Archive for the ‘English’ Category

Ritual cleansing and purification

Sunday, April 6th, 2014

When you look at many of the major world religions they have some sort of cleansing ritual associated with normal life events such as with childbirth and death including their normal day to day actives of human experience as with menstruation, flatulence, sleep, sexual contact, unconsciousness, emission of blood, semen, vomit, and disease, etc.
Some of these purification rites involve ablutions such as are practiced among the Bahai Faith while others prefer their bodies to be completely immersed in water.
For the Jews this ritual involves such acts as hand washing and the Mikvah while Muslims have the Ghusl and Wudu. Hindus bathe in the holy river Ganges and practice  Achamana and Punyahavachanam. The Shintoist performs Misogi and the Native American Indian has their Sweat Lodge.
Though these religions have a vast array of differences in their world views there are some similarities or familiarities as involving some form of water which for them carries a real sense in which a person consciously discerns their uncleanness with an innate awareness that they are in some significant way defiled therefore in need of cleansing as symbolized by these actions with the use of this universal solvent as an agent of purification.
This self awareness as found in some religious expressions becomes a behavioral attitude towards having a mindful sense of a transcendent reality with a methodological approach according to the old adage of cleanliness is next to godliness. However to say that there is a correlation to this physicality or materialism as applying it as an effectual agent as dealing with divine disfavor and dissatisfaction or as an opportune to sanitize ones, so called, divine essence proves to be counterproductive  as constantly needing to repeat the same activities over and over again with an endless cycle of washings which intuitively seems to lack a complete sense or sufficient effect to sustainably cleanse. These reactions towards a need for sanctification and holiness seem to fail in creating a stockpile of merit as they are short lived as being negated with the brevity of time as they perpetually rewash themselves again and again as being subjected to their frequent immorality and imperfection as human beings. Thus it appears this need for repetitiveness to be thoroughly cleansed can’t be entirely removed in the ultimate sense as leaving some aspects of their being unclean and in need of someone else who is capable to reach the unreachable part of their self identity as eliminating the defilement of their human hearts.
Anyway there are some real practical benefits of hygiene when it comes to bathing and washing but to make a direct association between the internal and external facets of an individual through these habitual mannerisms of superficial skin deep treatments, which may be sincere and outwardly appear to be a form of wisdom, yet are unable to penetrate beyond the surface level as connecting the physical realm to that of the immaterial and immortal soul  as contributing towards an individuals spiritual well being.
Rabbi Yeshua put it this way as addressing His fellow Jews concerning such practices

Matthew 15:1-2,11, 17-20
15 Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, 2 “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat.”
11 it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.”
17 Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? 18 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. 20 These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.”
Apart from human filth the other aspect of this matter may deal with the significant sense and understanding of a deeper realization to remove the impurity of guilt and shame left behind from their moral failures. This reminds of the Shakespearean play in which Lady Macbeth shouts “Out, damned spot” concerning her role in the death of King Duncan as a need to remove the sin stained bloodshed from upon her hands.
In some respect by performing these rituals it becomes an indirect way through their actions to openly confess as recognizing their state of immorality and therefore washing becomes a way of responding according to their human ability and self effort to somehow mysteriously do the job as sufficiently dealing with their moral failures with this compulsive drive to be made clean. Again, I believe this fails to demonstrate an efficacy regardless of their awareness, desire, piety and zeal in performing these rites as the sufficient means to reconcile or ratify  these matters through the limited and dependent abilities of human factors as a somewhat penitent act to offset as to appease, gain favor and acceptance by these various methodologies. Even if all this were somehow possible then when would  it ever be enough to absolve their status or state of uncleanliness and to what degree of scrubbing can sufficiently eradicate the tattooing that has indelibly left its mark upon the heart which has pigmented the spirit and soul with death from both its past and future actions.
Conclusively there is a real conscious sense which is inherent within all mankind that we have violated the standard of a holy God as indicative with an impending sense of a future judgment for those who fail to resolve this substantial conflict.

Romans 2:14-16
14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them 16 on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.

Mankind has struggled to deal with this tension in forming or creating a delusional religious dialogue of ideologies as blazing a trail in finding a solution to navigate this journey towards enlightenment while the hostility of the deceived  anti-theistic psychopath just plainly denies the need to leave their personal abode as to venture out on a quest, which according to their belief, leads to no where as religion becomes an avenue by which weak willed persons have succumbed to the Freudian neurosis of fantasy as seeking a path to a make believe land.  So interestingly, either way, mankind has found a method to traverse or cope with this matter as to self manage this conscious appeal from the Creator.
In response to this crisis I would like to suggest a solution by means of the person and work of Christ who unlike other religious expressions isn’t about mankind trying to find, approach or reach out to God but rather it is about God pursuing mankind relationally with humanity reciprocating a trust response. Thus it isn’t according to the the strength, or for that matter weaknesses, of mankind’s personal abilities but rather cleanliness and purity has been graciously offered as a free gift resulting in fellowship and worship by which God, not us has made possible.
Titus 3:5
5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 6:23
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Ephesians 2:8-9
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
1 John 1:7 
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
1 John 1:9
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
You may object in believing Christianity to being no different than any other form of religious expression with its cleansing sacrament of Water Baptism and in part I would have to agree with you as for some it is no more than a mere bath as going through the motions of identifying with the Church but who are in essence unclean as pseudo believers. True baptism, as a central tenet of the faith, primarily serves as an outward sign or symbol of the effectual and cleansing power of the perfect and precious life blood of Jesus which redemptively purifies all believers in judicially declaring them righteous as coinciding with the transference of the Holy Spirit as the personal change agent who through the process of regeneration brings about an inner transformation. Thus the act of water baptism is a witness or testimony to a reality that didn’t come by combining the elements of hydrogen and oxygen in order to benefit from a liquid but rather it was through the saving work of Christ and the living water of the Holy Spirit as the dynamo that inhabits a person as evidenced by a changed heart and life. It is God Himself that gives the good gift of salvation and the Holy Spirit which does not subsist through the plunging efforts of human baptizers and therefore water baptism becomes only a glimpse concerning this heavenly reality of the power of God in this womb like transaction as giving new birth to a person, not as being born of human will or origin such as with religious activities, but rather through the initiation of God as being born from above or born again through Christ and the Holy Spirit. This being born anew is not to be confused with the Hindu and Buddhist concept of rebirth, as it is the resultant work of Christ who imparts the Holy Spirit as contingent upon His initiative followed with a responsive act of faith or trust in His salvation.
The scriptures likens this reality based on future redemption of Israel according to the Hebraic prophet Ezekiel 36:25-27.

25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. 26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.

Rabbi Yeshua said it this way during the Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot in

John 7:37-39
37 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” 39 Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

The ancient Jews at best had a temporal satisfaction in their ritualistic duties to God but as stated in Hebrews 10 these were only symbols not the reality  themselves as Christ’s offering for our cleansing was given once and for all as the perpetual sacrificial offering as the “Lamb of God” who takes away the sins of the world. To say that Jews don’t need a sacrifice today as the rituals of prayer, fasting and good deeds will suffice as being satisfactory is an act of violation and rebellion against the inscripturated word as denying the fulfillment of the Torah regarding, Leviticus 17:11.

11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life.

No matter how many Mitzvot you perform what surety is there that you have done enough or that your sins have been forgiven apart from the provisional sacrifice of God’s mercy and grace through the Messiah in Isaiah 53?
Likewise for my Muslim friends to deny the death of Jesus as some semblance of failure within the prophetic office entirely misses the point that this was God’s glorious plan to provide an Abrahamic type of  substitutionary atonement by means of the Messiah whose temporary disgrace and shame served as a joyous purpose and occasion as enduring the cross in leading many to glory, Hebrew 2:9-18; 12:2.

