My Debate with Dr. Atheist
by Pastor Cary Gordon
My recent conversation (afternoon of August 27th, 2012) with a particular friend, when a Doctor of Chiropractic barged-in to the discussion desiring to have a little debate with me about God in the midst of our political/moral/ethical discussion through the social medium of twitter.com (which limits remarks to short bursts of 145 characters, or less). I have paraphrased the debate for purposes of grammar clarity:
Pastor: "What unrepentant crime against Christ does a Republican have to commit to lose our vote? If Mitt Romney publicly supported pedophilia, would you STILL vote for him so long as he removed Obama from office? He did support the euthanasia of Terry Schiavo. What evil is greater than euthanasia?
Friend: Jesse Jackson was against the euthanasia of Terry Schiavo, but I'm not going to vote for Jackson's candidate [Barack Obama.]
Pastor: "Shadrach, Meeshach, Abednigo, Daniel, Peter, Paul, and Jesus didn't abide "the lesser of two evils" thinking so many espouse. The scriptures reject situational ethics! Moral decisions are not determined by consequences. The ruin of every man in political history is ALWAYS tethered to his insisting upon the sin of "situation ethics". It is against God's law."
Friend: "I can't deal with this. This is over my head. I'll leave it at that."
Doctor: "What then are moral decisions determined by?"
Pastor: "They are determined by the laws men did not make. The "First-Cause" of the law of gravity & physics."
Doctor: "So the nuclear fusion of H into He causing a big bang? Whats that have to do with moral decisions?"
Pastor: "Precisely Doctor. How did "love" and "justice" emerge from an explosion? The "first cause" of which I speak is our Creator God."
Doctor: "But then who created God? The only difference between you and a tree is the energy and information on a sub atomic level. We are all one."
Pastor: "But you never answered my questions, Doctor. How does love and music emerge from an explosion? Truth is absolute."
Doctor: "Truth is absolute. I agree. But your "truth" is debatable and subjective. Love is merely a biochemical reaction in your brain."
Pastor: "A clock is a complex mechanism. A clock has a clock-maker. The universe is infinitely more complex than a clock, thus, the universe must have a universe-maker."
Doctor: "Exactly! So saying that god created everything it is over simplifying things. No? WHO CREATED GOD?"
Pastor: "Not at all. Everything has a "first-cause." That's a law you didn't make and can't overrule. The first cause of love is loving. The first-cause of justice must be Just...MOST IMPORTANTLY, Doctor, The first-cause of something powerful enough to be the "first-cause" of ALL things could not have a first-cause, or else it would no longer be THE first-cause."
(Frustration and anger began to slide into the Doctor's remarks at this point, me thinks).
Doctor: "But you can't have love with out hate. If god created love he created hate, according to your logic. No?" You can't have justice without injustice either... same argument!"
Pastor: "No Doctor, hate is the absence of love, like poverty is the absence of money. Poverty isn't quantifiable, etc. etc. The same argument applies to Justice and injustice. Darkness is the absence of light. Darkness has no matter. Light remains both energy and matter at the same time, etc. etc."
Doctor: "The majority of the universe has no matter."
Pastor: "When what might have become a cheeseburger is found to have no cheese, we assume the "first-cause" of this condition was a decision to pause the creation of the burger once it reached that state of a "plain burger." (Ha, ha ha!) Doctor, He's not done creating the universe, just as He has not finished His work re-creating who you are as a man. God is patient. He is also the First-Cause of patience. Patience exists. It could not be produced in the flames of an accidental explosion."
Pastor: "The most important thing, of course, is one ceases to find merit in debating whether or not someone exists after they meet them."
Doctor: "You can't meet "him" until you meet yourself in my opinion. How can you find out who you are if everyone tells you what to do?"
Pastor: "I did not have to know myself to meet my wife. I noticed her beauty before she spoke. Look at the beauty of nature around you! It testifies of our Creator. You're a smart man. I enjoy you. Read the book "More than Just a Carpenter" by Josh McDowell, and you'll become wise. I'll pray for you. The truth in that small book will make you a better doctor and a happier man."
Doctor: "You should read the book: "The Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are" by Alan watts. It will make you less condescending."
Pastor: "Oh, you misunderstand me, Doctor. My faith teaches "the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord." You lack fear, not intelligence."
Conclusion from God's Word:
Romans 1:20-32 (KJV)
20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.