Rabbi Schneider - Two Arguments Against Atheism
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Beloved, I remember the first time the Lord audibly spoke to me, it was back in the '80s, the first time I heard the voice of the Holy Spirit verbally. I didn't hear him with my ears, but I heard him inside me. And they were as clear as my own voice right now. There was no mistaking that I was hearing the voice of the Lord. I remember where I was. I was standing in a hospital. My wife's mother was struggling physically, and my wife and I were in the hospital while my wife's mother was being worked on. And while I was in the waiting room there, I heard the voice of God once again for the first time, and the Spirit of God said to me this. You're an evangelist. Now, when I heard the voice of the Lord tell me you're an evangelist, it was very disturbing to me. It was disturbing to me for the following reasons.
Number one, I was pastoring a church. So I said if I'm pastoring a church, what does that mean if you're telling me an evangelist? Am I not supposed to be shepherding this congregation? So it disturbed me because I thought maybe my pastoring was a mistake, that I wasn't functioning in my calling. And then I was also concerned because when I had heard the word evangelist used in the past, I associated it with people that went around basically just telling people what we used to call the four spiritual laws. Some of you remember the four spiritual laws, something like you're a sinner, you deserve to go to hell, Jesus died on the cross for you, and if you receive him, you'll go to heaven. And I couldn't see myself for the rest of my life just walking around, talking about nothing but repeating these four spiritual laws. It seemed a little bit mundane to me. And so that also disturbed me when I heard the Spirit of God say to me you're an evangelist. Since that time, beloved, I've come to more fully appreciate and receive, hallelujah, and embrace what the Father was telling me. The word evangelist, when it's broken down to the root meaning of the word, it simply means, listen now, a proclaimer of the good news.
So an evangelist is just somebody that proclaims the good news of Yeshua, the good news of the kingdom, the good news of the Gospel. And an evangelist is a preacher. And I also understand, beloved, that just because somebody is called pastor, it doesn't necessarily mean that, in other words, today we call the leader of a church pastor. But a pastor really is one of the five spiritual gifts. We have apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, but we just kind of pin all those together, and we call the leader of the congregation the pastor, which really isn't Biblically accurate, because a pastor is just somebody who is a nurturer, a counselor, somebody that kind of walks with you through life side by side. So I think that the church has adopted the word pastor in a way that's not entirely Biblical. I think as an evangelist, you can lead a congregation.
Today I lead, as many of you know, Adat Adonai, a Messianic Jewish congregation in Ottawa Lake, Michigan. You can lead in a congregation as a prophet, you can lead a congregation as an apostle. So on and so forth. I want to talk today, though, about this theme of evangelism, and I want to talk, beloved, to you about sharing your faith. We are all called to be evangelists, not to stand in the office of an evangelist, but we're all called to evangelize. Yeshua said to us, I chose you out of the world and appointed you, that you would bear much fruit. Jesus said if we, his people are ashamed of he and his words in this wicked and adulterous generation that he'll be ashamed of us when he comes again in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.
Remember what Jesus, remember what Yeshua said to his disciples. He said to them, I want you to go wait in Jerusalem until you're clothed with the Spirit of God and receive power, and then he said and you shall become, you shall then be my witnesses. And that applies to you and you and you and you and everybody that knows the Lord that's listening to this broadcast right now. We are all called, beloved, to be witnesses for Jesus. The Lord said to Israel you are my witnesses, declares the Lord. And we as the church, beloved, are the final witnesses, Jew and Gentile alike witnessing to the glory, person, death, resurrection, and coming return soon of Yeshua HaMashiach, our glorious Messiah. So we're going to talk over the next several broadcasts about sharing our faith. I want to just encourage those of you that have been afraid to share your faith in the past, I believe that through paying attention to these broadcasts, God is going to bring you comfort, confidence and strength, and you're going to begin to step into obedience and share your faith more boldly than ever before.
