There is only one God who created man and the universe. He loves us all and only wants a loving relationship with each of us.
So what's stopping him?
How can we be stopping him? He's omnipotent. You can't stop an omnipotent being from doing anything.
We have free will and He does not stand in the way of our free will. If He did we would all be robots and that isn't what He wants. He wants us to make the choice whether or not to love Him. That's how all genuine relationships are formed. You have to have the desire to be in that relationship
This created a separation from God for all future generations.
If so, then it's only because he wanted things to be that way. (Remember, he's omnipotent; it isn't even possible for something to be any way other than the way he wants it.)
That's not true bc He wanted to give us free will.
And being omniscient, he knew how we would choose, which makes him responsible for everything that has ever happened or will ever happen. If, ten million years from now or whatever, the field of genetics has advanced to the point where you can determine, with 100% certainty, that any children you bear will turn into mass murderers, then any murders that happen as a result of your deciding to bear children will be your fault, not your children's, because you had enough information to know that you should not have procreated in the first place. Same with Yahweh and the universe.
Yes He did know how we would choose but in His infinite wisdom created the most amazing way for us to be reconciled with Him, through trusting and believing in His Son Jesus Christ.
It does not however make Him responsible for everything. Just because He knows what's going to happen doesn't make Him responsible. He is a faultless and blameless perfect loving God. As I've said He created the best possible formula for creating the most love between Him and His creation as possible and that includes evil, death, and everything else in this world. It's important to note that he did this while also causing the least amount of suffering and pain, and yes I know all about the Holocaust and other horrible things.
The analogy you give is faulty because there isn' tremendous love, beauty and life created when because of those babies being born.
He didn't just want a bunch of robots walking around worshipping Him. He wanted people to worship Him under their own free will. He wanted them to accept the free gift of salvation willingly.
Saying "worship me or I'll set you on fire for all eternity" is not a choice.
This forum is proof that it is.
It's our free will that created that separation
Nope. Adam and Eve did it. Yahweh is just punishing everyone for it. It absolutely amazes me that Christians can believe that this is just. If you were given the electric chair because you had an ancestor in Sparta who murdered someone, you would be outraged beyond the power of language to express, but you think Yahweh doing the same thing is fair and proper? Sorry, no -- I absolutely refuse to take responsibility for anyone's actions other than my own, and if Yahweh insists on doing otherwise, well, then -- he's an asshole.
Adam and Eve were simply the first ones, they created the initial separation. Every person and generation since has decided and chosen to follow in that rebellion and sin including me and you. I don't even understand what the big deal is since Jesus has died on the cross, and all you have to do to make this all moot is ask Him into your life and repent of your sins.
but out of His abundant grace (unmerited favor) He sent His only Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sins to give us each a second chance individually. It's the best deal of all time.
It's not a "second chance" for us because we never even had a first chance. And, again: Yahweh could have just said, "I forgive everyone". So much easier. No misery or suffering required by anyone.
Your premise is wrong. God owes us nothing. We are the creation, He is the creator. Imagine the clay arguing with the potter. You act as if the second chance requires you to cut off your arm. It's the best deal ever, He dies for your sins and you get eternal life.
If He was to just wipe the slate clear that would cheapen Him and the relationship He wants with each of us. True love comes from getting to know someone, through struggle and hard times, through working at the relationship and a relationship with Jesus is no different.
And by the way, why are so many billions of people being penalized because two people ate a piece of fruit? Even if you hold that eating fruit is evil, shouldn't the only people who get punished for it be the ones who actually eat the fruit?
Because before that there was no sin. When they sinned, the world was poisoned by sin. It was no ordinary event. Instantly Adam and Eve knew they were naked, knew the difference between right and wrong, and in turn started acting as God the same way we do today.
That's not an answer. Please explain, clearly and explicitly, why you believe it is just to penalize anyone for the actions of their ancestors. You know, I hate to go Godwin here, but Adolph Hitler has living ancestors today, and no one would think of giving any of them the death penalty or a prison sentence or anything for what Hitler did.
Firstly God owes us nothing. Secondly if Hitlers ancestors acted as he did they would be punished, the same way we're punished because we act in the same way our ancestors did.
In order to restore that relationship God sent His only Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sins.
Why? Why didn't he just use "Cosmic White Out" or something and erase the mistake that Adam and Eve had made? Remember, again: talking about an omnipotent being, here.
