Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Interesting Comments

Taxandrian said, “I don't need to know whether it's 'OK' for God to kill babies (obviously it is, otherwise He wouldn't have done it).”

Then why did you ask the question in your earlier post? You are contradicting yourself here. This is the first question you asked. You said, “is it OK if God kills babies?” So that is the question I answered.

My answer is simple--I will repeat what I wrote:

Yes. God hardened Pharaoh's heart, yet Pharaoh also hardened his own heart.

Yes. God did send a plague that would kill all the firstborn in Egypt.

Yes. It is "OK" for God to kill babies if that is according to His will.

Taxandrian said, “No, what I would like to know is whether YOU think it's ok that God kills babies.”

My answer: Yes. God can do what ever He wants. "The LORD kills and makes alive; He brings down to Sheol and raises up." 1 Sam 2:6. That’s what it means to be God and He answers to no man. He can even offend our minds. There are several verses in the bible that at one point offended my mind but that’s why I’m not God and He is. Yes. It is okay for God to do whatever He pleases. He makes the rules, I don’t. He made the universe and He is all wise. He is the Creator, I’m not. “For they (the wicked) exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.” Romans 1:25 (parenthesis added).

It seems to me that you are offended by what the scriptures teach. The scriptures have offended your mind and you’re not willing to submit to them. You have made a God in your own image to suit yourself. And this, one seemingly troublesome area, in the text of scripture has allowed you to do the very thing that Pharaoh did. You have raised your fist against the Almighty and you’ve violated the Second Commandment that says, “You shall not bow down to any graven image”. You have exalted your mind above scripture. “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Heb 10:31)

Your original question is a bit shallow. It reveals that you do not understand the Biblical position on God’s relationship with evil (theodicy), which is at the heart of what you are actually asking (death of infants--being just one example).

Scripture teaches that God is in control of whatsoever comes to pass. However, this does not make God evil or the author of evil. Scripture gives several examples of God using secondary causes to accomplish His sovereign will. Basic questions that little kids in Sunday school are taught.

I know that God’s sovereign rule over all things is not pleasing to the fallen sinful mind of man which is hostile to God, but if you repent and trust in Christ, God will give you a new mind, and renew your worldview from man-centered thinking to God-centered thinking. There are plenty of philosophically challenging things in Scripture, Hell, death, infinity, etc.

As a Christian our question for the non-Christian is, by what standard of morality do you determine what is good or evil? For example, is evil a universal moral standard to which all people subscribe? And if so based upon what authority? If it is not universal but subjective or relative, is your question a relevant one or not? If it is not relevant based on things that are absolute, then why ask the question in the first place? I believe that non-Christian worldviews cannot adequately answer these types of questions, at least not without borrowing from the biblical worldview.

With that said, do you or do you not believe in the preservation of human life at any cost? And if you were to die tonight where do you think your soul would go?

17 comments:

ValleyGirl said...

Ooooo, good answer! Thanks for sharing your insight. It's definitely difficult to grasp that God CANNOT be measured by any human standards. We just can't really comprehend that. But He is simply God. He absolutely transcends and surpasses all human understanding and just IS.

Taxandrian said...

Oh your God, this is really great! Only four comments and I already have my own article here on the blog. Seems I stirred up the hornet's nest quite a bit.

OK, let the fun begin:

Then why did you ask the question in your earlier post? You are contradicting yourself here. This is the first question you asked. You said, “is it OK if God kills babies?” So that is the question I answered.

Indeed. I did NOT ask whether it's OK FOR God to kill babies, yet that's what you answered.
Note though, that in my last comment I was willing to take the blame for the misunderstanding on myself, and clarified my question. So, not really sure why you would want to make a problem of all this...

Yes. God hardened Pharaoh's heart, yet Pharaoh also hardened his own heart.

Interesting, isn't it? If the Pharaoh already had hardened his heart, why did God need to harden it even more? It might have saved quite a few children's lives...
Doesn't this contradict with man having free will and all that? After all, by hardening the Pharaoh's heart God effectively took away his free will, making him unable to give in, even if he would have wanted to. What was that again about contradictions?

My answer: Yes. God can do what ever He wants.

Really? Well, according to what you believe maybe he can? What's more important though is: do you agree with that? If God feels like having all children sexually abused, and your child would be among the victims (dunno if you have children), would you really just say: 'Oh, it's God's will, so it's perfectly OK!'
This is the important distinction: just because you believe someone has the right to do something doesn't necessarily mean that you have to agree with it.
Simply saying: 'Yes, God can do whatever He wants' is the easy way out. You will need to do better.

It seems to me that you are offended by what the scriptures teach. The scriptures have offended your mind and you’re not willing to submit to them.

