If you interact with an atheist long enough and are observant, you may notice one thing–they are full of contradictions. One popular idea that atheists in recent years tend to repeat is “church is boring and senseless, so you might as well stop going.” However, as a contradiction, the new atheist movement over the past few years has started up gatherings of their own. Presently, there are about 70 of them worldwide. The glaring contradiction is that they are patterned after churches.
The newest one has started in Salt Lake City. If church is so boring and they make fun of it, why would they go out of their way to copy it so closely? These gatherings call themselves “Assemblies,” they gather every week on Sundays, they open with music, have music at different intervals of their meetings, dismiss the children at a certain time to a different room for children’s activities, set aside time for a main speaker with a themed message, have announcements, and close with upbeat music. They are even not ashamed to be called “church-like” in this source article. The gathering lasts 1 1/2 hours–the length of an average church service–before they dismiss to eat together.
And, yes, they also have a motto mimicking the Apostles Creed–“live better, help often, wonder more.” Organizer Nichelle Reed says, “We share the same ideals [as organized religion]; just take a different approach.” These assemblies are popping up to give people who forsake church and God a sense of community, given the fact such people are growing in number. Churches share part of the blame for it, but ultimately people are responsible themselves for their rejection of the one true God.
It’s obvious what’s at work behind this contradiction–envy. For all their criticisms against God’s church, they envy us and wish they could have what we have–just without having to submit to God to get it. So they created a cheap imitation. But cheap imitations can never supply the blessings that come from the Original. As they pretend to be happy and hopeful in their atheist Sunday Assembly, eventually they will reap emptiness since they place their trust in man and subjective, godless interpretations of science. The envy they used as an impetus to start their assembly will manifest itself in some ungodly ways among them.
This scenario reminds me of what Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 10:12-13, “The words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself. The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness: and the end of his talk is mischievous madness.”