Who said this?

See if you can guess who said this:

This is the God of the gospel of grace. A God who, out of love for us, sent the only Son He ever had wrapped in our skin. He learned how to walk, stumbled and fell, cried for His milk, sweated blood in the night, was lashed with a whip and showered with spit, was fixed to a cross, and died whispering forgiveness on us all.

The God of the legalistic Christian, on the other hand is often unpredictable, erratic, and capable of all manner of prejudices. When we view God this way, we feel compelled to engage in some sort of magic to appease Him. Sunday worship becomes a superstitious insurance policy against His whims. This God expects people to be perfect and to be in perpetual control of their feelings and thoughts. When broken people with this concept of God fail, as inevitably as they must, they usually expect punishment. So they persevere in religious practices as they struggle to maintain a hollow image of a perfect self. The struggle itself is exhausting. The legalists can never live up to the expectations they project on God.

Did you guess Brennan Manning, in all of his Emergent, Postmodern, ooey-gooey theologically syrupy wishy-washiness? Yep, Brennan Manning, High Priest in The Church of You Can Claim Christ Without Repenting From Sin. I remember trying to read “Ragamuffin Gospel.” What a wretched piece of writing.

But see, the above quote is how the Purpose-Driven/Emergent/Postmoderns view those of us who hold to the truth of Scripture. They call us “legalists” for daring to say that in order to be saved a person must repent of their sins. Manning and Bell and McLaren would rather spend their time telling people that “God loves them just the way they are, sins and all” without ever once warning them to repent. So they wind up loving these people right into Hell. They would rather worship a God of their own making than the one whose perfect righteousness requires Him to send unrepentant sinners to their eternal justice.

20 thoughts on “Who said this?

  1. With all due respect, I think you have not really ‘read’ these authors. They all do very much indeed call for repentance. Manning in particular, is very graphic in how he presents his own repentance, his turning away from his sin and turning towards Christ. I actually think he is a pretty decent writer, better than most of those you may find on the religion shelves at Barnes and Nobles.

    Purpose Driven theology is a strictly modern way of looking at faith, by the way. A faith journey broken down into incremental steps and routines, measuring and quantifying spiritual ‘success’. Not too many of us emergent folk are big fans of Warren’s technique.

    My repenting of sin may not look like your repenting. My sin is still your sin – the sin of pride and placing myself before God and others, but it may manifest itself differently. I may stop swearing, drinking, whoring, gambling and smoking but what if I still continue to overcharge my customers, or jockey for a better position in life, at the expense of others. Have I repented of anything?

  2. It’s just as the scriptures prophesy of these last days, FP! It’s hard for me to comprehend a way to besmirch the character of the One True and Living God any more than Manning has done in his quote above – and of course he’s not alone in his upside down view of God – far from it!

    For if Jesus Christ died “whispering forgiveness on us all (i.e. shedding His atoning blood, and giving up His life as a perfect sacrifice “for all”) – as is suggested in his quote above – then Manning is either accusing the Lord of Glory of being the most cosmic failure of all eternity, seeing as how many of those for whom supposedly He died – according to Manning – will perish and be condemned to eternal damnation and destruction in hellfire forever and ever.

    This is absolutely unthinkable and blasphemous. Jesus Christ’s blood was, is and always will be 100% efficacious to atone for 100% of the sins of 100% of those for whom He died and none who have been given to Him by His Father will by any means be lost, period. This is the consistent teaching of scripture and the consistent self revelation of the absolutely sovereign One True and Living God as He has revealed Himself to men within the pages of the Holy Bible.

    Manning’s theology is either left with a pathetic and weak false “christ” who is unable to completely save, or else Manning is left with universalism.

    In reading through Manning’s perverse comment I’m reminded of Matthew 7:21-23 and those whom will say “Lord, Lord…” but will be utterly rejected by the King of Glory and condemned to eternal punishment for their works righteousness false religion that used Christianized names and themes but was in truth an idol factory steeped in deceit and deception that followed after the cleverly devised fables of men (2 Peter 1:16).

    Marantha Lord Jesus!

  3. But what will those who are condemned look like. Later on in Matthew Jesus gives us an idea:

    Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

  4. Christian Beyer,

    Good point, yet we know that good works will flow from a redeemed heart just as naturally as water flows from a spring.

    Yet the condemned group we see in Matthew 23 was guilty of “working to earn”; notice how they pointed to their deeds and the many seemingly wonderful things they did in the name of the Lord, and see what it earned them: eternal condemnation!

