Search This Blog

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Atheopaths, Darwinists, the Book of Luke and Whitecross.

One of the saddest things to me about this blog is the fact that I know what it is to be an unbeliever apart from God and I know the joy and peace of having a relationship with Him.   Tonight several family members and friends came over.  My wife grilled lots of pork steak, hamburgers, brats and hot dogs, one of my sons went to get some extra food and drink supplies and we had enough for all.   Good thing we have lots of chairs and a fairly big house!   Most of us could fit in the dining room side of the kitchen and the rest ate downstairs in the family room, where the big screen TV and main stereo and video games are located.

Basic Rockband set


Some of the guys broke out the Rockband (we have a second guitar to go with the drums and microphone) on the Wii and had fun with that, but not before playing games with my grandsons for awhile after we ate.  Some of us talked for a time and then went out on the back deck.  Randy (daughter's boyfriend) broke out his acoustic guitar and we began singing songs (Pink Floyd, Beatles, Eagles, a bunch of classic rock stuff).   For a short time Randy began playing some Jimmy Page riffs so I grabbed the harmonica and we did a couple of minutes impromptu guitar-harmonica interplay of "Bring It On Home" while my daughter and wife were getting sheet music and extra lighting gathered up.   Pretty soon my wife, my ex-wife, my two oldest daughters,  Randy, my two oldest sons and me were all out there singing stuff like "Hotel California" and "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away."

While that was going on, my youngest son and my two grandsons were playing the Wii or throwing darts in the garage.  At 9:45 we packed up and went inside so we were not disturbing neighbors who wanted to get to bed early.   Every one of us is a Christian.  All of us know the peace of God.   How many families do you know where both wife and ex-wife and her new husband are all considered family along with everyone else?  To understand forgiveness and live a life of love and caring is the joy I have that far exceeds having lots of money and a nice sports car!   Relationships!

Last night we went to sing karaoke with several friends.   My oldest daughter is there so often she calls it her "Cheers."  She is friends with a lot of upbeat, optimistic people so we had a great time singing.  I even conspired with the DJs so when I went up supposedly about to sing "Your Song" they played Alan Jackson's "So You Don't Have To Love Me Anymore" and I sang that instead.   It was fun to surprise my oldest daughter by singing a country song.    I had studied country music for two months, about, getting ready to sing one of the songs I liked at karaoke and shocking her thereby.   My oldest was named Sara for the song "Sara Smile" so she had one of her friends sing it so she could dance with her Dad.   By the way, my wife and I do a terrific Sonny and Cher impersonation to "I Got You Babe" with me trying to copy that Sonny Bono nasally sound.   Lots of fun!


Ah, well,  to the main point of this post.   Atheopathic Darwinists will not accept evidence against Darwinism no matter how strong it is.   They are willfully blind.

This is why I say some commenters and many Darwinists in general cannot see the most obvious evidence and accept it for what it is.   This is not a case of faulty evidence but, rather, a heart and a mind determined to block certain things out for metaphysical rather than logical or scientific reasons.   

We'll illustrate this with the help of the Book of Luke and the parable Jesus taught about the dead rich man (who is unamed) now existing in a state of hellish punishment and a beggar named Lazarus who had died and was in a heavenly position with other believers such as Abraham.  (FYI - While those who believe in Christ will be in paradise upon death while unbelievers will go to punishment, the final Hell and Heaven are unveiled at the end of this world.   Believers will appear at the Judgment Seat of Christ, where they will be praised for the works they did in the power of God and will also see all works done by the flesh be cast aside.   But God will dry every tear and we will be in Heaven with God forever after in complete bliss.  Unbelievers will go before the Great White Throne and will be accountable for every single sin because they did not let Jesus Christ take the punishment for them and they did not let Jesus give them eternal life and everlasting relationship with God).  

Even if someone a Darwinist knows came back from the grave to worn his recalcitrant former friends of the miseries of the second death, it is likely most of them would not believe him.    When a man is an Antitheist or perhaps a better term is Atheopath, it is not simply a matter of not believing but rather that the man hates God and/or the very idea of God.  Such a person is unlikely to accept any evidence at all that is at odds with his worldview.


