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January 15, 2007

Comments

ian

The problem with incredibly long unspaced posts is that it is impossible to respond to so many different points in the limited time that I have in a day to converse.

However...you appear to draw a questionmark over the morality of God ordering the Israelites to slaughter every living thing in the new territories.

First principles: God created life, God can take life. If I build a house, I own it. If I choose to pull it down and put another in its place, so be it. It is a flawed philosophical position to judge God by the laws that govern our own behaviour, without first taking into account the above principle or others like it.

Secondly, if you read the OT carefully, you'll see the people the Israelites were ordered to slaughter were not "innocent" by any stretch of the imagination.

Take Leviticus 18 as an example of what the Caananites were like: "The land is defiled, therefore I visit the punishment of its iniquity upon it, and the land vomits out its inhabitants." The chapter records that the culture concerned was so evil that it was even engaged in child sacrifice.

As Genesis 15:16 indicates, God predicts the future extinction of the Amorites, so clearly they'd had hundreds of years to get their act together before God finally issued judgement in the form of invading Hebrew armies.

As for the killing of little children, as other theologians have noted, "given the cancerous state of the society into which they were being born, they had no chance to avoid its fatal pollution." In fact, if Christian doctrine is correct that children who die before the age of accountability go to heaven, then those "suckling infants" slaughtered by the Jews had a better chance of salvation than if they'd been left to become adult Amorites.

God considered those cultures to be a spiritual cancer who would threaten his plans to bring the saviour of the world via Abraham's lineage. As sovereign Lord, he made a judgement call. Personally, I'm satisfied it was the right call.

David

The issues I raised were not presented expecting you to counter them point by point.Rather an attempt at a synopsis to show just why the Old Testament God represents a culture of vengeance and negativity the very antithesis of what humans should aspire towards.Your reasoning would say he created the Universe - who are we to judge him by our standards ? That is specious argument. I know what I admire and what I instinctively disrespect. The fact that I use those standards in judging my peers is no reason they are not equally applicable to assessing your God.Remember it is philisophical issues that are under question not simply viewpoints.I stress this latter point in the context as to how he is depicted in the Old Testament. I speculate upon what the Dalai Lama would think of the O.T. depiction.I doubt that he would be capable of beginning to understand vengeance of that nature expressed so indiscriminately. Mahatma Gandhi showed the sheer power of submission in his passive resistance movement. He showed how the greatest power is the most modest in it`s expression and that the divine when it issues forth is never without a touch of humility.The ultimate paradox! Hardly the model the Old Testament presents. For all it`s wondrous creativity nature ultimately operates on a talon and claw dynamic.The very survival of a species depends literally on a dog eat dog code analagous to the divinity of the Old Testament that you both portray and worship. I do not wish to go over old ground not adequately explained by you but would question why your God who had to be placated by sacrifice had adequate reason to have slaughtered people who you reason performed the same practice. This query is minutiae in the greater context of our irreconcilable differences. In summary your argument based on the impossible bed-fellows the Old Testament and the New Testament holding some sort of primacy over all competing philosophical position is untenable.It is not that you plead a poor case simply that you seek to defend the indefensible. Not for one moment should you presume that myself and those of like mind do not stand in awe of that still unexplained but majestic Universe that we live in ,or rather that we experience through that Cartesian theatre of our minds . That ,however is the extent of our religiosity . Certainly no less a justified position than theists.Certainly more honest. Do you ever question why as humans progress towards the span of their lives they do not all default to seeking celestial insurance.Personally I doubt that you do .Easier for you to presume they are simply bloody-minded.How wrong you are !

Neil

God does, because god can, and why god does, only god knows. It may be good enough for you, but it doesn’t cut it with me.

Your declaration that god is at liberty to inflict any level of suffering and evil for whatever reason, simply because he is god, is frightening. I could never respect, nor want any association with, a god who inflicts cruelty and death simply because he can, because he is god. I could never respect a god who exhibits the attributes of evil I detest in humans.

