Ligon Duncan on the Non-Negotiables of the Gospel

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  • Wednesday, November 26, 2008

    Atheistic Bathroom Literature

    After enjoying a meal with family at a restaurant last night, my son went and then returned from the bathroom with the story that someone had placed literature in the restroom asking the question "What do you miss out on by being a Christian?" (the back of the card solicited phone calls for those interested in living as "non Christians) ... to which we discounted and responded by saying "hell, for starters", but that is only to speak of the eternal reality that unbelievers should take seriously, but doesn't begin to touch on the rest of the realities. (For those interested in finding out more, read Romans 5 & Romans 8 and then give thought to what the opposite entails!)


    JD Longmire said...

    I am curious about what Christians "miss out" on...

    skeptimal said...

    To be fair, the tract shouldn't have singled out Christianity among the world's religions, and I don't know for sure what the tract said, but I imagine it might have included:

    The growth that comes from facing your doubts;
    Freedom from the need to explain tragedy;
    Freedom from slavery to superstition;
    an end to the need to believe "no matter what you may see;" and
    Better resistance to manipulation and deception.

    panta dokimazete said...

    Hi, Skeptimal - Your response is interesting, to say the least:

    "The growth that comes from facing your doubts;"

    I have faced my doubts - and I doubt the atheistic worldview even more and trust Christ exclusively.

    "Freedom from the need to explain tragedy;"

    Yes, it is much better to give the cold comfort of "well, you know it all doesn't matter anyway" or "hey, that's just survival of the fittest in action"...Scripture explains tragedy from the perspective that it all fits within God's good purpose. Romans 8:28

    "Freedom from slavery to superstition;"

    You mean trading purpose for purposelessness. I wouldn't call that freedom - I'd say atheism is slavery to despair or self-delusion.

    an end to the need to believe "no matter what you may see;"

    Not sure what this means, since I believe in testinting everything, keeping the good. 1 Thess 5:21

    "Better resistance to manipulation and deception."

    lol - riiight...see last answer.

    skeptimal said...


    I'm aware that Christians view everything but Christianity as hopeless and meaningless, and I wasn't really trying to be persuasive. JDL asked how someone could think Christians were missing out on anything, and I gave a short answer.

    That having been said, I think it would be much more empty to cling to a system of beliefs that I don't believe are true.

    "Scripture explains tragedy from the perspective that it all fits within God's good purpose."

    I know you won't believe this, but life doesn't lose its value when you accept that some things just happen. To the contrary: when something bad happens in my life or in the lives of people I care about, I have the comfort of knowing the tragedy is not a personal attack. Satan is not attacking, the gods are not punishing, and there is no divine impotence either. It is still a tragedy, and it still hurts like crazy, don't get me wrong.

    jazzycat said...

    What do you miss out on by being a Christian?

    This question has the false premise that Christians would want to do all the things that non-Christians desire to do. The fact is that regenerated Christians are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and have different desires than non-Christians. The Christian is a new creation in Christ with new a new attitude and new desires. He despises things he used to enjoy and enjoys things he used to despise. The Christian has been given the fruit of the Spirit by God the Holy Spirit and no longer desires the things that the non-Christian desires. This is a result of God’s work in his heart and not a matter of forcing himself to do things he does not enjoy.

    On the other hand the non-Christian has not been touched by the hand of God and has desires along the lines of Romans 1:18-32. He may not participate in all of the behaviors listed, but they are probably the kind of things the writer of the literature found in the bathroom is talking about. The non-Christian is a slave to these kinds of desires and not only approve of them but leaves literature in bathrooms trying to recruit more people to this lifestyle. The pleasures of these activities are brief and there is a continual desire for more to satisfy a craving that is never fulfilled. In the end these activities actually become the punishment for those who pursue them. The drug addicts, alcoholics, gambling addicts, sexual addicts, and other coveting of unrighteous desires bring ruin to many families, relationships and lives. The prisons are full of non-Christians who pursued and obtained things that the Christian misses out on!

    I certainly do not expect skeptimal or the writer of the phrase above to understand or be able to connect these dots. Unless one is born again, he cannot understand.

    skeptimal said...

    JC said: "This question has the false premise that Christians would want to do all the things that non-Christians desire to do."

    LOL...please tell us what evil deeds you think everyone who disagrees with you wants to do.

    jazzycat said...

    As I said, the unregenerate cannot understand what I described. Paul describes the same thing in Galatians 5 if you care to read it.

    skeptimal said...

    "As I said, the unregenerate cannot understand what I described."

    Well that certainly settles that. :-)