Saturday, April 2, 2016
In Reply to Elvis Etah, "No, Your God is not great!”
The author starts by saying, “There are over 2,000 gods. Like 23% (and growing) of Americans I believe in none of them because no god is great and all religions are wrong (NGIGARAW).” Etah Elvis. The plurality of gods does not make all inauthentic. It is like saying that since there is counterfeit, no money is authentic. There are many counterfeits of Louis Vuitton handbags out there, but that does cancel the existence of genuine Louis Vuitton handbags. The mere presence of counterfeit tells you that there is an authentic one because counterfeit is the imitation of the original. In all religions, there is no god that claims that it was in existence or created everything, except for the Christian, God almighty. The burden is now mine to prove that God exists.
We will start with the Law or the Principle of causality which is defined as, “a principle in philosophy: every change in nature is produced by some cause.” It was based on this law that the Romans coined the phrase, “ex nihilo nihil fit!” which means “out of nothing, nothing comes.” Anything that has a beginning must have a cause. If there was nothing to start the creation, then nothing can exist. There must have been God existing. The next question I often hear is that “who then created God?” In other words, there must be an originating cause (Gen 1:1) and a continuing cause (Col 1:17). Consequently, God becomes the uncaused cause of the universe and all that belongs therein since He has no beginning. If the universe is that complex, there must be a designer smarter than the complexities. That again can only be an omniscient God.
Furthermore, when you go to every society, even the so called primitive societies, they all have a set of moral laws to govern them, and those laws are universal. There is not a single culture where, disobedience to parents, covetousness, theft, adultery, murder is not condemnable. In other words, eternity is in the hearts of all men, and there is a set of universal laws in the hearts of all societies pointing them to that eternity. If there is such a set of laws, then there can only be one Lawgiver. That Lawgiver has already stated clearly that “I am that I am!” (Ex 3:14). Herein He asserts himself as the First Cause from whom all things exist. He becomes the infinite that brings the finite. He created the world and set the time therein, making the time within the world he created. As such, it peters out the argument about when God created the world. Elvis Etah again says, “The god of the Christians who is usually hailed for all things good and absolved of all wrongdoing saw no need to intervene while our ancestors were plucked from their natural habitat, were transported like goods, raped, tortured, forced to work and even hanged!”Etah holds God responsible for slavery and all other evil on earth.
I may sympathize with him seeing that he is a victim of some circular fallacy which claims that if God is the creator of everything, and evil is something; therefore, God is the creator of evil. The difficulty is that he does not understand the nature of God and his creation. God is perfect, he made everything perfect, but he gave man a freewill. It is in that freewill of man that he goes astray and procures evil. For example, a father has a child, raises that child in everything good, but when the child attains the age of majority, he or she starts to misbehave. He or she was not trained in imperfection, but the freedom acquired from the age of majority has corrupted the child. Those who decided to engage in slavery did so on their own will.
Etah continues to query, “Why would ANY sensible Black person trust a doctrine that subjugates him/her like slavery did before?” It is essential to note that the institution of slavery was not inherently bad upon creation. The institution of slavery was meant to bail out the poor and war prisoners, so they could serve some time to compensate the victor or the victim and give them (the slave) an opportunity to regain the freedom lost (Lev 25). The idea of slavery starts right from when Abram had Hagar as a slave. Though it is called handmaid in translations, the Hebrew equivalent / shiphchah/ is slave girl or servant girl. This practice of helping the helpless whereby they were to be set free, quickly became an implementation of Survival of the Fittest when the Middianites rounded up people from neighboring tribes and sold them to Egypt. Consequently, Joseph was sold (Gen 37:28), and Samson became a slave (Juges 16:21). The new people in new lands usually posed a problem to their taskmasters. Thus, the law of natural selection was applied. What happened to Africans that they were taken into slavery by Westerners was not in any of this category. It was a misuse of the institution of slavery. The act of stealing other humans and selling them as slaves was greatly condemned both in the Old and New Testaments (Ex 21:16; Deut 24:7; I Tim 1:8-11).
If people were not stolen and sold, then the slavery of oppression would not have existed. It was pure evil and exploitative use of an institution, so it cannot be blamed on God. Simply because you have people misusing internet today does not mean that we have to blame the US Department of Defense, Advanced Research Projects Agency Networks (ARPANETS) for creating the first workable prototype. The intention was good, but you have people who have decided to use their freewill for evil purposes only. God, like the inventor of the workable internet prototype cannot be held responsible.
More so, Etah nitpicks on people praying and not receiving an answer. This whole paragraph is riddled with false doctrines which I have dealt with in my books, Common Mistakes In Theology volumes 1& 2. Permit me to list his worries out quickly and then make some quick rebuttal of the contradictions. He said:
There are many people who have said that I should respect their beliefs and I do agree. Have they kept it to themselves though? I have come to view those who trust in a god with a lot of suspicion (to be politically correct) because they are very manipulative. They tell you about "their" god with a hidden proselytizing agenda. That's how they offer aid in impoverished regions. There is always a "new testament" nearby. In meetings, we are forced to pray to god. At meals we are served a sermon before a meal. At wakes, we are told that our relatives are in heaven watching over us (and doing a poor job while we are at it). If one prays to god, and nothing happens, you are told that you lack faith (how condescending!) sometimes you are told that it is not god's time yet (they know the mind of god!). Religion and your god have a place in you only, take them everywhere you go, but if you bring them into the public place, expect anything. Etah
Christians cannot keep their faith to themselves because it will be disobedience to their God, since he tells them to warn the wicked and the righteous when they are going astray (Ezek 3:17-20), and he also commissions them to share the good news with the whole world (Mt 28:19-10, Acts 1:8). You cannot share the good news in silence. Offering aid and sharing the bible is feeding the people physically and catering for their souls too because "man shall not live by bread alone (Mt 4:4)." It is not a general Christian doctrine that the dead are watching over the living. The watching of people stops once the watchers are dead (ECCl 9:4-5, 10; Job 14:21 ; Isaiah 26:14). People who say that every negative answer you receive from God is because you lack faith lead the people astray. It is not every prayer request that God answers in our favor. He did not do it for Moses when he prayed to enter the Promised Land (Deut 3:23-26), He did not do it to Elijah when he was depressed and wanted to die (I Kgs 19:4-8), He did not do it for Job (3:3-6), and He did not do it for Jesus when he prayed to avoid the cross (Luke 22:42). There are 6 reasons why God does not answer every prayer request in our favor. You can check them here. Therefore, Etah Elvis is worried about issues he created himself.
Etah raised the objection that he is not made in the image of God because according to him, God is:
…racist, misogynistic, cruel, jealous (well..I can lie), petty, have an over-bloated ego, kill people for their foreskin, turn a woman into a pillar of salt, reward people with many wives, make things by mistake then destroy them, have a chosen people, ask you to honor a bad parent, authorize rape, test the love of my friends by asking them to kill their child, allow slavery..”
I will not put the cart before the horse, so I will wait for Etah Elvis to defend his perspective. It is strange how he concludes that because he asked questions and those to whom he asked the questions could not respond, then those things he worries about do not exist. If I asked Mr. John Kirikijim’s son if his father can raise up the dead and he says, “just believe,” does not mean that he cannot do it. You might be asking the wrong son, too. Simply because a Christian does not have an answer about God does not make Him nonexistent. You might be asking someone who is unread.
Finally, I smiled at the end when Etah Elvis claims that he is now wise for not reading the Bible. I will wait for him to show us that God does not exist with facts rather than subjective anecdotes.
Until then, It is hard for mere mortals to kick against the pricks.
St Arrey of Ntenako.
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