Is this a legitimate evaluation of The God of Israel and Chriatianity?
After having a short discussion with my fellow Blogger Richard Goode (in the ‘Comments’ of Part 2) I realized that I will not be able to wind up this topic in three parts.
I need to take the time now to clarify several important points about what I hope to achieve, and then move forward.
The primary purpose of these blog posts under the heading ‘How can a Good God exist when there is so much evil in the world’… is to present to you how I deal with this issue as a *Dispensationalist King James Bible believer*
In the process of doing so I hope to show you that it is possible to *trust the scriptures*, and this is a completely different approach to the problem than how many Christians choose to deal with it. Ie Their solution is simply to tear out portions of the scriptures that in their opinion are incompatible with the idea of a Good and loving God.
In my view this is not only an unnecessary retreat which represents a victory for atheism and unbelief, but is also that most gross Human folly….Idol making… Man fashioning God to suit his own ideas!
This is to turn the Universe upside down and makes a mockery of Religion.
By this means they validate the atheist assertion that Religion is merely subjective whimsical Human fabrication.
Though the Bible expressly condemns the addition and subtraction of text (eg Rev22vs18,19)
as a heinous crime… nonetheless this is exactly what many people do! They think that by deleting and retranslating portions of the scripture whereby God visits mankind with harsh judgments that they are ‘helping God’… by sanitizing the bible from what they assume *Must be* corrupt additions and poor translations… on the authority of their own conscience.
They think that by this way they ‘save God’ from appearing a monster… and make ‘the Christian religion’ more agreeable to the sensitivities of mankind.
Richard Goode Believes Hell in the Bible is a mistranslation for the grave.
Matthew Flannagan Believes Old testament references to God ordering the genocide of the Canaanites to be merely Hyperbole.
Yet does This ‘Bible Doubters solution’ really work?
The answer is No!
I say you can piddle about rewriting the Bible as much as you like yet this does absolutely Zero in mitigating the very real evils and injustices suffered by mankind! And it is the existence of evil in the world which is the real challenge to the proposition that God is Good.
Ie Even if I were to grant Richard his assertion that hell is a mistranslation, that cannot alter the fact That God (if he exists) allows Hundreds of people, including children to be burned alive in fires every year.
One of the reasons I believe the Bible is God’s word is because it correlates with grim reality!
ie it’s not written like a fairy story in which ‘everyone lives happily ever after’
Ie it is not written like Richard would like it to be!
This adds weight to it’s objective crediblity!
The Bible is as ‘Raw’ as reality. And the God of the Bible is not simply an invented character…’a jolly nice old bloke’…yet he’s no Monster either. Yet still He is someone you had better take seriously!
A common accusation against a Good and loving God is that it appears that he does not care about the evils going on ‘down here’ie the faithless believe he does not intervene when he ‘ought’, but allows people like Hitler to commit genocide…and get away with it.
Yet God as described in The Bible cares a great deal about sin and evil in the world… and justice! The faithless fail to appreciate that God *Did* bring an end to Hitler’s tyranny (death ends the evil works of us all), and the Bible teaches that even after physical death (which our spirit survives) we must face The judgment of God Almighty.
Ironically… because God cares a great deal about the morality of our deeds, and passes severe judgements upon them… this is then taken to mean God is a tyrant!… thus He’s Despised by Man ether way… Both for not caring and for caring too much!)
When considering the horrific realities which plauge mankind (which cannot simply be ‘deleted’ from our conscience as Richard so easily deletes hell from the scriptures) My Bible believers position on these things is thus:
*‘Things happen on Earth (like the Australian bush fires) which are not Gods will’*… yet he allows ‘reality’ to take its course.
And I argue this same principle holds good in respect to Damnation… “God is not willing that any should perish… though he allows reality to take it’s ‘natural’ course.
This does not mean he sits on his hands and watches.
The entire Bible is a testimony to God’s intervention to save mankind from Damnation… without removing mankind’s freewill moral agency.
It is important to understand that the God of the Bible is not insulated from the Human condition. Though it is true that in the process of creating a moral reality, he allows Murderers to work their evil upon mankind, Yet still he allowed morality to ‘take it’s course’… even when it was his *own son* whom was being murdered!
Thus He has not put mankind through anything he was not prepared to endure himself.
(The truth is God has had to endure All sin and evil… It is all against him!)
2000 years ago God stepped into history, and meekly made a voluntary offer to End Human tyranny and oppression, and set up a completely just government under ‘The Prince of Peace’ … yet he was rejected!
