Answering the Contrarian, part 1: Distorted Gospel
A guy who goes by the Contrarian has posted a very interesting diatribe on Christianity here. I’m not even going to try to answer it all, but I wanted to hit a few high points.
First, it’s ironic that the Contrarian consistently calls Christians ignorant of basic science. He’s proven himself ignorant of basic theology. Let’s look at what he thinks the Good News is:
. . . you start peddling your nonsense first by insulting me and telling me that I’m flawed and evil (the essence of being sinful).
You are. We all are. I am, or at least, I was. Unfortunately, I still have the desires of the flesh which, I’m sorry to admit, win out more often than the desires of the spirit.
He acts as if when I tell him this, it’s as if I’m pointing out that he has a big nose or that he whistles whenever he says the letter “S.” That’s drastically underestimating sin.
Sin isn’t a character flaw the same way arrogance or easy excitability is. Sin is our nature, and it leads to death. That’s much more serious than eating your salad with the wrong fork.
Then, before my shock at this verbal assault fades, you threaten me: explaining that I will suffer endless and unimaginable torture, BUT that the one who would force this horrific fate upon me actually doesn’t want to do so, but MUST because of his propensity to fundamentally fark up everything he creates.
Well, that’s all wrong.
If I tell you that an atomic bomb is about to fall into your living room and you’d be well served by getting out of the way, would that be a threat? No — I’d be presenting truth. Whether you accept it or not isn’t my problem, but a function of your own inability to grasp the spiritual things. I didn’t grasp it at first, either, and I was raised Catholic. I only started seeing it much later in life.
Second, God doesn’t force this fate upon you. This fate is the inevitable result of your own nature, a nature that God abhors because of his perfect goodness. He is intolerant of sin and cannot suffer its presence. Therefore, choosing your human, fallen nature is thumbing your nose at God. He has better things for you.
Third, God hasn’t farked anything up. It was the first act of human disobedience that farked things up. By nature and genetics, we are children of Adam. Christ, however, has become the Last Adam for us and those who are spiritually descended from Christ will therefore be welcomed into heaven. The rest are, harshly enough, left to perish.
You don’t have to like truth for it to be true.
Apparently, he [God] can be persuaded to grant me entrance into an equally hellish existence called ‘heaven’—a misnomer if there ever was one, and all I have to do is whatever you and your denomination think the bible means with all those contorted lies and nonsense it has between its covers.
Again, no. There is no forgiveness of sin without the shedding of blood (Heb 9:22). The one who sins will die (Gen 2:16-17; Ez 18:20) — either he must pay for his sin or a substitute must be killed in his place. The first sin saw God kill animals to give skins to Adam and Eve (Gen 3:21), to cover their shame (nakedness). Sin always calls for death.
Christ, however, died in our place as the perfect sacrifice to wipe the sins of the faithful.
That is independent of what X or Y denomination teaches.
Now, as to there being thousands of Christianities all teaching different things, this humorous video sums it nicely.
And the Contrarian’s description of the heaven that we hope to attain is equally flawed:
In this ‘heaven’, I will spend all of eternity with people like YOU (whom, at this stage, I already want to distance myself from with the width of an unending chasm), praising the tyrant that sent you and his book of lies to my doorstep, while he sits on his fat ass and soaks up all the glory.
It would be hell for him to spend eternity with “my kind” and the God I serve? Okay, that’s his choice. But hell isn’t really a choice — it’s the default. The Contrarian is simply following his sinful human nature and not coming into the light. He doesn’t want to see his evil deeds for what they are. (Sound familiar? It should. See Jn 3:16-21.)
The Contrarian tries to make us the bad guys and God an immoral tyrant because he doesn’t see clearly enough to know good from evil. It’s a symptom of his sin.
You expound by saying that mine will be the pleasure of walking in streets of gold in a celestial city where one of the main attractions on display—apart from the fat tyrant and the cosmic jew—is to see people who let this wonderful opportunity (threat, don’t try and bullshit me) pass them by, writhe and scream in unimaginable agony while we all sit and laugh at them. The smoke of their torment will be the incense of our paradise.
Wow. No. Seeing people in hell would hardly be a pleasure. Especially knowing they could be with us because they had the eyes to see and the ears to hear the message. But they desired their flesh over their spirit, and so lost both.
That’s the saddest thing in the universe, and not pleasurable for us to behold.
That’s a perverted take on what the gospel really is. In sum, hell is the default. That’s where we are headed, and only God can steer us from that path into a path of light. We are condemned; it is Christ that gives us the right to be children of God (Jn 1:9-13).
Next, we’ll look at the Contrarian’s advice on how not to evangelize.