Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Q1 The God Who Is vs The God We Might Think Would

10 Sincere Questions.

Please see the series introduction here.

Question 1:
Why would a truly all-encompassing, all-powerful, capital-G god need to condescend to hatching a scheme to get himself sacrificed in the form of a man in order to "forgive" humanity? It seems to me that these are the actions of a lowercase-g god.
If God really had the need to see the sins of humanity "placed" on himself, couldn't he have done it without playing out a strange little story here on Earth? As far as I can see, for every reason that can be given, there would be a way for God to accomplish those same ends without making himself seem so small and petty.
This question was asked by Kaelyn N. I will have to take her word for it that this is significant to her with regard to her coming to faith in Christ or rejecting Him. This is the first question anyone has posed since I have been asking for them.

Rejection of God is often caused by a fundamental misunderstanding about the nature of God. People think of God as a fairy tale and pay attention to the details about Him with as little concern as they would about the details of a character in such a tale. Then because their fairy tale version of God doesn't make sense to their intellect they simply reject Him. This is almost always a convenient misunderstanding for the person who does not want to worship God. Sometimes it is a sincere misunderstanding which is fostered by fairy tale Christendom being so popular in the media and sadly in many church buildings.
1Jn 1:5This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.

Let's assume the confusion is sincere and go through it to see if there are reasonable answers available for Kaelyn. My idea here is to answer completely, but briefly. Should deeper discussion be required we can do that in comments.
Why would a truly all-encompassing, all-powerful, capital-G god need to condescend to hatching a scheme to get himself sacrificed in the form of a man in order to "forgive" humanity?
While God is "all-powerful" He is not "all-encompassing" for He is light and in Him there is no darkness. (1Jn 1:5) it is clear from the Scriptures that He does not encompass sin or sinners or anything that is unrighteous whatsoever. What fellowship does light have with the darkness? (2Cor 6:14)

God doesn't "need" anything. As the Creator of all things (John 1) He is necessarily self-sufficient. God does not "need" but He does desire all to be saved. (1Tim 2:4; 2Pet 3:9)

Also God did not "hatch" anything to accomplish His desire. To "hatch" something implies, or necessitates rather, that it is a new plan which has come about within Time/History. The purpose of God that Christ would die for our sins, be buried and rise again the third day, didn't come about within Time/History. This was determined in Eternity Past - that is outside of our Space/Time Universe and logically (not actually chronologically) before Creation. (Tit 1:2)

This was accomplished according to God's determinate counsel and foreknowledge, it was not a "scheme." (Acts 2:22-24) He did not "get Himself" sacrificed He in fact sacrificed Himself. (Isa 53)

He did however condescend to accomplish this. The Creator of the Universe condescended to come in humility as a flesh & blood human man. He who was rich became poor so that we could become rich. (2Cor 8:9) This is the great enigma for religious and prideful man. What King would become a peasant for me?

God isn't the megalomaniac of atheism fair tales. He isn't a bully or power mad. He is is morally perfect, humble, self-sacrificing, and loving.

I'm not sure why Kaelyn puts quotations around the word forgive. It is almost as though she thinks that humans don't need to be forgiven. We were created, given life, fellowship with Holy God, and a beautiful universe to live in and take care of. Instead we wanted more. We believed a lie and thought we could make ourselves like God. We submitted to the enemy of our souls instead of to God. Adam did this in the beginning and we each do the very same thing in our own lives.

We took was was perfect and poisoned it intentionally (Gen 1-3) and none of us since have done any better than Adam did. (Rom 3:9-20)
It seems to me that these are the actions of a lowercase-g god.
Satan wanted to make himself like the Most High because of pride. He saw God's power and thought that is what defined Him. This is the same bait that Satan gave Adam & Even in the garden. Lower case g gods, that is idols who are not gods at all, need to oppress in order to impress. People server their lower case g gods to the end of themselves. Money, lust... people give up their lives in pursuit and service to them. In the end these idols can give nothing back. All they can do is take a person's life away. God is not like them at all.
If God really had the need to see the sins of humanity "placed" on himself, couldn't he have done it without playing out a strange little story here on Earth? As far as I can see, for every reason that can be given, there would be a way for God to accomplish those same ends without making himself seem so small and petty.
God didn't need anything, as we have now already discussed. We need our sins placed on Someone who had no sin of their own who could pay for our sin and take it away. God knew our need, and Him fulfilling our need expresses His humble, self-sacrificing, and loving nature in a way that excludes any other from trying to pretend they are like Him. The purposes of God are accomplished by this strange story. Man is free to love or not to love, God is shown to be perfectly righteous, perfectly just, and perfectly loving. His glory is manifest for all to see and He gets to fellowship with those who will love Him not just with robots He has programmed to act like they love Him.

The "strange little story" is a infinitely specific set of information which was foretold and accomplished exactly in accordance with that foretelling. In types, pictures, and explicitly stated the Christ was explained ahead of time so that when He came at the appointed day (yes the very day April 6th AD32) He would be unmistakeable to any who had taken the very little trouble of reading the Scriptures. Those there on that day were without excuse the same as we today are without excuse because of how clearly God has demonstrated Himself through this "strange little story."

People call God "small and petty" because they don't understand Him, they don't understand themselves, and they don't understand sin.

One single lie which was designed to inspire a man to desire to become more than he was already is the reason cancer kills people, the reason cars rust, the reason ALS exists, the reason why children suffer.... and so on and so on. (Gen 3)This just scratches the surface of why lying is atrocious.

Lying is truly evil because Holy God, that is "Perfect God", cannot lie.  Yet we lie without thinking about it. I have heard thousands of individuals tell me that "everybody lies." That's a cool phrase when Dr. House utters it on TV but it is a disgusting truth when we realize it is true of mankind who is suffering because of one single lie even today. We play in the poison that is killing us and call it normal. God cannot lie, and will have no fellowship with liars. (Tit 1:2; Rev 21:8)

Do we call the local judge "small and petty" for exacting justice against murders? Liars are no better than the worst murder. Sin is evil. The wages of sin - that is what you earn for sinning - is death.

WE NEED our sin to be born away from us. WE NEED to be saved from the just judgment of our sinful practices that we all do.

How can we call the perfectly righteous God "small and petty" when He humbles Himself to pay the price we cannot pay and to do it in the complete open where all can see so that we who deserve nothing but death for our murderous ways may have life?
Rom 5:6-11For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

Kaelyn the God who is, is not very much like the god that atheism argues against. He is not like the god we hear about from talking heads on CNN, or the god we hear about in popular TV shows, or even in the anti-Creation books by the most popular authors. He is however completely unique in His perfection and power - yet He condescended to become a man to WILLINGLY take on your guilt and shame, die in your place the death that you deserve in accordance with the Scriptures, was buried, and rose again the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. (1Cor 15:1-11)

This happened exactly as the Scriptures required and foretold, completely out in the open for all to see, so that you are without excuse if you reject it.

Today is the day of salvation Kaelyn. Humble yourself. Agree with God about your sin (repent) and believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ whose death on the Cross has been accepted as payment for your sins so that God would be just and the justifier of you if you believe on Him. (Rom 3:21-26)

You can can perfect standing before Holy God based on what He has done, and there is no other way this could have been accomplished or ever will there be.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

10 Sincere Questions From Those Who Do Not Believe in Christ the Lord

I'm seeking 10 questions to answer. Here is what I wrote in a Facebook group I frequent.

I am looking for 10 sincere questions that matter significantly from those who do not believe in Christ the Lord, Creator of everything which has been created.
I am not looking for debate. By entering your question you are already stating that you don't have faith in Christ, you don't have to convince me further.
I am also not looking for questions that don't significantly matter to you as you consider whether Christ is Lord or not.
As I am able I will pick 10 questions which I believe are sincere and matter to the subject for the one asking it and answer them individually.
I have been in the work of street evangelism since the spring of 2006 after it dawned on me that sinners were not actually attracted to Christ by clever church signs and warm handshakes at the door. These things have their place, but the command of the Great Commission is to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. In this work I have had thousands of personal conversations with people of all walks of life, from politicians and rich men, to beggars; from philosophers and science instructors to lay persons; from muslims and roman catholics to new agers. Over these years I have heard many many sincere questions, and many many more cleverly devised or adopted objections.
I don't know if I've "heard it all" but I've heard a lot of it.
As I pick these 10 questions from the submissions - should any be presented - I will be making a blog series and I will post the individual answers here as well.
So if you have a sincere question please ask it. If you want to debate there are probably discussions here which are more suited to that.
Looking forward to reading these! BTW don't be shy if you think your question is too easy or too hard. Just be sincere.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

I'm thinking about answering questions I find from Agnostics

The whole Calvinism debate thing really tired me out from blogging, but I miss it now. I miss it a lot. So I think I'll start a series answering questions that I find from Agnostics. I suspect no one is even checking the blog any more but that's OK. Ya'll come back!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Waddya Got to Prove Anyway?

Is Atheism a lack of belief which
makes no claims and so has no burden of proof?
What about Christianity? Do we, as Christians, have
a burden of proof? Is it wise to try to prove God?

If you have never been mocked by a fool, you have never preached the Gospel to the masses. 
Over the past few months I've run into more and more self proclaimed Atheists on Twitter who are militant activists going around nagging Christians and spewing anti-Christ hate.

They are almost always elitist in attitude and yet (seemingly) never able address an argument as it is made. They dodge, use Ad Hominem, and Straw-Men but never seem to actually engage the real arguments.

When pressed about their belief or position they claim to have no belief or position. They quote Richard Dawkins who has a clever system to define Atheism in such a way that you get to keep the title Atheist without actually saying saying that God doesn't exist.

This position is justified by ignoring the philosophical definition of Atheism and Atheist, and adding a descriptive in front of the title which determines the knowledge level of the belief. They say that an Gnostic Atheist knows there is not God and therefore does not believe in Him. They say that an Agnostic Atheist doesn't know if there is a God, but still doesn't believe in Him. They say that Atheism speaks of belief, not knowledge. Therefore, these militant Twitter Atheists normally are the Agnostic Atheists, they "lack a belief" or so they say.

