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Christianity Johnson on 22 Jul 2008 09:54 pm

Looking back at the Josh Hamilton story

In case you missed it, Josh Hamilton is the famous Christian baseball player. In this ESPN article, he tells the story of how he went from near-dead crack addict to baseball phenom:

‘I’m proof that hope is never lost’

He was made more famous by his performance in a recent hitting contest, and then a comment by a sports announcer where the announcer said, “It’s a lousy day to be an atheist.” Here Newsweek takes a look at the comment:

Home Runs, Atheists and ESPN

This paragraph is interesting:

Had Reilly said it was a lousy day to be a Jew or a lousy day to be a Muslim, I don’t doubt we would still be hearing about it and I’m certain the announcer would have faced some sanction from the network. In the end, I think Reilly could have come up with a better way to explain what he was seeing.

Meanwhile, millions of Christians cheered on, feeling smugly proud of a brother’s accomplishments.

Let’s start by acknowledging that it is good to see a fellow human being overcome an addiction. To then achieve greatness is a nice bonus. If it takes the belief in an imaginary being to get there, so be it.

But let’s also acknowledge that the belief in this imaginary being, both by Hamilton and billions of Christians, is a dangerous delusion. It is dangerous because, in order to believe it, you have to turn off your intelligence. Whenever humans stop thinking rationally, it is a bad thing.

Here is the point of disconnection:

And still Katie told me, “You’re going to be back playing baseball, because there’s a bigger plan for you.” I couldn’t even look her in the eye. I said something like, “Yeah, yeah, quit talking to me.”

She looks pretty smart, doesn’t she? I have a mission now. My mission is to be the ray of hope, the guy who stands out there on that beautiful field and owns up to his mistakes and lets people know it’s never completely hopeless, no matter how bad it seems at the time. I have a platform and a message, and now I go to bed at night, sober and happy, praying I can be a good messenger.

Katie is his wife, who apparently stuck by her man through the depths of addiction. She deserves credit for that. But here is what she is saying: “An all-powerful being has a plan. My husband’s pain, and subsequent recovery, is a part of that plan.” The only way to believe that is to totally disconnect yourself from the real world. Anyone who wants to believe in an all-powerful being who forces someone into drug addiction like a puppet in order to fulfill a “plan” is delusional. Who would believe in such a demon?

And what about the millions of addicts whose lives are ruined? They end up penniless, in jail, or dead because they never break free of their addictions. They are so damaged by addiction that they never recover. If Hamilton’s puppet plunge into the depths of addiction is part of a plan, then all the other hopeless addicts are part of the plan too. And a plan like that sucks. The reality is easy to see: the only reason that Hamilton’s story is interesting is because it is rare. And the only reason it could be rare is because million of others suffer and die to make it rare.

For Hamilton to celebrate a “victory” over addiction, when that “victory” could only be had through the intense suffering and death of millions of other addicts, is, quite honestly, disgusting. “God” had to plan for millions of failures when he planned for Hamilton’s success, because that is the only way for the success to be noteworthy. Who wants to believe in that being?

Christians would counter with, “drug addicts become drug addicts through free will – God never planned that. Addicts make bad choices.” That of course negates the plan that is key to Hamilton’s message. And that is not what Hamilton and his wife said. They say that God planned for their misery so the redemption would be sweeter, and the public platform given to Josh would allow him to glorify God. To emphasize the point, Hamilton makes this declaration:

But the way I look at it, I couldn’t fail. I’ve been given this platform to talk about the hell I’ve been through, so it’s almost like I need to do well, like I don’t have a choice.

And:

How am I here? I can only shrug and say, “It’s a God thing.” It’s the only possible explanation.

Also:

It was the same dream, with an important difference. I would hit [the devil] and he would bounce back up, the ugliest and most hideous creature you could imagine. This devil seemed unbeatable; I couldn’t knock him out. But just when I felt like giving up, I felt a presence by my side. I turned my head and saw Jesus, battling alongside me. We kept fighting, and I was filled with strength. The devil didn’t stand a chance.

You can doubt me, but I swear to you I dreamed it. When I woke up, I felt at peace. I wasn’t scared. To me, the lesson was obvious: Alone, I couldn’t win this battle. With Jesus, I couldn’t lose.

Translation: “God” put Hamilton through hell, then saved him through personal intervention by Jesus. “God” did that so Hamilton could speak about it from the platform. That sounds reassuring until you consider the millions of people who God must plan to completely destroy.

A person who is thinking clearly knows that you can’t have it both ways. If God had anything to do with Hamilton’s success, it means that God is also central to every failure. God planned it all. If “God” helped Hamilton recover, then… well, let’s look at starving children… The 10,000 kids who will die of starvation today all over the world must die because of God’s plan. And that is utterly disgusting to think about.

