Sunday, February 03, 2008

Rick Warren on the Colbert Report, Purpose, & the Chief End of Man



Today I came across a video of Rick Warren (Pastor of Saddleback Church) being interviewed by Stephen Colbert on “The Colbert Report”. The interview was around five minutes long and it was a complete tragedy to watch. One of the many depressing things about it was that Stephen Colbert seemed to display more Biblical knowledge than Rick Warren did during this interview.

Here is my personal transcript of the majority of the interview (I left out a few irrelevant caveats):

Colbert: Now before we go any further, the purpose of life does derive you’re basing this on biblical truths, right?
Warren: Absolutely.
Colbert: Ok, let’s explain to the kids out there that God does exist, that God does love you. Because their image of God from the MTVs and the Nintendos is like some vengeful monkey who’s throwing barrels at Super Mario.
Warren: (laughs)
Colbert: They don’t know who God is. Who is God Rick?
Warren: “God is creator, and He created the entire universe just so that He could create this galaxy, just so that He could create this planet, just so it tilted at the right axis so that it wouldn’t burn up or freeze up, to sustain human life, because He wanted to create human beings. He wanted to create you to love you. He loves even Stephen Colbert.
Colbert: Oh, I believe that.
Warren: (laughs)
Colbert: He created me in His image, and I sure love me.
Warren: (laughs)
Colbert: Now but that galaxy earth thing, that sounds like the gospel according to Carl Sagan.
Warren: (laughs)
Colbert: I mean, are you a fundamentalist preacher?
Warren: No.

Colbert: You’re not.
Warren: No. A fundamentalist is somebody who stops listening. There are fundamentalist Christians, Jews, Muslims, atheist, and secularists. It’s an attitude that doesn’t listen to anyone else.
Colbert: Well I don’t want to hear any of that. What I want to hear is that you say every word of the bible is inerrant.
Warren: I do believe that
Colbert: So we should stone gay people?
Warren: (laughs)
Colbert: It says so in Leviticus, we should do that.
Warren: Who are your writers?
Colbert: Uh…. Who are my writers? I’ve got none tonight except the inerrant word of God. I mean, you’ve got a very friendly God, don’t get me wrong. The God you describe very friendly, very casual, probably doesn’t wear a tie either,
Warren: (laughs)
Colbert: Your God is a lot like Jimmy Buffett.
Warren: (laughs)
Colbert: He’s very, very…He’s low key. Paradise is Margaritaville.
Warren: (laughs)
Colbert: Why do you think people respond? Is it because the god you describe is not vengeful?
Warren: No. There’s nothing in [The Purpose Driven Life] that historic Christianity hasn’t said for the past 2,000 years. I just said it in a very simple way. It took me, actually, 7 months, about 12 hours a day, to write the book, and I spent about half the day just trying to make the sentences shorter. So if it was a 17 word sentence, how could I say it in 9? If it was a 9 word sentence, how can I say it in 5? Einstein once said that if you can’t say something in a simple way, you don’t really understand it.

Colbert: The sub-question of [The Purpose Driven Life], is “what on earth am I here for?” What do you think the purpose of life is? Is it individual, or do you believe in something like the Baltimore catechism where we’re here to know God, to love God, to serve God?
Warren: Well I do believe that. One of the things that the Bible teaches is that this life’s not all there is. You’re going to spend more time on that side of eternity than on this side. You get 60, 80, maybe 100 years on this side, you’re gonna get trillions of years on that side. This side is preparation for the next. And there are things that we’re going to do in heaven that God says, “I want you to practice here so that you’re not a dufus when you get there.”

Colbert: What is the purpose of every day? Can I say what my purpose is? “My purpose is to shout at people that I disagree with.” Am I living my purpose, Rick?
Warren: You know, when you be who God made you to be, that makes God smile. I used to think that God only smiles when we’re doing, like, spiritual stuff: confessing, going to church, reading the Bible, things like that. But actually God gets enjoyment out of watching you be you. When my kids were little, I used to watch them sleep at night. And their little chests would rise and lower, rise and lower, and I got so much pleasure out of that, ‘cause I made ‘em. I’m their daddy. And when you be who God made you to be, a dufus…. When you be you, God looks down and goes, “that’s my boy.”

Colbert: Let me ask you something. If you ask Jesus to come into your life, will He?
Warren: Absolutely.
Colbert: If you ask Jesus to come onto your show, will He do that too?
Warren: (laughs)
Colbert: Because I’m having a hard time booking guests right now.
Warren: I have connections.
I have some major concerns with this five minute interview and what Rick Warren said (or didn’t say) about himself and about God during it. The first thing that was very concerning to me was how Rick Warren painted God’s reason for creation. Basically, as I understand it, Rick believes that God created everything just so that he could create you in order to love you and me because we’re so loveable. How else can you interpret his comments about creation and God’s pleasure out of watching “you be you.”

