I’ve been saving up some really great “Question of the Week” emails for y’all, thanks to Christian ministry GotQuestions.org. By “great,” of course, I mean “laughably horrible.” You know how it goes. At any rate, this is a website that often ranks high in search results if you are looking for answers about various theological debates, so I signed myself up for this weekly newsletter — a new question answered every Friday — to see what their “biblical, applicable, and timely answers” look like.
Rather than try to dissect the epic fail of each answer one by one (which would take a lot of time and energy I don’t have, see yesterday’s post) I’m going to present to you a sort of highlight reel, the essential points at which each of these answers disintegrates into deluded nonsense. If you feel like making yourself miserable, you can follow the links to read the entire answers yourself, but I promise, I’m not quote-mining.
February 18: Do faith in God and science contradict?
Truth is nothing to fear, so there is no reason for a Christian to fear good science. Learning more about the way God constructed our universe helps all of mankind appreciate the wonder of creation. Expanding our knowledge helps us to combat disease, ignorance, and misunderstanding. However, there is danger when scientists hold their faith in human logic above faith in our Creator. These persons are no different from anyone devoted to a religion; they have chosen faith in man and will find facts to defend that faith.
So. Science is a tool that finds truth and helps us correct our misunderstanding and ignorance. But if anyone uses science to show that Christianity doesn’t make sense, they pose a “danger” and should not be trusted. When they seem to put forward logical, reliable arguments against your faith, you should dismiss that as just “finding facts.” After all, you can find a fact that says anything! Wait… what is a fact, again?
I guess Christianity is a just misunderstanding they don’t want you to get rid of. Seems a bit odd for them to put it that plainly. Though it was pretty clear in the first paragraph, with the line: “A Christian can have faith in God and respect for science, as long as we remember which is perfect and which is not.” I wouldn’t have asserted that either was “perfect,” but I do know that their God apparently has a lot to learn.
February 25: Is the deity of Christ biblical?
Well, that depends on what part of the Bible we’re talking about. Oh wait, you wanted their answer: of course it is!
Now, it is one thing to claim to be God or to fool someone into believing it is true, and something else entirely to prove it to be so. Christ offered many miracles as proof of His claim to deity. Just a few of Jesus’ miracles include turning water to wine (John 2:7), walking on water (Matthew 14:25), multiplying physical objects (John 6:11), healing the blind (John 9:7), the lame (Mark 2:3), and the sick (Matthew 9:35; Mark 1:40-42), and even raising people from the dead (John 11:43-44; Luke 7:11-15; Mark 5:35). Moreover, Christ Himself rose from the dead. Far from the so-called dying and rising gods of pagan mythology, nothing like the resurrection is seriously claimed by other religions, and no other claim has as much extra-scriptural confirmation.
There are at least twelve historical facts about Jesus that even non-Christian critical scholars will admit: [12 statements about the story of Jesus' resurrection follow. -NFQ]
Really? “Even non-Christian critical scholars” agree with you about the plentiful “extra-scriptural” evidence suggesting that actual resurrection is the most likely explanation for this story in the Bible, in its several divergent forms? Then why is the one and only citation on that page to a book by evangelical Christian pastor Chuck Swindoll? (Yes, that is his real last name.) Why don’t they cite some atheist, Buddhist, or even Muslim scholar’s book all about how the Jesus exactly as described in the Bible was totally a real historical figure and how the resurrection definitely happened? (I say “even Muslim” because they at least recognize Jesus as a messenger of God. Not sure they’d get behind this claim that Jesus was God, though.) Maybe because if you really did agree with these assertions, you’d be a Christian.
Even if you buy that the Bible is reliable and that Jesus did all these miracles, how do they show that Jesus was God? Jesus wasn’t the first person in the Bible to rise from the dead or the first person to facilitate someone else’s resurrection. The Bible says that Peter walked on water too. Turning water into wine, multiplying physical objects? I don’t know, these sound like parlor tricks at best. Didn’t we read about how Aaron could turn his staff into a serpent, and so could the Egyptian sorcerers? If this is all it takes to show that you are a deity, then Christianity is looking less and less monotheistic by the second.
For the unbeliever, the fear of God is the fear of the judgment of God and eternal death, which is eternal separation from God (Luke 12:5; Hebrews 10:31). For the believer, the fear of God is something much different. The believer’s fear is reverence of God. …
Believers are not to be scared of God. We have no reason to be scared of Him. We have His promise that nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:38-39). We have His promise that He will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). Fearing God means having such a reverence for Him that it has a great impact on the way we live our lives. The fear of God is respecting Him, obeying Him, submitting to His discipline, and worshipping Him in awe.
See? Having fear doesn’t mean being scared! Not in Christian Bizarro-World where up is down, black is white, and nothing is as it seems! (And it couldn’t possibly mean that believers are supposed to be scared of what God might do if they were ever to doubt, or worse, become one of the nonbelievers who are supposed to be scared of God. Why would you even think that for a moment?)
March 11: Why does God allow natural disasters?
The huge earthquake in Japan happened a little before 3 PM on Friday, March 11, Japanese Standard Time. Over in Colorado Springs, CO, it was almost 11 PM on Thursday the 10th — still a few more hours until the Friday Question of the Week had to go out! The folks at GotQuestions.org must have been scrambling to get an answer written for the question every Christian would be asking.
The Bible proclaims that Jesus Christ holds all of nature together (Colossians 1:16-17). Could God prevent natural disasters? Absolutely! Does God sometimes influence the weather? Yes, as we see in Deuteronomy 11:17 and James 5:17. Numbers 16:30-34 shows us that God sometimes causes natural disasters as a judgment against sin. The book of Revelation describes many events which could definitely be described as natural disasters (Revelation chapters 6, 8, and 16). Is every natural disaster a punishment from God? Absolutely not.
… Um. So God is in total control of nature, could prevent all natural disasters if he wanted to, and is known to use natural disasters to punish people. But that’s not always why they happen. I guess these folks believe God is sometimes just careless and not paying attention…? Well, they don’t claim to be sure, but they do say that sometimes God uses natural disasters to help people out. What a sweetie!
For one thing, such events shake our confidence in this life and force us to think about eternity. Churches are usually filled after disasters as people realize how tenuous their lives really are and how life can be taken away in an instant. What we do know is this: God is good! Many amazing miracles occurred during the course of natural disasters that prevented even greater loss of life. Natural disasters cause millions of people to reevaluate their priorities in life. Hundreds of millions of dollars in aid is sent to help the people who are suffering. Christian ministries have the opportunity to help, minister, counsel, pray, and lead people to saving faith in Christ!
Yes, natural disasters inspire people to offer hundreds of millions of dollars that could have been spent on any number of other useful things, but now has to be spent on cleaning up the mess they believe God made. Not what I would describe as “good,” but if “fear” no longer means “being scared,” I guess you can define just about anything as “good” now.
All right, GotQuestions.org, you know I appreciate the idea of questioning and examining one’s beliefs. But the nonsensical answers you’re giving out leave me with more questions than I started out asking — particularly, how can you teach this drivel as truth and still sleep at night?