Just Where The Hell Is Either God Or Jesus When They Are Really Needed?!

“And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed." Genesis 12:3

This past Sunday night, the National Geographic Channel aired a program based on the documented facts that there were 42 failed attempts to kill Hitler in: 42 Ways to Kill Hitler.

While attempting these 42 failed assassinations to kill this monster; six millions Jews, Jehovah Witnesses and other “undesirables” died in Nazi concentration camps along with millions of civilians and hundreds of thousands of soldiers.

When I was a student at Columbia Theological Seminary, the bottom floor of the school’s library housed stacks of books (many written by Jews) trying to explain or deal with the crimes against humanity of Hitler and the Nazi forces in World War II.

If there is a God seated on his Royal Throne in Heaven, why did he not let at least 38 of these assassination attempts succeed since the death of Hitler could have stopped the Nazi machine or the latter of the 38 attempts would have ended the war?

In fact, the documentary noted Hitler consider himself immortal and protect by God. Plus, after 42 failed attempts on his life, Hitler was allow to end his life on his own terms and when he was ready to.

Here are a few basic questions:

If there is really some God of love watching over his creation, why did this God leave millions of his chosen / Covenanted people to suffer and die horrible deaths?

Why did thousands of Christian Jehovah Witnesses also died in Nazi concentration camps?

If God is “teaching us a lesson” what is it? He does not exist? He is now dead? He dose not / can not answer prayers? He wants his believers to prop him up theologically? Is he is doing some sort of religious test on believers?

And just what the Hell was Jesus doing as hundreds of millions of Christians cried out to him for help daily?

Christians, you have your work cut out for you now. It’s time to create
some major theological excuse!

117 comments:

John W. Loftus said...

Christian answer: "I don't know but God does."

What a lame excuse! It's a non-answer.

Jacob said...

Zionist answer: "Israel."

Jacob said...

PS, is that meant to be immoral or immortal in the following paragraph?

"In fact, the documentary noted Hitler consider himself immoral and protect by God..."

Jason Long said...

This is a paragraph from my book that relates to this:

It is this person’s argument [someone else] that God should not have to appear to everyone, and it is my duty to point out that God decided to appear at many points in the past for meaningless reasons. God appeared when he wanted to give directions for making curtains to go in his temple, but he neglected to appear to Hitler and prevent the deaths of millions of his chosen people. God appeared when he wanted to have a wrestling match with Jacob, but he neglected to appear when thousands of African children starved to death last week. God appeared when he wanted people put to death for working on the Sabbath, but he neglected to appear during the Crusades when thousands of people were killing each other over who had the right religion. The reason to question comes not from God’s decision to appear only at select times, but rather from the timing itself.

Jason said...

When I was a student at Columbia Theological Seminary, the bottom floor of the school’s library housed stacks of books (many written by Jews) trying to explain or deal with the crimes against humanity of Hitler and the Nazi forces in World War II.

And how did they explain it?

Harry McCall said...

We might write off a God who slaughtered the women, children and babies of the Canaanites so the Israelites could get their land.

But folks, we have the loving Jesus involved here too you know. But then, just maybe, the Trinity is a three headed monster one might expect in the Book of Revelation!

Greg said...

Mr Loftus is correct, it is a non answer. Free choice is a gift. God gave it to us so that we could be in a meaningful relationship with him. One that we choose to be in. The otherside is, we can choose to ignore him, reject him, hate him, and do evil in spite of him. The Lord allows children to die, and nations to starve, and people to suffer, because it is a broken world. So broken, that his own son was tortured and killed by the very people he came to save.

I dont understand Mr. Longs premise. Not understanding why God shows up here and not there does not make the act itself meaningless.
You mention curtains in your post..do you understand the signifigance of the curtains, and what it meant when they ripped? Perhaps God intends to show himself through us. Perhaps that is what James is all about..not faith though works, but works because of faith. Why dont we take responsibility, and feed starving children...next door, let alone in africa. Its a cliche, I know, but its true, all it takes for evil to happen, is for good men to do nothing.
respectfully,
Greg

Jason said...

Greg, you're absolutely right.

Everyone would do well to remember the general malaise and unwillingness of the Allies in WW2 to prevent the atrocities committed by Hitler. Immigration was curtailed by the Allied nations when it was needed most, decrypted German police and SS reports detailing the slaughter of Jews was ignored, Austria essentially handed over its entire Jewish population to the Germans, British and American intelligence knew of Hitler's remove and relocate Jews yet nothing was ever done with the information, Hungary stopped deporting upwards of 10,000 Jews a day only after heavy international criticism, the Allies didn't bother bombing the train tracks leading to the death camps, the MS St Louis carrying more than 900 Jewish refugees from Germany was turned away by both the US and Canada, and the list goes on and on and on. The complacency of the Allies in the face of such an event is truly staggering.

Where the hell was the rest of the world when they were really needed?

Mankind had opportunity time and time again to prevent the Holocaust but they dropped the ball, of that there should be no doubt.

"It was easy for the Nazis to kill Jews, because they did it. The allies considered it impossible and too costly to rescue the Jews, because they didn't do it. The Jews were abandoned by all governments, church hierarchies and societies, but thousands of Jews survived because thousands of individuals in Poland, France, Belgium, Denmark, Holland helped to save Jews. Now, every government and church says, "We tried to help the Jews," because they are ashamed, they want to keep their reputations. They didn't help, because six million Jews perished, but those in the government, in the churches they survived. No one did enough." - Jan Karski

Robin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robin said...

God's wisdom is fathomless and His decisions are unsearchable and His methods are mysterious and untraceable. No one can even completely understand His mind or advise Him to the proper course of action. It is arrogant for us to seek to determine what God is doing in a particular event or circumstance. We cannot search out His reasons behind His decisions or trace out the ways by which He brings those decisions to pass. God's ways are infinite in wisdom and cannot be comprehended by our finite minds.

Philip R Kreyche said...

Robin: how would you tell the difference between a situation in which God is involved, and a situation where It is not? You'd never know, would you?

And despite the fact that you say we can't fathom or comprehend God, you sure are making a lot of concrete claims about Its nature.

Philip R Kreyche said...

And Jason:

The question was not "Where was everyone else?" The question was "Where was God?" Try again.

Jason said...

Philip,

What do you mean, "where was God"? I would have thought it obvious: God was in each opportunity man was offered as a means to exercise his free will and stop the Holocaust. The world powers instead chose to turn a blind eye.

The opportunity to choose and make a difference for the better is always there. Whether we do or don't is a responsibility we ultimately live with. It's not a new scenario.

Michael said...

So basically Robin you are dumbfounded as to why God would or would not act and have grabbed the last card in the deck which is that we are not meant to understand the ways of God.

This is used for almost every single end point for Christians.

Philip R Kreyche said...

Jason, once again, the question is not about what men were doing, it's about what God was doing. God as an independent Intelligence.

By your response, you seem to imply that God couldn't do anything because men weren't doing anything. Is God restricted to what men do?

Harry McCall said...

Thanks Jacob! I'll correct this. Maybe, Hitler was an immoral immortal.

Jason said...

Philip,

Firstly, I told you what God was doing and second, no, that's not what my response implies.

Philip R Kreyche said...

"God was in each opportunity man was offered"

No, I'm sorry, this doesn't explain what God was doing.

But since I'm pretty certain that you are not qualified to speak on behalf of the Creator of the Universe, I'll just wait for It to answer for Itself.

Which, assuming It exists, would be no problem for It.

...

... still waiting. Maybe It'll make an account and post something soon.

billf said...

"The world powers instead chose to turn a blind eye."

Jason, thanks for clearing this up for me. Now I finally understand. The allies were not doing enough. The neighboring countries were not doing enough. The 48 assassination attempts were not enough. Therefore 6 million jews were allowed by god to be sent to the gas chamber.

I can't understand why I didn't figure this out before...

Harry McCall said...

Jason, there were as many explanations as there were authors / theologians. If, as a Jew you hated God, it was there. If you thought God was still in control, it was there.

When I had the Rabbi from the conservative synagogue, Temple Beth Israel, to talk to the Lion’s Den Religious and Philosophical discussion group back in around 1988 and four Reconstructionist Jews showed up (these are Jew, who, because of the Holocaust reject religion and God; holding to tradition only) and gave this conservative Rabbi hell! Several of these Reconstructionist Jews had lost family to the Nazis.

The conservation Rabbi latter had to leave the synagogue because of alcoholism. Maybe she covered up too much!

Robin said...

Philip,

I said we can't COMPLETELY fathom or comprehend God and His ways. God is involved in every circumstance. I trust that He has good reasons for allowing what He does even though I may not know what they are.

Robin said...

I believe that God exists and that He is good therefore all evil has a justifying reason.

Philip R Kreyche said...

Well you have your work cut out for you, Robin. Because first you must prove that a Supreme, Immaterial Intelligence exists, then you must prove that it is "good."

And tell me: why do you "trust" God? What has God done that makes you think It's worthy of trust, especially since It has no restrictions, no standards to adhere to, no superior morality to behave according to, and is invisible and silent?

Philip R Kreyche said...

Bill,

Good point. How many millions of soldiers died in the European Theatre fighting the Nazis, Jason? Not enough millions?

Robin said...

There's other sources of justification and warrant other than argumentive proof. So there's no need for me to prove it. There's many things we know without argument or demonstration.

Philip R Kreyche said...

Well with that perspective, don't expect us to take you seriously, Robin.

Jason said...

Philip,

Er, if I'm not qualified to speak on behalf of the Creator of the Universe, I'm not sure why you're asking your questions...?

