Why Doesn’t God Make Himself More Obvious?

By Tom Gilson Published on July 17, 2018

“You say there are all these evidences for God, but I look at them, and every one of them can be interpreted another way. Why doesn’t God just prove Himself?”

Someone asked that a conference I was at last week. The speaker at the time, Sean McDowell (a frequent contributor here), answered by showing how many people disbelieved in Jesus, even when they had proof before their eyes. You’d think raising someone from the dead would be evidence enough. But when Jesus did that with Lazarus, they didn’t all fall down and worship Him. Some of them tried to drive Him from town, and to kill Lazarus.

Why is that? I think it’s because proof isn’t all we need. Proof is on the outside. We need something else on the inside.

Consider Lawrence Krauss, one of the nation’s leading physicists and most cantankerous atheists. I’ll use him as my example here, since he’s told us what would count as proof for him. He would believe God was real, he says, if something happened “completely inconsistent with the operation of the universe as we know it, something impossible. … For instance, if the stars rearranged themselves to spell a different bible verse each night. Or if the tree in my front yard started growing KJV bibles instead of crabapples.”

God isn’t going to do that. I know that, you know that, and Dr. Krauss has shielded himself quite well from having to worry about God proving Himself, because he knows God won’t do it, too.

But suppose God did do it. (We can learn something even by considering the impossible.) Then what?

From what I’ve read of Krauss’s writings, he would admit he’d been wrong, and that God exists after all. Then from denying God, he would move immediately to resenting Him.

God’s Goodness Isn’t Just a Matter of ‘Proof’

Bibles growing on crabapple trees wouldn’t make anyone love God or trust Him, which is what God really wants. He doesn’t just want people believe that He is, but that He does good for those who seek Him (Heb. 11:6). He wants us to love Him. Part of loving God is loving what is really, truly good.

To do that, Krauss would have to see more than the fact that God exists. He would have to see His goodness. And then he would have to appreciate that goodness for what it is — which doesn’t come automatically.

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Real goodness isn’t so easy to face. Jesus Christ was God in the flesh. He lived out God’s goodness in unmatched fashion, as the one perfectly other-centered person who has ever lived. He alone was “the man for others,” in Bonhoeffer’s words.

Which poses a problem: If He can do it, why can’t we? There’s exactly one answer: Because He was truly good, and we aren’t. That’s a painful pill to swallow.

I can handle it, but only because I know His love extends to me, and it comes with the mercy and grace of forgiveness. But that takes the humility of accepting my real need for His grace.

God can only force so much on us. Yes, he could force the knowledge of His existence upon us just as the sun forces awareness of itself on us during the daytime, or as much as we’re compelled to believe that 2 plus 2 equals 4.

God Cannot Force Love or Trust

God could make Dr. Krauss know His existence with the same complete certainty; He could “force assent” on him, as the philosophers say it, making it impossible for him not to believe.

But He cannot force anyone to love Him. Knowledge can be pressed upon a person; love cannot. A student doesn’t become false or inauthentic when she is forced by the facts to believe that 2 plus 2 equals 4. But God can’t force Krauss, or anyone else, for that matter, to love Him. Love must be freely offered, or it’s fake and ugly.

It goes the same way with trust, too: No one — no sane person, anyway — has ever said, “You’ve got to trust me. Trust me from the heart. Trust me as one who has your best interests always in mind. Otherwise I’m going to shoot you.” Real trust can’t be forced any more than real love can.

Even With Certainty We’d Still Face a Choice

So if God proved to Dr. Krauss that He exists, the famed physicist would still have to decide whether he wants God to exist. He’d have to decide whether he will bow to God’s rule over all creation; whether he will recognize God’s goodness; whether he will recognize his own need for grace in light of falling short of the truth.

God has given us plenty of evidence He’s real — as long as we don’t insulate ourselves from that knowledge, as Krauss did with his silly stars and crabapples. That’s important, but by itself it’s not enough. Getting the right answer to the question, “Does God exist?” isn’t the point. God won’t reduce Himself to being a mere true/false quiz answer. He wants us to know Him for who He is, and to love and trust Him for it.

That’s a discovery we make through personal encounter — including our encounters with all the real evidence God has given. We can know God, but not if we’re asking Him to show up as Bible verses sprouting on our trees. Do you want to know Him for real? Look for Him as He really is.

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  • Kevin Quillen

    [It goes the same way with trust, too: No one — no sane person, anyway — has ever said, “You’ve got to trust me. Trust me from the heart. Trust me as one who has your best interests always in mind. Otherwise I’m going to shoot you.” Real trust can’t be forced any more than real love can.]
    Tom; replace “trust” with “love”, replace “shoot you”, with “send you to hell forever”.
    See the problem with the idea and teaching of eternal torment? Do you think this view of Hell is conducive to “real” conversions?

    As to your points about proof of God, well done.

    • Chip Crawford

      The problem is that God is not as malleable as many would like him to be. So, here’s finite man created by God touting his mind component as a creative element. How does that work? It’s like saying: If only God would listen to me, if only he would listen to reason, everything would be so much better …
      It’s not hard to receive from God. You just have to do it his way. That’s the rub. Hint: God is a spirit …

    • Bryan

      If someone doesn’t love God, doesn’t want to be loved by God, should God force them to spend eternity with Him? As Tom said in the paragraph before the one you quoted, “Love must be freely offered…” Love and trust can’t be forced either way.
      But there are consequences to actions. In a true choice, there is a consequence for each outcome. You’re scenario is as false as the one that you quote about trust. It’s not the true choice. We are free to love God and the consequence is spending eternity with him or we are free to reject God and the consequence is spending eternity apart from him.
      I don’t know about you, but the idea of being without God at all leaves me feeling colder and emptier than the thought of God’s wrath being poured out on me.

      • Kevin Quillen

        man does not choose God, God chose man. John 12:32 In this verse “draw” means to “drag” in Greek. Says it all. Our free will CANNOT override God’s love for His children. He WILL restore ALL to Himself! 1 Cor 15:22

    • I had an answer posted here, or so I thought, but it’s gone now.

      Here’s what I said before:

      First, the question of hell isn’t decided by whether it’s evangelistically productive to believe in it. It’s decided by what God tells us in His word.

      Second, since this isn’t an article on the hermeneutics of passages on hell, I won’t turn this comment into a hermeneutical discourse on hell, either. It’s tangential — barely — at best, to the topic here.

      • Kevin Quillen

        Thank you. My point was to simply get you to rethink “eternal punishment.” Hopefully you will.

  • Howard Rosenbaum

    Yeah . God sort of knows what He’s gotta work with here. Ya think ..?

    It’s when we in our hubris expect God to capitulate to our whims , wiles & bewilderment that we miss the mark ( sin ) .

    The foundational precedent where man & God are concerned as Mr Gilson infers , is His love. It is that love that God cannot compromise. Not even for these the objects of His “so great a love” .

    That is where faith comes in . A faith that can only work effectually by love. That’s also where Jesus made his mark on humanity.

    You know, that “for God so loved the world that He gave ..” kinda thing ..!

    This is not a matter simply for logic & reason . Were that the case we might as well be worshipping “higher mathematics” . Hey, “it’s IMPOSSIBLE to please God without faith” . There’s good reasons for that . One that comes to mind immediately?

    Again how about that “ faith which works ( is made real ) by love …?!

    Yeah , this God who favors the name “ Father “ above all others , He is looking ( like most of us would ) for that one TRUE love …

  • JP

    The problem is not that God has not made His existence clear with all kinds of evidence not only in creation but in their hearts (Romans 1) but the suppression of the evidence and truth. Atheists know this but refuse to acknowledge the truth. Only God can change this.

    • Kevin Carr

      You have said it well. Might I add, his goodness was evident at the cross. Then there was Lazarus and the rich man, the rich man asked that he be able to tell his brothers and he was told he had Moses and the prophets and if they wouldn’t believe them they won’t believe him. In Revelation, God’s power will be shown in more dramatic ways at some future point and men will curse God.

      You are most correct when you state man suppresses the evidence around him. I heard Ravi Zacarias say this and I believe he is correct, many don’t want God because he accurately describes the human heart. “Desperately wicked and evil”, When Jesus was talking with the Pharisees and said if you lust in your heart you have committed adultery already and so with hatred, murder”. Many people believe that humanity is basically good.

    • m-nj

      Amen. Even with the evidence, and even with an explanation of God’s love, the “choice” to love and trust God only comes AFTER God’s work to exchange the heart of stone with a heart of flesh… a heart that is able and will willingly choose to love and trust God.

      • Chip Crawford

        John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

  • Whenever someone makes the mistake of asking me, “How ya doing?” they’ve just, unknowingly, opened a door. My response, usually, is, “Better than I deserve!” If the exchange goes beyond that, I am able to state, “Romans 3:23: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; Romans 6:23: the wages of sin is death. I’m breathing! It’s better than I deserve!”

