Thursday, 22 January 2015

Addressing hard issues in the Bible

Below is a post by Ray Comfort. The principles he uses applies to all "hard" questions and objections asked of the Bible:
"How do you explain to unbelievers who think that God is hateful etc, the 'violence' and 'slavery' in the Old Testament, that God is loving, just, kind etc?" 
This is a hill upon which to die, particularly for the atheist. The argument is that if God can be proven to be evil, then He has no right to judge the world on Judgment Day. If he can prove that God is wicked, then in his own mind, he can justify his darling sins--pornography, lust, fornication, adultery, homosexuality, etc.
It is because he is secretly trying to cover his sins that you will rarely give him an answer with which he agrees. Seldom will you hear, "Wow! I never knew that. That's very helpful. Thank you. I will now seek after God and soften my heart to the gospel."
If you explain the slavery issue he will run to the issue of violence in the Old Testament (or in the New Testament). If you expound the fact that God is extremely violent in His passion for justice, and that “every one of His judgments are righteous and true altogether," you can be sure he will ask about God not healing amputees, or ask who it was who "made" God.
You must keep clear the commission given to you by Jesus--to preach the gospel to every creature. You are not called to defend the character of God any more than a prosecutor needs to defend the character of a judge to a depraved criminal. God's not the one who will be on trial on Judgment Day. He is, so make sure you don’t run down every rabbit trail that he’s designed to take you away from the issue at hand.
For the sake of the person to whom you are speaking, you have to turn the spotlight off the morally perfect Judge. Then you have to turn it onto the deluded, sin-loving, self-deceiving, self-righteous guilty and depraved sinner, who has the insane impudence and outrageous audacity to point his crooked holier-than-thou finger at Almighty God, and accuse Him of sin.
The crazy irony is that if you ask for specificity as what violent acts God supposedly committed, he will probably point to the Noah flood and say that God "drowned” millions of babies. That's when you ask him if the incident really happened. If he says it did, then, as an atheist, he's saying that God is real and He did send the Noah flood. So he's blown his cover—he’s not an atheist. This is exactly what is said in Romans chapter one. Every human being intuitively knows the Creator exists.
If he holds onto to his atheism and says that God doesn't exist and the Bible is full of myths, then why is he upset? There was no flood and no babies drowned. That's like someone being upset because Cinderella’s fairy godmother turned the coach back into a pumpkin because she didn't get back by midnight.
You started the game, so you call the play. Never forget that. When you want to share the gospel with someone you believe in heading for Hell, don't let him go where they want you to go. If he has a sincere question, answer it, but do so with one eye on the cross. That's where you are heading. If you are not sure how to answer questions asked by the unsaved, you will find 200 of the most commonly asked questions in "The Evidence Bible."
Tomorrow we will look at the issue of slavery in the Bible.