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Atheist Tuesday: Does God Have to Obey the 10 Commandments?

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If it is immoral for us to kill people, why is it okay for God to kill people? Doesn’t God keep His own commandments? And if He doesn’t keep His own commandments, then what does it mean to call such commandments an absolute when God Himself doesn’t have to keep them? And, if they are not absolutes, then why do we have to keep them? Then one begins to wonder, maybe God’s rules are not necessary, they are just things He cooks up for us that apply to us and mess up our fun. This is a tact that people take in raising this particular issue. So, how are we to take the commandments seriously?

The first thing in answering the objection is to make sure we understand exactly what the commandment says. “Thou shalt not kill” is actually a misquote.

(This article is by Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason)

The commandment isn’t against killing; it’s against murder. Just as in English, the Hebrew language has two different words; and the word murder is what is described in the commandment, not killing. It should be fairly evident to people that God is not proscribing all killing because part of the very Mosaic law that God gave capital punishment as an appropriate punishment for quite a number of crimes. You can’t say, I forbid you to kill, and by the way, kill. That would be an obvious contradiction, and that is obviously not what God has in mind. No, the prohibition is against murder, which is an inappropriate kind of killing. And then God talks about certain circumstances when killing is legitimate and other circumstances when it is not legitimate. Taking a human life without proper justification is murder and is wrong. But if the circumstance changes and there is appropriate justification, then arguably this is a morally relevant factor that changes the moral nature of the act of taking a life. Therefore, you would be justified in taking his life in self-defense. When the circumstance changes in a morally relevant way, the application of the moral rule changes.

The question is, does the circumstance change in a morally relevant way when God is the subject in view?

To kind of clarify that, I could ask a question: What is your most prized possession? Say it’s a mountain bike. Okay, if you owned your mountain bike is it okay if you disassemble it and spread it around? If it’s yours it would be okay. I can do what I want with my own things. But what if someone else did that to your bike? Well, that would be wrong because someone else doesn’t have the liberty to do that with something that is not their own. Yet, you being the owner of that thing do have the liberty to do whatever you want with what is yours.

I think that is the same principle that informs this question about God. God tells us that we should not kill other human beings. Why shouldn’t we? You see a clear picture of the rationale against murder in Genesis 9 right after the flood. We see God prohibiting the shedding of man’s blood. There is the metaphor for murder. The way God puts it is this: “When man sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed for [here is the rationale] in the image of God, God created man.” God is saying, You kill another human being and other human beings can kill you because when you kill another human being you are killing someone who is made in my image. There is a factor that is morally relevant to the circumstance: the factor of ownership. This factor is a morally relevant distinction that makes a different moral rule applies there.

Why is murder wrong? According to Genesis 9 the reason that murder is wrong is you are destroying something of God’s, something that bears His nameplate – His image. You destroy another human being and you will be punished for destroying God’s property.

Can God destroy God’s property? The answer seems to be yes. You see, God is the King of the universe. He is King of the universe not because He is the most powerful, and not by some arbitrary rule, but because He created it and it belongs to Him from the beginning. God can do what He wants with His universe. If He chooses to give life, He can give it. If He chooses to take life, He can take it. It’s not immoral for God to take the life of His own property.

While I was reading the Scriptures this morning, in the Gospels Jesus is giving the parable of the landowner who had hired different people at different times of the day, but paid them all the same thing. The landowner paid the guy who came in last at 4 o’clock the same as the guy who came in early in the morning. The guy who came in first was upset. Here is what Jesus said, speaking as the landowner, Can’t I do what I want with that which is mine? We had an agreement and I paid you what we agreed. Now, if I want to give my money away to somebody else for less work, it’s my money. Can’t I do what I want with my own money?

I think the principle applies here, too. The universe is God’s, and if He wants to take life, He can do so. I’m not saying He doesn’t have reasons, but I’m saying He doesn’t have to give reasons because it is fully within His purview to do as He wishes.

