Well, I'm not offended. Few (if any) questions can be offensive if asked with the intent to learn (even if you do nothing with what you do or don't learn).
My thoughts will be coming in a few minutes, but I wanted to get that point hit quickly.
I take no offense at your question. I take it as sincere.
God HAD to create a separation between Himself and man due to mans CHOICE - Adam chose sin in the agrden of Eden.
As Scripture says "God is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity (sin)"
Actions have consequences.
WHEN God proves His existence, then He will be REQUIRED to send the faithful beleivers to Heaven and the non-believers to hell, both receiving their just reward.
God's leaving it to faith is IMMENSELY MERCIFUL to give the most men the most time (thruout time and history) to receive the faith that God freely offers them to beleive in Him.
It depends on how you interpret the book of Revelation. The current dogma popularized by the left behind series, Jack Van Impe, etc.... is not the only way to look at the book, there are a bunch. The 3 popular interpretations are:
-Futurist, 7 year trib
I favor the Historicist version, or as a play by play of the last 2,000 years. (The site has a lot of opinions, but you'll get the idea).
Just as the Jews had Daniel 11 as a play by play for the 400 silent years between the Prophets and the coming of Jesus and they had the Promise given to Jacob before the 400 years in egypt, we have Revelation.
We have not been forsaken, we just aren't paying attention.
SteyrAUG, I'll try to cover these. Others will follow, I'm certain.
An honest belief, but incorrect. The "old Hebrew dudes" - specifically, the Hebrew slaves who were all but thrown out of Egypt after God did a set of ten miracles, all unpleasant - saw God's power. They had a mysterious "pillar of cloud" to follow during the day, and a "pillar of fire" at night. They picked up "manna" (literally, "what is it?") and quail for food six days a week, and the seventh day, like clockwork, it wasn't there AND what they had from the day before was still good.
Other things happened, too, which would PROVE to these "Hebrew dudes" (I like that expression, BTW) that:
1. There is a God
2. He's on the Hebrew side
3. He is not to be trifled with
4. He WILL smite when he is trifled with
Even with all of this, the Bible is FULL of stories of these people ignoring God. Moses went up on a mountain so that God could talk with him. He was gone for 40 days. While Moses was gone, everyone else made an idol and started worshiping some made-up god.
Be honest - do you REALLY think that 21st century people are any different? Really?
First, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness." Faith has always been part of it. And remember, Abraham didn't have churches or Bibles or anything other than God talking to him every twenty years or so, and it doesn't look like they were long conversations.
Second, the stories aren't heroic enough to be made-up. Abraham was a two-timing impatient chicken. Moses was a fugitive murderer, who was scared out of his wits talking to important people (Aaron did all the talking). The Hebrews were a bunch of whiny brats (not like we're any different) who did exactly what God told them NOT to, and were stubborn about it. Remember, all but two of the original Hebrews from Egypt died before they reached the Promised Land.
I'm not so sure that the "evidence" against his existence is so much "evidence" as it is "convenience". If there's no ultimate authority, then ultimately I can do as I please, and screw everyone else. And, let's face it, even with incontrovertible evidence (pillars of fire and manna and plagues and stuff), people will still act like he's not there.
I don't get this either. Christianity offers some things which people seem to want:
1. The cosmic discrepancy between what I think I believe and what I actually do is explained. (That would be the fact that I am a born sinner, capable and inclined toward extreme evil.)
2. My need to be "right" with other people is made possible, starting with me being made "right" with God.
3. The meaning of life is given. My church has a list of questions and answers, and the one I remember best is this: "What is the chief and highest end of man?" (or, What is the meaning of life?) "The chief and highest end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever."
Why people aren't more interested in this is beyond me.
John 20:24-29 Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!"
But he said to them, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it."
A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe."
Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!"
Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
It might, but, as I've said, people will abandon God quickly even when he's right there.
I don't know why Jesus hasn't returned. I believe that God has his reasons, and I might one day hear them.
Your questions are honest, and I will say that you are not far from the kingdom of God.
IM if you want a few book recommendations.
After Christ died, God gfrabbed a beer and watched us all on his big screen.
Now to answer the specific questions
Faith is always required in what God WILL do, not what God HAS done. What God HAS done was always looked at as a building block to give us a surer faith.
Reread Exodus. How many of those people died for their lack of faith. They were lead by fire at night, smoke during the day, and had the opposing army destroyed with out the least bit of effort by them. This is not a valid assumption.
Look at the USA to confirm this. We had an awesome governmental system left to us by our founding fathers, and yet, everywhere captilism has gone, it has been wonderful, but everybody cries for socialism.
Mankind is not as smart as he thinks he is.
One only has to look at the news/election to see how many people willingly believe unsubstantiated lies. This is not a valid assumption.
They didn't like him much the first time around. I doubt it will change the second. Only this time, he's gonna kick butts and take names.
The only valid method of testing the theory is the scientific method (the bible approves of this method too, trying spirits, mark of a prophet).
Experiment with Prayer, and delivery. Examine the world, and see if the models of the universe offered by the world fit with the reality of the world. (Is man getting better, worse, the same?) Evolution versus Design.