Jason said...

billf,

That's exactly right and I'm glad you finally figured it out. Free will comes with responsibility. It's no different then turning a blind eye to the homeless or the hungry and then getting mad at your neighbour for not doing something about it. We're all given choices and we bear the repercussions of the decisions we ultimately make, it's been this way since the beginning of time. But as is apparent in this thread and hundreds of others just like it, mankind enjoys nothing more then to point a finger and pass the blame.

Logosfera said...

I have a theory that could solve this problem of evil pretty easily.
God loves his son too much to care the rest of his creation. The universe is Satan's playground and the Satan's happyness is the ultimate goal of God.
God didn't prevent Hitlers assasination, Satan did because it made him happy. When Satan got bored with Hitler, he allowed the assasination to succeed.
Religions are also the product of Satan. He himself appeared to all the prophets and gave them different instruction to see how the conflict will turn out.
Remember the crusades? Satan was laughing his ass off while saying to God: "Look what they're doing pa', and they say they do it in your name. LOL".
Seeing his son so happy makes God happy. That's all that matters to a good father.

Rember how God punished the snake (Satan) for tricking Eve? He made him crawl, that means leaving it as it was. Satan was so happy to see Eve embaressed by her nakedness that God played along.

A father will fukc anybody up for the wellfare of his beloved children and so God will fukc as many universes as it takes for the wellfare of his only beloved child, Satan.

Brian_E said...

Jason said: The opportunity to choose and make a difference for the better is always there. Whether we do or don't is a responsibility we ultimately live with.

Why does this only apply to man and not god?

Jason said: mankind enjoys nothing more then to point a finger and pass the blame

Isn't this exactly what you're doing, and what you do in every single post, to absolve your god of any responsibility? You are nothing more than a god excuse-generator.

Jason said...

Brian said: Why does this only apply to man and not god?

Because from a Christian perspective, we're the ones being held responsible by God for the decisions we make (a la Deut 30:19), not the other way around.

Isn't this exactly what you're doing, and what you do in every single post, to absolve your god of any responsibility? You are nothing more than a god excuse-generator.

lol Not at all. If you knew you could save a drowning person by simply throwing them a rope, but instead you wantonly ignored them and the individual died, would you be held responsible for their death? Yes or no.

The fact of the matter is, men live in a universe in which the consequences of what they do are inescapable, and therefore their responsibility for what they do is equally inescapable. Without this burden, man would do whatever they liked with complete impunity and there would be no responsibility. Or, if you don't like this scenario, free will could just be removed altogether and nothing bad would ever happen. Which do you prefer?

Robin said...

Okay Philip I guess I won't take you seriously either. Study a little bit more Epistemology first.

Brian_E said...

Jason said: Because from a Christian perspective, we're the ones being held responsible by God for the decisions we make (a la Deut 30:19), not the other way around.

This does nothing to explain why god sometimes intervenes, and sometimes not. Is god micro-managing or not?

And let me fix that last paragraph for you and re-present it to you:

The fact of the matter is, god lives in a universe in which the consequences of what he does are inescapable, and therefore his responsibility for what he does is equally inescapable. Without this burden, god would do whatever he liked with complete impunity and there would be no responsibility. Or, if you don't like this scenario, free will could just be removed altogether and nothing bad would ever happen. Which do you prefer?

Jason said...

Brian said: This does nothing to explain why god sometimes intervenes, and sometimes not. Is god micro-managing or not?

It wasn't meant to explain why God sometimes intervenes and sometimes doesn't. It was meant to answer the question you asked.

The fact of the matter is, god lives in a universe in which the consequences of what he does are inescapable, and therefore his responsibility for what he does is equally inescapable. Without this burden, god would do whatever he liked with complete impunity and there would be no responsibility. Or, if you don't like this scenario, free will could just be removed altogether and nothing bad would ever happen. Which do you prefer?

Er, yes, God can do whatever He wants with complete impunity. That's why Christians use terms like "omnipotent" and "all powerful" to describe God. I'm curious though, what exactly are you trying to argue here...?

I didn't get a straight answer from you. Would you prefer a world where man had free will but no burden of responsibility or one where free will simply didn't exist. Which is it? What's your perfect scenario?

I'd also like an answer to my drowning question.

Brian_E said...

Jason said: It wasn't meant to explain why God sometimes intervenes and sometimes doesn't. It was meant to answer the question you asked.

Again, my question had to do with why you don't seem to think god has any responsibility to 'choose and make a difference for the better'. Instead you write this:

Er, yes, God can do whatever He wants with complete impunity.

This is not a god, this is a monster. Which actually fits well with what we find in the OT. Why you'd worship such a beast is beyond anyone.

Would you prefer a world where man had free will but no burden of responsibility or one where free will simply didn't exist.

The first one, because that's the way the world is. Any 'burden of responsibility' would come from society and not god. You simply complicate matters by throwing in a god factor and assuming you have a burden of responsibility. In actuality, you don't.

Which semi-answers your drowning question. No, I have no 'burden' as you put it to help the person. I suppose you think a christian does, but i would argue otherwise. If the Allies had failed and Hitler won, would your god share any responsibility at that point? Or is it simply the case as it always seems with chrsitians that god gets all the credit for the good stuff and a free pass on the bad?

And now you must explain why it's acceptable for a god to exist that can do whatever it wants with complete impunity and no responsibility.

J-wade said...

If we can't imagine a good reason for God to allow suffering, does that mean that there is none? Many assume that if there were good reasons for the existence of evil/suffering, they would be accessible to our minds. But is that the case?

Lets take for example of the story of Joseph in the book of Genesis in the Bible. He was put in a pit to die, sold into slavery by his own brothers, and imprisoned. He went through lots of suffering, but at the end of the story Joseph's character is refined and strengthened by his trials and he eventually becomes the prime minister of Egypt and helps save many lives during a famine.

Now, I understand that is a story of the Bible and some may not believe it or think it has any significance. But think about real people in your life. You have got to know people who have gone through terrible trials and suffering that in the end grew tremendously or eventually saw good reasons for some of their tragedy and pain.

I'll leave you with a quote from Timothy Keller (author of The Reason for God). He writes, "If you have a God great and transcendent enough to be mad at because he hasn't stopped evil and suffering in the world, then you have (at the same moment) a God great and transcendent enough to have good reasons for allowing it to continue that you can't know" (25).

I would like to hear responses to this, thanks!

Brian_E said...

J-wade,

Loftus answers your question in great detail in his book by focusing on why god allows so much needless suffering, of which there is a great deal in this world. You bring up examples where there is a happy ending, but in reality, there is quite often not a happy ending to much suffering, and no one is the better for it. In this case, a god that would allow this to occur, for any reason at all, is not a good god.

billf said...

Jason said:

"That's exactly right and I'm glad you finally figured it out. Free will comes with responsibility."

Unless you are god?

"It's no different then turning a blind eye to the homeless or the hungry and then getting mad at your neighbour for not doing something about it."

Unless you are god, then it's ok?

"We're all given choices and we bear the repercussions of the decisions we ultimately make,"

Unless you are god. Then anything you do or don't do is 'good'.

"mankind enjoys nothing more then to point a finger and pass the blame."

As you clearly have no problem doing for your imaginary friend.

It is fairly easy to look into the past and point fingers at what the allies could have done. At the time however, it was not so simple.

As an example, you mention the lack of bombing rail lines leading to the camps. However, rail lines were not easy targets and they were comparatively easy to repair. Any relief would have been temporary at best, and meanwhile the war would last longer since other targets would not be hit.

20 million plus russians died. 7 million germans died. ~12 million died in the camps. And all your god needed to do was snap its fingers and allow an assassination attempt to succeed, or have that homophobic yet gay little wannabe artist choke to death on a chunk of potato.

Remove your imaginary friend from the equation and suddenly it all makes much more sense.

Robin said...

The only way you could know that there is needless suffering is if you were omnicient. Only God could know that there is needless suffering. Morover maybe there's multiple universes besides our own where there's an overall balance of good over evil and suffering. In some universes there's a large amount of evil and suffering and in some there's not any at all. We just happen to be in one with a large amount and therefore the probability of God's existence isn't low given the existence of other universes.

akakiwibear said...

Harry,
You proposal that God should intervene when you think appropriate is simply nonsense

You want God to have intervened so that Hitler could have been killed OK - do you also want God to have intervened and had Stalin killed - I guess yes.

Would you have wanted God to have allowed George Bush to have been assassinated? Some in Iraq think it would have been good.

Should God have intervened had killed off Rutherford before he split the atom?

Should God have killed off the likes of Ray Kroc before he founded McDonald's and thus avoided the obesity problem?

Heck I guess God should have killed us all off to avoid global warning.

Now I suspect you will avoid answering the above because
what you are asking for is a world micro-managed by God - with us carrying no responsibility for our actions.

Your "reasoning" does your case no credit.

Sala kahle = peace

Steven Bently said...

Robin - "God's wisdom is fathomless and His decisions are unsearchable and His methods are mysterious and untraceable. No one can even completely understand His mind or advise Him to the proper course of action. It is arrogant for us to seek to determine what God is doing in a particular event or circumstance. We cannot search out His reasons behind His decisions or trace out the ways by which He brings those decisions to pass. God's ways are infinite in wisdom and cannot be comprehended by our finite minds."

Gee, Robin you make it sound like your god is unknowable - non-existant. thanks, I no longer have to pretend to believe in your make believe god!

Steven Bently said...

a-bear, "You proposal that God should intervene when you think appropriate is simply nonsense
bear,
"

No not really, we just happen to think that your bible god could have intervened to save his favorite people, say after the first little girl was raped or her families' skin was made out of lamp shades, and not after six million innocent Jews(bible gods' favorite people),were horrendously tortured and killed.

