Did you just commit adultery in your heart?

Oops – my bad!  (Oh, it’s just peppermint!)  Anyway, I thought the following video had quite a lot to do with some of the discussion on thought control, Christian justice, and the supposed impossiblity of atheist morality. (It kind of turns the table back on the traditional argument.)

jk

21 Comments to “Did you just commit adultery in your heart?”

  1. LeeS 14 December 2010 at 6:24 am #

    Like the video. Will try to watch some of the other stuff at a later time.

  2. LeeS 14 December 2010 at 7:56 pm #

    Kelly, not sure if you watched the video or not. But you often ask how someone who is a non believer could have any kind of moral compass. The one guy at about 3:45 answers that questions exactly, and he does so in a way that I would be interested in what you think about his answer. ie what is wrong with it. That part is only 1 minute or so.

    If you keep listening, you hear what Jon and I have spent a lot of time trying to convey, and this is the part about Justice and Mercy. Again the guy does a good job with this (in the 5:15is part of the video, and again maybe 2 minutes tops). So where does he get this wrong from your perspective? How would you answer the question they ask the caller, what kind of punishment does the saved rapist suffer? I completely follow what he is saying, and cannot understand how anyone could see it differently then what he is saying.

    Do to the complexity of these two issues, try to limit your response to just them. I realize you will want to say more, and if you have to, well of course you can. But I would just be interested in your response to these two items, before it strays off into something else.

  3. joek(the elder) 14 December 2010 at 10:14 pm #

    Jon,
    Excellent video. It defines the essence of christian morality, or should I say immorality. I’ve always been bothered by the christian ability to sweep away an immoral life by “being saved”, but had never thought of it in the simple terms expressed in the video.

  4. MaryEl 15 December 2010 at 8:04 am #

    The video is such a good explanation of atheist morality. It should be required listening for all the religionists with their “you’re gonna burn in hell–oops, maybe not since you have repented/are ‘saved’ ” belief. But how to get them to listen? or to unstop their minds from the clog of “you have to be told what is moral behavior?” The concept of picking and choosing from ‘God’s word’ negates any contention that that word is real or true or necessary to morality. Difficult to get believers to listen, much less hear and think, as indicated by the enlightening interchange on the video.

  5. Kelly 16 December 2010 at 1:09 am #

    Okay Lee,

    I listened to those two parts, and I don’t doubt that all human beings have a moral compass. The question is who’s moral compass matters most, God’s or ours. Follow this through with me that there are millions if not billions of sins/crimes that go unpunished here on earth, and if we all die and that’s it, then all those go unpunished. The atheists in the video don’t want to count thought crimes, hate, lies and lust, for they know how often they fall in these areas. They want to adhere to their own morality standards, not those of Jesus Christ.

    So the rapist that truly repents and invites the Holy Spirit to take up residence in his life, will be shown mercy and God in turn provides him the power to change through His Holy Spirit.

    Recognizing Jesus is Lord, is bowing one’s life to Him and receiving His help for living. There’s no contradiction when the Creator says what He will accept; repentance and faith in Him, and He Himself pays the sin debt. God knows the heart and mind of every man and He knows who has truly repented and received Him and who hasn’t.

    Hope that’s short enough:-)

  6. LeeS 16 December 2010 at 6:17 am #

    “The question is who’s moral compass matters most, God’s or ours. Follow this through with me that there are millions if not billions of sins/crimes that go unpunished here on earth, and if we all die and that’s it, then all those go unpunished. ”
    And your point is? Accepting Jesus will not restore the virginity to the virgin who was raped. If that rapist repents and accepts Jesus, how exactly has that sin been repaid? Oh I know, Jesus paid it, but the person committing the sin has not been punished, so in my book it is little different from a Hindu raping someone, at least from the girls, and societies point of view.

