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Can we trust what God says?

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  • Can we trust what God says?

    A common justification for the Biblical genocides is that God, as the creator of mankind, has the right to take life if he wants.

    William L Craig seems to be the most vocal proponent of this idea, for example here, where he is talking about God's command to kill all the Canaanite peoples:

    http://www.reasonablefaith.org/slaug...the-canaanites
    According to the version of divine command ethics which I’ve defended, our moral duties are constituted by the commands of a holy and loving God. Since God doesn’t issue commands to Himself, He has no moral duties to fulfill. He is certainly not subject to the same moral obligations and prohibitions that we are. For example, I have no right to take an innocent life. For me to do so would be murder. But God has no such prohibition. He can give and take life as He chooses. ... God is under no obligation whatsoever to extend my life for another second. If He wanted to strike me dead right now, that’s His prerogative.
    If God is free to kill us when convenient, why should we imagine he is not free to lie to us when convenient?

    Think about this. I imagine very very few of the people reading this have every killed anyone, but who can honestly say they have never told a lie? Lying is much easier than killing, much less of a wrong. If you admit God can kill whoever he wants, how can you possibly deny that God can likewise lie whenever he wants?

    God lied in the Bible:
    Genesis 2:15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die."
    Adam did not die when he ate the fruit (he did eventually die, but that was inevitable, only if he ate from the Tree of Life would he live forever). God lied to Adam (and the serpent told the truth!). Why should we believe God about anything?
    My Blog: http://oncreationism.blogspot.co.uk/

  • #2
    Replay from a resurrected subject from the old Tweb. As ancient literature the God(s) of the Pentateuch were very human Divine beings with one supreme God. The god(s) of the OT were more 'hands on' god(s) personally involved, this actually carries on to the Divine Right of Kings and others to act for God in this world, and justified in killing heathens and other non-believers.

    The Garden of Eden and the Fall are so grounded in Christian theology, some form of reality of Genesis needs to justified even though many do not consider the events literally true.

    The most common explanation for Adam and Eve not dying after eating from the fruit of the forbidden tree is that they loose their immortality that was the benefit of eating from the tree of life, and not die immediately. In this interpretation God is not considered lying.

    Some time later God apparently lied to an Egyptian Pharaoh.
    Last edited by shunyadragon; 07-28-2014, 08:27 AM.
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by The Pixie View Post
      If God is free to kill us when convenient, why should we imagine he is not free to lie to us when convenient?

      Think about this. I imagine very very few of the people reading this have every killed anyone, but who can honestly say they have never told a lie? Lying is much easier than killing, much less of a wrong. If you admit God can kill whoever he wants, how can you possibly deny that God can likewise lie whenever he wants?
      First, according to Christian theology when a man dies in this world that is not the end of him. He still lives. There will be a future judgement, at this point is the final death, or "second death." And those that are truly innocent, perhaps like young children, will be saved. Second, we would say that there are certain things that God can not do by nature - God is "truth" - scripture does not claim that God chooses not to lie, but that He cannot lie.

      Titus 1:2: “In hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began.”

      Hebrews 6:18: “It is impossible for God to lie.”

      James 1:17-18: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”
      God lied in the Bible:

      Adam did not die when he ate the fruit (he did eventually die, but that was inevitable, only if he ate from the Tree of Life would he live forever). God lied to Adam (and the serpent told the truth!). Why should we believe God about anything?
      Pixie you have been around Christians to know that we believe both in a physical death and a spiritual death. We believe Adam did in fact die spiritually on the day he sinned. Scripture says that we are all "dead in our trespasses and sin." Does that men we are physically dead at that point? No. Paul understood this, when he came to a point in his life where he knew the law and violated the law that he died:

      Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death.

      He did not physically die at that point, but spiritually.
      Last edited by seer; 07-28-2014, 09:30 AM.
      Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by seer View Post
        First, according to Christian theology when a man dies in this world that is not the end of him. He still lives. There will be a future judgement, at this point is the final death, or "second death." And those that are truly innocent, perhaps like young children, will be saved.
        This thread is directed at those who justify the Biblical genocides by saying God has the right to kill us if he pleases. If you do not hold to that, I have no argument with you.
        Second, we would say that there are certain things that God can not do by nature - God is "truth" - scripture does not claim that God chooses not to lie, but that He cannot lie.
        If you are still reading, I am assuming you do believe God has the right to kill us if he pleases.

        I have to wonder why God cannot lie by his nature, but he can kill. What is it about his nature that makes killing possible but not lying?

        Sure, scripture says God cannot lie, but where does that idea come from? God? Any good liar will tell you he is not a liar.
        Pixie you have been around Christians to know that we believe both in a physical death and a spiritual death. We believe Adam did in fact die spiritually on the day he sinned. Scripture says that we are all "dead in our trespasses and sin." Does that men we are physically dead at that point? No. Paul understood this, when he came to a point in his life where he knew the law and violated the law that he died:

        Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death.

