A previous article about his loss of faith was also carried some years ago by the Daily Mail. Jonathan Edwards had in the past spoken of praying before taking part in competitions but now says he feels "slightly embarrassed" about how devoutly 'Christian' he once was. He now professes to be an atheist.
While he is a man to be pitied I still remember the time in 1993 when Jonathan Edwards changed his stance on competing on the Lord's Day. At the time he justified this change by saying that God had told him to do so and stated that God had given him his talent in order for him to compete in athletics.
Everything seemed to go well with him. The qualifying round at that year's World Championships took place on a Sunday and he went on to win the bronze medal in the final. Two years later he established a new world record which still stands to this day of 18.29m.
However, it does not pay to go against the plain teaching of the Word of God. He was right in the first instance. Nothing replaces a seared conscience. To say that God changes His nature and contradicts His Word to accommodate our earthly whims, desires and ambitions is to sear our conscience for God never can go back upon His Word.
Although sad it is not a surprise that he has come to the place where he is now ashamed of his former beliefs. When we forsake the moorings of the Word of God we will descend into crisis.
It must be remembered what the Lord says about this choosing of the world before Him:
And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them,
Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels, Mark 8:34-38.
The words of a hymn come to mind:
A mortal man ashamed of Thee?
Ashamed of Thee, whom angels praise,
Whose glories shine thro' endless days?
Ashamed of Jesus! sooner far
Let evening blush to own a star;
He sheds the beams of light divine
O'er this benighted soul of mine.
Ashamed of Jesus! that dear Friend
On whom my hopes of heav'n depend!
No; when I blush, be this my shame,
That I no more revere His name.
Ashamed of Jesus! yes, I may,
When I've no guilt to wash away;
No tear to wipe, no good to crave,
No fears to quell, no soul to save.
Till then, nor is my boasting vain,
Till then I boast a Saviour slain;
And O, may this my glory be,
That Christ is not ashamed of me!