Archive for the ‘atheists’ Category

I just had to comment on the following OP-ED piece from the New York Times on Nov 26, 2009.

What I am amazed at is how people who do not know God try to ACT like they know Him. What they fail to realize is that God must be “revealed” to us (Paul calls it the ‘spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him’ –Eph 1:17). He is not to be figured out by our tiny brains. Why do we even pretend to think we can figure Almighty God out? As Mr. Kristof illustrates, modern ‘self-enlightened man’ thinks we have an ‘evolving’ view of God. As he concludes:

“I’m hoping that the latest crop of books marks an armistice in the religious wars, a move away from both religious intolerance and irreligious intolerance. That would be a sign that perhaps we, along with God, are evolving toward a higher moral order.”

Mr. Kristoff, if there is any evolution going on here, it is man evolving farther away from our Creator God. Yes, He is an ‘intolerant’ God. He says “You shall have no other god’s beside me“. Modern man as well as ancient ‘heathen’ man has had the same problem from the very beginning…we make ourselves and what WE think to be more important than God. We become our own ‘god’s’.

Paul brilliantly explained in Romans 1 that God and His invisible attributes (eternal power and divine nature) can be clearly perceived by even the most ignorant and backward man. The problem as Paul points out is that even though we can perceive this awesome God and what He has created, we refuse to honor Him as God and refuse to have a grateful heart toward Him. We become futile (I might add stupid) in our thinking and our foolish hearts become darkened. God opens the door to our hearts, but when we fail to honor Him, our hearts become darkened, and there is no ‘revelation’ from Him as to His amazing Grace and Love. He has been the same yesterday, today and forever. It is mankind who changes, becoming wiser and wiser in our own ‘conceits’.

Mr. Kristoff’s article is an excellent representation of just how foolish our thinking is becoming. I am placing his column here so that you can discern for your self. To see further examples of darkened hearts (this time ‘celebrities’) read my column “We don’t need no stinkin’ God, we’re Celebrities and Rock Stars!” One example of further ignorance is the comment by Angelina Jolie, who said this when asked if there is a God:

“Hmm… For some people, I hope so, for them. For the people who believe in it, I hope so. There doesn’t need to be a God for me. There’s something in people that’s spiritual, that’s godlike. I don’t feel like doing things just because people say things, but I also don’t really know if it’s better to just not believe in anything, either.”

If we can’t come to an agreement on who God is, maybe we should follow Angelina’s advice and ‘just not believe in anything, either.” The we won’t have ‘Religious Wars’. I might add that we won’t have Salvation either!

The Religious Wars By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF

“Just a few years ago, it seemed curious that an omniscient, omnipotent God wouldn’t smite tormentors like Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris. They all published best-selling books excoriating religion and practically inviting lightning bolts.

Traditionally, religious wars were fought with swords and sieges; today, they often are fought with books. And in literary circles, these battles have usually been fought at the extremes.

Fundamentalists fired volleys of Left Behind novels, in which Jesus returns to Earth to battle the Anti-Christ (whose day job was secretary general of the United Nations). Meanwhile, devout atheists built mocking Web sites like [One profound statement from this site: “If God is imaginary, then religion is a complete illusion. Christianity, Judaism and Islam are pointless. Belief in God is nothing but a silly superstition, and this superstition leads a significant portion of the population to be delusional.” Well mudpreacher contends that the delusion is all in the minds of those who refuse to honor God as God, and the delusion results from a darkened heart(-mp)] That site notes that although believers periodically credit prayer with curing cancer, God never seems to regrow lost limbs. It demands an end to divine discrimination against amputees.

This year is different, with a crop of books that are less combative and more thoughtful. One of these is “The Evolution of God,” by Robert Wright, who explores how religions have changed — improved — over the millennia. He notes that God, as perceived by humans, has mellowed from the capricious warlord sometimes depicted in the Old Testament who periodically orders genocides.

(In 1 Samuel 15:3, the Lord orders a mass slaughter of the Amalekite tribe: “Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child.” These days, that would earn God an indictment before the International Criminal Court.) [Once again, man wants to exert authority over God-mp]

Mr. Wright also argues that monotheism emerged only gradually among Israelites, and that the God familiar to us may have resulted from a merger of a creator god, El, and a warrior god, Yahweh. Mr. Wright also argues that monotheism wasn’t firmly established until after the Babylonian exile, and he says that Moses’s point was that other gods shouldn’t be worshiped, not that they didn’t exist. For example, he notes the troubling references to a “divine council” and “gods” — plural — in Psalm 82.

In another revelation not usually found in Sunday School classes, Mr. Wright cites Biblical evidence that God (both El and Yahweh) had a sex life, rather like the Greek gods, and notes archaeological discoveries indicating that Yahweh may have had a wife, Asherah. (I find this statement as stupid as you can get. It brings our Creator God down to our level-maybe that makes Mr. Wright feel more at peace with his conscience. He will be in for a harsh awakening when he finally sees God as He is. But it will be too late).

As for Christianity, Mr. Wright argues that it was Saint Paul — more than Jesus, an apocalyptic prophet — who emphasized love and universalism and built Christian faith as it is known today. Saint Paul focused on these elements, he says, partly as a way to broaden the appeal of the church and convert Gentiles.

