The Character of God in the Bible

Do you think evolutionists are by definition unbelievers? I don’t go there.

That whole passage makes sense in light of what I quoted.

When people suffer, when people are murdered, don’t you want justice? How do you propose we find peace in the world? How do you propose we end evil?

I noticed that PD didn’t respond particularly substantially to my original points. Perhaps because it seems like we more or less agree on what this moral view is and what it implies. The above looks like exactly the view of morality I held for much of my life as a Christian. The sad thing is that there is no moral role for humans in the above view of the universe. As you say, literally any action could be rationalized in the present with appeals to some unknown and unknowable future good. I used to think of this God as a “cosmic utilitarian.”

What I eventually realized, though, is that this view seems to completely absolve humans of any responsibility to make independent moral judgments. All we must do is obey an all-powerful authority, and apparently without moral justification for that obedience. What you appear to be describing is essentially a pragmatic moral view, where humans obey God out of a selfish concern for our eternal fate. Ultimately, I found that view both personally and socially destructive.

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I may be human, but God is not, and God is omnipotent. That means it’s well within God’s power to communicate to us in such a way that we know with certainty it is Him. This isn’t a question of our power, but of God’s.

Would an omnipotent God be capable of telling humans to do evil things? Where does evil come from?

This is baseless. That entity could be malicious, or have both good and malicious characteristics.

You must tell us which God you are talking about, before we can even talk of whether that being is the origin of goodness.

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You ignored my question. If God told your neighbor to kill your family would you be OK with them being executed? It must be good because God commanded it, right? It’s well within God’s power to communicate such an idea to you neighbor, right? How would you tell if it wasn’t God talking to your neighbor but just your neighbor’s imagination?

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It is also well within the power of psychosis to convince us that we know with certainty that it’s God speaking to us. Fervent religious belief can have that effect, too. The bottom line is that you have assumed for yourself the right to decide whether to commit any act whatsoever. You’re the one deciding what God wants, and you’re the one choosing to act. History is filled with people who have thought this way. They are not a good company to join.

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I wonder why he is ignoring the question. If he believes God was right in killing the Egyptian firstborn kids, its not hard to publicly state he could shoot you if God told him to. He is avoiding the question because he knows the implications. Saying (and thinking) its right would make him no different from a suicide bomber who kills in the name of Allah.

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Humans obeying God out of a selfish concern for our eternal fate is not Christianity in the slightest. I can see why you’d reject that religion because it is proved false by logic.

Notice @PDPrice also liked my response, and you haven’t responded to it yet. The Character of God in the Bible - Peaceful Science

There is no such thing as an independent moral judgment. If you are acting independently of God, then you are by definition immoral. We depend upon God for our ability to be good.

All we must do is obey an all-powerful authority, and apparently without moral justification for that obedience.

Obeying God is, by definition, moral. No further justification is needed. If the Holy Spirit lives within you, then as you are progressively sanctified, your will will become more and more closely aligned with God’s.

Would an omnipotent God be capable of telling humans to do evil things? Where does evil come from?

Evil does not exist in itself, it is a corruption of what is good. Augustine laid that out very early on in the history of the church. Evil comes from rebellion against what is good. For God to tell someone to do evil God would have to contradict his own perfectly good nature, which cannot happen, just as the Scriptures say, God cannot lie.

Evolution is a godless doctrine by YEC standards, isn’t it? If you teach a godless doctrine, what will be your fate when Jesus comes?

Crimes should certainly be punished, but a large majority of non-Christians are nice people and haven’t harmed anyone, yet Jesus is going to kill them all. When he is done destroying their bodies, he will torture them forever in raging flames. Where is the justice in that?

I wouldn’t mind God wiping out extremists, rapists, murderers and other nefarious people. But he is also going to wipe out innocent unbelievers as well and that’s my quarrel.

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Well, evolution itself is obvious and observable. Evolutionists are scientists who affirm evolution as a valid scientific theory of origins. That isn’t an unforgivable sin.

We already are dying and will be dead someday.

You missed the passages where I said the Bible is clear any sin is worthy of death? Where do you draw the line on what is “nice” or not, if you decide that’s the line that should send some people to heaven and some to hell? Have you thought about why hell would be torturous? What makes something torture? What makes something the opposite of that?

How are you determining that they are innocent? What if they have murdered someone and you’re not aware of it? What determines what “nefarious” is?

Thanks, but that was so vague and disconnected from the actual text that I can’t interpret it. How about paring it all down to the murder of the Egyptian children? How do you interpret that story?

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Sorry, but that’s off-topic. You could start another topic if you want.

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David Berkowitz the Son Of Sam murderer said God told him to shoot to death all those victims. Were his actions moral since God told him to do it?

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God specifically wants to avoid this selfish obedience; that’s why God is so hidden. If God were plain to us at all times we would obey out of fear alone, not love.

However at the same time I do think it is wise to submit to God even for selfish reasons. I don’t think there is anything wrong with not wanting eternal torment! But God wants more than this alone. He wants genuine love.

Still wrong. I have granted that God has that right. Not me. I acknowledge God. You have decided to decide for yourself what is right or wrong, and to judge God by your standards.

The word “good” holds no meaning objectively, apart from God.

Calling something “good” is always an assertion. The only way that assertion ever holds objective status is if it comes from a position of authority. The government decides it is good to pay taxes. That same government has the power to enforce that assertion. If you decide it is not good to pay your taxes, your assertion will not matter in relation to the government. God is the ultimate government. God’s assertions about what counts as “good” trump everybody else’s, whether you like it or not.

But it also appears to be within Allah’s power to do the same, at least for muslims. How do you know you aren’t being deceived by someone with the power to convince you of a falsehood? Even certainty can’t be considered certain. All houses are built on sand.

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One of the best statements by you so far @thoughtful.

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In what way is God hidden, besides because of our sin?

Love of God is fear of God.

We obey out of thankfulness. There’s nothing selfish about that.

Let’s look at Romans 10

Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. 2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

Submission to God is faith in Christ’s righteousness. That’s not selfish either. It’s selfless. I think the way you’re stating things is confusing. Loving God will always be giving up self. I do agree that we gain more than we lose and become our true selves, but I still wouldn’t describe that as selfish.

Philippians 3

Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain[b] to the resurrection from the dead.

If that happened and I was able to report back to you folks I’d definitely do so. I like justification for my beliefs and encourage others to expect the same, and if I was ever in a position to offer others some evidence of the beyond (or even my own suffering) I’d like to think I’d actually take that opportunity pretty seriously. :+1:

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