A perfect, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent God created a perfect universe 6,023 years ago, inhabited by two perfect humans, Adam and Eve, and a plethora of perfect animals. We know all this because a perfect inspired, inerrant, and infallible religious text compiled over thousands of years says so. These things are true because the Bible says they are true. How do we know that what the Bible says is true? Because the Bible says so . . .
This perfect God also created angels, some of whom were fallen beings, creatures who hated and despised God, creatures whose sworn mission was to overthrow and destroy God’s creation. Have you ever wondered why God created fallen, sinful angels? Me too. If God is this all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful being, why did he create these angels to start with? This question will lurk behind everything I write in this post. If God is whom the Bible says he is, then WHY?
One of these fallen angels was a sexy, redheaded, left-handed being named Lucifer. Lucifer hated God and was determined to destroy Jehovah’s perfect creation. What better way to do so than to tempt Adam and Eve to break the rule God had given them: thou shalt not eat fruit off the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
And the Lord God commanded the man [Adam], saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
Lucifer, a fallen archangel — a big shot in Heaven — decided to use a walking, talking snake — either by possessing the snake or using it as a ventriloquist dummy — to tempt earth’s first humans.
Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.
God is omniscient, so he knew that this would happen. God is omnipotent, so he had the power and ability to keep it from happening. And despite controlling everything, God did what, exactly? God had every choice at his disposal, yet he chose to do nothing. For those who dare to argue that Lucifer, Adam, and Eve had free will, and that’s why things happened the way they did, isn’t God ultimately responsible for everything? Isn’t God sovereign? God could have chosen NOT to create fallen angels or give Adam and Eve free will. God could have chosen not to plant the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the midst of the Garden of Eden. God had endless possibilities before him, yet he chose what’s recorded in Genesis 1-3 and the rest of God’s Word, the Bible. Think about this fact for a moment. What does it say about God’s reasoning skills?
Adam and Eve’s choice to eat fruit from a forbidden tree caused all the pain, evil, and suffering we see today. War, famine, and disease all trace back to Adam and Eve. Rape, sexual assault, murder, robbery, lying, and cheating, all Adam and Eve’s fault. Our world and our lives could be radically different if God had gotten up off the couch, shut off the TV, and stopped the events that took place in Genesis 1-3. Instead, he did nothing. Well, we can’t say “nothing” in a literal sense. God has spent the past 6,000+ years “bothered” by what we humans do. He even wrote a bestselling book, the Bible, to express how bothered he was by our “sinful” behavior.
Recently, an Evangelical man by the name of Richard left a comment on the post Dear Jesus. I responded to Richard here. Richard responded to my post via email. Here’s the exchange that took place between us:
Richard here again, thank you for your response. I dont like labels, I follow Jesus Christ thats all. In response to you comments (humbly)
There are no low hanging fruits [people more easily persuaded by Christianity], you have to toil for each and every one of them.
Just because there is no answer now does not mean, there will never be. Remember understanding without words?, I think its in Isaiah.
God always sends Richards,Pauls and Peters, (murderers, cowards and fools). They understand forgiveness and restoration.
Maybe God did tell me to write you, maybe time has come for you to return and do what you do best. He is not finished with you. There is a time for everything. God bless you and your family even though you dont believe in him…yet. Take care.
If you want to interact with me, please comment on the post. I have no interest in interacting with you privately. You ignored my commenting guidelines. What does that say about you and your faith?
Go away, and find someone else to bother.
My apologies for not following your commenting guidelines. It was not intentional. I was using my mobile. Sorry for bothering you and I will not bother you again but I hope this tells you something about my faith, I am able to admit to making mistakes. God bless.
Richard is what I call a God-botherer. My friend Zoe had this to say about Richard:
Sorry to bother you, yet, is he? I don’t think so. The person who is bothered is Richard himself. He’s only following the story about a God who is bothered. And I can’t blame Him. The whole story is quite bothersome.
As always — okay 99.9 percent of the time 🙂 — Zoe is right.
