‘If I had answers to all the questions I have, i wouldn’t wait a minute to embrace christianity’, said a friend once.
I love people, whether they are christians or not, and I enjoy getting into honest and loving conversations with people of different religious and non-religious affiliations. Although I am very bad at convincing people about the authenticity of the eternal truth that changed my life, I do my part in helping people ask the right questions about life, meaning and God. Most times, if not all, I have been asked some genuine and sincere questions. Some of them are inspired by life’s situations, others through the anti-theistic social and cultural exposure.
As much as it is a Christian’s responsibility to defend His faith and answer the questions that unbelievers throw at him, there are some things that come to be understood only as the Holy Spirit brings a revelation to one’s heart.
Here are a few of the questions that often get asked in social conversations, which I hope would lead to a discussion. Please feel free to ask more questions and debate more on these questions in the comments section below.
1. If God created everything, where did evil origin?
A long debated question in seminaries and other philosophical avenues. How can we reconcile the fact that satan, who was the first rebel against an all Holy God, was indeed in the presence of God and was created by God? If all the evil in the world today is a result of satan’s influence and presence in this world, does it not actually originate with God Himself? Is God the creator of both good and evil?
Though it’s a just question, what we need to first understand is that, evil is not something new or different from the good. It’s just a perverted and corrupted version of the good. Let’s take for example, all the rapes and crimes against women that we see in the society right now, is not something satan has created. All that he did is, corrupted the ideology of sex that God had originally made and intended for and within the context of marriage.
Now having understood that, let’s examine the first sin, the first rebellion that ever happened. This incident happened in heaven, when satan convinced a one-third of the heavenly host to bow down to his lordship, when they were only supposed to worship and bow down to God. Where did satan see and get the desire to be worshipped, of course from God, However, it is perfectly fine for God to desire worship, since He is God. Yet, satan’s desire to be like God and be worshipped was sinful and led to first ever rebellion.
That in no way shows that evil originated in God, though the desire to be worshipped did originate in God, it is complete just, holy and righteous for God to desire worship, unlike any other creation, including the devil. So I would say the origin of evil is in the perversion of the good that God has created.
2. Why isn’t an omnipotent God doing anything to control the evil in the world?
Understood that God did not create the evil in the world, but why isn’t He doing anything to stop it. If He really is powerful, can’t He just eradicate all kinds of evil in the world including poverty, sickness, and terrorism. I can completely understand where this question comes from. We live in a world full of bad and evil news. There’s hardly anything good or great or worth celebrating that comes up in the daily news.
The message of an omnipotent God often gets ridiculed at by ‘unbelievers’ because of His apparent inability to bring in any change in the course of the world. I chose to differ. The human incarnation of Jesus Christ and the establishment of the church equipped and empowered by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit has been by far, God’s greatest intervention into this chaotic world.
If you want to see God’s power in action, all you need to do is believe and ask. God doesn’t really move in an environment of doubt and cynicism. The reason being that He is not interested to earn our applause by trying to prove His existence to humanity. But if a person is genuinely seeking to know God and is willing to believe, God would show Himself strong on behalf of His body on the earth today, the Church.
3. How do you reconcile the evidence of evolution against a God of creation?
Well, there is a lot of talk around this. But is there really any proof to evidence? Or is it all hypothesis? Science cannot come to any conclusion unless they have actually observed the evolution of one kind into a completely different kind, which is what evolution claims human beings came through.
If by evolution there could be scope for intelligent living on the planet, there would surely be more than just one thinking species on the planet today, since evolution has been apparently going on for millions of years now. The greatest proof of creation on the planet is the clear distinction in the soul between animals and human beings. We can claim that our body has evolved, and even claim that our thinking has evolved, but how do you explain our conscience? Our deep desire to be cultured and civilised? Our emotions and the different expressions of it are the most beautiful part of the human race.
Though not everyone in the scientific world today believes in creation or a creator, we have surely come to a place where people don’t really trust the assumption of evolution to be only answer for the origin of human species.
If you are not convinced about the bible story of creation, you can do your own research for a more rational and believable explanation for the existence of matter & life, you will find none except the one that demands the presence and participation of a creator.
4. Why does faith seem to work only for some? Why doesn’t logic work along with faith?
We have been to many healing crusades and miracle meetings. Often times what is lost in all the testimonies shared and the miracles reported is the large number of people who leave still not healed or touched by God or whatever else they claim has been going on in there. Same thing people claim in everyday life. For some people faith in an invisible God and trust in His unfailing character comes absolutely easy, for others that’s an absolute abolition of logic and rationale.
The ones who doubt and question, seem to claim that all of these is a hoax and made up stuff. There are others who think this is all a mind game. Still others who think all of this is a waste of time.
Faith is about us believing about something we haven’t experienced first hand. We apply this in every area of our life, irrespective of whether they are spiritual or not. For example a person who believes creation came into existence through evolution, even though they haven’t witnessed it nor do they have any conclusive evidence for it. Logic and rational is not bad, it is necessary. But when there are more dimensions and elements to the truth than we can see and experience easily, we need to have the humility to go into a learning and seeking mode instead of outright rejecting everything that doesn’t make sense.
If faith in a supreme and loving God who created you does not seem to be working for you, make sure to lay down all of your preconceived notions and assumptions in order to be able to experience the power and reality of faith.
5. Why will a God of love, cast all people who are not christians into hell?
Wait? What? Does the bible say that? Is there really a hell and heaven? Well who knows? and who cares?
These are some of the thoughts that continues to plague the mind of a person who lives outside the boundaries of belief or trust in God! Well, to understand the concept of hell, we have to first come to a place of understanding the biblical concept of Heaven. Heaven is not just a place devoid of pain and suffering. It is a place where God Himself lives in and abides at. The one reason why God wouldn’t want someone who’ve never wanted to submit to His leadership or headship to come to heaven is because, it will be equivalent to forcing the person to do so. Heaven is where God lives, no body can be around God and not submit to this great and powerful being!
Is hell also a form of judgement and punishment? Yes, it is. We are very eager to believe in a God of love, but hardly at anytime do we give emphasis to the fact that He is also a God of justice. It will be completely unjust on His part to let the ones that are righteous and unrighteous to exist together in heaven. Heaven will become nothing different from the world we live in right now, it will be filled with all kinds of evil.
Instead of blaming God for wanting to throw you in hell, why don’t you take responsibilities of your own actions and start living it in such a way that God is really the GOD of your life! As long as you do allow God to be GOD in your life, nothing else will really matter.