By the way, we have an intuition that informs us. I have been drawing on this intuition by giving parallels. There is an argument that people have offered against capital punishment that I actually don’t think works, but it turns out to draw on the same intuition. The part that draws on this intuition I think is accurate. One thing critics say about capital punishment is that we shouldn’t kill other human beings through capital punishment because “we shouldn’t play God.” That is, we ought not be doing the kind of thing that is God’s prerogative but not ours. I certainly agree with the principle that we ought not to do things that are only God’s prerogative, but not ours. I don’t think that principle applies in the circumstance of capital punishment because, as far as I can tell, God Himself is the one that gave the application for governments to use capital punishment to punish people under certain circumstances. So, there is a delegated authority there. But notice the intuition. It is appropriate for God to do what He wants with is His own. We shouldn’t play God, but is it appropriate for God to play God because He is God. That is, He can do the things that only God should be doing. And in this line of thinking, only God should be taking life. That implies that God has the legitimacy to take life when He wants. As I said, if He takes the life of one individual or millions of individuals through some large-scale judgment, that certainly is His prerogative.

The simple answer is, no, God does not have to keep all the Ten Commandments. In fact, it is hard to imagine how many of them even apply to Him. Does God have to keep the Sabbath? Does God have to dedicate a portion of His week to the Lord? No, that’s for His subjects, not for the King. Should God not have any other Gods before Him? That’s kind of ludicrous. It doesn’t apply. He doesn’t have to honor His parents. He doesn’t have parents. What about coveting? Thou shall not covet. What is coveting? Isn’t it desiring something that is not your own? Is it possible for God to covet? What is there that is not properly His? Nothing, therefore God can’t covet. The Ten Commandments are an expression of God’s desire and in many ways an expression of His character, but they are expressions of His character that have a certain application to human beings who are His subjects and the rules do not apply to Him in the same way.

The question that is raised here is the question of absolutes. Then those rules aren’t absolutes. If what you mean by the word absolute is that there is a rule that is somehow fixed in heaven and applies to everything under heaven by its own force and there are no exemptions or exceptions to the rule, and everything and everyone and everybody must bow to the rule, including God for it to be an absolute, well, then there aren’t any absolutes like that. I think that is an abuse of the word. No, I think an absolute isn’t the kind of thing that never is exempted, but is an objective moral rule that has to do with a circumstance and is always applicable in those circumstances applied in the same way. But when the morally relevant circumstance is changed, like you go from man to God as the players, then it may not be that that objective principle applies in these other circumstances.

That is why I avoid the word absolute in my discussion of these issues. An absolute is seen by many in an extreme way when, in fact, what we have in the Scripture are objective moral principles that are staggered in their significance, but some are more important that others. This is clear from things that Jesus said and from other teachings in the Scripture. There are greater goods and lesser goods. Sometimes you are stuck in what is called a moral dilemma and you have to do one thing or another, both of which are wrong. You must either protect human life and lie or hand over the innocent life to be killed. It happened to Corrie ten Boom and she chose to lie to protect Jews from the Nazis. In so doing, she did not do something wrong. She didn’t do the lesser of two evils in my view. She did the greater of two goods. Therefore, lying in that circumstance was even morally obligatory. There are two instances in the Bible where we see exactly the same thing, the Egyptian mid-wives protecting the Hebrew newborns and Rahab protecting the Jewish spies. These people are even praised for what they did.

If you want to call moral rules absolutes in the sense that they can never be trumped, then that is probably too strong a definition and not a Biblical definition. And if you are not careful, it makes God subject to His own rules in a way that puts the rules above God instead of God above the rules.

Click here to read the original article from STR’s site. This is a transcript of a commentary from the radio show “Stand to Reason,” with Gregory Koukl. It is made available to you at no charge through the faithful giving of those who support Stand to Reason. Reproduction permitted for non-commercial use only. ©2001 Gregory Koukl

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51 Comments

  1. Then one begins to wonder, maybe God’s rules are not necessary, they are just things He cooks up for us that apply to us and mess up our fun. This is a tact that people take in raising this particular issue.

    I have heard this accusation a bunch of times (that people are bummed because God “mess[es] up our fun”), but I’ve never seen anyone actually claim this, and I view it as bizarre.

    Have you actually ever seen or heard someone claim that their reason for not wanting to obey God is because He “mess[es] up our fun”? Seriously?

    (And to be clear, I’m not talking about a person who supposedly used to be a non-believer, speaking on what they used to supposedly think; I’m talking about someone who was a non-believer at the time they claimed what I described above.)