Once again, Father, I pray for these that are timid and have been afraid. Father, you've not called us to timidity, but of love and of power, and I pray, Father, for courage and confidence and comfort for these, God, that these that have been stagnant and passive in sharing their faith would begin to step out and boldly proclaim, hallelujah, Jesus the Messiah.
Let me tell you, it's fun to share your faith. It really is. Now, I want to go to the very beginning, and I'm just going to begin to talk first of all about people that deny there's a God. What do you say to somebody that says they don't believe in God? Well, the first thing I would say I want you to know, I want you as a believer to know that when people tell you that they don't believe that there's a God, deep down inside, mark my words, they're lying. The scripture tells us that all men are without excuse, because deep down inside, everybody knows, hallelujah, beloved, that there is a God. The scripture says that they're without excuse because when they look at the world, when they look at creation, when they see the sky that seems to go on forever, when they see the beauty in the universe, when they see the order in creation, they know deep inside that an intelligent Creator had to create it. They know when they look in creation that there is a God.
And the scripture says not only are they lying because they can see that there's a God clearly through what God has made, but the Bible says they also are lying because the Holy Spirit bears witness with their conscience that deep inside they know. So when someone tells you that they don't believe that there's a God, beloved, they're not being honest with themselves, and they're not being honest with you. Deep down inside, regardless of how much they argue and deny, deep down inside they know there's a God.
Now, I do believe it's possible for somebody to suppress the truth so long, in other words, for somebody to begin to deny that there's a God, maybe they begin to deny God because they were hurt. Maybe they've seen things happen in the world, maybe they've seen a loved one taken from them at an early age, maybe they've lost a mom or a dad, maybe they were at war and they saw a lot of atrocities committed, maybe they lived in a place that they saw a lot of injustices, maybe they saw things happen that really hurt them and grieved them, and they said if God is real, how could this have happened? If God is alive, then how could he have let this happen? And because they get hurt through things that they experience in life, sometimes they try to get back at God by denying his existence.
And I do believe it's possible for someone to be hurt and as a result of that to deny there is a God and to deny that there is a God for so long, that pretty soon, they've convinced themselves that they really don't believe there's a God. But early on in life as children, beloved, thy knew. Everybody is born knowing as a young child. So I want you to not be thrown when someone comes at you aggressively as an atheist, telling you there is no God, because deep down inside, they know or they knew. Now, what are some responses that we can have, beloved, Yedidim? What are some things that we can respond to when they say that there is no God? What are some responses that we have? I'm responses that we have? I'm going to go through three classic arguments, beloved, that I want you to learn to come against the atheistic logic.
And by the way, you can get this entire series on our web site or through the 800-number at the end of our broadcast today, Sharing Your Faith. Because these are very critical, simple methods and tools that you can use with the Holy Spirit that will lead you to be able to make progress into people's lives with the love of Jesus. So how do we respond to the atheist? The first argument, it's actually called in theology school, we actually called it apologetics. The first argument is, listen, beloved, the argument of intelligent design. Some people call it the watchmaker's argument. Here's how it goes. You can learn this. You can use this. It's really quite simple. When we look at creation and when we look at man, we see that there's intelligence built into creation and there's intelligence built into man.
So that for example, if we look at creation, we see that the sun is the perfect distance from our planet for our planet to be able to sustain life. If our planet was any closer to the sun, life would be burned up. There'd be no people, there'd be no plants, there would be no animals. On the other hand, if our planet was any farther away from the sun, we would freeze to death. There would be no life here. How do birds know when to fly south? All these different evidences of intelligence in creation. But the chief evidence of intelligence in creation, beloved, is you and I, your life and my life. Think about the synchronicity and intelligence that's built into the human being. We have a mind. We can think. We're conscious. We can feel. Listen, if you begin to perspire.
