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Worth The Wait?

Ever increasingly the Christian message is being sold as something that it is not. The message is: “Become a Christian and get a Ferrari! Give your life over to Christ and He will give you everything. He will set you free from money, by giving you all you desire. Jesus’ plan for you is to be rich. For you to be happy, healthy and wealthy.”  Let me assure you that the son of God did not subject himself to death on a cross in order for you to have a warm bed tonight. He has much bigger plans than that. This is not the true gospel. Perhaps Philippians 1:20 is a more accurate reflection of the life of a Christian. “For it has been granted to you not only to believe in Christ but also to suffer for him…”

This false gospel resonates with our Human desire for satisfaction. And our desire to not endure the current trial no matter what reward is on offer. I often ask my recently married friends if it was ‘worth the wait’. They all say that it is… In fact I recently asked a mate who had endured a long period of “perusing”, if the joy of dating this girl was worth the pain of the “pursuit”. He too suggested that it was, if you were wondering.
For those not in the know, a life following Christ is not necessarily an easy one. At least nowhere as luxurious as the one detailed above. The church appears to be in a constant state of conflict and division. Whenever you speak to a friend about their porn addiction you either get accused of being a Pharisee or of having missed the plank in your own eye. You cannot even mention 1 Tim 2 (aka the passage that must not be named) in public without a bullet proof vest on. And good luck trying to suggest that Genesis and the theory of evolution ought not conflict. As you can see, Christianity does not equal earthly prosperity. And for this reason many Christians (if not all) struggle with their faith.
When presented with catastrophic cyclones, simultaneous flooding and bushfires (only in Australia) Christians everywhere start to wonder, is it worth the wait? And if by chance a cute young girl (or guy) pinches your rump out on the dance floor, again we find ourselves asking the same question. Is it worth the wait?
It is a perfectly sensible question to ask, for we have not yet tasted the heavenly banquets and felt the all surpassing joy of seeing our saviour face to face. 
There is some doubt in the joy of marriage. Everyone who has been on a wedding party will attest that even the most in love bride or groom will undoubtedly doubt come wedding day. I think for two reasons; maybe she wont show up and maybe it wont be worth it. We feel the same way about heaven some times. But for us who believe there need not be any doubt. We have a secure hope, for Christ has already secured our eternal home for us. There are no hidden fees or charges. The debt has been paid in full. And we are being welcomed in the front door. And if you think, ‘maybe it isn’t worth it? Isn’t heaven going to be just a bunch of people floating around on clouds in white togas singing songs for the rest of eternity?’ Hear these precious words. “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and earth had ceased to exist, and the sea existed no more. And I saw the holy city — the new Jerusalem — descending out of heaven from God, made ready like a bride adorned for her husband.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying: “Look! The residence of God is among human beings. He will live among them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them.
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death will not exist any more — or mourning, or crying, or pain, for the former things have ceased to exist.” And the one seated on the throne said: “Look! I am making all things new!” He also said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the one who is thirsty I will give water free of charge from the spring of the water of life.”

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Christ is in the house

As a  kid I grew up in two or maybe three different worlds. The world of school, and the world of church and family. The former world was my all in all 5 days a week, and the latter was merely a once a week world. Both of these worlds were very well defined and separated and only on very rare occasions did they ever intermingle.

Having such different worlds requires very different people to live in them. So over many years I developed different persona’s that I could put on and take off, somewhat like I could my Sunday best clothes. One for school, and one for church. This seemed to fix everything. I could be considered cool (relatively cool at least) at school and be seen as holy at church. This however did arise one small issue. As these masks become so routine and mundane it became easier and easier to put them on, but with that, it also made it harder and harder to take them off. This developed to the point where i no longer knew who I was. I was now only recognisable, even to myself, by these very masks that I had formed.

I felt I was lying to everyone. Not by words, but by my very personality. I was not being myself. I was being what everyone wanted me to be. Things had lost control.

This is of course a terrible place to find ones self in. However I think it is something we all do on a day to day basis (perhaps on a small scale). We of course act differently around the police than we would around our closest friends. A story that has been floating around the Sydney Anglican circle recently is that of a man in church striking up a conversation about finance with a stranger in the pew next to him. He was really getting into it, telling the stranger in detail where the stock market is going, where to invest, where he feels the hidden loop holes in the tax system are, and so on. Little did he know, that the stranger was actually one of the highest men within the reserve bank of Australia. You need to know in who’s presence you are in order to act in an appropriate manner.

