Important Announcement

See here for an important message regarding the community which has become a read-only site as of October 31.

 
Post Reply
Switch to Forum Live View Searching for Answers
4 years ago  ::  Aug 09, 2013 - 11:24AM #1
David
Posts: 5
First, let me state...I'm in no way trying to be disrespectful or challenge another person's beliefs.  But...I've got a very challenging question which I've struggled with for years and has prevented me from returning to my faith.

I was raised Southern Baptist and as a kid...God really helped me out.  I had a pretty tough upbringing and He seemed to always be there for me.  Then...I grew up and started really probing my beliefs.  Here's my issue:

There are micro answers but they never seems to be an answer the macro problem.

I've read all kinds of books on Christianity, Jesus and God.  They all talk about ways that Jesus has helped humanity.  Jesus healed the sick, Jesus comforted those that needed comforted, etc.  This is the micro issue.  By micro I mean, Jesus is dealing with issues that God created.  It's as if, in all the liturature I've read (including the bible) the things that Jesus dealt with were created by some alien or something and that He had nothing to do with it.  But God created everything.  He's the creator.  When a child is brutally killed in some foreign country...God is responsible because He created this world and created all the rules by which man abides.  He created man.  He created the devil.  He's responsible for everything.

So...the macro issue is...God is the creator.  He's the big picture.  His sending Jesus to die for our sins in a brutal, terrible way is something He willingly did...when He didn't have to.  He didn't have to permit the world to become a place so bad that he had to send His Son to die for us.

So...micro = Jesus dealing with the issues created by God
Macro = the big picture...all of it's God's fault...He's the creator.  The world doesn't have to be like it is.  It is God's fault.

When you look at the world and humanity...and when you look at history.  It doesn't seem like God is a very good person / being.  Why would I worship Him?  

Basically...it simply doesn't make sense.  God is all loving, all powerful and all knowing.  Well, if you look at the world and humanity and history...it's doesn't seem like God is very loving.  He seems more like a child having a temportantrum...know what I mean.

I guess the problem I'm having is...I can't reconcile in my mind the world and this idea of an awesome God.  He doesn't seem very awesome and definitly doesn't seem like someone I'd like to worship.

Some people say that God wanted to create other beings...I'm guessing maybe bacause He's lonely or something.  Of course...if he's lonely...well...that's a flaw and doesn't make Him all powerful.

Some people say that...the world is...the way it is because God wanted us to have "free will"......but we don't have free will.  People are a product of their genes and atmospheric upbringing.  For example, my favorite color is green.  I can't change that.  I can tell people and myself that it's blue...but inside...I know it's green.  I like dark haired girls...I can't change that.  If a person is raised in a family full of thugs...more than likely...they will become a thug.  Sometimes this isn't the case...genetic computation overrides their atmospheric upbringing...but 90% of the time...he or she will become a thug.

As I have gotten older...it just seems like religion is a "crutch" that gets us through life.  That there really isn't a God.

I do wish I could believe...it would make life a lot easier...but I can't lie to myself.  My favorite color is green and I can't change that and make it blue.

Lastly...I didn't ask to be here.  I didn't have a hand in that.  I didn't have a hand in my genetic creation.  I wasn't able to pick my mother or my father.  I had not choice in my life circumstances.  So...why would I be held responsible when I die for stuff I couldn't help?  Again...I don't think people have free will.  A person makes decisions based on genetics and upbringing (programming).  Why would anyone be damned to hell forever?  If God was so upset with a person...why wouldn't He just make the cease to exist?  To throw a person into Hell for eternity seems more like torture.  Do we want to worship a God that tortures?

Hope someone can help...I'd appreciate it.

Thanks! 
Quick Reply
Cancel
4 years ago  ::  Aug 19, 2013 - 2:17PM #2
Tralfazj
Posts: 121
David,

Yes, it's true that God created us without our permission, but He will not save us without our cooperation.

You claim that you don't have free will, but you provide an example that does not apply. Free will refers to choices and not to preferences. For example, you may prefer to eat a pound of greasy French fries every day, but you may choose not to for the sake of your health. An animal has no such choices. It simply responds to instinct.

This especially pertains to faith and morals. You can choose to be dishonest or to be truthful. Yes, it's true that our upbringing plays a role, but it does not affect the goodness of an action or choice. It only affects the guilt of our action.

This is why the Church has never officially condemned any specific person to hell. Only God knows the state of each person's soul. Going back to your example, our circumstances mitigate the guilt of our actions. God wants everyone in heaven and is not looking for opportunities to condemn us.

Those souls who choose to reject Him are condemning themselves. They want no part of God and will get their wish in the end.

Try thinking of God as a family. Everyone in heaven is adopted into that family and is united as brothers and sisters. That oneness can only be dimly experienced on this earth in our own families at the moments of greatest unity.

