God Is Real, God Is Good, and God Is REALLY GOOD!

February 14, 2011 at 10:24 am | Posted in Biblical Marriage, Uncategorized | 16 Comments
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I sometimes have encounters with professing atheists. Most of them would call these encounters “debates” or “arguments,” but that’s not really what they are. What is really going on is that I’m just revealing the truth of God’s Word and they are trying to suppress it, reject it, rage against it, or pretend it isn’t real. Since the Bible is the source of Absolute Truth in this world, I believe it is important to use it when confronting someone who is pretending not to believe in God.

However, I do have another practical proof of the existence of God: my wife. If you knew me and knew what an awful jerk I can sometimes be (and often am) – and, if you knew my wife and how absolutely beautiful and wonderful and intelligent and wise and witty and spiritually mature she is, there is simply no explanation for why she would be married to me, other than: There is a God Who is all-powerful, and Who is loving and kind and sovereign and GOOD to me.

My wife is the epitome of what the Bible says a wife and mother should be. She loves God and His Word, and she is a constant source of encouragement to me, our children, her friends, and our church family. Some people jokingly call her “Proverbs 31 Woman” as a nickname, but if they knew her like I do, they would see that it’s not really that much of a joke. Proverbs 31 is actually a pretty good description of her!

I know a preacher who used to say that sometimes he felt like “God’s spoiled brat,” and I thought that sounded strange because we are not supposed to respond to God’s grace like over-indulged children. However, I don’t know a better way to put it myself! Hopefully, I don’t act like a spoiled brat, but I sure do feel like one when I think that, not only did God save me from hell, sin, death, the grave, Satan, and God’s wrath, all of which I richly deserved – as if that wasn’t enough, He then turned around and gave me the greatest wife in the world – and then, overwhelming me with His goodness, mercy, and grace, He blessed me with three [update: now four] wonderful daughters!

It’s been two years since I tried to celebrate Valentine’s Day by posting a poem about my wife. I thought it would be more thoughtful than a Hallmark card. Here’s a helpful hint: If you stink at writing poetry as bad as I do, stick to the Hallmark! However, I do want to tell my wife – in case she reads this – that I love her more than even a good poem could have expressed. Aside from the Lord’s salvation and the richness and joy and peace of knowing God in Christ Jesus my Lord, she is the greatest gift that God ever gave me.

Acting Like We’ve Been There

May 8, 2009 at 1:01 pm | Posted in ProfessingAtheists | 5 Comments
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Christians have a great deal to be excited and joyous about. Our Father is the Creator and Owner of this world. Our eternal inheritance includes riches beyond comprehension (Ephesians 3:8). Our Big Brother is the strongest, most loyal, and faithful Friend in Whom we could ever hope (Romans 8:29; Revelation 1:5).

However, Christians must be careful about giving in to frustration, since the world we are passing through does not share our views. Knowing our privileged standing before the Almighty (even though we do not deserve it), there may be a tendency to be combative with those who oppose us on behalf of the ungodly system of this world.

The Bible is clear about the Christian’s behavioral duties toward those who are lost:

To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.

Titus 3:2

What will help me control my temper when confronted with the evil of worldly unbelievers? The memory that I was once like them:

For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.

Titus 3:3

Meekness is not weakness. Meekness is strength which is brought under control.

Lately, I’ve been posting an ongoing dialogue between a Christian and a Professing Atheist. For some reason, the number of views I get on this site skyrockets when I mention professing atheists. I always use the term “professing atheist,” because there’s no such thing as a “real atheist.” An “atheist” would be someone who truly believes that there is no God. Everyone knows deep down that God is real. Professing atheists just choose to try to hide from, run from, fight against, hold down, willfully ignore, or rebel against, this truth.

I meet quite a few professing atheists in real life, but most of the unsaved people I meet claim to believe in God – they just don’t live like it. It’s a different story in internet-land. Most professing atheists on the internet claim all kinds of morality and kindness and good deeds and love for fellow man, but refuse to give glory to God.

Maybe I get so many “views” because I use the tag “atheism debate.” I like to get the views and comments, but the reality is, when I encounter a professing atheist, I’m not debating. I’m proclaiming Truth. They can debate all they want. (I have a number of theories about why so many professing atheists enjoy “debating,” but I’ll save that for another time.)

Just remember, the Holy Spirit caused the Apostle Paul to say:

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ…

Romans 1:16

The inference is that there is a tendency to be ashamed that needs to be overcome. Thankfully, the Bible goes on to tell us the reason for not being ashamed:

…for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth…

Romans 1:16

Telling the truth can seem so cruel, unloving, and fanatical, but it is really the most loving thing you can do for someone who is perishing.

