Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Full Course Meal for Atheists

DEAD FLIES cause the ointment of the perfumer to putrefy [and] send forth a vile odor; so does a little folly [in him who is valued for wisdom] outweigh wisdom and honor.
Ecclesiastes 10:1 [AMP]

Some of you may remember how the Watergate scandal brought down the presidency of Richard Nixon. He should have gone down in history as the man who ended the Vietnam war. The man who initiated detenté with the former Soviet Union. The man who crossed the Bamboo Curtain and opened to the door to diplomatic and economic relations with China. But when you say the name Richard Nixon, the first thing that comes to the mind of many is Watergate. Thus, the words of the writer of Ecclesiastes (commonly thought to be King Solomon) are proven to be absolutely correct.

All it takes is a little foolishness to bring much wisdom and honor to nought.

Most of you know that broadcaster Harold Camping predicted that the rapture would occur on May 22, 2001 -- accompanied by a myriad of catastrophic events. Pundits, comedians and naysayers caught hold of this and responded with a barrage of comments, basically riduculing any belief in God. This has dangerous consequences... as King David found the hard way.

Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord and given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme
2 Samuel 12:14a [AMP]

What makes false prophecies even more dangerous is if the cause you to do something contrary to the will of God for your life. There was a huge controversy over a pastor who taught a relatively famous parishioner of his that God approves of people living homosexual lifestyles. Not to open a can or worms (whoops, too late!) but anyone who questions what God has clearly said is doing the same thing that the serpent did to Eve in the Garden of Eden. There was a prophet in the Old Testament who was led astray by a false prophet and that act of disobedience came with a heavy price.

7 Then the king invited the holy man, "Join me for a meal; I have a gift for you."
8-10 The holy man told the king, "Not on your life! You couldn't pay me enough to get me to sit down with you at a meal in this place. I'm here under God's orders, and he commanded, 'Don't eat a crumb, don't drink a drop, and don't go back the way you came.'" Then he left by a different road than the one on which he had walked to Bethel.
11 There was an old prophet who lived in Bethel. His sons came and told him the story of what the holy man had done that day in Bethel, told him everything that had happened and what the holy man had said to the king.
12 Their father said, "Which way did he go?" His sons pointed out the road that the holy man from Judah had taken.
13-14 He told his sons, "Saddle my donkey." When they had saddled it, he got on and rode after the holy man. He found him sitting under an oak tree.

    He asked him, "Are you the holy man who came from Judah?"

    "Yes, I am," he said.
15 "Well, come home with me and have a meal."
16-17 "Sorry, I can't do that," the holy man said. "I can neither go back with you nor eat with you in this country. I'm under strict orders from God: 'Don't eat a crumb; don't drink a drop; and don't come back the way you came.'"
18-19 But he said, "I am also a prophet, just like you. And an angel came to me with a message from God: 'Bring him home with you, and give him a good meal!'" But the man was lying. So the holy man went home with him and they had a meal together.
20-22 There they were, sitting at the table together, when the word of God came to the prophet who had brought him back. He confronted the holy man who had come from Judah: "God's word to you: You disobeyed God's command; you didn't keep the strict orders your God gave you; you came back and sat down to a good meal in the very place God told you, 'Don't eat a crumb; don't drink a drop.' For that you're going to die far from home and not be buried in your ancestral tomb."
23-25 When the meal was over, the prophet who had brought him back saddled his donkey for him. Down the road a way, a lion met him and killed him. His corpse lay crumpled on the road, the lion on one side and the donkey on the other. Some passersby saw the corpse in a heap on the road, with the lion standing guard beside it. They went to the village where the old prophet lived and told what they had seen.
1 Kings 13:7-25 [MSG]

Following the false prophecy caused the holy man to meet an untimely demise. You can read more about the holy man, the false prophet, and the full set of events in Chapter Three of our book, Five Men Who Faced the Roaring Lion.

But getting back to Camping’s obviously false prophecy, many people are using this false prediction as an occasion to blaspheme. We read in Hearst Seattle Media’s Seattle P-I web site that atheists are having rapture parties to ridicule religious belief. Adding additional fuel to the fire are other journalistic reports, including an article in The Los Angeles Times regarding seemingly foolish behavior by those who followed Camping’s false prophecy.

Too bad Camping never read our book, Please Don’t Feed the Atheists.

Unfortunately, antics such as Campings false prophecy are giving the atheists a full-course feast. Last year, comedian Ricky Gervais published a piece in the Wall Street Journal speakeasy section in which he explained why he was an atheist. We have seen similar thoughts from Bill Maher and other pundits... and like Gervais’ article, there are the streams of comments by fellow atheists blasting Christianity (primarily the target of such diatribes). Funny how atheists rarely spew hateful venom at Ba’Hai, Hinduism, Buddhism, or other belief systems). For that matter, they never use figures of those religions as curse words.

What can we do about this absolute mess? The only solution is to show the world what real Christianty is.

He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, and to love kindness and mercy, and to humble yourself and walk humbly with your God?
Micah 6:8 [AMP]

26I anyone thinks himself to be religious (piously observant of the external duties of his faith) and does not bridle his tongue but deludes his own heart, this person's religious service is worthless (futile, barren).
27External [a]religious worship [[b]religion as it is expressed in outward acts] that is pure and unblemished in the sight of God the Father is this: to visit and help and care for the orphans and widows in their affliction and need, and to keep oneself unspotted and uncontaminated from the world.
James 1:26-27 [AMP]

One final note: The Powerhouse produced a CD a while ago entitled Atheists Challenge. You can listen to this message by clicking here.

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