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"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)

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  • Rev. David Thommen (URC)
  • John Hendryx
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    We are a community of confessing believers who love the gospel of Jesus Christ, affirm the Biblical and Christ-exalting truths of the Reformation such as the five solas, the doctrines of grace, monergistic regeneration, and the redemptive historical approach to interpreting the Scriptures.

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  • « Theistic Evolution Is a Denial of the Gospel | Main | An Inconsistency in Opposing Divine Election »

    Moral Outrage, Evil and Fatal Inconsistencies

    When I explained to a man who recently left the faith that we are all ill-deserving and are in bondage to corruption, he said this idea was "evil". That is an interesting response because by declaring something as "evil" he is appealing to something he believes is universally binding. I assume this man and many like him are very moral.. perhaps in many ways more moral than I. The point is that they cannot account for their morality. This man said that my belief that mankind is ill-deserving is an "evil" idea. Yet he is unable to account for the authority for the standard he is appealing to.

    The people of this world are filled with moralizing, especially about about the good and bad points of Christianity. Ironically while they say there is no objective morality with their mouths, yet they do require an authoritative reference point if they are going to claim Christianity is evil. Who says? That is where their view completely breaks down. It is a fatal flaw. I asked him to point me to the the place where he is getting his ideas for what is evil. Now either he objectively knows that my view is evil or he is just giving a self-declared personal preference. And if he is simply giving me his preference then he (if he wants to be consistent) should not care one iota what my morality is. But the funny thing, in spite of this glaring contradiction, folks like this often seem to be morally outraged about something. But moral outrage is absurd if they cannot tell me how they KNOW that their morals are binding for all. This is a contradiction -- their presuppositions are thereby demonstrated to be faulty at their foundation. This man spoke over and over to me as if he had authority to declare that my view was evil. So it is a natural question to ask, how does He know? His principle is only binding if he can show me the source for this authority. I propose this is the one of the best apologetics for dealing with persons in this age. Most are left speechless or they change the subject in order to avoid the question.

    Posted by John on April 7, 2013 12:36 PM

    Comments

    Very, very true, Mr. Hendryx. Sadly, in the day and age in which we live, where ungodliness and hatred of God is so rampant, they usually don't even care that they are being inconsistent, they just want us snuffed out so that they can enjoy their sin in peace before the Lord destroys them.

    Here's a recent conversation I had on facebook that illustrates that point. I posted a video debunking evolutionary claims, and I ended up in a discussion with an atheist acquaintance. It's a bit long, you're welcome to remove it if it's too long. Once you recognize the faulty presuppositions that atheists embrace, it's not difficult to expose the inconsistencies in their worldview. (I'm Kyle, the atheist is Angela)


    Angela: 1/3 of the way through and he is so messed up on so many points I hardly know where to start, but let it be known that he completely misrepresents his opposition out of either spite or sheer ignorance. Likely a little of both from the sounds of his hate for Atheists. He obviously doesn't know his opposition, or he wouldn't claim the things he does.

    Kyle: It's a great video. I don't think it takes a rocket scientist to figure out that information (specifically, genetic information) has to come from a mind. Nothing in human experience contradicts that fact. Informational complexity (like a book or software) always comes from a mind. But if that's all it took to convince people, then everyone would be a creationist, but they're not. The issue is: worldview. So I would say, instead of poisoning the well, give people enough credit to be able to decide the issue on their own. But let's say that this video is in fact misrepresenting (lying) about evolution. Who cares? The guy is just an animal, animals trick each other all the time. You're acting as if lying is wrong. Well it might be wrong for you, but maybe it's not wrong for me. Since when were there moral absolutes in the animal kingdom anyway? Deceiving others can have great survival benefits.

    Crystal: disagreeing isn't hate.