  2. Yes we had already established that you are a moral relativist Steve.

  3. Christians often claim that atheists reduce man to merely “an animal.” And yet, in his analogy Koukl reduces man to an inanimate object – a mere possession. And it appears that there is no innate worth in that object. He states the worth in the object is from the greatness of its owner.

    Why is this a better morality?

    Steve previousy said: An objective morality, from one’s maker, his Creator, offers a morality that is beyond human selfishness; it does not change like shifting shadows. That is why God’s morality is indeed written in stone.

    Koukl considers the ‘Nazis at your doorstep’ lie to be a justifiable lie. Yet other Christians state that even this sort of lie is condemned by God and is an offence to Him. That in fact, there are no ‘white’ lies.

    Is this an example of the unchanging Moral Law or is it an example of how we change our understanding of the unchanging Moral Law?

    • perdita, A lie is still a lie. I disagree with Greg on this one. Still, it’s better than to murder. I would still confess this lie (hiding the Jews and saying they weren’t there) as sin.

      Nohm, I have heard that a few times.

      BathTub, Whatever, man.

  4. “A lie is still a lie. I disagree with Greg on this one. Still, it’s better than to murder.”

    So a lie is relatively better than to murder in that situation…..

    You aren’t seriously now going to try and deny it are you?

    The other part here is that you can justify anything if you God tells you to do it. Since the absolute unchanging set in stone morality is relative as you just shown.

    “Murder is Bad!”

    “But God just told me to run these pregnant women through with a sword!”

    “Oh, that’s ok then.”

  5. Steve, who have you heard this from?

    The high-on-something-else-than-life tattooed sunglass-wearing hecklers?

    Or someone else?

    As I said, I find it absolutely bizarre.

  6. So lying to protect someone’s life is sin? Remind me never to hide out at your house Steve if the Nazi’s ever come for me. But then again a Christian wouldn’t have anything to fear from mortal persecution from Nazi’s apparently, the worst they can do is kill you, then you get to go to heaven, why even struggle or fight against them? It just gets you to heaven faster.

  7. Pingback: Atheist Tuesday: Does God Have to Obey the 10 Commandments? « Stone the Preacher | Following Jesus

  8. Steve:

    Okay, if you owned your mountain bike is it okay if you disassemble it and spread it around? If it’s yours it would be okay.

    I own a kitten.

  9. Nohm,

    You asked Steve: “Have you actually ever seen or heard someone claim that their reason for not wanting to obey God is because He “mess[es] up our fun”? Seriously?”

    Actually I have. Two people, probably 15 years between those conversations. I talked to them about sin in their lives. They both believed the Gospel, they knew they would go to Hell if they died that night. And yet when I asked them “Do you love your sin so much that you refuse to repent even though it means Hell?”

    They both said yes. Do you know why? Because we all think today’s not our day. There’s always tomorrow and I’ll “get right” then. The trouble is that one day is guaranteed to be our last.

  10. @ Steve

    So God can kill us because we are his property and He can kill his own property. Ok. So if He can kill his property then He can also lie to His property. That means that all the promises of God are worthless and you have no surety of salvation. Now according to Comfort that makes you a false convert. And since you are a false convert and false converts can’t correctly interpret the bible then we can’t trust your interpretation of scripture.

    You sure you want to go this way Steve? Shouldn’t you just admit that you are wrong?

  11. @ Christopher,

    The Bible never says God can’t kill. However, it does explicitly say He cannot lie.

  12. @ Steve’s followers

    Steve wrote “God can do what He wants with His universe.”

    According to that same logic God can kill his creation, lie to His creation cheat His creation, and steal from His creation for the simple reason that it’s His creation and He can do as He pleases with it.

    Now think about this God for a moment then. According to Steve God can lie to us, kill us, steal from us and cheat us. Does that sound like God or Satan to you?

    You might want to think of abandoning Steve’s theology and reading the versus in the bible that speak of God being righteous. Now if the Patriarchs and the Prophets found God righteous that means God can be judged and judged by human beings.

    Can’t it be God who was judging Himself? Not really no. Because if a God who feels He can lie to His own creation tells you to trust Him because He’s righteous would you? Why would you trust someone who feels free to lie to you?

