Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson decide to go on a camping trip. After dinner and a bottle of wine, they lay down for the night, and go to sleep.

Some hours later, Holmes awoke and nudged his faithful friend.

“Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see.”

Watson replied, “I see millions of stars.”

“What does that tell you?”

Watson pondered for a minute.

“Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets.”

“Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo.”

“Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three.”

“Theologically, I can see that God is all powerful and that we are small and insignificant.”

“Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow.”

“What does it tell you, Holmes?”

Holmes was silent for a minute, then spoke: “Watson, you idiot. Someone has stolen our tent!”

The modern atheist is much like Dr. Watson. The modern atheist views himself as an intellectual. He has a large vocabulary. He is often highly educated. The modern atheist can be very skilled in a profession of his choice, but he misses the point. God does exist. It is appointed unto men once to die, and after that the judgment. There is a payday, someday. There is no escaping death, or the judgment to come. This is a moral universe. Evolution is a theory, a myth that is demonstrably fallacious for Time + Space + Chance does not equal everything. Out of nothing, nothing comes. These are simple truths that are often missed.

When a person embraces atheism, or more often agnosticism, they have no where to turn but to nature, and self-referencing. This inward turning of the eyes from heaven to earth, this downward spiral from the Sovereign to self, leads to the following ramifications.

First, the person without God cannot have an absolute moral law. Morality is relative for the ungodly. What is wrong for one person, could be right for another person. Joseph Fletcher made this idea popular in the Western world with his book Situation Ethics. Said Fletcher, “all laws and rules and principles and ideals and norms, are only contingent, only valid if they happen to serve love” in the particular situation (Fletcher, Joseph (1997). Situation ethics: The new morality. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press).

Prior to Joseph Fletcher, liberal theologians Rudolf Butmann, and John A. T. Robinson, had introduced situational ethics to the Christian community, with the devastating result of causing many precious souls to loose both their faith, and morality.

The Naturalist, or Secular Humanist, still try valiantly to define and defend a moral code. There is the Evolutionary Humanism of Huxley, the Behavioral Humanism of Skinner, the Existential Humanism of Jean-Paul Sarte, the Practical Humanism of Thomas Dewey, the Marxist Humanism of Karl Marx, the Ego-centric Humanism of Ayn Rand, and the Cultural Humanism of Carl Rogers. 

In the end, all of these competing ideologies, all of these secular views without God, have to return and borrow some core beliefs about morality from the Judeo-Christian faith, because the logical outcome of Secular Humanism is that might makes right. Whatever self wants is good and justifiable. No one has authority to tell others what they “ought” to do.

Atheist Richard Dawkins understood this, and confessed that getting rid of God would make the world less moral (The Times, a British paper).

When he made that honest admission, perhaps Dawkins was thinking of the Soviet work camps of the Gulag Archipelago, about which Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn had written (Published in 1974). Perhaps Dawkins was thinking of the Nazis Death Camps, such as Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka, and Auschwitz where the women were scalped before being put into the ovens. Gold was extracted from teeth before gassed corpses were burned. In the Death Camps little children, especially twins, were horribly experimented upon by Josef Mengele.

“Most of his subjects were children, and he would reportedly do blood transfusions from the one twin to the other, do amputations, and try to sew it onto the other twin, stitch two twins together to form Siamese twins, infect one twin with typhus, or another disease and many other experiments. More often than not, the twins died during the procedures, or he would have them killed afterwards so he can do an autopsy. If one twin died from a disease, he would often kill the other as well to mark the differences between the sick and healthy subjects” (Scott Michael Rank, Ph.D., History Unplugged).

The Nazis experiments and death camps could exist because many individuals had been shaped by a godless ideology that demanded the State be served. “I want to raise a generation of young people who are devoid of conscience, imperious, relentless, and cruel” (Adolf Hitler, The United States Holocaust Museum). Hitler achieved his goal, and the world went to war causing the death of more than fifty million people.

When British philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872 – 1970) tried to instill moral and altruistic motivational principles in his children, he failed. A conversation took place with his daughter Kate who was told to do something.

Kate: “I don’t want to! Why should I?”

Russell: “Because more people will be happier if you do than if you don’t.”

Kate: “So what? I don’t care about other people.”

Russell: “You should.”

Kate: “But why?”

Russell: “Because more people will be happier if you do than if you don’t.” (Russell on Ethics, edited by Charles Pigden, London: Routledge, 1999).

In Secular Humanism, logically, even parents have no authority over their children.

