Posted by: nimbu | January 22, 2007

God doesn’t like His Prophets

Why doesn’t God protect and take care of his messengers. It seems that they’re pretty much neglected on Earth by their “Creator”. Look at Abraham: In stead of knowing that Abraham was his messenger (which any god would know), but just to prove it to Himself, he had Abraham almost kill his kid. Now that’s screwed up. What kind of a god doesn’t even know his own messenger? Clearly, either Abraham was insane, claiming to be a messenger, or God is not omniscient.

Let’s take Moses, for example. Why make his life so difficult? Plagues, killings, wandering lost for decades, just to have his followers, well, not follow him?

And don’t forget Jesus (prophet for Muslims, and God/Son of God for Christians). For Christians, his suffering and death are symbolic…but I just don’t get it.

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Responses

  1. I think that you may be asking the wrong question. Also, your examples of Moses and Abraham aren’t very good examples because both of them lived pretty long and blessed lives. Jesus’ death, also, wasn’t purely symbolic, though there is symbolism present in both his death and resurrection. Instead of asking why God doesn’t protect his prophets, you may want to ask, “Why do people consistently reject God, so much so, that he has to send messengers into the world?” This is a really good starting point if you really want to get it.

  2. Way to spin the argument. The question, however elementary, remains unanswered. Do you have any better examples of God’s neglect?

    As for sending messengers, why is he only sending messengers to the middle east? Does that mean the everybody in North/South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia were “perfect” in God’s eyes? Over 2000 years ago?

  3. I think you were barking up the right tree when you considered the possibility of Abraham being crazy.

  4. Way to spin the argument. The question, however elementary, remains unanswered. Do you have any better examples of God’s neglect?

    As for sending messengers, why is he only sending messengers to the middle east? Does that mean the everybody in North/South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia were “perfect” in God’s eyes? Over 2000 years ago?

    You have created a vast and rich backdrop for in depth conversation with the above posts. I am going to try to break it apart and answer each question in turn the best that I can. First, I must say that I am not trying to create, continue, or win an argument. I simply want to give you my point of view in hopes that you might have a different perspective by which to understand aspects of God from a Christian perspective.

    Second, In my opinion the best example of God’s neglect isn’t really neglect at all but it can be found in the book of Job. In summary, Job is rich and prosperous. The deceiver comes before God and says that he bets that if Job is afflicted with suffering and loses all of his worldly possessions, he will curse God. God allows the affliction and suffering to happen. Job, who is righteous has no idea why this has happened. His friends come by and keep trying to convince him that God has forsaken him because he has committed some grave sin. Finally, Job, while he doesn’t curse God, he questions him. God answers and restores to Job more than what he had. The point of the story is that God is always present, even in suffering and that suffering can be holy and serve a purpose. I would encourage you to read it and look forward to your thoughts.

    Thirdly, the point of only sending messengers to the middle east 2000 years ago. I am no expert but since the dawn of man recorded, organized, language and communication, along with civilization as we know it is only a couple thousand of years old. To understand God’s choice here we have to look at the creation story in the light of what we know historically. What if the garden of eden story which is told using Hebrew poetry was simply that. Remember that this was a story that was told through oral tradition so that the Israelites would remember who they were and who’s they were. What if Adam and Eve in the Garden in community with God represented mankind at its most simple and pure. Hunter Gatherers, totally dependent on God for their survival. Living in harmony with the rest of creation. Man gets smarter. Language starts to develop and makes all kinds of social arrangements possible that weren’t possible before and now things can get interesting. So what do Adam and Eve do. They go beyond the limits that they know they should keep. They say that the do not have to obey the limit but want to set them and be like Gods themselves and that’s what the fruit is all about. It’s about going beyond limits and tasting evil. This disrupts the good balance of creation and as soon as they do they lose trust in one another. So they cover themselves and hide themselves. After that their one son murders the other. Trust is lost between brothers and Cain Kills Abel. Brian McLaren writes in his book, The Story We Find Ourselves In, “Abel, the story says, brought an animal sacrifice to God. I think this suggests that Abel has gone beyond his ancestors, who were hunter-gatherers, like Adam and Eve in the garden. Now, Abel has become a pastoralist, a herder of sheep, goats, or cattle. That’s the next step up in the scale of development. You have a little more freedom than hunter-gatherers have, because your herds can eat stuff – grass – that you can’t. But you’re still quite dependent, humble, right? You’re nomadic, because you have to move where the grass is greener as your herds defoliate one area after another (note: here we see significant signs of living outside the balance of creation)…Now remember what Cain brought as his expression of worship? …He brings crops. So he’s moved beyond being a primitive hunter-gatherer and beyond being a pastoralist to being a sophisticated agriculturalist…and that is the root of all evil because when you plant crops you gain independence. You have more control over your situation. …You settle down…you can accumulate stuff…stuff to protect because others might steal it. And not only that, but others might want to steal your land. Or, you might want to lay claim to the land that your hunter-gatherer and pastoralist neighbors traditionally have used. You need it for your crops. And if those comparatively primitive nomads come through with their herds, you call it trespassing and … you kill them. Do you remember where Cain killed Abel? …in a field. The scene of the crime is the source of their conflict.

    So taking this into consideration, God needed to get his message of the restoration of creation across. How does God do this. He chooses a person or people who he feels is capable with his help, to get the job done. Thus we come to the story of Abraham where God promises to make Abraham a great nation and that the whole world will be blessed through him and his descendants. It wasn’t that everyone was so great it is that God wanted to spread his message as purely and effectively as possible at the time of the affliction of creation.

