Tag Archives: unregenerate mind

The Folly of Vanity

I know a guy who has some really wonky ideas regarding religion and the afterlife.  In comparison to every other post modern, I suppose his ideas aren’t all that wonky–in fact, they are consistent with just about every other new age seeker.  They are persistent and may be sincerely held beliefs, but they are wrong.

His early years were influence by Catholicism, but I suspect that came from his grandparents and I don’t know how devout he may have been.  By looking at his other endeavors he has encountered over the years, I have to assume that had no lasting impact, save for the fact that he partly attributes his “falling away” from these “oppressive years”.  If he would read his Bible, he would see that he never was a convert as the act of backsliding is evidence that, to quote Todd Friel and Ray Comfort, “he never slid forward in the first place.”  Nonetheless, his rejection of Christ led him to dabble in silliness such as his opinion that all religion is invalid because some practices “such as sun worship” are ridiculous.  I believe that is the Fallacy of Division.  This guy not only perpetuates fallacies, but vehemently defends his logical errors.

He props up his unbelief in the assertion that God is some big meanie because some people living in the jungle may never have the opportunity to hear the Gospel.  However, he argues from the assumption that people are innocent when that is clearly not the case.  We all sin, and those sins make us worthy of hell.  Everyone can look at the world and know that there is an eternal Creator.  Paul makes this point very clear:

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”  (Romans‬ ‭1:18-20‬ ‭ESV‬‬)

It’s easier to reject the truth rather than face it.  Submission to God requires us to deny ourselves. (Luke 9:23) That symbolic death to self runs counter to what is taught in the world.  This guy I know wants to be a big man with accolades.  He wants to be puffed up by others.  He wants people to tell him that he is brilliant when he parrots new age heresy that all religions and all manner of unbelief lead to God.  This guy is a cosmopolitan man of the world and expends great effort to fool himself with his self-styled intellectual grandiosity.  He is drunk on vanity.  Just a cursory perusal of Ecclesiastes would expose his folly.  Everything apart from Christ is meaningless and this person’s entire existence is nothing but chasing after the wind.

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Doing What is Right in Our Own Eyes

You’ve heard the old atheist canard regarding how the Bible is written by a bunch of illiterate sheepherders, so it must be devoid of all wisdom and has no value (literary or otherwise).  If you read the Bible carefully, you find some of the greatest literature.  There’s poetry that rends the heart.  There’s stories of intrigue.  There’s battles and prophesy.  All of this is written from 66 different authors and the entire text points to Christ and his work on the Cross.  That is an achievement in itself to have a book written over thousands of years that is cohesive.

Atheists really are not concerned with what the Bible says.  It comes from God, so they spend their efforts to undermine Him.  Proverbs 21:2 states it succinctly:

Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,
    but the Lord weighs the heart.

The unregenerate believes that he is good because he has devised his own moral code that he lives by.  Even when he falls short of his own standard, those sins are regarded as one-offs.  But to have a proper grasp on the idea of goodness, we need to have a firm understanding of wickedness.  In matters of eternal justice, there are two places for the righteous and the wicked:  heaven or hell.  Silenceofmind explains, “[I]f a person does not understand the meaning or idea, or form of justice, then it is not possible to understand the meaning or idea, or form of Hell.” Essentially, the unregenerate decides in his own mind that this is unjust, therefore God is a bully, and they reject Him outright.  At this point, the atheist is clinging to a fallacy.  He is adhering to the argumentum ad baculum.  The Threat of Force fallacy.

The problem is that one cannot grasp the wisdom of the Bible without the Holy Spirit. The atheist regards the Bible as rubbish, so while he may read it for trivia games and to indict God for being a big meanie, he cannot understand it as the ultimate author (God) intended if he is not born again.

It’s true that much can be gleaned by the atheist (like the Ten Commandments), but he thinks they are a quaint set of rules that are simple to maintain. “I’m good, I’ve never murdered anyone, I’ve never told any real lies, I’ve never stolen anything of consequence, I don’t covet my neighbor’s fancy car, I’m not committing idolatry when I place little Tommy on a pedestal, or I don’t idolize possessions though I have my credit cards maxed out.”  The unregenerate mind cannot see his inherent badness.  In fact, he is rotten to the core and he is blind to the fact that he is already dead.  The unregenerate mind believes that he is good and his works are good, when in fact, he cannot keep even one law perfectly. James said it best when he said if you are guilty of breaking one law, you are guilty of breaking all of them.

The point is that the Christian knows he is broken and is in dire need of a savior. The unregenerate believes he is good because he rationalizes his sins. He is certain that he is in no need of a savior.  Jesus didn’t come to abolish the Law.  He didn’t come to make bad people good.  He didn’t come to share some new philosophy.  He came to make dead people alive.

Paul explains, “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:1-7 ESV)

That is why true understanding of scripture is elusive to the atheist.