They want to claim the title Atheist but they don't want to have to defend it.

It has been said by Christian Apologists that when the Atheist claims to have a "lack of belief" in God that they are actually making a claim that to lack a belief in God is possible. Such a claim would stand in opposition to what Romans 1:18-23 says:
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
So Scripture says all men know God exists, and that they know about Him from what He has revealed through Creation.

An argument about whether they know God exists often ensues when the Apologist brings up Romans 1.  Often the Apologist can simply quote the Atheist back to him or her. Often in 1 on 1 conversations with Atheists they will blame God for things that have happened in their life, or in the lives of others. This reveals their true knowledge and disposition. Other times they will simply be filled with open hate for Him and quoting them on the subject shows that they do in fact hate Him. Since you cannot hate something you don't believe exists this generally proves that the Atheist does in fact have a belief in God.

But what if they don't manifest hate so openly that you can quote it back to them? Are they right? Do they really lack a belief in God?

Well the answer gets quite complicated, but, the short answer is no. The long answer includes a discussion of what it means that the "god of this age" has blinded the minds of those who disbelieve. In short, when one disbelieves the Gospel the god of this age, Satan, then blinds their minds because God has turned them over to a reprobate mind. Rom 1:18-32; 2Cor 4:3-4 They haven't always been blinded, but those who have willfully disbelieved are now. It is not that they lack a belief, but they have disbelieved and now have been blinded.

This brings us to another topic they tend not to like. What you do has consequences. If you receive general revelation (the revelation God has given through Creation) God shall give you more, and more, specific revelation. He will go so far as to send and Evangelist to wherever you are in the world or History. If you reject it, He will let you reject it and let you suffer the consequences of doing so.

The Atheists try to twist this into God playing favourites, or this being some sort of way for the Christian to try to get out of having a burden of proof. But think of it this way. If you don't pass High School you don't get into University. It IS that simple, but it is actually even simpler. If you refuse to accept what is obvious and what anyone can understand so that you can continue to blaspheme God then He has no reason to send you more. You are without excuse, you choose to refuse God, and so you have it the way you wanted it.

So be careful what you choose to do with the evidence you do have. If you are shown something that is evidence for God and you immediately go looking for any answer - no matter how valid or invalid - to give you an excuse for not believing it then don't be surprised if you can't seem to find any evidence for God after that. You refused, and now you have been turned over to your own sin. That sin will drag you to Hell unless you repent.

Last year I did an article entitled The Drawing of God which was focused on the Reformed movement, but it may be helpful for this topic as well.

Atheists expect Christians to be ever present trying to reach them. They act like the prettiest girl in school who thinks the whole world revolves around her. Atheists expect to Christians to answer every contrived argument they come up with and to keep doing so over and over again no matter if the atheist engages with any level of intellectual integrity or not. Well Christian, if you are playing along with that you're not doing them any service nor are you engaged in Evangelism. You've simply become an entertainment system for the perishing fool on their way to the Lake of Fire. If they disbelieve that is their decision and they are responsible for it.
Is the Atheist responsible to what Scripture says?
The Bible says what it says, and and it is absolutely true. No matter if it is speaking on science, belief, or anything else. Does the idea that Atheists don't believe the Bible excuse them from all of this? Well Romans 1 says that they are without excuse. Are they really? Can we prove they are?

Enter the Kalaam Cosmological Argument. It's a simple argument. Simple to state. Simple to understand. If it were not true, it would also be simple to falsify.

Here it is:
Premise 1: All things which begin to existence are caused to come into existence.  
Premise 2: The universe began to exist. 
Therefore: The universe was caused to come into existence. 
We know Premise 1 is true to a very high degree of probability, so high as to realize that it is beyond absurd to presume it is not true. We know this inductively. Everything we have ever seen come into existence was caused to come into existence by something or someone else.

We know Premise 2 is true through deductive, and scientific evaluation. This has been proved repeatedly, and every theory to the contrary has failed testing with the Scientific Method. This is even true for a theorized Multiverse, if that were to exist.

Since we know both premises are true, and the conclusion necessarily follows from the premises, then we know that the Universe had a cause.

The real question is does each person have awareness of this fact? Yes, of course! We know this inductively. The universe is aging and wearing out. Things that age and wear out all had a beginning. If something is wearing out, it cannot have existed forever because it would have worn out all ready. Entropy is something no created thing can overcome.

To argue against the Universe having a Creator or Cause would require a deductive argument that overcomes millennia of observations which support that it does have a Cause.

Therefore the universe was caused, and we know it to such a high degree of probability that we are without excuse.
If someone has rejected all the evidence around them, and this evidence is so obvious that they are without excuse for rejecting it, it is not reasonable to simply pile more evidence up for them to reject. 
God says that if they reject the evidence they are given that He turns them over to a reprobate mind. Why would we try to do what God will not do? I say don't do it!

BUT is this just a cop-out? Is this a way for Christians to get out of answering tough questions? Apparently not, because there are many Christian's who are scientists doing amazing work answering the toughest questions and making accurate predictions where secular scientists are failing. The 1984 prediction of the planetary magnetic field strengths by Dr. Russell Humphreys is just one example of this.

We're not ducking the questions and we are engaged in hard science and vigorously test our ideas and theories by the Scientific Method.
If Christianity is true, then God reveals Himself.

Here's the thing; if Christianity is true then God really does reveal Himself. Then He really does convince and convict sinners of Sin, Righteousness, and Judgment. Then He really does tell the truth in His Word.

When the Christian reduces God to a theory to be proven he does two terrible things. He tries to usurp God's authority in revealing Himself, AND he starts with the premise that God not existing is a reasonable idea.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence? 

Which is more extraordinary; to claim that God created the Universe and revealed Himself through the Scripture, History, and the Lord Jesus Christ, OR that the Universe which we know to have a beginning was uncaused, that established scientific laws which govern things like Abiogenesis, thermal dynamics, entropy, information and more were all violated by an uncreated universe and evolution?

I like how this video puts it: At least with Magic you have "magic" as an explanation.



Creation reveals the Creator; whether Atheists like Him or not. The only thing the Christian Evangelist ought to focus on is introducing people to the Creator. It is perfectly reasonable to consider the question of Who this Creator is. We see that through out History He has revealed Himself in various ways. In our age He has given His Son. We are to be like Paul, proving from the Scripture how that Christ must suffer, die, be buried, and rise again the third day. Having done this we are to show that Jesus is this Christ and that God has through His own Son provided for the reconciliation of the world back to Himself.

Those who insist on the claim that there is no evidence, or refuse to honestly examine the evidence, cannot be won over by more evidence which they will only ignore. Beloved Christian, you need not "prove" anything to the Unbeliever. You do not bear the "burden of proof." God does, and He has explained how He reveals Himself and who He will allow to be blinded.

Unbelievers need the conviction of Scripture.

Rom 10:17

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Amber Strikes Back

This is a follow up to the article titled The Fruit of Believing a False Gospel and Refusing Answers

Amber responded to that article with an article of his own.

BEFORE I START: This is written very quickly as I am preparing a teaching package for a weekend conference. The grammar will, without doubt, be horrendous. If this means to you that I am not to be taken seriously then laugh all you like. Just don't think this gives you an excuse to disbelieve in God.


Amber's description of me is amusing. I would be surprised if the two of us could not be friends (of some sort) in real life. He complains about my use of " LOL!!!!" which was a reaction to absurd tweets of his over our conversation of a few days. It apparently had the intended effect.

Amber's first premise is that he, as an Atheist, IS interested in evidence. This is of course in opposition to my premise that this is not the case. The speed with which Amber was able to answer the multitude of evidence sources I offered belies the truth of the situation. Amber isn't interested in evidence, he is skilled at finding things that claim to be refutations of evidence. It is not physically possible that Amber evaluated very much of the evidence I shared with him at all and also evaluated whether the sources he cites were actual refutations of the evidence provided. He simply searched his resource for things that claimed to be refutations.



This is not the behaviour of one who is interested in evidence at all. This is the behaviour of protectionism. This is the behaviour of one who is desperate to maintain the appearance of being correct, not the behaviour of one who wants to know the truth.

Amber then responds to my assertion that he was not in fact born again. He first says that I was correct in my assessment but then later writes as if he disagrees with me. The fact is that being "born again", or regenerated, is a meta-physical change that happens to those who believe the Gospel. If Amber thinks this does not actually happen, then he must agree that he was never actually born again.  Though his conversion story did not include any details that remotely relate to the Doctrine of Salvation, Amber now (after having read the linked article) includes information that at least in spots does line up with what Scripture says. It is however easy to answer a question when you know the "right" answer to give. 


Amber then brings up his dislike of how God handled the Canaanites. He claims that God ending a civilization that practiced the laying of babies and young children on heated metal idols to cook them to death as being an evil act by God.

Amber says that there are things that context cannot fix. I do not see anything broken. If you have trouble with God punishing those who cook babies to death then I think that speaks of you more than it does of God.

Amber then talks about how he doesn't accept that we are depraved from birth. He doesn't like my challenge to find a perfect man... So I'll lower the standard for Amber, just for Amber though... because I like him. One wonders if my repeated use of three periods in a row also bugs Amber. Hrmm?

Amber, find a child who had to be taught to lie, cheat, steal, be violent, and so on... The truth is if a 2 year old had the strength of an adult we would have to lock him or her up to protect society from the menace. 


Amber then takes issue with my response to him about the Atonement that Christ accomplished with His death, burial, and resurrection. 
Kevin missed the point of the injustice I tried to highlight in this section, so I’ll state it more plainly. Consider two men. One is an old man who spent his entire life causing serious harm: rape, murder, the worst of the worst. The other is a normal young man in his twenties that tried, and succeeded, to avoid causing serious harm. Now, the old man becomes a true Christian, dies and gets rewarded. The young man does not become a true Christian, dies, and get punished. That is devoid of justice.
The old man's sin was fully and completely paid for. Justice was served for it. The young man's harm, no matter how insignificant it is to a man who is hardly even aware of it remains unpaid for. Just like in our justice systems here on Earth - if the fine is paid you go free, if it isn't you go to jail.