  13. @ Christopher,

    The Bible never says God can’t kill. However, it does explicitly say He cannot lie.

    If God can lie, that’s exactly what he would have written down.

  14. @ Glenn

    You wrote “The Bible never says God can’t kill. However, it does explicitly say He cannot lie.”

    Nope Sorry doesn’t work.

    If God can do anything to his creation [according to Steve] then that MUST include lying to it.

    If God refuses to lie because there’s something wrong with lying then God has to obey morality. And if God has to obey morality then he can’t do anything to his creation.

    Conclusion: Either God is untrustworthy because He is prepared to lie to His creation or there are certain things that God will not do. Either way Steve is wrong.

    But Glenn I would go further. I pointed out that the God that Steve worships is, according to Steve, a being that will kill, lie, cheat or steal whenever He wishes too. Does that sound like God or the devil to you Glenn?

  15. @ Glenn

    You wrote “The Bible never says God can’t kill.”

    Not CAN’T Glenn, WON’T. God obey’s morality according to scripture or haven’t you read Genesis “Shall not the judge of all the Earth do right?”

    That was the question addressed to God by Abraham. Now if Steve is right God should have replied “I can do anything I like because it’s My creation.”

    Strange how Steve’s theology disagrees with scripture. Do you agree with Steve? Does your theology disagree with scripture too?

  16. Christopher,

    Your own words show that you don’t know what the Bible says. The Bible doesn’t say that God won’t kill and it also doesn’t say that you shouldn’t. Did you even read the article above? What about Pastor Steve’s reply to Perdita?

    You seem to have a bone to pick with God. Perhaps you should spend some time talking to Him and reading His Word.

  17. “What about Pastor Steve’s reply to Perdita?”

    “…perdita, A lie is still a lie. I disagree with Greg on this one.”

    Well, to me it seems that while you state God’s laws are written in stone, the interpretation of those laws are not. What good is an absolute morality if even those that claim it can’t agree to what it means?

  18. @ Glenn

    You wrote ” You seem to have a bone to pick with God.”

    Really? I thought I was writing to you and Steve. Are you both God now?

    The rest of your reply shows that YOU haven’t even thought about what Steve wrote.

    Point 1: God can do ANYTHING with His creation.
    ANYTHING must include lying.

    Point 2: Once Steve has brought God’s honesty into question then it is pointless to start flinging around bible quotes. God may have lied about them [at least according to Steve]

    Point 3: Steve does NOT need to say that GOD can lie. That’s what his point that GOD can do anything with His creation MEANS. That is the inevitable conclusion.

    Got it now?

    Point 4: Sorry to break it to you but you and Steve are not God. You are both worshipping a false God however. It’s known as your own Ego’s.

    Point 5: If we’re going to play this silly game where you’ll only believe what the bible actually says could you point out which scripture mentions the TRINITY?

    It doesn’t does it? You have to think about what certain verses in the bible imply. Just like I’m doing.

    Guess you don’t know how to interpret scripture at all Glenn.

  19. According to Glenn God NEVER says that He won’t kill. Really? Let’s see what scripture says.

    Genesis 18: 23-26
    23And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?

    24Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein?

    25That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?

    26And the LORD said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.

    In other words Glenn God won’t kill the righteous because He is righteous. In other words God follows morality.

    Now it’s pointless for you to reply by quoting Paul that there are none righteous. Why? Because that’s beside the point. You and Steve have been arguing that God is amoral. He does whatever He likes with His creation and morality doesn’t apply to Him. But as the story of His talk with Abraham shows God does follow morality and, that being so, won’t do whatever He likes to His creation.

    Put simply if God follows morality He will not kill whenever He feels like it since that would be immoral. But that’s exactly what YOU and STEVE have been arguing. That God will do whatever He wants with His creation anytime He wants to.

    I think it’s time you and Steve admitted you were wrong and apologised for attempting to mislead us. Of course if you don’t care about the truth don’t worry about it. I’m sure your eho will keep telling you that you are always correct regardless of anything I or anyone else will say.

  20. Can God lie?

    Well, He can lie by proxy – telling someone else to lie (1 Samuel 16:1-13, Exodus 3:18-19), as can Jesus (Luke 5:14, 8:56 and 9:31). And if you’re a Young Earther, then God must have created fossils and the like that APPEAR old – which is perpetuating a lie.