According to you, it is okay for god to kill innocent babies: first, because he is god and can do what he wants; second, because the slaughtered babies were saved from a life of sin and guaranteed entry to heaven. So what happened to free will? Why deny these children the opportunity to exercise free will and choose a moral life free from their parents sin? No, God saw fit to take their young lives and that’s that. Using your logic, why not promote abortion? Better still, let’s make it compulsory. Why not guarantee entry to heaven for all? Surely god wouldn’t disapprove?

As for the disposability of cultures that represent ‘spiritual cancers’, this type of thinking scares me (ie, the absolute right of ‘good’ to confront ‘evil’). It is not the secular world we need to fear; it is those running around in the name of god. As I type this, on the other side of the world, ‘god’ is telling Muslims to take the lives of the infidel. In response, the infidel, does god’s work by striking back. God can be found on both sides of the equation, and they all end up dead . These are god’s people in god’s fight – not secularists. And you ask where we atheists get our moral code from?!

ian

You say: "Your declaration that god is at liberty to inflict any level of suffering and evil for whatever reason, simply because he is god, is frightening. I could never respect, nor want any association with, a god who inflicts cruelty and death simply because he can, because he is god. I could never respect a god who exhibits the attributes of evil I detest in humans."

Firstly, aren't you making some assumptions here in your apparent factual matrix that are unproven? Quite literally (for the purposes of this discussion), you are judging the Being who created you and measuring him using human morality. If God exists, then human morality even at best must be far lower than divine morality, otherwise we would be gods. Simply because you don't yet understand the reason for something or see the big picture doesn't make God's actions evil.

You say: "So what happened to free will? Why deny these children the opportunity to exercise free will and choose a moral life free from their parents sin? No, God saw fit to take their young lives and that’s that."

"Perhaps, as any genuinely objective reading of the OT shows, the cultures those kids were being born into were so utterly depraved and autocratic that there was no chance of them freeing themselves from "their parents sin".

Perhaps also, given that Christianity is a spiritual theology about spiritual warfare between good and evil, that there are elements of spiritual infection that cannot be defeated naturally. Remember, these cultures existed pre-Christ and pre the empowerment of humanity with the Holy Spirit to fight evil. Perhaps death really is the only release for these people. You can't deny this as a possibility. Why are you unwilling to give God the benefit of the doubt, instead of presuming to condemn him on the basis of incomplete data?

You say: "Using your logic, why not promote abortion?"

Perhaps our culture is not yet as depraved as the AMorites. In our culture, we still have the ability to break free. But don't also forget that the Amorites were killed on God's orders as part of his divine judgement against that culture. Every time the Jews chose to kill of their own volition, they lost. When we abort, we play God without getting orders first.

You then say: "As for the disposability of cultures that represent ‘spiritual cancers’, this type of thinking scares me (ie, the absolute right of ‘good’ to confront ‘evil’)."

Forgive me for being blunt, but evil by definition is the antithesis of good. If one tolerates evil, then one becomes party to it. There is not only an absolute "right" of good to confront evil, there is an absolute responsibility.

There is a caveat on this, however, and that is the definition of good and evil. A simple declaration by a human that one thing is good and another evil is simply one person's opinion. Which is why I tie it back to biblical definitions because Christianity is the best documented and best-attested religion in the world. If I act in concert with the Bible, I act well. If I step outside its authority, I become part of the problem, not the solution.

"It is not the secular world we need to fear; it is those running around in the name of god. As I type this, on the other side of the world, ‘god’ is telling Muslims to take the lives of the infidel. In response, the infidel, does god’s work by striking back. God can be found on both sides of the equation, and they all end up dead . These are god’s people in god’s fight – not secularists. And you ask where we atheists get our moral code from?!"

Actually, faulty assumptions yet again. The teachings of Christianity and Islam are diametrically opposed, both cannot be right, according to the philosophical principle, the Law of Non-contradiction.

Both claim to have God on their side. In a real objective sense only one or neither could have God on their side.

