Archive for the ‘self-deception’ Category

(A series of scripted correspondences from a ‘Heavenly helper’ to a Christian Soldier)

[Letter 11]:

Greetings Soldier,

Your recent enquiries reveal a deep thirst for knowledge and an eagerness to put what you have learned thus far into action. Needless to say, the Heavenly Hierarchy is pleased with this! Regarding your question about whether unbelievers (whom we know to be living in willful denial of God’s revealed truth) are necessarily lying when they profess to believe the things they say they do: the answer is ‘no’—they are not necessarily lying but are often ‘self-deceived’. Remember, satan does have the ability to blind the minds of those who deny God in order to keep the Gospel from reaching their hearts. One of the ways he accomplishes this task is by means of cultivating and promoting an attitude of ‘willful ignorance‘ (merely one form of self-deception) on the part of the unbeliever with regards to things concerning God, Christ, and the Bible.  It has been rightly stated that one will not receive into their heart as true that which their mind rejects as false. Therefore, it is the concerned Christian’s urgent duty to engage in pulling down such ‘intellectual strongholds’ through the bold presentation and declaration of the truth in order that the unbeliever might be freed from the captivity of satanic deception and granted repentance unto salvation by God the Father, through faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Understood in this light, Christ’s declaration in John 8:32–‘you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free’–is received with a new and fresh appreciation in the mind and heart of the Christian.

In response to your second question: ‘yes’ I do advocate trying out these arguments online. There you will find no shortage of anti-Christian blogs, posts, and websites where you may engage the unbeliever, expose the error of their worldview, and enlighten them with Biblical truth. Be forewarned, though, that unbelievers do not take kindly to having the basis of their worldview challenged and exposed in this way and you will almost certainly encounter hostility like you never have before. In truth, this is really a positive, since it is a sign that the arguments have struck a nerve and are provoking some discomfort in the unbeliever’s state of mind. Besides, any reaction is always preferred over apathy (since apathy is but one sure sign of intellectual and spiritual ‘deadness’). So long as there is passion and/or zeal present (even misguided passion and/or zeal), then there is hope of a genuine conversion; after all, who can forget the grand transformation that took place when a certain misguided zealot named Saul was converted into that radical new creature in Christ—the Apostle Paul! If you are interested in beginning a conversation on the Dialogue.org site you mentioned, then I suggest you simply state your position plainly as to how Christianity provides the foundation for preconditions of intelligibility and then challenge the unbelievers there with a few direct questions about how those things are reconciled within their worldview. The purpose of this is twofold: it will provide the unbeliever with an opportunity to tell you about their worldview so that an internal critique of it can be performed, while providing you with the opportunity to plainly demonstrate to them how and why Christianity alone provides a rational, internally consistent, foundation for the preconditions of intelligibility required to hold a discussion in the first place (knowledge truth, logic, etc.). For example, you could begin with something like this:

*’Isn’t Dialogue.org great?! We have a place where anyone can come and argue any point about virtually any topic! However, an astute debater will find that the very concept of ‘debate’ assumes the existence of logic, truth, and knowledge. Since laws of logic are abstract, universal, invariants and truth and knowledge are certain by definition, each of these concepts can be (and are) made sense of in the Christian worldview (since they reflect the absolute, immaterial nature of a Sovereign God who has revealed Himself to mankind such that we can be certain of who He is).One should ultimately ask, though, how any non-Christian can rationally account for any of these concepts apart from the God of the Bible. Well?’

