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  • Writer's pictureBrad Bright

Are You A Functional Atheist?

Updated: May 19, 2020

Very few people identify as an atheist, but a huge majority of Americans are living like one, including Christians… and it’s killing us.

How can you tell if you are a functional atheist?  For starters, ponder the following question:

Do my circumstances determine how I see God, or does my view of God determine how I see my circumstances?

Here are a few more questions to help you drill down further. Think of them as a mirror:

Do I say, “God is love,” but then doubt he loves me?

Do I say, “God is faithful,” but then lie awake at night consumed by anxiety?

Do I say, “God is forgiving,” but then find myself consumed by feelings of guilt?

Do I say, “God is sovereign,” but then get angry when life gives me lemons?

Do I say, “God is all-powerful,” and then try to live the Christian life in my own strength?

Do I say, “God is holy,” but then rationalize or become complacent about my sin? 

Do I say, “God wants me to be happy,” in order to justify my self-centered choices?

Do I say, “God knows everything,” but I don’t consult him throughout the day?

Did you like what you saw in the mirror?

Too often, we, who claim to be followers of Jesus live as functional atheists. We tell ourselves we believe in God’s love, power, holiness, forgiveness and sovereignty but our lives testify otherwise. 

The reality is, we are all in process. Every Christian can look in the mirror and see areas where we have tendencies to function like an atheist. The goal, over time, is to see growth. But keep in mind, you can’t fix yourself (really, I’ve tried), you can only fix your view of God. That is the key to making the Christian life work.

If you are a functional atheist in any area of your life the book, GOD, Who Are You Anyway? by Bill Bright, with Brad Bright, can be a great help.

Check out the website:

©2019 Brad Bright

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