Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Do As the Atheist say, "This Season, Celebrate Reason"


The American Atheists Society put up a billboard recently, which pictures the three wise men and the manger scene, it reads:
 “You Know it’s a Myth—This Season, Celebrate Reason.”

I wonder if their thought is We want believers to stop believing their silly notions of a God who created the earth and supposedly sent his son to save the world—be logical and rational for god’s sake—there was this big bang and we evolved from a tadpole and became intelligent beings.

Bill Maher, in his movie *Religulous, stated, “ . . . it has not been proven there is a Jesus.” Through Bill's reasoning it seems there is not enough proof to assert that Christ existed, which is interesting as other religions—which do not accept Christ as the Son of God—recognize Jesus as a good prophet.

Individuals like Bill Maher, seem to struggle with the birth of Christ because logically they cannot fathom (reason):
  • How God could impregnate Mary, a virgin
  • How a virgin could give birth to a baby and still be a virgin
  • How God could make himself into a man

Bill Maher said, “It’s surprising something as important as the virgin birth, is not in all the four of them [gospels] . . . No one who ever wrote about Jesus, never met him” (Brackets mine for clarity). Obviously, because the four gospels do not mention Christ’s birth, Jesus is non-existent. Bill Maher obviously has not heard about the disciples who walked with Christ, who also authored a few of those books in the Bible.

The theology of the Christian faith seems irrational to people like Bill Maher. More so, because according to science, God’s existence cannot be proved. This means to them that the authenticity of Christ’s birth is degraded as a myth like the Greek god, Zeus.

I respect Bill’s truthfulness in which he says, “I preach the gospel of I don’t know.” He says he is not “ . . . questioning God,” he just does not understand “why believing in something, without evidence, is good?” The Bible says, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing . . .” (1 Corinthians 1:18). 

Without the birth of Christ there would be no cross of redemption.

It is through reason that Christians celebrate the birth of Christ. With our reasonable mind, we’ve discovered (led by God's Spirit) to the truth of the gospel, “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ,” (Romans 10:17). When we heard the gospel message, we reasoned the facts through our mind—as we heard, we responded, and our faith ignited into belief. 

The evidence is our changed lives.

The birth of Christ put in motion God’s deliverance of sinful man. For Christians, the nativity gave us a new spiritual birth into a living hope, which is Christ Jesus. We celebrate through reason, as we know God said, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God,” (Ephesians 2:8).  

Christmas is about the gift God gave us.
 
Bill asks, “Why is faith good?” How would you answer his question? The writer of Hebrews says, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see,” (Hebrews 11:1). We did not witness the birth of Christ but our spirit confirms its truth.

Faith is good because faith is beyond our own capability to comprehend the totality of what God has done for us in sending His Son—we realize we cannot save ourselves. We understand there is someone greater then ourselves and we call him God, Yahweh, Almighty God, The Great I AM, who came to earth as the Prince of Peace.

Faith is good because it allows us to reach beyond our human “reason” with certainty that the hope we have in the birth, death, and resurrection of Christ is our salvation from the wrath of a Holy and Just God—who will one day separate the goats and the sheep come judgment day.

Faith is good because we are blessed by believing without seeing. “Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed," (John 20:29).

Through reason we celebrate the birth of Christ, as we know through him we have experienced God's grace; we know that God’s abounding love beckons all sinners to come to know Him through His Son (See John 4:42).

Our reasoning leads us to the knowledge of God’s love, which does a greater work beyond our comprehension. His Spirit infiltrates our soul and spirit so that it’s not just “head knowledge” but a deeper awareness that we can approach a Holy God and relate to Him as Father, Friend, Savior, Helper, Provider, Peace-maker, and Overseer of our soul because God came in the flesh and walked among men, through Jesus.

Reasoning allows us to identify the Spirit of Truth and the spirit of falsehood. “This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world,” (1 John 4:2-3).

Mr. Maher says, “ . . . I’m here promoting doubt—that’s my product. The other guys [Christians, preachers, religions] are selling certainty. Not me. I’m on the corner of doubt,” (Brackets mine for clarity). Bill Maher, Agnostics, and Atheist, in my humble opinion, are doubters. The book of James states that the man who doubts in like the “waves of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind . . . he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does,” (James 1:5-8). They cannot wrap their mind around the mystery, majesty and generosity of God.
 
This Season, Celebrate The Reason for the Season. As we know Christ Jesus is the Truth, the Way and the Life (John 14:6).

He is Immanuel, God with us (Matthew 1:23). This season, and every season after, Christians will continue to celebrate Jesus as the reason behind the Christmas season,” whether he was born December 25 or not!

Fairy tales have happy endings. Jesus was beaten and nailed to a tree for claiming to be the Son of God, for declaring to be God in the flesh. He did not ride off into the sunset; not until, that is, after his resurrection and ascension into Heaven, where he now sits at the right hand of God, waiting his return to earth.

Jesus left the splendor of Heaven to come to earth to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10).
Christmas reminds us of a God who “reasoned” that His love was greater then His wrath and chose to reconcile mankind through the birth of Himself as a man. “For nothing is impossible with God,” (Luke 1:37).

This Christmas Season, Celebrate The Truth—The Word became flesh and lived for a while among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son who came from the Father, full of grace and truth,” (John 1:14).

 (*all quotes by Bill Maher are from his movie, Religulous)

Merry Christmas!