Mr. Wright detects an evolution toward an image of God as a more beneficient and universal deity, one whose moral compass favors compassion for humans of whatever race or tribe, one who is now firmly in the antigenocide camp. Mr. Wright’s focus is not on whether God exists, but he does suggest that changing perceptions of God reflect a moral direction to history — and that this in turn perhaps reflects some kind of spiritual force.

“To the extent that ‘god’ grows, that is evidence — maybe not massive evidence, but some evidence — of higher purpose,” Mr. Wright says.

Another best-seller this year, Karen Armstrong’s “The Case for God,” likewise doesn’t posit a Grandpa-in-the-Sky; rather, she sees God in terms of an ineffable presence that can be neither proven nor disproven in any rational sense. To Ms. Armstrong, faith belongs to the realm of life’s mysteries, beyond the world of reason, and people on both sides of the “God gap” make the mistake of interpreting religious traditions too literally.

“Over the centuries people in all cultures discovered that by pushing their reasoning powers to the limit, stretching language to the end of its tether, and living as selflessly and compassionately as possible, they experienced a transcendence that enabled them to affirm their suffering with serenity and courage,” Ms. Armstrong writes. Her book suggests that religion is not meant to regrow lost limbs, but that it may help some amputees come to terms with their losses.

Whatever one’s take on God, there’s no doubt that religion remains one of the most powerful forces in the world. Today, millions of people will be giving thanks to Him — or Her or It.

Another new book, “The Faith Instinct,” by my Times colleague Nicholas Wade, suggests a reason for the durability of faith: humans may be programmed for religious belief, because faith conferred evolutionary advantages in primitive times. That doesn’t go to the question of whether God exists, but it suggests that religion in some form may be with us for eons to come.

I’m hoping that the latest crop of books marks an armistice in the religious wars, a move away from both religious intolerance and irreligious intolerance. That would be a sign that perhaps we, along with God, are evolving toward a higher moral order.”

Thank you Mr. Kristoff. I became so focused on thanking God for all He has done in my life and for my family and for my church that I forgot how much still needs to be done. I thank you for reminding me that America is joining the ranks of the rest of the nations that have forgotten who God really is. We have our work cut out for us, because America needs to rediscover who our awesome Creator God is!

Hope everyone takes time to thank God, the REVEALED God of His Word!

God is in TroubleGod is in trouble again, at least in Kentucky. Read the story here.

Seems some atheists are afraid for their safety (at least in Kentucky). They are suing the State of Kentucky to overturn recent Kentucky legislation “stressing the dependence on Almighty God as being vital to the security of the Commonwealth.” In addition to seeking to have the legislation overturned, the plaintiffs are seeking financial damages, saying they “suffer anxiety from the belief that the existence of these unconstitutional laws suggest that their very safety as residents of Kentucky may be in the hands of fanatics, traitors, or fools.

KentuckyhomelandsecuritybrandingAt issue are two clauses inserted in a floor amendment by state Rep. Tom Riner, D-Louisville, and approved by lawmakers. One clause says the “safety and security of the Commonwealth cannot be achieved apart from reliance upon Almighty God” and cites statements to that effect by Presidents Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy. A permanent plaque quoting that text is posted at the state’s Emergency Operations Center, as required by the clause. The other clause, listing the executive director’s duties, begins with a requirement to publicize “the dependence on Almighty God as being vital to the security of the Commonwealth.”

These atheists have suffered “somatic discomforts, and mental pain and anguish, from the knowledge that they are made to feel officially excluded from the ranks of citizens who share the belief in a god that is required by the challenged statutes.” Rabbi David Saperstein, national director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued a statement saying the law amounts to religious discrimination because the Homeland Security office’s director is required to credit “God’s power as protector of the state.”Security by God

Edwin Kagin, a Boone County lawyer and the national legal director of American Atheists, said he was appalled to read in the Herald-Leader last week that state law establishes praising God — and installing a plaque in God’s honor — as the first duty of the Homeland Security Office. “This is one of the most outrageous things I’ve seen in 35 years of practicing law. It’s breathtakingly unconstitutional,” Kagin said.

The requirement to credit God for Kentucky’s protection was tucked into 2006 homeland security legislation by state Rep. Tom Riner, D-Louisville, a Southern Baptist minister. “This is recognition that government alone cannot guarantee the perfect safety of the people of Kentucky,” Riner said last week. But state Sen. Kathy Stein, D-Lexington, said Homeland Security should worry about public safety threats instead of preaching religious homilies. “It’s very sad to me that we do this sort of thing,” said Stein, a frequent critic of efforts to mix religion and government. “It takes away from the seriousness of the public discussion over security, and it clearly hurts the credibility of this office if it’s supposed to be depending on God, first and foremost.

Most everyone on the web is siding with the atheists. After all, it does seem stupid to depend upon “God’s power as the protector of the state”.  God doesn’t even have a gun. He didn’t do anything to stop the terrorists on 9/11, so why should we depend on Him now?

proclamationofgodsthroneI thought it was most interesting as well as a sign of the times that a Jewish rabbi (David Saperstein) would object to being required to credit God’s power as protector of the state. If anyone should know God’s ability to protect, it should be those familiar with the history of Israel.

