Monday, June 30, 2014

What Happens If A Christian Does Not Give Money To The Church?

                  Some Christians are put off by the force of Church’s appeal for money from their congregation. These Churches mandate or threaten or dangle the carrot of God’s blessing or HIS wrath as a motive for their congregation to give. But there are churches, possibly in the minority, who teach their congregation the principle of sacrificial giving and do not demand. 

            Nevertheless, is it mandatory for a Christian to give money to the church? If he does not give, then what happens to him?

            Two terminologies widely used in this context are: Tithe and Offering. “Tithe” is an Old Testament term and it means “tenth” in the Hebrew. It’s the one-tenth of a Christian’s income. The “offering” is over and above the tithe. It’s a specified or an unspecified freewill offering of a Christian.

            The Old Testament specifies God’s mandate to every believer to tithe (Malachi 3: 8-10). But God is spirit and so does not need our money for HIS sustenance. Hence the believer’s money offered to God was to be put into good use for God’s people (Numbers 18: 21-24; Deuteronomy 26: 12).

            Therefore, money collected from God’s people was given to God’s people in various needy situations. Everyone, believers of God and unbelievers, are God’s people (Cf. Matthew 5: 45; Luke 6: 35).

            The third chapter of Malachi specifies God’s curses upon those defaulting on their tithes. This and maybe a few more are exploited by many pastors and elders of the churches to forcibly extract money from their congregation.

            Is tithing applicable today? A contemporary teaching is that tithes are no longer mandatory. This teaching is correct if and only if the emphasis is on “giving” rather than “tithing.” While tithing mandated one-tenth, the concept of giving mandates everything, life included (Romans 12: 1).

            The Christian should not legalize his giving to a mere one-tenth to derive sublime satisfaction, but he should excel to exceed the one-tenth. The Macedonian churches were an epitome of giving; they gave beyond their ability (2 Corinthians 8: 3). This is sacrificial giving.  

            So a vital aspect of a Christian life is to give beyond our ability. The terminology (tithe or giving) is irrelevant. A Christian should not contain his giving to a mere one-tenth, for this betrays sacrificial giving, the greatest epitome of which is Christ HIMSELF, who gave HIS life for us. If we optimize our giving to a mere one-tenth, we betray Christ.  

            Christian giving is not about whether it’s mandatory or not, but it’s a gracious overflow motivated by gratitude to God, concern towards others and extreme joy - of a life dedicated to Christ and HIM alone. But a Christian should not give in expectation of God’s blessings.

            Would God bless those who do not give sacrificially?

            Two situations could be considered. First, when God blesses those who do not believe in HIM, who are we to think that God would not bless those Christians who do not give (Cf. Luke 6: 35)? Second, when God blesses the wicked to prosperity, who are we to think that God would not prosper those Christians who do not give to HIM (Cf. Psalm 73)?

            If we insist that the prosperity of the wicked is outside God’s powerful presence, then we negate God’s sovereignty. Alternatively, we should examine the prosperity of wicked people from within God’s sovereignty. The sovereign God either causes or permits events to occur.

            Therefore, God either causes or allows the blessing of the wicked for reasons best known to HIM but from within HIS attributes - loving kindness and justice. Hence there is a possibility of God’s blessings upon a Christian who does not give sacrificially.

            However, the Bible asserts that a cheerful and a sacrificial giver would be blessed abundantly by the Lord. These verses communicate this truth, “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously...for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly…Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion…” (2 Corinthians 9: 6-11, NIV).

            God will abundantly bless (spiritually and/or materially) the sacrificial and a cheerful giver so that he continues to excel in the grace of sacrificial giving, which is always for the glory of God.

            But what would God do to a Christian who is unable to give sacrificially because of his meager income or excessive debt? Consider these two situations. First, a Christian could earn a measly income that he is literally hand to mouth or is unable to pay for his livelihood. Second, a Christian could have become bankrupt after a loss of all his life’s savings.

            If a Christian is living in sustained poverty and so is unable to give sacrificially, then his priorities and questions will be out of the ordinary. Tithes or giving will not be the primary concern of this person, rather the primary concern would be asking very difficult questions about God and anticipating a miraculous intervention from God to deliver him from his painful predicament.

