God in Evil and Suffering?

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In my early twenties I scoffed at the “religious” and viewed the existence of an omniscient loving God in this world of suffering as an oxymoron. The thought that some deity had the right to dictate how I should live my life expecting me to follow a book of “do’s” and “don’ts” seemed ludicrous. It wasn’t until I stopped looking at the perceived faults of others and honestly looked at the condition of my own heart that I could freely seek the truth. Part of seeking the “truth” included examining morality in a world of no absolutes. How easy it is to look at the world and point out the bad in others while thinking “I’m good, I’d never kill someone or torture a baby so don’t call me bad.” Yet if anyone of us had every thought, every urge, every desire, exposed to the world I don’t think one of us could walk away without our head hanging in utter shame. Jesus perfectly lays out our condition, the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). We are spiritually dead, separated from God until He gives us new life, makes us a new creation through our acceptance of His grace and love given to us through the death of Jesus Christ.

My search for the truth challenged me to examine myself and the world I lived in. A world of subjective truth, moral relativity, and self indulgence. A world where my happiness and success reigns supreme no matter the cost to others. A world where simultaneously all roads lead to god, I can be god, and where god doesn’t exist. Yet, the truth doesn’t work that way. The truth is absolute and exclusive. Truth is truth no matter how bad one may want it to be otherwise.

Recently a few people commented that believing in God was just as logical as believing in the Greek gods. None of the Greek gods claim to be the way the truth and the life, none of them so accurately point out the condition of our hearts. Jesus is the only one that provides us with a coherent answer to our origin, meaning, morality, & destination. History, prophecy, and personal accounts are all testimony to the absolute truth of the bible. See previous post GOD AND SANTA CLAUS. Some argue that Christians use circular reasoning to prove the existence of God, yet no other world view (belief system) hinges its credibility on its ability to write the future. Bible prophecy is not vague, its specific even predicting the day when Jesus would enter Jerusalem on a donkey proclaiming Himself king. Almost 1/3 of the bible is prophecy, much of it already fulfilled. For centuries skeptics claimed much of the fulfilled prophecy was written after the fact because it was so specific. However, this was disproven when the dead sea scrolls, written over a hundred years before Christ, were discovered. See a previous post IS THE BIBLE TRUE?

This brings us to the next point, many argue that if an all-loving all-knowing perfect God exists why would He allow children to suffer death by starvation, parents to endure heartache upon the horrific death of a child, earth quakes, tsunamis and other natual disasters which devastate so many every year? Why/how could He allow evil and suffering in this world? Surely a God that claims He loves each and every one of us and has numbered the hairs on our head wouldn’t allow these horrific and evil things to occur? Yet, when we acknowledge “evil” we acknowledge “good”, and when we acknowledge the existence of “good & evil” we accept that there is a moral law by which to differentiate. A moral law by which man abides. The existence of a moral law requires a moral law giver. When we say there is no God, we eliminate the moral law giver and implicitly good and evil no longer exist. They become subjective ideas within a culture/society. In some African countries girls between infancy and 15 years old are subjected to female genital mutilation which often involves removal of the genitalia which has no health benefits and is detrimental to the girl. Yet in these countries this is supposed to preserve a girls honor and chastity. In some Islamic countries girls as young as 9 and 10 years old legally work in brothels where they repeatedly marry and divorce men coming for sex with little girls. The list of heinous acts against humans by other humans goes on and yet when we eliminate absolute morality, good and evil become subjective, and the above acts are seen as acceptable, even “good” in these cultures. Yet intrinsically the very fiber of our being tells us that rape, murder, torture, etc…are wrong. God made us in His image, life is sacred and should be treasured.

