I've pointed out before how atheists are fulfilling Biblical prophecy. We are told in God's Word that as history winds down, not only will there be a huge migration of people from Christianity. We're told that this migration will happen in concert with a huge rise in atheism and a simultaneous rise in homosexuality. I think it's kind of cool to watch this taking place before our very eyes. But something else is happening that is very strange.
Flannery O'Connor wrote in her novel “Wise Blood,” about a character of whom she said, “there was a deep, black, wordless conviction in him that the way to avoid Jesus was to avoid sin.”
We all want this. Witness how excited atheists are over the misconception of what Pope Francis said regarding their goodness. Every religion but Christianity depends on self-salvation through good deeds. Only Jesus brought to us the concept of Grace; something that no human on earth would or even could invent.
The self-salvation paradigm goes like this. You don't need Jesus as Saviour if you keep all the moral laws. In fact, if you keep all the moral laws, God owes you. If you're good enough, then God is obligated to give you what you ask for. He owes you health. He owes you wealth. And most of all, God owes you a pass to heaven. Grace might be essential for some people, but not for you. If you're good enough, or so this theory goes, you can save yourself. Oh sure, Jesus might be your friend. He might even be your mentor and inspiration for living, but one thing Jesus is not, under this plan. He is not your Saviour.
I haven't seen anyone attempt to act this out within Protestant Christianity, although it's ubiquitous in the functional atheist community. What I have seen of late however is men and women who claim to be Christians, who are angry at God. They're angry at God because based on their degree of “goodness,” and based upon their degree of effort to obey Jesus, they believe that He owes them. He doesn't owe them salvation. They don't go that far, but he does owe them the worldly picture of a good life. This trend is new. I rarely saw this absurd thinking back in the day. Now I see it almost on a weekly basis in those with whom I work.
Now, it's no doubt that these people are experiencing hardship. They wouldn't come to a counsellor if life was easy. Loss of a business. Marriage breakdown. A child in trouble with the law. The death of a loved one. These people are experiencing the norms of life on earth. The strange thing is however, they are mad at God because of difficulties being present in their lives.
That kind of thing is par for the course for atheists, but for Christians?
Something is seriously wrong in what these people have been taught regarding our relationship with Creator God.
Somehow these people have forgotten that God hates the proud but gives grace to the humble.
Somehow these people have missed the purpose of sorrow and loss and suffering and pain.
Something very strange is going on in the Christian Church in North America.