Can Atheists Do Good Works?

In a recent USA Today edition someone wrote in and asked “How does atheism inspire good works?” They concluded their letter by saying….

How could not believing in a power above ourselves inspire us to do good for other people?

Then in today’s USA Today someone responded to that person’s question in a letter titled “Non-believers accept responsibility”. Their simple answer to the question was….

As a believer, I had assumed that God was ultimately responsible for the world, but as a non-believer I accept some of that responsibility.

I think that the responder has a valid point that I think a lot of Christians miss out on. Far too many Christians sit in their pews praying and asking God to change things in the world and I believe God is saying, “Okay, get off of your rear a do it.” It is up to us Christ-followers to get out their and be the answer to that prayer.

Have you ever seen the bumper sticker that says “Jesus is the answer”? Whenever I see that I like to say, “Well, what is the question?” It is so easy to say that Jesus is the answer, but the reality is that people’s questions need more than some bumper sticker slogan. They need Christ-followers to be that answer. After all, aren’t we supposed to be his witnesses here on earth?

But the reality is that, yes, atheist can do good works. It is up to all of us humans to accept some of the responsibility to bring good into this world, but Christ-followers should shoulder the majority of that burden because we should know better. It is up to us to bring the Kingdom of Heaven to earth and not just sit by waiting for it to come.

So what do you think? Can atheists do good works?

I am a follower of Jesus, a husband to Kim, father to Hannah & Caleb, and the connections pastor at The River Church. The thoughts expressed here are my own and not The River Church's.

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