Apologetics

About Frank Schaeffer’s Fundamentalist Rant on the White Evangelical Trumpocalypse

cri-blog-hanegraaff-hank-frank-schaeffer-and-trumpocalypse

There is an article by Frank Schaeffer, the son of the famous twentieth century philosopher who built and conducted the L’Abri training center in Switzerland. His son, Frank, known as Frankie, wrote an article entitled “How to Survive the Trumpocalypse and Build a Better America in 2017.”

How do you do that? According to Frank Schaeffer, you got to “Make a New Year’s resolution that matters: De-convert a white evangelical today.” Why? According to Frank Schaeffer “White evangelical America is a force rooting for chaos and disintegration on a par with Islamic extremists and terrorists.” “The real question is,” says Frank Schaeffer, “what can be done about the white evangelicals who as with the Islamic terrorists are now the sworn enemy of democracy and reason itself?” Schaeffer goes on to write, “Social justice evangelical types, the so-called evangelical left, give cover to the vast majority of nefarious and mentally deranged white evangelical voters. They are as it were ‘good Germans’ during the Nazi era” and “The entire evangelical movement Right and Left needs to be exposed and demolished.” Why? “There is no nice smart version of believing in a god who made people to burn forever,” Donald Trump is “very much like their ‘god’” and “It’s time to call the white evangelical movement what it is: a promoter of terror, unreasoning hatred and oppression.”

What is interesting about this, other than the racial aspect—white evangelicals—and the call to demolish them, is that Frank Schaeffer is a fundamentalist who believes that white evangelicals somehow or another think that hell is a place of burning, whereas the Bible uses burning or fire just as blackest darkness forever, as ways to describe the horror of being left to your own settled choices, which is horror in this life, and ratified by God in the life to come.

I think Christians whether Asian, Indian, African American, European descent, of course in Christ there is no racial distinction (Col. 3:8-11; Gal. 3:28-29), need now more than ever to be lovers of peace and tolerance and reason. Pray for people like Frankie Schaeffer but more than that, as we say so often on the Bible Answer Man broadcast, always be ready to give an answer, a reason for the hope that lies within you, with gentleness and with respect (1 Pet. 3:15).

Let me say something about The Complete Bible Answer Book Collector’s Edition Revised and Updated. I’ve been wanting to do this in context of what Frankie Schaeffer has written. I think it is important for us to know what the biblical idea of hell really is, and I touched on that a moment ago, but I have an entry entitled “Why Should I Believe in Hell?” Let me quickly say there are three basic reasons, first is Christ the Creator of the cosmos clearly communicated hell’s irrevocable reality. The second is that the concept of choice demands that we believe in hell. Without hell, there is no choice, all we end up being is fatalistically determined by brain chemistry and genetics. Imagine spending an entire lifetime voluntarily distancing yourself from God only to find yourself involuntarily dragged into His loving presence for all eternity. The alternative to hell is worse than hell itself and that humans made in the image of God would be stripped of freedom and forced to worship God against their wills. A third point would be that common-sense dictates that there must be a hell. King David knew that for a time it might seem as though the wicked prosper in spite of their deeds, but in the end God’s justice will be served (Psa. 22). Common sense dictates that without a hell there is no need for a Savior. I think little needs to be said about the absurdity suggesting that the Creator would suffer more than the cumulative sufferings of all human kind if there were no hell to save us from. Without hell, there is no need for salvation. Without salvation, there is no need for a sacrifice. Without sacrifice, there is no need for a Savior. As much as we wish to think that all will be saved, common-sense precludes the possibility.

The idea of hell, as posited by Christians not just white evangelical Christians, that idea is not irrational. It is an idea that springs forth from the fact that we are created in the imago Dei (Gen. 1:27), and God does not just arbitrarily rub out the crowning jewels of His creation because they have chosen to live apart from His goodness, His glory, and His grace.

—Hank Hanegraaff

But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all (Colossians 3:8-11).

For further study:

Abandon Hope, All Ye Who Enter Here (Hank Hanegraaff)

What about Hell? The Doctrine of Hell (Douglas Groothuis)

The Dark Side of Eternity: Hell as Eternal Conscious Punishment (Robert A. Peterson)

This blog adapted from the February 10, 2017 Bible Answer Man broadcast.

Apologetics

Life, Afterlife, and Resurrection

cri-blog-hanegraaff-hank-life-afterlife-and-resurrectionWhat exactly happens after we die?

Here is what happens. I start out my book Resurrection with an anecdote, and that anecdote is personal, it is the death of my dad in 1997. What happens is the body goes to the ground, but when my dad breathed his last his soul went to be with the Lord. That’s what Paul talks about—absent from body present with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:8).

Now my dad is incomplete. He’s in the presence of the Lord but he is incomplete. He’s awaiting something. The Christian faith is not platonic. It is physical. So we await the physical resurrection of the dead. One day my dad’s soul will return to his body. According to 1 Corinthians 15, the body will rise immortal, imperishable, incorruptible, and that body will be changed from mortality to immortality. My dad will be clothed in a resurrected body for all eternity. He is going to be a body-soul unity for all eternity. That happens when Christ’s returns. This is, of course, exactly what Jesus said. He said, “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice  and come out—those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned” (John 5:28-29, NIV).

We have a picture of the afterlife in Luke 16. Remember the Lord told the parable of the rich man and Lazarus? There is a rich man and a beggar named Lazarus lying at his gate. A time came when the rich man died and Lazarus died. Lazarus ends up in Abraham’s bosom or paradise, which is a way of talking about being in the presence of God. But the rich man dies and he ends up in torment. There is a gulf between the rich man and Lazarus. The rich man is in torment and he is awaiting the resurrection just like Lazarus is awaiting the resurrection.

What happens when Jesus comes back is that will be a separation that takes place for all eternity.

Do the saints absent in the body yet present with the Lord waiting for the resurrection experience time in the same way as those living on earth?

I can’t really tell you what the answer is to this question in that I do not know what existence will be like in the state of being non-corporeal beings. That is what happens when we die. If you die right now prior to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, your body goes to the grave, and the non-corporeal aspect of your humanity—the soul or the spirit—is with the Lord. The way the Bible talks about that is the sense of relationship to God rather than any locational place. It is not locational language it relational language. The reason I say this is that souls by definition are non-physical; therefore, where-ness does not apply. We know that they are in relationship to God, and they are awaiting in some sense the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ or the time that their souls will return to their bodies.

Can we anticipate seeing pets in heaven?

We do not know that petted pets will be in heaven; though there is nothing in the Bible that precludes that notion. What we do know— I think—from the consistency of Scripture is that there is warrant to believe that there will be animals in heaven. Animals are among God’s most avant-garde and creative creations. There is no reason to suppose that if there’re animals in paradise lost there would not be animals in paradise restored. We just do not know that the same set that lived on this planet will also live in the world to come. There is no biblical evidence for that, but there is certainly no biblical evidence against it either. There are even a lot of people from C.S. Lewis to Joni Eareckson Tada that think that that might very well be consistent with the nature of God.

— Hank Hanegraaff

This blog adapted from “What happens to us when we die?” and “Will we see our pets in heaven, and what is it like for those awaiting resurrection?