This blog is longer than I had originally intended, but I think it is a good read if I say so myself.
Here is the youtube link to the video. It was a “debate” among four people that was featured on ABC Nightline. It would probably be worth watching for you. It is about an hour long though, so be prepared for that.
Anyway, the issue was to examine if satan exists. That is actually not the main point I want to respond to with my writing today. The question I want to respond to was presented by the host of the debate. He asked, “how do you square the notion of a loving God with the existence of a devil?”
I actually hear this question a lot. However, most people who ask this question are limiting the attributes of God. Yes, God is love, but He is so much more. He is a just God, and above all He is a holy God (refer to a previous series).
While He is love and everything good, He is holy and just. He is so holy that He cannot even look upon sin. So He MUST judge those who break His law (all of us) and are not saved by something (Jesus).
The Bishop in the video says something of the following: God judges you for breaking laws. He then turns you over to the devil, and then he tortures you. A lot of that is fairy tales, superstition, myth.
I would agree to a point. God does not judge those who have believed in and trusted in a Savior (Jesus), and repented and turned from evil. Jesus stands up for us on our behalf and says “paid in full.” Whoa, I just had a PRAISE GOD moment! Back to it. God judges those who have not believed in Jesus and who have broken God’s law (we all have – 2 choices: believe or not). And yes for that, because God is holy and just, the people who do not believe are thrown into the lake of fire. You may be saying that can’t be possible if God loves us, which His word says He does. So, Adam, if you think that God can send people to hell, then He doesn’t love us. So, Adam, are you are saying you don’t believe in His word?
That is not what I am saying. You aren’t listening (see above). Before God is love, He is holy and just. And because God is love, he made a way out for us. We were doomed in our sin. But He sent His Son to die for us, so that we don’t have to pay (eternal death).
Back to the topic in the video. The narrator asks another question to the Bishop. He asks, “Can you pick and choose what you believe from the Bible?” Bishop states yes because it is thousands of years old and we have all those years of men revising the Bible, so it cannot be the original inspired word of God.
This is completely and utterly false logic. For example, the ESV Bible I use was not translated from other English versions. It was translated from the original text (yes they do exist). Most translations are like that actually. So, the Bishops logic is wrong. He is using that pick and choose argument not based on translation, but because he wants to pick and choose in order to suit himself and his life.
Here, in furtherance of this point, I want to refer you to a series of videos by Voddie Baucham. He is one of the smartest men I have ever heard. He is a pastor out of California. For a summary of his video topic, see this post.
Back to the original video. Deepak Chopra says the following, “Belief is a cover up for insecurity. If something is real, you don’t have to believe in it, you should be able to experience it.” I would almost (almost) agree with that. I am not entirely sure what his point was with that. I can only guess he was trying to undermine everyone who says they believe in God. However, I believe (yeah I said believe) that true believers have also experienced God. On a side note, at the end of the debate an audience member asked, “Mr. Chopra, earlier you said belief is a cover up for insecurity…(Mr. Chopra concurs to this)…do you believe that sir?” Chopra said yes. I just had to laugh at that one. Guess you have to watch it to get the full effect of that.
Elsewhere in this debate, Mr. Chopra makes the statement (addressing Mark Driscoll), “you are putting your faith in that book, which was written thousands of years ago.” Mr. Driscoll responds with, “No, I am putting my faith in the one that this book tells the story of.” That was excellent and oh so true.
Okay, one last thing. First, Bishop Pearson states the following, “we presume that God is violent enough to torture billions of people infinitely. That is against the moral character of God. The whole concept is obscene. Most fundamentalists in any religion their thinking is obscure – to say that the loving God [would send anyone to hell].” It sounds to me like the good bishop knows nothing about the attributes of God. He should really read my blog. My question to him would be “who killed Jesus?” I have no doubt that he would answer “the Romans.” That is actually a real common answer. However, it is wrong. God killed Jesus. Jesus became sin for us, and God’s wrath was poured out on Him who became sin. If that is obscure thinking as he sees it, then so be it. That is the message of the gospel. If he thinks that is offensive, then he is right. The gospel message is offensive to those who choose not to believe it.
Mark Driscoll’s closing statement was this: The whole world lies in the power of the evil one. And we know the Son of God has come and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true. And we are in Him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. (1 John 5:19-20)
The bottom line is this. Satan does exist. Evil does exist. Satan is all that is evil. However, Satan is a created and limited being. God wins in the end (cf. Rev. 19:11 – 20:3).
Finally, I can’t miss an opportunity to share the gospel, at least a little bit. God did love us so much (remembering that His holiness and His justice must come before love, or it is not really love), that He offered us a way to escape judgment and hell. 2 Corinthians 5:21, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Hebrews 10:9-10, “then he added, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He does away with the first in order to establish the second. And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” Ephesians 2:4-8, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ–by grace you have been saved–and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.”
If that is not love, then I don’t know what is.
– Adam Smith