    You see, it’s creeds AND deeds, not one or the other. Christians are empowered for good works which were pre-ordained by God as the result of salvation; it should never be thought of the other way around.

    “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” – Matt. 23:23

  5. Fifth Horseman says:

    Pilgrim, please take a moment to read this, and then please tell me if, and why, you object to it.

    My mother died recently, aged 91. She went to Somerville College, Oxford, in the 1930s.

    My wife and I went to a Commemoration Service in the College chapel yesterday, at which the Principal read out the College Bidding Prayer. One passage of this reads:

    ‘Let us pray for this University of Oxford and especially for the good estate of Somerville College, that receiving students of all faiths it may continue to give opportunities to each and all for learning that tolerant sympathy and wide charity which are among the most precious possessions of life.’

    What is wrong with that? I say, nothing whatsoever is wrong with that.

  6. Horseman,

    Well, according to the world’s way of thinking, nothing is wrong with that. That is the kind of “tolerance” the world loves to hear, so they can go on with their happy little lives thinking their is not a God to whom they will have to give an account one day. So they make up all these phony little “religions” that tell people that if you’re “good enough” and do enough “good things” then God will put a smiley face next to your name on His Heveanly Chore Chart, and one can skip and tra-la-la into Heaven.

    However, wishing away God doesn’t work. A person can believe all they want that God does not exist. That does not make Him any less real. For example, I don’t want to believe the Boston Red Sox won the World Series last year–but they’ve still got their rings, don’t they?

    So, the world can delude themselves all they want, and build up these happy little belief systems, thinking one day they won’t have their lives laid out for them in judgment. All in the name of “tolerance.”

    And Christian Beyer, I have read Manning’s material. And according to him, the only ones who need to “repent” are the ones who warn people to repent from their sins. He never commands sinners to repent.

  7. Perhaps we define the word repent differently. I see it as a turning away from sin and starting back on the Way that Jesus describes. (Perhaps we have another problem in that I believe sin is the state of mind, body and soul that is more interested in self-pleasure than in pleasing God)

    You are correct, sir, in that Manning holds religious hypocrites particularly accountable.But Manning also recognizes that this description aptly fits himself, as well as all of us who point out the ‘sin’ of others while smugly unaware of our own. And this does describe all of us, we can hardly avoid it.

    So many of us, so often, are merely resounding gongs and clanging cymbals, as we preach a Gospel devoid of love (real love, with feeling, not the ‘tough love’ that is a euphemism for smug religious judgment); the fire and brimstone rhetoric that we ‘lovingly’ brandish toward ‘sinners’ while forgetting that we are sinners too. So often lacking the visible “Christian” actions once described as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and imprisoned – these ‘sinners’ readily turn and tear our rhetoric to pieces. In other words, we insist on heaping religious prescriptions upon them without at first finding out what it is that really ails them. All the while we deny that we are still in need of a physician.

  8. Christian,

    I know what really ails everyone on earth, and I know the religious prescription that will cure it. People need their sins forgiven more than they need their next breath. I know the only source for that forgiveness. The most loving thing a physician can do is explain the gravity of the situation, and make sure to administer the cure. Anything else isn’t love, it’s malpractice.

    Thanks,
    Bill

  9. FH Said:Pilgrim, please take a moment to read this, and then please tell me if, and why, you object to it.

    Well, I’m not The Pilgrim, but I’ll take a crack at it; though FP has already provided a response.

    FH Said:My mother died recently, aged 91. She went to Somerville College, Oxford, in the 1930s.

    My sincerest condolences.

    FH Said:My wife and I went to a Commemoration Service in the College chapel yesterday, at which the Principal read out the College Bidding Prayer. One passage of this reads:

    ‘Let us pray for this University of Oxford and especially for the good estate of Somerville College, that receiving students of all faiths it may continue to give opportunities to each and all for learning that tolerant sympathy and wide charity which are among the most precious possessions of life.’

    This sounds exactly like the message one would hear at most any secular institution here in the States as well, FH. In fact I’m ashamed to say that many messages like this are also being proclaimed from the pulpits of so-called churches.

    What is wrong with that? I say, nothing whatsoever is wrong with that.

    There’s nothing wrong with that insofar as generic, man pleasing, ear tickling messages go. As I mentioned, this is exactly the sort of mindless drivel that’s constantly spewed forth to the masses in the name of “tolerance”.