            In both these instances and in similar situations, I am confident that God’s gracious blessings would not cease upon these Christians because of their failure to give sacrificially. In fact, the greater questions of these Christians could be:

            (1) “Where are God’s blessings in my life?”

            (2) “Why does God allow this great pain in my life?

            (3) “How and when would God deliver me from this painful situation?”    

            Would God curse those who do not give sacrificially?

            God in HIS perfect justice can curse anyone, if HE deems them fit to be cursed. In the context of the many verses such as Ephesians 1: 3, I understand that God would not curse someone for not giving sacrificially; instead HE will be patient and will teach them to give sacrificially. These verses summarize my position on this theme, “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities” (Psalm 103: 8 – 10, NIV).

            The Bible does not teach that God will never be angry; instead God is slow to anger. The Bible also teaches that God’s people should give and learn to give sacrificially. So it should be our constant endeavor to give sacrificially.  

            Should a Christian give all his money to his church or can he give it to anyone doing God’s work? If we are a member of a local church, we are a part of the church family. The local church does have its share of expenses, and these expenses should be paid in full and promptly. Hence, it’s our responsibility to support our church financially. In other words, we cannot allow our church to suffer debts.

            Significantly, churches ought to be transparent with its financial records. Any church that does not declare its financial records to its congregation does not deserve money from anyone. Every member of the church possesses inherent rights to question the church authorities about the way the money is being handled.

            The church that does not declare its financial records to its congregation seems untrustworthy. So if I were a member of that church, I would only offer that which I think is due to them for their service to enhance my spirituality. This is synonymous to paying for the movie ticket to watch a movie.

            The church being a congregation of sinners is more often ruled by sinful authorities. These authorities often hold to selfish agendas and the church becomes a victim to Satan’s temptations when it overlooks the genuine needs of those in and outside the church. So if God brings missionaries or mission organizations into a Christian’s life, he should financially support these entities as well.

            What about a Christian who does not give to his church instead supports other deserving missionaries and mission organizations in Christendom? The money the Christian owns is not his, but God’s. It is God who should determine where HIS money should go.

            Therefore, a Christian should discern the will of the Lord in deciding the recipients of his sacrificial giving. If the Christian is confident that God wants him to divert his money to entities other than the local church, then so be it.

            Therefore, there’s nothing wrong in a Christian…

            (1) …giving sacrificially to his church.

            (2) …giving sacrificially to his church and to other deserving entities in God’s Kingdom.

            (3) …not giving anything to his church (if he’s got valid reasons) but diverts his sacrificial giving to other entities in God’s Kingdom, in accordance to God’s will.

            Finally, can the church force the Christian off his money? No. The church should teach their congregation the principle of sacrificial giving and should not demand. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

A Genuine Born-Again Christian Cannot Repent To Reunite With God If He Rejects And Denies Christ

           Can a genuine born-again Christian, who has once been enlightened, tasted the heavenly gift, and shared in the Holy Spirit, fall away from faith (reject the triune God / Christ)? And after his rejection of God, can he repent to be reunited with God forever?

            A genuine born-again Christian can fall away from faith. The question of the week from the Christian website “” claims that a Christian cannot lose his salvation.1 The Calvinistic position “once saved always saved” is a partially agreeable position.

            Some Scripture passages affirming the Calvinistic position are: John 6:39-40, John 10:27-30, and Ephesians 1:13-14. These passages communicate truth, hence none can disagree. So a Christian need not lose his faith.

            These passages do not emphasize that a Christian cannot lose his faith, instead they emphasize that a Christian need not lose salvation as long as he believes in Christ.

            If a Christian cannot lose his salvation, then he is locked into his Christian faith. If he is locked into his Christian faith, then he is no longer free.

            But the Bible affirms freedom of the Christian through the affirmation of apostasy, which is to fall away from faith or to reject God / Christ. Hebrews 6:1-8, Hebrews 10:26-31, 2 Peter 2:20-22, James 5:19-20 are some verses affirming apostasy of a Christian. These verses teach that this Christian was genuine to begin with.