Bc this is the most effective way for Him to show His grace.
Seems like it would be a lot easier and less painful for him to simply forgive everyone and create a global sign for everyone to see and understand -- not to mention more effective. If the method you describe is so effective, why are two-thirds of the people on the earth not Christians?
It may be easier but like I've said many times, it wouldn't create as much true love between the creator and the created. It's not about quantity, it's about quality. The lack of Christians is not an indicator of quantity and quality of love being exchanged between the creator and His children. I can tell you from personal experience if God did as you suggested I would not love Him as much or as deeply. It would be cheap easy love.
Which in turn creates a situation where His created beings can't even comprehend how much He loves them and in turn if they're willing will love Him all the more. This world is really a perfect formula for creating as much love between God and man as possible.
Again: "love me or I'll set you on fire forever" is not a choice, and even if it were, it would not be a choice offered out of love. When a human being does something like that, we usually call him a stalker or a maniac or something.
On the third day Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to about 500 different people over 40 days.
Sorry, no. That is not evidence, that is the claim.
No that's evidence http://carm.org/manuscript-evidence
God's only requirement for restoration and eternal life (as Jesus experienced as the first example and proof of what we can expect) is that we believe that He sent His only Son to die for our sins in our heart of hearts.
Why have a requirement at all?
Bc this is part of the perfect formula. The above requires people to humble themselves and to seek out the truth even the whole world is telling them the opposite.
Why is that so important? Oh, here we go:
Bc what perfect being wants to have a relationship with a know it all, prideful, egotistical, sinner.
If He gave it away it would mean nothing to us. Only things that are earned through trusting and having faith in something or someone is worth anything.
That's not true. I'll admit that when you work for something, it does often "taste sweeter" than if it's just handed to you, but if someone gave me a free Lamborghini, I would still value it. A lot.
But a perfect God would never do something not perfect. So you kinda proved my point here.
In order to give no one an excuse, He gave us the Bible, personal testimonies, our conscience, the obvious proof of creation, and periodically exposing most of us to the Gospel throughout out our lives.
Obviously, there are excuses. The bible does not emanate any kind of divine influence or inspiration, personal testimonies are meaningless, conscience is largely a product of evolution, there is no evidence that the universe was created, and as far as reading the gospels go, well... it may interest you to know that when I finally sat down and read the entire bible cover-to-cover last year, it served only to cement my rejection of Christianity. If what you're saying is true, that shouldn't even be possible, should it?
There's excuses here, but none when you come face to face with God on the final judgement. All of the things you listed are only that way bc of your potential preconceived notions, hardened heart or unwillingness to give it a chance .
You do not know that. I've been studying such matters for about a good 25 years now, so I'm not simply dismissing them because I'm not interested or anything.
And in the end, if, as you say, I end up coming face to face with Yahweh for a final judgment, well... my only comment to him is going to be, "If you wanted me to believe in you, you should have made your existence just a tad more obvious. The fact that I spent my life not believing in you is your fault, not mine, and now you're going to set me on fire for all eternity because of your mistake?"
-The Bible doesn't emanate anything to you bc you wont let it.
-Personal testimonies are only worthless to atheists when they involve Jesus Christ. In all other arenas they're critical.
-There is no such thing as macro evolution. http://www.blogos.org/gotquestions/young-earth-creationist.php http://www.blogos.org/compellingtruth/evolution-facts.html
- If the universe wasn't created what happened? What caused the Big Bang? As Bill Craig says "To suggest that things could just pop into being uncaused out of nothing is to quit doing serious metaphysics and to resort to magic.
- Yes it's very possible. As I've said many time, it's not about reading the Bible, it's about what kind of heart you read the Bible with. If you read it in a skeptical way there is no power in the Bible. But if you read it in a humble, honest, searching for truth way, it's the most powerful thing on Earth.
I can tell you have an open mind and are genuinely looking for truth. I promise if you keep looking in a humble way, It will find you.
He made it blatantly obvious and He'll show exactly how. The Bible says we will have no room to argue and we wont even try. The reason for that is, God doesn't send us to hell, we send ourselves to hell. He simply respects the decision that each of us make while we're on this Earth.
It's not about reading the Bible it's about what kind of heart and mind you read it with. All research should be done with a mind and a heart and an eagerness to be proven wrong. Most research should be done on things that go against our current understanding, beliefs or positions.