I once heard a very gifted preacher tell a story about sitting on a plane next to a professing atheist. The professing atheist had a number of pretentious excuses for his “unbelief,” and the preacher, who was skilled in Christian apologetics, demolished every excuse, and clearly won the debate. The professing atheist got off the plane frustrated and angry. Afterward, the preacher’s ministry partner, who had been observing the whole affair, said to the preacher privately, “Well, you won the debate… but you didn’t win the man.”

The Christian’s responsibility is to proclaim the Truth in love, not to win a debate.

Douglas Wilson’s Turn to “S.W.I.M.”

April 22, 2009 at 8:55 am | Posted in ProfessingAtheists, Quotes | Leave a comment
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You say that you cannot believe that Christ’s death on the Cross was salvation for the world because the idea is absurd. I have shown in various ways that absurdity has not been a disqualifier for any number of your current beliefs. You praise reason to the heights, yet will not give reasons for your strident and inflexible moral judgments, or why you have arbitrarily dubbed certain chemical processes “rational argument.” That’s absurd right now, and yet there you are, holding it. So for you to refuse to accept Christ because it is absurd is like a man at one end of the pool refusing to move to the other end because he might get wet. Given your premises, you will have to come up with a different reason for rejecting Christ as you do.

But for you to make this move would reveal the two fundamental tenets of true atheism. One: There is no God. Two: I hate Him.

Douglas Wilson

Professing Atheists Worship Creation Rather than the Creator

April 2, 2009 at 8:14 am | Posted in ProfessingAtheists | 24 Comments
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Professing Atheist: I would challenge any Christian to step out side of the Christian “box” and just for a moment consider the vast scientific evidence regarding the origins of the universe and of life.

Christian: Since you have brought up scientific evidence, this may be helpful: Little children, in elementary school, are commonly taught the “scientific method.” I know it’s more complicated than this, but, basically it boils down to teaching them to take matter and examine its properties, and learn about it, using their natural senses. Touch it. Look at it. Smell it. Taste it. I’m not opposed to children being taught that way, but think of the spiritual implications. In Genesis Chap. 27, Isaac employed a form of the scientific method with Jacob. Jacob and Rebekah plotted to deceive Isaac into thinking that Jacob was Esau. Isaac touched him. He listened to him. He couldn’t see him but, no doubt, he smelled him. And he came to the wrong conclusion! It would have been better for Isaac just to believe God’s promise by faith, that Jacob, although the younger, and not Esau, was to receive the blessing.

Professing Atheist: Have you ever been in an aircraft? If so, the fact that you landed again is because a large number of scientists kept working and improving things until they got their sums right. Evidence matters. Planes fly, diseases are cured, water comes out when you turn the tap on, and you and I can argue in cyberspace like this. You benefit from real, evidence-based science as much as I do. It’s hypocritical of you to dismiss it.

Would you say that (for example) Iranians and pagan Vikings would be “without excuse” if they “failed to acknowledge” God?

Christian: Hypocrisy is being grateful for the benefits of evidence-based science while ignoring God, who created all the scientific laws that the aviators, doctors, and engineers have discovered (John 1:3). Every time your heart beats, it is not thanks to cardiology or cardiologists. It is thanks to God, Who has caused it to beat, by His sovereign power, your whole life. When you expel the next breath of air from your nostrils, you will have hope of another breath, not because a scientist discovered evidence of the air you breath, but because God provides it (Isaiah 2:22).

You can check this out by climbing up on a roof. Shake your fist, and cry out, “I don’t believe you exist, Gravity! You can’t be real! If you were real, you would not have held all those Norsemen and Iranians down! You would have let them float away in true freedom! Therefore, I defy, O Gravity, that you exist!” Then, leap off the roof. (By the way, I do not recommend that you really try this.) But if you did, you would see that, if you break God’s law of gravity, then God’s law of gravity will break you – literally. It’s the same way with God’s Biblical laws. You can break them if you want. But, if you do, they will break you (Galatians 6:7).

Professing Atheist: Well, I have other, more worthwhile calls on my time, but the Devil can quote scripture, as they say, so here I go. You will be as familiar with John 3:16 as I am, or as any of those people who hold up placards at wrestling matches. You would, I feel sure, assert that God’s purpose to all humanity, in sending his Son to die for us, is loving and merciful. Tell me, what do you believe that loving and merciful God, and gentle Jesus, meek and mild, have in store for these billions of people, all ignorant, in my humble opinion, through no fault of their own?

Christian: When considering the decision to accept, or willfully reject, the truth of the existence of God, it is irrelevant what anyone “thinks” would produce results, or what anyone’s humble “opinion” is – apart from Scripture.

I hope that the more worthwhile calls on your time do not include actually going to the wrestling matches where the John 3:16 placards are held. You are coming to that verse in isolation, not taking into account the entirety of Scripture. These Iranians and Vikings you mention – just like me, and just like you, and just like everyone else – are wicked sinners, who deserve God’s judgment (Romans 3:10; 3:23). Because He is loving and merciful, He sent His Son to die. Because He is just, righteous, true, and holy, He must judge those Who reject His Son.

