Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Bible's Contradictory God

(Revised Nov. 9, 2014. Originally published October 25, 2014)
by Kenneth W. Hawthorne
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16 NKJV). Thus reads one of the most recognized verses in the Bible. The word "so" is an adverb of intensity and degree meaning to such an extent. The word "love" translates the Greek word agapao and is an unselfish love that seeks the absolute best for its object. So what we have is the claim that God (Yahweh) did the best that he could, unselfishly giving the best that he had so that man, whom he loved so much, would not eternally perish but eternally live. 

But why would Yahweh put man in the position where he needed saving in the first place? It's as if Yahweh came upon man for the first time, already created and found man in a situation where he needed saving and did all he could to save man, but could only save a few. Kind of like when paramedics arrive at the scene of a horrific multi-vehicle accident. However, this is not the case at all. Yahweh allegedly created man and had complete control over how man was created.

John 3:16 is a very puzzling verse when one considers five of the major characteristics that the Bible claims for its god Yahweh: all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving and sovereign, who also has no needs. Mt. 7:13-14 actually admits that Yahweh knew that the many in contrast to the few would eternally perish--which would have to have been something that he knew before he ever created the first human. Allegedly, it's not his will that any perish (2 Peter 3:9). If, then, he is all-powerful, he could have created man in a way in which all of humanity would go to heaven and none would eternally perish. Also, allegedly, he is sovereign, thus no one was over him, overruling him and thus causing him to create man in the Bible scenario against his will--why, then, could he not have achieved his will that no human eternally perish? There is no adequate answer to get the Bible out of this mess. Bible apologists sometimes say that Yahweh wanted man to choose to serve him. Absolutely not! Do these apologists expect us to believe that this is what love would have wanted, knowing what the terrible outcome would be, and knowing that there was no reason that it had to be this way? The only answer is that the Bible contradicts itself on this most important of issues.

When I say that Yahweh is contradictory on this most important of issues I am merely pointing out the obvious. When we speak of a person being contradictory we are merely expressing our observation that they act contrary or opposite to characteristics and values that they or someone claims they have. If a person claims to love animals but is accused and convicted of gross animal cruelty through abundant clear evidence, this is an obvious contradiction in what this person claims to believe and what they actually believe. And so it is with the Bible's Yahweh. The allegedly inspired writers of the Bible claim that Yahweh has the five characteristics mentioned above. But when we compare these with his actions, it poses a glaring contradiction concerning this god and his eternal hell.

To sum up, the Bible claims that its god Yahweh knew, before creating the first human, that most of humanity would eternally suffer [in the hell that he also created]--if he went with the scenario found in the Bible. However, the Bible claims that he does not want anyone to eternally suffer in hell, had the power and authority to prevent anyone from eternally suffering in hell, and there was no purpose, need, nor reason that made it necessary that anyone eternally suffer in hell--BUT HE ALLOWED IT TO HAPPEN TO MOST OF HUMANITY ANYWAY?! Impossible! That is if words have any meaning at all.

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