Feel free to ask “why Lord?”


I have been thinking of this comment by roopster occassionally during my weekend.

What do you think of all the scriptures in the Bible (particularly the O.T.) that does not portray God as a loving father?

This is a good comment. Many of roopsters bible verses on his blog and his comments are challenging. I’m the kind of Christian who asks these kinds of questions. I want to know why. I trust that God always has good answers – so I am not afraid of asking why. Children ask parents why… so I do too.

For example. I once saw how God commanded the people to cut the tendons on the horses legs. I was shocked and appalled. I asked Him “why?”. His answer later that day was so simple “it was war”. It took a while to accept that answer. It was war. The Jewish people were fighting for survival, for a homeland, for identity – and they were surrounded by nations trying to wipe them out.

It was for survival that they cut the horses tendons, so they could walk and eat, but not be ridden for war.

It was to stop the enemy’s men fighting that they put out the right eye of enemy combatants who were conquered. The left eye was concealed behind the shield. If you blinded the man in the right eye, he couldn’t fight. What was the alternative? To kill the man. Taking out his right eye at least let him live on with his family.

Want to know why God said to throw rocks in the fields of the enemy? No, it wasn’t spiritual, it was so they couldn’t farm there for a while as they cleared the land.Why did God anoint Elijah’s successor? Because Elijah was tired and he could not keep on any more. God said exactly that to Elijah when He miraculously fed Elijah and helped him sleep with a rocks as a pillow.

Why did God kill Moses? Because Moses had made a terrible error and had to be taken from the scene immediately. Read: What happened to… Moses?

Why did God tell Joshua to get the men to drink from the stream and then choose the ones who lifted the water up to their mouth (using their hands) rather than drop their head down to the water? Because the ones who keep their head up are naturally more observant and are therefore naturally better fighters.

This is why I say – the bible is very very practical. I have asked hundreds of these kinds of questions – and the answer is usually practical.

“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. – Luke 11:9

I am very excited about going through roopster’s (long) list and making sense of them all. They will make sense. Perhaps I’ll have to pray about it and wait on Him, but His character and His wisdom is always going to be shown to be right.

I say may God bless roopster for seeking and asking. Many people are just too scared to ask, I’m glad he is! May God answer roopster’s questions by stimulating answers in some of us who are willing to ask on behalf of roopster.

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7 responses to “Feel free to ask “why Lord?”

  1. Hi Mark

    Thank you for your insight and for this blog. It’s great.

    The question I am still struggling with is how does the Ananias and Sapphira incident tie up with forgiveness? If they are dammed, I could well be too – indeed many other Christians as well.

    The bible tells us Christians sin. (1John 1:8, Romans 7:19. Philippians 3:12). In Christ and through active repentance we are forgiven (1John 1:9). Peter himself was forgiven his denial of Christ (John 21:15-23) despite the fact this was breaking a specific instruction. (Matthew 10.33).

    Ananias and Sapphira sinned, as we all do, but were not give opportunity to repent. This seems unfair and suggests the forgiveness we have in Christ, even with repentance is less certain than usually thought. Simon the sorcerer was not given assurance of forgiveness Acts 8:22 (22 “Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray the Lord that, if possible, the intention of your heart may be forgiven you)

    Who can be saved? Jesus said, “With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.” (Mark 10:27)

    So what about us? God is perfect and He decides. The certainties believed by most Christians do not seem to be supported by scripture. For me this has been a shocking revelation and undone years of certainty. Perhaps we are meant to have Godly fear. Perhaps some of us will be in Hell despite commitment to Christ and an active Christian life.

    Any thoughts?
    Peter

    Hi Peter.

    Don’t confuse punishment with “damnation”. Ananias and Sapphira are probably in heaven right now!

    I did a search, there is NO indication that they lost their salvation. He lied and got punished for it. Look again at the wording, no indication of a loss of salvation. God simply took them out in order to bring people to attention that He was not to be trifled with.

    SECONDLY, we all sin, but do we lose our salvation because we sin? Except for extreme sins that lead to “death” there is no scriptural reason to believe that if we sin then we lose our salvation.

    So in the verses you’ve quoted you appear alarmed that people can die without the opportunity to repent. But FRANKLY it’s just not such a big deal. You’ve done a gazillion things that you’ve not repented of. It’s extreme legalism to imagine you can make yourself righteous in God’s eyes. That’s the whole point of the law – that you CANNOT make yourself righteous.

    So we (as Christians) simply confess we are sinners and turn to Jesus and rely on God’s grace. Go ye and do the same.