Let me say it this way. If you begin to overheat, let's say that you're running or you're working, and as you're running and working, as a result of that, your body begins to really get very, very hot, what does your body automatically do? Your body automatically responds to your physical body's overheating, your body automatically responds to that by doing what? By perspiring. To do what? To cool it back down. And so there's this built-in engineering inside the human body. If you get an infection or get sick, a virus, what does your body do? Your body begins to respond to that. For example, your body will begin to create antibodies to combat the sickness that's in your body. Your body knows how to respond to sickness. And we could go on and on. There's intelligence built in to the human body.
Let's think of this argument. Here's my pulpit. And let's say that there's a bottle of ink on the corner of my pulpit right here. We're talking about a hypothetical story. Let's say that there's a bottle of ink on the corner of my pulpit, and next to the pulpit on the ground is a big piece of white paper. And by accident, somebody walks by my pulpit, and accidentally they bump my pulpit. And when they bump the pulpit, it jolts the bottle of ink that's on my pulpit so that the bottle of ink falls off my pulpit, it falls onto the ground, and it breaks on the white piece of paper that just happens to be on the ground in this hypothetical story. And when that bottle of ink falls off my pulpit and breaks on the ground on that white paper, we then pick up the white paper, and we can't believe it, because when we look at the white paper, the way that the ink has fallen on the white paper, we see this beautiful house and we see trees and we see a picket fence around the house and we see mom and dad and their two children Sally and Bill standing on the front porch together holding hands, and also they're holding a leash with a little dog, Skipper, at the end of the leash.
So that bottle of ink falls on that white piece of paper, and lo and behold, the way that it fell, it created on that piece of white paper a beautiful picture of a house, a picket fence, mom, dad, the children and the dog. That would be impossible. If the bottle of ink fell on the paper, the way that the ink would fall on the paper, beloved, it would be splashed all over the place. It would be chaotic. It would be chaos. But that's not the way life is, is it? Life is not chaotic, but it's orderly. And even as it would be impossible for that bottle of white ink to fall on the ground and create a beautiful poster picture, so it is also impossible, beloved, that life exists on planet earth the way that it does without an intelligent designer behind it. The very fact, beloved, that we can think, that we love, that we can experience all these things, that there's order in creation, this is all part of the fact that there's an intelligent designer behind creation.
You don't get, beloved, order out of chaos. Order does not come out of chaos. That's impossible. Order can only come out of order. Beauty can only come out of beauty. How do we explain the beautiful colors, the rainbow colors, the beautiful flowers, the beautiful plants? You only get this, beloved, through a person that has order, that has beauty. You get this, beloved, because there's an intelligent designer behind creation, which is most chiefly evidenced in man himself, God's crown of creation. So the first response that we have to the atheist is that there is intelligent design in creation. And the reason that there's intelligent design in creation is because there's an intelligent designer behind it.
Now, let me say that if we have an atheist that is just in rebellion, in other words, they're just a committed atheist, they've dug their heels into it, they're going to guard their position at any cost, all the logic in the world won't convince them, because their mind's made up. But if there's an atheist, beloved, that simply is someone that has lost their way, and they're at a place in life where they're open, let me tell you, this argument that I'm sharing with you will make a difference for them, because they'll say you know what? That makes sense. It takes more faith to be an atheist, beloved, than to believe in a God.
Now, let's talk about the second argument. And I don't really like to use the word argument, because we're not really arguing, but we're responding to. Let's talk about the second response that we have for the atheist. And by the way, we have compassion when God gives us compassion for these atheists because they're lost. Jesus unless you believe I am he, you'll die in your sin. Now, the second response we have for the atheist, beloved, is the argument of morality. You see, the atheist would say that there's really no such thing as absolutely morality, that morality is not something that is given by a lawgiver. Morality is not absolutely defined, they say, but they say morality is culturally defined. In other words, they say that different places in the world have a different code of morality. There's no such thing as absolutely morality. But beloved, it's simply not true, because deep down inside, human beings have a sense at the most basic level of what's right and what's wrong. In Judaism we call them the Noahide laws.