    You see FH, “tolerance” is one of the primary pillars of the one world false religion of human merit and achievement. It’s joined by “inclusiveness” and “unity”.

    We continue telling you the truth FH, and you continue rejecting it only to return here again and again like a moth to a flame. I don’t know if you’re being convicted by the Holy Spirit who is doing a work in your heart, or if you’re simply driven by demonic impulses to come here and take up your soapbox to distract from the truth of Jesus Christ crucified.

    Either way or whatever the case you can rest assured that each time you visit here you’ll be provided with the objective truth that’s only found in Jesus Christ and the knowledge of the One True and Living God of Christian theism.

    I’ve not given up on the prayerful hope that the God of the Holy Bible might be pleased to supernaturally and miraculously regenerate your soul unto eternal life, and it’s because of this hope that I wish to speak with you now.

    FH, what do you think happened to your mother after she drew her last breath?

    I know that you know that the body that you buried was not your mother, but merely your mother’s corpse. I know that you know your mother wasn’t “in there” when you buried her body, she was “gone”.

    Your mother, the eternal human soul that was your mother, was not that body of flesh and bones, she merely lived in that body for a time.

    She wasn’t the arms that held you and comforted you as a child when you were in pain.

    She wasn’t the eyes that lit up in mock-surprise when you drew her a crayon picture, or when she held her grand-daughter in the very same arms that held you as a baby.

    She wasn’t the hair that slowly turned gray as the years ravaged her body with age and wear.

    She was the eternal human soul, created in God’s image, that dwelt that body which was only a temporary holding vessel, a tent in which her soul tabernacled while she was alive on the earth.

    Your mother, the real woman who laughed, and loved, and wept, and sang and groaned – her eternal soul – is right now, in this very moment, fully and consciously aware in one of two places: She is either in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ beholding His glorious face in eternal bliss and joy unspeakable, or she is in the pit of hell being punished for her unforgiven sins and trespasses in an unquenchable fire where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth forever and evermore.

    The dividing line as to which of these two places she presently inhabits rests solely on whether or not she had a saving personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Risen Savior of mankind.

    May I ask what consolation you gave your daughter after her grandmother passed, FH? What comforts the child of an atheist when even a child knows, just as you know in your heart of hearts, that death simply isn’t the end of life, but is only a transition to eternity?

    You see FH, I KNOW that the One True and Living God, the infinite Creator and Judge of the universe, has stamped eternity on your heart just as He has with all human hearts. I know this because the scriptures teach this. I also know that in your heart of hearts, when you’re alone and it’s only you and God that you also know He’s there and that you tremble because you know that you stand guilty and condemned before Him.

    I know that you know that you have an angry God above you, and I know that you know His wrath presently abides on you, and I know that you know that you have a guilty and accusing conscience in you, and I know that you know you have a yawning hell beneath you.

    Because I know all these things I pray to my God that you’ll repent and cry out to the One True and Living God of Christian theism and beg Him to forgive you for your sins and trespasses and to save you from the wrath to come. Only He is willing and able to perform such a miracle for unworthy, wretched, wicked and fallen lumps of sin such as we are; but herein is the glory of God!

    That He who is absolutely without need, totally self contained, infinite, immortal, omnipotent, omniscient, good, perfect, holy and wise, the Creator of all, stepped down from His throne of eternal majesty and glory and took on the form of a humble servant, the man Jesus Christ, who lived an absolutely perfect and sinless life that fully pleased His Father, and He freely gave His life on the rugged cross of Calvary, bearing our sins and shame upon His bleeding and torn body, becoming sin for us that we might be made righteous in Him, if only we believe on Him by grace through faith alone. He offers this as a free gift to all who would receive it and as a gift it cannot be earned, or attained to, or apprehended by anything but a simple childlike faith in the intrinsic goodness and trustworthiness of the Giver.

    This is the glory and shame of the cross, FH. All else is vanity as all else is perishing away; only God will stand the test of eternity, and those who are found in Him and Him alone.

    Please call upon Him. I and others are praying for you.

    In Christ,
    CD

  10. Christian Beyer,

    You should reread the Rules of Engagement found at http://defendingcontending.com/rules-of-engagement/.

    Pay close attention to Points 2, 3, & most importantly Point 5!