In closing Jesus can give you living water which can completely and fully satisfy  and refresh your soul and even though the heavenly Father can lead you to this water He won’t make you drink of it. So finally I would encourage you my friend, like the Samaritan woman, to simply ask for this living water which is essential towards quenching your spiritual thirst apart from false religions, cults  and philosophies which will only leave you high and dry as only being thirsty once again.

John 4:10, 13-14
10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this (well) water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

Lastly Jesus invites you!
Mt 11:28-30
28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
How to have a realtionship with God




The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®) Copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. All rights reserved. ESV Text Edition: 2007

Buddhist Resources

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

Kenneth Samples on reasons to believe


Christian Research Institute


Four Spiritual Laws


Jesus Film


New Testament/Bible


Audio Bible

Buddha the Enlightened One

Saturday, March 13th, 2010

For some the Buddha is a god but practically speaking Siddhartha Gautama or Siddhattha Gotama was an atheist and therefore he didn’t view himself as a deity. For those, like the Buddha, who take a position as an atheist or agnostic I would challenge you to consider several of the cosmological and teleological arguments which I have already put forth in my previous posts.

Atheist and Agnostic

If we can conclude that God does exist then we should look towards Him as gaining the right understanding and thought in guiding our lives instead of the gurus and the Buddha.

Also for those who give honor to the Buddha how do they know that his sayings have been perfectly preserved since his words were not put into print until 400 years after his death? This would give plenty of time for oral tradition to embellish the content of his teaching which leaves the door open to stories of mythological proportions. Also as far as what has been attributed to his sayings he supposedly taught that if a person finds no value to certain aspects of his teaching then they are to disregard it. So how can a person who claims to have truth not affirm himself in an objective manner?

In addition to this Buddha’s teachings have resulted in forming many different schools of thought and various sects which hold to contradictory views.

Perhaps this is because there are discrepancies that are found among these varied and voluminous resources therefore making it difficult if not impossible to reconcile these differences within the texts.

Then again I wonder if even the Buddha himself would even recognize all the script which is credited to his authorship.

Anyway the question resonates was the Buddha really enlightened or awakened? How does he or anybody else know whether or not they have objectively reached or achieved this state of being and by what means does a person measure this phenomena of spiritual aptitude? To claim enlightenment could be an illusion of enlightenment as there is no criteria in which to standardize this spiritual condition.

Even the Buddha himself could not describe or define such elated terms as nirvana except to say what it is not. If the awakened one could not define the ultimate destiny in his enlightenment then how can a person be for sure that this is an actual state of being or becoming?

Is it possible that this religious worldview is only a lie or a deception which has resulted in wasting precious lives through a pessimistic and nihilistic philosophy of snuffing out a person’s own desire for life rather than pursuing the illuminating joy of celebrating the gift of living?

In reality desire can never be extinguished anyway and even the monks who are committed more to an monastic lifestyle of spiritual discipline still have a desire to uphold the precepts of the four noble truths and walk the noble eight-fold path in order to achieve the desirous state of nirvana.

This philosophy of denying oneself may go along with Buddhistic thought but practically are these people living out their life based on these principles?

Also how can a person prove such ideas as anicca/anitya or anatta/anatman? In the final analysis is this just nonsensical religious jargon and words or is this reality? Is all of life to be interpreted as just an illusory realm of shifting shadows without any concept of stability and permanence? Again are Buddhists living up to these ideals and does this rightly represent their day to day life?

In moving on to responding towards the emphasis of avoiding suffering this philosophy is part of the negative equation to the content of hedonism which strives to maximize pleasure while minimizing or avoiding pain.

In regards to the aspect of pain and suffering this concept can only be realized if there exists the antithetical elements of pleasure and goodness otherwise we have nothing to relate to as what is termed as pain and suffering. So if a degree of goodness and happiness can be achieved wouldn’t it be admirable rather than avoidable to see the glass as half full instead of half empty? Shouldn’t we desire to embrace the positive aspect of living rather than avoiding desire altogether? Just because life is filled with obstacles does this mean that it is better to admit defeat and avoid running the race or would it be more beneficial to take the challenge and leap over these hurdles in life? You know sometimes beautiful things can come forth from suffering but if a person avoids this experience then how honorable is it to retreat in life? We have seen the likes of heroes whom we have admired in laying down their lives for the benefit of others such as what Jesus did in suffering through His death on the cross. This was done on behalf of mankind in which he bore the penalty of our sin and guilt in order to release us from the curse of eternal suffering by meriting on our behalf the perpetual bliss of a heavenly kingdom.

I understand and agree that pain and suffering is an evil that is a part of this existence and world but it shouldn’t be avoided by checking out or escaping this reality which does nothing to solve the problem of ridding ourselves and our world of such mayhem. It is better to center our energies and efforts on building hospitals for the infirmed and food banks/shelters for the poverty stricken and orphanages for our abandoned young rather than to take a passive approach in action towards those who have found themselves in such unfortunate circumstances.

Also living in a monastery does not solve the problems of human suffering and isolation is more of a defensive posture versus a progressive approach in handling these issues.

Christianity has taken the position and the lead in making great efforts in providing humanitarian aid to better the lives of others by easing the discomfort of the destitute and suffering rather than taking the attitude that helping others is a contribution to the evil of increasing others Tanha/Trsna (desire ) or somehow reason that these people are really suffering anyway due to some fatalistic realm of karmic retribution.

Suffering may be an enemy but ironically by snuffing out desire this will only lead to more suffering the likes of which Buddhism is trying to escape.

Another irony to the emphasis of this philosophy is that the Buddha who sought out the source of suffering and how to eliminate it was a perpetrator of causing pain himself and his actions were contradictory to his mission as he abandoned his own family including his wife and child by creating a hardship for them in order to pursue his quest.

In my final analysis Buddhism in its most simplistic form appears to be egocentric and selfish because even though it may uphold to a basic moral code of treating others with respect it does so out of a self interest of solving their own personal problem of suffering as a way of meriting something for their own benefit, namely nirvana.

So if the ultimate goal and motivation for the Buddhist is to remove ones own suffering then morality in interaction with others is seen as only a means to achieve the end.

Yet Jesus had another approach to humanity in which he unselfishly came to serve rather than to be served in giving his life as a ransom for many.

Finally according to Buddhist thought the concepts of accountability or judgment comes through the system of karma and rebirth.

This seems like such an oxymoron for me to believe that such a respected spiritual leader as the Dalai Lama is in exile or that the rape of the Tibetan Buddhist nuns by the communist Chinese resulted by some type of karma from a previous life.

Also I am wondering how does this system of retribution become manageable for an atheist who would deny a supreme being and yet who else could orchestrate such a system of belief? After all someone must determine and evaluate this elaborate system of works in order to obtain some form of orderly system. This would take an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent being which is definably God himself to oversee such an incomprehensible matter and so how can the existence of  God be denied?

In addition to this if nirvana is the ultimate achievement and final destiny in absolving oneself from this endless repetition of rebirths then how can one be absolutely sure of this realm of being?

Has anybody ever checked out of nirvana and come back to tell their story? Is this a real experience or are they depending upon blind faith? I did a blog on the after life or near death experiences which you might find helpful and interesting.

In response to Buddhist philosophy I would like to offer an alternative view which speaks of Jesus as the Light of the world and the One who illuminates every man’s path and if we trust Him as both Lord and Savior He will ultimately lead us out of this world of suffering not by the rigors of self effort into some kind of esoteric state of consciousness but rather in securing for us an eternal destiny of heavenly bliss.