The Bible is the written record of all the human behaviors that bother God. In the Old Testament alone, there are 613 God-given laws pertaining to human behavior. Dozens and dozens of laws are added to this list in the New Testament. God is bothered by how people cook, what they eat, and how they grow their crops. God is bothered by how people build their homes, what type of clothing they wear, and how they keep their hair. God is also bothered by how, when, where, and why people have sex. Taking the Bible as a whole, it’s clear that God spends every moment of every day being bothered by human behavior — behavior he created and could have made differently. If God didn’t want LGBTQ people to have sex, he could have changed their DNA in a way that would have eliminated the want, need, and desire to fuck. The same goes for heterosexuals. If God didn’t want humans to commit adultery or fornication, could he not have created them in such a way that they wouldn’t do so? With God, all things are possible, right? I heard countless preachers say that nothing is too hard for God. Were they lying?
I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
Does nothing include the human behaviors that bother God? Without me [Jesus] you can’t do anything, the man, the myth, and the legend says. Did Jesus mean what he said, or must this verse be properly interpreted?
The Apostle Paul said: I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me (Philippians 4:13). Implication? Without Christ, we can’t do anything. Does that include human behaviors that bother God? Just taking the Word of God literally.
Paul also said: God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth . . . For in him we live, and move, and have our being (Acts 17: 24, 28). According to my Evangelical pastors and professors, it is God who gives us our breath; it is God who gives us the ability to live and move. Without God, we would all instantly die. Everything necessary to live comes from God. Peter said in 2 Peter 1:3 that Jesus [according as his divine power] hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness. ALL things. Doesn’t it stand to reason, then, that every human behavior comes from God; that God is bothered by behaviors he gave us?
If God didn’t want to be bothered by human behavior, he could have created us differently. If anyone is to blame for how things are, God is. Paul, the first Calvinist, says in Romans 9 that God is the potter and we are the clay; that God alone determines who will and won’t be saved. By extension, does this not mean that God is in control of e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g?
Richard, along with his fellow God-botherers, believe the Bible is a supernatural book written by a supernatural God; that its words are straight from God’s mouth to their ears; that every word is to be practiced, enforced, and believed. Thus, whatever bothers God bothers the Richards of the world. One need only pay attention to the current culture wars to see that Evangelicals are bothered by all sorts of human behaviors. And that means if they are bothered, God is bothered. Isn’t it interesting that God is bothered by the same human behaviors as Evangelicals? Canny how the mind of God and the minds of Evangelicals always agree. Why this would almost make you think humans created God and wrote the Bible.
I grew up in the Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) church movement. IFB churches and pastors are bothered by just about every human behavior you can think of. Here’s a list of some of the behaviors I heard condemned by IFB preachers (and later condemned myself):
- Watching MTV
- Watching HBO
- Listening to secular radio
- Listening to contemporary Christian music
- Listening to rock and roll music
- listening to country music
- Long hair on men
- Short skirts on women
- Pants on women
- Shorts on women
- Wearing wire-rimmed glasses
- Men having facial hair
- Drinking alcohol
- Going to the movie theater
- Voting Democratic
- Attending a liberal Christian college
- Female preaching
- Effeminate male preachers
- Effeminate men
- Hen-pecked men
- Haughty women
- Church members who disagree with the pastor
- Premarital sex
- Extramarital sex
- Getting an abortion
- Practicing Christmas/Halloween/Easter
- Reading any Bible translation but the KJV
- Card Playing
- Attending non-IFB churches
Shall I go on? The list of human behaviors that bother IFB preachers is as vast as the human mind. Every church and every pastor have their own list of human behaviors that bother them. While many Christians call such extremism legalism, isn’t it a matter of degree? Don’t all Christians have at least a mental list of human behaviors that bother them; that they believe are contrary to the Bible’s teachings? Isn’t that what sin is: human behaviors that bother God? And shouldn’t Christians love what God loves and hate what God hates? No shellfish for you, Richard.
Let me conclude this post with a short Disney video that perfectly illustrates the point I am trying to make in this post.
