It is probably fair to say we live in a rather cynical and derisive culture these days. Pick a topic, it probably doesn’t matter which, and we see a profusion of insults, dismissal and unalloyed contempt. Anything but actual deliberation and respect for another person, if not their position.
Doubtless, no one would deny this takes place in the political arena almost as a requirement. Unfortunately, it also occurs too often in the realm of religion. Ironically, many of the most vocal critics of religion in general, and Christianity in particular, seem unaware of their own shortcomings. They fail to recognize how guilty they are of the same deficiencies they cite in those of faith.
Asking Legitimate Questions
For instance, common accusations against Christians is how stupid they are, or foolish or uneducated. They follow some silly book or leader or whatever without thinking. If they would only use the brain that their so-called god had supposedly given them, they would know better. Except…
There are at least a couple of issues with that line of thinking. First of all, it is simply untrue to the point of being ridiculous to even consider. Are there those of the Christian faith who may not rise to the top of the brainpower scale? Of course. And, that could be just as aptly applied to any generalized group we wish to examine.
There are countless Christians in all walks of life and fields of employment that exhibit exceptional intelligence, skills and success. As a single example, read about the Rocket Scientist Talking About her Christian Faith. And, actual physical evidence continues to be unearthed archaeologically, further reinforcing the biblical narrative. The story of David and Goliath is not fiction.
The other problem with this mindset is the sheer lack of doing any actual thinking or due diligence themselves. Rather than ask serious questions and work to see if there are any reasonable answers, we get presumed “gotcha” questions. In reality, they are thinly veiled allegations disguised as honest inquiries.God has given us laws that govern His universe. If someone breaks one of His laws, then they deserve to be punished...We couldn't call God good if He didn't hold people accountable for their crimes...But there's good news. Click To Tweet
Good News From a Good God
An example of this type of question goes something like this: “If God is good, how could He send someone to Hell?”
As is often the case, one can refute the assertion, as well as the assumption behind it, using any number of resources. It is not even primarily, or necessarily, a religious question. If one considers punishment a viable and requisite element of a civilized and moral society, then the principle should apply universally.
The following article helps us to see how to properly frame the idea and the question that really should be asked.
“If someone murdered your mother, you’d demand that justice be served and the guilty party be punished. A government that lets a murderer off the hook is neither good nor just. It would rightly be called corrupt and couldn’t be trusted.
“In the same way, we live in God’s jurisdiction. God has given us laws that govern His universe. If someone breaks one of His laws, then they deserve to be punished. That is just and good of God. Failing to punish those who violate His laws is not noble, but negligent. We couldn’t call God good if He didn’t hold people accountable for their crimes.
“That’s why I don’t think the right question is, if God is good, why would He send people to Hell? The more puzzling question is, how can God be good and just but not send people to Hell?…
“But there’s good news. Even though we deserve to pay for the crimes we’ve committed against God, He doesn’t want to send us to an eternal prison. Because we are His creation—special creatures made in His image—He loves us. He’s made a way for us to be pardoned from the punishment we deserve.”
Read more on this at God Is Good and Just When He Punishes People.