I came into a relationship with Jesus over 20 years ago and He has radically transformed my life and filled me with a desire for living rather than inspiring me to despise my temporary abode of existence.

If you like you can read about my testimony at:

Also another point of objection is that whatever Buddhism has achieved academically it has done so through the school of Hindu thought.

Buddha may have strayed from Hinduism but nevertheless he was born, lived, and died a Hindu and therefore Buddhism though genetically altered bears a striking resemblance to its mother religion of Hinduism.

Again the bo tree of Buddhism is firmly rooted in Hinduism in which it has taken nourishment from as a vital support structure in maintaining Buddhism’s visibility as a religious institution.

In other words, though there are variances in beliefs between these two religious cultures, Buddhism wouldn’t exist without the guidance of the Indian guru’s and therefore it lacks  originality having it origins not in the Buddha to which it takes its name but rather its identity comes mainly from another source.

So do you want to put all your stolen eggs in the three baskets of Buddhistic teaching or would you entrust yourself into the protective hands of a loving and benevolent God who desired you and created you so you might have life and life more abundantly?

In conclusion this argument isn’t about who has the best philosophy or cultural expression but it is about seeking truth and allowing the truth to lead us down the path towards the inevitable. Christ came to light every man’s path but if the only light that you have is really just darkness then how will you find your way.

Yet the bible encourages us that God’s words are a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path.

Finally I hope that my rhetoric isn’t misunderstood as just a violation of right speech and though my words may appear hard I do have a motivation of genuine concern which compels me to labor my point in seeking the benefit of others. Again I am sorry if I have come across disrespectfully or have offended you needlessly I just don’t know how to say these things in a soft manner and yet communicate effectively the seriousness of these critical concepts.

Also I do believe as the Buddhist that there is an accountability system of right and wrong. These ideals are hard wired in the main frame of our existence in which God communicates truth to our inward parts so that we instinctively know that there are consequences and judgments to our life decisions and this is respectable when Buddhism minimally acknowledges that but to work out someway of appeasing the conscious through the self effort of religious practice is only a counterfeit behavior to the reality of having a personal relationship with the One who is able to remove the burden of guilt that humanity tries so hard to extinguish by self effort.

In closing I would just ask you to simply consider as an invitation to taste and see that the Lord is good and to open your heart to explore the person and work of Jesus.

Lastly I would like to leave you with a scripture which was uttered by Jesus in Matthew 11:28-30 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”



How to know God

Buddhist Resources

English Articles on Theravada Buddhism



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Is The Bible Reliable

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

Upon writing this post I wanted to deal with the uniqueness of the bible which I believe gives credence to the reality of the text which ultimately points towards divine authorship.

To study further on this subject I would recommend a book that I read a long time ago called “A Ready Defense” by Josh McDowell who was an atheist turned Christian. His quest was similar to that of Lee Strobel’s who is a well known author for his “case” series of books.

When closely examining the bible it is like a jewel that is multifaceted with a beauty that makes this gem unique among other literary “gem”res.

I know that this is the same claim that others have also made by advancing their various religious world views but in the final analysis the bible as compared to these other scripts sets a precedence which places it in a class of its own.

Every group wants to claim originality, uniqueness, genuineness, and authority as it relates to some supreme or divine origin regarding their sacred text and based on what I have seen so far in regard to these books seems to be questionable based upon the shortcomings and contradictions of their varied positions of belief.

Again I understand this is the same criticism that has been leveled against the biblical text as well and the skeptic is quick to point out all sorts of problems but some are not always able to be specific in their critique.

Also I know there are difficulties within the bible that are hard to decipher but that is not enough evidence to discard its content as rubbish and poppycock.

Some of these conflicts have resulted due to the vastness and complexity of the scriptures which encompasses 1500 years of writing with 40 different authors who wrote on 3 different continents in 3 different languages. This has led to various nuances which at times may be almost impossible at points to complete rectify or reconcile due to the diversity of language and  culture.

Some things in the bible are a paradigm shift to our concept of experience such as its miraculous and metaphysical contents but this does not disapprove the bible either but rather it just leaves us with a bit of a  mystery that is not normative to our sense perception.

As regarding biblical content there are other things that just lack a fuller view of explanation and insight of which the authors didn’t leave us with nor thought it necessary to answer. As we try to fill in the blanks this often times leaves us with a misunderstanding which attributes much to the seemingly contradictions and misapplications to the contextual view which can lead towards heretical forms of teaching or belief.

The bible isn’t always an easy piece of literature to handle or piece together and it is like an onion in that every time you read through it you find another layer of understanding that was overlooked in the first disclosure. Yet just because something cannot not be fully understood doesn’t mean that is can’t be trusted. Even science has these limitations as they are just now beginning to probe into the deeper mysteries of the universe and yet the universe to us is both real and believable.

Also we can’t treat the bible like an exhaustive manual which explains every last little detail and it appears to be the Almighty’s prerogative to avoid an extensive explanation of all the complexities that interest inquiring minds. From a biblical view point there tends to be a concentration on the relevant or central points and subjects rather than always answering the questions of “why”. It’s not like we could fully fathom or understand everything anyway and at points it might be like trying to teach the theorems of nuclear science to a new born. This reminds me of Job who questioned God in his finitude which in turn God answered Job back in His infinitude leaving Job speechless.

As humans we don’t even fully understand the ancient technologies or achievements of men such as the building of the pyramids which are undeniably monumental in their presence and yet now we expect to fully comprehend the complexities of an eternal and omnipotent God?

Also some of the difficulties in the bible apply more directly to that particular point in history which would have made it more significant in relevance towards the contemporaries of that particular generation.

So maybe our ability to discern fully is diminished through this aspect of time and space and one thing that has helped in narrowing the gap of biblical doctrine has been the technological advances of archaeology and their recovery of the evidence which has helped to clarify instead of contradict the biblical text. It’s just a matter of time for some things to come into a clearer view as we unearth the next pile of dirt.

Archaeologists have uncovered habitations that were once thought to be non existent such as the Hittite civilization and they also have found historical proof for the things in the bible that at one time were put in the categorical box of mythology.

Our limitations to discern or understand can also become distorted resulting in a corrupt understanding of the text and fallibility may be on behalf of the interpreter which results in a misapplication to the scriptures but one thing is certain is that these assertions may apply to peoples perception but that does not necessitate an application to the book that is under others scrutiny.

Anyway I really don’t have enough time in this one post to write on such a voluminous work that has copious amount of scholarship dedicated to this subject. Hopefully this will serve your interest in prompting a desire for you to more fully research these claims in unlocking this heavy but accessible door as you enter into the discovery of biblical truth.

One thing that biblical literature has going for itself is that there is more manuscript evidence for the bible than any other piece of ancient literature. There are about 25,000 manuscripts in various languages that date back as early as 125 A.D for the New Testament and as far back as 200 B.C for the Old. This massive amount of manuscript helps when trying to reconstruct authenticity by analyzing possible discrepancies due to scribal fluctuations and these reconstructive efforts of scholars and linguists have resulted in more of a purified text. Most of these variances that are found are minor such as spelling errors and therefore are non consequential towards the integrity of the text.

Unfortunately we do not have the originals or the autographs but still there is only about a 100 year old time lapse between the New Testament autograph and the oldest surviving copies which is quite small considering that most of the other literature that we have from antiquity is between 400 to 1000 years removed from its original source.

