My blog posts are mostly directed to those who are in the church, or some version of organized religion. I try to challenge the system of beliefs that have crept into Christianity, or the Way, over approximately the last 1900 years, such as, witchcraft, worship of ancient, polytheistic deities in the name of Yahweh, antinomianism (Yahweh’s perfect instructions “done away with”) and general apostasy. There is ample material to keep writing on those subjects forever; however, what about the commission of addressing the people who think they are a result of exploding space rocks or star dust? They have no hope outside of this mortal life and depraved world. I have never been at a place in my life where I didn’t recognize the awesomeness of creation, the divine order and obvious hand of a Creator, so it is hard for me to relate to an atheist, but looking at the mythology and hypocrisy organized religion has adopted, I can see where it would be a place of refuge from religion in general. Atheism also brings its own cult like tendencies; such as, holding on to nineteenth century beliefs, instead of embracing modern scientific discoveries that may challenge those belief systems, or making science and humanism a type of god.
Since atheists do not believe in the authority of scripture and that it was breathed from the Creator through chosen men, I suppose convincing an atheist from scripture would be near impossible. I will not try to persuade anyone in this blog post, but possibly point out some of the similarities in our shared skepticism of religion in general, and explain why I still embrace the idea of a intelligent creator, whose existence affects our future. From a 2009 article in the Guardian, atheist Michael Ruse makes some valid points that we can start with:
“As a professional philosopher my first question naturally is: “What or who is an atheist?” If you mean someone who absolutely and utterly does not believe there is any God or meaning then I doubt there are many in this group. Richard Dawkins denies being such a person. If you mean someone who agrees that logically there could be a god, but who doesn’t think that the logical possibility is terribly likely, or at least not something that should keep us awake at night, then I guess a lot of us are atheists. But there is certainly a split, a schism, in our ranks. I am not whining (in fact I am rather proud) when I point out that a rather loud group of my fellow atheists, generally today known as the “new atheists”, loathe and detest my thinking. Richard Dawkins has likened me to the pusillanimous appeaser at Munich, Neville Chamberlain. Jerry Coyne, author of Why Evolution is True, says (echoing Orwell) that only someone with pretensions to the intelligentsia could believe the silly things I believe. And energetic blogger PZ Myers refers to me as a “clueless gobshite” because I confessed to seeing why true believers might find the Kentucky Creationist Museum convincing. I will spare you what my fellow philosopher Dan Dennett has to say about me.”
Michael Ruse is indicating that he is not “atheist enough” for the new atheist sect. He is willing to at least acknowledge there could be a God, but not overly concerned about it. People like Dawkins, who has since passed, have a more anti-creator mentality. Michael Ruse continues in the same article:
“Second, unlike the new atheists, I take scholarship seriously. I have written that The God Delusion made me ashamed to be an atheist and I meant it. Trying to understand how God could need no cause, Christians claim that God exists necessarily. I have taken the effort to try to understand what that means. Dawkins and company are ignorant of such claims and positively contemptuous of those who even try to understand them, let alone believe them. Thus, like a first-year undergraduate, he can happily go around asking loudly, “What caused God?” as though he had made some momentous philosophical discovery. Dawkins was indignant when, on the grounds that inanimate objects cannot have emotions, philosophers like Mary Midgley criticised his metaphorical notion of a selfish gene. Sauce for the biological goose is sauce for the atheist gander. There are a lot of very bright and well informed Christian theologians. We atheists should demand no less.”
From this view, there are at least two types of atheists. The first type of atheist isn’t all that concerned about the existence of a Creator God, the other type of atheist is hell bent on denying the existence of a creator and disparages anyone who might suggest such an idea.
I would argue that the second type of atheist, the new atheist, belongs to a religious group where their god is the belief that there is no god. They “evangelize” just as Christians do by forcing their belief system as the only right one, idolizing evolution, science, physics or whatever in their mind disproves a creator. That type of atheist is probably not interested in what I have to say. I am appealing to the atheist that may have been raised in a religious environment, who through observing organized religion, came to the conclusion that there is no God.
There are many reasons why a person who is raised in the church may abandon religion altogether, or someone observing religion from the outside may never desire to get involved. This is where we can find some common ground. Some concerns are: “why does the God of the Old Testament seem like a genocidal maniac?”; “why do the characters of Jesus and Mary appear to be borrowed from Egyptian or older mythology”;“why do the Sumerians have a flood story that was seemingly borrowed by Moses”; and the list goes on. Unfortunately, many church goers and church leaders are unequipped to answer these questions, and do not even realize they are actually propelling these stumbling blocks through ignorance.
An example of this ignorance will soon be upon us with the Easter season. The name “Easter” is a morphed version of the name Eostre, the Saxon goddess of spring. She can be traced all the way back to Nimrod and Semiramis, or Inanna and Demuzi, Ishtar and Baal, or any other variation of the resurrecting god and mother goddesses of mythology. There are endless warnings through the prophets in scripture not to adopt the traditions of these myths, yet anyone today who points these errors out is considered heretical. The Romans were quick to morph the story of Yeshua, referred to as Jesus since the 1600’s, into their mythologies of the sun god and mother goddess because it made it more acceptable to the masses being forced into Christianity from polytheism. First century believers celebrated Pasach, and knew that Yeshua had nothing to do with the resurrecting sun god. The church has done such a good job of melding the two belief systems together, and very few take the sign of Yeshua being in the grave three nights and three days seriously. They quickly accept the Friday night to early Sunday morning scenario, which is ignorance of the feast days and Sabbaths shown in the New Testament, at best, and flat out lies the early pagan church used to distance itself from “Jewish” practices, at worst. “Jewish” practices, in this case, could also be defined as commandments of Yahweh found in Leviticus 23. Here is the sign of Jonah that Jesus gave:
Mat 12:38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.”
