The Clay Is Talking Back

I hear atheists say it, and now I hear people claiming the name of Christ reciting the second verse. Isaiah prophesied about this very thing:

You turn things around!
Shall the potter be considered as equal with the clay,
That what is made would say to its maker, “He did not make me”;
Or what is formed say to him who formed it, “He has no understanding”?
– Isaiah 29:16

But now, O LORD, You are our Father, We are the clay, and You our potter

Atheists like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens say loudly, He did not make me.

And now emergent thinkers like Rob Bell and Paul Young are saying in essence, He has no understanding.

Granted, this latter position isn’t as easy to identify as the former. Yet in questioning God’s plan of salvation, by suggesting that sending “billions and billions” of people to hell for eternity doesn’t measure up to their idea of what God should be like, is nothing less than saying God must not judge and punish as He sees fit. If he does so, he’s a “monster” as one Rob Bell supporter called it.

“We do these somersaults to justify the monster god we believe in,” [Chad Holtz, former pastor of a rural United Methodist church in North Carolina] said. “But confronting my own sinfulness, that’s when things started to topple for me. Am I really going to be saved just because I believe something, when all these good people in the world aren’t?”
– from “Pastor loses job after questioning hell’s existence”

In other words, if that’s the way God is, then he’s wrong. The answer is to ignore the clear statements of Jesus identifying His children, His followers, His sheep, and instead pull other passages out of context and make them say things they were never intended to say.

In addition, the fundamental error in the thinking of those who indict God comes out loud and clear. Man is good. It’s God who is suspect.

The thinking seems to be, Since we know Man is good, and God is good, then hell can’t possibly exist, at least in the form that “traditional church” has taught.

The answer, then, is to re-image God. And hell. And even heaven. But our idea that Man is good? We’ll keep that intact.

The truth is, Man is not good.

Look what that does.

A just God warned Man away from the tree that would bring death and a curse. Man succumbed to temptation and ignored God. He has not been “good” at his core ever since.

As Man went his own way, God chose an individual to be His, from whom He would build a nation that would be an example to all the nations of what it meant to be God’s people.

When the chosen nation went its own way, God sent prophets to warn them not to forsake Him. When they ignored the warnings, He sent more prophets, and finally He sent His Son in the form of man.

Here was the dividing line. God’s Son didn’t come to judge — He will take that role later, when the just penalty for turning from God will be handed out to sinful Man, not good Man, condemned by his own choice to go his own way. But the dividing line has been established.

He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
– John 3:18

Man sinned, Man went his own way, Man rebelled, Man rejected. How then is he good?

He isn’t. Certainly, the clay has no right to talk back.

Published in: on March 25, 2011 at 6:44 pm  Comments (9)  
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