Christianity does not teach conversion by violence, and atrocities committed by alleged Christians in the past will be judged by God in due course.

Many people claim to do things in God's name. Few do.

Don't blame God for the actions of idiots.

neil

I have no option but to question god using human morality; that is all I have. And I am not prepared to condone to acts that I find despicable simply because there may be another morality that I do not understand. I will not abandon my rational faculties, or moral code, for any reason, for anybody, not even god. If I do, what do I have left? A good father is one who explains to his son the reasons for actions if he observes these actions to be causing his son distress. A father would not ignore his son’s anguish simply because he knows better (unless, perhaps, his actions were wrong in the first place).

You talk of a culture so utterly depraved and autocratic that there was no chance of freeing children from "their parents sin". So apparently free will is a sporadic thing; not all of us have it; some miss out. So why, then, should those without free will be given an automatic ride to eternal bliss, whereas those who have it risk eternal suffering – all because they have been lumbered a free will, which is of questionable use anyway as it operates from an ‘unproven factual matrix’. Hardly equitable. Whose palms do we need to grease to get the ‘get out of hell free’ card given to those lucky enough to miss out on free will?

You say evil by definition is the antithesis of good. Evil is simply a behaviour. Evil is the initiation of force by someone, against someone else, without their consent. The greater the use of force, the greater the evil.

Some men commit evil and invoke a god as their reason; some men don’t. Those men who do not invoke god often know that their actions are wrong. Those who invoke god often don’t. It is latter ones that scare me the most.

ian

You say: "I will not abandon my rational faculties, or moral code, for any reason, for anybody, not even god. If I do, what do I have left?"

One of the things to consider in the wider equation is our own place in the universal pecking order. Your above statement, taken objectively, is closer to an "I am my own god" statement than a viable debating point. If God the Creator does exist, and I accept for the purposes of our talk it remains an "IF", then as Creator he calls all the shots. He is ultimately infinitely superior to ourselves in mental and moral capability, if he is the God described in the Bible.

Sure, you can set yourself up as the ultimate arbiter of good and evil, you can even challenge God as you have, but do you really deep down believe that you or I are better judges of morality than God. After all, if he made us, he made morality. We may not know the why of it, but nor does science know the "why" or "how" of life. After we die, we'll understand a lot more. Give God the same benefit of the doubt that you give Darwin.

You say: "A good father is one who explains to his son the reasons for actions if he observes these actions to be causing his son distress. A father would not ignore his son’s anguish simply because he knows better (unless, perhaps, his actions were wrong in the first place)."

Try explaining the theory of relativity to a dolphin. Very intelligent animal, can even learn to understand human sentences, but it has no concept of relativity theory and no chance of ever understanding. Perhaps as humans there are some things we cannot yet understand. I would argue that a careful reading of the Bible in context would ease your anguish, but at least give God the benefit of the doubt.

You say: "You talk of a culture so utterly depraved and autocratic that there was no chance of freeing children from "their parents sin". So apparently free will is a sporadic thing; not all of us have it; some miss out."

Children do not have free will. They are subject to their parents control. It is not until they reach the age of reason/accountability that they learn to exercise free will and become accountable. At whatever time God exercises judgement, there will be innocent children caught up in it.

You say: "So why, then, should those without free will be given an automatic ride to eternal bliss, whereas those who have it risk eternal suffering – all because they have been lumbered a free will, which is of questionable use anyway as it operates from an ‘unproven factual matrix’. Hardly equitable. Whose palms do we need to grease to get the ‘get out of hell free’ card given to those lucky enough to miss out on free will?"

Glad you raised it. Some conservative scholars have debated a similar point in relation to those who never heard the gospel. Their consensus is that God will judge them according to their hearts, that God will know whether, had they heard the gospel, they would have accepted it. Those who hear it and reject it have already made their choice. The bottom line is that God sees all and knows all. He knows things about us that even we're not prepared to concede to ourselves. And God is merciful - remind me to share something that happened to one man whose father had committed suicide.