Also regarding the preservation and authentication of the New Testament text is that much of it can be completely reconstructed from the quotes of the early church fathers between 97 AD to 180 AD except for 11 verses. In addition to this the lectionaries between 300-1100 AD also confirm the content for the entire New Testament.

Another thing to consider is that when there is a longer period of time between the sources there tends to be a better possibility to embellish the literature content of a document which can evolve into mythical proportions due to the inclusion of oral traditions. We discovered this when we played the game of telephone as kids. So I believe given the relatively short period of time between these manuscript sources helps to authenticate the reliability of the biblical text.

One of the main reasons why there was difficulty in the preservation and survival of these original autographs was due to the inferiority of the parchment which was largely papyrus. Animal skins were not widely used until centuries after the completion of the New Testament so in conclusion this trail of vast manuscripts has turned out to be a blessing in piecing together the textual evidence of this script without the benefits of Gutenberg’s Press.

In moving on to the Old Testament text it was passed down to us by the Massoretes. These copyists or scribes were meticulous on how they counted the number of letters, words, and lines in keeping with the accuracy of the sacred text. This kind of detail can be attributed to the consistency we see with the discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls in 1947 which were written about 1000 years before this Masoretic text (895AD). When I was in Jerusalem I was able to see the Isaiah scroll on display at the Shrine of the Book museum.

Anyway in addition to this there is yet another copy of the Old Testament called the Septuagint which is written in Greek with the oldest copy dating back to about the second century AD which is still another piece of the puzzle to this ancient work of literature.

Now regarding the New Testament the original manuscripts were written between 45 and 95 A.D. Fortunately these documents can be ascribed to there various times based on the historical significance of well know people, places, and events. In addition to this I think one key element in determining the age of these documents is the fact that the temple was destroyed in 70 A.D.  and since this is such a catastrophic event of which is not even mentioned in such significant historical books  as Acts or the gospel narratives then it becomes understandable why these books predate this particular event in history.

Also before the New Testament could be accepted as canon it had to be validated and  proven to have  an origin that would require it to be of either a first hand witness or someone closely associated with these witnesses in order to find acceptance within the  New Testament community of believers.

Nearly all the New Testament was written by the Apostles with the bulk of literature being attributed to the Apostle Paul. Others that had written books were closely associated with the Apostles such as John Mark who was a close associate with the Apostle Peter and Luke who was under the influence of Paul and there was also Jacob(James) and Judah(Jude) who were the half brother’s of Jesus. We have no reason to question the authenticity of these apostolic authors based on the dates and the acceptance of these scriptures by the followers of the early church.

Even Polycarp in 108 AD, who was a disciple of the Apostle John, mentions 15 of these NT books, not to say that the others didn’t exist, but finally through various church councils leading up to the council of Carthage in 397 AD the canon of the New Testament was determined to be closed and was fully affirmed and accepted officially even though it had already been approved within the community of saints prior to these councilor meetings. In addition to this the Jewish council of Jamnia had already determined their canon of scripture prior to this in 90 A.D by officially codifying the Old Testament text.

One of the reasons for the council was due to a reactionary response as a need to preserve biblical orthodoxy which was under attack by the various cults and heresies that were being circulated at this juncture in history. Also within these councils, which would include Jamnia, the various apocryphal literature’s were rejected as inspirational even though it was allowed within the Septuagint and later included within various Orthodox and Catholic bibles.

The early church was hypersensitive towards authentication and was very narrow concerning the inclusion of circulated texts. The church wanted to avoid the synchronization of controversial texts which is unlike some religions like Hinduism which have incorporated a synthesis of various contradictory tribal traditions as a unified text.

So the bible didn’t just come together haphazardly by the mixing and matching of mythological narratives such as what you might find in some of the ancient pagan cultures that ascribe the  events of the creation and the flood accounts as the work of  the polytheistic gods. Nor does it lend itself to the mishandling of information but rather the authors had a preoccupation for accuracy. Just read the account of the gospel of Dr. Luke who writes with the intent of precision as outlined in the introductory statement of his gospel account in Luke 1:1-4 which is described as being prepared in an orderly and precise fashion.

Though the bible may contain super-nature material it is written with the backdrop of historical narrative which is unique and separate from other mythological literature. If God is who the bible claims Him to be then the variables of His omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence are clearly within the range of the data that the biblical account supports.

There have also been challenges raised against the gospel accounts which can be seen by the discrepancies of inclusion and exclusion. The bible teaches inspiration with a confluence of both a divine and human element unlike Islam which teaches that the Quran was originated as a divine copy that was communicated by dictation like a stenographer.

The writers of the gospels were individuals who wrote based on their guided perceptions of the same events as it related to their distinct personalities and experience much like interviewing a spectator at a sporting event to get their reaction to the game. Not everybody is going to say the same thing because of a different vantage point in their communication of factual information and even if there is corroboration like you have in the Synoptic gospels there are still allowances for individuality. Of course this is only acceptable as long as it is not contradictory in nature.

If the church wanted to remove any perceived inconsistencies as a means to help eliminate the supposed contradictions then they would have had plenty of time to do this by now but because these somewhat controversial scriptures remain helps to prove is originality.

If we question the biblical literature then we must likewise question the historical literature of antiquity as well as all other literature even from the contemporary sources. We can’t just simply rank or categorize religion under the titles of superstition, fiction, and myth just because it pertains to religious ideologies.

We must also scrutinize what is to be considered as the standardized text book materials such as what is found in the scientific (philosophical) realms which base much of their conclusive evidence on the theory and hypothesis of their scientific methods. Yet are we religiously treating these books as sacred without challenging them by accepting the science fiction notion of such things as macroevolution which has never been proven.

Religion has been attributed as the opiate of the masses but what about the cyanide of the sciences and philosophies in spite of the teleological and cosmological arguments of which science has stumbled over in resolving and has had to shift their position from time to time in order to accommodate there faith which remains in a continued state of flux. Upon closer observation if the skeptic would remove the shutter over their instruments they may come to discover the Creator staring back at them through the lens of the microscope and telescope.

The bible was meant to be complimentary to the texts of human academia and is not to be antithetical to the precepts of life as it appears within the libraries of knowledge. However some want to create a special section that separates it from the rest of the collection of library books by attributing it to a form of  mysticism or some type of the pre-scientific beliefs of ancient tribal civilizations who were ignorant and misinformed.

Lastly this post does not answer every question to all the objections but it does show at this point that the bible is a reliable source of ancient literature. Yet what really makes this piece of work unique is the content which has it origins in a divine being.

I believe that requires something of the nature which is considered special revelation such as the fulfillment of prophecy or scientific facts that were unknown to these ancient civilizations.

A person could give the criticism that biblical prophecy is like an arrow that has been shot with the bible serving as the target which we have conveniently moved in order to achieve the bulls eye of fulfillment.

Yet there are some things of which can not be adequately refuted because of the historical nature of secondary or non biblical sources which are independent of the biblical sources.

One of these sources comes to us through the historical and archeological finds that have helped to substantiate and give credibility to the biblical text.

The scriptures themselves have made some wise towards the receiving of salvation and we see this as a response to some Jews who have come to believe in Jesus as the Messiah just from reading the Tanakh or the Old Testament scriptures. To most Jews the New Testament is an inferior secondary text but when they see an alignment between the historical crucifixion and the New Testament record then sometimes the light of revelation illuminates their mind to connect to Jesus as the supreme messianic figure in fulfillment of the Old Testament.

