“. . .the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God. . .” – Rom 8:7a ESV
“. . .the carnal mind is enmity against God. . .” KJV
These few words from Paul might offer the clearest, most succinct statement of the ‘natural’ state of mind of the ‘natural’ man, in respect to God. Paul is stating in no uncertain terms that the ‘natural’ mind is hostile to, or enmity against, God.
At the same time, Paul also tells us in that ‘natural’ man is born knowing that God exists:
“For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” Rom 1:19-20
This places the atheist, the person who would claim that God doesn’t exist in the position of trying to live in denial of what he knows to be true! Talk about being between a rock and a hard place!
So the next time you’re in a discussion in which God is mentioned and the accusations of ‘forcing’ religion start flying around the room, keep your peace and remember the terrible conflict in the heart of the accuser. The battle in that heart is not against a specific person, but against God. That will change your attitude toward the accuser, as well as how you respond.
Food for thought.