GOOD NEWS FOR THE CHURCH: ATHEISTS ARE ANGRY
"The lady doth protest too much, methinks."
William Shakespeare, Hamlet.
The rise of militant atheism actually portends well for the Church. I am hopeful that as a civilization we have finally climbed out of the depths of our lukewarm apathy toward God and have entered a new era where man has become either HOT or COLD for Jesus. It may not bode well in the short term for believers in the wordly sense because the result is persecution. But the battle has begun and this fire will test the sincerity of our faith and ultimately prove the truth of Christianity to Christ's enemies. After all--"it is hard for [atheists] to kick against the goad". Acts 26:14
When an unbeliever becomes angry in discussing the faith it may mean that they are actually closer to conversion than if they display "toleration" and a distant and withdrawn "respect". Toleration reveals one's apathy while intolerance the opposite. Witness how very tolerant so many atheists are of Buddhism, Hinduism or even Islam while they condemn Christianity. In this intolerance lies something very meaningful and mysterious--that at the name of Jesus a very tender nerve has been struck in the depths of an unbeliever's soul. It is in this apparent anger and coldness that a recognition of truth may lie. Recall that the Devil also fears the Name of Jesus, who conquered him on the Cross.
Even our Lord prefers those who are cold toward Him than those who can take or leave Him.
I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: Revelation 3:14-22
Christ is essentially saying that he prefers outright rejection of the faith to the lukewarm. For so long our nation and the West as a whole has been steeped in apathy toward God. We attend Church when it is convenient, we condemn those as "too religious" or fanatical who seek to truly live the Christian faith--while we embrace all the world's enticements. We have become exactly what Christ spoke of in Revelations: we are rich, we are drowning in possessions and we think we have all we need. But the lukewarm who are silent in the face of evil, compromise everything in the pursuit of riches, and "have nothing against religion" are more repulsive and worthy of condemnation than the radically angry atheists.
The faith stagnates and rots in times where lukewarmth prevails. It is in the trenches where saints and martyrs are created and ultimately the church will grow. The faithfulness of truly devout believers who persevere on the narrow road and who reject all that the culture of death represents will bear witness to the undeniable truth of Christ and His Church. The Church may ultimately suffer in numbers but at least its members will be as HOT as the atheists are COLD.