63 to 75 of 100 Tough Questions Answered
63. Is God a psychotic serial killer ?
This accusation is laid at many a Christians feet by non-believers who cannot grasp that a loving God would command His people to put to death men, women, and children of those who belonged to heathen nations. They usually like how God is portrayed in the New Testament but revile the how He is depicted in the Old. They consider the Old Testament version as some sick despot who is thoroughly blood thirsty.
What non-believers forget is that love disciplines and punish those who are bad. It does not allow people to do what they want when, they want that would not be love but spoiling a person. Then what they do not realize is that the God of the New Testament is going to do what He has done in the Old; He is going to punish those who do not belong to Him. Revelation 20:15 tells us that ‘those whose names were not found in the book of life were thrown into the lake of fire.’
God is not a mass murderer, He is not a blood thirsty despot, He is not cruel what He is doing is being consistent with His word and who He is. If Cain was punished for his sin of murdering his brother, then God will punish other people for their sins and God has done so throughout the ages. The flood, the death of David and Bathsheba’s first child, those who rebelled against Moses’ leadership, and so on.
God punishes people for their sins but non-believers ignore the fact that God has given people much time to repent and change their ways. The Epistle of Peter tells us that Noah preached for 120 years and did not get one person to repent and join him and his family on the ark. The Old Testament had Melchezidek and prophets, plus Israel’s reputation of having God on their side,(many times the heathen nations mention that fact) yet they do not repent of their evil ways thus God punished them.
Even children get punished if they do not repent, sin is sin no matter who commits it and if they do not repent then God’s judgment comes. God would not be just nor God, if He allowed people to escape punishment without following His rules. The rules apply to all and all have the ability to freely choose which path they will follow.
Thus God is not some wicked ruler who relishes in punishment of His creation, He has provided all opportunities for people to turn from their sins and follow Him yet people reject those overtures so God must punish. The secular world doesn’t want a God who is just and fair, they want a god who let them do what they want and then give them the rewards as well. That is not right and it won’t happen with God, God will punish whether the secular world likes the method used or the person being punished or not.
The Old Testament punishment is also an example, a lesson for those who follow, warning the of what will come if they do not change their lives. Unfortunately, most people do not heed the warnings and continue to sin.
64. Does God Repent?
We read in Gen 6:6 ‘and it repenteth the Lord that He made man’ and it is easy to be confused if one is not a believer. The problem that comes with people who read the Bible is that they attach the most common definition to every usage of the same word, they attach their own definition to the biblical words or they just do not know that words have many meanings attached to them and one must do some research to discover the correct meaning of the word used.
Often, the word ‘repent’ means to turn from sin and embrace Jesus and receive salvation but if we attach such a meaning to this passage or many others which speak of God ‘repenting’ then we would be saying that God sinned and was in need of a savior, demoting Him from being God and throwing out His message to the world.
But if we look up the word ‘repent’ we will see that one of the definitions is: feel or express remorse (Oxford English Mini Dict.). God certainly can feel remorse and not sin and it does not mean that He sinned when he created man or that He shouldn’t have done it or that He erred in creating man BUT simply it means that He was remorseful, sad that He did so because man rejected Him for other pleasures.
God does not repent because He committed a sin, He becomes sad because what He loves ignores Him and turns to things inferior to Him and His rewards.
65. Why do the Subscriptions on the cross differ in all the gospels? Is this not a contradiction?
In Mat. 27:37, Mk. 15:26, Lk. 23:38 & Jn. 19:19 The gospel writers have recorded what was on the parchment Pilate wrote to be placed above Jesus on the cross. The quotes are not 100% the same and opponents use this to claim that the Bible makes mistakes as it contradicts itself. Yet upon closer scrutiny, the Bible does not contradict itself as the following shows the many similarities between the accounts: 1. Pilate wrote the words, 2. There was a subscription, 3. It was placed on the cross, 4. It referred to Jesus, 5. It was placed over Him, 6. They all contained the words ‘King of the Jews’
With this many similarities it is impossible to call the accounts contradictions. A contradiction would be if Mat. said there was a subscription placed on the cross with those words and Luke said there was not. Why do the quotes vary in reference? First, if all four contained the exact same words, the opponents of the Bible would accuse the Biblical writers of editing, collusion, copying and that only 1 person probably wrote the Bible.
