In this video the Evangelist (name unknown) is attempting to convince an open minded Agnostic Atheist that being guilty of lying, theft, lust, and anger directly relates to breaking the commandments of the Bible’s God. While it is true that the Bible makes such claims about a God, what isn’t known or really provable is whether such a God actually exists. Experiencing guilt for having lied, stolen, lusted, or being unfairly angry at others does not, I emphasize, does not make it clear that people have a God given conscience. Feeling bad about our regretful choices and actions could instead have a lot to do with how those choices and actions naturally impact others and ourselves negatively.

In other words, there’s this little thing called empathy which a large majority of humans are able to exercise in some capacity or another. This sense of empathy forces us to reflect upon how our choices and actions impact other people. We can see that lying to others who trust us, once found out, has a direct impact upon another person’s ability to keep trusting us. Think about the story of the boy who cried wolf, right? If we steal something from our neighbor, well, good luck on not being viewed as a threat to the community.

Again, it comes down to trust. Do we live lives that demonstrate integrity and trustworthiness, or do we disregard the ability of others to trust us and keep causing trouble? Thus we see why it is quite natural for society to create a system of justice, as well as for our communities to offer rewards and punishments. In the interest of keeping peace, trustworthiness, and a level of order, we make ourselves accountable to the other folks we share space with.

What the Evangelist wants, is he wants to incite guilt through his questioning. Though a healthy measure of guilt is good in the context of evaluating the consequences of our actions and how others are impacted, it certainly can be overly stressed and it’s implications overly drawn out. In this instance, the overly drawn out implications could be the insinuation that our thoughts and actions violate the laws of a God. This I would argue isn’t known. If God is a human invention, then it could be the case that we are being asked to direct our guilt toward a nonexistent being. That wouldn’t be very beneficial, would it? It’s certainly important to keep in mind.

Some other assumptions that this Evangelist holds are as follows.

1) It is simply being assumed that it is fair for a faultless God to apply a flawless standard upon imperfect human beings. Well, is it fair?

2) It is assumed that human beings deserve eternal punishment for finite choices and actions. In other words, the rather limited length of a human life and the temporality of our impact in the world and on others, even if we do choose to call such an impact evil and deserving of punishment, somehow translates to eternal and unending punishment? Does that seem even handed or just a tad extreme? It’s worth mulling over.

3) It is being assumed that sin exists and that there must be a system in place to remedy the problem. Well, what if the real issue is that this is a false hypothesis?

4) It is being assumed that it was good for the Bible’s God to punish an innocent human on behalf of everyone else’s wrongdoing. Is that fair? Regardless of this idea that Jesus was both God and man, the fact remains that we are being asked to find a solution by pouring the guilt and responsibility of everyone else upon someone that is supposedly perfectly innocent. Is that a fair way to carve out a path for justice and forgiveness? Punish the innocent one and apply such innocence to the guilty?

5) It is being assumed that breaking the ten commandments is an objective truth. Is it? Let’s think about this, if many believers in God admit that they don’t actually know if a God exists, and if many others who do not believe in the existence of God do not know this for a fact, then how objective is it to think that one has broken the stated commandments of a God? Would one not be concluding such a set of offenses subjectively? If it were objective that a God is offended by our actions then wouldn’t we all know this effectively? Wouldn’t it be obvious? Food for thought.

 

5 thoughts on “The Problems With This Evangelist, Are They Also Yours?

  1. This particular style of Evangelism certainly is focused on the guilt aspect. No need to actually know if there exists a being that we as humans are offending with our thoughts and actions. Did you notice how the idea of conscience was being used to somehow imply that people possess a knowledge of a God, or this God’s moral standards? Our sense of guilt over things like lying and stealing could just as well stem from the fact that when we negatively impact other people it truly presents hurdles to our relationships. Relationships that we value. Having a sense of empathy, and being that we naturally reflect upon our choices and actions is enough to not need to insinuate any further. We simply don’t know if there exists a God that states certain things to be right or wrong. Also, how does a God determine something to be right or wrong? What is this being’s standard?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The evangelist is Todd Friel, host of Wretched, a tv and radio show, which was formerly called Way of the Master Radio. He’s using the same evangelization method as Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron’s “Way of the Master” series. It generally follows the same pattern. Asking if somebody thinks they are a good person and using the ten commandments as a standard before jumping into the judge metaphor. It’s true that the original ten commandments were given to the Jews, and Jesus’ upgraded ten commandments were, too. When Paul spoke to the Athenians, he used their altar to an unknown god because they didn’t have the ten commandments. I just don’t like it. It feels manipulative.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It certainly appears to be tactical in bringing people to an admission of guilt. However, an admission of nonadherence to these standards is not evidence of a God-given guilty conscience. Would you agree?

      Like

      1. He would probably say that Romans 2 says, “Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.” As for me, I don’t think that we will be judged by the ten commandments – Romans 2 also says, “God “will repay each person according to what they have done.” To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.” Revelation 20 agrees that, ” And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.” A lot of people might assume that they have fire insurance because they realized that they were guilty of breaking the ten commandments and gone on to persist in doing evil thinking that they’re covered – not realizing that they’re not going to be judged by the ten commandments, but by what they do.

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s