Below is a continuation of my answer to a Youtube user’s “78 Questions for Christians” video.
(46.) “Why is God playing hide and seek with all of humanity?”
For one, if God revealed himself directly to all people then we would be consumed by his glory. Since we are sinful creatures, we would react similar to this if God directly revealed his glory to everyone:
“Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled, and they stood far off and said to Moses, ‘You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die.'” (Exodus 20:18-19)
“And the people of Israel said to Moses, ‘Behold, we perish, we are undone, we are all undone. Everyone who comes near, who comes near to the tabernacle of the Lord, shall die. Are we all to perish?’” (Numbers 17:12-13)
“And Manoah said to his wife, ‘We shall surely die, for we have seen God.'” (Judges 13:22)
“And I said: ‘Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!'” (Isaiah 6:5)
If God revealed his glory to us we would be in constant terror. We would grow weak to the point of death.
Also, God desires to hide himself to specific individuals: Matthew 11:25-27, “At that time Jesus declared, ‘I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.'” God does not desire to reveal himself to every person. He purposely conceals himself to those whom he does not want to save.
However, I must qualify that last statement. Although God conceals himself from the majority of mankind, not giving a saving knowledge of himself to every person, all of creation is revelation from God. Through creation God reveals himself. Here are some common verses articulating this:
“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.” (Psalm 19:1-2)
“For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20)
Also, since humanity is created in God’s image, God specifically reveals himself through us as well. All of creation is a revelation of God, causing us to be left without an excuse on the day of judgement for our sin.
(47.) “Do you believe Jesus is coming back during your lifetime?”
He might. I do not know the Day.
(48.) “If you do [then this doesn’t really apply to me…] then what do you say to all those people who have been saying the same thing for centuries and who are no longer with us?”
Does not apply to me.
(49.) “Why is the story of Jesus’ birth and life so similar to that of mythological beings who lived before his time? And if you want to hear about those stories we’ll leave a link below.”
Like who? Horus?? Ha! I checked the link! They actually list Horus as one of them! Here’s a silly video satiring this nonsense. All parallels are a stretch and this stuff has been refuted so many times that it gets tiring responding to this nonsense, ESPECIALLY coming from arrogant jackasses who have not studied any of the relevant evidence. Here are some videos to wet your appetite:
Given that Zeitgeist was appealed to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hbvfqa_mzLw
Etc. If you actually want to make an argument Mr. Atheist, make it yourself.
(50.) “How do you decide which sections of the Bible are literally true, and which ones are just metaphor?”
By the genre of the literature of each book. Genesis through Esther is presented as historical narrative, so it’s history. Matthew through Acts is historical narrative, so it’s history. There are other books which are prophetic, etc. The only problem people have on this issue is not believing all of scripture, a problem which people who actually believe the Bible do not have.
(51.) “What are the minimum requirements for being a Christian?”
It says in Romans 10:9, “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” To be a Christian one must place their faith in Christ and believe the Gospel for the forgiveness of their sin. These two things encompass many doctrines and concepts. When the Holy Spirit causes a person to become born again, he will lead them into good doctrine, which includes belief of the scripture as the Word of God, Christ’s divinity, perfect life, death, burial, resurrection and ascension, knowledge of soteriology which includes regeneration, justification, adoption and glorification, belief in the true God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and many other things. The Biblical worldview is comprehensive. The minimum, however, is faith in Christ. Afterwards, God causes those whom he saves to grow in knowledge of scripture and of him.
(52.) “And who falls under that definition? (53.) Fred Phelps? (54.) Pat Robertson? (55.) James Dobson? (56.) President Obama?”
The mistake that is made is to constrain our examination of these people to the bare minimum requirements of Christianity. If a person does not have true faith, then it does not matter how much someone outwardly confess faith in Jesus. What is commonly quoted in this context is Matthew 7:21-23,
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’”
These are all people who pretended to be followers of Christ, but they had no actual faith in him nor in the Gospel. Instead of believing that God’s salvation is purely by grace (unmerited favor), they sought God’s favor through their own actions. Not everyone who makes a profession of faith is actual born again by the Spirit of God. That being said, I don’t care what names he lists. False teachers, whether any of them are or not I will not get into, but all false teachers of Christianity profess faith, when really they are headed for Hell.
(57.) “Do you really believe Mary was impregnated without ever having sex?”
