Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Enemies in the Midst

I saw some of a program on HBO with Bill Maher in which he ridiculed religion. His sharp attacks brought applause from the audience.

The scene I saw was him reading from the Bible and asking what is moral about 'having no other gods before me'. He said that there is nothing moral about religion and the audience gave hearty approval.

The first response is to acknowledge the harm that has been done in the name of religions. There is a history of mistakes and terrible episodes of immoral treatment. Someone like Mr. Maher is articulate, educated, witty, and firm in his stance against religion.

However, the big issue is an appeal to truth. If the book Mr Mayer read from is true, then he has taken a very dangerous stance. In Exodus, God says that He is the creator and has laid down pathways to life and death. Mr. Maher has obviously rejected that truth and can easily mock it and attempt to entertain by making it a butt of his humor.

But what if the Creator is there? He has many interesting promises in the book Here is one from Ezekiel 12

"21 Again a message came to me from the LORD: 22 "Son of man, what is that proverb they quote in Israel: 'Time passes, making a liar of every prophet'? 23 Give the people this message from the Sovereign LORD: I will put an end to this proverb, and you will soon stop quoting it. Now give them this new proverb to replace the old one: 'The time has come for every prophecy to be fulfilled!' 24 "Then you will see what becomes of all the false visions and misleading predictions about peace in Israel. 25 For I am the LORD! What I threaten always happens. There will be no more delays, you rebels of Israel! I will fulfill my threat of destruction in your own lifetime, says the Sovereign LORD." 26 Then this message came to me from the LORD: 27 "Son of man, the people of Israel are saying, 'His visions won't come true for a long, long time.' 28 Therefore, give them this message from the Sovereign LORD: No more delay! I will now do everything I have threatened! I, the Sovereign LORD, have spoken!"

So again- a gamble. Which side are you willing to take? Mr. Maher feels no fear in mocking the God of the book.

What is moral about this? God bases His morality on the truth of His nature. It is what He demands. It is what He can demand. If He is true, then what He declares is moral, is moral.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. In all of his mockery, our host is showing himself to be a fool.

He is an enemy of the truth. Our faith says for us not to hate him, but love and pray for him.

And people fear us? They call us dangerous?

All I can say is that I am picking my side. Whose side are you on?

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