Lie #7: ‘If God was really powerful and good, he wouldn’t allow so much evil and suffering to go on.’

This is raised by just about everyone: Priests and ministers, college students and housewives, butchers, bakers and candlestick makers.

It’s one of the hardest questions anybody ever asks.

Just a few days ago, a close friend of mine, Laurin, passed away after a fierce 18 month battle with cancer.  What a horrible experience this was for him and his wife Diana.

I’ve visited the slums of Sao Paulo Brazil, where 500,000 homeless street kids sniff glue and steal for a living.  Sometimes the police hunt them down and kill them, just to reduce the crime rate.

Last year my wife spent a week in Mozambique where she saw an infant in her mother’s arms, dying of pneumonia in a hospital waiting room.  She met hundreds of other kids with malaria and malnutrition. We’ve given some money for a medical clinic, and every bit helps.  But the problems are so huge, what little you try to do still seems like a teardrop in the ocean.

If you took all the parties, the humor, the success and happiness in the world, and put it side by side with the suffering and pain, the comparison would be almost absurd.

There’s a lot of sickness and sadness in this world.

How can God let it go on?

Well, I can’t give you an answer.  I can only tell you a true story.

~~~

A certain man threatened the Religious Gestapo, who in turn convinced the Roman government that He was a threat to them, too.

His followers were disappointed that He didn’t overthrow the Romans and declare himself King, like the Messiah was supposed to do.  So they abandoned Him.

The ancient Romans pioneered what was possibly the most cruel form of torture ever devised by man:  Crucifixion.  They would drive spikes into their victim’s ankles and wrists, smashing his nerves.  He would hang there in blinding sheets of pain, slowly suffocating and dehydrating for days, until he finally expired.

Jesus was whipped and beaten, literally beyond recognition, then nailed to a cross between two common criminals.

One of these criminals was cursing and shouting at Him in a fit of rage: ‘HEY! If you’re the KING, why don’t you get yourself down from there!  And US, TOO!!!’

The other guy went along with this… for a little while.

But he saw that Jesus wasn’t hurling insults at his torturers.  Instead He was asking God to forgive them (?!).

He sobered up.  He said to the other criminal, ‘Hey dude, you and I are here because we deserve it.  But this man Jesus has done nothing wrong.’

Then he said to Jesus, ‘Remember me when you take charge of your Kingdom.’

Jesus simply replied, ‘Today you’ll be with me in Paradise.’

~~~

Stop the camera.

What you have here, in this brief conversation, is a snapshot of the entire world.

You have two criminals who have gotten themselves into a horrendous, awful mess.  And you have the Son of God, who has not only chosen to live with us in our world of pain and suffering, but has personally taken all of it upon his own shoulders.

Even though he is completely innocent.

One thief refuses to accept any responsibility for his actions. He’s unwilling to admit that he created the very mess that he’s in.

He lives in denial until the bitter end.  He grits his teeth and dies in his sin.

The other thief comes clean.  He recognizes that Jesus possesses divine authority.  He admits his guilt.  He is required to do nothing, other than to let go of his pride.

He asks for forgiveness.

Forgiveness granted.

Jesus’ pardon doesn’t make the cross or the agony go away.  But finally the struggle ceases and this man crosses the Great Divide. The intense pain dissolves and he steps into a New World, designed by God Himself — with renewed body and soul.

That’s a picture of the entire world, right there. You and I are in this mess together, and we’ve all contributed to it.

We’ve all rejected God in some way or another, we’ve all committed some kind of crime, and we all experience suffering.

The situation is what it is.

So we have a simple choice: Accept that fact that God has suffered with us — or mock him and be furious because the suffering exists in the first place.

Which way do you want it???

