A thought that often occurs to me when I hear an atheist speak or read something they have written is why are they so insistent that God does not exist? I don't believe in Santa Claus or the Easter bunny, but I don't spend time writing volumes trying to prove my point nor do I engage in endless debates with those who do believe in either of those childhood stories. Whether others believe in Santa Claus or the Easter bunny really doesn't impact my life so I spend no time in trying to prove my worldview that they don't exist.
If an atheist doesn't believe in God, other's belief in God doesn't impact that atheist's life. He or she is free to live their lives as they please. So why do some of the new atheists work so hard to convince others that God doesn't exist?
For some I'm sure it's financial. Some well-known atheists have written best sellers and get invited to share their beliefs in the media and on college campuses. Their unbelief in God can be very lucrative. Perhaps that drives some of their obsession with trying to convince people there is no God, but I doubt that is the primary reason they are so insistent that God does not exist.
Perhaps the real reason is that if God does exist that means they are not God. Dallas Willard has written, "God being God offends human pride. If God is running the universe and has first claim on our lives, guess who isn't running the universe and does not get to have things as they please. (Renovation of the Heart: Putting On the Character of Christ)"
It is only when people can convince themselves that God does not exist that they then can become God. They can choose their own moral principles and live the lives they wish to have. The real reason people reject belief in God is not intellectual, it is moral. They understand that if God does exist they either have to conform their life choices to his teachings or live lives of disobedience and will one day face his judgment for their disobedience.
Every attempt to remove God from the public square is to be able to make the state God. As God, the state can then enact laws that reflect its own views of right and wrong. Behavior that God calls sin becomes legitimatized through the passing of laws and rulings of the courts. At that point a society begins to call good evil and evil good and in danger of God's judgment (Is. 5:20) so it becomes even more important to eliminate belief in God.
We are often told that we are in the midst of a culture war, but it goes much deeper than that. We are in a spiritual war with the very soul of the nation at stake. Too often, the church has been sitting on the sidelines letting others determine when it's proper for us to engage. It's time to get off the sidelines and enter into the battle.
It's past time that we proclaim the word of God without apology. Just as the Old Testament prophets stood up to the false gods of their day, the church today must stand up to the false gods of our day. Billy Graham and other preachers of his generation spoke with authority to the masses because they depended not upon their own personal wisdom or philosophy but stood upon the authority of the Scriptures they proclaimed. We can do no less today if we want to see God move once again in the lives of men, women, and young people.
Let the nation rage and people plot a vain thing against God (Ps. 2:1). They will not prevail against God nor against a church that proclaims the Word of God.