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Evangelical Liz Abrams “Explains” Why Atheists Really, in Their Heart of Hearts, Believe in God

ray comfort atheists hate god

Evangelicals are fond of putting words into the mouths of atheists. They “know” the real reasons atheists don’t believe in the existence of God. They claim to know our real motives, our secret desires. It is any wonder, then, that atheists tell Evangelicals to “fuck off”? When an Evangelical shares her testimony with me, I accept what she says at face value. I don’t question her motivations, nor do I suggest that I know the real reason she is a Christian.

Last week, Answers in Genesis trotted out Liz Abrams as the latest Evangelical who “knows” the inside scoop about atheists. According to Abrams, deep, deep, deep in their heart of hearts, atheists believe in the Christian God.

Here’s what she had to say:

Atheists claim to disbelieve in God. However, if one digs down deep, one finds that professing atheists can’t really escape the knowledge of God. And this is encouraging for Christians who want to share the good news with them. Here are three ways atheists cannot escape the knowledge of God.

1. The Atheist Bears the Image of God

The atheist, like every other human being, is created in the image of God. This means he is designed for relationship with his Creator, has an inbuilt moral sensibility, and will live for eternity in either heaven or hell.

Every person has the sense that death is wrong—that we shouldn’t just cease to exist. Death feels wrong because God didn’t design us to die; we die because of sin. Everyone at some point or another has the longing for eternity. It wouldn’t make sense for us to get that desire from an evolutionary process that requires death and suffering.

Atheists hold a variety of odd ideas that they think might enable humans to beat mortality. From uploading their consciousness to the cloud to putting their bodies in a deep freeze and awaiting the day when medical technology can revive them, some atheists try to think of any way possible to eventually get around the fact of death.

….

2. The Atheist Borrows God’s Moral Standards and Logic

For Christians, the image of God gives every human being intrinsic value. But atheists have nothing that gives humans inherent value. If life is just nature’s way of keeping food fresh, universal morality makes no sense. The only moral law is to do whatever helps your genes make the jump to the next generation. Does monogamy help your offspring have a better start, giving your genes a more established path forward? Does polygamy give your genes more hosts in the next generation? Does promiscuity give you even more chances at reproduction? Does locking your wife up ensure that any children she has are yours? It doesn’t take that much contemplation to see that a purely evolutionary ethic would be horrific. A consistent evolutionist in this area belongs in a mental institution or prison!

Most atheists don’t go around murdering people—why? Many atheists would scoff at the question and claim, “I don’t need God to be good!” But their statement assumes that objective good exists. The only objective good that exists in an evolutionary world is that the fittest survive and reproduce. Why is it good to be faithful to your wife? Who gave us an inbuilt sense that it’s wrong to murder and steal? Theft and murder could be evolutionarily beneficial in certain circumstances!

….

3. The Atheist Hates God

Atheists often display more than a “benign” unbelief. There is an overt hostility to Christians and things pertaining to the faith. It does not take much searching to find blasphemous literature and works of “art.”

The fact that an atheist’s disbelief in God sometimes becomes their entire identity shows that there is more to it than casual disbelief. Almost no one today believes Thor exists, but there aren’t any anti-Thor movements. The fact that this vitriolic attitude is reserved only for the God of the Bible is revealing. There are many people alive today who believe in the Muslim god, Allah, but atheists are not nearly as strident in their opposition to a religion that is, in many ways, much more restrictive than Christianity. When an atheist starts railing against how he perceives God has been unfair or wrong from his point of view, that is as ridiculous as being disappointed that the tooth fairy didn’t give him enough money under his pillow.

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Loving Atheists

It is understandable that some Christians see atheists as our enemies. They oppose us in the public square, attempt to convert our children to unbelief, and they say some unpleasant things about Christians. But Jesus said to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (Matthew 5:44)—how much more should we pray for and love atheists?

So, what do we do when we encounter atheists? First, we should obey Jesus and share the good news of the gospel with them, as well as pray that God will work in their hearts. We can open our homes and build relationships with them in the hope that God will reach them through us. We should openly talk about our faith and attempt to win them. And when an atheist starts trying to convert others, we should be ready to oppose and refute them.

Being used by God to bring someone to Christ is an amazing feeling, and we know that there will be many former atheists in heaven—some are even associated with this ministry! And that is usually because a Christian cared enough about them to engage with them and persistently share the gospel.