Given the logic of an existence devoid of God why would throwing my newborn child in a trash can or flushing her down the toilet be wrong when as Richard Dawkins states, “DNA neither cares nor knows. DNA just is. And we dance to its music.” This worldview doesn’t allow room for any sort of absolute morality, only an existence guided by the whims of each person. Through this Naturalistic lens Mother Theresa’s and Adolph Hitler’s lives are on the same par since good and evil can’t exist when they were simply dancing to the music of their DNA. How can we say that the holocaust was evil if there is no moral law, if we are just the product of random unguided processes, what value do we have if our very existence was mere luck in a universe of chance and no real meaning? Philosopher Dr. Alvin Plantiga states it perfectly when he poses the question,
“Could there really be a such thing as horrifying wickedness if there were no God and we just evolved? I don’t see how. There can be such a thing only if there is a way that rational creatures are supposed to live, obliged to live… A [secular] way of looking at the world has no place for genuine moral obligation of any sort…and thus no way to say there is such a thing as genuine and appalling wickedness [evil]. Accordingly, if you think there really is such a thing as horrifying as wickedness…then you have a powerful argument for the reality of God.”

God is a God of love. He is Holy and just and , “is not willing that any should perish.” (2 Peter 3:9). He has made it so clear, all we have to do is repent and believe that His son Jesus Christ died for our sins and He will make us a new creation. He gives us a new life and a new heart.

A and I have neither hate nor judgement in our hearts towards those who don’t believe. We only have love, and with that love our greatest desire is that hearts would be softened and minds would be open to reality and truth of Jesus Christ.

Rest in Him,
J

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26 Comments Add yours

  1. L.M. says:

    Tidbitter –

    You keep coming back to the stuff about Jesus… stuff that does not seem to be supported by non-Biblical evidence. You’ve hinted that there is secular proof but you don’t seem to want to share it! I don’t think the specifics of Jesus’s life are supported by the evidence and so your assertion that these various things about his life fulfil the Biblical prophecies is not convincing. I am not arguing that Jesus somehow beat the odds and managed to fulfil all of these prophecies while being a ‘fake’; I am saying that these stories were made up/embellished/sweetened so that they matched up with prophecies that the writers and storytellers already knew about.

    I don’t even want to touch the stuff about Israel… As a final note, I’ll say: I don’t think it would be statistically impossible to fulfil all of these prophecies if the bar for prophecy fulfilment is as very, very (very, very, very, very…) low as you set it. Of the many things that happen to different countries/places/peoples over the millennia, good and bad, you pick the part that is closest to your prophecy and ignore the rest. Here’s a clue: It’s the ignoring the rest part the fatally undermines your position.

  2. Taryn says:

    I am not asking you to judge. I’m asking you to be honest about what your statements mean. If you do not believe in situational ethics then those actions were wrong. Is it judging to say that stealing and killing is always wrong in every single situation, even those? And if it isn’t always wrong, then how isn’t it situational ethics?

    To quote from this blog:
    “If something is true, it’s true for all people everywhere. It’s a fundamental reality”
    and
    “The no-no’s of today, were written from the 10 commandments. Do not steal. Do not kill”
    and
    “If truth is not rock solid, and not universal, it can be made to change by every single person holding on to it”

    1. Truth is true for all people everywhere(and this includes the Jews during that time)
    2. Two of those truths are do not steal and do not kill.
    3. Truth has to be rock solid, it can not change according to the situation(and this includes the Jews during that time)

    Yet when confronted with situations where people did not obey those rock solid truths, you are squeamish about saying what those statements above actually mean. The only conclusion one can make from those statements is that lying and killing is always wrong for all people everywhere, and that includes Jews and those who helped them. There is no other way to understand those words.

    “My goal this year is to show you that there is one Truth”

    How can you show nonbelievers the one Truth if you can’t even be honest about what you believe means? Stop acting like I am wanting you to judge the Jews at that time and either amend your posts to say that some of god’s commandments weren’t really true for all people everywhere because you can’t say stealing and killing are wrong even during the most difficult times, or include the Jewish people who lied stole and killed during difficult times in “all people everywhere”.

    I would have more respect for you if you would acknowledge the less pleasant part of absolute truths: that even people who lie and steal for “good” reasons are in violation of the absolute truths your god gave you. And if you can’t do that, then you need to realize that your truths are not as absolute as you claim.

