I used to think that Atheist were one of the worst threat to the church there could be.
After all an atheist has no moral absolutes. They can do what they want. The risk to society and the church is enormous.
But over the years I have come to realize that human nature regardless of what doctrine you subscribe to is one of the hardest things to overcome. It's hard enough to get Christians, who have a uniting imperative to agree on things let along someone who has none.
I remember listening to the News here in Melbourne Australia one day and hearing that the Humanist Society wanted to offer an alternative to religious instruction in schools and have the same access to the children to promote humanism.
My Christian friends were running around frantically trying to get petitions going to stop this "threat". I was just amused because I said "isn't it amazing how and organization that insists it is not religious wants to now promote itself as a religion"? I said as soon as they realize the contradiction they will stop the push. "But it is so dangerous" my friends said - the favorite fall back of fear mongering to all on both sides who's argument is built on sand. I said "nonsense, even if they they can get past the contradiction and they do go ahead, sooner or later they will have to face the reality that all religious organizations do: a unified syllabus and getting enough teachers". That is always a hard ask.
When I heard about the gradual advent of Atheist churches on TV recently, I took great pleasure in saying on my twitter account "Proof that Atheism is just another religion".
Well, the response I got was instantaneous. All the apologists came out from the wood work, most indignant and giving all the reasons why it was not. When I said that I was amused to see all those Atheist apologist, all but 2 went silent as the contradiction set in. It just felt like they were saying we want what you religious people have got so we are going to copy it.
I was impressed with one comment however, in that the author felt that it could not be a religion unless there was some sort of deity involved. It would have been a good point except that I have never come across anybody, religious or not that is capable of referring to any kind of existence, nature, human, Cosmos, evolution, without talking about it in divine terms. Without God these terms simply become substitutes.
The argument that intrigues me the most however, appears in the article "Atheist Ex-Pastor Jerry DeWitt’s Mission to Red America". It is incredibly common among Atheist and goes: "I can't believe in a "God" that allows for suffering particularly the suffering of children".
I find it intriguing because I can't work out what the argument is. It's not very logical is it. Because we don't want suffering in the world is not proof that there is no cause. Or are they saying they are angry with God and therefore they refuse to believe. I mean you can't be angry with God and not believe in Him. But perhaps that is one of those contradictions that Atheists live with to justify their choices.
No! Atheism is not a real threat to Christianity and particularly not to God. I actually thank God for many atheist (but that is another article). The real threat is Christian being unwilling to contend with their own faith.
When Christians are not secure in their own faith the rebellious will succeed.