All your make-believe god would have had to have done is caused Hitler to have a stroke or a heart attack, or a tree limb fall on him, before the first innocent Jew was killed, and no one would have known your god had intervened, just like he does not want anyone to know he's there or anywhere.

I understand, it's hard to delete the brainwashing and mis-information we all have been told.

We've all been mis-guided by the lies of religion, including our parents, political leaders, Billy Graham, all self-professed preachers, every American has been mis-guided and lied to by religious lies.

Robin said...

No Steven God's sovereign or hidden will is unknowable or mysterious not His revealed will. We cannot completely grasp God.

God's infinite wisdom is displayed in bringing good out of evil. In turning all the forces of evil that come against His children into good for them.

Steven Bently said...

I also understand why xtians do not want to find fault in their bible god, because to find fault in their god would mean to fine fault in them, meaning they must take a look at themselves, that perhaps they made a very unwise and foolish decision, based on faith without any evidence to back up the faith.

And to openly admit that they were wrong, is hard to do, especially when they were debased and humiliated in front of a congregation,(made to confess in public their love for bible gods' murdered son and baptized) which is a form of religious hazing.

What we are hearing from Christians is their allegiance to their religious cult brainwashing, they must protect and make excuses for their bible god.

Robin said...

Steven,

There's plenty of faults with me but I just don't see any with God.

I'm not making excuses at all. I'm just going by what the Bible says.

Steven Bently said...

Robin- "God's infinite wisdom is displayed in bringing good out of evil. In turning all the forces of evil that come against His children into good for them."

So now we have six million innocent Jews who where tortured and killed who would have just loved to have lived a normal life and grown a garden and sang songs like most every person whom has ever lived, was cut short through torture because of your gods' unending love for his favorite people.

Ok, I get it, thanks!

Harry McCall said...

akakiwibear said... “Would you have wanted God to have allowed George Bush to have been assassinated? Some in Iraq think it would have been good.”

So akakiwibear, Yahweh = Allah=God=Polytheism! Great point for a Christian!

Plus, for a “moral god” who gave us Jesus, your remarks imply just the opposite; a god who really has no morals or ethics!

On the other hand, the door knob in my room could have intervened to stop all evil in the world, but the Door Knob God has given us free choice and “what you are asking for is a world micro-managed by” (the Door Knob ) “God - with us carrying no responsibility for our actions.”

It just seems to me that our Door Knob God does not have His head screwed on right!

In short, your apologetic excuse can be used to explain why any inanimate object does not functions as a caring God!!!

Robin said...

Steven,

God's intentions in allowing that event were good. I believe He's good and that He had good morally justified reasons for allowing it.

Steven Bently said...

Robin - "There's plenty of faults with me but I just don't see any with God.

I'm not making excuses at all."



Just who do you think wrote the bible? ans....men

Neither a god nor jesus wrote one word of the bible.

Surely a god who can create the whole universe (including over 125 billion galaxies)in just six days, could write his own book, wouldn't ya think?

Steven Bently said...

Then your god can do no wrong in your eyes.

I refuse to believe such a murderous monster exists.

Robin said...

There's no evidence that He doesn't exist or that He's a murderous monster.

There's also different interpretations of the Bible.

Steven Bently said...

"There's also different interpretations of the Bible."

How can that be? Your gods' word is the same today as it always was?

How can there be different interpretations, it's only been translated over 1600 times by thousands of different people, whom had different understandings of words used by their culture?

Just more of your excuses, surely you're not brainwashed?

Robin said...

There's different interpretations because people see things differently and we are limited and finite creatures. Not only that but sin has infected the mind of man. It sounds like my brain needs a little washing.

oli said...

Greg and Jason i'm afraid you have it wrong.

Free will and choice do not come into this.

There were 42 attempts on Hitlers life. 42 people (or groups of people in most cases) did do the right thing, did stand up to Hitler and did try and stop him. They already made their choice, they already exercised their free will. If god had actually given two hoots about any of the dead from WW2 all he had to do was make it so one of those 42 attempts actually succeeded. No free will would have to be messed with. The bullet would simply have flown true instead of off to the left, the bomb would have thrown a piece of shrapnel through Hitlers forehead rather than his chair, etc. Free will doesn't come into it. And if you mean Hitlers free will, then why would god have a problem with violating his enemies free will when he used to do it all the time, Sodom, Gomorrah, Jericoh, Egypt, etc.

God did not save the world from Hitlers evil because he could not. He could not because he does not exist. Its that simple.

oli said...

And while i'm at it, to answer the drowning man query.

The situation we are discussing is actually more like this.
Man on boat sees another drowning. He does decide to do the right thing. He sprints for a rope, throws it in to the drowning man and starts to haul him from the water. The rope however, snaps, the drowning man falls into the water again and drowns.

The people that tried to kill Hitler did make the moral decision, they did exercise their free will to stand up to evil, and when his chosen people needed him most, when brave champions had stepped up to the plate and made their bid to end Hitlers reign, god simply failed to show up in even the most invisible, co-incidental and happenstance way.

Now you can argue, as Akakiwibear did that if god is going to subtly correct bullet paths to off hitler, why not stalin, why not Bush? Why not end world hunger, etc.

Why indeed? Prayer? or does god not answer prayer? He did promise to in the bible didn't he?

As Harry so wonderfully points out, your arguements all come down to convoluted reasons why god didn't do something when clearly he should have. And these reasons also perfectly explain why the invisible pink unicorn didn't intervene either. Or the flying spaghetti monster, or Harrys doorknob.

Why do you believe in a god that doesn't make himself known or answer prayers, even desperate prayers for tremendous good (you wanna tell me non of hitlers wannabe assassins prayed before they tried to scrub hitler?).

Jesus said that if you have the faith of a mustard seed you can move mountains. Yet mountains move only at the behest of tectonic plates. Clearly he wasn't speaking literally, so what did he mean? If you have faith the size of a watermelon, you might occasionally get something to happen, but only if itcould have done so naturally in a co-incidental fashion? Not such a good sales pitch.

Jason said...

Brian said: The first one, because that's the way the world is. Any 'burden of responsibility' would come from society and not god.

You're talking out of both sides of your mouth. Does a burden of responsibility exist or not?

Which semi-answers your drowning question. No, I have no 'burden' as you put it to help the person. I suppose you think a christian does, but i would argue otherwise.

That's not how I put it. I'm asking if you have a responsibility to save the person when the means to do so is at your disposal.

Harry McCall said...

Robin and akakiwibear: If you did not make up some lame-brain excuse, then it would openly be understood by all that your “God” does not exist.

So even a feeble illogical excuse to you seems to keep your nonfunctioning concept at least appearing to be in the ball game of life.

To me this God concept is like the mechanical talking and moving toy bear as in the 1980’s: Teddy Ruxpin.

To the child, Teddy Ruxpin appears very much alive. He moves his arms and legs as the tells moral and ethical stories…children really believe in Teddy Ruxpin that they actually learn moral and ethics from him that guide them in life.

However, the belief in Teddy is do, not to Teddy himself (as toys don’t create themselves; only God does that), but to the toy design engineers who wrote the code to control the limbs and voiced over a moral story to have a, should I say, religious impact on kids. But, should we not keep the batteries apologetically charged, our beloved Teddy will slump over and cease to act.

The fact that our Teddy did not act any more because of a discharged power-pack did not phase my kids in that they “apologetically asserted” to me that Teddy Ruxpin was just sleeping, but he still loved us and was concerned that that we do right until he awakes to speak and act again (Yes, the end times are coming…2,000 years and counting).

Robin and akakiwibear, you and the other Christians are batter-pack that keeps the man made data tape (the Bible) running. Should you Christians cease to supply the apologetic battery power, your God would, like Teddy Ruxpin, logically slump over in a sleep of death!

Ps: Folks, Teddy Ruxpin is still on the Throne, praise God! I just Googled him up and found this:

"20 years ago Teddy Ruxpin won the hearts of millions of children, parents, and grandparents. Today, the original animated storytelling bear is back with even better animation to share his adventures, songs, and friends with a new generation of children."

Jason said...

billf said: Unless you are god?

That's exactly right.

It is fairly easy to look into the past and point fingers at what the allies could have done. At the time however, it was not so simple. As an example, you mention the lack of bombing rail lines leading to the camps. However, rail lines were not easy targets and they were comparatively easy to repair. Any relief would have been temporary at best, and meanwhile the war would last longer since other targets would not be hit.

Rail lines and train depots were bombed regularly by the Allies and in fact rail lines leading to the death camps were flown over by bombers on their way to other targets. I find it a terribly sad commentary that you think such bombing would have only provided "temporary" relief. This is not acceptable justification. Thousands of people were being killed every day, if the lines could have been shut down for only a few days at best, hundreds and hundreds of lives would have been saved. There are no excuses.

20 million plus russians died. 7 million germans died. ~12 million died in the camps. And all your god needed to do was snap its fingers and allow an assassination attempt to succeed, or have that homophobic yet gay little wannabe artist choke to death on a chunk of potato.

Sure He could have. But He didn't. Instead, God makes men responsible beings with freewill to choose how they will act. This is obviously an uncomfortable reality for some.

billf said...

Jason,

I am not trying to excuse the allies. They were not omniscient all powerful gods. They were flawed humans who made decisions based upon the information they had, and their own biases. They made horrible decisions at times. Certainly the gift of hindsight allows us to see this.

The allies intentionally caused firestorms in major cities killing hundreds of thousands of civilians. A crime which has never been paid for.

Humans make mistakes and poor judgments. They are not all powerful omniscient fully good creatures.

What is your god's excuse?

You have to jump through some crazy hoops to make this all ok.

To make it all much easier to understand, just remove your imaginary friend the picture. They you don't have to twist yourself into a pretzel to absolve your 'perfect' god from blame. You no longer will have to retreat to the 'merely possible' explanation.