Second, this proves that 4 different men wrote the 4 different books and they quoted what they felt was relevant to their narrative. We know that different authors throughout history using the same sources will differ in their quotes, even if they are quoting the same text. Why, it all depends upon their point of view, their focus, how it fits to their narrative and we see no charges of contradictions placed upon these men. It is a double standard that leads many opponents of the Bible to make such ridiculous charges against the Biblical writers.
66. Why did God command Abraham to sacrifice Isaac?
Simply it was a test of Abraham’s faith and as God said in Gen22:12 ‘…Now I know you fear God because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.’ Many people do lip service to God, even in the Old Testament times and they say they fear, follow, obey God yet when the time comes to prove it, they vanish or find some excuse to not prove their words.
Abraham proved his words by going to the point of raising the knife in obedience to God’s command and in so doing, God rewarded him many times over. We do not obey God for the rewards but we do as Abraham did, we obey because God commanded it without questioning Him or complaining but use the same faith Abraham used.
67.Did Jephthah really sacrifice his daughter?
We read in Judges 11:30 that Jephthah made a vow to the Lord and we know from the New Testament that God takes vows very seriously and warns us to ‘not make a vow if one cannot keep it’ (from memory). If anything the example this story gives us is that we need to be careful of the words we say and the promises we make. One should not be hasty and say things in hopes of escaping the promise after one receives what they want. Too often , as above, people only pay lip service to God and this story should also be used as a warning that God will hold people to their words no matter how precious the item is that they offer up to God.
Now some people will argue that the Bible doesn’t say he actually burnt her but that is looking for an escape for the girl as the Bible clearly states in 11:39 ‘…and he did as he vowed…’ What is important here is not that the girl was burnt BUT that Jephthah kept his word to God, something all people should do.
68. Did the Bible err in recording Stephen’s words?
Many critics of the Bible use Stephen’s reference to Abraham’s Sepulcher as proof that the Bible erred or made a huge mistake. Yet was it really an error by the Bible or by Stephen? The Bible records many things, evil thoughts, plans, deception (Delilah comes to mind here) yet are those sinful things made holy and right simply because they are recorded in the Bible?
No, of course not. The Bible is infallible and what is recorded does not mean the sinful acts are purified and correct but that what was said, what took place and what was conceived was recorded perfectly and actually took place. The recording does not justify the sin, it just lets us know what took place and that we can have confidence in the Bible that it is giving us the true account of what took place.
Thus if in Stephen’s speech he made an error, it does not change what Abraham did or that the Bible contradicts itself, it simply means that those were the actual words Stephen used. R.A Torrey, in the same book quoted above, states :
But even allowing for the moment that Stephen was mistaken in this case, it would prove nothing whatever against the divine origin of the Bible or its absolute inerrancy, for Stephen is not one of the authors of the Bible. He was not a prophet or an apostle. It is true he was a Spirit-filled man, but he was not the writer of a book in the Bible. The inspired author of the Acts of the Apostles records that Stephen said these words, and if these words that Stephen uttered had been mistaken, the record that he said them would still be correct. It would be God’s Word that Stephen said this, but what Stephen said would not be God’s word. The one who contends for the divine origin of the Bible and its absolute accuracy is under no obligation whatever to prove the accuracy of every statement that every speaker in the Bible, even every Spirit-filled speaker, is recorded as saying.
Torrey, R. 1998, c1996. Difficulties in the Bible : Alleged errors and contradictions. Woodlawn Electronic Publishing: Willow Grove
69. How can we deal with the difficulties of the Bible?
In his book ‘Difficulties in the Bible? R.A. Torrey asks this question and provides a very good answer with 7 points. I will not reproduce all the specifics here but simply provide the 7 points. If you want the details please buy his book.
He states that when one faces these difficulties one should tend to them; 1. with honesty, 2. humbly, 3. determinedly, 4. fearlessly, 5. patiently, 6. scripturally, and 7. prayerfully.