    If nothing else, it gets them to think.

    • Hmmm…

      I was about to post my experience of my younger brother witnessing to me, fresh from his own conversion, and showing the fruit of it. There’s nothing like a personal witness. It presents irrefutable evidence, that changed life! and the love coming to you in the midst.
      Walt Mills song: “I was there when it happened; I guess I oughta’ know.”

    • Boris

      And move away quickly.

  • Hmmm…

    How about sharing the greatest miracle of all! your changed life, your testimony. It presents irrefutable evidence, that changed life! and the love coming to you in the midst. Mine was my younger brother witnessing to me, fresh from his own conversion, and showing the fruit of it. There’s nothing like a personal witness.
    Walt Mills song: “I was there when it happened; I guess I oughta’ know.”

  • Trilemma

    If the stars rearranged themselves to spell a different verse from the Quran each night, would devout Christians convert to Islam?

    Maybe the reason God doesn’t make himself obvious is because he doesn’t care if we believe in him or love him or worship him.

    • Hmmm…

      Huh … Well, where there’s a “maybe,” there’s a “maybe not.” That’s simple logic.

      However, like I said, we’ve been there and came to Jesus, and Heaven came down and our lives changed forever.

      Who needs “obvious.” I know real and you can keep your star show too, whatever that is. I know Jesus and He is love and it’s forever. Why would anyone argue with that? Why do you? Just do it. You know it’s real. You argue so hard and change your avatar to hopefully help, but it doesn’t. Just yield to him; yield to love.

      • Chip Crawford

        His avatar is doing stinkin’ thinkin’ instead of listening to his heart. You’re right; God’s calling him.

    • Chip Crawford

      2 Cor, 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

      Christians are grounded in the Word of God. We accept no substitute, for “… we are not ignorant of his devices.”
      2 Cor. 2:11

    • Kevin Carr

      “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved”. “I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father but by me, For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son…” The heavens declare the glory of God. Men suppress the truth of …, men worship the created rather than the Creator. There is more, but is sounds like he cares, but not to violate our free-will, we still have to choose.

      • Hmmm…

        Anyone trying to tell me God doesn’t care has come waaaay too late. I KNOW HIS CARE.

        • Kevin Carr

          Same, and AMEN!

          • Kelly B

            And Amen again – the Lord came down, got his wading boots on, and picked me up out of the proverbial gutter, gently placed me down into a much better place – and I could feel Him and the angels DELIGHTING in my return while it was happening – and He’s never let go of me, just like He promised!

          • Kathy

            Love it, Kelly!

          • Kevin Carr

            I meant that for Trilemma, Sorry.

          • Kathy

            No worries, I’ve done it. Think you meant to send the apology to Kelly, though.

          • Kevin Carr

            You only asked if we are told to love Jesus. Apparently Jesus said you love him you will. Think he knows more about it, He is not coming off as my former Training Instructor, whose commands we kept out of fear/respect for the position. No love in that. His love is not commanded but it seems it is a by product of gratitude and also it is love reciprocated. It seems it would be hard to approach God as Father if you don’t.

      • Trilemma

        I believe God cares about people. But does God need us to love and worship him? Does God have a human shaped hole in his heart that only humans can fill?

        • Chip Crawford

          Praise and worship help us! God is due our praise and worship, by virtue of him being our creator and our Father to the born again, by virtue of being God. Verses say to magnify the lord … We cannot make God larger, but he becomes larger to us when we magnify him, enlarges him in our consciousness by praise and worship. It is a spiritual exercise, which connects us strongly with the Spirit of God and his power. It ministers to us, washes and blesses, sometimes in waves as it goes. Corporate worship is truly awesome. One can start with their very real problem being the elephant and God’s promises seeming to be a peanut. But as we enlarge God in our experience through praise and worship, God becomes the elephant and the problem the peanut. That’s one of many benefits. Often during but often afterwards also, God will speak the answer or we return to find the issue resolved or just have a knowing, an assurance that it’s going to work out, that we can walk it out to victory. Christianity of this nature is lifestyle, a walk and the highest way to live this life on this earth. God loves our fellowship with him, our expressions of love and devotion and adoration. While we can sit and talk with him as a friend, he is God, and there is a real place to express our putting him first and giving him his place as our God. It ministers to us amazingly. God is a spirit.

          • Trilemma

            I’m glad you get so much out of praising and worshiping God. Buddhists testify to getting very similar results from the spiritual exercise of chanting, “Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō.” My question is, does God need your praise and worship? Is God somehow incomplete without it?

            When you talk to God as a friend, do you ask him how his day was? Do you ask him if he’s feeling happy or sad? Does God talk to you like a friend? Does he ask you how your day was?

          • Chip Crawford

            No, God is not incomplete without our praise and worship. Prayer varies, fellowship with God. It’s good to get in the spirit. God is a spirit. Psalm 100:4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. You don’t usually just crash in and start asking for things with someone you respect. He becomes our Father, but he is God. You want to show honor to him.

            There are times when something comes up and the best you can do is throw yourself down on your bed, the floor, before a chair, whatever … and just pour your heart out before him. You just go over what is going on, even though he already knows. It can be emotional, but it is delivering to you and usually it’s good to get quiet. He may speak quietly into your heart, by an impression or a verse of comfort comes to mind, a knowing of what to do, a peace just settling over you.

            Jesus is our Personal savior, and he talks to each one of us the way we can understand. He deals with all of us according to our personal relationship with him, as well as the general things the word says about many things. But it is very personal, and you learn and develop in it, grow in it.

          • Trilemma

            I agree with much of what you said in this reply. Everyone experiences God differently.

        • Kevin Carr

          I am certain that He doesn’t have a human shaped hole in his heart. He does want us to love him voluntarily so he will not violate our free will, He does love us.

          • Trilemma

            What happens to those who believe Jesus was the messiah and was raised from the dead but don’t love God either because they choose not to or are not able to?

          • Kevin Carr

            I can’t see how one could separate them, God’s love was most made manifest in the person of Christ. This just my thought: if you don’t love God then you don’t really love Christ.

          • Trilemma

            Let me ask another way. Does the Bible say a person must love Jesus in order to be saved?

          • Yes. Matthew 22:34-40 34Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36″Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37Jesus replied: “‘Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

          • Hmmm…

            Yes, but an unbeliever comes as they are and is received that way. The whole time my brother was praying for me, I was wishing I’d pulled my drapes nearby so no one could see us. But God took me just as I was when I prayed along and then he gave me the love to love him with actually.

          • Trilemma

            Wouldn’t obedience to those commandments come after receiving salvation and not as requirement for receiving salvation?

          • No, those two commandments are what salvation is based on. It’s not a reward. It’s an obligation.

          • Hmmm…

            Obligation … I think you are mistaken sir. That doesn’t reflect the word or the spirit of God, who is love. You are speaking legalism, which is more on the devil’s side or men like the Pharisees. It also defies my and everyone I know’s salvation experience, which definitely took. God bless you.

          • So are you saying that everyone is saved? And what do you mean your “salvation experience?” You’re in heaven already saved?

          • Hmmm…

            I perceive you have views that do not reflect what I understand of the word and God’s path. Since someone here is seeking truth, I choose not to discuss these things with you here. However, I will add what I believe the word says if you address things I consider error to him. That’s my conviction of how to go about this.

          • Whatever buddy. Whenever someone speaks of “the spirit” of the word it tells me of someone who makes up his own theology. I guess you have some special revelation as to what the spirit of the word is. Have a good one.

          • Kathy

            I believe Manny is of the RCC persuasion…they don’t seem to be at all familiar with being transformed by the Holy Spirit through the new birth (born again). I could relate to him UNTIL I actually experienced it myself, as you have.

          • Hmmm…

            You are correct.

          • Kevin Carr

            Jesus stated “If you love me keep my commandments” John 14:15. After what has done for you why wouldn’t you?

          • Trilemma

            Even if you don’t love Jesus, you can still keep his commandments. Why does what you believe Jesus did must result in love and not extreme gratitude instead? But that doesn’t answer my question. Does the Bible say a person must love Jesus in order to be saved?

          • Kevin Carr

            No it doesn’t say you must love him to be saved. I;m going to go out on a limb here, I believe to do as the disciples one would have to love him, to preach the word, and not denounce him to your own death. I believe any Christian can get there but not without truly loving Him.

          • Hmmm…

            1John 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.
            Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
            10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
            11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
            12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
            13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

          • Trilemma

            Romans 10:9 says you’ll be saved if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe God raised him from the dead. It doesn’t say anything about loving Jesus is necessary for salvation.

