Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Let's Get This Straight - 1

I have several friends on Facebook that are atheists.  And in that group there are several that are at least as vocal about their world view as I am, if not more-so.  When they post something like the photo you see above, it is very difficult for me to remain silent.  But I don't think Facebook is the forum to iron out our differences or argue.  They put up with my preaching and I need to respect their right to preach as well.  So I have decided to take examples they use, careful not to reveal their identity and respond accordingly here on the blog.  Should they see an example they've used when coming here and want to discuss...I think this site might be a better place to dialog.

So what is wrong with the hell-bound message above?  Isn't that what ignorant, hateful Christians like me believe?  Not exactly.  This is what is known as a strawman argument.  A strawman tactic is when your opponent sets up your belief system for you (although it misrepresents your beliefs) and argues against the fake version instead of what you actually stand for.  Its a great tactic for those on the outside looking in that don't know any better but it fails horribly if you understand the authentic beliefs that are being attacked.

God does not send anyone to hell...we choose that option by rejecting Him.  Furthermore God LOVES the man that posted this on Facebook every bit as much as He loves me.  Jesus Christ did not come to die for Jim and Jim alone.  He died for ALL people and covers EVERY sin.  Our responsibility is simple.  We can accept His atonement for our sins (let him stand in our place and take the punishment) or we can stand on our own two legs and take it ourselves.  But don't let guys like this fool you...they do have a choice!  Why anyone would rather stand on their own merits instead of Jesus' is beyond me but perhaps that is a different discussion.

Let me illustrate my point with an analogy.  Suppose you decide to drink and drive knowing ahead of time its illegal and carries with it a certain penalty of two days in jail.  Can one then claim..."Your Government LOVES you but wants to send me to jail"?  No...the Government sees me and you as citizens with equal rights under the law.  Our choices are all that distinguish us.  God made a way (albeit it an exclusive way) to avoid the penalty for sin.  But that exclusive method of atonement is an inclusive invitation to ALL.  I sincerely pray that the person that posted this on Facebook comes to know Jesus Christ and uses his free will to choose eternal paradise over eternal punishment.