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Evangelism 101


chad
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If a God who was both endowed with all the omni's really existed as the Bible claims and placed soul-saving as his number one priority, how would he ensure that this top priority was actualized; that is, how would God save as many souls as possible. Or, to state the question in another way, if you were a God who possessed all the omni's, how would you save as many souls as possible without violating your own nature?

 

We've all heard the typical apologetic as to why God doesn't employ what would seemingly amount to mass conversions (i.e the performance of mind-blowing miracles of all sorts); some of those reasons include the assertion that the profoundly sinful nature of mankind is absolutely impervious to miracles--that the simple witness of miracles isn't enough to cultivate the deep-rooted wickedness within the heart and mind of humanity. We are hopelessly obstinate and fundamentally incapable of sincere faith, unless, of course, the supernatural psychoanalyst aka the Holy Spirit magically penetrates this titanium sin-nature and breaks our rebellion with the hammer of Amazing Grace....bla...bla...bla. Really....is human nature so bad and innately opposed to the Gospel that not even bonafide miracles would inspire belief (I'm willing to bet that 90% of the ex-christians who frequent this site would instantly re-convert if exposed to authentic miracles). And one of my favorites which is the epitome of circular, faulty logic: "Well, if God performed mighty miracles to convert the masses, then you wouldn't need faith". Assuming that God's primary attribute is love and that his main mission is to save as many souls as possilbe, one cannot escape the implication that faith, according to the all-knowing power of God's mind, is the best means to endender this soul-saving faith. Really....is faith -- faith defined as believing despite insufficient evidence -- the best means to induce belief?

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I gotta agree wit you my brother.More room for doubt is left in our situation.If God broadcasts his miracles and even the death of christ then,or the reality of hell then all of mankind would convert even if its just to save their ass from hell.The eternal hell is still not a fair punishment even if we dont want to dont repent 1000 000 000 times. Faith is mans greatest wall between him and his creater.

 

A Christian would say that the reason is so that we could see how god works in our daily lives or so that we dont just repent because of hell.If all of mankind saw christ's death(broadcast

) wouldnt we all be greatful to him and love him and repent?

 

Why should we go to hell cause we accepted the wrong truth and not because we didnt want to serve the right god

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If a God who was both endowed with all the omni's really existed as the Bible claims and placed soul-saving as his number one priority, how would he ensure that this top priority was actualized; that is, how would God save as many souls as possible. Or, to state the question in another way, if you were a God who possessed all the omni's, how would you save as many souls as possible without violating your own nature?

 

That is one of the biggest weapons against the insane nature posited by worshippers of the Abhrhamic deity.

 

An all-good, all-knowing, all-loving and all-powerful god is impossible, certainly as it pertains to Xianity. No being with all those traits can exist and possibly let the world (and other worlds in the universe) remain in the state they are in. I know on this planet, we could sure benefit from the help such a being would give us.

 

To be all-good means absolutely no wickedness, selfishness, or ill nature, and rather an understanding of and acceptance of only the most benevolent predispositions. To be all-knowing means to not be even slightly ignorant of anything that happens to anything anywhere, to know all things that occur, be they molecular movements or planetary orbits. To be all-loving means to have only positive feelings of loyalty and benevolence towards all things at all times, without a hint of malice or anger or selfish motives. To be all-powerful means to be capable of performing any task anywhere at any time, regardless of the limits of the natural world as understood by science.

 

Now, how could a god be all of those things and yet created the devil and other angels that he knew wold rebel?

 

Or how could he tolerate their rebellion and not vanquish them with a thought?

 

Or how could he not eradicate them after quelling the rebellion?

 

Or how could he not imprison them impotent somewhere in the universe where they could not do harm to anyone?

 

Or how could he not equip all vulnerable beings with the mental and spiritual and physical faculties needed to be impervious to anything these demons may try to do?

 

Or how could he not create a simple plan of salvation from these evil beings without resorting to the complicated and confusing drama of the Babble™, especially knowing how few people would understand and want to partake of it?

 

Or how could he punish those people, with eternal torture no less, who were caught in the tricks and traps of these evil beings, knowing that many would choose that path to begin with, and that people are not able to know as much about the nature of those evil beings as he does?

 

How could the Abrahamic god posses those attributes which allow him to be all-knowing, all-good, all-powerful, and all-loving and yet choose to do not a one of the above deeds? For such a being to fail to do them, it must either be an ignorant god, a cruel god, or a less-than-omnipotent god who has to struggle to implement his will rather than be able to make it so by fiat of thought. All of that is contradictory to the Babble's™ summation of their god's nature, yet Xians stamp their feet and claim their god is omni-everything when some simple logical exercises demonstrate that he is not.

