One can believe in Jesus Christ without believing that He is the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, true God and true man. No one can deny His existence, proven in a sense by the wide variety of those who hate Him. No one hates a non-existent.
Nor are the atheists alone. Even those who believe in His name, preach His Gospel, regard Him as their Savior, disbelieve His divinity. In my school days (1924-34) it was granted that half the Anglican and Episcopalian clergy had been too well educated to believe, though the general belief supported their “authority.”
In our time individuals and groups break away from all kinds of Christian denominations because the ministers will not express belief in what they are considered bound to preach. For generations we have seen circus tent shows run by independent preachers flourish in good weather in small towns across the country. Some had built on reputations made prior to their evangelism.
Billy Sunday achieved fame as a tipsy baseball player who got religion to assist all who had not recovered from his own addiction. He featured hymns like The Brewery Man’s Big Hosses Ain’t Gonna Run Over Me!, slogans like Deathbed repentance is like burning a candle to the devil and blowing the smoke in God’s face, and lively hellfire homiletics.
They all traded on generations that produced unsung barber shop quartets. I remember Aimee Semple McPherson chiefly because her program starred a baritone named Dave Hutton, whom she eventually married and divorced.
The volatility flew far out of proportion with Billy Graham and a whole legion of stadium and television payed pipers who have ridden salvation to great wealth and to greater notoriety. Few of these crusaders regarded fear of the Lord.
Entire school systems have been permeated to the exclusion of all Christianity by imposition as factual of the theory of evolution, which denies creation and redemption. For which of our simian ancestors committed original sin? Not only the avowed atheists and their tame agnostics profess this form of hatred, even Christ’s Vicarage usurpers – Montini, Wojtyla, and the high speed beatifier of fellow ineligibles, Ratzinger – support a lunatic theory impossible to verify.