By the way, Rex Carroll the lead guitarist of Whitecross was tapping long before Eddie Van Halen...then again John Entwhistle of the Who was doing that on the bass before Rex.   Great guitarists have been around for decades and some of them were/are Christians.   This band began in Illinois in 1985 with Scott Wenzel (lead singer) and Rex Carroll (lead guitar) being the primary songwriters and force behind the band, which was exceedingly popular in Christian circles and helped popularize Christian Metal music.   The band did a mission trip as a group and lead singer Scott Wenzel spent two years on the mission field himself.   There was a time when Rex Carroll left to form the group King James and make a solo album and some other members came and went.  However, the band joined back together and is working on a new album right now according to my information.  

At the end of the post I will present a tasty Whitecross jam(s) for those who love great musicianship and can appreciate the mastery Rex Carroll has of the electric guitar.

 

The Rich Man and Lazarus (ESV) - (emphasis added) Luke 16:19-31

 “There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day.  And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores,  who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man's table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores.  The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's side.[f] The rich man also died and was buried,  and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side.  And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’  But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish.  And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’  And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father's house—  for I have five brothers[g]—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’  But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’  And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’  He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”

(f)  Luke 16:22 Greek bosom; also verse 23
(g)  Luke 16:28 Or brothers and sisters


"The rich man knew his brothers weren’t paying attention to the OT scriptures either and thought they would be convinced if Lazarus came back from the grave. In fact, there was a man named Lazarus who was raised from the dead in John’s gospel. (This is the only parable in which a character is named and I’m certain Jesus did so because he knew he would raise Lazarus." - Hampton Keathley IV

There is a great deal of evidence that makes the concept of long ages of time during which somehow a simple self-replicating organism we accidentally and naturally produced.  The problem is that such a thing is both statistically and chemically impossible.  Yet Darwinists BELIEVE from there, due to mutations which kept adding information to the gene pool we somehow had an explosion of exceedingly complex and fantastically designed living things that fit nicely into every niche of the planet, able to adjust to climate and population pressures and other factors because of a rich panoply of choice built into the DNA/Cell reproductive process and managed by meta-information specific to that particular living thing. 


Darwinists actually have no explanation for where everything came from, including time and physical laws and intellect and information and life and concepts like "nothing" and "everything."   They do not comprehend the inherent problems in getting a material and temporal world with no means and no method and no method and of course no opportunity.


MOM - Means, Opportunity, Motive.   Detectives use these three words to help them study a crime scene and find clues to provide the suspects who would fit into one of these three categories and, in fact, hopefully all three.  This concept is worth a post unto itself but for now, let's just say that God fits the MOM criteria to a "T" while naturalist materialism is a complete failure.  Before there was a natural and material world, there was no natural or material cause in existence to create a Universe and there would therefore be no method or opportunity and, since naturalism does not feature a personality, there would also be no motive.

God has given us his means, opportunity and motive in the Bible.  He clearly states them in Genesis and restates them many times afterwords, by various inspired Bible authors and the very words of Jesus Christ.   Even Jewish Scholars who do not themselves believe God created in six days admit that the language of the Book of Genesis specifically tells us that He did create in six days with the Earth as the frame of reference.   All New Testament scholars I know of will admit that Jesus quoted from the Old Testament and supported the Noahic Flood and the six-day Creation week.    So Christians might as well throw the Bible away if they will not believe the Word of God or the Son of God.

Jesus well understood willful unbelief.   This is why He could be kind and understanding and patient with children, Samaritans, women who had not had Bible training like the men, poor people, sick people, in fact people of all walks of life including the ruling Romans.  But He had harsh words, albeit true, for the Pharisees who put up a good outward appearance but had no desire to know or obey God on the inside.   They favored worldly riches, fame, position and the appearance of righteousness above actually having a relationship with God.  

For another look at the meanings found within this parable:

The Rich Man and Lazarus

 



The Passage:
Luke 16:19-31

 

The Parameters:

 

Jesus had just given a parable about wealth and taught that you cannot serve both God and money. The Pharisees were lovers of money (Luke 16:14) and scoffed at Jesus. So He tells them another parable about trusting in money. He even begins it the same way he began the last parable - with the phrase, there was a certain rich man...
Jesus had also taught that while the Pharisees looked at the outside, God looks at the heart. (Luke 6:15)
Jesus made a comment in verse 16 about the law and the prophets being proclaimed until John.
Although most people think of future things when they think of the prophets, what the prophets primarily did was condemn Israel for oppressing the innocent and the poor. They proclaimed the importance of loving ones neighbor. This parable will portray one who does not do that.
Jesus also says he is preaching the gospel of the kingdom and makes a comment that everyone is forcing his way into it. This means that everyone is trying to get in. What we will see is examples of someone who gets in and someone who doesn’t. Jesus condemns the wrongful love of money in the Pharisees who thought that riches were synonymous with righteousness.

