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An Atheist Tempts God


Paul sent this note:

Ronald Weinland of “The Church of God – Preparing for the Kingdom of God” has predicted a nuclear explosion in the United States by July 16th, 2008; or, if this doesn’t happen, he will declare himself a false prophet. You may already know or suspect that he is a false prophet, but keep in mind that the fruit does not fall far from the tree. Weinland was spawned by another false prophet, Herbert W. Armstrong. In this writing we will show you how and why these men, while espousing some true doctrines, lead many in error.

Ronald Weinland – Son of Armstrong

Paul Cohen

Robert’s reply:

“The Path of Truth.” Heh. You’d think after exposing so many false prophets you’d have a little more humility.

Robert

Victor’s reply:

Robert,

Elijah slew 450 prophets, “solid citizens” and respected men of society right up to royalty, just like Herbert W. Armstrong. Elijah was only one against so many, besides priests of Ashtoreth. We are few against many. We know Elijah’s humility.

Humility? What is humility? Do you know, Robert? What does one who discredits his Maker (the Author and Promoter of humility), because of being deceived by a prophet of Baal, know about humility?

But know that those 450 prophets slew many spiritually before Elijah put them away. You are a casualty of a prophet of Baal.

Victor Hafichuk

Robert’s reply:

Humility? What is humility? Do you know, Robert? What does one who discredits his Maker (the Author and Promoter of humility), because of being deceived by a prophet of Baal, know about humility?

Yes. Humility is: “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.”

Robert

Victor’s reply:

“Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” Robert, presumably this means recognizing oneself to be guilty of sin. So what does that mean; or how does it apply to me? Read Does God Speak Only Gentle Words?, and tell me how you apply your understanding to the examples in the writing, including that of the One you quote. I’d like to know.

It is interesting that while you call yourself an atheist, you quote Jesus Christ, Who testified of His Father. The problem is that, as Jesus said, when you deny the Father, you deny the Son and vice versa. Why then would you quote those words? And when you quote them, do you know what their meaning is? Read that article, and let me know.

One who denies God denies himself, as one made by God. He spirals downward to abject darkness and leaves nothing for himself. He ends up without understanding altogether. As Solomon said:

“Respect and obey the LORD! This is the beginning of knowledge. Only a fool rejects wisdom and good advice” (Proverbs 1:7 CEV).

You quote Jesus? I will quote Him:

“The thief does not come except to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep” (John 10:10-11 MKJV).

Why let the thief take it all and bring you to nothing by his false apostles? Why not believe God? Why not accept culpability for your deception, disillusionment, and woes, and receive the Truth? This is not about Armstrong or Weinland or Meredith or Tkach; it is about you.

Where there is counterfeit, there is the real – many counterfeits but one True. Another paper you could read is Victims and Perpetrators. We have all been victims, but more importantly, we must see ourselves not as victims, but as perpetrators. Jesus came to save perpetrators, those who sin, and not victims, those sinned against. Did you ever think of that?

Paul the apostle put it this way:

“Faithful is this word, and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am first. However, because of this I was shown mercy, so that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all longsuffering, as a pattern for those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life” (1 Timothy 1:15-16 EMTV).

Armstrong was very good at playing the victim and teaching his followers to see things that way. “That dark, dirty world. They are all wrong! You have been duped! Follow me! I’m it!” He preached Law and repentance of breaking It, yes, and that is fine, but his motive for preaching was to draw to himself. He used some truth to get what he wanted. That is how Satan works. Read The Lovely Essence of Satan and The Nature of Deception.

Yes, we have been exposing and reproving the works of darkness, which God has instructed us, and others before us, to do. Have you considered that maybe, just maybe, there is a difference between what we are saying and doing and what Armstrong has been all about? (We know there is a night and day difference, but this is something you must know for yourself; you can only know this by God’s grace – we did not figure these things out for ourselves.)

To one of the prophets, He said:

“Cry aloud, do not spare, lift up your voice like a ram’s horn, and show My people their rebellion, and the house of Jacob their sins” (Isaiah 58:1 MKJV).

Is that “casting stones,” Robert? I believe you know it isn’t. You know what? You are not an atheist, are you? You have been used, abused, and disillusioned; you are bitter, but you are not an atheist. I even suspect that you have some yearning for someone to give you reason enough to persuade you to try again. You try to cast words my way, but you are not fighting as an atheist could, as foolish as an atheist can be. I think you know better. You are not as much of a fool as you claim to be (Psalm 14:1). You have suffered the consequences of the young man in Proverbs 7. Nevertheless, there is hope because Jesus Christ is the Resurrection and the Life. We know this because He has revealed Himself to us. He never revealed Himself to HWA or any of his followers. Had they known the Light of the world, they would not have heard the voice of a stranger. You heard the voice of a stranger and got burned. But I tell you, there is hope, and a sure one at that.

