Tuesday, February 16, 2016

A Letter To A Concerned Christian Friend [republished from 11-26-13]

(updated 11-26-13)
by Kenneth W. Hawthorne

I’m writing this letter to let you know the main reason why I am no longer a Christian, no longer believe that Yahweh is God and no longer believe that the Bible is the word of God. These decisions were not made lightly; they were made after much thought and study. As I hope you will see, these were the only real choices that I had. But if not, as always, I am ready to consider what you or anyone else has to say on this issue.

Simply, the omni characteristics that the Bible writers give Yahweh are incompatible with the New Testament teaching that he will send the vast majority of humanity to his eternal hell.

The Bible claims that Yahweh is:

1) Omniscient-If he is all knowing, then he knew if he went with the creation of man and the “plan of salvation” for man as revealed in the Bible that the vast majority of humanity would eternally perish (see Mt. 7:13-14).

2) Omnibenevolent- The word benevolent means “characterized by kindness and concern for others” (Answers.com). There are many verses that express his love, compassion and mercy for humanity; 2 Peter 3:9 says that it is not his will that any perish.

I think any Christian would agree that the Creator is greater than the creature (man). So God’s love must be of a much greater magnitude than man’s. But no loving human would conceive a child and allow it to come into the world knowing beforehand that this child would wind up in an eternal hell. So certainly a loving Creator would not do so. But the Bible teaches that this is just what Yahweh did--multiplied billions of times, and continues to allow millions to come into the world every year knowing that most will wind up in his eternal hell.

3) Perfect and Complete-Acts 17:25 says “Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything…” The Bible teaches that Yahweh doesn’t need anything and certainly doesn’t need anything from man. The thought comes to mind--why then did he create man knowing the eternally terrible outcome? It couldn’t have been for anything that he needed; so it must have been merely for something that he wanted but didn’t have to have. However, this is completely inconsistent with his alleged love for man and his will that no human perish. So the only conclusion is that it was not necessary that he create humanity in such a way that any would perish.

4) Omnipotent-If he is all powerful this means that if it was his will that no one perish, then no one would perish. And if he is also all knowing, he could have and would have come up with a plan in which no one would perish. For example, he could have created humans like himself with free will and the inability to sin.

5) Sovereign-This means that there is no authority higher than him, and thus nothing could have overruled him in achieving his will that not one human perish.

No God with these omni characteristics could/would have allowed even one, much less multiplied billions of humans to eternally perish in hell. However, the Bible teaches that the alleged omni God Yahweh will do just that, allow untold billions of his human creation to eternally perish. Therefore, the Bible, being contradictory on this most important of subjects, loses all credibility and cannot be the inerrant, inspired word of God and its alleged omni God, Yahweh, cannot be God.

Some Objections Answered:

But God wants man to have free will and choose to serve him. There would be no value to God in creating robots who had no choice but to serve him.

The omni love, compassion and mercy that he has for man could not have wanted this—knowing what such a flawed, sin-prone creation (Romans 3:23; I John 1:8) would do with this type of free will and the terrible eternal results.

Yahweh also allegedly has a different want. However, this want is consistent with his omni characteristics. That want is that no one perish. His love for man, and thus his desire that no one perish, being part of his omni character, he could not have wanted something that would cause an infinite eternal calamity to his beloved human creation. It is obvious that his love for man, together with his omnipotence and sovereignty would not have permitted this eternal tragedy to happen and therefore this type of free will could not have been something that he wanted nor could/would have allowed.

Another type of free will is the type that Yahweh allegedly has. He has free will but can’t sin. He is said to have created man in his image. Why then wouldn’t he have truly created man in his image with the type of free will that he has—free will with the inability to sin? Because he loves man, wants no one to perish, is omnipotent and sovereign, and there was no necessity that man be created in a scenario in which the vast majority would perish, he would have had to have created man this way (or something similar) or not have created man at all. And since Yahweh has value, has this type of free will and is not derogatorily considered a robot, then why wouldn’t man also have value (which Yahweh doesn’t need from man anyway) if he had this type of free will and also not derogatorily be considered a robot?

Jesus died for your sins, why won't you believe in him, obey him and save yourself?

The New Testament and Christians make much of Jesus’alleged sacrifice to save man from eternal hell and the love that was shown by Yahweh in providing it. But if Yahweh has the omni characteristics that the Bible claims, he would had to have known, before the first human was ever created, that this sacrifice by Jesus would not accomplish his will that no human perish. He had to have known that it would only save a comparative handful. So, knowing this, the only way that his love could really have been shown toward man would have been in creating man in a way that would achieve his will that no one perish (it not being necessary that he create man in any other way).

Sending Jesus as a sacrifice was part of the “plan of salvation” revealed in the New Testament that would not achieve his will of no one perishing. In fact, under this New Testament plan the vast majority of humanity would wind up eternally perishing (refer back to Mt. 7:13-14). So the “plan of salvation” in the New Testament involving Jesus’ sacrifice has to be considered a puzzling claim, being inconsistent with the characteristics alleged for the omni God Yahweh. This enormously underachieving act is not what Love (see 1 John 4:8) could/would have done if Love is omniscient, perfect and complete, omnipotent, and sovereign. It would have been Love’s will that no one perish—exactly what 2 Peter 3:9 claims—and with these omni characteristics his will that no one perish would have been accomplished.

God [Yahweh] cannot do two mutually exclusive things at the same time. He cannot give man free-will and make him incapable of sinning. [This was added 11-26-13]

This objection assumes that free will and the inability to sin are mutually exclusive; i.e., in the same class with the impossiblity for Yahweh, even with his alleged omni characteristics, to be able to make a square circle. 

However, free will simply means that one is free to choose between options. But options can be limited. For example, neither I nor any other human has the physical ability to jump to the moon. Although I have free will, jumping to the moon is not a choice that I can make. Indeed, mankind has many such limitations on his free will.

It would not be possible for a God with the omni characteristics that Yahweh is alleged to have to give man the option to choose anything that would cause man to eternally perish.

What possible motivation would such a God have to not limit man's available free-will options to those that would not put him in jeopardy of eternally perishing?

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