The more I hear you try to excuse your god from blame, the more I think your god to be a horrible, evil thing. If it existed, which of course...

bob said...

As I see it, from the many remarks made by those who have faith in the god of the bible, they worship a god who - if he were a human, they would despise him.
They worship a god who - if he were human, they would consider him to be immoral.
They justify their gods in-action in the times of human tragedy by simply saying that he is god, he can do (or not do) as he likes. Yet, if a human were to neglect to help, if they obviously had the ability to help, the faithful would look on him with shame.

So, I guess my question is, why would a person want to worship (desire to worship) a god who's in-action, if he were human, would be considered a bad thing? Why do Christians continue to worship and love the god of the bible, when, if his inactivity were transferred to a single human being, they would hold that human as responsible, perhaps even as a criminal?

I am trying to make this as simple as I can - Saddam Hussein pretty much had the power to do what he wanted with Iraq, for decades. If he had the power to do what he wanted, why would we consider him bad? Why would we apply OUR morals to his actions? If Saddam could wipe out 20,000 Kurds, why would the Christian consider that bad, when, if their god wiped out 20,000 Kurds, they would consider that good?

Why do Christians desire to worship their god when they would consider his actions or in-actions criminal if he were human?

Heather said...

Millions of people were killed and tortured by the Nazis. How many people were saved? How many people experienced goodness and miracles and blessings during that time? You hear stories all the time about the (albeit not nearly enough) awesome things people did for one another. People would risk their lives to save others, people did the unthinkable, the impossible in the name of good, not just evil. God was present with many people, He helped people survive concentration camps, He was there with them, by their sides, giving them strength. Man is an independent being, we asked for that when we ate the apple. God has given it to us. God rejoices when we make the right decisions, He weeps when we don’t. Think of all the rejoicing that He did when people did great and wonderful things for one another, think of how He weeps when we turn from Him, ignore Him, exert our independence from Him. Is it possible that if one of those attempts on hitler’s life was successful, things would have been worse? Was there someone standing in the wings that would have been more horrible? We have no way of knowing… but it is certainly a possibility. It is always simple to stand back and criticize that which we are not involved in, easy to say, you should have done it that way…but maybe, that way would have made things even worse.

Faith in Jesus, Faith in God is what moves mountains…

Heather said...

Unrelated question...hope that is okay.

Do atheists celebrate Christmas??

Harry McCall said...

“Unrelated question...hope that is okay. Do atheists celebrate Christmas??”

Heather, December 25 (actually Dec. 21 @ 7:04 am for 2008) is old the Winter Solstice when then shortest day of the year occurs. It is the rebirth of light and the move to the death of the old year and the birth of 2009.

December 25 is a pagan Roman celebration adopted by Christianity (as they adopted a number of other concepts) to honor Christ.

No one knows when Jesus was born. Some think, since the shepherds were in the fields with the sheep, it was spring or summer; but one thing is for sure, it was NOT December 25!

I, as a Secular Humanist / atheist celebrate the Winter Solstice with my friends. Christmas Trees, and Santa Claus are not Christian symbols and are thus banded by many Christian sects such a Jehovah Witnesses.

So, yes atheist celebrated Dec. 25, but neither the Roman gods nor its extension called Jesus Christ.

J-wade said...

For those that do not believe in the existence of God, what is your basis for what is just or unjust? Does not believing in God make it easier to address or understand needless suffering and evil?

akakiwibear said...

Steven we just happen to think that your bible god could have intervened to save his favorite people, … and killed Hitler - do you really think that! Why? It seems like a pretty irrational thing to believe.

Perhaps you my answer the question with We've all been mis-guided by the lies of religion, You may well have been.

Think about it logically. If God intervened to kill Hitler then a precedent is set and nobody on earth could ever be held accountable for anything they did – their defence is “God let me do it – so it must be OK”. Now why would any rational person argue that to be God’s will?

Now if you were taught that, then you have been mis-guided by the lies of religion Certainly there is a simplistic element to typical Sunday School theology for little kids that for some may imply God will stop anything bad happening.

It is hard to see such a naïve view holding beyond early childhood.

As we progress from childhood to adults there are many developmental steps we have to go through – upgrading our theology is one them.

True some people don’t make all the transitions (not just their theology) into adulthood properly. But as an adult (I assume you are) you need not be stuck at the level of Sunday School theology.

Read what Jason says – it makes good sense!

Sala kahle - peace.

akakiwibear said...

Harry, I am pleased to see you have responded ... and as predicted you did answer whether God should have had Rutherford killed or not.

Firstly theology 1.0.1. The Christian God = Allah = obviously!

Secondly. You propose that theists believe in a “Door Knob” God that micro-manages the world. You then present “evidence” of a failure in that respect and cry out in joy that you have proven the theist God a fraud. I am sure you know that you are setting up a straw man that anyone can knock down – no real achievement. Come now, you can do better than that … or is that the basis of your atheism, a straw man

Or is that the basis of your atheism a denial of freewill and conscience.

It is a fundamental of our faith that God gave us freewill as a right. I find it interesting that, rather than be held accountable, atheists such as you prefer to blame God whenever humanity exercises its freewill.

Sala kahle – peace

akakiwibear said...

Harry Robin and akakiwibear: If you did not make up some lame-brain excuse, then it would openly be understood by all that your “God” does not. Now Harry you should be more polite, especially considering the lack of merit in your own arguments.

However, I like your analogy to Teddy – and it explains a lot. It explains why you resort your straw man so much.

Your straw man God is the equivalent of Teddy.

You can fault the Teddy equivalent of God – a child’s God – it provides a rational (albeit a child’s rationale) to your atheism. You really should abandon those childhood myths and move onto an adult version of God … but perhaps not, without your straw man you would have no basis for your atheism.

While the Teddy version of God may support some Christians beyond Sunday School – it seems to support a lot more atheist who did not make the transition from Teddy to a real theologically sound God.

Sala kahle - peace

akakiwibear said...

Harry Robin and akakiwibear: If you did not make up some lame-brain excuse, then it would openly be understood by all that your “God” does not. Forgive me having another shot at your comment.

Interesting that from the early days of biblical record, when a pagan polytheist tribe moved onto a monotheist theology, through to today, the great minds of theology over thousands of years have brought us to the position we have today – where the bulk of the population is theist and of that the largest proportion trace their beliefs back to that little tribe.

Certainly that little tribe struggled to shed its pagan beliefs and incorporated many of them into its traditions (similarities in the creation stores for instance).

Equally as Christianity emerged it borrowed from it surrounding cultures (as you say December 25 is a pagan Roman celebration adopted by Christianity (as they adopted a number of other concepts) to honor Christ.).

Does this in any way undermine the theology? No of course not. You should not confuse God with religion. In the same way that the pagans discovered that their statues were not God so we should be mindful that our religions are not God.

Sala kahle - peace
OK I have said my bit from the other side of the world, while you have slept - sneaky or what?

Harry McCall said...

Man, akakiwibear; three separate comments! I really hit a nerve with you!

@ AKA: You miss-stated the facts again: I did not say: “Firstly theology 1.0.1. The Christian God = Allah = obviously!” I said Yahweh = Allah = Polytheism!

Please find anywhere in the Qur’an where Allah is equated with the personal name of the Jewish deity Yahweh. Try that in Pakistan and see how long you live! Introduction to Islam 101.

AKA: “Think about it logically. If God intervened to kill Hitler then a precedent is set and nobody on earth could ever be held accountable for anything they did – their defence is “God let me do it – so it must be OK”. Now why would any rational person argue that to be God’s will?”

@ AKA: If God HAD reveled himself as an angel of light and struck down Hitler as he addressed a hundred-thousand Nazis at a rally while at the same time being filmed, the world would have a mass conversion to Christianity; but since an untruth can not do this, we have your illogical apologetics.

AKA: “Secondly. You propose that theists believe in a “Door Knob” God that micro-manages the world. You then present “evidence” of a failure in that respect and cry out in joy that you have proven the theist God a fraud. I am sure you know that you are setting up a straw man that anyone can knock down – no real achievement. Come now, you can do better than that … or is that the basis of your atheism, a straw man.”

@ AKA: Yes, a straw man only as you just keep misstating me!

I stated: “In short, your apologetic excuse can be used to explain why any inanimate object does not functions as a caring God!!!” and it can. So knock my above statement down then!

You subjectively created a concept and then you act as if you are objectively defending the same said concept. Now, that’s having you cake and eating it too!

You Christians set the ground rules for a non-functioning concept, label it “God”, then you sell it as a cure all Snake Oil. That might work with the emotionally disturbed and mentally weak, but I’ve been there and done that!

Hey, just like your God, Snake Oil really works in it own time and its own way. The trouble is that no one can explain how this concoction works except the flim-flam man who brewed it up and talks about faith and trust in his brew!

AKA: “Or is that the basis of your atheism a denial of freewill and conscience.

It is a fundamental of our faith that God gave us freewill as a right. I find it interesting that, rather than be held accountable, atheists such as you prefer to blame God whenever humanity exercises its freewill.”

@ AKA: One things is for sure, God has neither a freewill or conscience as my post proves. Just what one would expect of a non-functioning Concept.

Please, AKA, I beg you! How does an atheist blame a God they emphatically state does NOT EXSIT!!!

Any reference to a concept of divinity is simply the same as an adult talking to a child about Sana Claus on their level. Maybe, I’ll just us the term “Concept”.

AKA: “Harry Robin and akakiwibear: If you did not make up some lame-brain excuse, then it would openly be understood by all that your “God” does not. Now Harry you should be more polite, especially considering the lack of merit in your own arguments.”