        He did not physically die at that point, but spiritually.
        God did not say spiritually dead, though, did he? In fact, the phrase is not even in the Bible. What does it actually mean? Did his spirit die that day? That is not what it usually means. So I wonder in what sense anything actually died.

        What do you think Adam understood God to mean?

        Perhaps you can point me to the verse when they died. I see a bit that goes: "She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked" Was it then? Does spiritual death open your eyes to reality? Or was it later when God punished them?

        See, as I read it I see no sense that there was spiritual death. It looks to me as though this is something people have invented later to cover up God's lie.
        My Blog: http://oncreationism.blogspot.co.uk/

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by The Pixie View Post
          If you are still reading, I am assuming you do believe God has the right to kill us if he pleases.
          Yes, of course. But again, this first death is not permanent in Christian theology. So I have a future hope for the truly innocent, like the very young.

          I have to wonder why God cannot lie by his nature, but he can kill. What is it about his nature that makes killing possible but not lying?
          Again Pixie those people who were physically killed in the OT are not dead. The most important part of the man is his soul - and their soul survives until the final judgement. And obviously God believes He has the right to take the life He gave. Whether you think He does is completely immaterial.

          Sure, scripture says God cannot lie, but where does that idea come from? God? Any good liar will tell you he is not a liar.
          I'm just telling you what Scripture teaches, do what you will with it.

          God did not say spiritually dead, though, did he? In fact, the phrase is not even in the Bible. What does it actually mean? Did his spirit die that day? That is not what it usually means. So I wonder in what sense anything actually died.

          What do you think Adam understood God to mean?
          I don't know what Adam knew, perhaps he really did sense a profound separation from God. But I gave you examples in scripture where "death" can not be a physical event. Do what you will with it.
          Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

          Comment


          • #6
            God kills the unrighteousness because He is just. His perfect justice is part of His character, as is His truthfulness.

            Man is not righteous, truthful, or just. Hence we cannot understand a God who is those things, and we try to make Him into our image.


            Securely anchored to the Rock amid every storm of trial, testing or tribulation.

            Comment


            • #7
              Another part of God's character, which from what I can tell has been rather overlooked in this thread's previous replies, is that God is by nature a Saviour! Yes, He does have the right to kill as He pleases. But...

              Originally posted by Ezekiel 33:11
              "As I live!" declares the Lord God, "I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways!"
              Originally posted by Luke 9:56
              "For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them."
              Yes, He is just. But He is gracious, merciful and forgiving to those who repent and turn from their sins to Him! This time we're living in now is a time of grace, in which He's allowing time for lost sinners to repent and be saved. Instead of asking how a loving God can take at will the life of anyone He pleases, why not ask how He can be so merciful to allow those of us who deserve eternal death (and we all certainly do) to live?
              ~ Russell ("MelMak")

              "[Sing] and [make] melody in your heart to the Lord." -- Ephesians 5:19b

              Fight_spam!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by MelMak
                why not ask how He can be so merciful to allow those of us who deserve eternal death (and we all certainly do) to live?
                Very good! Not one of us deserves to draw another breath! And it is only through His grace and mercy that we do!


                Securely anchored to the Rock amid every storm of trial, testing or tribulation.

                Comment


                • #9
                  The confusing thing is that if all we know of God's character comes from what he chooses to let us know, then how can anyone claim to know God's true character?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by The Pixie View Post
                    If God is free to kill us when convenient, why should we imagine he is not free to lie to us when convenient?
                    This is actually pretty easy to answer: God is justified in taking our lives whenever He wants, because our sins have made us deserving of death. There are no sins however, that would make a person deserving of being lied to.

                    Originally posted by The Pixie View Post
                    Think about this. I imagine very very few of the people reading this have every killed anyone, but who can honestly say they have never told a lie? Lying is much easier than killing, much less of a wrong. If you admit God can kill whoever he wants, how can you possibly deny that God can likewise lie whenever he wants?
                    Because it is in God's nature to punish sin (although it's also in His nature to grant mercy to the repentant). It is not however in God's nature to tell a lie.

                    Originally posted by The Pixie View Post
                    God lied in the Bible:

                    Adam did not die when he ate the fruit (he did eventually die, but that was inevitable, only if he ate from the Tree of Life would he live forever). God lied to Adam (and the serpent told the truth!). Why should we believe God about anything?
                    There are possible ways to reconcile this passage so that it doesn't make God out to be a liar. One is the proposition that has already been mentioned, namely that Adam died spiritually. Another one is that Adam was immortal, but lost his immortality when he did what God had forbidden him to do. A third one would be that Adam was created mortal, but God would have let him eat from the Tree of Life if only he had heeded God's command and hadn't eaten the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. In either interpretation, Adam transgressing God's command would have been an effective death sentence.
                    ~Formerly known as Chrawnus~