          • Hmmm…

            Yes, we respond to God’s outreach to us, his love for us. You are right. It does not talk about our loving him, more about him loving us first, which is why I included that verse. And love is not a feeling. We don’t have to work anything up. It is simple. We just respond to what he says. And, you know, I’ve known people who just prayed: “God, take my life and do something with it.” Some people say, “God, if you are real, show me or reveal yourself to me” and things of that nature. You speak out of your heart to him. The Gospel John has salvation verses and Corinthians. It is not the words, it is the heart. God is huge about hearts. Just an open heart. Actually, we tend to approach it like we have to qualify or jump through some hoops or various things, like feeling love or having demonstrated love for him. That’s not true. God is not looking for a way to keep us out of his plan, but he is looking for ways to bring us in. The Gospel is called “Good News.” 🙂

          • GLT

            Christ does say he is the way, the truth and the life and that no one comes to the father except through him.

          • One cannot come to truly understand all that Jesus did for them and not love and worship Him.

  • Deplorable Rican ☨ʳᵉᵈᵉᵉᵐᵉᵈ

    The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Psalm 19:1

    For what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood from His workmanship, so that men are without excuse. Romans 1:20-21

  • Craig M

    How about if we find out that a particle can be in two places at the same time, or in no particular place at any given time, or in all of its possible states (or is it none of them…) simultaneously? Impossible enough for you Larry? ☺ Probably not. That’s just a Tuesday for a physicist. But even Einstein refused to believe these things — and he was the one who discovered them! I’m guessing that if Krauss’s conditions were met, he would just set about proving that they were unremarkable natural phenomena, with a perfectly logical scientific explanation.

    I’ve heard a teacher of Vedanta — the Hindu scriptures — say something like this (I’ll try not to paraphrase it too badly):

    On a cloudy day, we might say, “the sun’s not shining” or “the sun’s not out.” But can it stop shining, or go in somewhere? Of course not. There may be something between us and the sun, preventing us from seeing it, but when that’s cleared away, we see that it was there and shining the whole time. And is it the sun’s fault that we didn’t see it, or that we concluded it was gone?

  • Boris

    God does not exist.

    • Kevin Quillen

      and nothing blew up and created everything.

      • Boris

        Nope. The mass/energy that comprises the universe had always existed in on form or another. You would know that if you had the nerve to study the subject. But actual facts could penetrate the brainwashing you call, “The full armor of God” and then you’d be in a pickle huh? Yeah you would know something about the real world and Jebus don’t allow no knowledge.

        • Boris, you have no idea the problems with this idea of it always existing in one form or another. Alexander Vilenkin has shown through rigorous theoretical physics that it’s physically impossible. It’s also philosophically impossible for contingent structures, substances and processes to have existed since eternity past.

          I’ve done the study. I’ve studied the physics on an advanced layman’s level, since I’m not a physicist. I’ve studied the philosophical problems in much more depth than that.

          How about you? Do you have the nerve?

          • Boris

            We haven’t observed mass/energy being created or destroyed. So there’s no reason at present to think it can be and so the modern consensus is that it’s always existed in one form or another. Science is provisional and so the Borde, Guth, and Vilenkin theorem doesn’t prove that the universe had a beginning. Science is not static either and this theorem is from 2003, 15 years ago. We know a little more than we did 15 years ago. “If someone asks me whether or not the theorem I proved with Borde and Guth implies that the universe had a beginning, I would say that the short answer is “yes”. If you are willing to get into subtleties, then the answer is “No, but…” So, there are ways to get around having a beginning, but then you are forced to have something nearly as special as a beginning.” Notice the scientist says his theorem “implies” something, not proves it. You’re not going to find many real scientists making dogmatic claims about many things being physically impossible. We do however find creationists attempting to quote-mine and misquote real scientists to make it seem like science agrees with their dogmatic assertions and superstitions when nothing could be further from the truth.
            It’s philosophically impossible for something to have existed since eternity past? But God can? What did God do before he created the universe? And what did he do right before that and before that and before that… until we get to you telling is what God’s first action or thought was. I’m not impressed by philosophical arguments. Guess who else isn’t. Scientists. Like them I’m interested in evidence. Studying so-called “philosophical problems” is like getting a menu with 20,000 items on it at a restaurant with no food. Have at it.
            Sean Carroll, Roger Penrose and a growing consensus think it’s likely that universe inflated or expanded from a previous universe. Other scientists think they may have detected gravitational waves coming from a previous universe. Once the universe expands to the point where even atoms decompose the universe will no longer have any real size and at that point the another universe should expand from another Big Bang. Or something like that. If they prove this say a century from now creationists will cry that “Vilenkin debunked this theory last century!” like they currently do with “Pastuer proved life cannot come from non-life in the 19th Century!” That is if creationists still exist next century.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            “The mass/energy that comprises the universe had always existed in on form or another. You would know that if you had the nerve to study the subject. But actual facts could penetrate the brainwashing ”

            PROVE IT!! I’ll wait…

            Or you could just come back and confess that you take that on faith.

        • GLT

          Mass and energy are not nothing, Boris.

    • Trilemma

      How do you know?

      • Boris

        I know the Christian God does not exist and Jesus Christ never existed. If there’s another God, who cares? I doubt that too.

        • Trilemma

          Okay, you went from, “God does not exist,” to, “I doubt God exists.” You’re moving in the right direction.

          • Boris

            The Gods described in the various religious texts exist only in those texts. None have ever been able to step out of those texts and introduce themselves to us, even though all the religious texts insist that they have. This leaves room for the God of the deist. I highly doubt that God exists. Don’t you?

          • Trilemma

            No, I don’t. I’m essentially a deist.

          • Boris

            I guess you arrived at that belief on your own. A big problem for me is that as far as we know intelligence only comes from matter, minds come from a physical brain. I don’t think a mind existing without some kind of physical support is very plausible. That is why I doubt the existence of the deist God. Unless you’re just calling Nature or the universe God.

          • Trilemma

            I also don’t think a mind existing without some kind of physical support is very plausible. So, I think god must have some sort of physical properties that have yet to be detected. Many physicists believe dark matter and dark energy exist but have yet to detect them even though they have been trying for nearly 100 years.

          • Hmmm…

            Man is a three-part being: spirit, soul and body. The spirit part of man is the mysterious one, many considering that to be synonymous with the soul. There is a NT verse that refers so all three at one time, but typically they are referred to separately as heart or spirit or soul, at the discretion of the translator. The spirit realm is neutral until one becomes born again, then the spirit of Jesus, the Holy Spirit, enters and brings that one’s spirit to life. When the life comes in, in a real sense, the light comes on and one “sees” into things more. But it is about knowing God to whom you are now united that matters, rather than information in general. The mind, being separate from the brain (part of the soul), has to be renewed. That’s where the Word comes in. We need the Holy Spirit’s interpretation to open up many of the Bible’s treasures. Mostly, you are “in love with” the wonderful person you just met and want to discover the change that’s happened to you and how to relate with him. There’s no way you want to pursue “proof” thoughts at that point. You are Able to leave those things with him, to pursue your new life in him. There’s so much more to say … You learn as yo go along and get into the word and allow yourself to be led to teaching of the word. You just have to stop, there is so much to say about it.

          • Hmmm…

            The brain is a physical organ, part of the body. Man is spirit, soul and body. The mind is part of the soul. The soul is mind, will and emotions. That is separate from the spirit, but part of the forever eternity of man. God is a spirit. Faith must be involved. You hear the word and can act on it if you will for the results it gives. Refusing to do that is the reason anyone does not receive. It takes a live spirit to operate in the realm where God is. It is profound, but God has made himself available to us this way. The way is very simple. Pride will keep one out as well.

          • Boris

            “God is a spirit. Faith must be involved.”
            Yeah because there isn’t shred of evidence to support anything you said. Pride huh? It is not accidental that Christianity regards pride as a major sin. A man of self-esteem is an unlikely candidate for the master-slave relationship that Christianity offers him. A man lacking in self-esteem however, a man ridden with guilt and self-doubt, will frequently prefer the apparent security of Christianity over independence and find comfort in the thought that, for the price of total submissiveness, God will love and protect him. In exchange for obedience, Christianity offers salvation, that there is something to be saved from. Christianity has nothing to offer a happy man living in a natural intelligible universe. If Christianity is to gain a motivational foothold, it must declare war on earthly pleasure and happiness, and this historically, has been its precise course of action. In the eyes of Christianity, man is sinful and helpless in the face of God, and potential duel for the flames of hell. Just as Christianity must destroy reason before it can induce faith, it must also destroy happiness before it can induce salvation. The fundamental teaching of Jesus – the demand for conformity thus gives rise to a fundamental and viciously destructive teaching of Christianity. That some beliefs lie beyond the scope of criticism, and that to question them is sinful, or morally wrong. By this Christianity declares itself the enemy of truth and the faculty by which man arrives at truth – reason.

          • “A man lacking in self-esteem however, a man ridden with guilt and self-doubt, will frequently prefer the apparent security of Christianity over independence and find comfort in the thought that, for the price of total submissiveness, God will love and protect him.”

            That kind of statement can be tested sociologically and psychologically. Do you have evidence to back it up?

