Part 3: Closest Thing to Heaven

by Bodie Hodge on March 1, 2013

An atheistic mom from Texas explains why she doesn’t raise her children with God and attacks God by pushing her religion on CNN. Her verbal attacks on God and Christianity, and their apparent acceptance by CNN staff, warranted a response. This is part three of that response (also see part one and part two).

God Does Not Teach Children to Be Good

Actually, God does. This is why people are supposed to read the Bible and not be led astray by arbitrary statements like yours, which contradict God (Exodus 20:12; Matthew 15:4–6; Ephesians 6:1; Colossians 3:20).

A child should make moral choices for the right reasons.

God is the standard for good and the standard for moral and right decisions. To leave God out of moral choices would be absurd; there are no good and moral choices and there is no such thing as a “right” reason apart from the God who is the standard of good. Leading humanist and atheist Richard Dawkins makes this point clear—there is no morality in an atheistic worldview. Here is what Dawkins said when discussing this idea with a fellow evolutionist:

Jaron Lanier: There’s a large group of people who simply are uncomfortable with accepting evolution because it leads to what they perceive as a moral vacuum, in which their best impulses have no basis in nature.

Richard Dawkins: All I can say is, That’s just tough. We have to face up to the truth.1

Telling him that he must behave because God is watching means that his morality will be externally focused rather than internally structured. It’s like telling a child to behave or Santa won’t bring presents.

If that is your notion of God, then you have seriously misunderstood the message of the gospel—we cannot be good enough to please God. If we simply have an external morality, we are doing the very thing of which God disapproves. Christianity is much more than just having a superficial morality.

There are many discussion points here—for example, salvation is by faith, not works, and obedience without the right heart is not obedience at all. It is important to have a proper understanding of real biblical Christianity and avoid the vast amount of false doctrines that people commonly spout. If one disobeys God without receiving the forgiveness that is available in Christ, then that person will be punished in this life or the next—or in many cases, both. The Bible teaches a morality that is based in an absolute standard and motivated by gratitude for what God has done for us in Christ (Ephesians 2:8–10).

When we take God out of the picture, we place responsibility of doing the right thing onto the shoulders of our children.

This is exactly what Hitler and the Nazis did.2 Once Hitler sidelined the Christian god and took Him out of the picture, he taught the next generation of Germans that they had the responsibility to do “right” as Hitler and the Nazis defined it. But their idea of “right” meant exterminating Jews, Poles, Slavs, and everyone else who didn’t fit Darwin’s model of the superior Caucasian and the Nazi’s view of the master Aryan race.

If you don’t know your history, you are doomed to repeat it (Ecclesiastes 1:9–11). If you take God out of it, you let people pick and choose their own “right.” That is exactly what school shooters are doing across the world these days. They think they are doing the right thing by exterminating people. Consider this shooter in Finland and what he posted before his murders:

I am prepared to fight and die for my cause … I, as a natural selector, will eliminate all who I see unfit, disgraces of human race and failures of natural selection. No, the truth is that I am just an animal, a human, an individual, a dissident … It’s time to put NATURAL SELECTION & SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST back on tracks!3

No, they won’t go to heaven

Unless they and anyone else (whether they are professing Baptists, Catholics, humanists, Presbyterians, Buddhists, Mormons, etc.) repent and believe on the Jesus Christ of Scripture as Lord and Savior of their lives, they will not go to heaven but to hell.

or rule their own planets when they die,

Of course, the Bible doesn’t say anything of this sort. This false belief actually comes from Mormon teaching, not Christianity.

but they can sleep better at night.

Really? Knowing they are going to be eternally punished for their sin helps them sleep? Or did you withhold this truth from them?

They will make their family proud. They will feel better about who they are. They will be decent people.

Or not. This is a bold prophecy for an atheist who just criticized the all-knowing God—who tells “the end from the beginning” (Isaiah 46:10)—for being wrong about our future existence (e.g., eternity in heaven for believers).

God Teaches Narcissism

So, you are trying to characterize God on the basis of Greek Mythology. Narcissism is based on the Greek myth of Narcissus, who fell in love with himself.

Of course, God is love, and love would not exist outside of God. So, if an atheist believes in love, that’s a problem—more intellectual schizophrenia. Why believe in love when the atheistic worldview says that love is simply “chemistry”? But the triune God did not have to “fall in love” with Himself; He is love and has shared that love selflessly. God loved us so much that He sacrificed Himself on the Cross and became sin for us. Does that sound like a narcissist God?

As a side note, I find it fascinating that you would appeal now to two Greek mythologies to try to explain the world. First there was an appeal to an evolutionary worldview, which is the thrust of the Greek mythology known as Epicureanism. They were the first evolutionists, and Darwin later built on their philosophy as did Lamarck and Darwin’s own grandfather, Erasmus, before him.

