Several things today have stimulated me to write this post, the second being that Meme above which was posted to my Facebook page by an Atheist friend.
She commented that she actually likes ‘this Pope’, and from this meme it is easy to see why he has impressed unbelievers, and Heretics/Protestants.
On face value…. in the ordinary sense as a Protestant Libertarian I’m impressed too by the simple fact that it is a far cry from the sort of Tyrannical dogma the world has come to expect from Pontiffs, and thus it appears such moderation is a good thing for peace and harmony between The Catholic church, and the rest of us.
Yet on another very important level these Liberal sentiments which appeal to my atheist friend betray some of the most important spiritual truths which are fundamental to understanding The Lord, which leads onto the central topic of my post… The seriousness of Sin.
This Meme is true…. using a yardstick of ‘comparative goodness’.
There are/have been…. comparatively speaking…. many Good atheists, and many Evil doers whom have called themselves followers of Christ.
Eg Dawkins may say with confidence to me “I’m holier than thou!”… and indeed this may be completely true.
I have done many wicked deeds to which Dawkins may have not even come close… I know not his secrets.
Yet ultimately this rationale is a deadly trap!
Because it is using *the wrong measure*.
The true measure of Goodness in this Universe is not out shining our peers… but is Absolute Holiness… of which we all fall short.
This True measure means *We all* need the Salvation of God which is in Christ.
By God’s perfect standard… “There is none righteous… no not one…”
“For all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God”.
Thankfully God is Rich in mercy and has made away for us to be saved from the righteous judgement of our wicked deeds, yet which still satisfies the demands of Justice, and allows us ourselves the liberty to choose redemption or reject it.
“For God commendeth his love towards us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
“…whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved…”
I have written on this train of thought before and you can read a more expanded veiw here>>> Hell is for the Self Righteous, Heaven is for Sinners.<<< Of course it is a very peculiar thing for atheists to claim to be 'Good' given their world view denies the veracity of ethics! This is a testament to the fact that many many atheists have not the Steel to countenance the depressing 'reality' of their own Amoral Cosmology. The hardest, most real of them look at the chaos and misery which befalls humanity and say it is a testament to the truth of their assertions... "there can be no God in such a world"... there is no right or wrong... either in Earthquakes, or Rape, or genocide.... any such feelings of injustice have no objective reality... they are merely the pathetic wimpers of Soul-less machines who have no more intrinsic value... or rights... than the stardust of which they are composed. Many simply believe you may as well Kill yourself... return to the painless meaningless nothing that you are.
These ideas are the subject of my first blog post in this series ‘How can a Good God exist when there is so much evil in the world? (part1) Atheist Nihilism.’… Click >>>Here<<< to read more. Yet it is the less consistent portion of the Atheists whom I seek to call out tonight. The ones who think their own moral virtues exonerate them from any possibility that even if they are wrong.... and it turns out that there is a god... that it is morally unthinkable that they might face damnation for their sins. As mentioned earlier via the Self righteous Rationale that comparatively speaking, they deem themselves to be not morally inferior beings, but in fact far more moral, and enlightened, and tolerant, than the great horde of savages whom have flocked into churches over the millennia. Having already pointed out the grievous error of such comparisons (first 1/2 doz paragraphs above), I would like to progress further into these disastrous rationalisms, and lay out some more Objective facts about sin, and atheist inconsistency. Setting aside the fact that Atheism is fundamentally an Amoral world view, and that therefore atheists have no 'higher ground' upon which to stand to pass down condemnation upon God and his followers... we all know that this does not faze the bulk of them from proceeding to do precisely that! Their hypocrisy goes much deeper. With one breath they will play down the seriousness of their own moral short comings as 'trivial', yet with the next shake their fists at Heaven decrying the weightiness of the manifold evils of everyone else... and curse God for his inaction! While they think nothing of their own blotches on creation, They boldly declare that no Good God would allow Hitler to rampage across Europe... as if their own existence could not be an affront to morality... yet Hitler's evils... they are God's fault! God is a Bastard on Hitler's account... but not on theirs... they are better than God, they have the right to Judge God, they conciser themselves the innocent victims of God's Amoral inaction. It matters not that all Hitler's actions stemmed from his atheistic world view. They busy themselves trying to make out Hitler was a Christian!...(a topic for another time and an interesting psychological behaviour in itself).
Having said all that I may now get down to my main points…. Our personal culpability, and the seriousness of sin.
You see the reality of things is quite different from what these atheists assert… esp the idea that God does not give a toss about the evils of humanity.
God takes sin very very very seriously!
