I can’t help myself
Like I said yesterday, every day brings more support for Romans 1:22. Yes, and it makes some people angry for me to suggest that they’re fools for being atheists. But, many of them think I’m a fool for not being one, so I think we’re even, except that I’m right.
Today someone named Spencer over at Debunking Christianity asks, “Why does God give up on nonbelievers?” He begins:
If rejecting God is a grave mistake, then why would God not wish to help nonbelievers see the error of their decision? Why would he let them perish in hell for all eternity (or simply perish) without any hope of redemption? The reason, Christians tell us, is one of respect: God respects the decision to reject him, and therefore will not devalue this “free choice”—however irrational—by interfering. Below, I show why this answer is problematic.
He spends a couple of paragraphs trying to deal with the issue of free will vs God’s obligation to rescue man even when man rejects God’s offer to save him.
I’m confused… does this guy want to be saved, or not? Most atheists will say that there’s nothing to be saved from, and no God to save him anyway, so it’s a moot point. But, then why do atheists like Spencer continue to be plagued by his question? I don’t give one second of thought to wondering why Krishna or Zeus don’t save me. It doesn’t bother me that I won’t reach Nirvana, or wherever. Seriously… it’s not an issue.
He closes his post with:
Hence, the obvious answer to the question of when God should give up is ‘never.’ It is what a fully compassionate and loving being would do, and therefore what God would do, if he exists.
So, what does “never” mean to an atheist? If Spencer gets invited to Heaven and tells St Peter (or whoever watches the gates now), “No thanks,” is God obligated to tie him up and drag him inside anyway? Many parents have tried this approach to their kids… does it ever work?
I was reminded of the fairly worn-out story about a guy stuck on the roof of his house as flood waters rose. He believed that God would save him, so when a neighbor offered to throw him a rope, he refused. “God will save me,” he replied. The waters continued to rise, and soon a motorboat came by and offered the man a ride. “No, God will save me.” Within a short time all that was showing of the man’s house was his chimney, and the man was hanging on for dear life. Just then, a helicopter came over and dropped down a ladder. “Thanks, but no… God is going to save me!”
Eventually, the man drowned. When he got to Heaven, he went up to God and said, “Why didn’t you save me? If you loved me, you would have rescued me!”
God looked at the man. “I sent you a rope, a boat and a helicopter. What else did you want?”
God even came to Earth (that would be Jesus…). In spite of the miracles he did, idiots still had the audacity to demand that Jesus do a sign for them, so that they could believe. It was so completely obvious that no sign would have been enough, for those who choose not to believe. Jesus’ reply was essentially, “I’ll show you a sign…” So, he died and resurrected.
And, that hasn’t changed anything, except for those who believe. Paul explained in Romans 1 how men who could see God evidenced in creation were without excuse. Now that a boat and a helicopter has been sent, they think they’ve got an excuse? The reality is, God keeps sending more and more rescuers. At what point exactly should people start taking responsibility for themselves?