You may not think that a lie is a terrible thing, but Amber you are in danger of eternal judgment because you refuse to take the salvation that is freely available to you, and why? Because you choose to believe lies. You may not think lies are serious now, but like the rich man who found himself in Hell there is coming a time when you will take them very seriously. There is coming a time when you would do anything to have someone warn the people you love. The staggering answer to that desire will be no different than what the rich man heard: they have all the evidence they need, if they refuse it they are themselves responsible. Luke 16:19-31

Next for Amber is the doctrine of Heaven and Hell. He does not seem to appreciate my interaction with the subject. He quotes an analogy of mine, and claims to like it. One assumes that he likes it because he feels he can insert the following into it:

Perhaps the analogy is weak due to the missing context. For it to be a better reflection of what is actually going on, we must consider the following: 1) the judge wrote the law himself, 2) the judge made the law impossible for anyone to follow, 3) the judge created the criminal organisation [SIC] in which the law-breaker was born and raised, and 4) the judge is the father of the law-breaker.
1 - yes the Judge wrote the Law Himself. You know what a Law does? It informs the potential Criminal of what is disallowed, and what the cost of violation is. God didn't just write the knowledge of Good and Evil in a book, He wrote it on your heart Amber. When you do evil you know it is evil. Because God has done this for you, you are without excuse. Romans 2:12-16

2 - The Judge Himself came and lived as a man and fulfilled the whole Law. The Law is not impossible to keep. It is impossible for an evil man to keep God's Law.

3 - The Judge did not create the evil organization. God created Man in His own image. Man had the freedom to live in innocence or to try to live by his own standards. Man choose his own way because the Devil lied to him. The very first murder in all of History was perpetrated with a weapon known as a lie Amber. Man was created innocent and free. Man choose evil and bondage. Have you chosen any differently Amber?

4 - the Judge is not the father of the law-breaker. The law-breaker is the child of Satan. John 8:37-47

Amber says:
In other words, the judge is responsible for the unfortunate situation that the law-breaker finds himself in.
Nope. The Judge is responsible for providing the only way out of this unfortunate situation. He didn't have to. He didn't cause the problem. He is the like the earthly father, who is also a judge let's say, who lets his son drive the family car after making sure the son knew the rules. The son goes out and breaks the rules and finds himself in trouble with the law. The father didn't get the son in trouble with the law. The father is a judge and responsible for the law (I am TRYING to follow Amber's attempt at rebut...), and responsible for the existence of the son, but he is not responsible for the son's law-breaking: THE SON IS RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS OWN SIN.

Amber complained about how terrible it was to put the sins of the father on the son in his previous article. Isn't interesting how he thinks it is OK to put the sins of the son on the father though.

Amber then claims that I overstated his suffering. Perhaps, but I doubt it for some reason. No, not because Amber is a pathological liar, but because IMO his responses come from pain and emotion not rationality.

Yet he makes a very true statement: 

I now think that Christianity failed me, and that Christianity fails full stop, but as a Christian I never once thought this.
I believe, strongly, in the corruption of the Christian testimony; how that the Church Which is His Body, will loose its testimony to worldliness and false doctrine more and more over time. The false Christianity that Amber was exposed to cannot help but fail. He notes many things about different denominations, and one cannot argue. Christendom (all people who think they are Christians or call themselves Christians) grows more and more evil daily.

Amber moves on to say that my assertion that he hates God is false. He says he hates religion and whatnot... I'll let Amber's own testimony speak for itself. OK I'll add one thing. If Amber truly hated all the things that he claims to hate he would argue against those things, not against God.

Under the title of "The Joys of Atheism" Amber quotes the late Christopher Hitchens. 

“Take the risk of thinking for yourself, much more happiness, truth, beauty, and wisdom will come to you that way” – Christopher Hitchens
Yet when he offers answers to the evidence I shared with him he doesn't once think for himself. I doubt he even looked at all the evidence I shared. I know that I gave him more than he could have physically viewed in so little time, let alone honestly evaluate them.

No, instead of thinking for himself Amber did what all people are prone to do. He received a challenge and searched his resources for any potential answer to the challenge. Christians do this too. There is even wisdom in using someone else's answers, but ONLY if you have carefully evaluated them to ensure they are actually reliable (they address the real arguments, and the actually rebut them.... among other criteria).

Amber is far from the first Atheist I have ever interacted with. It would be wrong for me to paint him with the same brush (as it were) but I can comment that his argumentation is not unique or remarkable. I am not trying to be dismissive, I'm trying to be real. However, this may be a distinction without a difference.

Under the title "Historically Accurate" Amber demonstrates his ability to inaccurately quote those he disagrees with and then argues against the strawman he created instead of what I wrote. I'm going to quote almost this entire section. 

Weirdly, Kevin lists historians of the time—Josephus, Tacitus, Suetonius, Julius Africanus, Origen, and Pliny the Younger—in this section on Daniel’s prophesy. All of these historians were born after Christ’s supposed crucifixion, so I’m not sure of the relevance. Unless Kevin is saying that they specifically reference Daniel’s prophesy, which I highly doubt. 
Kevin also claims that all historians at the time wrote about Jesus. Let’s forget about the fact that none of them were even born before Jesus died. The more pertinent question is why were there not hundreds of historians, during Jesus’s lifetime, documenting His every word and action, to prove his historicity? Why have a handful of scholars write about him after he had died?
Here is what he is talking about:
Extra Biblical References to Jesus at this TimeJosephus, Tacitus, Suetonius, Julius Africanus, Origen, and Pliny the Younger.
Not just some of the historians, but every one of them that wrote about this area at this time.
I didn't say that these ancient historians lived at the time of Jesus but that they give reference to Him there at that time. In fact they do confirm the Biblical record. Here is ONE article and ANOTHER article which goes into deep detail about these things.

Instead of dealing with the fact that every ancient historian writing about this period and area puts Jesus there and then doing the things that the Scriptures say He must do, and actually did Amber chooses to distort what I said and argue against his distortion instead of the actual substance of the claim. If there was only a term for that kind of behaviour.

Amber offers several links to failed prophecies from the Bible. I've looked at these things before. Should I say that you said something that didn't happen and so you are a failed prophet I would have to be sure that's what you said not just what I said you said. I'm not sure I've ever said the word said that many times in my mind ever before, as I just said it.

*Update: It should be noted that I did not examine each of the links Amber provided on the subject of failed prophecy in the Bible, even though I have commented on his use of them. Keeping with the subject of Daniel it is irrefutable that the book was written prior to the events it describes and that it accurately describes those events including the (future at the time of the writing) history of the Gentile world. There are some 300 prophecies of Christ many very specific and some typological which were written hundreds and thousands of years before He lived here on Earth which were fulfilled. There are yet future events still in prophecy which have not yet happened. Some call this a failure by default, but the Scripture is not silent on the order of events so it is clear there is no failure. Twisting the Scripture to make it say what it does not and then showing how that failed is not a valid form of argumentation. I don't know if that is the tactic all the links Amber shared take or not, I did not visit them all. However, this is the pattern and my response to Amber was not intended to include refutations of all his links.  If my main premise - that Amber is not interested in evidence after all - is correct (and I believe it has been shown to be so) then spending time and effort on this would simply be a waste. I already know the answer and the answers are freely available for anyone who will look past their atheistic sources.

Amber disputes the heptadic structure of the Scriptures. They are freely available for anyone to look at. Ad hominem against Chuck Missler doesn't invalidate the fact of how the Scriptures are written. I challenged Amber to produce a similar document. I guess he choose to insult Chuck instead.

Amber says that "many of" The Scientific Facts and Concepts in the Bible which were written hundreds and thousands of years before they were "discovered" are unconvincing because they are not specific enough for him. Does this mean that some where specific enough? Interestingly Amber chooses the weakest example to attempt a rebut and even this weak point he is only able to describe as unconvincing to him.

Under the title "No Contradictions" Amber writes:

I made the claim that even if all contradictions could be solved satisfactorily, Christians must, at least, agree that the bible is ambiguous.
The Bible is not ambiguous, as I demonstrated in the previous article. Strangely though he then accuses me: 
Lastly, I submit that Kevin himself is bigoted towards gay people, and uses the bible as justification. The evidence for this is the fact that he recommened that I read the divisive book, A Queer Thing Happened To America: And What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been, by Michael Brown.
Ad hominem aside... I am "bigoted" because I recommended a book that explains how the popular opinions of the public in North America were manipulated? Yes Amber, I link to a dictionary because words have meanings. I know that you enjoy using Dawkins' redefinitions of Atheism and Agnosticism, but I tend to use the plain meanings of words. At least as much as I am able to do. How am I being intolerant of anyone by linking to that book?

Amber is not sure if the manuscript evidence I cited for the New Testament is accurate or not. Here ya go Amber. You can make up stories about how the Text has changed all you want, but I can simply look at the manuscripts and see that it has not.

Amber then gives a number of links in response to the links I provided. You can look at them if you like or not.. it doesn't matter to me. The evidence for God is plain and on display. You can spend your life trying to find ways to ignore it, or you can open your eyes. It's truly up to you.

In conclusion I stand my my previous assertions. Amber was never really Born Again (regenerated), or if he was (and perhaps he was given his late testimony) he was born among the thorns and was choked out by religion instead of being nourished. Mat 13:5-6 I don't think this is the case, but it is possible. Further I stand by the assertion that Amber is not interested in evidence. He did not even consider the evidence I provided him, though he did read at least some of it.

Amber finishes with:

Lastly, in Kevin’s conclusion he said something that saddened me, “I will not be debating, or allowing the debate of, the existence of God. There is no debate, and I won’t blaspheme God by pretending that there is.”Certainty, and the refusal to even evaluate answers, should sound alarm bells. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Do so always, and do not stop.
I am able to critically examine all things without having to endure endless insult by those who have no intention of doing likewise. If an Atheist were to say that they don't believe that God exists but that they want to explore the possibility I would work with that person to see that they had the opportunity to evaluate the evidence. Letting people post links to things they have not carefully considered themselves, while they expect me to rebut every word of it is not reasonable.

