Apostasy Update # 20 Making A Wager On God? | thebereancall.org

TBC Staff

Tom: Welcome to Apostasy Update. I’m T. A. McMahon, and in this program we’re addressing biblical eschatology—what the Bible has to say prophetically about the last days prior to the return of Jesus Christ. My partner in this discussion is Carl Teichrib. He’s the author of Game of Gods: The Temple of Man in the Age of Re-enchantment

Carl, welcome back, and thanks for joining me in our ongoing discussions of where the world and Christendom are headed according to the Scriptures as history draws to a close.

Carl: It’s good to be back, Tom. Looking forward to our conversation. 

Tom: You know, much of the information, as you well know, Carl—I mean, how many programs have we done, and looking forward to some more! But much of the information that we’ve been presenting in this series is taken from four books: your book, Carl, Game of Gods; America, the Sorcerer’s New Apprentice; Christianity and Anti-Christianity in Their Final Conflict; and most importantly, the Bible, which is God’s direct communication to mankind. 

We’re now focusing on Carl Teichrib’s book Game of Gods: The Temple of Man in the Age of Re-enchantment

Now, Carl, as you remember, last week we discussed the various biblical apologetics that could be used for witnessing to those who hold to a pantheistic worldview, or are searching for truth among beliefs that are at odds with the Bible. And sometimes we may put those people into a category of being hostile to Christianity, when in fact they aren’t. They simply know nothing about biblical Christianity. That’s certainly not every nonbeliever.

You know, I mention—Carl, I mention that because I read something in your book that truly blessed me. I mean, there were a lot of things, but this one really got to me. Here’s what you wrote: 

“To my friends who are globalists, transhumanists, atheists, and agnostics, who are burners and spiritual explorers, and those of other religions: I’m thankful you are willing to read my book. To my friends who are socialist leaning, Christian and otherwise, I’m grateful that you are willing to consider what I have to say. For the many Christians who are concerned about the direction of church and society, who know something is amiss, but find it difficult to grasp where we are, I trust this book will be of value. To those who cherish liberty, may this reinforce the seriousness of freedom and thus turn our hearts to the only One who can truly set us free.”

Carl, I don’t remember being that gracious—meaning directly gracious, righteously gracious—in anything that I’ve written that involved apologetics, that involved my defending the faith. So you bless me, bro! You bless me with a really good reminder of where my heart needs to be when I’m communicating with those who don’t share my beliefs for whatever reasons.

Carl: You know, Tom, I believe we’re called to be truth tellers in a world that is hurting, that needs Jesus Christ, but I believe we need to be graceful in how we do it. There are times when we have to be blunt, absolutely. There are times when we have to come straight out and deal with a hard topic. More often than not, that’s often within the Christian community. But when you’re dealing with nonbelievers, primarily the very people I just mentioned in the context of that writing, whether they would be pagans…I have pagan friends, I have transhumanist friends, I have globalist friends. Tom, I want them to read my book! I don’t want to come across to them as being hostile or arrogant or somehow self-serving. I want them to recognize I am just a person like they are. They’re just a person like I am. 

Tom: Right.

Carl: Now can we disagree and yet be respectful? Can we—can you learn something? Can I learn something? I think the fact, Tom, that I have interacted on a one-to-one basis with the very people that you were just describing (and have done so for quite some time), it certainly has rubbed off, and it’s rubbed off in this one respect: it has forced me to see them as people. It has compelled me to see them as souls, and I think that’s important. I think we tend to forget that in the Christian research community. It’s easy to go after the person—I want to go after the ideas more than the person, because the ideas are where the problem lies. The person himself will…he or she will make a choice, but the problem is so often we attack the person instead of attacking just the idea.

I remember many, many moons ago I did a radio show. I’d come back from a World Government meeting in Dallas. Maurice Strong—the name will be recognized by some of your audience—Maurice Strong at that point in time was very influential at the United Nations, and he was our keynote speaker at this world government meeting. I had spent the day with him, because he’s from Manitoba, my home province, and we hit it off personally. I spent lunch with him, I spent supper with him. We talked about golfing—he only did it once, and then showed me his scar where he got hit by the club, and he said, “Never again.” Okay, you know, it ends up becoming very personal! And I did this radio show, like, a couple of days after, and the host, well-meaning, was trying to drop words to the effect of “This is the Antichrist,” because Maurice Strong had incredible power. And we came to a commercial break, and it was in studio. He took off his headset, I took off my headset, and he’s like, “Carl! I’m putting this out—I mean, run with it! Fight with it!” 

