Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Purpose of Life on Earth




8 comments:

Gregg said...

Well, Mr. Billheimer truly missed the mark on that one didn't he?

stranger.strange.land said...

Hmmm. I assumed that he was talking about the sanctifiction of the church (Eph. 5:25-27) in which each member is being conformed into the image of His Son (Romans 8:29; 1 John 3:1-3), and that would include the glorified saints loving as He loves.

Milo said...

Craig,

I responded to your comment about Ray's motivations at AC, but I don't know if it went through due to the error message I got so I'm reposting here. I'm more interested in your opinion anyway.

stranger.strange.land:

Now, having said that, let me say this about Ray Comfort's relentless stand regarding those who "embrace the fairytale of evolution." I am sure that Ray would disagree with both Gerstner and Waltke, but I think I have an idea of what drives his uncompromising opposition to Darwinian evolution.

Ray is "a man of one thing" (and how I wish there were more Christians who are men and women of "one thing"). That "one thing" is the preaching of the Gospel with a view to saving sinners from hell and bringing them to Christ. And when men and women use "evolution" as their reason to reject Christ and His Gospel, that is what Ray sets himself against with all his might.

I really think it is that simple. Now that is my opinion, and since Ray monitors comments, he can straighten me out if I am off base. I don't want to misrepresent his motivation for saying what he says or doing what he does.


Craig,

While you admire Ray for his zeal, do you also approve of his end-justifies-the-means tactics?
You refuse to admit that Ray lies, distorts, misleads, and quote mines in his never ending quest to discredit the theory of evolution. I hope you are not so simple minded that you think atheists base their non belief on evolution. Evolution can be used to reject the literal interpretation that the universe was created in six days approximately 6000 years ago, but then so does geology and astronomy. Evolution has nothing to say about the existence or non existence of God. There are many many theists outside your narrow definiton of True Christian who believe in God, an old earth, common ancestry, and evolution. Surely you must understand that even if Ray's motivations are pure, he does more harm than good by flaunting his ignorance on the subject. Ray's desperation lies in the fact that he has based his belief in God on a certain interpretation of the bible. If one brick is loosened, the entire edifice of his faith comes tumbling down. Has Ray ever brought one atheist to Christ with his anti-evolution rants? I think not, but I have read several people state they were on the fence but are now firmly atheist thanks to Ray.

Gregg said...

Craig - the reason I believe he missed the mark completely is as follows:

* God is a sovereign God and He is perfectly regulating this universe with both his awesome power and might. That statement is borderline blasphemous

* God will teach lessons of pure love to those whom He has an intimate relationship with and has chosen for redemption. He lovingly overcomes their resistance and "unwillingness" rendering them willing

* The supreme purpose of life on earth according to God in places like Isaiah 46 and 48 and myriad of other places is to glorify God

Agreed a major portion of magnifying the glory of God is loving God with all of our heart, souls, mind, and might and loving our neighbor as ourselves, which entails agape love. Love is not the supreme purpose, no more that pleasure, fame, wealth, or any other form of worldly sucess.

There is no context here, I understand, but it just seemed another sweet syrupy ego-centric weakening of God as man is exalted.

I could read the full context and change my mind, I make alot of mistakes, but at this moment, I think he missed the mark completely.

stranger.strange.land said...

I found the quote at a site that has Quotes from various Christians accompanied by a picture from some place in the world. (I changed the picture for this post) Mr. Billheimer's quote was probably from his book, Destined For The Throne, which is about how God is preparing the church on earth for her role in eternity as the "wife of the Lamb."

While the late Paul Billheimer's theological leanings differed from my own (e.g. he beleived in a "Limited acceptance of an unlimited atonement" and in Christ's literal descent into hell after death ) I thought he said some beautiful things about Christ's beloved bride and Christ's love for his own people, that were worth reflecting upon.

stranger.strange.land said...

Milo.

