
Do they ever think that maybe it was part of the purpose of God to allow this in order to bring something to pass? How have they normally lived with respect to God? Have they worshipped Him every Sabbath? Have they lived according to His will—repentantly, submissively, and obediently?
Have they asked for His protection on themselves and their family? Usually, they have not. They have been lying for themselves; they rarely think of God. They have been living an entirely godless life, but because their wife or child suffered, they say, "There is no God!" I am not saying this is the reason in every case, but there are reasons why God allows things.
Did they ever consider that maybe God permitted their wife or child to suffer in order to make them think seriously about God, and also to make them come to have a conversation with Him? God had blessed them; but they have ignored Him completely. So maybe God is correcting them to bring them to their senses. Or, God may have another wise reason for allowing what happens.
Psalm 119:67, 71 Before I was afflicted I went astray, But now I keep Your word. It is good for me that I have been afflicted, That I may learn Your statutes.
Most people do not really think it through. There are millions of people who do not believe in God because of suffering and pain. Men and women, who reason and argue like that, though they may be very educated and intelligent, are behaving like fools.
Human nature has a real tendency to cause us to draw wrong conclusions and to make foolish decisions.
Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.
It all gets back to it being an issue of the heart. And we know that, "out of the heart the mouth speaks."
Proverbs 14:14 The backslider in heart will be filled with his own ways, But a good man will be satisfied from above.
We have to remember that we were previously in the same condition with those who are still fools. We must never forget that what we have in the way of knowledge, understanding and wisdom is a far superior gift to what others have, and we owe it to the grace of God, and not to any goodness or intellect that is in us.
Titus 3:3 For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.
Everyone who is called into God's church is not guilty of all these things. Paul is explaining to the pastor Titus, that altogether these are some of the things that people have been guilty of before coming into the church. He is stating a reason why those to whom Titus was appointed to preach should be urged to reject their previous lifestyles and lead righteous lives. He urges Titus to encourage the members to have an attitude of order, peace, kindness, and appropriate subordination to law.
Certainly everyone was once foolish by the sheer fact that we were habitual and blatant sinners prior to our conversion.
Titus 3:4-8 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.
The doctrines of the church are not mere matters of speculation, but they are integral to God's way of life, and are designed to promote: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
We have a divinely ordained responsibility to devote ourselves to doing what is good, because these things are excellent and profitable for everyone—they are beneficial to our fellow saints first and foremost, and even to the entire world.
The fools of the world need purpose and direction; we have a responsibility to unashamedly provide a witness which points to God's way of life that gives purpose and hope.
Proverbs 28:26 He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, But whoever walks wisely will be delivered.