It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. (Hebrews 6:4-6 NIV)
 
I don't get it. How can a pastor become atheistic?




On the day I read this in my email, a lot of Scriptures came rushing into my heart. (I’ll try to sort most of them below.) I was bothered, and it seems that the only way to get peace about this is to confront it head on.
 

And so I prayed:
I put on the helmet of salvation to protect my mind, to protect how I think. I put on the breastplate of righteousness to protect my heart, to protect how I feel. I put on the buckle of Truth to keep it all together... (Ephesians 6:14-17)


I can't help but think that in the course of studying the Bible, some could veer away from the foot of the Master, and dwell on extra-biblical information. Such information is not the Bible, and these have no power to change lives.


Whatever happened to devotions and Quiet Time? Whatever happened to “drawing closer to God?” It's like serving in the Kingdom but never meeting the King!


The Bible is clear: The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” (Psalm 14:1)
I am not a fool, and I am not fooling myself.


Pastors have a higher degree of expectation from the masses, and yet, to the core, Christians are all equal at the foot of the cross – we are sons and daughters of the Father. The foundation is Christ, and we are Christ-followers.


In this world, we stick our necks out for the truth. It’s their word against The Word. Of course! It has always been.


But what makes faith-filled people faithless, as much as worse than infidels?
(To pacify my soul, here’s a quick response based on the article’s quick points.)


The Lack of Theological Explanation?
We should remember our place. Theology, the study of God, is such a very enormous endeavor, in that, how can mere humans really study God? How can the finite comprehend the Infinite?


Does the clay ask the Maker, "What are you doing?" (Isaiah 45:9)


I am not heading towards agnosticism, where people falsely claim that it's impossible to know God. Oh no. God is knowable because He is holy. (Ezekiel 39:6)

 
He gave us the Bible to study and believe in. Oh yes, we can know God, but we have limits in knowing, simply because we are human and He is God. For us to know God is to understand that He is limitless, and that we are limited. Hmmm… sounds like faith.
If we can know everything about God, then He is no longer God the Supreme Being.


It is for the glory of God to conceal things, but it is for the glory of humans to discover Him. (Proverbs 25:2)

 
It's what makes God’s love new every morning. (Lamentation 3:23) Everyday, there is something thrilling to know about God. What a wonderful relationship this is!


The Suffering of the Innocent?
Suffering is a part of life. In fact, the Lord Jesus promised it.


I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In the world you have trouble and suffering, but take courage--I have conquered the world. (John 16:33 NET)

 
Jesus Himself was innocent, and yet He suffered. No other human form was as debased as being born in an animal’s feeding box. By age 30, He was illegally tried and sentenced to death in the most humiliating and painful execution in world history, the crucifixion. Not even the criminals on His left and right were tortured as He was before being nailed. Jesus was whipped 40-minus-1 with metal splinters - the number of lashes just before any man could pass out and die in pain and internal hemorrhaging. He was so disfigured that he wasn’t recognizable anymore.
If you think Jesus has the highest threshold for physical pain, then you’d melt to know that the Son cried out to the Father in emotional anguish: Why have you forsaken me? (Matthew 27:46)

 
In all of these suffering and pain, the Sovereign Lord holds the pen, and He can write and rewrite how any story would end. Our Lord Jesus rose from the dead. And because He did, we have an eternal hope that every “righteous” person who died in suffering will not end in a bitter state. They have Heaven to enjoy for all eternity.
And even here on earth, suffering may end in rest and peace and comfort.


Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the LORD understand it fully. (Proverbs 28:5 NIV)
 

Science Over Superstition?
Not even science is exact and absolute.
But only God is. The Lord, in His Omniscience, set the creation of the world without the Water Cycle system. It only started after God decided to have rain. (Genesis 2:4-6)
The universe is filled with black holes and anti-matter and other mysteries that are unexplained by any form of human science and genius. We can only observe and rationalize. And still, the unfathomable happens even before we are made aware of them.


God is like that. He is amazing! Jesus walked on water. He performs miracles. Healings occur, and science can’t explain it.
And again, it’s the Super among the Naturals, the Above Par among the Normal.
However, the Lord God, in His manifold wisdom, doesn’t want us to live on wonder all the time. He advocates propriety and order. (1 Corinthians 14:40) He does not delight in our dependence to “manna,” but He wants us to toil the ground.



The Science of Farming

Listen and hear my voice;
pay attention and hear what I say.  
When a farmer plows for planting, does he plow continually? 
Does he keep on breaking up and harrowing the soil?  
When he has leveled the surface, 
does he not sow caraway and scatter cummin? 
Does he not plant wheat in its place, 
barley in its plot, 
and spelt in its field?  
His God instructs him and teaches him the right way.  
 
Caraway is not threshed with a sledge, 
nor is a cartwheel rolled over cummin; 
caraway is beaten out with a rod, 
and cummin with a stick.  
Grain must be ground to make bread; 
so one does not go on threshing it forever. 
Though he drives the wheels of his threshing cart over it, 
his horses do not grind it.  
All this also comes from the LORD Almighty, 
wonderful in counsel and magnificent in wisdom.
(Isaiah 28:23-29)
 
Belief in God is not irrational, arising from ignorance or fear - which is superstition. Nor is it just any religion of systematic and organized laws. He is real and He is a planner. He laid it all down.

The Supernatural
Denying the existence of Deity also denies the reality of demons and evil.
Even the forces of darkness know better: You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that--and shudder. (James 2:19 NIV)  


And so the question pops up: If there is a God, then how come evil exists?


But why do we want to be all-knowing? That attribute classifies God from humans.
In the Garden of Eden, when lucifer tempted Eve, this is just exactly what he said: “…your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:5)

 
Just because we can’t answer all these questions doesn’t make any supernatural entity unreal. So again, it’s faith and trust, - the kind of faith and trust in God that He is good and His love endures forever.


And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (Hebrews 11:6 NIV)  


Moreover, there are numerous unanswered questions out there, and some of them may be even worse.


But let God be true, and every man a liar! (Romans 3:4)
I don’t want to know all the answers because I don’t want to be God. It’s enough that I try to be perfect just as my Father is perfect. (Mathew 5:48)

The Divisiveness of Dogmatic Doctrine?
This is where we get hurt. We get so hurt, that we are willing to throw it all away – ALL of it.


We should always keep our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith. (Hebrews 12:2)

 
It’s not right, that just because some spiritual authority figure has wronged us or betrayed us, that we associate this human atrocity to the reality of God.


Was it really atheism or God-hatred?

If one does not stand firm in the faith, one will not stand at all. (Isaiah 7:9)

 
My prayer:
Part your heavens, O LORD, and come down; touch the mountains, so that they smoke. Send forth lightning and scatter the enemies; shoot your arrows and rout them. Reach down your hand from on high; deliver me and rescue me from the mighty waters, from the hands of foreigners whose mouths are full of lies, whose right hands are deceitful. (Psalms 144:5-8 NIV)
 
What we need is revival! We need a fresh encounter with God. We need to experience with our physical senses the God of the Bible.


The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life. (Revelation 22:17 NIV)