From the rock music of King Crimson comes these lyrics.  

“21Century Schizoid Man”

Cat’s foot, iron claw
Neuro-surgeons scream for more
At paranoia’s poison door
Twenty-first century schizoid man

Blood rack, barbed wire
Politicians’ funeral pyre
Innocents raped with napalm fire
Twenty-first century schizoid man

Death seed, blind man’s greed
Poets’ starving, children bleed
Nothing he’s got he really needs
Twenty-first century schizoid man.

Robert Fripp, Michael Rex Giles, Greg Lake, Ian McDonald, and Peter John Sinfield 

“Epitaph”

The wall on which the prophets wrote
Is cracking at the seams
Upon the instruments of death
The sunlight brightly gleams

When every man is torn apart
With nightmares and with dreams
Will no one lay the laurel wreath

When silence drowns the screams
Confusion will be my epitaph
As I crawl a cracked and broken path
If we make it we can all sit back and laugh

But I fear tomorrow I’ll be crying
Yes, I fear tomorrow I’ll be crying
Yes, I fear tomorrow I’ll be crying

Between the iron gates of fate
The seeds of time were sown
And watered by the deeds of those
Who know and who are known?

Knowledge is a deadly friend
If no one sets the rules
The fate of all mankind I see
Is in the hands of fools

The wall on which the prophets wrote
Is cracking at the seams
Upon the instruments of death
The sunlight brightly gleams

When every man is torn apart
With nightmares and with dreams
Will no one lay the laurel wreath
When silence drowns the screams

“The Schizoid Man” writes his own “Epitaph”. That is what Secular Humanism produces with all of its irrational jargon, mindless, emotionless, and hopelessness.

Second, the person without God has no meaning to life. Shakespeare addresses the question of the meaning of life in Macbeth, (Acts 5, Scene 5).

“Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death.

Out, out, brief candle!

Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more.
It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.”

In an effort to try and find some meaning in life, many people do what the Man in the Book of Ecclesiastes did. They seek to find happiness in the details of life. But the conclusion is this. “Vanity of vanity, all is vanity.” Life is empty.

Those who find life the most empty of meaning are not those who have to endure pain, evil, angst, suffering, and conflict, but those who are saturated with money, time, and the pursuit of pleasure. One example of this is Oscar Wilde (1854 – 1900) who wrote, The Picture of Dorian Gray.

According to the plot of the book, Dorian Gray is a cultured, wealthy, sophisticated, and handsome young man who is a gifted artist. He is also a hedonist who has inherited a portrait which he believes will one day remind him of the vigor of his youth. Gray pledges his soul if only the portrait would sustain the burden of age and infamy. And it happens. While he grows older, and engages in depths of debaucher, the portrait stays forever young. 

The book which Oscar Wilde wrote may have been partly biographical for he too wanted to stay forever young. He too wanted to live a hedonist life. He too wanted to love people, men and women alike, for his own pleasure, but never for their sake alone.

When pleasure has been exhausted, when all the money has been spent recklessly, when all the desired toys of time have been purchased and casually discarded, the unhappiness, the meaninglessness of life is profound.  

What brings purpose in life is to know God, and enjoy Him forever. What brings joy in life is to do the will of the Father. What brings purpose in life is to love Jesus, and seek to bring souls to the Savior.

Third, the person without God has no hope. Death is the end. But if death is the end, then there is no difference. The death of a Billy Graham and Adolf Hitler are the same. There is no justice. In this life, many people are never held accountable for the deeds they have done that have wounded and hurt others. Surely there must be a difference between the righteous and the ungodly.

The Christian has hope in the hour of death. There is the hope of life after death. There is the hope of heaven. There is the hope of going to be with loved ones. There is the hope of being with Jesus. There is the hope of the resurrection. There is the hope that wrongs will be righted. The Secular Humanist has none of this, and no sense of justice either.

Fourth, the person without God risks all. A question comes to the ungodly. Secular Humanist, answer this inquiry.  “What if you are wrong?” You are risking your immortal soul on the hope there is no God. You keep in the reservoir of your heart a silly notion that if God does exist, He will look upon you as a good person, and worthy of spending eternity in heaven with Him because you did some good deeds. “Why would God want to be with you, who have neglected or despised, and denied Him, and denounced His Church and Christians?” Oh foolish man, woman, or child who thinks such things. Flee from the wrath to come.

Today is the day of salvation. “For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succored thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2).

“Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace

Oh soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior
And life more abundant and free.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.”

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