Way more seriously than all these self-righteous God hating atheists do!
Just because God has set up the world in such a way that we human beings have moral responsibility for our own actions… which means he has left us free to act with extreme goodness or extreme Evil *does not mean* he does not care, or intends evil doers to escape Scott free.
God has declared that in his time he will balance the scales and reward everyone their due.
Hitler has not escaped judgement by fleeing to Argentina!
So these notions that God does not care, are simply false.
He has good, valid, righteous reasons, for allowing Humanity to ‘act out their own vain imaginations.
That we are freewill moral agents living in a moral universe, means that our deeds have *moral weight*…. both for good, or ill… and when we do evil… innocent people suffer… that is what it means to live in a moral universe… It is in fact impossible to claim any goodness in a reality in which evil is impossible.
That is why Robots are amoral beings… whether they perform surgeries which save lives or slaughter thousands… they have no choice in their deeds.
The moral responsibility for the actions of Robots falls back on their free-will creators who made them, and so too would God be responsible for all Hitler’s evils… if Hitler was a robot… yet he was not a robot.
In all his deeds Hitler exercised his own freewill.
Thus it is absurd to blame God for Hitler’s deeds.
I have written more on this topic… ‘We are not Robots Ayn Rand. We are Moral Agents.’ Click >>Here<< and another... 'Monism: Evolutionary Psychology and the Death of Morality, Reason and Freewill.' click >>>here<<< So it is folly to suggest that Human evils are evidence against the existence or goodness of God. When Adam sinned, God took that with such seriousness that he separated himself from Mankind, and condemned us all to death! You see Adam's sin... had great moral weight.... affecting countless billions... though many will not be able to appreciate the mechanics of it... how what they see as a small act of disobedience by one man could bring such calamity upon posterity. Yet that is how serious the consequences of Sin are! They upset the entire hierarchy of reality... When Adam disobeyed God, not only did he loose faith in God's Good Character, he was dethroning God and establishing himself and his will above Gods! a little leven leveneth the whole lump! Humanity has been doing that ever since. This is part of the reason why... the pragmatic portion... of why The Standard for Goodness is 100% Holiness... not comparative goodness... not a 'statistical mean/ scale of goodness' The other portion is simply because God himself is Holy. He sets the *Ideal Goodness*. Yet God has sworn eternal Judgement upon sin! Despite what the liberal Bible doubters say... there is a hell! There is eternal damnation. Yet everyone who ends up Damned, will be damned by their own Hatred of God, their pride, and rejection of God's mercy.
God has seen every act of evil we all have committed and is reserving his judgement.
Yet still God is loving, compassionate, and merciful.
We may say “It’s not fair that I was born into this cursed world!”… and indeed if we were born without hope… then this may in fact be a legitimate accusation against God’s character… yet he has not utterly abandoned us to Damnation, but instead immediately set in motion his plan to redeem us… and his modus opperandi reflects his absolute justice, The seriousness with which he condemns sin, and his love and mercy…. all displayed in the crucifixion of his sinless son Jesus Christ.
In Christ’s crucifixion we see God himself suffering a grotesque fate at the hands of evil men… he is not, nor has ever been completely insulated from the sufferings of evil himself.
That God deemed such a grotesque means was necessary for the payment for sin shows just how extremely seriously he takes sin to be, and how he will not allow his love to violate the principle of Justice… an eye for an eye… tooth for tooth…. The wages of sin is Death… Jesus took the full penalty of our sins upon himself.
He was not guilty of any sin himself and thus he was not subject to the penalty of death… for his own sins.
When Christ rose from the Dead, this was a testament to his victory over sin and death, and his resurrection altered the course of human history!
To receive Christ a person must appreciate the gravity of their own sins.
By it’s very nature the proud will reject the crucifixion as un-necessarily barbarous.
And the greatest sin anyone can commit is to *reject the sacrifice of Christ!*
For all their fuming against God, they prove they themselves dont take sin seriously… deeming themselves to be not guilty before God.
It is a hypocritical folly of the highest order.
Yes folks it is appointed unto us once to die and after this, the judgement!
At an appointed time the dead will stand before his judgement seat, and all whose names are not found
written in the book of life shall be cast into the lake of fire… with their Father Satan… to spend eternity where they chose to be…. separated from God.
The reality of hell is a clear demonstration of how weighty a matter God considers sin to be.
In the light of these facts we see the tables turned on the atheist… the reality is *they dont consider sin to be anywhere near as serious a matter as God does….for all their accusations… it is they themselves whom are found wanting in ‘the righteous indignation department’.