    But more than that:

    Then I said, “Alas, Sovereign LORD! How completely you have deceived this people and Jerusalem by saying, ‘You will have peace,’ when the sword is at our throats!” (Jeremiah 4:10)

    You deceived me, LORD, and I was deceived;
    you overpowered me and prevailed.
    I am ridiculed all day long;
    everyone mocks me.
    (Jeremiah 20:7)

    And Jeremiah 34:4-5:
    “‘Yet hear the LORD’s promise to you, Zedekiah king of Judah. This is what the LORD says concerning you: You will not die by the sword; you will die peacefully. As people made a funeral fire in honor of your predecessors, the kings who ruled before you, so they will make a fire in your honor and lament, “Alas, master!” I myself make this promise, declares the LORD.’”
    is followed by Jeremiah 39:6-9:
    There at Riblah the king of Babylon slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes and also killed all the nobles of Judah. Then he put out Zedekiah’s eyes and bound him with bronze shackles to take him to Babylon.

    The Babylonians set fire to the royal palace and the houses of the people and broke down the walls of Jerusalem. Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard carried into exile to Babylon the people who remained in the city, along with those who had gone over to him, and the rest of the people.

    In fact, the Bible is full of prophesies from God that didn’t pan out.

  21. I’ll answer this briefly, and this from the Expositor’s Bible Commentary on Jeremiah (which probably means nothing to any atheist): “In short the false prophets had spoken deceptively to the people… God had permitted it all.”

    ThereIfixed it.

    Now I’m ready to hear this: “Did God create evil then?” etc.

    C’mon, Google your answers. I’m not concerned in the least with the “contradictions” and “apparent inconsistencies” you’ll find with the Bible.

  22. Well, too bad, because they’re real, and telling us God lets people lie on his behalf is hardly an answer.

    And it’s not like you’re looking up evolution on Google, so I’d pause before throwing that stone in your glass house. And unlike evolution, there’s a ton of groups claiming to be Christians, so I could easily get an answer you don’t agree with.

  23. It’s ok Steve, you’ve made it quite clear you don’t actually believe in an absolute, unchanging, written in stone morality, these threads make a nice easy place we can point to next time you pretend otherwise.
    In fact I made a wiki page on it we can refer to.

  24. If God allows lying spirits to deceive us, how can we know the Bible doesn’t contain allowed lies?

    I’m not concerned in the least with the “contradictions” and “apparent inconsistencies” you’ll find with the Bible.

    Your interpretation of the Bible is different from my interpretation of the Bible. My interpretation accounts for contradictions and inconsistencies while yours does not even acknowledge them. Why should I believe your interpretation over mine?

  25. So if Jeremiah is a false prophet, why is it one of the canonical books of the Old Testament? Are you saying that there are books of the Bible that might be wrong?

    Can you list them, Steve? Or should we take them all with a grain of salt or three?

  26. Oh, incidentally, you’ll want to be careful to go for the Expositor’s Bible Commentary, as opposed to other Expositor Bibles.

    This has been your Consumer Alert of the Week!

  27. @ Steve

    If someone asks Me a question and I send you to tell them a lie have I sinned?

    Here’s a second question.

    Have you noticed that every time you are proven wrong you either refuse to answer the questioner or give a flippant answer to divert attention away from your mistake?

  28. @ Garrett & Perdita

    Maybe God is only lying about telling lies. After all in Steve’s theology God does anything He likes with His creation including, it seems, confusing us terribly. 🙂

  29. A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell. – C.S. Lewis

    Christopher, you can stop scribbling.

  30. “A witty saying proves little.”

    Glenn, you can start saying something of substance. Or run away like you are prone to do.

  31. Garrett, you’ve hurt my feelings. Here’s some substance for you:

    For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

    Really, those last 5 words are all the substance you need. Happy Atheist’s Day!

  32. Yowza. Being sick all week, it seems I missed all of this!

  33. Again with the unsupported assertions. And you call that substance?

  34. @ Glenn

    You claim to be God and now tell lies Glenn. Will your wickedness never end?