“Right now I call the sky and the earth to be witnesses that I am offering you this choice. Will you choose for the LORD to make you prosperous and give you a long life? Or will He put you under a curse and kill you? Choose life!” (Deuteronomy 30:19 CEV).

You may also read The Purpose of Evil. I hope I have not given you too much, but if you have a heart at all for what is right and good and true, and will not allow a false prophet to victimize you, you will acknowledge yourself a perpetrator no better than he, as I have had to do, and then you will see God work on your behalf rather than against you.

When He is against you, you can’t win; when He is for you, you can’t lose. That’s the way it is, always, without fail.

Victor

Robert’s reply:

‘Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.’ Robert, presumably this means recognizing oneself to be guilty of sin.

No. To you it means recognizing oneself to be guilty of sin. The Bible you say you believe says you are guilty of sin. Therefore, you should not be condemning others (“casting stones.”)

I, on the other hand, find the Bible to be not the work of a deity but of men, so I am only held to the things in it I find wise. I do not believe in your God, so I also do not believe in your concept of sin. In fact, I find it to be both laughable and repugnant. And I understand that scripture differently. Here is my own paraphrase: “In all situations (but particularly negative ones) humbly acknowledge your contribution. Blaming others is unconstructive.”

So what does that mean or how does it apply to me? Read Does God Speak Only Gentle Words?, and tell me how you apply your understanding to the examples in the writing, including that of the One you quote. I’d like to know.

I did not read your article— I do not have the time. But I can gather from the title that it points out that the God you believe in not only blesses, but also condemns. This is true: your God is a homunculus that can be made to do anything anyone wishes in the entire spectrum from loving to vile. Truly, your God is the best and worst of the humans that created him.

It is interesting that while you call yourself an atheist, you quote Jesus Christ, Who testified of His Father.

There is some wisdom on the Bible, and I accept wisdom where I find it. That doesn’t mean I accept the broad metaphysical propositions that Christians accept. There is also wisdom in the Qu’ran, Bhagavad Gita, and Tao Te Ching. I quote the Bible to you because you know the Bible.

Unfortunately, you don’t know wisdom. Or humility.

Robert

Victor and Paul’s reply:

And where do you think wisdom and humility originated, Robert? From a rock, which came from some gases, which came from some spark to set them off, which came from…?

I have a recommendation of reading for you: The Irrational Atheist by Vox Day. If you haven’t heard of it, you will, or if you don’t, you lead a very sheltered existence or are willfully ignorant. If you don’t have time to read it, as you say of our writings, you don’t have time to eat or sleep. So do as you please, and let me know periodically or just a few years down the road how you fare, if you ever have the time or opportunity to do so. You can check in on us, and we can compare notes.

Robert, Paul Cohen here. According to your definition of Jesus’ words, there is no hubris coming from us. We have had no part in the Armstrong debacle and its messy aftermath or in any of the wrongs perpetrated by others we expose. The Lord has taken us right out of all pretentious man made religion. There is no hypocrisy in what we say.

Furthermore, we are not condemning others, as you presume, by pointing out the lies they believe and propagate. They only condemn themselves by continuing in those things after hearing the truth. We are, in fact, contributing to a positive resolution of the matter because we point to the Way out.

You, on the other hand, just sit there making unconstructive statements and judgments of us, adding to your own bitterness. Any alleged humility you might show by admitting you were once contributing to religious deception (which we are not hearing) is negated by your present cynicism and lack of forgiveness for those who took you for a ride. You have not left Armstrong at all; he still holds you prisoner – a disillusioned and ungrateful one, but one nevertheless.

You are a hypocrite for taking us to task for not being humble because we expose false prophets when you say you do the same thing.

I’d like to put an invitation out to interested readers of this blog to journey over to my personal blog, where I have recently called out a number of modern false prophets.

Or are you telling us that you call out false prophets without any truth involved? You are not making sense, Robert.

In your present condition of indignant pride, you have no idea at all what you are talking about when it comes to the application of spiritual truth. You cannot properly judge Jesus’ words, or ours. Someday you will know this and readily admit it. We have not spoken to you in vain.

Robert’s reply:

And where do you think wisdom and humility originated, Robert? From a rock, which came from some gases, which came from some spark to set them off, which came from…?

I have a recommendation of reading for you: The Irrational Atheist by Vox Day. If you haven’t heard of it, you will, or if you don’t, you lead a very sheltered existence or are willfully ignorant. If you don’t have time for reading it, as you say of our writings, you don’t have time to eat or sleep.