Yet millions of sinners like myself will enter paradise… not because we are more righteous than our atheist friends and family, but because we simply received the Gift of God… he placed our sin upon Christ, and clothed us in Christ’s holiness.
And we will see God face to face and sing God’s praises for eternity.
Ditch your foolish pride my neighbours, my friends… my family!
get a grip that you are a creation of God… a Moral agent.
Choose Christ and join us in the love of our Holy Heavenly Father!
Read more on this here
No Free Will = No Moral Responsibility. William Lane Craig
End note: I decided to tag this post onto the end of a series I started several years ago entitled ‘How can a Good God exist when there is so much evil in the world?’
I wrote those in fairly quick succession, so that there is to my mind a progression of thought.
I always meant to carry on with the series as there is no way that they can be considered to have exhausted such an important subject, yet because of procrastination I have fumbled the ball somewhat, and so this post may not fit very tidily.
That being said I think it is a topic worthy of inclusion and hopefully I shall not be so long in adding the next one.
When the Accuser comes calling…Trust in the Lord’s Good Character…Trust in his word. (Good God/Evil world part 7)
How can a Good God exist when there is so much evil in the world? (part1) Atheist Nihilism.
How can a Good God exist when there is so much evil in the world? (part 2) The Thirst for Blood.
Horror stories. How can a Good God exist when there is so much Evil in the world? (Part 3)
How can a Good God exist when there is so much Evil in the world? (Part 4) Interlude.
Seether: Know Thyself. How can a Good God exist when there is so much evil in the world? Part 5.
5 thoughts on “‘Good Atheists’ and the seriousness of sin. Good God/Evil world. 6”
Ugh, juridical satisfaction and penal substitutionary atonement! Anselm’s folly!
You should abandon such flawed Latin papist thinking, Tim! I’m with Dawkins on this one.
Salvation is not God changing His mind about us, but us changing our mind through uniting ourselves to God. It is not God coming down to sacrifice Himself to Himself to appease Himself, but God taking on human nature to redeem it and vivify it, including death itself.
As to whether God saves “good atheists”, that is up to God. We pray for the salvation of the whole world, including the Latin papist Adolf!
Blair, I never said anything about ‘God changing his mind about us’, and you are within your right *to choose* to side with Dawkins…. I prefer to stick with the Bible… which pre-dates The Catholic Church.
I’m a Protestant, which was *a Reformation*…. a return to Biblical doctrines….not an innovation.
I think that was my point Tim – that your doctrine as expressed here is not scriptural, but an innovation of the Roman Catholic Anselm following the schism of Western Christianity. It was unknown to the Church as a soteriological narrative for nearly 1100 years. Anselm, and everyone else who teaches this, is not following the Bible.
As for your statement of the Bible predating the Catholic Church, it depends what you mean. If you mean it predates the Latin schism that today styles itself “The Catholic Church”, then you are correct. If, however, you mean The Church, the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, it’s very hard to make that case, since the Church predates the earliest dating of the synoptic gospels by some thirty years, and the compilation of “The Bible” in its present form by some 350 years. In fact, if there is anything that was a manufactured product of the Catholic Church, it’s the Bible, a compendium emerging in the wake of the Emperor Theodosius and his ban on all religions other than the Orthodox Christian faith.
I am not surprised that this Blog post has solicited some response, given its subject matter is most abhorrent to Natural Man.
Nor am I surprised that one way of discounting it’s veracity is to suggest it is a heresy.
I myself take no pleasure from many of it’s ramifications…. yet I put it on the table in faith of it’s objective truth irrespective of the horror that it entails.
We must never forget that *Judgement* is one of the most important principles in the Bible, then Salvation… which ought to bring relief, and mitigate the harshness of the former.
God is Holy, God is Just, yet God is also Loving, and merciful.
I find the idea of Cthulhu abhorrent and disturbing too, but that doesn’t make it any more likely that Cthulhu is real and is going to rise from the ocean floor and eat us all. Similarly, the idea that God’s wrath must be appeased at the expense of all else is also fiction. God is love. John 3:16 doesn’t say “For God was so angry with the world that He tortured His only begotten Son”. There’s just no Biblical basis at all for JS/PSA, which should be obvious if nobody talked that way in the Church for nearly 1100 years. You’re choosing a Protestant/Western tradition over a traditional Biblical soteriology.
Two very good articles on judgment and Christ’s atonement here:
The judgment is not God getting angry with us. It’s death and torment – an ontological consequence of our sins that is of our making, not God’s. God is acting to redeem us and save us from this fate, not to facilitate or speed it. That is the whole point of Christ, His incarnation, and His saving acts.