Further, there is no debate. I know for a fact that you, Amber, are aware that there is a God and that you know many things about Him. Go make a blog about how you don't believe in purple squirrels and I'll take you more seriously.

You say that people don't claim that a purple squirrel exists so you don't blog about that. Well, isn't it interesting that you don't have some title that says you disbelieve people's claims, but instead you choose the title Atheist. You talk about God and your denial of Him. Your hate for Him, your focus on Him, and the effort you invest in all of this belies your true motives. 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Fruit of Believing a False Gospel and Refusing Answers

I tweeted this with the intention of
being funny, but Amber thought it wasn't smart.
UPDATE: Amber, the person whose experience I am discussing in this article has responded with a blog post of his own. A link to this has been provided at the bottom of the article. I would prefer if readers would read this article first.

The Apostle Paul authored the letter to the Galatians with the intent of protecting those Believers and other people from the fruit of false gospels. Such gospels are lies from the enemy of our souls who steals away the seed of God's word and blinds the minds of those who disbelieve lest they might be saved.

Today I'm going to go over the "conversion story" of a false convert and we'll get to see the fruit of a false gospel; the horrendous pain, suffering, and anti-God witness it brings. The man who's story this is believes he was a true Christian, because no one ever told him what a Christian actually is. Sadly, his experience as a false convert among preachers of a false gospel has led him to believe that Christianity is a farce. So, I assume, he has gravitated to and accepted the teachings of men who ease his fears with devious arguments. He believes them because he has to. What else is there? In his mind he's tried being a Christian and that just didn't work. So these men who hate Christianity and speak clever but devious and false,arguments against God, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Bible must be true. 


When engaging people about the existence of God you should never, ever, let God be treated like a scientific theory. Not only is He real, He is a person. You wouldn't debate the theoretical existence of a family member in the next room, you would introduce them. As we saw in a previous article, the person who takes the title Atheist normally isn't going to be persuaded by evidence because they are biased against any source you will give them. They need to meet Christ. They don't need "evidence" they need to repent. There is a multitude of evidence of course. Yet it is common for the Atheist to say "there is no evidence of God!" Why do they say that? Are they correct? Of course not. They say that because the only evidence they will accept is that which eases their consciences. There are endless excuses, fallacious attacks, and rabbit trails employed daily by Atheists trying their very best not to see the evidence of God all around them.

I will be linking to evidence, argument, and answers throughout this article which directly relate to the person's complaints, concerns, and assertions. I am confident that the person will accept none of them. I restate: what I have learned is that no matter what the Atheist says, they don't want or even need evidence. They need to meet Christ, and that is done by the Scriptures and through the convicting and convincing work of God the Holy Spirit. The only thing in this article that has any hope of reaching this dear soul is the Scripture that I will quote and reference. Yet I will provide the evidence as well.

I want to be clear here. I am not an expert in every area that I will attempt to speak on. I will have to link to material which has been produced by people who are experts in those areas. It is not a failing on the Believer's part, or a weakness of their position, or even an indication that God does not exist when we are not able to answer every question. That I don't have the answer doesn't mean the answer does not exist, and/or it cannot be discovered. Nonetheless, we shouldn't shy away from tough questions even if we as individuals only know a few answers. We also need to know that if a person refuses to accept a reasonable answer that is an indication of about their integrity, not an indication that the point we are making is not true. 


This brings me to an interesting person. A husband of the love of his life who calls himself Amber Restorative. Amber is interesting in several ways. He is thoughtful, clever, and at times very honest. I learned today, the day after I originally published this article that he can be very likeable as well. (I am currently taking a quick pass at improving the grammar.) At other times he is abrasive, dismissive, unreasonable and fallacious in his argumentation.  He claims to be an Atheist who rejects that God exists (he claims there are kinds or levels of Atheism).

Amber tweeted me (on Twitter.com of course) to express his displeasure about a tweet of mine that included the image at the top of this article. He wanted to tell me that what it said wasn't smart. I thought it was funny, and I fully intend on using this line the next time someone tells me I have to prove God to them because they have a lack of belief in Him. Just to be funny. It's OK to be funny, and to be sarcastic with people who are unreasonable. They need to know they aren't pulling the wool over any one's eyes. 


We had a long discussion on Twitter over a period of days that I will spare everyone the details of. We eventually got to the point where Amber claimed he once was a "Born Again Christian" and had rejected it. He says he "divorced Jesus." So I asked Amber what made him think he had been Born Again and eventually twitter's 140 character limit became tedious.  So he pointed me to his blog where I could find an article titled Part I: On How I Became A Christian.  I found the article to be engaging, and even entertaining, while at the same time shockingly devoid of scholarship on subjects the author writes on with assumed authority. 


I'm going to ask you to read along as we go. As per normal when I'm interacting with someone else's text, I am going to quote a lot. However, I want you to see the full context of everything Amber wrote. It is only fair to the man that he be given a full hearing. He honestly believes he was what a Christian really is. I believe that he is sincere in that belief.

Before we get started!

I echo 1Tim 1:15 with all my heart!


This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.
I intend on taking Amber's article to task. I am not intending to "build bridges" but to reveal the truth of the experiences this dear soul has had, and the fallacies he is clinging to. I myself am a man of like passions! I too could just as easily rile against my Creator in anger and hate. I could justify my evil blaspheme and my evil desires by calling them normal. I have probably in my own life committed as much at least or more evil myself. 

Let's get going!

In the introduction Amber sets the stage with a bit of drama as he describes the moment he told his family that he had "accepted Jesus into [his] heart." He sets up the drama such that the family might have expected the big announcement was that he had impregnated his ex-girlfriend (who was holding his hand at the moment). He tells us he had never had sex with a female up to that point, even though he had had sexual encounters with a male.  He assures us that mutual masturbation with close boyhood friends is common, but that he had apparently gone beyond that. He calls the news he had to share with his family (of him accepting Jesus into his heart) "more sinister" than if he had had to tell them that he had impregnated the girl.

While the article carries a title that implies it is about how he came to be a Christian, it has precious little information about that subject. Instead, it seems, that Amber was unable to resist an opportunity to rage against the God he hates and make arguments against Him and those who are His. There are also several points where it seems Christians are being baited to jump on something he wrote, the introduction is only one of the more obvious points.

"You Stupid, Stupid Boy" (His title, NOT mine)

In this section we learn that he "divorced Jesus six years ago" which is not possible for someone who is actually Born Again.  Here are a number of passages to consider on that subject: Mat 28:20; Jn 1:12; Jn 3:16-18; Jn 5:24; Jn 6:35-40, 47, 54; Jn 10:27-28; Jn 14:2-3; Rom 6:5-10; Rom 8:1; Rom 8:35,38-39; 1Cor 6:19-20; 2Cor 1:21-22; 2Cor 5:5-8; Gal 2:20; Eph 1:13-14; Eph 4:22-24; 1Thes 4:13-18; Col 3:9-10; Phil 1:6; 2Tim 1:12; 2Tim 2:19; 2Tim 4:18; Heb 7:25; Heb 13:5; 1Pet 1:3-5; 1Jn 1:8 – 2:2; 1Jn 3:1-2; Jude 24-25


He notes that he felt free in his new life, but that he was still "shackled by indoctrinated dogma." Yet his new found freedom only led him to be indoctrinated with different dogma that was no better. Yet it was pleasurable for him to receive this new dogma, just like it was pleasurable for him to "accept Jesus into [his] heart."

Compare his description of some events from Amber's life:

Of his acceptance of Jesus into his heart

I found myself in a car, parked outside my house with her praying for me. The floodgates had opened, and I couldn’t control my emotions. I cried, and thought God is at work. The parallel to my father’s conversion didn’t escape me.
Of his father's experience of accepting Jesus into his heart:
One Sunday morning my father joined us for church—a rare occurrence—and halfway through the service he started crying. It had upset me at the time; my father never cried. I learned later that my father had been an atheist, and that he had prayed the night before, “I’m going to church tomorrow. If you’re real, prove it.” God’s proof was that my father—being a hard man—couldn’t contain his emotions and stop crying. I suspect my dad became a Christian for reasons similar to mine.
Now look at his experience of his acceptance of the likes of Christopher Hitchens into his heart (my description not his): 
...my chance discovery of the late—and great—Christopher Hitchens on YouTube. It was such a pleasure to listen to his reasoning as he debunked my remnant and bankrupt beliefs—imagine shackles hitting the floor.
These are emotional moments. They feel tremendously powerful at the time. I know because I had similar experiences long before I was actually saved. 


The relief from guilt is a powerful drug indeed. If you mix in appeasement it becomes almost irresistible. It is this emotional explosion that many people, including Amber, can interpret as God working in them. We are emotional beings who are subject to passions of the flesh. Perhaps this is one of many reasons why we are to critically examine all things and hold fast only that which is good (or true). 1Thess 5:21

Amber goes on to list Hitchens, Harris, Dawkins, Dennet and Dillahunty. He says: 

I’m just as fervent now as when I was a born-again Christian. Beliefs are important—they govern our actions—and it deserves contemplation.
Here are some videos to contemplate. What we believe does matter. If what one believes can be honestly, consistently, so thoroughly, and so easily refuted by simple examination one should not build their life on it. 

Of the time after he was exposed to the teachings of these men he writes:
With new-found clarity, I look back at the night where I willingly became a slave to God, and I can’t help but think you stupid, stupid boy. But of course, it makes perfect sense; I didn’t stand a chance.
He apparently asked Jesus into his heart, and willingly became a slave to God. This is how he explains "how I became a Christian." It is not shocking to me, as one who has spend the last 7 years now studying Soteriology, that a false gospel, an emotional experience, and bondage to bad doctrine and practice does not produce a truly Born Again Christian.

Lest any one reading miss the point. This is the NORMAL result of preaching a gospel which one might think is more effective than what we read in the Scriptures. I no longer have any resistance to obeying Gal 1:6-9 To fail to obey it is to put my mark of approval on men and women who inflict the kind of evil that this dear soul Amber has endured and continues to endure to this day.