    This of course is the short and simple answer. For more on this subject I recommend. The story we find ourselves in by Brian McLaren and not exactly related but kind of, The Secret Message of Jesus also by Brian McLaren

    Hope this helps.

  5. Dear Fuzbuckle,

    Thanks for your concise response: I have just a couple of points in return:

    Firstly, you say:
    “God allows the affliction and suffering to happen. Job, who is righteous has no idea why this has happened.”

    How sick is that?!? Job gets to suffer, for what? Just to prove that God is always there? How sad, that God has to do that to his faithful. Imagine if he did that to your daughter or son, if you have any. Imagine if your daughter of 2 years old had a cancer so bad that she had to be sedated for the majority of her days. If somebody said to you that God is with you, except he’s just testing you by giving your daughter cancer? It’s easy to watch other people’s suffering and tell them that God is there always…it’s another thing to live through it. Nice, loving God you’re referring to.

    Secondly, the story of Adam and Eve has been around in various cultures across many continents thousands of years before the Bible was even written. Just because there are vague references to only a couple of Adam and Eve’s children doesn’t make it so. Apparently, to justify this, Christians believe that Adam and Eve had dozens of kids and lived hundreds of years – something the Bible never mentions.

    Thirdly, you’re missing the point of numbers: Why would God send a messenger to have the least impact? Why make a Jewish carpenter a messenger, when obviously less than 1% of the world’s population at the time was Jewish. What theologians forget is the rest of the world outside of their “little world”. When God sends a messenger, he should send one that has the most impact, and the fact that it hasn’t had such an impact is my point: When it takes you 2000 years to only achieve 20% attainment, that’s not good. That was a poor decision to send a messenger to the middle east.

  6. I think the story of Job is hilarious. I mean, basically, the devil tricks god into letting him cause all that suffering. Like Lucifer is some kind of drinking buddy or something.

    No wonder so many religious people end up in the behavioral unit. They have to try to twist their minds around all this mess.

  7. You either believe in God or you don’t. No one can force you, its faith you find in your heart.

    Science cannot explain the origins of the universe, let alone the origin of life; science cannot explain the universe today or why it is the way it is or what made it or why they can’t find life anywhere else except on earth. They can’t explain these things because they neglect God.

    What makes a person feel powerful? Control.
    How does one have control? Convenience.
    What is the source of convenience? Knowledge.

    Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge.

    Once they did, they had knowledge they never had before…

    Dawkin’s “The Root of All Evil”… The root of all evil is knowledge, and Dawkins is the prime example of it. Knowledge is not wisdom. Knowledge is ignorance. You think you know, but you really know nothing at all. This is why theories have been replaced by theories ever since they sprout up; and they will continue to be replaced by future theories until people realize they’re not knowledgable at all, they’re just ignorant, and only God has the answers.

    The more convenient things get, the more knowledge we think we have, the less we have use for God. This fits the themes of religion from 4000 years ago! Everyone knew more 2000 years ago than we know today. Why? Because they didn’t pretend to know. They KNEW! Today, we keep trying to discover and seek the truth… through science… without religion. That is impossible.

    Einstein said, “Science without religion is boring. And religion without science is ignorant.” I believe, quoting from memory.

    The devil tricks and deceives, he hates God more than anyone. He wants us to think we have power and knowledge, because then we won’t need god anymore, and look, it’s working. More and more people are becoming atheists and turning away from god. Scientist atheists are one thing, but look at a highschool of atheists, it is a nightmare how godless and how cruel they are… Dawkins would have you believe that religion is evil, and that we need to stop pretending… Look for yourselves, go drive to a highschool and watch the kids, it is pathetic… why are they like that? Because they and their parents are godless.

    Knowledge is evil when it leads us to think we are powerful and that there is no god. Knowledge can be good if we use it to not play god, to not try to be god, but to see that God has put everything here and done everything for a reason that we can only dream of and try to imagine…

    The atheist stands in awe at how small he is in the universe, and he can’t wrap his mind around it by using math and science, he yearns for the truth and tries so hard to pretend that he has it, but when he’s laying in bed at night, he is afraid and only wishes there was a god.

    But even if God manifested somehow and said, “Here I Am!” they would just say, “You’re just an illusionist.”

    God is real, God is great.

  8. That’s some of the messiest non-logic I’ve seen in a while.

    And clearly you’ve never been in the mind of an atheist. Letting go of the idea of god actually makes one LESS fearful. Ever hear of someone who’s “God-fearing”? He’s the guy who sends you to the lake of fire, remember? Why in the world would holding on to that inane concept be appealing?

    God is a lie, and you just don’t want to realize that you’ve based your life and worldview on a lie. But the sooner you admit that, the sooner you can become responsible for your own life. But that’s even scarier, isn’t it? It’s the price of freedom, but I gladly pay it.

  9. Clearly Rob’s logic is that of many theologians that are afraid of science – because it ultimately places “god” out of every day life.

    It’s because of scientists that never give up that we have progress. If we left the world to religious crazies, we’d be living like the Amish. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! 😉

    Me, I like my world without God/gods. It’s full of science and beauty and an ever changing landscape of progress.

  10. Wow Rob, thats some logic, I got to said if knowledge is so bad and creat atheist, then your one of us…. you got knowledge in using computers and writing and refuting other’s logic. You are a atheist if not then you are your own nightmere of evil, because you got knowledge of what I just stated above.

    But if you refuse to acknowledge the power of knowledge then you should go to a (insane) institution (aka garden of paradise) where they help adult-children to be nice, feed them, cloth them, and put you in a room where the walls are made of white pillows.


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