          • Boris

            “A man lacking in self-esteem ….love and protect him.”
            This sentence applies to fundamentalists, not necessarily to all Christians. The more tightly held the beliefs the more this sentence applies. Does it not apply to you and if it doesn’t, in what way?
            “That kind of statement can be tested sociologically and psychologically. Do you have evidence to back it up?”
            I have read a couple books on the subject. I will list them if you want. I rely more heavily on my personal experience. I listen to Christian radio, I talk to people in venues like this, I live in the Bible Belt and when people talk about their faith I listen and ask questions. My conclusion is that Christianity only appeals to the base human emotion of cowardice. Fear is not a good reason to believe something.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            There is SO much I could address that you’ve said. Almost everything you’ve said is easily proven false but I have neither the time nor the inclination to do so.

            So I’ll simply address this one statement of yours because it proves you don’t even live by what you say and that you operate on faith daily just like everyone else.

            ” Fear is not a good reason to believe something.”

            Now, let me take your empty rhetoric and use it as a training tool for the edification of others…

            Once again, we got the crowd that wants to demand evidence and claim they live by facts and not by faith.

            So Boris, you’re barreling down the highway at 70mph and you see a sign that says, “STOP!!!! Turn around. Bridge out.” But you ignore it and just keep right on barreling down the highway. After all, you have NO evidence there is even actually a bridge. Let alone that it’s out.

            And you come to another sign that says, “WARNING!!!! Turn around, Bridge out.” But you ignore it and just keep barreling down the highway. Still no evidence of either.

            Then you come to a sign that says, “LAST CHANCE!!!! Turn around. Bridge out. Lake Of Fire at the bottom and NO WAY OUT!!!”

            Now, according to the genius here, the folks who put those signs up are terrorists with no morals. People operating from a base human emotion of cowardice trying to frighten him into a religious superstition. People intentionally trying to destroy reason so they can induce faith

            Now, YOU decide. Who you wanna follow? The signs of those who call Christians deluded, delusional whackos, terrorists with no morals who just threaten others with eternal torment? Cowards trying to frighten you into a religious institution and check your brain at the door? Or those who give a loving warning of what does lie ahead.

            YOU decide who is showing REAL “Love” for you. The folks who put up those signs and give you a warning or these folks. And YOU decide what are YOU gonna do? Follow the signs and heed the warning or just keep right on barreling down the highway?

            The choice is yours. And so are the eternal consequences.

          • Hmmm…

            You have had evidence presented to you, but … there is none so blind as he who will not see.

          • Boris

            Arguments are not evidence. What is this evidence that was supposedly presented to me? Name it and claim.

        • He asked, “How do you know?”

          • Boris

            Science.

          • GLT

            How does science demonstrate God does not exist and how does science demonstrate Jesus Christ does not exist?

          • Boris

            Evolution.

          • GLT

            You have two problems with this answer. First, if evolution was true, which it is not, it would not be proof God does not exist and second, science has in no way whatsoever even remotely come close to proving evolution. In fact science is evolution’s worst enemy. Sorry, Boris.

          • Boris

            Science is Christianity’s worst enemy and you know it. Otherwise you creationists would not have had to make up lies about evolution for the last 150 years.

          • GLT

            “Science is Christianity’s worst enemy and you know it.”

            I know nothing of the sort. Science cannot function without a base of rationality from which to function, evolution cannot provide such a base and therefore science is evolution’s worst nightmare. In fact, evolution is not even science, it is strictly philosophy pretending to be science because it needs science to justify its narrative.

            “Otherwise you creationists would not have had to make up lies about evolution for the last 150 years.”

            What lies would those be, Boris?

          • Boris

            Take that BS to your own Christian academic community and demand they stop teaching that dang evolution stuff and replace it with your magic tree- rib woman – talking snake “science” and be sure to tell them about all the advances in real science they can make by doing that. You won’t do that and no creationists have the guts to do that. That’s because you know they would laugh in your face. What’s it like to know you’re wrong but have to lie and pretend you aren’t?

          • GLT

            Ah, the real Boris finally shows up. You do realise vulgarity and ad hominems are the last resort of a failed argument, don’t you Boris?

          • Boris

            I’m not the one with the failed arguments here. That would be you.

          • GLT

            If that is true, why are you the one resorting to vulgarities and ad hominems?

        • Royce E. Van Blaricome

          “I know the Christian God does not exist and Jesus Christ never existed.”

          I think the Christian God does not exist and I choose to ignore and reject the extra-Biblical secular writings that prove the existence of Jesus Christ and therefore choose to swim in the river Denial and believe Jesus Christ never existed.

          There, fixed it for ya.

          Thanks for the publicly display of your willful intent to remain in the dark and prove Tom’s article spot on true. Now that you’ve publicly discredited yourself and proven you aren’t even willing to look at what evidence there is, what exactly do you expect to accomplish here?

          My guess is nothing but it does make you feel good.

          • Boris

            I reject the extra-Biblical secular writings of Josephus and Tacitus because they do not prove the existence of Jesus Christ. The entries in these writings are Christian forgeries. Josephus was well known to Origen and he did not mention the “golden paragraphs” that supposedly mention Jesus in any of his writings. Eusebius produced the first copies of Josephus that contained any mention of Jesus. The entries in Tacitus were not known to anyone until the 15th Century and once again guess who produced it. The world’s largest fabrication factory, the Christian religion. But let’s say they’re authentic anyway. Neither author was even alive when Jesus supposedly lived. Josephus is at least 60 years removed from the events supposedly described. So we’re talking about hearsay but not even first or second hand hearsay. If you’re claiming God took human form to found your particular religion, became famous throughout the land as the Bible claims and this is all you’ve got to substantiate the biblical narrative, motion denied. Guilty as charged. Jesus Christ exists in religious texts, hundreds of them, but nowhere else and he never did.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            Just saw that the below was detected as spam for some reason and not posted so trying again. Boris has made many claim in the above that I highlight and folks should see them for what they are.

            Wahl, surprise surprise surprise. The man who willfully chooses to ignore the facts rejects the facts he don’t like. Imagine that!

            “The entries in these writings are Christian forgeries. ”

            PROVE IT!!

            “Josephus was well known to Origen and he did not mention the “golden paragraphs” that supposedly mention Jesus in any of his writings. ”

            How do you know that’s true? Still exercising your delusional faux-omniscience while sitting on your narcissistic, self-imposed throne in your psychotic god-complex?

            Are you making any assumptions?

            Now let’s take a look at the logic from the man who says, “Christianity must destroy reason before it can induce faith”. Take any two historical figures you want to. Now insert a 3rd person that we know the both knew. By Boris’ logic if there are no writings to each other than specifically mention the 3rd person then that person just simply never existed. Based on Boris’ logic probably ever single signer of the Constitution could be considered as fictional characters! LOL

            Furthermore, Boris in his state of nothing more than simple Denial Rebellion refuses to look at the various Manuscript evidence which is overwhelming compared to Caesar’s Gallic Wars (10 copies – 1000yr gap), Tacitus (20 copies – 1000yr gap), Plato (7 copies – 1200yr gap), and Aristotle Poetics (5 copies – 1400yr gap).

            I think it’s safe to assume that Boris believes Tacitus existed since he actually references him. How does he know that? Because we have 20 copies of his writing that came to be after a 1000lyr gap! Yet he rejects over 25,000 handwritten NT copies. Tertullian in 200AD said the writings are authentic and, moreover, most modern day Historians see the Biblical writings as HISTORICAL documents of the time. NOT forgeries or fantasy fairy tales.

            “The entries in Tacitus were not known to anyone until the 15th Century ”

            And now we come to his second Denial – Archeological evidence. I wonder what evidence Boris has for George Washington being our first President or even existing?

            Just this month the oldest piece of Homer’s ‘Odyssey’ was found in Greece. Homer’s Odyssey is considered the oldest work in the Western history of literature. Now, suppose this was the first archeological find for Homer’s Odyssey. Using Boris’ logic one would have to reject the authenticity of Homer because of the thousand year gap.

            “Neither author was even alive when Jesus supposedly lived.”

            This brings us to the THIRD evidential stage of Denial – Prophetic. The Bible from the very first book predicts the coming of Jesus. Those who actually have critical thinking skills are able to take the pieces of the puzzle and put them together to form a picture. It’s really not Rocket Science. It’s done in the courtroom ALL the time!! You simply take one piece of evidence from this source, another piece of evidence from that source, another form a different source, and VOILA – the case is solved.

            Moreover, once AGAIN, Boris elevates himself to god status but rejecting the credibility of overwhelming evidence that Josephus IS RECOGNIZED as a Historian.

            This dismissing of Josephus and his claims about Biblical writing is downright laughable on its face. Not only is Josephus a recognized Historian of the time and relied upon to validate all manner of findings today but the very claim would invalidate a plethora of Historians and other scholars today who have made a life’s work out of researching and putting together papers and books on historical figures based upon a collection of data and information that NO ONE before them ever did.

