Does Christianity Produce Agnostics?
by Pastor Dan Delzell
While discussing religion with Stephen Colbert on the Late Show, Ricky Gervais described himself as an “agnostic atheist.” Gervais said, “No one knows if there’s a God, so technically, everyone’s agnostic. We don’t know. An agnostic atheist is someone who doesn’t know if there’s a God or not, as no one does.”
And from Gervais’s point of view, such a statement makes perfect sense. After all, one would expect a self-proclaimed agnostic atheist to assume that even Christians don’t know for a fact that God exists, right?
In reality, you can know for sure that God is real by entering into a personal relationship with the Lord. I addressed this vital issue in a previous article entitled, “Can Faith Lead to Abiding Certainty?“
Christian certainty is based upon biblical history, God’s promises, empirical evidence, and divine revelation. These four pillars provide a foundation for faith that is unshakable, as I explained here: “Does Christianity Stand on Faith or Evidence?“
In order for Ricky Gervais or anyone who shares his beliefs to embrace Christianity, an honest evaluation and acceptance of the pertinent facts is required. For example, one could come to recognize the rock solid historical evidence for the Christian faith and discover that “The Mathematical Proof for Christianity Is Irrefutable.”
Another helpful approach would be to consider what I call “40 Questions to Determine the True Religion.” In doing so, a person could come to see the uniqueness of Christianity in light of every other religion on the planet.
But in order to experience the new birth, one must bring his sin to the cross and get intellectually honest about the message of Christ’s resurrection. (see “The Messiah’s Critics Couldn’t Produce His Body.“)
Once you start to evaluate the evidence with an open mind, you will likely run into a major roadblock within your own soul. Namely, your moral resistance to Jesus and your personal aversion to God’s claim on your life. This aspect of man’s nature is spelled out in the article, “Moral Resistance Resides Deeper than Intellectual Reasoning.”
And this helps to explain why Ricky Gervais believes that Christians are agnostic. After all, he has not yet been personally persuaded by biblical history, God’s promises, empirical evidence, and divine revelation. And so in Ricky’s thinking, a Christian cannot know for sure that God exists. The fact of the matter is that Christians definitely know Christ as their Savior, and many believers experience an abiding certainty that God is real and heaven is their eternal home.
Meanwhile, atheists and agnostics commonly end up “Rejecting Jesus for All the Wrong Reasons.” And this is why divine revelation is so critical. After all, “the man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Cor. 2:14)
The Holy Spirit uses the Law to convict people of their sin and their need for the Savior. (see “How the Law Leads People to Christ.“) Spiritual conversion is a miracle performed by the Holy Spirit (John 3:6) who works in man’s heart through both the Law and the Gospel.
Thankfully, you don’t have to twist God’s arm for Him to love you. A key question for you, however, is this: Do you want to meet God? The Lord’s grace is available to you today, and “God Would Love You to Know Him.“
Ricky Gervais openly admits he does not know whether or not God exists. On the flip side, there are multitudes of Christians who are certain of God’s existence and of Christ’s love for them.
Agnostic atheists. Convinced Christians. Skeptical seekers.
At the end of the day, labels only communicate so much. What matters most is that you come to understand and embrace the purpose of Christ’s death for you on the cross. And in order to base your faith on facts, you will need to wrap your mind around the salvation history of Scripture.
As you dig into the miraculous details of Christianity, don’t forget to examine the empirical evidence for Christ’s resurrection as well as the hundreds of messianic prophecies fulfilled by Jesus. Ultimately, you will need divine revelation from the Holy Spirit. Unless God speaks to you through His Word, you won’t “get it.” And you will likely assume that everyone else is flying by the seat of their pants just like you, regardless of their claim to know that God is real.
No matter where you find yourself today, there is only one approach that results in having your sins forgiven and your name written in “Heaven’s Reservation Book.” The apostle John put it this way: “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” (1 John 5:13)
The only place Christians are “agnostic” is in the minds of atheists and agnostics, when they assume that their own personal uncertainty about God translates to uncertainty in the hearts of believers. Such a flawed perspective seems plausible to a person until he is converted by the power of the Holy Spirit, or until he finds himself standing before the Lord on Judgment Day.
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ.” (2 Cor. 5:10) Believer, unbeliever, agnostic, atheist, you name it. Everyone will get their appointment in God’s courtroom. (see “Christianity Is Judicial and Set in Stone.”)
One reason Christianity doesn’t produce agnostics is because “the author and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2) is not some mystical unknowable deity. Jesus Christ truly is the Son of God and the Savior of all who personally know Him. Jesus said, “I know my sheep and my sheep know me.” (John 10:14)
Agnostics, on the other hand, do not know Christ. A step of faith is needed in order to move from the natural realm of agnosticism into the supernatural realm of Christianity. And until a person enters this realm, it’s only natural to assume that no one really knows for sure whether or not God exists. Just ask Ricky Gervais.