After some time away form it all, and a few fresh starts I have managed to rediscover my true self. But this still raised another issue. I soon discovered that the person whom I had discovered was not a very nice person at all. In near constant rebellion to God, a factory creating new and modern ways in which I could fall short of god. My true self was not what I wanted it to be. So I devised a cunning plan. I desired to forge for myself a new self, not just a face, but a totally new person. This would drive me to the core. I figured that if God was omniscient, as he is, I would act a lot better if I actually recognised that. So I for some time whenever I feel I am begin tied down by the chains of sin, I picture Christ in the room with me. This did seem to work, but only for the short term. I managed to have a few small victories but in the end I found myself at the same place I started. In rebellion to God. I needed the help of God in order to be like him. And here is the great thing. We whom believe, have our god constantly shaping us and changing us in order to better love and serve him. And although we may still dig new pits in front of our feet, we have a perfect sacrifice already given for us. Jesus Christ.

The one thing i learnt in year twelve chemistry is that there is chemically no difference between graphite and diamond. One so cheap and dirty, and the other so precious that we give it to our most loved. But they are so similar, in fact they are both pure carbon. This is what I think Christians are. We are still human, and  for the mean time, still sinful, but in a very real seance we are diamonds. We have been forgiven, and we are soon to be perfected. There is a debate here that I cannot convict myself to stand on one side or the other of. The question is; are we sanctified now or are we being sanctified progressively toward heaven? Are we diamonds now, or are we graphite with a diamond inside of us, with the master diamond cutter polishing and perfecting us toward our final positioning on the ring?

I am undecided at the moment. But hear the words of Hebrews12. We do have a father who disciplines so that we may know we are legitimate sons, and therefore have a real inheritance that cannot be shaken.

Hebrews 12:7-13

Endure your suffering as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is there that a father does not discipline? But if you do not experience discipline, something all sons have shared in, then you are illegitimate and are not sons. Besides, we have experienced discipline from our earthly fathers and we respected them; shall we not submit ourselves all the more to the Father of spirits and receive life? For they disciplined us for a little while as seemed good to them, but he does so for our benefit, that we may share his holiness. Now all discipline seems painful at the time, not joyful. But later it produces the fruit of peace and righteousness for those trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your listless hands and your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but be healed.

Romans 5:1-3

Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of God’s glory. Not only this, but we also rejoice in sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance, character, and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Hebrews 10:19-25

Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, by the fresh and living way that he inaugurated for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in the assurance that faith brings, because we have had our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water. And let us hold unwaveringly to the hope that we confess, for the one who made the promise is trustworthy. And let us take thought of how to spur one another on to love and good works, not abandoning our own meetings, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and even more so because you see the day drawing near.

Stand Firm, (with Confidence)

Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus,  by the fresh and living way that he inaugurated for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh,  and since we have a great priest over the house of God,  let us draw near with a sincere heart in the assurance that faith brings,because we have had our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water.  And let us hold unwaveringly to the hope that we confess, for the one who made the promise is trustworthy.  And let us take thought of how to spur one another on to love and good works, not abandoning our own meetings, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and even more so because you see the day drawing near. For if we deliberately keep on sinning after receiving the knowledge of the truth, no further sacrifice for sins is left for us,  but only a certain fearful expectation of judgment and a fury  of fire that will consume God’s enemies. Someone who rejected the law of Moses was put to death without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.  How much greater punishment do you think that person deserves who has contempt for the Son of God, and profanes the blood of the covenant that made him holy, and insults the Spirit of grace? For we know the one who said, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.”  It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God. But remember the former days when you endured a harsh conflict of suffering after you were enlightened. At times you were publicly exposed to abuse and afflictions, and at other times you came to share with others who were treated in that way.  For in fact you shared the sufferings of those in prison, and you accepted the confiscation of your belongings with joy, because you knew that you certainly had a better and lasting possession. So do not throw away your confidence, because it has great reward. For you need endurance in order to do God’s will and so receive what is promised. For just a little longer  and he who is coming will arrive and not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith, and if he shrinks back, I take no pleasure in him.  But we are not among those who shrink back and thus perish, but are among those who have faith and preserve their souls.
Hebrews 10:19-39.