    Consider this a warning. You are welcome to visit and leave comments. However, when you make comments that begin to attack one of the contributors to this blog and more importantly attack the true faith once delivered for the saints, then you will no longer be welcome.

    This is NOT about just banning everybody who disagrees with us for this has only happened one time permanently! We hope that we will not have to use this liberty again.

    Your comments will be moderated and banned outright if you persist.

    The Desert Pastor – Editor

  11. I’ve read your rules and I agree with them. i have the same rules on my blog However,with all due respect, I think that you are guilty of applying a double standard here.

    I merely stated that the doctrine of hell is not an authentic doctrine. I also suggested that the person who preached to DH was in as much need for prayers as any one of us.

    I suggest you go back and read some of what has been written before me and if you still feel that my tone is antagonistic then in all likelihood we will not be able to conduct any meaningful dialog.

    C’est la vie.

  12. Fifth Horseman says:

    Fourpointer

    Right. By your own response (7th July) above, you are clearly an intolerant person, and you see nothing wrong with that because you know you are right. But don’t expect the rest of us to agree. In the Middle East and around the world, there are hundreds of millions of Islamic people who venerate Jesus but think that _they_ are right by then going one Prophet further. Luckily for you and me, only a relatively small number of these people believe this with the conviction you display. But obviously, at least one of you is wrong – that’s very simple mathematical logic. (I say it’s both of you, of course.) Meanwhile, the crossfire since 9/11 is getting nasty.

    Tolerance is important. You’re familiar with the idea of ‘us’ and ‘them’, stemming from humanity’s in-built tendency to identify (too) strongly with this group (‘us’) against that group (‘them’): Glasgow Celtic fans, Glasgow Rangers fans. Black people, white people. English people, Scottish people. Anti-slavery Unionists, pro-slavery Confederates. Christians, Muslims. With just one exception, those barriers are now much less likely to be issues to fight each other about or kill each other about. I don’t know about you, but I call that human progress and I welcome it.

    However, religion is one of the few significant ways left in which an ‘us’ as opposed to a ‘them’ can be identified at all, and in the hands of absolutely committed and convinced Abrahamic monotheistic fundamentalists who can’t ever be told anything, that can be dangerous for us all, whether we’re believers or not.

    As I keep saying, chill out, watch some cricket, listen to some jazz or some Bach, take your mind off religion now and again. We’ll all be better off – and safer. I would say precisely the same things on an Islamic equivalent of this site – except that my comments would be deleted by them, of course.

    I can see some quite attractive social and life expectancy benefits to being tolerant. So can most Christians and most Muslims. What about you, FP?

    CD,

    As you can see, I’ve just responded to Fourpointer. I owe you a response too, but it’s nearly midnight here, so I’m hanging up my keyboard for the day.

    With luck and a following wind, I’ll get time to reply tomorrow. But I just wanted to say to you now that, however great our theological differences, I appreciated your sympathy on the death of my mother. Thank you.

    FH

  13. Fifth Horseman says:

    CD,

    Thanks once more for your sympathy at my and my family’s loss.

    It’s late (again), so I’ll pick up just four of your points / questions – the main ones, I think you’ll agree.

    1. >>You see FH, “tolerance” is one of the primary pillars of the one world false religion of human merit and achievement. It’s joined by “inclusiveness” and “unity”.<> I’ve not given up on the prayerful hope that the God of the Holy Bible might be pleased to supernaturally and miraculously regenerate your soul unto eternal life<>Your mother … is right now, in this very moment, fully and consciously aware in one of two places: she is either in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ … or she is in the pit of hell being punished for her unforgiven sins and trespasses in an unquenchable fire where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth forever and evermore.<>May I ask what consolation you gave your daughter after her grandmother passed, FH? What comforts the child of an atheist when even a child knows, just as you know in your heart of hearts, that death simply isn’t the end of life, but is only a transition to eternity?<<

    Good question. It wasn’t easy. My daughter is 10. She understands that people die, and that one day she will die too. I said to her that her grandmother had led a long and happy life (true), that she had done many, many good things and enriched the lives of hundreds, even thousands, of people (also true) and that while we are of course sad now for her death, we must remember to be thankful that she lived. No one can take away what she did with her life.

    As someone said, ‘To live at all is miracle enough’. ‘We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones’ – lucky in the sense that most people will never die because they will never be born: the scientific set of possible people massively exceeds the set of actual people who have ever lived. So even with no afterlife, life is wonderful and to be cherished. We’re lucky to have even this.

