I suppose my question is rather simple in truth. Can a person believe in God and simultaneously disagree with the way things are or even the way God does things?
I understand that God is never wrong and that by consequence if I disagree it shows my lack of understanding, but there are some real issues I feel and I'm trying to find some answer to them.
My faith has evolved and it seems like the deeper it goes the more questions I have. So who knows, perhaps my faith is stronger than I let on to be. I know many biblical giants had disagreements with God that were eventually rectified.
But I digress and my question remains. Is it possible to believe in God, have faith or whatever and yet have disagreements with him.
Without knowing specifics it is hard to answer your question fully. So:
If you are talking on general points of scripture, the Bible says:
God cannot lie (Numbers 23:19, Titus 1:2, Hebrews 6:18)
And that when there is a discrepancy to "let God be true, but every man a liar" (Romans 3:4)
Having said that, God does invite us to "reason together" with Him (Isaiah 1:18). When we do this though we must be honest with ourselves and with God, and allow God to speak.
Often though God is needing us to intercede. His righteousness demands a verdict, but intercession as we see when Abraham stood before him "What if there are 50 righteous" (Genesis 18) kind of deal where that intercession takes into consideration the nature of God (Righteous Judge) and the heart of God (Unconditional Love). However, we need to allow the Spirit to guide us in this kind of intercession I believe.
Yes, you need to be more specific. There are a few things I don't agree with such as stoning and the like.
My biggest "grievance" in truth is the idea of predestination and similar ideas, such as found in Romans 9:19-20. God punishing people who were made to be disobedient. Or really just the idea of God selecting people for salvation, and as a consequence those not selected are condemned and never really have a chance at salvation because "they arent of the select". That bugs me greatly and I've prayed about it and continue to but it bothers me still. Shows my lack of understanding, it truly does.
Quote from: Bryan on May 27, 2020, 10:30:07 pmMy biggest "grievance" in truth is the idea of predestination and similar ideas, such as found in Romans 9:19-20. God punishing people who were made to be disobedient. Or really just the idea of God selecting people for salvation, and as a consequence those not selected are condemned and never really have a chance at salvation because "they arent of the select". That bugs me greatly and I've prayed about it and continue to but it bothers me still. Shows my lack of understanding, it truly does.
I don't believe your question is helped by the abundance of false teaching out there on the matter.
Part of the answer to your question comes down to the sovereignty of God. Is God sovereign? Well that depends on what context you use the term sovereign. God is sovereign insomuch as He is the King of the universe; but, contrary to some teachings I have heard, He is not sovereign to the point of controlling the choice that people make.
God made mankind with the capacity to choose (a rather astounding move really). Has He specifically made any person as one who will always be disobedient to Him and reject Him. NO! He has made the person in the way He has made us all; but it is the choice of individuals as to whether or not they follow Him.
Right from the Garden of Eden God has performed Deuteronomy 30:19 for each person's life:
...I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed my live.
He gives us a choice because love without choice cannot be love, nor can it possibly bring any real satisfaction. Our love for God is satisfying to Him, because we have the choice not to love Him, and therefore our love becomes meaningful. However, unless we love God we cannot have life.
1 John 1:5 This then is the message that we have heard of him, and declare unto you that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all
To deliberately create people for the sole purpose of destruction IS NOT LOVE. That is sadistic and not at all of God.
James 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for For can not be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.
James 1:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
James 1:15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
It is not that God Himself is hardening people's hearts against Him. God is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9) Yet if God created people for destruction then He would be creating people to perish...this would be an outright contradiction.
Rather, because God is not restricted to time, He knows the decisions people are going to make, and knows that there are those who will turn against Him, and those that will receive Him. For this reason the Lamb of God was slain from the foundation of the earth (Revelation 13:8 ).
Why was the Lamb of God slain? To take away the sins of the world (John 1:29). Yet when the earth was originally created (the foundations of the earth) there was no sin in it. Sin did not enter into the earth until Genesis 3. So why have the Lamb slain, from the foundation of the earth? Because God in His omniscience knew that those made in His image, would, because of their choice, sin - walk in a direction contrary to Him, and would need a Saviour.
