Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Answering 10 Questions part 1

The website God is Imaginary has a video titled "10 questions that every intelligent Christian must answer". If I was more skilled I would turn this into a video, but to be honest I couldn't be bothered putting that much effort into it. I will answer these 10 questions in 2 posts (5 questions each):

I consider myself an average Christian with an average knowledge of Christianity, but hopefully if you are discerning you will pick up that the ideas presenting here are not based off my wisdom or secret insight into things, but based off the Bible, the basic teaching of Christianity and just common knowledge. Also, since the video I'm responding to made assumptions about the viewer, I will as well. I am going to assume that you are a smart person who is able to think critically and for yourself. Since you are a smart person you may also get annoyed at me telling you what a smart person should think.

So here is question #1: Why won't God heal amputees?
Besides Jesus reattaching one of his captors ear, we have no record of Jesus healing an amputee. The question assumes that God has to heal amputees, why must God do it? God is God.

I also think the question doesn't go far enough. Perhaps a better question would be "Why won't God stop people from dying?" After all not everyone is an amputee, but everyone will die one day. If you are a Christian, or have some basic knowledge of Christianity, you will know that Christians believe in the resurrection of the body and know that God cares more about our trust in Him than our comfort. God will also restore and transform our bodies, in the same way that Jesus was restored and transformed after His own death. We shouldn't be too worried about our bodies here on earth, but we should be more concerned with our standing with God. Jesus said that it is much better to be an amputee on earth then to go to Hell after you die. We shouldn't be afraid of the person who can destroy our bodies, but we should be worried about the person who can destroy our soul.

The second question is: Why are there so many starving people in our world?
The world produces enough food for everyone, so its not because God made an infertile or inadequate Earth. Also we have the ability to transport food to anywhere in the world, but it seems that we just don't do that. It's also not that we are a disorganised species, we just have wrong priority's when it comes to choosing between feeding poor people or making money. We seem to favour the people who are rich over the poor. The rich have enough money and resources in the world to provide food for everyone, but it seems that as a whole, the rich are more concerned about their needs than the needs of the poor. It looks like mankind has enough food and resources to allow everyone to eat, but it seems that mankind has a different priority.

Third question: Why does God demand the death of so many innocent people in the Bible?
Who are the innocent? This question assumes that someone somewhere in the world does not deserve the wrath of God. The question doesn't understand the characteristic of holiness. In the bible God is referred to as being "Holy Holy Holy" multiple times. God's holiness is one of His main characteristics so it's best not to miss that. You are better off asking “How can a holy and righteous God, who knows what I did and thought yesterday, allow me to live another day only to ignore Him again?” How do we justify disobeying what God has laid out for us and then proclaim that we are innocent? In question 2 you can see than mankind is not so kind. The more you get to know someone, the more you find out about their flaws. We are all guilty of something. We all are not innocent.

Question #4: Why does the Bible contain so much anti-scientific nonsense?
Now if you are an intelligent person we will assume that you have read a few different books in your time. You realise that there are many different types of genres out there and they are to be each dealt differently. Poetry isn't taken literally, but is used to convey an aspect or an image of something. Letters are used to communicate to one person or a group of people and can include greeting, updates on current events and even instructions or teachings. Historical writing and biographies lay out time spans and events of things that took place.

Hopefully as a smart person you will know that the bible is a collection of books, songs and letters that were written a long time ago by different authors over a long time span and that it is not meant to be taken as a science textbook. Instead the bible has a different purpose. It is about mankind and God's plan for salvation for them, for we are all in need of salvation and not a science exam.

Question #5: Why is God such a huge proponent of slavery in the Bible?
Now since you are a rational thinker, I assume it is redundant to mention that when quoting from texts it is best to read the surrounding bits as well to better understand it. This is called getting the context and is necessary to fully understand quotes.
  • Exodus 21:20-21 – God says that a master deserves punishment if he kills a slave
  • Colossians 3:22-24 – Slaves need to obey their masters. And masters need to treat their slaves justly and fairly, because of God
  • Ephesians 6:5 – Slaves need to obey their masters just as they would obey Christ. And masters are not to threaten their slaves as God will judge them
  • 1 Peter 2:18 – Slaves need to obey their masters, even if their masters are harsh because as Christians we are to obey every institution that has been put above us. All should honour everyone. All people (including masters and slaves) should be united, have brotherly love, a tender heart and a humble mind
  • Philemon – Paul sends back a slave who has run away and possibly stolen from his master Philemon. Paul tells Philemon to treat his slave Onesimus as he would treat Paul. Paul also offers to repay the slaves debt. That sounds like a horrible situation for the slave to be put in, to be returned to his master that he stole from, to have his debt paid for by someone else and to be treated equality.

A slave was to be looked after by their master. If a master killed a slave, they were to be punished. A master was to treat his slave justly, fairly, with good will and with brotherly love. This hardly looks like a model that undermines someones worth. Also if God was such a "huge proponent of slavery" why does the bible say that if you are a slave and can gain your freedom you should?


  1. This is an excellent post mate, really well written. I found it helpful to think through some of these apologetic responses. Thanks.

  2. good point on the slavery issue, i needed verses to back it up and you gave it thanx

  3. Hey anonymous,

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    I think it was Plato who said that the difference between a monarchy and a dictatorship is if the leader is good or bad. We are all slaves to something (there are things we put over everything else and submit to it, make time for it, stop doing other things for it) it just depends on what that something is. Christians are called to be a slave to Jesus and serve and obey him. He offers a light burden (that isn’t free from suffering, trials or pain) and gives us freedom from sin and death.