So here’s my question for the day!
If you could ask God one question, what would it be and why?
Please use the comments to post your answers. And please engage with others 🙂
Dean is a Minister in the Anglican Church. Currently he is Curate in the parishes of Bedwas, Machen, Michaelston-y-Fedw and Rudry in South Wales. He was born and bred in Wales, is married to Megan, and has two dogs called Taliesin and Melyn, and two cats named Sinsir and Hâf. He graduated from Cardiff University with a BA Hons. in Theology & Religious Studies, and has studied for an MA in Theology, Ministry & Mission at Trinity College Bristol. He also holds a Cert.RSCM from the Royal School of Church Music. He loves playing music, walking, reading, blogging and horse riding as well as going to the cinema and theatre.
Read More @ http://deanroberts.net/about
(so this is a question I’ve been asked, and I’m not really sure how to give a satisfying answer to it…) Why would God command me to worship Him and live my life for Him, even though that means sacrificing other things in my life, when I never even asked to be born. When God said He has created us to praise Him, is He being selfish in that? (I have some ideas of how to answer this question but how would anyone else answer it?!)
I would answer it by saying that God has severe problems with his ego.
That’s a good question! I guess there’s loads of parts to the question:
1. God commanding worship: I guess he does and he doesn’t. God never requires us to worship him, but rather he invites us to worship him. Of course, there will be a day when humans are required to worship him, either willingly or because of the consequences of His glory.
2. Sacrificing other things in his/her life – It depends what things they’re talking about sacrificing. They might not have to sacrifice them. And anyway, if they worry about sacrificing ‘things’ (I’m assuming they’re things that Christians don’t take part/believe in) then his/her view of God is smaller than it should be, right?
3. I was never asked to be born – Maybe so, but then that person has a very small view of him/herself in relation to God. It was God’s purpose that he/she be born and paid a price that no human but God could pay. The sheer love that he has for that person may not be realised by him/her at the moment. Aside from that, the notion is a red herring. No, that person didn’t ask to be born, but the reality is that they were. In light of that, does it mean they reject God on that basis? Is it a justifiable excuse? I would contend to say ‘no, it’s not’.
4.When God said He has created us to praise Him, is He being selfish? – Well, that’s only part of the story, in my view. God created us to have relationship with him, to share everything that he can provide us and give to us. A relationship is always a two way street. God isn’t a glory seeker, and he doesn’t need someone to give him glory because he has it anyway. So if anything, God creating us was a wonderfully generous thing to do, given that he wanted and still wants to share everything that is his with us. I guess the analogy of marriage would be helpful here.
What does everyone else think? They’re just my opinions!!
Thanks Dean, these are useful, clear points. I guess the major issue behind this question too is that this person may view God as a weak and mean god rather than an all-powerful, generous, loving God, because of whatever reason. We must pray that God would reveal Himself for who He is and that this person’s eyes would be opened to the truth. It was a good question though – it certainly had me stumped so thanks for clearing stuff up for me!
Definitely, Emma. Thanks for posting! It was a really cool question.
And no problem, though I bet I’ve missed a load of stuff out! That was just a quick jot down answer from me!
How come the less intelligent a person is the more likely they are to believe in you?
I would argue that that is a very unintelligent question to ask, being that there are many far more intelligent Christians around than you or I.
Argue all you like monkeyboy, some very intelligent people are asking the very same question.
Well I know that, but studies don’t prove much. The stats will say what you want them to say. Like I said, many intelligent scientists are Christians, as well as people of other professions, who have a greater intelligence than you or I.
PS – You should avoid using Wikipedia for your references. They teach you in University to refrain from doing so, because it’s unintelligent and not academic 😉
Wikipedia wasn’t around when I read law at university, though I beg to differ.
The link I gave referred to longitudinal studies that have been published, with citations, in peer reviewed journals. What have you got against that?
Well nothing, I’m afraid. But if I wanted to, I could conduct a study and publish results with citations, and, might I add, in peer reviewed journals that told me exactly what I wanted to hear…
What I’m saying is that just because a study says that in countries where education is nearly 0, people believe in God more, it doesn’t mean that it transfers to the rest of the world.
And, just on a side, Christianity isn’t just about believing in God. It’s making an informed choice based on a variety of things.
Which god of the thousands available, are you?
Hello Daz. Just wondering what you meant by available?
