Does God believe in atheists?
This is the title of a book by John Blanchard, an eminent Christian scholar, who wrote it to debunk the many claims atheists have that God does not, and cannot, exist. That such a God is not a God of Love for he allows suffering, etc.
The title is sweet, but the book is anything but. Like saccharine, it tries to make you think it is the real stuff, which obviously, it isn’t.
It makes for interesting reading though, and provides an insight into the workings of the Christian mind and opinion.
To an atheist, a God cannot exist because of the capricious nature of the world around us; good or bad things happen to us all the time. You pray, you kenna whacked; you don’t pray, you also kenna whacked. As an atheist, you think: Where got God like that one?
A God is supposed to be loving, right?
Wrong. A Christian would answer thus: Because God is God, you do not and cannot question his motives. He acts on his own terms.
Now, as an atheist, you then ask: So, we are just like ikan bilis in his wok turned here and there on his whim? How can we pray to a God like that?
You can. You just have to pray for mercy.
Now, you ask: Mercy? Why the hell should I pray for mercy?
Because God created you, silly.
The Bible insists that nothing in the entire universe happens by chance, and that no detail of created reality is beyond God’s governance. We are told that not even a sparrow falls to the ground apart from God’s will and that “Even the very hairs of your head are numbered.”
You think: Waah, so LS (lun-sai) powderful one!
So, what does this mean? That everything is preordained?
Where does that leave our moral choices?
Does that mean that God is responsible for both good and evil then?
Yes and no
God told prophet Isaiah:
I am the Lord, and there is no other…
I form the light and create darkness,
I bring prosperity and create disaster;
I, the Lord, do all these things.
Yes, God is pretty much behind all those disasters (including the recent Indian Ocean tsunami) that have afflicted mankind since antiquity, but we cannot blame him.
You think: What the f*** cannot blame him?
Well, the “evil” was done for your good you see
No, I don’t see.
Remember the Joseph story? The one about a boy who was almost murdered and then sold as a slave and then later rose to a Cabinet post to prevent famine in Egypt? Yes. That fella.
You see, God sanctioned that little rubbing by his brothers so Joseph can rise and do more good.
You say: Ah-so, so everything happens for a purpose!
Yes, but there’s more: Here’s the crunch: Are the brothers to blame then for the evil deed they had done?
You say: Whaaat?! Didn’t you say God was behind it all?
The Christian will say: It is God’s will but it is your sin.
You think: These Christians love their God so much that even when he shits on their face, they think it is a spa face pack. Kenna-sai! (Pun intended)
So, what gives?
The Christian will answer: We are free to choose, as God has created us with free will. God will not step in and prevent its misuse, which will inevitably lead to suffering. Would you want a God to create a you that is programmed to do good only and not have the chance to develop personal relationships? Would you be happy to live under a cosmic tyrant?
You think: Wait a minute. So everything’s God’s will, but it is also our will?
The Christian will say: Yes, you have the will to do good.
You say: Hang on, didn’t you just say that God’s will makes everything preordained? That all that happens is because of Him?
The Christian will say: Yes, and yes.
For a moment, this sounds quite plausible: If I were to will good, then it is also God’s will, for that is what he would have wanted. The world would be a better place.
Then: If I were to will bad, then I am to be blamed. But somehow, through God’s will, something good will come out of it.
Importantly, you think: So why don’t God will good in the first place and save us all that drama?
The Christian will reply: But who are we to question God’s will?
You say: So it is back to “being under His mercy” thing again, is it?
Doesn’t it bother you to be under his mercy?
The Christian will say: No, because God is glorious.
You say: Huh? This drama-queen you call God, is glorious?
Yes, because he lets me will the good in me. I can deny evil and will good.
But didn’t you say everything is God’s will? If he didn’t will evil, then there is no need for you to will good is there?
At this point, the Christian will reply: But evil is only chargeable to Man. Only goodness is chargeable to God. Evil happens in God’s domain but not outside his sovereignty. Only goodness is chargeable to Him.
You give the Christian some face, and try to think a little deeper. But only just.
The Christian will say: Yes.
And then you ask: So, all this evil is good for us.
The Christian say: Yes, er, no, er, yes, but…
You then say: So, having this casino in S’pore is good for us then?
The Christian say: No, er, I mean, yes… in a way.
In a way?
Yes, without evil, there is no good.
You say: So, for good to be, there must be evil.
The Christian will say: Yes.
You say: Because good is God and God is good
The Christian will say: Yes.
You say: So, without evil, there can be no good. Without good, there can be no God, but God is glorious because he is good.
The Christian say: I guess so. But God is God no matter if there is good or evil because he is the Lord.
If there is neither good nor evil, so what is God? Is he just a croupier at the Black Jack table dealing out the cards, so to speak?
The Christian will say: Yes, I guess you can see that way. He deals you good or bad cards, you just have to accept it.
But a croupier has no control over the cards. God does, over the fate of his domain. So he deals you good or evil and you have to accept it?
The Christian say: Yes.
You say: I am confused now. Didn’t you say evil is not chargeable to God? only Man chooses to commit evil?
You say: But that evil will become good, right? Oh, I see. Ok, I think we can have the casino in S’pore then because some good will come out of it.
The Christian: But, but…
A dog will lick its own balls thinking they taste good. But those of us standing by the side will know it is not hygienic.
* comments pasted by estelwen... ironic isn't it.... i found this article when someone was promoting chirstianity... haha... oh well..
~I would have you smile, not grief for those whose time has come