When we reject and expel God from our lives, something else will inevitably fill the vacuum. Generally, the self is elevated to fill the gap with god-like abilities. We grant ourselves forgiveness, inappropriate self-trust, powers to create our purpose-for-living, and morality, even if only subjective. Our hope is in ourselves to stand against life’s threats. However, this hope and self-trust will not bear the test of time. Atheist and mathematician Bertrand Russell described in 1903 his insipient despair with his morally flat universe:
· “That man is the product of causes that had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve individual life beyond the grave; that all the labors of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man's achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins- all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand.”
· "Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul's habitation henceforth be safely built."
In a letter to Lowes Dickinson, Russell wrote:
· “We stand on the shores of an ocean, crying to the night and the emptiness; sometimes a voice answers out of the darkness. But it is a voice of one drowning; and in a moment the silence returns.” (Bertrand Russell, Autobiography, p. 287 as quoted by Leroy Koopman, “Famous Atheists Give Their Testimonies,” Moody Monthly, Nov. 1975, p. 124.)
Consequently, there is a strong correlation between atheism and suicide. Pitzer College sociologist Phil Zuckerman reports:
· “Concerning suicide rates, this is the one indicator of societal health in which religious nations fare much better than secular nations. According to the 2003 World Health Organization's report on international male suicides rates (which compared 100 countries), of the top ten nations with the highest male suicide rates, all but one (Sri Lanka) are strongly irreligious nations with high levels of atheism. It is interesting to note, however, that of the top remaining nine nations leading the world in male suicide rates, all are former Soviet/Communist nations, such as Belarus, Ukraine, and Latvia. Of the bottom ten nations with the lowest male suicide rates, all are highly religious nations with statistically insignificant levels of organic atheism.” (Adherents.com)
In contrast to this, Dr. Stephen Joseph, University of Warwick, reported that:
· "Religious people seem to have a greater purpose in life, which is why they are happier. Looking at the research evidence, it seems that those who celebrate the Christian meaning of Christmas are on the whole likely to be happier.” (Conservapedia)
Why is this so? The Late psychiatrist M. Scott Peck, author of The Road Less Traveled, wrote 15 years later about his journey from Zen Buddhism to Christianity. He had repeatedly observed that his Christian clients would improve, no matter how serious their psychiatric condition. He concluded:
· "The quickest way to change your attitude toward pain is to accept the fact that everything that happens to us has been designed for our spiritual growth…We cannot lose once we realize that everything that happens to us has been designed to teach us holiness…We are guaranteed winners!" (Further Along the Road Less Traveled)
Why are we “guaranteed winners?” Because our Savior guarantees it! Peck subsequently gave his life to the Lord.