You write: "You say evil by definition is the antithesis of good. Evil is simply a behaviour. Evil is the initiation of force by someone, against someone else, without their consent. The greater the use of force, the greater the evil."

With respect, that's only a partial definition of evil, not a complete one. Evil is more than simply a behaviour or the initiation of force. A cancer surgeon uses maximum force against cancer by cutting or zapping it out. Does that make him evil? And in Christianity we have a much wider, deeper and richer definition of evil than the one you've quoted.

You say: "Some men commit evil and invoke a god as their reason; some men don’t. Those men who do not invoke god often know that their actions are wrong. Those who invoke god often don’t. It is latter ones that scare me the most."

The evil actions of men done in God's name need to be better defined. Whose God? The God of Islam or gods of Hinduism are not the God of Christianity. Therefore claims to be doing things in the name of those gods is no different from Stalin's appeal to the supremacy of the state. All are false idols.

And no true CHristian acts contrary to Christ's will, so Christianity is no more accountable for the actions of every other violent non-believer than you are for World War 2.

Neil

It is not a case of who is the better judge of morality, rather, it is just that your god’s morality is not mine. As said earlier, I will not abandon my morality for anyone. And, no, I am not prepared to wait until after I die to understand a lot more. I will not subrogate the reality and beauty of this natural world for an supernatural afterworld that probably doesn’t exist. You ask me to give God the same benefit of the doubt that I give Darwin. No. Darwin was real; your god is not. Darwin lived for this world; you live for the next.

You ask whether a cancer surgeon using maximum force against cancer, either by cutting or zapping it out, is evil? The answer is simple. As per my definition of evil, if the surgeon has the consent of the person with cancer, then it is not evil. If the surgeon operates without consent, then his actions are evil.

Finally, you talk of a god so intricately concerned with our wellbeing that he knows things about us that even we're not prepared to concede to ourselves. This intricate concern reminds me of a story I heard a couple of years ago. A young Christian missionary was cycling around South America. While peddling away, a vital piece of gearing on his bike failed. Being many miles from civilisation, and not having a replacement part, he feared that his evangelical journey may be at an end. The nearest village did not have any bikes, let alone a bike shop, yet, to his amazement, the local shop stocked a replacement part. It was the only bike part the shop stocked, and the owner could not recall why, or how, he had come to have this piece in stock. The young missionary, his faith renewed, knew why: god had specifically placed it their for him. This story, however, is one for the believers. The same week, on the other side of the world, 5,000 Rwandans were hacked to death with machetes.

ian

You say: "It is not a case of who is the better judge of morality, rather, it is just that your god’s morality is not mine. As said earlier, I will not abandon my morality for anyone."

Apart from the fact that IF God exists as defined by Christianity, then his moral standards are not "optional" but compulsory regardless of whether you like it, I have no problem with the fact that you are nonetheless free to reject God as you wish.


You write: "I will not subrogate the reality and beauty of this natural world for an supernatural afterworld that probably doesn’t exist. You ask me to give God the same benefit of the doubt that I give Darwin. No. Darwin was real; your god is not. Darwin lived for this world; you live for the next."

And you can prove God doesn't exist, how? Unless you can prove your claim, your assertion is groundless.

You write: "You ask whether a cancer surgeon using maximum force against cancer, either by cutting or zapping it out, is evil? The answer is simple. As per my definition of evil, if the surgeon has the consent of the person with cancer, then it is not evil. If the surgeon operates without consent, then his actions are evil."

OK, let's go beyond the simple. Suppose the cancer patient doesn't realise they have cancer, and suddenly collapses in the street one day, going into a coma. Emergency room medics find a massive brain tumour which they know they must remove for him to have any chance to live. But he is unconscious and cannot be roused. Is their decision to operate to save his life, regardless of no clear consent, evil?