  3. L.M. says:

    Re: historical Jesus

    I can’t say I’ve thought about it much. The evidence for a historical Jesus is a bit of a mixed bag. Some scholars start with a belief in the Bible and work backwards, using the gospels to create a Jesus that is both convenient and inevitable. My memory of the Roman writers is a little weak, but I seem to remember that Suetonius and Tacitus were writing considerably after the fact and were talking more about early Christians than they were about Jesus himself. And, of course, there is that long, meandering argument about the accuracy of the Roman writers, the same one we go through when looking at their work on the emperors…

    For the purposes of this conversation, I’ll say I think their probably was a historical figure upon whom the Jesus character was based but the specifics of his life (as portrayed in the Bible) are not supported by the evidence.

    Now that you’ve changed the subject and led me down the garden path a bit, are you going to address any of the points that I made? I certainly played along with you.

    1. L.M. says:

      Notes: When I mentioned scholars starting from a belief in the Bible and working backwards, I was talking about modern scholars and Christian scholars. The stuff about Romans should be a separate bit.

    2. L.M. says:

      Further notes: Please ignore the horrendous typing errors. I meant “there” not “their”.

  4. Taryn says:

    Since you would lie and steal to help people in need and think that that is the right action and not wrong, then it does appear that you DO believe in situational ethics.And that lying, stealing, killing is not always wrong, it just depends on the situation. You don’t follow absolute right and wrong either.

    You think it is okay to hurt children for your god. To mutilate little boys with little to no pain medication for your god. Yet you criticize other religions for doing the exact same things you are doing. Why should I follow a god that encourages me to hurt infants/small children? You say your actions are not wrong because your god said they aren’t. That is the exact same reasons giving by other religions. You can’t hit children with love and mercy. You just can’t. Love and mercy would be not hitting a child. I’ve raised three children who are well mannered and obedient and there was no need of hitting them. Many parts of the world parents don’t hit their children, so hitting children for god isn’t necessary. Your god is commanding you to hurt your children unnecessarily. Please think about that. You seem nice and it makes me sad that religion can cause someone to feel like they must hurt their children.

    How does one decide what is right and wrong with no god? It is actually very, very easy. When making decisions you strive to not harm others or the environment. You do the least amount of harm possible. You treat others with kindness and respect. According to studies atheist actually are more generous in helping others than people with religion. So it doesn’t appear that having a god makes you any nicer to others.

    Your god drowned BABIES. Little tiny babies because he got mad. I was raised atheist but my parents exposed me to various religious teachings and it was such horror to me when I realized that people actually believed that happened and were still willing to worship a god who did that.

    You speak of my sinful thoughts, that is nothing compared to the evil things done by your god in the Bible. Your god has murdered children. He encourages his followers to hurt their children.

    By the way, I do hope you read the links on the prophecies and now understand why these don’t appear as proof to me.

    1. Tidbitter says:

      Taryn, I want to make sure we’re on the SAME page however difficult that may be since we have radically different world views. You’ve deduced a lot of incorrect conclusions from my last response…I answered you’re questions not so they could be misunderstood but so, as you said, you could better understand the type of person I am.

      I am not perfect by any means, none of us are. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. I never said I believe lying, stealing, or killing was right dependent on the situation. I said that I would not judge the examples you gave because that’s Gods place, not mine. I also never said its ok to hurt children. I try to live my life according to God’s will for me, His greatest commandment is to LOVE.

      What sources do you have that say atheists are more generous with helping people than Christians, or other religions? I’ve never heard/seen this statistic.

      Having God in my life isn’t about making me nicer, although (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, & self control) are fruits of the spirit working in ones life. Having a relationship with Jesus Christ is about giving someone a new heart/making them a new creation as they’ve been made clean by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.

      I truly am glad that when you’re making decision you’re trying to determine what’s going to harm the least amount of people and environment. You sound like a good person, but it’s not about being good. It’s about recognizing our need for a savior, I know you’re probably tired of hearing me say that.