It is providential that I saw this video today because I have been thinking a lot about what various protestant catechisms state is the chief end of man. The Westminster Shorter Catechism says that the chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. But if, according to Warren’s comments, God created everything with loving His creation as His primary goal as they are, or “you being you”, what does that say about God’s glory, his hatred of sin, his demand for righteousness, and the need of grace? Some may argue that Warren’s statements reflect the essence of the message of unconditional divine love that was manifest in Christ during His incarnational mission. To that end, I would flatly disagree. His statements do the exact opposite. If God loves me for being me, and He’s proud of me for doing what I’m programmed to do, then why the cross? What’s the need to have God Himself beaten, spit on, mocked, unjustly tried, viciously executed, and for Him to bear the eternal wrath of God on His own for all of those who would follow Him?

God doesn’t love me for being me. He hates me for being me. He despises sinful men in their natural condition. Does He desire to have mercy on us and command all men everywhere to repent? Yes, but that doesn’t translate into an “’at-a-boy” attitude. Furthermore, Warren’s example of watching his own children sleep is such a distorted analogy of God looking at us, and I can’t stand it. Let me put forth an analogy that is closer to reality from a Biblical standpoint.

A father is sitting in the bedroom of one of his children watching him sleep. Earlier that same day, that child had murdered all of his siblings, raped his own mother, did various other wicked things to other people, and only fell asleep because of exhaustion. And when that child wakes up, if he has enough strength, he’ll kill his father. Does this father love his child for being who he is? Does watching this slumbering murderous and hateful little monster fill him with the same type of joy and pleasure that Rick Warren described? Make no mistake; our sinful condition is more heinous in God’s sight that this man’s son would be in his own. It is from this point, and only this point, of understanding our wretchedness that we can ever hope to understand the cross of Jesus Christ and what that means about God’s grace and the nature of man.

The second thing that was fairly frustrating to me was how Rick Warren defined fundamentalists and fundamentalism. According to Warren, fundamentalism is a bad thing because those who follow this type of a system don’t listen to others and their opinions. I’m not sure how much I would need to listen to and interact with those who disagree with me in order to not be guilty of this sin in his eyes, but I have to point something out to Mr. Warren. He’s guilty of the exact same thing that he is accusing fundamentalists of. Namely, he’s not listening to them. This is the same type of foolish and self-defeating argument that people have use frequently. One familiar incarnation of this type of logic is when the idea of absolute truth is being attacked. The objection used is, “there is no such thing as absolute truth.” And the problem with that statement is that the statement itself is a statement of absolute truth. I’m sorry, Mr. Warren, but your presentation of fundamentalism is not only untrue, but it’s also unfair and it makes you a type of fundamentalist because you won’t listen to what people like me have to say.

This type of foolishness is exasperating. He could have sad that fundamentalist Christians want to understand the Bible in a more plain and literal way, and they disagree with his church model and watered down gospel message (that ends up being so diluted that it is impossible to be certain that he preaches or believes the true gospel of Jesus Christ). He could have said that fundamentalists see Church primarily as a place for believers in Christ, whereas he sees church as a place to draw in unbelievers and effectively starve any believers of solid Biblical food. But he said neither of those things.

Thirdly, Mr. Warren was repeatedly asked direct questions about the Bible and about life that he completely ignored, shrugged off, or didn’t really answer. I couldn’t believe that someone who professes to be a Christian, when asked directly who God is, doesn’t immediately mention the name of Jesus Christ. But Rick Warren is not merely a professing Christian, he holds the position of an elder and that leaves him even less of an excuse for not being forthright and clear with matters relating to the gospel and Jesus Christ. If Warren’s lack of clarity wasn’t bad enough, it was the host of the program, Stephen Colbert, and not Pastor Rick Warren who was the only one to use Jesus’ name.

A little while later, on the heals of Warren’s assertion of his belief in the inerrancy of the Scriptures, Colbert asks if we should stone homosexuals based on the book of Leviticus. There are many different ways that a pastor could have addressed this issue that would have both been glorifying to God and edifying to those who were listening, but Warren opted for a different type of response. Warren’s response of “who are your writers?” neither is glorifying to God or edifying or instructional to his hearers. Furthermore, this response shows his complete unwillingness or inability to address the larger issue of homosexuality. A pastor should be willing and able to deal with this issue, even if he is uncomfortable or nervous when he does it.
With all of the concerns that I have noted here, I must say that the majority of my frustration with this interview was not with what Rick said or didn’t say. Even though his performance was tragic, it was with the way that he showed, or didn’t show, his reverence for God that was most concerning to me. There were at least five different occasions where Rick Warren laughed at or encouraged blasphemous talk. When speaking about God – who is the creator of the Heavens and the earth, the One who holds all things together by His own power, the One who is a consuming fire, the One who holds the heavens in the span of His hand, the One who sought to satisfy His own justice and display His own grace by suffering to be a man and dying for those who hate Him – Colbert compared Him to a Donkey Kong-like figure and Jimmy Buffet. Colbert also compared Heaven to Margaretville, and he mocked Jesus by talking about how to get him on the program. Now, I don’t know if Colbert claims to be a Christian, so I don’t expect him to hold the name of God in honor; but Warren claims to be a Christian and an elder and he ought to hold God’s name in honor. To every one of Colbert’s blasphemous comparisons of God and to his horribly sickened way of joking about heaven, Pastor Rick Warren sat there and laughed. He sat there and laughed. And if that wasn’t bad enough, he even joked along with Colbert’s comment about getting Jesus onto his program by saying, “I’ve got connections.” I’m sorry, Pastor Warren, but that is not funny and it seems to be apparent to me that your “connections” that you have with Christ may not be what you seem to think.

