Theological liberals vs. militant atheists — which do you prefer?

I was watching a theological liberal do his usual false teachings on this thread and noted with amusement how the atheists cheerily agreed with his religious views.  I pointed out that both should be concerned over that.  If they agreed on their favorite sports teams that would be fine.  But if an atheist or someone from another religion agreed with my foundational points about God I’d be very concerned.

Yes, militant atheists can be annoying, but I’ll take twenty of them over a fake Christian any day.  At least the atheists are fulfilling their job descriptions and there is no confusion over roles.  But the fake Christians really confuse the discussions and fuel the atheists’ false assertions that disagreements within Christianity mean that the religion can’t be true.  Their argument fails on many levels, but the actions of the false teachers give them ammunition.  That was a key theme on the link above: “Christianity must be false because Christians disagree.”

Of course, Christianity clearly predicts divisions:

  1. Many warnings of false teachers and many references to the importance of sound doctrine.
  2. The fact that Christians learn more over time — “milk/meat,” growing in knowledge (Philippians 1:9), etc.
  3. God’s guidance about disputable matters in Romans 14 and elsewhere reveals that He knew we’d have disputable matters and gave us guidance in how to handle them.
  4. Some people think they are saved but aren’t (“I never knew you” from Matthew 7, testing your salvation in 1 John, etc.)
  5. We are told not to violate our consciences, so people are right to worship in denominations that align best with their views on non-essential issues.

Based on that, if all Christians agreed on everything then that would be evidence that the Bible’s predictions failed.  The essentials are what divides Christianity from other religions: Jesus deity, his exclusivity, etc.  You can’t take the Bible seriously and miss those, which is another way of highlighting false teachers.  Example: The fake at the thread thought I was wrong to say that Christians must hold the view that Jesus is the only way to salvation.  My point was simply that if the Bible mentions it 100 times then it seems like something Christians should agree with.

Christianity has fought a two-front war from the beginning: Persecutors on the outside and false teachers on the inside.  Things haven’t changed, so we need to be on guard for both.

I think the bigger enemy is inside.

18 thoughts on “Theological liberals vs. militant atheists — which do you prefer?”

  1. Excellent points Neil! You would think that the fact that fake Christians find themselves agreeing with atheists would cause them to worry about their salvation status and relationship with Christ. The truth is, they don’t have a relationship with Christ. Their names are not recorded in the Book of Life. How disturbing is that?

    It is harder to combat the phony Christians in public, but easy to point out their fallacies when comparing their secular beliefs to biblical Christianity. The fact that we are warned in Scripture (Jude and elsewhere) that “false prophets will creep in” the closer we get to the end of the age demonstrates the absolute truth of the Bible.

    I try to remember to label myself as a biblical Christian because many have corrupted even the title of born again Christian. If someone’s beliefs do not adhere to what the Bible says, then they are a secular “Christian” and do not authentically belong to Jesus Christ.

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  2. I enjoyed your post. I prefer neither but am annoyed more by “Christians” (I’m holding my hands up to do the air quotes thing).

    As an ignorant Christian myself, I have come to realize that (most?) Christians are apparently ignorant of doctrine. Few of us can name the 10 Commandments or the 12 apostles. Few of us understand the trinity. Theology is a means to know God and many of us miss out on the opportunity.

    I suggest this sased on the amount of misinformation that I read in peoples blogs that begin with “I was raised Catholic” (so the inference is that I know what I’m talking about) and then make assertions never taught as doctrine. My protestant friends tell me that this happens in their denominations as well.

    I view this as a failure in catechesis – or transmission of the Gospel – that is primarily the responsibility of parents. Unfortunately, most parents received incomplete or incorrectly catechesis themselves – believing instead that the baby Christianity they learned as children in Sunday school covers it.

    I complained about this to my priest the other day. He said that the goal of teaching Christianity to kids is to give them the blocks so that “they can put it together themselves”. I had not thought of it like this and I have to agree with his assessment and the implication – catechesis is a life-long journey.

    Happy New Year!

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    1. Hi — Thanks for visiting and commenting. Good points. It really does start with believers. As long as people are hungry to learn more I think that is great. I’d rather have someone whose knowledge was low but eager to learn than someone whose was higher but had stopped learning.

