Sunday, May 10, 2009

Forgiven - a Murderer or Mahatma Gandhi?

In his book, I Sold My Soul on Ebay, atheist Hemant Metha says that one of the things that trips him up regarding Christianity is that it “contradicts the common sense notions of Justice.” Sooner or later this is a theme that will be repeated on every atheist blog. To make his point, Hemant uses the example of a murderer who accepts Jesus’ offer of salvation and Mahatma Gandhi who did many good things but who would not accept the Christian concept of salvation through faith in Jesus the Christ.

Of course an example of this very scenario was played out when Jesus was crucified along with two other criminals. One criminal cursed Jesus till the moment the criminal died. The other criminal also cursed Jesus - for a time. However, recognising his mistake he called to Jesus for forgiveness and then, just prior to his own death, this second criminal heard from Jesus, “Today you will be with Me in paradise.”

Presumably two equally evil men - one saved, one condemned. Is that fair?
According to atheists - no. According to Jesus - absolutely.

Hemant goes one better. In his scenario, these are not, according to human standards equally evil men. The murderer, again according to humans standards is a much worse individual than Mahatma Gandhi. I think that most everyone, including me would agree that the murderer has done wrong by society. Gandhi while making life difficult for a few people did enormous good for many, many others. What Hemant and all other atheists ignore or cannot comprehend, what they’re unwilling or unable to accept is that both the murderer and Gandhi have committed grievous offenses against Creator God. We and all humanity stand guilty as charged.

. Because of corrupted self-love, We nailed Jesus to the cross.

. Because of greed and corrupted self-love, We tolerate and aid in the starvation of millions of children every year.

. Because of greed and corrupted self-love We tolerate and aid in the selling of millions of children into sexual slavery.

. Because of greed and corrupted self-love We tolerate homelessness and starvation in the wealthiest cities on earth

. Because of greed and corrupted self-love We deplete the very resources needed to keep humanity alive.

. Because of greed and corrupted self-love, we allow and help to instigate wars and famine.

. Because of greed and corrupted self-love We are destroying this jewel of a planet.

. We and we alone are responsible for the deplorable and deteriorating state of our world.

Both the murderer and Gandhi, along with everyone one of us are guilty of the crimes just listed. That is why the one’s forgiveness for his crimes against God and the other’s refusal to admit a need for forgiveness is what allows the murderer to go to heaven while Gandhi goes to hell. It’s called a spiritual reality and it goes like this.

The murderer has wronged society
Gandhi has not wronged society

The murderer has wronged God
Gandhi has wronged God

Society demands justice of the murderer
Society demands nothing of Gandhi

God demands justice of the murderer whose heart is not right toward God
God demands justice of Mahatma Gandhi whose heart is not right toward God

Justice is served on the murderer for crimes against society (death or imprisonment)
No justice is demanded by society for Gandhi

Justice is served for crimes against God on behalf of the murderer by Jesus
Justice is served for crimes against God on behalf of Gandhi by Jesus

This undeserved payment by Jesus is accepted by the murderer.
This undeserved payment by Jesus is rejected by Gandhi

This undeserved Grace from Jesus is accepted by the murderer.
This undeserved Grace from Jesus is rejected by Gandhi

Paradise is given by Jesus to the murderer
Jesus is not able to give paradise to Gandhi because he has rejected the offer.

It’s a Spiritual Reality. You don't have to agree with it for it to exist. This Spiritual Reality exists regardless of your beliefs.

Grace is a concept that is incomprehensible to Hemant and all other atheists, to Mahatma Gandhi and all other non Christian religious people. Atheists, on the one hand demand a justice that they can understand, while on the other hand they claim that we should go free for these horrendous crimes against humanity.

1st Thessalonians 1:8,9 - The Lord Jesus will bring judgement on those who do not wish to know God and those who reject His plan to save them through our Lord Jesus Christ. They will be punished in everlasting hell, forever separated from the Lord, never to see the glory of His power.

This verse literally screams for our attention. The basis for what it says is this. God is completely Holy. Nothing less than complete Holiness can come into His presence. Jesus taught that we are separated from His Holiness by our sinful nature, and neither religion, nor a moral life, nor some concept of spirituality can fix that. In other words, we can never be ‘good enough’ to be good enough for heaven (Romans 3:22,23).

Think of it this way:
. How advanced does your child’s cancer have to be before you consider it “bad enough” to start treating it? Would you just ignore it while the tumour is small and “not very bad”? Or would you demand its removal at any stage?
Atheists say you should just ignore the tumour because it’s small.

. Should your surgeon use a scalpel that has a single, tiny blemish? Should she discard a scalpel only if it’s completely dirty?
Atheists say you should just ignore a little bit of dirt.

. How many of the Chef’s pubic hairs would you have to find in your meal at a restaurant before you wouldn’t eat it?”
Atheist say One or two pubic hairs in your meal should be overlooked.

Clearly the size or the amount of the dirt is not the issue. The issue is the presence of dirt. We are always repulsed by dirt when we expect to find cleanliness.

Just so, it doesn’t matter if you’re a murderer or a Gandhi, our sinful nature is unacceptable to God. The problem is not the number sins or the degree of sin that we’ve committed. The problem is who we are. The state of our world is proof of who we are. What we do is just a symptom of who we are. The fact is, there are no good people or right hearts, for all of us are corrupt and fall short of God’s expectations for us. Our sin, regardless of how small it is in our estimation cannot come into the presence of God. That’s why the Bible explains to us that the result of sin, the wages of sin, the consequences of sin, the cost of sin, is banishment from God. But there is good news folks! Out of His enormous love, Jesus paid the penalty of sin for us.

In Ezekiel, Jesus is quoted as saying, “I don’t take any delight in the death of the wicked. I want the wicked to change their ways so that they can live! You don’t need to go to hell. Rather than tantrum like a frustrated child, do what it takes and you will never need to experience eternal separation from Me.” Ezekiel 33:11.

2 comments:

dorian said...

i don't accept that gandhi won't be forgiven by a forgiving God just because of a technicality ascribed to a bible rewritten for a womanizing king. i would think that a man's actions - what he does to help humanity - is manifestation of a good kind soul which is not deserving of damnation. no man has the right to judge. the word of God, according to the bible? scripture was written by man with human biases and opinion. Jesus was a good teacher and is Christ. what is important, in my opinion is that His ways are emulated instead of the bible constantly preached and interpreted with self-serving variations. i'm with you regarding oprah and the many evangelicals but not with good people like gandhi.

dorian said...

to clarify last line on my comment - it's "...but not with the no forgiveness for good people like gandhi." thanks - dorian