This despicable lack of reverence for God and reluctance to be bold about the proclamation of the gospel should cause me to be upset and offended for the sake of my God, His son, and His church. But it should also cause me to be ready to answer questions about God and proclaim the gospel whenever I might get the chance. Now, it is very unlikely that I will ever have the platform that Rick Warren has every week or that I would be on the Colbert Report to talk about Christ and Christianity. But if that should ever happen I need to be ready to answer the questions and do a better job of defending my Lord than Rick Warren did.

Pastor Warren, you should be ashamed of yourself.


26 comments:

Tobin said...

Good post Eric - that is pretty deplorable.

Just one more example of a writer of a book other than the Bible being lifted up almost beyond reproach in many of today's chruches - and this is what's being praised?

Jack Trade said...

Amen! Rick Warren is nothing more than a tare among the wheat. The fact that he encourages such blasphemous talk tells me more about the man than his books ever did. The church does not need his type of "entertainmant evangelism" anyway. I have a terrible feeling that ythe man needs to get saved, or he will be eternally condemned as per Matthew 7:22 and 23.

EJ said...

I take no joy in coming to some of the conclusions that I have regarding Pastor Warren or his ministry. I fear that so many of the pop-evangelical leaders are not executing their office in a Biblically consistent way. Many times the theology is either skin deep, atrocious in its details, or both of them.

I hope that Pastor Warren is a believer, but if I ever have any interaction with Warren, or others in a similar category, I would definitely have an evangelistic concern.

May God be glorified and may He save souls for His Name's sake.

Reg said...

I too believe it is providential that I happened over to this site today because I have been thinking a lot about just how very much God Loves each of us individually to have planned the Death of His Son to be tortured as you described --for me and for you. Such Indescribable Love. WOW!

God could have created us with the same stuff as His Son Jesus so Adam and Eve would have resisted sin, but He chose not to, so that we could be receivers and containers for God and not God. I was born in sin and God knows that it is His responsibility to remove that curse from me by His Son taking away the curse of Death -- for it is only He who can. God is the Giver. For God so Loved….

You Said: If God loves me for being me, and He’s proud of me for doing what I’m programmed to do, then why the cross? What’s the need to have God Himself beaten, spit on, mocked, unjustly tried, viciously executed, and for Him to bear the eternal wrath of God on His own for all of those who would follow Him?
God doesn’t love me for being me. He hates me for being me. He despises sinful men in their natural condition.

This may be where your theological trolley leaves the track.

He does not hate me for being me – he does not hate the children for the sin of Adam and Eve. He sent His Son as Replacement for Adam so we could know our real Father.
Then the Father draws all mankind to the Son who saved them.

Your analogy below is the sign of an illegitimate Son or Daughter. We are already Sons of God who only became sons of the Devil thru know fault of their own and only need to be Redeemed back to the Father. Children do not behave the way you described below.

You said: A father is sitting in the bedroom of one of his children watching him sleep. Earlier that same day, that child had murdered all of his siblings, raped his own mother, did various other wicked things to other people, and only fell asleep because of exhaustion. And when that child wakes up, if he has enough strength, he’ll kill his father.

Please rethink your position. Would your own children behave this way ?.

I’m quite sure they would do none of the above unless they were demon possessed.
We baptize and Christen our Children to protect them form such demon possession. Please pray and ask the Father God just how much He loved you even as a child. Also their angles are there to protect them from the horrendous things you described.

Shalom & Blessings
Reg

Anonymous said...

Reg says:

Hey Eric --When you take the Fun out of Fundamentalism - All you are left with is Dam Mentalism -

Hey --I just made that up - LOL

Seriously thou Eric do you believe children who die before the use of reason are dammed to hell?

Shalom
Reg

EJ said...

Reg: First of all the issue of the children who die before the use of reason is not one that I believe is addressed in this article, so I will table that question for now.

I read your comment and just decided to let it be because I think that you completely miss the point of sin and depravity. But first things first:

General comment about your comment:

“God could have created us with the same stuff as His Son Jesus so Adam and Eve would have resisted sin,” – that is a very theologically dangerous phrase. There is no way that humans could have been created with the same stuff as the uncreated God.

The heart of the post & your comment:

“He does not hate me for being me – he does not hate the children for the sin of Adam and Eve. He sent His Son as Replacement for Adam so we could know our real Father.

Then the Father draws all mankind to the Son who saved them.”

All man is guilty before God and under His divine judgment. All men are born into the world under just condemnation of God who has been sinned against. Colossians 1 states that before faith in Christ, the believer was an enemy of God. Genesis 6:5 & 8:21 say that all of mans thoughts & intents are only evil all the time. Isa 64:6 says our righteous deeds are filthy rags. Ephesians 2 calls those who do not believe “children of wrath”.

