The Dire Consequences of Universal Revelation

A reader with the coronal yet Trissino-esque* name of Stephen J writes: “Well, one possibility that occurs to me is that an undeniable universal revelation would take away the point of us having free will: love is not love where there is no choice about it.”

I have always had grave doubts about this explanation. Freedom of the will is not imposed upon by truth, no matter how it is present, but pride is very much imposed upon.

Allow me to offer an alternate theory.

My speculation is that undeniable universal revelation would cause many millions of souls, out of anger and hate, to leap willingly into hell to escape the light shed from the face of God, who might otherwise, more slowly, be lured inch by inch into growing and seeing that their sins are bad, slowly admitting that they are sick, slowly admitting that they need aid, and slowly find themselves willing to give God a try.

God showed himself to the angels he created, and not one, not a single one, had any doubt about the proposition of his existence, and yet one third, if ancient report is to be believed, leaped into hell to escape him.

As an ex atheist allow me to assure you, to assure you most solemnly, that each and every one of the tribe who says that lack of evidence is a barrier to his consent to the proposition is either innocently mistaken or deliberately lying.

The lack of evidence for an atheist is a by product of a philosophy that limits consideration of evidence only to propositions that will not lead to the uncomfortable conclusion that a being superior in nature to man makes a demand of obedience on the conscience.

Atheists will react to the revelation of Christ on Doomsday in much the same way as a character from a novel by HG Wells reacted to the Martian cylinder landing on Horsell Common: an invasion by a superior power, greater in strength and higher in technology, but an enemy.

Or, more to the point, atheists, and all men not protected by the passion of the Christ, upon seeing an angel, or any face from heaven, will react with understandable fear, since to look upon the face of God is to die. Even Moses saw the supreme being only from the back.

Recall that nearly every encounter with an angel reported in the Bible begins with the words “Fear not!” whereas no encounter begins with the words: “Take careful notes!”

Nor does any angelic messenger go on to say, “The mighty works and miracles I am about to show you can be repeated under controlled circumstances, and the outcome is always the same” — for even the bread of heaven falling daily on the children of Israel in the wilderness did not fall on Saturday. Even regular miracles are at will.

The injunction not to fear when an angel speaks does not indicate that the lack of scientific evidence that, for example, the created world exists, or that nature proclaims the glory of the handiwork of God, is the problem with disbelief.

Rather, this indicates that sin is the problem, and that all men fall short of the glory of God.

For the record, I was one of the innocently mistaken ones, when I said in my atheist days that a lack of evidence was a barrier to consent to the faith. Mostly innocent.

Once I realized that the logic of my worldview did not allow even for the possibility of evidence convincing me that God exists, no matter what the evidence was, no, not even if an archangel with burning crown and sword of fire were to appear before my eyes, that was when my pride as a philosopher was wounded. That was when I realized that the entire Tower of Babel of my years and years of thought and meditation were based on the sandy foundation of a circular argument.

That I could handily see the error in such reasoning in others and not in myself was telling. For example, I could detect the error in saying, “I believe what is said in the Bible because it is the Word of God — and I believe in God because the Bible says so” but I could not detect the error in saying, “I disbelieve the Bible because it is superstition, not fact — and since the Bible is not fact, when it says it is the Word of God, this is not fact, hence I disbelieve it.”

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* END NOTE: 1524 when Gian Giorgio Trissino, an Italian Renaissance grammarian, invented the modern letter j.