Professing Atheists Do Have Faith

March 11, 2009 at 2:15 pm | Posted in ProfessingAtheists | 1 Comment
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Christian: Professing atheists are people who know the truth, but choose to deny the truth because they are walking after their own lusts.

Professing Atheist: I find it quite strange that you claim to know what’s going on in other people’s minds.

Christian: I do not claim to know what’s going on in other people’s minds in the sense of having a private revelation. Romans Chapter 1 and I John 3:20 make it abundantly clear, however, that God knows what is going on in everyone’s mind, including professing atheists. They have access to the truth, yet hold that truth in unrighteousness.

Professing Atheist: Do you actually think that everyone in the whole world really believes that Christianity is correct, and willfully ignores that truth? Is non-belief so alien a concept to you that you refuse to consider that many people out there honestly and legitimately don’t believe the same things that you do?

Christian: Non-belief is not an alien concept. I don’t believe a great many things. Likewise, to you, faith is not an alien concept. You have faith. But your greatest need – and on some level you know this – is to transfer your faith to Christ Jesus. I am fully aware that I have no power to sway you. But the Holy Spirit of God does have the power. He not only reproves of sin, but also of righteousness, and of judgment. (John 16:8) He can use Scripture to do so. (Romans 10:14-17) Therefore, it is you, not me, who will get the real benefit if you open the Bible and read with an open mind and heart.

Professing Atheists Conveniently Pick and Choose Their Own “Morality”

March 2, 2009 at 10:16 am | Posted in ProfessingAtheists | 3 Comments
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Professing Atheist: Judges 19 vv22-25 seems a little misogynistic and immoral.

Christian: Whether it SEEMS a little immoral or whether it SEEMS horrific, is irrelevant. Judges 19 is in the Bible not as an example of condoned behavior, but partly to show the atrocities that occur when men gauge right and wrong by what “seems” right or wrong, instead of what God says in His holy Word.

Professing Atheist: What about God’s own behaviour in Numbers 15 vv35-36, and pretty much everywhere in Leviticus 20? Do you think God’s Word, as revealed in these passages, is moral? I go shopping on Sundays. Would you stone me to death for that, as God unambiguously commands you to do? If not, why not?

Christian: The whole idea you have of fitting Scripture into your own “culture” or your own ideas of morality is partly where you are missing the point. The laws found in Leviticus and Numbers were God’s laws for the Jewish people. My opinion of them does not matter, except on a personal level, that I accept what the Bible says about them as absolute truth. New Testament believers are not commanded to stone people who shop on Sunday, or on the Jewish Sabbath for that matter. See Matthew 12:1-8.

You ask me, “Do I ‘think’ God’s laws are moral?” I don’t judge God’s laws. God judges all men. And He judges righteously.

Professing Atheist: Imagine you had been born in twelfth century Sweden. Or in Iran in, say, 1980. Just be honest: in those circumstances, which God do you think you would have ended up believing in? What do your answers tell you about your claim that your God, alone, is the right one?

Christian: God, before He created me, ordained in His perfect will that I would not be born in Iran or Sweden in a different time period. But if He had, I would be without excuse if I failed to acknowledge and worship Him. In the heart of every man, at every place and time, since the beginning of creation, God has placed the idea of eternity, and revelation of Himself. (Ecclesiastes 3:11; Romans 1:19-20)

Professing Atheists Understand More of the Bible than They Want to Admit

February 16, 2009 at 1:48 pm | Posted in ProfessingAtheists | 5 Comments
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Professing Atheist: What is this odd habit Christians seem to have of quoting the Bible to atheists, as if they should be somehow swayed by its words?

Christian: There is nothing odd about the fact that people who believe the Bible (II Timothy 3:16) quote it to unbelievers. It contains the living and powerful Word. (Hebrews 4:12) It causes a reaction in the spirit of unbelievers. (Job 32:8 )

What is remarkable, though, is how diligent professing atheists are in trying to get Christians to stop quoting it at them. I don’t really know who said this, but I’ve heard it attributed to Mark Twain: “It’s not the parts of the Bible I don’t understand which worry me. It’s the parts that I do understand.” He’s not an inerrant authority, like the Bible, but professing atheists who don’t want to hear Scripture share his anxiety.

The Truth is like salt. It adds flavor, but it also has an antiseptic, stinging quality when applied to the wounds of unrepented-of sin. (Job 6:6; Matthew 5:11-13) God created man, and therefore will one day judge all men. Scoffers are people who know the truth, but choose to deny the truth because they are walking after their own lusts. (II Peter 3:3)

Professing Atheist: You say it causes a reaction in the spirit of unbelievers… Um, no… it doesn’t. The reaction you get from atheists is born of frustration.

