The Biggest Lies in the Bible: Ask and It Shall be Given to You and Seek and Ye Shall Find

god is a liar

There are lots of lies in the Bible; promises made by God that he does not keep. The two biggest lies in the Bible are found in Matthew 7:7-11:

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

According to the Bible, God, the Heavenly Father, gives good things to those who ask him to do so. Ask, and it shall be given to you. Have a need in your life? Seek God and your need will be answered. Find yourself standing at a proverbial closed door? Knock on the door and God will open it for you. No qualifiers here. Ask and God will give, and seek and you will find. Yet, honest Evangelicals will tell you that they have asked God for this or that and nothing happened. Honest Evangelicals will testify of seeking and not finding; of endlessly pounding on Heaven’s door without anyone answering their knock. Of course, it is not God’s fault for his stinginess. It’s not God’s fault he can never be found. Oh no, the blame is always on the Christian. “You need to have more faith!” “You need to pray harder and longer!” “There’s sin in your life that is keeping God from blessing you!” The excuses and justifications are endless. God is a divine vending machine standing ready to dispense answered prayers and blessings. Yet, when Christians pull on handle or push the appropriate button, nothing happens. The vending machine eats their money and dispenses nothing in return.

Sunday after Sunday preachers tell congregants that their lives would be shit without Jesus. Such statements are taken as facts without ever being questioned. Perhaps it is time for followers of Jesus to put their God to the test. Stop asking, stop seeking, and stop knocking. Stop dialing God’s hot line and asking for help. Just stop all the incantations and exercises of faith and see what happens. I’m confident that Christians will find out that there is no material difference between asking/seeking/knocking and not doing so. God is silent either way. The cupboards are empty either way. Pray or don’t pray, it matters not. Why is this? Most Christians will put the blame squarely on self, but I would like to suggest that perhaps there’s another answer; that perhaps the real answer is that God doesn’t come through because he can’t — he’s dead.

I was a fervent seeker of God for almost thirty-five years. I prayed thousands and thousands of prayers: long prayers, short prayers, prayers filled with pathos, and prayers filled with faith. I believed I served a great God, the creator of the universe, a God who held my life and life of everyone else in the palm of his hand. For most of my Christian life, I was convinced that God was answering my prayers. I never doubted that he was fulfilling that which he promised me. Such is life in the Evangelical bubble.

However, once I began doubting what the Bible said was true, everything changed. I carefully examined all the prayers I had prayed over the years, all the requests I made before the throne of Heaven. I pondered all the dying people I prayed for. Every one of them died. I thought about all the sick people I prayed for, wondering, did God heal them or did doctors, medicines, and natural processes do their job? As I combed through my prayer catalog, I came to a startling conclusion: virtually every “answered” prayer could be attributed to natural causes — no supernatural intervention needed. Sure, there were a couple of circumstances that “seemed” supernatural in origin, but is that all I get from God after thirty-five years of devotion and self-denial? Sorry, but luck is a better explanation than God. One of the surest proofs of God’s non-existence is the lack of answered prayer. God made promises and didn’t keep them. God couldn’t keep them, of course, because he was a human construct. There is no deity sitting in Heaven waiting to answer your prayers. Pray, don’t pray, it matters not. Silence is sure to follow. We’re on own, folks.

About Bruce Gerencser

Bruce Gerencser, 61, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 40 years. He and his wife have six grown children and twelve grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist. For more information about Bruce, please read the About page.

Bruce is a local photography business owner, operating Defiance County Photo out of his home. If you live in Northwest Ohio and would like to hire Bruce, please email him.

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8 Comments

  1. ObstacleChick

    Praye is like playing the slot machine. You feed it and feed it and feed it until eventually the machine spits out a few quarters as it’s programmed to do. The player gets a rush and feeds the machine again and again waiting for the payout. Playing slots is entertaining. Unfortunately, people who pray sometimes are asking for serious help, sometimes forgoing actions that could bring results and opting for prayer instead.

    Reply
  2. Matilda

    It’s so blindingly obvious to me now….how could I have believed prayer worked? I too spent a lot of time in earnest prayer. How could I not see that my prayers for world peace, for an end to hunger, for justice for the oppressed went completely unanswered in spite of Matt 7v7 telling me the opposite. As I confronted my dissonances, I pondered over the fact that 300 prayed for me when I was ill. Doctors treated me and I got well, as did the others in my hospital ward who didn’t have that number praying probably. And when my church had a night of prayer for a dying young pastor, would he have recovered if they’d fasted as well, or had 3 nights of prayer? Isn’t god supposed to know our needs anyway? I was hopeless at staying awake all night if I had to work the next day, so surely a quick ‘god please heal Tim’ before bed had the same impact, why did folk need to pray for hours and hours for the same thing? The logic, or non-logic of it hit me like a damascene moment and was a major factor in my deconversion.

    Reply
  3. Little dingo

    As a former Christian & now agnostic, i also find it difficult to reconcile certain bile quotes, & i think my ex christian friends themselves had a way of pushing certain references that used to really make me question my own personal conviction & strength, i’ve always disliked it when others say “God will never give you anything you can’t handle”, i think the saying references the verse:

    “God is faithful & will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear”.

    Well, i can tell you right now, that is a load of old rubbish & it has the effect of really unsettling me when i hear it, things happen in this life, people perpetrate heinous, evil acts on others that destroy the very fibre of our being & ruin families for all time, such horrors like capital crime which my family suffered & witnessed, & there are many people in jail who gave others such unenduring heartache as to give them way more than they could handle, so when i hear those particular words, i look around at all the suffering of my broken shell of a family & others …& call it for the crock it is, many people suffer more than they can handle, even from the brutality & devastation of the natural world, so i don’t know why there are people out there who still push this dogma, like the more they wish it, it will come to pass, it doesn’t.

    Reply
    1. Grammar Gramma

      Hahaha! Love the freudian slip! “certain bile quotes”!

      Reply
    2. Caroline

      Little Dingo:

      If God only gave people what they could bear no one would end his own life. I hate that belief too.
      After 9/11 an unthinking acquaintance of mine sent around a bunch of stories of people who had called in sick, not gotten to work on time, etc. on the day the towers were attacked, thus not dying that day like so many others. There was some kind of silly religious message attached to the stories saying that “God puts you just where you need to be at all times.” I was so angry and let her know how insensitive that foolish message was.

      Were all of the almost 3,000 who died that day placed where God needed them to be that day? (I asked.) How insulting these ideas are to people who’ve suffered tragedies because of horrible luck or people who commit hideous crimes.
      I’m sorry for the loss your family has suffered.

      Caroline

      Reply
  4. Drew Costen

    Contextually speaking, I don’t actually consider this one to be a problem. It’s in the book of Matthew, so it’s pretty much only applicable to Jews who followed Jesus, and really only during Kingdom-related dispensations (again, book of Matthew, whose entire focus is basically the Kingdom of the heavens when it comes to Earth). The problem with Christians today is they don’t realize just how much of the Bible was actually only meant for Israel. It’s pretty much only Paul’s epistles that were written to Gentile Christians.

    Reply
  5. James

    Then, what’s the point of reading the Bible if it’s meant for Jews living 2000 years ago? If God wanted modern people today reading the Bible, surely he would have it updated and revised for us (no, not through the erroneous human translators).

    Reply
    1. Drew Costen

      It’s a major assumption to make, that God cares if people read the whole Bible. Just because most Christians think that’s what God wants doesn’t mean it is. My personal interpretation of the Bible is that it’s really only meant for a few people (relatively speaking), and even then, only certain parts are meant for certain people.

      Reply

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