Atheists and other god-deniers are clear examples of idolaters. They reject the God of the universe, and choose to instead worship themselves, their own intellect, their own abilities, and their own values. Self becomes enthroned, while the real God is dethroned. They tell God that they will call the shots, not him.AND
‘I am the Lord thy God . . . Thou shalt not have strange gods before me.’ It was as if Moses had written: ‘Atheists are not godless men; they are men addicted to false gods.’ Thus, the battle of love to which the Christian is honourably called today is the struggle to liberate his atheist neighbours from enthrallment to false gods and to help these neighbours find the True God.”
The author, Bill Muehlenberg, extends this ridiculous argument to warn against "Christian atheism." According to him, if you focus on "self" instead of God, that makes you an idolater. And since atheists are his prime example of idolaters, that makes you a Christian atheist.
Muehlenberg's concept of atheism is actually not all that uncommon among theists. Some are incapable of understanding that atheists really don't believe in God. They are so wrapped up in their religious beliefs, that the sheer alien nature of disbelief baffles them. Because they don't understand it, they instead assume that atheists reject God. Why would someone reject God? Well, it must be because they worship something else in God's place. They simply can't envision not worshipping anything at all. If you patiently explain to such a theist that you don't believe in God because you see no evidence for his existence, he will assume that you must be lying, and will begin trying to psychoanalyze you to determine why it is that you've decided to reject God.