      Even though you have a method of evaluation for “right and wrong” ask someone else and they will likely have a different response, “whatever helps them get ahead”, “whatever is better for the whole society” (you can only imagine the implications here). Where do you think different people get their sense of right and wrong? And without God, how can you say that your method of deciding what’s right and wrong is the best or the right way? Leading ethicist Peter Singer, believes that humanness is dependent on ones ability to feel,pain and suffering…He believes that disabled babies/adults have less of a right to life than dogs or horses. In a world where life is all the same value, humanness is not sacred, whos to say this line of thinking isn’t perfectly rationale?

      I will not/cannot judge God for His actions. His way are not my ways, yet I know that He is love. He is perfect, righteous, just, holy, & good. I am sorry you think God is wicked, although I don’t know how goodness or wickedness can even be without His existence. In a world without God, isn’t it just about survival? Where does morality come into play and who gets to decide?

      1. Taryn says:

        What l am saying is that you said there are absolute truths. Absolute truths means that these things are wrong all the time in every situation. Not that people should look at the situation and decide if the actions are okay. Some of those truths are that God said that stealing, killing are wrong.

        BUT you then went on to say or at least imply that in some situations these actions are not wrong and that you would in fact engage in them thinking that you were making the right action. You would not be sinning. This means you do not actually believe in absolute truths, you believe in situational ethics, that people should look at the situation and decide what the best most right action is, even if that action is something like lying, stealing, or killing.

        When I asked you if the people who hid Jews and lied about it to the Nazis were wrong, I wasn’t looking for you to judge them. I was looking for your absolute truths that you claimed to believe in. If lying is wrong at all times in every situation, then you should have responded that lying, stealing and killing were wrong, even then in those difficult times because those actions are always wrong. When you say these things are always wrong and then start adding exceptions for when they aren’t wrong, you no longer believe in absolute truths.

        Before you were a Christian, how did you decide not to go and murder, rape and rob people? Was it just the government laws that kept you from those behaviors, or did you just really never want to do them? You didn’t have god, yet I’m assuming you never committed any sort of horrific crime. I personally have no desire to do those things and most people don’t. But from my 40+ years on this earth I have seen that a bad person is going to be bad even if they are Christian. A good person is going to be good even if they aren’t. If someone wants to be selfish, then god isn’t going to stop them, they will just use the Bible to justify their actions(just look at history how much horror has been done in the name of your god.)

        I don’t need a savior whose actions are worse than mine. Your god wants you to hit children, mutilate little baby boys and has, if he is real, murdered thousands upon thousand of children. That isn’t love, that is an abusive relationship. Why should I be saved by something that will turn me into a worse human?

        And here are some articles about the study that showed atheist are more generous than people who are religious.

        http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/atheists-generous-religious-helping-study-article-1.1072386

        http://now.msn.com/atheists-more-compassionate-than-believers-study-finds

        They found that atheist are more likely to help others because they want to show compassion while a religious person helps others because of their doctrinal beliefs or how not helping others would make them look bad.

      2. Tidbitter says:

        Taryn, I am glad that you are reading the blog and we’re able to have a discussion…but we’re going to have to agree to disagree.

        I did not say I believe in situational ethics, I said I won’t be the judge. Like I said earlier, God is perfect, just, merciful, holy, righteous. He sees the inner workings of our hearts. In the New Testament the Pharisees are looking for a chance to accuse Jesus, when he heals a mans withered hand on the sabbath he sees the hardness of their hearts…their unwillingness to believe or see the truth and calls them out on it. Like I mentioned earlier, ultimately it’s not about a list of do’s and don’ts…although our actions will demonstrate at least part of where our hearts are. It’s knowing that God loves us and has made a way, thru His son, for us to have eternity with Him. It’s about experiencing the fullness of joy, knowing that each of us is unique and He has an awesome plan for us if we’ll follow His will.