    You wrote “A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell. – C.S. Lewis

    Christopher, you can stop scribbling.”

    I’ve already told you on another thread that I am NOT an atheist. I’m a zoroastrain. Being a Zoroastrain I worship God. Why did you try and mislead people Glenn? Is it because you can’t help it?

    Perhaps you should apologise Glenn. That is if you care about the truth. If you don’t then don’t worry about it.

  35. @ Glenn

    My apologies. I just realised the import of what you wrote.

    In one of my posts I quoted scripture. You describe it as scribbling Glenn.

    Well since you’ve already asserted that you’re God and that scripture is scribbling you seem to have a bone to pick with God himself.

    Perhaps you should take up your remarks with Him.

    Explain that you have a perfect right to lie. That his commandments don’t apply to you and Steve because your Gods just like Him.

    I’m sure that will go over well. 🙂

  36. @Glenn

    I’ve seen this passage before, well on this website and in the Bible, but honestly it doesn’t really match the real world all that well. If God’s works were THAT obvious there wouldn’t be branching pathways of faith in the world. The Japanese Shintoists wouldn’t have maintained that religion if Yaweh’s works were THAT obvious. You could claim that if Christianity or Yaweh worship popped up in that region it was persecuted or silenced, but their’s no evidence of that. The Japanese believed that Shinto was the ‘right’ religion just like the Chinese believed Buddahism was the ‘right’ religion, and even like the Navajo believed that the world was created by spirits. None of them spontaseously arrived at the conclusion that Yaweh was responsible for the universe being poofed into being. This isn’t the first time this has come up though, a lot of Christian missionaries who came over to the Americas and found out that no Native American, not ONE, had ever heard of God or Jesus before, and some even pondered if Native Americans even had souls, or perhaps were subhuman in someway. Because truly if God wanted these people to be saved, he would have made his works OBVIOUS for them to see.

  37. So Ray said today that lying to avoid hurting grandma’s feelings is not bad. I’m a little confused now.

  38. Well, Quite a bunch of stone slingers here! The opening post is quite good. Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. To all of you naysayers, when Adam ate the fruit, he didn’t die that moment. But he did die and all of mankind after him. You may believe what you wish but one fact remains. Man continues to die, and you and I will also die. So far, I’ve not seen or heard of any other Man other than Jesus who had power to take up His life after dying. He tells me He is the Way, the Truth, and Life everlasting. You can spit in God’s face now with impunity, but the day is fast approaching when you will be on your knees before God with a video of your life playing in the sky for all to see. Don’t kid yourselves, God is not mocked.

  39. Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.
    Sentences are not executed speedily because we have this thing called “due process.” Suspects need to be gathered, evidence carefully examined and cross-examined and any appeals settled after the verdict is rendered. This is due to human limitations, unlike your supposedly all-knowing, all-powerful God that is content to let evils be committed right up until said evil-doer kicks the bucket. Not only would God fail to be a superior lawman, he’d be worse and likely discharged from the force within a week for doing nothing.

    To all of you naysayers, when Adam ate the fruit, he didn’t die that moment. But he did die and all of mankind after him.
    There are very few species that are technically immortal, so it’s hardly surprising to say that we’ll die.

    You may believe what you wish but one fact remains. Man continues to die, and you and I will also die.
    Humans have limited lifespans. In other news, the sky is blue. More incredible details as they arrive.

    So far, I’ve not seen or heard of any other Man other than Jesus who had power to take up His life after dying.
    An assertion with no evidence beyond centuries-old hearsay from friends and family. That is hardly compelling stuff you have.

    He tells me He is the Way, the Truth, and Life everlasting.
    You might want to talk to a trained professional about voices in your head.

    You can spit in God’s face now with impunity, but the day is fast approaching when you will be on your knees before God with a video of your life playing in the sky for all to see. Don’t kid yourselves, God is not mocked.
    Sorry, tommy, but simple fearfearfear tactics are woefully ineffective here. I’m not spitting in anyone’s face: your GOD is not real. It’s just something long-dead civilizations came up with to explain their world. Our improved ability to observe the universe has shown that these explanations don’t measure up with reality. I know it can be scary to let go of your faith, but you’ll bounce back and feel all the better for it.

