Famed atheist writer Richard Dawkins told New Scientist, “I want to encourage people to think for themselves.” It’s something with which most Christians would agree. It is also something many atheists claim is their goal as well. But Dawkins went on to say, “I’ve always felt rather passionate about breaking the cycle as each generation passes on its superstitions to the next. If you ask people why they believe in the particular religion that they do, it’s almost always because that’s how they were brought up.” His words have a grain of truth mixed with myth.
It is unfortunate that some, as Dawkins pointed out, have a cultural religion rather than a relationship with God. The Bible even warns of those who make God’s word of no effect and only follow tradition. But let’s talk about some of his presuppositions. Firstly, I disagree that most Christians have a relationship with Jesus simply because it was the way they were brought up, and he didn’t give any proof of this claim. It’s also clear that Dawkins uses the word ‘superstition’ to describe anyone’s faith in God. That may be his faith, but he has never proven God to be a myth. And lastly, he implies that Christians don’t think for themselves; something echoed by so many who look to his books and lectures for justification of their hatred of God. But does the Bible tell Christians to leave the thinking to someone else?
Isiah says, “let us reason together;” Matthew warns us of religious leaders who mislead people; and the Bible makes it clear we are not to let scribes and Pharisees do our thinking.
Faith is not the result of letting someone else do our thinking. Ephesians says saving faith is a gift from God, and it cannot come from from any other person.
God’s gift is free to all who will ask. Will you accept His offer?