According to Abrams:

  • Deep down, atheists really believe in the Christian God
  • Atheists are created in the image of the Christian God
  • Atheists borrow their morals and logic from Christianity (the Bible) and some of them belong in mental institutions or prisons for their “wrong” moral beliefs.
  • Atheists hate the Christian God

Abrams, of course, provides no empirical evidence for her claims. At best, she miserably tries to make a few philosophical arguments. At worst, as the presuppositionalist she is, Abrams makes bald assertions, demanding you accept them without evidence.

Abrams is being untruthful when she says “atheists hate God.” I don’t know of one atheist who “hates God.” Why would atheists hate a being they don’t believe exists? That would be downright silly. Abrams, as most Evangelicals do, confuses atheist hatred for some expressions of religion (including Islam and Hinduism) with hatred for their mythical deity. Atheists focus their hatred on Evangelical institutions, and, if warranted, Evangelical preachers. If Abrams wants to know if I hate (using the term in a colloquial sense of really, really, really dislike) Answers in Genesis, Ken Ham, and countless Evangelical churches, parachurch ministries, and preachers, the answer is a resounding YES!. My goal as a writer is to burn Evangelicalism to the ground, not because of who Evangelicals worship, but because of what they do in the name of that God. My hatred is reserved for Evangelical behavior, not their mythical deity. I focus on what is real, and what matters.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

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20 Comments

  1. Avatar
    aylogogo77

    “Every person has the sense that death is wrong—that we shouldn’t just cease to exist.” Um, no. Some of us accept that death is just a part of life. This piece reveals something about an over-inflated Christian ego.
    “But atheists have nothing that gives humans inherent value.” I thought of the regular commenters here and all the people and activities they have in their lives that give their existence plenty of value. Then I chuckled at how evangelicals love to make sh*t up.
    “Atheists hate God…there is an overt hostility to Christians” Ahem! Those are not the same thing. Author is conflating God and Christians.
    (Atheists try to) “convert our children to unbelief” When was the last time an atheist knocked on your door to tell you not to believe? One would think it was us instead of Christians doing the proselytizing. People find atheists online or in real life because they want to. And because a lot of atheists are highly intelligent, compassionate, and fun to hang out with. There’s no equivalent to the Billy Graham Crusade run by atheists. Pure projection here.

  2. Avatar
    MJ Lisbeth

    I really, really hate Sauron!

    Seriously, Aylogogo, you make great points. I will mention my atheism if it’s relevant to a discussion or conversation. All atheists I know do likewise: We don’t try to convert, if you will, believers. On the other hand, we are always confronted with other people’s—mainly Christians’—faith. And Christians face no penalty for getting in our faces to proselytize, while we can experience ostracism and worse for expressing our non-belief, the First Amendment notwithstanding.

  3. Avatar
    Joe Sperling

    Abrams is absolutely correct. No one “hates” Santa Claus. They don’t blog about why Santa doesn’t exist. Why waste the time? Everyone knows Santa doesn’t exist. They may hate their parents for exposing them to a belief in Santa Claus. But they don’t have to spend hours disproving Santa Claus. Because he REALLY does not exist.
    But atheists and deconverts spend hours of their time attempting to disprove God’s existence. Often one will find by digging deeper that many of these people are angry at God. Something happened to them. A loss of a family member or some other tragedy. Or a horrible experience in a church or with someone who was supposed to be a believer.
    And many of these people will post on many different blogs, saying the same things OVER AND OVER again.

    To me their constant NEED to disprove God shows a nagging in their brain that just maybe there is a God–and they are fighting it. If they don’t believe in God then just walk away like someone who realizes Santa is a myth. NO need to constantly explain why Santa doesn’t exist. Just move on.

    But they CAN’T. Atheists prove there is a God. There are many proofs that God exists, and the actions of atheists are just another example of how he works on hearts continuously.

    • Avatar
      Bruce Gerencser

      Ray Comfort, not Liz Abrams said this. Pay attention, Joe.

      Nice job, Joe, of compiling all the worn-out, lame explanations Evangelicals use to explain “why” people deconvert. Anything and everything but actually listening to their stories and accepting them at face value. Imagine you stated the reason you became a Christian, and I said, no, the REAL reason you became a Christian is that you felt guilty over secret sin, wanted to make your parents proud, or wanted to get in Sally Jo’s pants 👖. Why, you’d be offended.

