Hey again, Justin.
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.
This sounded good to me back when I was a Christian and it still sounds good today. A pure and holy entity that loves me unconditionally and wants to bless me with immortality? I signed up. Well, my parents signed me up with Sunday school then
I signed up when I was old enough to comprehend baptism, the Trinity, hell and the whole nine yards. I put in a lot of years and a lot of effort into having a personal relationship with that god. I never heard Jesus though. He never spoke to me. I was never “called” to be baptized like my peers. But I eventually conformed, internalizing the norms of my small church community.
It’s been 14 years since then and I still haven’t heard from Jesus. I haven’t felt God’s presence. I haven’t been touched or moved by the Holy Spirit. According to people that share your belief Justin, God witnessed my fall from faith. He was there while I sat in church beginning to doubt his existence. He was there while I researched the origin of the Abrahamic religions, while I learned about the natural sciences, while I studied philosophy.
Complete and total absence. The Abrahamic god has visited me as many times as Enlil, Osiris, Odin, Baal, Marduk, Quetzalcoatl, and my Native American spirit animal- zero.
And when you say that your god wants a loving relationship with each of us, don’t you mean he wants a loving relationship only with people exposed to Christianity? The Christian god’s influence mainly operates in the Americas, Europe, Russia and South Africa. A poll would show that people in these densely populated Christian geographies feel and hear the Christian god. But in Hindu societies? They feel Vishnu. In Islamic societies? They feel Allah. In godless Amazonian tribes? They feel…no presence of a deity. I would be more impressed if Yahweh took some initiative and gathered followers such as those Amazonian tribes without word of mouth and other Spanish Inquisition-esque ways. If he really wanted a relationship with them surely he would reveal himself or “speak to their hearts” rather than let some missionaries take years trying to persuade them while the tribes elders are slowly dying off without knowing Jesus H. But I’m trailing off…
Isn’t it funny how the god of a person’s parents/leaders/peers has a high correlation to that same god being felt within their own heart?
He created a perfect atmosphere for Adam and Eve and had a perfect relationship with them until they severely damaged that relationship by sinning in the form of disobeying God.
This created a separation from God for all future generations.
That just isn’t love, Justin. At least not to me. I’m going to shorthand an analogy and make screwtape cringe here, but:
Before leaving the house one day, a loving man tells his two dogs not to chew his footwear. “No,” he sternly says while pointing at his fluffy slippers. He decides to leave the slippers on the floor within reach of the dogs. He then leaves the dogs alone for a few hours and when he returns finds his slippers torn to shreds. He proceeds to beat the dogs. One year later his female dog has a litter of pups. He beats them for what their parents did. And for the rest of the man’s life, he beats each new generation of offspring because of the original transgression.
This analogy isn’t perfect of course. It doesn’t quite grasp just how neglectful and careless Yahweh was, nor the level of control Yahweh had over the situation. And, depending on the Christian, if Yahweh has total omniscience then this throws one hell of a wrench into the story and free will must be examined.
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.
Ah, blood sacrifice. A little dated and barbaric, don't you think? But really- why would this matter? Why the need for belief? If what God has is actual altruistic love for us, we wouldn’t need to reciprocate and give him something like worship or belief. If I really loved someone and wanted to save another person’s life I wouldn’t demand something in return. I would just save them. Yahweh’s love for us is more like a mafia boss’ love: He’s got an offer we can’t refuse.
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.This isn’t true
. There are people that have lived and died on this earth that never had an opportunity to read the Bible, or heard personal testimonies, or even had the luxury to entertain philosophical questions. Don’t let your cushy First World life continue to cast the illusion that everyone will hear about a 2000 year old prophet from the Middle East. Or for that matter would even care about a 2000 year old prophet when their main concerns are along the lines of "Will I drink clean water today?" or "Will I be able to feed my child?"