He's right though. He didn't have a chance. We'll see near the end of this article exactly the situation the boy found himself in, and I struggle to imagine that I would have responded at all differently. One thing about religion, it sure attracts followers easily. It is a shame that religion eats it's followers and inoculates them against faith and truth. Of course I must recognize that Amber would not easily see the distinction between religion and what I preach.

Abraham's God 

The barbaric Old Testament is for the most part not relevant here, but its God is worth a quick mention, if for no other reason than to point out that believers often overlook—or worse, justify and accept—their Lord’s brutality. I did the same, and that is interesting, isn’t it? 
The Abrahamic God of the Old Testament is a monster. He condoned the enslavement of people, the rape of woman, the slaughter of men, and even the murder of children. Not only did he allow it, he commanded his tribe to commit these atrocities. By today’s moral standards, the unchanging God of the Covenant is a racist, vindictive, sadistic, jealous, petty, and childish psychopath. But it makes sense; barbaric humans will create a barbaric God.
For those who think this characterization is at all correct they ought to read "God Behaving Badly: Is the God of the Old Testament Angry, Sexist, and Racist?" by David T. Lamb

I suggest this book because no matter how much the Atheist who makes this argument will claim that he "has read the Bible" what he means by that is he has gone looking for proof-texts that he can use out of context and completely in error for the sole purpose of trying to make God (or His Word) look bad.  I could spend days refuting just this section but David Lamb has already done the work.

This article written by Amber is just the first in a series extolling the virtues of his Atheism, justifying it and evangelizing others to it. Yet he seems more interested in expressing his hate instead of reasons not to believe. Even if what he wrote in this portion were true it would simply be his reasons to hate the God of the Scriptures, and cannot be construed as evidence against His existence.

Here's an interesting truth which is relevant to the subject: one cannot hate something, or Someone, one does not believe exists.

*UPDATE* It was not clear to me on my first reading of Amber's article why he included discussion of these things he calls doctrines. This morning I noted that these were the teachings which were part of drawing him to become what he thought or thinks a Christian is.


The Doctrine of Ancestral Sin 

Introduced in the latter part of the "good book" is the doctrine -- made so in the 2nd century -- of ancestral sin.
I'm not sure if he is implying here that the NT was written in the 2nd century or if he thinks this doctrine was developed then. I'm not sure when this "doctrine of ancestral sin" was developed. He tells us that this is more commonly called "Original Sin" but we'll see that his definition does not match what the Scripture teaches. The only teaching I've ever heard that sounds at all like what he describes (shortly) is taught in Charismatic circles and is completely extra-biblical. 

The NT of course was written by eye witnesses during their own life times (obviously). For example: Paul who explains the depravity of man in Romans, died in AD 68. His writings, which are without controversy written by him, had to be written prior to his death.  

...it’s more commonly called original sin, which declares that we are all guilty, wretched creatures, tainted by the bad choices of Adam and Eve—who many Christians believe to be figurative!
The doctrine that the Scripture teaches is that mankind is depraved. That unbelieving man is in bondage to sin. Here are some passages to consider: Gen ch1-3; Gen 1:26-27; Gen 5:3; Ps 51:5; Rom 3:9,22-23; Rom 5:12; Eph 2:1-12; Col 1:21

As can be seen in the references man is not tainted by the bad choices of Adam and Eve, we are born in the image of Adam in his fallen sinful state. We are subject to like passions. We make evil choices. The Bible says in Proverbs 20:6 

Most men will proclaim each his own goodness, but who can find a faithful man?
If you want to prove the Bible's picture of man wrong you need to find a faithful man. A man who has never lied, stolen, hated, lusted, coveted... who has only ever done righteousness... who has worshiped the Lord God only, who obeys his parents, who has no capacity to do evil and full capacity to do only good and so on and so on. The Lord Jesus Christ is the standard of the perfect man. Rom 2:16

People have a low view of sins like lying as though it is a common thing so it is normal and doesn't merit eternal punishment. Yet it is sin because it is unlike God; Who cannot lie. When the one you love lies to you or lies about you. If they deceive you and you find out they wanted one of your best friends instead of you.. does that not hurt you to your core? 


If you tell your wife or girlfriend that she doesn't look fat in that dress and she goes to a party where everyone laughs behind her back, is that not evil and hurtful? 

Lying is evil and Scripture says in Rev 21:8 
But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.
Find me a perfect man and you have proved the doctrine that says all mankind is depraved, having been born in the image of sinful Adam wrong.  Do it and you have proved the Bible wrong. You only have to find one. Don't forget to take breaks, you're going to need them. 

Amber says "many" Christians believe Adam and Eve to be figurative. This "belief" is not because of anything the Scripture says, or anything that science that survives testing by the Scientific Method says. This is a "belief" which has been inflicted on some Christians (and many religious people who call themselves Christians or not) because they have drank the cool-aid of Molecules to Man Evolution, instead of "critically examining all things holding fast to only that which is good." 1Thess 5:21 It has been said that astoundingly intelligent men believing the theory of Molecules to Man Evolution is the practical proof of Ps 14:1 and Ps 53:1


Amber then explains "Original Sin" or "Ancestral Sin":

This doctrine is the contemptible belief that my children are accountable for my actions. Even believers don’t think that it’s just to condemn a child for a parent’s transgression, yet they so easily accept their own sorry state without questioning the injustice.
As discussed above the Scripture says we sin because we are sinners born in the image of Adam, and we are condemned because we are sinners. When Adam sinned mankind gained a conscience; knowing good and evil. We are sinners, and even though we know the difference between good and evil we choose to do evil. We are condemned by who we are, not by what Adam did.

Here is an interaction with God in the OT, you know the God who Amber describes as brutal, and a monster. Exo 34:5-9 

Now the Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LordAnd the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.” 
So Moses made haste and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshiped. Then he said, “If now I have found grace in Your sight, O Lord, let my Lord, I pray, go among us, even though we are a stiff-necked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us as Your inheritance.”
We see here the merciful God of the OT, and how Moses appeals to Him on the basis of His mercy, not in fear of His brutality...

We also see however there was a time when God "visited the iniquity of the fathers on the children", or would "attend to" the sin of the fathers that the children did. This is not punishing the son for something the father did, it is attending to the sin that the father passes to the son for him to do. It is a warning to fathers to be careful what they teach their children to do, for their children's sake. 


If these fathers in Israel had passed on evil practice, false doctrine, or other sinful things to their children, that is teaching them to do these things. Then God would attend to and judge them for their doing them. Do not teach your child your sin if you don't want them to be dealt with by God for doing your sin. When you teach your child something they tend to teach their children. Be careful what you teach because if you teach them evil you are teaching them to teach evil. In the time in question the child would not be judged for what the father did, but for doing and teaching what the father taught them to do and teach. God sees it as the father's sin, because it is his influence that is being exercised, to the 3rd and 4th generation. It is hard to imagine that a family will still be following the father's lead 5 generations later, but 3 generations later it is easy to imagine. I assume that 4 is not unreasonable given an influential or significant man.

This of course had to do with protecting the messianic pictures, prophecies, and clearly presenting the requirements the Messiah would have to fulfill. This was vitally important because Messiah's fulfillment of these things would be how Israel and the World were to know Him. This was a task set out for Israel that the Lord God would not allow them to fail at.

To be clear that this is not calling the child guilty for the father's sin let us consider Ezk 18:19-20

19 “Yet you say, ‘Why should the son not bear the guilt of the father?’ Because the son has done what is lawful and right, and has kept all My statutes and observed them, he shall surely live. 20 The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.
The soul who sins shall die. the son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. This is of course, just like the above passage in Exodus, is not talking about eternal life, or eternal judgment. The soul is your temporal life here on Earth.

The only injustice here is Amber burning a Straw-Man and claiming doing so discredits Christianity. *UPDATE* To be fair, if Amber has not studied these things and is relying on false teaching from what he later describes in a way consistent with what I call "Charismania" type assemblies then Amber himself is not the originator of the Straw-Man.

Amber notes a very true concept: 

It’s a short hop from believing you’re a problem, to accepting that you need solving, and it’s a shorter hop still to buying a solution.
The truth is once one sees they are lost, that they will be judged for their sin, and there is nothing they can personally do to make good for what they have done they are RIGHTFULLY in a hurry to get found. This is the purpose of the conviction of sin! Not to put guilt and shame on a person, but to get them to 'fess up and give up the struggle they have to pretend they are actually a "good person" so that they can be saved, healed, FREED!

*UPDATE* If it was the idea that he would be held responsible by God for his father's sin that brought Amber to the point where he wanted to be a Christian then that is just another example of a terrible message being taught to the man. Amber seems to imply that his father was less than a good husband, but I shall not read too much into this. We are each responsible for our OWN sin. We are subject to the results of our parent's sin - we suffer their bad decisions don't we. But God will hold us to account for what we do and don't do ourselves. 


The Doctrine of Atonement 


Next up Amber again gets close to the truth:

God’s law gets an upgrade in the New Testament, and we are now even convicted for thought-crime. Just thinking lustful thoughts, or coveting another’s possessions, makes you a criminal. It’s impossible for any lowly ancestor of Adam to stay on the straight and narrow.
God's Law as Amber states it is actually Mosaic Law. It didn't change or get upgraded. It was explained by the One who had given it in the first place, and was here among us to fulfill it Himself. It was applied properly. The Law is like a mirror, it lets a man see who he really is. Rom 3:20; Rom 7:25; 1Tim 1:8-11 

He is correct to say that it is impossible for any person to stay on "the straight and narrow" by their own efforts. If we could meet God's perfect standard then Christ would have died in vain. Gal 2:21

This is the reality of the position we find ourselves in. Not only does Scripture declare it to be so, we know this to be true by inductive reasoning. We have never met a faithful man, someone who did no wrong, does not wrong and will never do any wrong.