Christ Himself says that those who oppose Him are children of their father, the devil. Not all people in humanity are children of God other than in the sense that we were created by Him. I utterly reject your claim that people become sons of the devil by no fault of their own. In one sense, we’re children of the devil because of our imputed sin from Adam, but we are also sons of the devil because we are sinners by practice and passion before salvation. The doctrine of original sin, built on the first hand full of chapters from Romans and other Scriptures, holds all men under sin and all men guilty because all men love sin and desire only to do sin apart from the grace of Christ (cf Gen 6:5; 8:21).

I have children, and they are sinful. I don’t teach them sin, but they sin. Now, the analogy was built off of what Mr. Warren said. If (and I must say again, “if”) Warren was referring to the believer when he painted the picture of looking at his kids when they were sleeping and being proud of them being who they were – then that is okay because who we are in Christ is pleasing to Him. But, that cannot be said of the unbeliever. And that is when the picture that I described came into being. Because sinners as we are – before conversion and those who die in their sins – are more vile in God’s sight than the picture that I painted.

Regarding demon possession and baptism- that’s another issue for another day – baptism doesn’t demon protect you- the Holy spirit through regeneration does.

As far as rethinking my position – it is absolutely spot on, and the Bible proves it. Mankind did in fact kill, torture, and afflict His prophets and apostles, make harlotry of the worship of God by going after idols, and did wake up and kill the one who made them when we killed Christ.

People are that vile by nature without the restraining of God them – even the unregereate.

Anonymous said...

General comment about your comment:

“God could have created us with the same stuff as His Son Jesus so Adam and Eve would have resisted sin,” – that is a very theologically dangerous phrase. There is no way that humans could have been created with the same stuff as the uncreated God.
Reg says:
Why not - Adam body was created from dirt but His Spirit not created but Breathed into by the Spirit of God. Is this not similar to Gods son being begotten?

My main objection was to your child whom I presumed was before the age of reason. If so they would not do the those extreme things.Steal their siblings cookies, and such sure but your picture was demented. I understand total depravity but that is why there is total Grace. I still say Jesus loves the little Children -that IS after all why He came.
Shalom
Reg

EJ said...

Regarding being created “with the same stuff as His Son Jesus”. The only thing that is similar is that Jesus’ flesh was not fallen in the same way as Adam and Eve’s flesh weren’t fallen. But their spirits/souls were CREATED, Jesus WAS NOT. There is no similarity in their beings in that sense. Even Jesus incarnate is different because He condescended to be clothed in flesh. Sorry, but your Christology – at least as is represented by this phrase which you continue to defend – is very troubling. Christ was not created. He is begotten of the Father but not made; He is God from eternity past incarnated 2000+ years ago in perfect untainted humanity. The Christology that you hint at is troubling and dangerously close to heresy. I say this in Christian love because if you get Christ wrong (as Arians, Mormons, Modalists, and others do), your sins are not forgiven.

Re the picture of children: I was playing off of the picture Rick used. Whatever the ages of the kids he was referring to are – I don’t know. And whether or not my own physical children would kill people at their young age doesn’t matter – kids have killed before and they will kill again. Little kids have molested, killed, and done other sorts of heinous acts (just watch the news or look back at past news). But that is not even the point. The point is that God sees all sin and any sin as worthy of divine judgment and wrath. And I took Rick’s analogy and ran with it – if God were to come into the bedroom and see mankind (all mankind; men, women, children), he would see the face of the one who would overthrow Him and kill His messengers…and mankind already has for thousands of years.

The grace of salvation is total grace, but it is only given to those who repent of their sins and trust in Christ alone as their savior. But until such time, every child is born in sin and is, by nature, a child of wrath whose only inclination is to do evil.

Anonymous said...

Eric: The Point of Gods Divine Experiment of Mankind was to show His Love not His Hate.

The point I am trying to make is that God sees all sin and any sin as worthy of divine judgment and wrath. But here comes the big but---but that wrath was poured out on Him self as it were -- rather than on us.

Even though God made us--- we were not created perfect. God was showing Satan and the fallen angels what real love is. Love crucified the Perfect One to save the Imperfect ones.

As you said: “God sought to satisfy His own justice and display His own grace by suffering to be a man and dying for those who hate Him” --- I would say to
display His own grace to those who do not KNOW Him and only know satan.
Now they are given a choice between Love and Hate.
Satan,the fallen Angels and all those born in sin can now see what Love IS --- that Love Gives and does not Take.

He is our example of Love not Hate.

Tough Love on Himself and Gracious Love on Us.

The difference in our point of view may only be in the perspective we choose to look at God.
Shalom
Reg

EJ said...

I think that your lens of looking at God and the situation is a bit skewed.

The bible clearly says that natural, sinful, carnal, and unsaved man is wicked, an enemy of God, hater of God, and so many more things - none of which are good, redeeming, or even neutral.

The Bible is also clear about God's wrath at unrighteousness and His hatred at sin and the sinner.

Your paradigm of why the “Divine experiment” was setup is bad too. First of all, its not an experiment. God knew exactly what He was doing, what would happen, and what the outcome would be. His end goal in all things is not primarily to save sinners from His wrath, but it is to glorify Himself. That is the end aim of God.