Daz, that’s actually a really valid and cool question to ask. In fact, in Christianity, there is an instance of people worshipping an ‘Unknown god’ because they know that there is a god there, but they don’t know which one is the real one. Of course, they come to realise that it’s Jesus. 🙂 Thanks for sharing 🙂
Very nice, but would you now like to delve a bit deeper, and actually provide some evidence in favour of your particular god, and indeed your particular interpretation of that god, being the correct one; and why every other single god that’s ever been worshipped has been fictitious. I’ll start you off by allowing, for the sake of argument, the existence of a vague, deistic creator. All you need to do is fill in the gaps and explain how you get from that to the Christian god.
Hiya regiumus. ‘Available’ as in ‘worshipped at some time or place’.
Well the whole point of the Christian God is that he is Jesus. So that’s a unique thing. That God became man, yet at the same time was also fully God. No other faith in the world has that teaching.
Now, if you take Jesus as God, then you have countless records of his existence, people dying (over thousands of years) for their belief in him as God. You’ve got miracles that were attested for, not just in scripture (though I’m afraid I can’t give you reference to those, I have to say) Then you have the prophecies written about him being fulfilled (which, mathematics say, would be impossible to fulfill all of them if he wasn’t God)
Though you must realise that no ‘evidence’ even if it were blindingly obvious would cause you to believe. Even people who saw miracles that Christ did didn’t believe…
And also, I’m merely scratching a surface here. Lee Strobel, Tim Keller, C S Lewis and the atheists best friend William Lane Craig (and others) delve into this in a lot more detail and intelligence than I could ever achieve!
The ancient egyptians believed their Pharoah was a God in human form…
True, but what I should have said, which I foolishly left out is that Christian faith hinges on the resurrection.
And it is whether the resurrection happened or not that validates Christian faith. Paul in one of his letters in the Bible says the exact same thing.
Obviously people explore conspiracy theories, but these have adequately been proven inadequate by scholars and theologians.
Now, if you take Jesus as God,
Ah, starting with an assumption. This is not auspicious.
then you have countless records of his existence,
Really? Where? Not that it matters whether Joshua ben Joseph actually existed or not. What matters is whether he was a divine being or not.
people dying (over thousands of years) for their belief in him as God.
Which means nothing. How many Aztecs died for their god? By this argument, that god also exists, thereby disproving the Abrahamic claim to ‘one true god’.
If you can’t reference miracles, don’t attempt to introduce them as evidence. And in any case, those miracles could, (even if they actually happened) presumably be created by any god. They don’t act to narrow the choices down.
Of course, you’re right on those things. Like I said, the thing that makes our faith valid is whether or not the resurrection happened, aside from miracles, people dying for faith etc. Those things are just markers to a reality of something else.
Like I said, I’m not an apologist, so I can’t provide you with the info you request. Though I have listed the authors that I’ve read on the subject. If this was my lifes work I’d write reams for you. But I do have a dissertation to do and some other essays!
But if I wanted to, I could conduct a study and publish results with citations, and, might I add, in peer reviewed journals that told me exactly what I wanted to hear…
Actually, no you couldn’t. That’s the point!
Of course I could – I would just get people who were likeminded enough to help me out.
Anyway, you’re missing the whole point of what I’m trying to say.
And besides… what has intelligence to do with eternal life? (If you’re speaking even hypothetically that there is a god who could offer it to you)
Where to begin! I guess for me it would be a choice between the following:
1. God, how am I supposed to be happy up here while people I loved and cared about on Earth are spending an eternity burning in hell? I’m not sure I’m comfortable with that. Moreover, how are you (being that you’re supposedly all loving) happy spending an eternity up here while billions of people are spending eternity burning in Hell – condemned by you?
2. How exactly do you justify an infinite punishment for a finite crime? Is this your idea of ‘divine justice’?
3. Why are the only two options eternal bliss or eternal torment? The world isn’t divided into good and bad people, in fact, it could be argued that every single one of us has shades of both good and bad. So wouldn’t it make sense to have some sort of middle ground?
4. You say you sent us Jesus to die for our sins. A single crucifiction is not the same as burning forever. You didn’t sacrifice Jesus by burning him forever, why does everybody else have this punishment?
5. Are you incapable of forgiveness without there being a punishment? You had to send down your son to die in order to forgive humanity for its sins. But I am capable of forgiveness without this sort of ultimatum – does that mean there is something I can do that you cannot – forgive without an ultimatum? And if Jesus knew he was going to rise again to spend eternity in Heaven it’s not really much of a sacrifice anyway.