    “The atheists in the video don’t want to count thought crimes, hate, lies and lust, for they know how often they fall in these areas. They want to adhere to their own morality standards, not those of Jesus Christ.”
    This is where you are mistaken. All people fail in those areas. It is not like some kind of magical thing happens just because someone follow Jesus. ie just because you may not do it, does not mean every Christian walking the earth does not do it. You can’t generalize like that. I have raped and murdered and stole from exactly the same number of people that you have I am pretty sure. I am sure our lie total is also pretty close. I will admit that I lust after woman far more than you do, and since you are female, your lust drive is almost certainly less than mine from a biological standpoint. But I am sorry, thought crimes are not he same as actual crimes.

  7. Kelly 16 December 2010 at 12:39 pm #

    My point is that Adolf Hitler alone got away with an awful lot if all he did was kill himself to no longer exist. That doesn’t happen under God. And the atheist in the video tries to say that Christians are the ones who should sin more because they can, you have to read what Paul preaches, because it is crystal clear that we are not given a license to sin because of grace.

    The girl’s physical virginity can not be restored here, yet Christ can restore her spiritually and give her back the purity that was stolen from her.

    Something “magical” does happen, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in a person’s heart and all those things you mentioned become less and less. God transforms people from the inside out.

    All these crimes that actually get carried out, start in the mind, so Christ is not an “idiot” to start there, Philippians 4:8,9.

  8. Jon K 16 December 2010 at 12:50 pm #

    “The question is who’s moral compass matters most.”
    Most definitely ours does. If god’s mattered most, women would still be treated as subservient, there would be no civil rights, we would be stoning and burning infidels, witches, disobedient children, and women who lose their virginity before marriage. Importantly, we justify our departure from old testament law (God’s moral compass) using our own capacity to make moral decisions.
    But don’t make too much of the ‘moral compass’ metaphor. It’s not a mechanism of absolutes. It’s neurology combined with environmental/cultural forces. But that’s a whole other discussion.

    “There are millions if not billions of sins/crimes that go unpunished here on earth, and if we all die and that’s it, then all those go unpunished”
    I also fail to see how this is any better than billions of sins/crimes unpunished in an afterlife. I agree completely that it sucks that good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people. But ‘good’ people are certainly not those with a lengthy rap sheets that have accepted Jesus as their lord and savior. Morality is completely action based, not belief based.

    “The atheists in the video don’t want to count thought crimes, hate, lies and lust, for they know how often they fall in these areas”
    Lee answered it, but I will add: atheists do not denounce the precursors to immoral action – only the action itself. And actions are only immoral with regard to how they affect others. Lust, hate, terrible thoughts all completely internalized are inconsequential – lies, deception, and damaging acts that come from self-corruptive thoughts are all morally problematic – no thoughtful atheist would deny it.
    Again, I have to take issue with your reckless use of ‘lie.’ If someone expresses disagreement with your position, gives arguments in favor of a contradictory position – they very well may be mistaken, but this is not lying. Lying would be closer to what the defense did in the Dover trials where they deliberately misled the court with deception. A scientist who fakes results would be lying. Your accusations seem to indicate you are convinced that Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens and the rest somehow know God exists but have the sinister drive to deceive other people from seeing it.

    “They want to adhere to their own morality standards, not those of Jesus Christ.”
    Well, that’s true! But this does not motivate disbelief. That would be like saying, I don’t like the law which requires me to keep my speed at 70 mph; therefore, I don’t believe in it. Ahhh – now I’m free to go as fast as I want without consequence!

    Your last paragraph

    “So the rapist that truly repents and invites the Holy Spirit to take up residence in his life, will be shown mercy and God in turn provides him the power to change through His Holy Spirit.”
    Okay – if the rapist embraces religion and it motivates the tranformation to a decent human being – then I wholeheartedly agree – this is great. Many other religions that don’t acknowledge Jesus motivate this same kind of reform, of course. Additionally, there are countless non-religious things that could motivate one toward self-improvement. The issue is not with the moral person, but with the Just-in-time acceptance. That the whole scheme hinges on your state of belief at the time you die is really a silly notion. To elaborate – the reformed man will certainly not be perfect, still suffering transgressions regardless of his belief state. Yet he cashes in while the individual who uses some other motivator toward reform (maybe love of a woman, or realization of how his actions have hurt others) is as hated by your divine concept as much as if he had never reformed. Additionally, one might have made the belief transition, but not had the time to demonstrate reform, died, and then he hits the jackpot. I’m not saying you are presenting your system innaccurately, I’m simply saying your system is not one of justice.