Summarize for me the most impressive argument it gives against atheism, and if I find it compelling, I will read the book. If I don’t, then I’m sure nothing else the book has to say will be worthwhile either.

So do as you please, and let me know periodically or just a few years down the road how you fare, if you ever have the time or opportunity to do so. You can check in on us, and we can compare notes.

And exactly when shall we compare notes? And exactly what do you expect to see? Yes, give me something specific: something that I can take to the world if it doesn’t happen the way you thought at say: “See, here is yet another man who claimed to be able to speak for God.” Go ahead: curse or bless, I care not which, but put it in writing, and make it testable— or shut up.

Robert

Victor’s reply:

Hi Robert,

I was not speaking of prophecy.

I could do the former of what you request, however, judging by your “wisdom” and “humility,” I choose the latter – to shut up. I’m done.

“That prophet.”

Robert’s reply:

Hi Robert,

I was not speaking of prophecy.

Oh, then your remarks about letting you know “periodically or just a few years down the road how you fare,” were just making chitchat? Made for no reason? Just trying to be buddies?

Heh.

I could do the former of what you request, however, judging by your ‘wisdom’ and ‘humility,’ I choose the latter – to shut up. I’m done.

You were done before you started with me, Victor. You are just one more two-bit, hate-filled preacher with yet another “one truth”, a web site to put it on, and delusions of grandeur. Have a nice life.

Robert

Paul’s reply:

Robert,

We have dealt with many religious vipers. You have proven yourself to be just another of the brood by your reactions here, no different than those you thought to leave behind, except you are less restrained in expression because not bound by a false “Christian” front. You no longer have the need to justify yourself as righteous, so you don’t give a damn what you say to whom.

There is nothing, however, in what we have said or done towards you that is worthy of your derisive responses. On the contrary, we have been straightforward with you, something you prize in yourself, but for which you hypocritically despise us. We are not railing on you or condemning you, and we have not said anything to you except what is pertinent and true.

Since you have despised all decent, wholesome conversation, and have thrown caution to the wind regarding the wisdom of a responsible, respectful tongue, your Maker will require it of you.

You are not dealing with more religious phonies here. We know what we are talking about. What you have replied to Victor, you have said to God. In other words, you have spit in His face. Saying it will not go well for you is putting it mildly. Mark your calendar and these words. It will not take long before you know the truth of them.

Robert’s reply:

Paul,

Thank you for the entertaining response. My blog readers are already enjoying reading of our adventures together, and I’m sure they’ll get a kick out of this turn of events.

Now, since you’ve started pronouncing voodoo curses upon those you despise, let’s get down to specifics: exactly when shall my maker “require my tongue?” You’ve said I should mark my calendar, but how convenient for you that you don’t provide a date. Shall I mark every single day from now to eternity as “Could die today?” Seems a little tautological. So, in order for your curse to have any remote amount of credibility, you really should put a time frame on it. If I die of mouth cancer 30 years from now would that count? And if pronouncing such a curse on me isn’t prophecy, then what is?

Or perhaps you mean me to set my own deadline, since your God’s obviously shy about setting dates himself? How about this: if a week goes by and it “goes well for me,” and I don’t “lose my tongue” in some ghoulishly ironic way, let’s say I’ve beaten your little curse, shall we? After that, the board is again open for the many other curses placed upon me by God’s numerous other witch doctors who have prior claims against me.

I laugh. You are worse than false prophets. You are pious frauds who prey on others’ fears. Unfortunately for you, I not only don’t believe in your imaginary friend, I don’t believe in magic spells either. But I do have something you don’t which is far more powerful: public ridicule. The whole world is now watching: everyone who searches for your names will see our exchanges and deride you and Victor for the pitiful charlatans you are. Many who read your Path Of Truth web site will search for more information, find these pages, and turn away— relived that they didn’t go anywhere near you. Even your own followers will find these pages and wonder where your power is. Some of them may (horrors) even learn to think for themselves.

Welcome to the 21st century, and try not to bang your head on it any harder than you already have, OK?

Robert

Paul’s reply:

Robert,

How is your tongue now that your specified week is over?

In The Irrational Atheist, the author describes you in a section on the intelligent and educated “High Church Atheist,” disclosing this interesting information:

There is even evidence to suggest that in some cases, High Church atheism may be little more than a mental disorder taking the form of a literal autism. On one of the more popular atheist Internet sites, the average self-reported result on the Asperger Quotient test was 27.9. The threshold for this syndrome, described by its discoverer, Dr. Hans Asperger, is 32, whereas the average normal individual scores 16.5. In light of Wolf’s observations, it is interesting to note that those diagnosed with Asperger’s tend to be male, intelligent, impaired in social interaction, and prone to narrow, intense interests.