The Jewish community is not sympathetic towards Jesus even though we share a common belief in God and a holy book. One of the chapters that some of the religious Jews avoid is Isaiah 53 due to its prophetic significance as related to Jesus. Many times when uninformed Jews hear this segment of the scripture for the first time some immediately associate this passage with Jesus and their initial response is that we don’t believe in the New Testament without realizing that they have just heard a passage from their Hebrew scriptures.

Another prophecy, which is found in Psalms 22, depicts the scene of the crucifixion of Jesus which describes this form of capital punishment that was non existent at this point in history and wasn’t developed until later by the Persians before finally being adopted by the Romans.

Again this is another one of those scriptures that some Jews upon hearing for the first time have immediately seen as a correlation between Jesus and His death. Actually this was one of the key scriptures in which my Jewish wife came to believe in Jesus herself.

In considering the evidence of the prophetic I would like to refer to a couple of instances that would be recognized as unique outside of the resource of the bible and would be considered unmistakingly and undeniably valid without the influence of a religious text alone telling us what happened which would include the possibility of adding something after the fact.

To begin with we know that the Old Testament predates the New Testament and that is not in dispute here because of the dating of the Septuagint and the Dead Sea scrolls and therefore this text was not the invention of Christianity. The Jewish community had this text long before the advent of the new covenant era and the Jews wouldn’t even think about it as being an extension of the biblical narrative.

Yet the religious  Jews find some real problems with some of these Old Testament scriptures and they either avoid reading them or claim them to be closed or to difficult to understand especially when it comes to the possibility of seeing Jesus as the fulfillment of the text.

One thing I have discussed extensively in another blog is the seventy weeks of Daniel which deals with a historic timetable of dating which can not be fabricated or altered which specifically points to the time of Jesus followed by the destruction of the temple.

Also another bit of evidence and one of the greatest miracles of this modern era is the reestablishment of the State of Israel and the continued proliferation of the Jewish people against all the odds of a complete assimilation and annihilation which helps in confirming the prophetic significance of Genesis 13:14, 15 which was given as an ancient promise to Abraham concerning his offspring as inhabiting the land of Israel forever. This prophecy was given about 2000 BC and it still good for 2010 AD and beyond.

The historical rebirth of Israel in 1948 was a divine miracle which records the preservation of Israel amidst the oppositional forces of exile and the Diaspora which resulted in the inquisition, crusades, pogroms, and even the nazi Holocaust and yet they have still survived and retained their ethnic and national identity as a distinct people and therefore did not fully integrate unlike other people groups in the history of the world that had lost their homeland. The Jews may have been temporarily displaced but only to return. God was putting them on display as if to show the world his glory and greatness according to his promises which are without repentance.

In addition to this just to hear of the miraculous stories which took place among the Jewish people as they fought to retain their land is enough to make a believer out of you. To see God’s hand in protecting them from the invading armies of the surrounding Arab nations when they were out numbered and out armed was like a story right out of the bible much like David and Goliath.

There have been many great civilization come and go but Gods word will not fail. A good production to view concerning this reenactment is the movie “Against all Odds”.

In regards to science many have thought that the bible is incompatible with the advancements of the modern scientific age and yet we know that there are many well known scientists working in their respective disciplines which minimally have a theistic view as well as a portion of them clinging to the Judeo Christian faith. Here is a link that gives a partial list of these people

In conclusion this may not prove to you ever thing that you question regarding the biblical text or the God of the bible but it should cause you to hunger enough to want to investigate the buffet of God’s word as means to satisfy the hunger pangs of our human reality. Our problem is that we have a pallet that is not culinaried towards having an appetite towards our creator. Yet the bible calls to us to taste and see that the Lord is good.
How to know God

Atheist and Agnostic Resources

English Articles on Atheism and Agnosticism





AMG’s Encyclopedia of Bible Facts, AMG Publishers, Chattanooga, Tennessee

Reprinted by permission. “Josh McDowell A Ready Defense, Josh McDowell and Bill Wilson, Copyright 1993, Thomas Nelson Inc. Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved.”

Pain, Suffering and Evil

Sunday, May 17th, 2009

This is just an introduction as attempting to answer the question of why there is pain and suffering in the world and more personally within our own individual lives. For starters, I think this is often a complex question which I believe can be answered generally, though limited, as unable to always give an exact explanation on a case by case basis. Actually there have been many books written on this very subject and it is a frequently asked question which on this side of eternity may not always be precisely known, or unanswerable, through the limits of human knowledge as seeing through a glass darkly, 1 Corinthians 13:12.
My concern with this blog is that people often correlate the existence of pain and suffering with the non-existence of God. However, a lack of understanding or disagreement to the presence of evil in life does not necessitate that conclusion.
Also sometimes this objection is just a disingenuous excuse to excuse themselves from God.
For others, it is purely an emotional objection not based on logic or rational choices but on our egotistical feelings which aren’t always stable indicators or reliable sources of truth. A part of this is that we treat happiness as the measure of all things, or the end result, to determine right and wrong. Yet a persons happiness can be selfish, temporal, superficial, and misleading which can even infringe on another persons happiness.

Does hedonism promote happiness?

Who am I and why am I here?

The other aspect of this is tied to both the emotional pain and the senseless suffering of sentient beings as victims under this system which becomes more of a valid objection to the condition of this global tragedy. Anyway I won’t be addressing the various scenarios that make up this question but will offer a more plausible explanation to answering the question of “Why”.
To begin with by taking a purely naturalistic approach to solving this crisis through human effort alone; it is often limited in leading to disappointment. This is because it generally becomes a conflict of interest for mankind as a whole to be both the sickness and the remedy to the problem which I have previously written about in these articles below.
If you expect nothing less than heaven on earth then this becomes problematic and self refuting as you would spoil this utopia with your own personal evil.

The Salvation of Secular Humanism

Marxism, Leninism, Maoism and Ho Chi Minh Thought on Communism

Philosophically, if a Godless society were a reality then trying to define evil would be a problem as adding value to a relative term; as there would be no overarching principle or absolute standard in which to judge anything as right or wrong, which out of logical necessity, becomes a moral argument for God.
To just say that it is basically human to be moral does nothing to ground or originate morality in the ultimate sense of the word but only pushes back the question to a greater explanation or cause. To say that there is evil you would have to also know that good exists and how do you justify it through personal preference; as one persons or one societies good can be another persons evil e.g., Hitler, Jihadists, Satanists. So it becomes problematic and unlivable to leave this term open-ended for interpretation as merely an indeterminate token of autonomous expression as delegated to a personal or cultural preference which doesn’t correspond to reality as local regulatory agencies and global councils often intervene on behalf of moral issues which can’t be purely subjective or situational as requiring these legislative systems to enforce laws and provide support with a degree of accountability. This sense of justice is mostly a good system, in as much as it retains a resemblance to the “image of God”, by which a common humanity was formed as earthly stewards to recognize and uphold similar moral categories; even it lacks perfection due to the failure of human agencies, Romans 2:14-16, 13:1-5.
From a non theist position, morality becomes inconsistent as many anthropologists and scientists classify mankind as just a privileged primate while on the other hand demand that we can’t behave as animals as these naturalist theorists bow down to putting their faith in the mysterious, all mighty and mindless force of Natural Selection as a means to sovereignly bring about this end towards the advancement of life.

An Atheist has faith

Anthropic principle (Is human life an accident)

The evolution of man

Personally I think it is more reasonable to put ones trust in a sovereign intelligence, namely God, as a to guide this process.
When it comes to religion some may see this as the main source of this problem yet statistically that has not been the case.