The Problem

 

We always talk about the attitude and question that Jesus is dealing with in his parables. In this one the attitude he is dealing with is the Pharisees attitude towards their wealth. They thought wealth was a sign of spirituality and blessing from God. They also thought that poverty was a result of sinfulness and cursing from God. They were sure that poor people were not going to go to heaven.
What is Gods attitude towards the Pharisees who were devoted to money and took great pride that they had it? Would they enter the kingdom of God? What does it take to enter the kingdom (i.e. go to heaven)?

The Progression

 

Chronological or Logical - there are contrasts between the two characters in their earthly life and the after-life.

    Earthly Life 

Rich Man - Dressed nice, ate well, lived it up every day. He was on the inside.
Lazarus - dressed in rags, hungry, struggled to survive, oozing sores -- therefore unclean, too weak to fight off the dogs. He is on the outside.

    After-Life

     

Lazarus - In Abraham’s bosom - in heaven - happy - banqueting imagery (reclining next to Abraham at a banquet). He is on the inside.

Rich Man - In Hades - tormented - on the outside.

Note the reversal of the earthly situation. Notice also that the eternal situation is irreversible. There is no second chance. What does this say about the Catholic doctrine of purgatory? The rich man is in Hades which is a place of torment - a holding tank for hell. Death and Hades will be thrown into the lake of fire. Rev... But you can’t get out.

Notice in vs. 24 that the rich man is still trying to order Lazarus around. He wants God to send the poor man to minister to him. His attitude hasn’t changed. I wonder what that says about repentance after death? Will there be any? Or will people in hell also burn with anger?

The Point

 

Social status and material possessions are no guarantee of ones standing with God. The only thing that matters is a right response to the Word of God.

The Relation of the Parable to the Kingdom of God

 

Entrance into the kingdom is dependent on ones faith in Jesus to whom the Scriptures point, not on ones relationship to Abraham.

The Pharisee did not listen to what the prophets said about the coming Messiah nor about how to treat their neighbors. It was the lack of love that illustrated he had no regard for the prophets. He was counting on his relationship to Abraham.

The Particulars

 

  • In present life there was no chasm between Lazarus and the rich man. In fact Lazarus was begging just outside the rich man’s gate. The rich man could have gone out and helped Lazarus any time he felt like it. But in eternal life there is a great chasm separating heaven and hell. Jesus uses space to emphasize that this gap is uncrossable and permanent. Notice also that it prevents those who want to go from heaven to hell (to show mercy) can’t. 
  • Lazarus “laid at the man’s gate” which indicates he was crippled or lame. He was also poor. According to the Pharisees, people were poor, lame, sick, etc. because they were wicked. It proved not to be the case.
  • The rich man was not with father Abraham in paradise like he thought he would be. Jews - and especially the Pharisees - thought they were guaranteed entrance into heaven because of their physical relationship to Abraham.
  • The rich man did not listen to the law and the prophets which taught about how to love one’s neighbor (Micah 6:8). He did not love his neighbor. We know from the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10 that loving one’s neighbor involved helping one who was down and out like Lazarus was.
  • The prophets also predicted that Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, be the friend of outcasts, etc. (cf. Micah 5:2f; 4:6, Isa 61:1-2). This was also emphasized in Luke 14: and 15:1. The rich man rejected that truth also. He was too good to be the friend of outcasts.
  • The rich man knew his brothers weren’t paying attention to the OT scriptures either and thought they would be convinced if Lazarus came back from the grave. In fact, there was a man named Lazarus who was raised from the dead in John’s gospel. (This is the only parable in which a character is named and I’m certain Jesus did so because he knew he would raise Lazarus.4) It did not convince them. They wanted to kill him again. Jesus was also raised from the dead, and they were not convinced.
  • Rich man knew Lazarus in real life (we know that because he knew his name in heaven) but he ignored him.
  • Treatment of Lazarus on earth revealed the rich man’s true relationship to God. 
  •  

The Principles

 

    Catholic principles

     

There is an immediate consciousness after death. 

Post death destinies are irreversible. There is no purgatory where you wait until your relatives bail you out.

