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Sunday, January 04, 2004                                                                                       View Comments

Ten questions presented to Christians

I recently read the Ten questions presented to Christians. I thought I'd give a shot at answering them if you're actually interested in hearing. I warn that it will be a long explanation, however, you did ask the questions.

1. Where is the justice in punishing us for Adam's sin? If the bible itself says that children will not be punished for the parent's sins (Deut. 24:16) That particular reference in Dueteronomy was pertaining to to law codes of the ancient near east, in some cases a son was permitted to be put to death in place of his father (e.g. Code of Hammurabi, Law 230), though again, no court records indicate that this was ever enforced. MOSES forbade such practices: each is to die for his own sin... I suppose I'll start by answering another question first. It's actually the second question asked. How could Adam and Eve ever have sinned if God actually created them perfect, even if they did have free will? If God created them imperfect, how could a perfect omnipotent being create anything imperfect?
Where in the bible does it say that when God created Adam and Eve that they were perfect? It says that He created man in his image but it never says that they are perfect.The setting was perfect but not man. Most of society believes that we are born innocent in nature and are corrupted by our environments thus causing us to sin. But if we are born completley innocent and perfect then how does sin develop in the first place? Where does sin come from? It comes from an active choice going against a command, hence disobedience. As with all God's subsequent commandements, there were positive blessings and negative prohibitions. All earthly goods and pleasures were at man's disposal, except this one tree which was FORBIDDEN. The Hebrew wording in verses 16-17 of Genesis chapter 2 states the command in strong terms: man culd eat freely from the other fruit, but if he ate from the forbidden tree he would surely DIE. So obviosly they were given a pretty blunt consequence for their disobedience should they decide. They had full warning of their reprocution. Why should we be held responsible for their actions you ask? The real question is do you think you would have made a better choice? We could never have been more perfectly represented than in the Garden of Eden becuase your representative was chosen infallibly by a perfectly holy, perfectly just, omniscent God. The punishment of Adam's sin is death. And obviously theres bitterness with you on that part. The question why do I have to be punished for someone elses wrong doing, to me, eludes to the fact that you don't want to die, or maybe you fear death? Because If you have turned your back on Christ, which by what I have read you have, I would be pretty afraid of dying too. It's hard to believe so-called ex Christians who's very faith relied on believeing that through one man the world can be saved but not being able to believe through one man we could be born into sin. I understand now why your faith could never have held up.

3. Why pray? If it changes God's mind then he is not sovereign. If it does not change God's mind then it is superflous. It is a sovereign God who not only invites us but commands us to pray. Prayer is a duty, and as we perform that duty, one thing for sure is going to be changed, and that is us.To live a life of prayer is to live a life of obedience to God. There's a differnce between asking for things and expressing a gratitude towards God which is the first step to things changing. But can our requests change God's sovereign plan? Of course not. When God sovereignly declares that he is going to do something, all the prayers in the world couldn't change God's mind. But God not only ordains ends, he also ordains means to those ends, and part of the process he uses to bring his sovereign will to pass are the prayers of his people. Also if you have any type of relationship with any person, be it God or you friends, family etc. Is it not logical to have some kind of correspondance with these people? How can I have a relationship with someone without ever communicating with them? And so we are to pray.

4. Why would a loving, omnipotent, benevolent God cause people to believe falsehoods so that he can condemn them? (2 Thes 2:11-12) It's obvious in this passage that these specific people being talked about here are people that have turned their backs on God. It says " They REFUSED to love the truth and so be saved." I wouldn't call it unloving. I would call this just. Where in the bible does God not give reprocussions for sin? And this sounds odd to you.

5.Why does Jesus quote a NON-EXISTENT verse of the Old testament scripture (John 7:38)? Is it possible that he considered other non-canonical writings also to be in God's word? The passage referred to is " Whoever believes in me, as the scriptures have said, streams of living water will flow from within him." The "non-existent" verse Jesus referred to as actually does exist in Zechariah 14:6-10.

6. Which " Ten Commandments" are the Ten Commandments-the ones listed in Exodus 20 and Deutoronomy 5, or the ones listed at Exodus 34? Only the list at Exodus 34 is explicitly called the "Ten Commandments" in the biblical text. These commandents reffered to are simply known as the renewal of the covenant by God. After the Ten Commandments the Lord gave moses new stone tablets of the Decalogue. The second tablets of stone were tangible tokens of God's unique relationship with Israel along with the Ten Commandments ( thus, two separate kinds of tablets both bearing certain commandments).

7. Why does the writer of Matthew ( the writer of Matthew, by the way, is Matthew) quote a non-existent Olt Testament prohecy (Matthew 2:23)? Well, again, he doesn't. Matthew is referring to the prophesy in Judges 13:5.

8. Why does the writer of Matthew attribute a quote about the potter's field to Jeramiah, when Jeramiah has no such passage and the closest one in the Old Testament is Zechariah ( Matthew 27:9-10, Zechariah 11:12)? The quote is attributed to Jeramiah 19:1-13 as well as chapter 32:6-9. Jeramiah has a plain outline of potter's field and thats what Matthew was referring to. It was also referred to in Zechariah.

9. Why doesn't prayer work, when the bible promises that it will? ( John 14:14, for example) Well, thats really a question to take up with God. I believe prayer does work from personal experience. It could have something to do with what you're asking for and it's intent. If it's for personal gain or for God's will. There are big differences between the two. Or if it's for healing a family member from sickness or whatever it may be it may simply not be God's will. That's more of a personal thing then a yes or no question.

10. Why aren't more Christians doing greater works than Jesus did, since he himself said they would (John 14:12)? Why aren't they raising the dead, turning water into wine, healing the sick, feeding multitudes from a very small amount of food, casting out demons, walking on water? Throughout the New Testament Jesus' deciples were able to and did perform these feats. However, Jesus meant for them to be able to reach more people than he was able to in his lifetime. He asked to spread the good news throughout the world. Spreading good news doesn't mean I have to be able to turn water into wine and walk on water. And by the way, he didn't say they would be able to do all of those things. He wanted the word to get out to the multitude.

I hope that clears some stuff up. You may not agree with anything I wrote. Either way, if you have any questions let me know. God Bless.

Erin
AlphaShmalpha12@cs.com