The decision is yours.  You and I will never get a true ‘answer’ about the pain and suffering we experience in this life.  But in the midst of our pain, we have a companion.  You and I can have the same conversation with Jesus that this criminal had, and we can experience the same forgiveness.  All we have to do is ask, just like the thief on the cross did on that sad day.

~~~

This is the last of the Seven Great Lies of Organized Religion. I pray that I’ve helped to strip away all the baggage that the Religious Gestapo adds to the story and reduce it to the bare essentials.  I hope this has stirred your mind and your heart.

Are you trying to strip away the baggage and get to a deeper truth? We’d like to hear from you. Simply submit a comment below.

We often run behind, but will do our best to respond.

Respectfully Submitted,

Perry Marshall
www.CoffeehouseTheology.com

640 Responses to “Lie #7: ‘If God was really powerful and good, he wouldn’t allow so much evil and suffering to go on.’”

  1. Jack Williams says:

    Dear Perry; Know you are probably do not have the time nor inclination to “tilt” with every respondent of your series, but as a quetioning Agnostic please address the following if you will, please:

    “We have all rejected God and committed crimes and all are experiencing suffering”

    Innocent babes ?, committing crimes, sinning?? (unless you accept the Roman concept of “original sin”)

    I recall a question in the Catechism, “Who made me?” “God made me.” I have seen some horrible infant “monstrosities” that have “been created by God”, and, as a questioning Agnostic I say, “What kind of a loving and caring God would create such human “freaks” and permit perpetual suffering for countless millions of innocents who are incapable of sin?

    I have found your series interesting. I am 84 years old and still “searching”. Cordially, Jack Williams

    • perrymarshall says:

      Hey Jack,

      This is a great question and people do occasionally bring this up, exactly as you did – babies and whatnot. My #7 doesn’t really address this.

      Now for all of us adults, I really do think the whole world ends up being either mad at God over the things we all do to ourselves, or willing to accept responsibility for our mistakes. Even if the “math” of this doesn’t really add up in all circumstances, fact is we all have to emotionally deal with it and I think the latter approach is much healther. (I do acknowledge that some people walk around feeling guilty about stuff that they never did at all!)

      But anyway … when Jesus went to the cross he said “Behold, I make all things new” and the way I read this, he is saying that in the ultimate end, he will make all of those sad and tragic things – the deformities, the blindness, the retardation and everything else, renewed. That God’s plan is to restore creation to its intended splendor. More to the point, those infants and others who have done no wrong, who bear no guilt, God has a plan for them. I firmly believe that he will make the beautiful out of the ugly. And I have seen that when people are willing to accept this as a matter of faith and act accordingly, beauty emerges from the pain.

      I’ve got some friends whose 5 month old son suddenly died of a congenital heart defect a couple of months ago. It was SO sad, and they struggle mightily every day to deal with their loss.

      But I have to tell you, little Jeremiah’s funeral service (at a black church in the inner city) was truly beautiful because they believe with all their hearts that God has a plan for their son, a plan to restore and reunite.

      This theme is everywhere in the Bible, it’s inescapable. This is the God I worship. Why is there evil? I don’t know. But I know that God came here and lived in it, too. We don’t have an “answer” as such but we do have a companion.

      You know, we can all look around and clearly see, in a way, how things “should” be or “could” be, minus the corruption and problems. I think that sense of rightness that we all have, that part of us that is saddened by tragedy – that instinct is something that God put in all of us. In a way it’s an evidence for God in and of itself.

      The Christian understanding of the world has always been that sin and evil make it corrupt, that “Creation Groans” under the weight of our problems, to quote Paul. And that ultimately God can, will and must restore creation to its original glory.

      Jack, I think your questions are important. They do matter. At the same time I don’t think one has to have *all* of the answers to entrust oneself to God and take a step in His direction.

      I hope this is helpful, feel free to write back. Sincerely,

      Perry

      • Tony Francis says:

        Innocent babes ?, committing crimes, sinning?? (unless you accept the Roman concept of “original sin”)

        Are not we all babes who know nothing other than our own hunger? All we know is that if we cry (pray), we will get fed. And if we don’t, we get angry and play tantrums.
        God, like all parents do not want us to remain as babes, but want us to grow up, stop peeing in our beds, get toilet trained, get disciplined, get a driver’s license, and become a responsible citizen,caring parent,and dependable useful part of the family / society.
        This will not be achieved if the babe is fed every time it cries, even after he is 20 years old.
        The babe learns to walk after he has fallen a few times.
        The babe realizes that he cannot through a brick wall after he hurts his nose trying to do it a few times.
        God does not want the babe to hurt his nose, but that is the only way He can teach if the babe does not respond to verbal instruction.
        God, and every parent wants their children to be become better than themselves, and do not wish to hurt or be cruel to them.

    • Fajardo Osc says:

      please, expand your mind, do you really believe that God will Create freaks ? i do not think so. men and women who go against the law of nature and God create those whom we call freaks.

      • Jay says:

        I would like to direct you to the story of Job chapters 38-42. Job was a righteous man and Satan caused him unimaginable suffering. He was sorely tried but kept his integrity to his God. Job was spoken to by his Almighty Heavenly Father and made to see it wasn’t God who inflicted these trials on Job it was Satan. Jas.1:13 “when under trial let no man say “I am being tried by God” For by evil things God cannot be tried nor does he himself try anyone.

        It can be through genetical imperfection these things come about. However I do not see what most people of the world see as beauty because that kind of beauty is generally vain. I have seen great beauty in those with genetic disabilities and I see beauty in age.

        Love of God and fellow man is beautiful especially to love people with disabilities. I see the beauty in “The elephant man” What was written about this poor, suffering individual showed him to be beautiful in spirit and that is more valuable than the vain physical beauty.

        I hate the suffering humans have to bear but as Perry says Jesus died that all who so suffer will be made perfect and reap their reward in the better world. If Adam and Eve had kept obedience these abnormalities would never have blighted the human race. But it seems to me our human race has much to worry about today and it will not be long until Armageddon and The Kingdom of God is established on earth to rid us of all suffering. However Satan who is in control of all evil in this world seems set in driving men to distruction. We need to pray at this time for salvation for all suffering mankind. Amen

        • Conway Redding says:

          Jay, you seem to forget that what happened to Job happened, according to Christian mythology, because God made a bet with Satan, to wit, that if God allowed Satan to take away from Job all the blessings that God had given him, Job would nonetheless remain faithful to God. So at bottom it was God who, by permitting Satan to do what Satan did, was the source of Job’s misery. In my book this makes God a bit of an asshole. But that’s okay, because God has no more real existence than Winnie the Pooh, and is a lot less fun to read about, and there are many other fictional beings who are assholes, like A. Conan Doyle’s Professor Moriarty. As for all that nonsense about pie in the sky by and by, anticipation of which is supposed to make the manifold sufferings dished out here on earth tolerable, I’ll take my pie right now, thank you, and with ice-cream on top, since there is zip evidence that after you die you are capable of experiencing anything ever again, either weal or woe.

          • perrari says:

            How miserable was Job? Maybe he didn’t really care what happened to himself? If he was indifferent to his material and physical situation, then God would definitely know that, so He can make the bet knowing well that Job would not suffer in the same way that you would.

            “the manifold sufferings dished out here on earth.”

            Why is this suffering here, Mr Redding, and why are you unable to get free from it?
            Or to put it another way, where do the laws of nature come from? You and the rest of the universe are governed by natural laws and time. Where did they come from. Why are you unable to be happy all the time? Why does happiness and distress come and go in your life, without you being able to avoid all the unpleasant things, and simply swim in an ocean of joy?
            Why does everyone die, when no one really wants to?
            Why do these things happen?
            Why is the world like it is?

            God, by definition cannot be an asshole.
            God means, one who is never an asshole.
            If someone is acting like an asshole they either are not God, or if they ARE God, you have misunderstood His actions. Which would seem quite likely as you don’t seem to know the first thing about Him.

            • Conway Redding says:

              Well, Perrari, if indeed I don’t seem to know the first thing about the imaginary entity you call God, when you raise the possibility that Job did not suffer as I might have suffered, it’s almost as if YOU don’t know the first thing about the book of Job. To refresh your memory, here is Job’s comment on the evils that were inflicted upon him:

              “3:1 After this opened Job his mouth, and cursed his day. 3:2 And Job spake, and said, 3:3 Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived. 3:4 Let that day be darkness; let not God regard it from above, neither let the light shine upon it. 3:5 Let darkness and the shadow of death stain it; let a cloud dwell upon it; let the blackness of the day terrify it. 3:6 As for that night, let darkness seize upon it; let it not be joined unto the days of the year, let it not come into the number of the months. 3:7 Lo, let that night be solitary, let no joyful voice come therein. 3:8 Let them curse it that curse the day, who are ready to raise up their mourning. 3:9 Let the stars of the twilight thereof be dark; let it look for light, but have none; neither let it see the dawning of the day: 3:10 Because it shut not up the doors of my mother’s womb, nor hid sorrow from mine eyes. 3:11 Why died I not from the womb? why did I not give up the ghost when I came out of the belly? 3:12 Why did the knees prevent me? or why the breasts that I should suck? 3:13 For now should I have lain still and been quiet, I should have slept: then had I been at rest, 3:14 With kings and counsellors of the earth, which built desolate places for themselves; 3:15 Or with princes that had gold, who filled their houses with silver: 3:16 Or as an hidden untimely birth I had not been; as infants which never saw light. 3:17 There the wicked cease from troubling; and there the weary be at rest. 3:18 There the prisoners rest together; they hear not the voice of the oppressor. 3:19 The small and great are there; and the servant is free from his master. 3:20 Wherefore is light given to him that is in misery, and life unto the bitter in soul; 3:21 Which long for death, but it cometh not; and dig for it more than for hid treasures; 3:22 Which rejoice exceedingly, and are glad, when they can find the grave? 3:23 Why is light given to a man whose way is hid, and whom God hath hedged in? 3:24 For my sighing cometh before I eat, and my roarings are poured out like the waters. 3:25 For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me. 3:26 I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came.”

              Doesn’t sound much like a man who isn’t suffering, does it?

              And, Perrari, I maintain that any entity, including the one you refer to as “God,” who would visit such ills on one who had done him no harm and whom God himself had declared to be “a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil,” simply to win a bet with God’s archenemy, Satan, is indeed an ASSHOLE.no matter how much you may deny it.

              Perhaps you would care to enlighten me by sharing YOUR understanding of your deity’s behavior in the Book of Job.

              • perrari says:

                Hello Conway,
                I could fill several pages with quotes, all pertinent to Job’s suffering. None however would be from the Bible.
                But why are you interested in MY understanding of my deity’s behaviour in regard to Job.

                You don’t believe God exists, so why do you hang around a website that is all about God.

                Is it that you are interested in ME, in which case we could discuss family, hobbies and work? Or is it that you ARE interested in God but dissatisfied with the Judeo-Christian version, and intelligent enough to see that something is unlikely to have come from nothing.

                There are many aspects of God that are not for public disclosure, but are revealed by God Himself to the deserving.
                Would you advocate describing to a 5 year old girl what is likely to happen to her on her wedding night, along with graphic pictures? I hope not. There is also much about God that is disturbing to the immature, and that is why God does not reveal it. When a person’s depth of understanding is sufficient, and when they can appreciate it, it becomes apparent.

                How much would you reveal about yourself to someone who repeatedly calls you an asshole?

                The following is a verse from Brahma Samhita, text 54.

                Because it was written in Sanskrit I have included Srila Bhaktisiddhanta’s translation and purport, and have capitalized the part most relevant to your enquiry. I fully accept his understanding.

                yas tv indragopam athavendram aho sva-karma-bandhänurüpa-phala-bhäjanam ätanoti
                karmäëi nirdahati kintu ca bhakti-bhäjäà govindam ädi-puruñaà tam ahaà bhajämi

                SYNONYMS
                yaù—He who (Govinda); tu—but; indra-gopam—to the small red insect called indragopa; atha vä—or even; indram—to Indra, king of heaven; aho—oh; sva-karma—of one’s own fruitive activities; bandha—bondage; anurüpa—according to; phala—of reactions; bhäjanam—enjoying or suffering; ätanoti—bestows; karmäëi—all fruitive activities and their reactions; nirdahati—destroys; kintu—but; ca—also; bhakti-bhäjäm—of persons engaged in devotional service; govindam—Govinda; ädi-puruñam—the original person; tam—Him; aham—I; bhajämi—worship.

                TRANSLATION
                I adore the primeval Lord Govinda, who burns up to their roots all fruitive activities of those who are imbued with devotion and impartially ordains for each the due enjoyment of the fruits of one’s activities, of all those who walk in the path of work, in accordance with the chain of their previously performed works, no less in the case of the tiny insect that bears the name of indragopa than in that of Indra, king of the devas.

                PURPORT
                God impartially induces the fallen souls to act in the way that is consequent on the deeds of their previous births and to enjoy the fruition of their labors but, out of His great mercy to His devotees, HE PURGES OUT, BY THE FIRE OF ORDEAL, THE ROOT OF ALL KARMA, VIZ., NESCIENCE AND EVIL DESIRES. Karma, though without beginning, is still perishable. The karma of those, who work with the hope of enjoying the fruits of their labors, becomes everlasting and endless and is never destroyed. The function of sannyasa is also a sort of karma befitting an asrama and is not pleasant to Krishna when it aims at liberation, i.e., desire for emancipation. They also receive fruition of their karma and, even if it be disinterested, their karma ends in atma-mamata, i.e., self-pleasure; but those who are pure devotees always serve Krishna by gratifying His senses forsaking all attempts of karma and jnana, and being free from all desires save that of serving Krishna. Krishna has fully destroyed the karma, its desires and nescience of those devotees. It is a great wonder that Krishna, being impartial, is fully partial to His devotees.

                • Conway Redding says:

                  Hey, Perrari, YOU were the one who raised the question about how much Job suffered, and I simply offered evidence, from the very book that recounts Job’s story, that he did indeed suffer.

                  My interest in your explanation of your deity’s behavior vis-a-vis Job is to try to understand how you, to whom, charitably, I have imputed some degree of rationality, could NOT deem that deity, as far as Job went (there are manifold other Biblical examples of your deity’s assholery, but Job is one of my favorites), to have been an asshole.

                  I am puzzled as to how all that Hindu horseshit figures into the original topic of discussion, which had to do with the Christian concept of a deity, not with the Hindu concept, which in any event is a polytheistic one, what with Ganesha, Shiva, Krishna, Rama, Hanuman, Vishnu, Lakshmi, Durga, Kali, and Saraswati, and those are only the top 10; there are scores of others. I deem it all to be the sheerest claptrap, of even a higher degree of nonsensicality than that to be found in the mythologies of the Abrahamic religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

                  As for why I “hang around” a site devoted to the discussion of “God,” I presume that the site also has room for the opinions of those who dissent. In addition I suppose that I have deluded myself into anticipating that from time to very rare time I may be able to show someone a direction out of the darkness of superstition and illogic, and into the light of reason.

                  • perrari says:

                    Conway Redding is puzzled by Hindu horseshit being introduced into a discussion about God. Not really surprising really since many Hindus are also puzzled by Hinduism itself.

                    God of course is like the sun. He is not Hindu, Christian, American, Indian, Japanese or the property of any other group, class, caste or religion. He is Supremely Independent and above all bodily designation.

                    Fortunately Conway’s misconceptions and derogatory remarks are of no consequence as Mr. Redding has so much spare time to post on websites, that it is unlikely he has any serious power, with which to make a mess of other people’s lives.

                    Hinduism is not polytheistic. It is misunderstood by the ill-informed as being polytheistic. But nowhere do Ganesh, Siva, Hanuman, Lakshmi, Durga, or Kali claim to be God.
                    No text or verse from among millions that comprise the Vedic scriptures, hints at there being more than one God. He (God) however has billions and trillions of expansions and incarnations, all for specific purposes, and all emanating from Him like one candle being lit from another. Although They are separate from Krishna, They are still simply manifestations of Krishna’s energy.
                    Krishna claims to be God, very clearly in Bhagavad Gita.
                    The 33,000,000 demi-gods and demi-goddesses, a couple of whom you have mentioned above, all worship Him……. …Krishna. As God.

                    Rama is an incarnation of Krishna, so He is also God, and Vishnu is a plenary portion of Krishna, so He is also God. Even though there are numerous incarnations and expansions of the Supreme Lord, Krishna is acknowledged by all to be the origin of Them and the cause of all causes. Since the topic is about God, and His behaviour towards Job, then why are you puzzled that I bring Krishna into the discussion, because after all He is the one person who has boldly claimed to the whole world that He is God, and Whose teachings are revered and studied 5,000 years after His departure, and nothing that He has stated as fact has ever been disproved.
                    No need to expand on that just now.

                    Instead let us take a look at YOU, and how you may think differently to other people.

                    As an atheist I expect you feel that you are perfect just the way you are. A great product of evolution with no further need for any character development.

                    There are others however who seek to improve themselves, and many of them do so by trying to be more pure and godly in their lives. For sincere neophytes on a transcendental path, an attraction to the material world can be a stumbling block on the road to spiritual purity. An experience that left such an aspirant devoid of all attraction to this temporary material world that is full of suffering and misery would be seen as a blessing in retrospect. There are many accounts of people increasing their love and surrender to God when faced by great adversity. Perhaps not in the books that you read?

                    So before you ask, “why doesn’t God do it in a nice way?”
                    The answer is because Krishna will never completely take away a living entities free will, and sometimes the living entity simply cannot learn any other way but the hard way.

                    And now……. “the light of reason.”
                    Everything has come from nothing…………hmm. No evidence of that to date. Lots of evidence that something usually comes from something else. That seems reasonable.

                    Life comes from matter…………..hmm, still no evidence of that despite lots of promises. Lots of evidence on a daily basis for billions of years that life comes from life.

                    Let’s look at the score board.

                    Evidence or experience of something coming from nothing………zero
                    Evidence or experience of something coming from something……..unlimited
                    Evidence or experience that life comes from matter………….zero
                    Evidence that life comes from life…. unlimited.

                    Conclusion…………… based on available evidence.
                    This universe most likely comes from somewhere, and life most likely comes from life.

                    Do the math as to what is a reasonable conclusion of the facts.
                    Shake off this delusion of anticipation that your light might help someone, and pray go shine it elsewhere.

                    • Conway Redding says:

                      A few comments on certain statements in Perrari’s latest post. I have enclosed Perrari’s comments in quotation marks.

                      “God of course is like the sun.”

                      The difference being, of course, that no one disputes the existence of the sun.

                      “He is not Hindu, Christian, American, Indian, Japanese or the property of any other group, class, caste or religion. He is Supremely Independent and above all bodily designation.”

                      As evidenced by what, exactly?

                      “Fortunately Conway’s misconceptions and derogatory remarks are of no consequence as Mr. Redding has so much spare time to post on websites, that it is unlikely he has any serious power, with which to make a mess of other people’s lives.”

                      I guess I have about as much time to post on websites as you do, Perrari.

                      “Hinduism is not polytheistic.”

                      Oh, come on, Perrari. No serious student of religion claims that Hinduism is not polytheistic. I listed only 10 of the most prominent deities, but there are thousands of others. It seems that you want to claim that each of these deities is but one aspect of a single entity, sort of like the Christian trinity, that “God in three persons” business, where the number “three” becomes the unspecified number ‘n,’ so that this is God in n persons,” but that is not the way practicing Hindus view these deities, and I have been in Hindu homes that have separate shrines for two or three deities. For any who continue to maintain that the Hindu religion is monotheistic, please consult the following site:

                      http://www.sanatansociety.org/hindu_gods_and_goddesses.htm

                      “It is misunderstood by the ill-informed as being polytheistic. But nowhere do Ganesh, Siva, Hanuman, Lakshmi, Durga, or Kali claim to be God.”

                      Whether or not Ganesh, Siva, Hanuman, Lakshmi, Durga, Kali. or any of the others, claim to be deities is irrelevant, Perrari. What is relevant is that those who believe in them claim them to be deities.

                      “No text or verse from among millions that comprise the Vedic scriptures, hints at there being more than one God.”

                      No? Then what’s with the thousands of other gods and goddesses, Perrari?

                      “The 33,000,000 demi-gods and demi-goddesses, a couple of whom you have mentioned above, all worship Him……. …Krishna. As God.”
                      Exactly where in Hindu mythology is that claim made, Perrari? In any event, whicch Hindu deity, if any, is leader of the pack, seems difficult to determine. In some sects it is Vishnu. To me they appear to be equipotent, although with different spheres of influences.

                      “Instead let us take a look at YOU, and how you may think differently to other people.

                      As an atheist I expect you feel that you are perfect just the way you are. A great product of evolution with no further need for any character development.”

                      Nope. One is always in a process of development, until death intervenes. By the way, the turn of phrase is “differently from,” not “differently to.” Your cognitive sloppiness seems to be spilling over into your syntax.

                      “There are others however who seek to improve themselves, and many of them do so by trying to be more pure and godly in their lives. For sincere neophytes on a transcendental path, an attraction to the material world can be a stumbling block on the road to spiritual purity. An experience that left such an aspirant devoid of all attraction to this temporary material world that is full of suffering and misery would be seen as a blessing in retrospect. There are many accounts of people increasing their love and surrender to God when faced by great adversity. Perhaps not in the books that you read?”

                      When people are faced with great adversity, are drowning, so to speak, in a sea of troubles, the emotions aroused by their circumstances short circuit their ability to think rationally, and they, as the old adage says, “grasp at straws,” including surrendering themselves to figments of their imagination. I have read some of the accounts of which you speak. I am not impressed.

                      “So before you ask, “why doesn’t God do it in a nice way?”
                      The answer is because Krishna will never completely take away a living entities free will, and sometimes the living entity simply cannot learn any other way but the hard way.”

                      But the deity you posit is all-powerful, all-knowing, all-good, etc., etc. While we mere mortals may be unable to teach a lesson in any other but “the hard way,” surely a being with the unlimited resources believed to belong to a deity could with little effort figure out how to teach any lesson necessary without its being “the hard way.”

                      “And now……. ‘the light of reason.’
                      Everything has come from nothing…………hmm. No evidence of that to date. Lots of evidence that something usually comes from something else. That seems reasonable.

                      “Life comes from matter…………..hmm, still no evidence of that despite lots of promises. Lots of evidence on a daily basis for billions of years that life comes from life.”

                      Actually, ever since the Miller-Urey experiments back in 1953, there have been suggestions, not proofs, I grant you, that life might indeed come from non-life. There is currently work going on at UCSD (University of California in San Diego), and doubtless in other research centers, that may drive another nail into the coffin of religious mythology. Stay tuned, but the notion of abiogenesis is not down for the count just yet, and considering how poorly religion has fared when compared with science in accounting satisfactorily for events in the natural world, my money remains on science.

                      “Let’s look at the score board.

                      Evidence or experience of something coming from nothing………zero
                      Evidence or experience of something coming from something……..unlimited
                      Evidence or experience that life comes from matter………….zero
                      Evidence that life comes from life…. unlimited.

                      Conclusion…………… based on available evidence.
                      This universe most likely comes from somewhere, and life most likely comes from life.

                      Do the math as to what is a reasonable conclusion of the facts.
                      Shake off this delusion of anticipation that your light might help someone, and pray go shine it elsewhere.”

                      Let’s look, briefly, at another score board, Perrari.

                      Evidence that the world is full of circumstances and events that cause well-nigh unlimited human suffering, and that not all of those circumstances/events can be attributed to man’s “free will” …….. overwhelming and incontrovertible.

                      Draw your own conclusion as to whether it is reasonable to suppose that there is some deity, who created mankind and in relationship to whom mankind stands as the children of a loving, infinitely good father, and who watches over us and gives a flying rat’s ass what happens to us. I might not expect this entity to try to take away our free-will, a faculty which does indeed often lead us to harm one another — the most recent notable example of which is the shootings in Aurora, Colorado –, but I would expect this entity to do something about those harmful circumstances/events, such as earthquakes, floods, wildfires, pestilences, horrible bodily infirmities, tempests, and the like, over which we humans, to date, have no or only limited control.

                      Now, about the free-will explanation of the existence of evil, I have only one question, and that has tro do with the relationship between the free-will of someone like James Eagan Holmes, the identified Aurora shooter, and the free-will of his victims. What part did the victims’ free-will play in their obliteration? If there is an infinitely just deity, would such an entity so arrange things that one person’s exercise of his/her free will could take away from many others the ability of ever again exercising their own free will? I mean, if free-will is so all-fired important, mightn’t you expect that this deity of yours would see to it that one person could not destroy the ability of anyone else ever again to exercise it?

                      Meanwhile I will continue to shine the light of of what I take to be reason, in the direction of anyone who seems to have relatively unimpaired organs of vision, and you, sir, will pray in vain for me not to, much like Governor Rick Perry imploring a fictitious deity to end the drought in Texas.

                    • perrari says:

                      Hello Conway,
                      There is neither time nor space to answer all your questions here, because many of them require an understanding of spiritual topics that you simply do not have.
                      I am not faulting you for that. I am guessing from your attachment to correct English, you are from a western country, (though you really should make up your mind on whether ‘which’ has one c or two, and if ‘of’ really needs to be repeated to get the message across. In any event, whicch Hindu deity…… Meanwhile I will continue to shine the light of of what…..). If you are British, American or from a similar culture, I expect your exposure to religion has been limited to Judaism, Christianity, Islam, a splash of Hinduism, and perhaps a little Zen and Buddhism in your youth. The fact that you have visited a couple of Hindu homes, hardly qualifies you to be an authority on Hinduism. As for referring to websites as proof…. give me a break, anyone can prove or disprove whatever they want by referring to websites that support their point of view.
                      The sad truth is that no religion, Hinduism included, based on bodily identification can grasp deep spiritual concepts.
                      A Hindu can become a Muslim, a Christian can become a Buddhist, these are identifications of the body, not the soul.
                      The teachings of Vasinavism are above the bodily concept of life.
                      To wit, EVERYONE IS ETERNALLY A SERVANT OF GOD. That cannot be changed. EVER.
                      You may admit it or not, that is your choice. If you deny it, you are still forced to bow before God as He declares that He is time, and the destroyer of all things. You are I take it getting older as time goes by……..yes? And your body will one day be destroyed……..yes? Well then, that is your way of bowing to God.

