Sam Harris: Mythunderstandings Part 7 of 7

The Day of Vengeance, Be Careful What You Wish For

Sam Harris continues the though with which we began the previous section by advising us to,

“pay particular attention to the morality that will be on display if Jesus ever returns to earth trailing clouds of glory (e.g., 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9, 2:8; Hebrews 10:28-29; 2 Peter 3:7; and all of Revelation).”[fn] Sam Harris, Response to Reader Comments and Criticsm [sic] also Sam Harris, Sam Harris Takes On the Muslim Cartoon Controversy and His Critics[/fn]

This section will certainly deal with a much misunderstood and emotionally charged issue. It will also expose one of atheism’s hypocrisies: first they complain that God does nothing about evil and then, when they find out what God will ultimately do about it, they complain again. The bottom line is that atheism has their own theistic concepts, they think that God should not do anything with which they do not personally agree. Atheists also seem to think that God is a pushover, but not just a pushover-the ultimate pushover. Apparently, God is never supposed to defend His holiness nor that of others and He is never to condemn anyone for anything (except “religious” hypocrites).

The Day of Vengeance, Be Careful What You Wish For

Sam Harris continues the though with which we began the previous section by advising us to,

“pay particular attention to the morality that will be on display if Jesus ever returns to earth trailing clouds of glory (e.g., 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9, 2:8; Hebrews 10:28-29; 2 Peter 3:7; and all of Revelation).”[fn] Sam Harris, Response to Reader Comments and Criticsm [sic] also Sam Harris, Sam Harris Takes On the Muslim Cartoon Controversy and His Critics[/fn]

This section will certainly deal with a much misunderstood and emotionally charged issue. It will also expose one of atheism’s hypocrisies: first they complain that God does nothing about evil and then, when they find out what God will ultimately do about it, they complain again. The bottom line is that atheism has their own theistic concepts, they think that God should not do anything with which they do not personally agree. Atheists also seem to think that God is a pushover, but not just a pushover-the ultimate pushover. Apparently, God is never supposed to defend His holiness nor that of others and He is never to condemn anyone for anything (except “religious” hypocrites).

Ultimately however, the issue is not so much what the verses state, it is that Sam Harris takes issue with the very concept of holiness, grace and retribution. Moreover, as I recently saw in a website that will remain unadvertised here, his supporters simply take his word for it-if he says that the Bible states so and so, that is good enough. The website mere quoted Sam Harris and then said words to the effect of: there you have it, take this horrible thing or join us.


Let us begin with 2nd Thessalonians 2:8,

“And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.”

This verse deals with one particular person, it deals with the most oppressive tyrant that the world will ever know.

“Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?” (Hebrews 10:28-29).

These verses are self explanatory: if you disregard that which has been established for your salvation-what is left?

As for 2nd Peter, verse 7, to which Sam Harris referred is underlined:

“Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.’ For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?” (2nd Peter 3:1-12).

Lastly, and please pardon us for not quoting the entire Book of Revelation, we quote the text of 2nd Thessalonians 1:7-9:

“and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.”

Notice that the text states, “destruction from the presence of,” this is the be careful what you wish for aspect. There are many people, many atheist, who have made their utter hate of “the God of the Bible” crystal clear. Why then would God force them to spend eternity with Him? In such a case heaven would be hell for these people. God is willing to provide them a life far removed from Him, so that they never have to deal with God.
Sam Harris has written:

“If he exists, the God of Abraham is not merely unworthy of the immensity of creation; he is unworthy even of man_The biblical God is a fiction.”[fn] Sam Harris, An Atheist Manifesto (Dec 7, 2005)
[/fn]

This really is the bottom line: since this God is unworthy of Sam Harris how could God force Sam Harris to endure eternity with Him? This is God in the hands of an angry sinner.

That would be a terrible injustice, as G.K. Chesterton wrote,

“Hell is God’s great compliment to the reality of human freedom and the dignity of human choice.”[fn] G. K. Chesterton, quoted in Cliffe Knechtle, Give Me An Answer (Downersgrove, Ill.: Inter Varsity Press, 1986), p. 42[/fn]

For more detailed discussions of these issues please see our essays On Hell, Why Would Your Lord Send You to Hell? and “Love” and “Hate” – Defining Terminology.

What more can be said? Sam Harris makes various comments that makes one wonder if he lives a very sheltered life, if he is out of the societal loop, if he is engaging in unviable but advantageous statements, or from just whence he is getting his information and ideas.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A plea: I have to pay for server usage and have made all content on this website free and always will. I support my family on one income and do research, writing, videos, etc. as a hobby. If you can even spare $1.00 as a donation, please do so: it may not seem like much but if each person reading this would do so, even every now and then, it would add up and really, really help. Here is my donate/paypal page.

Due to robo-spaming, I had to close the comment sections. However, you can comment on my Facebook page and/or on my Google+ page.