Sorry about the long wait. I blame my husband for getting me hooked on Plants vs. Zombies, but I digress.
So let's just jump in shall we?
1. God is a Mystery:
- they are examinging the statement that God works in mysterious ways.
What they say the Bible teaches:
"Jesus said that those 'taking in knowledge of... the only true God' would receive blessings (John 17:3). But how can we take in knowlege of God if he is a mystery? Far from concealing himself, he wants everyone to know him. - Jeremiah 31:34.
Of course, we will never know everything about God. This is to be expected because his thoughts and ways are higher than ours. - Ecclesiastes 3:11; Isaiah 55:8,9."
So this is their way of saying God wants us to know him so he is not intentionally concealing himself, but he is mysterious because we can never really know him. Riiight. I think we need to go back to the magazine to see how they explain this.
How knowing the truth helps you:
- God is an incomprehensible mystery but he enables us to comprehend him and develop a close friendship with him.
*So if you want to know God you will know God? How backwards is this? If this is the case then why do so many people have different ideas of what God is and what he wants? Why are there thousands of Chrisitian denominations alone if we could all comprehend God and even be God's bff?
- Through the Bible, God provides what we need in order to know him well.
*So God wrote the Bible now? Have you ever seen a God write a book? I haven't.
- God reveals his emotions to us. He is "merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in loving kindess and truth." Exodus 34:6.
*Uh-huh... have you read the book? He whipped out the entire population of the earth, all the first born of Egypt, the people of Sodom and Gamora and many many more... does this sound like a diety who is merciful, gracious, slow to anger and abundant in loving kindness? It doesn't to me.
What this is is appologetic nonsense for the nature of God, they know that no-one can actually know God, even if he/she/it does happen to exist, but they say you can, despite all of the evidence to the contrary.
2. God does not really Care.
This one addresses the question of evil.
What they say the Bible teaches:
"Jehova God does not cause evil. (James 1:13) While he could remove evil at any time, he allows corrupt society to exist for now in order to settle moral issues that weere raised at the start of human history (WTF??). He will ultimately act in behalf of humankind and undo all the trouble caused by those who reject his rulership. - Genesis 3:1-6; Isaiah 65:17. (So God is a somewhat benevolent dictator... and here I thought the people who are trying to create a theocracy were the problem).
Besides his overall concern for the human family, God demonstrates an intense interest in us as individuals. Matthew 10:29-31 shows that he observes details about us that even we don't know (I honestly couldn't decide between 'Stalker!' and 'WTF?' here) : 'Do not two sparrows sell for a coin of small value? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father's knowledge. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Therefore have no fear: you are worth more than many sparrows."
So let me get this straight... They are indeed saying that God is all powerful, and all knowing, and that he does indeed care.... but he is letting us work it out for ourselves? Are these really the actions of a being who is moral?
Not to mention that they are implying that all suffering is man made... what about illness and natural disasters? Doesn't God have the power to stop those? Not to mention that these natural forces of suffering do affect Christians as well.... how do you explain that?
How the Truth Helps You:
- We avoid people who are harsh and uncaring.
- the lie that God is uncaring causes people to avoid getting to know him.
*Lie? Again... have you read the Bible? How many innocent people were on Earth during the flood, or in Sodom and Gamora when it was laid to waste? Uncaring? An understatement. But then again people who don't know about God don't know about God, and those who do make up their own mind or are indoctrinated.
- you might have prayed and wondered if God was listening or if he would answer you. The Bible assures us that the hearer of prayer keeps the line of communication open at all times for those who approach him sincerely.
*See what they did there? If you didn't get an answer to your prayer you weren't sincere enough. That's a really nice and simple way to get out of a sticky situation, almost as good as playing no true Scotsman.
The way I see the problem of evil is really simple. If there is a God that is all knowing, all powerful and all loving and there is still evil in the world then God cannot be all of those things, or there is no God. See? Simple, no acrobatics.
3. God is vengeful
God and punishment - oh this should be good.
What they say the Bible teaches:
"Second Peter 3:9 says that Jehovah "does not desire any to be destoryed but desires all to attain repentance." Rather than focus on our mistakes, he focuses on our good points. God's "eye's are roving about through all the earth to show his strength in behalf of those whose heart is complete toward him." - 2 Chronicles 16:9.
Hellfire is not a Bible teaching - the very idea of eternal torment is repugnant to God. His maximum punishment for the wicked is to revoke the gift of life. (Jeremiah 7:31; Romans 6:7) And natural disasters, which destroy indiscriminately, are not acts of God but, rather, unforseen occurances that can affect anyone. - Ecclesiastes 9:11.
So natural diasters are not acts of God, but doesn't he have the power to stop them?
