Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Atheists Get It Right Again

Over the years I’ve noticed that atheists, from time to time express a more accurate understanding of Creator God than do many Christians. For example, asking the question, “How can a loving God allow suffering in the world,” is not just a question, it’s one of the most important questions ever. This morning it just dawned on me that atheists have got it right again. As it turns out, atheists also draw attention to the correct amount of horror, fear and dread regarding Creator God.

I used to think that the term “fear of the Lord” meant respect; like having respect for fire. At the very least that’s what it means. I’m not so sure anymore that's all that it means. In fact that kind of attitude might just be another example of the human condition. Our pride keeps us from experiencing a sense of awe when contemplating our Creator, and we’re too arrogant to experience the terror that is appropriate in the presence of a Being who is capable of sending us to eternal death.

Atheists at least get the latter issue. They are shocked that any God could, and worse, would keep them from entering heaven. Yet we can’t deny the fact that if the Bible is a revelation from God, to us, about Himself, fear is one of the emotions that He wishes to evoke in us. And, if what the Bible teaches about heaven and hell is correct, then fear is an appropriate response for those who choose to remain enemies of their Creator.

Now, here is where Christians part ways with the atheist. For Christians we will never experience the wrath of God; the wrath that we are told to fear. For atheists on the other hand, the future looks grim. The horror and the terror they attribute to this “monster” will be fully realised at the end of the atheist's short, short time on earth.

16 comments:

PersonalFailure said...

Is there love involved with god, or not? You can love what you respect, but you can't love what terrorizes you. (If you currently do love what terrorizes you, you're in an abusive relationship, and that's not love. You need to leave.)

Makarios said...

Is there love involved with god, or not?"

Well look what your Creator did for you:
. On the cross to ensure that you had a sure and secure means of escaping hell, and
. In coming to earth and living one of the most difficult lives ever lived so that He could understand what it's like to be you.

And then you tell me. Is that love?

I think it is. I'm not in this reltionship because I'm afraid to leave. I'm in this relationship because I need love. I crave love. I love to spend each and every day marinaded in love.

The feelings of terror need only be experienced by God's enemies.

Terror and dread have no application or implication for those in an intimate, healed and forgiven relationship with Him.

SmartLX said...

I think it is. I'm not in this reltionship because I'm afraid to leave. I'm in this relationship because I need love. I crave love. I love to spend each and every day marinaded in love.

I think of the kind of person who says things like that about their relationship with an abusive spouse, and I feel so sorry for you.

I must ask my most direct question: why do you believe? Forget the arguments about abiogenesis, etc. which you've collected to convince others (and perhaps maintain your own belief). What actually convinced you in the first place?

Chris Mackey said...

a sure and secure means of escaping hell,

Who created hell?

I'm not in this reltionship because I'm afraid to leave.

But if you leave this relationship, YHWH will throw you into a lake of fire.
The bible often says to fear YHWH.

Makarios said...

What part of my relationship with Creator God do sense is abusive?

SmartLX said...

The part where you're afraid to leave, Rod. The fact that the only thing in the relationship besides claims of love is fear. Where one party lords over another the horrible things he could do if he were so inclined, and exerts control over every part of the other's life right down to thoughts and desires.

That's what part.

Makarios said...

"The part where you're afraid to leave, Rod."

No, you didn't read my line carefully enough. "I'm not in this reltionship because I'm afraid to leave. I'm in this relationship because I need love. I crave love. I love to spend each and every day marinaded in love."

This is not talking about a fear of leaving. It's talking about a joy of staying. There's a diffence.
==========
"The fact that the only thing in the relationship besides claims of love is fear."

There is zero fear in my relationship with my Creator. Because of my faith in what Jesus did on the cross, every morning I put on the "Breastplate of His approval." He loves me as His own Son. No fear. Only peace. Even when I fall short, only forgiveness. No fear. Total and complete acceptance. No fear. His acceptance of me is not based on my performance, but His unfailing love. No fear
==========
"Where one party lords over another"

Your Creator and mine does not Lord anything over me. Only goodness and mercy await me from today and on into eternity. God does not exert any control over my behaviours or thoughts. On the other hand, I have found that when I do what He says to do, and think how He says to think (He should know how we work best since He created us) my life is immeasurably better than when I do the opposite of what He says to do and think. In most areas of my life, my desires match His desires and my life is almost beyond words better because of it.
===========

So, what part of my relationship with Creator God is abusive?

Gorth Satana said...

Your Creator and mine does not Lord anything over me.

Funny.

SmartLX said...

Well, frankly, that's embarrassing. You did say you're NOT afraid to leave. I daresay you'd be afraid if you DID leave, though.

