… well not all of obviously because this guy has a lot to say. Here is my response to this intriguing post:
The Christian (Theist) Challenge
I answered these before looking at the other replies so I wouldn’t be influenced by them.
1. Do you feel like Religion, God and The Bible conflict?
If you were to ask Jesus this question, he would say Religion and God definitely because Religion is man’s attempt to quantify or control God. It is man’s imposed structure and it generally goes awry. God and the Bible I don’t think conflict. The Bible says that all scripture is God breathed or inspired by God so I don’t see that as a conflict.
2. If God told you kill someone, (And you are 100% it’s God). Would you kill that person? Why or Why Not?
When is the only time you can get away with speeding legitimately? If you have an emergency and you have to get to the hospital immediately. If you get stopped by the cops, you quickly explain the situation and they happily drive ahead of you to the hospital. It is justifiable in this situation to break the law.
If God told you to kill Hitler, would you do it? I don’t think many of us would counter that the greater good is served by the death of Hitler. Yes, I would kill someone. I would also kill someone in self defense or if they were raping my daughter or threatening someone I love.
You may consider that God is the giver of life and thus he has the authority to take it away. One of the greatest heroes of the Old Testament was told to sacrifice his son which he was in the process of carrying out when God told him to stop.
3. Who created God; if he came from nothing or has no creator doesn’t that violate The First Law of Thermodynamics?
I think you have to have a broader imagination here. If he created the First Law of Thermodynamics he doesn’t have to submit to it. If God predates the universe, he also predates time so we have to think about beginnings differently then. I can’t claim to understand it because it is so far outside my experience but if he says he has always existed I just have to say okay on that one.
4. If you believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God; do you believe it to be inerrant or infallible? And, If the Bible is found errant, does God still exist and is the Bible still a trustworthy source?
I believe that it is inspired but I don’t believe it is necessarily factually inerrant or infallible. This is bordering on making the Bible itself God or a demigod of sorts. Many people treat the Bible as an idol and they venerate it nearly to the point of worship which I don’t think God intended. It points to God but is not God. People need to clarify passages that talk about “the word of God”. Sometimes this is God’s literal words, sometimes it is Jesus (“In the beginning was the Word”) and sometimes maybe it is the Bible but I think in most cases it is the first one.
The Bible is definitely trustworthy. It is thousands of years of distilled wisdom and divinely inspired writing.
5. In the Bible their are stories of God telling the Israelites to kill innocent women & children and children being punished for the sins of their father. Is this morally right or morally justifiable?
I am not in a position to judge God. Otherwise see question 2.
6. If God is perfect, how can something imperfect come out of something that is PERFECT? Did God make a mistake?
Can an excellent carpenter build a crappy birdhouse? I guess so if he wanted to.
I don’t think God made a mistake. He made us like he wanted to make us. You could say that we are flawed or we are fallen. It doesn’t make much difference. It is quite clear we were capable of being flawed from the outset. This gives us the opportunity to choose him (embedded in love is a choice). If we were perfect we wouldn’t be able to not choose him (maybe). Love is meaningless without choice.
7. If a Christian goes into a forest and gets lost. And he prays to God to be saved and not die. Does a God still here him? How do know? And, how can you be sure?
I suppose the way you can be sure that your prayers are heard is based on experience. I prayed about such and such a thing and something came out if it. For me, it is not that my prayers are always answered the way I wanted them to be, it is more like I can see that the best possible result came about that improved my character or made my life better in some way. Like if my son constantly asks for sugar cereal but instead I feed him porridge, he might not like it at the time, but later on he won’t have rotten teeth and malnutrition. We shouldn’t always get what we want. That might be why God hasn’t made me win the lottery. (…yet! Please, God, Please!)
8. If you were to die, and when you go before God; it’s some other God you have never seen or heard of nor worshiped? What would you do? Would you plead for him not to judge you harshly and what would you say?
Nice to meet you… Sir. What is the basis on which I am judged? Feel free to judge me on the basis of the life I lived. I am in awe of the universe you created.
9. What is something that would convince you that Christianity is wrong and that there is no God? (If your answer is NOTHING, than please explain WHY?)
When I die and nothing happens, I will be fully convinced.
10. This is a quote by the atheist Richard Dawkins…”We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in. Some of us just go ONE god further.“-Richard Dawkins. Why does the Christian reject all other gods, but not their own? Why are you Christian? Why do you believe in only the Judo-Christian God?
This is kind of like saying to a married man, “You’ve rejected all other women except for one, so why not just go the whole hog and become celibate.” There is a large chasm there.
Any religion that does not claim exclusivity is essentially pointless because if it is acceptable to be in some other religion while being in the non-exclusive one, you might as well go to the exclusive one and increase your odds of getting it right.
I became a Christian because I was raised that way. I choose to remain a Christian because I am fully convinced, although I prefer to be called a follower of Christ as I think the term “Christian” has a lot of baggage. Please note that not everything I was raised with I still believe now. My beliefs are not static and I prefer to be an independent thinker, not tied to any particular dogma apart from Christ and what he taught. That being said I find the Bible reliable and compelling but I wouldn’t claim it is necessarily inerrant.
The major difference between Christianity and all other world religions is in others it is what you do for God and in Christianity it is what God does for you. All you have to do is believe that Jesus died so your sins can be forgiven and you can be acceptable before God and God takes care of the rest. That being said, salvation is free but it will cost you your life and you will never be so happy to give it away (I say this with sincerity). This is very compelling to me. Love and forgiveness are central concepts in Christ’s teachings which are very attractive to me.
Once I experienced Jesus and glimpsed eternity, I could never go back.