Leo
Quick Reply
Cancel
4 years ago  ::  Aug 26, 2013 - 12:56PM #3
Roodog
Posts: 10,168

"Created us without our permission"????


That sounds like the pot striving against the potter, friend.
God is sovereign and He does whatever He wills.


For those who have faith, no explanation is neccessary.
For those who have no faith, no explanation is possible.

St. Thomas Aquinas

If one turns his ear from hearing the Law, even his prayer is an abomination. Proverbs 28:9
Quick Reply
Cancel
4 years ago  ::  Aug 30, 2013 - 10:16AM #4
jld4621
Posts: 5

Aug 26, 2013 -- 12:56PM, Roodog wrote:

"Created us without our permission"????


That sounds like the pot striving against the potter, friend.
God is sovereign and He does whatever He wills.



"Created us without our permission."  --- True.  We did not have a say in it.  


"That sounds like the pot striving against the potter."  ----  Typical answer when someone is confronted with a truth that they do not know how to explain.  


Quick Reply
Cancel
4 years ago  ::  Sep 01, 2013 - 12:18AM #5
iamachildofhis
Posts: 11,927

Aug 9, 2013 -- 11:24AM, David wrote:



David: First, let me state...I'm in no way trying to be disrespectful or challenge another person's beliefs.  But...I've got a very challenging question which I've struggled with for years and has prevented me from returning to my faith.

I was raised Southern Baptist and as a kid...God really helped me out.  I had a pretty tough upbringing and He seemed to always be there for me.  Then...I grew up and started really probing my beliefs.  Here's my issue:

There are micro answers but they never seems to be an answer the macro problem.

I've read all kinds of books on Christianity, Jesus and God.  They all talk about ways that Jesus has helped humanity.  Jesus healed the sick, Jesus comforted those that needed comforted, etc.  This is the micro issue.  By micro I mean, Jesus is dealing with issues that God created.  It's as if, in all the literature I've read (including the bible) the things that Jesus dealt with were created by some alien or something and that He had nothing to do with it. But God created everything.  He's the creator.  When a child is brutally killed in some foreign country...God is responsible because He created this world and created all the rules by which man abides.  He created man.  He created the devil.  He's responsible for everything.



iama:  When God - Father-Son-Holy Spirit created human beings, He said, "Let US created man in OUR image," and "after OUR likeness."  Human beings were created having intelligence, emotion and volition / will.  That means that our Creator-God is holding human beings responsible / accountable for what they do and do not do.  The Creation was created ~6,000 years ago, and The Bible states in Colossians that Christ Jesus is holding The Creation together, "by Him all things consist..."


Col 1:17    
"And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist."


Who ever it was who killed the child, is responsible and will be held accountable for that murder.


You know, well, that man DOES NOT abide by the righteous rules that our Creator-God stated.

Savid: So...the macro issue is...God is the creator.  He's the big picture.  His sending Jesus to die for our sins in a brutal, terrible way is something He willingly did...when He didn't have to.  He didn't have to permit the world to become a place so bad that he had to send His Son to die for us.



iama:  Did you realize / know that it was the plan of God - Father-Son-Holy Spirit that God-Son, incarnate, would become a human being - the God-Man - "from before the foundation of the world"?  It was the pre-planned solution to the sin-nature-guilt problem which our Creator-God allowed Adam to commit.  It was the VOLITON / WILL of our Creator-God that human beings, also, be created having VOLITION / WILL, in order that human beings would be capable of love.  Love is NOT POSSIBLE is there is not volition - the choice to place the other first / above the self.  Adam, choosing to NOT OBEY his Creator-God, chose to NOT LOVE, which is the same thing.

David: So...micro = Jesus dealing with the issues created by God
Macro = the big picture...all of it's God's fault...He's the creator.  The world doesn't have to be like it is.  It is God's fault.



iama: No, David, sin is OUR fault.  Our Creator-God DID NOT force Adam to choose to disobey.  Adam chose to disobey his Creator-God and to obey Satan / the serpent. 


Because our Creator-God created human beings having VOLITION - CHOICE, He gave to human beings the choices - Himself or Satan.

David: When you look at the world and humanity...and when you look at history.  It doesn't seem like God is a very good person / being.  Why would I worship Him?



iama:  Our Creator-God is RIGHTEOUS, which means that He is AGAINST all that is evil.  Evil will be, ultimately,  removed and placed completely away from the realm of our Creator-God.  His righteousness / Christ Jesus, indwelling born-again Christians, will enable His redeemed ones to dwell with Him.  Until then,  the "tares and the wheat" are being allowed to grow together.  The harvest has not taken place yet.  The wheat has not, yet, been separated from the chaff.

David: Basically...it simply doesn't make sense.  God is all loving, all powerful and all knowing.  Well, if you look at the world and humanity and history...it's doesn't seem like God is very loving.  He seems more like a child having a temper tantrum...know what I mean.



iama:  Attribute evil to Satan and his children, and not to our Creator-God and His Children.