    Angela: Rocket scientists, and any of the Nobel prize winning calibar type of scientists disagree with you 100% Kyle, so obviously it takes a smart person to figure out the reason why what looks like a magic poof from God is nonsense. As for the ability for people to be free to think whatever crazy thoughts that the rest of the world has debunked. . .that is their right. Thankfully because of ever changing morals. There is no such thing as moral absolutes, as that would require both humans and the rest of nature to have them then. (Including God) History shows us that there are no moral absolutes in even the human world, much less the animal kingdom; everything is ever evolving. This guys deception was not in his misrepresenting evolution so much (mostly just ignorant of the arguments or evidence) but his complete misrepresenting of Atheists. (Lots of whom I know.) One of his more ridiculous statements was this: "There are two things Atheists want to communicate: "There is no God", and "I hate him!" Ok, does that sound funny to anyone else? Obviously that is his perception ONLY, because anyone who doesn't believe something exists cannot hate nothing. Yet he made many such dogmatic statements as if he has the corner on truth. And as a matter of fact said he said he did in no uncertain terms! Even saying that "truth trumps genius." That may be true, but what makes an idiot think that he has truth when all the geniuses disagree? Hmm, maybe that he thinks he is right, smart and is very proud. . .give me evidence that you are right in your starting basic point of belief in God, and then you can get into your knowledge and intelligence to read and understand the history of a book that has been much changed in time. After all that, you will still have to have evidence for your belief in that historically translated and humanly understood God to be scientifically validated by any smart skeptic. So thinking that a fairy tale in a book (that itself has evolved to say that) will demolish the proven science of the mechanics and timing of the evolution of the universe, simply because we haven't yet figured out how to reproduce the start of life on our one little planet, is as ridiculous as saying that we can't know about the truth of the big bang until we can reproduce it! Funny. The whole thing was funny, if it wasn't so sickeningly naive.

    Angela: But you are right Crystal, disagreement in and of itself is not hate. I may have been hasty to say that, but all the stupid and negative words he put in Atheists mouths certainly seemed to speak of his hate. (Generally, intimidation and fear is more typical though, but with some it does turn to hate.)

    Kyle: Again, since you don't have any moral absolutes, why care or get upset with how others represent atheists? Look, in your worldview my responses are simply the necessary result of certain chemical reactions that happen in the brain. Do you get upset when baking soda reacts with vinegar? Also, why is hate wrong? Since as you said morals are ever changing. Maybe some animals think that hatred is a good thing. Why are you appealing to this invisible moral standard that you expect others to live up to if in fact morality is not constant? And since you don't claim to have the corner on truth, I would simply ask that you stop making truth claims ("there is no such thing as moral absolutes", etc.). Be consistent with your worldview and stop caring about what happens inside another animals brain.

    Angela: "Chemical reactions" are the technical/scientific term for everything we KNOW happens in the body at a response, but there is so much more involved, and it is a gross simplification of the process in an attempt to mock proven science. There is much to do with human conscientiousness that science has only scratched the surface of. (Some would call that the soul.)And as for why hate is wrong? Think about the golden rule, it is rarely self serving to hate, as it hurts all involved. . .but on the occasion, you will see that we need to despise and hate the wrong done to hurt others, (and sometimes the one doing it) as it is killing or hurting us and our species. (So in those cases, it is self serving to hate if it leads to a protective action.) Anyhow, I am not appealing to any standard not universally agreed upon by all cultures, with or usually without, religion. . .just as usual the golden rule. Nice try though. As for not having the corner on truth, it is much easier to know what is not truth, then what is truth. (As there is very little for truth in the world.) If you make a claim of truth, you need to have indisputable proof for it. Well, my evidence against absolute morality and knowable truth is that it is shown by science and history to be ever changing, and no two people who believe in it could claim the same absolute morals or truths. My evidence is based on no archaic religious biases, (and in fact has taken them into account, as I use to have them) just evidence. You cannot say the same. And I dare say, you couldn't even claim what those supposed absolute morals even are! Prove me wrong though; give me 3!

    Kyle: "Well, my evidence against absolute morality and knowable truth is that it is shown by science and history to be ever changing, and no two people who believe in it could claim the same absolute morals or truths." So the truth is that truth changes? Is that a true statement?? I think the readers will recognize the self-refuting nature of this claim. Since you don't have "knowable truth", how do you know you're reading this response?
    My point in talking about "chemical reactions" was not to discuss the specifics of brain chemistry, but to show that in your worldview, we do not have a will that transcends our material bodies -- therefore our beliefs are determined by the arrangement of atoms that evolution happened to give us, not by truth (which you claim we can't know anyway).
    "As for not having the corner on truth, it is much easier to know what is not truth, then what is truth." Is that a true statement? To "know what is not truth" turns out to be a truth claim, which you said we can't be certain of.
    "I'm not appealing to any standard... just the golden rule" But the golden rule only applies so long as it benefits the species right? So killing off the weak and less fit in society, as long as it benefits the species overall, would be acceptable. My point in talking about morals is not to say that atheists are uncaring, or don't help the poor and the sick. Not at all, many atheists help others, and I'm sure you do too. My point is that it's inconsistent. Whether you help others or whether you kill others, neither of those actions are good or bad, they just are. And you may even agree with that statement, but I bet you don't live that way. I bet you help the little old lady across the street, even though she consumes resources that she doesn't return, and slows others down. I'm sure you'll come up with a way to justify her existence, but somebody may disagree with your assessment of the little old lady and think her a drag on society... Oh well, that's just natural selection happening. There's no reason that should bother you.
    As for your desire to discuss how we determine right from wrong, all you need know is that it is based entirely on the unchangeing character of God – no other meaningful standard exists. Discussion of morals does not happen in a vacuum. The only way for us to discuss how to interpret God's revelation regarding the specifics of morality would require you to repent and embrace the Christian God. An apostate has no grounds for talking about Christian theology.
    So go ahead and attack the Christian God, and the Bible and show all the disagreements people have about morality -- but every time you make a statement, ask yourself: is that a true statement? Is that "knowable truth"?