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Ricky 18,

 

You hit the nail right on the head: "More room for doubt is left in our situation". The Bible claims that God's number one attribute is love and number one goal is soul-saving; so, as a matter of logical consistency, one would assume that mankind's "room for doubt" would not be so enormous...that this omnibenevolent God would bend over backwards to ensure that "room for doubt" is as small as possible. But the exact opposite is the case. Even among those churches that fervently believe in, continuously seek, and attempt to induce supernatural "signs and wonders" according to Jesus' assurance that Christians would perform even greater "works" (miracles) than he, bonafide miracles are pathetically absent...not to mention the fact that the rest of Christiandom is characterized by a deep deprivation of supernatural manifestations! Based on pure empirical observation -- without the Bible to cliam otherwise -- one cannot avoid the induction that reality, as humanity experiences it, is 100% natural; and that if a supernatural God does exist, He must be totally transcendent as the Deists maintain. Therefore, from my perspective, God's failure to "walk what he talks" is one of the strongest arguments against the veracity of Christianity.

 

As I've already mentioned in my original post, Christian apologists have devised a number of explanations to account for God's failure to "walk what he talks" in the Bible; that is, the failure to provide an ample amount of belief/conversion inspiring miracles and displays of supernatural power through His perfect love, thereby, saving millions of souls that will otherwise be stuck in a state of doubt/perdition. So I was wondering if anyone (particularly Christians) found such explanations worthy of some serious thought and why? Also, I was wondering about the thoughts of ex-Christians regarding the apologetical attempts to account for why God doesn't perform miracles and generally leaves immense "room for doubt".

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  • 2 weeks later...

If a God who was both endowed with all the omni's really existed as the Bible claims and placed soul-saving as his number one priority, how would he ensure that this top priority was actualized; that is, how would God save as many souls as possible. Or, to state the question in another way,

 

 

if you were a God who possessed all the omni's, how would you save as many souls as possible without violating your own nature?

 

 

 

I would have never created sin and the devil in the first place. This way there wouldn't be any need to save anybody from anything.

 

Next question.

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Good point. Not creating sin or the devil to begin with would have certainly solved the above problem. However, the question requires one to make a hypothetical assumption--that sin, the devil, ect, actually exist.

 

Next Response

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And even if God had to create good and evil, it would be more fair to show himself and not hide somewhere outside our universe.

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hansolo,

 

Yes...if God's key to heaven is gained through belief, simply showing humanity the reality of his existence in a cogent manner -- other than the mind-blowing miracles of speaking in tongues the healing crusades of Benny Hinn, of course -- would only seem fair. But the exact opposite is the case; not even those churches among the spirit-filled, demon rebuking, hand-laying factions experience bonafide miracles or displays of God's supernatural power. Christian apologists, as I've already mentioned, have offered a myriad of explanations concerning why God works through faith (or what I call the subjective realm of one's mind and emotions) to convince man of His existence rather than provide hard-line evidence via miracles that would tend to melt the most cynical heart. After all, this method of "revelation" would, apparently, save many more souls than what seems to be God's inability to "put his money where his mouth is". On that note, I was hoping that some Christians would respond to the questions of my original post by articulating these apologetical explanation in what I hoped would develop into a civil debate. But nothing thus far--bummer.

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If a God who was both endowed with all the omni's really existed as the Bible claims and placed soul-saving as his number one priority, how would he ensure that this top priority was actualized; that is, how would God save as many souls as possible. Or, to state the question in another way, if you were a God who possessed all the omni's, how would you save as many souls as possible without violating your own nature?

 

We've all heard the typical apologetic as to why God doesn't employ what would seemingly amount to mass conversions (i.e the performance of mind-blowing miracles of all sorts); some of those reasons include the assertion that the profoundly sinful nature of mankind is absolutely impervious to miracles--that the simple witness of miracles isn't enough to cultivate the deep-rooted wickedness within the heart and mind of humanity. We are hopelessly obstinate and fundamentally incapable of sincere faith, unless, of course, the supernatural psychoanalyst aka the Holy Spirit magically penetrates this titanium sin-nature and breaks our rebellion with the hammer of Amazing Grace....bla...bla...bla. Really....is human nature so bad and innately opposed to the Gospel that not even bonafide miracles would inspire belief (I'm willing to bet that 90% of the ex-christians who frequent this site would instantly re-convert if exposed to authentic miracles). And one of my favorites which is the epitome of circular, faulty logic: "Well, if God performed mighty miracles to convert the masses, then you wouldn't need faith". Assuming that God's primary attribute is love and that his main mission is to save as many souls as possilbe, one cannot escape the implication that faith, according to the all-knowing power of God's mind, is the best means to endender this soul-saving faith. Really....is faith -- faith defined as believing despite insufficient evidence -- the best means to induce belief?

 

 

I think between your discoveries and preachers, you are confused. As Bruce once said to me, this is mental masturbation.