      You are a hypocrite. You are part of a sect called “Evangelicalism.” A sect dedicated to sharing the gospel and evangelizing the world. Look at the millions of Christian blogs, websites, podcasts, social media groups, TV stations, radio stations, and books. Why can’t Christians just get saved and move on? Why all the incessant God-talk? Why, one might conclude that the reason Christians immerse themselves in all-things God, 24/7, is that deep down in their little ‘ole heart of hearts, they know Jesus is dead. Ouch, right?

      I’ll stop telling my story when Evangelicals stop telling theirs; when Evangelicals stop trying to establish a theocracy; when Evangelicals stop meddling in my life and the lives of others. Until then, Loki-willing, I plan to keep on writing. And remember, you are the one who sought me out. I’ve never, ever, in fifteen years, gone to a Christian site and left an inflammatory “atheist” comment. Such behavior is boorish and rude.

      You seem to have a penchant for trying to impugn the motives of atheists for deconverting. My advice? Actually listen to Evangelicals-turned-atheists. Accept their stories at face value. Do unto your neighbor, the atheist, as you would have them do unto you. Put your humanity, not your theology, first.

    • Avatar
      GeoffT

      Joe, I challenge you to provide a proof of god. Just one. Actually, not just proof (a word I dislike, but I’ll not worry about that), but even some evidence.

      You see, why the world is becoming more atheistic, and why Christianity is slowly dying, is that folks are becoming more educated, and better education results in people turning to atheism. Do you see the pattern? Educated: atheist.

  4. Avatar
    Joe Sperling

    Bruce–I say what I say through experience. “How dare you question our deconversion”! “How dare you state we left the faith due to tragedies, or relationships, or a Pastor who let us down?”

    But then you begin to read many of the posts from the past, or replies to your own thoughts. You begin to see a constant theme: how evil God is for allowing cancer, or starvation, or allowing their mom to die. “If there is a God He must be evil and narcissistic…” You begin to see the word “if” quite a bit. And you think to yourself “I thought they didn’t believe in God. What do they mean “if there is a God?”

    That is when you realize that they really do believe in God–they are just angry with Him. Often deconverts say they left the faith because God didn’t answer their prayers. “I gave Him a chance and He didn’t come through, therefore I don’t believe He exists”. Or they say they will only believe if God appears to them. Talk about a kid “throwing a fit” until they get what they want. lol.

    I have been to too many deconversion sites not to see this. Why do I visit the sites? I only do from time to time because they fascinate me. How can someone REALLY not believe any more? I guess due to what deconverts say I find it very hard to really believe they don’t believe any more.

    But I understand your dislike of people quoting the Bible. But imagine a discussion of “The Taming of the Shrew” if you are asked not to quote Shakespeare. LOL.

    • Avatar
      aylogogo77

      “That is when you realize that they really do believe in God–they are just angry with Him.”
      Actually, no. Atheists don’t get angry with God who doesn’t exist. We do, however, get angry with people who disrespect us as mightily as you have. To be precise, what chaps my ass-cheeks isn’t God, it’s piss-poor behavior from evangelicals like you. Refusing to listen and acting both stupidly and rudely, and contradicting your own Bible in so doing. But…I also chuckle at the way evangelicals love to make shit up about us. So much fantasy is being generated. No wonder so many people, especially the youth, are deserting evangelicalism and that evangelical churches are closing by the sackful every year.

    • Avatar
      MJ Lisbeth

      Joe—Your Shakespeare/Taming of the Shrew anaology doesn’t work. What, exactly, do you mean by a “discussion of Shakespeare?” The person who is known to have written 37 plays and 154 sonnets? The body of his work? His significance in world drama and literature? His rhetoric and poetics? While it would indeed be difficult to have a thorough discussion of any of those topics while omitting any of his works, the analogy falls apart because there is little, if any, doubt that Shakespeare was an actual person—an incredible talent and genius!—who wrote them.

      On the other hand, an atheist can’t brook any discussion of what you claim to be “the truth” because an atheist, by definition does not believe what Christians (by your definition) believe: that the Bible is divinely dictated or inspired and therefore true: an empirical truth, as it were. A better analogy would be this: quoting a text on alchemy to a modern-day chemist or physicist, or Pythagoras’ ideas on how human traits are passed intergenerationally (for all that he got right about mathematics, he was wrong about that) to a modern geneticist.

    • Avatar
      Sage

      I deconverted because I read the Bible more throughly and realized it was all a scam and the history of the origin of the Bible was fraught with manipulation and fights to control the ménage.

      No emotion, no anger, not feeling like god ignored me or did wrong to me. I simply realized the story was not true and could not be true, no matter how much faith was applied.

