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Answering the charge of infidels against Christianity

JeffLogan's picture

There is a verse in the Bible which reads,

"These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me." John 16:1-3 (KJV)

The infidel claims that if not for Christian history we would not know the depths of depravity to which the human mind may descend. That Christian fellows, claiming to follow in the steps of their Lord, have exhausted the limits of human imagination dreaming up the worst atrocities to carry out on those who claim to be their brothers in Christ yet deny one or more tenets of a creed. That the lives of millions of men, women and children have been sacrificed to preserve a creed all in the name of a God who taught them to love their enemies and turn the other cheek. That in this life the church persecutes those who disagree with her doctrines and at death sends them on to her god to be tortured through-out eternity. A god whose appetite for revenge is implacable and whose love for torment insatiable.

My question is, in light of Christian history, its decretals, its current doctrines and attitudes, and the way in which we treat others who do not agree with us, how can we answer the charge of the Infidel? Have we fulfilled the command to love one another, or have we fulfilled John 16:1-3 in putting them out of our midst and even killing them. Of course, we are stayed by civil power today but the Infidel contends that had we the power we would today kill heretics as in times past. How can we justify our actions? How can we condemn radical Islam who is but following in our steps? How can we condemn Hitler's slaughter of Jews who are classed with Infidels?

I would like to hear your thoughts. I will share mine as well.

JeffLogan's picture

Good objective

It is a good thing to desire peace with all men. But when it comes to unity of faith there can be only one thing that unites us and that is Truth. Jesus Christ is the Truth, therefore, to be united in Truth means to be united in Jesus.

It is Truth that unites and mis-truth that divides. Therefore, our focus should be on unity around Jesus, the Truth, rather than compromising the Truth for the sake of unity.

There are many "silly" things which cause division and division and discord can exist even within the confines of a single rite or denomination. Yet, if we gathered around Christ as the source of all Truth then I believe those silly things would fall away and we would see true unity of faith.

I am not an advocate of suppressing one's distinctive beliefs merely for the sake of unity nor do I think we ought to force unity either by dogma, laws, or humanist reasoning. But I do feel there are many unreasonable divisions.

But some apparent things are not so unreasonable. For example, I believe that the wicked will perish, be destroyed, and consumed to ashes in the lake of fire. Others believe the soul is immortal and cannot die therefore it must suffer in eternal hell fire for a lifetime that measures with the life of God. For me this paints a picture of a god that is not the same God that I worship. But I understand that not everyone understands things as I do. So while I cannot join myself to them in worship of their god I can, under the right circumstances if their life is right, consider them my brother or sister in Christ. However, if they treat others without compassion, mercy, or pity in a way that they believe their god will treat the wicked then I cannot rightfully call them Christian nor siblings in Christ. That is because they are not acting like Christ but rather a god of cruel and insatiable revenge. A god that would torture an aborted baby in the fires of hell for all eternity due to circumstances beyond that "soul's" control. That is injustice!

But the True God is just and merciful--at the same time. God will destroy the wicked but not of revenge but out of mercy. Once their sinful world has been destroyed there will be no place left for them where holiness does not abound and the singing of praises to Jesus the one whom they hated while they were alive. They would not be comfortable in the company of the righteous and holy angels. They were uncomfortable on earth in their company so why would they want to spend eternity with them? They would not be happy in heaven. In fact, they would be downright miserable. There would be nothing "fun" to occupy their time. So being just, yet in mercy, God terminates their lives forever. Their punishment is destruction and that punishment will last forever. It is an "everlasting punishment." Once that final door is closed to them there will never be another opportunity to repent or live again. Their punishment and damnation is everlasting.

It's appointed unto all men to die once, but what I have described is the second death and it is final! That judgment will last for all eternity. There will be no way to quench the fires which consume the wicked. They will be totally burned up.

    Psalm 104:35 Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more.

Does that make good Biblical sense?

“The path of true piety is so plain as to require
but little political direction.” --George Washington,
re: absence of "Jesus Christ" in U.S. Constitution.

Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions. -Proverbs 18:2 NIV