Mat 12:39 But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.
Mat 12:40 For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Some atheists don’t even believe Yeshua (Jesus) was a historical figure. There are many witnesses to His existence, so a person who doesn’t believe in His existence may fall into the “new atheist” category. However, the many versions of Jesus that we have today actually did not exist. That is why I prefer to use the name Yeshua to differentiate from the 40,000 different forms of Jesus in denominations today. The question everybody may ask is “What difference does it make?”. This is what sets the atheist apart from the believer.
I am not going to suggest that someone who believes in the Creator is going to be whisked away to place called heaven when they die, or an unbeliever immediately falls into a pit of burning sulphur at death. This has become the narrative in modern Christianity, but it was not always the case. The human body is not immortal nor does it have an immortal component on its own. Christians reading this would probably disagree, but I challenge them to search it out for themselves. They try to justify this doctrine by a statement the Apostle Paul makes about being absent from the body, and a statement Yeshua makes to the thief on the cross about being with Him in Paradise that day. Yeshua (Jesus), still had three nights and three days to spend in the grave at that point, plus another 40 days to spend on earth with a resurrected body, so the statement to the thief on the cross has to be examined more closely. Daniel seems to indicate staying in the grave until the resurrection, as does so many others in scripture.
Dan 12:1 “At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book.
Dan 12:2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
Dan 12:3 And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.
My goal is to be one of the people who turn many to righteousness. I have no doubt that the words of the Bible are true, and that they represent an accurate description of historical and futuristic events. Even the mythologies of the polytheists can be found in the Bible. The Bible sets the record of the polytheists’ gods and demigods straight. Peter spoke of the “angels who sinned held captive in Tartarus”.
2Pe 2:4 For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but held them captive in Tartarus with chains of darkness and handed them over to be kept for judgment
If I believe and have faith in the Creator God, Yahweh, and I am wrong about His existence, I will never know. According to the atheist I will just go back to dust in my grave and stay there forever. There is no hope of being resurrected and having a future in the kingdom of God. There is no reason to be accountable to the laws of Yahweh, and to quote the occultist Alister Crowley, “Do what thou wilt”. However, if I am right, then I have hope in Yahweh, through faith in Yeshua of an eternal life, rewarded for following the ways of the Creator, where the atheist is still in a state of hopelessness. The Apostle Paul explains this in his first letter to the church at Corinth:
1Co 15:12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?
1Co 15:13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.
1Co 15:14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.
1Co 15:15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised.
1Co 15:16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised.
1Co 15:17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.
1Co 15:18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.
1Co 15:19 If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.
1Co 15:20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
If you are a person who was turned off by religion for any number of reasons, don’t let that be what separates you from the Creator God forever. He can be found with the smallest amount of faith. He can also turn you over to a debased mind if you choose to block your ears.
Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.
Rom 1:19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.
Rom 1:20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
Rom 1:21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
There have always been seductive spirits to lead people away from the Creator. They hide the truth and cause people to believe lies. If there is no God, then man is the final authority. We can make our own rules and do whatever the majority collectively agrees is right, then say it is settled. This philosophy only works if the atheist is correct in his thinking, and there is no God. However, we do not settle matters of life and death of the innocent, or morality. These were all settled by the Word of Yahweh. The final balance of the scales or judgement of these matters, based on that Word, is coming. Whether people believe this or not really is irrelevant to its existence.
Mal 4:1 “For look! The day is about to come, burning like an oven, and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble. The coming day will consume them,” says Yahweh of hosts. “It will not leave behind for them root or branch.
Mal 4:2 But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise, with healing in its wings, and you will go out and leap like fattened calves.
Mal 4:3 You will trample down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day that I am going to act,” says Yahweh of hosts.
Mal 4:4 “Remember the instruction of my servant Moses, which I commanded him at Horeb to all Israel, the rules and regulations.
All of these traditions, philosophies, and mythologies that have been brought into the church have been done so by an enemy to lure people away from God. It causes some people to use symbols from other gods to worship Yahweh, which He says He hates, and it causes other people to think the whole thing is ridiculous, turning them to atheism. It’s a win, win situation for the forces against Yahweh.
Col 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.
Once a person discovers the truth of scripture, there is nothing that can turn that person away. That in itself should be a witness of there being something more to life than just being the result of exploding space rocks. John the Baptist came preaching repentance, that is to be baptized and follow the commandments.
Luk 3:8 Bear fruits in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham.
Luk 3:9 Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”
There are watchmen still calling people to repent today, although few and far between. I suggest taking this seriously so these words will not be called into remembrance when the God you deny is there in front of you, and can no longer be denied.
Previous blog posts:
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Is the God you are following the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, or some other god?
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And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover. MarkContinue reading “What About Vipers?”