By doing so and investigating carefully, one will, with God’s help, find the solutions to the problems. One should be careful not to be satisfied with the glib answers or the word plays that are found in Mr. Torrey’s book but to look to God to help them find the correct answer and that it will satisfy both you and the those who may ask you about them.
70. How old is man?
Secular scientists claim that man is millions of years old which is in direct contradiction to what the Bible says. They base their claims upon fallible dating systems and other methods which are far from perfect and easily corrupted, manipulated and vulnerable to nefarious schemes. None are based upon anything solid or of God.
Even those who study the Bible do not always base their findings on accurate methods or ideas, but like the secular world use assumptions or leaps to conclusions to guide their work. Bishop Ussher is a prime example of this as he assumed the genealogies were consistently father to son.
The Bible does NOT give us an exact date when man was first created. it is not germane nor important, what is important and German is that God created man and it was not done through some secular person’s idea of a process.
What would we gain by knowing the exact date of man’s creation? Will it change any events? Our future? Our sinful natures and need of a savior? no, of course not and we are wasting our time trying to figure out something we are not to know. For some reason God has hidden that piece of information from us and the devil is using it as a distraction from what we really need to be worried about–our salvation and the salvation of others. There is no answer to that question so take your minds off that issue and turn to what God wants you to do.
71. What if there is no God? +
Then there would not be life as we know it. Anarchy would reign and be rampant as men would do what they considered right regardless of what other men thought for all ideas of morality and right and wrong would not be greater than another. Which means that there would be no concept of right and wrong and men could do as they please without worry of punishment, discipline or imprisonment.
By removing God and His Higher standard of morality, His definition of right and wrong there is no ideal to meet or be judged by plus there would be no moral legal code to produce the proper punishment for those who ‘violate’ another person’s rules. it would truly be, ‘the survival of the fittest’.
72. What if there were many gods? +
There would be no real right or wrong, the gods would be at war with each other, they would actually be more like humans than gods as they strived to make their views, their ways dominate over the others. Humans would be confused and would not know which god had the correct way and would either hedge their bets by accepting more than one god’s rules or just ignore the lot and live as they please.
If they were to actually get together and agree, who would be the supreme god to make sure all the rest stayed with their word? Whose ideas and rules would be followed? Would they have one objective or many? There are too many questions that arise with this idea and how could humans be secure knowing that at any time a god would rebel and change the rules?
Soon the coalition would break down or the humans would fight amongst themselves as to who was greater and so on. We would not have the world we know today if there was more than 1 god.
73. Does their have to be so much evil?+
No, but that is a choice that God has left up to His creation. They can choose to repent from evil, stop practicing sin, stop pursuing their own desires and from allowing greed and the other deadly sins from controlling their lives and choose to follow God’s ways. If that took place there would be less evil in the world, unfortunately, as the Bible says, ‘man loves darkness more than light.’ which means that evil abounds because men (and women) prefer it over God’s ways.
74. Are miracles possible, credible, scientific & historical?+
For possible- Yes as Jesus promised believers would do greater works and we have the gifts of the Spirit to help us.
For credible- Of course they are credible as long as they are done within the rules set by God and for His glory.
For scientific- Under the current rules of secular science, they are NOT scientific and science cannot nor is equipped to explain them. Secular scientists are continually baffled by the works of God and His miracles and tend to dismiss them because they cannot study a miracle.
For historical- Yes they are as the Bible is true and part of history. What Jesus and the disciples did actually took place and was part of the historical record. Miracles performed by God’s followers throughout the subsequent ages are also part of history as they did take place during man’s sojourn on earth.
75. How was the Bible written? +
As the Bible states the Biblical authors were inspired by God and they penned the words given them by Him. With the prophets of old we read the words ‘ and the words of the Lord came upon him…’ or something similar and it is made very clear that that the words spoken have their origin in God not the men who are His servants. Peter makes this clear as well when he said ‘we do not follow clever fables…’
The words of the Bible came from God who used different men to record them in the fashion He wanted on the materials He wanted. Since we do not have electronic recordings of these events, we cannot have imposters duplicating the style and deceiving people. God has also given us criteria on how to spot the phony prophets and false teachers, which would be made more difficult if they knew of the exact way God had done it with His legitimate writers.
© 2019 David Thiessen