Religion is the source of trouble in the world

However, in resolving the issue of evil; secularism, like false religion, has limitations as seen among some of the major world religions as some forms of Hinduism deny that evil exists as illusory or embraces the karmic cycle of retribution. Buddhism, escapes suffering, albeit snuffing out personal desire through the vehicle of self-denial, while Islam fosters it as necessary to bring about world dominance in submission to Allah. The Christian world view faces evil as recognizing mankind as sinfully flawed who is in need of redemption and transformation in order to reverse this curse as eliminating both its cause and its consequential effect through a relationship with God as He graciously and mercifully reached down towards humanity as justly accomplished through the person and work of Christ and lived out accordingly among its followers versus the limitations of human nature through self effort or religious merit as trying to somehow reach upward.

How to know God

Some may see this argument as proof against theism, at least against Judeo-Christian beliefs, concerning the nature of God. Yet ironically, the world’s system mostly uses a biblical definition to elements of good and evil with the need for a justice system. Of course, there are instances in which dissenters would deny any kind of God principle to morality by presenting an anomaly to personal and social conventions but it only goes to show how the devolution of some cultures are more depraved than others in rebellion against God, Romans 1:18-32.
In dealing with the nature of evil there is both a spiritual response and a practical application to this problem. The bible, as a standard, is in agreement to how society ought to behave as defining good and evil based on the obedience or disobedience to God’s will and purpose for mankind as to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind along with the golden rule as “doing unto others what you would have them do to you” or loving others as yourself, Mt 7:12, Mt 22:36-40, which is a general summary of the decalogue or the ten commandments found in Exodus 20. This basic law code has not only been written on tablets of stone but has been engraved upon the heart of mankind as either accusing or excusing our conscious of right and wrong, Romans 1:18-32, 2:14-16, as well as an enhanced visual acuity to noticing a higher power.

Is God unknowable

Where is God

Who is God

Yet what gives real authority to the biblical witness is not just its ability to define good and evil on the basis of human nature along with do’s and don’ts, which can to some degree be done by some of these other systems as well, but rather it is able to effectively and practically cure or heal this sinful heart condition with a heart transplant as exchanging our heart of stone with a heart of flesh by the operative power of the Holy Spirit as to regenerate mankind through the new birth, Ezekiel 36:25-27, 1 Corinthians 3:16. Granted, this does not make us equal to God in moral perfection as we are still dealing with imperfect people who still make choices as living within the complexity of an unregenerate worldly system which continues to express free will. The solution, though powerfully sufficient, is not always effectually actualized even though it is always potential in that it deals with human weakness with a battle of the will, Galatians 5:16-26. Of course, the skeptic may try to require perfection as proof or evidence of this even though it can’t uphold this same sort of standard for themselves or even its preferred system thus somehow downgrading Christianity as not the “only way”, but just any other path view, and yet to do so is mythical in deifying mankind as a demigod apart from the One perfect being of God which is contrary to what some religions might teach but are unable to substantiate.
Some may even see Christianity as the problem in blaming Christian as the perpetrators of evil as persecuting others such as during the Crusades and the Inquisition. Yet Christ never said anything about fighting for His kingdom in this manner during this present dispensation of grace but rather they are to serve as the healing agents of society, Mt.5:38-48, 10:1. Jesus taught in parables about a pseudo church who would make claims to Christ but behave hostilely like the rest of the world in which He denies as not even knowing them as His true followers, Mt. 7:21-23. In response to this some of the greatest institutions in human history have come through the church, such as hospitals and orphanages, as Christ’s love is practically extended to loving our neighbor.

Hypocrites in the Church

Even if Atheists consent to a biblical influence of morality they would still deny that the biblical God exists due to the reality of global catastrophes which is seemingly contrary to any kind of omnibenevolent and omnipotent being. This would completely leave God out of the equation or deemed ineffectual in solving this problem as impotent to stop evil in the world such as with the finite god of process theology and open theism or perhaps indifferent/impersonal such as the god of deism or worst yet a capricious dictator who is gaming with human lives.
A favorable option to this dilemma is that God sovereignly allows for mankind’s free will as temporarily permitting human evil along with its consequential repercussions to either directly or indirectly affect all of creation as corporately linked or connected, which will inevitably result in judgment as finalizing the enemy of evil along with a universal liberation with a new heavens and new earth in exterminating this plague of evil. Likewise this is a similar model to how mankind generally values human freedom as coupled with a judicial system which is a foreshadowing of God’s economy, even though this earthly structure is not perfect or completely adequate as many have gone unpunished by their crimes which becomes another reason for the final judgment of God. So in the end God will preside as having the final ruling in every person’s evil including their rejection of Him as giving all their due process. Thus justice delayed is not justice denied.

