Yeah. I know. I’m interrupting my series again. I got presented with an article though that made me think I should. We all know Christopher Hitchens, the author of “God is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything.” As soon as the topic of religion comes up, one can expect the usual from Hitchens.
And you really shouldn’t have to ask what I mean by that.
The article I read is here: http://www.slate.com/id/2207554/
Now I’m not here to defend Rick Warren in his own doctrine. I’m here to defend where he speaks from essential Christian doctrine. I am not a huge fan of Rick Warren, but if he is saying something that I believe is true, I will defend it.
I encourage you to check the first link there where he talks about the mentor of Rick Warren as well which gives a reason for Hitchens being against Warren. Hitchens speaks of how Warren was publicly asked by a Jewish lady if she’d be in Paradise for being a Jew and he publicly told her no.
Later, Hitchens makes this statement:
Will Warren be invited to the solemn ceremony of inauguration without being asked to repudiate what he has directly said to deny salvation to Jews?
Why should he Hitchens? If you want the honest truth. I agree with him. Before you think that’s anti-semitic, I’ll go farther than that and be clear. I also don’t think any Gentile gets special privileges before the Almighty. You see Hitchens, I don’t play favorites like you apparently think God should. (And yet, I bet you complain that God isn’t fair either.) I believe we’re all equally condemned and God doesn’t grant someone a special favor just because of their DNA.
Now if a Jew is in Heaven, it won’t be because they’re Jewish, but because they accepted the Messiah. It’s the same reason for me. The only reason I will be in Heaven is because I accepted the Messiah that God sent, Jesus Christ.
Later, Hitchens make the same complaint about Warren denying Mormons are Christians.
Will he be giving a national invocation without disowning what his mentor said about civil rights and what his leading supporter says about Mormons?
Now I’m not going to support being against civil rights, but I will support the stance on Mormons. However, let me present this in a more humorous light.
Hitchens. I’d like to join a group of atheists and be a charter member. I just insist though in keeping my belief in God. Can I do that and be considered an atheist?
You would think that crazy of course since atheists all deny the existence of God. You cannot affirm the existence of God and be an atheist. That’s the way it is with any belief though Hitchens. There are some things you have to believe in order to be seen as a member of that belief system. You can’t say you are.
Imagine if you met someone who said he was a Muslim. He just didn’t believe Muhammad was a prophet. That person might think he is a Muslim, but he certainly isn’t since one of the core doctrines of Islam is the belief that there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet. It doesn’t matter if you think the belief is true or false.
In the same way, a key belief in Christianity is that Jesus is the second person of the Trinity who is fully God and fully man and of one nature with the Father. This is not held in Mormonism. Their idea of the Trinity is three different gods in unity and Jesus is the spirit brother of Lucifer. Their idea of God is a god who was once a man and progressed all the way to godhood. Now this is certainly a unique belief system, but it is in no way Christian.
Now in your original article, you have this paragraph:
In fact, you know Saul of Tarsus—Saul was a Syrian. St. Paul, on the road to Damascus, had his conversion experience, and so Christians have been here the longest, and they get along with the Muslims, and the Muslims get along with them. There’s a lot less tension than in other places.
Please note that Hitchens. Saul of Tarsus. Where is Tarsus? That’s right. Tarsus is in Turkey. Now Saul was in Syria when he had what we call his conversion, but that does not make him a Syrian. A few minutes with a Bible atlas would have answered this question.
If the desire to bring up Warren being against homosexuality is brought up, why I will agree with that as well. I don’t just do it for biblical reasons. In fact, my argument against homosexuality relies on Natural Law doctrine. Now you can deny Natural Law if you want, but then you become a moral relativist and your whole book just goes right out the window. You’d have to show I’m wrong by Natural Law doctrine then, though I wonder who your Natural Law comes from.
In the second article, we also have this line:
As Barack Obama is gradually learning, his job is to be the president of all Americans at all times. If he likes, he can oppose the idea of marriage for Americans who are homosexual. That’s a policy question on which people may and will disagree. However, the man he has chosen to deliver his inaugural invocation is a relentless clerical businessman who raises money on the proposition that certain Americans—non-Christians, the wrong kind of Christians, homosexuals, nonbelievers—are of less worth and littler virtue than his own lovely flock of redeemed and salvaged and paid-up donors.
If that was the case, I’d disagree entirely. However, I, as a Christian do not see a homosexual or nonbeliever as less worthy than I am. We are all equally human. I seek to win them to Christ because they are so valuable. It’d be interesting though to hear what Hitchens bases human equality on.
My final plea in this is that to say Christianity is false is one thing, but please. If you’re going to attack Christianity, have it be on some sort of factual basis like the existence of God or the resurrection instead of simply “Christianity says a lot of things I don’t like.” That will simply end in what we call a desire for wish fulfillment, and we don’t need that as serious intellectuals now do we?