A common Christian objection to atheism is that atheists can have no moral standards by which to live. As Alex Rosenburg (about whose book I just discussed) points out, there are two versions to the theistic approach to objective morality. Either
1) Morals are objective because God declares them so. Or
2) God knows what is right and wrong and sets up the rules us accordingly.
Rosenburg states that (2) is unquestionably the most preferable. And I agree with him. Too many Christians, however, hold to the idea that whatever God says, goes. This runs into trouble, of course, if God were declare the slaughter of innocents morally correct. Worse, there are Scriptures which delare that, at one time, He did just that--which is the main reason I'm an unorthodox believer. This is nothing more than a "might is right" argument.
But even more antithetical to their common charge that athesm leads to rampant immorality, is the very common insistance that Christianity itself has nothing to do with moral behavior. "Faith, not works" is very true; yet that truth is not what is commonly preached, and the the reality is wildly misinterpeted. I have talked before about the Calvinist doctrine of Eternal Security; but this is merely the most extreme form of this twisting:
When a person recieves Jesus Christ into his or her heart, that person is transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit. From that moment forward, the person is compelled to follow and obey only Jesus. Yes, there may be lapses of faith, and that person may still struggle against sin; but s/he is at least striving to obey the Lord in every area of life.
Here is an example of the sort of "twisted Christianiy " that I'm talking about.
I recently watched a clip from The Atheist Experience on Youtube, as I often do. On this particular program, Matt Dillahunty gives a very accurate summary of this "twisted version" of the truth of Christ. What is truely tragic though, is not only has Matt bought wholeheartedly into this deception and is trying to convince others, the same false idea that Christianity has nothing to do with behavior, (and thus constitutes a completely amoral belief system) is being regularly preached by Chistians themselves.