This idea may explain why the following pair of definitions have proven to be useful in distinguishing between the High Church atheist and the agnostic.

Agnostic: I don’t believe there is a God. Because I haven’t seen the evidence.

Atheist: There is no God. Because I’m an asshole.

Paul Cohen

Robert’s reply:

Paul,

So nice to hear of your concern for my health. I assure you, my tongue is just fine— in fact, today it got quite a workout! I spent several hours with one of my consulting clients (a Fortune 100 company that hires me to teach them about how to apply logical thinking processes more effectively within their organization) then drove across Los Angeles to the theatre where I had my stage debut as the fire-and-brimstone Reverend Jeremiah Brown in a new stage production of Inherit the Wind (based on the famous Scopes Monkey Trial.) I can tell you, performing in the role of a southern preacher who ends up damning his daughter to hell sure brought back memories of your little curse— and the little god whose authority you claim.

Now, a couple messages back you recommended I read “The Irrational Atheist” by Vox Day. And as I am a busy man, I challenged you to state the best argument against atheism from the book, and that if I found it compelling I would read the book. And here I was all this time thinking you had simply ignored my challenge (just as you’ve ignored my repeated calls for you to put some teeth into your juju curse by getting specific about the time frame at least.) In reality you were actually waiting— cat-like— to pounce with “evidence” from Vox Day’s book that atheists aren’t autistic! Yep, the average of the self-selected cohort of atheists from your unnamed site, while a little higher than “normal” doesn’t actually come close to the magic 32-point level of Asperger Syndrome, itself an extremely mild form of autism which approximately 78,000 people live with in the U.S. alone (some estimates are much higher.) And if “normal” people have an average score of 16.5, then what does that make me? See, I found and took the test you mention. It is called the Autism Spectrum Quotient, and was reprinted in Wired Magazine in 2001 as a sidebar to an article called The Geek Syndrome. (Use the manual scoring key at the bottom of the test if you choose to take it yourself— their automatic scoring script is broken.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asperger_syndrome
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autism_Spectrum_Quotient
http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/9.12/aspergers.html
http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/9.12/aqtest.html

So how did I, someone Vox Day (and you, oh possessor of God’s Omniscience) pegs as a “High Church Atheist” score? I got a 6. That’s right: 10 points “less autistic” than “normal.” (I suppose you’re “normal” Paul? How about “Vox Day”, author of “The Irrational Atheist?” Is he as “normal” as his pen name?)

So touché, Sherlock. If that’s the best this book has to offer against atheism, I conclude that it really doesn’t deserve any more of my time.

There is no God. Because I’m an asshole.” That’s funny. Actually, the reason I don’t believe in God is that if he existed, he wouldn’t let assholes like you speak for him.

Robert

Paul’s reply:

Robert,

Whether you score a 6 or a 60, you have played the part of an antagonistic, caustic adversary without justification. In other words, in the vernacular of our day, you are acting like an asshole. We don’t need a test to prove that. The evidence is right here in our correspondence.

Yes, I did prophesy that God would require respect and humility from you. That is not an evil thing or remotely resembling a curse. On the contrary, it is a very good thing. You are the one who made it a “curse” about your tongue. What you are telling us is that you would rather lose your tongue than use it for wholesome purposes; you would have God remove it first. We say, “So be it.”

I did say, “Mark your calendar.” All that meant was to note the time when you determinedly set your face towards destruction. And, no, I did not expect you to do this or to understand. I also prophesied that when all is said and done, which will not take long, you will know that you have been dealing with the Real Thing; God is with us.

I said it will not go well for you. It can’t, not with the way you conduct yourself. The law of reaping and sowing has not been repealed. That is the truth, which does not require a prophet to pronounce.

Furthermore, even before you spoke up about your challenge of a week to fulfill the curse you determined on yourself, I prayed to God that He would give you to ask of Him what you should have for a judgment. I had no way of knowing you would actually do such a thing. But there you were, the very next day, asking that God would silence your tongue, and giving Him the deadline of a week to do so.

He has not. So what are you to make of this? Obviously to you it is reason to celebrate and ridicule us all the more. No doubt you will do the same with this letter. But we ask you to publish it. We certainly will. We have nothing to hide or fear.

Here is what I see: God is longsuffering, which fools mistake for non-existence.

We will now see what He does, and, as I said before, it won’t be long. It will also be on record, whether at your site or ours or both, for all to see and to fear.

Paul

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