The Afghan Church

Introduction to the letter:

We need your help to stop the Afghan government from arresting Afghan Christians and condemning them to death by public execution!

The enclosed letter addresses recent events inside Afghanistan that have unfolded since May 27th, 2010 after an incendiary documentary showing photos and videos of secret “Afghan Christian Converts” aired on Noorin TV, an independent tv station based in Kabul. The documentary was the first of its kind to ever air publicly on national TV in Afghanistan, a country that considers itself to be 100% Muslim.  The controversial content, revealing names and faces of supposed Afghan Christian converts, sparked riots and demonstrations throughout Afghanistan in the days that followed.

During the ensuing protests, demonstrators called on President Hamid Karzai and the Afghan government to take strong and decisive actions against these exposed Afghan Christian converts by enforcing the Afghan constitution, based on Islamic Sharia law, which clearly call for the arrest and public execution of anyone who leaves Islam for another religion.

According to an online report by the Associated Free Press dated June 1, 2010, Abdul Sattar Khawasi, deputy secretary of the Afghan lower house in parliament, called for the execution of Christian converts from Islam saying, “those Afghans that appeared in this video film should be executed in public, the house should order the Attorney General and the NDS (intelligence agency) to arrest these Afghans and execute them”.

In another reported statement, Qazi Nazir Ahmad, a lawmaker from Herat, declared that killing a Muslim who converts to Christianity is “not a crime”. Waheed Omar, the spokesman for the President, told reporters that President Hamid Karzai himself was “personally” taking an interest in this case, and had ordered his interior minister and the head of the country´s spy agency to do a full investigation and “to take immediate and serious action to prevent this phenomenon”.

Reports from inside Afghanistan already tell of many arrests in recent days, frequent and ongoing searches of homes and businesses, as well as claims of torture by those under arrest in an effort to forcibly extract the names of other Afghan Christian converts and the locations of secret Afghan Christian “churches” and underground fellowships throughout the country.

In light of all these events, and the perplexing media silence on these atrocities occurring in plain view of the international community, we are pleading with the Body of Christ around the world to support our Afghan Christian brothers and sisters during this critical time by taking a firm and vocal stand against the severe and devastating wrongs being committed against them by their own government!

We ask that you please forward and share the enclosed “open letter to the church” with your friends, churches, prayer groups, human rights advocates, the media, your local representatives, senators and other government bodies and authorities… We need everyone’s help to make our voices heard!
We must make people aware that right now our Afghan Christian brothers and sisters are being subjected to forcible arrest, intimidation, fear, torture and certain public execution merely for choosing to be Christian! We must raise up a standard against these egregious injustices and blatant human rights violations by taking a strong and public stand against these unconscionable actions being perpetrated and condoned by the Afghan government from the parliament floor against its own people!

The enclosed letter was written on June 8, 2010 by Afghan Christians who are currently living in exile from their beloved homeland because they were forced to flee their country in order to save their lives and the lives of their families, due to orders of execution issued against them by the Afghan government for choosing to convert to Christianity:

***********************
Letter to the Body of Christ around the world,
written by members of the Afghan Christian community on June 9, 2010:

To the Body of Christ:

This letter is written by the Afghan Christian Community in New Delhi, India which is a small community of 150 Afghan Christian refugees and asylum seekers.

We left our country because we were sentenced to death on the account of our Christian faith (conversion), as Afghanistan is a Muslim Country, the Afghan Government is an Islamic government, and Islam is the only formal religion of the country, and according to the Constitutional law of the Afghan Islamic Republic, conversion is considered as a big crime, Christian are called pagans and infidels and are sentenced to death by the Afghan Government. Christians are considered criminals. Death penalty is waiting for all those who want to leave the darkness and come to the true light, repent from their sins, and put their faith on the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Lord and Savior of all human being.

We believe that you (the Body of Christ) have already heard that some pictures and movies of the Afghan believers (from Delhi and Kabul) were shown by an Afghan Private TV (Noorin TV), this TV channel showed these picture in a especial program (Sarzameen Man), and the Government and people were encouraged and provoked to think about the issue of conversion, to make a stand against it and to take serious and practical measures and actions to destroy Afghan Converted Christians (Sons of God) and those who share the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Lost.