  40. Steve, do you think that the human tribes of South America, Africa, Aborigine tribes of Australia, or the Shinto of Japan, when they perished after Jesus was risen from the dead and went back to heaven, went before a God they didn’t know about and were judged by rules he never let them know about…. in anyway? They must have been shocked. I mean were these people not also in a dire need for revelation to avoid going to hell?

  41. Hi Garret! “This is due to human limitations, unlike your supposedly all-knowing, all-powerful God that is content to let evils be committed right up until said evil-doer kicks the bucket.” I realize that this point you make is valid. However, you err, not knowing the scriptures. You evidently believe there are “good people”. He disagrees with you. Rom 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: The reality is that we have a choice, the same way your children,(if you have any) have a choice when you tell them what you want. They obey or disobey. If you want to follow your own way, well, thats only three dimensional. Humans can get no higher. In order to learn the spiritual realm, one must be humble.

    “There are very few species that are technically immortal, so it’s hardly surprising to say that we’ll die.”
    Why don’t you name one?

    “Humans have limited lifespans. In other news, the sky is blue. More incredible details as they arrive.”
    I see sarcasm is one of your more finely tuned abilities.

    “You might want to talk to a trained professional about voices in your head.”
    You make it even plainer you know nothing at all about the Bible.

    “I know it can be scary to let go of your faith, but you’ll bounce back and feel all the better for it.”
    I doubt you’re speaking from experience.

  42. Steve! Thankyou for understanding the point.

  43. tommy wrote:

    “I know it can be scary to let go of your faith, but you’ll bounce back and feel all the better for it.”
    I doubt you’re speaking from experience.

    In this instance I think you’re incorrect.

    For example, it was scary for me to let go of my faith, but I eventually bounced back and felt all the better for it.

    Knowing what little I know about Garrett, I think his situation was similar. So, I think he is speaking from experience.

  44. I don’t know about that Steve, see the problem I have is that of those millions of people have had countless millions of ancestors who never heard the word of God, never knew about Jesus, and lived perfectly happy, content and fufilling lives with whatever God or Gods they worshiped in the past without fear of damnation because God obviously chose not to reveal himself in anyway to those people. Just as when I worshiped at church and prayed to God and believed in him he chose not to reveal himself in any meaningful way. I’ve always considered myself Catholic but I’ve become increasingly more and more agnostic, and reading the arguments of the atheists on this blog they tend to make more sense then you do, no offense. I suppose the biggest problem I have is that there so many faiths out there how in the world is one supposed to choose the ‘right’ one without some kind of divine revelation?

  45. Hi Vitango 2, I can appreciate your statement “I suppose the biggest problem I have is that there so many faiths out there how in the world is one supposed to choose the ‘right’ one without some kind of divine revelation?”
    It is impossible using human reasoning, to know Gods true church. Indeed, the many faiths out there only add to the confusion. However, we do have clues given us.
    #1Rom 9:27 Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved: A remnant is a small piece of the original. Who formed the original church? Jesus.
    What are the characteristics of this remnant? #2 Rev 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. Dragon represents anti Christ, Woman in this verse represents the Church of God, the remnant obey the commandments of God ( anti-Christ changed the ten commandments, many people do not know there are two versions of the ten commandments) and have the same faith or testimony of Jesus.
    How do we gain understanding of spiritual things? #3 1Co 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
    1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
    In other words The holy Ghost teaches us if one truly and humbly asks for understanding. As humans, leaning on human knowledge, one cannot gain this experience.
    We must go to God, not the priest or pastor. #4 Jas 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. You notice there is an asking to be done.
    Hopefully you will not throw these words out. I have no axe to grind, but I have kept away from all organized religion or groups all my life. God has been kind and patient with me as I am slow and hard of hearing. He has given me insight and understanding of His difficult position in this great controversy raging on this old earth. There is so very much I don’t know, but I do believe that He has given us all things necessary to escape the evil in this life and beyond. There is a choice though, and everyone makes that choice. One makes it by simply rejecting God, the other makes it by choosing to believe God and picking up his cross.

  46. Walking away from “much afraid” is a tough, tough thing to do. I sgurgtle with control for many of the same reasons you mentioned. Thank you for putting yourself out there and sharing. It helps me evaluate my actions.

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