8 Comments
  1. Why would anyone want to follow a God who would ask you to harm yourself and/or your family? I, myself, would never and could never willing harm myself or my family because God told me too. I don’t care what kind of faith you have. Because even that chance (and with faith comes that chance) that harm could come to me or my family, is not a chance I am willing or able to take for anyone or anything. And to be quite frank, anyone that would or could do that to anyone, especially his own family, sure the hell shouldn’t be blessed for it. I don’t know about you, but I would never look at my father with any kind of love or respect after watching him tie me up and then stare down the blade of the knife he is about to murder me with. I don’t care who told him to do it. “Love you too Dad… hey… want to go fishin’ now that you’re done trying to kill me and all…. huh?!” Anyone else have a problem with this, or is it just me…
    Troy

  2. I understand where you’re coming from Troy, and that this story of Abraham about to sacrifice his son is hard to swallow. I can’t imagine what it would be like if it were me in Abraham’s shoes. One thing to emphasis in the story however, is that Abraham did not believe his son would remain dead if he were to go ahead and sacrifice him. God had already promised that he would make him a great nation through this specific child Isaac. It is important to note then in this story, that Abraham seemed confused about why God would ask him to do this, but he reasoned that God could raise people from the dead…which he assumed God would do with Isaac because God had promised Abraham that he would make him a great nation through his son Isaac. How then, could God follow through with that promise with Isaac dead? The point here is that Abraham believed God was going to follow through with his promise, and in order for that to happen, Isaac would have to be alive. With this information, if you were in Abraham’s shoes would you not see the whole situation quite differently? Why make it out to be an act of murder? Abraham believed God, he trusted him, he obeyed him and acted out of faith, believing that God would follow through with his promise with Isaac…in which he absolutely did!! I imagine it would have been hard for a child to understand this, and I know it would definitely trouble a child to know that his father was about to murder him, but surely God had prepared his heart and redeemed the entire situation. Surely God had used it all for good and blessed them both. I don’t know how, but I don’t believe God would have left Isaac with a bitterness toward his dad. Perhaps God gave him incredible understanding, to see the situation for what it really was. Knowing God’s nature and the purpose of his request to Abraham, it gives me confidence that God must have somehow worked it out in both of their hearts to move forward without bitterness. In fact, I am apt to believe that Isaac was better for it, that he benefited from it, as crazy as that may sound to you!! Witnessing his father’s incredible faith and God’s rewarding hand must have really made an impression on him. I truly don’t believe God would have left the two of them with a shattered, broken, and un-restorable relationship.

    “Abraham was as good as dead, yet from this one man came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.” Hebrews 11:12

    “By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered Isaac-he who had received the promises was about to offer his unique son in sacrifice, about whom it had been said, “It is through Isaac that descendants will be named for you.” Abraham was certain that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did get Isaac back in this way.” Hebrews 11:17-19

  3. “Why would anyone want to follow a God who would ask you to harm yourself and/or your family?”(Troy)

    I’m interested in knowing what the ‘god’ your comfortable following looks like…
    If we are really comfortable in serving God, is He really God or just a religious fabrication and crutch that philosophers have vilified “Christians” as following. Too often, though history, religious institutions have propagated a god they are comfortable following and outlining what this god looks like…(now I’m wading in deep)ie. Catholicism, Islam, and in other instances contemporary ‘christianity’.
    Personally, I’m not interested in serving a God I can explain or am comfortable with. While I could spend massive amounts of time and dialogue doing an exegeses of the scripture in order to explain why God would act in a certain way, it is primarily helpful to deepen personal faith and understanding rather than use as a tool to argue theology.
    I would encourage everyone to search the scriptures and ask that God would reveal himself to you in a genuine way.
    God has promised us in Jeremiah 29:13 “You will seek me and you will find me when you seek with all your heart.”

  4. to everyone…. i don’t understand why you always use bible scriptures to prove anything or tell me to use it to research god…. obviously, the bible, the book of christianity, is going to say that christianity and god is true…. if it didn’t, it wouldn’t be a very good book of christianity… and this goes for every religion out there that has it’s own book….. so it really doesn’t matter what it says in the bible to a non believer of that or any religion…. they have books out there about evolution, for example… many people believe them to be true and if one of them just told you that it says so in the book, Evolution is the Only Truth (i just made that name up… i have no idea if its a real book or not), would you just say okay… since ‘your’ book says so? and i still think its pretty jacked up to ask someone to kill his family to prove his faith and even more jacked up that the dude was willing to do it… thats where i’m at…. it would seem that i’m just comfortable following no god at all… i think i’ll just go about my day to day business and just be happy the way it is because i am the sort of person that wants and needs to understand… i guess we’ll all find out the truth when we die…. if we even find it out then…. we shall see, i suppose….

  5. Except that the Bible was written by over 40 different authors and over the span of 1,500 years…not by one or two men in the span of just a few years. The scriptures in Hebrews were not written by the same person, nor during the same time as those in Genesis. Just something to chew on.
    Personally, I don’t see why it would be “fun” or even interesting to follow no god at all. The God I follow is an exciting God that seems to even have a sense of humor. My own life feels empty and depressed when I do not spend time with him. You can find so many reasons not to follow him…but until you have experienced a true relationship with him, you will not experience a truly fulfilling life and the joy that comes in following God.

  6. -It doesn’t matter if the bible was written over a span of 10,000 years by 457 different authors, my point still remains the same, you can’t use the ‘book of christianity’ to prove christianity.
    -We get to have our own varying opinions, we get to follow whatever god we like, and we even get to follow no god at all. You say that I will not experience a truly fulfilling life, and there I strongly disagree. Who are you to tell me that I am not or will not experience a truly fulfilling life? Is your life more fulfilling than my life because you follow god and I don’t? I don’t think so… You said that YOUR life feels empty and depressed when YOU do not spend time with god and that is great for YOU that spending time with god has made YOUR life fulfilling….
    Only we as individuals can decide what is truly fulfilling in our own lives…. You can tell me how god has fulfilled your life and that’s all well and good, but you absolutely can not tell me that my life will never be truly fulfilled, and expect me to think twice about anything else you say… just as I absolutely can not tell you the same about your life…
    What truly fulfills and brings joy to one, does not always truly fulfill and bring joy to another…

  7. If I may interject here…
    Troy – while I might agree with your first point, (using Bible to prove Christianity), no one on this conversation actually said that “the Bible said it, therefore it’s true”, if I’m not mistaken… I think the point is, on this matter at least, is that if I’m going to want to learn about Science, I pick up a book on Science… if I’m going to learn about How To Be A Clown, I’m going to pick up a book or read something on ‘how to be a clown’… If I’m going to learn anything about Christianity… where better to learn it from than the Bible?
    Now, this is our main source to learn about Christianity, how to live as Christians, and on and on… So, in effect, the argument here, in this context, on using the Bible to prove Christianity is sort of a smoke screen and misguided or at best misunderstood… If we want to discuss whether the Bible is legitimate or not, let’s do that… if we want to discuss whether Christianity is valid or not, let’s do that.

    Point 2 of yours: “We get to have our own varying opinions…” you stated. True. Opinions. My opinion clearly differs from your, and your differs from Bridgets here, and so forth… No one is arguing that.
    Experience for Christians generally (w/o getting in to symantecs) aligns with what the Bible says… (Not the Christianity of your favorite Westboro Baptist Church, or Jeremiah Wright, or the health and wealth folks etc…)
    Just to try to clear up a possible misinterpretations for you… I think the point Bridget was trying to make was that Christianity offers a fulfilling life. (Atheism does not, in my opinion.) Christianity speaks to the quintessential questions of life: Origin, Meaning, Morality, Destiny. Where did I come from, why am I here, what determins right/wrong, where am I going?