You conclude: "Finally, you talk of a god so intricately concerned with our wellbeing that he knows things about us that even we're not prepared to concede to ourselves. This intricate concern reminds me of a story I heard a couple of years ago. A young Christian missionary was cycling around South America. While peddling away, a vital piece of gearing on his bike failed. Being many miles from civilisation, and not having a replacement part, he feared that his evangelical journey may be at an end. The nearest village did not have any bikes, let alone a bike shop, yet, to his amazement, the local shop stocked a replacement part. It was the only bike part the shop stocked, and the owner could not recall why, or how, he had come to have this piece in stock. The young missionary, his faith renewed, knew why: god had specifically placed it their for him. This story, however, is one for the believers. The same week, on the other side of the world, 5,000 Rwandans were hacked to death with machetes."

Except that every single day, hundreds of millions of Christians feel the intervention of God in their lives in some facet or other - I have similar stories of divine provenance from my own experience. And every single day, hundreds of millions of people, some of them Christian, suffer evil.

We live in a fallen world, not the Garden of Eden. We live in a world where people like Hitler have the free choice to murder millions, but where Mother Teresa could also choose to save millions. People ask "Where was God?" when the twin towers came down - he was right beside every firefighter and police officer trying to rescue people. He was there with victims as they passed from this life to the next, and he was there ensuring - by divine intervention, that the towers stayed up long enough for 50,000 officer workers to get out safely.

Like the Good fairy in Sleeping Beauty, God can act to mitigate the effects of evil, even evil that arises through the free will choices of other humans.

If the problem of evil interests you, read The Case For Faith by Lee Strobel.

Neil

You ask whether I can prove God whether exists? You will be aware that there is already enough literature on this subject to fill Noah’s ark several times over, so I suggest we don’t go here. However, I will post a new thread called “The books Martians read” which will skirt a bit around this issue.

Regarding your brain tumour example. Where direct consent is not possible, implied consent could substitute provided the reason for the surgery passed an objective test of being performed in the best interests of the patient. That said, explicit would be always take preference to implicit. ie, it would always be an act of evil if the patient had explicitly requested the surgery not take place. In case you are tempted to extend my analogy to euthanasia, implicit consent would not be okay. Your example involved an action to preserve life, whereas euthanasia is an action that takes life. Given the sanctity of life, explicit consent would always be required for euthanasia.

On Christians feeling the intervention of god in their lives in some facet or other, all impacts on their lives can happily be ascribed to god. If beneficial, then god has deliberately intervened for their good. If detrimental, then ‘god moves in mysterious ways’, we cannot understand his moral code, and all will be revealed in the hereafter. Either way, god was ‘involved’ and their faith remains intact. The atheist is on a hiding to nothing when trying to debate this further. Our view, however, is simple: sometimes, things go well; others times, ‘sh#t happens’.

Your twin towers example was interesting. You claim divine intervention in keeping the towers up long enough for 50,000 officer workers to get out safely. Personally, I would have preferred divine intervention to have seen Mohamed Atta stray into the path of an oncoming bus some months previous. But, I know, me, a dolphin, and the theory of relativity thing. You also state that god was with the victims as they passed from this life to the next. Presumably, this includes being beside the kind-hearted victims of Muslim, Jewish, Mormon (etc) faiths as they headed to an eternity of anguish and torture? As Charles Templeton said, in Lee Strobel’s book, “I couldn’t hold someone’s hand to a fire for a moment. Not an instant! How could a loving God, just because you don’t obey him and do what he wants, torture you forever – not allowing you to die, but to continue in that pain for eternity There is no criminal who would do this!” (Regrettably, there are too many competing calls for my disposable income and, unfortunately, Lee’s book missed out to a bottle of Australian red wine. I did, however, manage to find his first chapter on the Net).

Finally, a quote from another book, from an author you mentioned in your last post) "... I am convinced that I am acting as the agent of our Creator. By fighting off the Jews. I am doing the Lord's work." Hitler. Mein Kampf.

ian

You say: "ie, it would always be an act of evil if the patient had explicitly requested the surgery not take place." and at first blush I was tempted to agree. In some cases I still might, but let's explore another potential complexity.

