hotrodhell

Defenders

In Uncategorized on July 14, 2009 at 3:10 am

 

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“True for you but not for me”

“There are many paths to Heaven not just yours”

“It doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you’re sincere”

“What right do you have to convert others to your point of view”

If Jesus is the only way to God, what about those who have never heard of him”

“Christianity is arrogant and imperialistic; if you grew up in India you’d be a Hindu”

“I’m a good moral person God will look at that and I will go to heaven”

“How could a loving God allow so much evil in the world”

 

 Finding Answers for those that are speechless!

Too many Christians and Churches are baffled by these powerful assumptions, how do we respond to those who think this way. Most Christians scurry for cover when shot at by these sayings or ideas and shamefully walk away with no response. 1st Peter 3 tells us to always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for the hope that is in you, with love and respect. The Defenders class will help equip us for that task. Not a permanent class but a 15 week training session that will help in your Spiritual growth and confidence. Limited seating available starts Aug 16th.

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  1. The argument supporting ANY religious belief that involves a deity is immediately weakened by the fact that man has ALWAYS strived to answer three basic questions:

    1) Where did we come from?
    2) Why are we here?
    3) Where are we going?

    It’s almost as if these curiosities are encoded in our DNA. I’m not so sure all members of the animal kingdom have these same curiosities. Although we may dismiss past religious believes as “lubricious”, it immediately calls into question whether Christianity is just a more contemporary (relatively speaking) attempt to answer these same questions. Which begs the question: If all the past civilizations, with their seemingly bizarre religious beliefs, were so wrong – what makes our civilization/culture so right? We scoff at the notion that Jupiter was the “King of the Gods” yet readily embrace that Christ was the Son of God. Do you think a Roman of that era would have scoffed along with us?

    We may chuckle with the apparent silliness of the ancient Egyptian beliefs – but, to them, it wasn’t silly. What about the Native-Americans with their god-of-the-hunt, the sun-god, the rain-god … and so on? These were all sincere beliefs on their part.

    Why do I point this out?

    Non-believers use this as evidence of ARROGANCE on the part of Christians. The conversation naturally turns toward, “What makes you so certain that everybody else was wrong and YOU are so right? Isn’t Christianity simply an attempt to answer the same questions these ancient cultures were attempting to resolve? Can’t you see how Christianity, no matter how well intended, may very well be a convenient contrivance like all the other religions?”

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    • Thanks for your questions and comments if you will allow I need to respond to each issue.

      The argument supporting ANY religious belief that involves a deity is immediately weakened by the fact that man has ALWAYS strived to answer three basic questions:
      The issue of deity weakening belief I am not so sure I would agree with your postulation. The God of the Bible makes this claim he alone is God or ultimate reality. The point you raise was also raised in the first century by a pagan named Celsus and many others since then. There is a story of the elephant told in India, The King of Benares had blind men touch different parts of an elephant and each gives a different perspective of what he believes the elephant to be-a rope a tree, a large wall, a snake. In their ignorance, they argue about what an elephant is. Each one is partly right, but all were wrong. John a Saxe’s poem says:
      So, oft in theologic wars,
      The disputants, I ween
      Rail on in utter ignorance,
      Of what each other mean,
      And prate about an elephant
      Not one of them has seen!

      Most religions tend to see salvation from their current condition as achieved through human efforts-wither through asceticism, mysticism, illumination, or good deeds. Christianity, on the other hand, asserts that salvation isn’t the result of human achievement and human endeavor but through the initiating kindness of God’s grace in Jesus Christ. Moreover theistic religions have a different understanding about Ultimate Reality- a personal God than do most eastern religions – an impersonal reality.

      I contend that the impersonal, plus time, plus chance can’t create a unique human being. You see believing in a personal God allows me to have a unique personality that no one else on earth has. This personal God created us in His image and allowed us through love to be able to have relationship with Him. Not because He was lonely or wanted to prove His power. But in his divine purpose he created us for relationship with Him and each other. We through Adam choose to rebel against Him and here we are suffering under our own choosing all the while refusing to acknowledge Him as the sovereign creator God. Our reason for being then is to glorify God. In glorifying God we are able to achieve all that God has designed for us and we can enjoy the purpose for our being. After we have accomplished our God given purpose in this life we then enjoy an eternity with God in completion of His design and relationship.

      Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
      Gen 1:26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the animals, all the earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.”
      Gen 1:27 So God created man in His own image; He created him in the image of God; He created them male and female.
      (Gen 2:3 HCSB) God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, for on it He rested from His work of creation.