The Afghan Parliament, Senate, Religious Council and Islamic Parties and leaders made statements that the Afghan Government has to search, find, arrest, deliver to courts and executes all Afghan Christians, and the Christian NGOs and Organization have to be stopped too. University students protested against Afghan Christians in Kabul and Herat Provinces, and the Afghan Government also made a statement that all Afghan Christians will be arrested and executed, and the Christian NGOs and Organizations which involved with the issues of conversion will be closed.

Mr. Mujajdi the Chairman Of Afghan Senate said that if the Afghan Government does not take serious action, he and other Islamic leaders will call and request the Afghan people to take practical measures to kill all Afghan Christians. President Karzai himself showed his personal interest in this regard and said that all Afghan Christians will be arrested and executed and Christian organizations which are involved with this issue will be stopped. He ordered the Afghan security organs to take serious measures in this regard. The Afghan Home Minister and the Chairman of the Afghan Intelligence told  the Afghan Parliament that 4 Afghan Christian individuals and one family have been arrested and they are under investigation, 13 NGOs have been named and suspended, the names of Afghan Christians have been listed, and the Afghan Intelligence agency is trying to arrest them. Two Church organizations by the names of WCA and NCA have been closed.  As we are in contact with our brothers and sisters in Afghanistan, many believers are arrested, our houses are checked by police and intelligence people in Afghanistan, our families and parents (though they are Muslim) are under investigation and even arrested, and all Afghan believers are misplaced.

  1. So, We (Afghan Christian Community) along with our other Afghan Christian brothers and sisters who are in Afghanistan request you to:
  2. Please pray for us and for this critical situation, pray for those who are arrested, and those who are under investigation.Please come together and help your Afghan brothers and sisters in Christ, as we are sentenced to death, we are arrested, we are under investigation, the Afghan Government kills us because we believe on Jesus Christ, we know that we should consider it pure joy when we suffer (James 1: 1 -4), and we are enjoying all suffering all joy. But we also know that faith without deeds is useless (James 2: 14 – 17), and this is the time to raise your voice for your brothers and sisters, for our children, for our old parents, for the execution of thousand Afghan believers. This is the day that all of us should come together and pray, think, help and raise our voices to the International Community, to put pressure on the Afghan Government to stop killing, persecuting and executing Afghan Christians, to give us freedom of religion, to respect and accept us as Afghan Christians.
  3. We do not know how the whole world and especially the Global Church is silent and closing their eyes, while thousand of their brothers and sisters (Body of Christ) are in pain, facing life danger and death penalty, and are tortured, persecuted and called criminals because they believe in the Truth.

We need to wake up, get up and speak up today, and to prove it that we are really in concern, and care for our brothers and sisters in Christ, we should help the persecuted part of the body of Christ, for His Glory. If we really believe that Lord Jesus Christ is God, then, He commands us to love Him and to love our neighbor, if our own brothers and sisters, are in pain and suffering, and we are silent and we ignore them and their suffering, then the question is that do we really obey Lord Jesus’s commandment to  love Him and our neighbor?

So, dear brothers and sister (the Body of Christ), we (Afghan Christian Community in New Delhi) on behalf of all Afghan Christians request you to support us by your prayers and practical measures, let us tell the Afghan Government that we are not pagans and infidels, we are not criminals because of our Christian faith, and let us tell them not to sentence us to death.

May God bless you!
Afghan Christian Community
(Obaid S. Christ)

This was my essay assignment for the Science and Religion general education course at USNW semester 1 2010.

[Before I tackle the given question, I would like to note that Richard Dawkins is a prominent and publicly outspoken atheist. Thus, as I unpack his ideas on religion, it is obvious that they will include and correlate with modern atheistic concepts. I will attempt to remain focused on Dawkins personal thoughts on religion and not stray into a critical appraisal of atheism; my success in this regard will be determined by the reader.]

Professor Richard Dawkins has been an outspoken ‘preacher’ for the atheist community, who, alongside Christopher Hitchens has made atheism a socially acceptable ‘religion’ as well as making it a strong political force. Just recently Dawkins and Hitchens have been supporting a case for the arrest of Pope Benedict XVI for crimes against humanity relating to sexual abuse. As a leading biologist, it has been Dawkins primary purpose to expand on Darwinian evolution and in doing so explain the origin of the species. Whilst he has been pressing for a wider appreciation of theory of evolution Dawkins has also been presenting his thoughts on religion, arguing against the need of a God. This has brought him into the middle of the resurging science and religion debate. I have tried to compile his major thoughts on religion and have attempted to express my own and others reactions to them.

