The Question: How do we know the Bible is from God? How do we know the Bible hasn’t been influenced or directed by the Devil? Is it possible the great deceiver wrote a hand book to separate the children of God? I know the biblical texts can be verified historically, but I am not questioning it’s validity. I am however, confused as to how a God who is love and good is capable of condoning segregation, stoning, wars, etc. The Bible is every Christian’s reference to God. What if God is not inside of the book? What if the devil saw an opportunity to mimic God, all the while teaching us little loop holes to separate, justify and ultimately deceive?
This is the second part of the answers to this question. The first part can be found here.
Okay now lets tackle the issue of stuff in the Bible that doesn’t seem to line up with a ‘good’ and ‘loving’ God.
There are a lot of things in the Bible for both veteran and new Christians alike that are difficult to understand and hard to accept. There are situations and accounts that I read and wonder ‘How could God allow that?’, and ‘That doesn’t seem very loving or good.’ Even the commonly accepted concept of ‘Hell’ seems like the opposite of love to anyone who hears it (Here’s a link to a great article about Hell)
I’ve already written about several topics that people commonly misunderstand or use as reasoning to say that ‘God isn’t Good’, such as: The Bible Teaches To Punish Rape Victims, How Can The Bible Condone Slavery, The Bible Tells Christian’s To Kill Non-Believers, How Can God Harden People And Then Condemn Them, Half The Bible Teaches Against Fighting Yet Half Is Full Of Wars, How Could God Condone Genocide Or Extermination and Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People, to name a few.
As a Christian, when you hit one of those ‘How can God…?’ or ‘How could God…?’ or ‘Why would God…?’ moments in something we read about in God’s word, we have several choices.
The first choice is to decide that we have all the understanding and context and that due to the things we read and understood, God cannot be ‘good’ and as such we abandon our faith. In essence, this is an individual deciding that they know better than God, and that God doesn’t measure up to their standards. Sadly this is where a lot of ‘Christian’ people end their journey with God. They simply cannot get over something or cannot understand something to the point where they are comfortable enough with it to be able to continue in their faith.
The second choice is to assume something isn’t correct and just ignore whatever it is we don’t understand or like and apply our personal morals and ideals of what God is or should be. This is a pretty dangerous road and often ends up in extremism at worst, and at best a very distorted and fragile faith and relationship with God.
The third choice (my personal favorite) is to take it to God and ask for understanding and peace with whatever it is we are struggling with, and accept that even if we don’t fully understand why or how or something doesn’t seem right in the Bible, that God is God and we trust in Him. This choice is admitting that it is we ourselves that are lacking in understanding or perception, and that God is good regardless of how something we read or experience may seem to us.
A lot of ‘Christian’ people don’t seem to have an understanding that following Christ isn’t a roses-and-daisies-and-candy-filled-wonderland-easy-simple-love-everyone-happily-ever-after experience… Here’s what God offers a Christian who wants to follow Him: a cross, with a long, difficult road to carry it down. Plain and simple.
Following Christ, is sacrificing your old life on a daily basis (Romans 12:1) in favor of living for God. It is going against our instincts which are to conform to the pattern of this world, and being transformed on a continual basis to be more like Jesus and to better know God’s perfect will for us and our lives and to stop trying to serve ourselves and to serve God.
We cannot follow Christ without faith and belief, even if that means accepting that we lack understanding and we are wrong and have misconceptions and lack perception and wisdom and discernment. It means trusting and believing that God is God, and that He is good.
A ‘Christian’ who will only ‘believe’ in God when God fits into their own understanding and perceptions and ideals and morals as they themselves have determined doesn’t really believe in God at all.
There is nothing wrong with not understanding or asking the ‘How could a good, loving God…?’ type questions in response to something we read in the Bible or experience in life; in fact I’d be concerned if we, as Christian’s did not ask those questions or feel that way. However, there is something wrong with claiming that we know better than God and refusing to trust in Him due to those instances instead of turning to him for help and guidance.
So to be clear, I’m not saying we should just ignore those questions and issues and say ‘Don’t worry about it, God is good, He’ll explain it in heaven.’ type thing, but I am saying that we need to have the right attitude and decide whether or not we actually trust and believe in God or we won’t find answers to these questions regardless.
I know that God is good, and that He loves us. I know this from personal experience, from the experiences of other’s and from the accounts in the Bible. Here is another article that I found interesting on that topic as well.
So then, when I come across something in the Bible that doesn’t seem to jive with a good and loving God, the only logical explanation I have is that I’m lacking understanding, knowledge, perception, discernment, context, etc. At that point I can ask God for help, and start to research and learn and seek the truth. I love this process, because at the end of it I come out with greater faith and trust in God and a better understanding of who God is and His love for us, even if I still don’t fully understand or comprehend specifics relating to the original issue that I began to look into…
God doesn’t promise an easy life to us as Christian’s. But He does promise we will never be alone, and that he’ll give us peace and contentment if we allow him to regardless of our circumstances. He promises life and love and hope. He doesn’t say we will never have questions or doubts or that we’ll never stumble, but He will lead us through His word and the Spirit into understanding and truth if we let Him.
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