    • Avatar
      Astreja

      Joe, it is trivially easy to discuss the many faults of the Biblical god without actually believing in it. It’s no different from doing an analysis of Raskolnikov from Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment.

    • Avatar
      clubschadenfreude

      “Bruce–I say what I say through experience. “How dare you question our deconversion”! “How dare you state we left the faith due to tragedies, or relationships, or a Pastor who let us down?”

      And yet poor Joe can’t explain why his supposed omnipotent omnibenevolent allows such things when “once upon a time” it didn’t.

      “But then you begin to read many of the posts from the past, or replies to your own thoughts. You begin to see a constant theme: how evil God is for allowing cancer, or starvation, or allowing their mom to die. “If there is a God He must be evil and narcissistic…” You begin to see the word “if” quite a bit. And you think to yourself “I thought they didn’t believe in God. What do they mean “if there is a God?”

      Again, still more excuses from Joe for why his god is impotent. Joe is also too stupid to know what “if” means. Yep, I don’t believe in Joe’s god, and I do have to say “if” about imaginary beings. If I believed in Joe’s god, I’d say “Joe’s god is evil and narcisstic”.

      “That is when you realize that they really do believe in God–they are just angry with Him. Often deconverts say they left the faith because God didn’t answer their prayers. “I gave Him a chance and He didn’t come through, therefore I don’t believe He exists”. Or they say they will only believe if God appears to them. Talk about a kid “throwing a fit” until they get what they want. lol.”

      Joe still can’t figure out what if means. Alas for Joe’s excuse about why his god doesn’t answer prayers like it promises fails since I’ve read the bible and know what it says, not what Joe claims. Joe’s whine also fails since his supposed messiah has no problem in giving evidence if asked, again “once upon a time”. This god says to test it and has no problem if you ask for confirmation. We see that in the story of Thomas. But that’s the problem, Joe’s entire bible is a set of baseless stories that aren’t true.

      “I have been to too many deconversion sites not to see this. Why do I visit the sites? I only do from time to time because they fascinate me. How can someone REALLY not believe any more? I guess due to what deconverts say I find it very hard to really believe they don’t believe any more.”

      Joe visits these sites since he, like so many other Christians, hates his fellows since they won’t agree with him. He is desperate for an audience and external validation. Joe can’t accept that people don’t agree with him since he is ever so sure how special he is. His appeal to personal ignorance fails.

      “But I understand your dislike of people quoting the Bible. But imagine a discussion of “The Taming of the Shrew” if you are asked not to quote Shakespeare. LOL.”

      I only dislike when Christians quote the bible and lie about it. I find it hilarious when a Christian does that, demonstrating he has no more interest in his god than I do.

  5. Avatar
    Bruce Gerencser

    You said:

    “Bruce–I say what I say through experience. “How dare you question our deconversion”! “How dare you state we left the faith due to tragedies, or relationships, or a Pastor who let us down?”

    Your subjective experiences and opinions carry no weight here. I told you why I deconverted. You refuse to accept my explanation. That’s your problem, not mine. Your mind is already made up, so nothing I say will make a difference.

    When it comes to why people deconvert from Evangelicalism, I suspect I know a lot more about this subject than you do. While the reasons people deconvert are many, a common thread in their stories is that that they no longer believed the Bible was authoritative; that they no longer believed the central claims of Christianity were true. Thousands of ex-Evangelicals read this blog. Maybe a few of them will “educate” on why they deconverted. Maybe not. They typically don’t waste their time with people who are determined to marginalize them and discredit their stories.

  6. Avatar
    Joe Sperling

    MJ—- Actually there are some who think Francis Bacon may have authored Shakespeare. It’s not a CERTAIN thing that a man named William Shakespeare existed. I believe he did— but some do not. Just to be accurate.

    • Avatar
      Bruce Gerencser

      “The Shakespeare authorship question is the argument that someone other than William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon wrote the works attributed to him. Anti-Stratfordians—a collective term for adherents of the various alternative-authorship theories—believe that Shakespeare of Stratford was a front to shield the identity of the real author or authors, who for some reason—usually social rank, state security, or gender—did not want or could not accept public credit. Although the idea has attracted much public interest, all but a few Shakespeare scholars and literary historians consider it a fringe theory, and for the most part acknowledge it only to rebut or disparage the claims.”