Well, yes. Indeed I am offended by the intentional genocidal baby-killing by a God simply to convince a man He Himself had made un-convincible to begin with. And indeed, that is a God I do not wish to submit myself to....because I do not consider that a God worth worshipping.
But now comes the important question, Trish: why do you?
Because this is really puzzling: why do you worship a God who kills babies without flinching? Why do you trust such a deity? Why do you even think that, even if you were to uphold all of His commands, he will accept you in Heaven?
Because that's the slippery slope you're on when you say: 'well, God can do whatever He wants.'
So, why would God grant you Heaven? Maybe he wants to send you to Hell. Maybe he wants to send all of us to Hell.
Oh, and don't think for a minute that He will send you to Heaven because He has promised it in the Bible. After all, if killing babies is no biggie, breaking a promise surely isn't. And who are you, as a puny human, to keep God to his promises?
You see, Trish, by saying 'God can do whatever He wants', you effectively killed any reason to worship or believe in God. Because there is no point.

Your original question is a bit shallow.

The fact that you dedicated a new article to this, as well as falling back on using fear tactics proves that this goes much deeper that you are willing to admit.

Basic questions that little kids in Sunday school are taught.

Funny you bring up Sunday schools. Because why do little kids need to be taught about the Bible in Sunday schools? This may strike you as a surprise, but I'm completely in favour of every child reading the Bible. But only when they have developed sufficient reading skills, and without any adult or priest at their side. After all, if the Bible really IS the word of God, it will speak to them directly, won't it? Just hand them the Bible and let them read it completely on their own.
Honestly: how many kids do you think will become a Christian after they've made it past Leviticus?

As a Christian our question for the non-Christian is, by what standard of morality do you determine what is good or evil?

Standard Christian fundamentalist evasion tactic: when confronted with atrocities in the Bible, turn the tables on the atheist and try to get him on the defense by making him justify his morality, while presenting yours as the highest. Well again: not good enough. This may sound a bit harsh, Trish, but by condoning child murder, simply because it's done by God, you effectively disqualified yourself from having any rights to question my morality. As far as I'm concerned you are not in a position to do so.
But here's something to think about: suppose tomorrow some scientist, theologian or philosopher will come with the unrefutable proof that God does not exist, and that the Bible is not the word of God. Would that mean that when hearing this, you would start killing, stealing and fornicating?
There's your answer.

I believe that non-Christian worldviews cannot adequately answer these types of questions, at least not without borrowing from the biblical worldview

Of course you are free to believe whatever you want. But reality bites. Few things irritate evangelical Christians more than non-believing people who lead happy, fulfilling lives full of love and friendship without any fear of God or hellfire.

With that said, do you or do you not believe in the preservation of human life at any cost?

That's a bit vague. Please be more specific.

And if you were to die tonight where do you think your soul would go?

Again: 'soul' is awfully vague. Do you think you could come with a definition of the word 'soul' we could both agree upon?

Looking forward to your answer, because this is great fun!

Cheers,
Tax

The Murphy's said...

Tax,

Nice post. You are dealing with not just Evangelical Christianity here, but Trish is a Calvinist, and Calvinist believe that God ordains everything.

ryan

Reynold said...

Trish:
My answer: Yes. God can do what ever He wants.
No, lady. He can't.

Look at Matthew 5:48
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

That verse pretty much says that the standards that "god" has set for us is the same standards that he sets for himself. Otherwise, that verse, even in context of the other verses around it, make no sense.

Fish with Trish said...

Reynold,

Though it is true that God cannot do whatever He wants - in the sense that God cannot "not be perfect" or "not be holy" - in the context of our prior discussion, God can do what He wants in the sense that God is perfect, as you obviously agree with, and since God is perfect, any attempt for mankind to question God, or His actions, is a waste of time, since, God is always acting in Holiness, and Righteousness. Therefore, any idea you may have of God being unjust, or unfair, by default, must be in error.
But I still recommend that you understand that the Creator destroying His creation, is not the same as His creation, destroying another of His creation - God get's to define what we can and cannot do, and we as the creation, have no say in what our Creator can or cannot do.

If you disagree, then we will have to agree to disagree.

ExPatMatt said...

Might makes right, right?

There's a reasonable basis for morality!

get_education said...

Trish,

This is awfully contradictory. God cannot be perfect, and morality cannot emanate from God, as most Calvinists claim, if he can break his own emanations. How can anybody claim that god this or that, that atheists do not have a basis for morality and such, when your imaginary friend is not exactly an example from which to emanate anything, let alone morality?

Then your hubby claims that reason also comes from this imaginary, awfully contradictory friend of yours ... as another Calvinist I know likes to say: Riiiiiight!!

G.E.

Reynold said...

Huh? Wait, what makes you think that I "obviously agree" with you that your god is perfect?

I'm just trying to point out that he set for himself the same standards that he set for us, only he doesn't bother trying to live up to them.

Whateverman said...

Trish asked do you or do you not believe in the preservation of human life at any cost?No, for two reasons. One is that "at any cost" builds to an unreasonable level of value. If I were to answer yes, my immediate reaction would be to sell everything I own to buy food for people who are dying of hunger in Africa. Simply put, I generally value my life over the the lives of complete strangers.