        I’ve been honest in every response, yet it seems as though no matter what answer you receive you’ve set in your mind to either draw incorrect conclusions or continue to perceive God as someone we should be judging & condemning. This is your right, which I’m thankful each of us has. The freedom to choose, free will. No one will be forced to believe or to love God.

        Thank you for reading and engaging us. God is not willing that any would perish and His word does not return void. When we seek the truth with all our heart mind and soul, He will show Himself to us.

  5. Shayn Roby says:

    Reblogged this on shaynroby and commented:
    This article is very insightful. For indeed without God’s Law, moral relativism would be the human code of conduct, which is basically an absence of morality. As standards would plummet, one could justify his or her actions by pointing at the individual whom is “worse than he or she is”. This scenario would virtually guarantee the existence of evil, corrupt society. Exhibit A is the American public school system, where moral relativism and an absence of God in the curriculum already exist.

  6. L.M. says:

    When I say ‘comment above’ I mean Tidbitter’s response to me, not Taryn’s comment.

  7. Taryn says:

    I would research Mother Teresa a little more if you think she is an example of a “good” person. She made the sick and poor who depended on her suffer because she felt like the poor should suffer because suffering is beautiful. She had money for beds, clean toilets, antibiotics, pain management and proper medical care, but she refused to use it to help the people she was supposed to be helping. When she needed medical care she spent the money to get herself the best hospitals and doctors, though. She chained women and children to beds and trees so they couldn’t leave and get better medical care. And she did it all in the name of your god and justified it using your holy book.

    I find female circumcision horrible, but I find male circumcision also horrible. Tiny babies are held down and have a body part cut off with little to no pain medication with no real health benefit and your god commanded it. So you think it is bad when other cultures hurt children by removing parts of their body for no reason, but not bad when your culture/religious beliefs do the same thing(yes I do realize that FGM is more severe than MGM, but hurting a child for no reason is never right)? Here is a website that compares female genital mutilation to male genital mutilation. http://www.circumstitions.com/FGMvsMGM.html

    Many people use the Bible as justification to hit children, something I also find horrible. Many of these parents say that they have to go against their natural instincts to do this. That naturally they find hitting babies, toddlers and children wrong, but since the Bible teaches that they have to, they go against this and hit their children. Studies have shown the long term harm caused by hitting(spanking) yet so many Christians say they don’t care, the Bible says they must hit their children because their children are born wicked. http://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/04/spanking.aspx

    I do not believe that killing, stealing, or lying are always wrong. As I wrote as a comment in another post, I think that the Jews who lied about who they were, stole the identities of non-Jews so that they could survive were not wrong. I think that the doctors and just regular people who humanely killed the children/sick patients that were being tortured so that they could end the suffering were not wrong. I don’t think that the doctor who performed abortions in the concentration camps so that pregnant Jews could escape horrific experiments were wrong. Your belief system seems to be set up that all of these actions were wrong.

    As for the prophecies. Well them being accurate is debatable. It is one of those situations where people see what they want to see. My oldest child used to believe in fairies. She saw signs of them everywhere. If she didn’t believe in fairies she wouldn’t have seen those signs as “proof” fairies are real. Christians want the prophecies to be real, so they see them as real even though to non-Christians they don’t appear to be real. Just like my child with fairies, you are creating “proof” when there isn’t any.
    http://faithskeptic.50megs.com/prophecies.htm

    God is love. A love that didn’t just let tiny babies drown, he actively did it to the babies during the flood. I have no need for that love. I am a better person than your god. You worship a cruel, heartless god who convinces his followers that his evil actions are actually good.

    1. Tidbitter says:

      Taryn, I admit I don’t have the amount of information you do on Mother Theresa and for that I apologize. But the point I was making is if morality is relative, if we get to to pick and choose what’s good and bad it leaves us in far more serious situation then we may think. Who get’s to decide what’s right and wrong? Since Nazi Germany was killing people everyday by the thousands and it was led by their government leader does it make it right? If 99% of the world believes that killing babies is OK, does that make it right? Without a moral law giver (God) what basis do we have to decide what’s right and wrong, furthermore without God does good and evil even exist? You probably agree with me that sex trafficking is wrong, but there are thousands of people out there who believe it’s fine, does that make it OK? Who get’s to decide?

