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Need an Ark? I Noah Guy

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As a kid, I loved the Noah’s Ark tale. I never cared about all the people that died. Never considered it. I guess they don’t teach you about that in Sunday School. When I was in my early teens I thought about it and dismissed it. God gave the evil people lots of warnings. It was their fault for being evil anyway. Now I see it as a sickening story that has to make one doubt the goodness of God’s character. How could he kill all those people? He’s all powerful. We know he could have come up with a way of redeeming them. But he killed them instead. “With great power comes great responsibility.” I don’t think God has the got the responsibility part happening yet.

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About Ellen Rose

Blogger curious about how travel helps us to lead more meaningful lives.

10 responses »

  1. Good point. Love the title!

    Reply
  2. I pretty much come from the oposite spectrum from you and I just want to say now that I just want to have constructive conversation with you right now. First, I remember reading Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis and I felt like the book partially answered the question for me. You can read the book for free here http://books.google.com/books?id=OF-YSMKCVwMC&printsec=frontcover&dq=mere+christianity&hl=en&sa=X&ei=nwr-UOSUAdGl2AWploCYBw&ved=0CEAQ6AEwAA#v=snippet&q=worth%20having&f=false.

    On page 48 I think it talks about free will. I can’t begin to say it as well as the book says it, but basically the problem is free will makes it so people can always chose God or not. So, God could have saved all people but it would require him to force them to love him, which isn’t real love. It is hard to explain for me. So, I will just leave a quote from the book and see what you think.

    “Free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having. A world of automata – of creatures that worked like machines – would hardly be worth creating. The happiness which God designs for His higher creatures is the happiness of being freely, voluntarily united to Him and to each other in an ecstasy of love and delight compared with which the most rapturous love between a man and a woman on this earth is mere mild and water.”

    p.s. I just scrolled through your site and wanted to say, that I am a Christian but I do not think that your virginity determines your worth. However, I want to have my virginity and be able to give it to my wife and only my wife one day. Sorry that was kinda long. Honestly, I don’t want to make you made or annoyed. I just wouldn’t mind having a meaningful conversation with you. Have a good one!

    Reply
    • criticofchristianity

      Thank you so much for the comment! I’ve been meaning to read Mere Christianity for a while. I read C.S Lewis’s The Great Divorce a few months ago because I have a lot of questions about Hell. It was a very interesting read. I did’t agree with a lot of what Lewis said, but he offers a very honest perspective and I love that. Although I found that some of his metaphors in that particular book were very difficult to understand! He does write beautifully though.

      Free will is something I really struggle with in relation to Christianity. Some of the ‘New Atheists’ are saying that free will doesn’t exist at all. Which is logical from a naturalistic perspective, but I find it difficult to accept. As your Lewis quote said, a world without free will wouldn’t be as wonderful. But if that is reality then I guess I’ll have to accept it at some point.

      I also am not sure I accept that God has given us much of a choice here anyway: Love Him or burn in Hell for eternity. I also don’t accept that one’s beliefs are subject to one’s will. I never wanted to become an atheist, but I could not continue to believe in a faith that I felt was wrong. I don’t feel as though I ‘rejected’ God out of my own free will. I just couldn’t feel any love for Him anymore. When I was praying I felt too certain that no one was listening.

      I also wonder that if God is really all-powerful, couldn’t he have figured out a way to give us free will without making evil possible? There’s meant to be no evil in heaven, so does that mean there will be no free will there either? I have no idea how to get answers to questions like these.

      I love to read Christian books and talk to Christians about all of this. Which may surprise you because I know a lot of atheists don’t. But I am trying to figure out these questions and dilemmas of Christianity. Thank you very much for helping me out.

      P.S. Fair enough, I totally understand why people would want to save it for marriage. I am so thankful that I saved mine for someone really special to me. I think that love and commitment are the most important critera for sex. But I don’t think it matters if there’s a ring on your finger or not. In the Christian worldview marriage is the embodiment of love and commitment, so it makes sense.

      Reply
      • You mentioned a lot of the things that I either struggle with now or have struggled with at some point. I think some of the things we just look at with a different perspective, which makes a big difference. For example, when you say, “I also am not sure I accept that God has given us much of a choice here anyway: Love Him or burn in Hell for eternity” there seems to be a very big arbitrary, dictatorial aspect to God, and it makes sense that many people would see God in such a way. I think I see it in a little bit different way.

        I see it more as if you and I are a in a burning house. However, we don’t know that it is burning or that there is no way out. Andrew my friend comes and makes a hole in the wall and screams, “Come out hear now or you are going to die!” Being that he is my friend, whom I know and trust I immediately go out and tell you to do the same.” You think we are both crazy and decide to stay because you don’t know Andrew, don’t trust Andrew etc.

        Now I know this is a stupid analogy and no analogy fits in every aspect of reality – that is why it is called an analogy. However I want to make some points:
        1. Andrew did not kill you because you didn’t come out. You died because you didn’t listen to Andrew.
        2. You thought Andrew was crazy because you didn’t know him. I knew and trusted him from shared experience, quality time, etc.
        3. Could Andrew have communicated better? Yes! I would hope that my real friend Andrew would. haha
        4. Could Andrew and I have dragged you out? I don’t know how strong you are, but he is pretty strong. So I think we could have.
        5. Whose fault is it that you died? Is it yours, mine, or Andrew’s?