This should elicit enough response from the other side to keep you busy for a while and provide you with plenty of hands on practice in evaluating non-Christian worldviews for the presence of arbitrariness, inconsistency, and the preconditions of intelligibility. Have fun,

Your Heavenly ‘Angent’

*To see this approach utilized at a real online debate site, check out: http://www.debate.org/forums/Religion/topic/55783/

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(A series of scripted correspondences from a ‘Heavenly helper’ to a Christian Soldier)

[Letter 12]:

Greetings Soldier,

I see the discussion has now turned to the laws of logic. I am happy to help guide you in how to formulate your responses to the latest responses you have received. First of all, it is crucial to understand that laws of logic, by nature, exist as abstract, invariant, universal laws for correct reasoning. That is, they are not made of matter, they never change, and they apply in all places and at all times. As such, they pose quite a problem for the unbeliever, since none of these characteristics agree with their version of the universe, which is allegedly wholly materialistic, changing, and different from place to place. Consider the logical law of non-contradiction for instance; it states that contradictions in reasoning (and in reality) are absolutely fallacious and cannot ever be true. However, how does the unbeliever justify such a claim in their worldview since they don’t have absolute knowledge of the universe, nor have they observed the future to know what cannot EVER be.

Whereas, the Christian appeals to Divine Revelation from God as their basis for knowing some things to be absolutely true (such as laws of logic, for instance) since an omniscient, omnipotent God could (and does) reveal things to human beings so that they can be known with certainty to be true—the unbeliever (due to their pre-commitment to a naturalistic, empiricist worldview) must rely solely on their limited observations and experiences of the universe as the foundation for each of the things they claim to believe. This means that the Christian can reconcile the existence of abstract, invariant, universal laws within their worldview, but the unbeliever cannot and must accept such concepts solely upon blind faith. Naturally, any such position that rests upon blind faith alone, while also undermining the very existence of logic, is the epitome of an illogical (and false) position. Here to serve,

Your Heavenly ‘Angent’

(A series of scripted correspondences from a ‘Heavenly helper’ to a Christian Soldier)

[Letter 13:  A Word of Encouragement]

Greetings Soldier,

Don’t worry about feeling overwhelmed right now, as these concepts can take some time to wrap your brain around. Remember, though, always doggedly stick to your guns and keep challenging and exposing the internal inconsistencies of the unbelievers’ worldview, as they would like nothing more than for you to stop this line of argumentation and engage them on ‘neutral’ ground. However, ‘neutral’ ground does not exist with regards to this issue, as one either submits to God as their Ultimate Authority and the foundation of their thinking and reasoning, or they do not. I remind you of the very words of Jesus in Matthew [12:30] and Luke [11:23] when He stated that someone is either for Him or they are against Him, but certainly never ‘in between’. After all, when one even argues that there is neutral ground to be held here, they are necessarily disagreeing with the words of Jesus in the Bible and are, therefore, adopting a non-neutral position in relation to Biblical Authority and the truth of Christianity. Do not fall for this tactic! The unbeliever is NOT neutral in their presuppositions about God and the Bible and you SHOULD NOT be either. In the paraphrased words of Peter [1 Peter 3:15], ‘sanctify Christ in your heart and be prepared to give an answer to everyone that asks you of the reason of the hope that is within you with meekness and fear’. The foundation provided by God and His Word is indeed a sure one, and nothing overcomes and exposes that which is false like absolute Truth from THE absolute Authority. Stand upon that firm foundation, and you will always prevail. Here to serve,

Your Heavenly ‘Angent’

(A series of scripted correspondences from a ‘Heavenly helper’ to a Christian Soldier)

[Letter 14]:

Greetings Soldier,

I see that some of the ‘intellectual’ unbelievers have presented arguments for how they can know things to be true in their worldview. Let’s walk through some of these, as they are an invaluable resource for your training in mastering the ‘Bible First’ (presuppositional) method of defending the faith. The gist of the argument from the unbelievers so far is that they are able to know things for certain because they use their senses and reasoning to make observations and formulate rational conclusions about the world around them through ‘trial and error’. Can you spot the inconsistency here? Indeed, human senses and reasoning are wonderful gifts from God and provide the means of exploring and learning about God’s creation and would, therefore, be expected to be basically reliable and trustworthy according to the Christian worldview. However, what basis does any non-Christian have for trusting their senses and reasoning according to their professed worldview? No doubt, they would say that their observations and experiences have told them that their senses and reasoning are basically reliable over time, but this will not suffice. After all, it is via one’s reasoning that their sensory input and experiences are interpreted, which means that they are basically arguing that they ‘sense and reason that their senses and reasoning are reliable’. Of course, this is viciously circular and renders that position an irrational one–and necessarily false. If one does not know for certain that their senses and reasoning are trustworthy to begin with, then obviously they cannot know anything at all. I recommend pointing this out as soon as possible (and for their own good). Remember, the truth only hurts when it should. Here to serve,

