That Taste in Your Mouth…

1 Peter 2:1-3Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”

MAL’ICEnoun [Latin malitia, from malus, evil.] Extreme enmity of heart, or malevolence; a disposition to injure others without cause, from mere personal gratification or from a spirit of revenge; unprovoked malignity or spite.

GUILEnoun gile. Craft; cunning; artifice; duplicity; deceit; usually in a bad sense.

HYPOC’RISYnoun [Latin hypocrisis; Gr. simulation; to feign; to separate, discern or judge.]

1. Simulation; a feigning to be what one is not; or dissimulation, a concealment of one’s real character or motives. More generally, hypocrisyis simulation, or the assuming of a false appearance of virtue or religion; a deceitful show of a good character, in morals or religion; a counterfeiting of religion.

I list the definitions found within this verse this morning for the sole purpose of a clearer understanding.

Often, those in opposition to the gospel, the Word of God and more specifically, Jesus Christ; have malice in their heart. Some of their own making; but more often, because they have been wounded – deeply. So much so, that it has shaken their faith at its roots.

I have found that hurt people, hurt people. That hurt; that wound, often becomes the foundation of their case against God. Many have left good families and good churches because their perception of who God is or who He should have been for them was sincerely compromised or at the very least – disappointed because of unmet expectations or unanswered prayer.

They take up the offense and wear it as their shield from ever being hurt again. They soon find others who have similarily been hurt and find solace and comfort in the fact that they are not alone.

For some, they declare themselves to be an atheist – One who disbelieves the existence of a God, or Supreme intelligent Being; or an agnostic – a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (such as God) is unknown and probably unknowable.

The very fact that some have swung from declaring a belief in Almighty God, to denying His existence or at least declaring that it cannot be known seems incredible to me… but not impossible.

I have seen the work of God’s enemy take form in many ways. He, Satan, desires to destroy all that God created. He hates all men saved or unsaved, because we are created in His likeness and image.

Genesis 1:27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”

The unsaved man (natural man) cannot receive the things of God.

1 Corinthians 2:14But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

Satan also hates those who are saved in the extreme. We are full and complete in Jesus Christ. We have the promise of Heaven eternal. We are His children. In submission and obedience, we become more and more like the Son of God – Jesus.

Romans 8:29For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.”

Peter likens our desire to learn the Word of God to that of a child. It is totally amazing what a child can learn and in such a short amount of time. It is like soft clay – easy to leave an imprint, yet captures the details quickly and easily.

Peter also says: “…If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”

What taste would you say God has left you with?

Has He truly been gracious? Precious? Longsuffering? Merciful? Loving? Forgiving?

When we are able to ‘lay aside’ as we are asked to do here, I truly believe that we can see more clearly Almighty God for who He truly is – Sovereign and Supreme.

I do not wish to ever minimalize any hurt that anyone has sustained or any wound left – no matter how deep. But, I truly believe that God can heal all wounds – if we allow Him.

Once healed, it makes it much easier to ‘lay aside’ the malice, guile, hypocrisy, envyings and evil speaking to experience the true nature of God. I know because God did it for me!

Joel 2:25And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten...”

3 Comments

  1. Well, to show that your hypothesis is completely silly, I am not an atheist because of any of the claimed you’ve made. I am an atheist because there is no evidence for any god, including your version of the Christian one. I have the same reason to not believe in your god as you have in not believing in other people’s gods; no evidence and I’m not so silly to claim that you must be “hurt” to not believe in those gods.

    It seems that Christians need to claim that anyone who doesn’t agree with them can’t possibly have good reasons, but are only “hurt” or “evil”. In that these claims are not true, at least not for the vast majority of atheists, you stray into bearing false witness against us. From my opinion, you are not so much afraid of atheists not accepting your god but not accepting you. A content thoughtful atheist is the best evidence against your religion and you must hope that we are “hurt” or “evil” or “lonely” or “angry” or any other of a multitude of other false accusations made against us.

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    1. Dear clubschadenfreude, As with any electronic communication, the meaning often gets lost or the lack of information can mislead. You bring up some points that I would like to address.
      I didn’t say that ALL atheists were hurt and therefore atheists. I know this IS the motivation for some. “No evidence for any god”…THAT floors me. A better argument would be that the evidence doesn’t convince me. There are compelling arguments such as: Cosmological argument, moral argument, fine tuning argument, historicity of Christ, the Bible, and millions and millions of Christians (experiencial).

      For whatever theory or argument you hold to that is your evidence for the lack of any god, there are those – who like you – have held to such an opinion. Lee Strobel and Josh McDowell are two such men who wrote books with compelling arguments containing all the factual evidence they used to back up their argument.

