Volume. XXIV, No. 38
Sunday, 21 March 2010

Atheist Convention: A Meaningless Gathering

The Global Atheist Convention 2010 was held between 12-14 Mach 2010 in Melbourne, Australia. It was described as the largest gathering of atheists, rationalists, humanists, sceptics, free thinkers and other like-minded people in Australian history to celebrate their ‘lack of faith,’ which they titled “The Rise of Atheism.g”There were more than twenty presenters at the Convention, which included some of the “cream” of the world’s most prominent and vocal atheists, such as Dr. Richard Dawkins, a Britishethologist, evolutionary biologist and popular scienceauthor, and the “ethicist”Prof.Peter Singer who has made it plain that some animals have greater “rights” than human infants. According to the organisers of this event, tickets were sold out six weeks before it opened despite there being no aid from any level of government. What is this convention all about? And what spiritual implications can we learn from this recent gathering of renowned Atheists?

Many wonder what the core subject of discussion at the convention would be. It should not surprise many Christians that it was a series of ‘meaningless’ talks. This observation is certainly not made based on subjectivism, but in fact it, was one of the main subjects of discussion at the Convention. According to one of the Atheist propaganda websites, one of the keynote speakers is described this way: “A lifelong atheist, Phillip Adams started writing on the joys of disbelief, the merits of the meaningless universe and the sins of religion half a century ago.” To most Atheists who attended the conference, it was indeed a meaningless talk at a meaningless conference held on a meaningless planet in a meaningless universe—how uplifting this conference could have been? Perhaps some of our Atheist friends who attended the conference found it was, after all, a meaninglesswaste of time, and of money as well (at AU$155 per ticket). Of course, most would claim that their convention was a success and filled with ‘purpose’ and ‘meaning’—but nothing can be further from the truth.
The Psalmist rightly said: “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God” (Ps 14:1). There is not a more fitting Bible verse which summarises such a ‘meaningless’ gathering of three full days. The word “fool” used in Psalm 14:1 is the Hebrew word ‘nabal’. This should remind us of Nabal who was married to a woman by the name of Abigail (1 Samuel 25). The word ‘nabal’ may be translated "simple, silly, simpleton, fool, or madman." How could some of the most renowned and respected scientists, professors and philosophers merely be classified as “fools”? Bear in mind that the Psalmist is not implying that all Atheists are intellectually and mentally ‘foolish’, although that is the root meaning of the Hebrew word. It is the spiritual foolishness which derived from ‘a darken(ed) heart or a ‘morally depraved heart’ which the Psalmist was alluding to. Describing both non-believing Jews and Gentiles, Apostle Paul wrote in the Epistle to the Roman church, “…they knew God, they glorifiedhim not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. (Rom 1:21) 
How did the Atheists who gathered at the Convention glorify and thank Him not as God? Prior to Richard Dawkins’ arrival, Creation Ministry International, Australia challenged Dawkins to a debate, Dawkins refused. Dawkins said that he refuses to debate creationists simply because it gives them ‘prestige’. Whatever the real reason behind Dawkins refusal to debate with the creationists, he has perhaps done a great favour to the Creationists and Bible believing Christians by waking it out of its complacency on the creation/evolution issue. Was Dawkins afraid of losing the debate to the creationists or was he simply refusing to give glory to God as the Creator (Rom 1:21a)? Most likely, both.
Having turned down the debate, Dawkins, one of the main speakers at the conference spoke on the theme, ‘The Evolution of Gratitude and Gratitude for Evolution. He concluded that indeed we should be grateful to be alive, and indeed that have probably evolved to "lust" to be grateful. The question is: “To whom should we be grateful?” To the impersonal supposed random ‘process’ of evolution? According to the Word of God, such supposition is both illogical and foolish—it is both illogical and foolish because one cannot and should not render his gratitude to an impersonal ‘process,’ namely evolution. Rom 1:22 says, “[they] Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. Thus, we may conclude that the most intellectually bright and gifted atheists in the world know God from his works in creation but they do not glorify him or thank Him as God because they have a ‘darkened heart’ (Rom 1:21) — which makes them fools, though they are perceived as ‘wise’ (Rom 1:22). As quoted on the website of the 2010 Melbourne Global Atheist Convention, Dawkins also states: The enlightenment is under threat. So is reason. So is truth. So is science… We have to devote a significant proportion of our time and resources to defendingit from deliberate attack from organized ignorance…” In other words, Dawkins is saying, “We have to spend a lot of time and moneyfighting the Bible believing Christians and defending evolution.” What ‘enlightenment’ and ‘truth’ is Dawkins talking about? It is the foolish ‘way of man’ which man is enslaved by. Did not the Word of God say, “There is a waythat seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Pro 16:25)?  
We must realize that Atheism is a religion – it is a religion whose belief about God is that there is no God! In August 2005, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed previous Supreme Court precedent by ruling atheism was equivalent to a religion for 1st amendment purposes (William Joseph Bauer, Diane Pamela Wood, and Ann Claire Williams "James J. Kaufman, v. Gary R. McCaughtry, et al." United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. No. 04-1914). The atheists in the world are out there to “convert” our children and children’s children in our schools and tertiary institutions—we must not let down our guard but educate our young ones to defend themselves from the ‘attacks’ of the Atheist ‘preachers’ and ‘evangelists’. The question that perhaps baffles the mind of many Christians is: “Why do these atheists even bother to try to aggressively ‘convert’ people to their meaningless ‘religion’ by holding a convention? After all, what’s the point?” The Word of God explicitly says that they know in their hearts there is a God, but they are also deliberately “holding” or “suppressing” the truth” (Rom 1:18) with a hidden agenda. Their agenda is to get as many people as possible to be onboard with them on the sinking ‘Titanic’ which they know is doomed to perish. Apostle Paul says, “[Those] who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”(Rom 1:32)
In spite of the growing animosity against Christianity from the Atheist camp, we certainly must still pray for them—for they need the gospel of Jesus Christ as much as we do. We should also show compassion toward those who are still lost and dying in their sins wandering in ‘meaninglessness’ as we once were. Meanwhile, we ought not forget to be ever grateful to God who has made us and given us new life in Christ Jesus and continue to live meaningfully with a purpose (ie. to glorify God and enjoy Him forever) serving Him zealously and faithfully till our Lord’s return!
Ps Weng

