A while back, I published a post asking for atheists to leave their responses to a question that I had. Since then, I’ve read other, more intelligent posts and comments in the ongoing discussion/debate between theists and atheists at other blogs and I’ve realized something that I would like to share with the Christians out there.
When discussing the source of morality, I’ve heard atheists contend that a deity is not necessary. One atheist said (lost the blog, can’t link to it) that morality is simply hardwired (my term) into people. We’re born knowing what is right and wrong. I’ve noticed that the tendency for Christians in this discussion is to be so focused on trying to prove that God is the source of morality and that He is necessary that they fail to see that the atheist has just said something that is completely in agreement with the teaching of Scripture. I’ll let you go back and read that wordy sentence again in case you missed what I said….
At least in the particular instance that I’ve described, we have an example where Christians and atheists are in agreement: both believe that morality is part of the make-up of human beings. When Paul was attempting to explain to the Roman church that all humanity is under condemnation for disobeying God’s law, he alludes to this innate morality:
For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.) Romans 2:13-15
Christians,we need to realize and remember that atheists have the moral law of God written on their hearts. They know what is right and wrong just like we do, and they experience guilt just like we do. Don’t get so caught up in the need to prove that you’re right and the atheist is wrong that you fail to see that even the atheist testifies to the truth of God’s word.
And if Christians and atheists can agree that morality is innate in humanity, what other things can they agree upon?