    I’d go further. Because I believe there is no afterlife, my mind is focused very, very clearly on making the most of this life, for the good of those around me, for my family, and for myself. Of course I ‘sin’ (for example, I regret saying, on another thread, that Pilgrim ‘rejects Biblical teaching’ – that was a cheap shot on my part) but I basically have goodwill towards people, whoever they are, and from time to time I succeed in doing good. I can’t ask for more than that.

    What I won’t do is – as I see it – deceive my daughter by telling her ‘ear-tickling’ things, such as that all is well, that her grandmother is with Jesus and is happy, because I don’t believe any of that is true. Instead I am, and my daughter is, grateful that my mother lived: she will always be remembered.

    Pilgrim – I hope you will see from this that I do not duck difficult questions; I merely lack time to answer them as fully or as quickly as you / I might like!

    FH

  14. Fifth Horseman says:

    Pilgrim – something went wrong there, and this looks as if I’ve only answered one of CD’s points – about how I as an atheist consoled my daughter when my mother died (which I guess was the main point he raised).

    Your call as to whether you want to edit it to cut the 10 lines down to ‘May I ask …’ or not. I do sincerely hope you won’t delete the whole thing though – you did ask me to reply!

    FH

  15. Fifth Horseman says:

    Hey DP,

    A few days ago you said:

    ‘This is NOT about just banning everybody who disagrees with us for this has only happened one time permanently! We hope that we will not have to use this liberty again.’

    I don’t understand ‘one time permanently’, it makes no sense in English; but – do you mean me ? :-)

    FH

  16. Fifth Horseman,

    If I had meant you, no further posts of yours would make the light of the day on this blog!

    My statement made perfect sense. Some people we have had to ban for a time until they choose to abide by our rules of engagement. However, to date, we have permanently banned ONLY one person – which is obviously not you!

    The Desert Pastor

  17. However, with what DP just said, understand that you, Fifth Horseman, have been on that precipice of banishment for longer than you think. In fact, after a recent decision by the DefCon 6, we permitted you to continue commenting on here but only on this post.

    In my last comment to you in which I explained that we decided to graciously permit you to leave comments, that permission was granted on this thread only (at least for now), not to go running all over the blog leaving your insidious comments. This is why your comments elsewhere have never seen the light of day.

    I said to you, “You are being allowed to comment over there (within reason). If you don’t like that, then click on the little ‘x’ at the top right of your screen.” If you don’t like the terms, I direct your attention back to that “x.”

    Also keep in mind, that posting comments on here is a privilege, and not a right. If you don’t like how things are done here or what is said, again, I direct your attention to that “x” at the top right of your screen.

    You have been camping on this blog for a long time, and are only still here because of our kindness so don’t complain about the man’s house who lets who stay.

    And finally, you keep ranting and whining, and groveling about wanting me to remove and apologize for the following sentence from the above linked comment:

    I can’t help but picture you in the near future standing front and center to watch Christians being executed with an ear-to-ear grin on your face screaming, ‘Off with their heads, off with their heads.‘”

    In the context of that comment you know exactly what I was talking about when I said that. Secondly, I said “I can’t help but picture,” this happening. I can’t say for sure that it will as I don’t know. And my hope is the exact opposite; I hope to rejoice in our Savior alongside you one day in eternity (if you ever repent). This is why you are still permitted to post comments on here. Not because we need a resident Atheist to espouse his anti-Christian ideals, but to hopefully provide you with enough truth to be able soften your hard heart so that one day you will receive the gospel.

    I will not apologize for the remark, nor will I remove it. I have 2,000 years of Christian history to support the assertion I made (not to mention secular history); Biblical precedent to support the sinfulness of man to that degree; and enough life understanding to never underestimate the potential evils of mankind. Though I do not know what the future holds for you particularly 5, 10, 20 years from now, neither do you. You have no idea how far your hate for God will take you coupled with a lifetime of exposure to the media-driven propaganda against Christians.

    The world can change people’s views and opinions over a time span of less than one generation. They’re very effective.

    And please don’t say “I’d never . . .“. Because as long as you continue in your fallen state, you are very much capable. If you polled most Germans in the 1910′s – 1920′s they would have told you “they’d never” do the things that history would reveal just a decade later.
    The crowds sang Hosanna to our Lord on Sunday and yelled, “Crucify Him” on Friday. Every human is capable of unspeakable sin.

