Sunday, November 21, 2004

Why do the heathen rage?

Why do the heathen rage?

On the face of it, the attitude of the unbeliever is quite irrational. If a Martian were eavesdropping on the conflict between believer and unbeliever, he'd assume that the unbeliever's creed must have something indispensable and irreplaceable to offer the unbeliever, something denied him by the believer's creed. He'd assume that the unbeliever's creed was a wonderfully life-affirming creed, whereas the Gospel must be a nihilistic creed. Otherwise, why would the unbeliever be so devoted to his creed and so opposed to the believer's?

And yet the truth is just the opposite. For the unbeliever, man is just a meat machine. He has no immortal soul. His very consciousness is a clever illusion. Morality is just a dirty trick played upon us by natural selection. Life has no ultimate purpose. When we die, all our loves and longings die with us. The benevolent philanthropist and the genocidal tyrant share a common oblivion.

Why would an unbeliever live and die for such a self-destructive creed? And why is he so fanatically opposed to the Gospel? The Gospel is like a match in the darkness, lighting our way out of the cave and illumining our footsteps lest we fall down a bottomless pit. Why is the unbeliever so hell-bent on extinguishing the flickering match-light? Why this passionate communion with death?

Warfield offers a striking psychological profile of the unbeliever:

"The sinner instinctively and by his very nature, as he cannot help believing in God, in the intellectual sense, so cannot possibly exercise faith in God in the fiducial sense. On the contrary, faith in this sense has been transformed into its opposite--faith has passed into unfaith, trust to distrust," Selected Shorter Writings 2:116.

For the unregenerate and the reprobate, God is an object of fear, for God is the sinner's judge. And like a suicide-bomber, the graceless sinner is prepared to blow up the courtroom in order to kill the judge, even if it means killing himself in the process. The more brilliant the unbeliever, the more elaborate the perfect crime--the cosmic murder-suicide.

The Christian apologist has written book after book defending the faith, while the unbeliever has written book after book attacking the faith. And when words fail, the unbeliever has resorted to more forcible means of suppression.

But in his unwitting way, the unbelieving is a living apologetic for the very faith he denies with every gasping breath. Unbelief is an enigma to itself. Unbelief can make no sense of an unbeliever. Only belief can make sense of an unbeliever. The unbeliever would rather die in a rage, like a poisoned rat in a hole, than eat the bread of life come down from heaven. This is the squint-eyed attitude, not of mere unbelief, but of sheer disbelief--of an impenitent rebel without a cause.




3 comments:

  1. The believer will never be able to communicate with the unbeliever when the believer operates on the presupposition that the unbeliever actually believes in God and is thus actively battling against his own buried belief. If the presupposition were actually true, then the mindset of the unbeliever would be truly irrational, as you claim.

    However, the opposite is true for almost all unbelievers. Most grow up believing in God and, only much later in life, come to the conclusion that "the emperor has no clothes," and God (at least the particular "God" claimed by Christian theology) does not exist.

    The Gospel is not so much the "match in the darkness," to the unbeliever. It is instead the match lit to the pyre of those who are burned at the stake for daring to stand up for the real truth. Thus, the unbeliever asserts the moral high ground, opposing those who would oppress the lesser people around them by instilling a fear of fire (Hell, etc.). It is, of course, no accident that Hellfire and burning people at the stake both involve images of unimaginable pain, inflicted for daring to disbelieve the chosen truth claims of the powerful.

    As an unbeliever, I have no fear of God. I know that the God of the Christian is a myth, just as are his predecessor gods, like Mithras and the bipolar gods, Ahura Mazda and Angra Mainyu, all of whom contributed to the legends surrounding the mythical Christian religion.

    I am no "rebel without a cause." My cause is the higher morality of true freedom; the freedom that comes from recognizing universal human rights. Folks like you, who insult unbelievers with blogs such as this one are the moral reprobates, seeking to oppress those who will not toe your defined line of belief.

    But of course, in your own warped worldview, you can understand no more of my words than I can understand of yours.

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  2. Uh Steve you've never actually met an atheist have you? :)

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  3. still, I have met many many atheists. The academic coven is crawling with them. They are a smart bunch, but also very hedonistic,rather selfish with their resources(in terms of actually doing substantiasl long term volunteer work for the needy) and almost to a man/woman very sexually promiscuous.And almost proud of it! hey, social darwinism! let the best genes reproduce, except very very little reproduction actually occurs.

    A study done awhile back of medical residents indicated almost exclusively that devout theists were the only ones seriously planning to go into volunteer full time poverty medical work after finishing residency. This is over the entirety of the United States. There are certain facts which immediately silence the academic atheist guns: and this is one of them. Go anywhere in the world and look and see who is doing the heavy lifting of volunteer anti-poverty medical work and whetehr you are in Cleveland, or afgahanistan or even in San Francisco, or MOscow, you will find that it is devout theists(usually evangelical Cristians, Roman Catholics,jesuits, etc) who are the ones. If you dont beleieve me, go see for yourself!

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