    Charismatic principles:

     

Signs are never a guaranteed cure for unbelief. If your heart is not open to the word of God now, a supernatural experience won’t help. That is what John Wimber and those in the signs and wonders movement are looking for - signs to make people believe. They have actually said, “If we can only get someone to come back from the dead...” My question is how many do we need? If it did happen, even true believers would be skeptical.

Faith comes by hearing and believing the word of God. Not from seeing miracles. Jesus said, “They have the law and the prophets...”


    Christian Principles

     

     

  • True religion demands social compassion. We need to evaluate our attitudes towards those in need. It reveals our status and relationship with God. The problem with most evangelicals is that they have over reacted against the liberal “social gospel.”
  • The realities of the after-life include torment and blessing. Not annihilation or neutrality. Some people today are teaching a doctrine of annihilation.
  • Disappointment and disease are not necessarily a sign of God’s displeasure.
  • We need to evaluate our attitude towards wealth. What are we depending on? Do we think being rich means we are right with God? We need to worry more about eternity.
  • God’s word is our source of information. It is enough, don’t look for supernatural signs.
  • The decisions of this life are final and determinative. There are no second chances where heaven is concerned.
  • Luke 16 is not just about money or wealth. That is what everyone labels it. But when you really understand the chapter the key element in both the parables is personal relationships. With the parable of the steward the issue was making friends for eternity which would fall under the heading of evangelism. With this philosophy one of the most worthwhile things you can give to is missions. When you give a donation to sending Bibles to India or China or sending missionaries out, you are making friends for eternity. I have to wonder if when we all get to heaven if people saved through the ministry of some missionary are going to find the ones who supported the missionaries financially and say thank you. Ray Boltz has a song entitled Thank You where this guy gets to heaven and all these people come up to him and thank him for the time he took to teach Sunday school where they first heard the gospel.... Maybe God will give us the knowledge of all who contributed to our salvation so we can thank those that allowed themselves to be used by God. Think of the joy that will bring to you when someone comes to you and says, I wouldn’t be here without your help. Thank you so much!
  • In the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, the rich man should have used his money to help Lazarus. But he only used his money for his own enjoyment. It says in vs. 19 that he dressed in the latest and best fashions and spent all his money on partying and buying expensive things for himself. Since Lazarus was the righteous one in the story, it is not about evangelism, it is about edification. It is about what the rich man should have done to build Lazarus up. He should have tried to help Lazarus.
  • If you remember the summary of the parabolic sayings, the last two were about the dragnet and the householder. Those two parabolic sayings emphasized the disciple’s responsibility for evangelism and edification. We see the same theme repeated here.
  • Both stories are really about whether or not we love others. One of the barometers of how we love is how we spend our money. The question to ask ourselves is - Who do I love? The answer can be found by going through our check register. 


4 Some argue that this is not a parable because a character is named. But those who argue thus do not understand that minor variations from the literary motif do not mean it is not a parable. The variation is there to emphasize something. In this case it draws attention to Lazarus who was raised.

~~~~~~~~~

As promised, more Whitecross.    This band was a favorite of my kids and their friends and the teens I taught in youth group back in the 1990's.   It was one of the few great Christian rock bands I did NOT get a chance to see live back then so I am hoping to catch them on tour when they have finished their new album and tour.    Ladies and gentlemen, Whitecross jams out (one with Spanish subtitles)!



And one calling for you to come and walk with us...

1 comment:

Anonymous whatsit said...

Some observations:

1. Radar, you seem to think that atheists are not capable of being part of a loving family, or of forgiveness, or of having a nice evening out with family and friends. Looking around my circle of friends, most of whom are atheists and some agnostic, I can assure you that the opposite is true.

This is all part of your attempt to make atheists seem sub-human, in other words to demonize them.

You might want to search your heart for the Christian qualities of forgiveness and neighborly love that you keep talking about and try to put it into practice more. Otherwise you run a real risk of coming across as a self-righteous hypocrite.

2. Atheism does not equal atheopathy. Atheists don't believe that God exists. An atheopath, by definition, hates God and would therefore believe that God exists. I can imagine that that would be a very disturbing worldview. All the atheists that I know have no qualms about dismissing the existence of God as a possibility, and guess what? They are all well-balanced individuals, happily married, forming loving families, leading productive lives.

Their atheism is not an attempt to remove a constraint so they can then lead an utterly immoral life. They have simply looked at the world as it is, looked at the explanations that religion has to offer, and concluded that it's insufficient.

We are not demons, and if you met any one of us in the street, you might well get along with us.