Of course. It also happened in the case of Sarah, Rebekah, the woman in 2 Kings 4:17, and Elizabeth.
(58.) “If someone came up to you and said she was pregnant but she was totally a virgin, would you believe her?”
Given that I am a cessationist and do not believe that God frivolously hands out miracles nowadays, since miracles in the early church were for the purpose of establishing the church and proclaiming the Gospel, I would not believe her immediately. However, its possible for women to get pregnant through other means than sex, so it’s obviously possible.
Also, from an atheist worldview, what justification do you have for believing the world is intelligible? Your materialist worldview provides no justification for orderliness and intelligibility. Induction is a fallacy, and believing that our world is rational and understandable does not stem from a materialist worldview; in fact it is inconsistent with materialism.
(59.) “Why did God have to rape a teenage girl in order to become human?”
This contradicts the previous question. In question 58 he shows knowledge that Christians believe Mary was a virgin, and here he shows ignorance by saying Mary actually had sex with God evidenced by the word “rape.” Which is it? He refutes himself.
This question fails even on a rhetorical level. If Mary was “raped” by God then she was not a virgin, and if she was a virgin then she was not raped. Even if one says, “Well obviously she was not raped in the physical sense, but God still raped her,” then the word “rape” would lose all of its meaning. Since God does not have a penis obviously what happened was a miracle that was inspired by the Holy Spirit, causing her to conceive without ever having sexual intercourse. Also, not only is this “rape” question meaningless on a common knowledge level (since Mary was a virgin), as well as meaningless on a physical level (since God does not have a penis and did not have sex with her you moron), but “rape” is also meaningless in the context because Mary was willing. God promised that she would be the mother of the incarnate Christ, and Mary willingly obeyed: “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). Rape can only occur when another does not consent.
Anyone with a brain can see that this objection is vacuous and asinine. But also, from an atheist worldview, why is rape even a bad thing? Even if people did claim that a god a god exists who has raped people in the past, why would atheists object to this on a moral level? Who cares about rape? Doesn’t it provide a way for dominate males to propagate the most offspring? Wouldn’t that be seen as a good thing by Darwinist?…even if they cannot justify their notions of “good” or “bad” in the first place.
(60.) “If you could go back in time to when Jesus was being crucified, would you try to save him? Or would you stand back and do nothing since your entire faith depends on him being crucified?”
This seems to be another meaningless moral appeal by an atheist who cannot justify the significance of ethical questions from his worldview…
God predestined the crucifixion (Acts 4:27-28) so it could not not happen. If I would try to save him I would be killed by the Romans, but also Christ would not want me to save him from the cross since he went to the cross willingly, even rebuking Peter when Peter wished to prevent Jesus from going to Jerusalem for this purpose:
“From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, ‘Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.’ But he turned and said to Peter,’Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.'” (Matthew 16:21-23)
Jesus would have rebuked me like Peter if I had tried to stop him from being crucified.
(61.) “What would it take to change your mind about God’s existence?”
I have been predestined for glory in Jesus Christ by the eternal purpose of the Father, so nothing could convince me. However, if any non theistic world views could begin with a non fallacious epistemology that would not hurt.
(62.) “Do you think it is a little strange when someone says they’re going to believe in something no matter what even when all the evidence seems to point in the other direction?”
Yes, I am amazed at the atheists who do this. They have to appeal to unverified nonsense like Horus being a parallel to Christ’s story. It proves total depravity when people have no ability to listen to reason.
(63.) “What is something your pastor has said in church that you totally disagree with?”
Sometimes one of the elders gets to typology crazy and I wish he would tone it down. He also mentioned the existence of free will in a compatibilist sense, and I would prefer to eliminate free will from discussion and belief altogether and in every way. I also disagree with the charismatic leanings of my church.
(64.) “When that happened, did you confront your pastor about it, or did you just let it slide?”
I confront the elders at my church all the time. All day every day. I am not even being sarcastic, I do it a lot.
(65.) “Why are there so many Christian denominations?”
There are only about 21 mainline traditions within protestantism, which include Baptist, Presbyterian, Anglican, Methodist, etc. The 33,000 denomination myth that floats around on the internet was refuted here. In reality there are not as many divisions as people think. However the cause for the splits that have happened in history happen for many reasons. Anglicanism started because a king wanted to divorce his wife. Methodism began with Jonathan Wesley’s denial of the Calvinistic theology of the Protestant Reformation in support of Arminius’ doctrine. The root of the problem lies in the fact that humans are weak and often stupid, but also because many people do not believe all of what scripture teaches. But I could also turn around and ask why there are so many forms of atheism. There are a huge amount of atheistic divisions, in fact there are a huge amount of divisions in every belief system. These divisions themselves do not nullify the beliefs.