The "upgrade"Amber talks about is actually the Lord revealing the intent of the Law. When we commit sin this is just the end of a long process of the evil in our own heart brewing and growing. We lust long before we commit adultery. We covet long before we steal. We hate long before we murder. Jas 1:15 The Lord God is interested in who we are, what the heart of our beings is like. The Lord spoke to the religious people who ruled over the people in the time when He was here in the flesh. This is what He said to them as recorded in Matt 23:27-28

27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
Amber then points out one of the most frustrating things for the average religious person about Christianity: 
There are no points for effort either; God is strictly black and white.
Isa 64:6; 2Cor 6:14; 1Jn 1:5 and so on. The religious person wants to be accepted by God on their own terms, on some basis that says they are good or acceptable. But we are not good, we are not acceptable. We are darkness and He is light.

Amber notes how God has a solution, and he correctly notes how God Himself makes atonement so evil man can be reconciled to holy God. He doesn't like the idea though: 

This doctrine is the immoral belief in vicarious redemption—the mother of all scapegoats.
Firstly, there can be no objective morality without an Objective Moral Giver.  See: The Moral Argument for the existence of God by William Lane Craig (Scroll down to section 3). 

Secondly, "the Scapegoat" was part of the Day of Atonement picture of Christ's work. To understand why Christ bore away the sins of those who Believe on Him see Lev 16:1-34 Here we find the doctrine of the Scapegoat as well as the Propitiation. The Scapegoat was a picture of one part of Christ's cross-work.

But is vicarious atonement immoral? Consider this. ANY TIME THERE IS FORGIVENESS the innocent party is the one who pays. There is no exception to this.

If I owe you $10 and you forgive my debt to you, the innocent party, are out $10 and I the guilty party am credited $10 that I previously owed. If I pay you back then there is no forgiveness.  This is true of every situation where there is forgiveness. When you forgive someone for something you are suffering some cost, injustice, pain, or other form of loss without it being restored unto you by the guilty party. If you want justice served, and so the debt paid it is the innocent party, the one who forgives who must pay. Otherwise there is no forgiveness. 

Where there is forgiveness the innocent one always pays. If the guilty party pays there is no forgiveness. You cannot forgive a debt without either paying it back yourself, or suffering the loss yourself.

In the heart of man we rile against the very concept of forgiveness. We are vengeful and want to exact justice on the people we even perceive as having done wrong to us. Think I'm wrong? Go for a drive and get a little too close to someone from behind. Pass someone. Drive a little slower than they would like to go. Enjoy your drive...  

God, the innocent party, has paid for us, the guilty party, so that He may forgive. However, not only can He forgive, for I suppose He could do that by just suffering the loss. But God is Just, and so He Himself PAID the debt so that there would be no loss, so that evil would be judged and dealt with. So that He could be JUST while being the justifier of those who believe in Christ. Rom 3:21-26


However, Amber didn't understand this. He thought forgiveness was done because of faith, albeit "sincere" faith. 

It’s the abandonment of accountability and justice. Murder, steal, cause as much harm as you can manage, it’s okay, just accept Jesus on your deathbed—sincerely, of course—and you’re pardoned. 
If forgiveness happened because one "accepted Jesus" no matter how sincerely, then Amber may have a point. However, this is not the basis of forgiveness. The basis of forgiveness is that the guilt debt one owes has been paid for by the One who forgives - as is the case whenever there is forgiveness.

You cannot simply "accept Jesus" and be saved. You need to repent, be convicted of Sin, Righteousness, and Judgment. Jn 16:5-11 You need to judge yourself guilty, that your sin is sin, and that it is righteous for God to judge you for it. In short you need to agree with God about how evil you are. Having agreed with God about your debt, you are then in a position to put your faith in the One Who graciously paid your debt.

It is easy to rebut the Christianity of Hollywood and Richard Dawkins, but that is not the Christianity of reality as detailed in the Scriptures.


Amber finishes his argument with:
However, if you don’t know of Jesus, or you doubt, you’re doomed, no matter how good a life you’ve led. 
Is there a more morally bankrupt idea than this?
The issue is that there is no one who lives a good life. Better than Hitler? Sure. Better than I have? Most certainly. But good? Not a chance. There is not one who does good. We know this inductively, and we also see it proclaimed over and over again in the Scriptures. Ps 14:1-3; Ps 53:1-3; Rom 3:12

History has born witness, and so does the Scripture; if one responds to general revelation (of Creation) God will send more revelation including sending a preacher of the Gospel directly to you.

I recently met a man who lives in my city who grew up under a witch doctor on an island in the Pacific. He tells an amazing tale of how he knew there was a God who made the Universe and how he kept having dreams about judgment for the blood on his hands. Eventually he had a dream about a line of up people who had done evil who were being cast in to a pit of fire. This man had never heard of a Bible let alone had someone preach to him.

He had believed there was a Creator God, and this same Creator God was giving him more revelation. He kept responding and eventually a preacher of the Gospel came to him and preached the Lord Jesus Christ. This man is now saved and lives here in Canada. I don't even begin to give his story justice with this short telling. Acts 8:26-39 is a similar story of how God sent a preacher to someone who had believed what God had already shown him.

There are no good people, but if anyone anywhere believes what God has already shown him God will reveal more to them. 


The only morally bankrupt idea here is the idea anyone lives a good life. Have you reader lied? Have you lusted? Have you stolen? Have you coveted? Ever hated or been angry without cause? Have you always honoured your parents? 


How about I tell my wife how good you are right now? "Hey Hon, I just met this good guy! Well he's a liar, an adulterer at heart, a thief, a murderer at heart, who seeks after the things other people own, and dishonours his parents.. but other than that he's a good guy!"


The Doctrine of Heaven and Hell 

Amber states that the idea of Heaven and Hell is probably the "most evil man-made idea to date" and goes on about how it has falsely given hope and fear to millions. How does he know this hope and fear to be false? Oh he doesn't say. 

This doctrine is the absurd belief that an all-powerful, all-merciful, all-loving God will condemn people for an eternity of pain, just for disbelief, or doubt, or lack of knowledge of Christ.
God does not condemn people to an eternity of pain because of their disbelief, or doubt, or lack of knowledge of Christ. He condemns guilty sinners for their sin. He condemns those who die in their sin to the only place where His children will never be so the sin of guilty sinners will never again hurt His children or blaspheme His Name.

In short He won't let pedophiles hang out with His children. Liars, murders, haters, adulterers, all people who do not judge their sin and be reborn in Christ must be kept away from His children in Heaven. No one goes to the Lake of Fire who did not willingly choose to go. As we know from Rom 1:18-32 God only turns over people to their sin if they reject general revelation. If you reject Him, you will spend eternity in the Lake of Fire. It is a place of torment not because God is beating you, not because the Devil is beating you, but because it is a place where God who is the source of all mercy is absent. You will experience a reality where there is absolutely no mercy, where there is absolutely no grace, where there is no forgiveness, no relief. You will experience this because you rejected God. You didn't want Him, well that's exactly what you'll get. 

This wickedness is taught to children; it’s mental abuse and unconscionable.
How can one judge "wickedness" without a standard for good? It's just your opinion and it doesn't matter to anyone else. Without a Objective Moral Giver, there can be no objective morality. Are you the standard of good Amber? Who should care what you think is wicked or unconscionable?

Amber continues
Believers are also quick to claim—very nobly, I’m sure—that God deeply laments each person who rejects his advances. Yes, he regrets it so much that he will torture you for an eternity.
God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. Ezk 18:23; Ezk 18:32; Ezk 33:11

Imagine a scene:

 A guilty law-breaker is standing in court at his sentencing before a loving, but just, Judge. The judge sets the sentence in accordance with the law. The man owes $1 million dollars. The guilty man can pay the fine or go to jail for life. He doesn't have the money.

After the guilty man is brought to his cell the judge visits him with compassion in his heart. He tells the man he will pay the $1 Million if the man admits his guilt. The judge promises to take the man into his family and to teach him how to live a good and productive life.

The guilty man looks at the judge who just offered an unimaginable gift, a gift that any guilty law-breaker facing life in prison ought to jump at, and spits in the judge's face. He screams at the judge! You are a hateful man! You send people to prison! You tell people what they can and cannot do! You hate those who have different ideas than you do! I hate you! I am better than you! I want nothing to do with you!

The judge had offered all he had in order to save the man, but the man would not admit his guilt and take the free gift. The judge, being a just man, had to abide by the sentence cast down on the guilty law-breaker. He could not justly break the man out of jail. So he could do nothing but leave the man to his horrible fate, even though it broke the judge's heart.

The analogy is weak, but it is clear enough for our purposes. The guilty sinner has the penalty of death on their head. If they suffer that penalty it is only because they have rejected the Judge's free gift. This is their fault, not that of the Judge. Rom 6:23 says:

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Too Much to Ask

Amber asks some questions:

...is it not reasonable to expect that God try his very best to make our choice an easy one? ... Why not physically reveal himself to every generation? Why not communicate with less ambiguity? Why not give scientific proof when we diligently seek it?
Here we find the Atheist attempting to reduce God to a human level, or a theory. We should never entertain this type of idea. For if God were like a human, if He had to "try" to do thing then we could take Amber's complaining questions seriously. But He does not "try" to do things, He acts and things are done. Isa 46:10

If God had to "try" to do things then His failure to meet our expectations of Him - if only our expectations actually matched Who He is and what He does - could be seen as evidence He is not Who He says He is.

The fact is though, Amber, your choice is an easy one. You can accept Creation declares a Creator and so be given more specific revelation or you can reject the Creator and worship the created instead. Of course you will suffer the consequences, but it is an easy choice.

He physically revealed Himself at a specific time, doing specific things, in a specific place, openly, publicly and this is attested to by EVERY contemporary historian writing about that area at that time. He came on the day He said He would, and did exactly what He said He would do, and what He did was not possible for a man to do. If you reject this then it's on your head, not His.

Here is just one example of the specificity of prophecy in the Scripture which was written AT LEAST 300 years before Christ was born and was probably written much earlier than that. This is an insert I have put in my bible.

