So we’ve covered how I know God exists and we’ve also covered why I believe those who believe in God have a reasonable faith.  Now I want to cover a few common objections people sometimes bring up when it comes to belief in God. These are questions that I’ve heard frequently cited when someone is having trouble believing in the Christian God that is presented to them. I’m not arrogant enough to believe that I have all the answers here. However, I believe I may be able to provide at least glimpse into the what the bible says about about these commonly misunderstood subjects.

“Why would a loving God send people to hell?” The idea of someone going to hell is not a happy thought. In Matthew 25:41 the bible clearly states that hell was created for the devil and his angels. See, God never intended to and doesn’t want to send anyone there (2 Peter 3:9). However if you haven’t accepted the free gift of grace through faith in Jesus, there is no other alternative.  Technically, God does not send anyone to hell. People end up there essentially sending themselves when they choose to live in the death of their sin nature and don’t take advantage of the way of escape God provided through Jesus. Some think this isn’t fair and I get that. But imagine someone ignoring the continued warnings that their apartment building will eventually be demolished. They’ve been told they need to find a new place to live. Do they have the right to get mad when the building is demolished while they’re still inside even though it was they that didn’t heed the warning? Yeah, its an imperfect analogy but God is warning us that the world is passing away (1 John 2:17). The demolition has already been scheduled. Don’t blame God for hell – He is the good guy trying to save us from it! He provided a way of escape. The world is passing away – please don’t pass away with it.

“How can a loving God allow evil?” First of all, its important to know that 1 John 5:19 clearly states that evil is the result of the devil’s influence and sway over this world. Since Adam and Eve gave control over the devil and claimed mankind’s independence from God, it’s logical that we see stealing, killing and destroying everywhere . That’s what he does (John 10:10) and its also its the fruit of our fallen independent nature (Galatians 5:19-21). Because of these things, there will always be evil on this earth. Its also important to realize that just because God allows something to exist (like evil caused by Satan’s influence), that doesn’t mean it’s His will. 2 Peter 3:9 is a great scriptural example of this point because here it states that God wants everyone to be saved yet clearly, that’s not the case. Furthermore, we must acknowledge that God has given mankind free will. We have the right to choose how we respond to Him (Joshua 24:15).

Imagine my wife and I are visiting New York City and my she says she wants to go window shopping in Manhattan at 1 am. As a loving and thoughtful husband, I tell her she shouldn’t do that because there is a good chance she’ll get mugged. However, she asserts her independence and I say “fine, go ahead – you’re a big girl and you can make your own decisions.” Then she comes back two hours later with clothes ripped, a bloody lip and no purse. Upon her arrival, she yells at me and says “Why did you mug me?!” Huh? Did I mug her? No, I warned her but allowed her to make her own decision which resulted in her mugging. It doesn’t seem fair for me that I’d be blamed for the evil that happened. Yet we do this with God when we blame him when bad things happen to us.  There is a big difference between allowing evil (which God does) and causing evil (which He doesn’t do).

“If God created everything, who created God?” No one. In order for something to be created, there has to be a point in time when that creation began. However, God is the Uncreated One that stands outside of time. Furthermore, He Himself created time as a structure within which to place His creation. The Creator is not bound by His creation –  in this case, time. God wasn’t created. He is.

“Can God create a rock so big that He cannot lift it?” I actually heard this one back in college and to be honest, it threw me for a loop at the time. Here’s how it works: and atheist asks an unsuspecting believer if they believe God is all-powerful. The believer obviously says yes.  Then the atheist asks can God create a rock so big that He can’t lift it? The Christian has no other answer but no. The atheist says then your God is not all-powerful. Fun huh? Here’s the deal: that’s an illogical, unanswerable question designed to trick believers. It can’t be answered logically because the sentence doesn’t ask a real question. Its like asking “Can God create a square that’s round?” “Can God eat a banana that’s a steak?” Stupid question. Don’t fall for it.

“So much evil has been done in the name of God and religion.” Jesus addresses this in Matthew 13:24-30;36-43. Essentially, God knows about the tares/weeds among his true believers (wheat) and He doesn’t like it either. They are imposters planted by the enemy. However, He isn’t going to uproot the weeds yet because it would cause irreparable damage to the wheat that’s still growing. Know this, the time is coming when all who have commited actrocities in the name of God will get their just reward. Hypocrites, charlatans, the Spanish Inquisitition, the Crusades – those who do wrong in the name of God do not get a free pass! The existence of fake Christians never justifies anyone choosing to deny a relationship with Jesus. Don’t ever let someone’s sin be an excuse for your own!

So this was really long and I only took a passing stab at these issues. I encourage you to search deeper and don’t let these questions keep you from pursuing a relationship with God. He loves you unbearably and wants desperately for you to be closer to Him. Feel free to post comments, corrections and questions.

