Go to: => TOP PageWhat's New?;   ROAD MAP;   Contact Us;   Search Page;   Emmaus Ministries Page


The Front Lines are now...          
                at Your Front Door

Will you Stand Firm at Your Front Door?

F. Earle Fox

I have been viewing a DVD of a debate between William Lane Craig (professor at Biola University) vs. Christopher Hitchens (well known atheist) on whether God exists.  The debate was excellent, and Craig was superb in his defense of theism. 

But, the two opponents did not really engage directly because they were looking at the issue from quite different perspectives.  Craig spoke to the stated issue and question: Does God exist?  Is there credible evidence for the truth of theism?  Hitchens was speaking from a moral perspective, as he saw it, the damage caused by religion. 

Hitchens did not "win" the debate, I think, not even close.  He is very direct but he did not get abusive, as some have apparently found him.   But he did appear to me to be a man of personal integrity and personal honor.  I had heard uncomplimentary words about Hitchens, but was quite impressed by what seemed to me to be honesty and a curious openness to more than he was willing to admit. 

In comments afterwards, Craig made mention that Hitchens did not behave in his typically hyper-aggressive manner.  He was indeed very courteous and complimentary to the Christian audience, noting more than a few times how well he has been treated by Christians who invite him to speak at various times.  His demeanor at the debate did not show meanness.   I will not be surprised if I hear down the road that Hitchens has become a Christian.  Pray that he will bump into Jesus. 

The debate was well worth watching.  But it was in the "extras" on the second DVD disk where the two were speaking at a pre-debate news conference that caught my attention.  The very last question, directed to Hitchens and his response very deeply both troubled and impressed me.

The very last question from the news audience was whether he got hate mail, or threats to his life for his defense of atheism and attacks on theism.  He said quietly, "yes".  We were not talking theory anymore.  We were talking about threats to this man's life.  He was asked what he did about them.  "I ignore them."  

The following is an almost literal paraphrase of his comments. 

There is a huge agreement across the culture -- we have surrendered in advance to this attack on freedom of speech.  Not a single American newspaper would publish the cartoons which had appeared in the Danish press in order to explain to the Americans what it was all about.  It was pure fear.  When a small atheist magazine, for which I work (Free Inquiry) did print them, one of the book chains pulled them off their shelves.  Everyone was crying before they were hurt, doing the work of censorship for the Muslim extremists, only it was not "extremists", it was embassies of the Arab and Muslim governments leaning on our government to censor our own press.  This surrender to theocracy is one of the most distressing things that has happened in my lifetime.  It is getting worse all the time. 

Hitchens is exactly right.  We in the West, especially the religious institutions, are acting in an ignorant and cowardly way, as Hitchens says, doing their censorship for them.  We are typically more interested in being comfortable, taken care of by govt. Nanny, than in being the free persons God created us to be.

The front lines are at our front door, no longer off in a foreign battlefield.  The founding fathers gave us the 2nd amendment so that We, the People, could defend ourselves physically, and God gave us minds, hearts, and guts so that we could defend ourselves spiritually. 

There are many times, especially with local criminal activity, that we are necessarily our own first line of defense.  We ought to be ready to do that.  That means that we need to be ready to risk our lives immediately when confronted with this kind of threat from Muslims.  If we will back down as our press did and at that point, then we have given a signal that we are cowards and that we will not stand up to bullying.  (That is precisely how the Episcopal Church surrendered to persons who had no intention of following the truth of the matter on homosexuality.)  That is betrayal of our selves, of our families, and of our God.  We are inviting disaster. 

Yes, some of us may die in that front-line battle at our front door.  But if we do not stand firm where we are, many, many more will die, and our children and grandchildren will have to fight the same battle under much more difficult situations, and from a much less formidable position. 

I do not agree with Hitchens' atheism, but I do strongly admire his willingness to stand firm, at potentially great cost to himself.  Let us do likewise for the honor of Jesus Christ. 

Hitchens apparently has cancer.  May God bless him with a clean bill of health, a renewed passion for truth, and a knowledge and trust in Him who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  And may He bless Americans and Westerners generally with courage to stand for the freedoms with which He has blessed us. 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Go to: => TOP Page;   Spiritual Warfare;   Culture War;   Politics;   ROAD MAP

Date Posted - 09/20/2011   -   Date Last Edited - 07/07/2012