Good day News24 readers, I frequently browse through and read articles on the myNews24 forums, but today I have decided to write an article to just sort of share my view( and ask a few questions) on a hotly debated topic on these forums i.e., God and Christianity. Please keep in mind this is my first article of any kind on any site, so please go easy on me. I am a 20 year old male, so I’m not going to claim to be an expert on anything, or to try to change anyone’s views on anything, but rather to relate my own experiences.
I was brought up in a pretty liberal Christian household, more liberal from my father’s side to be honest, so I feel I was in no way ever forced to believe in a certain thing, and I do not feel that I subscribe to anyone’s train of thought/beliefs other than my own. Example being, in my early days of school, from grades 1 to 4, I was very much someone who believed in God, occasionally read the Bible, and believed in evolution. Neither of my parents believed in evolution, but they never chastised me for exploring my interests in it, so I was pretty much free to indulge. As time went on, I started to look at things from a more Christian point of view, as evolution quite simply had, and has, too many inconsistencies and gaps in my opinion. Now, before any of you comment, please do read the entire article, and see that I do not feel I am taking sides with either evolutionists or Christians.
I adopted a staunch view on the Genesis account of creation, but I also agreed with natural selection, i.e., change within a species, as that was clearly observable in nature( adapting to the environment which causes a loss of genetic information). In general, I adopted a pretty hardcore, literal view of the Bible. As such, I began disliking people of other religions, atheists, homosexuals etc, (basically, every denomination that was not a Christian). Eventually after a few years, this ofcourse turned to hatred.
` As a Christian, I always did my best to follow what was written in the Bible, and to try and live my life according to the ideals found in it. Ofcourse, I believed every word was the exact Word of God, and that God was truly Sovereign, and to be believed without question. As such, when the usual questions were put forward to me, e.g. if God is good why does He let kids die, people get murdered, born with disabilities, etc etc, and my answer was always “Who are we to question God? He made us, He can do what He wants, and He is God”.
The past two years, I had started asking myself the same questions. Why would a God who loves us, put us through all these things? I chalked it up to Him testing us, and chose not question Him “who am I to question God?”. So I carried on. I drifted in between three different churches, and realized I agreed with none of them. Why? Simply because what they were telling me, was not in the Bible! They spoke about grand things such as the 7 Year Tribulation, the Rapture, and speaking in tongues, and how we each have our own unique spiritual ‘tongue’ with which to communicate to God in a spiritual way. However, there is not a single passage in the Bible which says we can speak in tongues to God. Not one. The Bible clearly speaks of tongues as REAL languages, and that someone who speaks that language will be there to understand it. Now please tell me why God would cause someone to speak a Spanish tongue to a group of English people who cannot possibly understand it? What do they gain spiritually? Can you teach me about something in a language I do not understand? Ofcourse not. Neither is there any passage in the Bible that says Jesus will come down from Heaven, take away all the believers, and leave everyone else behind to suffer a 7 year tribulation, after which He will come down again and everybody who became a Christian in that time will be saved. Um, He took away all the Christians, left everybody else behind, and then somehow those guys are supposed to learn about God and be saved? How, exactly? Who is going to teach them? If I take the teacher out of a classroom of kids, are they going to learn anything? Are they going to graduate school without a teacher? No they are not.
I also struggled to understand why we ‘cherry-picked’ certain verses as applicable, and discarded the rest? Why certain denominations of Christians had different beliefs? How every one of us have this personal relationship with God, yet He tells each of us different things? As an example, one of my friends believes in the 7 Year Tribulation, which is not in the Bible, whilst I do not. How is it, then, that both of us can speak to God every single day, He doesn’t lie, yet we believe completely different things? 2 Peter 1:20 CLEARLY states: “Knowing this first, that NO prophecy of the scripture is of ANY PRIVATE INTERPRETATION”(Emphasis added)(KJV). Why then, do we all believe different things?
I then posed the following question to another friend: “He believes in the 7 Year Tribulation, I don’t. He believes in the Rapture, I don’t. God speaks to both of us, and told us these things. Which of us is right then, and which is wrong? Who did God lie to, and who did He tell the truth to? Who is going to hell, me, or him?”. He had no answer. There is no answer to that question. If someone were to say “You are wrong because there is a Rapture and Tribulation”, then I say, where is it in the Bible? But if someone says “You are right, because it isn’t in the Bible”, I ask, did God lie to him and millions of other Christians who follow and speak to God daily?
Two weeks ago, I decided that enough was enough, how could I carry on like this, when I could break down my beliefs by myself? I refuse to accept the excuses of those who say “There is a reason for everything. God has a plan to turn a bad experience into something good.” Please tell that to the thousands of kids being raped and killed as you read this. Please look them in the eye and tell them that there is a good reason for this happening to them, and it will make them a stronger person. Please tell them God loves them and that is why He is allowing it to happen to them when He can stop it at any moment. Please tell the person who is born without limbs that they have no right to ask a God who loves them why He made them that way? And Romans 9:20-21 is irrelevant, we are NOT clay, we are human beings with emotions, feelings, dreams, hopes, aspirations. And no God has the right to use us as His personal playthings.
In conclusion, I have decided to become a ‘deist’, as I do not believe the world could have come across via evolution, I believe there must be a god/gods who created everything, and who does not interfere with the universe. And if he/she/they do, then they are most certainly not good.
I thank you for taking the time to read this, and I do apologize for the length. I look forward to any constructive criticism( I am not the best writer), and hopefully comments from both sides. I do not want to come across as having attacked anyone’s beliefs, but I feel that I have the right to ask questions, and if you can provide any solid and conclusive answers, they would be much obliged.