In Deuteronomy 32 we find Moses singing his Song to Jehovah God who delivered the Jews from Pharaoh. He is on the verge of bringing them into the promised land and has set before them blessing and cursing. Whichever they receive depends upon the God they chose to obey. The Song of Moses has four distinct divisions: the character of God (Deut. 32:1-4); the kindness of God to His people (vv. 5-14); the faithfulness of God to chasten His people (vv. 15-25); and the vengeance of God against His adversaries (vv. 26-43). The song traces God’s dealings with Israel and is a concise review of the nation’s history, from their wilderness sojourn to the judgments in the end times. It has both historic and prophetic aspects.

I believe Deuteronomy 32 verses 34-43 speak directly to this issue of ultimate protection. When God chastens His people because of their infidelity to Him and His Law, He allows adversaries to come in and exact the judgment God has ordered. This happened many times in the course of Israel’s history. You can read about it in Judges, the Chronicles, the Kings. Much of the Prophets is devoted to warning Israel and Judah about their waywardness and the judgment to come.

However, God warns in 34-35 that even though He would let enemies execute judgment on Israel, He would still hold those enemies accountable for their wickedness and repay them for their evil. (cf 41, 43). Even these who would have conquered God’s people are not safe from the judgment of God. God’s power is absolute. He controls events upon His people, and he controls events upon those he uses for judgment.

In verses 36-38 God says he will have compassion on Israel in judging their enemies. The statement in verse 36 “The Lord will judge His people” means that He would judge for them (i.e., vindicate them). However, Israel would not experience His compassion till they relinquished all trust in their own efforts (when… their strength is gone) and in the false gods in whom they took refuge. Moses ironically called on Israel to turn for help to the false gods, knowing, of course, they would be unable to help Israel.

In verses 39-43, God says His goal in judging Israel was not to annihilate her. It was to bring her to the point where she understood that there is no god besides the Lord Jehovah and that He alone has the power over death and life (verse 39). When in verse 40 he refers  to raising His hand, He is taking an oath. He is saying in verse 41 that he will use the enemies sword to carry out His justice. God will then take revenge on his enemies and repay those who reject Him.

Dwell in SafetyLeviticus 25:18 says “So you shall observe My statutes and keep My judgments, and perform them; and you will dwell in the land in safety.” Safety is the Hebrew word בֶּטַח, (beṭaḥ). It means ‘securely’. In its first occurrence beṭaḥ emphasizes the status of a city which was certain of not being attacked: ” … Two of the sons … took each man his sword, and came upon the city boldly, and slew all the males” (Gen. 34:25). Thus the city was unsuspecting regarding the impending attack. In passages such as Prov. 10:9 beṭaḥ emphasizes a confidence and the absence of impending doom: “He that walketh uprightly walketh surely: but he that perverteth his ways shall be known [faces certain judgment].” Israel dwells in security apart from any possible doom or danger because God keeps her completely safe (Deut. 33:12, 28). This condition is contingent on their faithfulness to God (Lev. 25:18-19). (Vine’s)

This hope in the safety provided by God is not naive wishing, but a confident expectation. Unlike the pagan religions where anxiety was the rule, the Hebrew religion knew a God whose chief characteristic was faithfulness and trustworthiness (Deut. 33:28; 1 Samuel 12:11; Psalm 27:3). This contrast between anxiety and confidence becomes all the more striking when one recalls that the pagan was never left without mechanisms whereby he felt he had some control over his destiny, while the devout Hebrew knew himself to be utterly without personal resources. In general, the Old Testament contrasts the validity of that sense of confidence which comes from reliance upon God with the folly of any other kind of security. It is made plain that all such trust will end in disgrace and shame, whereas those whose hope is in God alone will be delivered from their enemies (“In you our fathers trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them.” Psalm 22:4 ) —(Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament)

So a rabbi that refuses to credit God’s power to protect is not a rabbi of Jehovah God. He must follow another god. He must teach another bible.

American’s who refuse to credit God’s power to protect are doomed to experience the judgment of God, who in His mercy works all things to bring His created beings into a loving relationship with Him.

Of course, we refuse to acknowledge God’s power and authority to judge, so we might as well refuse to acknowledge His power to protect. Only time will tell. However, I believe with all my heart that the words of Psalm 2 are being set in motion:

Psalms 2:10-12 (NLT) Now then, you kings, act wisely! Be warned, you rulers of the earth! Serve the Lord with reverent fear, and rejoice with trembling.  Submit to God’s royal son, or he will become angry, and you will be destroyed in the midst of all your activities— for his anger flares up in an instant. But what joy for all who take refuge in him!

ps4_8blueAs for the mudpreacher and Tom Riner, we will sleep like babies, because Psalm 4:8 is our pillow: “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.” Sleep Like a Baby

Even if they do away with this provision in Kentucky’s Homeland Security Act, I doubt that atheists will sleep any better. Only fools say “No” to God!