Monday, January 5, 2015

Newsweek Assaults the Bible – Understanding The Assault, God & Church’s Response

            If there are no tirades against Christianity during the days surrounding the Christian holy events – Christmas and Easter, we may as well wonder what’s happening in the opposite camp. However, these melodramatic rants against Christianity will gradually lose its impact, because it is old wine in a new bottle.

            So we have a similar tirade against Christianity. This in the form of an 8,487 word article discrediting the Bible, ‘The Bible: So Misunderstood It's a Sin’ by Kurt Eichenwald and published by Newsweek, on December 23rd 2014.1 

Realizing God’s Beauty During Assaults against Christianity

            When Newsweek’s article was published, a specific group of our non-Christian friends joyfully propagated the article in social media. Consider this please, why do they seize the liberty to joyfully discredit the Bible, while they, by the same token, do not allow the world to criticize their holy book?

            Isn’t this an interesting hypocrisy? This is akin to maligning our reputation at their will and pleasure but preventing others to examine their credentials despite it being in a questionable state altogether.

            Whatever the case may be, this is a wonderful opportunity to realize the beauty of the God of the Bible.

            If God has offered freewill to man, then by the same token, man could abuse God using that very freewill. In this context, it’s valid that God be at the receiving end of man’s disbelief and criticisms. Disbelief and abuse of the Creator God are the ramifications of man’s freewill especially in the context of a world inundated in evil and sin.

            God by virtue of granting freewill to man would necessarily invite abuses upon HIMSELF and would graciously understand the abuse. If God is loving and just, then HE would not prohibit the unbelieving man use his freewill to abuse HIM. (Prohibiting man to employ his freewill is a negation of freewill.)

            This is how God’s beauty is revealed. God would not obstruct man’s freewill, since salvation is predicated on man’s freewill. While man employs his freewill to abuse God, it is by the same freewill man could repent of his sins and believe in God.

            Therefore, if God silences man from abusing HIM, HE cannot be loving, just and salvific in this context. God, who prevents man from abusing HIM, albeit for a finite period of time, cannot be God. Instead, that god could only be a mere illusory figure concocted by man.

Motive Behind Assaults Against Christianity

            Newsweek’s allegations against Christianity are unscrupulously the same old. These so-called allegations have been adequately and reasonably answered a jillion times over and again by eminent Christian scholars.

            However, there is no scarcity of Christian response to Newsweek’s tirade against Christianity. Eichenwald’s allegations have been systematically debunked.2 Although the most appropriate response would be that of Billy Madison’s:

            The motive of these assaults against Christianity is to rattle the faith of an immature Christian.

            The antagonist desires to prove the Bible as a fairytale. If the Bible is proven as corrupt and inherently false, then the Christian has nothing to anchor his faith on.

            If there is no Bible, then there is no triune God or the Lord Jesus, whom the Bible reveals. If there is no Jesus, there is no salvation through HIS sacrifice. Hence those who lose faith in Christ remain clueless; clueless as to their origin, purpose and destiny.

            Any Christian who has studied the Bible and the other theistic worldviews would conclusively assert the utmost coherency of the Christian worldview. In comparison, the other monotheistic and pantheistic worldviews remain largely incoherent, especially from within the realms of God & salvation, man’s origin, purpose and destiny. 

            So if one were to depart from faith in Christ, he would wallow under the weight of the incoherency of the other worldviews that he would be artificially incubated in an apparently peaceful situation that even a feeble impairment to his wellness would destroy his inner peace completely and thus his soul (Cf. Isaiah 48: 22).

            If one were to disbelieve the Bible, do we really think we can earn or work our way to our salvation? Do we think that chanting [sacred texts] and/or charity would fetch us heaven? No.

            Our sins in thoughts, words, and deeds far outweigh our potential and maximal goodness. Thus no amount of good works would fetch us heaven. That good works would fetch us salvation is an untenable state or a mere illusion.