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YoYo,

 

You're right; I'm certainly confused. But with all due respect, my confusion is over your response. Care to explain in much more detail the exact point you are attempting to make?

 

If I understood you correctly, you are asserting that I'm confused for some reason. Although I don't understand your rationale for claiming as such, allow me to reiterate my primary question. Perhaps, then, you'll actually respond with an argument. Given God's nature (namely, all of his omni's) and the biblical claim that His number one goal is soul-saving, why is simple faith more effective than the display of "signs and wonders" to accomplish this goal. In another words, why has God set-up a salvation system that is designed to mainly save souls through faith instead of the hard evidence of miracles--is this system the most effective means to save souls? After all, wouldn't the display of His existence and the Gospel truth through "signs and wonders" inspire far more believe and thus saved souls than mere faith on the basis of church, preachers, and reading the Bible? Christian apologists have provided many accounts of why God doesn't employ miracles or "signs and wonders" to inspire belief and save souls. Therefore, I was hoping that Christians like yourself could give offer an articulation of such arguments, providing reasons as to why the faith-program of evangelism is better and more effective than the signs and wonders program of evangelism. I realize that in debating this issue, a number of sub-issues must be addressed, such as whether or not miracles actually occur regularly, the definition of a miracle, whether human nature is innately opposed to the Christian God, etc....

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Actually, you make a very good point Chad.

 

I have a related question:

 

Why would God play favorites? When you consider the supposition that souls are eternal - two thousand years is but a blink of the eye.

 

So, why would God demonstrate incontrovertable proof to some, thereby insuring their belief - and withhold it from others?

 

i.e.

 

If I personally watched a dude walk on water, calm a nasty-ass storm, and bring a stinking corpse back to life, I'd be more than happy to worship him. I'd be his number one fan.

 

So, the characters in the gospel story got preferential treatment that resulted in an eternity of rewards and riches.

 

Others have to rely on what some guy wrote, and what another guy altered, and what another guy deleted from, and what another guy expounded on and what another guy interpreted it all to truly be trying to say.

 

God is unjust.

 

Enough said.

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So, why would God demonstrate incontrovertable proof to some, thereby insuring their belief - and withhold it from others?

 

i.e.

 

If I personally watched a dude walk on water, calm a nasty-ass storm, and bring a stinking corpse back to life, I'd be more than happy to worship him. I'd be his number one fan.

Well I think Jesus said that christians are supposed to do greater works than he has. If they are supposed to convert us maybe they are just slacking :shrug:

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Mythra,

 

Exellent point; a question that I frequently pondered while still a Christian. Just as older folks tend to romanticize and favor the historical timeframe from which their generation hails, the biblical god seems to romanticize and favor the generation that hails from the historical timeframe of Jesus. As you alluded to, how else can one explain the demonstration of miracles, and therefore rock-solid belief, so graciously provided for a generation of lost souls 2,000 years ago in contrast to the pathetic absence of the same within the current generation of lost souls? The most potent proof or symbol of this divine injustice/prejudice is contained in the story of doubting thomas. Despite his outright disbelief and the egregious act of testing god, Jesus was more than happy to completely eradicate his doubt by literally showing himself, engaging Thomas in a convrsation about his doubt, and even allowing Thomas to physically touch his person. If god was willing to tolerate Thomas' imposition on his infinite schedule and if god was so readily willing to confirm his identity to a hard-nosed skeptic, why does he treat modern-day skeptics with such animosity or plain indifference? Considering the fact that the present generation was not privy to personal interaction with Christ or at least to those who were his disciples and the eye witnesses of his "supernatural" ministry, shouldn't modern-day skeptics be granted a tad-bit more leeway to withhold belief until better proof is offered by the Almighty--a prescientific book full of myths and contradictions just aint cuttin it! He did it for the doubting thomas generation 2000 years previous, why can't he do it for the present doubting thomas generation? :shrug:

 

All that being said, in the spirit of argument, I'm willing to assume that God's evangelistic favoratism toward the Jesus gerneration was somehow justified. Only referring to the current timeframe, then, why does god fail to target all the doubting thomas' of the world and eliminate their doubt through a similar, supernatural confirmation of his identity? Again, Christians apologists have offered a number of explanations, and I'm hoping some of you lurking Christians will articulate these explanations to see if they withstand scrutiny.

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Well, if we just go with the biblical model, we have a couple of things.

 

I'm too lazy to look up the scriptures -

 

But one says that God is not willing that any should perish.

 

It also says that there is a narrow gate and a broad gate - few will go in through the narrow gate, but many will go through the broad gate that leads to destruction.

 

 

So - God has always known that there would be way more people subject to "perishing" and "destruction" (are those things the same as Hell?)

 

Why sit by and let it happen if He "isn't willing that any should perish" ?

