THEOLOGY & APOLOGETICS
George Carlin and Christianity
Opinions and Accountability from Here to Eternity
By Laurel J. Davis
See Laurel's blog at The Reluctant First Lady
Christians are mentally ill. They believe in a God that gives you ten things to do, and if you don't do them, He sends you to burn in hell forever — and oh, by the way, He loves you.So goes the paraphrased "wisdom" of comedian George Carlin on an episode of Bill Maher's TV show, Politically Incorrect, back in the 90s. Carlin said that because of our apparent lunacy, the burden of proof is on us rather than on those who don't believe.
He also said that of all "religions," Christianity is the most lethal.
Space here won't allow a thorough, point-by-point response to Mr. Carlin's opinions...
...Such as the fact that salvation and damnation are both more correctly about belief — or lack thereof — and not behavior...
...And that God is in fact very Love itself...
...And that, as any loving father knows, love and punishment don't contradict one another...
...And that what destines you to hell is not so much rejecting God's commandments but rejecting God Himself...
...And that the King of kings is not like Burger King: it's His way or it's no way...
...And that Christianity is not another dead "religion" for a dead god but an actual relationship with the one true and personal God, Creator, Comforter and Savior...
...And that the burden of proof is on him to disqualify all the objective evidence for the inerrancy and final authority of the Bible...
...And that Christianity is only "lethal" to the extent that Jesus Christ, by raising His own physical self from the dead while He was dead, put to death the very death (conscious eternal condemnation) that all of mankind deserves because of our sins...
...And that preparing for one's eternal security makes infinitely more sense than the real lunacy of putting all your bets on this temporary life here and now and ignoring or denying even the possibility of any afterlife to come...
No, we can't respond to Mr. Carlin's comments like we really want to here (sarcasm notwithstanding!). What we can say is that the preaching of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing (1 Corinthians 1:18), and we are not ashamed of the gospel of Christ (Romans 1:16).
We can also say that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, with the right to express it. But with that comes some degree of accountability.
Christians understand that. Indeed, part of the evidence that we are even Christian is not only our belief in Jesus Christ but also the very verbal expression of that belief, that Jesus Christ is living Lord and Savior (Romans 10:9-10).
It is by our confidence in the factuality of that belief that we even dare to express it — a confidence based, yes, on faith but bolstered by the evidence of God's Holy Scripture and of the historical and empirically proven bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christianity is not lunacy but makes perfect sense based on that confidence.
And what is George Carlin's confidence in what he says based on? Gut feeling? Personal experience? Personal preference? Anger and spite because he, like many people (including me at one time), hate to hear that they're truly hell-bound sinners?
We will all one day face accountability for our "opinions." And we all can't be right. Either the Bible is all correct — either God loved the whole world and sends unbelievers to hell, either Jesus raised Himself physically from the dead, either He alone is God and Savior and it's heaven with Him or hell without Him — or Mr. Carlin will face no eternal consequences for his opinionated spewings against Christians and the living God we fear.
We're all born. We all live our lives, form beliefs, and express our opinions. We all die. And then what? Accountability. Eternal accountability.
I wrote this essay many years ago for our church bulletin, with periodic reprints over the years. But get this: the last time I put it in our church bulletin was — I found out later that day — the very same day comedian George Carlin died, on June 15, 2008. I feel no vindication, and there is no joy — none at all — in Mr. Carlin's passing and potentially being in torment as I write this.
I only share this, and point out the timing, to snap folks into the reality that the death rate is still one per person and you don't know when it will come for you, so why take chances? Most of us, Christian or not, know the Bible says, For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. But how many of us, Christian or not, know what it also says just a couple of verses down? Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands CONDEMNED ALREADY because he has not believed in the name of God's ONE and ONLY Son.
Are you condemned already? Or will you be rescued and believe?
A sample prayer (use your own heart-felt words): God, come into my life and rescue me from eternal condemnation. I don't know if You're really real, but I don't want to take that chance. Show Yourself to me, Jesus. Enter my heart and mind and let me know You're for real. I want to believe in You, Jesus. Save me from my sins, most of which is my rejection of You. Forgive me of my sins. I want to spend eternity with You, and I want to serve You in this life in the meantime. In Jesus' Name, I pray — because I don't know of any other name to call upon for my eternal security. Amen.
If you prayed this prayer, tell somebody. Tell me, if you'd like. This is according to Romans 10:9-10 which says:
That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
Tags: Biblical-Salvation | Biblical-Truth | Eternity-Forever
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Published on 8-5-2015