                      Krishna declares that the material nature is working under His direction, and is producing all the material forms in this universe, maintaining them and destroying them. You are under the laws of nature I take it? Nature is running according to the orders of Krishna, ergo you are under Krishna’s control. The fact that you do not know it, and will not admit it, makes no difference to Krishna. He will destroy your body along with everything else in this material world. That’s just the way the material world works
                      You want evidence that God is Supremely Independent and above all bodily designation.
                      That is one of the qualities of God; it is inherent in the meaning of the word GOD.
                      Just as fire means heat. Fire MEANS heat, (along with a few other things), the two are inseparable. Similarly God has certain qualities that are inherent. If God exists, then being ‘Supremely Independent and above all bodily designation’ is one of His inherent qualities. If someone does not have these qualities, they are not God.

                      James Eagan Holmes’ recent activities are tragic.
                      To explain how such a thing can happen in the presence of a God, needs an understanding of the essential difference between spirit and matter. (Yawn). Then we can go to the details of how the gross becomes manifest from the subtle. First there is spirit then there is false ego, then there is intelligence, then mind and the senses, then finally the gross body.
                      You have to grasp some of the qualities of spirit. It exists eternally, always has and always will. Then the process of how spirit, which is life and consciousness, becomes melded to matter which is dead and unconscious. Then how the spirit soul, being eternal, is transferred from one body to another. Then what the laws are that govern this transition, and how the activities in one body, bear fruit in another body further down the line of eternal time.
                      The recent killings are tragic, but just as a sane person knows that criminals are in jail due to previous activities, so too, a self realized soul knows that whatever befalls a person, good, bad or indifferent, is due to their previous activities.
                      James Eagan Holmes will have to answer for his activities for many life-times in the future, and when he is gunned down, defenseless and unsuspecting, in a different body at a different time and place, people will cry “what did he do to deserve that? How could God allow such a thing?” Only those who know how the law of karma works will be able to answer. But due to the stifling choke-hold of Abrahamic religions and atheistic science on society, few will be able to understand the answer.

                      I don’t know what the victims of his shooting did in past lives, but I know they were not innocent, because Krishna does not make mistakes.

                      Whether it be at the hands of a Holmes, or earthquakes, floods, wildfires, pestilences, horrible bodily infirmities, tempests, and the like, everyone will get what is due to them in due course. The only remedy is to fully surrender to God and beg His forgiveness. But so proud and stubborn has mankind become that he will not.
                      You are obviously intelligent, and I don’t hold it against you that you have concluded there cannot be such an entity as God, because the evidence that you have at present weighs against it. There is however much more evidence to the contrary but unfortunately you are at present unaware of it.
                      If you are genuinely interested in answers you can e-mail me at perraridas@gmail.com. As I find the turnaround time at this website very slow, and even posting replies in the right section is a challenge at times. If you simply want to make fools of Christians (or any others following a ‘religion’) in public, save your energy, they don’t need your help, and your erroneous conclusions are not flattering.

                      While you wait for suggestions to turn to proof to verify your speculations and guesses around abiogenesis, don’t hold your breath. Do you not find it surprising that despite all the promises, all the hundreds of thousands of hours and millions ( maybe billions?) of dollars, and the collective efforts of the brightest and best of the scientific community for nearly 60 years, so far no one has produced life from matter? To my knowledge no one has even created a drop of blood or milk, or a single grain of food. Something that Krishna does daily, effortlessly, without even getting involved directly. Such is the brilliance of His creation.
                      And if at some point in the far distant future you have ‘proof’ that life CAN arise from matter, still the question remains……………from where came the matter? Hmmm

                      Put your money on science by all means, but just your chump change, not your life savings.
                      It is after all simply faith based on suggestions, unsupported by any hard evidence; and you have no choice but to trust the scientific community’s self- appointed high priests for your information since you cannot possibly conduct the experiments yourself; and unlike Bhagavad Gita which has remained unchanged,unchallenged and verified for over 5,000 years, scientific theories come and go like the different phases of the moon.
                      It’s your choice of course, and neither I nor Krishna will deny you that. If you want Krishna to be a mythical figure, He will remain just that for you. He is not hurt by your indifference or even bothered by it. He would rather you were back with Him where you belong, in a loving relationship with Him…… but that’s what free will is all about.

                      Good luck.

                • Tony Francis says:

                  A distinguished philosopher attending a seminar on logic need not necessarily be knowing less than other delegates, but may be there because he is humble enough to accept that he does not know everything and because he is still seeking Truth.
                  People debate for and against a proposal to find out its pros and cons. I believe many people in this forum including me are in the same boat because the Bible says:
                  1 John 4:1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world, and Test all things, and hold firmly that which is good.

                  The Hindu principle of “Karma” is similar to the Old Testament or Islamic Laws (An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,). Such Mosaic laws did not save anybody from sin, which is why Jesus had to be born as MAN. After Jesus’ death on the cross, The old laws were replaced by laws of LOVE and forgiveness. Love of man to GOD and fellowmen. If we forgive those who sin against us, our sins are also forgiven, and are not carried forward to next life (if there is one). In Christianity, two defective people can if they love and forgive each other make a formidable team.
                  A deaf wife and a blind husband together will be able to perform better than two normal persons.

                  • perrari says:

                    Hi Tony, still here eh? How you doing?

                    I think you are muddling up Manu Samhita, the law book for mankind, with the principle of Karma, which is not similar to Old Testament or Islamic laws because it operates outside of mankind’s jurisdiction.

                    No amount of ‘good’ karma can ever free someone from the material world.

                    Only the intervention of God, or His appointed servant/son can do that.

                    That is why one of Krishna’s names is Mukunda, He who gives mukti, or liberation.

                    The laws of Karma will continue to act until the soul has purified itself of all material contamination. If past sins could be wiped out just by forgiving others, then what was the necessity of Jesus dying on the cross?

                    • Tony Francis says:

                      Hi Perrari,

                      There is neither time nor space to answer all your questions here, because many of them require an understanding of spiritual topics that you simply do not have.
                      I am not faulting you for that. I am guessing from your detachment to correct English, you are from a eastern country. If you are Indian, Chinese or Korean, , I expect your exposure to religion has been limited to Hinduism, Jainism and Bhudhism, a splash of Islam, and perhaps a little Judaism and Calvinism. in your youth. The fact that you know to read English, hardly qualifies you to be an authority on Christianity or any other western religion. As for referring to websites as proof…. give me a break, anyone can prove or disprove whatever they want by referring to websites that support their point of view.
                      The sad truth is that no religion, Islam included, based on bodily identification can grasp deep spiritual concepts.
                      A Hindu can become a Muslim, but a Muslim cannot become a Hindu, because then he becomes a kalla khafir, and will be beheaded. , these are identifications of the body, not the soul.
                      The teachings of OSAMA are above the bodily concept of life.
                      To wit, EVERYONE IS ETERNALLY A SERVANT OF OSAMA. That cannot be changed. EVER.
                      You may admit it or not, that is your choice. If you deny it, you are still forced to bow before OSAMA as He declares that He is time, and the destroyer of all things including the Twin Towers. You are I take it getting older as time goes by……..yes? And your body will one day be destroyed……..yes? Well then, that is your way of bowing to OSAMA.

                      OSAMA declares that the material nature is working under His direction, and is producing all the material forms in this universe, maintaining them and destroying them. You are under the laws of nature I take it? Nature is running according to the orders of OSAMA, ergo you are under OSAMA’s control. The fact that you do not know it, and will not admit it, makes no difference to OSAMA. He will destroy your body along with everything else in this material world. That’s just the way the material world works
                      You want evidence that OSAMA is Supremely Independent and above all bodily designation.
                      That is one of the qualities of OSAMA; it is inherent in the meaning of the word OSAMA.
                      Just as fire means heat. Fire MEANS heat, (along with a few other things), the two are inseparable. Similarly OSAMA has certain qualities that are inherent. If OSAMA exists, then being ‘Supremely Independent and above all bodily designation’ is one of His inherent qualities. If someone does not have these qualities, he is not OSAMA.

                      James Eagan Holmes’ recent activities are tragic.
                      To explain how such a thing can happen in the presence of a OSAMA, needs an understanding of the essential difference between spirit and matter. (Yawn). Then we can go to the details of how the gross becomes manifest from the subtle. First there is spirit then there is false ego, then there is intelligence, then mind and the senses, then finally the gross body.
                      You have to grasp some of the qualities of spirit. It exists eternally, always has and always will. Then the process of how spirit, which is life and consciousness, exists only when there is in-equality, differences, and injustice and becomes melded to matter which is dead and unconscious. There will be PEACE and absolute justice only in DEATH, when there are no egos and ambitions and struggle for survival by destroying and consuming other living beings.
                      The recent killings are tragic, but just as a sane person knows that criminals are in jail due to previous activities, so too, a self realized soul knows that whatever befalls a person, good, bad or indifferent, is due to their previous activities. Finally all evil will stop only when everybody including OSAMA is dead.
                      James Eagan Holmes will have to answer for his activities for many life-times in the future, and when he is gunned down, defenseless and unsuspecting, in a different body at a different time and place, people will cry “what did he do to deserve that? How could OSAMA allow such a thing?” Only those who know how the law of karma works will be able to answer. Everybody’s complaints will cease, and everybody will be at peace with everybody else when everybody is dead. But due to the stifling choke-hold of ancient ethnic religions and un-scientific philosophies on society, few will be able to understand the answer.

                      I don’t know what the victims of his shooting did , I know they were not innocent, because OSAMA does not make mistakes.
                      Eventually, He metes out his justice which is death on everybody, rich and poor, black and white, killer and victim, and nobody will have any complaint, when everybody is dead.

                      Whether it be at the hands of a Holmes, or earthquakes, floods, wildfires, pestilences, horrible bodily infirmities, tempests, and the like, everyone will get what is due to them in due course due to OSAMA’s justice which cannot be thwarted or avoided.
                      . The only remedy is to fully surrender to OSAMA and beg His forgiveness. But so proud and stubborn has mankind become that he will not, and will eventually be satisfied only when he succumbs to death
                      You are obviously intelligent, and I don’t hold it against you that you argue that there cannot be such an entity as OSAMA, because the evidence that you have at present weighs against it. There is however much more evidence to the contrary but unfortunately you are at present unaware of it.
                      If you are genuinely interested in answers you can e-mail me. As I find the turnaround time at this website very slow, and even posting replies in the right section is a challenge at times. If you simply want to make fools of those who follow OSAMA in public, save your energy, they don’t need your help, and your erroneous conclusions are not flattering.

                      While you wait for data to disprove biogenesis, don’t hold your breath. Do you not find it surprising that despite all the prayers, all the hundreds of thousands of hours and millions ( maybe billions?) of dollars, and the collective efforts of the brightest and best of the religious community from time immemmorial, so far no one has defeated DEATH? To my knowledge no one has even created a medicine or prayer, or ritual to overcome DEATH. Something that OSAMA does daily, effortlessly, without even getting involved directly. Such is the brilliance of His creation.
                      And if at some point in the far distant future you have ‘proof’ that DEATH CAN arise from matter, still the question remains……………from where came the matter? Hmmm

                      Put your money on religion by all means, but just your chump change, not your life savings.
                      It is after all simply faith based on suggestions, unsupported by any hard evidence; and you have no choice but to trust the religious community’s self- appointed high priests for your information since you cannot possibly conduct the experiments yourself; and unlike the QURAN which has remained unchanged,unchallenged and verified , scientific theories come and go like the different phases of the moon.
                      It’s your choice of course, and neither I nor OSAMA will deny you that. If you want OSAMA to be only a mythical figure, He will remain just that for you. He is not hurt by your indifference or even bothered by it. He would rather you were back with Him where you belong, in a business relationship with Him…… but that’s what free will is all about.

                      Good luck.

                • Martin Lagerwey says:

                  Perrari

                  I question why your God refuses to reveal himself to us immature and uneducated people. You state that the 5 year old girl does not deserve to know the events of her wedding day but I think you really mean that she does not have the capacity to know it. (But age appropriate explanations are useful.) I think the analogy is tenuous. You imply that Conway who thinks that God is treating Job (and his family) very unfairly does not DESERVE to have God reveal himself. You imply that his sense of injustice stems from his immaturity and misunderstanding of God. Perrari, some behaviors are simply wrong and all the justifications don’t make it right.

                  If I was a genuinely good person, it would be very useful to reveal myself to everyone who thought I was an asshole. Can ANYBODY explain God’s justification without excuses?

                  Yet it is quite hard for an imaginary being to reveal himself.

                  • perrari says:

                    Martin,

                    God does reveal himself, every second of every day, simply the observer needs to be trained to see it.

                    First step in the training is to stop calling Him an asshole.

                    If someone wants to believe that God does not exist, then God, being a perfect gentleman, not only allows it, but also makes it possible.
                    If someone wants to see and understand God, then God assists Him with pleasure.
                    God simply fulfills the living entity’s desires.

                    What is there to excuse?

                    • Conway Redding says:

                      Well, here we go again. I’ve enclosed your comments in .

                      Oh come on Perrari, surely you recognize typos when you see them. And if you’re going to twit me on having missed a “whicch” or a doubled “of,” then I twit you right back with your apparent ignorance of when to close a parenthetical expression, or when to close quotation marks — “if ‘of really needs…” should be “if ‘of’ really needs…”

                      Perrari, I never claimed that my having visited Hindu homes made me an expert on Hinduism, only that it allowed me to see how people who have been raised in that religion from birth seem to view it. I’m inclined to give their opinions a bit more weight than those of Westerners, usually raised in another religious tradition, who, for whatever reasons, have gravitated towards Hinduism.

                      The sites from which I got my information seem to be sponsored by those who embrace Hinduism, Perrari.

                      Simply making that assertion, however vehemently, does not automatically confer upon it the mantle of truth, Perrari, nor does offering in support claims made in various texts, deemed by adherents of various faiths to be “holy” or “sacred” or “inspired by God/Krishna/Allah.” So when you write “EVERYONE IS ETERNALLY A SERVANT OF GOD,” I would ask, “As evidenced by what, exactly?”

                      I would say that my death will be my way of succumbing to a fact of human existence, indeed to a fact of the existence of all living things in our corner of the universe. It has nothing to do with bowing to anything. Death is simply a fact of life, nothing more, nothing less.

                      Exactly. And positing that the world works that way because of some imaginary deity is superfluous. William of Occam (entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem (entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity)), is spinning in his grave.

                      This is a rewording of the so-called ontological argument for the existence of God, first proposed by St. Anselm, an argument which upon closer examination proves to be an example, albeit sophisticated, of circular reasoning, in that it assumes that real existence is one of the attributes of a, or the, deity. But, to me, the real existence of this hypothesized deity is precisely what is at issue. It’s as if I were to claim that R. L. Stevenson’s imaginary character, Long John Silver, has a real existence, on the grounds that I have defined that character as having a real existence. One could equally well define unicorns as having real existences, but that wouldn’t entail that unicorns actually exist. Imagining that some entity has a real existence does not confer a real existence upon that entity.

                      Do tell. And the real existence of “spirit” is evidenced by what, exactly?

                      Once again, as evidenced by what?

                      Yet again, as evidenced by what, Perrari? You seem given to making unsupported statements as if, I iterate, the mere fact of uttering them, makes them true. So, by you, when a child is born anencephalic, or with a retinoblastoma, that is due to the child’s activities in a prior life?

                      <James Eagan Holmes will have to answer for his activities for many life-times in the future, and when he is gunned down, defenseless and unsuspecting, in a different body at a different time and place, people will cry “what did he do to deserve that? How could God allow such a thing?” Only those who know how the law of karma works will be able to answer. But due to the stifling choke-hold of Abrahamic religions and atheistic science on society, few will be able to understand the answer.

                      <I don’t know what the victims of his shooting did in past lives, but I know they were not innocent, because Krishna does not make mistakes.

                      I invite you to make me aware of it, in some way other than simply asserting that what you are saying is true.

                      I concur. They do very well making fools of themselves without any help from me.

                      And so? Flattery is not my intent.

                      Perrari, I believe I can marshal reasons for my conclusions, that go beyond my simply saying, “This is true because I, or some text I deem to be holy, says it is true.” I herewith invite you to try to follow my example, which is why, in addition to posting this to Coffeehouse Theology, I am sending a copy of it to the email address that you have provided. And since turnabout is fair play, I herewith provide my own e-mail address, reddingconway@gmail.com. I look forward, I think, to hearing from you.

                      Conway Redding

                  • perrari says:

                    Dear Conway,

                    There is only one way to know about something that is beyond the scope of our senses, mind and intellect, and that is by hearing about it from a reliable source.
                    Having found such a reliable source one can proceed, and in time have direct perception or ‘proof’ of the veracity of the information.
                    Scripture in general and the Vedas in particular give a process by which anyone interested can see for themselves if there is a God or not. One simply follows the prescribed process and then sees the result.

                    If there is a God, He can reveal Himself to whomsoever He chooses, which for the lucky individual, will be proof. Therefore believing in God has the possibility of ending in proof.

                    It is not possible however to prove that God does not exist.

                    Consider the situation.

                    I believe in something which, if I am right, can be proven to me, and anyone else who is interested to try and find out.

                    You however believe in something that can never be proven, to anyone.

                    Which is more intelligent, to believe in something that has the potential to be proven, or believe in something that can never be proven?

                    What do you call a person who believes something that can never be proven? A blind follower, a fanatic, less-intelligent?

                    There are laws which govern this universe, from where came those laws?

                    What is the higher power called time which you are forced to obey? How did time evolve? Why cannot humans, allegedly at the pinnacle of evolution, defy time? What is this power that is more powerful than us?

                    Why are you controlled by nature? Don’t you get it? You are unable to defy the laws of nature, they are more powerful than you. What is the origin of that power that dominates and controls you? What is the source of the energy we see everywhere. Energy cannot exist without the energetic, the source of the energy. Just as light must have a source, so too must the various energies observable in our universe have a source.

                    My understanding of atheism is that this world simply consists of chemicals interacting, and that life and humans are freaky one-offs that have arisen by an almost incalculable number of coincidences. That life in fact is not normal.

                    An atheist’s ancestors were monkeys, and before that reptiles and fishes.

                    There is no morality other than what the majority decide in any given time or place.

                    If the majority decide it is okay to rape 9 year old children, then it is okay. That’s all it needs, a majority decision. There is no right or wrong beyond what the majority decide.

                    There is no point to doing anything really, because a human is no more than a robot. A machine that is animated for a while and then broken down and recycled. What’s the big deal if some chemicals are recycled? Tears would be just as normal at the council tip, looking at the irreparably broken fridges as they are in a graveyard burying an irreparably broken human child.

                    Why the struggle for survival? Why does it matter how chemicals interact now or in the future? Why is there any need for the human species or any other species to survive. Survive for what exactly? Just to keep surviving? To see how long life can run on this planet before everything returns to its natural state of lifelessness?

                    No wonder the entertainment industry is so robust.

                    I very much doubt you… “can marshal reasons for my conclusions, that go beyond my simply saying, “This is true because I, or some text I deem to be holy, says it is true.””

                    In fact you believe exactly what you believe because this is the conclusion you have reached after hearing other people, holy or not, say this is how it is.

                    Atheism is a belief. One that has no chance of ever being proven. You are just the same as all the people who believe in God, except that you will never know if you are right or not.

                    Follow whatever belief you choose, but why deliberately try to disturb and harass those who believe differently. All you can offer them is that there is no point in hoping for a better future after death. How will that benefit someone who understands that they will die soon and finds peace in the thought of a spot in heaven? Even if they are wrong, why try to increase their distress?

                    This site is for people trying to increase their understanding of God and why things happen the way they do in this world. Their faith is not as strong as yours. I see nothing very kind, charitable or magnanimous in trying to crush that faith simply because you are convinced that your belief is right and theirs are wrong.

                    You didn’t reply to my e-mail, so I am posting here.

                    Perrari.

                    P.S. if you look closely you will see that my use of quotation marks is correct. There is no missing apostrophe. Due to the font it requires close examination to see it, bit like God.

          • Tony Francis says:

            God, like all parents do not want us to remain as babes, but want us to grow up, stop peeing in our beds, get toilet trained, get disciplined, get a driver’s license, and become a responsible citizen, caring parent, and dependable useful part of the family / society.
            This will not be achieved if the babe is fed every time it cries, even after he is 20 years old.
            The babe learns to walk after he has fallen a few times.
            The babe realizes that he cannot through a brick wall after he hurts his nose trying to do it a few times.
            God does not want the babe to hurt his nose, but that is the only way He can teach if the babe does not respond to verbal instruction.
            God is as real as you have parents who allow you to hurt your nose with a view to achieving a nobler end.

        • Carl Dick says:

          Dear Jay:
          There is no point whatsoever arguing with Conway. I tried it a couple of years ago and decided to let it go. The only thing to gain is a lot of frustration. There is no convincing of atheists; they will disbelieve even the evidence of their own eyes. Only a Revelation from God Himself might do it (if the doesn’t resist it).
          Conway is a modern Thomas Paine, author of The Age of Reason in 1794 and Common Sense, who was most ably refuted by Elias Boudinot in his book, The Age of Revelation (or The Age of Reason shown to be An Age of Infidelity).
          I highly recommend this book which can be read at the following link:
          http://archive.org/stream/agerevelationor00boudgoog#page/n12/mode/2up

          It may also do some good to Conway to read this book.

          • Martin Lagerwey says:

            Carl,
            By your own admission Conway is a rationalist and you cannot bring him to theism by rational process. Since rationalism cannot bring him to faith, then a revelation from God is needed. Hmmm. The implication here is that only a revelation can make a rationalist become a believer. It seems that atheism is simply a logical conclusion of rationalism. I suggest that revelation can only convince a rationalist by diversion (cloaks and mirrors).

            For example, this section is about Lie #7 “why does God allow injustice?” Perry admits up front that he doesn’t know, however God (presuming he exists) loves and deeply understands us and it would be smart to follow Him. If you get this revelation, you then forget the question as trivial and still unanswered. Of course the supposed lie#7 implies that God is absent (or unfair). Since it still has no answer, the implication stands.

            • Carl Dick says:

              Martin,
              You are right in that rational processes will never reveal God to anyone. However, upon hearing the Word, God often presents himself to the hearer, and if the hearer does not resist and would repent and yield to His calling, then God would be revealed to that individual.
              In this, I am not presenting anything new; just simply paraphrasing the Gospel Message. John 6:44 states:
              No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
              Also, when Jesus asked his disciples who do men say that I am, and then, who do you say that I am? Peter said, you are the Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus remarked: Flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father, who is in heaven.
              It was, and still is, my hope that if Atheists, like Conway, would read the book that I recommended, just maybe they would hear the voice of God and, hopefully if they don’t resist, God may reveal himself to them. The opposite is woefully true: Paul tells us that if they continue resisting, God would send a “deluding influence” upon them “so that they will believe what is false, in order that all may be judged who did not believe the truth. Conway has nothing to gain and everything to lose.
              Just wishful thinking.
              Carl Dick

              • Martin Lagerwey says:

                Carl

                It is very strange for God to expect us to follow him outside of rational processes. Is it reasonable for God to send a “deluding influence” on anyone “to make them believe what is false”? What kind of God do you follow? I can see a book here, we could call it ‘the God delusion.’

                A rational and reasonable man would come to the conclusion that God is most unlikely to exist and faith is a most likely path to illusion. Carl, if God did exist, he would hardly blame you or Conway for being reasonable men. Your woeful consequence is most unlikely, despite what Paul thinks.

                Rationalism resists only irrational, magical and superstitious thinking. It resists untruths and delusions and wishful thinking.

                The lack of answer to Lie #7 implies God’s absence. You need to establish (not by wishful thinking) that God exists before you can effectively suggest to rational men that He might confuse the minds of skeptics, or even reward the faithful.

          • Conway Redding says:

            Carl, Boudinot’s treatise does not in fact rebut Paine’s “The Age of Reason,” but simply points out that rational thinking tends to lead to nullifidianism, an outcome that he, and others of his mind-set, such as you, I ween, deplore. The very title of the book, “The Age of Revelation, or the Age of Reason Shewn to Be an Age of Infidelity,” says it all, and makes the very point that I would make, to wit, that logic and rationality are antithetical to religious faith. I concur, but I do not deplore.

      • Conway Redding says:

        Well, Fajardo Osc, if you believe that the imaginary entity you call “God” created everything in this frame of existence, then, since the “freaks” to whom you refer are part of this frame of existence, you have to believe that God created the freaks as well. And does it not seem inconsistent to you that an entity, one of whose attributes is generally taken to be that the entity is perfectly just, would punish person A for something person B has done? More specifically, does it indeed make ANY sense to you that if a man and woman have transgressed “the law of nature and God,” that God would punish their CHILD? Granted, parenting something like a child with fibrous dysplasia or osteogenesis imperfecta, is likely distressing to the parents, but probably even more so to the child. Sorry, it simply doesn’t compute, not if you believe that the construct to whom you have given the name “God” is the author of perfect justice, and I would say that if anyone’s mind needs expanding, Fajardo, it’s yours. Think, man, think, if indeed think you can, a likelihood which, judging from your post, is very slim.

        • perrari says:

          Conway, why do you insist on looking at everything backwards?

          If God is just and fair, then the ‘freaks’ were made like that for a reason.

          A cursory look for the reason in the Vedas reveals that God has declared that a person’s activities bear fruit later in their life, or more often, in their next life, or the one after that etc.

          Ask the Buddhists, the Vaisnavas, the Shaivites, the Mayavadis, the Tattva-vadis, the rank and file Hindus, the Zoroastrians, the Sikhs, they all understand reincarnation. The Bible doesn’t come out for or against it. Many instances of people knowing details from a previous life have been investigated and verified

          Even a 5 year old who has been smacked or sent to bed early, or been given a treat for doing something meritorious can understand that actions lead to reactions. Even animals understand this and it forms the basis for their training.

          Even on a physical level the entire universe runs on action and reaction. This is the basis of modern science, that matter consistently reacts in a predictable fashion and once you understand the laws that govern it, you can understand it and manipulate it.

          A visit to the state penitentiary doesn’t show the trials, law courts, lawyers, judges, juries, evidence, police etc. but a knowledgeable person knows they have all played their part in the convicts’ present situation.

          The law of karma is explained in the Vedic literatures, and it governs all that happens to an individual in the human form of life.

          Leaving aside what you choose to believe, what evidence is there that this is not what we see taking place day in and day out.

          How can you refute Krishna’s words that everyone is bound by their actions, and suffers or enjoys according to their previously performed activities? Certainly no one wants suffering, but still it comes………due to what?
          Similarly sometimes in our life everything falls into place how we want. Why can’t it be like that all the time?

          God is perfect and His laws are inviolable.

          There are no innocent victims.

          Think it through, it makes sense, and gives order to the apparent chaos and randomness of the world.

          Christian doctrine is meant for people habituated to eating meat, drinking alcohol, having sex and generally indulging the senses.

          Please do not be so naïve as to think that the Abrahamic religions are the last word in transcendence.

          In the words of Henry David Thoreau:

          “In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagavad Gita, since whose composition years of the gods have elapsed and in comparison with which our modern world and its literature seems puny and trivial.”

          For nearly three decades, from 1836 to 1866 or the end of the Civil War in America, the United States witnessed the flowering of an intellectual movement the like of which had not been seen before. The movement flourished in Concord, Massachusetts and was known-though it had no formal organization- as the Transcendental Club or Circle. Its members were Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, the Unitarian Minister James Freeman Clark, the teacher and philosopher Amos Bronson Alcott, Margaret Fuller, and some clergymen. Their collective achievement in quality of style and in depth of philosophical insight has yet to be surpassed in American literature. And their major influence, without exception, was the Vedic literatures of India.

          If you admire science for its unbiased approach in its pursuit of knowledge, then study Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam scientifically. Never mind when they were written or by whom, just see if it makes sense or not from an unbiased view point. That’s scientific right?

          There is no philosophical question you can ask that has not already been answered in the Vedas or accompanying literatures in pursuance of the Vedic version.

          There is no philosophy on the planet that cannot by understood within the framework of the 6 principle schools of Indian philosophy, including atheism and empirical knowledge (modern science)

           Nyaya, the school of logic
           Vaisheshika, the atomist school
           Samkhya, the enumeration school
           Yoga, (which provisionally asserts the metaphysics of Samkhya)
           Mimamsa, the tradition of Vedic exegesis, with emphasis on Vedic ritual.
           Vedanta, the Upanishadic tradition, with emphasis on Vedic philosophy.

          There is a whole world out there Conway that is denied to the bulk of the American public and Western countries in general due to the influence of the Christian church and the Godlessness of modern science, driven by large organizations that want the public to work and spend, work and spend, work and spend, and never give a thought as to why.
          The world they are denied is a rich world, full of variety and diversity, devoid of the pressures the modern Westerners both children and adults, have to cope with. It is a world of joy and knowledge, of safety and innocent fun.

          Even if God is not real, why not live that kind of life, and wish it for the generations to come.

          Yours
          Perrari

          • Tony Francis says:

            Conway, why do you insist on looking at everything backwards?
            Dear Perrari, Man always learns by looking backwards (at least in time), because he cannot see what is going to happen.

            If God is just and fair, then the ‘freaks’ were made like that for a reason.
            God does not make freaks. If leaves turn yellow, and wither away, they are not freaks, but designed to do so. God’s perfect design has ensured that even after millions of years, we still have trees and leaves and flowers in this world, and this earth has not become a barren desert because leaves and flowers dry up and wither away.

            Ask the Buddhists, the Vaisnavas, the Shaivites, the Mayavadis, the Tattva-vadis, the rank and file Hindus, the Zoroastrians, the Sikhs, they all understand reincarnation.
            Imagine a time when God started creating, when only He was existing; who would he re-incarnate, to fill up this big universe? God does re-cycle his creations like man makes cheaper buckets from plastic recycled from other old and broken plastic objects. But somebody had to make the virgin plastic initially, before we can start re-cycling them. Probably, the Buddhists, the Vaisnavas, etc. did not look that far behind to realize the folly of their theory.

            Also, if re-incarnation was the only method of creating, God would have run out of all the permutations and combinations of re-incarnations possible within a short time, and he would have been seeing the same things and incidents repeating cyclically. The God in my concept is a much more creative and would hate to see the same movie repeatedly.

            Also, the Christian God, is a “LIVING” God, who loves, grows, acts, re-acts, and inter-acts with a mind and purpose, and is not a wound up mechanical or electronic toy programmed to operate in a certain way.

            Even a 5 year old who has been smacked or sent to bed early, or been given a treat for doing something meritorious can understand that actions lead to reactions. Even animals understand this and it forms the basis for their training.
            How can you refute Krishna’s words that everyone is bound by their actions, and suffers or enjoys according to their previously performed activities?

            If God punished Man according to what he deserved for his actions, we would not be existing today. It is because of God’s infinite love for Man, that He sent His only Son Jesus Christ to die so that Man could be saved from eternal destruction, because the God Christians believe in also has a sense of Perfect Justice. This is why the concept of “Sacrifice” can be understood only by Christians.
            In other religions, men sacrifice cows and goats and men and boys and virgin girls to “please” their “gods”.
            In Christianity, God sacrificed His only Son to save men.

            A visit to the state penitentiary doesn’t show the trials, law courts, lawyers, judges, juries, evidence, police etc. but a knowledgeable person knows they have all played their part in the convicts’ present situation.
            I am yet to see a person who has become a better person because he stayed in a Prison. I know of a person who was convicted of a minor crime, sent to prison, where he met many hardened criminals and drug addicts and has now become an emotionless drug addict who would do anything to get what he wants.

            Certainly no one wants suffering, but still it comes………due to what?
            Christian doctrine is meant for people habituated to eating meat, drinking alcohol, having sex and generally indulging the senses.

            People in countries that practice Christianity eat meat, drink alcohol, and indulge in sex, but have more discipline, less corruption, better living standards, more justice, more life expectancy, etc. etc. than people in countries that follow Hinduism, or Voodoo, or other cults. India and Africa may be thought of as the most blest by God if we consider the mineral deposits, flora and fauna there. But the people in these regions because of their servitude to Satan and his evil cults fight with each other, and make life miserable for themselves.People in countries where the weather is very harsh and cold, and which do not have a fraction of the resources of Africa and India have better standards of life when they follow Christ and His teachings. They even venture out to the people in India and Africa to feed them, to heal them, and most of all to educate them and free them from the clutches of Voodoo and other cults so that they do not fight with each other, and destroy themselves.
            If we practice Karma of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, the world will soon become blind and toothless.

    • Doug Dikun says:

      God made all of us and has HIS reasons for making what he makes. Our time on this earth is small, very small; so we do the best we can to nurture that small place. Jesus told us how to do that. He was only on this earth for about 33 years. He obeyed His Father’s and the mission for which He was sent to earth. Faith might be hard; but Love is even harder. Love will be the point of judgment, not Faith. Love the children who are given such a cross to bear by the way they are born. Perhaps that is one way God is asking you to follow Him.

    • Tyler Cooper says:

      Have you ever read “The Life of Pi”? There is a part in that book, it was around a year ago that i read it, so i can’t give you something word for word off of the top of my head, but i remember the gist. Pi thinks, hypothetically, about an atheist and an agnostic dying. In his scenario, as they are both on the brink of death and see the light, the agnostic says something about a lack of oxygenation of his blood and dies, the atheist sees the light and accepts God.

      The point of that is that you shouldn’t always try to analyze things. The atheist had already taken a leap of faith to decide that there was no God, without any evidence for or against it. The agnostic was agnostic because there wasn’t really any proof of God, but there wasn’t any proof that there wasn’t one either.

      The agnostic tried finding a scientific explanation, but the atheist was willing to take a leap of faith and change his mind, even though there was still no true evidence.

      I mean no disrespect, truly. That is just my opinion.

      As for the point you made about birth defects, I don’t really believe that God hand crafts all of us, not our bodies anyway. We look the way we do because we inherited those genes. Sometimes there can be a genetic problem, other times there can be some other issue.

      I consider myself a christian deist. I believe in God and Jesus, and that they are in heaven waiting for us, but i don’t believe that God has his hand in all of our affairs.

      • perrymarshall says:

        Tyler,

        Life of Pi is a great book.

        Does God have his hand in our affairs? My answer: http://www.perrymarshall.com/travelogue/india/june-12/

      • Liew says:

        Dear Taylor,

        There is to way to proof that something do not exit. How can you proof to me that you had not stolen my chicken?

      • Jay says:

        Dear Tyler

        Proverbs 16:25 “There exists a way that is upright before a man, but the ways of death are the end of it afterwards”. I wonder if either the agnostic or the atheist lived in the upright way acceptable by our Eternal Father.” The truth of God’s word is shielded from before mankind in variant degrees of darkness. Every religion claims to know absolute truth yet all vary. All religions claiming to be Christian; Muslim and Buddhist have differing aspects of belief. Within each cult we have a form of Godly devotion, but to prove true to God we need to lean not on our own understanding but we must look to God who guides us through scripture and other religious writings revealing God’s love, mercy and justice.

        Sometimes religions can cause more harm than good because beliefs can close peoples minds and many end up blindly following the dictates of men rather than the commandments of God.

        Matthew 5:3-12 is where Jesus gave the sermon on the mount. Mahatna Ghandi once said if mankind would follow this counsel it would solve all of mankind’s problems. Verse 8 is about a person’s condition of heart “Happy are the pure in heart, since they will see God”. Do you think the Athiest, Agnostic, Christian, Buddist, Muslim or other will see God? Who of us can claim to be pure in heart.

        The whole world lies in the power of the wicked one. Only the power of God given to his son can overpower that mighty deceiver and take away all confusion leaving us with the means to acquire a pure heart and all the other spiritual qualities detailed in that great sermon given by Jesus which all humans should strive to develop.

    • Fernando Macias says:

      Hi Jack,

      I’m going to give you my take on this subject, since that’s all you can get from anyone anyway. Maybe the more “takes” we get, like a mosaic you get a better picture. First of all, I think people need to distinguish between the body and the soul. It is the soul that God is interested in. It is made of spirit, that which comes from God, and not the material substance of the stars and earth, which also comes from God but in of itself is not spirit. The soul is who we are and not our bodies, since like Jesus and as saint Paul reminds us, we will receive new bodies at the resurrection. I wasn’t around when God first made angels and the fall, so it’s hard to know if there are angels who were made perfect and who would remain that way. The bible mentions the 144 thousand companions of the Lamb but it is unclear if they were always like that. For the most part it is my belief that we come into the world as “blanks”. That is, we have no or limited knowledge of life and love. In order to go from a blank to a fully grown participant of heaven I think it was necessary for God to place sin in the soul. Now this is where my belief in predestination comes in. I grew up Catholic so it wasn’t easy coming to this conclusion. If you believe in the story of Jonah or even that God bends arms to get his way then where is the free will. If you believe in prophesy how could God know the future if it wasn’t already planned out. I guess the biggest objection to predestination is the argument that “I’m not a robot”. My take is we’re not robots, but instead cyborgs. A living soul inside a carbon based machine. If it bothers anyone that we don’t have choice it should make you happy that as Einstein stated ” God doesn’t play dice with the universe”. God is in control and not us, who can’t seem to do anything right without God. Since God is the Author of life and the universe. He made the angles of whom Lucifer was also made, it stands to reason that he is also the author of evil. That’s a startling statement until you realize what evil is. In reality it boils down to suffering. We can suffer at the hands of “evil” people or we can suffer at the hands of a congenital defect i.e, God. The reason we suffer is because we live in a world of opposites. In order to know hot you must experience cold, etc. etc.. In order to know what love is we must know what love isn’t.
      I don’t know if this helps you any. The fact of the matter is, faith is a gift and unless God gives it to you, and he will at some time or another, we simply have a hard time seeing. That’s why fundamentalism exists. People without real mystical knowledge of God only have things like a “wall” to cling to or “every jot and tittle”.
      May God bless you and give you insight to see His truths.

    • Jay says:

      Dear Mr Williams

      I don’t believe God made little children to be deformed. This I think could happens due to genetic malfunction caused by deficiencies of minerals and proteins or other causes which have developed through our genetics. We do not know enough about these things to go blaming God. We live in a world alienated from God who has promised in Revelations 20:3-7. “Look the tent of God is with mankind and he will reside with them and they will be his peoples. And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away. And the one sitting on the throne “Look I am making all things new”, Also he says (to apostle John) Write because these words are faithfull and true”. This is a definite promise given by a God who cannot lie. Verse 8 describes those who will not benefit from that promise. The ransom sacrifice of God’s son Jesus Christ has made this possible. It is commendable that people like you are compassionate towards the suffering of others. Do you think God doesn’t feel this more than we do? How do you think God felt when he witnessed the suffering his son endured on our behalf. Yet Our Lord Christ Jesus was willing to suffer a humiliating death at the insistence of unfeeling, haughty religious zealots for us and for this promise to be made possible.

  2. Bryan E. says:

    why does God let so much pain and sufferring go on? Because there obviously isn’t a god that fits your description. If there is anything that could be called “god,” he/she/it, whatever it is, at the most, started the process that created this universe, that eventually led to the creation of the Earth and everything else….and that’s the end of it…the rest is controlled by the realities of our circumstances…not some fantasy being created by men

    thousands of years ago. You say your Gospel stories are true? Where’s the real evidence? You don’t have any. Every argument for Christianity comes

    back to being based on the needs and wants of the Christians…you don’t want to know the truth…you can’t accept it…and in the end, you create a situation of division and discrimination….and it’s a position unsupported by the facts of our reality.

    You’ve been receiving these messages from a 44 year old, divorced father of a 16 year old boy. I have a house, cars, all the “normal” stuff. I’m a computer analyst and a team lead. I live in a quiet Indiana town full of churches…full of people simply unwilling to be honest.

    What you’re do makes you feel good. You believe you’re saving souls and doing a good thing. But it’s based on falsehoods. It all falls apart under objective examination. But, I know, you don’t really care about real honesty…what you’re doing makes you happy.

    • perrymarshall says:

      Bryan,

      From time to time I do get emails from people such as yourself who say, in effect, that I’m a self-deceived wacko – just doing some religious masterbation and making myself happy with my rantings.

      And… if you live in the Indiana Bible belt or whatever and feel like you’re surrounded by reactionary, superstitious people, then I can sympathize with your position.

      However – I would like to suggest that if you look quite a bit deeper and really dig for the facts (a superficial investigation will NOT suffice) you will find that Christianity is very much rooted in historical, archeological, scientific and experiential reality which can be confirmed and validated by modern thinking intellectual people. In fact science, if you’d like to pick that vantage point, cannot explain itself – it surely points to a First Cause outside itself.

      I am happy to continue a dialog if in fact you wish to investigate in a more serious manner.

      In any case, thanks for writing. Sincerely,

      Perry

      • Joseph Udoka says:

        Hello Perry, i am new here, in fact this is my first writing but, i have observed one thing you don’t talk about, Satan. People who do not believe in God, do it because they do not know the devil at all, people like Bryan. I grew up in a house inhabited by satan and his agents, we did many things together, in fact when i was young i thought they were good. Not until i read the bible in my primary school that i learned about Christ and started to fight against the gospels. God is real, so also Jesus, satan, the angels and the demons.
        The world as it is now is not the intention of God but the handiwork of satan and man.
        God handed over the world and man to satanic rule when we rejected Him in the garden of Eden, but He still believes we will come back. We need to go back.

        • Kirt Germond says:

          We did not reject God, the Father. It is His Plan for man to “fall” from the edenic state into gravity (taking on coats of skin) that we may regain the union we had with Him there. We do this by overcoming the gravity consciousness and realizing and expressing our divine consciousness.

    • neL... says:

      sometimes, you don’t have to see to believe…

      like air, you can’t see it… but you believe there is,..

      you just have to believe…

    • Laz Ihukobi says:

      “If God was really powerful and good, he wouldn’t allow so much evil and suffering to go on”. The wisdom of discernment is not arcquired through academics nor is understanding of spiritual realities and dimensions for the ordinary mind. God did not allow evil to continue because he chooses to but because man and spirit beings are free willed to choose to do good or do bad. It is within the nature of all created beings to act as gods using there freedom. Why do God allow it to continue, just as he cannot kill the angels that rebelled against him so will he not kill man for doing evil, because freedom and choice is an intrinsic value in the nature of man. At the end of their life, all shall give account to God, and at the end of the system of things, God will judge the wicked beings and restore the earth to its original state. For now man and wicked beings can continue to have feast day and let him who enjoys wickedness continue. Do you not know that you are gods with a capacity to disrupt even the plan of God, it is in your nature as a free beings made in the likeness of God, not just in body form but also in intelligence and power.
      I hope it helps. Thank you

  3. dele jude johnson says:

    Is it Biblical or scriptural wrong for women to wear earlings, necklaces and other ornaments that are made from gold?

    I am a new member, so far I think am acquiring more knowledge about the happenings in this world and the Word of God.

    • perrymarshall says:

      I Peter 3:3-4
      “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.”

      If you took this verse too literally you would not permit women to wear clothes. Some Christians take this to mean that women are supposed to always be plain, but in general the church has understood this to mean that the #1 distinguishing feature of a woman’s life should be good deeds and not the way they dress.

  4. Fajardo Osc says:

    my reply to Lie #7: ‘If God was really powerful and good, he wouldn’t allow so much evil and suffering to go on.

    God gave us a paradise (the garden of eden ) but we have destroyed it. Should we make God accountable for our own actions ? let us remember that evis is in the world because we have failed in life to be and follow God design for life.

  5. Personally i just want to tell you frankly that you are innocent by telling bad things about God,Please read Romans 8:28,And we Know that all things work together for good to them that love God,to them who are called according to his purpose.
    For you & for all those who read this comment I am Gladly Inviting you to open our Blog: http://www.esoriano.wordpress.com

  6. Stan Fraser says:

    First of all I would like to let you know I am very impressed with the logic and the way you have managed to put together some very interesting points about god and creation.

    There are a couple of points I disagree on (such as trinity) however my belief is you have about 99% right which is very impressive seeing as how you have reasoned it out yourself.

    I wish I could claim the same, however I have studied a lot of religions (though it seems maybe not as many as your) and believe I have found the true religion of God.

    What I am writing about is the question Lie “#7: ‘If God was really powerful and good, he wouldn’t allow so much evil and suffering to go on.’SUFFERING”

    I will try and keep my comments as short as possible but the answer is very simple but I would like to back it up with scriptures, as it is obvious you believe the bible is the word of God.

    The Bible says that “God planted a garden in Eden” and that he “made to grow . . . every tree desirable to one’s sight and good for food.” After God created the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, He put them in that lovely home and told them: “Be fruitful and become many and fill the earth and subdue it.” (Genesis 1:28; 2:8, 9, 15) So it was God’s purpose that humans have children, extend the boundaries of that garden home earth wide, and take care of the animals.

    Obviously, this has not happened yet. People now get sick and die; they even fight and kill one another. Something went wrong. No history book written by man can tell us because the trouble started in heaven.

    The first book of the Bible tells of an opposer of God who showed up in the Garden of Eden. He is described as “the serpent,” but he was not a mere animal. The last book of the Bible identifies him as “the one called Devil and Satan, who is misleading the entire inhabited earth.” He is also called “the original serpent.” (Genesis 3:1; Revelation 12:9) This powerful angel, or invisible spirit creature, used a serpent to speak to Eve, even as a skilled person can make it seem that his voice is coming from a nearby doll or dummy. That spirit person had no doubt been present when God prepared the earth for humans.—Job 38:4, 7.

    Since all of God’s creations are perfect, however, who made this “Devil,” this “Satan”? Put simply, one of the powerful spirit sons of God turned himself into the Devil. Today a person who was once decent and honest may become a thief. The person may allow a wrong desire to develop in his heart. If he keeps thinking about it, that wrong desire may become very strong. Then if the opportunity presents itself, he may act upon the bad desire that he has been thinking about.—James 1:13-15.

    This happened in the case of Satan the Devil. He apparently heard God tell Adam and Eve to have children and to fill the earth with their offspring. (Genesis 1:27, 28) ‘Why, all these humans could worship me rather than God!’ Satan evidently thought. So a wrong desire built up in his heart. Eventually, he took action to deceive Eve by telling her lies about God. (Genesis 3:1-5) He thus became a “Devil,” which means “Slanderer.” At the same time, he became “Satan,” which means “Opposer.

    By using lies and trickery, Satan the Devil caused Adam and Eve to disobey God. (Genesis 2:17; 3:6) As a result, they eventually died, as God had said they would if they disobeyed. (Genesis 3:17-19) Since Adam became imperfect when he sinned, all his offspring inherited sin from him. (Romans 5:12) The situation might be illustrated with a pan used for baking bread. If the pan has a dent in it, each loaf has a dent, or an imperfection, in it. Similarly, each human has inherited a “dent” of imperfection from Adam. That is why all humans grow old and die.—Romans 3:23.

    When Satan led Adam and Eve into sinning against God, he was really leading a rebellion. He was challenging God’s way of ruling. In effect, Satan was saying: ‘God is a bad ruler. He tells lies and holds back good things from his subjects. Humans do not need to have God ruling over them. They can decide for themselves what is good and what is bad. And they will be better off under my rulership.’ How would God handle such an insulting challenge? Some think that God should simply have put the rebels to death. But would that have answered Satan’s challenge? Would it have proved that God’s way of ruling is right?

    He decided that time was needed to answer Satan’s challenge in a satisfying way and to prove that the Devil is a liar. So God determined that he would permit humans to rule themselves for some time under Satan’s influence.

    Jesus never doubted that Satan is the ruler of this world. In some miraculous way, Satan once showed Jesus “all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.” Satan then promised Jesus: “All these things I will give you if you fall down and do an act of worship to me.” (Matthew 4:8, 9; Luke 4:5, 6) Think about this. Would that offer have been a temptation to Jesus if Satan was not the ruler of these kingdoms? Jesus did not deny that all these worldly governments were Satan’s. Surely, Jesus would have done that if Satan was not the power behind them.

    Of course, Jehovah is the Almighty God, the Creator of the marvellous universe. (Revelation 4:11) Yet, nowhere does the Bible say that either God or Jesus Christ is ruler of this world. In fact, Jesus specifically referred to Satan as “the ruler of this world.” (John 12:31;14:30; 16:11) The Bible even refers to Satan the Devil as “the god of this system of things.” (2 Corinthians 4:3, 4) Regarding this opposer, or Satan, the Christian apostle John wrote: “The whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one.”—1 John 5:19.

    I hope this helps with better clarification or this myth about religion.

  7. Charles Gallo says:

    Dear Sir:
    I have come across your websites a couple of times, and while have not read everything you have written, what I have seen impresses me. Perhaps you can answer this question which I have asked at several christian sites and have never gotten an answer to. Thank you.

    I am seeking the truth about God and Jesus:
    God is spirit. “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24) The mind is not material, therefore it also is spirit.

    Could not the mind of God merge with Jesus at his baptism? “Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, ye are gods? “(John 10:34) and therefore could that not happened to many people who are considered divinely inspired; even today?

    Jesus never said “I am God” or “I am the creator of the universe”. He did say “my Father and your Father, and my God and your God.” (John20:17) “And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good save one, God.” (Mark 10:18) Does this not indicate he was not God the creator of the universe, but God spoke to him and was in his mind. “For I spake not from myself; but the Father that sent me, he hath given me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.” (John 12:49)

    The “Jews” made many false accusations about Jesus “The Jews answered him, For a good work we stone thee not, but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.” (John 10:33) Jesus said they were wrong when they accused him of saying he was God. As stated in John 10;36: “say ye of him, whom the Father sanctified (made holy) and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?” God sanctifies any holy person. Jesus did not say he was God, he said he was the son of God.

    “But love your enemies, and do them good, and lend, never despairing; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be sons of the Most High: for he is kind toward the unthankful and evil. Be ye merciful, even as your Father is merciful.” (Luke 6:35-36) “that ye may be sons of your Father who is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust.” (Matthew 5:45)

    Jesus also said we were all children of God. It seems that, to Jesus, there was nothing extraordinary about being a son of God, for He is our Father. “for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. After this manner therefore pray ye, Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.” (Matthew 6:8-9) “Even so let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”(Matthew 5:16) “Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.” (Matthew 18:14) “Jesus saith to her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended unto the Father: but go unto my brethren, and say to them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and my God and your God.” (John 20:17)

    Jesus never said “I am God”, nor did he ever hint that we should worship him. The favorite self-designation of Jesus in the Gospels is “the son of man” which is used more then eighty times, Jesus calls himself “the son of God” only five times in the Gospels. Jesus was always subservient to his Father, “but that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do.” (John 14:31) Jesus never held himself as being equal to the Father of the universe. He said he acted at the behest of his Father, and not by his own will. “I can of myself do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is righteous; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” (John 5:30) Jesus was a man, who knew, taught, and did the will of his Father, God. “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.” (John 15:10) “Jesus therefore said, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself, but as the Father taught me, I speak these things. And he that sent me is with me; he hath not left me alone; for I do always the things that are pleasing to him.”(John 8:28-29) Jesus only said he was sent by God, to teach and do the will of God, but he never said he was God, the Father and creator of the universe, or he was equal to God, or he should be worshiped as God.