    “Recognizing Jesus is Lord, is bowing one’s life to Him…”
    I didn’t understand most of what this was saying, but it seems to be claiming pretty intricate knowledge about the mind of God – pretty impressive for a mere human to know such a thing as the ultimate mind of the universe!

  9. Jon K 16 December 2010 at 12:58 pm #

    “My point is that Adolf Hitler alone got away with an awful lot if all he did was kill himself to no longer exist.”
    How is that different from the scenario where Hitler is saved right before he dies? In that case, he killed an awful lot of people and enjoyed paradise!

    “The girl’s physical virginity can not be restored here, yet Christ can restore her spiritually and give her back the purity that was stolen from her. ”
    No he can’t. That’s why its such a heinous crime. Recovery requires time, help from other loving PEOPLE and strength. But as with any injury of this severity, it will leave a scar.

    “All these crimes that actually get carried out, start in the mind, so Christ is not an “idiot” to start there, Philippians 4:8,9.”
    I agree with the note that the best way to avoid the immoral act such thoughts may lead to is to control the thought to the extent you can – the thought is just that – a thought. It’s not an offense to anyone until it sprouts on the outside.

  10. Kelly 16 December 2010 at 6:47 pm #

    Romans Ch.8 speaks to a lot of this. It’s highly unlikely that Hitler repented of his crimes against the Jews by killing himself, so you can rest that it’s highly unlikely that he’s enjoying paradise. True repentence would look very different.

    The LOVE of God has a powerful impact on people’s lives that allow Him access. He can indeed heal a woman who has been raped. I know several beautiful women of God, who have under gone that and the role Christ has played in their healing is unmatchable. Time and the love of friends and family have helped a great deal too, but it is false to say that God cannot restore a person spiritually in light of something as heinous as rape. He helps as no human possibly could.

    Jon, it’s best to give in and trust what Christ has done for you. It’s His ego or yours. The God of the universe has your best interest in mind, yet you have to yield to Him.

  11. Jon K 16 December 2010 at 10:26 pm #

    Regarding the Hitler discussion – of course I agree with the unlikeliness of Hitler in paradise. I was criticizing the system that frees someone from the responsibility of terrible acts based on a belief.

    I think the rape discussion is almost identical to the efficacy of prayer discussion we’ve had many times over. Take the example of a very sick person –
    Prayer + Medicine = Works!
    No Prayer + Medicine = Works!
    Prayer + No Medicine = Rarely works.
    No Prayer + No Medicine = Rarely works.

    It is easy to factor out the prayer. In the case of psychological injury from the act of rape (I will refrain from spiritual recovery, since maybe you don’t mean the same thing as psychological recovery – I know how the psyche can be damaged from rape, but not sure about ‘spiritual’ damage (did you mean loss of faith or something else?) As far as psychological recovery we have
    Friend Support + Medical Support + God = Works
    Friend Support + Medical Support + No God = Works
    Friend Support + No Med + God = Sometimes
    Friend Support + No Med + No God = Sometimes
    No Friend + Med + God = Sometimes
    No Friend + Med + No God = Sometimes
    No Friend + No Med + God = Rarely
    No Friend + No Med + No God = Rarely

    I would certainly allow for a positive God effect with genuine faith, but this is not necessarily stronger than one who uses the support of friends, counselling & personal strength and a complete lack of God.

    If you mean by spiritual recovery – getting over that feeling of “Why did God (who is supposed to be watching over me) let this happen?” then yeah, maybe faith perserverence can regain a trust in this god image – but so what? No person who has been raped gets back to a psychological state as if they’d never been raped (unless they suffer some kind of disorder or self-defensive brain function, but I’m not a psychologist.) But of course individuals are resilient and they can learn to love, trust members of the opposite sex, etc. This happens for believers and non-believers alike, so you don’t need a god to accomplish it.

