“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

My friends, the ex-Christian atheists

I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, that I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I wish that myself could be accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to he flesh: who are ex-Christians; to whom pertained the great Reformation, and the glory, and the gospel of justification and sanctification, and the promise of Christ’s soon coming.

Recently I stumbled onto a website designed by an ex-Christian as a place for other ex-Christians to harbor resentment toward Christianity. Their new stance is diametrically opposed to their old faith, i.e. the theory of evolution instead of creation, cynicism in lieu of faith in God, the abundant use of the invective vice calm pure language.

One of the major stumbling blocks for them is the supernatural. Since it represents the work of the spiritual world, which they despise, it must be denied and proven false. Science provides a handy tool for that. In its plethora of theories continually brought forth over the past 200 years since the French Revolution and the “Age of Reason,” the atheist can find a shopper’s delight in the scientific community’s tightly knitted arguments which they have worked to make it all fit together in the best way possible.

But those arguments in this network of scientific guesswork never fit together perfectly. New discoveries must be washed of all evidence that might prove anything in the Bible account or that might disprove any of their other major theories and cause the dismantling of the structure that the scientific community has worked on so perseveringly for so many years.

Truly disturbing is the attitude of these ex-Christians toward those they call, “Xtians.” Their bitterness toward Xtians is freely expressed. But I can somewhat excuse their bitterness—it stems from their outrage toward erroneous church teachings on Hell. Like a nineteenth century author wrote the following.

Satan is seeking to overcome men today, as he overcame our first parents, by shaking their confidence in their Creator and leading them to doubt the wisdom of His government and the justice of His laws. Satan and his emissaries represent God as even worse than themselves, in order to justify their own malignity and rebellion. The great deceiver endeavors to shift his own horrible cruelty of character upon our heavenly Father, that he may cause himself to appear as one greatly wronged by his expulsion from heaven because he would not submit to so unjust a governor. He presents before the world the liberty which they may enjoy under his mild sway, in contrast with the bondage imposed by the stern decrees of Jehovah. Thus he succeeds in luring souls away from their allegiance to God.

How repugnant to every emotion of love and mercy, and even to our sense of justice, is the doctrine that the wicked dead are tormented with fire and brimstone in an eternally burning hell; that for the sins of a brief earthly life they are to suffer torture as long as God shall live. Yet this doctrine has been widely taught and is still embodied in many of the creeds of Christendom. Said a learned doctor of divinity: “The sight of hell torments will exalt the happiness of the saints forever. When they see others who are of the same nature and born under the same circumstances, plunged in such misery, and they so distinguished, it will make them sensible of how happy they are.” Another used these words: “While the decree of reprobation is eternally executing on the vessels of wrath, the smoke of their torment will be eternally ascending in view of the vessels of mercy, who, instead of taking the part of these miserable objects, will say, Amen, Alleluia! praise ye the Lord!” Great Controversy, p. 534,535.

Where Satan can’t convince away from God’s word, he will confuse the issues. If he can’t prevent the irresistible attraction of the dispensation of divine mercy on sinners and justice on sin, he works to create a false interpretation on God’s word, inspiring religious leaders and trusted theologians to inspire hatred toward our Creator through misrepresentations of His character by misinterpreting His words.

An example of this comes from one of many bloggers on the anti-Christian website, this one authored by a 29-year-old ex-Christian, Jacolyn:

After about 15 months in Japan, I came back to Australia for a short visit for my cousin’s wedding. While I was back in Australia, I attended church; the pastor preached a very awful, awful sermon about hell. He actually said, "People often say to me, ‘If God loves people, how can he send them to hell?’" His response was, "God sends people to hell BEACAUSE He loves us so much!" That made absolutely NO sense to me whatsoever!

But again this made me confront hell in my mind and again I got depressed, and I went back to Japan depressed. In Japan I would often walk passed funerals of old Japanese people -- most of them probably not Christian, as Japan is only about one percent Christian. As I walked past these funerals, my mind was in turmoil, my faith was in turmoil, and I was thinking, "How is it possible that that Japanese person who just died is now in hell for all eternity? That's just not acceptable!”Let me just stop and say here that the one thing that stopped me from turning away from Christianity was a complete and paralyzing fear of me going to hell.

Finally I overcame my fear of hell and have decided to leave Christianity. I don't fear hell anymore, and I don't get depressed about others going to hell either.There is some stuff I miss of course: the church family, hope in heaven, believing that there is a God out there looking after me. But those things are not enough to make me believe again. The thought of hell is just absolutely unbelievable to me. (Italics supplied)

The ex-Christians’ war is not against God, but a straw man of God their sub-conscience has erected to do battle against. The sad thing is that their bitterness stems from the insults of intelligence and conscience which pour forth from their churches which claim to speak for the truth. The skeptics blame our Father in heaven for the confusion of Babylon which Satan has stirred up. And while much of the world is becoming anti-Christian because of the outlandish errors broadcasted by the denominations, Satan exults at his genius and success of his work of deception.

It becomes very difficult to reach out to those who have truly worked hard to remain faithful to God. They tried their best to reconcile the erroneous doctrines of the Bible taught to them with any sense of truth and personal integrity, and they just could not succeed. They met with too many pastors who swore that the church’s teaching was what the Bible said. So the honest Christian, with more moral fiber than their pastors, throw the whole business out—faith, the Bible, and Jesus—fully intending not only to never return, but to fight, tooth and nail, against faith with every ounce of energy they have.

Many of them leave the church, yet find it a hard thing to leave their faith in a God of heaven. Once they involve with other belligerent ex-Christians they are pulled into an inescapable vortex of doubt and dark atheism which purports to have all the answers. Such was the case with Jacolyn, although she would deny it now. Those who enter the sphere of atheism are on the ground of Satan, who jealously guards his ranks, especially his newest accessions.

If they left the Bible with reservations and fear, then they have a fighting chance to be drawn back by the Holy Spirit. But those who put religion behind them, fully determined to enjoy the pleasures of sin which the church hypocritically forbade, become the fiercest opponents of truth. Nothing can be said that will change their minds—not the soundest explanations, the warmest entreaties, the mildest rebukes. Anything and everything said to them they will twist and turn around to give the worst sentiments. Satan has control of their minds and they cannot accept help from above.

They become like the hardened path in the parable upon which the seed of truth fell. The crows swooped down and immediately ate them up, not allowing even a moment to pass for the seed to take root. The devils work in the background to revive old memories and sentiments buried deep in the subconscious, boh of which control their reasoning powers and distort the pure word of God if they read it or hear it spoken.

Seeing how successful Satan has been in the popular protestant churches, let us be ever so careful how we represent God and His word in our church and in the world. Let our words be seasoned with salt; let us have peace one with another, not only among the true followers of Jesus, but with the unbelieving and atheistic. In the process, we will save our own soul, and possibly be used by God to help pierce the dense darkness enveloping others.

“For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated. Full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.”


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