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by seer View Post
                      Yes, of course. But again, this first death is not permanent in Christian theology. So I have a future hope for the truly innocent, like the very young.
                      Based on what?
                      Again Pixie those people who were physically killed in the OT are not dead. The most important part of the man is his soul - and their soul survives until the final judgement. And obviously God believes He has the right to take the life He gave. Whether you think He does is completely immaterial.
                      If he has the right of life and death, does it also have the right to lie to us? You seem to miss that issue, which is unfortunate as it is the point of the thread.
                      I'm just telling you what Scripture teaches, do what you will with it.
                      Scripture teaches all sorts of things that you already ignore, such as people going to hell.
                      I don't know what Adam knew, perhaps he really did sense a profound separation from God. But I gave you examples in scripture where "death" can not be a physical event. Do what you will with it.
                      A profound separation from God? He was talking to him hours later.
                      My Blog: http://oncreationism.blogspot.co.uk/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Chrawnus View Post
                        This is actually pretty easy to answer: God is justified in taking our lives whenever He wants, because our sins have made us deserving of death.
                        That is certainly what God has told us. Why suppose it is true.

                        I appreciate Christians have different beliefs, but the idea of original sin is common. God has told us that we are sinful from the moment we are born, and from what you say that sin means he can kill us if he wants. That is, God has decided we are sinful, and that then gives him the right to kill who he likes.
                        There are no sins however, that would make a person deserving of being lied to.
                        Really? So some sins making a person deserving of eternal torture in hell, but no sin is so great that anyone deserves to be lied to?

                        How do you know this?
                        Because it is in God's nature to punish sin (although it's also in His nature to grant mercy to the repentant).
                        So it is in his nature to be merciful and to punish?
                        It is not however in God's nature to tell a lie.
                        You know that how?
                        There are possible ways to reconcile this passage so that it doesn't make God out to be a liar. One is the proposition that has already been mentioned, namely that Adam died spiritually.
                        See discussion with seer.
                        Another one is that Adam was immortal, but lost his immortality when he did what God had forbidden him to do.
                        He was not immortal, as Genesis 3:22 makes clear.
                        A third one would be that Adam was created mortal, but God would have let him eat from the Tree of Life if only he had heeded God's command and hadn't eaten the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge.
                        So when God said "you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” he meant, If you eat the fruit, then I will not let you eat from the tree of life, and so in many centuries you will eventually die.
                        My Blog: http://oncreationism.blogspot.co.uk/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by The Pixie View Post
                          Really? So some sins making a person deserving of eternal torture in hell, but no sin is so great that anyone deserves to be lied to?
                          It doesn't have anything to do with how great a sin you commit, it's just that there are no specific kinds of sins, whether small or great, that would make being lied to a deserving punishment.

                          Originally posted by The Pixie View Post
                          How do you know this?
                          Common sense, and the fact that the Bible never prescribes being lied to as a penalty for sin.

                          Originally posted by The Pixie View Post
                          So it is in his nature to be merciful and to punish?
                          Yes. God punishes the unrepentant, but grants mercy to the repentant.

                          Originally posted by The Pixie View Post
                          You know that how?
                          The same way I know anything about God; I read the Bible.

                          Originally posted by The Pixie View Post
                          He was not immortal, as Genesis 3:22 makes clear.
                          Actually, Genesis 3:22 doesn't make anything clear except the fact that Adam was mortal at the time when God made that specific utterance. There's nothing in Genesis 3:22 that would exclude Adam from being immortal prior to eating the fruit.

                          Originally posted by The Pixie View Post
                          So when God said "you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” he meant, If you eat the fruit, then I will not let you eat from the tree of life, and so in many centuries you will eventually die.
                          "Certainly" does not mean "immediately".
                          ~Formerly known as Chrawnus~

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by The Melody Maker View Post
                            Another part of God's character, which from what I can tell has been rather overlooked in this thread's previous replies, is that God is by nature a Saviour! Yes, He does have the right to kill as He pleases. But...

                            Yes, He is just. But He is gracious, merciful and forgiving to those who repent and turn from their sins to Him! This time we're living in now is a time of grace, in which He's allowing time for lost sinners to repent and be saved. Instead of asking how a loving God can take at will the life of anyone He pleases, why not ask how He can be so merciful to allow those of us who deserve eternal death (and we all certainly do) to live?
                            Amen...
                            Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by The Pixie View Post
                              Based on what?
                              Scripture

                              If he has the right of life and death, does it also have the right to lie to us? You seem to miss that issue, which is unfortunate as it is the point of the thread.
                              I don't know if God has the right to lie to us, but God can not lie. So the point is moot.

                              Scripture teaches all sorts of things that you already ignore, such as people going to hell.
                              I believe in hell, or rather the lake of fire. I just don't believe that it is eternal. Or what the "suffering" actually consists of.

                              A profound separation from God? He was talking to him hours later.
                              It has noting to do with whether God can or can not talk to us. It has to do with the Spirit of God dwelling in us.
                              Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                              Comment

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