Posts Tagged militant atheism
“Another source of conviction in the existence of God, connected with the reason and not with the feelings, impresses me as having much more weight. This follows from the extreme difficulty or rather impossibility of conceiving this immense and wonderful universe, including man with his capacity of looking far backwards and far into futurity, as the result of blind chance or necessity. When thus reflecting I feel compelled to look to a First Cause having an intelligent mind in some degree analogous to that of man; and I deserve to be called a Theist.”
Autobiography. Page 92-93.
“Blessed are those who die in the Lord…” Revelation 14: 13
When someone dies who is a popular figure, I find it a little obvious that so many people would write an article concerning them. Likewise, I find it a little obvious that when a heretic dies or gets ill many Christians conclude that it is a judgement? Yet in reality, all people be they heretic or Christian die sooner or later, some young, some old. Death is something that comes to all people. But the scripture I have above quoted speaks of a blessing when a person dies while in Christ. But if authority over life and faith were placed within the hands of many modern atheists, there would be no one on earth who dies in the hands of the Lord.
Modern atheism seeks to destroy Christianity.
Sadly, Christianity today is in a poor condition and deserves criticism and the reason, I think, this time has come about is because much of Christianity does not hold to the word of God anymore, but holds more to the opinions and ideas of men.
I see Christianity today being rather like a temple which is being attacked by many outsiders while so many Christians merely sit behind closed doors and watch and keep silent through either spiritual slumber or fear.
But the thing which strikes me about the scriptures is the prophetic nature of so many passages, while other religions would promote believers to keep the faith alive, the Bible states that it is God who will keep the faith alive and that it is He who will bring about a great falling away and a great delusion. We see this in 2 Thessalonians 2: 11-12. “…God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
In reality, the scriptures teach that it is God who is the boss and it is He who is in control, not man.
Yet still, Jesus warned believers that false teachers would come. Likewise, Peter, John, Luke, Jude, and Paul all warned that heretics would come speaking lies. The warnings are clearly visible in Scripture so that Christians must not fall for the slippery persuasive words of men. This is consistent throughout the New Testament. Yet like all lies, there is a fraction of truth within a lie, if only here and there.
We see this in the writings and talks that Christopher Hitchens gave. Hitchens mixed the truth with a lie, he claimed to love Thomas Cranmer’s prayer book (The Book of Common Prayer) and the King James Bible and stated that they will be with him till the very last hour, yet at the same time he attacked the very foundations of the faith and the things contained in both Cranmers prayer book and the Bible.
In one quote Hitchens said this; (Christianity) “is a wicked cult, and its high time we left it behind“.
In reality, what Hitchens did during much of his lifetime was to feed the many issues and possible doubts which even the average Christian has concerning God and His character and conduct and used them to promote his ideas. He picked out and explored selective Biblical texts which even the average Christian was not aware of, ignoring the context while at the same time promoting a twisted logic as though his interpretation of the narrative was actually final. He used many selective errors from Christian history and yet at the same time created an almost twisted logic to interpret them. However, I certainly would argue that much of his logic came through depression and the influence of alcohol.
Yet, having said this, there can be no doubt in my mind that Hitchens was a devout heretic who even crept into the Church at times and was given the time of day.
The problem is that alcohol merely brings out what is in the heart and clearly by listening to the words which Hitchens spewed out, we know what was in his heart.
However, although I confess that Hitchens did make people think and did even open many eyes to issues and ideas, and also spoke against many issues which I myself struggle with concerning modern day Christianity, I also confess that one of the many problems with Hitchens is that his logic was both human and demonic, based upon human philosophy and lies.
I say this because I am sure that if satan himself did preach, he would open many eyes to things they never thought about before. The thing is that, Satan is old and has been around for eight thousand or so years. He has much experience and thousands of years worth of practice at causing people to doubt the word of God.
It is clear to me through the text of Genesis 3: 1 that doubt is satans calling card and whenever I hear anyone leading people into doubting the word of God, I know satan is near.
It is also clear to me that Hitchens was a thinker, but his thinking was merely humanistic and not spiritual. I don’t see how any man can understand spiritual truths through human logic, its like trying to ask a child to understand what it is like to be an older man, experience can only teach such things.
I think the New Testament is clear that heretics come and go and that they will always be on the earth until Christ returns. But one thing I think Christians should grasp is that there are some men who were for ordained a long time ago, as Jude says; “…these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities…these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.” (Jude 1: 8-9)
Jude also says this; “beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” (Jude 1: 17-21)
I could say more, but Jude does well.