Is Hell Real

What the Hell

Because of His goodness, God is not merely vindictive as eager to fill the furnaces of hell which was originally established for the devil and his angels, not for human occupancy, Mt. 25:41. He does not immediately enact justice of which no one would be found completely innocent of as we are all guilty to some degree or another but according to His mercy is slow to anger. After all, would you really want the justice of God to always be swift and immediate then needless to say this would help solve the problem but not in a beneficial way towards any of us. Some may be like the scoffer in 2 Peter 3: 3-15 who said where is the promise of His coming as mocking the slowness to God’s final judgement or like the patient rabbi on Fiddler on the Roof who commented about having to wait for the Messiah elsewhere. Yet to bring about prematurely the finality of evil would consume some of those whom He patiently awaits to receive into His kingdom, as His desire is that none should perish but that all come to repentance, 2 Peter 3:9, 1 Timothy 2:1-4 .
Anyway we might question the length and breadth of suffering in this world yet in regards to eternity it is only momentary and fleeting. The Bible likens the duration of a human life as a breath or a passing shadow. It may not be comforting or reassuring in the temporal scheme of suffering but inevitably it should still give us an eternal hope of glory as contrasted with our temporary afflictions, 2 Corinthians 4:8-18, John 16:33.
A reflective and honest appraisal of this whole matter should cause us to ask the question concerning ourselves if we have personally caused any evil? Have we violated others at any time to any degree? Are we innocent? Are we strictly the victim or are we also the perpetrators of sin crimes? Furthermore, what have we done to help eliminate suffering in our world?
In respect to eradicating evil in our world, mankind has been given the responsibility as co-regents to rule and reign as God’s representatives of authority as stewards of the Earth which accounts for 95% of the cases while the smaller percentage of natural disasters aka ‘Act(s) of God’ could still be provided a level of support, Genesis 1:26. Thus our questioning to this whole dilemma has been misdirected at God when it should have led to scrutinizing ourselves as to whether or not we have utilized our God-given resources to help manage evil.
Anyway when trying to understand the nature of evil the bible dates it all the way back to the beginning of humanity and even before with the rebellion of Satan and his demonic cohorts. If you study the creation account you will see that what God originally created was good; imprinting mankind with His likeness as an intelligent being with a free and willful capacity to make choices which as you know can be influenced either way. In the process of time this resulted in mankind’s first deliberate act of rebellion against the Creator followed by God’s judgment as mankind’s action led to a pandemic of evil as infecting all of humanity as this evil gene was passed down through a common ancestry as the progenitor of the human race. This disease or contagion has affected all of creation as contaminating the world due to its consequential effect upon the subjects of their rule, Genesis 3:14-19, Ecclesiastes 7:20, Proverbs 20:9. As a part of this mutating curse its has altered the human nature as hindering mankind’s natural ability to positively respond to God and properly relate to others and like the second law of thermodynamics it went from a state of order to entropy. This combined with the allying powers of Satan as rebellious creatures joined forces to maker a synergism as thickening the plot of evil against God’s goodness. Mind you, this is unlike any sort of dualism which would see this as a battle between the coequal powers or forces of good and evil, and even though they are oppositional according to nature, these inferior Creatures can never be greater than its superior Creator. Thus evil is not Evil as some kind of equal rival that could overcome God but rather it is a perversion or a corruption of God’s good nature according to His will and purpose.
Some may object that it is not fair for our nature to be under sins control as being preprogrammed because of the “fall” or moral failure of our ancient earthly parents, yet this is no excuse as God did not abandon us as orphaned children who used Jesus as our brother and Lord to renew our nature as to overcome sin so as to be adopted by our heavenly Father. What the first Adam failed at; the second Adam, Christ, succeeded in; as restoring us in fellowship with the God of Eden. Thus the eternal effects of one man’s obedience far outweigh the temporal effects of the other’s disobedience, 1 Corinthians 15, Romans 5. Finally the whole crux of the mater is an overconfidence of thinking that we could have done any better than Adam’s original attempt at free choice.
Anyway when examining the philosophical objections of evil in respect to God, a person may reason that if God providentially created everything or if everything is God, like in pantheism, then that must also include evil yet the bible declares that God can not sin nor causes anyone to sin, James 1:12-18. When God tests others He does so as to expose the genuineness or true nature of the person as an actualized reality, not as theory or a random event, but is intentional (a) to bring about His righteous judgment, (b) to justify by proving our love and faithfulness, and (c) discipline to produce repentance so as to be restored to God as a merciful and redemptive act of love.
In regards to the other side of this matter the enemy of our soul, namely Satan the Tempter, deliberately tempts as his only objective is to steal, kill, and destroy others, Genesis 3:1-5;13-15, Matthew 4:1-11, 1 Peter 5:8-9, and John 10:10.
In the course of such actions the grace of God can lead us to overcoming sin while the wickedness of Satan would strive against us so that we would be overcome by sin.
For those who are acquainted with the scriptures this then brings other sorts of questions such as biblical paradoxes in respect to the nature of evil which give the critic the first impression that God either willfully or unwillfully violates His own rules, laws and ordinances of goodness as being no different than the cruelty of the Nazis to conduct human experiments, such as God hardening Pharaoh’s heart, whose heart was already hardened, yet softens the antagonistic heart of Paul in his conversion, God bringing a just disaster while mercifully bringing salvation to all who would believe upon His Son as desiring that none should perish, the annihilation of the Canaanites who God patiently waited for before destroying while giving repentance to the Ninevites, the testing of Job followed by him being restored twofold, the testing of the Israelites over 40 years in their wilderness journeys who often put God to the test yet Jesus was subjected to the duress of being tested as proven faithful after 40 days in the desert, the election of Jacob over Esau according to the eternal purposes of God who then extends that election to those who by nature were considered His enemies as the just Christ died for the unjust world so as to receive the favor of God, John 3:16-18. These examples appear to be contradictions but rather these situations, though not fully explanatory in this article, have been used by the near-sighted skeptic whose reading glasses have been adjusted to looking at God in only one way as a distortion to His glorious being. The bible tells us how to properly view God though the lens of truth according to His absolute goodness Psalm 103:8, 145:8-9, Nehemiah 9:29-35, Exodus 34:6-7.

Is God a Murderer

It follows that if God is to be blamed for all things, as the author of evil, then why is He often not credited for permitting good or perhaps even limiting evil? Why is there any good at all? God is often overlooked during times of prosperity but quick to fault when all hell breaks loose as if He can only be responsible for our bad times but not our good times. If we would think about ourselves as critically as we think about God it might actually lead us to becoming more constructive than merely lashing out in our frustration which often times leads to misusing rather than blessing His name. What about giving God the benefit of the doubt rather than doubting His benefits as considering the good by giving thanks besides just complaining about the bad. Often times we question God for not divinely intervening and demand Him to be subjected to us like some cosmic genie who we only want to let out of the bottle just long enough to make a wish during a moment of crisis which sounds more like relating formally to an insurance agent rather than the intimacy of a personal relationship.

Help God

In resolving this problem you might ask why didn’t God just create a world that didn’t have any evil and He did in it’s original state but to remove the human potential for evil would mean to be a robotic humanoid or animal as unable to freely choose to love the Creator to whom we were created by and for as mankind’s ultimate destiny and purpose as the highest value or quality of life, 1 Corinthians 13:13, 1 John 4:7-21. Thus in order to freely reciprocate this love leaves the possibility to freely chose to hate as rejecting His love.

God is love

God is all loving

Perhaps you may think it would have been best for God not to create at all if this was going to be the state of affairs and that seems reasonable had He not provided redemption for mankind which I will explain a little later. You may reason, why didn’t He just create a world where there would only be those who according to His omniscient foreknowledge would freely chose to love Him in obedience? Even then, God is perfect as having no co-equal and it’s not possible for God to create a being equal to Himself in that we are temporal contingent beings dependent on the eternal and necessary being of God. Though he created mankind as good there are still boundaries or limits within our humanity as inferior due to us having the potentiality for change, as becoming, while the Creator is immutable as pure actuality in every respect. You might even be surprised to know that it was no surprise to God that mankind would rebel, sin and violate His commands, laws and decrees and this is demonstrated as God had already prepared to compensate us as presenting the Lamb of God as crucified before the foundation of the world, and yet astoundingly, He chose to love us anyway during our sinful state, 1 Peter 1:19-20, Rev. 13:8. How amazing is that kind of love and how arrogant to refuse this wondrous provision of grace by thinking that we could really add or contribute anything of eternal significance to the salvific process by human effort, as if God inadequately depends on us.
Also if you tried to imagine a world where God would only create those who he knew would freely chose to reciprocate that love and then you begin to think at what point does this have to happen in life with the potential of sin constantly knocking at the door prior to us being of age for love and then after we say “I do” in keeping that door of opportunity permanently sealed and closed as never allowing sin across the threshold of our marriage. This sounds more like a fictitious romance novel in demanding the love of the imperfect bride to be equally matched with the perfect and faithful love of the eternal bridegroom. God’s love is impeccable, while ours is defective, which leads to a merciful relationship of trusting in Him rather than the efforts of a religious devotion of merit or works.
Some other possibilities to the presence of evil may actually be positive. Often when we think of examples of evil it is mostly in the most extreme cases which is an oversimplification to the process as evil can occur to various degrees, which in the lesser sense of the word, may help to avoid a greater evil or benefit from a greater good, e.g. maturity Romans 5:3-5.
As a companion to this argument, we are limited in knowledge and from our finitude we are at a disadvantage to fully comprehend the impact of evil which again may be allowed for a higher purpose in the bigger scope of things which should cause us to suspend judgment rather than sitting in judgement on God.
The greatest example of all this was the mysterious work of Christ who became flesh and blood; subjecting Himself to the pains of human suffering as our priestly intercessor, Hebrews 2:9-18, 4:14-16. The prophet Isaiah says that Jesus was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows and familiar with grief. He was oppressed and afflicted as paying the ultimate price with an untimely and horrific death as taking upon Himself the punishment for all sins, transgressions and iniquities as the sinless Savior who was sacrificed on the human altar of the cross to be tortured by His rebellious creatures as benefiting those who would trust Him as mercifully receiving forgiveness; having been justified and made righteous through His lifeblood as the beneficiaries of eternal life, John 3:16, Romans 3:9-31, 6:23.How awesome and unimaginable is this kind of love who according to the joy set before Him endured the cross as His own expenditure under the cruel treatment of a hostile world to expiate sins, Hebrew 12:2-3, John 1:10-13. Therefore for our good the greatest evil was committed or permitted as the very author of life freely laid down his own life, reconciling us unto God, John 10:11-18, Romans 5:9-10.
The basis of God’s nature as Creator is a sovereign and perfect love, 1 John 4:7-21. Love originated with God for the purpose of reciprocation towards Him and others which is a primal value that defines civilization at its very  core e.g., the loving arms of our creaturely mother and yet how much more is the pure love of God outstretched to us through the loving arms of a Savior as embracing a cross so that the perfect love of God could ultimately be received as suffering with us and for us so that His pain might become our gain, Mt 7:7-12, John 15:13, Romans5:6-8.
Jesus life and death ultimately satisfied or propitiates the just and righteous requirements of God by giving His precious life as a ransom on behalf of undeserving creatures as a penal substitution which otherwise would have left us guilty before the holy tribunal of God. (1) For God showed kindness to mankind as transferring our guilt to the divine Son which could only occur upon two separate beings as a case against humanity saving themselves. Because of our sinful default, righteousness could only be settled and obtained by God, as cosigner, to mercifully liberate mankind from their debt of sin with the blood of Christ as paying the penalty or wages of our transgression with His death, not ours, as covering all costs to essentially purchase or redeem men unto God. Again ,this is necessary, as it is irreconcilable for God, in our earthly domain, to work both mercy and justice together in the same kind of person or being but rather He prepared a body in the person of Jesus as the incarnate God-man who willfully and righteously receives our punishment in bringing us peace with God as our mediatorial representative to mercifully release the guilty party of repentant human captives. So in the end, it comes down to the free will of man responding to God as to choose life or death, mercy or justice, blessing or a curse. You choose, and to not choose is to choose already as Jesus said that if you are not with me then you are against me, Josh 24:14-15, Deuteronomy 30:19-20.
Underlying this argument of redemption some may accuse God of a hero complex as just setting us up to fail as coming to rescue mankind with the life saving efforts of Christ. Yet who better to direct our love and adoration to besides ourselves, and others, as including things? If God exists, the greatest evil of all is to reject Him by substituting His glorious person with a superficial counterfeit. To not love the superior God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind is to prostitute yourself to an inferior object or person as including false ideologies and philosophies as putting yourself over God whose name is above all names which is treacherously treasonous and speaking from a human point of view becomes far worse than denying those loving arms of the very mother who birthed you.

