I was contacted many years ago by a young male university student who had recently joined a skeptic group on campus. He phoned me to practice his powers of intellectual argument or something. The exchange didn’t go as he had planned.
The first thing I sensed as the stranger did a hasty introduction and then hit me with some challenging question about Christian faith, was that he was a rather insincere young man. He seemed to be trying something out that really didn’t fit him very well. I gave an off-the-cuff cursory answer to his question and he pressed his point. I can’t remember the issue that he raised.
He rather proudly announced that he was a skeptic. I think he found some solace in the idea that he was backed up by something like a body of supporters. I replied by sharing with him my thoughts about people who are sceptical.
I pointed out how it surprised me that people who chose to identify themselves as sceptics were principally only sceptical about faith in God. These supposedly enlightened minds, superior enough to see through other people’s folly, seemed remarkably gullible and ever ready to be uncritical in their embrace of things anti-Christian. They did not prove to be sceptical of their university professors, nor of the populist ideas of their group. They did not seem to be sceptical of their own scepticism.
I went on to explain that it seemed that the mainly male groups which identify themselves as skeptics are likely composed of people whose own moral compromises motivate them to become devoted to an anti-God posture, in fear of the alternative. Instead of getting on with life and engaging in the broad sweep of life experience, some of these self-proclaimed sceptics are caught in an eddy, which swirls them around in an endless pursuit of the perfect proof that God does not exist. In reality that are being tossed around by their own conscience, and that’s about as close to ‘science’ as many of them get.
I respect those who engage in open-minded analysis of facts and data and who can accept and accommodate competing beliefs and perspectives. Many who identify themselves as skeptics may be just like that. However, the genuinely thoughtful person in such groups is likely to have their integrity compromised by the passionate crusaders who see skeptic groups as a place to celebrate their religious devotion to an anti-God belief system. Those impassioned people are not sceptical at all.
Three thousand years ago King Solomon, in his wisdom, gave a name for people who choke on truth. He called them ‘scorners’. I fear that the young man who phoned me those years ago was trying his hardest to be a scorner. I pray he failed.
It is a sad thing to go through life motivated by fear of judgement for shameful actions. It is also a sad thing to go through life under the cloud of immorality and moral compromise. What a shame for many young men that their lusts bring them into a place of inner defeat that they cannot resolve. Rather than finding true release and personal freedom (Jesus Christ promised such freedom and history attests to its delivery ten thousand times over) these people compound their slavery by playing mind games and slipping into an intellectual backwater. They celebrate their advanced state – the sceptical mind – while they are actually taken captive by vain imaginations and empty beliefs.
If you know someone how is caught up in such a life of scorn, please pray for them. I sense that it is time for many of them to come to the real freedom they are crying out for on the inside. I sense that God is ready to rescue their minds and release them to use their intellectual capacities for good, in ways that will so thrill them and give them what their current delusions don’t deliver.
“Lord, only You can rescue the scorners. Solomon warned us against rebuking them, since they will only try to tarnish the reputation of all who do. So Lord, we pray for them. We pray that You reach out Your hand and apprehend these fine young men who have become enslaved in shame and delusion. Rescue them for Your kingdom and use them for Your glory. Cause the hearts of their ancestors to rejoice in having brought them into the world. Release them into divine destiny. We ask this in Jesus’ powerful and eternal name. Amen.”