    Can you honestly, totally brutally honestly, sit there and tell me that YOUR life is fulfilled. You have total fulfillment in your life right now? I can’t sit there and say you do not, because I’m not you, but if you were honest with yourself, are you?
    “What truly fulfills and brings joy to one, does not always truly fulfill and bring joy to another…” – you stated… Here we have an entire problem of defining the terms, then, which will lead us down an entirely different path… so, if we want to discuss this, by all means [I’ll start another blog topic. 🙂 ]

    So back to the original point in your first comment you stated… “even that chance (and with faith comes that chance) that harm could come to me or my family, is not a chance I am willing or able to take for anyone or anything…” — You seem to have already decided, in words, that you are the central figure of your life, and anyone or anything will not interfere with this… With this decision comes much responsibility… so if you have total control over your life, buddy you go ahead and plow through life. You’ve made up your mind.

    One example and I’ll finish: Oscar Wilde, (author more famous for his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray), was a hedonist. He tried to live a life of wanton pleasure, seeking any way he pleased. He believed that pleasure was the point of living. Pleasure was the ultimate goal. You can even see it in his book The Picture of Dorian Gray… but, find me someone who has lived even this life who is fulfilled and truly happy in the end…
    I’ll leave you with one quote: “…Mr. Pearce believes there was a deeper reason: ‘The warring paradox at the center of his psyche was that he was emotionally attracted to faith but temperamentally tempted to doubt.‘ In other words, his heart said yes, but his head no. Surely there was another cause too: Wilde knew that any serious submission to (Christianity) would require him to give up his (lifestyle).*

    Could it be, that many times the reason for such hostility towards Christianity from people is not so much that they can’t figure it out in their heads, but rather being afraid of the inconvenience of having a changed life, a New life, if this Jesus is who He says He is?

  8. Troy, it seems like everybody is ganging up on you, sorry about that…I’m really enjoying our dialogue. I really appreciate your sincere questions and doubt. I was reading and reflecting on your original post…
    You stated, “I don’t know about you, but I would never look at my father with any kind of love or respect after watching him tie me up and then stare down the blade of the knife he is about to murder me with. I don’t care who told him to do it. “Love you too Dad… hey… want to go fishin’ now that you’re done trying to kill me and all…. huh?!” Anyone else have a problem with this, or is it just me…”

    Here’s the crazy thing, God actually did this to His own son. The whole purpose of the Old Testament and what God was up to was foreshadowing what He was going to do through His own son Jesus. What’s crazier still is, His son said, “I’ll do it.” I’ll take the punishment of sin, so they don’t have to.
    What’s crazier still is that Jesus told his followers that they should be willing to die the same way He was going to; and crazier still is they did! Sort of ironic answer to your statement, “I, myself, would never and could never willing harm myself or my family because God told me too. I don’t care what kind of faith you have. Because even that chance (and with faith comes that chance) that harm could come to me or my family, is not a chance I am willing or able to take for anyone or anything. And to be quite frank, anyone that would or could do that to anyone, especially his own family, sure the hell shouldn’t be blessed for it.”
    I believe William Wallace sums it up best when he says, “Everyone dies, not everyone truly lives.” I want to live the most amazing life possible. I’ve tried it without God, doing it on my own. Thing is I’m not the kind of person who is satisfied with settling for a pretty good life. So…in the exact opposite context of mental state as you, I am exploring the possibility of moving to the Philippines with my family (including 2 boys under the age of 2 years old); with an amazingly high risk of placing them at risk, not only to disease, but physical danger. Pretty exciting stuff, huh? That’s the kind of faith I have, not only that God would ask me to do this, but that’s He’s a big enough God to take care of us too. Not that’s living a fun life, not sitting back waiting for what bad thing could happen around the corner of life
    So you might say, that’s not a good argument, and I totally agree, not trying to argue, just pointing out some amazing irony, and giving you more ammo to have a problem with God. Here’s the cool thing, God’s okay with that and He loves you more than you realize. He made you and loves you as his own, and there’s nothing you can do to make Him stop loving you.
    You have the freedom to do your own thing. You can choose to be independent of Him, to live separate of His love. You might ask, “why would a “loving” God condemn a person to hell? I would ask, Why would a loving God force a person who doesn’t want anything to do with Him, live for eternity in His presence? Wouldn’t that be hell?
    Sorry if this seems like weird rationale…I just enjoy asking tough questions.
    PS. a great read that doesn’t use the Bible as a picture of God is “The Shack” #1 bestseller right now.

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