This may come as a shock to many evolutionists, but the evolutionary worldview is merely a modified form of Greek mythology.

God has a plan for you.” Telling kids there is a big guy in the sky who has a special path for them makes children narcissistic; it makes them think the world is at their disposal and that, no matter what happens, it doesn’t really matter because God is in control. That gives kids a sense of false security and creates selfishness.

I disagree with your false assessment of God. You are basically saying that belief in God is a license to sin, and that you can just play the “get out of jail free” card of belief and things are just fine. That is 100 percent false even from a cursory reading of the Bible. It sounds like you are getting your theology from Hollywood movies rather than looking at the actual source of Christian beliefs.

But the truth is that God hates sin and commands believers to obey Him and oppose sin. Believers can be seen by their fruits, as Jesus said:

If you love Me, keep My commandments. (John 14:15)

“No matter what I do, God loves me and forgives me. He knows my purpose. I am special.”

Atheists commonly fail to understand forgiveness. Forgiveness in biblical Christianity is not a license to sin. When someone has fallen short and done something wrong, if that person repents and turns from the sin, then he or she can be forgiven because Christ has paid the penalty for that sin (1 John 1:6–10).

The irony is that, while we tell this story to our kids, other children are abused and murdered, starved and neglected. All part of God’s plan, right?

If you read God’s Word, you would see that these things are condemned as wrong. People are not to abuse children, not to murder them (e.g., abortion is wrong), not to starve them, and not to neglect them. I’m actually glad you support the Bible on this, but as an atheist, how can you say these things are wrong? In the atheistic worldview, these kids were just “not fit to survive.” It is because people are living out their false worldviews (which are not consistent with the Bible) that these things are happening.

You falsely attribute these horrors in the world to God, and yet it is humans doing them. It is often these children’s parents and guardians who abuse, murder, starve, and neglect them. God made the world perfect, and humans messed it up with sin. And they keep messing it up more and more with sin. And all of us are sinners, even children.

Why do you oppose God and His work of stepping into history to save us from this mess? Many atheists have a false understanding of God, one of their own making, and I want to encourage you to actually read the Bible to get a proper understanding of who God is and what He has done.

When we raise kids without God, we tell them the truth

God is the truth (John 14:6), and if you teach them there is no God, then you are teaching them there is no truth. Moveover, other atheists will disagree with your statement on truth by appealing to relative truth, which means there is no real truth.

—we are no more special than the next creature.

So why were you defending human children to not be murdered, starved, abused and so on? If you were consistent, you would argue that people should not destroy or neglect those innocent salmonella bacteria. And make sure you care for rats and bedbugs in your home like you would your children—that is, if you were consistent. Also, it is interesting that you chose the word “creature” to refer to animals here on earth, since all creatures have a Creator.

We are just a very, very small part of a big, big machine–whether that machine is nature or society–the influence we have is minuscule.

Now you are changing your argument to say children are just parts of a machine—so why not starve them, abuse them, neglect them, and murder them by your professed belief. Children can be treated as parts on a machine just like changing the oil, burning the fuel, and changing the tire or brakes on a car … by the atheistic worldview.

However, unlike the false worldview you present, children are of value in Christian theism. They are made in the image of God and God commands people to take care of them (e.g., Malachi 3:5; James 1:27).

The realization of our insignificance gives us a true sense of humbleness.

If you were really insignificant, then what you write would also be insignificant—so by your own admission your words in this article are meaningless and self-refuting.

I understand why people need God. I understand why people need heaven. It is terrifying to think that we are all alone in this universe, that one day we—along with the children we love so much—will cease to exist. The idea of God and an afterlife gives many of us structure, community and hope.

But you missed the biggest part. You missed that God does love the people of the world (John 3:16) and has paid the highest price to redeem them (Titus 2:14). He died to save sinners.

And the reason for death and suffering in the first place is not God’s fault—He made the world perfect (Genesis 1:31; Deuteronomy 32:4). The fault is ours as humans, collectively and individually, as descendants of the first sinners who ruined this world and made it subject to death and decay (Romans 8:21).

But I want to clarify something here. You seem to have the false concept that people will cease to exist upon death (Matthew 10:28). This atheistic viewpoint cannot be farther from the truth. Even the souls and resurrected bodies of atheists will last forever, as we are all made in the image of an eternal God (Daniel 12:2; John 5:28–29). Either they will live forever in heaven with all of God’s goodness and blessing, or else in hell with the absence of all goodness and the wrath of God upon them with no rest for all eternity.

In other words, the closest that a Bible-believing Christian will get to hell is the taste of it we have to endure in the world today. But for unbelievers, the closest they will ever get to the new heavens and new earth, with the fullness of God’s goodness, is the temporal blessing they have in the world today.

I do not want religion to go away. I only want religion to be kept at home or in church where it belongs.

