I wish I could calculate the cost of the energy, money, and time brethren have spent “warring” against, or with, those brethren they consider enemies of Christ merely because they challenge or question or express different understandings relative to “disputable matters” or opinions. It would astound us I am sure. Far more worse is the harm done, and hurt, caused by the frequent bad attitudes, lack of civility and respect in communication, and sectarian spirit that have resulted in our anti-scriptural, unscriptural, and
unreasonable divisions over peripheral matters. Many, many faithful, spiritually exemplary brethren have been sacrificed as enemies of the cross because they would not submit to a bed of Procrustes mentality. Who can calculate this cost?
With regard to myself I can sincerely say that I have no bitter or contemptuous feelings toward these mainly legalistic, sectarian brethren, although I think they are definitely wrong in their attitude and thrust. They do frustrate me and grieve me, but I try not to be judgmental or self-righteous as a number of them have been toward me and my like. Some have even been hateful at times.
Disagreements, different opinions, are inevitable, and they need to be examined and discussed, but in a Christ-like spirit without the animosity and demands of stubborn egos that have characterized many exchanges relative to the issues. If I have slipped at times and not manifested a Christ-like spirit, please forgive me, and even though I think the purpose and thrust of this letter over the years was beneficial and necessary, I wish I had been able to devote my energy, money, and time exposing the real enemies of Christ. At this point let’s look at what some of these people are saying and doing.
1.) Richard Dawkins
Richard Dawkins is probably the leading and best known atheist of our day. He has written a book that was on the “New York Times” bestseller list for weeks. In his book The God Delusion, he asserts that God is a delusion, a “psychotic delinquent” invented by mad, deluded people. He says that faith is intellectual nonsense, religion and science are incompatible, the roots of Christianity can be explained away scientifically, and vigorously asserts that
Christianity is a force for evil. Here is a quote indicative of his dogmatic propaganda:
God is arguably the most unpleasant character in all of fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control freak; a vindictive blood thirsty ethnic cleaner; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capricious malevolent bully.
Is Dawkins getting to and influencing people? Notice what I said above about his book being a bestseller. Further, in recent years he was voted one of the world’s three leading intellectuals as a result of a survey. Now get this: Richard Rohr in a book entitled The Naked Now states that atheism is more prevalent in Christian and Western cultures then in the rest of the world, and the most aggressive and vehement atheists are those who were converted from the most rigid and strict Christian sects. Among other things, the bottom line is that our legalistic, warring sectism discussed at the beginning of this letter does not encourage faith, but discourages it. It is not representative of Christ, “the Truth” that sets us free, but a way that leads to the delusion of atheism which is a religion of slavery to the visceral feelings or man.
2.) Paul Watson
Paul Watson is an extreme environmentalist who founded Greenpeace (an international environmental organization) and directs the Sierra Club. Now I’m for protecting the environment as much as reasonably possible, but Watson accuses persons like me as being guilty of “specieism”. Specieism is valuing humans over other animals and he says it is “a sin as unforgivable as racism or sexism”. Further he says that “earthworms are far more valuable than people” and the “world will be a much nicer place without us”. He and many of his cohorts are big believers in population control by abortion and compulsory sterilization. I guess I am a “specieist”.
3.) Richard Lewontin
Richard Lewontin is a renowned Harvard geneticist. Note what he said relative to religion and science:
We take the side of science (as opposed to the supernatural) in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. . . . Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a divine foot in the door.
Quite an admission! I am very thankful for the advancements of science that have enhanced my living, and I do not think true science and belief in God and His written word are contradictory. Neither do I think the driving motive of a sincere scientist is to undermine belief.
Postmodernism is essentially a tenet of atheism and secularism. It puts an emphasis upon the subjective, and one of its basic teachings is that there is no absolute truth. That’s the absolute truth they assert. (Ha! A little humor). What this means is that every person is free to do as he pleases in every situation. There is no right or wrong. There is no sin. There is no accountability and no shame. This is the narcissism, self-centeredness, selfishness of fallen man gone to seed.
5.) Diagnostic And Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders
This manual is published by the American Psychiatric Association and is the bible of psychiatry and the court system. I think it was the third edition that removed homosexuality from its pages as abnormal behavior. Anyway, prior to its removal psychiatrists were polled and 78% of them said it should be retained, but a bureaucratic committee of five (not all psychiatrists) voted three to two
to exclude it. Now they are preparing a fifth edition and some of those involved are pushing for pedophilia to be excluded and considered as normal. Nuff said.
Brethren, we are aiding Satan when we “bite and devour one another”. The historical origins of modern atheism can be traced to problems among and created by believers. Atheism and its cohorts thrive when believers devote their energy, money, and time to civil war.
Recently I read part of a communication to bro. Al Maxey who is one of the most knowledgeable believers I know, a prolific writer, and very civil, fair, and spiritual. The writer accused him of “programming mindless miscreants who are steeped in sin” with his writings. I, and many of my friends in the one cup Churches of Christ, read him regularly. Further, he was accused of “leading
souls to hell”, of being “high up on the Devil’s favorite list,” and of he and his followers, “It is going to be ‘dark’ and ‘hot’ where you and they will spend eternity.”
Of what do these diatribes remind you? They remind me of the attitude of Richard Dawkins and his fellow atheists who are aggressive, dogmatic, and show no respect. How long are we going to support our real enemies by personally attacking and slamming brethren over differences of opinion relative to peripheral issues? As long as we do we enhance the attractiveness of unbelief. Repent and manifest Christlikeness and we reduce the plausibility of the unbelief of our real enemies.
J. James Albert