I’m like, “No, no! He’s a person! He’s a human being.” I disagree with his world view completely, but he’s a human being. But we tend to forget that.

Tom: Why should we forget that? And we do! It’s an occupational hazard within apologetics ministries.

Carl: Yes.

Tom: And I’m not just talking about the others out there, it’s a concern that we have at The Berean Call! “Where are we?” That’s why your reminder was wonderful! But I don’t need your reminder. All I have to do is think about Matthew:5:44: “But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you.” Why? Because Jesus went to the cross for them, for all of us, okay? So again, it was just a wonderful reminder.

You know, the other thing I think about related to this is sometimes, maybe too often, and I’m thinking about myself, okay—I’ll put myself forward on this—we are over-insulated Christians.

Carl: Mm-hmm.

Tom: What do I mean by that? Well, when we talked about Samuel Andrews’ book Christianity and Anti-Christianity in Their Final Conflict, 120 years ago he looked around to see if the things he’d gotten from the Scripture related to prophecy—Revelation, and certainly the epistles, the Book of Daniel and so on—to see if what was about. And yes, there were things, and he saw how it influenced the church, but it wasn’t overwhelming. But nevertheless, he was able to point that out and to bring an exhortation to the church at his time. His book was written in 1898. So…wonderful exhortation, maybe even an admonishment there.

Carl: Mm-hmm.

Tom: But it wasn’t everywhere, Carl. Thirty-two years ago, Dave and I did—I’m so thankful I had the privilege of helping Dave with the book—but nevertheless, 32 years ago we didn’t write this for Christians, we wrote it for Christians to give to their New Age friends, relatives, whoever it might have been. So it was kind of, Well, no, it’s not in the church, it’s kind of out there, and so on. 

Today I’ve been using the term “hidden in plain sight.” Carl, your book not only articulates, presents what’s going on in the world, but, you know, I think I mentioned it before, it’s the world with “teeth.” It’s the world with legislative effectiveness to get these things in. It’s the UN controlling things and so on. 

But nevertheless, when I mention over-insulated Christians, I’m not going to call it a bubble, but I hang out with Christians, okay? I am not—I love hanging out with Christians and so on, but sometimes that insulates us against what we need to do, which is what you’ve been doing, you know, for years! And I’m thinking, Why is it hidden in plain sight? Well, partly because I’m insulated, and it’s not a bad thing to be insulated with the biblical truth. But nevertheless, sometimes it’s almost like…you know, I get on congregations for falling into spoon feeding, you know? In other words, they’re letting their pastor do all the work for them and spoon feed them and so on. 

But this is—this is kind of like that, but it’s different in this sense: you know, the Bible talks about being babes in Christ, being young in Christ. Well, if we’re not stepping out, if we’re not recognizing what’s going on, and we’re only waiting for it to, you know, come up on our doorstep—and I’m not talking just about Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses and so on—but I’m talking about people that, Oh, God brought this person to me! Now I’m going to minister to them. No! The Great Commission is not waiting for people to come on your doorstep, is it? It’s not, no!

Carl: No!

Tom: So, you know, folks, I’m laying this out, but I hope you’re hearing my heart in this. I’m under conviction. I’m telling you, Carl has really blessed me by what he’s written. And, you know, there’s so much in your book, and the Lord willing, we’re going to cover a lot of territory with it, because it’s right here and right now. I mentioned, I think, in one of the programs, just watching the debates, particularly the vice president and Harris, you know, Biden’s candidate for vice president—forget the individuals, let’s look at the platforms. And when I looked at the platform that Harris was presenting, you couldn’t have spelled it out any clearer in terms of what we’ve been talking about, what Samuel Andrews talked about, what Dave Hunt and I talked about, and certainly your book—it’s right there, folks, hidden in plain sight! And it’s gone…it already has affected us! 

You know, I know I’m talking a little too much here, Carl, but I think about America, the Sorcerer’s New Apprentice—there was so much in that book that people weren’t getting because it hadn’t caught up to them yet, all right? This was mainly about the New Age and what was behind it and so on and so forth. But now it’s there, it’s right in front of us, but people still don’t see it!

Carl, explain that. Why is it that you’ve been able to, in your research, lay all this stuff out— it’s overwhelming, but it’s “underwhelmed” some people because they’re not paying attention to it?

All right, so you pick up on that.