David: I guess the problem I'm having is...I can't reconcile in my mind the world and this idea of an awesome God.  He doesn't seem very awesome and definitely doesn't seem like someone I'd like to worship.



iama:  Just remember that our Creator-God is HOLY, RIGHTEOUS and JUST.  Satan is unholy, unrighteous, and unjust.  Satan is the father of all who are not born-again by God-Holy Spirit power.  It is VERY AWESOME that our Creator-God would incarnate and take our place upon a tree of redemption in order to redeem lost human beings!  There is a day of judgment coming for all who have done evil.

David: Some people say that God wanted to create other beings...I'm guessing maybe because He's lonely or something.  Of course...if he's lonely...well...that's a flaw and doesn't make Him all powerful.



iama:  "The glory of our Creator-God" includes His LOVE.  He created The Universe / The Earth and "all that in them is," in order to express His Glory / His LOVE, His MERCY, His GRACE.  The Trinity / The Three Persons of the Godhead tells us that He was NOT lonely.

David: Some people say that...the world is...the way it is because God wanted us to have "free will"......but we don't have free will.  People are a product of their genes and atmospheric upbringing.  For example, my favorite color is green.  I can't change that.  I can tell people and myself that it's blue...but inside...I know it's green.  I like dark haired girls...I can't change that.  If a person is raised in a family full of thugs...more than likely...they will become a thug.  Sometimes this isn't the case...genetic computation overrides their atmospheric upbringing...but 90% of the time...he or she will become a thug.



iama:  We are all "thugs" when we compare ourselves to our Creator-God, Who is always right in all that He does.  He MUST punish evil.  He, alone, is GOOD.  God-Holy Spirit is speaking to human hearts about their sin of UNBELIEF regarding Christ Jesus' work of Salvation.  Human beings are being held accountable to our Creator-God, unless we are willing to cry out to God to enable us to enter into His Family as a new-born-child of God.

David: As I have gotten older...it just seems like religion is a "crutch" that gets us through life.  That there really isn't a God.

I do wish I could believe...it would make life a lot easier...but I can't lie to myself.  My favorite color is green and I can't change that and make it blue.



iama:  Are you willing to bow before your Creator-God as a lost sinner in need of His Salvation?  That is when our Creator-God has promised to meet the repentant sinner and enable him / her to become a child of God by God - Holy Spirit power, based upon the work which Christ Jesus accomplished at Calvary.

David: Lastly...I didn't ask to be here.  I didn't have a hand in that.  I didn't have a hand in my genetic creation.  I wasn't able to pick my mother or my father.  I had not choice in my life circumstances.  So...why would I be held responsible when I die for stuff I couldn't help?  Again...I don't think people have free will.  A person makes decisions based on genetics and upbringing (programming).  Why would anyone be damned to hell forever?  If God was so upset with a person...why wouldn't He just make them cease to exist?  To throw a person into Hell for eternity seems more like torture.  Do we want to worship a God that tortures?

Hope someone can help...I'd appreciate it.

Thanks! 



iama:  It was our Creator-God's volitional choice to enter into this human being relationship, in order that He might become my Savior / your Savior from our sin-nature-guilt condition.  He knows that we can't save ourselves, so He is ready and willing to do it for us, if we will receive His work of Salvation on our behalf.  Willing to turn around / repent, and asking our Creator-God to enable us to walk according to His Way, gives God-Holy Spirit the invitation / right to enter in to your / my dead human spirit and regenerate it, making us His Child.


We need to VIEW all that is happening upon Earth from the point of view of our Creator-God and not from our own point of view.  This is His Plan that He is working our, and not ours.

http://creation.com/creation-tv?fileID=N0RDR6y_QBc

The wonder of Christmas is that the God Who dwelt among us, now, can dwell within us. - Roy Lessin
.
"Father, forgive them for they know not what they do."
.
Justice is receiving what you deserve.
Mercy is NOT receiving what you deserve.
Grace is receiving what you DO NOT deserve.
.
Quick Reply
Cancel
4 years ago  ::  Oct 06, 2013 - 2:58PM #6
five_point_dad
Posts: 4,719

I've had similar episodes as you have had, and, I dare say, it's more common than you might think.  I found Proverbs 3:5-6 helpful.  "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and he shall direct your paths."  Take not of the fact that we are to trust him even though we don't always understand what He does or the reason behind it.  After all, we are not infinite beings as He is.  I lost a beautiful little grandson eleven years ago.  I don't understand the reason for that and I doubt I ever will this side of glory.  But I also know that God is gracious and that He had a reason.  That is the first question on my list when I see Him. 

Quick Reply
Cancel
 
    Viewing this thread :: 0 registered and 1 guest
    No registered users viewing
    Advertisement

    Beliefnet On Facebook