    However, this is not to say Jesus was an ordinary man. When Jesus was defending himself “Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, ye are gods?” (John 10:34). Jesus was exhibiting a knowledge it was impossible to have at that time. A knowledge that could only be communicated to him by the mind which is God; for it is the way modern science believes the material universe was created.

    Modern day quantum theory says is that the fundamental particles which make up the material universe are empty of inherent existence and exist in an undefined state of potentialities. They have no inherent existence within themselves, and do not become ‘real’ until a mind interacts with them and gives them meaning. Moreover, the observer’s mind in some way determines the outcome of the observations. Whenever and wherever there is no mind there is no meaning and no reality. (Using a simple metaphor: a falling tree makes no noise until an ear attached to a brain converts the disturbance in the air {air fluctuations know as sound waves} into a noise.) The ultimate manifestation is when quantum theory is applied to the entire universe.

    According to some cosmologists, the universe began as a quantum fluctuation in the limitless Void (Hartle-Hawking hypothesis). Before the beginning of time, the universe was a huge quantum superposition of all possible states, all possible states of matter, physical constants, properties and laws were simultaneously present. So it remained until the first primordial mind (God) observed it (pictured it), causing it to collapse into one actuality. In the absence of an observer, the universe would have remained as a ‘multiverse’ – a quantum superposition of all possible states. Containing all possibilities meant it was chaotic, yet it had no form, it was the chaos of the Void. “without form, and void” (Genesis 1:2). The first act of willful observation by this mind thereby caused the entire superposed multiverse to collapse immediately into one of its numerous alternatives. Mind is spirit, God is spirit. Spirit like time is another dimension. Perhaps the “Big Bang” of cosmology, when all mater in our material Universe was created, was the moment when God, who is of Spirit and not material, observed the chaos of the Void and said “Let there be light.”

    It must be realized that Quantum Theory deals with the local, non-Cosmic level, the level at which humans function. Therefore, humans share this ability with God on the local level. In other words, God effects all things (the universe), man effects the things he perceives. To many religious people, to say this, sounds like blasphemy, yet it is also found in scripture. “And God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him” (Genesis 1:27) “I said, Ye are gods, And all of you sons of the Most High.” (Psalms 82:6) “The Jews answered him, For a good work we stone thee not, but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, ye are gods?” (John 10:33-34)

    I believe the mind which is God, entered into Jesus at his baptism. It merged with the mind of Jesus. Jesus in his mind became one with God. “I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30) This belief is similar to one held by some early “followers of Jesus” communities which believed God in some miraculous way adopted the man Jesus. The view was that Jesus was born only as a man, but became God’s son by adoption when he was baptized in the Jordan River. “After the people were baptized, Jesus also came and was baptized by John; and as he came up from the water, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Holy Ghost in the likeness of a dove that descended and entered into him: and a voice from heaven saying: Thou art my beloved Son, in thee I am well pleased: and again: This day have I begotten thee. And straightway there shone about the place a great light.” (non-canonical Gospel of the Ebionites) Jesus comes to the Jordan River and is there baptized, and after the baptism occurs the heavens open and God pronounces that Jesus is his son. Only after this moment did Jesus’ ministry begin. Jesus was not God when he was born as a man. God was his Father (as He is the Father of all of us) but upon his adoption, Jesus became God the Son. He shared the Mind of God, the mind and thought that had always existed, but he was not God creator of the universe. I believe that Jesus went to receive John’s baptism “John came, who baptized in the wilderness and preached the baptism of repentance unto remission of sins.” (Mark 1:4) because he was an ordinary man who had sinned before. I also believe there is evidence of this in the Bible.

    I could go on and on, but I know you must be busy. May the Spirit of God who is Love always be with you.
    Charlie Gallo

    • perrymarshall says:

      Charlie,

      Consider the last verses of John 8, where the Jews press Jesus with questions:

      53Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?”
      54Jesus replied, “If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me. 55Though you do not know him, I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and keep his word. 56Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.”
      57″You are not yet fifty years old,” the Jews said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!”
      58″I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I AM!” 59At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.

      They clearly understood Jesus to be claiming equality with God, which is why they picked up stones to throw at him.

      Jesus’ statement “I AM” is a reference to Moses at the burning bush in Exodus 3:

      13 Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”
      14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am . This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ”

      In Luke 5:

      21The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
      22Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? 23Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 24But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins….” He said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 25Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God.

      Jesus clearly and unequivocally claimed to be God in these passages. But he set aside his divine privileges and became obedient to his Father, just as we must do.

      In Matthew 28 Jesus’ disciples worship him:

      8So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

      Notice that so far I have only reported Jesus’ words and deeds, not the disciples or apostles who state many places that Jesus is God. For example the opening verses of John:

      1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning.
      3Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
      14The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

      Here John is *explicitly* stating that Jesus is the creator of the universe.

      For unto us a Child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder: and his name will be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 (written in 712 BC)

      But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?
      And Jesus said, I Am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Mark 14:61-62

      John 14:9 He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how do you say then, show us the Father?
      10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority; but the Father who dwells in me does his works.”

      Jesus was always with the Father from Eternity past: “And now, O Father, glorify me with thine own self with the glory which I had with you before the world was.” -John 17:5

      You were wanting to say that Jesus being the son of God is no big deal because we’re all sons of God. Well, I would like to propose to you, that’s exactly backwards. Us being able to become the sons of God is TRULY EXTRAORDINARY because we are mere mortals. In John 15:9 Jesus says, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.”

      This is an extraordinary statement. He is saying that we are loved in the same degree that God loves Himself.

      Philippians 2:6 explains Jesus’ relation to God:

      5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
      6Who, being in very nature God,
      did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
      7but made himself nothing,
      taking the very nature of a servant,
      being made in human likeness.
      8And being found in appearance as a man,
      he humbled himself
      and became obedient to death—
      even death on a cross!
      9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
      and gave him the name that is above every name,
      10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
      in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
      11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
      to the glory of God the Father.

      Jesus had all the privileges of being God but set them aside to become our servant. He emptied himself to the point of only doing what he saw his Father doing. Which is why he could say “greater things than I do will you do” – because he had truly emptied himself of privilege.

      When Jesus quotes David as saying “you are gods” it is very clear in the context of Judaism and how this verse was discussed that NOBODY took David to be saying that man is equal to God. Man is a god with a lower case ‘g’ – yes, man has his own glory from being made in the image of God.

      But the pharisees clearly understood Jesus to be claiming himself to be equal with God and Jesus made no attempt to correct them.

      Again, when Jesus says, “Before Abraham was, I AM” – that says it all.

      Perry

      • Randolph Thompson says:

        There is so much evidence to prove the (admittedly pagan) doctrine of the Trinity false. But I will only address your scriptural references.
        To still cling to John 8’s “I AM” as proof Jesus is God is a real reach. from my perspective, you are doing what you scorn the churches for doing, twisting the Bible.

        The original text for I AM is “EGO EIMI”.
        If EGO EIMI = God, then the blind man that Jesus healed was also God, because he said EGO EIMI. (John 9:9 in the original Greek)

        So if saying “ego eimi” is the same as saying “I am God” then why did the Pharisees not try to stone that beggar? He said the same thing to them that Jesus did.

        Also the phrase “ego eimi” occurs over 170 times in the LXX. If “ego eimi” is an invocation of the ‘divine one’ then WHY would the religious leaders who translated the LXX have chosen the term and apply it to people like Abraham when the same class of people supposedly stoned Jesus for using it?

        Professor Kenneth L. McKay (University of Cambridge) shows aptly that EGO EIMI at John 8:58 is, in the Greek, an Extension from Past expression that simply means “I have been.”

        Of course what the Bible plainly says is what the Bible really means here. The Pharisees tried stoning Jesus on several occasions because they wanted him dead. Not because he said “ego eimi” but because he exposed them as frauds and hypocrites.

        They were constantly seeking ways to kill him. That’s all.

        The words “ego eimi” are NOT magical invocations of a claim to Almightiness.

        As for John 1:1, well first we need a short lesson in Greek. You see, the Greek language doesn’t have a word for “a” or “an”, but it does have a word for “the”. So when writing the word “theos” (god) ancient Greek writers would differentiate a person from THE Almighty God by using or not using the word “the”. The original text of John 1:1 does use “the” for the first use of Theos, but then John specifically did NOT use “the” for the second use of Theos. So it really reads like this:
        In the beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.
        John 1:1 was purposefully mistranslated to support the false doctrine of the Trinity.

        Further proof is that the Egyptian language Coptic does have words for “a” and “an”, and guess what, they’re used in John 1:1. Yes, copies of the book of John translated into Coptic 200 years after Jesus death have been discovered and they prove that this is the way Jesus’ Apostles understood and taught this scripture.

        Let’s be reasonable, Jesus was THE greatest teacher to ever live, don’t you think if he wanted us to know he was God he would have taught it. Even his description of their relationship – Father & Son – denotes that one is greater than the other, if they were equal, wouldn’t the great teacher have chosen another description, Brothers perhaps?

        Keep up the good work Perry, but remember, we MUST worship God in TRUTH, he will not accept our worship if we are incorporating lies and false teachings (John 4:23, 24).

        • perrymarshall says:

          Randolph,

          John 5:18 (New International Version)

          “For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.”

          I am always skeptical when someone comes along with a bunch of explanations of how Greek words change the traditional interpretation of a passage of scripture. Why? Because you’re claiming to know Greek better than everyone who’s listening to you – which could be true – but the fact is there are hundreds of Greek scholars who still disagree with you.

          I have a much more reliable method that anyone can use:

          Go to http://www.bible.cc and look up any verse you want.

          You can see how it has been translated by ~15 different translators. The “center of gravity” that you get from looking at how all of them translated the greek is more consistently reliable than any one person’s explanation about “what the Greek means.”

          http://bible.cc/john/8-58.htm

          or

          http://bible.cc/john/1-1.htm

          I don’t buy your conspiracy theory.

          • Randolph Thompson says:

            Indeed, on a completely seperate occasion (John 5, as well at John 10:31-36) it says that the Jews wanted to kill Jesus because “he was also calling God his own Father, making himself equal to God.”

            But read it carefully, WHO was it that said that Jesus was making himself equal to God? Certainly NOT Jesus. In fact he defended himself against this false charge IN THE VERY NEXT VERSE!(19): “To this accusation Jesus replied: . . . ‘the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees the Father doing.’” (compare also 10:36)
            By this, Jesus showed the Jews that he was NOT equal to God and therefore could not act on his own initiative. Can we imagine someone equal to Almighty God saying that he could “do nothing by himself”? (Compare Dan 4:34, 35.) Interestingly, the context of both John 5:18 and 10:30 shows that Jesus defended himself against FALSE charges from Jews who, like Trinitarians, were drawing wrong conclusions!

            Why would Jesus say ‘I AM GOD’ in John 8, but (basically) say ‘I can only do what God has me do’ in John 5? He wouldn’t.
            The truth is that Jesus is only who he claimed to be (over and over), the Son of God.

            It is unfortunate that translation from ancient Greek to modern English leaves a lot of room for interpretation. But please consider the Coptic translation of John 1 into contemporary English:
            “1. In the beginning the Word existed. The Word existed in the presence of God, and the Word was a divine being. 2. This one existed in the beginning with God.”

            That is how 2nd century Christians understood and translated it – of course that was before Constantine’s introduction of the Trinity in the 4th Century.

            Don’t you at least find it interesting that what Dr. Bruce Metzger states “is considered to be the best text and the most faithful in preserving the original” is never even mentioned among Trinitarian scholars?

            I never claimed to know Greek better than anyone, I was merely presenting the facts necessary for anyone reading to understand the translation.
            I guess if you want to believe something just because it’s “the traditional interpretation of a passage” then that is your right. But we are warned of this very thing at Matt 15:6-9 and Col 2:8.

            I don’t ask you or anyone to blindly believe what I say, we all must question and prove to ourselves EVERYTHING that we’re taught. Our relationship with God is personal, individual. On judgement day, no one can stand before God and say “Oops, sorry I didn’t worship you the way you asked, I was misinformed by So-n-So”. “Each of us will render an account for himself to God” – Rom 14:12.

            I wish you all the best Perry.
            Your friend in faith,
            Randolph

            • Dalibor Šver says:

              Hi, Randolph!

              Jesus was never explicit more than he had to be, because he was modest. And God showed us that He’s modest by first sentence in the Bible, Genesis 1:1.

              Saying I AM was enough to be understood that he claims he’s God. He got his point without explicitly saying that. You said yourself, an ex blind man said I AM, nobody raised stone, cause he said it in a different context. When Jesus said it, stones are raised for stoning.

              As for John 10:30, that was straight enough, no need to attach psychology to it.

              People worshiped Him in Matthew 28 – and you worship only God – he didn’t stop them.

              Back to Matthew 28: “…in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit”; is it the same as “…in the name of God and other 2 guys that are not equal to God”?

              When Thomas said “My Lord and My God” Jesus didn’t disagree.

              Prophecy of Jesus: Isaiah 9:6 “…Mighty God…”

              Another prophecy: Jeremiah 23:5-6 : “…the LORD our righteousness…” (It’s Yahweh instead of Lord in original, read it in Interlinear Bible: http://www.scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/Hebrew_Index.htm )

              Jesus considered God, outside of Gospels:

              Romans 9:5

              Titus 2:13

              1 John 5:20

              Phil 2:6

              Rev 1:7-8

              You said Jesus was ordinary man who sinned before; where is the proof in Bible for that? You mean when he was “lost” in the Temple as a kid? No, because one should put God first, before parents, so it wasn’t a sin.

              As for Jesus’ baptism, John was shocked that Jesus came to be baptized as he should be the one to do the baptizing.

              Jesus was God’s son long before baptism… Remember Mary’s pregnancy?

              Why didn’t He chose the term “God’s brother” instead of “Son”? Maybe because He was God’s son and not brother in our Earthly terms (God is his biological father also). Furthermore, His life was an example for us. An example that we should be also Sons of God.

              • Randolph Thompson says:

                Dalibor Šver,

                “You said Jesus was ordinary man who sinned before”
                –Um, I certainly did NOT.

                “As for John 10:30, that was straight enough, no need to attach psychology to it.”
                –I agree, the verses after John 10:30 are perfectly straight, Jesus forcefully argued that his words were NOT a claim to be God.

                “It’s Yahweh instead of Lord in original, read it”
                –No need, I am aware of every occurrence (over 7000) of God’s name, YHWH, in the Bible.

                Look, I was about to counter all your arguments, but I honestly don’t think it will do any good. But if you REALLY, TRULY want to have an explanation of the verses you referenced, I will take the time to do so.

                Just consider these facts:
                1. Jesus never said “I am God”, but rather claimed to be God’s son
                2. Jesus true followers did not believe in a Triune God until it was forced upon them in the 4th century (Nicene Creed)
                3. There are MANY more scriptures to deny the Trinity than to “prove” it. Consider just a few:

                “Why callest me good? There is none good but one, that is God” (Matthew 19:17)

                “. . .for my Father is greater than I. . .” (John 14:28)

                “My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.” (John 7:16)

                “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.” (Matthew 26:39)

                “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)

                “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” (Mark 13:32)

                “Who has gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God” (Peter 3:22)

                “I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” (John 20:17)

                Friend, the Bible must be read with our hearts open to accept what God tells us, his spirit can not operate in us if we are proud and only read it to critique or to prove what someone else says is a lie.

                So, I implore everyone, read the Bible, slowly, meditate on what you read, pray for God to reveal the truth to you no matter what it is.

                Christian Regards,
                Randolph

                • Dalibor Šver says:

                  ‘“You said Jesus was ordinary man who sinned before”
                  –Um, I certainly did NOT.’

                  Oooops… You’re right. I’m sorry, it was Charles Gallo in the thread before yours. My mistake.
                  I must have mixed those posts because you too have similar views on the issue of Jesus not being God.

                  1.Jesus says ‘I AM’ on several occasions. Read the context of his words, he’s not just saying it casually.

                  2. I didn’t know that. Did they deny the deity of Jesus? I know Paul didn’t and John didn’t.

                  3. All of those statements are said/done by Jesus the man – as opposed to Jesus the God. In most occasions He sets an example, how to serve Him; in other He feels burden of people sins when loses his earthly link with Yahweh.
                  He had same feelings, pains, needs, wishes etc. while He was on earth as we do; the only thing different than us is He was sinless.

                • Jesse says:

                  A scripture about the worship of Jesus which has not been discussed, but needs to be is Luke 19:38 – 40. Here is a place where Jesus clears it up for any that want to question if he recieved the worship of men. He was recieving worship and was told to rebuke his disciples to which he replied, ” I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out” He didn’t say, “golly, you’re right, what was I thinking, only God is worthy of such praise” And what don’t you get about “If you know me, you know my Father, if you have seen me, you have seen my Father?” My Dad and me are a lot alike, but I would never say, if you’ve met me, you’ve met my Dad. To say that that is what Jesus meant here is absurd and dishonest. How about Luke 13:34? “Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have it! This is Jesus speaking as God from the OT. Phillipeans 2: 7 says he “emptied Himself” If he was not fully God, then He would not have to “empty” Himself. Don’t you see that He did not hold onto that part of Him that was and is fully God. He chose to let go of that part of Himself that was required as a sacrifice for us. He did not stop being God, He chose to not exercise His deity at certain times. Colossians tell us that “all the fullness” dwells in Him. Col 1:19 Not part of the almost full………….ALL, every bit, without any lack, Fullness, meaning FULL… all the way,….
                  The deep truth that is being missed here is John 17:3 To have relationship with the Father, requires relationship with the Son. Cross reference 1 John 5:20 with this and Rev. 3:20 and John 14:23 and Phillipeans 3:8 and 2 Cor. 13:5. All these verses speak to the “relationship” that we have with the Father and the Son. Then you can find all the verses that deal with the Holy Spirit WHO dwells in us. So, now you have the scriptures telling us that all 3 dwell inside of us. In fact, if you cannot understand this, it is because you don’t have the Holy Spirit of God dwelling inside of you to give you spiritual eyes to see. I Corinthians 2:12-14

                  • Richard Vidrine says:

                    Gen 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
                    Mat 19:5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
                    Mat 19:6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

                    One flesh? Joined together? What does this mean? That the two (husband and wife) are actually just one being sharing one body? Or does it mean one as in one accord (in agreement, caring about your mate equally as much as yourself)? Think about it…does the ‘trinity reasoning’ apply to this passage, as well?

                    God is a FAMILY, it is the GOD family. The Bible explains that God exists of a Father and many sons, including the special, unique Son of God, Jesus the Christ (the Anointed One). If anointed, then by who? Did Jesus anoint Himself? No! He was anointed by OUR Father in heaven (Remember, Jesus calls us His brothers). Yes, my dad and I share the same (last) name but we don’t share the same body. As such, we are two SEPARATE entities…just like my wife and I, though me and her are ONE!

                    Because Jesus is God does not prove a trinity, it merely proves a FAMILY! Why did Jesus say to pray, “Our Father in heaven…”?

                    Luk 11:2 And [Jesus] said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.

                    Jesus said:

                    Mat 19:17 And [Jesus] said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

                    Joh 17:11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.

                    We can be ONE just as God and Jesus are ONE! Again:

                    Joh 17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
                    Joh 17:22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
                    Joh 17:23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

                    All ONE in God (just like Jesus)!

                    Paul said:

                    Rom 1:7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

                    1Co 1:3 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

                    Eph 1:2 Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

                    Php 1:2 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

                    Do you see a pattern here? Read ALL the salutations to the churches. Note these two:

                    2Th 2:16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,

                    1Th 3:13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

                    These verses clearly distinguish God as the Father and Jesus as Lord…not equal but separate.

                    As far as calling the Holy Spirit a “who”, that’s merely something added in translation. It could have just as easily (and correctly) been translated as an ‘it’.

                    As far as John 1:1, it would better be translated as:

                    “In the beginning was [Jesus Christ], and the Son was with the Father God, and the Son was God.”

                    If you can hear scripture, then hear what God says.

                    If not, then listen to men and hear what they say.

                    In the end, God will sort it all out and the truth will finally be known.

                    • perrymarshall says:

                      You said “not equal but separate” … but John 1:1 says, in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word WAS God.

                      An unequivocal statement.

                      We are not God, it never says we are, but we can be one with God.

                • Tony Francis says:

                  In the first five verses of John is the whole essence of Christianity: each verse is full of the profoundest philosophy.
                  The Perfect never becomes imperfect. It is in the darkness, but is not affected by the darkness. God’s mercy goes to all, but is not affected by their wickedness. The sun is not affected by any disease of our eyes which may make us see it distorted. In the twenty-ninth verse, “taketh away the sin of the world” means that Christ would show us the way to become perfect. God became Christ to show man his true nature, that we too are destined to be Sons of God, or a part of God if we follow Him in his holiness and the Way He shows us. We are human coverings over the Divine seed (soul) which is planted in us, which if it is allowed to grow and live as per God’s plan, it will exist. If on the other hand, the seed follows a different plan, it will be imperfect, and the seed or soul will die, and will be destroyed. A perfect and Holy Man and Christ are part of the same body. A defective part or cell will not be allowed to grow in the Christ’s Church, which is the Bride to be when Jesus will be the groom, and their body shall become one in Holy Matrimony.
                  The Trinitarian Christ is elevated above us; the Unitarian Christ is merely a mortal man; neither can help us. The Christ who is the Incarnation of God, who has not forgotten His divinity, that Christ can help us, in Him there is no imperfection. Christ was always conscious of His own divinity; He knew it from His birth.
                  Good is near Truth, but is not yet Truth. After learning not to be disturbed by evil, we have to learn not to be made happy by good. We must find that we are beyond both evil and good; we must study their adjustment and see that they are both necessary.
                  The idea of dualism is from the ancient Persians.* Really good and evil are one (Because they are both chains and products of Law) and are in our own mind, and our society we live in. When the mind is self-poised, neither good nor bad affects it. Be perfectly free; then neither can affect it, and we enjoy freedom and bliss. Jesus told us to love both good people and sinners. Before Christ, the law was to punish sinners. After Christ’s coming, we have all been promoted from Elementary school to High School, but are expected to behave more responsibly. Evil is the iron chain, good is the gold one; but both are chains. To be free, we have to realize that both are chains we have to get rid of. Evil and virtue are the black board and the white chalk, or white paper and colored pen, which are required for teaching values and principles. But once the principles are learnt, we should throw away the worked papers and get out of the classrooms into the wide open world and practice what we have learnt. Rules and uniforms and timetables are useful only during training, and in schools.
                  The thorn of evil is in our flesh; we have to take another thorn from the same bush and extract the first thorn; then throw away both and be free. . . .
                  In the world, we always have to be the giver. We should give everything that is given to us and look for no return. Give love, give help, give service, give any little thing you can, and keep out barter. Make no conditions, and none will be imposed. Let us give out of our own bounty, just as God gives to us.

            • Ziquran says:

              Why Science Fails to Explain God

              This was written by my friend

              At an educational institution

              ‘Let me explain the problem science has with God’
              The atheist professor of philosophy pauses before his class and then asks one of his new students to stand. ‘You are a Muslim, aren’t you son?’
              ‘Yes sir.’
              ‘So you believe in God?’
              ‘Absolutely’
              ‘Is God good?’
              ‘Sure! God’s good’
              ‘Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?’
              ‘Yes’
              The professor grins knowingly and considers for a moment.
              ‘Here’s one for you, lets say there is a sick person over here and you can cure him. You can do it, would you help them? Would you try?’
              ‘Yes sir, I would’
              ‘So you’re good…!’
              ‘I wouldn’t say that.’
              ‘Why not say that? You would help a sick and maimed person if you could…. in fact most of us would if we could..God doesn’t.’
              [No answer]
              ‘He doesn’t, does he? My brother was a Muslim who died of cancer even though he prayed to God to heal him. How is God good? Hmmmm? Can you answer that one?’
              [No answer]
              The elderly man is sympathetic.
              ‘No you can’t, can you?’ He takes a sip of water from a glass on his desk to give the student time to relax. In philosophy, you have to go easy with the new ones.
              ‘Lets start again fella, is God good?’
              ‘Err…Yes’
              ‘is Satan good?’
              ‘No’
              ‘Where does Satan come from?’
              The student falters. ‘From…God’
              ‘That’s right, God made Satan didn’t he?’ The elderly man runs his bony fingers through his thinning hair and turns to the smirking student audience.
              ‘I think we’re going to have fun this semester ladies and gentlemen’ He turns back to the Muslim.
              ‘Tell me son, is there evil in this world?’
              ‘Yes sir.’
              ‘Evil is everywhere, isn’t it? Did God make everything?’
              ‘Yes’
              ‘Who created evil’
              [No answer]
              ‘Is there sickness in this world? Immortality? Hatred? Ugliness? All the terrible things, do they exist in this world?’
              The student squirms on his feet. ‘Yes’
              ‘Who created them?’
              ‘No answer’
              The professor suddenly shouts at his student.
              ‘WHO CREATED THEM? TELL ME, PLEASE!’
              The professor closes in for the kill and climbs into the Muslims face. In a still small voice he says ‘God created all evil, didn’t he son?’
              [No answer]