Now, let's give a position here to illustrate this. Let's say we have an atheist that says there is no such thing as right or wrong, there's no such thing as absolute morality. Now, let's say that, that atheist goes to work, that atheist works hard for 40 hours, and that at the end of the week he goes in to receive his paycheck, and the boss says to him, you know what? I'm just really not feeling like I should pay you this week. I just don't really feel right about paying you this week. What is that atheist going to do? That atheist is going to become infuriated. And what's he going to say? That's not right. I worked 40 hours, and I deserve to be paid 40 hours. That was our agreement.
Now, if there was no such thing as absolute morality, then that atheist would have no leg to stand on. If everybody determines their own morality, if each individual determines what's right and wrong and it's not absolutely defined, then you could never enforce your position on anybody. But deep down inside we as human beings do have a sense of right or wrong. If an atheist goes and purchases a new car or a motorcycle or whatever it is that it would be and then a thief breaks into that atheist's home and steals it, that atheist is going to be infuriated, and he is going to want what? Justice. He's going to want the thief to be apprehended. He's going to want the thief to be punished. He's going to want his piece of furniture or car or whatever it might be to be given back to him. He wants the wrong to be made right. But if there's no such thing as absolute morality, then you can't argue that way.
And so the position of morality, beloved, is a position that we are saying is defined because there is, listen now, an absolute lawgiver that defines morality. In other words, if there was no God, there would be no absolute morality, because morality is a spiritual quality. But because there is a God, there is absolute morality, there is a moral lawgiver. So that deep down inside, human beings know it's not right to kill. And if they kill somebody, they're grieved. Now, eventually their heart might become so hardened, they might become so perverted that they've totally become possessed by the devil. But originally and initially if someone takes another person's life, they're grieved by that. And so how do we know it's not right to kill? How do we know it's not right to steal? How do we have a sense, beloved, of right and wrong in the most general and basic ways? It's only because, beloved, there's an absolute moral code that has been put within us because there's a God who is the moral lawgiver.
This is what the Bible teaches us in the book of Romans, that our conscience, beloved, bears us witness concerning these things. Our conscience bearing witness with us teaches us, Paul says, that there is a God. So we've covered the argument, beloved, or the response of atheism. We've covered the first one is intelligent design, that there's intelligence in creation, there's intelligence within the human being, the human body, and the only way that intelligence could be there was if there was an intelligent designer behind it. And then we covered the argument, beloved, or the response of morality, that there is absolute morality at the most basic level. And the only way there could be morality, beloved, that is common all over the world is if there was someone that defined morality that was bigger than we were, that was bigger than one culture or one people group. And because cultures all over the earth know that certain things are right and certain things are wrong, that comes only because there's somebody bigger than this that we call God that has put it within man to know the difference.
Now, I want you to join me, beloved, on next week's broadcast. I want you to tell a friend. I want to encourage you to even get this series and maybe use it in your Bible study group, because God, beloved, wants to mobilize his church to share our faith. And I believe that through paying attention and studying, beloved, to this broadcast and praying that God is going to equip you, beloved, to be more effective at sharing your faith than ever before. The scripture says those that lead others to righteousness will shine like the stars forever and ever. If we want more of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we need to be witnessing, because the Bible tells us in Acts 1 and Acts 2 that the Holy Spirit is given to us, beloved, for power to be witnesses. Not only to be witnesses, but beloved, one of the primary purposes that God gives us the Holy Spirit is that we would be his witness. If we're not witnessing, beloved, the Bible says we lose even what we have. It's fundamental to following Jesus.
So Father, I pray for my dear brothers and sisters right now that are watching this broadcast. Father, I pray that you'll bless them. I pray that you'll strengthen them. I pray that you give them courage and confidence, Father God, to break off the shackles of fear and to boldly go out, Father God, and use their relationships on this earth to share Jesus in. We ask for your glory, Father, in Yeshua's name, amen.