Friday, May 18, 2007

10 Questions Answered

I found this on YouTube... Figured I'd answer. And I'm trying to keep my answers simple and short.

10 Questions that every intelligent Christians must ask themselves

1. Why doesn't God heal amputees?

God does not ever promise that life will be easy for his followers. The miracles Jesus performed in the Bible weren't just to heal people but to show His power and authority so that others could believe in Him and in the grace and salvation He offered. Today, God doesn't need to regrow someone's arm to get them to believe in Him. I am not God and can only guess as to why He doesn't perform a miracle and regrow someone's leg. Personally, I don't think He needs to. Christianity is big enough now that He doesn't need have to rely on miracles like that to gain supporters as He did when only 12 people where His disciples. Though, He still does heal with His miracles; we just don't have a 2000 year old book to read about modern-day healings. Ask a few Christians about the miracles they witnessed. God doesn't need to regrown an arm these days (my opinion).

2. Why are there so many starving people in our world?

Again, God does not promise that life will be easy for this followers. Additionally, He uses tragedies to bring about goodness in the world. Christians are called to respond to these tragedies. Without these evils, there would be no need for acts of kindness. If there were no suffering, we would not know how good we have it. And, when we have it good, we're called to help those that don't.

3. Why does God demand the death of so many innocent people in the Bible?

The video sites Bible verses like Exodus 35:2, Deuteronomy 21:18-21, Leviticus 20:8, and Deuteronomy 22:13-21, but doesn't take into account what the world was like back then. Brutal and Barbaric. And, what God is asking is not for people to be put to death, but for his people to rise above the barbaric nature of the time and live better lives. The verses are not about killing people who sin, but God telling people that willfully sinning is spiritual death.

4. Why does the Bible contain so much anti-scientific nonsense?

Simply put, God does not follow our science. He is capable of things that we do not currently have the capacity to understand. God does not fit into our rules and regulations. We cannot force Him to conform to our ideals. In fact, it's supposed to work the opposite way. We are called to follow His rules. Yes, we have to just accept on faith that God is above science. It's called Faith.

The video talks about the world being created in 6 days and Adam being created from dust and calls it nonsense. What the producer doesn't realize here is that those stories are allegory. Yeah, there's Christians who believe that, but they, too, are misguided.

5. Why is God such a big proponent of slavery in the Bible?

God is not a politician running on a platform. He is not a proponent of slavery and we cannot place humanistic labels on him. By calling people "slaves," He is not condoning the act of slavery.

The video calls out verses like 1 Peter 2:18 "Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh." But doesn't say anything about the entire text here, which explain it all. Read all of 1 Peter 2:13-25 and you'll see that the passage isn't about slavery. Verse 19 says, "For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God." God favors those who are persevere through hard times with their faith. Heck, He allowed the Jews to be enslaved for them to learn that lesson. As with history, we can learn from the Bible's past and strengthen our own faith.

6. Why do bad things happen to good people?

I'll make this as simple as possible. God never said that our lives on earth will be smooth sailing if we follow Him. Bad things will happen in our lives and it is through our faith in God that we learn how to handle those situations best.

7. Why didn't Jesus' miracles in the Bible leave behind any evidence?

Depends on what evidence you're looking for. Physical, tangible, I can touch it evidence? Um... Alot happens in 2000 years. I hope you're not expecting DNA samples and hairs from Christ's head today. If you want other evidence, read Acts and ask yourself would you be willing to die for your beliefs. Stephen, a disciple of Christ, was stoned to death for believing that Christ rose from the dead. He died for his belief in that miracle. Why would he not admit that Christ didn't rise from the dead? He would have lived if he did. But, he would be lying and denying God if he did, a fate worse than death. Imagine living in a time when people stoned you to death. It's a slow, painful and torturous end. What would you die in such a way for? Stephen, and many other early Christians, died because they not only believe Christ rose from the dead, but some of them where witnesses to his death and ascension. They were willing to die for that belief. How is that different from a suicide bomber dying for 70 virgins? The suicide bomber is murdering people as he dies. The martyr isn't.

8. How do we explain the fact that Jesus has never appeared to you?

Well, you know, when I called to him to help me and when I accepted him, he did appear to me. No, I didn't see a body in front of me. But, he did reveal himself to me. And, I have seen examples of his presence (Check out my October 2005 archives and this one from November 2005 for examples).

If you haven't accepted Christ, you will not get an answer that is satisfactory to you. If you are expecting to see a bright light, an angels' chorus and clouds all around you, you definitely have the idea of Jesus "appearing to you" wrong. Jesus doesn't come to us on our terms. We go to Him on His.

9. Why would Jesus want you to eat his body and drink his blood?

Because we're all supposed to be cannibals... Ok, seriously. The body and blood of Christ is representative of his sacrifice for us. Eating his body and drinking his blood is not talking about physical food and nutrition, but about spiritual food and drink to keep our faith strong. Following Christ's teachings keeps our faith strong. That's the quick nutshell answer. There are better people who can explain this to you than I can...

10. Why do Christians get divorced at the same rate as non-Christians?

That's easy. As the video says, "If God put to people together, that should seal the deal, right?" It should, but we're sinners and we don't always to what God wants us to or what is right.

The video goes on after the questions, "In order to believe in God, you had to create all sorts of strange rationalizations and excuses. If you are an intelligent, college-educated person, all of these rationalizations and excuses make you uncomfortable." Well, actually, what you call "rationalizations" don't make me uncomfortable at all because my faith is strong. Being a video editor, I can tell you alot of work went into producing this video. Unfortunately, the producer is horribly misinformed about Christianity. Generally, when someone puts out that much effort to slam something, it's because deep down they are lost and are seeking that which they slam.

I will assert that none of my answers will make since to you on your terms. You have to be willing to accept God's terms to understand the answers. The video says, "When you use your brain, and when you think logically about your religious faith, you can reach only one possible conclusion, the 'god' you have heard about since you were an infant is imaginary." Well, there's the problem. You cannot think about God in terms of human logic. God defies our logic... because He's God. Faith in God is not dictated by logic. Sorry to be cliche, but that's why it's called Faith.

It continues, "You have to willfully accept bizarre rationalizations to believe in your 'god.'"

Finally, something we can agree on.

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