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The Problem of Atheism in the Church

20th century French playwright, Samuel Beckett, wrote a play in which the curtain opens to show a stage littered with junk. And for 30 long seconds, the audience sits and stares at that junk. And then the curtain closes. That’s it. Beckett was saying that our lives are like that. We are surrounded by junk; garbage. And that’s all we can hope for. And that’s what the world is like if there is no God. We are surrounded by ugliness. Life is a constant struggle. It is sad, hopeless, and empty.

But in our passage today, Paul is going to take a good look at the church and say: “That’s how some of you are living.” Paul’s going to say: “There are people in the church who live as if they are surrounded by ugliness; they live without hope in their hearts; they live as if they are alone.” They profess a relationship with Jesus but they live like atheists, they don’t really love Jesus. And because of this, they’re cursed. They’re separated from the complete sufficiency, the overwhelming goodness, the abundance of love and joy that is available in God.

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