*Contemplate this for a moment*
God did not impose himself upon Mankind but gave him a choice.
All the misery of the past 2000 years could have been avoided, yet Mankind loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were Evil.
What more when God stepped in he took upon himself the punishment for all mans Sins, so that he might be able to forgive every single person whom wanted to be saved from damnation… without denying Justice, or negating our Freewill moral agency.
Though it is God’s will that everyone receives salvation, yet still he does not impose his will upon us or reality.
All this shows that God is not desirous to torture anyone in hell.
It also shows that God is not indifferent to the misery and evils we suffer.
It also shows God’s utter integrity and objectivity, and respect for us his creation… as freewill moral agents. Ie He respects us to the degree that he will allow us to damn ourselves rather that force us to love and respect him.
These biblical truths destroys Richards assumptions that If hell is real God *must be* a Heartless Monster.
And the Work of Christ changes everything.
The sin that Damns the soul is not pick pocketing, not looking at Porn, But the Rejection of Christs work on the Cross…and rebellion against God.
Those lost souls whom end up in outer darkness will be free to curse God for eternity. They will never have to look at his face. Yet they will be in such a circumstance where their evil and malicious hearts can cause no further harm or chaos. They will be miserable because they will know that they forsook the Loving God who made them, and that they put themselves there!
Having lived ungreatful lives never giving thanks to God for the many blessings they enjoyed, they shall spend eternity with nothing.
And this will all be just.
It is at this point where I posit the Question: Was it possible for God to create Freewill moral agents capable of having a loving relationship with him… without making sin and evil, possible?
I think the answer to this question must be No!
Thus I ask you. Would you prefer to be an automation rather than a freewill moral agent? Understand that as a Robot you could never have a loving relationship… or even claim responsibility/ credit for your own thoughts and actions.
Furthermore God being sovereign it is *his right* to decide whether or not to create Free will Beings capable of Love and morality.
Insodoing he had to weigh up the cost/ benefits involved.
On the plus side he would have loving children to enjoy and share reality.
On the negative side Evil could become a reality, and some of his children could be damned.
That God chose to go ahead with creating such beings is self evident.
I will leave one final passing word in respect to The Great judgement of God for Sin.
It is this. I think Richard is greatly mistaken to think that God must bare all the responciblity for the Damnation of anyone and everyone.
Responciblity primarily lies with the Individuals themselves and their choices, and furthermore God has placed a measure of responciblity in respect to the Salvation of the Lost upon us Christians!
We are under the moral Obligation to preach the Gospel of the grace of God to the lost. We are to be witnesses for the truth… ‘living epistles’ shining the light of Christ in this world of darkness. Thus I say it is ‘rich indeed’ to blame God for the Damnation of the Lost when we ourselves know the truth, yet fail to warn our friends, neigbours, and family.
St Paul says in Corinthians 1vs 21 “it pleased God by the Foolishness of preaching to save them which believe…”
And again in Romans (10vs 13-14)
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?”
Thus I say to those people like Richard that if they are really serious about it being unconscionable to think that people might end up being Damned for Eternity (And I agree the proposition is frightful!), they ought to be like St Paul… ie be so burdened as to preach the gospel without ceasing… day and night! The gospel ought to be number 1 on their scale of importance!
Only when this is so can they look in the mirror and absolve themselves, believing they have fulfilled their Moral duty… which knowledge of such gravity demands.
In part 4 I will raise the question of what ground (if any) is there to stand upon whereby Men may condemn the judgements of Christian God?
I will discuss another verse from Leviticus which Richard does not like and propose an argument which may shock him. Ie That God’s theocracy is *not Libertarian!* …none the less Libertarianism is right for us today.
I will present some scriptural arguments which teach us to have faith in Gods word… even when/ esp when there are tuff things to swallow.
And I will start to develop the Bible story about The origin of evil.
If God exists, why doesn't He stop rapists from raping?Why doesn't He stop suicide bombers from bombing?Shay He has all the power?Abi is He indifferent?Then, why worship Him?Are these your questions?Dr Zacharias, by the Holy Spirit, doth answer thee.Watch.PS:Seated beside Daddy Ravi is Professor John Lennox, a British Mathematician, Philosopher of Science, Christian Apologist and Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford.God's gat people, mehn.God's gat people.?
Posted by Uju Okorie on Tuesday, February 16, 2016