Saturday, June 16, 2012

Richard Dawkins and Dan Barker Have Done the Church a Favor

By Tony Miano

What Richard Dawkins and Dan Barker undoubtedly hope will be yet another frontal assault against religion, with Christianity in the center of their cross-hairs, will backfire on them. It will back-fire on them much the same way Richard Dawkins holding up Ray Comfort's "On the Origin of Species (special edition)" and "180" back-fired. In the end, their attempt to arrogantly rail against the before-mentioned Christian evangelism resources only served to increase interest in them.

Together, with the help of a few of their friends, Dawkins and Barker have initiated the Clergy Project.

In doing so, Dawkins, Barker, and their ilk have done Christianity a favor. And I would like to thank them for their efforts.

Before I continue, let me add that there is no sarcasm in my gratitude toward Dawkins and Barker. Again, I believe they have done Christianity a favor.

1 John 2:18-19 is helpful, here, to show us the service Dawkins and Barker have provided to the Church.
"Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us."
Anyone who has joined Dawkins' and Barker's "Apostates Anonymous" club were never Christians to begin with. As the apostle John made clear about the Gnostics of his day, so it is with any member of the "clergy" who turn their back on Christ. "They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us."

Richard Dawkins and Dan Barker, who foolishly deny the existence of God (Psalm 14:1-3), while actually knowing God exists (Romans 1:18), are being used by God to separate the weeds from the wheat (Matthew 13:24-30), to identify wolves in sheep's clothing (Matthew 7:15-16), and to reveal those who are apostate within the Body of Christ (Hebrews 6:4-6). The Body of Christ is always healthier when the weeds, wolves, and apostates are removed from her midst by God.

There is nothing the likes of Dawkins and Barker can do to turn genuine believers away from Jesus Christ (John 10:27-29; John 6:37-38; Romans 8:38-39). All they can do is draw the false converts away from the Body of Christ.

May the Lord God continue to remove false converts from His pulpits, for the purity of His Church! And thanks, Rich and Dan, for being used by God to make that happen.

If you are contemplating turning your back on Christ, and the efforts of folks like Dawkins and Barker are contributing to that leaning, please understand this. You must examine yourself and test yourself to see if you are even in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5). You may have never been a Christian to begin with. You may be a false convert.

That's right. If you are buying into the "Dawkins Delusion" of atheism, yet you profess to be a Christian, you were never a Christian to begin with. You may have walked like a Christian, talked like a Christian, prayed like a Christian, worshiped like a Christian, served like a Christian, and witnessed like a Christian, but you were likely never saved (Hebrews 6:4-6). You were likely never born again.

No one is born again and then "unborn" again.

If you have not yet turned as far away as members of the Dawkins and Barker "Apostate Club," there still may be hope for you. God may still allow you to repent and believe. He may save you yet.

Please read the following closely. Your very soul may depend on it.

When you die (and we will all die someday), you will stand before God and give an account for your life--every decision made, every action taken, every idea thought, every word spoken. He will judge each of us according to the perfect moral standard of His Law. If we have sinned against Him in any way (and all sin is against God)--if we have lied, stolen, looked with lust, taken His name in vain, hated another person, or coveted someone else's possessions; He will find us guilty of breaking His Law.

We also sin against God when we fashion a Jesus in our mind to suit ourselves--when we create a Jesus in our imagination with whom we are comfortable. This is called idolatry. It is idolatrous to change the character of Jesus Christ and make Him into Someone who turns a blind eye to sin or even applauds sin.

When you stand before God, if He finds you guilty of breaking His Law, He will punish your sin. And the punishment God has ascribed for sin is eternity in Hell. He must do what is right, because He is holy, righteous, and just.

I don't want that for you. I don't want that for Richard Dawkins and Dan Barker. I don't want that for the false converts filling pulpits around the world. I don't want that for anyone.

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift. In addition to being holy, righteous, and just; God is also, loving, merciful, and kind.

2,000 years ago, as you were likely taught in your baptist church, God the Father sent His Son to earth in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus was and is fully God and fully Man, yet without sin. Unlike you and me, He never once violated the Law of God in thought, word, or deed. He couldn't because He was and is God in the flesh--the sinless Lamb of God who came to take away the sins of the world.

Jesus lived the perfect life (a life pleasing to God the Father) that neither you nor I can live. About 33 years into His earthly existence, He voluntarily went to the cross. He suffered and died a horrific, bloody death to take upon Himself the punishment you and I rightly deserve for our sins against God. Three days later, He forever defeated sin and death when He rose from the grave. He is alive today, and He will return at a time of the Father's choosing.

What God commands of you is the same thing He commands of me and all people everywhere. He commands that we repent (turn from our sin and turn toward God); and, by faith alone, receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.

You may have heard this (or something similar) in the past, maybe even in church. But it is not enough to nod your head in agreement and then believe in a Jesus whose character is different than the one, true Jesus of the Bible.

Like everyone else, you must come to Jesus Christ on His terms, not your own.

Please, repent of your sin and, by faith and by faith alone, receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, while He has given you time.

And let me encourage you to watch this important documentary.



Image of Richard Dawkins courtesy of "The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science>"
Image of Dan Barker courtesy of "Freedom From Religion Foundation."