Sunday, September 28, 2014

Dawkins' Bitter Idolatry: Preliminary Points

“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.” -- Atheist Professor Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins is a leading atheist and evolutionary in the modern world.

His pointed attacks against those who believe in God, who regard intelligent design, and who recognize the Bile as inspired, have received nothing but attacks and denunciation from Dawkins.

His well-known attack against God, particularly the Deity presented in the Old Testament of the Bible, has excited a great degree of admiration (for his rhetorical flourishes), but gives a full vent to the frustration or bitterness which defines atheism today.

Like many critics, and self-righteous individuals who justify themselves instead of God, Dawkins argues that there is a God in the New Testament who is not the God in the Old.

The accounts of destruction, famine, and plagues visited on the Israelites, the destruction of entire races of people, and the laws handed down in the Torah suggest a harsh and uncompromising deity who is out to get man, and find fault with him every step of the way.

That is not the truth at all.

God is indeed a God of love, and He is a god of Light. He created a perfect world, yet man, the pinnacle of God's creation, rejected His sovereignty.

God did not reject man, though, and had in place the plan for redemption which would not only reconcile man, but promote him to a higher status than Adam's.

When God made a particular covenant of grace with Abraham, the father of faith, he then focused on one group of people, Abraham's descendants the Jewish people.

When the Israelites finally left Egypt, however, they still complained and trusted in their efforts to save themselves, and bitter resented God's leading and rebelled against Moses, the friend of God.

At the foot of Mount Sinai, God invited the Israelites to continue in the covenant he had established with Abraham, but the arrogance of the people was so great:

"All the God commands, we do!" (Exodus 19: 8)

God then laid out the Ten Commandments, and other laws which follow. Exodus 20 contains the Big Ten.

These laws were never meant to justify man, but rather show man that he cannot justify himself:

"Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin." (Romans 3: 20)

and also

"23But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. 24Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster." (Galatians 3: 23-25)

and also

"8But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; 9Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners." (1 Timothy 1: 8-9)

Now, back to Exodus. . .

God's tone changed toward the Israelite afterward, and apart from the sacrifice of animals, every time that the Israelites sinned, God would take away protection from them.

Despite the causative aspect of the English translations of the Bible, God never directly harmed the Israelites. They switched covenants, and God had to uphold His end.

He would fulfill the Mosaic covenant of law through His Son, and institute the New Covenant of grace:

"10For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
11And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
12For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more." (Hebrews 8: 10-12)
Like too many Christians, Richard Dawkins fails to rightly divide the word of truth (2 Timothy 2: 15), and for this reason he misrepresents God's true nature: one which seeks to bless and not curse, slow to anger, rich in kindness and grace.
One verse in the New Testament expresses the heart's desire of our Daddy God (Romans 8: 15) --
"Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth." (3 John 1: 2)
Whatever God is talking about, He is not the God of the Bible, Old or New Testaments, but a manifestation of the bitter idolatry which defines and determines atheism, ancient or modern.

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