**Part of the 10 Hard Truths about Being Born Again series**
A funny thing seems to happen on the way to becoming an atheist…
You become a better person.
At least that’s the perennial refrain I hear from those who’ve made the transition from Christian to atheist.
[Of course it’s debatable whether they were even Christians to begin with.]
But there’s just one problem…
Two things essentially rise from an abandonment of Christianity. Your sense of morality. And your bitterness towards God.
Naturally, when you lower the barrier for goodness, you’ll appear more moral. You really don’t have to exert yourself…just lower the bar, and BAM…
You’re a pretty decent guy. [Or gal.]
Yet, when anyone brings up God as the true standard for goodness, you stiff-arm what you imagine to be excessive demands.
Who knew you could be so bitter? And why? This hatred comes from a mind that’s conscious of it’s guilt.
If your own personal moral standard is in danger, the best thing to do is fight back. Tooth and claw. Guard your right to think, say or do what you want.
Of course, the ultimate insult to an atheist is that unbelief should be punished with eternal death. Calvin said:
All think it harsh that they who do not believe in Christ should be devoted to destruction. That no man may ascribe his condemnation to Christ, he shows that every man ought to impute the blame to himself. The reason is, that unbelief is a testimony of a bad conscience; and hence it is evident that it is their own wickedness which hinders unbelievers from approaching to Christ.
And this is precisely why new birth is essential: Not only are you dead…but you also live in the dark. And hate the light. The light that exposes your sin.
And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.
For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.
But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God. John 3:19-21
Jesus’ purpose was never to condemn the world. We do that ourselves when we reject Christ. Jesus’ purpose was to save the world.
He came to bring the gift of new birth. He came to invite you to join God’s family–to go from being a child of wrath to a child of God–initiated by repentance.
In the end, new birth brings about a conviction of moral poverty. It opens our eyes to see we are miserable and destitute of all power of doing good. And it brings about a rushing to the grace of God.
So, since we live in and love the dark, let’s learn that we can’t judge our works by any other standard than the light of the gospel. There’s just no other way.