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p1030892

Is the Christian God good?

Some will say that He is not good at all. They will bring up the biblical truth that He committed genocide against the Canaanites. It’s right there in the Old Testament. In more recent history, He allowed the slaughter of millions of Jews during World War Two. He allows all kinds of atrocities. If Christians or Jews, such critics say, declare He is all-powerful, then He must be uncaring, because if He is caring, He would have prevented such cruelties; but He didn’t. Therefore, He is either impotent or uncaring. He is one or the other. We can’t have it both ways, they say.

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In the last post, Is Christianity a Religion of Hate?, we considered God’s Old Testament moral law that dealt with a multitiude of sins, some of which were punishable by death. Homosexuality was one of them, but adultery, bestiality, incest, murder, sacrificing to other gods, and kidnapping, to name of few, were also listed. We discussed in that article how the Christian Church does not now possess the governmental power to enforce punishment of any kind (thankfully), but there is more to the story. And the more is this: “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ (John 1:17). 1


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p1040005

To me, Ezekiel is one of the strangest books in the Bible. The only one stranger is Revelation. When I use the word “strange,” I do not mean that in a negative way at all. It’s just that when I read these two books, my response is, “Wow. What? Really!?”

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2005-02-28_0857-25Our study of the Lord’s Prayer takes us to this request: “Give us today our daily bread.”

What does that mean? On the face of it, it is simple. “Lord, please supply the food we need today.” That prayer doesn’t have much meaning for most of us today, since we usually have enough food for several days in our cupboards and refrigerators. It would obviously become a desperate prayer if we were living in the conditions that some of our brothers and sisters around the world are. When I pray this, I know there is a bowl of cereal, milk, and a piece of bread somewhere in the near future.

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“Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who have sinned against us.”

I am so happy to be a Christian. I am so happy that the Lord has given us such a high standard by which to live. Honestly, I’m just stunned about what the Lord teaches us and expects from us. Anyone who has even a passing understanding of what Jesus taught should be challenged down to his or her core. Let’s look at a few of the New Testament commands that are just impossible for us to live up to.

“Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.” That’s a nice place to start, don’t you think? Perfection. Sure. No problem.

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p1040003

What should a Christian say if someone asks, “Do you believe gay people are going to hell because they’re gay?”

We should say, “Let’s back up a bit. Do you know why Jesus came?”

Their answer will indicate where you should go next. If they actually say, “To die for our sins,” then you can ask, “Who are these sinners He died for?”

You can then explain to them that everybody—everybody—is a sinner. Jesus told us that if we hate people, it’s like committing murder. He said that if a man looks at a woman with lust in his heart, it’s the same as if he’s committing adultery. Everyone is a sinner—including you and the person asking the question. Everybody has lied. No one has loved God like he should, with all of his heart, soul, mind and strength. We have all failed.

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