And if God punished all sin for all people of all time on the cross – why then do men end up in hell? And if you say “for unbelief” how is unbelief not a sin?

Read some of my other posts that deal with sin for more on that subject.

And God didn’t pour out tough love on Himself – He poured out the cup of His divine wrath – no love, no mercy, nothing withheld – it was not tough love.

Anonymous said...

Eric you said:
Your paradigm of why the “Divine experiment” was setup is bad too. First of all, its not an experiment. God knew exactly what He was doing, what would happen, and what the outcome would be. His end goal in all things is not primarily to save sinners from His wrath, but it is to glorify Himself. That is the end aim of God.
I say it was an experiment in that God knew the outcome but Satin didnt. God has no need to Glorify Himself He already is all Glorious. It is satan who desires to glorify himself. For God So Loveed the the World that He Gave....
Shalom
Reg

Anonymous said...

Bottom line -Gods Love overcame His hatered of Sin (not His hatred of US) and sent his Son --If he hated us so much He would have said --Just Fuggetaboutit -Me and My Son will just roll around heaven all day. Eric -never forget it all about His Love. Remember your even trying to correct me because of Love. Otherwise we would not be having this conversation due to our non- existance.
My life verse is -Everything else in life will fail except Love -cause God is LOVE.
Shalom
Reg

EJ said...

We have much divergence here. But let me be frank, for a moment. It seems to me that you have a fairly immature, albeit well intentioned, central understanding of God. He is love, the fullest and most perfect expression of it, but that is not ALL that He is. I urge you to read my blog entry called “God is love” for how I believe that we need to understand 1 John, 1 Cor and the rest of the Scriptures. (article found = http://contendersbiblestudy.blogspot.com/2007/04/god-is-love.html )

And when I say immature that is not intended to be a slam or an insult, but it is intended to speak truth. It would be as dangerous and immature to say that God is only wrathful. But please, before responding again, read that article above – otherwise, we’re just spinning our wheels.

And as for your comments about God not needing to glorify Himself – well, we can table that one too, because a pretty clear theme emerges in the Scriptures that the end goal of all things is to glorify God.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Eric—I Couldn’t find God –is Love-- with that link:

It said---Sorry, the page you were looking for in the blog the Contender does not exist.
I did find this by you about the Twin Cities Bridge Collapse:

So if we are going to ask the question of why God allowed or caused this bridge to collapse, it is only fair to God to ask Him why He allowed or caused all of the other bridges, buildings, and airplanes not to fall down.

And this second question is only made more urgent if we rightly understand God’s immense and immeasurable wrath at sinful men and women. And when we understand that it is an expression of God’s general grace that is shown by His patient endurance when He allows sinful people, who deserve immediate death and damnation, to live and enjoy life for any length of time at all, only then can we see death and calamity in its proper God-centered context.

Eric –People are not Gods enemy –Satan IS. We are no match for Satan or our evil nature but God is. I cannot resist the devil unless I first draw near to God. Actually drawing near to God is all I can do. Then He smacks the devil silly with just one thought - the Cross.
Ask yourself this question –why do we deserve immediate death. He takes no pleasure in death of the wicked -- the lost and perishing but that all men might be saved.
Eric- the problem is always Satan not man. God must rid us totally of Satan. We kill our enemies because we mistakenly think they ARE satan. The demoniac of Gadara was dandy once the demon was chased out of him.

Shalom & Blessings
Reg

Anonymous said...

Eric –you said:
As far as rethinking my position – it is absolutely spot on, and the Bible proves it. Mankind did in fact kill, torture, and afflict His prophets and apostles, make harlotry of the worship of God by going after idols, and did wake up and kill the one who made them when we killed Christ.
--------------------------
I must take exception to your spot on thinking as it was just that kind of thinking that permitted the Holocaust. We did not kill Christ . The Jews did not kill Christ.( Which was Hitlers claim and reason to get the Germans to go along with killing 6 million Jews –saying that they Killed Christ).
The Romans did not kill Christ. No human could kill Christ – He laid His life down because His Father requested that He do so. So in reality God killed Christ. God poured out all His wrath on His own Dear Son out of love for you and me. So He would not have to pour out His wrath on you and me. No Greater Love……
Shalom
Reg

EJ said...

Yes, REg, it was God’s predetermined plan that His Son be killed so that He might redeem those who would repent of their sin and Trust in the savior. But, it was not mindless and unwilling agents who sued for His death (the Jewish authorities), or who agreed with the mob mentality to have Him executed (the Jewish multitude), or who carried out the brutal beating and murder of the sinless Son of God (the Romans), or whose willing sins made this sacrifice the only way to be made right with God (all of Adam’s posterity).

Hitler and others have done great harm by over-emphasizing the guilt of the parties physically present in the crucifixion of Christ – but that is nothing near what I am saying.

Mankind is sinful – from birth, by nature, and by desire. All that we do, say, think, and want is only evil. Because there is not a natural inclination that we have that seeks first the kingdom of God and seeks to honor and obey God above ourselves.