              The student tries to hold the steady experienced gaze and fails. Suddenly the lecturer breaks away to pace the front of the classroom like an aging panther. The class is mesmerised.
              ‘Tell me’ he continues, ‘How is it that this God is good if he created all evil throughout all time?’
              The professor swishes his arms around to encompass the wickedness of the world.
              ‘All the hatred, the brutality, all the pain, all the torture, all the death and ugliness and all the suffering. Created by this good God is all over the world isn’t it young man?’
              [No answer]
              ‘Don’t you see it everywhere? Huh?’ Pause. ‘Don’t you?’ The professor leans into the student’s face again and whispers ‘Is God good?’
              [No answer]
              ‘Do you believe in God son?’
              The students voice betrays him and cracks.
              ‘Yes professor, I do’
              The old man shakes his head sadly. ‘Science says you have 5 senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Have you ever seen God?’
              ‘No sir’
              ‘Then tell us if you have ever heard your God’
              ‘No sir, I have not’
              ‘Have you ever felt your God, tasted your God or smelt your God? In fact, do you have any sensory perception of your God whatsoever?
              [No answer]
              ‘Answer me please’
              ‘No sir, I’m afraid I haven’t’
              ‘You’re AFRAID you haven’t?’
              ‘No sir’
              ‘Yet you still believe in him?’
              ‘…Yes…’
              ‘That takes faith!’ the professor smiles sagely at the underling. ‘According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your God doesn’t exist. What do you say to that son?’
              [No answer]
              ‘Sit down please.’
              The Muslims sits defeated…….

              Another Muslim raises his hand’ Professor, may I address the class?’

              The professor turns and smiles
              ‘Ah, another Muslim in the vanguard! Come, come young man. Speak some proper wisdom to the gathering’
              The Muslim looks around the room
              ‘Some interesting points you are making sir. Now I’ve got a question for you. Is there such a thing as heat?’
              ‘Yes’ The professor replies. ‘There is heat’
              ‘Is there such a thing as cold?’
              ‘Yes son there’s cold too’
              ‘No sir, there is not’
              The professors grin freezes. The room suddenly goes very cold. The second Muslim continues.
              ‘You can have lots of heat, even more heat, super heat, mega heat, white heat or no heat but we don’t have anything called cold. We can hit 458 degrees below zero, which is no heat, but we cant go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold, otherwise we would be able to go colder than 458 – – You see sir, cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat we can measure in thermal units because heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat sir, just the absence of it’
              Silence, a pin drops somewhere in the classroom.
              ‘Is there such a thing as darkness, professor?
              ‘That’s a dumb question son, what is night if it isint darkness? What are you getting at?’
              ‘So you are saying there is such a thing as darkness?’
              ‘Yes’
              ‘You’re wrong again sir, darkness is not something, it is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light but if you have no light constantly you have nothing and its called darkness, isint it? That’s the meaning we use to define the word. In reality darkness isint. If it were, you would be able to make darkness darker and give me a jar of it. Can you give me a jar of darker darkness professor?’
              Despite himself, the professor smiles at the young effrontery before him. This will indeed be a good semester.
              ‘Would you mind telling me what your point is young man?’
              ‘Yes professor. My point is that your philosophical premise is flawed to start with and so your conclusion must be in error…..’
              The professor goes toxic. ‘Flawed ? ? how dare you…!’
              ‘Sir may I explain what I mean?’
              The class is all ears.
              ‘Explain, oh explain!’ The professor makes an admirable effort to regain control. Suddenly he is affability itself, he continues to wave his hand to silence the class for the student to continue.
              ‘You are working on the premise of duality’ The Muslim explains ‘that for example there is life and there is death, a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God a something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science cannot even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism but has never seen or much less fully understood them. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life, merely the absence of it.’
              The young man holds up a newspaper he takes from the desk of a neighbour who has been reading it.
              ‘Here is one of our most disgusting tabloids this country hosts professor. Is there such a thing as immortality?’
              ‘Ofcourse there is, now look…’
              ‘Wrong again sir. You see immortality is merely the absence of mortality. Is there such a thing as injustice? No, injustice is the absence of justice. Is there such a thing as evil? The Muslim pauses. ‘isint evil merely the absence of good?’
              The professors face has turned an alarming colour. He is so angry he is temporarily speechless.
              The Muslim continues. ‘If there is evil in the world professor, and we all agree there is, then God if he exists must be accomplishing work through the agency of evil. What is that work God accomplishing? Islam tells us to see if each one of us will choose good or evil’The professor bridles. ‘As a philosophical scientist, I don’t view this matter as having anything to do with any choice, as a realist I absolutely do not recognise the concept of God or any other theological factor as being part of the world because God is not observable’
              ‘I would have thought that the absence of God’s moral code in this world is probably one of the most observable phenomena going’ The Muslim replies. ‘Newspapers make billions of dollars reporting it every week! Tell me, professor. Do you teach your students that they evolved from monkey?’
              ‘If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, young man, yes of course I do.’
              ‘Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?’
              The professor makes a sucking sound with his teeth and gives his student a silent, stony stare.
              ‘Professor. Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is as an ongoing endeavour, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you now not a scientist, but a priest?’
              ‘I will overlook your impudence in the light of our philosophical discussion. Now, have you quite finished?’ The professor hisses.
              ‘So you don’t accept God’s moral code to do what is righteous?’
              ‘I believe in what is -that’s science!’
              ‘Ahh! SCIENCE!’ the students face splits into a grin.
              ‘Sir, you rightly state that science is the study of observed phenomena. Science too is a premise which is flawed…’
              ‘SCIENCE IS FLAWED..?’ the professor splutters. The class is in uproar. The Muslim remains standing until the commotion has subsided.
              ‘To continue the point you were making earlier to the other student, may I give you an example of what I mean?’
              The professor wisely keeps silent. The Muslim looks around the room. ‘Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen air, oxygen, molecules, atoms, the professor brain?’
              The class breaks out in laughter. The Muslim points towards his elderly, crumbling tutor.
              ‘Is there anyone here who has ever heard the professor’s brain…felt the professor’s brain, touched or smelt the professors brain?’
              No one appears to have done so. The Muslim shakes his head sadly.
              ‘It appears that no one here has had any sensory perception of the professors brain whatsoever. Well, according to the rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol science, I DECLARE that the professor has no brain’
              The professors face turned an alarming white and his legs seemed to give way as he slumped back in his seat…for he was beaten at his own game…the class is in awe at what just unfolded before their very eyes.

  8. Lilly Rabarbara says:

    What about this: the only logic I found in this is that God exists but has other priorities at some moment, so he left us with his script that is our DNA. We instinctively know good from wrong, but I don’t know why we stray so easily. I found recently how vast the importance of fathers is. They hold the power and if they are the ones who disrespect/abuse mothers, than children will perpetuate this. Might must be right or serious consequences follow. Do they know what they are doing?
    Earth is His creation and we have the potential to make Eden out of it. Now I struggle with the existence of the Devil 🙂 For now I believe that Devil is non-existence of God. And that we are all responsible to make God exist on as many places of Earth as we can.
    I really like this site and forgive me if I got a bit carried away!
    Warm regards

    • perrymarshall says:

      Leszek Kolakowski who lived through the Nazi invasion of Poland said, “I can understand people who do not believe in God, but the fact that there are people who do not believe in the devil is beyond my comprehension.”

      • Russ Hinds says:

        I find it easy to call “fallen rebellious man” the devil. Therefore, who needs a devil to believe in? Mankind decieves himself very well, without outside influence by a devil.

        Mankind was created as the highest most beautiful of God’s creation. Mankind rebelled, and fell from heaven. The kingdom of God/HEAVEN/Truth is within you, Lk. 17;21. Jesus opened the way back into the Truth and love of our Father in heaven. Therefore, we can restore the knowledge and Truth and wisdom of God within us. Renew our minds to conform to God’s law and Truth, loving God, family, friends, and neighbors in righteousness.

        No longer in rellion, men of God (loving fathers) can have sound minds restored with His word and His kingdom within our our hearts.

        But, the above is not to contradict scripture. The Bible says that the devil prowls around seeking to destroy. I just haven’t met the dude yet, BUT LET NO MAN TRY TO DECIEVE ME! I AM WELL ARMED WITH THE TRUTH. Thank you Jesus.

        God Bless! Interesting site!

  9. Charles Gallo says:

    Dear Perry,

    Thank you for your rapid reply to my question. There is nothing in your answer which would indicate that the mind which is God did not, or could not, enter into Jesus at his baptism. In this way, Jesus was one with God. I believe that the Jewish religion at that time had many misconceptions about God. That is why the mind of God merged with the human Jesus. God adopted Jesus as His only begotten son. Jesus then paved the way for us all to become sons of God thru the Holy Spirit merging with us if we follow him by acting only in love, as Jesus taught us to do. “All things therefore whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, even so do ye also unto them: for this is the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 7:12)

    In line with Lie #3: ‘You are not smart enough or good enough to think for yourself. We will do your thinking for you.’ I have a major question which thinking for myself has raised in my mind. Is the God of the Old Testament and the God of Jesus one and the same?

    I am not sure, in fact, I believe that the God Jesus spoke about and the God found in the Old Testament are not the same. The New Testament said “God is a Spirit” (John 4:24) “for God is not a God of confusion, but of peace.” (1 Corinthians 14:33) “And this is the message which we have heard from him and announce unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5) “God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.” (1 John 3:20) “God is love.” (1 John 4:8) “ your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48) To Jesus God is perfect and is a loving Father in whom there is no evil. The God found in the Old Testament is “for great is the wrath of Jehovah that is poured out upon us, because our fathers have not kept the word of Jehovah, to do according unto all that is written in this book. (2 Chronicles 34:21) Jehovah is a jealous God and avengeth; Jehovah avengeth and is full of wrath; Jehovah taketh vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies.” (Nahum 1:2) Wrath and jealousy are not perfect or are they of love.

    In fact the God of the Old Testament seems to be of a divided nature, which in many ways is not perfect. I believe the Old Testament may or may not have been inspired by God. This is why the mind which is God entered into Jesus to correct the many misconceptions about Him.

    Jesus talked about this problem in Mark 7:13 “making void the word of God by your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things ye do.” Since God was a mystery, man could only guess what He desired from us and how we should live our lives. To some men God spoke, revealed Himself, and inspired them to transmit His words to others, in other cases other spiritual beings or a man’s ego spoke, pretended to be God, and had their words transmitted to others. Because of this, it sometimes seems that the Bible is written about two different Gods – the God of love which Jesus taught us about and a very parochial, wrathful and cruel God of the Old Testament. The God of the Old Testament showed a lack of love and could never be described as a loving Father. I believe since Jesus knew the nature of his Father, this difference can only be attributed to human misinterpretation and error, or the fact that the Old Testament not only contained the words of God but also a history and civil laws of the Jewish nation; which were written by men not inspired by God, but rather by worldly concerns.

    While many verses in the Old Testament may refer to men who, after the fact, said “It was God’s Will, God made me do it;” but the fact is, they still used the name of God as a justification to do horrible things, This was an excuse, not the will of the God of Jesus found in the New Testament. And this excuse is not unknown in our own times. As Jesus said, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves. By their fruits ye shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but the corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.” (Matthew 7:15-17)

    Are these the instructions of a God of love? “When thou drawest nigh unto a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace unto it. And it shall be, if it make thee answer of peace, and open unto thee, then it shall be, that all the people that are found therein shall become tributary unto thee, and shall serve thee. And if it will make no peace with thee, but will make war against thee, then thou shalt besiege it: and when Jehovah thy God delivereth it into thy hand, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword.” (Deuteronomy 20:10-13) Slavery or death, the choices offered and put forth by a God of Love? What happened, as it was described in the Bible, was reminiscence of what Hitler did to the Jewish people and the lands he conquered – it can only be called genocide. “And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, both young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.”(Joshua 6:21)
    I believe that this history found in the Old Testament was primarily written by ordinary men and to some extent was a political document which was used to justify the harshness and cruel actions of government and, in that, showed a lack of knowledge about the nature of God. This could explain these errors and the confusion about the nature of God. As Jesus said “Render therefore unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.” (Matthew 22:21) Furthermore, would a God who is Love and the father of us all get involved in the conquest of lands, the cruelty of war, and the world of politics? “Jehovah is a man of war: Jehovah is his name.” (Exodus 15:3)

    In the Bible, both the Old and New Testaments, it is recognized there is one God “Hear, O Israel: Jehovah our God is one Jehovah” (Deuteronomy 6:4) “Jesus answered, The first is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God, the Lord is one” (Mark 12:29) but we get two different viewpoints of God’s nature and being. In the New Testament, God is the perfect and loving Father of us all. “that ye may be sons of your Father who is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust…Ye therefore shall be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:45-48) But in the Old Testament, God is parochial in that He only takes a special interest in the people who worship Him, and will protect them with His might. “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be mine own possession from among all peoples: for all the earth is mine: and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.” (Exodus 19:5-6)

    God is also interested in their politics, since God installs and removes kings, and will be a warrior on behalf of His people. “And Samuel said to all the people, See ye him whom Jehovah hath chosen, that there is none like him along all the people? And all the people shouted, and said, Long live the king.” (1 Samuel 10:24)

    In the Old Testament, God takes an active role in the affairs of human beings. While God is wise, just, kind, merciful and gracious, God can also get angry, wrathful and jealous. In the multiple paradoxical attributes ascribed to God in the Old Testament, in many ways, God seems to reflect man, who God created in His image. Or perhaps it was as the non-canonical Gospel of Philip said: God created man, now men create God. That is the way it is in the world – men make gods and worship their creation.

    God in the New Testament is a loving, compassionate, and merciful Father for all His children, and in the Old Testament God is a fearsome mighty protector of His special children, from whom God demands absolute loyalty and respect. In the New Testament, God is universal perfect Love, in the Old Testament, God is unyielding Justice and Security. To say the least, the Old Testament seems somewhat confused and conflicted about the nature of God. “Behold, God is great, and we know him not; The number of his years is unsearchable.” (Job 36:26)

    I believe that it was to end this confusion, and clear up misunderstandings about God’s nature, that God spoke to Jesus, adopted him as a son and entered into his mind, thus giving Jesus his calling. There seems to be no conflict and confusion in the New Testament as it tells us this about God:
    “Jesus answered, The first is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God, the Lord is one (Mark 12:29) Ye therefore shall be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:48) God is a Spirit (John 4:24) God is true (John 3:33) because if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. (1 John 3:20) For God so loved the world…” (John 3:16) And we know and have believed the love which God hath in us. God is love; and he that abideth in love abideth in God, and God abideth in him. (1 John 4:16) He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. (1 John 4:8) Be ye merciful, even as your Father is merciful. (Luke 6:36) that ye may be sons of your Father who is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust.” (Matthew 5:45) God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:5) Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32) “for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.”(Matthew 6:8) “And call no man your father on the earth: for one is your Father, even he who is in heaven.” (Matthew 23:9) Or is God the God of Jews only? is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yea, of Gentiles also: if so be that God is one” (Romans 3:29-30)

    In essence the canonical New Testament tells us there is only one God, who God is spirit and is an all knowing, perfectly good, merciful, and loving Father to us. We can not conceive how great and pure is His love, for it is greater the human heart is capable of. Even when we condemn ourselves through guilt, He forgives us and treats us equally. His basic being is true love, for that is what He is, and he only wants us to be with Him in His Home. What Jesus emphases most is the perfection of love and forgivness that is God, for God is perfectly good and all knowing. However, Unlike the Old Testament, Jesus never said that God was all powerful and He should be feared. “For God hath made my heart faint, And the Almighty hath terrified me”(Job 23:16) “Thou shalt fear Jehovah thy God; him shalt thou serve; and to him shalt thou cleave, and by his name shalt thou swear” (Deuteronomy 10:20) Yet, the New Testament says “There is no fear in love: but perfect love casteth out fear, because fear hath punishment; and he that feareth is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18)

    If, as Jesus said, there is only one God, then He must be the Father of us all. And if the one God is, in fact, the God of all mankind, and not just the small Jewish nation, than much of what the New Testament says about the nature of God contradicts what is in the Old Testament. In the New Testament God is the perfectly loving Father of all, who treats all people equally, not just God’s special people, but the whole world. The just and the unjust, the evil and the good. all are treated with mercy and forgiveness, for God is love.

    In the Old Testament, God is not love, since He shows favoritism, unfairness, jealousy and wrath, these are not the characteristics of love. Above all, God is powerful, and is to be feared. “that all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of Jehovah, that it is mighty; that ye may fear Jehovah your God forever.” (Joshua 4:24) However, in the New Testament it is said “There is no fear in love: but perfect love casteth out fear, because fear hath punishment; and he that feareth is not made perfect in love.”(1 John 4:18)

    In the Old Testament, only those who God favors, He treats with loving-kindness, “Know therefore that Jehovah thy God, he is God, the faithful God, who keepeth covenant and lovingkindness with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations, and repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them: he will not be slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face.” (Deuteronomy 7:9-10) but as Jesus said “And if ye love them that love you, what thank have ye? for even sinners love those that love them. And if ye do good to them that do good to you, what thank have ye? for even sinners do the same.” (Luke 6:32-33)

    In the Old Testament, God will not only punish, and destroy, those who do not meet His demands, but also their innocent children and their children’s children. “… I, Jehovah, thy God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the third and upon the fourth generation of them that hate me” (Deuteronomy 5:9) However in the New Testament “But Jesus called them unto him, saying, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for to such belongeth the kingdom of God.” (Luke 18:16)

    Favoritism = “For thou art a holy people unto Jehovah thy God: Jehovah thy God hath chosen thee to be a people for his own possession, above all peoples that are upon the face of the earth. Jehovah did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all peoples” (Deuteronomy 7:6-7) “Only Jehovah had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and he chose their seed after them, even you above all peoples, as at this day.” (Deuteronomy 10:15)

    Unfairness = “… and that will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, upon the third and upon the fourth generation.” (Exodus 34:7) “… I Jehovah thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, upon the third and upon the fourth generation of them … (Exodus 20:5)

    Jealousy and Wrath = “Jehovah is a jealous God and avengeth; Jehovah avengeth and is full of wrath; Jehovah taketh vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies. (Nahum 1:2) For that day is of the Lord, Jehovah of hosts, a day of vengeance, that he may avenge him of his adversaries: and the sword shall devour and be satiate, and shall drink its fill of their blood …” (Jeremiah 46:10)

    In fact, many times, Jesus directly contradicts in his own words what is written in the Old Testament:
    “When a man taketh a wife, and marrieth her, then it shall be, if she find no favor in his eyes, because he hath found some unseemly thing in her, that he shall write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.” (Deuteronomy 24:1) In the New Testament we find”They say unto him, Why then did Moses command to give a bill of divorcement, and to put her away? He (Jesus) saith unto them, ‘Moses for your hardness of heart suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it hath not been so.”
    (Matthew 19:7-8)

    The Old Testament said “Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day is a sabbath of solemn rest, holy to Jehovah: whosoever doeth any work on the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death” (Exodus 31:15) The New Testament said “And he (Jesus) said unto them, ‘The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath” (Mark 2:27)

    The Old Testament said “I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil. I am Jehovah, that doeth all these things.”(Isaiah 45:7) The New Testament said “And this is the message which we have heard from him (Jesus) and announce unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5)

    The Old Testament said “Then the king sent unto him (Elijah) a captain of fifty with his fifty. And he went up to him: and, behold, he was sitting on the top of the hill. And he spake unto him, O man of God, the king hath said, Come down. And Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, If I be a man of God, let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And there came down fire from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty.”(2 Kings 1:9-10) The New Testament reveals “When his disciples, James and John, saw this, they said, “Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from the sky, and destroy them, just as Elijah did?” But he (Jesus) turned and rebuked them.” (Luke 9:54-55)

    The Old Testament tells us about the wrath of God directed against children “And he (Elisha) went up from thence unto Beth-el; and as he was going up by the way, there came forth young lads out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou baldhead; go up, thou baldhead. And he looked behind him and saw them, and cursed them in the name of Jehovah. And there came forth two she-bears out of the wood, and tare (ripped to pieces) forty and two lads of them.”(2 Kings 2:23-24) But Jesus said “Verily I say unto you, Except ye turn, and become as little children, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:3) “See that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 18:10) Whosoever shall receive one of such little children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever receiveth me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me. (Mark 9:37)

    The Old Testament tells us “And thine eyes shall not pity; life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot. (Deuteronomy 19:21) “eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe. (Exodus 21:24-25) But Jesus said “Ye have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: but I say unto you, resist not him that is evil: but whosoever smiteth thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also”(Matthew 5:38-39) “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” (Matthew 5:7) “But I say unto you that hear, Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you, bless them that curse you, pray for them that despitefully use you. To him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and from him that taketh away thy cloak withhold not thy coat also.” (Luke 6:27-29) “Then came Peter and said to him, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? until seven times? Jesus saith unto him, ‘I say not unto thee, Until seven times; but, Until seventy times seven.” (Matthew 18:21-22)

    And what about the Will of God? Once again we find many contradictions between the Old and New Testament, for example: Do all men need to be circumcised “This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee: every male among you shall be circumcised. And ye shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of a covenant betwixt me and you.” (Genesis 17:10-11) yet in the New Testament it is unimportant “Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing; but the keeping of the commandments of God. Let each man abide in that calling wherein he was called.” (1 Corinthians 7:19-20). Is mankind forbidden by God to eat, among other foods, Pork, Lobster, and Shrimp “Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that is an abomination unto you.” (Leviticus 11:12) yet once again in the New Testament it is not important “But food will not commend us to God: neither, if we eat not, are we the worse; nor, if we eat, are we the better.” (1 Corinthians 8:8)

    There are many things about the nature and will of God where Old and New Testament conflict. Which of the Writings, the doctrines and creeds that religions hold about God, are true and which are false? Or ultimately is it just the case, as Job said: “God is great, and we know him not.” (36:26)

    Perhaps the misunderstanding of what is God’s will which is unchangeable, and the influence of time and place in interpreting it, is most obvious in Deuteronomy. Compare our attitude today, with what God said in the Old Testament. The penalty for Raping a virgin is given: “If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, that is not betrothed, and lay hold on her (seize), and lie with her, and they be found; then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife, because he hath humbled her; he may not put her away all his days.” (Deuteronomy 22:28-29) The punishment for raping a virgin was the perpetrator had to pay her father the normal bride price of fifty pieces of silver, and she was to become his wife, because he forced himself on her. However he can never divorce her as long as he lives. This penalty was dictated because her value as a wife to another man was destroyed and she had to be provided for in the future.

    But there is no indication that the woman had to agree to this marriage, she was to be married no matter what her feelings were towards the rapist. For most women, if not all, it would be difficult to develop a love bond with the man who raped her. Therefore, she would have to submit to marital sexual activity against her will. That is, she had to accept being continually raped after she was married. In the extreme and a totally literal reading of this law would mean, a man could become married to a woman that appealed to him, even if she was not interested in him, by simply sexually attacking her if she was unbetrothed (not promised or engaged to someone else). And then paying his new father-in-law 50 shekels of silver. That payment would compensate the woman’s father for the loss in value of one of his possessions: his daughter.

    Today we would consider such punishment for rape of a virgin (often under 14 years old) to be absurd and unbelievable. If on the other hand, the woman is betrothed or married then the rapist is to die “But if the man find the damsel that is betrothed in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her; then the man only that lay with her shall die” (Deuteronomy 22:25) After all, he violated another man’s property rights. The perception and circumstances of women have changed, they are no longer considered the equivalent of property with a value and only the need of a husband to provide for them.

    There seems, in the Old Testament, to be a general insensibility to woman and the trauma and pain connected with rape. In Exodus 21:4 it says “If his master give him (a male slave) a wife and she bear him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out by himself.” This indicates that a slave owner could assign one of his female slaves to one of his male slaves as a wife. In fact, it would be to his economic advantage to do so since any children produced would be his property. Women slaves could be treated like cows, kept pregnant and milked for the economic advantage. There is no indication that women were consulted during this type of transaction. Since the woman had no say in the matter, this arrangement would probably involve rape in most cases. While the male slave could leave after his term of servitude was completed, the female slaves and her children could not.

    If after a battle a soldier sees as a civilian prisoner-of-war who is beautiful and sexually desirable, he can claim her as a spoil of war and force her to be his wife. She has no right to refuse nor does it require her consent. Deuteronomy 21:11-14 describes the procedure to be followed. Each captive woman would shave her head, and cut her nails, and no longer wear the clothing she was captured in. She would then be left alone to mourn the loss of her families, friends, and freedom. After a full month has passed, she would be required to submit to her owners sexually, as a wife. While it is possible that a love bond might have formed between the soldier and his captive during that month, in most cases, that would not occur. In these cases the woman had to submit sexually against her will; that is, she was raped.

    “When thou goest forth to battle against thine enemies, and Jehovah thy God delivereth them into thy hands, and thou carriest them away captive, and seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and thou hast a desire unto her, and wouldest take her to thee to wife; then thou shalt bring her home to thy house; and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails; and she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in thy house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month: and after that thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife. And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will; but thou shalt not sell her at all for money, thou shalt not deal with her as a slave, because thou hast humbled her.” (Deuteronomy 21:10-14)