Just because an authority says it doesn't make it true. We have the unfortunate burden of thinking for ourselves.
Nope. Most would probably hate him.
By force, maybe? By choice. No. We would probably hate him.
Could you imagine what his idea of Hi-Def is?
A doubting Thomas ? Thomas believed because he could see with his eye and touch with his hands but Christ said "blessed is he who believes and does not see".
To take God's words for it without tangible evidence is what God's wants, trust faith, valued by Him, if He has to prove it with psysical evidence then why act out the play at all?
God knows, the point is do you?
Only God knows why he has been quiet,
IF you are waiting on hard scientific proof there is a God or that Jesus was who he said he was,I believe you have a long wait.
You have good questions, but do you really believe anyone here is going to prove or convince anything to you?
I wlll let you know when I kick over, but I do know this I will never pray to mecca - ever even if Allah walks up and shakes my hand.
There are several instances of Jesus being asked for a sign:
The Pharisees came and began to question Jesus. To test him, they asked him for a sign from heaven. He sighed deeply and said, "Why does this generation ask for a miraculous sign? I tell you the truth, no sign will be given to it." Then he left them, got back into the boat and crossed to the other side.
The next time Jesus was met by some of the scribes and Pharisees, they asked him, "Teacher, we want you to give us a sign or miracle to show us you are who you say you are."
Jesus answered them, "An evil and ungodly people looks for a miraculous sign but the only sign that will be given is the sign of Jonah the prophet. Exactly the same way Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights the Son of man will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights."
He also gave them comparisons to show just how evil and ungodly they were:
I can't find the scripture, but on another instance, Jesus was asked for a sign. He replied along the lines that they had been given miracles by Moses and the prophets and they still didn't believe. What difference would one more miracle make.
The point is that God does still talk to people and play a very real part in people's lives. But what makes you think that you'd believe now if you saw a miracle when you don't believe after 4000 years of documented miracles and signs? People who don't want to believe will come up with any kind of explanation they can to explain a miracle or sign as something other than from God. They don't want to face what it means to their own life if they have to acknowledge his reality and what he wants.
On the one hand, I would like to have a "burning bush" type of experience. But on the other, I don't need it. I know God is real and that his Son died for my sins. "Blessed is he who sees and believes, but more blessed is he who does not see, yet still believes."
One of my biggest biblical heroes is the Roman Centurion who's servant was sick. Jesus was going to go and heal him and the centurion said that all Jesus had to do was say the word. That was enough.
I knwo if I KNEW FOR SURE that it was 1. Jesus and 2. Everything he said was proven that "I" would be a Christian. I'd need to check some idea and seem him do something "provable" (No David Copperfield stuff) but once that is established I'd be a Christian.
That's all you would need? So you *might* be fooled by some alien who could do things we could not and had a historically accurate appearance and rap.
I doubt that's going to happen, probably about as much chance as one of the real guys coming back, but how would we know - look what happened to the Aztecs....
Label yourself "agnostic" and go have a beer, I am
God spoke to the Jews through profits, now then he spoke through himself incarnate on Earth: Jesus. Now, he speaks to us through his Living Word, the Bible. God doesn't need to PROVE himself to mankind because that is where faith comes in. However, the reason why God "physically" spoke to the Jews 2000+ years ago was to instruct them on the specifics of the laws that would keep them righteous. The Jews were, and are, God's chosen people, however, it says in the Bible that everything that happens, will happen first to the Jew, then the Gentile. God instructed the Jews on the building of the Ark of the Covenant during their exile, which was their place to atone for their sins in the Holiest of Holies, once a year. That was the Old Covenant formed between God and the Jews using Moses as a messenger. However, God wished to show all people his love and forgiveness, so he sent his son to be the New Covenant that would eternally atone for man's sins if man wished to ask for forgiveness.
On the subject of Jesus coming back to "save humanity". There is no indication that humanity will be saved in Revelation. What it does say will happen is that the world will become a terrible place to live before the Christ comes, once he does come and the Beginning of the End starts, the chosen will begin to be taken into Heaven, and the rest will be left for judgement. Once the End has come, Heaven and Earth will be as one.
Anyone with more knowledge of the Bible, please correct any mistakes or clarify anything I have stated.
G*d still talks to us, we just don't listen
Ignore my post, I just thought it would be funny to post here...
I will say I am sorry in advance, (sorry) I know how sensative this issue is with some people. I should probably not say anything, but to hell with it I am bored. (Thats about as sincere as I get, sorry)
Religion and superstition in general are ways people try to interpret unexplained phenomenon. Not knowing is insecurity, so we have to expian things some how, not matter how unfounded.
I read a psychological study years ago that proposed that Humans are the only species to have a concept of death. It makes sense to me. We realize that we are going to die eventully, and some people really need to believe that there is something beyond death. Its kind of a rude thing to say and I will apologize in advance,(sorry) but "Fear is the only God"
Of course psychology is full of half truths too!
I do not believe in the following, Bigfoot, Nessie, a conscious being that governs the universe, in alien life forms that have visited earth, Zombies, Santa, that Hillary Clinton is actually human, or there are any Were-wolves other than Hillary. (For the record)
Oh yeah and Elvis is dead!