I think in closing, I would like to say that I can have little sorrow in my heart concerning the death of a man who set out to destroy Christ’s church. Hitchens did mock God, he denied the Holy Spirit, he denied Christ, he denied and mocked Christ’s church and he spoke evil of God’s word and the character of God.
The problem is that although he has gone, his influence remains and I often ask myself, what or who is coming next?
Thus, in conclusion, I would like to leave you with some thoughts from the scriptures.
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” (Galatians 6: 7-8)
“Keep the faith”
Simon Peter Sutherland
16th December 2011
Richard Dawkins in his book “The God delusion” demonstrates a very poor understanding of Theology and matters of religion. This can be understood in part through his references to the Protestant Reformer, ‘Martin Luther’.
In his chapter “The roots of religion” (Page 190) Dawkins appears to argue that Christianity is against logical reasoning, which is a fallacy in itself and something that any decent Theological faculty would certainly disagree with Dawkins on and prove it by their works. Dawkins apparently quotes Martin Luther and offers a certain quote; “Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has; it never comes to the aid of the divine Word, treating with contempt all that emanates from God”
Luther wrote in Latin and German and it is hard to define the quote itself due to variant translations and Dawkins offers no confirmation of which translation of Luther he is using, but it most likely comes from ‘Table Talk’ which was not actually written by Luther himself, but was written by students of Luther who are said to have written down what Luther said to them. But anyone who knows about the life and character of Luther will know that Luther’ views often changed. However, it is clear from the context of this passage that Luther is referring to ‘Faith alone’ being sufficient for salvation and not coming to believe in Jesus as savior through human reasoning. It is ‘faith alone’ and when human reasoning stands before the initial response of faith towards Jesus, it becomes an enemy of faith, for it prevents a soul coming to faith. Thus, Luther is not saying for one moment that when a person comes to faith, that reasoning through issues of faith and religion is an enemy of faith, but that when it stands before the coming to the cross, it then becomes an enemy of faith.
What Luther is saying can be explained in simple terms of illustration; I could say that the mind is the worst enemy of swimming, for a child learning to swim often does not want to swim through fear, which is from the mind. For a child who will not learn how to swim does so because he or she is afraid to get into the water through fear in the mind, thus you could say that ‘the mind is the greatest enemy that swimming has, even though we know that when a person learns how to swim, the mind is the greatest asset the swimmer has. Thus, if we take this understanding and apply it to Luther’s quote, we see that reason which stands in the way of taking the step of faith towards believing in Jesus, is in fact the enemy of faith, for it prevents people from believing in Jesus as savior, because of doubt and human reasoning.
Thus, the quote given by Dawkins is problematic when used wrongly in his argument, since Dawkins offers no real footnote in his work or any advice on contextual issues regarding Luther’s theology. It must be interpreted according to what Luther believed and not what Dawkins thinks Luther believed. One other problem which indicates a lack of research on Dawkins behalf is that he refers to a website which is not authoritative and thus he cannot even claim to have researched such a basic Lutheran book as ‘Table Talk’. Thus, it is clear that Dawkins has not read Luther correctly or understood Luther’s theology, if he had he would review what Luther meant by that statement and he would give a book source from either the complete works of Luther in German or in English or a single volume of Luther’s works, which Dawkins does not.
The problem is that Richard Dawkins is quoting a selective passage, not presenting any context or reason why or if this was said by Luther. Luther certainly stood at the Diet of Worms in 1521 and said, “Unless I am convinced by scripture and by plain reason…I cannot and I will not recant”. Note the words, “plain reason” thus, we must conclude that Luther was not against ‘Plain reason’.
This is also confirmed in Luther’s book, “The Bondage of the will” which was written against the views of the humanist and Oxford scholar Desiderius Erasmus. Luther states on (P 138) “We should speak according to a definite rule, in sober and proper terms; for what is wanted in teaching is simplicity and logical correctness, not the high-flown figures of a rhetorical persuasive.” (The Bondage of the will. Martin Luther. 1V. (i) P 138. Translated by J.I.Packer & O.R.Johnston)
This begs the question; Is Richard Dawkins an accurate scholar or able to deal with Theological matters?
I must state that after 2 degrees in Theology I see Richard Dawkins and his ideas about Theology akin to that of a primary school child to that of a University graduate and really, his fundamental error is that he has stepped over from science to Theology, thus he is dealing with Theological issues which I have proved he is not capable of doing.
Simon Peter Sutherland