    In Leviticus, the lack of knowledge of the biological function of menstruation in a woman was thought to make her unclean and justified her being shunned. It also seemed to be thought of as a sin. It is stated in Leviticus 15:19-30
    “And if a woman have an issue, and her issue in her flesh be blood, she shall be in her impurity seven days: and whosoever toucheth her shall be unclean until the even. And everything that she lieth upon in her impurity shall be unclean: everything also that she sitteth upon shall be unclean. And whosoever toucheth her bed shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. And whosoever toucheth anything that she sitteth upon shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even… But if she be cleansed of her issue, then she shall number to herself seven days, and after that she shall be clean. And on the eighth day she shall take unto her two turtle-doves, or two young pigeons, and bring them unto the priest, to the door of the tent of meeting. And the priest shall offer the one for a sin-offering, and the other for a burnt-offering; and the priest shall make atonement for her before Jehovah for the issue of her uncleanness.”

    A biological necessity for the continuation of the human race was thought to have moral implications and require an atonement for a woman’s sin of being a woman. God made menstruation a normal natural part of being a woman, and it is something no woman can avoid, no matter how much they would like to. Once again, today we would consider anyone who thought this way to be absurd and unbelievable, and perhaps a little crazy, but certainly we would not think they were knowledgeable about the will of God.

    There is also other parts of the Old Testament, which in their own way seem to be amazing that the God of creation would be concerned with them. “Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together. Thou shalt not wear a mingled stuff, wool and linen together. Thou shalt make thee fringes upon the four borders of thy vesture, wherewith thou coverest thyself. (Deuteronomy 22:10-12) Yet these are all part of the Bible and considered to be as much of the word of God and the law that He established for men to live by, as are the ten commandments. These cases are not what Jesus was talking about when he said “Think not that I came to destroy the law or the prophets: I came not to destroy, but to fulfill.” (Matthew 5:17)

    These were the laws of men, and not the eternal laws of God. It has not been unknown in history for governments to wrap solely civil laws in the garb of divine revelation, to give those laws more authority. Every theocracy does so. For the Jewish people the Old Testament of the bible served as their governing document and their official history, and governed every aspect of their lives, from heath ordinances to social arrangements. Once this is recognized, the true will and nature of God can be better understood. While most of the Old Testament is divinely inspired, it must be understood that some of it is not, or has been misapplied. The Old Testament contains the word and laws of God, but it also has been used in some places to give authority to the words and laws of men.

    A prime example would be what the Old Testament said about slavery, if it only included the reveled word of God, then God seems to contradict himself and not see the inherent evil of one man enslaving another. These quotes are the laws of men and not God.

    “And as for thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, whom thou shalt have; of the nations that are round about you, of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids. Moreover of the children of the strangers that sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they have begotten in your land: and they shall be your possession. And ye shall make them an inheritance for your children after you, to hold for a possession; of them shall ye take your bondmen for ever: but over your brethren the children of Israel ye shall not rule, one over another, with rigor.”(Leviticus 25:44-46)
    “If thou buy a Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing. If he come in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he be married, then his wife shall go out with him. If his master give him a wife and she bear him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out by himself.”(Exodus 21:2-4)

    “And if a man sell his daughter to be a maid-servant, she shall not go out as the men-servants do. If she please not her master, who hath espoused her to himself, then shall he let her be redeemed: to sell her unto a foreign people he shall have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her. (Exodus 21:7-8)

    “And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall surely be punished. Notwithstanding, if he (the servant) continue a day or two, he (owner) shall not be punished: for he is his money.” (Exodus 21:20-21)

    The law of the God of love Jesus talked about in regards to slavery cannot be found in the above quotes, but only in this “Thou shalt not deliver unto his master a servant that is escaped from his master unto thee: he shall dwell with thee, in the midst of thee, in the place which he shall choose within one of thy gates, where it pleaseth him best: thou shalt not oppress him.”(Deuteronomy 23:15-16)

    In fact, the Old Testament indicates that an unborn baby is not a human life:
    “And if men strive together, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart, and yet no harm follow; he shall be surely fined, according as the woman’s husband shall lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if any harm follow, then thou shalt give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot” (Exodus 21:22-24)
    If a man causes a woman to lose her baby, he can be sued by the woman’s husband and pay the fine, but that is the only penalty involved in causing the lost of a baby. Only when the woman is harmed will he be punished according to the harm done to her, life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot. Was this law written by a Supreme Court justice or by God? The Old Testament does contain the words of God, but it must be recognized that it also contains the words of men.

    Often the God described in the Old Testament is petty, parochial, vindictive, arbitrary, and cruel, and often shows a total lack of compassion, mercy, love, or understanding of the human heart. He is not the God of Jesus, and God seemed to act more like a authoritarian dictator then a loving Father.

    May God who is Love always be with you
    Charlie

    • perrymarshall says:

      God in the New Testament is not always an all-loving Teddy Bear. Ananias and Saphira were struck dead for lying. Hebrews 10:31
      “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

      Let’s go to the New Testament and talk about “genocide” etc:

      Pay attention to God’s stated reasons:

      Deuteronomy 9:5 It is not because of your righteousness or your integrity that you are going in to take possession of their land; but onl account of the wickedness of these nations, the Lord your God will drive them out before you, to accomplish what he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

      Deuteronomy 7:

      1 When the LORD your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations—the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you- 2 and when the LORD your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. [a] Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy. 3 Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, 4 for they will turn your sons away from following me to serve other gods, and the LORD’s anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you. 5 This is what you are to do to them: Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones, cut down their Asherah poles [b] and burn their idols in the fire. 6 For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.

      Deuteronomy 29:

      16 You yourselves know how we lived in Egypt and how we passed through the countries on the way here. 17 You saw among them their detestable images and idols of wood and stone, of silver and gold. 18 Make sure there is no man or woman, clan or tribe among you today whose heart turns away from the LORD our God to go and worship the gods of those nations; make sure there is no root among you that produces such bitter poison.

      19 When such a person hears the words of this oath, he invokes a blessing on himself and therefore thinks, “I will be safe, even though I persist in going my own way.” This will bring disaster on the watered land as well as the dry. [a] 20 The LORD will never be willing to forgive him; his wrath and zeal will burn against that man. All the curses written in this book will fall upon him, and the LORD will blot out his name from under heaven. 21 The LORD will single him out from all the tribes of Israel for disaster, according to all the curses of the covenant written in this Book of the Law.

      22 Your children who follow you in later generations and foreigners who come from distant lands will see the calamities that have fallen on the land and the diseases with which the LORD has afflicted it. 23 The whole land will be a burning waste of salt and sulfur—nothing planted, nothing sprouting, no vegetation growing on it. It will be like the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which the LORD overthrew in fierce anger. 24 All the nations will ask: “Why has the LORD done this to this land? Why this fierce, burning anger?”

      25 And the answer will be: “It is because this people abandoned the covenant of the LORD, the God of their fathers, the covenant he made with them when he brought them out of Egypt. 26 They went off and worshiped other gods and bowed down to them, gods they did not know, gods he had not given them. 27 Therefore the LORD’s anger burned against this land, so that he brought on it all the curses written in this book. 28 In furious anger and in great wrath the LORD uprooted them from their land and thrust them into another land, as it is now.”

      29 The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.

      Is this cruel? Undoubtedly. Is it unwarranted? I don’t think so. What I read here is that these nations were so utterly and completely wicked that the only safe thing was to eradicate them completely. And that if they left anyone alive those people would corrupt the nation of Israel.

      There’s certainly no question about the corrupting influence; you see that later when you get to 1 Kings 11:

      4 As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been. 5 He followed Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molech [a] the detestable god of the Ammonites. 6 So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the LORD; he did not follow the LORD completely, as David his father had done…..

      11 So the LORD said to Solomon, “Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees, which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates.

      The whole nation of Israel was torn in two and has NEVER regained its original glory, not in 3000 years.

      Now, how evil were the Caananite people? Well, they practiced immolation (burning children alive as sacrifices to the god Molech) and in fact the word immolation is a derivative of the word Molech. In Sodom, which was destroyed, Lot had guests, who were actually angels, and the men of the city came beating Lot’s door down demanding that Lot send their guests out in the street to be forcibly sodomized. (Keep in mind the standards of Middle Eastern hospitality, where a host allowing harm to his guests is unthinkable. To Lot it was less dishonorable to give them his own daughters. Read the passage – it’s sickening.) God had to strike the men outside of Lot’s house blind to prevent the angels from literally being raped. Sodom is where the word “sodomy” comes from.

      The logic goes like this: These people were so completely evil, they had to be destroyed.

      Next obvious question: Did they have to kill the children too?

      Possible responses:

      1) They killed their own children by burning them to death. An enemy sword is much more merciful than that.

      2) From the 10 commandments:

      4 “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand {generations} of those who love me and keep my commandments.

      Now, does God have the right to punish children for their parents’ sin? One can propose not, but I don’t know any child who does not suffer from whatever sins their parents commit every day. Seems like half my therapy sessions have had something to do with my parents….

      I also question whether there’s really any difference between questioning God’s right to order the destruction of the Canaanites and God’s right to allow infectious disease and tsunamis.

      Here’s another response to this:

      3) Israel was under a covenant with God, and it promised great prosperity if they obeyed and destruction and slavery if they did not. Most of the later books in the OT are either prophesies or laments about Israel turning away from God and being taken as slaves by Babylon and other nations – very cruel. Having a covenant with God is no day at the beach, if you decide to violate it.

      4) When Jesus is riding on palm Sunday he weeps over the city, lamenting that he tried to gather them together as a hen gathers her chicks but they would have nothing to do with it. He predicted that no stone would be left upon another

      Mark 13 2″Do you see all these great buildings?” replied Jesus. “Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”

      There is at least a hint in this chapter – and some theologians believe – that this destruction is connected to the Jews rejection of Jesus. In 70 AD Rome totally and utterly decimated Jerusalem. Josephus’ “Jewish Wars” describes the starvation and brutality in graphic detail.

      Point being: Yes, this is all VERY ugly. Genocide. Happens to the Jews as well as the Canaanites. In other words, welcome to a world of sin. Very Bad Things happen here, when people wander from God. And yes, I know, that’s abhorrent particularly to the modern western mind. And it’s especially abhorrent because of Jesus. Stick with me here…

      There is the Old Covenant an the New Covenant. This is a HUGE concept in theology, it’s central to everything. That before Christ there is the law and after Christ there is grace. OT and NT ARE night and day. it’s not because God changed, it’s because there is a new covenant.

      This is developed in Romans 5 and thereabouts – see http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=romans%205;&version=31;

      The law can only condemn. An eye for an eye. Only with Christ is grace possible. And only with the law can the necessity of Christ be understood. I don’t think modern people have any concept of what the world was like before Christ, and how much Jesus’ message has permeated the consciousness of people all over the world.

      I would invite you to consider that if man of his own accord justly deserves punishment for sin – and that the grace of Christ is a free gift which we did not earn – then it was not wrong for God to order any of this, nor inconsistent with His character. Rather it is unjust, in a manner of speaking, for God to have chosen to be merciful to us.

  10. The universe extends all the way from the smallest sub-atomic particles to the most gigantic galaxies. To me, a God worth his salt has to be the one in charge of the whole shebang.

    You really think the one in charge of billions upon billions of stars, planets and all has much time to waste over what happens in this shitty third class planet. Come on, open your eyes, we’re not that important to the universe.

    When you think about God, you have to think in universal terms, you have to remove any item that is only relevant to planet Earth. If you talk about liberty, responsability, love, do it in a way that would hold true on any planet, at any time from the beginning until the end of the universe. Only then will you get closer to the truth and closer to God.

    • Randolph Thompson says:

      Serge, your outlook toward God is basically the opposite of what God tells us in his word the Bible.

      You say “we’re not that important to the universe”, but it is quite the contrary, we are the main event!

      Think about it.. one of God’s powerful angels (Satan) has CHALLENGED God’s right to rule. He is leading a rebellion against God and has persuaded many others angels to join him (up to 1/3 of all angels perhaps – Rev 12:4,9). It is quite likely that never before in the history of the universe has something like this happened.

      God wants us to know that he loves us. He watched his Son die a horrendous death in order to give us a second chance at life (John 3:16). By letting the Devil run the world for a period, God has given Satan a chance to prove himself wrong (1John 5:19). You see, time was the only way to prove to the universe that Satan can not rule as well as God, therefore answering his own challenge that no one needs God (re Adam & Eve). If God had of just anilated Satan and his demons stratight away, then the question would have still lingered, “Hmm, is God’s way of ruling really best?”.

      The truth is that God hates watching mankind suffer, and that’s why he’s promised us that once this is all over, and he has proven his sovereignty, he will resurrect all who have died and restore the Earth to his original purpose (John 5:28,29).

      There is no question in my mind that all of God’s creations are watching with great anticipation to see this play out.

      Warm Regards,
      Randolph

  11. I’ve always kinda thought that the reason an omnipotent God would allow all of this suffering in the world was for the sake of our free will. Okay, this is hard to explain, but… here goes… God wanted to create a creature with free will that would love and worship Him out of a desire to instead of worship out of force. The problem there, however, is that He placed His creations in a perfect garden so there was nothing to contrast His goodness for them to be able to fully enact their free will. So basically by allowing satan to enter and tempt and by allowing sin to enter into the picture, God was more or less giving contrast to His goodness so that when we choose Him it’s because we are using our free will to say that Yes we do recognize His goodness… Anyway, I don’t know if any of that made sense or not, but I tried….

  12. Dalibor Šver says:

    I remember a story:
    A rich man dresses his fat winter coat and takes a stroll down the snowy street. He is so happy with life and thankful to God for all his wealth.
    He sees a poor child begging in the street and gets angry at God and says to Him: “Why haven’t you done something about it?” and God replies “I have. I created you and put you in your position.”

    Here are few good texts about the issue of why God allows pain and suffering in the world:

    http://www.douglasjacoby.com/view_article.php?ID=179

    http://www.evidenceforchristianity.org/index.php?option=com_custom_content&task=view&id=4428

  13. Łukasz Świderski says:

    I know about wars, sickness, sadness, murderers and other crimes that are part of this world. I know all about this.

    You ask why God does let this all happen, if He exist. I can’t speak about any other god but Christian God. Can’t He just end all suffering and bring us age of everlasting happiness? Can’t He just bring justice upon criminals? Can’t He just end all wars?
    He can and He will at the end of time.
    Why at the and of time, not now? Why He won’t bring end of time now?
    There are few reasons. First of all, free will. Since the beginning God gives us free will. Even when He forbidden to eat fruit from that one three, He still had created it in the Garden. Not as temptation, but to allow them to choice. If there wouldn’t be tree, there wouldn’t be any choice, and He would took from us free will. So there was a choice, trust God’s warring that that fruit will bring you death, or don’t trust and eat the fruit, and be prepared for consequences, as taking decision mans be prepared for consequences.
    Choice was made, and there were consequences – Adam and Eva were banished from Garden. Paradise was lost forever, and from then, suffering was part of man’s life.
    This symbolic story is about free will and consequences of choice. If we have free will, we have to be prepared for consequences of our choices.
    If we had free will but God would protect us from harmful consequences of our choices, we would be nothing more than bunch of stupid puppies that need 24 hour a day protection from ourselves.

    But there are the ones who didn’t deserved to suffer. Innocent babies, victims of crime, sick people… Why do the suffer? They didn’t made any decisions to take consequences, couldn’t God spare them?
    Story of Job says that God allows innocents to suffer and evil to be. Ecclesiastes says that evil man can live in happiness and God allows that too.
    And that was really necessary to say, because before that was believed that only sinners and they children suffer and good people live in happiness. And that’s wasn’t truth.
    Jesus said (I can’t come with exactly English quote because I don’t have English translated Bible) ‘Blessed those who suffer’, because suffering will be rewarded. At the end of time there will be Salvation.
    That’s why Jesus come. To suffer as innocent. To tell we suffered, suffers, and will suffer. And to give us hope, that we will be rewarded.
    If we didn’t suffer, there would be no reward, no Salvation. It all would be meaningless, because it wouldn’t be necessary. It wouldn’t be even needed.
    Imagine world where there is no suffering, and no one even know what suffering is. Imagine world where there is no darkness.
    Would people living there value their happiness? What light would be?
    It all would be meaningless, because man values only what he have earned. What is given is ‘what I should got and have’. And it’s not all, being already happy, we would be satisfied and wouldn’t even bother to do anything else.
    We suffer, because for that we will be reward.
    If we wouldn’t suffer at all, we wouldn’t be nothing more than always cared about passive plants.

    So it’s about this. God gives us free will. The choice is not to accept that God suffered with us or mock him that suffering was in the first place. The real choice is do we make others suffer using freedom of free will in wrong way, or will we try to help those who suffer more, or will we just don’t care?
    How much suffering we need to stop worry about others? Ones will hel others no matter what happened to them. Others will hurt others even if they already are in better situation.
    Jesus said (another indirect quote) ‘Those who was given more, will be excepted for more’ .
    You will gain your reward based of how much you did, and how hard it was.

    So maybe at last less evil on the world? At last less that evil what is not consequence of free will used in wrong way? No innocent children that dies what is tragedy for their parents?
    You are right, that would be wonderful.
    Yet, it can’t be helped. God refused to directly intervene in our world, He won’t punish us, nor save us.
    I at last can believe that God sometimes will bring miracle. But miracle won’t just occur in every daily live.
    But I also can believe that humanity itself will be capable to find a way to prevent this, thanks to medicine. God gave us ability to do it by ourselves.
    And even not, I can believe that no matter how things will go wrong, it all still wont be meaningless.

    Am I naive? Maybe.

    But that’s what I believe.
    And this is my answer.

    PS: Don’t except that admitting that God suffered with us will help you, if you in your selfish stubbornness won’t ask about forgiveness for those who you have hurt.
    PSS: Helping others just to be rewarded from God also won’t help.
    PSSS: Really, those who are opposite to Christens or Religion really have to manipulate meaning and context of Bible’s quotes and attack that what 12 years old children are learning about religion what of course is less complex and less accurate then what adult should know? Can’t you, you know, at last try harder?

    • Larry Johnston says:

      Why does your God allow priests to have sex with children? I’d really like to hear something besides the ‘God gave us all a free will” rhetoric. And the ’God allows it’ rhetoric as well. Those are non-answers. Parroting words of someone else’s words is not an explanation. Can anyone answer without quoting scripture? Or is that not allowed?

      Łukasz Świderski writes;
      “If we didn’t suffer, there would be no reward, no Salvation. It all would be meaningless, because it wouldn’t be necessary”. This somehow makes it acceptable? No, that ‘explanation’ is despicable at best.
      If Christ died for our sins, why do we still sin? Seems he died In vain for everyone born after he died.

      • perrymarshall says:

        Larry,

        There are a lot of ways I might respond to this…. I hope you don’t mind me asking you a question.

        Can you describe how you think God *should* deal with priests who have sex with children? What would you prefer that God do?

        I’m completely sincere with this question – if you can carry this thought forward I think we can have a good discussion.

  14. Tal Marom says:

    This topic is very interesting, but I think you are mistaken. The truth is actually a simple, straight forward topic. The reason that we still have religion is because of people living in ancient times, before science and math. People in ancient time (and I’m talking way into the past) used religion to explain why something is the way it is, or to explain why something happens for some reason. This whole “religion” concept has just been carried on for generations all the way to modern-day society.

  15. Conway Redding says:

    This is less a question than a prolonged comment.

    I see that many words have been expended above, and elsewhere, on trying to explain how God, usually characterized as being all-good, all-powerful, all-compassionate, all knowing, and bearing the same relationship to us humans as that of a loving father to his children, could allow many of the evils that plague us here on this plane of existence. The observed state of affairs becomes even more puzzling when one considers that many seem also to believe that nothing happens without God’s directly causing it, or, at the very least, allowing it to happen.

    Nowhere in the above comments, however, or anywhere else in the literature of theodicy, have I found a reasonable explanation for why so much bad stuff occurs.

    One of the commonest dodges appears to be that God has purposes which we humans can’t fathom. But even were that so, I submit that, given that he is said to be all powerful, however far beyond our puny comprehension those purposes might be, he could accomplish them without causing any human misery whatsoever. If it be said that he could not accomplish those purposes without causing human misery, that is tantamount to asserting that God operates under some kind of constraint(s), which is to say that he is not all-powerful.

    As for the argument that we humans cause our own misery, well, we certainly do, which accounts for such tragic events as the shootings at Virginia Tech, and the rape and burial alive of little Jessica Lunsford, and the sodomizing and beheading of little Adam Walsh, all events perpetrated by humans. If God existed in any sense other than that in which Winnie-the-Pooh, Wile E. Coyote, Daffy Duck exist, I would certain expect him to have intervened when a terrified Jessica Lunsford was slowly suffocating to death after John Couey had finished using her sexually. Actually, I would have expected God to intervene in some beneficent manner way before Couey ever laid a hand on Jessica. After all, isn’t God’s eye supposed to be on the sparrow?

    And in any event, human depravity doesn’t account for the monsoons, hurricanes, earthquakes, and other phenomena, often termed “acts of God,” which have over the millenia snuffed out millions of men, women, and children, at least some of whom might have been considered by any reasonable standard, to be “innocent.” Unless, of course, one buys into the idea of Original Sin, one of the sillier concepts foisted off upon people by the Christian religion. I mean, most of us would agree that it doesn’t seem fair to punish children for the sins of their parents. Are we to think that God, from whom our sense of fairness, justice, goodness, etc., is supposed to derive, has a different sense of fairness, justice, goodness?

    To say that the bad stuff comes from Satan doesn’t cut it, either. Aside from invoking another imaginary being, this out doesn’t account, once again, for why an all-powerful God does not, with the merest wave of his finger, simply end Satan’s existence, or, at the very least, banish Satan to some place where Satan can’t work his mischief.

    And what’s all this business about Christ died for our sins? It seems to me that an all-powerful, all-compassionate deity would have been able to come up with a better way to shrive us of our sins, than to inflict such a bloody, brutal, agonizing death on his “only begotten son.” I imagine that all God would have had to do was say something like, “Te absolvo,” and that would have been the end of it.

    Sorry, y’all, the evidence, as I look at it, is that God doesn’t exist, in any other sense than that in which all other figments of the human imagination exist. As I said, think Winnie-the-Pooh, Wile E. Coyote, Daffy Duck…

    • perrymarshall says:

      Leszek Kolakowski, the famous Polish philosopher who lived through the holocaust, said: “I can understand people who do not believe in God, but the fact that there are people who do not believe in the devil is beyond my comprehension.”

      • Conway Redding says:

        Perry, unlike Leszek Kolakowski, I do not think that comprehending The Holocaust and other examples of human vileness entails any belief whatsoever in the existence of the devil, but simply in the objectively verifiable fact that there are some truly vile humans out there.

    • Richard Vidrine says:

      Conway, you come to your conclusions based on false assumptions. You incorrectly assume that suffering and pain and death in the flesh is a bad thing. It isn’t. If you were immortal, like God, you would realize that our fleshly existence is but a puff of smoke. Eternal life is not possible for mortal humans. Our flesh MUST be sacrificed. Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. Jesus, like ALL other humans MUST die (in the flesh)in order to live forever (in the spirit).

      Aren’t you thankful that it hurts when you put your hand in the fire? Would you rather perish without warning?

      God IS all powerful but does that require Him to use that power when it would be counterproductive to His goal? You have power to keep your children from harm. Don’t you let them learn ‘the hard way’? Don’t you allow them to fall down and skin their knee or get hit by a baseball because that is part of learning and growing up?

      Death (mortal) is a GOOD thing. Yes, we mourn the loss or pain of loved ones. Yes, we all hate evil. But why blame God? It’s usually PEOPLE who do the deeds. Even ‘acts of God’ aren’t the result of a callous, uncaring God. They are simply the results of an impermanent, volatile and brief existence of matter. There’s a new (and vastly improved) world coming. Come and join us as we wait patiently.

      • Khalif Foster says:

        Hi, base what I read above, so that means death is a good thing since flesh is sacrified to enter spirt word, and death don’t have pain and it like sleep, so in new world all people of earth will go to heaven forever?? If that is the case, then death is not a good thing, it may be, but will cause problem with other people and self-problem. That don’t like the life they live and people that see the person dead will feel sad and hurt. But from what you say, dead is good thing and they will enter the spirt world and other people should n’t feel bad at all, even person that kill himself shouldn’t cause other world, in spirt world, compare to earth world is much better. That what ya means?? Base on you say death is a good thing to enter higher world.

  16. Conway Redding says:

    Richard, I don’t think that what you have said at all vitiates my argument in support of the statement that God has no real existence. But let me respond.

    First, if pain and suffering are such good things, why don’t we seek them as goals? Leaving aside masochists, who are recognized as having some kind of psychopathology, everybody tries to avoid pain and suffering. Sure, pain can be useful, in that it can let us know that something is going on to which we need to attend if we wish to avoid further injury or death. But pain and suffering are almost universally not seen as states to be sought out, and neither, for the most part, is death, which, though you call it GOOD, most people likewise try to avoid, although ultimately their attempts are in vain.

    Second, I think you missed my point about God’s goals, which is, that if God is all-powerful, then he could certainly accomplish his goals, whatever they might be, without causing any human misery at all. The only reason we sometimes let our children learn “the hard way” is that we are not powerful enough, or clever enough, to think of other means of teaching them. (Just out of curiosity, what do you think Jessica Lunsford was supposed to learn from being raped by John Couey and buried alive to slowly suffocate? Whatever it was, the lesson was kinda terminal,wasn’t it? By which I mean she won’t have a chance to make use of what she learned.) But God, having, according to those who believe in his real existence, both infinite power and infinite intelligence, should not be as hampered by inadequacy as we.