Evidence: Daniel 9’s Prediction of Christ’s Triumphal Entry   
Daniel 9: vs24 The Scope vs25 The 69 Weeks vs26 The Interval vs27 The 70th Week
The Old Testament was translated into Greek for the LXX or Septuagint around 285-270 BC.
 
Sabbatical Years Lev 25:1-22; 26:33-35; Deut 15. Seventy “sevens” implies weeks of years Gen 29:27. Failure to keep this Sabbath was the basis for the 70 years captivity 2Chr 36:19-21 which is what Daniel was praying about when the angel came to him with this prophecy. 
360 Day Years. All ancient calendars were based on 360-days per year; all calendars changed to 365 in 701BC. The Bible uses 360 day years Gen 7:24; 8:3-4; Dan 4:16, 23,25; Dan 7:25; Dan 9:27; Dan 12:6-7; Rev 11:2-3; Rev 13:5 
Artaxeres Longimanus Decree March 14th, 445 BC Neh 2:5-8,17,18 is the one to rebuild the city IAW Dan 9:25. His accession in July 465BC, thus Nisan (March) of the first year would be in the calendar year 464, and the 20th year would be in year 445. According to Jewish tradition the day not being stated means  it is the 1st of the month. Therefore March 14th, 445 BC.

The Triumphal Entry of Messiah the Prince: Mt 21:1-9; Mk 11:1-10; Lk 19:29-39; Jn 12:12-16 the fulfilling Zech 9:9. It is the only day Jesus allows people to proclaim Him King as they sing Ps 118. Jesus held them to account to recognize this day. Lk 19:41-44.
This was the 10th of Nisan, prior to the Passover on the 14th of Nisan 32 AD.
Lk 3:1 tells us when the Lord’s ministry started. Tiberius was appointed 14AD, 15th year = 29AD. There are 4 Passovers recorded during His ministry. The 4th Passover was on the 14th of Nisan 32 AD

To find the date on our calendar we must convert 360-day years into simple days.

69 Weeks of Years = 69 X 7 = 483 years
483 years x 360 days =                                             173,880 days
445 BC – 32AD (476 years x 365 days) =                173,740 days
March 14th – April 6th =                                                     24 days
Leap Years =                                                                    116 days
Total =                                                                      173,880 days
 
Extra Biblical References to Jesus at this Time
Josephus, Tacitus, Suetonius, Julius Africanus, Origen, and Pliny the Younger.

Not just some of the historians, but every one of them that wrote about this area at this time.
Simple math, and history tell us that the Messiah came the day He was predicted to hundreds of years before He was even born. 
Refs: Daniel’s Prophecy of the 70 Weeks ~ Alva J. McClain
The Coming Prince ~ Sir Robert Anderson
Daniel’s 70 Weeks – Koinonia House Inc
These men wrote of Jesus doing miracles and how His followers acted and what they did. They write of His death and the supernatural darkness that enveloped the world during the three hours He was on the Cross.

For more detailed information including references check out Daniel's Prophecy of the 70 Weeks by Alva J. McClain and The Coming Prince by Sir Robert Anderson.

This is just one example of many. I have this one prepared so I used it. The Bible is in the business of writing History long before it happens.

Everything you need to understand Amber, God speaks with perfect clarity:


Repent and believe the gospel! All liars will share in the Lake of Fire which is the Second Death. Rev 21:8 It is appointed unto man once to die and then the Judgment. Heb 9:27 The wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus. Rom 6:23 And so on...

Of course the Bible as a whole is hard for you to understand, I would suggest you are incapable of understanding most of it because the things of God are spiritually discerned. The Scripture is a set of massively complex writings which speak on all the topics you can't talk about at work - sin, righteousness, sex, religion, politics... they have incredibly complex patterns including the Heptatic Structure (YouTube). The Gospel of Grace hidden in Genesis (YouTube) The names of the followers of Jesus at the cross encrypted in Isaiah 53 a chapter about His cross-work. (YouTube) More "cosmic codes" in the Scriptures (YouTube Playlist) Here is a picture showing all the quotations and cross references in the Bible:


It is not surprising to me that one who hates God, who does not have the Spirit of God teaching him, and who is more apt to look for ways to justify his hate for God then to learn from Him finds the Word of God less than clear.

The bible is no ordinary literary work. In fact it could not have been written by man.

Amber asks why God would not give scientific proof when we diligently seek it. One wonders if Amber is using the word "diligently" the same way others do. There is endless scientific proof of God and His works.

We'll start right in the Bible. Here is an article I wrote in 2006 about scientific facts and concepts revealed in the Scripture long before scientists "discovered" them.


For more recent discoveries watch Ian Juby's weekly program Genesis Week, and his Complete Creation series. Fossils way out of order in the record? Human foot prints fossilized inside of dinosaur foot prints? Humans found at the same time as dinosaurs? Irreducible complexity? Information in DNA? Evidence for design? Yes all of this and much much more is covered in detail and with humour in Ian's videos.


Here are some photographs I took of the evidence that Ian displays in his Travelling Creation Museum.

*CAUTION* as nice and sincere a guy as Ian is, and I met him last year, his gospel is a false one.

Of course there is a multitude of scientific evidence discussed, displayed, and explained at Creation.com

Here are five scientific and philosophical arguments for God. 


In fact there are so many resources, so easily available, that it is nothing less than blatant dishonesty to say there is no evidence or that science has disproved God.

Yet Amber says:

No, this is too much to ask of the mysterious stranger.
Is it too much to ask for a little honesty from the Atheists? 
Instead, God opts to give us a book to communicate his divine plan. But oddly, he decides that the most important chapters—detailing the exploits of the primary protagonist—must be documented decades after the events, by authors who didn’t witness any of the said events.
To say that the NT was written by people who did not witness the events is to be wilfully ignorant of the facts. Amber goes on to even more ignorance though:
These “gospels” are then to be edited—some discarded completely—and compiled by committee. All the texts of this book must go through this process, and it must take hundreds of years to complete. Of course, the texts must be translated so that much of the intended meaning can be obscured.
We have 5,000 manuscripts of the NT and 20 thousand fragments, which show that the NT has not changed one bit. We also have the Church Father's writings that we can re-build the entire NT except a few verses and also see that it has not change one bit. The OT is likewise supported. The Dead Sea Scrolls show that it has not changed either.

Here is a short article on how we got the Bible. 


Here is a book on the subject. 


Here are some audio teachings on the subject of how we got the Bible.


HOWEVER, Simply not changing is not enough to prove that it is reliable so, here is Frank Turek on the reliability of the New Testament & the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.


Amber says that the people who wrote the Bible wouldn't be considered very bright by today's standards and so:

It’s not surprising then that the bible is historically questionable, scientifically inaccurate, full of contradictions, and requires scholars for “proper” interpretation.
It is so easy to make a claim when you don't have to back it up right? 

Here is some information on the historical accuracy of the Bible.

Here is some information on "contradictions" in the Bible...

A more complete coverage on the subject of Bible difficulties would be Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe's "The Big Book of Bible Difficulties"

There are no contradictions in the Scriptures. There are things which are difficult to understand. There are complexities which seem to be intentionally put in to catch people in their attacks on the Word. (What was written on the Lord's cross is a prime example.) I will grant that there are some numerical copiest errors and it is hard to decipher which are the correct numbers by Textual Criticism. These do not constitute contradictions in the Scripture but a failing of our Textual Criticism and translation to English. Further there are people who believe they can reconcile the numbers we find printed in English translations. I do not believe this is the case. I do have confidence that we will know which are the correct numbers before too long.

As for "proper" interpretation their are endless cults who have private interpretations of the Scripture. But God says that no scripture is of private interpretation. 2Pet 1:20 The Bible says what it means and means what it says. The best practice to ensure you understand what the Scripture says is to use the Grammatical-Historical Hermeneutic. That is, basically, take it at its plain meaning. Read the Bible the same way you would read a letter from your Mom. The same way you'd read a technical manual.

There is no secret key to understanding the Scriptures in some "proper" way. You simply obey the rules of grammar and use the meanings the original language
 words had at time the original autographs were written modified according to usage and context. It really isn't hard at all. It is harder to be honest in doing it (even for Believers) than it is to actually physically do. 

Amber then makes the following claim:

Believers ...  must concede ... the bible ... has been—and is being—used to justify bigotry, torture, the abjection of woman, slavery and war.
Please, I must ask Amber, what excuse does evil man NOT USE to justify these sorts of things? The fact is the Bible does not instruct people to do these kinds of things. It is those who practice the deceitful tactic of Proof-Texting (whether they are Atheists trying to twist the Bible or Religious people trying to do the same) in order to justify their own desires that are responsible for the evil they do.

It is mankind that engages in evil. You ought to judge man for the evil he does. You cannot put the evil man does on the Bible for the Bible judges man for his evil and instructs man in righteousness.

Amber then pipes triumphantly:

This is the Almighty’s best effort at clearly documenting his master plan. How can one accept such incompetence?
You write something like the Scriptures Amber and then talk about incompetence. Check this video. The Scriptures are a singular work. You could never hope to come close to what they are Amber. You, or any person, are simply incapable of producing a work that predicts future history, speaks authoritatively on subjects that upset people revealing righteousness where the bent of man is to desire sin, which is penned by 40 men over nearly 1600 years by people of all different kinds of life styles on different continents at different times most of whom never met each other and all speak with a singular voice! Add in the Hepatic Structure of the Scriptures, the encrypted messages... Go ahead give it your best shot! I double-dog dare ya!

Next Amber riles on about faith. He spins a tale about faith being most important, that it is a virtue even.

Yet in Rom 4:16 we find that faith is completely without reward. It is not something to be celebrated or admired. 


Amber continues about faith:
But it’s not evidence. It’s belief in the absence of evidence. It’s wish thinking.
Oh Dear Soul how wrong you are! Just because Richard Dawkins likes to say that Christians have a faith that is belief in the absence of evidence doesn't mean that is what Christians engage in. It's a fanciful straw-man that speaks to the prejudice of his audience, and nothing more.