So Hell is not in the Bible? well that is interesting.... I might just change my mind about this whole atheism thing... wait a minuet.... this magazine is lying to me...The original text may not use the word Hell, but is does describe a place of fire and suffering:
- Chronicles 28:3 "Moreover he burnt incense in the valley of the son of Hinnom, and burnt his children in the fire, after the abominations of the heathen whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel."
- Matthew 5:22 "But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell (Gehenna) fire."
- Luke 16:24 : "And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame."
- Matthew 13:42 : "And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth."
- Matthew 25:41 : "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:"
- Revelation 20:15 : "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."
How knowing the truth helps you:
- We don't need to serve God out of feelings of guilt or dread of punishment.
*Then why do you people keep threatening everyone with hell?
- God wants everyone to turn to good, but knows not everyone will, and if he didn't punish anyone he would just be a ruler who didn't enforce his laws which allow for injustice and suffering to flourish.
*again we have the problem with all knowing and all powerful.... and don't injustice and suffering already flourish... I mean we are not living in a utopia by any means.
- knowing that God doesn't tolerate wickedness forever to give us a sound hope for the future. God has promised to remove those who persist in evil deeds.
*When? And which evil deeds are we talking about? Murderers? Rapists? Pedophiles (then the Catholic Church is in trouble)... how about people who commit fraud? People who kill their children (Like they teach in the Bible)? People who don't keep the sabbath holy? (just look at what they did to a guy collecting sticks): Sticks and Stones. I guess I'm a little confused about what is wicked... because a lot of what is in the Old Testament as rules seem pretty wicked to me... and before you get into the Old Testament/ New Testament debate Matthew 5:17-18 has Jesus state: "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." So there.
4. God is Unfair
"God is in charge of this world, and everything that happens is by his will. Since the world is full of discrimination, injustice, and oppression, God must be responsible."
What they think the Bible teaches:
"God is not the source of the world's injustice. Describing Jehovah, the Bible says: 'Perfect in his activity, for all his ways are justice.' - Deuteronomy 32:4
God is generous toward all, including those apparently undeserving. For example "he makes his sun rise upon wicked people and makes it rain upon righteous people and unrighteous.' (Matthew 5:45). (ummm the sun shines on the entire earth not just select people....) He treats people of all races and cultures justly, as Acts 10:34, 35 shows: 'God is not partial, but in every nation the man that fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him' (tell that to the Egyptians).
What then is the source of injustice? Many people choose to act unfairly, not following God's example of justice. (Deuteronomy 32:5) (like forcing women to marry their rapists, stoning defiant children, keeping slaves, and much much more). Also, the Bible show's that God is allowing his enemy, the Devil, to exercise authority over the world (1 John 5:19). (Satan) However, God's permission of this unjust rule will soon end. He has already set in place his means to 'break up the works of the Devil' - 1 John 3:8.
Why would a God who cares allow the devil to have any authority?
I'm not going to get into the how knowing the truth helps because their biblical evidence really sucks. The so-called caring God gave the devil authority over the earth, and we are supposed to believe that he has plans to change this... and this is supposed to happen when exactly? If it not within our lifetime, since it hasn't been in anyone's thus far, why should we believe that anything is going to change?
5. God Accepts all Sincere Worship
Do all paths lead to God?
What they believe the Bible teaches:
"We must be sincere in our worhsip, avoiding pretense and hypocrisy. Jesus told the religious leaders of his day why God has rejected them: 'Isaiah aptly prophesied about you hypocrites, as it is written, 'This people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far removed from me.'' (Mark 7:6) Yet, sincerly alone does not guarantee that God will accept our worship.
Jesus has made clear by exposing the key flaw in the worship offered by those religious leaders and their followers. He applied them to God's words: 'It is in vain that they keep worshipping me, because they teach as doctrines commands of men.' (Mark 7:7) Their worship was 'in vain', or usless, because they put their religious tradition ahead of God's requirements.
Instead of supporting the idea that there are many acceptable ways to approach God, the Bible teaches that there is only one. Matthew 7:13, 14 says: 'Go in through the narrow gate; because broad and spacious is the road leading off into destruction, and many are the ones going in through it; whereas narrow is the gate and cramped the road leading off into life, and few are the ones finding it.'
So first they play no true christian... then tell you the right way to worship is difficult, but don't tell you what it is.... and this is helpful how?
Well those are the 5 lies about God.... wasn't that riviting? None of them offer any evidence outside of the Bible and conviently avoid the passages that conflict with what they are trying to say.... I don't find that the Bible is good evidence of anything aside from people's gulability... but we can save that for another time.
Well that's all for now,