      See my reply to L.M. regard bible prophecy. If you were to study bible prophecy you would be amazed. The “proof” your daughter saw of fairies is not on the same playing field as the evidence (historical documents & events in the past 100 years with Israel) we have which backup biblical claims.

      About the spanking, yes the bible speaks of corporal punishment in love…with Grace and Mercy. And yes, we are all born sinners. No one is born perfect, I think you could agree with me there?

      1. Taryn says:

        So you are saying that the Jews who lied about who they were so that they could live were wrong? That the people who overdosed the children who were being experimented on were wrong? That the parents who stole bread to feed their starving children in the ghetto were wrong? I would like you to please answer this so I know where you stand. It would make this discussion easier if I know what sort of person I am talking with. As it looks, it appears like you are not the sort of person who would have hidden Jews because that would have involved lying and stealing and you feel like there is no situation in which doing that is making the right choice. Does this sum of your belief system correctly? That there are no situations in which lying, stealing, killing is the right choice?

        If you would have read my link you would see that it isn’t clear that the prophicies have come true. You want to see them as having come true, but it is debatable.

        I actually find it very sad that the only thing that keep you from hurting others is your religious beliefs. I do not need religion to know that hurting others is wrong. I was raised so that I am able to look at the situation and decide what does the least amount of harm. Don’t harm others or the environment. That is how I was raised to make decisions. So when faced with a situation, I decide what will cause either no harm or the least amount of harm. Sex trafficking harms people because control and power are being taken away from people. While making sex work legal doesn’t hurt people. It empowers them. I strongly believe that sex work should be legal because by making it legal you are giving women/men who want to do that the protection of the law so that it is less likely to bring harm to the workers.

        You also did not address the male circumcision and if you think a non-necessary, painful, permanent procedure that is done to newborns is okay because your god says it is? How is this any different(except with the extent of damage being done to the infant)that what you criticized with FGM?

        And with your final paragraph you have admitted that you are okay with hurting children with pain that last long after you have hit them because of your religion. How are you any different than people in other religions that hurt their children in the name of their god? If you want to convert people, you must be willing to explain why it is okay for you to harm children for god but wrong for others to harm children for their god.

      2. Tidbitter says:

        Taryn, since I’m not God…I can’t/won’t judge the Jewish people who lied (which by the way we’ve all lied), or the people who ended children’s suffering by killing them, or the parent’s who steal bread to feed their starving child. He is a perfect, just, holy, merciful, forgiving & loving God…He know’s where our hearts are. The bible is clear that yes, we should follow man’s law unless it violates His law. To be perfectly honest with you, If a group of people were being unjustly imprisoned and executed by the government yes I would take them in and care for them. When you ask if “That there are no situations in which lying, stealing, killing is the right choice? ” sums up my belief system, I would say No. What I believe isn’t about following a list of rules, it’s about recognizing that I was spiritually dead (separated from God by my sin) and realizing that God loved me and you so much that He allowed His perfect son to die on the cross for my sins. And that when i ask Him into my heart He makes me a new creation, I become spiritually alive.

        My belief in Jesus is definitely not the only thing keeping me from hurting others. I’ve known the Lord for about 8 years and I never tried to hurt people before Him. And I’m glad that innately you know that hurting others is wrong, I think most of us do. Anyone can be a “good” person by doing “good” things, but we have still all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We’ve all had hurtful thoughts towards others or wished ill on others, most of us don’t act out on it but God sees our hearts. He knows our thoughts. His greatest desire is that you and I would seek after Him.

        As for your circumcision question, I don’t want to get side tracked…the point I was making with this and the child sex trafficking is that in a world without a absolute morality (good & evil) practices such as FGM, sex trafficking, forced abortions i.e. China, etc…whether they are right or wrong dissipates because in a world without God there is no good or evil…everything becomes relative.