We believe in the Lord Jesus Christ because of what we know, not because of what we don't know. Not because of what we hope to be true. We have hope - which in the passage you quote Heb 1 means a sure expectation not simply a desired outcome - because of what we know. We don't "want" or "desire" a future that the Lord promises - we hope for it, which is to say we eagerly expect it! Anticipation, not wishful thinking. 


Amber continues his point:

And don’t forget, if we use our brilliantly “designed” brain-machine, and act reasonably by doubting and demanding evidence other than subjective experiences—which are fickle and unreliable at best—we are guilty of a crime so terrible that we face eternal torment as punishment. Some loving God.
If your brain wasn't brilliantly designed what reason would you have to trust your own thinking Amber? If your brain is just a bunch of chemical reactions which have been brought together by random chance then you have no REASON to believe you are even capable of reasoning. You have no logical reason to expect your reasoning to be reasonable.

My subjective experience is not a reason for you to believe, any more than YOUR SUBJECTIVE EXPERIENCE is a reason for me not to believe. Let this sink in.

That I have met God, that I know Him personally, that I have tested the Scriptures and found them sure, that I have studied science, philosophy, and history and therein found good evidence for God and His working, that I have experience undeniable answers to prayer and His orchestration of events in my life - is not a reason for you to believe in Him. It may well be a reason for you to find out if His claims are true, but it is not enough for you to believe. I may be lying. I may be deluded. I may be mistaken. 


Likewise, your subjective experience whereby you have found absolutely no evidence for God and thought you were a Christian and didn't like it is no reason for me not to believe. You may be lying. You may never have looked for evidence. You may have rejected all the good evidence that is readily available to you. You may not have actually BEEN a Christian. And so on... 


My subjective experience is mine. It is for me. Deal with it.

God is loving. He loved you in this way Amber. While you were an enemy of His. While you were loving your sin. While you were hating Him. While you were doing everything you could to keep people away from Him. He gave His only begotten Son, so that you might live. While you hated Him, He loved you.


Amber, no doubt thinking he has made a check-mate, continues:
Why would God be so evasive and such a phenomenally incompetent communicator, if it will only bring him hurt? Perhaps, the devil foils his plans. If only God was all-powerful. Oh wait. 
As has already been shown, God is not evasive at all. He has presented Himself openly for all mankind. The problem here is that like all God-haters Amber is not seeking God. He is serving the god of this age, the enemy of his soul. What a terrible and terrifying moment it will be when Amber, should he not repent in time, will find himself standing before the Lord Jesus Christ only to bow down and confess He is indeed the LORD, then be judged by his works and cast into the Lake of Fire. Rom 14:11; Phil 2:9-11; Rev 20:11-15 

The Fertile Earth of a Child 

I was raised Christian, and I regularly went to Sunday school.
This is a failed understanding. You cannot be raised Christian. You can be raised by Christian parents and witnessed to, but you cannot be "raised Christian." Every sinner must be born again in order to BECOME a Christian.

Instead of being raised by parents devoted to witnessing to their child and teaching him to think critically and hold fast that which is good we read him talk about how much he hated to go to Church. How he riled against it, and came up with all kinds of devious plans to avoid going. 

I tried—with all the ingenuity of a child—to avoid going. [to Sunday School].... I really hated going to children’s church; I'm not sure why.
It is sad that kids get forced to go to some church that the parents don't even believe the message the kids are being taught. This is mostly sad because the parents not being invested in what is actually being taught almost always leads to the child being taught falsehoods.  
The teachers intended well, I’m sure. They didn’t try to frighten us with hell—like the Catholics are known to do—but they did teach us about heaven, and kids are clever, you know. If good people go to heaven, bad people go to hell.
Children are clever. Yet, if these "teachers" were telling the kids that good people go to Heaven then these "teachers" were lying to the children. There simply are no good people, Christians or not.

Amber describes a formative incident in his young life. 

There was a dramatic change in my family when I was about seven or eight. One Sunday morning my father joined us for church—a rare occurrence—and halfway through the service he started crying. It had upset me at the time; my father never cried. I learned later that my father had been an atheist, and that he had prayed the night before, “I’m going to church tomorrow. If you’re real, prove it.” God’s proof was that my father—being a hard man—couldn’t contain his emotions and stop crying. I suspect my dad became a Christian for reasons similar to mine. I will say this though, his conversion more than likely saved his marriage, but proof of God it’s not. [Emphasis added]
I can't say for sure if his father ever became a Christian or not. I know that if you sincerely pray a prayer like his father did that God will answer it. Amber's conversion story, with the exception of the emotional response, doesn't seem to be like his dad's. 

It is interesting though, and perhaps his dad really did become a Christian because next we read:

It wasn’t long after this event that we upgraded from the Dutch Reformed Church—who, as an aside, has still not renounced its support of the apartheid ideology—to a more evangelical and radical church called Agape Ministries or some such. 
It isn't uncommon for God to make radical changes in the lives of those He saves. However we read that there was no solid foundation of an assembly they could trust and grow in for the family.
From my pre to late teens, we moved to four or five different churches. From Agape, to Emmanuel, to I can’t be arsed to remember. Each one of the churches ended in scandal. The pastor was gay, or a fraud or reasonable. Spare a thought for the men of God; they are devil hounded, don’t you know.
Pastors, and anyone who seeks to lead God's children ARE targets of Satan. What is less known, and even less than that accepted, is that if these men try to do it alone, if they try to be One-Man-Show Leaders instead of depending on a plurality of leaders then Satan almost always wins the day and crushes the man who thought he could stand on his own.

Sin easily besets a man. Any man. Any woman. 1Cor 10:13; Heb 12:1-2 Denying this fact and trying to live a life as though it were not true is not obeying the Scriptures, it is practicing a false religion that has no hope (expectation) but failure.

Amber himself gives good testimony to indicate to us that he never was a Christian at all. His confusion about this is based in the fact that he does not realize that a Christian is a new creation. It is something you become, not something you join or sign up for. He writes:

Strangely, throughout all my years in church I never really committed to it. I was forced to go, but I wasn’t buying what they were selling.
If you don't love the Brethren there's little chance you have the love of God in you. John 13:35; 1Jn 3:14-17; 1Jn 4:20-21

Shameful Things


In this section we find some stated and some implied confessions from Amber. Perhaps I am just untrusting but I can't help but feel baited as I read his words. 

There was the before-mentioned gay experience, which was a source of confusion and shame, but at least it’s not something I now find morally objectionable or shameful like some of the things I did in my late teens.
One wonders if the other things Amber is still ashamed of were the subject of such a propaganda effort if he would still feel shame about them either. Check out A Queer Thing Happened To America. 
We considered ourselves better than other people, and we adopted a fuck the world philosophy. ... Influenced by the Anarchist’s Cookbook, and its like, we performed criminal acts of vandalism. We did shameful things, and I was—I am—ashamed.
It is normal, if not right, that Amber allowed his natural desires to drive his actions to sin. What is terrible is that he does not need to carry that shame any more, yet he does. If he wold but repent, admit his guilt before a holy God who loves him, that same God would save him. The same God he was sinning against back then, and is sinning against right now. Amber, not unlike the rest of us, is and was evil, did and does evil. He does not have to love his evil however, yet still he does.

The Power of Guilt, Shame and Fear


Amber talks about how he got a girlfriend eventually; the ex from the dramatic story in the introduction as it turns out. When it was time for him to leave for university:

It was decided that a long distance relationship wouldn’t work, but I missed her, and I desperately wished to get back together. It was my first holiday back in my hometown when she led me to Christ. I had spent the day with her, and I naturally had high hopes. It would be a kindness to say that she was a cold fish. I was hurt and confused—I didn’t know at the time that she fancied one of my best friends.
The influence of young love is powerful. The loss of it leaves a young man feeling helpless and hopeless. 
I phoned her that evening. The otherwise uninteresting conversation was given a shot of adrenalin when she, out of left field, challenged my relationship with God. It hit me like a ton of bricks. Half an hour later, I found myself in a car, parked outside my house with her praying for me. The floodgates had opened, and I couldn’t control my emotions. I cried, and thought God is at work. The parallel to my father’s conversion didn’t escape me. Such is the power of guilt, shame and fear.
Amber was never a Christian. You don't become a Christian by someone praying for you. You don't become a Christian because you, in a broken hearted plea for attention from a lost love, "accept Jesus into your heart." No matter if you were challenged by her about your relationship with God or not.

These religious experiences are emotional though. They feel powerful. The Devil wants it to be just like that so that when you eventually wake up you'll think you have experienced all there is to faith in Christ. He wants you to think of yourself at that time as a "Stupid Stupid Boy" (as Amber puts it.) He wants you to be so embarrassed that you'll never ever want to be fooled like that again.

I had found a scapegoat, and the relief was blissful. No, I didn’t stand a chance. 
It took me seven years to come to my senses. 
In Conclusion (this is my title, as his article is completed above)

I know that Amber's conversion was a false one because it does not match what Scripture says. He may have played a part as a Christian but he never became one. He may have attended church and tried to tell people about Jesus but he was never Born Again. 


Should you want to know what the Scripture says about how one becomes a Christian I invite you to read The Doctrine of Salvation


I will gladly discuss the implications of the things discussed in this article in the comments. I will discuss salvation and perhaps some doctrines in the Scriptures in the comments.


I will not be debating, or allowing the debate of, the existence of God. There is no debate, and I won't blaspheme God by pretending that there is. Amber knows there is a God and he knows a lot of things about that God. He doesn't doubt, or even disbelieve His existence. He hates the God who created him. I know this first and foremost from Romans 1:18-32, and I know it secondly by inductive reasoning because Amber hates God. You can't hate what you don't believe exists.


Amber, though you hate God, He loves you. He offers you freedom at no cost to you. Believe and live Dear Soul, believe and live. I plead with you.

UPDATE: Amber Responds.

Amber wrote a response to this article which can be found RIGHT HERE. When my short response to Amber's response (if this goes on the titles could get very tedious) will be linked RIGHT HERE when it is published. 


To avoid tedium I've titled my response as "Amber Strikes Back."