Faith and Evidence

This I believe is Dawkins most prominent argument against religion and for science, that encompasses many areas of the science and religion debate, that is, science is truth because it is based on evidence and religion is false because it is based not on evidence, but on faith. Dawkins believes that based on evidence scientific (and other) truth can be attained. When asked how he knew his wife loved him at a recent debate between himself and Professor John Lennox, he answered based on evidence. “The look in her eye” (Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion Debate*). This may well reveal the possibility of her love, however as Lennox pointed out, evidence does not form proof. Proof can only be attained by mathematical proof, where it is shown to be true or false by conclusive logic. So this is the first great hurdle for Dawkins to jump. He is incorrect to think that scientific theory based on evidence is truth, and that to be a scientist there is no need for faith. There may well be a scientific theory in which recorded results match perfectly (within the bounds of error) with the expected results; even still this is not proof. All laws of physics have their clauses in which they cease to remain expectable. Faith is needed to do science, that is, a faith in the consistency of the universe is needed in order to apply laws to the universe. Now when we attain some formula for the nature of the universe, when we understand something well enough to be able to predict its future, do we say that we no longer have a need for a god to grant us our daily bread? Is there a need for faith? Newton when derived his laws of mechanics praised god. The very fact that we intrinsically desire to create ‘laws’ has been suggested by many theologians to point toward a creator god who created laws, and being made in the image of God has imparted this desire unto humankind.

Dawkins concepts of religion have been heavily shaped by his work in the field of biology. He constantly presents a case against creationism, and most directly toward the 6 day creationists. He has wide spread support for his ideas that the earth is not 6000 to 10000 years old but in fact 5 billion years old. This is not disputed. He confidently proclaims that although the origins of the universe has “not yet had its Darwin” (Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion Debate*), he suggests that from the first bang to the present, the entire process, from forming atoms, to planets coming to shape, to life itself can be described scientifically. And from the point of life coming into being onward, he suggests that Darwin’s theory of evolution explains the designer appearance of the universe in a simple way. Even Dawkins himself expresses his awe at the universe laid out in front of him in the night sky, and how although he has the “desire to praise someone” (Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion Debate*), to attribute this work to someone, he finds the theories of science and evolution more plausible than the concept of a God. “A creative designer cannot be a satisfying solution” (Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion Debate*). Others would of course feel the inverse. Dawkins suggests that believing in a god provides a lazy answer to understanding the universe in which we live. He suggests that all religions encourage the mind to not seek the answers to how the universe around us works, and the creation story provides a copout answer to the origins of life. “One of the truly bad effects of religion is that it teaches us that it is a virtue to be satisfied with not understanding” (p126 The God delusion). Dawkins is a firm supporter of evolution to be taught in school science rooms before the creation story is taught so to encourage the minds of the young to seek answers to the big questions and not be satisfied with the easier solutions. However Lennox suggests that because of his faith he sought  to understand the creation around him all the more, so to be able to see the power of the God who made it, and thus to praise God all the more.

Much was said about the revelation by scientific observation that the universe was still expanding from the initial big bang and how this strongly promotes the biblical account of creation. The bible claims that there is a definite beginning of time and space which certainly correlates with a single explosion for a beginning. Dawkins does not suggest that the big bang theory proves or disproves the existence of a god, for the very nature of a god existing is not provable.

Multi-verse Theory and Probability

Now a brief observation on plausibility and the multi-verse theory. Dawkins holds to the theory of the multi-verse. This theory is derived to explain the ‘goldilocks’ phenomenon of how the universal constants are so precisely perfectly tuned that it seems mathematically impossible to have occurred. Multi-verse theory states that there exists countless universes in which these constants and many other factors are different to the ones we measure in our universe. Thus we find ourselves in the universe with the perfectly fine turned constants, because it is the only universe we would be able to find ourselves in. Also it follows that if there exists multiple universes in one universe I may be a good person and in another I may be a murderer. Philosophers have of course had a field day on this. An interesting thought to ponder is that, if Dawkins suggests that there is a possibility of a God, however small it may be, it would be logical that in one universe of the many, there would be a god. This is not consistent with the judo-Christian presentation of god, that god would be somehow a part of creation. Thus this should only be considered in a humorous manner. Professor and highly acclaimed author and theologian John Polkinghorne considers it more probable that there is a single creator God than there being infinitely many universes.