The Bible says that Christians have the mind of Christ [God]. Winnie the Pooh, then, is the God of the Bible, and representative of millions and millions of Evangelical Christians. Oh, bother . . .
Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen 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.
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They are so bothered by the LGBTQ community. So bothered that they’ve given up since gay marriage is legal, and are now making a huge fuss over a tiny minority of people who are despised and persecuted…transgender people. I see nothing of love and caring from all these bothered Christians.
WHOA!!! WHOA!!! What are ya’ll talkin about ?!? [BE WARNED! I”M ABOUT TO GO ON A RANT!]
“….. Adam and Eve’s choice to eat fruit from a forbidden tree caused all the pain, evil, and suffering we see today …..”
Sorry! That’s not how us Earthly Republicans see it! Not at all! Nay! Nay!
We’re trying to preserve democracy here! If our god elect and Archangel Lucifer had not tried to help those 2 sweet kids in Eden escape from that Liberal totalitarian, the human race would never have got off the damn ground. We wouldn’t be here! Every human owes his existence to our former god Lucifer! Those 2 sweet kids were being brainwashed into some “happy, sappy, Garden of Eden utopia.” Free food! Free lodging! Free Medicare for all eternity …. Those poor kids were brainwashed by this democracy-bashing Leftie. He was even taking their body parts while they were sleeping! How creepy is that ?!?
If it wasn’t for Lucifer convincing those 2 kids to bite into that apple of knowledge, they would still be as dumb as toad-stools to this day! Our Dear Leader taught them the truth! Opened their eyes! Got them out of that Leftist inspired so called Garden of Pleasure. He freed them all !!
Eternal life in that garden ?!? HAH ! Better dead than Red ! Better to die than live a lie !
Our former god just happened to fall out of favor with those lefties on the other side of those pearly white gates and was chased out of our heavenly White Mansion! That’s why the Earth’s streets are in such turmoil ! They even tried to impeach our Dear Leader. Now those same Lefties up there in Heaven are trying to charge that our fearless Leader was trying to INCITE AN INSURRECTION! Can you believe that?!? That’s what Lucifer has to deal with every day. Hell no! It was just a bunch of patriotic tourist angels from another dimension who just happened to come by and got a little rowdy (being filled with the Holy Ghost) in their hallelujah chorus! Anybody who was there could see that! I merely told them that to protect their freedom and Heaven, they had to get out there and do something. Lucifer never told them to get violent. That was an ungodly lie!
We all know that there was this massive, I say massive voting fraud. Of all the angels and archangels … who was counting the votes?!? GOD just stepped in on his own vocation! We know it was a fix! Yes. GOD stole the election from us. GOD tried to cancel all of us out! And they call US demonic! We will never embrace that false election! Never!
But our former god and Archangel elect ain’t going away. You just wait. He’s coming back in 2,000+ years! He’ll be back in that heavenly White Mansion in the sky in no time. Then we’re going to charge GOD with treason. Throw Him in hell. Throw away the keys.
All Lucifer’s friends are going to be pardoned. Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao, Trump …… they were all loyal to me !!! It’s going to be soooo good! It’s never been so good! It’s the goodest it will ever be, it’s so good …..
But Dale, that means the god all these cons are worshipping is…LIBERAL JESUS. Woo boy, do you think they will keep going along with that?? Thanks for the chuckle!
That’s hilarious Dale! Put a smile on my face this morning anyway.
I always felt the entire Adam and Eve thing was rigged to fail, from beginning to end. That was before I ever read the NT, where it says Jesus was ” slain before the foundation of the world,” as I remember it. It’s all so creepy ! There’s even a book, called ” God’s Devil,” by Ervin Luster, going into Lucifer being God’s attack pit bull, doing God’s bidding, causing tragedy and killing this one, that one. It was so depressing to read ! But I WAS curious. Of course, Luster IS a Calvinist. Which makes sense. The man has a toxic personality anyway. If one reads between the lines regarding the Bible, they should figure out that there’s only one winner here. People win zero. You simply don’t burn after death, but that’s it. I support contraception and abortion, because it’s the only guaranteed way to avoid such a trap !😆
Hi Yulya, you made some great points. As someone who was raised in a Calvinist church, I totally agree with your assessment.