Then why did you take your religion and post it on the internet for the world to see in this blog item? And CNN was more than happy to defend this religious diatribe of hate against Christians.

So what you’re really saying is, “I do not want my religion to go away. I only want Christianity to be kept at home or in church where I think it belongs.”

You see Christianity as a personal thing, like a toothbrush or a pair of shoes—not something to be used or worn by strangers. But again, why put your religious post on the internet to share the atheistic religion with the world if you want religion kept at home? Actions speak louder than words.

I want my children to be free not to believe

It is not freedom when you don’t give them the option to freely believe. This post of yours argues against the freedom to believe in the biblical God. That is not freedom but forcing your atheistic beliefs upon your children.

and to know that our schools and our government will make decisions based on what is logical, just and fair

If schools and government did make decisions based on what is logical, just, and fair, then they would make biblical decisions with God as the ultimate standard of what is logical, just, and fair. Such things are meaningless and pointless if God doesn’t exist. But rarely do leaders in government and in government schools do what is logical, just, and fair. Instead, they often illogically reason by justifying faulty logic, calling injustice just, and calling the unfair fair.

For example, government schools force the religion of humanism (e.g., atheism, agnosticism, etc.) on the kids (forcing Christians to pay for the promotion of this religion through tax revenues) while saying they don’t impose religious views in schools. They use humanism in courts to make unfair decision to murder kids who choose every growing moment in the womb to proclaim, “I want to live.” And yet, they make Christians pay for their religious decision. We have government officials who glorify sin—and even make holidays for it—and leave God out of decisions and reject Christian liberty more and more each day.

If Christianity is being kicked out of these public places, then why not the religion of humanism? How is this an example of acting fairly? It is most illogical. Why not teach the truth and obey the truth? The Bible explains why: “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19).

—not on what they believe an imaginary God wants.

Throughout this article, it repeatedly expressed a desire for God’s morality, but without God. However, without God there is no basis for God’s morality. Such inconsistency is frankly embarrassing, but this what happens in an atheistic worldview. It is “intellectual schizophrenia.”

Many atheists adopt evolutionary constructs in an effort to be “intellectually fulfilled” atheists, but evolution doesn’t help at all. First, the atheist has no basis for immaterial concepts like intelligence, which is abstract, from their own professed materialistic worldview.

Furthermore, evolutionary ideas fall tragically short. They are not science, but this makes sense, since science comes out of a biblical worldview. But let’s look at some big picture aspects:

  1. No one has been able to make life from non-life (chemical evolution), and such would violate the law of biogenesis anyway.
  2. No one has been able to change a single-celled life-form, like an ameba, into a cow or goat (biological evolution).
  3. No one has been able to repeat the big bang (astronomical evolution).
  4. No one has observed millions of years of time progressing in rock layers or dating methods (geological evolution).

Furthermore, we are left with other problems in an evolutionary worldview:

  1. We haven’t observed billions of new information-gaining mutations required to build the DNA strand and give rise to new kinds of life-forms.
  2. Matter has never been observed to give rise to new information.
  3. No one has found the billions of transitional fossils needed to help show the changes of one kind into another.

It is time for people to start seeing through the failed worldview of atheism and its sad baggage like evolution. I invite you (and those reading) to consider what God says on the subject and stop trusting autonomous (i.e., no-God-involved) man’s opinions about the past as the absolute authority. It is time to repent and get back to God and His Word. Please consider the claims of Christ, as it is a matter of eternity.


  1. “Evolution: The dissent of Darwin,” Psychology Today, January/February 1997, p. 62. (See Evolution: No Morality.)
  2. Hitler’s disbelief started early. He said, “The present system of teaching in schools permits the following absurdity: at 10 a.m. the pupils attend a lesson in the catechism, at which the creation of the world is presented to them in accordance with the teachings of the Bible; and at 11 a.m. they attend a lesson in natural science, at which they are taught the theory of evolution. Yet the two doctrines are in complete contradiction. As a child, I suffered from this contradiction, and ran my head against a wall … Is there a single religion that can exist without a dogma? No, for in that case it would belong to the order of science … But there have been human beings, in the baboon category, for at least three hundred thousand years. There is less distance between the man-ape and the ordinary modern man than there is between the ordinary modern man and a man like Schopenhauer … It is impossible to suppose nowadays that organic life exists only on our planet.” (Hitler, Adolf, 1941, translated by Cameron, Norman and Stevens, R.H. Hitler’s Secret Conversations, 1941–1944. The New American Library of World Literature, Inc., 1961.)
  3. As reported by Sami Torma, “Nine die in Finland after YouTube post,”; “Finland School Gunman Dies,” AOL News; Anonymous [missionary in Finland], email message to author from a missionary that listed the shooter’s recent post in detail, November 7, 2007.


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