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shakespeare_authorship_question

    • Avatar
      MJ Lisbeth

      The “Bacon wrote Shakespeare “ theory had its greatest traction about 150 years ago, when some scholars found parallels between some of the themes in Shakespeare’s work and Bacon’s ideas. But one can also find correspondences between the ideas of the great thinkers of any era: They are attuned to the zeitgeist of their time.

      Today, few if any serious scholars of Bacon’s or Shakespeare’s works believe that one wrote the other’s. There is more evidence that a person named William Shakespeare actually lived and wrote the works attributed to him—and possibly others—than there is that the Bible is the inspired word of God—or that even said God ever existed.

  7. Avatar
    MJ Lisbeth

    Bruce— Thank you for your response to “Joe”s—let’s call it what it is—gaslighting. One of the reasons I write about my experiences of sexual abuse by a priest is that folks like “Joe” assume that it’s the reason I don’t believe (and others believe that it “confused” me and made me transgender.)

  8. Avatar
    ObstacleChick

    If I lived in India, I might be speaking out about why I don’t believe in RAM, or Ganesha, or Vishnu, or many of the other Hindu deities. Or I may be speaking out about why I don’t believe in Allah, as a significant number of Indians are Muslim. Or I may be speaking about why I don’t believe in Jesus, if I were one of the minority of Indian Christians. Here in the US, I talk about why I don’t believe in the Christian God and his demigods of Jesus, lesser-known Holy Spirit, and Satan. Why? Because the majority of US residents are or were Christian, and because my personal experience is that i used to be Christian but am no longer. But just as I don’t believe in the Christian deity set, I also don’t believe in other religion’s deities – just as much. I don’t suffer religious abuse at the hands of other religionists, though, so I can’t speak personally about what it must be like to live as a woman in a repressive Muslim or Hindu culture, though I know they exist.

  9. Avatar
    MJ Lisbeth

    Obstacle–Your comment is spot-on. As you point out, most of us–atheists, agnostics and other non-religious people in the US–talk about our non-belief in the Judeo-Christian God and demi-gods (I love your use of that term!) becaues most of us were raised in some form of Chritianity. Furthermore, even our supposedly secular society is suffused with Christian beliefs: It’s the “default” point of view, if you will. Nearly all public officials place a hand on a Bible and say “so help me God,” or words to that effect, when taking an oath of office. And, many public meetings and events begin with Bible readings and prayers to the Christian God. (When I was writing for a newspaper. one of my early “beats” was a community board that held its meetings in a Knights of Columbus hall where a crucifix covered the entire wall behind the stage. Every meeting began with a prayer and one regular attendee prayed the rosary.) Need I mention all of the places that are named for Christian saints? In such conditions, an atheist has to defend his or her position in a way no Christian will ever have to do–and most Christians will never understand as much.

    Also, some Christians preach to us, especially when it isn’t called for. Within 10 kilometers of my apartment is one of the largest Sikh communities and temples in North America, communities of Muslims from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Yemen and their mosques, as well as Hindu and Buddhist communities and temples, as well as Orthodox Jewish communites. Even among my friends, acquaintances and co-workers from those communities, none has ever tried to “save” my “soul”.

  10. Avatar
    MJ Lisbeth

    Obstacle–Your comment is spot-on. As you point out, most of us–atheists, agnostics and other non-religious people in the US–talk about our non-belief in the Judeo-Christian God and demi-gods (I love your use of that term!) becaues most of us were raised in some form of Chritianity. Furthermore, even our supposedly secular society is suffused with Christian beliefs: It’s the “default” point of view, if you will. Nearly all public officials place a hand on a Bible and say “so help me God,” or words to that effect, when taking an oath of office. And, many public meetings and events begin with Bible readings and prayers to the Christian God. (When I was writing for a newspaper. one of my early “beats” was a community board that held its meetings in a Knights of Columbus hall where a crucifix covered the entire wall behind the stage. Every meeting began with a prayer and one regular attendee prayed the rosary.) Need I mention all of the places that are named for Christian saints? In such conditions, an atheist has to defend his or her position in a way no Christian will ever have to do–and most Christians will never understand as much.

    Also, some Christians preach to us, especially when it isn’t called for. Within 10 kilometers of my apartment is one of the largest Sikh communities and temples in North America, communities of Muslims from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Yemen and their mosques, as well as Hindu and Buddhist communities and temples, as well as Orthodox Jewish communites. Even among my friends, acquaintances and co-workers from those communities, none has ever tried to “save” my “soul”. They simply don’t have the sense of entitlement or sheer presumption that too many Christians have.

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Bruce Gerencser