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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

Can man be more just or merciful than God

Reply to: Jqlogan said:"A god that
Submitted by jwmcmac on Tue, 2009-08-25 22:54.

We are moving off topic but I will offer this reply.

Can man be more just or merciful than God. Yet men are very consciencious to be certain the sentence fits the crime. And, even now we are debating whether or not it is humane and just to kill a criminal with lethal injections or if in fact it is cruel punishment.

In fact, man's civil laws stipulate fairness, expedience, and prohibit cruel punishment. Here are a few articles of amendment to the US Constitution:

5: Due process
6: fair and speedy public trial
7: right to trial by jury of peers
8: No excessive bail & fines or cruel & unusual punishment

Even in times of war we expect people to be treated fairly. "The Geneva Conventions consist of four treaties and three additional protocols that set the standards in international law for humanitarian treatment of the victims of war." (Wikipedia article, "Geneva Convention")

Most recently there has been an uproar accusing the Bush administration of "war crimes" for waterboarding prisoners which is viewed as a form of torture.

Now since these law, conventions, and accusations come from all nations, tongues, and people, what do you think these same people think of a god who would torture sinners in eternal hell fires for all eternity simply for exercising their god-given free will? To many people this is the cruelest of the cruel.

    The just LORD is in the midst thereof; he will not do iniquity: every morning doth he bring his judgment to light, he faileth not; but the unjust knoweth no shame.

    Zeph 3:5 (KJV)

You quoted Matthew 18:8 which mentions being cast into everlasting fire. But rather than using our own interpretation of what everlasting fire is we must ask the Bible. Jude 1:7 says that Sodom and Gomorrah suffered the vengeance of eternal fire. But where can we go to see that fire burning today? It is not. It has burned out. But rather it is as the prophecy against Babylon. When the fuel is spent the fires will go out.

But God is everlasting and He is a consuming fire. Isaiah asks the question, "Who can live with eternal fires." Not the wicked. They cannot live in God's presence. Only the righteous will be able to live with eternal burnings which consume sin in all forms.

    14 The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?
    15 He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil;
    16 He shall dwell on high: his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.
    Isaiah 33:14-16 (KJV)

God is a consuming fire (Heb 12:29; Deut 4:24,9:3). God is eternal. And he will always destroy sin. Sodom and Gomorrah were consume with eternal fire as an example of what will befall the wicked. And because those eternal fires are not burning today we must understand that God is the eternal fire which consumes sin.

Malachi says that the wicked will be ashes under our feet when the Lord consumes them with fire. (Malachi 4:1-3). And St. Peter tells us when this day that burns like an oven will occur and its purpose. (2 Peter 3:10-12). The earth and everyone and everything in it will burn with fervent heat, will melt, and burn up. Surely you will listen to St. Peter and take his word above every successor.

St. John writes in Revelation 20:9 that the fire God rains down on the wicked devours them. This is called "the second death." Hebrews tells us that it is appointed unto man to die once. But only once. This second death is final. It is everlasting. Those who are cast into the lake of fire and consumed will suffer this final, everlasting punishment called the second death. Their punishment is to die eternally without hope of ever rising again. And this fire burns up the earth and its works. So God recreates this earth. A new heavens, a new earth and a new Jerusalem. New because the old one passed away. It was burned up by the fires.

But those fires eventually go out because the meek inherit the earth which God makes new. So how can we understand everlasting fire? God is everlasting. God is a consuming fire. And when God consumes the wicked and the earth with fire the sentence will be everlasting.

“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