        As for you last statement. I in know way, especially as a mother, said that harming my children in the name of my God is OK. I said the Bible talks about corporal punishment in LOVE, GRACE, & MERCY. I love my children dearly and would never purposefully harm then.

        If there is no God who decides what’s right & wrong? Aren’t we just “dancing to the music of our DNA” in whatever direction that may take us?

  8. L.M. says:

    The part about the Greek gods is really annoying me. You seem to be saying that it is less logical to believe in the Greek gods because they did not claim to be ‘the way the truth and the life’. That is not a meaningful standard of judging whether or not a religion is real, that is just snipping something that is specifically from the Christian religion and scoffing at the fact that it does not appear in other religions. It’s like saying “Christianity is real because our messiah is called Jesus and EVERYONE KNOWS that for a religion to be real the messiah needs to be called Jesus”. It’s utterly meaningless. It can be just as easily reversed. Consider this… “The Greek gods are real because Athena sprang forth from the head of Zeus, Athena doesn’t spring forth from the head of Zeus in Christianity and therefore Christianity must be false.” It is a meaningless, unhelpful standard.

    If you are referring specifically to the part about Christianity claiming to be true then your point is weaker still. Does claiming to be true make something true? More to the point, have you failed to noticed just how many other religions claim to be true? Lots and lots of them.

    The stuff about Bible prophecy seems to rely on different parts of the Bible supporting each other. This relies on the reader already believing the Bible is true. If I do not believe that the Bible is true, then the stuff about Jesus entering Jerusalem on a specific day (as foretold in the Bible) is utterly meaningless because I have no reason to believe that Jesus did enter Jerusalem on a specific day. There is a very simple way of explaining how earlier parts of the Bible fit in with later parts. Have you ever wondered why The Godfather II follows on from The Godfather? Or why Toy Story 2 follows on from Toy Story? Or how the Bourne Supremacy follows on from the Bourne Identity?

    Is it proof of the inherent truth of Hollywood?

    1. Amaryllis says:

      Writers familiar with the Tanakh managed to conform to it? Shocking!

    2. Taryn says:

      You are explaining perfectly why so many of the arguments used by Christians to try and “prove” their religion is the one true religion doesn’t really work. I hope that these replies are helping the blog authors to understand better why these blog post trying to teach other Christians how to debate with atheist are not actually helpful.

      1. Amaryllis says:

        And so very, very annoying to atheists. Just a hint: insulting and annoying people does not inspire them to join your religion.

      2. Tidbitter says:

        Amaryllis, I’m not trying to “inspire” anyone to join my religion. I’m writing because I want to share the truth about Jesus Christ with whoever will listen. I apologize if you were insulted or annoyed, but I am glad that you read the post.

    3. Tidbitter says:

      You make a valid point in that just because someone/something says they’re “true” doesn’t make it true. And you are right that just because a religion or belief system says it’s true or the only way, it doesn’t make that right either. And I realize that there are religions out there that make similar claims to being the only truth, but do any of those religions have proof/evidence to back it up?

      It is possible to look at the bible from a purely intellectual standpoint and demonstrate the validity of it’s claims. Yes, different parts of the Bible support each other and shows fulfilled prophecy but we have secular documents apart from the bible which also support biblical prophecy. To name a few the book of Daniel (before 500 B.C.) declares that the Messiah would begin his ministry 483 years after the decree to rebuild/restore Jerusalem occurred (Discovery of the dead sea scrolls validates that Daniel was written well before Christ’s birth and secular historical documents verify the bible’s account for when Jesus’ ministry began). Zechariah tells us the exact amount of money, (30 shekels) Jesus would be betrayed for (Biblical & secular historian agree that was the amount Jesus was betrayed for). Israel is a powerful testimony to the inerancy of the bible. No other people/nation has been destroyed, had its people scattered all over the world and two thousand years later had the people regather and the nation restored. All of this was foretold in the bible, as I mentioned in an earlier post “Is the Bible true” even as recent as the 19th century Israel was seen as a “wasteland”. In 1867 Mark Twain wrote the following, in Innocent’s Abroad, about Israel which at the time was called Palestine: “Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes… the spell of a curse that has withered its fields and fettered its energies… Palestine is desolate and unlovely… It is a hopeless, dreary, heartbroken land.” Currently, Israel’s agriculture and economy are prospering. With agricultural settlements flourishing over former sand and malaria infested wastelands and vast reserves of natural gas and oil being discovered. The list goes on and one of fulfilled prophecy which is backed up by current events and historical documents.