More Lively Hope



*Kitchen Rosters: Team Leader: Bro Daniel Volvricht. Next Lord’s Day Kitchen Roster: Team Leader: Bro Raymond Ang.
*Earthquake in Chile: Monetary donations to our Chilean B-P Churches & brethren will be greatly appreciated.
*First Gospel Rally, 25 April. Please pray for this event and take flyers on literature table to invite your friends.
*Please note: Daylight savings ends on Easter Sunday, 4 April.
*Next week: No fellowship lunch after Worship Service.
*All worshippers are encouraged to attend the Easter Bible Camp. Please hand in your camp forms and fees ASAP, preferably by today.
Looking Ahead
Family Bible Camp, Easter weekend, 2-4 April 2010.
*Gospel Sunday at 7:30pm on 25th April, 2010.
*24th Anniversary Thanksgiving on 20 June 2010.
Praise & Thanksgiving
1. Journey mercies: Bro Colin & Sis Kathleen Creaser (Melb); Bro Simon & Sis Delelza Ting & Hannah (Jpn); Dr Joseph Seow (S’pore); Bro Youwen Yeap (Adl); Sisters Sooi Chin Gong (KL), Michelle Lee (Melb/Adl), Suzane Lim, & Peng Ha Yeo (Adl) & others who have travelled.
2. Church activities - over the past week.
3. Daily mercies, protection & guidance.
4. Peaceful SA State Election yesterday.
Prayer Items
1. Health & God’s healing - Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren; Rev Stephen Khoo, Dr & Mrs S H Tow; Rev & Mrs James White; Preacher Zhang, Dn Yaw Chiew Tan; Bros Colin Creaser, Makoto Kobayashi (JPN), Elton Law, Jonathan Liao, Len & Richard Pearson, Moses Tan, Fred Volvricht; Mr Swee Liang Ng; Grandpa Ki (S’pore); Auntie Oei; Sisters Lynette Booth, Mabella Booth, Annie D’Mello & her mother (Mumbai), Lydia Fan, Myung Ki (UK), Choon Fong Lee (KL); Fiona & Lehia Paauwe; Margaret, Dianne, & Sarah Pearson; Aranka Rejtoe, Susan Veradi, Irena Kurek-Braden; & others in affliction.
2. Radio & chemotherapy treatments - Bro Winston Selvanayagam.
3. Cambodia Missions - Rev Luke Kim & ministry (Veal Renh); Rev David Koo & ministry, Life University; Pr Zhang & ministry (Sihanoukville); Bro John & Sis Lydia Saray (Kampot).
4. Laos Missions - Bro Surish Dharmalingam.
5. iSketch&Tell Studio - Pr H S Lim (Melb).
6. IBPFM (USA) - missionaries & funds.
7. Ps & Sis Ki & ministry in New Life BPC (Lond). For guidance, wisdom and protection.
8. Hopefuls in S’pore; In Kuching: Teo family.
9. God’s guidance & help: Bro Richard Tee (Melb) & Sis Mag Yu (S’pore).
10. God’s comfort - All those in grief.
11. Study in Sydney: Bro Joshua Chung.
12. Journey mercies: Bro Colin & Sis Kathleen Creaser (Adl), Bro Simon & Sis Demelza Ting & Hannah (Jpn/Taiwan/S’pore), Bros Raymond Chia (Adl), Yick Ho Lam & Rexson Tse (Kompiam, PNG); & others travelling.
13. Bro Richie & Sis Myra Hornung (Mindanao).
14. Family Bible Camp at Easter: Rev & Mrs Tracy Minnick, organisers, & participants.
15. Revival in Church: more to come for Bible Study.
16. Job - Sisters Xiandrea Cai, Marion Chan, Judy Li, Corinne Teng.
17. Good health in pregnancy - Sisters Josephine Wong & Bernadette Ng.
18. Unity of fellowship & doctrine of Australian B-P Churches.
19. Chilean earthquake: Survivals & those in grief. Sister B-P Churches & brethren to trust God.
20.  God’s guidance & help: new overseas students to settle down in Adelaide



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