SUppose the patient was suffering from depression, or another mental condition that clouded rational judgement but wasn't "insanity" in the legal, non compus mentus sense of the term. There are documented cases, for example, of people who have acted bizarrely because of brain tumours and when the tumour has been removed their behaviour has become normal again.

Then there's the case where the patient is a husband and father who freely chose to bring children into the world, and told his wife she couldn't work because he was the breadwinner. Is his wish to "check out" supreme, or must his desire in this area be balanced against the responsibilities he created by exercising his other free will "desires", especially if a full cure can be effected and he can return to providing for the family he chose to create?

You write: "On Christians feeling the intervention of god in their lives in some facet or other, all impacts on their lives can happily be ascribed to god. If beneficial, then god has deliberately intervened for their good. If detrimental, then ‘god moves in mysterious ways’, we cannot understand his moral code, and all will be revealed in the hereafter. Either way, god was ‘involved’ and their faith remains intact. The atheist is on a hiding to nothing when trying to debate this further. Our view, however, is simple: sometimes, things go well; others times, ‘sh#t happens’."

It needs to be balanced against probability theory: if the overall pattern that Christians experience is more good than bad when compared to the general population, then there is a good scientific basis for inferring some kind of outside causal agent.

You write: "Personally, I would have preferred divine intervention to have seen Mohamed Atta stray into the path of an oncoming bus some months previous. But, I know, me, a dolphin, and the theory of relativity thing."

I agree, although God would also have known that someone else would simply have stepped up to the plate. Short of the miraculous overnight imprisonment of everyone plotting evil in the world however, what is God to do?

Christ didn't come to save the Jews from their Roman oppressors. "My kingdom is not of this world," he said. The time for saving the world comes later. Sure, Jesus could have saved the physical bacon in this life of every person on the planet back in 30AD, but then you and I wouldn't have experienced the joy of life, love and loss. Billions of people have lived and died since then, billions who will get the chance to enjoy eternal life who might not have existed if God had flicked the switch back in 30AD.

You write: "You also state that god was with the victims as they passed from this life to the next. Presumably, this includes being beside the kind-hearted victims of Muslim, Jewish, Mormon (etc) faiths as they headed to an eternity of anguish and torture? As Charles Templeton said, in Lee Strobel’s book, “I couldn’t hold someone’s hand to a fire for a moment. Not an instant! How could a loving God, just because you don’t obey him and do what he wants, torture you forever – not allowing you to die, but to continue in that pain for eternity There is no criminal who would do this!”"

If one wants to give explicit instructions that doctors are not to save his life, even if a cure is probable, and we can defend that as a person's "Right" because they "own" their life, then how can we then complain if such an action has predictable consequences.

Whether you die that way, or you die in defiance of God by adhering to a faith he says is a satanic deception, either way you can't say you haven't been warned.

All God wants is for us to be happy. If we are happier creating God in our own image (as science, Buddha, voodoo, Moroni, whatever) then that is our free will choice. God won't force us to do anything. One should not become a Christian purely out of fear of "Hell". One should become a Christian because one wants to understand their Creator.

I would add however that there is a Scriptural basis for suggesting that Muslims, Buddhists and others who have genuinely not heard the gospel will be judged according to how they would have responded to it, so there is no assurance necessarily that all "infidels" who died in the twin towers necessarily ended up at the wrong station.

As for: "Finally, a quote from another book, from an author you mentioned in your last post) "... I am convinced that I am acting as the agent of our Creator. By fighting off the Jews. I am doing the Lord's work." Hitler. Mein Kampf."

I've written elsewhere that Hitler used such professions of Christianity purely as a means to an end. Members of his staff recounted after the war that Hitler despised Christians as weak and easily led, and was a big fan of Darwin and survival of the fittest.

neil

Ian, to answer your questions. With a patient suffering from depression, every effort should be made to assist them to make a good decision. However, if the patient still chooses to deny surgery, then this is their right. Even depressed people are the ultimate owners of their lives.