Advertisements
Comments
  1. Heather Williford says:

    Look, I have never had to work full time, food on the table, & still in my house! THERE IS A GOD! lol! 🙂 And out of ALLLLL the drugs I have experienced (and don’t do anymore) nothing has EVER made me feel as peaceful & joyful as getting into to His presence, in His word, and just worshipping Him….IT IS THE BEST HIGH I HAVE EVER HAD! And there are no side affects or bad trips nor does it suck to come down…just peace….lots of peace! Now coming out of the bondage is some rough stuff!!! And living for God is NOT EASY! But eternity….Heaven…If it’s anything like I have already tasted when staying in His presance here on earth….well, I will do whatever it takes to get there! Might as well face it…I am addict to love! His LOVE! 🙂 It’s awesome! Never give up on Him…Pray ALOT and keep asking Him for strength in every area where you fail and eventually those areas will fall away and not be strongholds anymore. NEVER GIVE UP!!! God is always there. If He can change this rebels heart to seek after Him He can change ANYBODY else, too!….that wants it! Love ya’ll, CRaZY Beau-T-FULL, Heather Williford

  2. clintmiller1 says:

    If evil is from Satan, who created Satan? Doesn’t the Bible say that God created all things in Heaven and on earth? If God created Satan, how could he be evil? How could a loving God create pure evil? In the section asking why a loving God would send people to Hell, you say that it’s out of God’s hands. If people don’t have faith in Jesus, they’ve got to go to Hell and there’s nothing God can do about it. People are sending themselves to Hell, not God sending them to Hell. Doesn’t that bring into question the omnipotence of God? If he’s omnipotent, couldn’t he save people from Hell even if they didn’t have faith in Jesus? No. It must be that if people are going to Hell, it’s because the omnipotent God sends them there and chooses not to save them. How could a loving God do this? What about someone who grows up as a Muslim in a deeply Islamic country like Pakistan or Afghanistan. That person never has much of a chance to become a Christian and have faith in Jesus. What if other than not believing in Jesus, that person leads an upstanding life? Would God still send that person to Hell? How is that loving? Checkout my blog for more questions about the nature of God and heaven.

    • Jamie says:

      Clint – thanks for the comment. Glad to have the chance to discuss this more! I’m busy over the weekend but I’ll respond next week. I think you raise some tough, great questions but I also think they are all answerable (assuming the one asking the questions really wants an answer). Talk to you soon.

      • Jamie says:

        Sorry for the delayed reply.
        Ok – good questions. All of them have to do with the foreknowledge and free will. With these questions you are assuming 1) God knows exactly what is going to happen in the future and thereby determines the outcome for every circumstance and 2) if something happens in this life, it must be God’s will. I don’t subscribe to either of these assumptions when it comes to God. These come from the Reformed/Calvinist based doctrines within the Christian faith. I believe God knows the full range of possibilities when it comes to the future but I don’t believe He has already decided them for us. That brings us to free will. I believe (and see ample Biblical evidence) that God purposely limits Himself and allows our free will choices to direct the outcome of the future instead of determining the future for us. This is more along the lines of the Armenian/Open View doctrine. With that said, here is how I would answer the questions you bring up:

        You said: “If God created Satan, how could he be evil? How could a loving God create pure evil?”
        The Bible is pretty clear on this one. God created Lucifer, an archangel, that of his own free will and fueled by pride tried to place himself above God (Isaiah 14:12-17). God struck Him down to earth and he is now known as Satan. So, God didn’t create him evil. God created him (and all angels and humans for that matter) with the capacity to not choose Him (which results in what we call “evil”). Those are two very different things. Why did God do that? Because without the option of choice, you aren’t truly free. Lucifer chose to become evil. Adam and Eve chose to sin. When I sin, its because I choose it as well – God isn’t making me do it. So in summary, God – a loving God – created Satan with a free will with capacity for both good and evil. Satan chose evil. I also wanna say here that evil is not a thing that was created – evil is the absence of good (God), just like dark is the absence of light and cold is the absence of heat. God does not create evil but when we remove good, we are left with non-good (evil).

        You said: “In the section asking why a loving God would send people to Hell, you say that it’s out of God’s hands.”
        No, I didn’t really say that. I said that he allows people to make their own choice. It was in God’s hands and He already did something about it by sending Jesus as the way of escape – and He still is currently doing something about it by sending His people to warn others and accept salvation through Jesus.

        You said: “People are sending themselves to Hell, not God sending them to Hell. Doesn’t that bring into question the omnipotence of God? If he’s omnipotent, couldn’t he save people from Hell even if they didn’t have faith in Jesus? No. It must be that if people are going to Hell, it’s because the omnipotent God sends them there and chooses not to save them.”
        This is no way brings into question the omnipotence of God. You are assuming that God’s omnipotence is tied to the result we see. Yes God is all-powerful but there is no reason to make the jump that because He is all-powerful He dictates all outcomes. The bible is very clear that just because He can do something doesn’t mean He will. The same goes for us. We may want something in our lives but that doesn’t mean it always happens. Say you want a million dollars and I offer to give you a million dollars if you kill your parents (morbid analogy, I know). Do you do it? I wouldn’t and I’m sure you wouldn’t either. But does that mean you don’t want a million bucks? No, it just means you weren’t willing to kill your parents for it. In the same way God desires everyone to go to heaven. We know this because the Bible is extremely clear on it. (2 Peter 3:9). But we also know not everyone is going to heaven. So obviously there is something that makes God unwilling to swoop down and send us all to heaven. The violation of free will that would be needed for Him to do that is something He is not willing to risk.

        You said: “What about someone who grows up as a Muslim in a deeply Islamic country like Pakistan or Afghanistan. ”
        Or what about the Aborigines or indigenous African tribes or Buddhist Asian cultures? Yeah. That’s why Jesus told us to go and tell the world about Him. That’s why the Christian church at large spends millions in mission trips, etc. each year. I personally believe everyone on the planet gets a chance to respond to Jesus before they die. He is a loving God and very fair. He doesn’t hold people accountable for what they are unaware of. If you wanna know more about this, check out this article on the explosion of accounts where Muslims are being visited by Jesus: http://net-burst.net/hot/muslim.htm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s