God loves – in the forgiving and gracious way that we are talking about – only those to whom He is at peace with through their faith in Christ (cf. Romans 5:1).

The fact is that man, in his natural and unregenerate state, hates God. Even if we don’t “feel” like we hate him – our every action and desire screams that we hate the true God of the Scriptures.

And God is angry at the sin and at the sinner. Men are completely depraved and only want to do evil (even if the evil that we want to do doesn’t seem evil to us).

Yes, REg, it was God’s predetermined plan that His Son be killed so that He might redeem those who would repent of their sin and Trust in the savior. But, it was not mindless and unwilling agents who sued for His death (the Jewish authorities), or who agreed with the mob mentality to have Him executed (the Jewish multitude), or who carried out the brutal beating and murder of the sinless Son of God (the Romans), or whose willing sins made this sacrifice the only way to be made right with God (all of Adam’s posterity).

Hitler and others have done great harm by over-emphasizing the guilt of the parties physically present in the crucifixion of Christ – but that is nothing near what I am saying.

Mankind is sinful – from birth, by nature, and by desire. All that we do, say, think, and want is only evil. Because there is not a natural inclination that we have that seeks first the kingdom of God and seeks to honor and obey God above ourselves.

God loves – in the forgiving and gracious way that we are talking about – only those to whom He is at peace with through their faith in Christ (cf. Romans 5:1).

The fact is that man, in his natural and unregenerate state, hates God. Even if we don’t “feel” like we hate him – our every action and desire screams that we hate the true God of the Scriptures.

And God is angry at the sin and at the sinner. Men are completely depraved and only want to do evil (even if the evil that we want to do doesn’t seem evil to us).

Scriptures attesting to the complete sinfulness of man & God’s wrath at the same party:

John 3:19 "This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.”

Romans 8:7-8 “because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”

Ephesians 2:1-3 “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.

DIsagree with the sinfulness and wickedness of man and God's wrath them - bring Scripture. Otherwise it is presupposition that we're looking at and nothing Biblical.

and the link for that article I mentioned before that you need to read is below:

the Contender: God is Love

Anonymous said...

Hi Eric –
I do not Disagree with the sinfulness and wickedness of man and God's wrath on them ----- but this applies to those who refuse His loving Kindness that leads them to repentance.

I was led that way at age 7 with my first confession. My thoughts expressed in the prayer I was taught were not on the loss of heaven and the pains of hell---but on --- most of all because I have offended thee my God who are all good and worthy of all my love.

He had already softened my heart by my parents and teachers telling me how much God loved me but also on how I needed too confess my sins to Him whom I offended.


Also -- Good article on God is Love—you stated:
“people often state that God is love when confronted with their own sin in an effort to skirt the issue and say, “God will forgive me because that’s what He does…He is love.”

God will forgive me true-- but first He will convict me and even chastise me which we call tough Love.

This may be the difference between our two points of view.

Gods Wrath is for those who refuse to repent and are therefore called reprobate minds.

God chastises those he loves—(I’m sure you know the verses)

Very Big difference between Chastisement and Wrath.

Shalom
Reg

EJ said...

You said: "I do not Disagree with the sinfulness and wickedness of man and God's wrath on them ----- but this applies to those who refuse His loving Kindness that leads them to repentance."

And I would not really disagree with that point, but the point is that all men from birth are at enmity with God and our thoughts are only evil and thus refuse all of His revelation of grace until we are regenerated, and given grace, faith to believe with, and repentance to turn with.

There is a big difference between chastisment and punishment, and only the sons are chastised by the Father, not the unbelieving rebels.

The whole issue is boiled down to this fact that I will illustrate with my own family.

I have five children. And from their earliest days they have been sinners, wretched and wicked in their sin against God. “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.” (Ps 51:5; cf. Gen 6:8; 8:21). This is true of my youngest who is, as of now, only been alive for a matter of weeks and has not yet been born. This unborn child whom I love is guilty in God’s eyes, and the soonest cognitive thought that my child will have will be an unholy, and therefore sinful and evil, one.

My second eldest child is dead. He died before he was born. He did not die in a sinless state, but I believe based on Scripture that I will go to be with him even though he cannot be with me (cf. 2 Sam 12:23). I will not see him again because there was no ground on which to condemn him, but I will see him because God’s grace seems to cover the little ones in his situation and those who die young.

My eldest is now five, and he has expressed his desire to repent of his sin and trust in Christ alone for salvation. He knows that (as much as he can know and communicate) he is a sinner, that he deserves God’s wrath at his disobedience and sin, but he also knows the good news that Christ died and can save him.

All of that to say this – all of my children were on the wide road destined for destruction from birth because of their own sin. That is the point of contention that I had with Mr. Warren’s analogy, and that is what I stand by now. All (unregenerate) people everywhere have zero truly good intentions. All of our own personally motivated and aimed intentions are heinous acts of rebellion against God’s throne. It was sinful mankind that killed the prophets and the Son, yes God willed and allowed and destined it to happen that way, but man bears the responsibility because man desired to do it.