This line of thinking, i.e. Supralapsarianism, insists that God’s main purpose in creation is to glorify himself, which somehow requires him to display both his mercy and wrath to the fullest extent. Of course, the best way to do this is to orchestrate both the Fall and Redemption before He even decreed the creation of human beings, hence Jesus’ being “slain before the foundation of the world”.
Humans are basically props and puppets, the majority of whom will end up in eternal torment just because God really really really wants to glorify himself. Like Judas, created with the sole purpose of betraying Jesus before being thrown into the Lake of Fire.
These disturbing implications turned me away from Calvinism. After all, I come from an Asian country and Christianity didn’t reach my family until a few generations back. Calvinism implies that one of the most time-honoured traditions practised by my ancestors was dying and getting sent to Hell (no, strict Calvinism makes no provisions for “not knowing”). If I go to Hell, I am just following the footsteps of my ancestors.
And with regards to your last point, I once read a heartbreaking comment made by a man on a Calvinist site’s comment section. He was so afraid of having children because he couldn’t bear the thought of them going to Hell. Of course, the Calvinists retorted back by saying that he shouldn’t toy with God’s sovereignty. What a delightful sentiment.
What I can’t fathom is that in this Utopia (called Heaven), there will be no murder, rape, theft, etc. as there is here on earth because God chose to give people free-will. What will happen to make things idyllic in Heaven? Is God going to withdraw people’s free-will so they can’t choose to do wrong? I expect the fundamentalists will have an answer.
I have a question – something I should research. Does the Bible ACTUALLY represent God as omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, omnipresent? Or is this something that was developed in Christianity later? Do sects of Jews view God this way, and if so, which ones? Even a cursory reading of the OT contradicts the notion of an omnibenevolent deity, unless you consider wholesale slaughter of your enemies to be benevolence.
God is also bothered by spot on sarcasm and I’m pretty sure you really pissed him off today
Thanks for bringing a smile to my face Bruce. Okay, a chuckle. 🙂
What’s wrong with wire rim eyeglasses? Please explain or be responsible for tonight’s insomnia! (Just kidding)
I second the question! Also, my husband wears rimless glasses (they have a wire nose bridge, plastic nose pads, and wire bows, but no frames around the lenses). Does that mean he’s REALLY sinning? 🙂
The preacher in question, Don Green, believed wire rimmed glasses were worldly —- as was facial hair. IFB preachers use calling something “worldly” as a way to ban behaviors they don’t like or find offensive.
That’s one of my “Big Picture “ question for Christians…
Your god created the entire universe and has an enemy?
I am laughing so hard at that, Goyo. That’s precisely the kind of Christianese that makes me go “Wait, what?”
Good evening, Mel. I have an Asian side to my background through my father’s side. Tengerism and Bouddhism. I think about those dilemmas you brought up in this post. As well as those callous Calvinists and their toxic legacy. This belief system is what allowed them to colonize, commit genocide and chattel slavery without any guilt at all. It gives Christianity a bad name, not that they care ! Don’t read their literature if you can help it. It’s batty stuff. I hate the idea that their missionaries are spreading their poison throughout the old U.S.S.R.,and no one shut them down. They need to get lost.
Hi Yulya, thanks for replying.
I agree that it’s batty, especially the writings of serious theologians, as opposed to more popular pastors like Keller.
The thing is, the sheer repulsiveness of the belief system itself is used as an argument in its favour. Men wouldn’t have come up with such an incomprehensible concept, so it must come from God. Not unlike the Islamic logic with regards to the supposedly all-surpassing beauty of the Koran. Couple that with the Calvinist’s ultimate (gaslighting) verse from Jeremiah – the human heart is deceitful beyond comprehension – and you will be forced to accept their conclusion. At least, if you’re a true elect and believer anyways.