6. If you’re omnipotent, can you create a rock so heavy that you cannot lift it?
7. So you conceal every possible hint of yourself to avoid detection, and you put up an impressive smokescreen in the form of an obvious, elegant, unified and seemeingly accurate natural explanation for almost everything you secretly did, but if we don’t find your set of primitive, perverse and frankly unbelievable fairy tales convincing enough to disregard reason then you punish us forever without mercy?
8. Why do you have such a problem with showing yourself to us, when you didn’t seem to have so much of a problem with it during Biblical times?
9. Why didn’t you provide some evidence? What’s the point in hiding? Wouldn’t you make more of an impression on mankind if you were evidently real, so your words wouldn’t be altered, manipulated and corrupted through political editing and mistranslation?
10. What created you?
11. If you created the universe just for us, why is it so much of the universe is inhabitable to us? Not even most of our own planet is habitable to us! It’s 70% water! And most of that isn’t even drinking water.
12. Do you honestly expect me to have a relationship with someone who has people tortured and who has the power to stop people being infintitely tortured, but simply chooses not to?
Good questions, Lucy! I have some answers for you, but I cannot possibly write all the answers for you on here. Though I think for Question 6, have a look at this
Thanks Dean, I’d look forward to hearing some of those answers sometime. And as to that video, for me it doesn’t answer very much. Because if he is omnipotent then he should be able to do what is logically impossible. Things we cannot comprehend, such as the square circle, to <i>us</i> are logically impossible, yes. But we are not omnipotent. And an omnipotent being should be able to comprehend these things – because he/she/it is omnipotent! So to me, that video showed me that an omnipotent being cannot possibly exist.
I get what you’re saying an understand that, Lucy. But omnipotence doesn’t mean being able to do bizzare things that aren’t logical, in my book. I understand that God should be able to do the impossible, and maybe he can. But if God is the author of logic, then surely he would be inconsistent if he didn’t follow logic in his ways and actions?
Ha, I understand where you are coming from too, bizarrely enough, yet still disagree. I guess we will have to agree to disagree! Because in my book, the author of logic should be able to break rules that he created – i.e. still under the definition of omnipotence :p
Haha! 😛 Quite possibly we may have to agree to disagree!
But I would say that you have to hold God’s omnipotence in with all his other characteristics, such as order, and just.
Also, just because God is able to break rules, it doesn’t mean to say that he is obliged to do it!
And also, God cannot lie, because He’s a God of truth. So does this take his characteristic of omnipotence away?! I wouldn’t have thought so, purely because omnipotence is only one facet of the persona of God… if you see what I mean.
It’s all a bit brain frazzeling!!!
Ha brain frazzling I’d agree with, given there are so many different angles you could look at such a question. But I’d just like to add that in the video it says God cannot do logically impossible things, like create a square circle. And that is logically impossible. However, creating a stone so heavy he cannot lift it is not technically logically impossible. He either can or he can’t. But either way it still remains that there are ways around him being omnipotent.
Hello Dean, I’m still curious as to what some of your answers to these questions are and I’m still waiting patiently to hear them 🙂
What I think I might do is do a little series on some of the questions you asked. Is that OK? Sorry I’m taking some time though, currently in the beginning stages of my final year at Uni, while applying for Vicar stuff and holding down my job! Hope you’re well and having a good week 🙂
Ooh, I look forward to it!, sounds very interesting! Thank you!
Good luck with your final year at uni! Hope you do well!
Same to you, (even with your rather busy schedule!), take care! 😀
I would ask her (god) why she’s so shy about coming out.
Err Dean. This post is about asking a god a question, but you seem to be giving the answers. Why don’t you let your friend have a go eh?
The funny thing is that he’s given most of the answers… but I’m just reiterating them because people who are hell bent on not listening don’t often pick up what he’s said the first time. In fact, some never hear properly… 🙂
Because I have always been interested and more recently rediscovered religion, I would ask, “How can I repay you for the love you have given?”. What worries me sometime is if I am committed enough and to the right cause.
If I could ask God one question… well I can get all the answers I could possibly need in the Bible but I would love to ask him something specific like “How old are you?”
If I had faith in god can I stop striving for what I want
What is it that you want exactly?
Since his earthly followers won’t explain it, I would ask him why he lied to Adam and Eve in the garden.
Long time no see, care to comment?
Username or E-mail
Enter your WordPress.com blog URL
© Copyright 2014 Dean Roberts / Lovingly made and hosted by myself, AKA Doggy Paw Web Services