Having seen that Atheism is the belief that God does not exist and that it forms a life and world view from this presupposition, and that it is this Atheist life and worldview that we are calling the Atheist religion, and as such is deficient in that Atheism has no moral grounding, we are now ready to explore the source of morals.
The following verses provide us with the Biblical take on the human condition, “The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.’ They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none who does good.” Psalm 14:1.
We see then that the Bible is claiming that there is something morally wrong with these “fools” that say there is no God. To whom is this referring? The Psalm goes on to say, “The LORD looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any who seek God. They have all turned aside. They have together become corrupt; there is none who does good, no, not one.” Psalm 14:2-3.
We see that the Bible is saying that it is the “children of men” who are corrupt and that of these human beings there is none who does good. This is reiterated in Romans chapter three. It becomes clear that the “children of men” is referring to every single human being. In other words, according to the Bible all humanity has become immoral.
“There is none who seeks after God … They have all turned aside …. There is none who does good, no, not one … There is no fear of God in their eyes.” Romans 3:11b;12;18. Therefore, according to the Bible it does not matter what your religion is, or whether you have gods or non-gods, if you are not worshipping the Triune God revealed in the Bible, then you are an Atheist!
All human beings are Atheist until and unless God turns to them in His grace and regenerates and converts them. The Psalmist sums it up where he says, “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.” Psalm 51:5. That we are all sinners from the very moment of our conception on account of us being part of the human race is verified in the following, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned…” Romans 5:12.
The Bible therefore is saying that the human race became morally corrupt through the actions of Adam. What did Adam do? He did something that the Old Testament people of God did on numerous occasions, “Like Adam they broke the covenant.” Hosea 6:7. Adam was unfaithful to God. Adam did his own thing.
According to the Bible God has written His Moral Law upon the heart of mankind when He created Adam and Eve from whom we all are descended. Scripture says that human beings, “show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them.” Romans 2:15. Says the great Church reformer, John Calvin (1509-1564),
Moreover, the very things contained in the two tables [of the Ten Commandments) are, in a manner, dictated to us by that internal law, which, as has been already said, is in a manner written and stamped on every heart. For conscience, instead of allowing us to stifle our perceptions, and sleep on without interruption, acts as an inward witness and monitor, reminds us of what we owe to God, points out the distinction between good and evil, and thereby convicts us of departure from duty. But man, being immured in the darkness of error, is scarcely able, by means of that natural law, to form any tolerable idea of the worship which is acceptable to God. At all events, he is very far from forming any correct knowledge of it. In addition to this, he is so swollen with arrogance and ambition, and so blinded with self-love, that he is unable to survey, and, as it were, descend into himself, that he may so learn to humble and abase himself, and confess his misery. Therefore, as a necessary remedy, both for our dullness and our contumacy, the Lord has given us his written Law, which, by its sure attestations, removes the obscurity of the law of nature, and also, by shaking off our lethargy, makes a more lively and permanent impression on our minds.
Says historian Mary-Elaine Swanson,
The “Light of Nature” or “Natural Law” refers to God’s Moral Law as it has been written on our hearts. Many people today confuse the term [law of nature] with the laws of nature that govern plant and animal life. Rather, the term Law of Nature refers to the law that God implanted in man at the Creation, as a famous English jurist, Edward Coke (1552-1634), observed when he wrote that “the law of nature is that which God at the time of creation and the nature of man infused into his heart, for his preservation and direction; and this lex aeterna, the moral law, called also the law of nature.”
Having the above understanding of the term Law of Nature, says the great philosopher, educator, government official, and theologian, John Locke (1632-1704),
’Tis plain in Fact, that human Reason unassisted, failed men in its great and proper business of Morality. It never from unquestionable Principles, by clear Deductions, made out an entire Body of Law of Nature. And that he that shall collect all the moral Rules of the Philosophers, and compare them with those in the New Testament, will find them to come short of the Morality delivered by our Saviour, and taught by his Apostles…”
’Tis true, there is a Law of Nature; but who is there that ever did, or undertook to give it to us all entire, as a Law? … Where was there any such code that mankind might have recourse to, as their unerring Rule, before our Saviour’s time … Such a Law of Morality Jesus Christ hath given us in the New Testament …. By Revelation. We have from him a full and sufficient Rule for our direction, and conformable to that of Reason … Here Morality has a sure standard, that Revelation vouches and Reason cannot gainsay, nor question; but both together witness to come from God, the great law maker. And such an one as this out of the New Testament, I think the world never had, nor can any one say is any where else to be found.
However, it is on account of our inherent corruption as human beings who are descended from Adam that we need the written revelation of God, i.e., the Bible. Thus God testifies to each individual’s conscience of who He is by way of the sixty-six books of the Bible and by the things He has made.
As the Bible puts it, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.” Romans 1:18-23.
According to the Bible, then, we fallen human beings are fools because we all deny the triune God who reveals Himself to us by, 1) His written revelation (i.e., the sixty-six books of the Bible), and, 2) The things He has made (i.e., all of creation). Our accusing consciences testify to us as individuals that we are morally corrupt in that we do not even live up to our own low set of morals, let alone God’s Moral Law!
According to the Bible we need God to rescue us from ourselves and the consequences of our denying Him.
Summary: The whole human race is Atheistic.