            So, let’s say for sake of example, using George Washington as I mentioned before. Somebody decides to write a book called “The Complete Historical Record On George Washington”. So they compile every piece of information that we have available today on GW. They put it all together and publish the book. According to Boris it is completely irrelevant and unreliable because it was written 250yrs after GW’s death and not by a contemporary.

            This is long enough so I won’t even bother with the Scientific evidence since Boris didn’t bring it up but there is plenty.

            “If you’re claiming God took human form to found your particular religion, became famous throughout the land as the Bible claims and this is all you’ve got to substantiate the biblical narrative” then you’d be right there in the company of innumerable others who believe the same AND know it’s truth every single time they see a date with BC or AD beside it.

            Boris, being the genius he is in his own mind but rather a fool who publicly displays it with every post, would have you believe that billions of people for 2000yrs are living in Denial & Delusion while he and a few others of his ilk are the ones who’re thinking clearly. Now I’ll take those odds every single day & twice on Sunday!

            According to Boris ALL the signers of the Constitution were deluded fools because they ALL signed it “in the year of our Lord”!!

            “Jesus Christ exists in religious texts, hundreds of them, but nowhere else and he never did.”

            So we have seen you claim. Now PROVE IT or just stand guilty of another God-hater that is a bloviating blowhard who’s guilty of the very thing he accuses Christians of.

          • Boris

            “Furthermore, …. to Caesar’s Gallic Wars (10 copies – 1000yr gap), Tacitus (20 copies – 1000yr gap), Plato (7 copies – 1200yr gap), and Aristotle Poetics (5 copies – 1400yr gap).”
            There are no complete manuscripts of the New Testament from before the Fourth Century. That’s all that matters. What difference does it make how many copies of something there is? The Christian religion has always been the world’s largest fabrication factory. Oh we’ve had pieces of the cross, the holiest of grail, the shroudiest of shrounds, and all the copies of religious nonsense you could ever want. Who cares? The number of times something was copied in no way validates what is written. But when it’s the only argument you have you’ll cling to it forever no matter how flawed it really is.
            “Historians see the Biblical writings as HISTORICAL documents of the time. NOT forgeries or fantasy fairy tales.”
            That is not true. You’re trying to blur the distinction between real historians and “biblical historians” aka the Tin Foil Hat Society. This is a very common tactic and you are BUSTED. This superstition that the New Testament is historical is based solely on one argument. That is that because the NT texts mention a few real places and even a couple real people the whole New Testament must be accepted as the most accurate historical documents ever! Of course historical fiction always mentions real people and real places and sometimes even real events. We can’t verify ANY of the events described in the New Testament, especially the ones central to the religion itself, but the Tin Foil Hat Society chooses to ignore that fact among many others. Real historians pay no more attention to the Bible than they would any other religious texts because historians are interested in things we have evidence for, not religious fairy tales.
            “This brings us to the THIRD evidential stage of Denial – Prophetic. The Bible from the very first book predicts the coming of Jesus.”
            I’m Jewish. Don’t ever trying to fool a jew with that nonsense about the Old Testament being all about Jesus and the prophecies prove it. The New Testament writers ripped passages some of which were not even prophecies to begin with (30 pieces of silver LOL) away from their original meaning and reinterpreted them to pound their mythical solar deity into the role of a coming messiah. This is the most obvious hoax ever perpetrated. And it’s pretty easy to put a prediction of the destruction of the temple on the lips of a mythical Jesus decades after the event had already taken place.
            “Moreover, once AGAIN, Boris elevates himself to god status but rejecting the credibility of overwhelming evidence that Josephus IS RECOGNIZED as a Historian.”
            Josephus said that Hercules was a real person. Josephus claimed to have witnessed a ten-foot tall giant casting out demons. Christians would not be so quick to claim this guy as reliable if he weren’t their only secular “source” for their Jesus. These Christians who blab on about Josephus have never actually read anything in his works other than the forgeries we know Eusebius put there.
            “Boris, ….believe that billions of people for 2000yrs are living in Denial & Delusion while he and a few others of his ilk are the ones who’re thinking clearly. Now I’ll take those odds every single day & twice on Sunday!”
            Royce must admit that Billions of Hindus, billions of Muslims, a billion Buddhists all have been living in delusion and denial for thousands of years. But he’s not brave enough to admit that it’s just as likely that the Christians could be equally delusional as the adherents of other religions for just as long. Royce, you have the worst arguments in the history of bad arguments. And people can see them and see just how irrational they are. The they stop going to church. Keep it up.
            “According to Boris ALL the signers of the Constitution were deluded fools because they ALL signed it “in the year of our Lord”!!”
            That was a common saying back then. It was signed by a bunch of greedy slave-owning war profiteers. So what? those kind of people always believe in God.
            “So we have seen you claim. Now PROVE IT or just stand guilty of another God-hater that is a bloviating blowhard who’s guilty of the very thing he accuses Christians of.”
            Atheists can’t hate something they don’t believe exists. They hate religion and that’s what really bothers the fundamentalists. We’re not rejecting God and the Bible thumpers know it. We’re rejecting them and their claims about God and that is why the feelings of people like Royce get so hurt and why they are truly the angriest and most frustrated people on the planet. Just like their twins in Islam. Royce revealed his dirty little secret which is that he’s been angry with and even hated God at times and because it’s happened to him he believes that this is what is going on with atheists. That’s why he can’t even understand what atheism is. And like all of the intellectually challenged, Royce hates what he does not understand. All the believers do.

          • Boris

            “Furthermore, …. to Caesar’s Gallic Wars (10 copies – 1000yr gap), Tacitus (20 copies – 1000yr gap), Plato (7 copies – 1200yr gap), and Aristotle Poetics (5 copies – 1400yr gap).”
            There are no complete manuscripts of the New Testament from before the Fourth Century. That’s all that matters. What difference does it make how many copies of something there is? The Christian religion has always been the world’s largest fabrication factory. Oh we’ve had pieces of the cross, the holiest of grail, the shroudiest of shrounds, and all the copies of religious nonsense you could ever want. Who cares? The number of times something was copied in no way validates what is written. But when it’s the only argument you have you’ll cling to it forever no matter how flawed it really is.
            “Historians see the Biblical writings as HISTORICAL documents of the time. NOT forgeries or fantasy fairy tales.”
            That is not true. You’re trying to blur the distinction between real historians and “biblical historians” aka the Tin Foil Hat Society. This is a very common tactic and you are BUSTED. This superstition that the New Testament is historical is based solely on one argument. That is that because the NT texts mention a few real places and even a couple real people the whole New Testament must be accepted as the most accurate historical documents ever! Of course historical fiction always mentions real people and real places and sometimes even real events. We can’t verify ANY of the events described in the New Testament, especially the ones central to the religion itself, but the Tin Foil Hat Society chooses to ignore that fact among many others. Real historians pay no more attention to the Bible than they would any other religious texts because historians are interested in things we have evidence for, not religious fairy tales.
            “This brings us to the THIRD evidential stage of Denial – Prophetic. The Bible from the very first book predicts the coming of Jesus.”
            I’m Jewish. Don’t ever trying to fool a jew with that nonsense about the Old Testament being all about Jesus and the prophecies prove it. The New Testament writers ripped passages some of which were not even prophecies to begin with (30 pieces of silver LOL) away from their original meaning and reinterpreted them to pound their mythical solar deity into the role of a coming messiah. This is the most obvious hoax ever perpetrated. And it’s pretty easy to put a prediction of the destruction of the temple on the lips of a mythical Jesus decades after the event had already taken place.
            “Moreover, once AGAIN, Boris elevates himself to god status but rejecting the credibility of overwhelming evidence that Josephus IS RECOGNIZED as a Historian.”
            Josephus said that Hercules was a real person. Josephus claimed to have witnessed a ten-foot tall giant casting out demons. Christians would not be so quick to claim this guy as reliable if he weren’t their only secular “source” for their Jesus. These Christians who blab on about Josephus have never actually read anything in his works other than the forgeries we know Eusebius put there.
            “Boris, ….believe that billions of people for 2000yrs are living in Denial & Delusion while he and a few others of his ilk are the ones who’re thinking clearly. Now I’ll take those odds every single day & twice on Sunday!”
            Royce must admit that Billions of Hindus, billions of Muslims, a billion Buddhists all have been living in delusion and denial for thousands of years. But he’s not brave enough to admit that it’s just as likely that the Christians could be equally delusional as the adherents of other religions for just as long. Royce, you have the worst arguments in the history of bad arguments. And people can see them and see just how irrational they are. The they stop going to church. Keep it up.
            “According to Boris ALL the signers of the Constitution were deluded fools because they ALL signed it “in the year of our Lord”!!”
            That was a common saying back then. It was signed by a bunch of greedy slave-owning war profiteers. So what? those kind of people always believe in God.
            “So we have seen you claim. Now PROVE IT or just stand guilty of another God-hater that is a bloviating blowhard who’s guilty of the very thing he accuses Christians of.”
            Atheists can’t hate something they don’t believe exists. They hate religion and that’s what really bothers the fundamentalists. We’re not rejecting God and the Bible thumpers know it. We’re rejecting them and their claims about God and that is why the feelings of people like Royce get so hurt and why they are truly the angriest and most frustrated people on the planet. Just like their twins in Islam. Royce revealed his dirty little secret which is that he’s been angry with and even hated God at times and because it’s happened to him he believes that this is what is going on with atheists. That’s why he can’t even understand what atheism is. And like all of the intellectually challenged, Royce hates what he does not understand. All the believers do.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            Nice try. Not even gonna waste any of my pearls on all the pig slop spewed here, Just gonna cut to the very last thing that PROVES you’re delusional.