Morality and the Mind

The age old question of, do we need a God for us to be good, has been a topic Dawkins has been keen to dispel. He suggests that the universal quality among humanity of doing good and despising evil can be explained from our past and not from god.  “You certainly don’t need a holy book to tell you (how to be good)” (Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion Debate*). He suggests at one time humanity lived in small communities where by doing charitable acts developed within us a desire to do good acts with the hope of reciprocation. “We developed a kind of lust to be good which was parallel to the lust of sex” (Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion Debate*). He suggests that this change in morals can be seen in reverse as the Darwinian desires to do good fade,  and the morals of the world shift. Lennox suggests that the universal nature of knowing right and wrong points to a god who humankind are made in the image of. Forgive the large quotation but it is a favourite of mine, as CS Lewis describes atheism and morality in a manner much more eloquent that I ever could.

“When I was an atheist my argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? If the whole show was bad and senseless from A to Z, so to speak, why did I, who was supposed to be part of the show, find myself in such violent reaction against it?… Thus in the very act of trying to prove that god did not exist- in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless- I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality- namely my idea of justice- was full of sense. Consequently atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning.” (C S Lewis Mere Christianity).

Lewis promotes a complex concept that Lennox expands on, in that, even in the past of evolution, how could the knowledge of good or evil be derived from matter. Lennox suggests that after all, the mind is constructed of matter, controlling matter, being the body, and so, how can the matter of the mind derive that the matter of the body did something fundamentally good? Or in the reverse, if a brick falls off a roof and hits someone in the head and kills them, does the brick feel remorse, or is the brick intrinsically bad for just ‘following’ the laws of Newton. Is then Newton evil? Thus the question to be answered is, how can matter derive morality from other matter? And if we are supposed to be just “dancing to our DNA” (Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion) how can our actions be considered evil if we are just doing what we are designed to do?

Religion is evil

Dawkins boldly claims that religion, even mild religion, is a cause of extremist behaviour. Logical people can be driven by seemingly logical impulses from ‘on high’, to do all manner of evil acts. So he suggests that for the cause of religion millions of wars and atrocities have occurred. “Without religion 9/11 would not of happened” (Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion Debate*). He seems to forget the wars of the world where for the cause of no religion, that is, for the cause of enforcing atheism by force, tens of thousands were killed by the orders of Hitler and Stalin. So what can we attain from this? Jesus did not condone violence, even when he was arrested and led away to be killed he showed compassion and love. In a similar way atheists can be good too, for they also have the universal nature of desiring to be good. So there is really no argument here to say that religion causes evil, for there are people doing evil things in all faiths and cultures. However what is common is that across all these cultures, evil is known and despised.

Conclusion

I felt it necessary to provide Dawkins views on the central claim of the Christian faith, which is that of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. “Having produced some sort of case for a deistic God perhaps, the great physicist who adjusted the laws and the constants of the universe. That’s all very grand and wonderful.  Then suddenly we come down to the resurrection of Jesus. It’s so petty, so trivial, so local, so earth bound, it is so unworthy of the universe.” (Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion Debate*). This is his views. If you were to read the Christian message this is plausible and logical conclusion anyone could find themselves thinking to be truth. However, if one were to consider that there is more to life that this, to think beyond matter, laws and science. To consider the ‘childish’ questions that science can never answer, such as, what is the meaning of life? Then one could view the cross of Christ as the ultimate act of love, from a loving God, for a people who do not love him, only done for the sake of chance, that some may love him back, guilt free.

Resources

The God Delusion Debate

http://www.fixed-point.org/index.php/video/35-full-length/164-the-dawkins-lennox-debate

Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion.

Blog 1.0

Hey guys! Yes i am one of those Jerks who thinks that their words are worth spamming across the internet.

I apologise in for this.

This is mostly for me in training myself in expressing my thoughts on theology in a nice, neat, understandable manner.

And to keep myself disciplined in setting aside time to ponder the mysteries of the Gospel.

Also i hope to post prayer points, for nothing of eternal value is possible apart from the eternal God.

Love and peace.