I'm not "eager" to be proven wrong... I doubt that very many people are. However, when presented with proper evidence, I am perfectly willing to do so.
Reading the entire bible was, in fact, "research done going against my current understanding, beliefs, and positions". That's almost quintessential for an atheist, really. And, as I said, it served only to cement my rejection of Christianity. As Astreja sometimes likes to say, "If you want me to believe that what this book says is true, please show me a snake that can talk. Until then, we don't have much to discuss." One could say the same thing about all kinds of other things for which there should be significantly more evidence (e.g., the exodus -- there should be tons of evidence of that if it happened, and there's actually none at all).
If you keep searching for evidence with the heart you display here you'll find it.
I agree with that the research you did was done against your world view but did you do it in a humble, wanting to be proved wrong way? That's how true scientists do their research.
Because God refuses to show you a miracle doesn't mean he doesn't exist. Remember it wouldn't be a perfect formula and their wouldn't be free will if He didn't let the skeptic have a leg to stand on. A very weak leg, but still a leg. The weakness of that leg will be embarrassing for many at the final judgement.
For the people who choose not to believe He will simply respect the decision we made here on Earth and allow us to continue on to hell.
You cannot "choose to believe" something. (If you doubt this, try "choosing to believe" that I have a pet unicorn in my closet.) That being the case, Yahweh's salvation test is even more unjust than it would appear at first glance.
It's true that you can't choose to believe something that isn't true
You cannot "choose" to believe anything at all, whether it's true or false. The human mind simply does not work that way. Beliefs arise in human beings by various methods, probably the two biggest ones being childhood indoctrination and being presented with evidence. Simply choosing to have a belief, however, is not possible.
Just Google " Christian Apologetics" and that will quickly become clear. Google "Fine tuning of the universe" or "the moral arguement for God" Or "William Layne Craig".
I urge you to use caution when saying things like this. The people at this site are far more erudite regarding this topic than you appear to realize. We know who William Lane Craig is -- notice, for example, that I even know how to spell his name, which you do not. We're also quite familiar with the fine tuning argument, the moral argument, and probably everything else about apologetics that has ever been discussed.
We are not atheists because we haven't examined such arguments. We are atheists because we have, and found them lacking.
The most brilliant atheists understand that there is a world of evidence of God
Obviously we don't, or we wouldn't be atheists.
the crusifixian and almost all events in the Bible.
Actually, very few of the events written about in the bible can be verified. And:
Nothing in the Bible can be proved false.
This is simply not true. Geological evidence shows that there was never a global flood. The Sinai desert was not occupied by two million people for forty years. Snakes and donkeys cannot talk. On and on and on.
I disagree and so does the good doctor. http://www.creationscience.com/onlinebook/
I'd challenge any of them to tell me that they're felt the Holy Spirit or had a relationship with God.
Then you'd better be ready to face a good deal of hostility. I've seen their reactions when they are told that they "weren't really Christians" or "didn't really feel anything in their hearts" or anything else along those lines. They get pretty angry. And I don't blame them.
Well what did they feel? If they were real Christians they know Jesus is God. You can't unbelieve the truth. You can't put the genie back in the bottle. You can however feel like the God you know is real didn't treat you fairly and grow hostile to said God.
Religion is the great deceiver!
THAT'S for sure.
But I have to ask why would a quote from a fiery tale make someone uncomfortable or offend someone?
It's hard to explain, and different people probably have different reasons. For my own part, it sounds condescending, and I don't like being spoken down to. I'm an intelligent man who has spent many years thinking about and examining such matters -- I mean, jeez, I majored in philosophy, for crying out loud, so when I hear someone saying that they "hope my eyes will be opened" or something like that, it sounds to me like I'm being spoken to like a naive, inexperienced child, which I most definitely am not. It would be kind of like expecting a dentist not to know what wisdom teeth are, or something.
That seems a little defensive to me. In order for what they're saying to be offensive you would have to know everything. The reality is you don't currently know the truth and those people are actually telling you something you need to hear badly. You are one of the few who doesn't have convenient friends.
I hope to be on again soon. Until then I want everyone to know that I really appreciate and find value in this dialog. I really appreciate the respectful way everyone has handled this conversation. I also want to apologize for some of the things that I now know to be offensive and I will do everything in my power to not have it happen again.
I'm glad you're here, and I hope you're finding the conversations interesting and informative.
Responding to your respectful dialog has been really exciting and fulfilling for me.