Therefore true predestination then is twofold, but is not what many have purported it to be. If we will receive His Son Jesus Christ, then we are predestined to eternal life (an inevitable outcome). But if we will not receive His Son Jesus Christ, we are then predestined to eternal damnation (an inevitable outcome). However, which path the predestination of our life takes, is actually our choice - will we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, the propitiation for our sins, who being without sin was made sin for us, that we may life through Him?
Foadle said exactly what I was going to say, only better.
If you have faith then in this you will get assurance that God is good and it is impossible for Him to err in that way. I don't mean this as a castigation but if you are struggling with this notion, then you probably need more to address the depth and quality of your faith than question God's decisions. (Just my take)
Quote from: flaglady on June 02, 2020, 06:34:08 amIf you have faith then in this you will get assurance that God is good and it is impossible for Him to err in that way. I don't mean this as a castigation but if you are struggling with this notion, then you probably need more to address the depth and quality of your faith then question God's decisions. (Just my take)
I would only agree with that to a point. Yes God's ways are above our ways, and we do need to accept His decisions, but at the same time faith is not blind, regardless of what many say. In fact, I would argue that what many call blind faith is sheer presumption and not faith at all.
God has no problems with us asking genuine questions, and when we see apparent conflicts with the nature of God we need to ask questions and get them answered legitimately because otherwise those questions that remain unanswered actually work to undermine our faith.
Though worded differently to (and probably better) than I how I did, but it has only be in the last couple of years that I have been able to resolve the same question as Bryan had and several others along similar lines. Some I asked here, some I did not. How can God be just and loving yet send his Son to take my punishment? If God is so loving, where is He when bad things happen? How could God punish Pharaoh when scripture says that it was He who was hardening Pharaoh's heart? These question were legitimate questions. I was reading one things in one place of scripture about the nature of God, yet what seemed to be the opposite in another place of scripture.
I would ask questions and rarely if ever got real answers. I asked pastors, and other people I believed strong in the faith, sought books, websites etc. and unfortunately most answers I received boiled down to God is God and you are not, so you just have to trust Him and believe that it is not contradictory...but no evidence was given to show that it was not nor how the apparent conflicts were not really.
The problem with this is that I ended up feeling even more isolated in my struggle and the longer such questions went unanswered the more it undermined my faith. John said in one of his letters:
1 John 3:18 Little children, let us not love in word nor in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
In principle my questions boiled down to this very point: I could see God saying one thing about Himself yet saw actions that didn't seem to line up with that...over time all this does is serve to undermine faith.
In the last couple of years I have come a long way with all things (especially in the last couple of months and even weeks). One of the key break through points for me was that God has no problems with me asking genuine questions; and I can assure you I always have plenty.
Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord....
The disciples were always asking questions, and Jesus answered them.
Yes, He has a problem with questions that are not genuine, He is always looking at the heart and reason for asking a question. I heard a question once "Is God able to create a rock so big that he cannot lift it?" - though context would decide, this almost certainly would not be a genuine question, but rather one seeking to show that the questioner thinks him/herself smarter than God. BTW God gave me an answer to the question a few weeks back: He already has. John 1 Tells us that all things were created through God the Son; yet there were rocks that without God the Father's assistance He could not lift.
What I have found is that as my questions have been answered it has actually solidified my faith. God showed me recently that faith is the superlative form of belief; it is belief at is highest possible point. Belief is a twofold combining of factual reason and choice. So your comment, comes into the choice side of belief and faith, but whatever we believe also has to be supported by some form of reasoning, and frequently several forms of reasoning combined: knowledge of and relationship with the one giving the information, past experience/s, understanding of how things work etc. Belief based on only choice is more easily eroded than if that choice is supported by some form of reasoning. Belief and faith will always include choice, and even after all the reasoning in the world there are still those who will choose not to believe (consider those who believe the earth is flat despite all evidence to the contrary).
It is important that we don't just hide under a guise of faith and that if we have questions they are answered, because if we don't, when we are challenged, and we are always challenged be it by ourselves, others, or the enemy, our potential to fall and collapse and walk away is heightened.
Just thinking off my hip here.
Someone else has posed this question to you...and because you can't answer it you are frustrated and angry.
Maybe the question is in the wrong frame?
Look, the Good News is just that...always good like God is always good and cannot be bad because He is infinitely good.
So... maybe there's a lot of somethings that you are not understanding in order to frame a question like this in this manner.