  12. Kelly 17 December 2010 at 12:19 am #

    Not so fast on Hitler, your system allows him to die without punishment, no justice there at all.

    Mere belief is not accurate, it’s repentance and faith, basically recognizing the Lordship of Christ and surrendering to His lead.

    Until you’ve actually experienced God’s forgiveness and healing power in your own life, it’s honestly very hard to explain the benefits to you.

  13. LeeS 17 December 2010 at 6:12 am #

    First, there is no formal system for the non believer. So for the non believer it is not like there is some kind of alternative mechanism we believe in that replaces what a Christian believes, much like what a Hindu has (reincarnation into lower lives). This is why we need actual laws and such, because if there were nothing that happened here, in this life, I am pretty sure things would be worse off for everyone. Threat of torment in the next life I am thinking is probably not as powerful as a deterrent. If it were, early civilizations which were highly religious would not have had a need for laws and punishments in this life.

    And secondly, exactly how does repentant Hitler = justice in your system? Jon and I agree, we are sure God is very happy to have a new member on his team, but I am not sure I understand how that translates into Justice for those that were wronged. (All being Jews, they are clearly in Hell, burning forever). It is not like after Hitler repents, all the Jews that were killed magically come back to life, and pick up where they left off before his actions. So explain the how there is justice in that scenario. And this is not a contrived scenario. You see that is what Jon is trying to show you. How does repentance after the act, in any way effect the victim. We do not argue that the criminal is sitting high and clear now, but how does it help the victim? We just don’t see how.

  14. Kelly 17 December 2010 at 11:26 am #

    “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”
    Galatians 5:7,8
    That’s my best and final answer:-)

  15. Jon K 17 December 2010 at 2:51 pm #

    Except that it is completely inconsistent with the Christian message you emphasize in which one who is saved most certainly does not reap what he sows. That’s the entire point of this discussion.

  16. LeeS 17 December 2010 at 5:04 pm #

    Not that you have to answer again, but when I read that passage, it seems like the person who does bad, is not going to escape punishment.

    So either a repentant Hitler can be saved or he cannot. This seems to say that he cannot. “He has sowed to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction.” Did we misinterpret that?

  17. Kelly 17 December 2010 at 5:09 pm #

    Before I sent that particular passage, I should have realized that Galatians is written for the church and not to unbelievers. Paul is writing to warn believers that they should sow to please the Spirit and not the sinful nature (which they still have), he further says to believers: “those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” Galatians 6:24, 25.

    So this message is not written for you, you who have not received His Spirit.

    The Christian message is one of Truth and Grace. Truth that Jesus is Lord and Grace that He died to give us new life. You guys don’t understand the new life and what it means to follow Christ. His plan is not to cheat the victims of this world, but to set them free.

    You can believe that God is somehow unfair to do what He has done for mankind through Christ, yet it’s His prerogative, not yours. Love is awesome to grasp, and it’s certainly not logical.

  18. Kelly 17 December 2010 at 5:46 pm #

    I didn’t see your post Lee. A better question would be: Could a repentant Lee be saved? God’s Grace is able:-)

  19. LeeS 18 December 2010 at 5:49 am #

    Well if a repentant Hitler is saved, then a repentant Lee better be, because I am not even close to Hitler, at least in my opinion.

  20. Kelly 18 December 2010 at 1:05 pm #

    Of course not, but you probably want to drop the “better be” attitude:-) None of us deserve Him, Lee. It’s because of His Goodness that He offers us what we do not deserve and cannot earn.

  21. Jon K 18 December 2010 at 5:47 pm #

    “I am not even close to Hitler”
    I don’t know, man, if a lustful thought is equivalent in God’s eyes to killing a Jew (which given that the punishment for each is the same – regardless whether you are saved – seems to be the case) then you might be in the Hitler ballpark.


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