Despite having a graduate degree and at the age of 30, I just heard the term Practical Atheism 2 years ago through a Sunday school teacher, who is my 2 months my senior (indicating that learning and degree are two different entities. One can be a Master’s and PhD graduate and just vegetate, while one can a dropout, but because of voracious reading and a proper attitude to learn). To sum it up, practical atheism is living as if there’s no God or supreme divine being.
According to one reference, an indication of practical atheism is the absence of religious motivation. Unlike other forms of atheists, a practical atheist will not preach atheism or will not share atheism or will not advocate atheism, but their actions and belief system indicate that they’re living as if God doesn’t exist. Now, my terminology may not be very academic, but I hope I’m giving you the picture. Another word associated with practical atheism is apatheism. Okay, I’ll leave the more academic definitions to the other bloggers who are more expert on that topic.
Practical atheism has been creeping even in Baptist churches (and other faiths as well. I specifically put Baptist because I’m a Baptist). Actually, it’s not a new phenomenon. Some pastors call this “attending because it’s code of ethics”.
Let’s say this as short as possible. It’s normal for a Christian to commit sins, whatever the extent may be. Old nature versus new nature remember? However, practical atheism is more subtle. Imagine, going to church during Prayer Meetings, Services, other ministries like youth, choir, etc., and after those services we’re all back to our lives as we don’t acknowledge God in our actions and decisions? Now here’s a worst form of practical atheism: after the services, you go out of the church. During weekdays, there’s no touch of spirituality in words, actions, and appearances. Worse, you don’t even mention your church friends or your church activities to your friends, classmates, and coworkers. Maybe, just maybe, you’re now a practical atheist. Now don’t get me wrong. I believe that if you’re truly saved or you’re not a practical atheist inside the church, one way or another, you’ll mention one way or another your church friends (maybe not by name, but by other forms…you know what I mean). One form or another, you’re mentioning that the reason why you need to go out on a weeknight is because of Prayer Meeting or other ministries. It’s like subliminal for you that you mention “anything spiritual”, even if you’re said to be carnal. Why? Because you’re saved.
I don’t know how to end this article, but I’ll end this article. May this article serve as a reminder to all of the people claiming themselves as Christians. May this also be a reminder to myself.