 

Why didn't the re-animated Christ go back to Pontius Pilate and request a meeting with Caesar? Then, the narrow and broad gates would be switched around.

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And even if God had to create good and evil, it would be more fair to show himself and not hide somewhere outside our universe.

What the heck do you want...an anthropomorphic god? Sometimes you sound like a literalist! :grin:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(I know you're arguing from a literalist standpoint, I just love to pick on you...you take it so well!) :grin:

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Why didn't the re-animated Christ go back to Pontius Pilate and request a meeting with Caesar? Then, the narrow and broad gates would be switched around.

:twitch: Never thought of that. That's a very good point! Why didn't he show himself for all the doubters and for the priests etc? Make them all believers. That would have been the real big bang of "True Faith".

 

 

What the heck do you want...an anthropomorphic god? Sometimes you sound like a literalist! :grin:

:shrug: Heck, why not? If mr J could walk through walls and ghostly show himself, he could have continued that quest and done it for the whole humanity all the time. Okay, I think I kind of get the death/sacrifice thingy with J, but why did he really have to go "back" to Heaven? Wasn't he son of God, and God is everywhere, and Heaven is within us etc, like he said, so he didn't have an particular physical Heaven to go back to, he would have been in Heaven with his spirit and his immaterial body could have floated around as evidence for his existence. Which OT prophesy was "fulfilled" by J levitating into the clouds?

 

(I know you're arguing from a literalist standpoint, I just love to pick on you...you take it so well!) :grin:

I do? Oops, sorry, my god-answer is: MAYBE, BUT BLUE ONE WEDNESDAYS. (Interpret it anyway you want. Gods speak in riddles.)

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:shrug: Heck, why not? If mr J could walk through walls and ghostly show himself, he could have continued that quest and done it for the whole humanity all the time. Okay, I think I kind of get the death/sacrifice thingy with J, but why did he really have to go "back" to Heaven? Wasn't he son of God, and God is everywhere, and Heaven is within us etc, like he said, so he didn't have an particular physical Heaven to go back to, he would have been in Heaven with his spirit and his immaterial body could have floated around as evidence for his existence. Which OT prophesy was "fulfilled" by J levitating into the clouds?

I really don't think he was the predicted messiah. He was just a guy that was enlightened and wanted to tell his understanding of God which was not what the Jews understood God to be, unless they were non-literalists. Actually, I agree with Amanda in this regard...They were the fundamental Jews he was addressing, IMO.

 

Maybe, if not purposely injected into the bible, the going 'back' to heaven is something like the Buddha experienced?? They reach such a state of enlightenment that it is hard to function in this world of form. They really want to have nothing to do with it. Some people (monks I think) have starved themselves to death while meditating and experincing this 'oneness' or Nirvana. Maybe this is what was meant???

 

Oh...make mine blue hush puppies with chocolate cream gloves please, but only on my Sundays. :grin:

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I really don't think he was the predicted messiah. He was just a guy that was enlightened and wanted to tell his understanding of God which was not what the Jews understood God to be, unless they were non-literalists. Actually, I agree with Amanda in this regard...They were the fundamental Jews he was addressing, IMO.

I can see that.

 

Maybe, if not purposely injected into the bible, the going 'back' to heaven is something like the Buddha experienced?? They reach such a state of enlightenment that it is hard to function in this world of form. They really want to have nothing to do with it. Some people (monks I think) have starved themselves to death while meditating and experincing this 'oneness' or Nirvana. Maybe this is what was meant???

Very possible too. Actually that's kind of how I think the Gnostic saw it. (IMO)

 

Oh...make mine blue hush puppies with chocolate cream gloves please, but only on my Sundays. :grin:

No, not puppies. Cute Bunnies.

 

The Cut Bunny also have a dualistic nature of the Holy Rabbit and the Naturalistic Hare.

 

Ye hear not, because only he who has bunny ears can hear.

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Good point. Not creating sin or the devil to begin with would have certainly solved the above problem. However, the question requires one to make a hypothetical assumption--that sin, the devil, ect, actually exist.

 

Next Response

 

My response to such a hypothetical is that since this God is responsible for creating everything including sin, evil and the devil, the only thing it all amounts to is that it was the ultimate all time prank on the entire human race right from the very start by the ultimate prankster himself:

 

God.

 

Next response.

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EdwardAbbey,

 

To a certain extent, I share those sentiments as well. But the questions I posted within my first 2-3 posts also require one to assume that God's creation of sin, evil, the devil, etc... was justified or necessary in some respect. Rooted in that assumption, I asked whether God's faith-based, evangelistic program was the most effective in terms of accomplishing his number one goal: soul-saving. After all, one would assume that the performance of miracles and cogent displays of his existence would be far more effective as a means of evangelism.

 

However, if you are simply unable to grant these assumptions, I understand.

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