      I have a question, “How did this all begin? Life as we know it…”
      Thoughtfully,
      Daily Manna

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      1. Hi Paul,
        You said “Often, those in opposition to the gospel, the Word of God and more specifically, Jesus Christ; have malice in their heart. Some of their own making; but more often, because they have been wounded – deeply. So much so, that it has shaken their faith at its roots.” So we have you declaring that atheists are either evil or that we are somehow damaged. It certainly seems to me that you are making a blanket statement, even if you didn’t say “all” literally. Again, you do indicate that atheists are what you want them to be, not what we are.

        I have no problem at all saying there is no evidence for your god. This is not the same as saying “there is no evidence that convinces me.” and that is why I don’t say that. The arguments that you cite aren’t evidence for your god; they are arguments for a vague force, not the Christian god that has many claimed attributes that we can test and see if they are real. Currently, I am chatting with a Muslim who uses the same arguments for his version of Allah. I’m guessing you don’t believe in Allah who never sent a “savior”.

        For example, the cosmological argument is this, at its simplest: “there has to be a first cause for anything to exist”. The first problem with this claim is that theists immediately use special pleading to excuse their god from that requirement. I can use the same argument and say “the laws of physics have never not existed and they serve just as well as a first cause for everything else; no god needed”.

        The moral argument for your god is: “there must be an objective source for morality.” Again, other theists use the same argument. In that theists, and even Christians among themselves, don’t agree on the morality that their gods want, there is no evidence that any theist has the one true objective morality. You can’t even convince another Christian that you are the TrueChristian. There is also the problem when some Christians want to excuse their god for reprehensible actions, like genocide in the bible (at least when they don’t want to ignore those parts of the bible or claim that they aren’t to be taken literally). They wish to claim that it is okay for their god to do this, but no one else. This makes morality subjective because it depends on what something is for what morals it should follow. It is also nothing more than a morality based on “might equals right”, which again, many Christians want to claim is okay in the case of their god, but not okay in the case of humans.

        The fine-tuning argument for your god is, simply put: “the universe is meant for humans”. This has problems in that the vast majority of the universe is deadly for humans. Even the majority of the earth is deadly for humans. Fine-tuning often tries to hide behind science, citing the statements of scientists about physical parameters, but again when it does that, at best we have some vague force, not your god. I’m asking you for evidence for *your* god.

        There is no historical Jesus Christ, Son of God. We have the possibility of an itinerate rabbi, Joshua ben Joseph, who claimed he was the Jewish messiah that was the core of the story. There is no evidence for this man, although he could have existed since many Jewish men were making similar claims at the time. My question to you is: which do you worship?

        The bible is indeed historical. It is a great example of how religions change depending on humans and their culture, not the other way around. I’ve read it completely as a Christian and another time through as an atheist. I just bought my parents who are still Christians a new copy since they had problems reading the KJV that they had. A theologian friend of mine recommended the NRSV. The bible, in its many translations, records how myths grow and alter as they encounter other myths. Christians are historical too. I know that they existed, and you exist; there is plenty of evidence. I also know that the believers of many other gods existed and still exist too. Does this mean that all of those gods are real too?

        Your argument from the number of Christians fails in this way: you don’t all agree on what your god wants as morality so claiming that every self-described Christian as a Christian like you is deceitfully inflating the numbers. A lot of Chrisians try to claim that the differences aren’t that big seem to want to ignore history and the deadly conflicts between different sects of Christianity who happily burnt each other to death over their religion. I grew up Presbyterian and got to see a lot of anti-Catholic hatred and a vast difference between essential ideas like predeterminism and free will. Your argument is also a logical fallacy: the argument from popularity. What happens when there are more Muslims than Christians on the earth? Does your argument fail? Since there are Scientologists who have experience that they believe is as true as you believe yours is, is their religion as true as yours?

        As for Strobel and McDowell, they make baseless claims, as do Craig, and every other apologist for every religion. I’ve read Strobel and McDowell and I know what they claim. Let’s discuss their claims. What do you think is their strongest argument and why? Their best fact?

        Now, for your question: ““How did this all begin? Life as we know it…” I’ve been asked this one a lot by Christians who seem to think it is some magical question. The answer is: we don’t know yet, though we have a lot of evidence that seems to be pointing to chemical action at cracks in the ocean floor. We may never know for sure. That doesn’t show any evidence for your god or any god. I’m good with this and humans love to research and discover new things. We’ve been looking for information for a very long time, and we’ve moved beyond the dogma of “god did it and no one should ask any further questions”.

        I look forward to your responses.

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