We of course do not hear the stories of the dead children and the dead addicts, because they are dead. They would certainly curse “God” after hearing Hamilton’s story. After all, if God were to exist, and if God has a plan, then God must be their murderer.

Who would believe in such a being?

6 Responses to “Looking back at the Josh Hamilton story”

  1. on 26 Jul 2008 at 4:02 am 1.helene said …

    dear dreamer, and anyone for that point. you ate right and holy.

    email: helenegebler@hotmail.com

    my praiers are with you
    catholic

  2. on 26 Jul 2008 at 4:14 am 2.helene said …

    you guys do know i will pray for you but you must read at least the first 10 pages of the bible (old test) so you answer all your Qs and yearn for more. and yes i do dare you!

  3. on 31 Jul 2008 at 5:09 am 3.Anfauglir said …

    Interesting comments there that don’t actually address the comments in the blog.

    I wonder also how helene managed to read and understand ten pages of the bible, given that she says “praiers”.

    And what on earth does “you ate right and holy” mean? Adherence to the instructions on good and bad food in the OT?

  4. on 02 Aug 2008 at 7:33 pm 4.Bet Patterson said …

    Our husbands in Iraq and our wounded vets need
    to hear about this new Bible discovery.
    Suppose it could be documented that this Bible
    prophecy was verified to have been fulfilled in our

    day predicting the war in Iraq?
    Thousands of people are entering this web sight
    named…
    http://www.eternaltruth.net
    Critics have sought to rip this biblical discovery a
    part in order to disprove it.
    Such attempts continue to fail as ambitious Bible
    critics seek to expose it as another hoax.
    Critics eventually fade as the people who see
    value in this fulfilled prophecy are moved to
    inform others of this possible miracle arriving in
    our day!

    Could God have revealed an actual Bible prophecy
    supporting America going into Iraq? Everyone is
    invited to prove or disprove this newly discovered
    prophecy.
    If you can demonstrate a way to disprove this claim
    you may become a guest on Glenn Becks show or even
    Shaun Hannity. If you can bring a case forward
    which supports this prophecy as being true you
    may also become a guest.

    This Bible discovery was mentioned on the Rush
    Limbaugh show where millions heard of this web sight.
    If you can find any evidence disputing this claim
    or any evidence confirming it true, please contact
    Shaun at…

    “Media track” dogtrack88hotmail.com

    Or contact Glenn Beck and make your case

    to him. glennbeck.com You may contact

    Rush Limbaugh if possible?

    For additional information

    concerning this matter contact

    Ed Cook at ecdistibutions or
    edmund@eternaltruth.net or 208 251 3519

    You could receive national recognition for worthy evidence
    if your information is convincing. Why?
    If no one can dispute this biblical claim this discovery
    can be submitted in the media as an actual fulfillment of
    biblical prophecy. If not it may also be exposed as
    a hoax.
    The new President of the united states may be determined
    by the condition of our economy and the war in Iraq.
    What could a Bible prophecy depicting America as
    the biblical eagle bringing freedom to Iraq have upon
    this presidential election?
    Could it perhaps reveal the presidential election from a new
    spiritual perspective?
    This biblical prophecy could unite our American resolve
    for supporting the Iraq war and help our troops.

    A subsidiary of Salem communications has already
    declared this work to be a monumental discovery of “biblical
    proportions” in their recent national press release.
    To confirm this national press release go to the Salem
    Xulon press release at- http://www.eternaltruth.net or enter
    their Salem web sight.

    There has been no theological criticism having any
    teeth which has demonstrated convincing red flags
    which cast doubt upon this claim. The Bible can be spun
    by people who often take things out of proper context.
    Today modern writers cleverly manufacture their own
    evidences from the Bible and years later we then discover
    such insights were false.
    This means that the specific criteria for documenting
    a fulfilled Bible prophecy is even more difficult to accomplish
    than many secular discoveries which also require high
    standards from sound research.

    We need a consensus from several credible Christians
    who can collaberate a consistency of legitamate insights
    which identify key prophetic types and shadows clearly
    identifying the cyclic nature of true prophecy within
    Bible history.
    Such an insight for understanding true Bible prophecy
    should not require a degree in theology. We welcome
    either.

    We welcome the critics who aspire to prove this wrong.
    No credable evidence has been presented showing
    any confirmed manipulation of the biblical text nor its
    context.

    Watch the you tube video as it takes you through
    specific Bible scriptures which reveal the
    great modern eagle (America)l transforming Iraq
    into a free nation in the end times..