            “And like all of the intellectually challenged, Royce hates what he does not understand. All the believers do.”

            What more PROOF does one need to KNOW Boris is nothing more that a narcissistic, psychotic God-hating, spiritually-dead, totally-depraved son of disobedience and child of wrath that does his daddy, Satan’s, bidding by TROLLING the CHRISTIAN pages? He has NO facts. NO substance. NO logic. NO reason. All he has is Denial, Demagoguery, & Ad hom. That’s it.

            Even the secular community recognizes that!

            In Internet slang, a troll (/ˈtroʊl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory,[1] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[2] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion,[3] often for their own amusement.

            From Psychology Today: “Internet Trolls Are Narcissists, Psychopaths, and Sadists. An Internet troll is someone who comes into a discussion and posts comments designed to upset or disrupt the conversation. Often, in fact, it seems like there is no real purpose behind their comments except to upset everyone else involved. Trolls will lie, exaggerate, and offend to get a response.”

            Bottom Line: Boris’ own words constantly reflect the delusional state of not only Narcissism but a self-imposed god-complex where he actually believes things like: “This is the most obvious hoax ever perpetrated” and “Royce hates what he does not understand. All the believers do.”

            Do you see the utter delusion and arrogance in that? Boris, the self-proclaimed god of his own universe literally believes that too. He literally thinks he can read the minds and hearts of me and every other Believer on the planet. Now go back up and read the definition of “internet troll” and you’ll see why. He needs it. It’s what he feeds on.

            And then he’s totally blind to the fact that “you have the worst arguments in the history of bad arguments. And people can see them and see just how irrational they are” apply to him!!

            Just as he’s totally blind to the ridiculous claim “”This is the most obvious hoax ever perpetrated”. BILLIONS and BILLIONS of people have, according to Boris, fallen for the “most obvious hoax ever perpetrated”. Does that make sense to you????

            Not only that but let’s just look at the entire Human Race and the percentage of those who believe in some Deity vs the Atheist like Boris. Put your Critical Thinking caps on people! Does Boris make ANY sense to you? The VAST MAJORITY of humans believe there IS a Creator/God/Deity/Supernatural Being. And Boris believes they’re all a bunch of ignorant morons while HE possesses the intelligence to know better. He’s right and everybody else is wrong.

            And look at the profound example of outright bigotry! “It was signed by a bunch of greedy slave-owning war profiteers. So what? those kind of people always believe in God.” Again,o arrogance, pride, and sin. Nothing less.

            Then there’s the downright laughable duplicity and blindness like saying “Atheists can’t hate something they don’t believe exists” and following it with “Royce hates what he does not understand. All the believers do.” I think it’s pretty easy to see who hates what they don’t understand.

            And that’s what sin does, folks. As painful as it may be it’s good to read thru his statements again. Not only is it crystal clear what a pathetic existence (it’s not a ‘life’) he has but that all his railing in nothing more than projecting his own sins and failures and attributes and characteristics upon others.

            Now, is THAT how you wanna wind up? It’s what Sin does.

            So just let ’em talk. Just let ’em talk!! They ALWAYS expose themselves for what they are, reveal their heart (which proves God’s Word true), and utterly, completely, and totally discredit themselves to the point where nobody will take them seriously.

            Meanwhile more people are going to church today than ever before.

          • Boris

            “…Satan’s, bidding by …. He has NO facts. NO substance. NO logic. NO reason.”
            Someone who believes in Satan is accusing me of having NO facts. NO substance. NO logic. NO reason. If there’s a logical reason or a fact to believe Satan exists please tell us all what that might be.
            “Even the secular community recognizes that!”
            Name ’em and claim ’em.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            Correct. I am. And there IS logic & reason behind a belief in Satan.

            Keep talking! You’re proving my point time and time again.

    • Kelly B

      Oh boy – you are in for the shock of your life when you die!

      “Since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” Romans 1:20

      “The fool has said in his heart, there is no God.” Psalm 14:1

      • Boris

        “Oh boy – you are in for the shock of your life when you die!”
        Christianity only appeals to the base human emotion of cowardice. Obviously you let OTHER PEOPLE frighten you into your religious superstitions.
        “The fool has said in his heart, there is no God.”
        I wish I had a dollar for every time some delusional Bible thumper told me that. It’s true. The wise man shouts it out loud for everyone to hear. Like I do.

        • Kelly B

          Well then I am happy to be in the good company of those who have done their duty of warning you about the oncoming freight train headed straight towards you.

          • Boris

            What do you think is going to happen when I die? Can you document any of your claims scientifically? What does the freight train metaphor actually represent?

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            “Obviously you let OTHER PEOPLE frighten you into your religious superstitions. ”

            Obvious to you. Which is a natural result stemming from a faux-omniscience that flows outta a narcissistic, psychotic delusional self-imposed god-complex.

            And here I thought you might’ve actually gone out and found a life instead of leading the pathetic existence you demonstrate every single time you have to spend your time and energy and effort trolling a CHRISTIAN page just to spew your animus toward something you claim doesn’t exist.

            What happened? Withdrawals and just had to come back for another fix?

            Will you ever realize that you are simply glorifying God with everyone of your nasty diatribes by proving His Word true as you simple do the bidding of your daddy, Satan?

            “You will certainly carry out God’s purpose, however you act, but it makes a difference to you whether you serve like Judas or like John.” – C.S. Lewis

          • Boris

            Religion does indeed exist. That is what I have a problem with. Religion.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            Religion does indeed exist. And I have a problem with all Religions other than mine.

            There, fixed it for ya

          • Boris

            That is your deal. You believe all religions are false except yours. I don’t have a religion. Never did. Never will. Religions are for the ignorant and uneducated. You prove that with every word you say.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            See, your faux-omniscience from you self-imposed god-complex has failed you again. I don’t believe all religions except for mine are false. I believe that all their conclusions and suppositions are false and that the TRUTH is found in Christ who said He is the ONLY Way, Truth, & Life.

            And yes, you do have a religion. Perhaps a dictionary would help you there. So that’s just more swimming in Denial and exercising your religion.

            “Religions are for the ignorant and uneducated. You prove that with every word you say.”

            And there ya have it folks!! They ALWAYS resort to ad hominem & demagoguery because they have NOTHING else.

            The ironic thing is that he just proved Jesus’ word true AGAIN by showing the Giant Sequoia Tree sticking outta his eye socket.

          • Boris

            “I don’t believe all religions except for mine are false. I believe that all their conclusions and suppositions are false…” That makes about as much sense as the rest of the things you say. What about the other religions is not false? Their fairy tales? Do you believe Muhammad flew a winged horse to heaven? What religion do I have? Where is it in the dictionary?

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            “That makes about as much sense as the rest of the things you say.”

            Thanks for showing the best ya got.

            “What about the other religions is not false?’

            In short, pretty much everything.

            “What religion do I have? ”

            Yours.

            “Where is it in the dictionary?

            After Read and before Respond.

            A wise man once said it is better to keep your mouth shut and not show your ignorance than open it and remove all doubt. You should work on your wisdom a bit.

            “Wise men speak because they have something to say, fools speak because they have to say something” – Plato

            A fool does not delight in understanding, But only in revealing his own mind. (Prov. 18:2)

  • Kevin Quillen

    Tom; will you please comment on my post to you below?

    • I had — and I don’t see it there now. Must have glitched somehow. I’ve re-posted my answer now.

  • littleeif

    An excellent essay that makes an important point. Thank you!

  • hopechurch

    Unfortunately, the use of the headline picture for this article violates the second commandment.

    • Bryan

      Why are you worshiping a picture on an internet news site?

      • hopechurch

        What? The second commandment in Exodus 20:4-6 teaches that no representation of God or anything that He has made should be an object of worship:

        The physical hand that is portrayed in the headline image is a violation of the second commandment – expressly forbidden to make an image of God – which is a form of idolatry.