Christian: Frustration can be defined as a reaction. It occurs when one experiences great annoyance or irritation over not getting a result which is greatly desired. The Bible explains one of the greatest sources of frustration as a lack of love for God’s law. (Psalm 119:165) People who are frustrated at hearing Scripture are easily offended, because they don’t consider Scripture to be “fair” in an argument.

Thankfully, the Christian’s duty is not to win an argument, but to proclaim Truth. (II Timothy 4:2) The reaction for many professing atheists is frustration, but for some, the reaction is conviction which leads to repentance which leads, ultimately, to salvation. In those cases the Christian did not win an argument. Instead, Almighty God saved a lost soul, to His own glory. And that is one of the things that makes it all worthwhile.

Professing Atheists Try to Allay Their Fears

February 12, 2009 at 9:49 am | Posted in ProfessingAtheists | 3 Comments
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Professing Atheist: The Bible, huh? Well, can you please explain to me what on earth is going on in Judges 19, vv. 22-25? I wouldn’t ask, only it seems a little immoral and misogynistic to my 21st century humanist way of thinking.

Christian: It is good to see – in spite of their fears – that some professing atheists ARE reading Scripture. I challenge them to continue doing so. Exploring Judges 19:22-25, we see the attitude and actions of a very sinful Levite. There is a key word in Verse 24: “Behold, here is my daughter a maiden, and his concubine; them I will bring out now, and humble ye them, and do with them what SEEMETH good unto you: but unto this man do not so vile a thing.” The word “seemeth” points out the source of the wicked and vile behavior exhibited by the Levite and the men of Gibeah. It is a theme in the whole book of Judges: Men were rebelling against God, and doing what seemed right in their own eyes. (See Judges 17:6 and 21:25.) The same type of rebellion exists today: “Skepticism ’seems’ natural.” Behavior “’seems’ a little immoral…”

Many men in the days of the Book of Judges behaved wickedly for many of the same reasons men behave wickedly in the 21st century. Their standard is what seems right to them, instead of what God has said.

The type of reprehensible behavior recorded in Judges 19:22-25 – and worse – can be found today being described in the juvenile and criminal courts of any city or town in the U.S. Thankfully, though, God is real, and He is just. “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” Proverbs 16:25

Professing Atheists Fear the Bible

February 10, 2009 at 9:51 am | Posted in ProfessingAtheists | 8 Comments
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Professing Atheist: For the fools out there who don’t understand, I give you evolution: Living things resemble their parents.

Christian: Living things resemble their parents: “And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.” Genesis 1:24. They sure do!

Professing Atheist: Atheists believe the bible isn’t true. So saying the bible says that atheists are wrong is an argument from discredited authority. What’s next? Gays are sinful because the bible says so? Women should submit to their husbands? Oh, wait- never mind.

Christian: The issue for professing atheists is not whether the Bible says that homosexual acts are sinful, or whether spouses should submit to one another in Christ-honoring love. The real issue is that ALL have sinned. (Romans 3:23) And that all will stand before God in judgment one day. (Hebrews 9:27)

Professing Atheist: Please do not try to rewrite how christians feel about gays. We all know…

Christian: It doesn’t matter “how Christians feel.” What matters is what God has said. That’s the standard by which we’ll all be judged.

Professing Atheists Are Disturbed by the Truth

February 6, 2009 at 9:47 am | Posted in ProfessingAtheists | 2 Comments
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Christian: Those who deny the existence of God are only trying to convince themselves of what they cannot really believe. Even in specifics related to the effect of God’s wrath on the world’s geological history, the Bible tells us that people try to be “willingly ignorant” (II Peter 3:5).

Professing Atheist: Do not bring Geological History into this. You are not educated in Geology.

Christian: Professing atheists willingly reject what they know to be true. They try to hide it, but subconsciously they give themselves away, and it’s fairly easy to spot. They intentionally try to belittle the name of God by using the lower-case “g,” then they accidentally reveal what they are trying to worship in God’s place by capitalizing categories of academic study (i.e. Geology; Geological History).

Professing Atheist: This is sickening. You are deeply and disturbingly brainwashed.

Christian: They get exasperated and use petty insults and denials, even though they, of their own free will, frequent sites where God’s Word is proclaimed. They often feel sickened because their consciences have become dull, but not yet completely seared (Romans 2:15; I Timothy 4:2). They are easily disturbed. They tell themselves they are disturbed by other people, but they are really disturbed by the Truth. Drawing near to God does not result in being brainwashed. It leads, instead, to being heart-washed (Hebrews 10:22).

Professing Atheist: Wow! This is a new tactic to me! You not only tell people what they SHOULD think, you actually tell them what DO think!?

Christian: The Truth is not a tactic. He is a Person – the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:6; John 8:32).

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