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  3. You can respect Cornwallis, but not Benedict Arnold. There are times where I must remember that we are called to love our enemies, but I cannot respect all of the enemies of God’s gospel. Some, I hold in quite thorough contempt for their deceptive behavior.

    One could be sincerely wrong, but the problem with the false Christians I’ve run into is that, for some at least, it’s clear that they’re not sincere. It’s a deliberate effort at dishonesty, trying to present a false set of beliefs as orthodox, all to advance one’s own agenda under Christ’s banner.

    In a sense, these deliberate charlatans ARE atheists. Just as they see their fellow man as things to be manipulated rather than persons to persuade through good-faith communication, they see God as an idea to invoke rather than a Person who could possibly take umbrage at His name being so misused. They’re so brazen iinvoking His name for their own causes that, after a certain point you have to figure that the literal blasphemer doesn’t expect God’s judgment.

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  4. i think that i’m going to hell.

    and as for Benedict Arnold, he is worthy of my respect and i believe many soldiers that fought under him. it was a different time and my understanding is that he felt betrayed by congress. with knowledge comes understanding.

    “Rather than allowing his shattered left leg to be amputated(after the third wound), he had it crudely set, leaving it 2 inches (5 cm) shorter than the right. He returned to the army at Valley Forge in May 1778 to the applause of men who had served under him at Saratoga.”

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  5. I was watching the National Geographic channel. The show was about Pontous Pilot. So called Christan scholars were making many claims about Christ and Pilot that were far off traditional thinking. One thing was that Pilot was so brutal that Christ’s crucifixion was no different than any other of the thousands he ordered. Also, Christ made no impact on Pilot. Another that the writers were making up the story because the early Christians hated Jews. There was not one opposing viewpoint on the documentary. The sad thing would be for people looking for the truth may only hear that version.

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    1. That’s interesting that even National Geographic did that. Not that I’m surprised, given how they do their science. But it is such a flaming example of their anti-Christian bias.

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  6. Jesus Christ had ruined my whole life, because He had forced me to be a narrow minded Christian. He had forced me to repent and get myself to be saved. No matter what kind of a Christian I am, whatever I am a Lukewarm Christian or not and if I am not showing enough love to God, God will send me to Hell anyway.

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    1. Hi Ross,

      I think you are mistaken. If you have trusted in the real Jesus for your salvation then He has saved your life for eternity, not ruined it. It was ruined already by sin. If you are a real Christian then your sins have been paid for and you will spend eternity in Heaven.

      Please read the Bible, then read it again, then read it some more.

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  7. I am absolutely horrified that Jesus Christ came only only to save small seeds of believers and to leave everyone else to face their own fate.

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    1. I see what you mean, in a sense. An eternity in Hell is indeed horrifying. But I think you should look at it from the other direction. The just end for all of us rebels would be Hell. That any are saved by Jesus’ death and resurrection is something to be extremely grateful for. And all the more reason to share the good news with people!

      Seriously, read the Bible all you can and it will make more sense.

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      1. I don’t think I am saved by Jesus, I had asked Jesus to save me and I had repented for him. But long time ago, I was an Idolater and I was a customer of someone who practice mediums and this is forbidden by the Bible. I am sure God will punish me with everlasting punishment for my sins. You can help me if you want, pray for me.

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      2. Ross, if you have truly repented of your sins and asked Jesus for forgiveness, it doesn’t matter what sins you may have committed at any time. Jesus paid the price once for all our sins. There is nothing we can do to “help” that or accomplish anything else. There are many things forbidden by the Bible; like murder and lust, yet we all do those things, maybe not in deed, but in thought and word. Jesus paid it all, all to Him we owe.

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      3. I agree, I am sure God will forgive me for all my sins as long as I don’t reject Jesus. But Satan will try to steal me from God and his promises for me and that is not my fault. We all live in the dark evil world. I am very lucky because I never been a victim of demon possession all my life. I am sure Jesus did not condemn me and Jesus came to me for salvation.

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  8. I had heard about Princess Diana ( ex-wife of Prince Charles and she died in car accident), it is said that Princess Diana never had repented to Jesus all her life, she had visited someone who practice mediums, Princess Diana don’t believe in Jesus, and some Church preachers said that Princess Di is more likely will not go to Heaven when she dies. I think it is very very sad indeed. I am sure Jesus will forgive me for my sins and I pray for those who had rejected Jesus.

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