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Disbelief and Disregard

“We can argue that today’s Western culture  is very much dominated by an individualistic mindset and, certainly with the decline of Christianity, a blatant infidelity against God. This isn’t atheism. When Psalm 13:1 (Greek),14:1 (Hebrew), states, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God” it is not an expression of disbelief in God by rather disregard toward God which is acting like He doesn’t exist because you don’t care that He does. You’re going to do what you want to do. It’s the classic choice of self-will due to giving into distorted desires.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)

“To say that he “is no god” is not to say that he doesn’t exist but rather to say that he’s a pretender occupying a position that doesn’t belong to him. Let’s look again at Psalm 14: 1: “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ / They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds; / there is none who does good.” Since there were no atheists in the ancient world, the fool saying to himself, “There is no God” is not denying God’s existence. Rather, he is saying, “No one is in charge.” He engages in evil deeds because he thinks no one is watching over him. That is why the next verse reads, “The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man, / to see if there are any who understand, / who seek after God” (Ps. 14:2).” (Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick)

“ “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’”(Psalm 14:1). This verse is not so much about principled atheists, but practical atheists, which we all are in those dark moments when we stubbornly follow our own will and passions and eclipse God from our decision-making. Liturgically we use this verse at the 9th Hour on Holy Friday, as Jesus hangs on the Cross surrounded by abusers and abandoned by almost all his friends. In those terrible hours when the disciples turned away from Jesus did they not become atheists as much as the crucifiers?” (Fr. John Jillions)

“Psalm 13 [Psalm 14] describes both Jews and Gentiles who say in their hearts, “There is no God” (v. 1; see also Rom 3:9–18). For although they may claim to know God, nevertheless, they are actually denying He exists, because of (1) their total involvement in a state of moral depravity (vv. 1, 3); (2) their refusal to seek God (v. 2); (3) their persecution of God's righteous people (vv. 4–6); and (4) their denial of the Incarnate God, the Lord Jesus Christ (v. 7).” (Orthodox Study Bible, Psalm 13:1)

“Only a pure heart can know God and soon find Him, as the Lord Himself said: Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. A pure heart reflects God within itself, like a pure eye or a pure mirror, and cannot but see God. But in a fallen man, this mirror is spotted and broken. That is why those whose hearts are not pure, are clouded, and polluted by the passions of life, do not see God, or practically not at all. How often such people seek God their whole lives, armed with science, but cannot find Him; and so the words of the Psalmist come true with them: The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Passions cloud the eyes of the heart and hinder the knowledge of God. For how often do laziness, a passion for pleasures, and other passions prevent a man from being drawn to earthly wisdom, as a scientist often loses his impartiality in his research when he gives himself over to some kind of passion. Is it not then all the more necessary to say this about the knowledge of God? Only a pure heart can know God.” (Hieromartyr Thaddeus Uspensky)


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