        Physical images or paintings of Jesus are acceptable because he took on a human body. This commandment regarding not making an image of God the Father still applies so the Stream and or its editorial staff have made a critical error by including a standard secular media image that clearly is in violation of scripture.

        Likewise, “The Creation of Adam” by Michelangel which forms part of the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling, portrays an image of the near-touching hands of God and Adam – though loved by many is a worse violation of the second commandment.

        • Bryan

          First, the image is a larger hand touching or nearly touching a smaller hand. There is no actual indication that it is the hand of God. It is your assumption (based on your knowledge of Michelangelo’s work by the way). To me it looks like an adults hand reaching for a child or teenager. Second, it, like the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, are representations of God from the point of view of man. Man has not seen God, except as Jesus. If you apply you logic further you would condemn painting of Jesus since he is God as well. We don’t have any actual portraits of Jesus from an eye witness so any picture of Him would be the artist’s representation of Him. Which is what you are criticizing this picture of being.
          Last, the purpose of the commandment is stated in vs 5: that the Israelites not bow down or worship that image. That they not replace God with something not God. If your object of worship is God and God alone, you have no need to worry about statues, posters, pictures, etc. It is the similar to the food sacrificed to idols that Paul talks about.
          So in light of this, my question was, why are you worshiping some picture? Because then you have something to worry about. Otherwise, you’re bordering on legalism founded on bad logic.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            He’s not bordering on Legalism. He’s gone full bore into it. Legalism always leaves the real meaning of the command behind and that’s exactly what he’s done.

            You’re spot on with the question. Why would he or anyone else worship that picture?

            “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you pay tithes of mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the more important things of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These things you should have done, and not have neglected the others. Blind guides, you who strain out a gnat, but swallow a camel!” (Mat 23:23-24)

            Now I’ll probably hear from how that isn’t using the right translation.

          • hopechurch

            Well good morning Royce,

            Thank you for your comments.

            Law reveals the character and the standards of God, and marks the way in which human beings can express love for God and for each other. But Law also condemns, for no human being except Jesus Christ has ever kept its requirements. The Law reveals something of the righteousness of God. But Law has never been able to produce righteousness in human beings. The 10 commandments reveal God’s heart, though today they are not mandatory yet they reveal the heart of God, and in particular worship.

            Regarding the image of this article: Nothing created can serve to represent him, not even in the whole range of the created order, from top to bottom, and even in the realms of creatures, in the heavens above and in the waters below the earth, because God has made every thing and every being. God is beyond them all. No image conceivable to them could serve to represent him. They must worship him as he is, not as they can envision him or would like him to be.

            My comments relate directly to the representation of and not the worship of an image of God the father.

            I am not into iconaclasimist, nor am I hindering the gospel as per Matt 23:23-24. But I would suggest, that such images may hinder, even confuse true worship as clearly seen in Catholicism

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            “The 10 commandments reveal God’s heart, though today they are not mandatory yet they reveal the heart of God, and in particular worship.”

            Oh really? I’m sure God would appreciate knowing that. Perhaps you can point to a chapter or even a verse that supports that claim? That’s quite a statement! Having gone from Legalism to full blown License.

            “Nothing created can serve to represent him”

            In the context of understanding that Jesus has always existed as the Word being fully God it is He who said if you have seen Him you have seen the Father. And then there’s these:

            “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation” (Col 1:15)

            “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb 1:3)

          • hopechurch

            Dear Royce,

            Thank you for your comments again.

            The rites and rituals of the ceremonial laws, including the sacrificial laws have been fulfilled. They were shadows ans types of the final sacrifice of Christ. Jesus brings and expands some of the moral laws.

            If I may get back to my point regarding the image used in this article.

            Exodus 20:4 literally states “likeness and any form.”

            This means a prohibition in making a likeness representing Jehovah. (see Judges 17:3 as an example of this prohibition)

            These words of Exodus 20:4 should be understood, as demanded by Deuteronomy 4:15, where Moses lays stress upon the command not to make themselves an image ‘in the form’ of any sculpture and gives this as a reason……

            Deuteronomy 4:15 “You saw no form of any kind the day the LORD spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire.”

            This authoritative exposition of the divine prohibition on the part of Moses himself proves undeniably “image” and “sculpture’ are to be understood as referring to symbolical representation of Jehovah. This does not apply to Jesus. The Eastern Orthodox church argues that icons or images of Jesus Christ are now possible and permissible because of the incarnation. Or as those churches who have Jesus portrayed in stained glass windows.

            It was Calvin who corrected a misunderstanding that arose from this command namely that paintings of ‘every kind’ are prohibited.God is not repudiating art. God approved His temple with art.

            God prohibits the making of any image of Himself because God, by nature is invisible. This would apply today to the image used above which infers “God has a hand” and that the Father is human.

            May God bless you, my friend.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            Nice try but your Distraction & Diversion away from your falsehood being exposed didn’t work. The Ten Commandments aren’t rites & rituals of ceremonial laws.

            “They were shadows ans types of the final sacrifice of Christ.”

            False. They were EXACTLY what God says they were. Sacrifices to atone for the sins of the people at that time. Christ is the final sacrifice because He is the perfect Lamb of God without spot or blemish.

            “Jesus brings and expands some of the moral laws.”

            Actually Jesus simple reveals the heart of the laws.

            “Exodus 20:4 literally states “likeness and any form.”

            Yeah, well, too bad your eisegesis is blinding you to what that actually means. One only has to look at the previous and subsequent verses as bookends to properly exegete Verse 4. From Young’s Literal Translation:

            ‘Thou hast no other Gods before Me. ‘Thou dost not make to thyself a graven image, or any likeness which is in the heavens above, or which is in the earth beneath, or which is in the waters under the earth. Thou dost not bow thyself to them, nor serve them: for I, Jehovah thy God, am a zealous God, charging iniquity of fathers on sons, on the third generation , and on the fourth, of those hating Me” (Exo 20:3-5)

            I really don’t think that needs any further explanation for those who have eyes to see.

            “These words of Exodus 20:4 should be understood, as demanded by Deuteronomy 4:15, where Moses lays stress upon the command not to make themselves an image ‘in the form’ of any sculpture and gives this as a reason……

            Deuteronomy 4:15 “You saw no form of any kind the day the LORD spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire.”

            Wrong again. They should be understood for what they actually say and NOT what you want them to say to support your falsehood. I’ll let the next subsequent verses speak for themselves”:

            “And beware lest you raise your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, you be drawn away and bow down to them and serve them, things that the LORD your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven. But the LORD has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, out of Egypt, to be a people of his own inheritance, as you are this day.” (Deu 4:19-20)

            Once again the passage is speaking to idolatry. Worshipping & bowing down to other gods. Just as the Israelites did at Mt. Horeb when Moses went up to meet with God and many times thereafter. Sorry to see you completely miss that vitally important point.

            “This authoritative exposition of the divine prohibition on the part of Moses himself proves undeniably “image” and “sculpture’ are to be understood as referring to symbolical representation of Jehovah.”

            Uh, NO it does NOT as I’ve just proven. So Bryan was right and your attempt at Scriptural gymnastics failed.

            I see you claim friends easily. I don’t. I use John 15:14 as my guide.

          • Noah

            This may come off as harsh, but what you’re saying isn’t only wrong, it entirely derails the article. Perhaps I should simply ignore it, but I can’t help but wonder…

            If God has done away with the Ten Commandments in OT Law, why are you concerned about the picture breaking the Second Commandment?

            Jesus also said all of the Law and Prophets are summed up in this: Love God with all your heart, soul mind, and love your neighbor as yourself. Numerous times in the NT, the Ten Commandments are reiterated with prior statements such as, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?” Paul says that things such as circumcision, certain foods, and festivals were indeed a shadow of the fullness of Christ – but the moral laws (not ceremonial) are upheld throughout the NT.

            If this is a misunderstanding, what do you mean?

          • hopechurch

            The law functions to reveal the stain of sin upon our souls. The moral law shows God’s righteousness, that is, the righteousness alone acceptable to God; it warns, convicts, and condemns every one of us of unrighteousness. The law is like a mirror – we see our weakness, just as a mirror shows us our facial blemishes. The law of God comes from God and reflects his character. The entire world is under the moral law of God. The law restrains and reveals.

            To your question Noah, and to be very specific – 9 of the 10 commandments were reiterated in the NT, but the Sabbath observation had been abrogated because the Christian community shifted its corporate worship from the seventh day to the first day. Paul also made statements regarding being bound by new moons and sabbaths. Yet the elements of the Sabbath are still in effect – not the day. The Sabbath was a shadow intended primarily to represent spiritual rest.

            The difficulty involved in understanding the role of the law in the new covenant age is largely due to the fact that scripture makes it very clear that at least some aspect of the OT law has been abrogated. So the rituals of ceremonial laws, including sacrificial laws, have been fulfilled. Ceremonial laws were shadows or types of the final sacrifice of Christ. You may recall that some Judaizers tried to continue these ceremonies in the NT church.

