40 “Difficult Questions to ask a Christian, Part 2

This is part 2 of a response to this post I found via Twitter which offers these “difficult” questions to ask Christians.  See Part 1 for previous answers to these “difficult”Questions.

An all-knowing God can read your mind, so why does he require you to demonstrate your faith by worshiping him?

Short answer, because he deserves it.  A longer answer requires knowing what is meant by worshiping him.  Worshiping God is never defined in strict terms in the Bible.  It mostly involves being vocally thankful and not denying him to others.

If God is all-knowing, why do holy books describe him as surprised or angered by the actions of humans? He should have known what was going to happen.

The bible is not written like a procedure manual or text book.  God is a personal being.  As such he is referred to in personal terms.  Simply being all knowing isn’t going to prevent anger at our actions.  I know my kids will lie to me.  There are particular things I know they will lie about but I am still angered by their dishonesty.

An all-knowing God knows who will ultimately reject him. Why does God create people who he knows will end up in hell?

People who freely choose him seems to be a purpose for which we were created.  True freedom entails the freedom to choose or reject.  Some people who would freely choose him are begat by some who wont.  To ensure a free creation requires some who won’t use that freedom for good.

If God is all knowing, then why did he make humans in the knowledge that he’d eventually have to send Jesus to his death?

To show his love for his creation that he would die in its stead.

Why did a supposedly omnipotent god take six days to create the universe, and why did he require rest on the seventh day?

The creation event also served as a model or pattern for us.  Work six days and rest on the seventh.  It governed loan terms, and the terms of voluntary servitude.  God could have created in a single day, or even a single moment.  Like us, there are plenty of things God does that he doesn’t need to, but does for our sake for one reason or another.

Is omnipotence necessary to create our universe when a larger, denser universe would have required more power?

I don’t think it makes sense to speak in terms of degree of power when it comes to a being such as a God.  If God were omnipotent it wouldn’t take any more or less power to do anything,

Why are Churches filled with riches when Jesus asked his followers to give their wealth away?

When Jesus spoke of giving away one’s wealth he spoke to people who cherished their wealth.  It wasn’t so much that they had to give their wealth, it was an exercise self-examination.  Notice it wasn’t mentioned in any of Jesus’ sermons to the masses, it was always to an individual.  You’d think if it was a significant part of his message, it would have been communicated that way.

Some churches are filled with riches.  The Roman Catholic church and some televangelists come to mind.  But the vast, vast majority of churches are far from wealthy.

While in the desert, Jesus rejected the temptations of the Devil. He didn’t censor or kill the Devil, so why are Christians so in favor of censoring many Earthly temptations?

I don’t know.  Probably for the same reasons governments feel like it’s their job to micro-manage its citizens.  Many Christians feel like they ought to be involved in changing the world.

Given that the story of Noah’s Ark was copied almost word for word from the much older Sumerian Epic of Atrahasis, does this mean that our true ruler is the supreme sky god, Anu?

The similarities aren’t very striking.  There was a boat built and there was a flood.  There have been many areas of the world which have been flooded, but reports needn’t be based on other stories of floods.  In other words, prior works of fiction don’t negate subsequent real events, nor do they affect the probability of the subsequent record being a work of fiction as well.

If your desire is to convert atheists so that they become more like you; do you think that you’re currently better than them?

I don’t know any Christians who seek to convert Atheists or any other non-Christian so they will be more like them.  Christians are told to spread the Gospel message and make disciples of it.

If religious people don’t respect their children’s right to pick their own religion at a time when they’re able to make that decision, how can society expect religious people to respect anyone’s right to freedom of religion?

I think this question is preloaded with the presupposition that God doesn’t exist and Christianity isn’t true.  It supposes that we should allow our children to choose ideas that we believe are false.  This could be asked of the Atheist as well.  Do Atheists respect their children’s right to not choose a Darwinian explanation of the biodiversity we see.  Would you allow them to choose for themselves cartoonish fantasy explanation?

If missionaries from your religion should be sent to convert people in other countries, should missionaries from other religions be sent to your country?

They can.  It doesn’t mean their message is correct.  Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses already do this.

If children are likely to believe in Santa Claus and fairies, does this explain why religion has been taught in schools for thousands of years?

No it doesn’t.

When preachers and prophets claim to be special messengers of God, they often receive special benefits from their followers. Does this ever cause you to doubt their intentions?

Though this would cause me to be suspicious of their motives (I happen to be a cynic in general), this doesn’t impeach their motives alone.  Since the bible doesn’t give us an indication that we should expect to be prophets and messengers of God in the same fashion as those of the Old Testament, it gives me reason to doubt their authenticity.  And it also gives me reason to wonder why they extol this title and role upon themselves.

Any Thoughts?

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