Friday, December 16, 2011

On the death of Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens passed from this world into the next yesterday (Dec. 15, 2011). Based on his world view, he passed into nothingness. Based on a biblical worldview – which I believe teaches “true” reality -  he passed either into the presence of God forever, or into separation from the presence of God forever. Sadly, every indication points to the second of these two being his destiny. Hitchens affirmed his atheism until the last. But Hitchens was more than an atheist – he was an anti-theist.

What’s the difference?
An atheist does not believe in God. An anti-theist not only does not believe in God but also vehemently speaks against the God he doesn’t believe in. His 2007 book, God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, with chapter titles like, “The ‘New’ Testament  Exceeds the Evil of the ‘Old’ One", makes his views clear. He wanted religion (all religion, not just Christianity) destroyed.
Assuming he had no death-bed change of belief, what should we think about the death of such a man?
On the one hand, I rejoice that the voice of an enemy is silenced. He’s not alone in his views, and I suspect others will rise to fill the void in the voices-against-God. But I will not miss his wicked words.
But on the other hand, I do not rejoice in the ultimate fate of this person who, despite his anti-theistic views, was created in the image of God but, because he rejected the free gift of eternal life through Christ, is now forever separated from God. His fate is just, but sobering.  The Bible, which Hitchens rejected, says, “Do I have any pleasure in the death of the wicked,” declares the Lord God, “rather than that he should turn from his ways and live? (Ezek. 18:23, 33:11). I rejoice God deals justly with the wicked, but it is sad that even this evil, wicked man never understood the grace of God.