1. Ray has identified himself as a "Fundamentalist." He appears to be representing that which their particular tradition emphasizes in the way that they interpret the bible. My tradition is "Covenantal-Reformed." Our approach and methodology differs from that of Fundamentalism. The important thing is that we preach the same Christ and the same Gospel. (For a detailed critique, see Fundamentalism and the Word of God by J.I. Packer Here is an excerpt.)

2. From time to time I have been solicited by atheists to stand with them in denouncing "Ray's lies" about science in general, and evolution in particular. Some of these solicitations are worded as an appeal to reason and a call for me to preserve the integrety of the Christian witness. Others come off as little more than childish school-yard taunts.

As to the latter, I give the attention they deserve: Zero. As to the former, I will defer to other believers who have a better working knowledge of science than I do. They would be better qualified to investigate the accuracy of Ray's statements and set him straight where he is wrong.

3. Over the past couple of years, in the comments on his blog, we have seen a ceaseless barrage of invectives, insults, and verbal attacks not only against Ray Comfort, but on the Christian Faith, and against God Himself. Appeals to Christians to join them in opposing Ray for the purpose of preserving their credibility appear to be disingenuous at best when considering the broader context of the atmosphere of animosity toward their Faith.

Thank you for stopping by my blog and expressing your thoughts.

Milo said...

Over the past couple of years, in the comments on his blog, we have seen a ceaseless barrage of invectives, insults, and verbal attacks not only against Ray Comfort, but on the Christian Faith, and against God Himself. Appeals to Christians to join them in opposing Ray for the purpose of preserving their credibility appear to be disingenuous at best when considering the broader context of the atmosphere of animosity toward their Faith.

That's on par with a conservative refusing to criticize Glen Beck because we live in the context of the liberal animosity towards conservatism. You didn't have to go out of your way to put the best spin possible on Ray's evolution obession and yet you did. This is not about bashing Ray, I want to know if there are any differences between the two of you besides minor theological issues. The main thing I take away from reading AC is that it is perfectly acceptable to distort, misquote, and misinform as long as you are doing it for Jesus. Do you just turn a blind eye, deny, plead ignorance, or do you agree with this approach? There are two kinds of Christians who post on AC- "ditto heads" and ones who seem to be trying to present the saner side of Christianity. You seem to be the latter but I'm not sure because at times you seem to go out of your way to defend him.

Ray receives the ceaseless barrage of invectives, insults, and verbal attacks because he incites them. I notice you don't have hundeds of comments on your blog calling you an idiot.

Oh and thanks for taking time out of your busy day and expressing your thoughts! Now go back to your discussion.

stranger.strange.land said...

Well Cathy,
It may be that you have just brought one of my major character flaws to light. If so, I won't deny it.

Or, It may be that I see the feud between Ray and the atheists as infinitely of less import than other issues discussed at AC, iow, my mind may be on a different track than other commenters.

There are two kinds of Christians who post on AC- "ditto heads" and ones who seem to be trying to present the saner side of Christianity. You seem to be the latter but I'm not sure because at times you seem to go out of your way to defend him.

I have defended his preaching the law and gospel often, and sometimes his analogies/illustrations when I understood them and thought they made sense (which was not always the case). To the best of my recollection, this was the first time that I have offered a suggestion that might be a clue to Ray's vehement stand against evolution. I almost always skip his science posts anyway, they aren't intresting to me. When I do read some, I usually figure "That's just his Fundamentalism."

Ray receives the ceaseless barrage of invectives, insults, and verbal attacks because he incites them. I notice you don't have hundeds of comments on your blog calling you an idiot.

That makes the one I just received that much more precious. ; )

Oh and thanks for taking time out of your busy day and expressing your thoughts! Now go back to your discussion.

I'm sorry Cathy. I honestly don't get this obsession that all these people have about Ray Comfort. If he is the scoundrel that you and others say he is, why not ignore him?

Craig