Carl: Well, you raised some good points, and I would like to go back to the passage that you read previously about loving your enemies. Tom, I have a difficult time with that, too. We all do. When I take a look, though, at the Christian response, I find that so often we take almost—let’s call it, going back to the bubble analogy that you used, we take a simplistic approach. We end up having a simplistic view of it, looking for a simplistic answer. The question of sin is a simple question. The question of salvation is a simple question: Trust in Jesus Christ. All other paths are pathways to death! But it’s carried out in nuance and complexity. Every life has so much—there’s so much complexity. It’s nothing—nothing simple about being in a bubble or being outside of the bubble. 

I think part of the problem is we view this, this topic specifically, in an abstract way. We see this almost academically, and that’s, again, we want simplistic answers though sometimes the problem doesn’t present itself in simplistic ways. We don’t want to wrestle through the complexity of something. All of a sudden, we are sometimes faced with questions that aren’t so easy to flesh out. We have a hard time answering when our unbelieving neighbors or friends pose a question. That’s difficult for us, and there’s a tendency to either have pat answers or to run away instead of saying, “Hold on, I maybe don’t understand this. Let me get back to you.” 

Tom: Right.

Carl: Taking more of an honest approach. It’s usually—we want to smack and run, you know, hit and run! Well, hit and run doesn’t win souls. It might win us some brownie points in our own thinking, but it hasn’t won the argument. It hasn’t won the soul. It hasn’t won the person. 

And so there’s a tendency to think that, when we’re talking about some of these big questions, we look at this almost as an abstract thing. It changes, however, Tom, when that abstract hits us personally. All of a sudden, then it becomes an issue. 

I had a conversation with a friend just a couple of days ago who, he admitted…and he’s a member of the church I attended. His name is Terry. Terry and I go back since childhood. We’ve known each other for a long—well, we’ve known each other for decades. And Terry was very open in our conversation, saying, “Look, you know, I never really took seriously what you said 20 years ago. You’ve written this book; I haven’t read it. It’s sitting on my shelf; I’ve never cracked it. I haven’t really taken it seriously, but Covid has forced me now to start thinking about this stuff, because it’s impacted me personally.”

And I’m like, “You’re right! You looked at this only as an abstract, that’s all. You looked at the world’s situation through an abstract lens, and I get that, because it hadn’t touched you yet. And all of a sudden, now it has!” Which goes back to, I think, a conversation, Tom, you and I had a few weeks back. 

I remember in the 1990s, mid-1990s, men like Dave Hunt, men like yourself, you were already writing in the 1980s about what was taking place. It seemed almost to fall on deaf ears, in a way. Why? Because I don’t think people at that point were seeing its personal impact right in their own families, in their own homes, in their own churches, in their own communities. It was still an abstract idea. It’s still something over there—the world of therapists, the world of psychologists, the world of professors and intellectuals. Meanwhile, what they were teaching, what they were doing, those shaping the education system and shaping your children’s minds—so now, in 2020, your kids are completely immersed in this. Your family is completely immersed in this. Your church has already gone—pew!—that direction. It wasn’t because you weren’t paying attention, it’s because you didn’t recognize the danger, and more importantly, the importance of this already 30 years ago.

Tom: Your point of it being abstract, it just hit me right between the eyes. Once again, I’m so blessed—I got to help Dave with The Seduction of Christianity, and that book upset a lot of people. And…but year after year after year, I mean, we got some of the nastiest, most vicious letters that you could mention. I mean, you couldn’t even describe. But from some of these very people who wrote to us ad hominem stuff just across the board, they said, “I’m just writing to apologize.” This could have been 10 years, 15 years, 20 years later, okay, and they said, “Because I didn’t believe what you guys were saying.” To them it was abstract, but then their response was, “This is now in our church! Now it’s hit me personally—family members buying into this, buying into that,” and so on. 

Now, I’m not saying that to glorify us, I’m just underscoring the point that you’re making. Hopefully, you know, at least for many people because of the conditions, because of the consequences of what’s taking place, it hasn’t affected them in a great degree. But we get letters from grandfathers about their—well, their grandchildren or about their children: “They went this way! They went that way!” And they don’t know how to get them back. 

So, again, this is not academic. I hope folks understand our heart in this, and this is why we’re doing what we’re doing. It’s not that we have all the answers—we don’t! 

Carl: No.

Tom: But we know where to point to. We know where the answers are and so on. So…

Carl: And if it—Tom, if it was just the problem of a generation, that would be one thing. If we could just point to, let’s say, “those millennials”—I’m past the millennial generation!—if it was just Gen Zed (or Gen Z for you Americans!), but it’s not! It is now the worldview adopted by, sometimes, the parents, by the grandparents. You’re right! I’ve had elderly people—I’ve had grandparents talk to me just as you were describing for yourself, saying, “My children have gone down that road.” 