@AKA: I’m not the one selling Snake Oil and claiming it works. Your “Concept” called "theology" might have worked in the ancient and medieval times, but you are jousting at windmills today!

Face it AKA, your apologetics are so generic that your concept of divinity could defend any god from the Stone Age idol to the millions of Hindus gods.

You Christians walk around dress in rags and starving all the while emphatically stating you have millions of dollars in the local bank. When we simply ask why are you suffering so, you claim “free will”! Then you state, we are at least starving Christian millionaires who don’t have to prove anything to non-Christians who question us. We have it in the bank. We know we have it in the bank. So let us alone as we starve to death in our rags… it is God’s will and we have free choice! We don’t have to prove nothing to you non-theist!

You sure don’t, so stay the hell in your churches!

AKA: “Interesting that from the early days of biblical record, when a pagan polytheist tribe moved onto a monotheist theology, through to today, the great minds of theology over thousands of years have brought us to the position we have today – where the bulk of the population is theist and of that the largest proportion trace their beliefs back to that little tribe.

Certainly that little tribe struggled to shed its pagan beliefs and incorporated many of them into its traditions (similarities in the creation stores for instance).”

@AKA: Superstition is the default setting for all children and adults who choose not to confront life, but cop out with a religious Concept. An error carried for thousands of years is still and error. People still “Knock on Wood” and have done so for, maybe, thousands of years too. That still makes it a default superstition!

AKA: “You should not confuse God with religion.”

@ AKA: A God without religion? Now, that’s like rain without water! If God did not need religion, you would not have to pray, go to church, or worry about sin and God would not need your money. God would act logically and he would not need Christians to ‘make up some lame-brain excuses’ as to why you Christians walk around starving to death in rags in a world crying out for help, when, with all the millions your rich god concept has in the bank, you can not even help your selves!!

Let me leave you and your apologetic god Concept with a verse of a famous Christian hymn:

“Only Believe. Only Believe. All THINGS ARE POSSIBLE! Only Believe! (Including illogical Concepts of divinity!)

Regards,
Harry

akakiwibear said...

Harry I will again split my comment
First your straw man - you should concede here, you have no case.

Harry:If God HAD reveled himself as an angel of light and struck down Hitler as he addressed a hundred-thousand Nazis at a rally while at the same time being filmed, the world would have a mass conversion to Christianity; but since an untruth can not do this, we have your illogical apologetics wow!

So because an untruth can not do this … well nor did God – you have a point here? Or is this just poor logic we have to unravel?

“In short, your apologetic excuse can be used to explain why any inanimate object does not functions as a caring God!!!” and it can. So knock my above statement down then! of course my argument is applied to an inanimate object – your straw man.
I paraphrase to save time:
You: God should have killed Hitler
Me: you create a straw man with God should have killed Hitler and you then deduce, as He did not there is no God.

Christians don’t claim God should have killed Hitler (or should mirco-manage the world) – so you argument is a straw man.

You: your apologetic excuse can be used to explain why any inanimate object does not functions as a caring God! I guess if you call a straw man a door knob then yes they are both inanimate objects

Harry: You Christians set the ground rules for a non-functioning concept, label it “God”, then you sell it as a cure all Snake Oil. A sweeping and unfounded generalisation if ever I saw one – but you still resort to the straw man. Christians do not claim God should/would fix everything we break.

Harry:: One things is for sure, God has neither a freewill or conscience as my post proves. your post proves nothing – it validly asserts that God did not kill Hitler - but that was never in contention.
You claim this proves there is either no God or that God does not care – yet you build no link to your claims – proof??? Not even close! Who believes God should have killed Hitler – well besides you?

Sala kahle - peace

akakiwibear said...

Harry part 2:
not Sunday School theology
Harry: I beg you! How does an atheist blame a God they emphatically state does NOT EXSIT!! since you beg – OK it is irrational for an atheist to blame a God they don’t believe exists …

… but you missed the parallel I was drawing – how can you attribute to a flaw in Christian belief something Christians don’t believe – that God should have killed Hitler!

Harry your apologetics are so generic that your concept of divinity could defend any god from the Stone Age idol to the millions of Hindus gods
so you would see, for instance the parallels between the Christian Trinity and the Hindu Trinity as undermining both theologies rather than re-enforcing them.

You need to get over the Sunday School theology and face the real world with broader concepts than‘Teddy’.

Harry; A God without religion? Now, that’s like rain without water! If God did not need religion, you would not have to pray ..

God does not need religion … people seem to though. So they have woven the revelations of God (not limited to that one little tribe so long ago) into vehicles that conform to their view of their relationship with God. Have they always got it right? No! … and guess what God keeps telling them so.

Without the sentiment of your quote “Only Believe. Only Believe. All THINGS ARE POSSIBLE! Only Believe! (Including illogical Concepts of divinity!) we would not have aspired to the impossible – no powered flight, no heart transplant etc …
...but what is your point – that something is illogical only until you understand it?

Sala kahle - peace

Steven Bently said...

"Faith in Jesus, Faith in God is what moves mountains…

1:46 PM, December 03, 2008


Heather said...
Unrelated question...hope that is okay.

Do atheists celebrate Christmas??"


Jesus supposedly said, "If you had as much faith as a mustard seed, you could move a mountain."

But if you had as much faith as a mustard seed, you could move a mustard seed, I've never seen this done.

Even Jesus never moved a mountain, nor a mustard seed.


Do I celebrate xmas?

Absolutely not, no trees, no lights, no gifts, since 1982, it's so ridiculous.

I have a question for christians.

Why would a god care what people believe in their minds?

How would what people believe effect the way your god controls the universe?

Philip R Kreyche said...

Aka,

Where is God's sense of responsibility? Does It have none?

You shift the responsibility everything onto the shoulders of humanity, us, we who are imperfect and slow to learn, and claim at the same time that an All-Knowing All-Powerful Infinite God shouldn't be expected to do anything.

Why?

If someone were drowning, and there was a 5 year old and a 30 year old standing by - why should the child be expected to do anything?

And I'm curious as to what this "mature God" is that you're talking about, and how you would go about proving It and Its nature.

Harry McCall said...

Akakiwibear “First your straw man - you should concede here, you have no case.”

@AKA: I have a case since I am real and your god / Concept only lives inside your head.

Your Concept is alive only as long a you argue a Concept case.

Your god is a totally a mental construct and I have no chance to disprove your mental illusion.

I have taken what you keep calling a “Straw man” and have caused a number of people to leave Christianity. That’s reality.

So, while your mental illusion never functions in any concrete case in modern history, I have caused his very own faithful Christian believers to turn against him and join me as an atheist.

Thus, I am more powerful that your illusive mental concept called god. I can prove I exist, while your god can NOT!! He is only alive as long as your are mentally fit to argue its case!

Regards,
Harry

J-wade said...

God's sense of responsibility? Is incarnating himself as a human being (who also suffers) and dying a criminals death so that we may be forgiven not taking responsibility? For that matter responsibility for something that should not be on his shoulders. How can we be questioning the responsibility of a God who shows us grace? He offers everyone the free gift of grace, even Hitler.

As God's people we are given the responsibility to bless others (Gen. 12:2), to love everyone no matter what they have done, are doing, or will do. We haven't done so well at the whole blessing thing, and will continue to trip, stumble, and mess up. But because of God's love and mercy, we are offered grace. But we must have faith in that grace and that God will do what he promises...a new creation that will end all suffering and evil (2 Peter 3:13).

Harry McCall said...

Akakiwibear (like many other Christians we find commenting here at DC) forgets the virtually unlimited ability of humans to engage in self-delusion and rationalization to justify actions that are clearly unwise, unethical, illegal or just plain stupid.

The failure for theist to have a God who could have ended Hitler’s life (as my post points out) leaves a senseless religious dogma built on the back of hundreds of millions who either suffered or died in a needless war which these theists now use to justify a God who never acts.

In the end, theist (such as Akakiwibear) are arguing a positive case for God who they claim is loving, ethical and moral, but whose entire modern existence is built totally on non actions and negativity; a case which speaks volumes for atheism!

Jason said...

billf said: What is your god's excuse?

God's excuse is that man brings evil upon himself and it's up to man to bear the responsibility of his actions. This is even a consistent theme throughout Scripture. We live in a universe that is governed by natural laws and where cause & effect are every day occurrences. If mankind chooses to pump billions of tons of pollutants into the air, we are going to reap the consequences. It's not a rational argument to blame melting ice caps on God when clearly we're the ones to blame because of our greed, ignorance, etc. Or if poachers choose to shoot the last family of West African Black Rhinoceros, rendering them extinct, this is clearly the fault of mankind. I don't see anyone blaming God for this. In exactly the same manner, mankind voluntarily chose to sit back and watch the Holocaust unfold before their eyes without ever batting an eye.

There's an interesting article floating around out there about the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia in the mid '90s. There was no question about what was going on but instead of acting, the West sat back and chose not to get involved. In the end, the Allies bombed Bosnian Serb positions and the slaughter finally ended. Ignoring their tardiness, the West was proactive in dealing with the problem and thousands of lives were saved. The same could easily have been done in WW2, but it wasn't.

Robin said...

God isn't obligated to show grace to anything or anybody. Nothing deserves to be created. You can't deserve as a non-being to be created and have all your needs met. So, before sin entered the world animals and Adam and Eve lived on grace. Since grace is undeserved and God is never obligated to show it He does nothing wrong in witholding it. The Creator has rights and perogatives that we don't. He is the potter and we are the clay.

The charge of injustice on God's part cannot even arise. Again grace is something nobody deserves. God is never obligated to show grace. If He was it wouldn't be grace. God owes it to nobody.

Jason said...

Precisely.

Harry McCall said...