            So if it’s not Jesus then its despair. Despair / hopelessness or illusion would be the mainstay of a person without Christ. This is precisely where the adverse propagandas against Christianity intend to drive the faltering Christians to.

            But the fact remains that outside of Christianity there is no truth, especially a coherent one at that.

Target Audience Behind The Assaults Against Christianity

            Who’s more likely to be rattled by such adverse propagandas against Christianity?

            Newsweek provides us the answer, “…Their lack of knowledge about the Bible is well established. A Pew Research poll in 2010 found that evangelicals ranked only a smidgen higher than atheists in familiarity with the New Testament and Jesus’s teachings. “Americans revere the Bible—but, by and large, they don’t read it,’’ wrote George Gallup Jr. and Jim Castelli, pollsters and researchers whose work focused on religion in the United States.”C

            We should be aware of the aesthetic Christians. These Christians do not expend time or energy to wrestle with the biblical text to unravel and assimilate the timeless truths of the Bible. Their prayer is but a selfish rant meticulously devoid of listening to God. Instead they love to attend the church regularly in their best attire, so much so their focus is more on the regularity of attendance and in beautifying themselves for a mass acceptance than attending the church to increase their love for God by worshipping HIM in spirit and in truth.

            This group would indeed be rattled.

            But then there is a quantum of solace for this group. That quantum of solace is predicated on the age of the Christian belonging to this group. 

            Are these adverse propagandas aimed against the older Christians (e.g. in the age group of 50++ years)? I don’t think so. Majority of these older Christians wouldn’t possibly read these articles.

            Even if they read, they would discard these articles because their faith in historic Christianity is predicated upon fear and reverence for God. In other words, they would dare not question the Bible.

            These assaults then are aimed against the younger Christians. This group thinks through their heart and not their head. This is the feeling culture and not the thinking culture per se.

            The younger Christian is more likely to be impacted by the adverse propagandas against Christianity unless the contemporary Christian leadership offers reasonable answers to the questions of this age-group.

            Answers refuting these so-called allegations are available in the public domain, but the younger Christians either don’t believe in extensive reading and understanding or they read and strive to understand, but have questions for which they desire personal answers.

Is The Local Church Ready To Engage Objections Against Christianity?

            A few germane questions should be asked:

            A. Is [the leadership of] the local church able to answer the questions disputing Christianity?

            B. Is [the leadership of] the local church aware of the sources that debunk such adverse propagandas so to refer them to the seeking / questioning Christian? (It’s not to shoo away the questioning Christian to these public domains as if to release themselves from the responsibility or burden of answering these questions. But [the leadership of] the local church should handhold the seeking or questioning Christian through the process of solidifying his belief in Christ and in the Bible.)

            C. Would [the leadership of] the local church encourage questions about Christianity / Bible from their worshippers?   

            It’s OK to question the Bible albeit honestly so to earnestly seek God. In fact, Christians should utilize these assaults against Christianity to help motivate the younger generation Christians to be deeply rooted in Christ and the Bible.

            Perfect peace is only possible when a person is in Christ. Each day will have its troubles, and often these troubles appear in the guise of these assaults against Christianity.

            These attacks, as emphasized before, should motivate Christians to rely more on Christ, for it is only in Christ there is salvation and accompanying that salvation is the true, unhindered and everlasting peace. This is precisely what the Lord Jesus said, “…so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16: 33, NIV, Emphasis Mine).

            It’s only in Christ we have salvation and true peace. So allow these assaults against Christianity to get you closer to the Lord Jesus and to God’s words in the Bible. The Spirit of Jesus will draw you closer to HIM, but only if you believe, love and follow HIM. I pray that Jesus would have HIS way in you. Amen.



2 Debunking Newsweek’s article: 

Please read these Christian responses that debunk Newsweek’s article:

26 Mistakes in Newsweek's Article About the Bible:

No comments: