Atheist Church. Seriously. (Part 4) Atheism’s Favorite Myth & “Idol Worship”

**Why do some atheists think science disproves God?  What do these atheists worship?  Isn’t science just one part of a bigger picture?* 

Idol_Pig_LOTF

(This continues my response to an article titled “Church without God – by Design” about the Humanist Community at Harvard University, an “atheist church.”  Read Part 1Part 2, Part 2.5, and Part 3.)

(If this is your first time reading something here, please first read a short explanation about the purpose of this blog.)

Moses_10Commandments

Christians and Jews believe that a long time ago God gave this command: “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.  You shall not bow down to them or serve them.” (Exodus 20:4)

Thus, Christians and Jews take idolatry seriously.  Of course, when God gave this command to ancient Israel, he was speaking of literal idolatry.  The pagan religions that surrounded Israel carved images of earthly creatures and humanoid gods and worshipped them.  Israel was a truly unique nation in that they worshipped a God who had no form, so they were to remain separate and distinct from these other religions.

idol-worship_calf

In the New Testament, Paul addresses idolatry in his letter to the Romans:  “For since the creation of the world [God’s] invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse… Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures… For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator” (1:20-25).

idol-moloch_Cannanites

Thus, the expression “worshipping the creation rather than the Creator” was introduced into Christian phraseology.  Today, when Christians speak of idolatry, we are rarely talking about literal idol worship, but the “worship” of material things over God.  So, if someone has an unhealthy preoccupation with money, a Christian may say that money has become that person’s “idol.”  If a person loves food but doesn’t see it as a blessing from God, he is “worshipping the creation, not the Creator.”

idol_babylon_lion

But concerning the Humanist Community, the atheist “church” from the article, it seems that we’ve come full-circle to the original meaning of idolatry again.

In the article, we’re told “Before the main event, kids are invited to what some parents refer to as ‘Sunday school,’ where Tony Debono, a biologist [from] Massachusetts Institute of Technology, teaches the youngsters about evolution, DNA and cells.”

Oddly, we’re also told, “Each service has a message – compassion, evolution or acceptance – after which congregants engage in a lengthy discussion.”  Evolution?  When I first read this, I felt like this was one of those games on kids’ TV programs:  compassion, evolution or acceptance – which one of these things is not like the others?

Recently, a movie documentary was given limited showings titled The Unbelievers, which stars Richard Dawkins, everyone’s favorite atheist, and Lawrence Krauss as “they speak publicly around the globe about the importance of science and reason in the modern world.”  I have yet to see the movie (and I recently learned it was never picked up for distribution), but William Lane Craig on his podcast portrayed it as Dawkins and Krauss sitting in front of audiences stroking the figurative ego of science.

So, it seems, yes, we’ve gone full-circle: Some atheists — some of the same people who mock the religious for worshipping a higher power — have started publicly worshipping the creation instead of the Creator.

PraiseDarwin_Billboard

To be perfectly clear, I believe there is absolutely nothing wrong with teaching science.  Why would I?  Why would anyone?  Science is fascinating and helps us to understand the world we live in.  To be against science would be as preposterous as saying you’re against math or history or language.

Further, whenever I watch a TV program, read a book, or visit a museum concerning some aspect of science and I’m reminded of just how fascinating the physical world is, I can see how anyone could develop a deep love for science, and I wish I had time to learn more.

But what’s the deal with science being taught at the Humanist Community’s “church” service?  Further, why are so many atheists so preoccupied with praising science?  Is anyone out there actually protesting “science”?  Is anyone out there saying, “Bah!  Science is a big waste of time!  Let’s kick it out of schools and universities!”  As a teacher who has worked for over 13 years in a public school focused on engineering, I can say that the emphasis on science and math is in no danger and, in fact, has increased in recent years.  There is no conspiracy to destroy science.  No one is making one peep against science, nor should they.

So, what’s behind some atheists’ engrossment with science?  After all, according to the article, the Humanist Community claims it isn’t out to bash religion or God at their services, and The Unbelievers is just a movie praising the accomplishments of science, right?

The_Unbelievers_Poster

But wait: if The Unbelievers is just a movie about science, then to what unbelief is the title referring?  If this is not obvious to you, then the movie poster makes it perfectly transparent: the silhouetted outlines of Dawkins and Krauss walking away from a cross, the symbol of Christianity.  The same underlining message is in the Humanist Community’s praise of science.  And that message is this:

If someone embraces science they can’t also embrace God.

This is atheism’s favorite myth.

And as hard as many atheists try to convince the world that science and God can’t coexist, this type of thinking is logically disjointed and a shortsighted misunderstanding of Christianity.

So, next, we’ll start looking closer at atheism’s favorite myth…

NEXT:  Christianity + Science = BFF*

*Best Friends Forever

My favorite idol

OK, I DO HAVE A FAVORITE IDOL

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7 thoughts on “Atheist Church. Seriously. (Part 4) Atheism’s Favorite Myth & “Idol Worship”

  1. Pingback: Christianity + Science = Best Friends Forever | god from the machine

  2. “And as hard as many atheists try to convince the world that science and God can’t coexist”

    It’s not that they can’t coexist. It’s that the one does not support the other.

    Or rather, the claims mad about gods are not backed up by the science.

    • I disagree. Though I’m “not a scientist” either 🙂 there are many convincing arguments that science supports the Christian views of God. I’ll be humbly sharing them in some upcoming posts. And since I can admit I’m not best person to debate these topics, I can point you towards the works I’ve gotten the information from if you’d like.

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