Wednesday, 31 January 2007

An Atheist’s Accusation - God is Unreasonable

I have had this objection presented to me: if God exists, he is unreasonable and unfair in expecting humans to be perfect, while, if He is omniscient, knowing they will not be. Then He “wimped out” dumping on His only son the penalty for what He was unable to get mankind to do.

The one who says this seems to be hung up on the idea of God expecting perfection. In fact, He doesn't expect it. But He does require it. What we need to realize is the difference between expectation and requirement. I see it a lot like a parent dealing with his own children. We set a standard of behaviour we require them to meet, but if we are at all realistic, we realize that they will not always be able to meet that standard. However, when our kids do something wrong and are sorry for it, we forgive them.

God also has provided a way, through Jesus Christ, for us to receive forgiveness from Him. He has excluded no one from this process. It is open and available to everyone in the world and has been for all of history. By the way, God did not "send" Jesus, as if he were a separate entity to earth to die. Trinitarian Christians believe that He came Himself as Jesus. It was a self-sacrifice, not something He sat back and relegated to someone else. Jesus lived a perfect life on behalf of those who come to him by faith. Jesus' righteousness is credited to all who trust in God and not in themselves for their salvation.

Those who continuously choose to reject God exclude themselves from this process of forgiveness. God cannot be accused of overlooking anyone. This attitude of rejection is revealed by one atheist who says that if he met God, he would call Him an SOB, spit in His face and turn his back on Him forever. If he did that, why should he expect forgiveness, or why, even, should he care. Again, to use a parental analogy, if one did that to one's mother, for instance, cursing her for giving birth, spitting in her face, and turning away from her, it is not the mother who has terminated the relationship, but oneself. If one then misses out on the benefits of that relationship, who is to blame? Certainly not the parent!

It is free will that allows this kind of choice. Surely you would have it no other way. Would you rather be forced to love God? Would you rather have no choice? There may come a day when those who have so arrogantly rebelled will say, "Yes, I wish I'd been forced," but then it will be too late. The time for choosing will have passed. Now is the time. Today is the day. This is the hour.

It is possible to have a relationship with God and to know He exists. Ultimately, aside from all the masses of evidence supporting His existence, this relationship is the only way to know. Believers happen to know that He is real. We know through the witness of the Holy Spirit, given by God to those who are His, which non-believers do not have. To the non-believer this, I know, is foolishness. The Bible even says so, but let me try to give you an illustration.

Suppose I hold a coin clenched in my fist and say to you, "I have a coin in my hand." You have no way of knowing whether I do or do not. You certainly cannot tell me I don't. You have no basis for believing or disbelieving me. In the same way, if I say I know that God exists because I have a relationship with Him you cannot tell me I don't. You just don't know. If you contradict me, you cannot know you are right, but I can know you are wrong. I can know that you are wrong for the very reason that I know I am right: I have that "coin in my hand." I have God in my life.

Take Care

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