- How to you read the Bible?
- How literally do you take Creation?
- Why should there be famine and disease when an all loving God exists?
- Is there evidence for God, or do you take it by Faith only?
- Do you think Hell is excessive?
- Why would God give humans such a sinful nature?
The books of the Bible fall into one of 4 categories: prophecy, history, law, and poetry. When you read a prophetic book, you quickly understand the true nature of God. Historical books show you how the nature of God and His relationship with His people manifests in day to day life. To understand the books of law, you must ask yourself two questions: 1) Was the law REALLY from God? or by Man? 2) What is the context of which these laws were written? Answer these two questions, and you understand the principle behind each law. Finally, poetry books give you a nice look into the mind of the author. For example, Ecclesiastes is basically a diary of a depressed man who was given everything in life, but still felt an emptiness in his heart because he had turned away from God.
There are many different ideas on this topic. To answer one question, I always like to break down the question into many other questions. Two questions that you must ask yourself regarding Creation is: 1) If you were to describe the beginnings of the Universe to a nomadic tribe in Africa, how would you explain it to them? 2) Genesis 1:2 states “And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” So if you were recording the formation of the Earth, as it was happening in front of you, what would you see, and how would you record it? It is interesting to note that every culture has more or less the same creation story. They all involve a “Spirit of God” or Son of God traveling on or near the water, and involve this Son or Spirit separating the heavens from the earth.
Why should a father punish his child for doing wrong? If a parent never punishes their child, they become spoiled. Teaching people that God is all loving, only shows you one side of the nature of God. God is also jealous and wrathful, but He is also slow to anger. Many of the “atrocities” in the Old Testament came about due to the disobedience of Mankind. Noah preached for 100 years before God flooded the world. 100 years. All you have to do is acknowledge your evil way and ask God for forgiveness. A simple two-step process that mankind chose not to do. So, mankind CHOSE to receive the punishment God warned them about. In Exodus, we see God providing food, shelter, clothing, and protection to the Israelites, but they STILL rebelled against God. They did not trust God to give them what they needed in life.
Miracles. Recently, I parked my car in a public parking lot, and found a note on my windshield. It read, “The license plate number of the person that hit your car is $%$%$.” The police precinct was a block away from me. The officer gave me all the information of the perpetrator. A half hour after I called my insurance company, I received a call telling me that the other party had admitted to the hit and run. That same morning, my friend’s father forbade him from driving his car. When my friend went to tell his father about the accident, his father stopped him and was able to recount the entire incident before my friend told him anything. The night before, his father had a dream that someone had hit a parked car and there was a big commotion. His father did not know that the dreams was for me.
Do you think your father should pay for your sins? What about your best friend? This is what God did for us through His son Jesus Christ, and yet people refuse to believe. Regarding judgement, Matthew 13:49 says that the angels will separate the evil from the righteous. In Matthew 25:41-45, Jesus says that the ones that did not help the poor, the starving, and the naked will go to hell, even if they believe in Him. Luke 10:9 states heal the sick, then tell them about God. I believe that God will judge people’s hearts, and He wants people not to worry about the Law, because the Law corrupts peoples hearts. It makes them self-righteous, and when one feels self-righteous, he does more harm in the world then good. For the truly selfish, self-righteous, prideful, and destructive people in the world, hell is not excessive.
God did not give humans a sinful nature. God gave humans free will. Without free will, we would not know what sin is. For example, lets say from birth, you were taught that eating another human being was perfectly fine. You would not know that there was anything wrong with. Even if someone wanted to eat you, you would think it was perfectly fine, just as children who grew up in Canaanite culture believed that sacrificing themselves to gods was normal. The real question is: why did God give humans free will? If you were a ruler of a country, would you force your love on your subjects? No, because then you do not know who loves you unconditionally, and who does not. God has given you the knowledge of right and wrong, and He is the only way you can find freedom from sin.