Christians sometimes suggest I should sit down and pray. Read the Bible. Try once again to believe in God.
Yet the Bible says it’s too late for me. Consider the following passage from 2 Thessalonians:
The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness. (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12)
It appears that the moment I became an atheist – refused to love the “truth” – God sent me a powerful delusion so that I would believe the lies of atheism and be condemned for my wickedness.
So, to those Christians who would have me repent, I’m really sorry but it’s God’s will that I be condemned, probably to a place of terrible torture that lasts an eternity. (God is love, right?)
In all seriousness, though, the reason this passage caught my attention is because the chaps at Reasonable Doubts were arguing against presuppositionalism, and part of their argument was to show that God’s morality is incoherent. Part of this latter idea is that God, instead of promoting an absolute morality, promotes a relativistic morality which allows him to use things like deception, murder, and other immoral acts when he needs to.
The scripture from Thessalonians is just one example of God’s use of deception. Here are some others:
1. In 1 Kings 22, God is looking for a way to have Ahab killed (as I said before, God is love, right?). He sends a “lying spirit”:
Now, therefore, behold, the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets, and the Lord hath spoken evil concerning thee. (1 Kings 22:23).
2. Jeremiah, for one, believed that God was capable of deception, when he said:
O LORD, thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived (Jeremiah 20:7).
3. God has this to say about prophets who have led the Israelites astray:
And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that prophet (Ezekiel 14:9).