I’ve also had a lot of conversations with younger people going, “My aunt, my uncle…I’ve watched this! My family members, my grandparents have gone down that road.” 

I’m like, okay, so it’s not just a generational issue; it’s a conditioning that has been going on for a long time, and that conditioning is bearing fruit. 

And another side to this, too, is when—and that I’m watching this within the Christian world that I can understand it, there’s an issue with this—as the younger generation moves a certain direction, we tend to follow as well. We tend to soften positions because, well, now it’s our sons, it’s our daughters, it’s our grandchildren. And I’ve had a number of conversations, Tom (I know you folks have as well), from parents—pardon me, not parents so much—grandparents saying, “I don’t want to lose contact with my grandchildren…”

Tom: Right.

Carl: “…because I have—I’m at complete odds with my son or my daughter on worldview issues, biblical issues. They were raised in the church. I brought them up differently, but they’ve followed a completely different path, and now to speak out would be to alienate them, and I wouldn’t be able to see my grandkids.” That’s hard! Man, I mean, that rips out your heart! But, Tom, that’s where we are.

Tom: Yeah. You know, I think about that. It’s…you know, there’s so many wonderful things about relationship. But when relationship supersedes our relationship with Him, not pleasing Him and doing what we need to do and so on… You know, I’ve probably repeated this maybe even in our conversations a dozen times, I bring guarantees here, Carl. The Guarantee Number One is that if we’ll do what God tells us to do, enables us to do, I will guarantee you that it will work out. It may not be a walk in the park at the beginning, but it will work out. 

I’ll give you another guarantee: If we do things our way as opposed to God’s way, the other guarantee is it will not work out. The consequences cannot bear fruit, cannot be good, even though we feel—you know, there’s where feelings come in. Yeah, we have feelings. Come on! I’ve got a personal, intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. If there aren’t feelings there—what? “What are you talking about, Tom?” No, absolutely! But it’s got to be His way, not my way, no matter what my feelings may, you know, may dictate or try to dictate to me and so on.

Carl, you know, I mentioned before we came in, I’ve got an assignment for you here. You’re going to help me with something that—a quote that was in your book. Not just me, you’re going to help all of us with this! So I’m going to read the quote. It’s actually a…it’s a quote from, I think—let me pull this up here, sorry—Phil Fernandez. I guess this book is The God Who Sits Enthroned. So I’m going to read it, and then we’re going to go back, and we’re going to do it line by line, because these are important things, folks, I believe. 

So here’s the quote: “Man must choose between God and despair. If a person wagers on God and loses, a person loses nothing. But if a person wages on God and wins, the person wins everything. If, however, one wages against God, there is no hope of winning. If that person wins, he wins nothing. But if one bets against God and loses, he loses everything.” 

So let’s start with the top of that. You know, I’ve heard this in other ways, and it’s something really to think through! I mean, you know, it’s an apologetic right?

Carl: It is.

Tom: Okay, but before I…I want to hear it from you. So let’s take the first line: “Man must choose between God and despair.” 

Carl: Mm. Where is your hope found, Tom? Is it found in man? Is it found in nature? Is it found in some mystical forces? Where is your hope found? It goes back to something we talked about in another episode. And as I was quoting a section out of the chapter, right before this quote, the idea of oneness—that God, man, and nature are all the same; and that ultimately—ultimately—if that is true (and it isn’t), but if that is true, then pain and joy are all the same. Cancer and charity, it’s equal. War and peace mean nothing. War is just as beneficial as peace if it’s all one. If it’s all one, there is no hope. If your hope—that already presupposes that you’re looking for something better than what’s already there—if your hope is found in oneness, it’s a lost cause. It’s done. It’s despair. That’s all you have. 

If your hope is in materialism, in naturalism…and this is something that one of my friend’s, a university student, found when he was talking to his professor on the philosophy, materialistic philosophy. And his professor said in a private conversation to my friend Dylan—he basically has despair. He’s a naturalist. He has to convince himself on a daily basis that there is something beneficial, otherwise it’s just despair.

Tom, this is an important line. Man has to choose between God or the other option ultimately is despair.