Secondly, your God (as you've described him) doesn't seek to preserve life at any cost. I find no compelling reason to behave any differently.


Trish also asked And if you were to die tonight where do you think your soul would go?Given that I'm uncertain as to what you mean by "soul", I don't think I can answer.

At best I would say "I don't know"

beleth said...

Trish, in the same book, God both tells us "thou shalt not kill" and then goes ahead and kills humans Himself. How, then, are we to determine what is "good"? Is "good" what God says to do, or what God does? They are contradictory in this case.

As mere humans, we are obviously not in a position to judge God as either good or evil. This means that whatever definition we give to the word "good," we simply cannot apply that definition to the God of the Bible.

Do I believe in the preservation of human life at any cost? Well, I couldn't justify preserving human life at the cost of more human lives, so there is some limit. Besides, didn't Jesus' sacrifice show us that the saving of a human soul is more important than the saving of a human life?

Aaron said...

Ryan posted that Trish is a Calvinist... Is that true Trish? I have heard Calvinists say Ray Comfort also subscribes to their beliefs(TULIP)is that true as well? Please let me know I am very concerned now.
I am signed up to attend an Ambassadors Academy in May.

Fish with Trish said...

Aaron,

Not sure where Ray stands on the 5 points of Calvinism (TULIP). All I know is that he believes the bible and is a Christian, as am I.

Not sure why you would have concerns about the academy. If you do, you need to direct these to Living Waters.

http://www.ambassadorsalliance.com/contactus.shtml

Blessings.

Aaron said...

OK. I’m sorry if I can off as “concerned” because I’m attending the Ambassadors Academy, because I am very excited to attend, it’s only I had read that you subscribe to 5 point Calvinism and this was unsettling… Why you may ask? This doctrine (TULIP) teaches that before God created the world, He determined who would be saved and who would be damned. I believe the bible states that it is not true that God chooses some to be saved and some to be lost. It is not true that God chooses some to be saved and some to be lost. The context of Scripture does not support this assertion. For example Paul wrote in Romans 5:18:
"So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to ALL men."
If all men here does not mean literally all inclusive, then neither does Adam’s transgression bringing condemnation to all men mean literally all inclusive. Context here tells us very plainly that Jesus salvation on the cross is for all men meaning all inclusive, not just those who do accept His Salvation.
God speaking through Ezekiel and Peter tells us His heart on this matter:
"‘As I live!’ declares Adonai Yehovah, ‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! Why then will you die, O house of Israel?’" (Ezekiel 33:11)
"The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9)
God has made His desire clearly known: He wants no one to go to hell or perish; He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. That is God’s heart. What is true is that God does not force men to want Him or His rule over them. What is true is that if men do not repent and turn to Him He will send them to hell.
So basically without trying to seem a pain I will ask you the same question. Do you support the TULIP doctrine?
I also want to let you know I think you’re awesome in doing what you’re doing with evangelism! God is definitely using you to do some great work on people’s hearts. Normally I found that wherever the doctrine of Predestination was strong, Evangelism was dead. But I also found that the belief in this doctrine had nothing to do with the true teaching of Scripture so much as it had to do with an accepted tradition of the Church. It was based on the authority and tradition of the Church, not the teaching of the Bible, at least not in context.
Thanks for your Blog and your obedience to our Lord!

Fish with Trish said...

Aaron,

Where did you hear that I subscribe to that?

Trish

Aaron said...

It was Ryan, who is under the screen name "The Murphys" on this blog, who asserted that claim that you are a Calvinist.
I am very sorry if I came off badly I am still trying to learn not to send an email or post to a blog without a little more than a "moment" of refection! God is still working on me :)
I was still interested in the question if you subscribe to Calvinism. Do you? If you would feel more comfortable telling me in a PM I understand.

Fish with Trish said...

Aaron,

No worries at all. I'm not sure where Ryan found that I subscribed to that. I'm still tying to find where I state that. But for the time being, feel free to visit this link and you'll read all that I subscribe to there:

http://www.fishwithtrish.com/statementoffaith.php

Blessing to you, dear friend!

Trish

Aaron said...

Sovereign Joy Community Church
Statement of Faith

"We teach that sovereign election does not contradict or negate the responsibility
of man to repent and trust Christ as Savior and Lord (Ezek. 18:23,32; 33:11;
John 3:18,19,36; 5:40; 2 Thess. 2:10–12; Rev. 22:17). Nevertheless, since
sovereign grace includes the means of receiving the gift of salvation as well as
the gift itself, sovereign election will result in what God determines. All whom the
Father calls to Himself will come in faith and all who come in faith the Father will
receive (John 6:37–40,44; Acts 13:48; James 4:8)."

So does this mean yes for you on TULIP?

Please forgive me I am a new Christian. I was raised Catholic and have been searching the Bible with a veracious appetite. I currently attend a Calvary Chapel Church and love the bible based teaching. But Calvary Chapel does not accept Five Point Calvinism.
Take care, I'm am so tired now.....