Fundamentalist Christian Pastor:
The Lord is longsuffering, and not willing that any should perish, but that all would come to repentance. The context of 2 Peter 3:9 tells us that this is why the Lord appears to delay His coming – it is His longsuffering and love for humanity. It is not His will that anyone would pay the penalty for their own sin – this is why the Lord came in the likeness of sinful flesh – to pay the just penalty for sin on our behalf. He is not the fictitious unjust judge you make him out to be, Gary. Rather, He is the Shepherd who gives His life for the sheep. Our Bible is the story of, as one writer put it, the unfolding drama of redemption.
Hi Peter C.,
You said, ” He is not the fictitious unjust judge you make him out to be, Gary. Rather, He is the Shepherd who gives His life for the sheep. Our Bible is the story of, as one writer put it, the unfolding drama of redemption.”
Let’s take a look at the alleged facts of your belief system to see if your god is the loving, compassionate, self-sacrificing being that you believe him to be:
-He is a perfect, all-knowing, eternal, all-powerful being.
-After existing for countless millennia, he decides at some point he wants to create a universe, and on one small planet in that vast universe, he wants to create little creatures, some of whom he will create in his image (humans).
-He decides he wants to give these little “mini-me”s a free will. Why? If the Bible is correct, believers will live forever as perfect beings (without a free will to sin). Therefore for the overwhelming majority of one’s existence, you will NOT have a free will. So why did Yahweh create a free-will in humans? For our benefit or for his benefit? Being perfect (a robot?) can’t be too bad if Yahweh determined that believers will spend most of their existence in this state, so why not just create us perfect and incapable of sinning in the Garden of Eden??? The answer is obvious: Giving us a free will was for YAHWEH’S benefit: He needed someone to love him, or worse, he needed something to play with.
-He created the universe and humans knowing full well that within a short period of time he would drown the overwhelming majority of them in a Flood. He created humans knowing that the overwhelming majority would end up in the fires of Hell (“broad is the path to destruction…”). Yet he created us anyway. How can anyone with any sense of rationality believe that Creation was for OUR benefit?
-He placed a tree of temptation right in the middle of the garden where the humans would have to pass by it frequently and face temptation. Why create the tree to begin with? But why put it in the middle of the Garden?? And why allow an evil serpent (or the devil) to have access to these humans to tempt them? It is almost as if Yahweh WANTED the humans to fail.
-But we all know what happened, the humans ate Yahweh’s forbidden fruit, and he condemned them to a life of hard labor and the prospect of an eternity burning in Hell fire (or whatever your brand of Christianity claims happens in Hell).
-This curse is passed down to every human being. Yahweh punishes children for the sins of their great, great, great, etc., etc.,…grandparents. That is not just.
-After allowing humanity to suffer in misery for thousands of years, most of them presumably going to Hell when they died, Yahweh decides to send himself, in the form of his son, to be born of Jewish virgin, who was impregnated by Yahweh’s holy ghost, to live for circa 33 years as a human, and then die an excruciating death on a tree…to atone for…our ancient ancestor’s sin of forbidden-fruit-eating and for our sins which according to the doctrine of original sin, we couldn’t help but commit. Yahweh had inserted into our “DNA”.
And you call these deeds the acts of a loving, compassionate, self-sacrificing being, Peter??? By any standard, he is a selfish, sadistic, monster. If this story is true, we must grovel on our knees to him, worship him, and obey him as our Master and Dictator. But no human being with a thinking brain should say that this being is “good”. No thinking human being should call this being “Father”.
Above is an excerpt from a discussion on NT scholar Daniel Wallace’s blog.