As for the husband wanting to ‘check out’. Well, bad people own their lives just as good people do, and they have no less rights just because they are not nice. So, yes, these people have the same rights over their lives. Interesting – let’s take your analogy further – for the same reason, why not outlaw separation for married couples with children?

You talk of probability theory and infer that Christians enjoy a higher level of good times over bad. Frankly, and with due respect, this is rubbish. Where is the study you refer to? Some Christians I know have had nothing but extreme bad luck follow them most of their lives.

You say that someone else would have stepped up to the plate instead of Mohammed Atta, so, short of miraculous overnight imprisonment of everyone plotting evil, what is god to do? There is a difference between those who ‘plot’, and those who ‘do’ – the point being that there is only a limited number of people in this world who are prepared to pilot jetliners into high rise buildings. Yes, if I was god, I would find a bus for each and every one of them. And what’s wrong with a miraculous prevention of their actions? If I was an omnipotent god, I would do it.

You say that if Jesus had saved the bacon for everyone back in 30AD, then we wouldn’t have experienced the joy of life, love or loss. I find this statement interesting coming from a Christian, for it is Christians that never get to fully realise the joy of this life - it is lost on them as they wish it away for the next. I do not expect you to fully understand this – I never did when I was a Christian. I like the way that one ex-Christian describes it: “Looking back, it was inevitable. Often I think I was wiser at twelve than at twenty. Now the fear is a memory. Smiles come more easily. And almost to my astonishment, the sky remains blue, the sun shines, breath is sweet, love still gives me wings - and life is as beautiful and meaningless as a flower.” His full testimony can be found at

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/testimonials/nahigian.html

And, finally, your statement that all god wants if for us to be happy is simply not true. All god wants if for people to worship him. Ian, you would agree – an unhappy Christian gets into heaven, whereas a happy Hindu gets the oven. It is not people's goodwill, or their happiness, that god requires – rather, it is only their decision to worship him, or not, that he is interested in.

mimg

Neil, you poor guy. What on earth happened to you. Who hurt you so badly that you have such a negative veiw of God's kingdom?
You call yourself an ex Christian - there is no such thing. There are ex Church goers - but no one who has had an experiencial encounter with the living God can ever deny His existance. Were you hoodwinked by some cult or false religion? I don't know where you find your miserable Christians - I don't know any. The fruit of the Spirit is Love, Joy, Peace.........even in times of difficulty or trial. Christians don't need to worry, our heavenly Father loves us. Nothing can come between us and His love. I fully enjoy my daily earthly life and I love the family of God into which He has placed me.
Neil when Ian tried to explain that God impacts on Christians lives on a daily basis - let me tell you that He got me up at 5am this morning so I could read through the lengthy discussion you and Ian have been having and write this reply to you. 5am is never on by timetable unless I have to catch a 'plane. I hope and I pray that you will find your way to the God that created you and loves you and I send you my love bro XXX

Shane Ponting

Neil, you can extend the desire to put a bus in front of every plane-boarding terrorist to every person who will commit an act of evil. Should God stop everyone who's going to do bad things? No, because you are removing freewill then. It's not a real choice to follow God if all the evil people are being bonked before they can commit their crimes.

Victor Bootle

Hi Ian, I am curious to know if or what faith, if any, you follow, e.g. Christian, Catholism etc...Its is so good to see a journalist promoting the truth.
Look forward to your answer.
Shalom
Victor

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God and evil are 2 psychological thoughts. We love god as we understand he helps us whenever need. The evil is the person always put us in the helpless conditions. So i also believe in the God for make me strong.

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We love the God he is the moral of truth, confidence, power, strength and positiveness. All these help us to face the health and other problems in life.

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tough call I have to admit - but either way believe in yourself and protect and surround yourself with the white light of the holy spirit on a DAILY basis and i promise you WILL feel better =)

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I dont kow, I think that good will always conquer evil and no matter what your religion is or what you beleive, theres a plan for all of us - good or bad (unfortunately!). Keep your chin up though, we r in this for the long haul!

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