Robin, other than the (mythic) Biblical past, I have scrutinized modern even and I can find nothing that merits a God of grace.

Your “So, before sin entered the world animals and Adam and Eve lived on grace. Since grace is undeserved and God is never obligated to show it He does nothing wrong in withholding it.”

This view has major theological problems:

“Original Sin” was NEVER a part of neither Israelite nor Jewish doctrine / theology. Neither Judaism nor Orthodox Christianity (Non-western Christianity) accepts this dogma. To claim the man and the woman of the Garden of Eden were sinless while them lived there is totally baseless. If that was the case, they would not even have the ability to consider the idea of eating the fruit in the first place; they would not understood the point of the talking snake. Plus, if the garden was such a great place, what was a talking snake doing there (only in the N.T. Identified as Satan).

In that respect, if sin was not there, then human sex was not either as they are portrayed without lust and the need to cover themselves which latter then did. So, while in the Garden of Eden, they were not able to reproduce since in sex, a man’s erection is based on lust (Unless El gave them Viaga). Thus, the so-called “Fall” was meant to happen by El himself.

So, when you blame man for the “Fall” the other 50% of blame is aimed at El too since the story is set up that way.

Even God wonders in the garden looking for them after they ate the fruit, calling for them, just as he does when he has to ask Cain where Able is. This is a limit human like El and not a Creedal “God”. Thus, the Hebrew El / Yahweh is not the theological evolved universal term “God” used apologetically defend “God” today.

Should you want proof, let’s debate El /Yahweh based ONLY on the Hebrew text. Then God / Theos on the LXX text. Then God / Theos in the New Testament.

Robin, the problem is that you only see all the individual concepts (MT text, LXX. and N.T.) that make up the term “God” and then try and read an Apostles Creed or Nicene Creed into the minds of the Hebrew / Israelites. This method is totally unfair to the original languages and ancient texts than make up would you now call the “Bible”!

billf said...

Jason,

"mankind voluntarily chose to sit back and watch the Holocaust unfold before their eyes without ever batting an eye. "

How many assassination attempts would have been enough for your god? Apparently 42 was not good enough? 142? 1042? If your god existed and cared I would think 1 would have been enough.

Bombing the Serbs did appear to work. Nato had absolute control of the air and precision guided weapons. Who had this capability during or before World War II? Nobody.

Nato acted in Serbia because they had absolute military superiority and knew it.

France and England could probably have teamed up with the Czechs and defeated Germany before World War II. But they didn't *know* this. They thought Germany was stronger at this time than they really were. Faulting them for not having a crystal ball is silly. Your god does have a crystal ball, right?

Talk to the people of Dresden, Essen, Cologne, Hamburg, or Berlin about whether the Allies did enough bombing in world war II.

Do some research on strategic bombing in world war II and how ineffective it was when compared to the cost. The Americans bombed aircraft factories non stop during much of 1943 and 1944 and German aircraft production went up dramatically. A truly driven and skilled enemy will adapt when they can.

The only target hit that did have a large impact was fuel production facilities. Alas this did not have a direct effect on the camps - though it did shorten the war.

Do you really think that bombing the rail lines leading to the camps would have done anything? Do you think the SS just might have figured out a way to bypass the breaks in the rail lines?

Feels like I am rambling at this point. Done.

akakiwibear said...

Congratulations Harry,I have taken what you keep calling a “Straw man” and have caused a number of people to leave Christianity. That’s reality.

I can understand how that happens. There are people who have grown up with beliefs “borrowed” from parents/family and based on Sunday School theology (some of it a bit kooky even for kids). As they grow up their beliefs don’t grow with them and remain at the kiddie level. This is the common theme of the conversion stories on DC.

Then along you come Harry (or JWL or fellow traveller) and butcher their ‘Teddy’ Christianity - look the bible is not inerrant or literal – look God did not kill Hitler (so not loving etc) – look God did not create the world in 7 days … etc etc – things those with a mature belief know, accept and understand.

What you do Harry, is you manage to shatter their simple child like theology and set about replacing it with even more suspect thinking – your OP being a case in point:

There is no theological basis to expect God to have killed Hitler - and certainly you have advanced none.
Yet you conclude from God’s inactivity – even though none is expected by Christians - that the inactivity demonstrates the non-existence of God. Straw man, pure and simple!

It perhaps worth mentioning that Christ warned of the wars, famine etc that you argue He should prevent. Lost from your “unloving God” rhetoric is that Christ’s mission was to save souls … to provide a spiritual pathway, not an easy secular road to materialistic bliss.

I guess it is hard for an atheist to accept that there is something more important than ones own creature comforts – that there is a spiritual dimension to our lives.

Sala kahle - peace

akakiwibear said...

By the way Harry, I notice you still have not answered if you think God should have killed Rutherford and Einstein before their work led to the atomic bomb - after all it is a logical conclusion from your "uncaring God" let Hitler live argument.

Sala kahle - peace

Harry McCall said...

AKA: “By the way Harry, I notice you still have not answered if you think God should have killed Rutherford and Einstein before their work led to the atomic bomb - after all it is a logical conclusion from your "uncaring God" let Hitler live argument.”

Well, God killed Jesus who was negative about gentiles in the Kingdom and replaced him with Paul which was a vast step forward. That was one good action.

As for as Rutherford and Einstein and the atomic bomb goes: No (I’ll answer like there is a God), since, based on the experience of fighting the Japanese on the Pacific islands and the estimated up to a half million that could have been killed on the Japanese main land In WWII, the atom bomb was needed.

Plus, nuclear power is the clean energy of the future for all our domestic power needs.

Harry McCall said...

AKA: “There is no theological basis to expect God to have killed Hitler - and certainly you have advanced none.
Yet you conclude from God’s inactivity – even though none is expected by Christians - that the inactivity demonstrates the non-existence of God. Straw man, pure and simple!”

@AKA: Nothing doing nothing leaves nothing + God!!!

I can damage any Christian’s faith with my logic and have done that with a former Methodist just the other day. All you can do is curl up in a ball and keep taking a beating while trying to protect your head (faith).

While I can de-convert, you can only argue from nothingness.

GOD = HOPE ONLY!

J-wade said...

Jesus negative about gentiles in the Kingdom? I'd like to know the reference for that.

And I'm not so sure the atomic bomb was needed. If you want to talk about needless suffering and death, there's some. And that was the doing of the U.S., human suffering caused by fellow humans.

Philip R Kreyche said...

Too bad the doctrines of grace, Original Sin, and every other excuse being given by aka and Jason and Robin all depend on someone accepting the Bible's pronouncements as 100% true, no questions asked. Otherwise their arguments might be taken seriously.

Harry McCall said...

J-wade: “Jesus negative about gentiles in the Kingdom? I'd like to know the reference for that.”

I disagree.

Steven Bently said...

Why would any "god" care what people believe in their minds?

How does what people believe affect the way a god controls the universe?

Harry McCall said...

Only in religion is something real only if believed. Thus, the so called sacrifice of Jesus on the cross does not work unless it is believed. So, in short, religious idea / theology is not real unless it is understood and believed.
As a comparison, and if our modern world had the same “belief requirements”, our I Pods would not work unless we fully understood electronics and accepted it, our cars would not run unless all drivers fully understood and accepted mechanical engineering and so on. But since these sciences are facts, they exist and are there for anyone whether we believe in them or not, unlike religion.

Jason said...

billf,

It wasn't a secret the Allies controlled the skies and could bomb virtually any target they wanted with impunity. The Allies had the means and the ways to destroy or disable the transport system sending prisoners to the dozens of death camps in Europe. It's as simple as that.

As to whether or not I think "that bombing the rail lines leading to the camps would have done anything? Do you think the SS just might have figured out a way to bypass the breaks in the rail lines?" Open your eyes. Disabling the German transportation system was a priority in the first months of 1945 and in fact rail complexes had been targeted since early 1944.

The breakdown of transportation played a vital role in ending the war - think of what it would have done to stop the Holocaust. The capabilities to stop the slaughter in the death camps was there. The world knew exactly what was going on yet they sat back and chose to do nothing. The burden of responsibility rests with mankind.

"On December 17, 1942...after receiving a detailed eyewitness account from Jan Karski, the Allies issued a formal declaration confirming and condemning Nazi extermination policy toward the Jews. The US State Department was aware of the use and the location of the gas chambers of extermination camps, but refused pleas to bomb them out of operation. On May 12, 1943, Polish government-in-exile and Bund leader Szmul Zygielbojm committed suicide in London to protest the inaction of the world with regard to the Holocaust, stating in part in his suicide letter:

"I cannot continue to live and to be silent while the remnants of Polish Jewry, whose representative I am, are being killed. My comrades in the Warsaw ghetto fell with arms in their hands in the last heroic battle. I was not permitted to fall like them, together with them, but I belong with them, to their mass grave. By my death, I wish to give expression to my most profound protest against the inaction in which the world watches and permits the destruction of the Jewish people."" (wiki)

freddies_Dead said...

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God? (Epicurus)

billf said...

Jason,

As I have stated before, the allies were not perfect. They were not all knowing. They were not fully good. They made mistakes. They made bad decisions. They did not have complete information.

Even with the heavy bombing going on throughout 1943 - 1945 most arms and munitions production went up dramatically. Strategic bombing was just not effective against most targets in 1940s. Fuel was the one major exception, and fuel shortages shortened the war by months at least.

I am sorry. I must have missed where you answered the question. So I'll ask again. How many assassination attempts against hitler would have been enough for your god to allow just one of them to succeed?

Admittedly I am playing with numbers a little with the following statement. The non axis countries had ~ 60 MILLION civilian and military deaths in WWII fighting the axis. This was not enough? Just how much blood does your god like to see spilled? Maybe he could be a little more clear on just how much blood he requires before allowing a particular problem to be solved, and we could fill the order more efficiently.