Your Heavenly ‘Angent’

(A series of scripted correspondences from a ‘Heavenly helper’ to a Christian Soldier)

[Letter 15]:

Greetings Soldier,

It seems the hornet’s nest has been stirred. In fact, the comments you’ve fielded thus far in your online endeavors include remarks from professing atheists, agnostics, theists, Hindus, Buddhists, and the list goes on. What you will find, though, is that each of these positions ultimately contains the same fundamental logical flaws and destroys the possibility of knowledge, truth, logic, or morality–rendering them all rationally indefensible and absurd. Consider one of the first responses you received from the atheist who asserted that ‘it is not possible to know anything to be true with 100% certainty’. Did you catch the contradiction here? Essentially, he is claiming to know with 100% certainty that it is not possible to be 100% certain of anything. Of course, this is a self-defeating argument, which makes it false. On the other hand, if he wants to argue that he is not 100% certain that it is impossible to know anything to be true with 100% certainty, then he is forced to admit that, since he is uncertain of his argument (that 100% certainty is NOT possible), then it IS possible to know things to be true with 100% certainty. Either way, he ends up demonstrating that it is possible to know things for certain to be true and that he has no rational answer as to why that is in his worldview. As such, it is exposed that he must accept the existence of knowledge and truth solely on blind faith alone, whereas the Christian can (and does) justify their ability to know some things with certainty by appealing to God’s Divine Revelation of Himself (via both direct and indirect means) to all mankind. I trust I don’t have to remind you that blind faith is but a form of irrationality (and, not to mention, the basis of all superstition as well). Here to serve,

Your Heavenly ‘Angent’

~P.S. It should also be pointed out that, once someone professes that they can’t know anything for certain, then they have forfeited any logical basis or justification for all of the things they may claim to be true (since knowledge (i.e. ‘justified true belief’) is certain by definition, as one cannot know something to be true which could also be false at the same time and in the same way). You should keep this in mind as you address future comments. Nothing wrong with holding the unbeliever to his professed beliefs in order to show the irrational conclusions they ultimately lead to.

(A series of scripted correspondences from a ‘Heavenly helper’ to a Christian Soldier)

[Letter 16]:

Greetings Soldier,

Yes, I can definitely see that your unbelieving opponents are not very happy with your challenges to their professed worldview (in fact, ‘unhappy’ would be quite the understatement to describe the nature of their most recent remarks). Remember, the unbeliever has much to lose in these types of discussions, once it is exposed what their worldview truly amounts to, since they often enjoy being viewed as ‘intellectuals’ on internet forums and loathe the idea that their position is really just one of blind, irrational faith. Therefore, you should expect open hostility such as the name calling being engaged in as of late, since it is no doubt very uncomfortable (think glass palace during an earthquake) to have one’s most fundamental beliefs challenged and then demonstrated to be undeniably false.

As a positive, this is one crystal clear way of demonstrating that the unbeliever is indeed engaging in suppression of the truth (just as the Bible states in Romans 1:18)—that is, they are not continuing to hold to their current professed position BECAUSE of rational reasons, but IN SPITE OF them–simply because they happen to dislike the alternative (i.e. bowing the knee to God). The purely emotional nature of the objections at this point are really exactly what one would expect from someone with simply a personal ‘ax to grind’ and nothing more. Sure, the unbeliever may not like the God of the Bible, but that is definitely not a rational basis for their rejection of Christianity and/or the truth of the Bible. At this point, you’ve done your job and it’s probably just best to politely thank them for sharing their opinions with you and invite them to return to the discussion when they have something rational to contribute. Oh, and do not cease to pray for these individuals–that they might come to their senses, cease their suppression of the Truth, and repent. Here to serve,

Your Heavenly ‘Angent’