My friend has the privilege to have the ear of the kids in her neighborhood. These are some of the questions that they are grappling with in their homechurch situation. Her questions are in green.
This is my feeble attempt to share what I know is in black.
1. Is it really "free will" if God is going to kill the people who don't serve Him? You know like the slave owners who killed their slaves if they didn't serve them. Isn't that more like slavery except that after He kills us He is then going to burn us forever and ever in an unquenchable thirst. But you know that's only if we don't serve Him.
Let’s look at this from a different point of view. Free will is our ability to choose to do something or not. Just like following the rules of the house, if you don’t there are consequences and if you do there are benefits. Sometimes, the benefits are not seen immediately.
Just like Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemene, (He gave up his “will” for God’s) we can choose to follow the plan or not.
2. If God knows everything then why did He create a human existance knowing that they would fall and that Satan would rule them? Not only that let's throw in the fact that their own flesh would cause them to want to do things that God has decided are sinful!
We were created for companionship. If you look at the relationship that God had with Adam and Even in the cool of the evening, you see that He wanted a relationship with them and was upset when disobedience (sin) was committed. Look at the consequences that were dealt, banishment from the garden, living off their work, pain in childbirth, woman being subject to her husband and physical death.
We were created to be obedient companion. Sin is a result of free will. This is a dynamic of the human/God relationship that is hard to grasp. Understanding comes with a relationship with Jesus and reading His Word.
3. Why did He make Satan if He knew that Satan was going to cause sin in the first place?
Satan was Lucifer the Son of the Morning, an angel leading the worship in God’s Throne Room. His fall came from pride in the gifts that God had bestowed, wisdom and great beauty. (Ezekiel 28:13-18) Satan does not cause sin. He was just the example that we follow in sin. His unforgivable sin that caused him to be cast from heaven was saying that he would be greater that God. (Isaiah 14:13-15) This is our example of the lust of the eye and the pride of life. The lust of the flesh followed “knowledge” gained by eating the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
4. Why did He send His son to save a lost world when He could have just not made it in the first place? And why did Jesus have to die for a world that could have just not been made in the first place?
Since we were created for companionship and sin created separation, some form of reconciliation had to be made. God made himself flesh and came to reconcile Himself to the companions He loved so desperately.
5. Why is the Bible so out of order, hard to figure out by oneself and over the top vague?
The Bible seems that way because it was written by different men (guided by God) over a period of many years. It is hard to figure out because it was written with examples that are no longer common to our society. If you try to update the examples to current day, you might apply the principles that Jesus used to make it easier to understand.
If this is life or death for eternity, why didn't He make it like, T-totally Black and white-no messing around with letters to different churches and burning bushes and arcs. Why not just say, this is the way and that's it...No way around it, no different points of view?
It may seem vague and hard to understand because the apostles were dealing with questions like the ones you are dealing with now but pertinent to their time. Not everyone will accept the dictatorial “It’s my way or the highway” kind of attitude. There are certain things that are that way but daily living is left to the individual to work out his own salvation with fear and trembling. (Phillipians 2:12)
Like, you know, even the Catholics...which is a pretty old religion, had it way wrong a whole bunch of times...the whole flat earth thing....killing "witches"....molesting kids. These are the leaders of God's church..Oh but we are all sinners. Yes so that led to another question...
I don’t know that any one church denomination has everything down. The Bible says that His ways are above our ways and there are some things that will not be revealed to us.
6. Why did he make sin again? Did He make Satan? Was He all knowing when He made Satan?
There are things that God allows to happen to us as a result of our choices. Just like your parents, God loves you but must correct our behavior that doesn't align with His word.
These are further comments and questions brought about by comments to her blog entry.
Firstly, I know all religions have crazy people in their midst...some are members and some are their leaders. THAT is the whole point of the question."Why are the leaders of God's church not as protected as the Bible supposedly is? Wouldn't a God who is all knowing place leaders in His church who are real and cause the fakers to be abolished and unable to lead people astray in His REAL church?"
God protects His word so that those who choose to follow Him will know what is expected to be obedient. (remember that we were created to be obedient companions) His obedient companions also have this same measure of protection because He loves them.
In Matthew 7:15 Jesus states “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” God in the flesh says that there will be fakers. He wants a relationship with each of us so that we can be obedient companions with His protection. Because of free will there will be other choices.
Those are the things I'm trying to solve here because.."We are all sinners"isn't cutting it with these kids. :-) And I've tried to explain how God feels and that he brings Peace in times of trial but that doesn't fly either. It can be chalked up to wishful thinking.
So as I'm trying to "study-up" in order to head their questions off at the pass I began digging into history to prove that the church and God's word doesn't change...then I find astronomy.
Holy Moly...the Bible AND history had to be looked at differently!!
Ahhh...We're all crazy!
I certainly am not saying Catholicism as a whole is wrong! I don't believe that. Any religion that preaches Jesus as the way is fine by me. :-)
Why has the church deemed things as sin and then revoked it? How do I explain that?
The “church” has been corrupted by the traditions of man. As culture and times have changed, the “church” has adapted to the expectations of the people instead of staying aligned with the expectations of God.
God’s position on sin has not changed. Ever. Abominations are listed in Proverbs 6:16-19 and commandments are given in Exodus 20:1-18.
How do we explain this crazy mess? Sin? Satan?Nope...can't...doesn't fly...Then I get..."Why did God make Satan?"
If one sin can change they all can change.
"Oh this is a sin today but not tomorrow. Oh this is a BIGGER sin so that's no big deal that those sins changed."
Why did God create the world knowing people would go to hell?"
Hell was created initially for Lucifer and 1/3 of the heavenly host when they were cast from heaven. God did not create it for us. Our curse was from disobedience (sin).
These are my answers to these questions, prayerfully researched based on my knowledge of the Bible. If they don’t fly, please post more so that we can all learn from their questions.