            The problem here is that the OT moral laws are mingled in within some of these other laws. EG: Paul pulls some over into the NT in Romans 1. The 10 are separate and easy to see. I apologize if I inferred these laws were “done away”- wrong word and in particular I was referring to those laws that applied directly to Israel

            Hopefully I have cleared that issue? Some do not agree with this separation of laws and say OT laws have no bearing or relevance to the NT Christian. Anyways.

            I hold the view that the 2nd commandments still applies today and in particular the image above.

            Exodus 20:4 ‘literally’ states “likeness and any form.”

            The question has confused some commentators on this site. Does the use of an image to illustrate God the Father (who is Spirit) violate the 2nd command or is it the worship only of that image. The ‘original’ language it rather clear.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            The only one confused that I see is you.

            Noah, if you see this, read Exodus 20. Specifically read the very verse preceding and following Verse 4. There’s a reason why “hopechurch” doesn’t cite them.

            The original language is rather clear and his language and premise is clear as mud. The Second Commandment doesn’t even have to do with making an image of God.

            Btw, in case you don’t know, this very issue is not new. It was a major source of contentious during the second Council of Nicea in 787.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            I just found out the below was “detected as spam”. Have NO idea how that happened unless someone flagged it as such. It’s not, so I’m pasting it here again as it proves once AGAIN you’re wrong, speaking falsely for God, and continuing to mislead others.

            Nice try but your Distraction & Diversion away from your falsehood being exposed didn’t work. The Ten Commandments aren’t rites & rituals of ceremonial laws.

            “They were shadows ans types of the final sacrifice of Christ.”

            False. They were EXACTLY what God says they were. Sacrifices to atone for the sins of the people at that time. Christ is the final sacrifice because He is the perfect Lamb of God without spot or blemish.

            “Jesus brings and expands some of the moral laws.”

            Actually Jesus simple reveals the heart of the laws.

            “Exodus 20:4 literally states “likeness and any form.”

            Yeah, well, too bad your eisegesis is blinding you to what that actually means. One only has to look at the previous and subsequent verses as bookends to properly exegete Verse 4. From Young’s Literal Translation:

            ‘Thou hast no other Gods before Me. ‘Thou dost not make to thyself a graven image, or any likeness which is in the heavens above, or which is in the earth beneath, or which is in the waters under the earth. Thou dost not bow thyself to them, nor serve them: for I, Jehovah thy God, am a zealous God, charging iniquity of fathers on sons, on the third generation , and on the fourth, of those hating Me” (Exo 20:3-5)

            I really don’t think that needs any further explanation for those who have eyes to see.

            “These words of Exodus 20:4 should be understood, as demanded by Deuteronomy 4:15, where Moses lays stress upon the command not to make themselves an image ‘in the form’ of any sculpture and gives this as a reason……

            Deuteronomy 4:15 “You saw no form of any kind the day the LORD spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire.”

            Wrong again. They should be understood for what they actually say and NOT what you want them to say to support your falsehood. I’ll let the next subsequent verses speak for themselves”:

            “And beware lest you raise your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, you be drawn away and bow down to them and serve them, things that the LORD your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven. But the LORD has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, out of Egypt, to be a people of his own inheritance, as you are this day.” (Deu 4:19-20)

            Once again the passage is speaking to idolatry. Worshipping & bowing down to other gods. Just as the Israelites did at Mt. Horeb when Moses went up to meet with God and many times thereafter. Sorry to see you completely miss that vitally important point.

            “This authoritative exposition of the divine prohibition on the part of Moses himself proves undeniably “image” and “sculpture’ are to be understood as referring to symbolical representation of Jehovah.”

            Uh, NO it does NOT as I’ve just proven. So Bryan was right and your attempt at Scriptural gymnastics failed.

            I see you claim friends easily. I don’t. I use John 15:14 as my guide.

  • Krauss has no idea what love or truth or any of of Gods aspects are, and he is actually a very silly fool who has NO wisdom. “The FEAR of the Lord is the BEGINNING of all wisdom. What ol Krauss really NEEDS is for God to scare the hell out of him. God chastens whom he loves. I will pray that God gets the foolish mans attention!

  • Mar Komus

    Speaking as a fellow believer here: I think what Tom–and many other apologists–miss here is that while it is true that many people will still waffle even if they are shown a miracle beyond disbelief, how does that absolve God from at least knocking out that fundamental component? You keep saying God would never rearrange the stars to spell out words from scripture. Who are you to say He won’t? I’ve never seen Him work that way, but why require that? Why not go with stuff He’s already shown Himself capable of? Why not ask for some divine heals? Like why not–as so many atheists relish–ask for Him to heal a few amputees right before the very eyes of several dyed-in-the-wool atheists? Again, I understand some will still say, “Trickery!” But at least if He did some of this from time to time people would start to get the idea that God is there, He loves us, means us no harm, wants us to believe, meets us half way, He’s real, etc. He wouldn’t have to fulfill every whim and do every little trick like a genie in a lamp; just show up in public, obvious ways every now and again–without that being fire from heaven to devour all the ubelievers.

    • Hmmm…

      God hasn’t chosen to do what you are calling for, and the Bible demonstrates that signs and wonders don’t convince people. They just wonder. It is the Holy Spirit who draws men, leads believers, reveals the word and manifests his presence in the midst. The miracle of changed lives is very convincing as a witness.

      • Mar Komus

        I think I have to take strong exception to what you said when you said, “signs and wonders don’t convince people.” Uh. Yes they do! That’s all throughout scripture. They don’t convince everyone, but you can’t say that nobody converted when signs and wonders and healings were done who would have anyway. A changed life doesn’t convince anyone, for anyone can change their life without God. But then I suppose we’d have to nuance what we mean by a “changed life.”

        • Hmmm…

          Miracles cause some to listen up, but not to the extent you are saying. A changed life cannot be imitated when the Holy Spirit glow is all over a person. Work mates asked me if I had a new boy friend. My brother who led me to the Lord showed a love and sensitivity that was not part of his makeup. He knew the word to share and laid it out amazingly, things our Catholic upbringing never heard, though any Baptist could take you through. A born again person will show a change of some sort or another undeniable to those around them. We received the Holy Spirit infilling and I have to attest to the Bible opening up in clarity. I would sit and cry reading the Gospel John about Jesus, whom I now knew. No words on a page, living contact. The fruit is undeniable. We used to pray for people for their legs to grow out evenly — most of us have one leg a little shorter than the other. While I prayed for a young man I was dating and he later told me he felt something in his leg (you can see them come together, or we could during that time), he did not have any word to lock onto. I told him what happened with me, the verses that pertain to receiving Jesus, but he chose to pass. We pray for people that they continue to be drawn and hear the word and eventually respond That’s my experience plus some miracle crusades and knowing of more.

          • Hmmm…

            I have no use for Calvinism either and do not understand the connection with the Holy Spirit reference.

          • Mar Komus

            Really appreciate your responses! Thank you so kindly!

            What I’m saying is that Jesus Himself said to some people, at least, to believe on account of the miracles. He also said that if the miracles He was doing had been done in thus and such ancient city, they would have repented. There very much is something to the miraculous in convincing otherwise strong-willed objectors! I fully acknowledge that some people would never turn even if they saw an undeniable miracle. Interestingly, in Luke 16:31 Abraham says, “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if soomeone rises from the dead.” But there are others who just might! Even the earliest believers PRAYED that God would “stretch out [His] hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of [His] holy servant Jesus” (Acts 4:30). So why not permit much more of the miraculous? Doesn’t have to be outlandish–just enough to let people know that, yes, undeniably, God is real and it’s in the name of Jesus that these great works are being done. If they still refuse, then it’s just a matter of them not liking God. But at least they can’t say that God didn’t do something before their very eyes to silence the old “God isn’t immediately evident, so He doesn’t exist” cliche.

          • Hmmm…

            It’s not a matter of letting miracles loose or permitting them, you know. There’s a bit more cause and effect and the at-will not directly coming from us. I think God is committed to seeing healing be received because he wants his people well, whole. Calvary and the salvation it purchased was not limited to spiritual matters, but was directed at the whole man. I agree that “healing is the dinner bell for the Gospel.” However, miracles are not limited to healing either. We are all supposed to access God’s willingness to use his power on our behalf on a daily basis in all our matters. He truly has a ways and means committee that can be very delightful to be part of. Just following a leading can put one in the path of his provision and/or deliverance. Miracles are good. All God’s workings are good, including his correction God is good.

          • Hmmm…

            Since my response to this has been deleted, I’m leaving it. It would be nice to know why that happens. God bless.

      • Mar Komus

        As for the Holy Spirit: if you say the words, “Calvin,” or, “TULIP,” we’re done. Go away. Get a real theology before you post back to me. Calvinism is dead to me.

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