    Locate now..
    “Bible prophecies of 9-11
    http://www.eternaltruth.net
    sincerely,
    Bet Patterson
    ecdistribution
    .

    .

  5. on 08 Aug 2008 at 2:51 pm 5.Ben PAUL said …

    Your right about this Bible discovery!! My hell are the rest of the people on this blog blind!! This is powerfull and trumps any other subject you guys are talking about. Forget all that crap everyone. We are witnessing a real Bible prophecy happenning now and we did not even see it until today. The guy talking about this above has actually badly under-stated the power of this thing! My entire body is chilled from head to toe. Lightening just stuck our house and we were asleep. Forget every other subject on this blog for a moment and view this youtube on this guys sight if it is the last thing you ever do on earth!

  6. on 08 Aug 2008 at 2:55 pm 6.Bet Patterson said …

    Yes Ben, and after watching this youtube you are also under-stating the power of this thing. There are simply no words are there? My concern is people are so used to hearing about false reports on the net that when something real shows up they blow it off. Boy I am glad I saw this thing! Our husbands in Iraq and our wounded vets need
    to hear about this new Bible discovery.
    Suppose it could be documented that this Bible
    prophecy was verified to have been fulfilled in our
    day predicting the war in Iraq?
    Thousands of people are entering this web sight…
    http://www.eternaltruth.net
    Critics have sought to rip this biblical discovery a
    part in order to disprove it.
    Such attempts continue to fail as ambitious Bible
    critics seek to expose it as another hoax.
    Critics eventually fade as the people who see
    value in this fulfilled prophecy are moved to
    inform others of this possible miracle arriving in
    our day!

    Could God have revealed an actual Bible prophecy
    supporting America going into Iraq? Everyone is
    invited to prove or disprove this newly discovered
    prophecy.
    If you can demonstrate a way to disprove this claim
    you may become a guest on Glenn Becks show or
    Shaun Hannity. If you can bring a case forward
    which supports this prophecy as being true you
    may also become a guest.

    This Bible discovery was mentioned on the Rush
    Limbaugh show as millions heard of this web sight.
    If you can find any evidence disputing this claim
    or any evidence confirming it true, please contact
    Shaun at…

    “Media track” dogtrack88hotmail.com

    Or contact Glenn Beck and make your case

    to him on line. glennbeck.com You may contact

    Rush Limbaugh if possible?

    For additional information

    concerning this matter contact

    Ed Cook at ecdistibutions or
    edmund@eternaltruth.net or 208 251 3519

    You could receive national recognition for worthy evidence
    if your information is convincing. Why?
    If no one can dispute this biblical claim this discovery
    can be submitted in the media as an actual fulfillment of
    biblical prophecy. If not, you may be the one exposing as
    a hoax.
    The new President of the united states may be determined
    by the condition of our economy and the war in Iraq.
    What could a Bible prophecy depicting America as
    the biblical eagle bringing freedom to Iraq have upon
    this presidential election?
    Could it perhaps reveal the presidential election from a new
    spiritual perspective?
    This biblical prophecy could unite our American resolve
    for supporting the Iraq war and help our troops.

    A subsidiary of Salem communications has already
    declared this work to be a monumental discovery of
    “biblical proportions” in their recent national press release.
    To confirm this national press release go to the Salem
    Xulon press release at- http://www.eternaltruth.net or enter
    their Salem web sight.

    There has been no theological criticism having any
    teeth which has demonstrated convincing red flags
    which cast doubt upon this claim. The Bible can be spun
    by people who often take things out of proper context.
    Today modern writers cleverly manufacture their own
    evidences from the Bible and years later we then discover
    such insights were false.
    This means that the specific criteria for documenting
    a fulfilled Bible prophecy is even more difficult to accomplish
    than many secular discoveries which also require high
    standards from sound research.

    We need a consensus from several credible Christians
    who can collaberate a consistency of legitamate insights
    which identify key prophetic types and shadows clearly
    identifying the cyclic nature of true prophecy within
    Bible history.
    Such an insight for understanding true Bible prophecy
    should not require a degree in theology. We welcome
    either.

    We welcome the critics who aspire to prove this wrong.
    No credable evidence has been presented showing
    any confirmed manipulation of the biblical text nor its
    context.

    Watch the you tube video as it takes you through
    specific Bible scriptures which reveal the
    great modern eagle (America)l transforming Iraq
    into a free nation in the end times..

    Locate now..
    “Bible prophecies of 9-11
    http://www.eternaltruth.net
    sincerely,
    Bet Patterson
    ecdistribution
    .

    .

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