    Jesus warns us that the world will hate us and that we will be put to death. It’s not a matter of if, but when. I don’t believe that right now you’d rejoice in this, but the day when these executions take place are fast approaching and our sinful hearts always have a way of taking us further than we ever expected.

    Sincerely, respectfully, but not compromisingly

    - The Pilgrim

  18. FH,

    If you want to vent at someone for some of your comments appearing – albeit in a highly restricted manner – then you can place the blame squarely at my feet as I requested that your comments in this particular thread be permitted so that your exposure to the truth of Jesus Christ crucified might not be completely cut off.

    I can’t guarantee that this gracious permission will continue to be granted if you insist on baiting the blog administrators and generally behaving as an antagonistic guest who demonstrates poor comportment.

    I can understand your behavior because you loathe any authority outside of yourself which is primarily manifested in your futile but professed rejection of the One True and Living God of Christian theism, yet is also projected against an authority as small in scope as a simple blogmaster.

    One day FH you will stand before the Infinite Creator and Judge of the universe and if you continue in your present estate you will be condemned to eternal damnation in hellfire away from the presence of the Lord because of your unrepentant and wicked sinfulness.

    If on the other hand He graciously permits you to be saved from the justice you deserve then He will grant you mercy and repentance and you will enjoy the unspeakable joy of beholding and enjoying Him forever.

    But now I’d like to turn my attention to your response to my comment above.

    FH said:“Good question. It wasn’t easy. My daughter is 10. She understands that people die, and that one day she will die too. I said to her that her grandmother had led a long and happy life (true), that she had done many, many good things and enriched the lives of hundreds, even thousands, of people (also true) and that while we are of course sad now for her death, we must remember to be thankful that she lived. No one can take away what she did with her life.”

    And again:

    I’d go further. Because I believe there is no afterlife, my mind is focused very, very clearly on making the most of this life, for the good of those around me, for my family, and for myself. Of course I ’sin’ (for example, I regret saying, on another thread, that Pilgrim ‘rejects Biblical teaching’ – that was a cheap shot on my part) but I basically have goodwill towards people, whoever they are, and from time to time I succeed in doing good. I can’t ask for more than that.

    There is a certain comfort in celebrating the life of a recently deceased loved one, no doubt. But herein lies the rub, the life that we live in this world is but a speck of time in the vast and infinite expanse of eternity and the eternal soul that the Creator God places in every human being lives forever either in His presence or in torments in hell. As I previously mentioned your mother didn’t simply cease to exist when her body died, rather she’s consciously aware right now at this very moment in one of two places; heaven or hell.

    Again I know that you know this and I know that your daughter knows this because our Creator has stamped eternity on all men’s hearts. This is why death always seems like a cheat and why it always seems unfair. Mankind has been endowed by His Creator with this knowledge – the knowledge of eternity. Now mind you, we being finite can’t truly grasp the enormity of eternity or expanse of infinity, but thanks to our Creator we are able understand these concepts in some basic ways even with our limited, finite, created minds.

    And I do find it interesting that you still feel justified from within a material-atheist worldview in claiming that your mother – or anyone else – has done “good” things. As I’ve previously demonstrated you don’t have any grounds from which to make any sort of moral judgments apart from secretly borrowing from the Christian-theistic worldview. I must insist that you cease and desist from standing upon my worldview and I would suggest that you devise your own material-atheist morality; indeed I would dearly enjoy reviewing such a construction were it not a logical impossibility to create.

    We’ve already covered this ground once before, but it’s worth noting that there’s simply no room for non-material constructs such as “good” or “evil” from within a material-atheist worldview. It’s either absurd to hold to such views as an individual material-atheist, or else material-atheism is driven to absurdity due to the lack of such constructions because they cannot be accounted for by your professed worldview.

    Yet it’s with this in mind that your irrational and absurd worldview makes sense to me as a Christian-theist. I can make perfect sense of the fact that you as a God-rejecting atheist are unable to function rationally and coherently in the world He created because just as there are certain natural laws that He has put in place in His creation there are also certain spiritual laws that He has put in place in His creation and when those laws are rejected then absurdity, incoherence and irrationality quickly follow.

    FH said:“What I won’t do is – as I see it – deceive my daughter by telling her ‘ear-tickling’ things, such as that all is well, that her grandmother is with Jesus and is happy, because I don’t believe any of that is true. Instead I am, and my daughter is, grateful that my mother lived: she will always be remembered.”