    Third, in answer to your question of why blame God for evil, I say that those who believe in his real existence also claim that nothing happens on this plane of existence, without God’s either directly willing it, or at the very least allowing it to happen. In either case, God is blameworthy. Or do you maintain that there are earthly events over which God has no power? Actually, I, personally, don’t blame God for evil, since, as an imaginary being, he can’t be held responsible for anything. But I don’t understand how those who claim belief in God’s real existence, can fail to blame God for evil, considering that they hold God responsible for this world and all that’s in it.

    Fourth, you seem to me to be begging the question, or engaging in circular reasoning, when you speak with such certainty of eternal life, because your belief in that probable fiction seems to depend on your belief in the real existence of God. But it is the real existence of God that is precisely what is at issue here. In any event, I have seen precious little compelling evidence that any consciousness, or “spirit,” or “soul,” survives bodily death, and I suspect that it is the knowledge, deep inside, that when one dies, one is simply gone, snuffed out, forever, that makes death so fearsome to most folks, and that, for that matter, impels many to embrace the pretty thought that death is simply the beginning of a new kind of life. Indeed, I suspect that were it not for the reality of death, religions would wither and die.

    Finally, I return to the conclusion I reached in my first post, which is that God has exactly the same degree of real existence as Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Spiderman, Dick Tracy, Harry Potter, Madame Defarge, et alii., which is the degree of existence imputed to creations of the human imagination. As for those who say, “Well, it’s all a matter of faith,” I can only echo Mark Twain’s comment that faith is believing what you know ain’t so. So wait on, brother, for Christ to return, or whatever it is you think you’re waiting for, but don’t hold your breath. As for me, I have better things to do with my time, such as, while I’m still alive, trying to make things more pleasant for me and for those who come into contact with me in my little corner of the universe.

  17. Richard Vidrine says:

    Conway, my reply indeed was predicated on the assumption that mankind was designed and created by a very powerful and sentient being called God. Of course, if abiogenesis is correct and the law of biogenesis is no law at all, then the discussion is moot.

    Much is made of faith being a requirement in order to believe in God. However, the truth of the matter is that faith is required to believe ANYTHING that we are taught, from evolution to the age of the earth to the actual existence of Cleopatra. Even the scientific method is often based on assumption. Proof is often no less conjecture than dragons and unicorns.

    Our world is dominated by creations, many man-made. Even when looking at something as simple as a toothpick, it seems only logical to see it as a creation, something designed and manufactured. When pondering more complex constructions, such as computers, it would be deemed foolish to think that such complexities came about through random assembly. Yet, evolutionists (or atheists) propose that even vastly more complex organisms are a result of random chance. This is neither logic nor reason but a lack thereof. If we can look at simple objects such as a box or a sheet of paper, let alone automobiles and cell phones, and perceive that they are created items, how is it that this perception is lost when observing a tree or a bird…or a human being? Is it less logical to believe in a Creator God than to believe in random chance for the origins of life on Earth? I say no.

    1)Non-sequitur – Broccoli and asparagus are good for people but you don’t see them as universally desired. People rarely like what is good for them. Hence, disease, death and destruction.

    2) Jessica Lunsford may not have learned anything from her ordeal but did others? Did you or perhaps John Couey? Let’s hope so. Once again, as far as “human misery” is concerned, we only assume to know what others feel. If your human misery has been so severe, why have you not ended your miserable existence? It seems to me that human suffering is not so severe as to invoke a worldwide pandemic of suicide. For some reason, most people find life worth clinging to, in spite of pain and suffering.

    3) No God, no blame. Know God and, still, no blame.

    4) There’s the difference between you and I: you have seen no evidence for the existence of God and I have experienced undeniable proof of His existence. Contrary to popular belief, most Christians are very logical. If God was illogical, few would believe. For myself, I was a ‘scientist’ first, endowed with a powerful intellect. Had God not been able to measure up with my logic and reason, I would have never believed. Still, a lot has to do with indoctrination. I usually felt that I had more knowledge than my teachers. Hence, I was not easily swayed by generally accepted theories. My education was more an exercise of challenging much of what I was taught. My pet name for ‘higher education’ became the Hallowed Halls of Hokum.

    Lastly, my time is not being wasted on “waiting” for anything or anyone. I, too, have better things to do with my time. Life is a journey we all make. Let’s hope (or pray) that we all find some fulfillment in it.

  18. mohamed shaker says:

    i want to say that you are wrong with that because the people(all of them) make forbidden mistakes so there should be some punishments so as to mitigate the other life torture.
    in according to my last words did you see that god is great and that misery in the world is for us not against us.
    you should Ask for forgiveness from the god about what you said. about the boy who died with cancer that was mitigating from torture and the man who die of a disease is one of people who god really loves.about his wife do you know who are people who will get in the paradise before the Messengers they are the Widows who had brought up their kids with themselves after their husbands’ death. those are a lot of evidence to show that the god is great. that’s from a hand , from the other hand the god promised that he will fill the hell of the guilty people and elves so the god put that children to be a way to throw that bad government to the hell and we know the small kid never be thrown to the hell because the god love children. that’s enough ,with what i said now i wanted to tell you that every thing in the happen to you is for you not against you if you still think that he isn’t great you can connect to me with e-mail.
    by the way i am a Muslim boy. but the sentence ‘If God was really powerful and good, he wouldn’t allow so much evil and suffering to go on.’ attracted me and i wanted to comment on that.
    i don’t want you to say that god isn’t great whatever your religion is .

    • Conway Redding says:

      Mohamed, I was unable to understand much of what you wrote, because your written English is sub-par (which is okay; I myself have zero proficiency in Arabic, Farsi, Hebrew, or any other middle-eastern language), but nonetheless I will comment on your statement, “if you still think that he isn’t great you can connect to me with e-mail.” This site doesn’t permit direct contact with those who contribute comments, so I can’t email you, but I will tell you, through this site, that not only don’t I think God, by whatever name you wish to call him — God, Allah, Jehovah, Yahweh, Ar-Rahmān, Al-Mu’min, Al-Jabbār, Al-‘Alīm, etc. — is great, I don’t think he has any more real existence than the characters you will find in “The Arabian Nights.”

  19. Conway Redding says:

    Richard, I had hoped to be able to set my responses to various of your statements, off from your statements, in a very clear manner, as, for instance by using two different fonts, or two different font colors, but this web site does not permit that. Nor does it permit the use of italics or certain symbols, such as the right-pointing arrow that some logicians use to represent implication. Therefore I have enclosed any statement from you in quotation marks. My reponses are not enclosed in quotation marks.

    “Conway, my reply indeed was predicated on the assumption that mankind was designed and created by a very powerful and sentient being called God. Of course, if abiogenesis is correct and the law of biogenesis is no law at all, then the discussion is moot.”

    Of course, the “law of biogenesis” is, as you yourself would be quick to point out if you didn’t deem it to provide support for your belief in the real existence of God, no law at all, but rather an hypothesis, to wit, that life can come only from life. The competing hypothesis is abiogenesis, and, as you probably know, back in 1952 a famous, or notorious, experiment by Stanley Miller and Harold Urey at the University of Chicago indeed demonstrated that under certain conditions organic compounds, amino acids, said to be at least the building blocks of life, could indeed be created from inorganic materials.

    “Much is made of faith being a requirement in order to believe in God. However, the truth of the matter is that faith is required to believe ANYTHING that we are taught, from evolution to the age of the earth to the actual existence of Cleopatra. Even the scientific method is often based on assumption. Proof is often no less conjecture than dragons and unicorns.”

    Oh, come on, Richard. Does it take faith to believe that water is wet, that if you step out into thin air off of a high place you will plummet to the ground, that if you ingest 200 mg. or more of cyanide it will kill you? How about logico-mathematical truths? Does it take faith to believe that (p.(p→q))→q)? How much faith does it take to believe that 2 + 2 = 4, in our base 10 system of mathematical notation? It often seems to me that you theists, unable to support your beliefs with logic and evidence, then want to make it seem that nobody’s beliefs can be supported with logic and evidence, much as members of the gay community like to say that everybody’s gay. I guess you understand that in any event scientists, outside of mathematics, never say that they have conclusively proven something to be true, only that they have developed evidence that what they are asserting is more likely to be true than not.

    “Our world is dominated by creations, many man-made. Even when looking at something as simple as a toothpick, it seems only logical to see it as a creation, something designed and manufactured. When pondering more complex constructions, such as computers, it would be deemed foolish to think that such complexities came about through random assembly. Yet, evolutionists (or atheists) propose that even vastly more complex organisms are a result of random chance. This is neither logic nor reason but a lack thereof. If we can look at simple objects such as a box or a sheet of paper, let alone automobiles and cell phones, and perceive that they are created items, how is it that this perception is lost when observing a tree or a bird…or a human being? Is it less logical to believe in a Creator God than to believe in random chance for the origins of life on Earth? I say no.”

    Well, I’d agree with you on this, but then we’d both be wrong. The argument from analogy, that whole business of asking, “If you found a watch, wouldn’t you agree that there must be a watchmaker somewhere?,” doesn’t take account of the fact that we have had the experience of seeing watchmakers make watches. But we have never had the experience of seeing a god or gods make a cosmos. It by no means follows that because we know that there are man-made items, then the items that are not man-made must have been created by any entity you might want to call God. Indeed, if you follow this analogy to its logical inclusion, you would have to give credence to the existence of multiple gods, since there are generally many people involved in the creation of something like, say a Boeing 747, from the aeronautical engineers who designed the craft, to the mechanical engineers who vetted the designs of the aeronautical engineers for structural soundness, to the electronics engineers who designed the avionics systems, and so on. So, on the basis of analogy alone, it would make more sense to believe, as the Greeks and Romans did, in multiple gods.

    “1)Non-sequitur – Broccoli and asparagus are good for people but you don’t see them as universally desired. People rarely like what is good for them. Hence, disease, death and destruction.”

    Whoa up, man. Is it your line of reasoning that, because people rarely like what is good for them, that what they don’t like is good for them? Now, that assertion does involve a non sequitur, in this case a logical error called affirming the consequent. I’m going to reframe your apparent argument in the strongest terms. Let’s say that people never like what is good for them. Now, on the basis of that assertion, you want to conclude that what people don’t like is good for them. Sorry, Richard, a first-year student in formal logic would immediately recognize that your conclusion doesn’t follow from your premise. Let’s let G stand for “good for people,” and L stand for “people like it.” Then ~L means “people don’t like it.” (The tilde signifies negation). So your premise can be formally represented by G → ~L. It seems that you would like to conclude that what people don’t like (i.e. disease, death, and destruction) is somehow good for them , or ~L → G. But according to the canons of logic, ~L → G by no means follows from G → ~L. This, as I said, is a logical error called affirming the consequent.

    I will add that if suffering is a good thing, and is God’s way of teaching us humans valuable lessons, why do you religionists so often attempt to allay suffering through acts of charity and loving-kindness? Is it your intent to thwart God’s efforts at teaching?

    “2) Jessica Lunsford may not have learned anything from her ordeal but did others? Did you or perhaps John Couey? Let’s hope so.”

    Do you mean to claim that this all-powerful, all-beneficent, all-wise, all-merciful, all-loving God couldn’t figure out a more benign way to impart whatever Jessica Lunsford’s unpleasant death was supposed to impart? Come on, Richard. Think!

    “Once again, as far as “human misery” is concerned, we only assume to know what others feel.”

    Well, often the assumption is fairly well founded, as when the person tells us how he/she feels, and their behavior seems congruent with what they are telling us. I am aware the people can lie about how they feel, and, as good actors demonstrate on stage and screen every day, can simulate internal states that they may not actually be experiencing. But In any event, I’m not sure what I’m supposed to infer from your statement. Are you intending to imply, say, that Jessica Lunsford actually had a good time with John Couey, and therefore wasn’t in misery?

    As for what John Couey might have learned, who knows? That he’s going to die sooner than he might have hoped? That he should have kept his hands to himself? With respect to the latter, it appears that he already knew that what he was doing was wrong, as can be inferred from the fact that he attempted to avoid being caught. In any event, I can only say that it is a pretty shitty kind of deity who chooses to allow a little girl to die in a manner so horrible, just so that the likes of John Couey can learn anything whatsoever.

    “If your human misery has been so severe, why have you not ended your miserable existence?”

    I never claimed my personal human misery has been so severe, but in my 39+ years of practice as a clinical psychologist, I have seen many whose misery has in fact been severe, by their self-reports and by observations of their behavior, and while only one of them self-terminated (I like to think my clinical skills had something to do with the low suicide count, but I’m not that grandiose), I certainly would have understood if others had.

    Of course, just as you have asked me why, if life is so miserable, I don’t kill myself, I might just as well ask you why, if death is such a boon, you don’t kill yourself?

    “It seems to me that human suffering is not so severe as to invoke a worldwide pandemic of suicide. For some reason, most people find life worth clinging to, in spite of pain and suffering.”

    And that, Richard, in my opinion, is because, however bad and scary life can sometimes be, death is seen as being even worse and scarier. As Shakespeare put it, many might indeed kill themselves, “But that the dread of something after death, /The undiscovered country from whose bourn /No traveler returns, puzzles the will /And makes us rather bear those ills we have /Than fly to others that we know not of.” In addition, as Alexander Pope wrote in his Essay on Man, “hope springs eternal” — no matter how badly one’s life may be going, one can always hope that things will get better on some tomorrow. But when you’re dead, you’re dead, and for the dead person there are no more tomorrows, ever. Or certainly that’s what the evidence is so far. And that’s why most people cling to life despite pain and suffering. And then, of course, there are those who don’t cling to life, who number, in this country alone, around 33,300 a year. World-wide the figure likely exceeds 1,000,000.

    “3) No God, no blame. Know God and, still, no blame.”

    That’s cute and somewhat catchy, not quite as catchy as “No Jesus, no peace; know Jesus, know peace.” But it is nonetheless inane. After all, if God, knowing how things would turn out (this follows from the claim that he is omniscient) created this frame of existence, in which nothing happens without his either directly willing it, or at least allowing it, then why wouldn’t he be blameworthy? Once again, I remind you that I, personally, don’t blame God for anything, since I think the evidence that he doesn’t exist as anything other than a figment of the human imagination, is not compelling. But for believers, there is a serious problem of logical consistency.

    “4) There’s the difference between you and I: you have seen no evidence for the existence of God and I have experienced undeniable proof of His existence.”

    I’d be glad to hear what that “undeniable proof” is, Richard. Actually, we aren’t all that far apart. It’s just that you believe in the real existence of one less deity than I do.

    “Contrary to popular belief, most Christians are very logical.”

    Well, you’ll fogive my saying so, but your logical blooper of affirming the consequent, which I pointed out earlier in this response of mine, makes it seem that you, for one, do not fall into the class of logical Christians.

    “If God was illogical, few would believe.”

    I don’t know whether God is himself illogical, but it seems to me that belief in his real existence is. By “illogical” I mean simply that that belief entails critical logical contradictions which, to my way of thinking, are insurmountable.

    “For myself, I was a ‘scientist’ first, endowed with a powerful intellect. Had God not been able to measure up with my logic and reason, I would have never believed.”

    Richard, my experience has been that people with powerful intellects who nonetheless believe in the real existence of God, simply leave their intellects with the hat-check girl when they enter the halls of theological discussion, sort of like what used to happen in the old Wild West when saloons would require patrons to leave their firearms with the saloon-keeper for as long as they were in the establishment. At no point in any of what you have written have you dealt with the fundamental problem of whence cometh evil in a world created by an all-good, all-powerful, all-knowing, all-merciful deity who is said to take an ongoing interest in the well-being of us, his beloved children, and of whom it is also said that nothing happens in this world without that deity’s either directly willing it, or at the very least, permitting it.

    “Still, a lot has to do with indoctrination. I usually felt that I had more knowledge than my teachers. Hence, I was not easily swayed by generally accepted theories. My education was more an exercise of challenging much of what I was taught. My pet name for ‘higher education’ became the Hallowed Halls of Hokum.”

    Your experience parallels mine, though for me the challenging began in Sunday School, from sessions of which I was more than once expelled for asking questions that the teacher(s) didn’t like, and, more to the point, couldn’t answer.

    “Lastly, my time is not being wasted on ‘waiting’ for anything or anyone. I, too, have better things to do with my time. Life is a journey we all make. Let’s hope (or pray) that we all find some fulfillment in it.”

    That is my hope, too, for all. But I must have misunderstood you when you wrote, “Come and join us as we wait patiently.”, from which I got the idea that that’s exactly what you, and unspecified others, were doing, and, futhermore, that you were inviting me to join you in this folly.

    • Richard Vidrine says:

      Conway:

      Sorry that I was so long in replying. You are indeed a very intelligent individual, at least as ‘in the world’. There is no doubt that you are a master in the discipline of LOGIC. However, there are different kinds of logic. While my logic may not stay within the lines of Aristotelian logic or even modern or formal logic, it is a logical logic, nonetheless. No, I am not schooled in logic but I am imbued with reason. Does logic always result in truth? Absolutely not! A belief in God may be extremely illogical but God’s existence does not depend on logic. In fact, there is no logic in the existence of anything: God, the universe, us…none of it makes any sense or has any reason to exist…it just IS!

      Stanley Miller’s famous experiment failed on the highest level: it failed to produce LIFE! All he was able to do was to synthesize some chemicals (amino acids) from pre-existing chemicals with the addition of energy. Chemistry is an amazing subject. I have amazed and delighted people with chemical ‘magic’ for years; I have turned water into wine and used spontaneous combustion for extremely dramatic effect. I have demonstrated the ‘burning bush’ phenomena (where a handkerchief set ablaze remained unharmed) and I have used illusion to make a child appear much larger than the adult standing beside him. Perception permits deception as anyone who has ever watched a magician can readily attest. And the truth is that we rely on perception more than anything else. As a chemist, I was unimpressed by his experiment. He might as well have produced ATP through photosynthesis.

      Perhaps I used hyperbole when I said “ANYTHING” we are taught requires faith but I think you know what I meant. It doesn’t take faith to believe that Jesus was crucified by the Romans (a common occurrence) but it takes faith to believe that He was resurrected from the grave ( a not so common occurrence). In like manner, the effects of gravity require little faith but evolution (as taught) requires not only immense faith but a total suspension of reason and logic.

      As far as multiple gods needed for the multiple parts of a whole, it’s not necessary. While it’s true that sometimes several different crews (companies) work together to build a house, it’s not necessary. I worked with a master carpenter who built houses from the ground up. We did it all: foundation, framing, wiring, plumbing, roofing, etc. We would live in one while we started building another until we were able to move into it and he would put the other up for sale. This was in Hood River, Oregon and these homes had to be seen to be believed. Edward and Sonya…I miss you…and the scenery. When someone’s knowledge is basically unlimited (like God), a team is not needed.

      I merely said that just because people don’t like or want something doesn’t mean that it is bad for them. Therefore, your reasoning was fallacious.

      Once again, evil deeds (ala Jessica) are hard to bear, invoking a sense of rage, resentment and revenge. Yet, as awful as those things are, good can come from them. This doesn’t justify or excuse those terrible acts but it does offer hope. If you reject (belief in) God because of the presence of evil, then why not reject evolution? Why would death, disease, and decay and evil itself be a product of evolution?

      “At no point in any of what you have written have you dealt with the fundamental problem of whence cometh evil in a world created by an all-good, all-powerful, all-knowing, all-merciful deity who is said to take an ongoing interest in the well-being of us, his beloved children, and of whom it is also said that nothing happens in this world without that deity’s either directly willing it, or at the very least, permitting it.”

      Finally, there is no problem with the existence of evil alongside good (or God). How can cold exist on a planet warmed by the sun? Is cold really a thing (like heat) or is it merely the absence of heat. Wouldn’t evil, likewise, merely be the absence of good just like dark is the absence of light? The dichotomy of life is expressed in polar opposites: love and hate, war and peace, help and hurt, for and against, positive and negative. While neutrality may exist, it would be meaningless without the opposite extremes. How could good even exist without the opposite evil? Without the contrast or opposing force, it would have no value or meaning. If everything was good then good would be meaningless.

      At any rate, to induce the non-existence of God simply because evil exists in the world is logic at its worst. There is simply no correlation between the two. You might have other reasons to doubt God’s existence but evil should not be one of them. Instead, you might wish to question some of those man-made attributes (all-good, all-merciful, all-powerful, etc.) that you wish to impose on God.

      Still, all-in-all, you present a reasonable argument and good questions that are not so readily dismissed. However, one must use caution when he asserts what he perceives to be truth. Evidence, after all, is mostly subjective, scant and/or non-existent, and driven by misconception and misinformation. None of us know nearly as much as we think we do…but think, we do.

      It’s not likely that you can persuade me or that I can convince you to change our minds. Each of us will be more likely changed by our life experiences.

      Thank you for your intellectual stimulation. Now change your profession…all of those patients of yours are starting to affect your thinking. 😉

    • Richard Vidrine says:

      Why does God allow evil to exist alongside good?

      Jesus answered this question in the parable of the wheat and the tares (weeds):

      (ALT)Mat 13:24 Another allegory [parable] He set before them, saying: “The kingdom of the heavens was compared to a person sowing good seed in his field.
      Mat 13:25 “But while the people are sleeping, his enemy came and sowed darnel [i.e. tares or a weed resembling wheat] in the midst of the wheat, and he went away.
      Mat 13:26 “So when the stalk sprouted and yielded fruit, then the darnel appeared also.
      Mat 13:27 “So the slaves of the landowner, having approached, said to him, ‘Lord, you sowed good seed in your field, did you not? So from where does it have darnel?’
      Mat 13:28 “So he says to them, ‘A person, an enemy, did this.’ But the slaves said to him, ‘So do you want, having gone away, [that] we will gather them up?’
      Mat 13:29 “But he was saying, ‘No, lest gathering up the darnel you* uproot the wheat with it.
      Mat 13:30 “‘Allow both to be growing together until the harvest, and at [the] time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “Gather up first the darnel and bind them into bundles to burn it, but gather up the wheat into my barn.”‘”

      Quality control is very important to God. In fact, the slightest imperfections (sin) is unacceptable to Him. He expects a perfect product. However, when the stock itself (humanity) is so inferior, less than perfect product is the result. Gold ore has many inclusions that are not desirable. In order to remove the impurities, gold must be refined. In doing so (passing it through the fire) it becomes purified. This is what God is doing with His harvest…He’s purifying or cleansing it of all undesirable inclusions. The reason that God is so long-suffering is because He doesn’t want ANYBODY to perish. He would like to harvest ALL that He has planted:

      (GW) Rom 2:4 Do you have contempt for God, who is very kind to you, puts up with you, and deals patiently with you? Don’t you realize that it is God’s kindness that is trying to lead you to him and change the way you think and act?
      Rom 9:22 If God wants to demonstrate his anger and reveal his power, he can do it. But can’t he be extremely patient with people who are objects of his anger because they are headed for destruction?
      2Pe 3:9 The Lord isn’t slow to do what he promised, as some people think. Rather, he is patient for your sake. He doesn’t want to destroy anyone but wants all people to have an opportunity to turn to him and change the way they think and act.
      2Pe 3:15 Think of our Lord’s patience as an opportunity for us to be saved. This is what our dear brother Paul wrote to you about, using the wisdom God gave him.

      All is not well in the spiritual realm. There is angelic (spiritual) warfare going on between God and Satan (see Rev. 12:7-10; Eph. 6:12). You may ask why God created Satan, His enemy? Actually, He didn’t. He created Lucifer “full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.” Note:

      (BBE) Isa 14:12 How great is your fall from heaven, O shining one, son of the morning! [Lucifer] How are you cut down to the earth, low among the dead bodies!
      Isa 14:13 For you said in your heart, I will go up to heaven, I will make my seat higher than the stars of God; I will take my place on the mountain of the meeting-place of the gods, in the inmost parts of the north.
      Isa 14:14 I will go higher than the clouds; I will be like the Most High.
      Isa 14:15 But you will come down to the underworld, even to its inmost parts.

      He created Lucifer (Satan) with FREE WILL. Why would He do this? Simply because He wanted someone who would LOVE Him. Think about it. Have you ever had a dog? Was your dog a faithful and loving pet? I bet he/she was. If it was, I bet you loved him/her in return, that you appreciated that devotion. However, if that dog had been an electronic robot dog which only did what it was programmed to do, it would not have been the same. You could not have bonded with such an impersonal unfeeling creation. It would be incapable of love, devotion, or need. It would not satisfy the soul.

      I could add so much more (and maybe will later) but you should have an idea of why God allows evil to exist in the world. It’s not to destroy us…it’s to save us.

    • K.Benedetti says:

      Conway,

      I am deeply grateful for your patience and clarity of expression. As a lifelong Christian (42 years), I have rarely met one of my fellows who could have maintained the elegance and underlying compassion contained within your various discussions. As a direct result of your words, I have been moved to re-examine the empty rhetoric that has become my “faith”. As my belief system has started to unravel, I have an overwhelming sensation that it is being replaced by something deeper… an awareness of freedom. Strangely, instead of feeling I am free to do all of the things I have always shunned out of fear of Divine retribution, I actually feel more PIOUS (I don’t know another word to quite describe it… pious will have to do). I feel more conscious of my effect on others and the planet… I feel more sympathy and kindness towards my fellow human beings. It is a wonderful sensation… like falling in love for the first time. Thank you, you are a non-theist saint.

      Warmest Regards,

      K. Benedetti

      • Conway Redding says:

        I was both surprised and heartened by your posting, and would have responded sooner except that I just now figured out how to access the older postings; searching the more recent postings for the name “K. Benedetti” turned up nothing.

        I hope the process of reaching an understanding of religious matters, different from the understanding foisted upon you before your powers of critical thought matured, has not been too uncomfortable for you. If you think you it would be helpful to you to make contact with others who are, so to speak, recovering from religion, you might find this URL useful: http://www.recoveringreligionists.com/. This is a site started by a man named Darrel Ray, who wrote the book “The God Virus,” and there are now groups of recovering religionists that meet in many cities in the U.S., so that, if should you feel you need some moral support as you re-examine and perhaps discard long-held beliefs, you may be able to find such a group in your area. I myself would be more than happy to be in touch with you, and I can be reached at lukasiwicz@aol.com.

        Meanwhile, best wishes to you as you seek out a world-view that doesn’t entirely offend your sense of rationality.

  20. If there’s an afterlife, there’s a “before” life. We all signed up for this.

    We are here for what I’ll steal from Tom Robbins and call “vividness”.

    Vividness = the absolute value of the distance from bored.

    The opposite of happy isn’t sad, it’s bored.

    The opposite of pain isn’t pleasure. It’s bored.

    If we didn’t see things as good or bad we’d be disobeying our prime directive; i.e., the reason we are here.

    To NOT be bored.

    This is what God’s greatest gift actually is:

    You get to do THIS!

    My advice would be: choose your favorite role model, (I also happen to choose Jesus), shut yer pie hole and try to live up to the example that thousands of people who “got it” have set for us.

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