J-wade said...

Harry,

After reading your blog on Jesus being a religious bigot, I agree with Mr. Bill Gnade's interpretation of Matt. 15:21-28 far more than yours. It fits better with Jesus' character throughout the Gospels. Jesus spends time with tax collectors, prostitutes, lepers and everybody else that nobody wanted to deal with or love - the have-nots, the not-good-enoughs, the judged ones. We see this even when Jesus picks his disciples. There's the anti-imperial Simon the Zealot and the pro-imperial Matthew the tax collector both among Jesus’ closest followers. Seems ironic but you see this all the time in the Gospels. Jesus stretching his loving hand across boundary lines and prejudices, neglecting to see the labels pinned to people’s foreheads. That's part of the good news of Jesus Christ.

Harry McCall said...

J-wade, Jesus emphatically stated that his call was to the Jewish people only:
Matthew 10: 6 “Rather, go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.; Matt. 15:24 “But he answered, "I wasn't sent to anyone but the lost sheep of the house of Israel."

Fact is, all the sinners Jesus wanted to deal with were cast out Jews much like Jesus was himself.

If Billy Graham treated anyone as Jesus treated this lady (who was only requesting help for her daughter) he could just about hang his ministry up.

The fact that the other Gospels must water his attack down tells us volumes.

Gandolf said...

It was a test Harry to sort out the men from the boys in matters of faith.

Those that died still holding faith go to heaven.

Those that lost their faith in death after years of prayer and thanking God for any good things they could possibly try to think of in their sad lives.Were delegated another hell in the afterlife for being so bloody unfaithful.Naughty buggers ! damm sure they deserved it wouldnt you agree.

Its all quite simple really Harry.

The good book might tell us such things as "ask and you shall receive"etc, but we must remember God is not always bound by his words.Gods are always kinda like that they never need to do what they actually promise as its a way of making sure people still rely on faith, not humanistic facts or logic see.Its a way of always keeping us guessing and being mindful of matters of free will etc.

Its kinda like a game of Russian roulette,depends whether when he pulls the trigger its your time/turn for some luck or not .

Think about it Harry.If you have faith its all quite logical really.

Harry McCall said...

Gandolf, as the Christian hymn so clearly states: Only Believe! Only Believe!
All Things are Possible! Only Believe!

Of course, Jesus will answer all our questions as we sit at his feet and learn from him in the sweet by and by.

Robin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robin said...

Harry, the solution doesn't depend on original sin. Although I believe Adam and Eve were sinless.
Let me restate it.Before Adam and Eve were created and after they were created animals, along with Adam and Eve, experienced God's goodness not as a response to their demerit but still without deserving it. You cannot deserve as a non-being, to be created and have all your needs met. So, the animals as well as Adam and Eve lived on grace. Grace is something that not even the animals deserve. Grace by definition is getting something good that we don't deserve and therefore, God is never obligated to treat animals or humans with any kind of grace, whether it's common grace or saving grace. If He was it wouldn't be grace. So, God does nothing wrong by withholding grace. The charge of injustice on God's part can't even arise because we are talking about grace. God is never obligated to show grace. For grace to be grace it must be freely given. So, when God allows humans and animals to suffer He does nothing wrong. God obviously has many rights a prerogatives that we do not. He's the Creator we are the creatures. He is the Judge, and we are not. Vengeance belongs to the Lord. He alone is God.

Not that God never shows us any grace. The Bible says that God promises to cause all things to work together for good for those that love Him. His promises can be fulfilled 2 seconds from now or 100,000,000 years from now when our life on earth is over and we are in heaven. The point is that He will eventually fulfill His promises either here on earth or in heaven.

So, to sum up, God is never obligated to show grace to His creation. If He was it wouldn't be grace. Nothing and nobody deserves His grace so He does nothing wrong in withholding His grace and allowing evil and suffering. Since He's the Creator He has many rights and prerogatives that we do not. He alone is God. His sovereign will where He causes all things to work together for good for those that love Him is hidden in mystery to us. We as His creatures do not know His sovereign or hidden will neither do we follow it. Rather we follow God's revealed will such as loving your neibor as yourself and loving Him above all else.

Harry McCall said...

Robin, I see where you have anachronistically read a New Testament go of Paul on to the Israelite god Yahweh.

The above elements are brought together in the epic tale of the fall of Jericho where both the concepts of Holy War and the Divine Warrior are incorporated with the common ancient Near Eastern magical number seven:

Also seven priests shall carry seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark; then on the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. "It shall be that when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people will go up every man straight ahead.” (Joshua 6: 4 - 5).

With the city wall destroyed, the human slaughter of all the men women and children along with their animals could begin under the ancient concept of Holy War where Yahweh, as the leading Warrior-King deity of the Israelite army, demands all the booty of the city from the death of all living things to its gold, silver, bronze and iron as his portion of the הרס or “harem” or the BAN.

They utterly destroyed everything in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox and sheep and donkey, with the edge of the sword…They burned the city with fire, and all that was in it. Only the silver and gold, and articles of bronze and iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the LORD. (Joshua 6: 21 & 24)

{Word study: שָׂרַף as used in this context is associated with בָּאֵשׁ as the text reads
שָׂרַף בָּאֵשׁ” or “to burn with fire”. This is a cognate of the Akkadian ina isati sarapu “to destroy by fire” as in relation to burning figurines in magic rituals.

The word שָׂרַף as used in this study is associated in the Priestly work of Leviticus in the burning of animal sacrifices (see also Numbers 17:4, Judges 7: 31, 19: 5 and 2 Kings 17:31). However, most importantly, פרש is used in the Hebrew Bible in the context of children burnt to the gods: Duet. 12: 31, Jeremiah 7: 31, 19: 5, and 2 Kings 17: 31.


Thus, all life, both human and animal life of the city of Jericho, is ritualistically slaughtered and then Yahweh can feast on the smoke from the blood and bodies of the victims, the city is “שָׂרַף בָּאֵש” or burnt with fire
.}

The cultic magical elements flow full and free in Joshua 6 - 7. But the victory is short lived due to hidden sin! Unknown to Joshua, Yahweh is denied his full booty; not the precious lives of the non-combatant: All the innocent women, children, babies, the unborn and animals (which Yahweh again equates the innocent human life), but Yahweh greed is for the material metal wealth; that is the gold, silver, bronze and iron that could be used in his tabernacle. (In the book of Jonah, after Jonah preaches in Nineveh, Jonah 4:11 tells us that both humans and animal repented.)

With the murder of all life in Jericho completed and the everything burnt to Yahweh (Notice that the cultic proper killing of life of both humans and animal in Jericho means that their blood must be drained. Thus Joshua 6: 21 makes it a point to tell the Jewish reader of this epic that death was to be by “the edge of the sword” before the ritual / sacrificial burning 6: 24 could take place.)

To seal the future fate of the city, an divine curse is placed on anyone who tries to rebuild it:


Then Joshua made them take an oath at that time, saying, "Cursed before the LORD is the man who rises up and builds this city Jericho; with the loss of his firstborn he shall lay its foundation, and with the loss of his youngest son he shall set up its gates." (Joshua 6:26). (again, the curse here is much like we find in such major This is like many general ancient Near Eastern Akkadian texts such as the epilogue to the Code of Hammurabi. Thus, Yahweh’s curse in verse 26 has set the stage for the slaughter of Achan and all that belonged to him.


Since Yahweh was denied his booty of gold and silver, Yahweh must take his vengeance out on the 3,000 Israelites by not marching into Holy War against Ai:


So about three thousand men from the people went up there, but they fled from the men of Ai. The men of Ai struck down about thirty-six of their men, and pursued them from the gate as far as Shebarim and struck them down on the descent, so the hearts of the people melted and became as water.” (Joshua 7: 4-5)


The reason given to Joshua is that “Israel has sinned” by taking Yahweh’s gold and sliver:
"Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed My covenant which I commanded them. And they have even taken some of the things under the ban and have both stolen and deceived. Moreover, they have also put them among their own things.” (Joshua 7: 11) Thus, all of Israel must consecrate themselves to be made holy (as in a divine ritual for Holy Warriors and priests):


'It shall be that the one who is taken with the things under the ban (harem) shall be burned with fire, he and all that belongs to him, because he has transgressed the covenant of the LORD, and because he has committed a disgraceful thing in Israel.'" (Joshua 7: 15).


Since Yahweh was cheated out of his gold and silver, human slaughter must sacrificially be feed to Yahweh to quench his hunger for blood and life:



Joshua said, "Why have you troubled us? The LORD will trouble you this day." And all Israel stoned them with stones; and they burned them with fire after they had stoned them with stones.” (Joshua 7: 25)


Again, the slaughter of men, women, children, babies along with the unborn are an atonement for the original booty of gold and silver God was denied
. As such, Achan’s whole extended family is sacrificed by stoning (death caused by blunt force trauma
associated with both external and internal bleeding) then, just like Jericho, the slaughtered families are sacrificed to Yahweh to feed on by fire and its smoke.