    Well, it certainly would be ear tickling to tell your daughter that her grandmother is with Jesus and is happy if you don’t believe that’s true since it’s at least equally possible that she’s presently burning in hell which I presume would not only not tickle your daughters ears, but would absolutely make them tingle.

    In fact don’t think any Christian would intentionally attempt to deceive their children about the eternal state of one of their deceased relatives if it was known, for example, that the relative died in rebellion to the Lord. In that case, according to the scriptures, the relative would be presently burning in hellfire forever and it would be a lie and a disservice to tell anyone otherwise – especially a child.

    I don’t know if your mother was a professing Christian or not FH, and you’ve not ventured to offer any information on the subject, but the truth remains that she, like all human beings, are creations which are endued by their Creator with an eternal soul and as such that soul continues in conscious existence forever and evermore.

    Through His Word which is His self-revelation to mankind (the Holy Bible) the One True and Living God of Christian theism commands you to repent, FH, and to turn away from your idol of self and to bow the knee in humble obedience to His absolute authority confessing Jesus Christ is Lord.

    All humanity will bow their knees one day, and bowing now certainly has its benefits!

    “God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

    In Him,
    CD

  19. Fifth Horseman says:

    Hey CD, how are you doing … it’s been a while.

    It’s late, so this will be briefer (believe it or not) than intended. Three things.

    1. You say that my mother is consciously aware right now, in heaven or hell. Fair enough, that’s your opinion, and good luck to you. I believe you’re wrong and that there is no evidence whatsoever that her soul, or her spirit, or her humanity (or whatever we want to call what we can at least both agree she had during her time on earth) has gone anywhere, survived in any way or form, or done anything except cease to exist. I can’t prove that, but then there’s nothing – no thing – that I’m trying to prove. Can you prove to me that what you say is true? No. But you _are_ trying to assert something to me: and the burden of making that assertion stack up falls fairly and squarely on you. It’s that ‘my-dad’s-car-used-to-run-uphill-on-nothing-but-psychokinetic-energy’ thing. I can make six preposterous claims like that before breakfast, and I can passionately believe them all, but unless I can actually demonstrate them, I can’t reasonably expect you to believe any of them. Come on CD, we’re neither of us benighted, gullible medieval peasants; you should yourself be looking for, and then be capable of delivering to me, a far higher standard of ‘proof’ than your mere untestable assertions.

    2. Once again you try and say that as an atheist I can’t, or am somehow not entitled to, make a distinction between good and evil. Of all the things I’ve read on this blog and elsewhere in fundamentalist-land, I find this the most utterly bizarre. The ancient Greeks, for example, were no strangers to humane and wise (for their time) lawgiving. And you’ll agree with me that there weren’t many Christians around during Athens’ heyday; say, about 527BC. Yet the whole of Western thought and society – that’s your society, CD – is rooted in Classical Greece and Rome. Like the Israelites, well before reaching Sinai, innumerable pre-Christian societies around the world routinely arrived, by themselves, at many / most of the same basic conclusions that underpin my ethical humanism as well as, I trust, your Christianity. For example, that murdering people, cruelty to children, stealing, and adultery aren’t behaviours conducive to human happiness. You have turned things absolutely on their head: Christian morality drew on (many of the best of) the morals of human society in the region 2,000 years ago, and passed it all off as its own. (Luckily for us, humans continue to progress, which is why in the West in 2008 we are, at long last, tolerant towards gay, black, Catholic, Muslim, or atheistic people, and treat them as the equals they are. Isn’t it?)

    3. You feel it’s right – a duty, even – to tell a child, who could be, say, 7 years old, that if his or her mother died ‘in rebellion to the Lord’, that that child’s much loved mother will burn in conscious agony in hell for evermore. Do you ever wonder why there aren’t more people who think as you do, CD? If you have the necessary empathy, just try and imagine what that image would do to the mind of a bereaved 7 year old.

    What you’re describing there is what we atheists call mental torture and it’s why I took steps to ensure my daughter never reads anything you write. Not only would you, by your own admission, do that to a child (even my child), you then presume to lecture me about good and evil.

  20. Andrew says:

    @Fourpointer: You said ‘in order to be saved a person must repent of their sins’. Repentance is important and a fruit of salvation, but it is not a prerequisite for salvation (John 3: 16). Remember, John’s baptism of repentance did not save, only the one from Jesus.

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