Friday, December 23, 2011

Christopher Hitchens: Let's Be Honest

It is indeed a tragedy that any human being should depart this life rejecting God. It is even more tragic that some men take up the arduous and impossible task of erasing the very idea of God from society. Nothing is more disturbing than a human being openly, aggressively, and arrogantly putting forth extreme amounts of energy to destroy his or her Creator. No work is less noble, less honorable, less worthy, less ethical, less valuable than the work of erasing God from the conscience of human society. Not only is such work sheer folly, it is wrought with an arrogance unrivaled by any other known to man. To engage in the task of erasing God from human conscience is like standing under a waterfall while arguing that there is no such thing as water, that it doesn't fall, and that it does not make humans wet when contacting them.

I have read many kind remarks regarding Christopher Hitchens over the past few days. Most of these remarks coming from Christian quarters. The nicities are pouring forth like compliments at the King's birthday party. I cannot help but think about what Jesus said regarding His command for us to love our enemies. Does loving your enemies mean that you call them your friend? Can you love an enemy without saying wonderful things about him at his death? What does "loving your enemy" actually look like? How should Christian leaders be responding to the death of Hitchens? On one hand, I respect Hitchens' directness. You did not have to guess what he thought about God, the Bible, Jesus Christ, or those irrational and anti-intellectual Christian fruitcakes! Hitchens was a straight-shooter from what I can see. I wish more Christians were as honest and direct as he was. On the other hand, I destest the manner in which he blasphemed God.

What should we say about Hitchens? In American and Western culture, when people die, we have a tradition of saying only good things about the person. I understand why we have this inclination. I am not saying it is necessarily a good or bad thing. From my perspective, what really matters is Christ. What really takes precedence or should, is the gospel. What we should really be talking about is the truth. If you want to compliment Christopher Hitchens, then at least be honest with your compliments. Find something good that was actually good. Hitchens had a very powerful intellect. Perhaps he was a brilliant writer. But to say that any mind who aggressively denies God is a brilliant one is, in my opinion as a Christian, disengenuous. Truly brilliant minds do not deny their Creator. Men with powerful intellects may. Men with high IQs may. But to earn the description "brilliant" for me as a Christian means that this person's mind humbly submitted to the God who is there. Hitchen's did not! Any reasoning that concludes God is not is radically unsound. For Christians, how could it be otherwise?

The legacy of Christopher Hitchens was blasphemer par excellence. I do not think Hitchens would object to this description, given that it is coming from an irrational Christian such as myself. At least irrational as far as Hitchens is concerned! This is a very sad and frightening truth. Few men have blasphemed God as often and as indignently as Christopher Hitchens. His denial of the Creator and the arrogance with which he paraded his own intellectual abilities represent the worse kind of blasphemy. Do we honestly believe that Jesus would put his arm around Christopher Hitchens, call him a good friend and shrug his shoulders saying we disagree about God, all the while having a good laugh about it? Christopher Hitchens spent his life blaspheming God and making fun of the only true religion in the entire world. Does God have anything at all to say to men like Hitchens? I think so.

Let's be honest: Christopher Hitchens perverted the gift of reason and turned this God-given gift against the gracious Giver Himself. Christopher knew God existed, deep in places that atheists don't like to talk about. They all know that God exists. In lock-step, to one degree or another, these god-haters all take the gracious gift of knowledge and surpress it, exchange it for something far less than the beautiful gift it is. And with that subversion, they set about to protect, with every ounce of intellectual energy they can muster, all the autonomy their wicked hearts desire. Mr. Hitchens, while an accomplished author, an excellent speaker, and a good representative of the antitheistic view, was not a brilliant thinker if for no other reason than he refused to think God's thoughts after him. In so-doing, he ipso facto placed himself squarely in the camp of the irrational. If you are truly a consistent, critical Christian thinker, you must arrive at no other conclusion. We leave you to God, Hitch. Every man must face his Maker. I would rather do so with Jesus Christ as my Attorney as opposed to engaging in the folly of trusting in my own self-appointment.

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