A Question for John W. Loftus
Positively shocking. Loftus cough out a dumb argument? Unheard of.
Referring to this article, where scientists have discovered a gene that predisposes people to promiscuity, Loftus says:
While it isn’t a forgone conclusion that people with this gene will cheat on their mates, the presence of that gene makes such a temptation harder to overcome. Imagine that, some people (half of us) have a harder time overcoming such a temptation and yet God supposedly judges us all equally. That doesn’t seem fair now does it? I wonder if the incarnate Jesus gave himself that gene since he was “tempted in every way, just as we are.” (Hebrews 4:15) 😉 (source)
This argument (if you can call it that) is absurd.
This actually helps my position on homosexuality. I’ve argued that it is probably inborn, but by virtue of being inborn doesn’t automatically make it desirable. Nor should anything become socially acceptable based entirely on the fact that it is inborn.
Infidelity is a negative trait. So are addictive patterns of behavior, like alcoholoism. As is rage. So are many genetic illnesses like Alzheimer’s, certain cancers, emphysema, and heart disease. All of these things are hardwired into genetics, and no one is trying to argue for society to unconditionally accept people subject to those things on the basis of a genetic predisposition.
Things that are inborn, however, are undeniably part of the self. And what does Jesus call us to do when we become his followers? Deny ourselves (Lk 9:23).
And, turning to Paul’s writings, we see that sin itself is inborn: it is nature as well as action. Otherwise, the whole concept of the Christian becoming a new creation in Christ (2 Cor 5:17) is meaningless drivel.
Loftus cranks out lots of posts, and most of them are mindless soundbite arguments. This is the dude who complained at Victor Reppert’s blog (in the comments here) that soundbites were all that comments allowed. Yet, when faced with the unlimited canvas of a blog post, he again argues by soundbite.
Perhaps that’s all he has?
It would seem since one of the arguments that he keeps harping on is that we can’t trust our brains to make sense of the world, since we approach everything with bias and defend that which we prefer to be true.
Which leaves us with a big question for Mr. Loftus:
Why should anyone believe that you offer the truth? You also approach with bias and defend that which you prefer to be true–being that you’re a human and accuse all humans of doing this. You admit it: “I have never claimed that atheists are more rational than believers” (source).
Ever Wonder Why Atheists Have Certain Misconceptions About the Faith?
Atheists have the misconceptions that they have because believers have them, too. I follow several blogs attached to the website XXXChurch.com. Why? Because both implicitly and explicitly I have made mention that my spiritual weakness is pornography and lust. So I read the Confessions Blog and follow the Couples, Men, and Parenting Blogs from that site for moral support to stay away from that stuff.
One of the misconceptions that atheists often have is that God will take care of everything for you and make your life easy. Since that never seems to materialize, the atheist then concludes God doesn’t exist. The problem? God never once promises to make life easy.
After Adam ate the forbidden fruit, God cursed the ground, the earth, and all of creation. God decreed that, instead of living in the lap of luxury, we would now toil and labor to get anything from the earth. That hasn’t changed just because Jesus hung on the Cross. Our sins are now forgiven, but that doesn’t mean that we automatically get a gold ticket.
Atheists think that we should, and argue in that manner. Prime example: God is Imaginary, proof #28. The author (Marshall Brain?) states:
A rational person rejects all human gods equally, because all of them are equally imaginary. How do we know that they are imaginary? Simply imagine that one of them is real. If one of these thousands of gods were actually real, then his followers would be experiencing real, undeniable benefits. These benefits would be obvious to everyone.
He states that all prayers would be answered affirmatively, and followers would live longer, be healthier, and be wealthier. In other words, God is somehow obligated to bless us with vast material wealth, even though this same God warns us repeatedly not to rely on or accumulate excessive material wealth. (Here’s my full rebuttal to proof #28).
Where are atheists getting misconceptions like this? God has blessed us with all of the heavenly blessings (Eph 1:1-3), which are far greater than any earthly things (Heb 8:1-13). Why must God give us earthly blessings as well?
What’s the source of the misconception? Believers. Believers also seem to think that God will provide everything for them . He will take care of our needs, but he is not going to bow to our every desire. Just because we want something doesn’t mean we automatically get it (Phil 3:19).
Here’s a prime example from the Men’s Confessions Blog of XXXChurch.com of a Christian who should know better nonetheless having the idea that God is going to do everything for him:
Um well my first introduction to porn was about when I was 12. But it was nothing serious or anything, just a curious mind. I thought it was just normal at first. But that first time turned into hundreds of times.
That’s how it works. Trust me. I didn’t even like my first exposure to pornography. I couldn’t understand what was so hot about looking at a girl without clothes. Naked people look kind of silly, I thought. Oh, how my opinion changed. And changed quickly, I might point out!
It is really sad because I am a very strong Christian, in fact I am a minister. Even further than that I am the youth minister and director of my church.
Well, not surprising. He may be a minister, but he’s also a guy. Guys like to see women in nothing or next to nothing. Human sexuality creates some powerful urges, but it’s all in how one directs and uses them because they won’t stop and God doesn’t take them away. Hold that thought, and remember it; etch it on your forehead with an Xacto knife if you must: God doesn’t take sexual urges away. It would do more harm than good.
It used to be just a fun thing to do but now it is consuming my free time, even my life.
I can relate, unfortunately. Porn consumed a lot of my time and untold amounts of my money. And it starts out as just something fun to do every once in a while.
And I know God is able to remove the desire from me, but I have been praying for so long and still not seeing any change.
This guy’s a minister? Doesn’t this situation sound familiar to him at all?
I have the faith that He will do it for me, . . .
He didn’t for the apostle Paul, why would God do it for this guy? I’m not knocking his ministry, because he probably does quite a bit of good, but I’m pretty sure Paul was a lot more important in the grand scheme of God’s plan than this one church. If God used a persistent sin to humble Paul into the realization that the grace of God is sufficient for all sins, then he’s probably going to do the exact same thing for this guy.
. . . it’s just why does it have to take so long. I really am tired of doing it. I’m tired of living this double life. I want to be completely and totally sold out for God. Please continue to pray for and with me.
If he wants to be free, then be free. God has already given all Christians the resources needed to live a spiritually fulfilled life:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. (Eph 1:3-4)
Notice the present tense: “who has blessed us in Christ.” It’s not a future blessing we’re expecting. It’s a present tense blessing we receive!
Stop waiting for God to remove the desire. He’s not going to do that. Instead, look for more productive ways to channel the desire. Redirect it. Celibacy is a discipline; here’s Jimmy Akin on that topic, with several distinctions of confusing terms.