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Saturday, March 11, 2017

Is God responsible for this shit?

Genesis 1:1 - "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." (NKJV)

Isaiah 45:7 - " I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things." (KJV), "I make peace and create calamity" (NKJV), "I bring prosperity and create disaster" (NIV), "I send good times and bad times" (NLT)
The English word "evil" was translated from the Hebrew "ra" meaning bad, evil, wickedness, misery, calamity, adversity, etc. (https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/Lexicon/Lexicon.cfm?strongs=H7451&t=KJV)

Proverbs 16:4 - "The Lord hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil." (KJV)

John 1:3 - "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." (KJV), "God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him." (NLT)

I Corinthians 8:6 - "But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him." (KJV), "But for us, There is one God, the Father, by whom all things were created, and for whom we live. And there is one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things were created, and through whom we live." (NLT)

Ephesians 3:9 - "God, who created all things by Jesus Christ" (KJV)

Colossians 1:16 - " For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible..." (KJV)

Revelation 4:11 - "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created." (KJV)

In the light of this impressive list of scriptures, a few questions come to mind:

Does all things/everything really mean all things/everything?

How did bacteria and viruses originate?

How do genetic mutations arise?

How did cancer and disease originate?

Did God create hurricanes, tornadoes and tsunamis?

Did God design humans, lions, bears, alligators and sharks to eat other animals?

Is God the author of war?

Is God the author of death?

How do birth defects arise?

What is the origin of neuroses, psychoses, other pathological behaviors and insanity?

And, if we allow that humans and angels have the ability/potential to pervert or corrupt that which is good and whole, who gave them that ability/potential?

And, if we answer that question in the affirmative, does that have any implications for how we define evil?

Is it possible that many of the things which we consider to be evil might not be characterized as such by Almighty God?

In other words, is it possible that we cannot discern the ultimate purpose of some things?

And, if we are living in a hologram (as some cosmologists, philosophers and theologians have suggested), doesn't that imply that someone/something has placed/programmed the "bad/evil" stuff into the equation/system/projector?

In other words, if God truly is the First Cause/Creator/Master Programmer, doesn't everything that is exist at "His" pleasure?

In the light of these questions, we have to ask:  Did God really create all things/everything?

And, if we answer that question in the negative, what does that imply about the reliability of the scriptures quoted above?

What do you think?

6 comments:

  1. He's not a micro-manager. Therefore, in keeping with the original description, shit happens.

    As Christians, we often expect to be protected from the probability factors of the law-guided but somewhat random events of the world in which we live. Sometimes that is granted. It's disappointing when it isn't.

    Unless something is totally neutral, there is the thing, and then the total opposite of the thing. The comfort zone is in between the two opposite poles, but guru types invariably direct their followers to the poles. That leads to great frustration.

    BB

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    1. Thanks for your comment. As you know, this is an old and potent argument that is frequently employed by those who don't accept the existence of God. Unfortunately, there are a good many Christians who have never seriously considered the issue. I hope that this post and your comment will provoke some thought.
      I agree with you about the opposing poles. I've written in the past about the tendency of some folks to present false dilemmas - to reduce things to a choice between two extremes to make what they're peddling more appealing (that was a favorite device of HWA).

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  2. Another interesting question, Lonnie, is whether there are ever unintended consequences for God. In other words, we who are created in His image have the capacity to learn and to accumulate knowledge. Do those abilities reflect what is also true of God?

    If so, what would God do when bacteria, present in the digestive systems of both humans and animals, underwent some sort of change which made it more potent, and dangerous? Get rid of the mutant strains each time they occurred? Leave them, and allow mankind to resolve or control the problem using his God-given abilities? Mankind has survived largely through learning how to deal with many of the things on your comprehensive list.

    I also wonder about population control. Predators actually do have a role in that in nature. It's only been within the last century, possibly only within the past 25-50 years, the timespan which coincides with the eradication of many conditions hostile to humanity, that global overpopulation has made many environmental problems unmanageable. Our control of many of the factors and events which previously killed humans is on the fast track to making overpopulation an existential threat. That is, of course, viewing the earth dispassionately, and simply as an ecology system, as we ponder sustainability. Most humans value life so intently (as well they should!) that they are incapable of shifting into such a dispassionate mode.

    BB

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    1. Yes, the question of unintended consequences is a very interesting subject that is worthy of more thought/exploration. Some would argue that God is all-knowing and can see the end of all things (Omniscient/Prescient), but others argue that attributing those qualities to God limit and define "Him" (effectively eliminating the ability to grow/expand). And there are others who would say that God has chosen not to know the end of all things (after all, if one extends the logic of Prescience, there are problems with the concept of free will/predestination to resolve).
      I have thought for some time now that it is obvious (based on the circumstances in which we find ourselves) that Whoever/Whatever is responsible for us and our environment intended for us to explore, learn and grow (which I think is highly compatible with what appears to be the primary purpose of life - the perpetuation of itself). We tend to think of the survival/perpetuation of the individual organism or a particular species, but God/Nature appears to think in terms of the survival/perpetuation of life in general.
      As you point out, there appear to be many population control devices built into the system (once again, that control being essential to the survival of the whole). For instance, the fact that not all of the members of a particular species get to reproduce suggests to me that this may be one of God's/Nature's more important tools in this regard. And then, we have to ask: Does this have any implications for why we observe the phenomenon of homosexual behavior among a portion of the human/animal populations that inhabit this earth?
      The very existence of these kinds of questions led me to the conclusion that God never intended for the Bible to be the ultimate answer book or the final authority on all things related to the human experience. I don't think that Scripture was ever intended to be a Science or History textbook, and the fact that many have treated it as such has stunted/hampered their growth/development both physically and spiritually. It has also had the unintended consequence of causing many people to abandon the book altogether and regard it as useless.
      I think one of the greatest truths to emerge from my Armstrong experience was the realization that I didn't have all of the answers - that I didn't (and never would in this life) possess all of THE TRUTH in a neat little package of beliefs (or that I could find all of it in the pages of one book). In other words, I'm still looking/learning/exploring (and it doesn't bother/shame me to acknowledge that). I appreciate your contributions in that regard - enough rambling for now.

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  3. Ever noticed in Shakespeare's plays a celebration of the human spirit sans the smothering church/state omnipresence of that era? Maybe it was the dawn of The Enlightenment - England leading the way, as it has done in many other progressive trends. The Enlightenment has taken us to atheist constitutions for the State and Education bodies (a necessary step for good science). Now we are free to rediscover God (if possible) using science. Are atheists as happy as people of faith, like those in Elizabethan England? Not the ones I know.

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  4. The OT is of superior literary value than the NT. Yes, further iterations: Christianity, Islam, Mormonism...just keep on getting worse! That is why scholars dismiss Christianity so readily. In this connection, it was interesting to read Prof Tabor's piece in the latest Journal. He is reverting to Judaism (can't blame him) and is offering his latest book on this free to Journal readers upon request at jdtabor.uncc.edu - I've already requested mine!

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