Why I am not an Atheist

Fred Phelps (Fred.Phelps@f7012.n2001.z12.telcom.lfa.com)
07 Apr 96 15:56:00 -0700

I want to be honest. When I became an old earther I did not have any
answers for how to relate science and the Bible. Over the last 14
years I have found anwers to about half of the problems but some remain
to this day, quite irritating. Probably the flood is the biggest
problem, but some things to do with evolution are hard to live with

Why not just dump the faith and become an atheist or deist or something

I could say a lot of things. I still believe in the apologetic
arguments for the resurrection of Christ and there are a few amazing
prophecies in the OT which were fulfilled. I continue to see God at
work in changing lives here on the field every week. Our (Biblical,
not American cultural)
way of life and moral code is so far better than anyone else's that I
would probably continue to promote much of it even if I were not
convinced it is entirely true!
What I mean is that the sinful aftermath of the Soviet Union is
in need of moral strength and
only Christianity is providing it in a loving way.

But another reason, one that many of you may not like, is in all
honesty, keeping me alive and even flourishing in the faith. That is
the pentacostal/charismatic/third wave movement. In addition to
growing up in the YEC generation, I grew up in the generation which saw
the Charismatic movement invade almost all branches of evangelicalism.
If even one miracle (which I define for today, despite your objections
to be "violations of the laws of nature or amazing answers to prayer")
be established to have happened, then athiesm,
scientism crumbles. Thus, while God is the God of all processes, He is
also God of the Gaps! And Gaps are a great testimony - they always
have been.

What is the evidence that supernatural things are going on today in
response to prayers in Jesus' name? I can only say that lots of loud
voices are claiming constant miracles all over the earth. Many are
exaggerated; I believe a core of them is true. Understand, I am not
promoting this movement - i'm just saying that if there are ANY
miralces happening in Jesus' name, then Jesus must be a powerful
Spirit. So we will probably conclude that Christianity is true and
must conclude at the very least that materialism is false.

If this line of thinking keeps some of you from despairing, I will
rejoice. Some books on my shelves on this topic are:

Jack Deer's "Surprised by the Power of the Spirit", Zondervan, 1993.
The best of all the books for doubters.

Anything by John Wimber.

Anything in missions by Peter Wagner.

"Acts Today" by Harris, 1995 Gospel Publishing House. Pentacostal

"Eternity in their hearts" by Don Richardson, 1981 Regal Books. This
and other missions literature is enough to prove to anyone open minded
and trusting the authors that God is behind and actively directing at
least part of the missions movement.

Even MacArthur's Charismatic Chaos, Zondervan 1991
which severaly criticizes the miracles
claimed by these movements resorts to a Spiritual explanation as to why
Wimber got an unexpected phone call with a direct message which
launched him off on his healing ministry:

"Yet Wimber took counsel instead from an unexpected telephone call
That call of course may have been a satanic diversion." Pg. 157.

Thus even critics of the movement say "it may be satanic" which is
equally destructive to atheism.

Again, my purpose is not to promote this movement, but to provide
evidence for the spiritual realm which only Christainity can explain.

As for what I've seen with my own eyes I must answer "Not very much."
But just last week I was involved in a delverance session where some
amazing things (from a scientific perspective!) took place. I saw what
I am sure were demonic manisfestations, saw how Christ has power over
the demons, saw a life set free from an "internal voice" which has been
with him for years (I am monitoring the aftermath closely) and saw how
the demons gave information about the person's life which he later
confirmed although he did not remember the information being given (by
the demons) through him. If that doesn't make sence, just take it on
faith that I believe I saw the power of Christ over a very real demonic

Long live the growing group of "signs and wonders evolutionists". How
many of you out there belong to this camp? Who ever
heard of a liberal pentacostal, charismatic or third waver? Knowing
the power of God in your life is a good bulwark against the doubts
caused by western scientism. I Cor 14:1.

Sorry, I lied and fell into promoting this movement. Be patient with

Fred Phelps