    The man who left the faith is a calvinist or a arminian?

    Kyle,
    That was some really good and truthful reasoning. There is a fallacious assumption among atheists that they necessarily become intelligent when they invoke the name science in their arguments as if Science as a discipline is a preserve of Atheists.
    Whatever is called Science that pits itself against God and creationism is all assumptions and here in lies the secret of their pudding. They approach science on the wrong footing having already made the assumption that there is no God even though all evidence suggests to them that He is alive, well and kicking.
    They want the "evidence" for the existence of God when their very existence is the evidence they are looking for, but are in denial of.
    They want to have their cake and eat it too in that they will claim there is no moral absolutes when Truth is inconvenient for them and then by the same mouth talk about right and wrong. How can you ever have right and wrong where all things are relative? This is only true where truth is a constant and truth can not be truth without an immutable moral being who is God, the source of all that is good, righteous and true.
    By their silly arguments they are just saying, "We will not have this man to reign over us.’But God is not mocked, even if the Lord tarries they will quickly learn when they die that their arguments were all folly when He exalts Himself in judgment of sinners. Amen!

    The gal who left the faith (Angela), was married to a pastor. Before she married a pastor, she grew up in a missionary family that traveled across the US and Canada doing VBS's and other outreach stuff at various churches. Both her and her husband apostasized I think 3-5 years ago. I highly doubt they were Calvinists. It seems to me their version of Christianity was somewhat, though not completely, man-centered. I would say a very synergistic soteriology, and a view of God more as a divine butler. Not 100% sure of that, but that was the impression given to me by other conversations I had with her. I think this kind of thing occurs more often when churches focus on missions, or helping the poor, etc, without preaching the full council of God. People often find themselves lacking discernment in many areas as a result. And so, growing up without a fully biblical view of God, sometimes false converts take longer to leave, and they tend to leave with more bitterness. I've only had my Calvinistic soteriology as of the last couple years (hat tip to James White). I'm carefully emerging from my "cage-stage", but none the less, trying to encourage people at my own church to think seriously about those particular issues. Our willingness to embrace the view of God (and man) as presented in Scripture is very important, and is often what separates genuine converts from false converts. That being said, I'm certainly not saying that all Arminians are false converts, just that their theology is inconsistent, and is more palatable for the natural man to embrace.

    -Kyle

    Kyle,
    You said a lot of things that are actually happening in a lot of places. We have the so called missionary churches that do not even know the gospel and because they do not know the gospel they have to justify their missionary activity through projects. Sponsors and congregants love to hear and see the testimony of boreholes, school desks and such because they are more tangible fruit that is video and consumption ready for this tech driven culture. The mission is dubbed successful based on this even though there was no teaching of Jesus and Him crucified and Justification by faith alone. So the fruit of the Spirit is reduced and equated to projects.
    A related matter is moralistic teaching and the imposition of Christianity by parents on their children. Moralistic and legalist teaching is very attractive because it reduces things to the level that humans think they can perform. So, parents in the process of trying to demonstrate the fruit of their walk with Christ will point to how their kids are behaving well not knowing that salvation is not of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. True religion and salvation is only imposed by God by way of regeneration. Parents get mightily disappointed when their children apostatize and many appear to be very surprised. Why? Because their minds have not been biblically renewed to understand that salvation is of the Lord.
    There are many who grew up in religion and are attracted to it, but never were exposed to the true biblical teaching of who God and Christ are and who they are as fallen, sinful and depraved beings. They were doing Christianity to shore up their goodness and not to acknowledge the goodness of Christ. Once they realize that this thing is all about Christ and not them it gets them really mad and they desert the faith.
    Thanks brother though for your comments.

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