To mark the spot as holy, an altar built of stones was set up there to honor Yahweh:


They raised over him a great heap of stones that stands to this day, and the LORD turned from the fierceness of His anger. Therefore the name of that place has been called the valley of Achor to this day.” (Joshua 7: 26)


With Yahweh’s hunger for human blood and flesh satisfied, he again marches with the Israelites into Holy War; this time against Ai. But, unlike before, Joshua cuts a deal with Yahweh to make up for their defeat the first time by Achan’s hidden sin. Thus, Israel will get to keep all the “spoils and its cattle” (8: 2), but again, all the human life of 12,000
souls must be sacrificially killed and burnt to Yahweh:


“…then all Israel returned to Ai and struck it with the edge of the sword. All who fell that day, both men and women, were 12,000-- all the people of Ai. For Joshua did not withdraw his hand with which he stretched out the javelin until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai. … So Joshua burned Ai and made it a heap forever, a desolation until this day.” (Joshua 8:24c - 26 and 28)

In light of the above, your God of love an grace in the New Testament is a far cry from the covenant only Semitic god Yahweh. I you were not chosen by Yahweh in the treaty / covenant, there was not grace; just death and being burnt to God.

Robin said...

Harry,

There was grace in the Old Testament as well:

Psalms 45:2

You are the most handsome of the sons of men;
grace is poured out on your lips;
therefore God has blessed you forever. (ESV)

Philip R Kreyche said...

I like how Robin read Harry's essay full of slaughter and blood and desolation and genocide, and then countered with "But what about that one verse in that one song that someone wrote?" as if a few lines in one chapter could justify all the blackness of the previous chapters.

WriteagainstRacism said...

Robin,

You are clearly a learned Christian who has thought deeply about his faith.

Are you aware that "absolute predestination" (the revealed will v. hidden or secret will doctrine) is employed by the Westboro Baptist Church?

I must presume I am not one of God's elect, since I do not believe in Christ (or I should say that it is very difficult to reconcile belief with the natural world and the nature of good and evil).

Since my life has largely consisted of unspeakable suffering, and I do not come to Christ (because it is God's secret will that I not do so), and I will be punished eternally for not coming to Christ, I have basically been created to suffer and perish, both physically and spiritually. I must assume this is the case for most people.

Of course, I deserve the suffering, since my ancestors 6,000 years ago ate an unauthorized piece of fruit and screwed everything up for everyone.

I hope that the Christian God does not exist.

Robin said...

WAR,

We don't know God's secret will neither do we know who God's children are. If you place your trust in God's pardon and trust Him you will be saved. You must experience it. I don't believe in everlasting punishment of humans. Hell was created for Satan and his angels. So while Satan and his demons will be tormented forever in hell human reprobates will be annihilated in hell. Human reprobates are thrown into eternal punishment but will be annihilated. They will perish and be no more.
That's what I believe right now anyway.

Harry McCall said...

Robin, Psalm 45:2 is simply a praise of Yahweh over an Israelite king’s marriage (as the Psalmist at this time understood Yahweh).

All one needs do to see how shallow this grace really is, is to read how many Israelite and Judean kings fell out of Yahweh’s favor and were cursed by him even to death. King Saul is hardly alone here.

Samuel - Kings and Chronicles are some good books that tell of a God with a short fuse and with murder on his mind.

The Pre-exilic Prophets, (especially Isaiah 1 - 40) are typical of a God bent on vengeance!

Robin said...

Harry,

It's still grace in the Old Testament though. Here's some more:

Psalm 84:11

For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
The Lord will give grace and glory.

Zech. 12:10

And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace.

Psalm 30:5

For His anger is but for a moment, and His favor is for a lifetime.

Gandolf said...

Robin said..."God is never obligated to show grace. For grace to be grace it must be freely given.So, when God allows humans and animals to suffer He does nothing wrong"

"So, to sum up, God is never obligated to show grace to His creation. If He was it wouldn't be grace."

Hmmmmm ???#@??!!...."For grace to be grace it must be freely given" ...Yes well that part sounds quite logical id have to agree with that.Infact would find that hard to disagree with even.

But if when grace come under matters of obligations how can it then still relate to being graceful?.

Seems to me it then comes down to obligations ...obligations have to do with grace?.Im not obligated to give to charity am i still graceful if i choose/decide not to.If i need to think about the giving how graceful and freely giving am i ?.

I might still have grace if i wish to give but cant ,thats different.Cause i would if i could!quite willingly.

But God is said to be all powerful,always able etc.

No the God you suggest and describe is more about whether things are merited or unmerited or obligations.

The dictionary :with bad grace, reluctantly; grudgingly: He apologized, but did so with bad grace.

God does so only if he feels like it,how much grace is that?

If your God is said to have grace it can only be reluctant grudgingly bad grace at the most !.

Nothing free and willing about it !.

How can i ever be expected to understand this illogical unreasonable unbelievable god that contradicts things so often.

Harry McCall said...

Robin, just where was the grace of God on the children, babies and the unborn in Noah’s day before the flood?

Where was God’s grace on the people of Canaan / the Canaanites?

Even grace in the New Testament must be earned via faith!

If grace is truly free, there is no need of Hell.

Robin said...

Grace is the undeserved favor of God. If God is required or obligated to be gracious then we are no longer speaking about grace. Grace is always voluntary with God. The only contradictions are the ones you are creating in your mind.

Robin said...

Harry,

Re-read what I said that should answer your questions.

Robin said...

Harry,

It's by grace we believe. Faith itself is a gift.

Gandolf said...

Robin said..."Grace is the undeserved favor of God. If God is required or obligated to be gracious then we are no longer speaking about grace. Grace is always voluntary with God. The only contradictions are the ones you are creating in your mind."

It might be undeserved but as you have already said ,quote:"For grace to be grace it must be freely given."

If its not freely given because its thought to be quote: "undeserved" or something.

Then surely it must then have become a punishment!.Or in the least a "non grace" hmmmmm?

Is punishment grace ?.

How can grace still be grace if its not given?Deserved or undeserved are you suggesting god is of grace whether he gives grace or not?.
Sure grace is not grace if its expected, but neither is grace ! grace if its not given.

Im now just trying to understand this biblical type of logic of yours here,let me try to imagine it for a second or two.

"Oh thanks god for letting me die in the gas chambers, you are so freely giving in grace !"

Or another one

"oh i showed some grace the other day to charity, and freely with such grace gave them nothing"

Wonderful ! makes sense it does !.

Pffffftt!......???? Say What???

Dang! my opinion is religious folk always seem to me to talk very much in the same type of contradicting and confusing riddles i once used to see and read in the bible.All reading it ever did for me then was to leave me lost and baffled and bamboozeled too.

I too used to run around in circles like a chicken with its head cut off, trying to make all the confusion and contradictions seem logical and fit.I spent hours at it!.

It was impossible though .Still seems its the same now as i watch and listen to others try to.

The only thing is now i no longer need to.

Harry McCall said...

Robin, the English word for grace is derived from the Latin “gratis” meaning something freely given without charge.

The distortion Christians put on this word is to show it IS really earned by the use of eternal punishment should one not accept it. To be truly free, one can not be offered a “free gift” while looking down the barrel of a shotgun.

Yes, God gives a forced “free gift”. Plus, it is now not true grace anymore since Hell is earned should one not accept the so-called free gift.

Secondly, your free gift reminds me of the credit card checks that come in the mail for, let say $500.00.
The check is free. You have not eared it. But the second you endorse it and cash it, you will paid it back with interested or you’ll suffer with a bad credit rating and harassing phone calls.

Thus, your God’s grace is much like a credit card; it’s only “free” until you cash it and then you must spent a life time working off this “free gift” in evangelization, or, just as Paul says, the blood of the lost you did not witness to when you had the chance will be place on you at the judgment.

Grace is only truly free when, if we take it, there are no pay back requirements and, if we do not take it, that is no eternal punishment.

The Christian concept of grace starts off right, but then becomes a totally distortion since your grace has the concept of eternal punishment built into it.

Robin, strip out any requirements after Christian grace is accepted, plus eternal punishment if it IS NOT accepted then you will truly have FREE GRACE!!!

J-wade said...

I agree with Harry, that "Grace is only truly free when, if we take it, there are no pay back requirements and, if we do not take it, that is no eternal punishment."


Grace is given to all of creation, a free gift given regardless of sin or works in the past, present or future. The grace God gives justifies the world as innocent. All of creation is innocent, no longer guilty for the sin it has committed.

But, I have recently been given a new look at what hell is. C.S. Lewis wrote, "It is not a question of God 'sending us' to hell. In each of us there is something growing, which will BE Hell unless it is nipped in the bud." Hell is not believing (not having the faith) in the grace that is given to us. It's not the consequence of not believing, but the act of not believing in the grace God has given all.

Hell is building one's identity on oneself apart from God. Hell is a choice one makes. God doesn't place anyone in hell, oneself does that. God grants them what they have wantedly chosen, which is eternal life apart from God. God doesn't allow hell, he allows us to make our own decisions, even if that decision is to spend eternity apart from him (love that seems upside down to us, but love nonetheless). He has already granted us grace. Whether we end up in hell (which we create) is our own doing, our act to not believe that God has given grace and forgiveness to all, including ourselves.

Harry McCall said...

The problem with “Hell” is that it is NOT original with Judaism and much less Christianity.

If one were to look up Hell in a Classical Dictionary such as the Oxford Classical Dictionary, 3rd ed., one would fine Classical Mythology used this term for their under world and it was simply a place of the dead (Hades) much like the Hebrew "Sheol".

The unfound Christian distortion made it a place of torment ONLY for the lost.

The LXX did a major disservice in translating Sheol as Hades (English: Hell).

Robin said...

Harry,

I don't believe in everlasting punishment of humans. Hell was created for Satan and his angels. So while Satan and his demons will be tormented forever in hell human reprobates will be annihilated in hell. Human reprobates are thrown into eternal punishment but will be annihilated. They will perish and be no more.

Harry McCall said...

Robin, it sounds as if you are a Jehovah Witness.

I can not figure CS Lewis. Though an educated scholar, who knew Latin (and I would assume Greek), he seems not to have been able to follow the etymology of the word Hell/Hades.

I’m working on a new post on the development of Heaven.