(66.) “Are the people who are in those different denominations bad Christians? Are they wrong”
Those who are Roman Catholic, for instance, are pagans. Roman Catholics are apostate idol worshippers that deny the Gospel and worship pagan deities which they call the saints and Mary. They also worship bread. This is why Protestants are called PROTESTants because originally we protested against the Roman Church, its superstitions, and abominations.
Many people no longer hold to what their denomination once professed since many people who call themselves Christians are apostates who have left the faith. My personal view of people who claim to be Christians is related to what they tell me they believe, not what they tell me their denomination is, since people can no longer be identified by their denomination anymore.
(67.) “Which denomination is right?”
(68.) “Or, which group of denominations is right?”
Those who adhere to Calvinism, the Gospel.
(69.) “Who or what do you think is responsible for natural disasters like earthquakes or tsunamis?”
God. If by “responsible” he means culpable, then no, God is not deserving of blame since he is righteous and just by definition for creating these disasters. If what is meant by “responsible” means the cause then yes it is God who causes them:
“I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the Lord, who does all these things” (Isaiah 45:7).
“Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come?” (Lamentations 3:38).
“When a trumpet sounds in a city, do not the people tremble? When disaster comes to a city, has not the LORD caused it?” (Amos 3:6).
God by his providence causes all of these things.
(70.) “Can you pause the video right now and tell me what the ten commandments are?”
1. Honor father and mother
2. No images/ idols or gods except God
3. Do not take the name of God in vain
5. Do not murder
6. No adultery
7. No coveting
8. No lying
9. No stealing
I promised I haven’t looked… Hmmmm. Maybe I joined two commandments into the second one I listed… I can always list nine right off the bat and then I lose track. I’ll look it up.
BOOM! Yupp, the one that I have listed for number 2 are two separate commands, so I did list all of them. Also it is actually “do not bear false witness,” but that is the same as lying, I just worded it differently.
Anyway, I did not look Exodus 20 up until I listed all of those so yeah, I can do. Woop dee doo.
(71.) “And if you know them, why do so many Christians believe that the first four of them belong on government property and in the classrooms?”
I do not really care about the issue of government property so I do not know why. As far as the classrooms go, the question is too general for me to even answer since he gives no examples.
(72.) “Would you feel comfortable saying the pledge of allegiance in class every day if the words were ‘One nation under no god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all?'”
No, but then again I do not like the pledge of allegiance either. I do not like pledging allegiance to the State. The pledge was made up by some socialist and then the words “under God” were added in the 1950’s as a cultural tool to combat the Soviet Union. The pledge makes people hypocrites and I think the whole exercise is vain.
(73.) “Do you think it is just a coincidence that different religions are popular in different parts of the world?”
No of course not. If a country has never been introduced to Christian or Islamic or Buddhist or whatever belief, then that country is not going to have any adherents to that belief. Obviously it does not invalidate the worldview. If this did invalid the worldview, then no worldview would be correct. But furthermore, atheism is more popular in some regions of the world than others, does that on its face invalidate atheism? Clearly not. Everyone is in the same boat genius.
(74.) “Do you think that if you were born in Saudi Arabia you would be a Muslim rather than a Christian?”
I would be forced to be a Muslim outwardly being born there since belief in other world views are banned there under law. However, this applies to all atheists and Hindus and Buddhists and Catholics, or whoever. Just because people who are born under a tyrannical religious State often conform to what is expected of them, once again, this does not mean that all world views are therefore invalid. But there are people who secretly possess all types of beliefs in Saudi Arabia who just cannot show it. This question is truly useless.
(75.) “Is it possible that religion has less to do with what’s true and more to do with the circumstances of where and when you were born?”
This is the case for the majority of people. But once again, this applies to atheism too so, so what?
(76.) “Do you believe child birth is an example of a miracle?”
(77.) “Does that mean Hitler was once a miracle baby?”
(78.) “And if child birth is a miracle, how come that miracle happens thousands and thousands of times every week?”
I said it is not a miracle so this does not apply to me.