Monday, March 13, 2017

Do We Have A Deal? I Didn't Think So

Does "God" want people like Farrell Till and me saved 
or not? It seems like "God" would value skepticism in 
regards to outlandish claims that are contrary to all of 
our experiences over rank gullibility. I think I know my 
own mind and I know what it would take to convince 
me of Yahweh's existence. And if I know what it would 
take then certainly Yahweh, if he's really "God", would  
know too. So what is he waiting on, he allegedly doesn't 
want me to be lost, I Timothy 2:3-4? Well, I think we all 
know the answer to that question, don't we?

From the Errancy Discussion list, 8-10-96:


PATRICK
And the sovereign God of the universe can perform to satisfy
your petty ratiocination. And would you be convinced?

TILL
Why shouldn't the "sovereign God of the universe" perform to 
satisfy my petty ratiocinations? He didn't seem to mind 
performing for the petty ratiocinations of others. Have you 
ever read the following story from the "inspired, inerrant 
word of God"?

Judges 6:11 Now the angel of Yahweh came and sat under the
oak at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, as his 
son Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press, to hide it 
from the Midianites.
12 The angel of Yahweh appeared to him and said to him,
"Yahweh is with you, you mighty warrior."
13 Gideon answered him, "But sir, if Yahweh is with us, why then
has all this happened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds 
that our ancestors recounted to us, saying, 'Did not Yahweh bring 
us up from Egypt?' But now Yahweh has cast us off, and given us 
into the hand of Midian."
14 Then Yahweh turned to him and said, "Go in this might of yours
and deliver Israel from the hand of Midian; I hereby commission 
you."
15 He responded, "But sir, how can I deliver Israel? My clan is the
weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family."
16 Yahweh said to him, "But I will be with you, and you shall strike
down the Midianites, every one of them."
17 Then he said to him, "If now I have found favor with you, then 
SHOW ME A SIGN that it is you who speak with me.
18 Do not depart from here until I come to you, and bring out my
present, and set it before you." And he said, "I will stay until you 
return."
19 So Gideon went into his house and prepared a kid, and
unleavened cakes from an ephah of flour; the meat he put 
in a basket, and the broth he put in a pot, and brought them 
to him under the oak and presented them.
20 The angel of God said to him, "Take the meat and the
unleavened cakes, and put them on this rock, and pour out 
the broth." And he did so.
21 Then the angel of Yahweh reached out the tip of the staff that
was in his hand, and touched the meat and the unleavened cakes; 
and fire sprang up from the rock and consumed the meat and the 
unleavened cakes; and the angel of Yahweh vanished from his 
sight.
22 Then Gideon perceived that it was the angel of Yahweh; and
Gideon said, "Help me, Lord GOD! For I have seen the angel of 
Yahweh face to face."
23 But Yahweh said to him, "Peace be to you; do not fear, you
shall not die."
24 Then Gideon built an altar there to Yahweh, and called it, Yahweh
is peace. To this day it still stands at Ophrah, which belongs to the 
Abiezrites.
25 That night Yahweh said to him, "Take your father's bull, the
second bull seven years old, and pull down the altar of Baal that 
belongs to your father, and cut down the sacred pole that is beside 
it;
26 and build an altar to Yahweh your God on the top of the
stronghold here, in proper order; then take the second bull, 
and offer it as a burnt offering with the wood of the sacred pole 
that you shall cut down."
27 So Gideon took ten of his servants, and did as Yahweh
had told him; but because he was too afraid of his family and 
the townspeople to do it by day, he did it by night.
28 When the townspeople rose early in the morning, the altar of
Baal was broken down, and the sacred pole beside it was cut 
down, and the second bull was offered on the altar that had been 
built.
29 So they said to one another, "Who has done this?" After
searching and inquiring, they were told, "Gideon son of Joash 
did it."
30 Then the townspeople said to Joash, "Bring out your son, so
that he may die, for he has pulled down the altar of Baal and cut 
down the sacred pole beside it."
31 But Joash said to all who were arrayed against him, "Will you
contend for Baal? Or will you defend his cause? Whoever contends 
for him shall be put to death by morning. If he is a god, let him 
contend for himself, because his altar has been pulled down."
32 Therefore on that day Gideon was called Jerubbaal, that is to
say, "Let Baal contend against him," because he pulled down his 
altar.


So your god Yahoo didn't seem to mind at all giving Gideon sign 
after sign to prove to him that he was dealing directly with "the 
sovereign God of the universe," so why won't he do the same 
for me, Patty? Am I not as important as Gideon? After all, the 
Bible says that God is no respecter of persons. Did he care 
more for Gideon than me?

But wait the story of Gideon isn't over.

33 Then all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the people of
the east came together, and crossing the Jordan they encamped in 
the Valley of Jezreel.
34 But the spirit of Yahweh took possession of Gideon; and he
sounded the trumpet, and the Abiezrites were called out to follow 
him.
35 He sent messengers throughout all Manasseh, and they
too were called out to follow him. He also sent messengers 
to Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali, and they went up to meet them.
36 Then Gideon said to God, "IN ORDER TO SEE whether you
will deliver Israel by my hand, as you have said,
37 I am going to lay a fleece of wool on the threshing floor;
if there is dew on the fleece alone, and it is dry on all the ground, 
then I shall know that you will deliver Israel by my hand, as you 
have said."
38 And it was so. When he rose early next morning and squeezed
the fleece, he wrung enough dew from the fleece to fill a bowl with 
water.
39 Then Gideon said to God, "Do not let your anger burn against
me, let me speak one more time; let me, please, MAKE TRIAL 
WITH THE FLEECE just once more; let it be dry only on the fleece, 
and on all the ground let there be dew."
40 And God did so that night. It was dry on the fleece only, and on
all the ground there was dew.

So I'll make a deal with the "sovereign God of the universe," Patty. 
If he will treat me with the same consideration that he showed 
Gideon, I'll believe in him. The next time you're chatting with 
him, pass that word along.

PATRICK 
I doubt it. I am minded of your fellow naturalist Emile Zola, who
upon witnessing the cure of a Lupus victim at Lourdes, said "If 
all the sick at Lourdes were cured, I would still not believe in a 
miracle." (I may be paraphrasing -- I'm at work and don't have 
the book in question).

TILL
Well, I'm not familiar with the incident that you referred to, but I 
don't understand how Zola could have known, without extensive 
medical examinations, that this lupus victim had been cured. It 
so happens, however, that I visited Lourdes back in the 50's 
when I was working as a missionary in France. There is a grotto 
(or at least there was at that time) where relics of previous 
handicaps had supposedly been left behind by those who were 
"cured." I saw crutches, walking canes, braces, wheel chairs, 
and such like but not a single artificial limb. I'll make a deal 
with your god. I'll go to Lourdes and take with me a personal 
acquaintance whom I know to have only one arm. If your god 
will restore his amputated arm, I will immediately close down 
all of my work on behalf of Skepticism, Inc., and return to 
missionary work on his behalf. If my friend returns home with 
just one arm, you will reimburse me for all of the travel expenses 
I incurred.

Do we have a deal? Of course, we don't, because not even you are
stupid enough to accept a challenge like this, because you well 
know that no miracle like this is ever going to happen.

PATRICK
Do you not see the problem with expecting God to be your dancing
clown?

TILL
No, I don't see any problem. He allegedly danced for Gideon and 
other biblical characters, so why can't he dance for me? After all, 
the Bible is correct in saying that he is no respecter of persons, 
isn't it?

Did your god care more for Gideon than he cares for me?


Farrell Till




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