            If the Bible teaches that a genuine Christian can lose his faith in Christ, then a genuine Christian has the freedom to lose his salvation. Thus, it is incorrect to state that a genuine Christian cannot lose his salvation under any circumstances. But, a genuine Christian need not lose his salvation.

            The bigger question is whether an apostate or a fallen away Christian can repent and regain his salvation? The Bible teaches that God will forgive all but one sin. That one sin is the “unpardonable sin.” Several Scripture passages speak about the unpardonable sin – Matthew 12: 31-32; Mark 3: 29-30; Luke 12: 10; Hebrews 6: 4-6, 10: 26-27; 1 John 5: 16-17.2

            The nature of the unpardonable sin is as follows:

            (1) The person who commits the unpardonable sin has a clear knowledge of Christ and the presence of the Holy Spirit in Christ.

            (2) This person willfully rejects Christ and HIS activities.

            (3) He insults the work of the Holy Spirit in Christ by attributing it to the work of Satan. 

            So if a person denies the work of the Holy Spirit in Christ, then the Bible teaches that God would not forgive this man. In other words, this person’s heart will be permanently veiled to receive Christ again (Cf. 2 Corinthians 3: 14).

            This person will see but will not see; he will hear but will not hear. Understanding and perception will fail him because of the callousness of his heart. He is beyond forgiveness and healing. This person has lost his salvation once and for all.

            It is also evident that a genuine Christian cannot unintentionally or in a state of momentary blindness reject Christ. The passage in Hebrews states that apostasy occurs deliberately.

            Although apostasy occurs deliberately, can there be a situation where the apostate Christian does not reject Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit?

            Imagine a situation where a genuine Christian loses something / someone he has cherished much - his parents, spouse, children, friends or even property in some cases. Unable to comprehend this situation, he feels lost and as if God let him down badly. So he chooses to disbelieve in God.

            Even in a state of disbelief or suspended belief, he does not insult Christ and the Holy Spirit in any manner whatsoever. Sadness and disbelief remain in him, but anger and hatred for God remains out. When anger and hatred for God remains out of the apostate Christian’s life, he could refrain from attacking or denigrating Christ. This is a safe position.

            When an apostate Christian does not denigrate Christ and the Holy Spirit, he is in a safe position. Picture a situation where a Pharisee heard Christ’s miraculous works and chose to disbelieve in Christ as the promised Messiah.

            This Pharisee did not think or state that Christ’s healing is the work of demons. Although he did not believe in Christ, he did not invoke Satan to substitute Satan for Christ. Though this Pharisee remained an unbeliever, he chose not to denigrate Christ.

            Therefore, if an apostate Christian does not denigrate or blaspheme Christ and the Holy Spirit, he remains safe, and thus has an option to repent and reunite with God. So it seems to me that an apostate Christian who retains a healthy reverence for the triune God, even as an unbeliever, could possibly repent and be united with the Triune God.

            If a genuine Christian can lose his faith in Christ, another question storms to the forefront. Can a genuine Christian possess eternal security or the utmost confidence that he will remain with the Lord forever and ever? In other words, what about the Scripture passages that assures eternal security for a Christian?

            “Remain in me, as I also remain in you…If you remain in me and my words remain in you…” (John 15: 4a, 7), to remain in Christ is the only recourse for the Christian. If a Christian remains in Christ, he will be safe unto eternity. Despite that, the Christian should also believe at all times that the triune God lives in him. To know and believe the presence of the living God in oneself is vital for our salvation.  

            Therefore, if a Christian remains in Christ and understands the presence of God in him, he will possess eternal security and utmost confidence that none can steal him away from God’s presence. Christ always remains in those who believe in HIM. So the believer should fulfill his part by remaining and believing in Christ always – be it in good or bad situations.

            But what dissuades a Christian away from Christ? The answer is, doubt. Lack of understanding of the Bible, adversity, misplaced priorities (e.g. wealth) and pride are good institutions for the proliferation of doubt in a genuine Christian.

            In other words, this Christian dreadfully allows the tangible material benefits to irreparably damage his spiritual union with the living God.

