Christians: How do you respond to someone who believes God is capricious?
My first response would be to ask that person what examples can they think of that made them feel that God was acting in a capricious way? Sometimes people form opinions on misunderstandings.
With that being said there are a few scriptures that show clearly that God does not act in a capricious manner. For example in 1 Corinthians 14:33, 40 it states: "For God is a God not of disorder but of peace....but let all things take place decently and by arrangement." To be capricious would be the opposite of what these scriptures teach. God is unlike man who in general may succumb to lying or being hypocritical. A good example of God's order is how he created the universe. Everything is in it's proper place, even the earth and it's distance from the sun. A little closer and we would all be cooked, a little farther and we would all freeze.
The distance of the earth from the sun is not constant. It's true that our planet is in the best spot compared to the other planets, but the distance could change somewhat without much effect. Maybe that is why life evolved here instead of elsewhere.
DeepThought, the examples I was given for God's "capriciousness" are God telling Abraham to kill Isaac, the flood, the various cities destroyed in His wrath....
I am no longer Christian, but I was raised in a religious home, Catholic to be exact and sent to church daily and went to Catholic school etc. One of the first things that troubled me about my religion was just this.
Capricious is a bit of an understatement about God throughout much of the Bible. One minute he's smiting you for displeasing him, he's jealous, has tantrums and then without missing a beat, there are verses proclaiming "he" is a God of peace and love. Last time I checked violence and rage was not considered an act of love. We tell people all the time not to tolerate abuse - that it isn't love, but if it's God it's ok?
I mean no disrespect - but I always felt "God's" emotional turbulence to be mysteriously like that of mankind. In fact, that also led me to the conclusion that mankind created God - not the other way around. An infallible supreme being would have no reason to get so angry all the time. I get mad at my kids - I might yell once in awhile, but I'd never damn them for eternity, burn them to a crisp, make their offspring suffer for their crimes, or drown them in a flood for example.
When God was mad - he wasn't just a little annoyed, he really went overboard. I'm sorry, but that doesn't sound like a supreme being to me - it sounds like someone who needs an attitude adjustment and a lesson in humility - kind of like the bible claims we humans do .
God in the Bible, particularly the old Testament, is extremely capricious.
God is constant and God is love.
Everything in the Bible which seems to contradict this is misunderstood. Everything!
First of all, the Bible (Pentateuch) was written by Kabbalists in code. So, there are plenty of misunderstandings from that, right off the bat.
But God wants only for us to have pleasure. Our distance from Him is what gives us suffering. Every instance in the Bible of God's wrath or vengeance are merely the physical laws He created colliding with our own decision to break His laws of Love.
First amongst these crimes is self-concern. This is Ego -- separation -- selfishness -- the opposite of love.
Also, take Noah's Flood. God "murders" 99% of humanity. Really? If the Flood really happened, we now know what the real date was -- 27,970 BC -- right when one very specific species ceased to exist (the daughters of man). The Flood apparently protected the investment of Homo sapiens -- the physical vessel for God's non-physical, spiritual, but sleeping children.
Every variance of God is really only a variance in our selves.
God is the same today as he was in the beginning and he will remain the same. There is so much cherry picking going on as far as the Bible. People choose verses to serve their own agenda. When reading these verses one must read the whole chapter and know who God is talking about and who he is talking to. I do not believe our God is capricious at all. Every prophecy in the bible has been fulfilled to this point. All other prophecies will come to fruition. In fact, they are happening right under our noses. God is the father... just like your earthly father... at times God must get your attention. Be it through many things. Most of the time God is blamed for things by people who do not even believe in him.
Whether all prophecies have been fulfilled to this point is certainly debatable. Using later Biblical writings to "prove" earlier Biblical writings is suspect. That's like asking an oil corporation to prove whether it is trustworthy or not.
What Robert?? With all due respect.. that makes no sense. Please explain?
I'll try to make it simpler. For instance, to say that Jesus' virgin birth was fulfilled prophecy is not evidence. It's not provable that Jesus indeed was born of a virgin and had fulfilled the prophecy.
Robert... of course that is your opinion and you are certainly entitled to believe what you choose to believe.
True it's my opinion...but it's an opinion based on common sense that you have no factual answer for. You believe it without evidence. If you have historical evidence, I would be interested in seeing it.
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