“Christians are mentally ill. They believe in a God that gives you ten things to do, and if you don’t do them, He sends you to burn in hell forever — and oh, by the way, He loves you.”
So goes the paraphrased “wisdom” of comedian George Carlin on TV's “Politically Incorrect.” Carlin said that because of our apparent lunacy, the burden of proof is on us rather than on those who don’t believe. He also said that of all “religions,” Christianity is the most lethal.
Space here won’t allow us a thorough, point-by-point response to Mr. Carlin’s opinions. ...Such as the fact that salvation and damnation are both more correctly about belief — or lack thereof — and not behavior. ...And that God is in fact very Love itself. ...And that, as any loving father knows, love and punishment are not contradictory. ...And that what destines you to hell is not so much rejecting God’s commandments but rejecting God Himself. ...And that the King of kings is not like Burger King: it’s His way or it’s no way. ...And that Christianity is not another dead “religion” for a dead god but an actual relationship with the one true and personal God, Creator, Comforter and Savior. ...And that the burden of proof remains on him to disqualify all the objective evidence for the inerrancy and final authority of the Bible. ...And that Christianity is only “lethal” to the extent that Jesus Christ put to death the very death that all of mankind deserves because of our sins. ...And that preparing for one’s eternal security makes infinitely more sense than the real lunacy of putting all your bets on this temporary life here and now and ignoring or denying even the possibility of any afterlife to come.
No, we can’t respond to Mr. Carlin’s comments like we really want to here (sarcasm notwithstanding!). What we can say is that “the preaching of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing” (1 Cor. 1:18), and we are “not ashamed of the gospel of Christ” (Rom. 1:16).
We can also say that everyone is entitled to his own opinion, with the right to express it. But with that comes some degree of accountability. True Christians understand that. Indeed, part of the evidence that we are even Christian is not only our belief in Christ but also the very verbal expression of that belief, that Jesus Christ is living Lord and Savior (Rom. 10:9-10). It is by our confidence in the factuality of that belief that we even dare to express it — a confidence based, yes, on faith but bolstered by the evidence of God’s Holy Scripture and of the historic and empirically proven bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christianity is not lunacy but makes perfect sense based on that confidence.
And what is George Carlin’s confidence in what he says based on? Gut feeling? Personal experience? Personal preference? Anger and spite because he and people like him hate to hear that they’re truly hell-bound sinners?
We will all one day face accountability for our “opinions.” And we all can’t be right. Either the Bible is ALL correct — either God loved the whole world and sends the unbelievers to hell, either Jesus raised Himself physically from the dead, either He alone is God and Savior and it’s heaven with Him or hell without Him — or Mr. Carlin will face no eternal consequences for his opinionated spewings against Christians and the living God we fear.
We’re all born. We all live our lives, form beliefs, and express our opinions. We all die. And then what? Accountability. Eternal accountability.