        1. So, in point one I simply wanted to make the point that I don’t think it is so much that God delights in sending people to eternal damnation, but maybe that is just an unavoidable result of no choosing Him?

        2. I have been a Christian for about 18 years. Gone to Christian School; Church; Christian University; spent hours in prayer, fasting, reading my bible; spent 9 months in the foreign missions field etc. and I still feel like I barely know God. However, I feel that I know His character well enough to understand that the flood, hell, smiting of this or that people, creation of sex and rules about it etc. are not arbitrary, dictatorial actions.

        3. Is God a bad communicator? Or are we just bad listeners? Maybe after Andrew broke through your wall and said you are going to die you stopped listening to what he said after. Or maybe it is just difficult for an almighty God to communicate with people who do not have his understanding. (I know this seems contradictory but I will mention that later.) Did you know that the diameter of the Sun is almost exactly 400 times larger than the diameter of the moon? Did you know that the sun is almost exactly 400 times farther away from the earth than the moon? Did you know that this is the only reason that we can experience perfect solar eclipses? Could this just be one example of the fact that God has tried to show that he loves of through nature. (I realize that seems like a weird point put I just like that fact. I always thought that was cool.)

        4. Can God drag us out of this “burning house?” With the common understanding of God being all powerful, yes! I don’t think God is all powerful – at least not in the sense many people understand it. For example, can God sin? I believe he can’t therefore making Him not “all powerful.” I mean the Bible says that He is all powerful and that He cannot sin. I think what the Bible means is that God is all powerful, but cannot do anything against His own nature or the limits has put on Himself. For example, could God flood the whole earth with water today? No because He said he would never do it again. To me it is the same thing with free will. He will not make you choose Him. Also, I don’t think there is any way for Him to give you free will and make you choose Him. That is just plain manipulation, which is of course against His nature.
        5. Finally, whose fault is it that you died? I think that is all a matter of perspective.

        Again, I don’t want to be offensive I just think it is interesting to talk to people about this and since I go to a Christian University I don’t get much chance to do so with people that actually believe contrary to me.

        P.S. One last thought. If we look at everything from a naturalistic standpoint where I have no free will, I had no choice but to write this or think this. So, no one ought to get mad at me for it. Of course I guess they would have no choice either haha. So, please don’t be to harsh on me πŸ™‚ Sorry I took so long to respond. I started school again and got a girlfriend and there went my time to talk to random bloggers on the internet haha. Have a good one!

      • criticofchristianity

        Thank you so much for such a thoughtful response! Don’t worry, I won’t get mad or offended. I know a lot of atheists are really fierce and rude online, but I don’t ever want to be like that. So it’s all good, I really appreciate your honest opinions πŸ™‚

        You got a girlfriend? Congrats! The purity thing is about to get a whole lot harder then, haha! Best of luck with it all.

        Your analogy is very interesting and makes some great points!

        1. You’re probably right there. God can’t let us into his eternal presence if our sins haven’t been atoned for through Jesus. Which of course leads to the question: is God really all powerful he can’t do this? But I see what you’re saying about him being unable to do anything against His will or nature. Makes sense, but it’s difficult to reconcile an all-powerful God with a good God – if He’s good, then there are obviously limitations on what He can/cannot do. Therefore He’s not all-powerful. I find this a bit confusing.

        2. I don’t have the trust and confidence in God’s character that you do. I need more evidence to be able to believe that He is good and to trust Him. Most atheists ask for more evidence of His existence. I want more evidence of His goodness.

        3. I think we probably are bad listeners. But a ancient book written by (mostly) uneducated people in a desert somewhere probably wouldn’t have been my first pick if I was trying to communicate a message to all of humanity. I sometimes wonder why didn’t God wait a couple thousand years to send Jesus, then we’d be able to do a paternity test to see who his father actually was, we’d also know if he was truly raised from the dead, the miracles could be confirmed and mass media would make it universally known. Maybe then God wouldn’t be such a mystery and so inaccessible. Haha that’s really interesting about the sun and moon! I think it’s probably just a bit of physics and good luck though, not God’s design.

        4. I find it interesting that God cannot act against His own will or nature, but He expects us humans to act against out sinful nature and wills. We have a moral struggle which kind of makes it even more special when we are good. When God is good, it’s not a result of hard work or will power, it’s just God being God.

        Thanks again! I’m really enjoying our conversations.

        P.S. My dad is playing hymns really loudly right now, great background music for atheist blogging. Lol. And I bet I’ll be singing them all night, they’re so catchy. Aah!

  3. So when I go to comment on your virginity blog I can’t because of a firewall so I am goin got do it here, haha. I love this statement, “Any guy that refused to marry me because I’m not a virgin is obviously an ignorant dickhead.” I agree he would be.

    Reply
    • criticofchristianity

      Oh that’s weird that it wouldn’t let you, I’ll have to check that out. Haha thank you! A Christian that agrees with something I say! Hoorah!! πŸ™‚

      Reply
      • Haha, no worries that wasn’t your fault. I go to a pretty strict Christian university that has thick firewall. It just saw some flagged keywords. I will probably just send an email saying you are friend of mine, with some opposing views, that I like to talk with. Hopefully they will accept that. haha

      • criticofchristianity

        Haha oh okay, yeah hopefully! My school had a similar sort of thing. Drove me insane.

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