Jul 18 2009

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.

Huh?

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?”

Nothing’s changed

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?


Jul 17 2009

Another Romans 1:22 moment

Debunking Christianity, which occasionally has some good discussions, typically provides daily proof of Romans 1:22.  Today is not exception, with this post, in which the author concludes his argument with “Therefore, it cannot be the nonbelievers’ fault for willfully choosing to reject God.”  It is wasted effort, however, as the very first proposition is flawed. He assumes that to make a choice to disbelieve in God must be irrational if God exists.

However, I don’t think this is the case at all.  Just follow Paul’s line of thought in Romans 1.  Man doesn’t begin a fool, he (or her, for that matter) becomes a fool by his decisions.  But then, I’m sure the author wouldn’t give any weight to Paul’s argument in the first place, as his conversion, so to speak, is already complete.

It is still beyond me how people can direct so much energy into not believing something.  I tend to think many of them have “jilted lover” syndrome.


Jun 9 2009

Romans 1:22 strikes again

Daily, it seems, I find examples to prove the truth of Romans 1:22, “Claiming to be wise, they became fools.”  I will probably start a new category for this.

Today’s example comes from the Debunking Christianity blog, which contains flashes of near-brilliance, as well as some of the most foolish thinking on the planet.  The specific post is by a guy named Spencer, who thinks he has a new approach to argue with Christians about the Resurrection. His idea?  Because we believe “God raised Jesus from the dead,” Christians not only have to prove the resurrection happened, they also have to prove that God did it. (I guess he thinks that perhaps Jesus was raised from the dead by someone like Satan, who was just playing a joke. )

His point is essentially true, that proving that Jesus resurrected does not logically prove that God was the cause of Jesus’ resurrection.  He, of course, fails to realize that there is no way for him to prove that his system of logic proves anything.  He also fails to realize that Christians don’t have to prove a thing.  He’s the guy trying to disprove something.

As W.C. Fields once said, “Go away, kid, ya bother me.”


May 22 2009

Is salvation really free?

Marlene Winell makes a very interesting point today on the Debunking Christianity blog:

I’ve thought that there is a fundamental contradiction in the evangelical message of salvation because, according to them, it is NOT Christ’s atoning death that saves you, it is YOUR BELIEF in it. (otherwise everyone would be saved). Therefore, this is not a salvation by grace, it is another salvation by works, albeit cognitive work. You must DO several things – find out about and understand the atonement, accept that Jesus dies for your sins, feel guilt and express your sorrow for being responsible, ask forgiveness, and invite Jesus “into your heart” to rule for the rest of your life.


I’ve wandered a bit from my initial point, which was that this doctrine is a salvation by works, ie, it is the accomplishment of the believer. Maybe that is why fundamentalists are so smug.

Sometimes non-Christians are quite good at picking up on theological inconsistancies.

What are your thoughts?