It seems that a lot of my posts here are an overflow of what seems too long to just share on a single Facebook comment stream. I was engaging with a friend who seems to be subscribing to a lot of atheist news feeds that pump out lots of quotes and zingers about how God can’t exist, those who believe in God are stupid, or if God did exist, he could not be worth worshipping, because he does not turn us into a utopian society incapable of harming each other. I normally try to avoid getting into arguments just for the sake of arguing, but this friend has been willing to discuss beliefs in a civil manner in the past, so I feel pretty free to discuss these things with him.
Below is my draft attempt at explaining what I believe to my friend:
God does whatever He wants to do. God is good. God also gets to define what good is. God cares about people, but does not force them to be good. People suffer as a result of each other, and pain that God allows that is a result of our desire for independence. As we depart from God’s protection, we experience things that are not good. God says that he will judge our actions and thoughts one day, then restore his kingdom. For now, we are being tested and challenged to seek his will and do the right thing as a result of His grace to us. If you believe, you strive to think and do what God says, if you don’t believe, you live however you feel like living. I am only confused by those who don’t believe and spend so much time trying to convince others that they are wasting their time trying to please God. At least Jesus focused on hypocrites, because nobody likes hypocrisy, no matter what you believe. Look at charities like Compassion International. Why do they connect people with needy children? I believe it is because a lot of people care about caring for the helpless, and believe it is their responsibility to show God’s love to them, even though they are not obligated legally. I don’t mind engaging in a discussion about honest questions, but I wonder about those who just throw insult after insult just for the sake of criticizing what they seem to not want to learn anything about. Tell me what you are for and why, and maybe we all can understand each other better.
Instead, I cut the text out and simply asked him what he is for. He seems to be against a lot of things. I am opposed to plenty of stuff too, but it helps to have something you are for to get a better understanding of someone. I also wish to get him to articulate what he believes in his own words, rather than cutting and pasting primarily from what others have said.