God is a crutch

Lastly to keep from contributing to the problem of evil, the Lord restrains mankind from taking personal action with a vendetta of vengeance as this is the Lord’s responsibility, not ours, which will inevitably bring about the wrath of His righteous judgement, Romans 12:14-21.
The bible also speaks out about wrongfully judging others in regards to being unfair, Matthew 7:1-5.
In some respects it is fair to judge as to wisely discern matters or people and administer godly discipline in the Church, Mt 7:15-20, Mt 10:16, Mt 18:15-20, 1 Corinthians 5.
This would also include judging others in respect to upholding moral and civil laws as keeping the laws of the land in which the rulers justly bear the sword as ministers or agents of God’s judgment, Romans 13:1-7. So in some ways to passively permit evil is to promote it, as an accomplice to its guilt, especially as it affects the welfare of others as disregarding the value of humanity who are made in the image of God.
Anyway unlike the world the bible commands that our attitude and actions need to correspond to the Kingdom of God as resisting evil by loving others. Jesus says that hatred against mankind is analogous to the spirit of murder, 1 John 3:15, Matthew 5:21-22. Furthermore, we are told to overcome evil with good as even loving our enemies, turning the other cheek, going the extra mile, giving to others who have stolen from us, blessing and praying for our adversaries as children emulating the holy nature of our heavenly Father. Also we are told to be at peace with all men in as much as it is depends upon us and to pursue reconciliation, if possible, as even preceding our worship of God which could otherwise be a hindrance. A loving forgiveness towards others is prevalent in the Lord’s prayer and without it we remain unforgiven as hypocrites who also depend on the very work of Christ who died that we might be forgiven and reconciled unto God, Mt 5:23-24, 38-48, 6:12-15, 1 Peter 3:6-7.
You might be thinking that it is always necessary for the offender to approach the offended before favorably extending the scepter of forgiveness to them but that is overruled by the King of Kings which regards forgiveness and reconciliation as more important to the Kingdom than saving face, Mt 18:15-20. Even though this scripture may apply more specifically to how relatives are supposed to relate according to the rules of the household of faith this also pertains to how believers are to treat strangers outside the church, who may even be regarded as enemies, which God, through a general grace, blesses such evil and unrighteous people as in Matthew 5:43-48 with the intention that His kindness will lead them to repentance; adopting them as His children, Romans 2:4 or according to his right alone, bring about His righteous judgment, 1 Corinthians 5 :12-13, Romans 1:21.
In addition to this sometimes we act as if everyone should forgive us but are often stubbornly unwilling to extend forgiveness to others. When I think about the life of Christ I essentially see the blood of Jesus on all our sinful hands as responsible for His sinless death. Yet remarkably, even though we had been separated from God as His enemies, we are now graciously reconciled unto Him even though we have essentially killed Jesus.
Moreover, we often underestimate or trivialize our own sin by washing our hands in innocence while faulting others as focusing on their sin to the point of being blinded to our own. We often measure our debt of sin as chump change while we look at others as if it were millions and as a reality check, though still an underestimation, our liability to God looks more like the national debt which could never be paid, Mt 7:1-5, 18:21-35.
You may be thinking that this is impossible, and without the help of God, like salvation, I would have to agree. However it is a day-to-day reality in the Spirit filled man whose nature is by grace supernaturally enabled as lived out according to the fruit of the Spirit as opposed to the flesh, Galatians 5:16-26
I see examples of this within Christendom with wonderful stories of forgiveness and reconciliation such as in the film “Beyond the Gates of Splendor” and the recent movie “Unbroken”. I am also reminded of an article in a newsletter that was published by Voice of the Martyrs about some Africans who forgave their Muslim assailants for amputating their bodies, and even though their flesh was mutilated, their spirit was not.
Moreover, I have never heard of a Christian that has truly forgiven like this ever renege as saying that it was a bad decision but rather what they might tell you is that prior to this it was wrong for them to begrudge the situation which was controlling, strangling, and destroying their life and the life of others with a persona of the living dead that reeked with a stench of putrefaction the likes of which others would avoid.
Anyway, the biblical worldview is a radical departure from society and religion, both then and now. It flies in the face of self-preservation by putting God and others before oneself, in as much as the last will be first and the first last, to lose ones life; is to save it, and to consider others before yourself. Your mind might rebel against such ideas as this is so unlike pop culture but if it sounds that foreign to you then perhaps you aren’t really familiar with the God of the Bible, Luke 9:23-26, Mark 10:35-45, Philippians 2:3-11.
In closing I am not making light of sin or evil by merely excusing it through forgiveness in that it is still wrong or evil and may even require certain limitations but what it doesn’t have to do is ultimately define your life as either the perpetrator or victim who are both in need of Savior.
Finally, I hope you have gained a new or different perspective to the nature of evil as personally combatting it, not by attacking God or others, but rather as allying yourself with Him so as to overcome it, John 16:33.

Peace and Harmony with God

Mt: 11:28-30
28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”



How to know God



The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®)
Copyright © 2001 by Crossway,
a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
All rights reserved.
ESV Text Edition: 2007

1 Handbook of Christian Apologetics, Peter Kreeft & Ronald K. Tacelli, InterVarsity Press, P.O. Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515-1426,,, pg. 127