Sunday, July 31, 2011

Why Won't God Heal Amputees?

Some of you may be familiar with the popular atheist website, Why Won't God Heal Amputees.  The basic objective of the organization is not only to prove that God does not exist, but to encourage the believing Christian to rationally contemplate their faith and logically consider their arguments.  Their hope is that those who believe in God will eventually come to the deductive conclusion that faith is simply a superstition and therefore open their minds to a more enlightened thought process.  They seem to claim their arguments are presented to any religion or faith system, but Christianity seems to be their main opposition.  

I have to admit that these kinds of organizations used to make me very defensive.  From a faith perspective, I found it very hard to understand why some people come to a place in life where it becomes so easy to deny God's existence, but also feel compelled to attack the beliefs of others.  If someone truly has no belief in God, what difference does it make to them whether or not someone else does?  I still feel this way to a certain extent, but I have also grown to a place spiritually where I don't feel the need to attack other belief systems.  I believe in God and believe that Christianity is true, but my goal in ministry is not to "force" others to accept my beliefs, but to be a point of influence that will cause others to honestly consider the reality of the Kingdom of God and what it means to be a true Christ follower.

With that said, I find this organization very interesting and compelling.  The honest questions they ask seem genuine and whether right or wrong, they deserve addressing .  Granted, some of their statements are a bit antagonistic and condescending, but if you look beyond the defensiveness, anger and what might appear as an attack on those of faith, I think you'll simply find fellow human beings seeking answers to the same questions many Christians deal with.  And to be honest, the Church and Christians in general have traditionally done a pretty poor job in answering the arguments.  Today's culture demands more than just the typical rehearsed, memorized and cliche "churchy" answers.

So, here is a list of the "10 Questions That Every Intelligent Christian Must Answer" taken from the website linked above.  What I would like to know is how you would answer these questions in an honest manner, if you were involved in a discussion with someone who did not believe in God.  Avoid being defensive, argumentative or feeling as if you need to "win" the argument.  Avoid judging the questions as ignorant or simplistic because of what you know.  These are "real' questions that "real" people ask.  Consider how you would honestly answer these questions from your perspective of faith, knowledge and experience.  I plan on writing another blog that will address how I personally answer these questions, but I wold like to know what you think.

1.  Why won't God heal amputees?  We believe that God answers prayer, preforms miracles and heals in various manners, but we never see someone grow limbs in response to prayer.  Why not?  Does God ignore amputees?  

2. Why are there so many starving people in the world?  Why would God pay attention to your pray to find a job, when He seems to ignore the prayers of people literally starving to death?

3.  Why does God demand the death of so many innocent people in the Bible?  Exodus 35:2 demands the death of anyone who violates the sabbath, Deuteronomy 21:18-21 demands the death of disobedient teenagers, Leviticus 20:13 calls for the death of homosexuals and Deuteronomy 22:13-21 demands the death of woman that are not virgins when they marry.  In the book of Joshua, God commands Israel to not only kill the men, but woman and children as well.  In Deuteronomy, we see that God commands Israel to kill "everyone" in Heshbon and Bashan.  He also commands the extermination of everyone except the virgins of Midian in the book of Numbers (the virgins were plunder), and in 1 Samuel 15:1-9, the Isralites are commanded to kill all of the Amalekites - men, woman, children, infants, cattle, for something they did 400 years prior.                    

4.  Why does the Bible contain so much anti-scientific nonsense?  Can you remain a logical and intelligent thinker and still believe the supernatural stories of the Bible?

5.  Why is God such a huge proponent of slavery in the bible?  Take a look at these verses from both the Old and New Testament.  Exodus 20:20-21, Deuteronomy 15:12-18, Leviticus 25:44-46, Mark 14:66, Colossians 3:22-24, Ephesians 6:5, 1 Peter 2:18      

6.  Why do bad things happen to good people?  Think about it.  We probably all know of someone that ranks up there with Mother Theresa, and yet they seem to be plagued with constant tragedy.  Consequently, we all know of people that could be classified as evil incarnate, and yet their lives seem to be completely absent of even minor troubles.    

7.  Why didn't any of Jesus' miracles in the Bible leave any evidence behind?  Several people have asked me why more evidence is not available of Jesus' miracles other that Scripture.     

8.  How do we explain the fact that Jesus has never appeared to anyone?   If Jesus is omnipotent and omnipresent, why does He seem to not appear to anyone?  Apparently, Mary has appeared to people in apparitions, why not Jesus?  

9.  Why would Jesus want you to eat His body and drink His blood?  Many of us have grown up in the Church, so this does not seem unusual.  But what about those who have never heard of this concept?  Could this not seem grotesque and cannibalistic?    

10.  Why are Christian divorce rates the same as that of non-Christians?  This is a great question and one that cannot be denied.  In fact, being involved in ministry, I seem to see more instances of divorce than I do outside the Church.  Why is this?

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