            Then again, the apostasy or falling away of the genuine Christian is due to his failure to remain and believe in Christ. Doubt snakes in as temptation, but when the Christian believes the doubt instead of believing in Christ, he begins to lose faith in Christ.

            When a genuine Christian does not desire and allow the Holy Spirit’s illumination of HIS Word and does not dedicate enough time and effort to understand the Bible, he would fall away at the earliest instance.

            Adversities, large and small, are grand persuaders of apostasy. The devil dangles doubt over the Christian’s life during moments of adversity. The Christian falls when he doubts God or assumes that God has neglected him, which is not a truth for a believer. 

            Misplaced priorities are another agent of doubt in a Christian life. The Christian’s priorities are misplaced when Christ is replaced by other priorities from the core of his life. This is a consequence of not remaining in Christ.            

            When a genuine Christian, in pride, fails to resist the devil, he refuses to listen to God. For instance, the devil may fuel his pride through his extraordinary knowledge. This person then would exalt his knowledge over God. He considers himself cleverer than God.

            Proverbs 1: 7 pertinently describes this person, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Ironically, his exceptional knowledge renders him a fool in the presence of the Almighty God, so much so he refuses God’s wisdom and instruction, which could at times sound simple and foolish, but in reality, not so.

            Is man’s freedom more powerful than God’s sovereignty? Never! Man’s freedom operates within the overarching sovereignty of God. God allows man to choose or reject HIM.

            Can God overpower man? Can God work HIS way in a disobedient man so to fulfill HIS desires? Yes. Jonah’s life is a case in point. Therefore, God remains sovereign always.

            In conclusion, these are the thoughts communicated in this short essay:

            (1) A genuine born-again Christian can reject the Triune God. When he rejects God, he loses his salvation.  

            (2) If those who have rejected Christ continue in their state of rejection, then they will not repent to reunite with God.

            (3) If those who have rejected Christ actively deny Christ, then they have committed the unpardonable sin, and hence cannot repent.

            (4) Those who have rejected Christ but do not deny HIM instead maintain a healthy reverence for Christ could possibly repent to reunite with God.

            (5) Once saved is always saved, provided the believer chooses not to reject Christ.

            (6) Man’s freedom operates within God’s overarching sovereignty.

            (7) God’s sovereignty emphasizes that HE can fulfill HIS plans in a disobedient believer or an unbeliever’s life.

            Last but not the least, Christ will judge everyone. Judgment is Christ’s activity; no one else partakes in judgment. The intent of this essay is not to judge anyone, but merely communicate my thoughts on this subject. Amen.  


1 or

2 1 John 5: 16-17 – There is a considerable debate as to whether the death mentioned in this verse has a temporal or eternal connotation. Another similar passage is John 15. Even without these passages, the Scripture teaches that there is an unpardonable sin, which merits an eternal damnation. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Answers to Life’s Tough Questions; My Ten Good Questions Against God (Final Part)

                  I submit the answers that have satisfied me to the questions I posted in my previous blog in the hope and prayer that these answers will resonate in you.

            Questions against God either lead us towards HIM or away from HIM. Fundamentally, if we temporarily ignore agnosticism, we have two broad options - theism (belief in God) or atheism (denial of God’s existence). If we choose not to believe in God, then we ought to subscribe to chance or randomness or a similar variant.

            It takes more faith to be an atheist than a theist. Consider a question, “how did the universe come into being?” The theist will affirm God as the creator of the universe with all its minute fine-tunings and splendor. The atheist will posit the universe to have randomly banged into its fascinating existence. When the atheist denies God, he denies causal intelligence, so the only other option for causation is chance or randomness.

            Isn’t it simple and realistic to believe that God created and sustains the universe; an intelligence behind a fascinating creation?  

            Analogically, how did a dictionary come into existence? A simple yet realistic belief is that man’s intelligence created the dictionary. Dictionary did not randomly bang into existence.

            Hence, it takes more faith to be an atheist than a theist. An atheist who denies faith in God places his faith on an obscure aspect such as chance, simultaneously taking great pleasure in it. Rejecting God leads people into murky and muddy waters, more often a quicksand situation leading to the death of their soul.