      1. Taryn says:

        I hope that you will approve the longer comment I wrote. It discusses some of these prophecies you are speaking of and why they are debatable as having come true. I’m not sure how your comment moderation is set up, so I hope you see it and it didn’t get sent to a spam folder.

        Here is a website that discusses the prediction of Daniel and why it isn’t necessarily proof that Jesus was the one being spoken of.
        http://www.antisupernatural.com/70weeks.html

      2. L.M. says:

        Based on the comment above and your ‘Is the Bible true?’ post, it seems like you don’t want to think very deeply about how different things interact with each other. I was a little startled when the ‘Is the Bible true?’ post ended so abruptly; when you said ‘consider the evidence presented above’ all I could think was “What evidence? Have we seen the evidence part already?”

        Your thought process seems to be “Y followed X, therefore X correctly predicted Y”. You don’t seem to consider “Y followed X because Y was shaped by X” (or the many other ways in which two things can interact).

        The way you seem to think about this puts me in mind of a magic trick: I ask you to write a secret word on a piece of paper, you don’t show me the word but somehow I correctly guess that the word is “grapefruit”. You seem to be applying the same thinking to Biblical prophecies, as if the secret word was written down but kept hidden and then the prophecies came true independently, completely isolated from the word itself.

        Also, can you please show your sources about the secular evidence for the truth of the Bible?

      3. Tidbitter says:

        Let me start here, do you believe the historical figure of Jesus existed?

      4. Tidbitter says:

        L.M., I agree that one or two prophecies could be fulfilled in that way that you are speaking of…in very specific situations i.e. Jesus as a man or God knew that His entry into Jerusalem On a donkey down to the specific day is in the scriptures. So if He was a fake, He could have looked at the scripture and decided to do as the scripture said. There are over 300 specific prophecies about the messiah in the Old Testament many of them concerning thing Jesus could not have manipulated (ancestry, birthplace, how He’d die, being pierced in the side, people’s reaction to His death). The probability of Him fulfilling just 8 of the 300 prophecies is 1 in 10^17. I know you’re response is that everything written about Jesus as the messiah fulfilling prophecy is false or maybe just a few truths to it…but we can look at fulfilled prophecy we know has historically true such as the exiles of Jews, sacking of Jerusalem, the restoration of Israel as a nation and regathering of Jews in 1948. Israel’s agricultural and economic revival…as recent as the 19th century is was seen as a desolate wasteland. The succession of the great world kingdoms as told by Daniel (Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, & Rome).

        There are prophecies we maybe able to see fulfilled in our lifetime…such as Gods protection of Israel. No matter how bad it gets in the Middle East, His hand is on the Jewish people and the nation. We have already seen His supernatural protection i.e. the six day war. The destruction of Damascus may also be something we see in our lifetime.

        It would be statistically impossible to fulfill the amount of bible prophecies which have been fulfilled throughout the centuries without Gods hand it in all. How could leaders, nations, commoners conspire over centuries to make sure bible prophecy was fulfilled? I see the point you’re trying to make with your example, but I just don’t see how nations could rise and fall all because specific people conspired to make sure they fulfilled bible prophecy?

      5. L.M. says:

        When I say ‘comment above’ I mean Tidbitter’s response to me, not Taryn’s comment.

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