2 Thessalonians 2:11 Illustrated
Atheist Revolution’s VJack has a very interesting post about whether or not atheism is voluntary. Atheism, it seems to VJack, is “less voluntary than many other beliefs.” It seems that atheism is something that someone is left with after exploring all other beliefs.
Sitting here today, knowing what I know, experiencing what I have experienced, living the life I have led, I am not sure that I could now convince myself to believe in the Christian god or associated dogma even if I desperately wanted to do so. It is as if I have passed a point of no return. (source, emphasis added)
I think that it is interesting that he chose that particular phrasing. Because the Bible teaches that there is, indeed, a “point of no return” for the faithless. Consider this:
The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 The 2:9-12, emphasis added)
This means that, eventually, God will allow you to believe what you choose to believe about him. And moreover, he will send you a powerful delusion so that you will always believe that, no matter what happens. This is God’s judgment on the sinner.
It seems that VJack has crossed a line, and now can no longer believe in God. This is very sad news. VJack has, through his life, brought a strong judgment from God upon himself.
It doesn’t mean that God doesn’t love VJack. Quite the opposite–God loves everyone, including VJack. It means that VJack can still repent of this and turn his faith to God, and God will welcome him with open arms. Unfortunately, VJack’s own words seem to preclude this possibility, and God has judged accordingly.
The line has been drawn. I hope VJack knows what he’s doing.
Posted on March 30, 2009, in Theology and tagged atheism. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.
Your logic completely eludes me. On one hand you contend that
“This means that, eventually, God will allow you to believe what you choose to believe about him. And moreover, he will send you a powerful delusion so that you will always believe that, no matter what happens. This is God’s judgment on the sinner.”
and in the same breath say that God loves VJack. You believe this? I mean seriously you do?
God will intentionally mislead us because we refused to play by his rules. God is so childish, so infantile, that he picks up his ball and goes home. Is that what you are saying?
Oh but he loves us. He intentionally hides himself and intentionally blinds us to him, but he loves us and if we can somehow manage to overcome God’s delusion (implying that we are indeed stronger than God himself) then he will accept us.
I would think God would reserve judgment on the sinner until the sinner stands before him on judgment day, in the mean time a truly loving God would do everything in his power to draw his children close to him.
I always thought deciet, and delusion were Satan’s job. If humankind must deal with both Satan trying to deceive us and God sending us delusions how could anyone ever really see the light?
This is the type of dualism, the contradictions that cause the questions that cannot be rationally answered that drive us to the realization that there is no God.
Your comment displays the same type of thinking that pervades The Counter-Creationism Handbook in reverse. The Handbook condemns as irrational the argument “I can’t conceive of it, so it must not be true” coming from our side when we talk about evolution. Because, sorry to admit, much of our side does argue that with regard to evolution. Much of the argumentation from Young Earth Creationists center on that point.
Now, here you are with the exact same argument. “I can’t conceive of it, so it it must not be true.” How do you know that God hasn’t already done everything in his power to draw VJack to himself, and VJack has just refused to believe every step of the way? For whatever reason, God’s grace seems to be resistible, i.e. it is our choice whether to accept it or not. This is a mystery of the faith. I don’t understand why it is God’s will that all shall come to repentance but not all are saved. But that doesn’t mean I dismiss this whole thing as not true.
“I don’t understand why it is God’s will that all shall come to repentance but not all are saved.”
Is it Gods will? Because based on this verse it is not his will. His will is that all shall come to repentance for a time, if during this finite, but not defined, amount of time they do not come to repentance then God performs premature judgment and entertains himself with acts of delusion upon them. Everyone else gets to wait until judgment day.
Whether God exists or not is a separate question. The statement that he loves Vjack despite his desire to be entertained at Vjacks expense is what I take issue with in this particular case.
“How do you know that God hasn’t already done everything in his power to draw VJack to himself, and VJack has just refused to believe every step of the way? For whatever reason, God’s grace seems to be resistible, i.e. it is our choice whether to accept it or not.
Vjack is in his early to mid 40’s. Surely God’s grace could persevere a bit longer. According to your Bible verse is not Vjacks choice, at least not continuously. Once God decides Vjack will not convert he removes the choice by subjecting him to delusions that prevent him from having the option of faith.
It is interesting. This is the second blog post in a week I have seen sighting this very scripture verse. Both times it was used to illustrate atheism and both times it was combined with Gods love.
Whatever this particular scripture is, it is not a representation of a Gods never-ending love.