So, when God looks down on man being as we naturally are, He would not see a sleeping child as you or I would see our children at night. He would see sleeping children who have done unspeakable wickedness and who desire to dethrone the Father. When He looks down at the redeemed and regenerated, I would be that He sees us as His children much in the same way that I see and love my own children.

Anonymous said...

'Evil does not exist, or at least it
does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is
just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the
absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is the result of what
happens when man does not have God's love present in his heart. It's
like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that
comes when there is no light.'

Your last paragraph depends on God foreknowledge of your childs decision in the future.
Since God knows the beginning from the end He First loves us and we are given the free will to foolishly reject that love. He knew Esau would rejected that love by rejecting the birthright and lusting after those women who were not of the family of God all before He was born.

Gods love is based on KNOWING what your childeren will do in the future, specifically rejecting or accepting His Love -- but everyone is given a measure of Faith to recieve His Love.

Choose You this day--as soon as your old enough to understand -who you will serve.

According to the below verses until you told your child something was sinfull your child was alive to Gods presence by Gods decision as to their future choice -thus giving them their Angels to behold His face until the children are old enough to recieved Him on their own-- simply because God knew they were to inherit salvation.

Mat 18:10 Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I say to you that in Heaven their angels always behold the face of My Father in Heaven.
Mat 18:11 For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.
Mat 18:14 Even so it is not the will of your Father in Heaven that one of these little ones should perish.

Rom 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Let it not be said! But I did not know sin except through the law. For also I did not know lust except the law said, You shall not lust.
:8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, worked in me all kinds of lust. For apart from law sin was dead.
:9 For I was alive without the law once. But when the commandment came, sin revived and I died.

1Jo 4:19 We love Him because He first loved us.


1Jo 4:8 The one who does not love has not KNOWN God. For God is love.
:9 In this the love of God was REVEALED in us, because God sent His only begotten Son into the world that we might live through Him.


Rom 12:3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to every one who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think. But set your mind to be right-minded, even as God has dealt to EVERY MAN the MEASURE of faith.
Shalom
Reg

Anonymous said...

Thoris Says:

Hi, Eric--pleased to meet you. I’m Reg’s wife and you and your discussion with my husband have been the topic of much dinner conversation. I have read your responds with interest and may I say with some degree of shock. You are obliviously a well versed individual and I know that you love the Lord, but I also sense that you are reacting out of a lot of pain or at the very least, from a fire and brimstone background. I was certainly never taught that God hates sinners. Sin yes, but because of the consequences it causes in our lives and because it keeps us from fellowship with Him. However, as John 3:16 says, “God so loved the world…” That includes everyone – regardless of their current position in Christ. In or out – God loves all. I understand the fallen nature, and how you can put forth the statement about being born in sin, but I don’t totally agree. I’m sure that you understand God’s mercy on the unborn and on babies and small children. I think that Paul explained in Romans that before the law, he was alive. It was the law that, when it came into existence, made us sinners. I’m pretty sure that a small baby is in the eyes of a loving Father accepted into heaven. When the child learns right from wrong and chooses wrong, he has immediately fallen into the “sinner” category. I don’t think that you will win many people to Christ with the testimony of how much God hates them. If he does, he wouldn’t save anyone, including you and me. Hate is a pretty strong word and emotion. Remember we give sinners the Good News First. If they refuse that ---only then do we give them the Bad News.

John 8 Joh 12:47 And if any one hears My Words and does not believe, I do not judge him, for I do not come to judge the world, but to save the world.
:48 He who rejects Me and does not receive My Words has one who judges him; the Word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

Commentator Barnes says:
The word that Christ has spoken, the doctrines of his gospel, and the messages of mercy, will be that by which the sinner will be judged in the last day. Every person will be judged by that message, and the sinner will be punished according to the frequency and clearness with which the rejected message has been presented to his mind, Mat_12:41.

EJ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EJ said...

Reg –

First of all, I don’t understand how my last paragraph above “depends” on God’s foreknowledge. That is a separate issue than the one at hand (one that I am more than happy to look into, but this is not the post to do so because it lacks my most thorough catalog of my thoughts). Please feel free to address the issue of foreknowledge/predestination/free will by clicking here the first article would be the primary discourse of mine on election, the others cover the surrounding issues (see “for to you it has been granted” the second article on that page).

The issue of depravity here is that all men all children all babies are desperately wicked from conception. There is not one Bible verse that says otherwise. This does not mean that babies are as evil as evil can be (obviously because they cannot DO very much evil or even think much evil, this limits them), but they are by nature children of wrath.

Thoris –

Pleased to make your cyber-acquaintance along with your husband 

Re: John 3:16 and if God so loves the world that means everyone. 1 John 2:15 “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” It does damage to the Scripture and to the gospel to use John 3:16 as a cudgel when we need to carefully apply it to where it is intended. If we used it haphazardly, then 1 John 2:15 would make a hash out of John 3:16 and our understanding of Jesus and His divine ministry.

If I accepted your presupposition about John 3:16 (at least what I believe your presupposition is – that God loves all and therefore gives all men the same measure of grace and faith with which they can choose in their free will to accept Him or reject Him with) that doesn’t change the fact that men are born evil and only desire evil. That is not based on anything other than Scripture.