Tom: Right. If a person wages on God and loses, a person loses nothing. You know, I’ve heard that, before you address it, I’ve heard that before as an apologetic. Look, what have you got to lose if you turn to God? Because in turning to God, you’ve got His Word, you’ve got the teachings of all that. “Love one another.” I mean, there’s so many things, not just the Golden Rule, but beyond the Golden Rule and so on. These are things that are—I mean, if you could do it, and we can’t do it without His help, okay—but nevertheless, if it’s not true, the person has a life that’s based on goodness, as much as he can accomplish that. But it’s certainly not running to the other side of despair, running to the other side of wickedness, and so on and so forth. So…

Carl: Well, you just articulated it. You nailed it; you just nailed it. There’s even a bigger context: the Christian worldview, the Judeo-Christian worldview, has given us social benefit, cultural benefits, concepts of law and order, concepts of grace and especially charity and compassion have flowed through the Christian ethos. Hospitals, foundations, universities—my goodness! Some of America’s most secular universities right now and some of the most recognized Ivy League schools began as schools of theology, looking to wrestle through God’s Word first. Now look what has happened!

So there is a benefit, a significant benefit in choosing God. We’ve done that, and we are still living on the benefits of it, that other generations have pursued.

One of my…I’ve got a couple—no, not a couple—I’ve got a number of atheist friends, and the appeals become to goodness and moral goodness. What is…where does morality come from? And like, sorry, you’re borrowing off of the Judeo-Christian framework! This isn’t yours! You can’t talk about what is moral, what is good, by referring to your framework, because there’s nothing there. Ultimately, ultimately, there’s no reason to be good.

Tom: Moving on with this, Carl—we’ve got about five minutes left in this…

Carl: Oh, boy!

Tom: We can’t get through a whole program! But nevertheless, if we have to come back to it, we will! 

So if a person wages on God and wins, the person wins everything! That’s salvation, that’s eternal life in Christ! I mean, come on! It doesn’t get any “gooder!”

Carl: [laughs]

Tom: That’s for you Canadians! [laughs] No, I’m serious. However, if one wages against God, there’s no hope of winning.

Carl: If God is the Creator—and He is—if God is the Creator, literally the Author of life, and you’re waging against the Author of life, what is the outcome? Tom, what is the logical outcome? Proverbs 14, it says it this way, that “There’s a way that seems right unto a man, but the end is the path of death, the road to death,” is despair.

Tom: Right, and that death is not just—it could be physical death, but more than likely, it has to do with separation, separation from God, not doing it His way, which we talked about. However, if one wages against God, there is no hope of winning. If that person wins, he wins nothing. Despair.

Carl: Yes.

Tom: Despair. But if one bets against God and loses, I mean, we could go beyond despair.

Carl: Mm-hmm.

Tom: He loses everything. Separation from God forever.

Carl: “Gnashing of teeth.” I cannot imagine the gnashing of teeth. I like that biblical phraseology, because it demonstrates angst, extreme angst! It demonstrates hopelessness and despair. Tom, I can’t imagine what that separation from God will, you know, would look like and will look like for those who do not acknowledge Him. I cannot fathom that. It goes beyond despair, doesn’t it?

Tom: Yeah. That’s why the Bible uses some terms and some people may not take it literally. Carl, you have to go to the Scriptures and understand, but the lake of fire… One of the things I think about which, to me, is frightening is that every sin, every sin and their extensions of what they’ve effected, you—I don’t believe you’re going to be able to sear your conscience about this. You can do that today maybe for a time and so on, but not for eternity. And, I mean, look, even for believers, have you grieved about maybe sinning against another person and so on, and felt that guilt? Look, the sin’s been paid for, but that affects relationships. And they won’t…in the lake of fire, there’s no relationship. It’s them and their sins forever! It’s horrible, but they brought it upon themselves, and they rejected their only hope, which is a free gift! You know, as a Roman Catholic for 30 years, “Come on, man, what do you mean ‘free gift’? You know, you’ve got to work this out. You know, you’ve got to do these things.” Well, no. There’s nothing, absolutely nothing, you can do for your own salvation. Nothing. 

Now, after you’re saved, you can “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” You can—you know, we’ve been “saved unto good works,” but you’ve got to be saved first.

So, Carl, again, we’ve got about a minute here. How would you conclude this?

Carl: Oh, conclude it! I was reading a different quote…yes. I’ll conclude it with a quote, and I think it’s a very pertinent quote, because it goes back to the basis of where our hope is found. 

“Certainly the claims of Christ are unique: that He was God come as man, the only sinless, perfect man, in order to die for the sins of the world, and thus that He was the only Savior of mankind. Neither Buddha, Muhammad, Confucius, nor any other religious leader can make such claims.”

The next page over: “Certainly Christ’s claims that He is the truth and the only way to God not only stand alone, but indicate all other ways as false.”

Goes back to Proverbs 14: “There’s a way that seem right to a man,” and then there is a way that is right, and that way is through Jesus Christ. 

Tom: Amen. Okay, brother, look forward to our next discussion, the Lord willing. Thank you!

Carl: Thank you!