I believe Calvinism can be boiled down to “F*** you, I’ve got mine” and “It sucks to be you!” A Calvinist acquaintance of mine even said that the sole reason Abel’s sacrifice was favoured by God but not Cain’s was an act of “Divine Favouritism”. Hence the bad stuff you mentioned (although they would disagree, obviously).
In the end, I also think that tribalism is deeply entrenched in the human psyche. People need to feel belong (cue Bruce’s post on the socioeconomic side of Christianity) and religion fulfils this need. Especially those that emphasise your special standing in the grand scheme of things.
I like that you mentioned lapsarianism. I’ve talked about it several times, but most people aren’t conversant on the subject. 😂
Well Bruce, my old church is super duper Calvinist (although the founding pastor and head honcho is an infralapsarianist 😂😂, at least in his preachings).
I was, at one point, a member of a “special” Bible study group whose sole purpose was to go through all the chapters of Calvin’s Institute. My “ordinary” Bible study group focused on Westminster Shorter Catechism (another rather hardcore group in my church used the Heidelberg Catechism).
A particularly dedicated member of my group was a big fan of van Til, Frame, Bahnsen, and he also read gasp Rushdoony. No, I haven’t touched those authors, I have very sensitive fee-fees and I think they would unsettle me (especially Rushdoony 😂). And oh boy, the church was filled TO THE BRIM with these kinds of wannabe Calvinist theologians 😂.
And the cream of the cake is: we’re not even native English speakers (we’re Asians), so the task of reading these complicated tomes is even more insurmountable (although granted, these people usually have very good education). But the dedication surely turns you into a rabid Calvinist 😂
Ah, some of my favorite authors back in the day. Coming from an intellectually shallow IFB background, I found Calvinism mentally stimulating. I do wonder if church numbers understood half the shit I was talking about. 😂 After I became a Calvinist, I determined to convert church members to the doctrines of grace (after I got them re-saved). I gathered up a group of core church members and held weeknight classes on Calvinism. I was sure they “saw the light,” but I have my doubts now. BTW, students in our Christian school were required to memorize passages from the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith. I was a Calvinist who actually read John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion — every damn page. 😂
Well done you, Bruce! What a great feat!
I doubt that the majority of pastors in my previous two Calvinist churches (especially those from my home church, which was less Calvinistic than the other one I kept referring to) had ever read the Institutes in its entirety. So more props to you!
I wonder if Calvinist churches are a magnet for more intellectually-inclined people like you due to their emphasis on expository and heavily-theological teachings. I was born into it, so well, I don’t know 😂.
And oh boy, is it not the desire of all true Calvinists that everyone (especially those pesky Arminians, not Armenians 😂) be converted to the Pure Doctrine of Grace! Sometimes I wonder if Calvinism has a subtle underlying gnostic tendency to it. Unless you understand the Gospel through this particular lens, you are at best an immature Christian or at worst, an unregenerate reprobate. For all their disapprovals of other sects’ supposedly heretical works-salvation theology, they seem to adhere to a form of knowledge-salvation, if that makes sense.
I mean, if that’s true, most Christians I know would be going to Hell anyway. After all, my dad unknowingly spent half of his life til his fifties as a Sabelian/Modalist heretic. That is, until he started attending these theological classes for laymen (one of my pastors was very very keen on laymen education, as you were 😂).
Well Bruce, if they didn’t see the light, it was God’s sovereign will anyway. I suspect that some people are just not interested in or even well-suited for the heavily-theological and mind-twisting nature of Calvinistic teachings (as you implied might be the case with some in your congregation). Well again, it’s already pre-determined anyway (although it doesn’t absolve them of their laziness – cue Calvinist defence for the compatibility of determinism and moral culpability 😂).
Anyways, sorry for the ramblings. But reading through your accounts, I find it impossible to deny that you were once indeed a “true Calvinist/Christian”. But of course, that concession is not allowed, at least to the Evangelical mind 😂. The only explanation left is probably the concept of “Evanescent Grace”: that you were indeed at one point regenerated by the will of God, but then God purposefully withdrew his grace from you in order to punish you more severely. What a delightful character the Calvinist God is.