“1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.” (Eph 2:1-3)

Paul is addressing believers in Ephesus in this letter and is saying that they WERE dead (not sick, not hurt, but dead) in their sins and were by NATURE (not simply by choice) children of WRATH, even as the REST (of humanity).

As for the fate of children who die – yes I believe that they go to heaven based on 2 Sam 12:23. But I also believe that they are sinful even if they don’t express sin in their actions/thoughts based (partially) on the following passage:
“12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned-- 13 for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.” (Rom 5:12-14)

I believe that the ones who had not sinned in the likeness of Adam would be the infant/pre-born child, but still Rom 5:12 “all sinned” encompasses them even though they had not sinned in the way that Adam had – having the knowledge of right and wrong, etc.

Perhaps I should use the phrase that “God is wrath filled” or “wrathful” at the sinner (cf. Eph 2) instead of “God hates the sinner” – I will take that under thought, but hating something that is evil is not a sin or it is not wrong, so I will think on it…

However, Thoris, my primary concern with your comment is the final part.

You said, “I don’t think that you will win many people to Christ with the testimony of how much God hates them. If he does, he wouldn’t save anyone, including you and me. Hate is a pretty strong word and emotion. Remember we give sinners the Good News First. If they refuse that ---only then do we give them the Bad News.”

First of all, it is Christ who wins people to Himself, not me. I do not change the message to “win” converts. And the message that God hates/is wrathfilled at the sinful man makes perfect sense and is reasonable if we explain why – i.e., our sin. And your statement that if God hates then he wouldn’t save anyone not even us – that is a true statement apart from His saving grace. He would be just and uncondemnable if He saved no one. But, your comment is more rhetorical and not a Biblical argument since neither of us says that God saves no one. The Bible gives a clear picture of how God “feels” about sinners – He casts sinful men with the demons into a pit of eternal torment.

But the most concerning of all, even of this last part is about the gospel. The gospel makes no sense whatsoever if it is not preceded by the law and the condemnation that comes because of sin that is made evident by the law. (Please forgive the faults of the analogy here) In the same way that no one in their right mind would think that chemotherapy is any kind of good medical advice without knowing first that they have terminal cancer that the only treatment is chemotherapy, no one thinks that Jesus Christ, the cross, the atoning sacrifice for sin, or the dying to self that the gospel calls for is a good idea unless you understand your own stance before God.

The bad news – the law, sin, death, judgment, hell – is all a necessary precursor to the gospel of good news. Look at the book of Romans – Paul spends chapters laying out the doctrine of sin and the falleness of all man before he comes to the gospel.

The proclamation of the good news of the grace of God in Jesus Christ makes no sense in any way without first explaining the need for grace. And that is this: man is sinful, wicked and dead in his own sin that he loves. And it is by God’s grace alone that the man can be saved. Christ commands all men everywhere to repent and trust in Him alone for salvation; and all the believing ones will not perish but have eternal life.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Anonymous said...

Eric we probably are in agreement on most of the issues you discussed.
Lets just stick with my original objection to your blog about Gods hate or wrath as you say for the unborn or the little children. Would you not agree their only sin is being born in sin because of Adams sin of disobedience? Is it not written that the last Adam removed that one particular sin from us? Jesus Blood covers those little children. If they live beyond the use of reason then their own inherited sin nature kicks in. They are told not to be selfish and share their toys or play nicely with your brother or sister. Their sin nature
Must be acknowledged individually by them and receive Christ and his work on the Cross. At that point their sin nature or acting out in sin needs to be confessed as sin.

The only help for the sin nature is to hide your bad self in Him.

The minuit I come out of fellowship with Him, I sin again.

Whatever is not of reliance of Him is sin.

Faith in my faith or my doctrine –is sin - namely idolatry.

Faith in my money, my 401k, my gaming hobby, my intelligence, my sports ability to teach —Anything above Him is flat out Idolatry.

Hiding in Him is Freedom from it all, even my sin nature.
Shalom
Reg

EJ said...

As you suggest - lets get down to it. What verse/verses are you referring to when you say that you believe that the Bible says that by the fact of Jesus' death and resurrection (not a response of faith and repentance) that original sin has been removed from all humanity?

I await your Scripture and then we can go from there dealing with the text.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Anonymous said...

Ask yourself what sin was put away by the sacrifice of Himself ?.

Notice it is sin - singular --that causes death. Each time sin is metioned below it is singular.

Disobedience in the Garden.


Heb 9:26 (for then He must have suffered often since the foundation of the world), but now once in the end of the world He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.

Was Jesus the Lamb from whom the Skins were made to to cover the sin of Adam and Eve?

Joh 1:29 The next day John sees Jesus coming to him and says, Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

By the Passover Blood - Death passed over.

The Father of the House placed the Blood on the Door.

Rom 5:12 Therefore, even as through one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed on all men inasmuch as all sinned:

Rom 5:13 for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
Shalom
Reg

EJ said...

My Response to your last comment can be viewed on my newest post.

the Contender: Was Original Sin Wiped Away at the Cross?

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