    God bless!
    Mark.

  2. Hi.

    This debate has got me thnking of a related apparent aberational and fear prducing event namely the summary execution in the Spirit of Annanias and Sapphira. This frightenes me! Were they dammed or were they killed in this life purely to clarify the rightteousness of God but still acceptable for Heaven? If they are dammed, our Christain certainties need to be reapparaised. Any thoughts,

    Blessings
    Peter

    Hi Peter.

    It’s neither of those choices. It’s simply exactly what the bible says happened. The people lied and cheated God.

    You may prefer to think of God as a wuss, but in this story He shows that He’s still able and willing to be tough when He chooses to. It’s that simple.

    Give Him respect – He is God after all!

    God bless,
    Mark.

  3. Neva,

    You are absolutely correct. In fact, in Acts 17:11, the Bereans were considered “more noble” than the Thessalonicans because the questioned Paul and checked out what he was teaching with scripture.

    Also:

    1 Thess 5:21-22 Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.

    1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

    It’s ok to question and in my old age, I’ve figured out that we may never know some of the answers. Sometimes learning how to ask the right question is as far as we’ll get 🙂

  4. Mark and Roopster,

    I grew up in a congregation where it was considered a lack of faith to question anything. The minister, my father, used to say, “It means what it says and it says what it means” and that was meant to be the end of the issue. As an adult, I realized God expects me to question because it is the receiving of answers that builds my faith. He bears with me patiently even when the questions seem stupid. My faith increases with every answer,
    Enjoyed the post and the comments.

    Still praying,
    Neva

    Hi Neva. Your father is clearly a very good man. He doesn’t want to disrespect God. I respect your dad for that. Having said that… I’m of a different generation I guess. I ask questions – and it’s lucky that I do, because as God answers them, I find that is a good God. My faith grows. Thank you for praying Neva. I’ll write a post about the AWESOMNESS of my last week. You’ll be SO encouraged. God bless you Neva! – Mark.

  5. 🙂 Sorry guess I never did finish that thought. It’s late.

    I’ve decided that there no way that the O.T. accurately describes God.

    BTW, I recently found this site http://apologeticspress.org/allegeddiscrepancies/sort-2-1-100-title that you may find interesting.

    Paul

    Hi Paul. Yeah I know just how you feel. I came to that conclusion too for a while, but then I remember asking Him to show me His loving nature, because all I could see was the violence and hatred… and now almost all I can see is His love for people in the OT.

    I now still see Him getting pissed off with humans, but I see *WHY* He is so upset with us. It’s because we don’t care for one another. We won’t limit our behavior and so we hurt one another. When I understood that, I began to see why He wipes out things and why He cares so much and then feels so hurt when He is rejected.

    I think generational sin kinda sets humanity up for failure in that I pay for things I didn’t do… which kinda makes me feel upset when God is annoyed at me for something I didn’t do. But then after coming to that understanding, I was able to come to a greater understanding – that this generational problem is EXACTLY why He kept warning people to look after and teach their children… to resist doing evil BECAUSE it WILL affect the next generation.

    The basic message of the OT (in my view) is that our best efforts are not good and we really really need Him. In my opinion the message of the whole bible and of the whole existence of humanity is summed up in this: look at what we are like when we are separate from God. It’s not a pretty picture. If this is what we are like apart from Him, then WE REALLY NEED HIM.

    So I think the OT and the stories about Jesus and the NT – all seen together – give a very good picture of God. But to take any one incident out (as you have extensively done in your blog) is to get a very unbalanced view.

    Having said that, I really AM looking forward to figuring out some of the things you’ve highlighted in your blog.

    May God bless you with wisdom and grace! – Mark.

  6. Mark,

    I appreciate you taking the time to address these issues. I know that I’ve arrived at a very unpopular conclusion as a result of asking “Why Lord?” too many times.

    Back in 2005, I started blogging about these issues and my years of viewing the Bible as the infallible Word of God quickly unraveled. I took most of 2006 off of blogging about this issue and restarted late in Dec.

    I have to tell you that I’m at a point that it’s hard to go back. Not sure if you’re a Matrix fan but it’s a bit like once you know the Matrix exist can you really go back into living life as before? That’s how I feel about the way I currently view the Bible.

    BTW, I’m looking forward to that Toby Mac album. Really enjoyed his last one.

    God bless,
    Paul

    I have to tell you, I love your honesty. So you’ve asked a few thousand “why Lord” questions and you’ve decided… what? I really want to know. Seriously. Tell me, please.

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