I love movie award shows – I love seeing the nominated films, filling out my ballot at home and watching the evening unfold with all the beautiful celebrities dressed in glamorous clothing. Recently I watched the Golden Globe awards, hosted by the notorious Ricky Gervais. I think he's funny and thought his jabs at celebrities were funny, but his sign-off bothered me.
His last words of the show were, "Thank you God for making me an atheist."This statement caused a big reaction among Christian people. Many Christians are angry at Gervais for being disrespectful or trying to mock their faith. My reaction is different – I don't feel angry at him at all. I am filled with compassion.
After searching the Internet, I found that Gervais is indeed an atheist and has given several interviews about the topic. Following is a quote from one of those interviews, "I’m good. I just don’t believe I’ll be rewarded for it in heaven. My reward is here and now."
That is one of the saddest things I've heard. My attitude is not that of an offended Christian, but like a parent of a rebellious teen who is sad about their child's choices and wants better for them.
Atheists want proof God exists; they want some type of empirical, scientific evidence. This is where it gets difficult. To me, evidence of God is everywhere - the stars, the ocean, the complexity of the human body, but there isn't some Law of Gravity or Pythagorean theorem that can be used to measure or explain God.
God is infinite and beyond comprehension, that's part of His nature.There isn't something visible an atheist can observe with their own eyes. Of course you can't see the non-physical; it's invisible. Imagine a man, blind from birth, who is skeptical of the existence of color even though he frequently hears other people talking about it. Just as it would be foolish for the blind man to conclude that color does not exist simply because he is unable to detect it with his senses, it is foolish for the atheist to dismiss God because he cannot detect God with his senses.
For an atheist to sustain the belief that there is no God, atheism has to demonstrate infinite knowledge, which is tantamount to saying, "I have infinite knowledge that there is no being in existence with infinite knowledge." Then, logically, the entire atheist worldview falls apart.
Following is a quote from a former atheist, "I was an atheist at one time. And like many atheists, the issue of people believing in God bothered me greatly. What is it about atheists that we would spend so much time, attention, and energy refuting something that we don't believe even exists?! What causes us to do that? When I was an atheist, I attributed my intentions as caring for those poor, delusional people...to help them realize their hope was completely ill-founded. To be honest, I also had another motive. As I challenged those who believed in God, I was deeply curious to see if they could convince me otherwise. Part of my quest was to become free from the question of God. If I could conclusively prove to believers that they were wrong, then the issue is off the table, and I would be free to go about my life."
Although an atheist says they don't believe in God because they don't have proof He exists, I think it's possible they don't want proof He exists - there's an old saying that an atheist can't find God for the same reason a thief can't find a policeman.
They may be terrified of finding out there is a God. "God exists whether or not men may choose to believe in Him. The reason why many people do not believe in God is not so much that it is intellectually impossible to believe in God, but because belief in God forces that thoughtful person to face the fact that he is accountable to such a God." -Robert A. Laidlaw
I find great hope in the fact that C.S. Lewis, the beloved author and theologian, was once an atheist. He said, "...night after night, feeling whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all of England."