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In Defense of God, Part 2

January 11, 2015

If there were a God – a good God, Who really loved His children – no little girl would ever again die of cancer or little boy be molested. In fact, there would be no illness or pain at all (none, at any rate, impacting good people). There would be no poverty, no crime or corruption. There would be no racism or injustice. There would be no war, no terrorism, no weapons of mass destruction. There would be no natural disasters, no aging, and no death.

Man as God

This the case against God. But those who argue for an empty throne readily place another deity there, in God’s stead. These are the secular humanists and New Age believers, with man and/or the universe as their god. This, truly, is self-delusion – that the creation should confuse itself with the Creator.

Oh, godhood is heady stuff. We have, after all, thrown off the yoke of a God unwilling to serve at our whim.

Never mind that we remain enthralled to sin. Or that our supposed “godhood” was tried before, by civilizations long gone. The Egyptian pharaohs claimed to be living gods. The Roman emperors (including that example of virtue, Caligula), also, claimed to be gods. The Mayan kings claimed descent from the gods. Many others making similar claims have since been forgotten.

Religious Hypocrites

Great harm has been done in the name of religion.

Although Christ was a Jew, anti-Semitism has frequently been initiated by those priding themselves on being Christian. The Justinian Code withdrew civil rights from Jews. Russian pogroms in the 19th and 20th Centuries targeted Jews. Hitler crafted a pagan cult of personality, initially adopting the trappings of Christianity. The Roman Catholic Church long shielded pedophiles. The Ku Klux Klan still claims to be Christian [1].

Those arguing against the existence of God or His goodness often cite such historic examples. But hypocrisy on a personal level can be as compelling.

Popes have fathered children, despite a vow of celibacy. Some of those ranting at the top of their lungs against homosexuality have, themselves, engaged in homosexual behavior with prostitutes [2] [3]. Certain televangelists live like rajahs while soliciting donations for the poor.

For Christians, these illustrate the sin nature we all share, and confirm the universal need for a Savior. Understandably, non-Christians do not see the matter that way.

When we hold ourselves out as “better” than the rest of mankind, we become the very Pharisees whom Christ rejected.

Amazing Love

Jesus said to him, ‘ “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets’ ” (Matt. 22: 37-40).

What Christians have to offer the world is not innately superior character, but the love of Christ as expressed in their lives. If we fail at love, we fail as Christians. But this love does not originate with us. Rather, “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4: 10).

That amazing love – which asks nothing for itself – can heal shattered hearts and transform lives. It restored the relationship between God and man by Christ’s willing death on the cross and His subsequent Resurrection.

Evidence Enough

The world is so designed that it calls for a decision on our part, as to the existence or non-existence of God.

There is evidence from all aspects of the natural world, from conscience, from the longing in our hearts for a better world, and from the Bible in favor of God’s existence and His goodness. There is evidence against God’s goodness from man’s own evil and violence, from the problem of evil in this broken world (when the innocent suffer), and from death, itself.

To Christians, the arguments against God’s existence and His goodness ring hollow. On neither side, however, is the evidence conclusive. We can find reasons to believe, as well as reasons not to believe. We require faith to make a final decision, whether in favor or against.

Renowned Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. made the observation that, “Deep-seated preferences cannot be argued about…” The Bible, however, adds that “God has dealt to each one a measure of faith” (Rom. 12: 3).

For those who will diligently examine the question of God’s existence and His goodness, there is evidence enough.

Free will, innocent suffering, and religious delusion are discussed in Part 1 of this article (posted last week).

[1] Contrary to popular opinion, many Neo-Nazis reject Christianity.

[2] This article makes no comment on homosexuality.

[3] The hypocrisy is compounded by a lack of regard for the welfare of those engaged – and often trapped – in the sex trade.

READERS CAN FIND MY VIEWS ON ABUSE AND ABUSE-RELATED ISSUES AT ANNA WALDHERR A Voice Reclaimed, Surviving Child Abuse  https://avoicereclaimed.com

From → Christian, Faith, Religion

14 Comments
  1. Yes, Anna, much of what the world sees as they reason that God is corrupt or cruel has come from what the church has done and preaches in His name. Even the great reformer, Martin Luther, wrote a book called, “The Jews and their Lies,” in which he put forth a plan for purging the Jews from Europe and it appears to me that Hitler read it.

    All I have to do is go back to Jesus’ words in the gospels to get a right view of what it means to be IN Christ and not just in a religion. The further we get from His teachings, the more we read other mens distortions of who Jesus is. Frankly, I do not claim to be “a Christian” for that title means everything that is wrong with today’s churches to me and to many others. The early believers were simply known as “people of the Way.” Jesus said, “I am the way…” He never said, the teachings of men about me are the way. THIS is where the fly got in the ointment. I AM born from above of my Father, though, and HE is love and so am I.

    Thank you for sharing on this difficult subject,

    Michael

  2. Excellent post. Thank you for the plain but oh so true message. I will repost this.

  3. Reblogged this on Levi's Daily Thoughts and commented:
    This is an excellent post by Anna.

  4. We can all wish the world had no trials or tribulations, but I think God is calling us to get off our butts and do something!

  5. I sincerely appreciate and agree with what you have shared with me. If I might dare to share with your readers my humble thoughts. One of the big things Christian folks take issue with is defending the Gospel. It’s lame though, for just like your post stated most of that gospel is man’s gospel. We like creating our own God to suit our own style of worship. In a nutshell God does not need to be defended. We either accept him or reject him. It is a choice we have to make. God is not going to change so we can be happy. I loved your post. Thank you for allowing me to express my thinking.

  6. Another excellent post. Your first section, “Man As God”, made me think of the old story/sermon illustration, The Long Silence.

    • You are too kind. Of course, I eat compliments up (LOL). I think there is alot of sound theology in older sermons. These days, priests and ministers are all too likely to tickle the ears.

      • “Too kind?” *Snort* You know not whom you speak to. After all, my Twitter handle is LibraryCoot. And yes, I know the delight a good compliment brings. 🙂

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