"I am the Lord thy God" is the very definition of "lording". If He actually deigned to speak to you directly, he would make no apologies for any pain He had inflicted on you, or allowed you to suffer (i.e. all the pain you've had so far in your life).

Look what He said to Job after ruining his life. God fixed him up afterwards (a favour He does not always do), but imagine the psychological scars that remained. It was like buying one's wife a car after beating her.

He had Abraham all set to kill his own son, but stopped him at the last moment like Candid Camera. (Again, imagine the kid's emotional state afterwards.) And he didn't bother to stop Jephthah from roasting his daughter in His name.

If your God's really there, at any time He could call on you to do something just as terrible. You have a family, too, so the opportunity's there. And there might be no point to it, except perhaps to prove a point to Satan as with Job.

Does that prospect not frighten you?

Makarios said...

“he would make no apologies for any pain He had inflicted on you,”

Nor would I expect Him to
-----------------
“Look what He said to Job after ruining his life.”

“And in all this Job did not sin by accusing God or wrongdoing.”

Atheist reality: Those who wait upon the Lord are like Mt. Zion, scarred by every circumstance

Christian reality: “Those who wait upon the Lord are like Mt. Zion, unmoved by any circumstance.

Atheist reality: Those who wait upon the Lord are scarred by deeming themselves entitled to a life without pain.

Christian reality: Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They will rise up on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.

I’ve lived through childhood sexual abuse, almost five decades of crippling arthritis, the death of a child, and much, much more. And at this moment, because of the indwelling of God’s Spirit, I feel like I could walk through walls.

Read Romans 8:31 to the end. Paul lists life as it is and then says, "In all these things we (those who are in Christ Jesus) are more than conquerors."
-----------------
“And there might be no point to it”

Oh that’s where you’re wrong. For a Christian, every tragedy, every suffering, every sorrow has been given meaning and context and purpose. None of life is a waste for those who have been saved.
----------------
"Does that prospect not frighten you?"

Not at all. I have been through an awful lot with my Lord and my Saviour and I can say with Paul in 2nd Corinthian 12:9,10 “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

In my pre Christian days, because of the things I'd lived through, life did indeed hold dread for me. Now I see life as exciting and challenging because I know without any doubt, that I will emerge victorious over whatever may come my way. Does that mean that in the moment I enjoy the suffering or the sorrow. Of course not. Pain is pain. But neither am I crushed or defeated by it.

SmartLX said...

No, you're clearly not defeated. And it has obviously made you happier to rationalise what you've already been through, whether or not the meaning you've found is correct.

ATVLC said...

The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one.
George Bernard Shaw

Makarios said...

Shaw is correct.

All I can say is none of the good that I have today is from me or from my effort. It has been an inside-out transformation that I've observed almost like an out-of-body experience. Not that literal, of course, but still, it's been a wonderful, wonderful journey. God is good to those who are part of His family. I think the U.S. army's slogan fits our Creator perfectly. "Your best friend or your worst enemy.

Hugo said...

MAKARIOS:
"All I can say is none of the good that I have today is from me or from my effort..."

That's kind of sad honestly. Instead of realizing the fact that you are a human being living in the real world and capable of doing incredible things, you attribute that wonder to some concept of a divine being that you have in your mind.

"I think the U.S. army's slogan fits our Creator perfectly. "Your best friend or your worst enemy."

Yes, it fits perfectly, and it's the point of the rhetoric talk mentionned before.

If you're God, the God of the Bible, the God Jesus believed in is either a friend or an enemy, I pick the enemy side, no hesitation.

Makarios said...

I know what I can do. I lived the first thirty years of my life on my own. And I did accomplish a lot, at least by the standards of this world
=============
"That's kind of sad . . ."

You don't need to weep for me. There's more than one way to do life. I can't think of any reason to settle for a third rate life, like yours when I can have the top of the line.
=========

"I pick the enemy side, no hesitation."

Wow, you really are an idiot!

Hugo said...

"You don't need to weep for me. There's more than one way to do life. I can't think of any reason to settle for a third rate life, like yours when I can have the top of the line."

I see you are now in a state of ad hominem attacks, great, I guess it shows your lack of rationality and arguments.
so my life is a "third rate" one and yours is "top of the line", lol, make me laugh... my point was that life is great, wonderful, and there is so much to learn about it and so much to learn about the world that allows life to be the way we live and observe it. You find that to be "third rate"? What a shame...

HUGO: "I pick the enemy side, no hesitation."
MAK: Wow, you really are an idiot!"

Haha, well yes, I can't stand on the same side as a jealous racist god who asks his followers to kill / enslave people, including kids! You picked that side Rod and it's not my problem! It's you who is the idiot, lol. Try to defend that position now…