Rather than accept their mistake in presenting the case for atheists and defending them, even quoting them and lauding them as wiser than believers, the chookwatcher ‘team’ have surely demolished any credibility they may have had remaining in their locker.
They actually admit that, “we do give non-believing voices [sic] on this site”, which I take to mean that they do give non-believers a voice on their site.
As Paul says, they are restricted by their own affection. They have taken the side of unbelievers and been joined to their cause and yoked with them in their determination to oppose believers.
1 Corinthians 6:11-18 O Corinthians! We have spoken openly to you, our heart is wide open. You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted by your own affections.
Now in return for the same (I speak as to children), you also be open.
Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols?
For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.”
Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.” “I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the LORD Almighty.”
Pretty clear cut, you’d have to admit.
The chookwatcher ‘team’ attempt to say that the atheists they quote are so sensible that they have discerned that the chookwatchers‘ target groups are bad and they are good, despite the fact that the target groups are Christians and the atheists are unbelievers.
If they are unbelievers then they are not born again. They are not saved. They are still in their sin. If they are atheist by choice, having once been Christian, and have renounced him, they are godless. They are, in Biblical terms, associated with lawlessness, says Paul, meaning devoid of God’s intentions for their lives in terms of obedience to His will. They are spiritually in darkness. They do not have Christ. They are not of Christ. They are children of disobedience, according to scripture.
Ephesians 2:1-3 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
So they are either made alive in Christ, or they are the children of disobedience. If the latter, then they walk according to the course of this world, according to the prince of this world, the spirit who works in the children of disobedience. They are the children of wrath by nature. They are fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind.
Children of disobedience
The enemy of Christ, the devil, works in the children of disobedience. Paul tells us he is a spirit at work in them. Atheists, however nice, or good, or friendly, or sensible, or happy they seem, are unbelievers. They have rejected Christ and declared themselves godless. They do not believe in God. They reject God. Therefore they are of the ‘god’ of this world.
The chookwatchers, in one headline, say “Atheist upset at being deceived by Hillsong Brian Houston”. Then they write a ham-fisted attempt at accusing Brian, and quote an entire article by an atheist who claims to have been deceived when, in fact, he was neatly sidestepped. No one was hurt. The poor old atheist chose to take offence when none was given, and none was intended.
First of all, Brian Houston deceived no one. He said he’d like to interview the person some time in the future. That was clear and very hard to misunderstand. By travelling to the person, and talking to him on camera, he outmanoeuvred the atheists who wanted to protest a live meeting, but he did not deceive them.
I remind you that we are told by Christ to be wise as serpents and gentle as doves. That is what happened. Hillsong used wisdom and disarmed a potentially distracting situation. That is all.
Brian had nothing to do with atheists, except to preach a few messages by which they could have been saved had they attended meetings in good faith, and they had nothing to do with him, or his plans. We owe no man anything but to love them.
He did not need to ask for or receive permission from atheists to interview someone and present it via video in a meeting he organised. He maintained the initiative. He defused the situation and the atheists’ initiative was lost.
Offended for being out-thought
So what if atheists – children of disobedience – are upset, or offended, or annoyed because a Christian interviews another Christian and presents the interview before other Christians in a Christian venue during a Christian event, paid for and attended by the same Christians.
None of this has anything whatsoever to do with atheists. How is a believer beholden to an atheist? They do not believe. They are not of God. They are of their spiritual father, whether they know it or not. The spirit of the prince of this world is in them. Our task is to tell them the truth, not embrace their antichristian antics.
John tells us to test every spirit whether it be of God.
1 John 4:2-3 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.
If their spirit is not of God it is of the spirit of the Antichrist, who is now at work in the world, in the children of disobedience.
Their wisdom is not of God, therefore it is of the world or of the devil himself. That is the condition of every unbeliever, by the way, not just the atheists in question, particularly those who have deliberately rejected Christ.
The chookwatcher ‘team’ claims to be a discernment ministry, yet they quote the very atheists they should be discerning as of the Antichrist.
James lays it on the line.
James 3:11-17 Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth.
This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.
The children of disobedience cannot possibly have the wisdom that is from above. Theirs is earthly, sensual, demonic wisdom. I’m quoting James. He laid it out for all to see. Paul, too, in the above scriptures, made it perfectly plain. If they have the spirit who now works in the children of disobedience how could they possibly be discerning enough to know how to conduct themselves in the company of believers?
Those who are of the flesh, set their minds on the things of the flesh. They do not have the Spirit of God, therefore they cannot discern the things of God. They are carnal, and are carnally minded. The carnal mind is hostile to God. If they do not have the Spirit of Christ, they are none of his.
Romans 8:5-9 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.
So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.
Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.
So why would the chookwatchers, who purport to be believers, yoke themselves with unbelievers in this way, just to present a negative story about Hillsong or whoever? Pure desperation to find something negative to post, perhaps?
The New Testament is so very clear about this. Christians are to be separate from the world, from unbelievers. Yes, we go to them to tell them the truth, and to minister the gospel, warn them to repent because the kingdom of God is at hand, but we do not join ourselves to their contention, or their religion, or their unbelief, or their public antichristian activities. Come out from among them, we are told.
Yet the chookwatchers have, in the last few weeks, sourced, quoted and repeated the opinions and arguments of atheists, both from the world and from the secular populist media.
Can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? What trees are the chookwatchers joining themselves to? What fruit are they bearing? Why are they unequally yoked with Belial?
Think about it!