Friday, March 27, 2009

What's So Great About Being a Skeptic?

PREACHER: So tell me. What's so great about being a skeptic?

SKEPTIC: Well, I get to sleep in on Sundays. There's that.
PREACHER: What do you think that evening worship services are for? Moot point.
SKEPTIC: And I also don't have to always be looking over my shoulder, wondering if I've offended the Almighty with something I've said or done.
PREACHER: Your statement demonstrates a profound ignorance or misunderstanding of the doctrines of grace and the atonement. Since Christ has died for me (took the penalty of my sins on Himself in my place), God is my father who encourages me (gives me grace through Jesus Christ) to live worthy of being His child. He is not a cruel judge offended by me whenever I make a wrong move. He is a just judge for the self-righteous person who doesn't think he needs Christ's forgiveness. Satan and the devils believe in God, but they aren't getting saved for that. Belief in God and a biblical world view are prerequisites to understanding what Christ has done for us. But, until we accept His work on the cross for our sins and receive Him as our Lord and Savior, we can't avoid God's just judgment.
SKEPTIC: Well, the whole concept of atonement is an interesting one, and something we should consider in a separate post. But basically, I believe that we only get one shot at life, so I have chosen to put all my efforts into making sure I make the very most out of the one life I've got. I'm not sure why people feel like they want to have everlasting life anyway. I mean, everything has an end. Does something have to live forever to have value or beauty?
PREACHER: You seem to believe that at death one ceases to exist. There is no way that you can prove that. Biblically speaking, each of us was created to live forever. We have a choice as to what condition we will spend eternity in, but not a choice as to whether we will exist for eternity or not. And if everything ends, why do we have the concept of eternity in the first place?

SKEPTIC: I think we have the concept of eternity (in the religious sense), because people are afraid of death and naturally drawn to the hope that they could someday meet their loved ones and live forever in a spectacular paradise where everything is just peachy keen. Kind of like when I was a kid and thought it would be really cool if I could live in the ice cream store. But that natural desire doesn't really lend any credence to the supernatural, magical idea of Heaven and Hell as it's taught in Christian theology. And by the way, you're a skeptic, too, when it comes to believing in other gods (Zeus, Thor, et al), right? I just believe in one less god than you do.
PREACHER: Zeus and Thor are not in the same category of the God who created the universe (matter, space, time, and everything else imaginable). They aren't the ones that I have to answer to in the end, and they have not sent their Son to die for my sins. So, whether they exist or not is of no concern to me.

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