      (Joh 1:1 HCSB) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
      (Joh 1:2 HCSB) He was with God in the beginning.
      (Joh 1:3 HCSB) All things were created through Him, and apart from Him not one thing was created that has been created.

      (Joh 3:16 HCSB) “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.
      (Joh 3:17 HCSB) For God did not send His Son into the world that He might judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.
      (Joh 3:18 HCSB) Anyone who believes in Him is not judged, but anyone who does not believe is already judged, because he has not believed in the name of the One and Only Son of God.

      Food for thought:
      1. There is evil in the world.
      2. If there is evil, there must be good.
      3. If there is good and evil, there must be a moral law on which to judge between good and evil.
      4. If there is a moral law, there must be a moral law giver.
      5. If a moral giver, this points to God.
      6. In fact, concepts of love and goodness are unexplainable unless there is a God.

      More to come just some thoughts on your proposition and initial opening remarks.

  2. It’s almost as if these curiosities are encoded in our DNA. I’m not so sure all members of the animal kingdom have these same curiosities. Although we may dismiss past religious believes as “lubricious”, it immediately calls into question whether Christianity is just a more contemporary (relatively speaking) attempt to answer these same questions. Which begs the question: If all the past civilizations, with their seemingly bizarre religious beliefs, were so wrong – what makes our civilization/culture so right? We scoff at the notion that Jupiter was the “King of the Gods” yet readily embrace that Christ was the Son of God. Do you think a Roman of that era would have scoffed along with us?
    More thought on your issues you bring up and doubts.
    Your right we have it encoded in our DNA a God shaped hole in all of us. We try to fill with anything but what is supposed to fit. I am paraphrasing Pascal and CS Lewis. Can’t speak to the others creatures in the animal kingdom but Jonathon Edwards in his most famous sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” says that the whole creation despises us for what we gave up in the garden. Does the sun choose to shine on us and not burn us? does the earth chose to not spin us off its crust and hurl us into space? Why do bugs and animals bit and eat us? Food for thought and pun intended.
    We are told in scripture that we (humans) worshipped the creation instead of the creator and these early religions show that in their worship of their gods.
    (Rom 1:20-32 HCSB) From the creation of the world His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what He has made. As a result, people are without excuse. For though they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God or show gratitude. Instead, their thinking became nonsense, and their senseless minds were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man, birds, four-footed animals, and reptiles.
    Therefore God delivered them over in the cravings of their hearts to sexual impurity, so that their bodies were degraded among themselves. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served something created instead of the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
    This is why God delivered them over to degrading passions. For even their females exchanged natural sexual intercourse for what is unnatural. The males in the same way also left natural sexual intercourse with females and were inflamed in their lust for one another. Males committed shameless acts with males and received in their own persons the appropriate penalty for their perversion. And because they did not think it worthwhile to have God in their knowledge, God delivered them over to a worthless mind to do what is morally wrong.
    They are filled with all unrighteousness, evil, greed, and wickedness. They are full of envy, murder, disputes, deceit, and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, arrogant, proud, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, and unmerciful. Although they know full well God’s just sentence–that those who practice such things deserve to die–they not only do them, but even applaud others who practice them.

    We don’t make ourselves right the God of creation makes these claims and we accept them. I didn’t write the Word of God I believe it. So the argument becomes what is truth and can we know it. Not arrogance that presumes that the other forms of belief are worthy of consideration but acceptance of the truth of the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob, the first person of the Trinity God the Father. He makes the claim of the I AM.
    The ancients not only scoffed but persecuted and Killed believers of that day. Our message of truth and life brings people to a point of tension and we have the responsibility to show them the truth of God’s love through His Son Jesus Christ. This comes at cost to us as well Jesus said the world hated Him and it will hate us as well.

    (Mat 10:22 HCSB) You will be hated by everyone because of My name. But the one who endures to the end will be delivered.

    (Mat 24:9 HCSB) “Then they will hand you over for persecution, and they will kill you. You will be hated by all nations because of My name.

    (Mar 13:13 HCSB) And you will be hated by everyone because of My name. But the one who endures to the end will be delivered.

    (Joh 15:18 HCSB) “If the world hates you, understand that it hated Me before it hated you.

    (Joh 15:20 HCSB) Remember the word I spoke to you: ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will also keep yours.

