In this post, Atheist’s Wager: First Post the author concludes that God is evil and not worthy of worship. It is thus our duty to not worship God and to do our best to fix the world, ignoring Him as we go.

Here’s the problem. First, this isn’t an atheist position. It’s more of a Satanist position that God is evil. As an atheist, there is no God. The argument doesn’t work from their own basic premise. Allowing that they’re arguing from the position of a theist (someone that believes in a god), it still doesn’t follow that God is evil.

Arguing against belief in God b/c of the evil perpetrated by some in His name is like arguing against atheism b/c it was the belief system of Mao and Stalin. Most atheists are nice people who live their lives killing no one. Most theists are too.

As for the claim that God sending people to hell who don’t “inherit” the right beliefs makes Him evil, I will agree. Since that’s not what God does, I’ll agree that if He were to do it, it would be evil. You see as a Christian, I know that my daughters (5 months and 5 years) are not now or have they ever been Christians. My 5 year old thinks she wants to be, but it won’t help her to let her become a Christian if she’s just looking for praise from her parents or to “fit in” with her friends. She has to understand and be mature enough to know that she’s agreeing to trust Jesus with her life. Growing up as my daughter might make it more conducive to her becoming a Christian, but it won’t make it happen. This is proved by the first comment in that post written by an atheist in response to “…my Christian mother”. He has clearly NOT inherited her beliefs.

On the other side, I have many friends who were once members of other religions (or atheists) who are no longer in that situation. Eight days ago someone I’ve been praying for for six years went from agnostic to Christian. He was born a Christian Scientist, a belief system considered my Protestants, Catholics, and Orthodox Christians not to fall within Christian faith (despite the name). He’s proof that God can bring someone out of other belief systems into a relationship with Himself through Jesus Christ (which is the real point).

Some might object that this doesn’t take into account people who have no exposure to Christian teachings. There are at least two things to consider. First, God has control of birth time and location. It could be that God knew that there were people who even under ideal circumstances would NEVER come to believe in Him. Those He placed in situations where His efforts weren’t wasted on them. Others would come to know Him if told. Those He placed in situations where they would hear eventually. A former professor of mine was in East Asia and visited a tribe untouched by Western intervention. With the help of a translator, he recounted the story of Jesus. The elders of the tribe responded, “Oh, so that’s what His name is. We’ve believed in Him, but didn’t know His name.”

The Atheist’s Wager is what philosophers call a “Straw Man” argument. You set up something easy to knock down and then you knock it down. It’s not attacking Christianity or theism, but attacking some indefensible caricature of belief in God.

I’m sure the person who wrote the post is a nice, caring person who wants the best for the world. I do too, but I’m motivated by the love Christ has put in my heart to love the unlovable and care for those who’ve been forgotten. I would never go on a Dark Ages era Crusade or be a member of the Spanish Inquisition. God’s love compels me to love, not kill or injure those who disagree with me. I wish I could undo all the wrongs in history ascribed to God. God is good and loving. Anyone who sees Him for who He is (really) will want a relationship with Him. I truly believe that.

Paul

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