    This faith of ours requires us to give all not just a mental, emotional acquiesce or just feeling guilty because we did something wrong. We were born wrong with a sin nature and guilty before a righteous God. When we are translated from darkness to light, from death unto life, from old creature to a new creation we are justified by faith and nothing we do will make this an equal transaction. We are so sinful in our nature we are separated from ourselves, each other and most of all God. Remember evil is the absence of good and that only God is good. God requires our all it has been said that if He isn’t Lord of all he isn’t Lord at all!

    (Mat 19:17 LITV) And He said to him, Why do you call Me good? No one is good except One, God! But if you desire to enter into life, keep the commandments.

    (Jas 2:10 HCSB) For whoever keeps the entire law, yet fails in one point, is guilty of breaking it all.

    Modern man hardly ever considers himself to guilty, but often acknowledges that he is dead. Man in revolt against the Holy God who is there is guilty and is already under God’s wrath. Because we modern man are guilty we are therefore separated from our true and only reference point and by default are dead.

    Hopefully this has addressed your questions and I pray the Holy Spirit will guide in your search for truth and life. Remember the gate and the path.

    (Mat 7:13-14 HCSB) “Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it. How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it.

    • > 4. If there is a moral law, there must be a moral law giver.

      I do not think this is necessarily true.

      There are some rules (call them “moral laws” if you like) that have a certain pragmatic value in society. We learn these pragmatic “laws” through many generations of coexistence with our fellow man.

      For instance, I think we can all agree that randomly killing our fellow man, without any provocation or motivation, is evil.

      And I think we can further agree that NOT randomly killing our fellow man and showing kindness and generosity is good.

      But such a good-vs-evil distinction does not necessarily involve (or even NEED) a “moral law giver?”

      No! All it takes is experience as to what type of behavior WORKS and what type of behavior is counter-productive to man’s existence.

  3. If there is a moral law, there must be a moral law giver.
    I do not think this is necessarily true. There are some rules (call them “moral laws” if you like) that have a certain pragmatic value in society. We learn these pragmatic “laws” through many generations of coexistence with our fellow man. For instance, I think we can all agree that randomly killing our fellow man, without any provocation or motivation, is evil. And I think we can further agree that NOT randomly killing our fellow man and showing kindness and generosity is good. But such a good-vs-evil distinction does not necessarily involve (or even NEED) a “moral law giver?” No! All it takes is experience as to what type of behavior WORKS and what type of behavior is counter-productive to man’s existence.
    Comment by David Emerling — September 24, 2009 @ 2:30 pm
    David thanks for your comment, I stand on the Moral Law must have a moral law giver for several reasons:
    Let me start with this postulation, if God doesn’t exist everything goes. Without God morality is arbitrary. Arthur Allen Leff was a non-Christian lawyer who described with great honesty how ethics and justice inevitably turn out when God is excluded. Leff desperately wanted to believe two things: that humans could uncover author¬itative rules for life and that humans are wholly free. Lacking God, Leff be¬lieved, human beings don’t have access to authoritative rules. And, he admit¬ted, we are left with complete arbitrariness. To any human moral pronouncement, we can respond, “Sez who?”
    Leff concluded one lecture by recounting quite openly the arbitrariness of morality without God:
    it looks as if we are all we have. Given what we know about our¬selves and each other, this is an extraordinarily unappetizing prospect; looking around us, it [sic] appears that if all men are brothers, the ruling model is Cain and Abel. Neither reason, nor love, nor even terror, seems to have worked to make us “good,” and worse than that, there is no reason why anything should. Only if ethics were something unspeakable by us, could law be unnatural, and therefore unchallengeable. As things now stand, everything is up for grabs.
    Nevertheless:
    Napalming babies is bad.
    Starving the poor is wicked.
    Buying and selling each other is depraved.
    Those who stood up to and died resisting Hitler, Stalin, Amin, and Pol Pot—and General Custer, too—have earned salvation.
    Those who acquiesced deserve to be damned.
    There is in the world such a thing as evil.
    [All together now:] Sez who?
    God help us.’
    Was Leff correct? Can a worldview without God explain objective mo¬rality and obligation at all? Why should a person be moral if a naturalistic understanding of the universe is true—in other words, if the world is wholly without God and nothing exists beyond what we can see? Some thinkers strongly disagree with Leff. They believe that a naturalistic or non theistic basis for ethics does exist. Let us briefly look at a range of explanations they have suggested.
    One commonly proposed naturalistic basis for ethics is evolutionary de¬velopment or biological adaptations. As we noted above, Michael Ruse main¬tains that morality is merely a biological adaptation like hands, feet, and teeth: “Our sense of morality is an adaptation…. This is not in any way to say that that which has evolved is morally good.”
    Ruse believes that the command “Love thy neighbor” is just an aid to survival. Whatever helps us survive is “good,” Ruse would have us believe.
    Unfortunately for him, the view that ethical standards are ingrained into us by the drive to survive is an inadequate basis for morality for the simple reason that there is no good reason to think these moral beliefs are true. They just are. We could have developed, for example, a moral instinct favoring rape—which could be an aid to survival. Rape, then, would be “good” because it helps us survive. But we sense that rape is immoral even if it may be bio¬logically advantageous and could help us survive. While we may acquire cer¬tain moral beliefs through biological adaptation in the struggle for survival, this is a different issue from how moral principles could exist in the first place or what it is that grounds them as morally binding. There would be nothing inherently wrong with rape or theft—even if it goes against one’s ingrained moral sense.
    Consider this if morality was a social contract it isn’t binding on the one who doesn’t want to go along with it.
    Even if the people agree to a social contact, this doesn’t mean that their actions are right. To become a member of gang for example, a person might required to commit murder!
    Why should an act be deemed wrong if we can escape the consequences of violating that contract?
    We instinctively know that certain actions are right (helping the disadvantaged) or wrong (Hitler’s extermination of 6 million Jews) without appealing to a social contract.
    CS Lewis weighs in:

    My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I gotten this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? If the whole show was bad and senseless from A to Z, so to speak, why did I, who was supposed to be part of the show, find myself in such violent reaction against it? A man feels wet when he falls into water, because man is not a water animal: a fish would not feel wet. Of course I could have given up my idea of justice by saying it was nothing but a private idea of my own. But if I did that, then my argument against God collapsed too — for the argument depended on saying that the world was really unjust, not simply that it did not happen to please my private fancies. Thus in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist — in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless — I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality — namely my idea of justice — was full of sense. Consequently, atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.*

    To separate the Moral Law from the Moral Law Giver is to attempt to separate God from His character and suppose there is something behind the God who is there. The law is His character and He created us in His image, just as the universe is moral because He created it. If we try to attribute the moral law to man we elevate man above his belief level lower our view of God, deemphasize and demean the scriptures. The moral law was given to Moses at the foot of Mt Sinai in the wilderness. Even as it was being written man was breaking it at the foot of the mountain.
    Just suppose that the non-created Personal made something on His own wavelength – let’s say in His own image-then one would have both an infinite, non-created Personal and a limited, created personal. On this same presupposition, why could not the non-created Personal communicate to the created personal if He wished? In such a case there is no intrinsic reason why the uncreated Personal could only communicate some vaguely true things, but could not communicate clear propositional truth concerning the world surrounding the created personal.

    The Moral Law and the Moral Law giver can’t exist without each other, so if the moral law exists, we know the moral law, then we can conclude that the personal God who is there exists based on the moral law.

    (Joh 1:17 MKJV) For the Law came through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

    (Joh 1:45 MKJV) Philip found Nathanael and said to him, We have found Him of whom Moses wrote in the Law and the Prophets, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.

    (Act 13:38-39 HCSB) Therefore, let it be known to you, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is being proclaimed to you, and everyone who believes in Him is justified from everything, which you could not be justified from through the law of Moses. (Act 13:39 HCSB)

    (Rom 2:11-16 HCSB) There is no favoritism with God. All those who sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all those who sinned under the law will be judged by the law. For the hearers of the law are not righteous before God, but the doers of the law will be declared righteous. So, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, instinctively do what the law demands, they are a law to themselves even though they do not have the law.
    They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts. Their consciences testify in support of this, and their competing thoughts either accuse or excuse them on the day when God judges what people have kept secret, according to my gospel through Christ Jesus.

    (Rom 3:19 HCSB) Now we know that whatever the law says speaks to those who are subject to the law, so that every mouth may be shut and the whole world may become subject to God’s judgment.

    (Rom 3:20-25 HCSB) For no flesh will be justified in His sight by the works of the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin. But now, apart from the law, God’s righteousness has been revealed–attested by the Law and the Prophets–that is, God’s righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ, to all who believe, since there is no distinction. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. They are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. God presented Him as a propitiation through faith in His blood, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His restraint God passed over the sins previously committed.

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