Q1: Why wasn’t I born in a wealthy home? Why wasn’t I born in a country that’s more sophisticated and comfortable than India?

Q2: Why didn’t God gift me an eidetic memory or the mind of a genius to excel in studies and profession or why didn’t God gift me with incredible athleticism to excel in sports?

Q3: Why didn’t God give me influential friends who would have helped me ascend greater heights?

            Desiring for a better status in birth (wealthy home and a better country) or greater gifts (eidetic memory or being a genius or athleticism) or influential friends presupposes a notion of selfish pleasure via greater good a.k.a. “I want to be better than what I am now.”

            A human mind stakes claim to omniscience when it desires for a greater good. When desiring for a greater good, the mind affirms that it is good to possess a greater good.

            If I am to travel to a particular location connected by air and road, then for the sake of time it would be better to fly to that location. This is the greater good.

            But would I be 100% certain that my flight would reach safely? No, none of us can be sure. Hence, although I desire for a greater good, I would never be sure if that’s the best plan for me, for I am not omniscient. Only God is omniscient.

            God alone knows what is good for me and you. More often, we will never know what is good for us and what is not.

            It’s better to be born in a poor yet godly home than being born in wealthy yet godless home.

            Furthermore, two questions can be asked – one existential and another metaphysical. First, “Has not God blessed me now?” There are people living in poverty - without basic necessities of life. Comparatively, God has blessed me abundantly.

            Second, “Do I know the extent of blessing that would satisfy me?” Given his selfishness, man would seldom be contented with his possessions.

            But if God is a maximally great being, then my life ought to be subordinate to God. If God is my Father, then I am HIS child. So I should learn contentment (cf. Philippians 4: 11b), for HE alone has the best plan for my life.

            However, it would be more legitimate for homeless, who lack life’s basic necessities, to ask this question. But wouldn’t homelessness be extinct if the wealthy share a portion of their blessings to bless the homeless with basic necessities? God blesses the haves for the blessing of the have-nots (Cf. James 2: 14-17). Therefore, the presence of poor is not the failure of God but the failure of the wealthy that are selfish.

            God is a God of love, justice, and perfect knowledge. My birth and gifts are HIS decisions for my life. The foundation of God’s decision is HIS perfect love and justice. Although there is nothing wrong in desiring for something better, I stand satisfied with what I have been given because God has blessed my life in accordance with HIS plan for the universe and me. I trust in God’s love, justice and perfect knowledge.

            Furthermore, when God who rules the heaven and earth is always with me, why do I need influential friends, who are mere subordinates to God? Therefore, when I learn to be content, I would need more of God than influential friends.  

Q4: Why did God give me suffering? More so, why are babies born with birth defects? Can’t the Almighty God prevent this evil from occurring? Does HE not know the demands and the ensuing stress the parents endure?

Q5: Why do the wicked prosper, especially those who perpetrate horrendous evil? Why do the righteous suffer and suffer much?

Q6: Why does God allow despicable upbringing of children that often results in their notoriety in abusing fellow humans?

            Although the God of the Bible offers the best answer to the conundrum of evil, the problem of evil is a question every worldview must answer, be it atheistic, agnostic or theistic.

            The problem of evil does not pose an explicit contradiction or a logical incompatibility between God and evil. In fact a logical consistency between God and evil has been proved by positing morally sufficient reasons for God to allow evil.

            The probabilistic problem of evil can be adequately reasoned out; man’s finitude and the Bible’s reasoning for the plausible coexistence between God and evil are more than adequate. Works of the Christian analytic philosophers Dr. Alvin Plantinga and Dr. William Lane Craig can be accessed for a deeper grasp into this subject.

            God does not cause evil. Evil exists because God allows it for a season and for a reason. The Bible teaches that God will destroy evil once and for all. The Bible also teaches that evil will not be totally annihilated in this time and age. So the question is not if God can destroy evil, instead it’s about why God allows evil.

            This question can be raised from another vantage point. Could not have God created a world without evil? Wouldn’t a world without evil be the best of all possible worlds? Is this world we live in the best of all possible worlds?

            To cut the long story short, I borrow Dr. Plantinga’s thoughts to state that this is the most feasible world available to God with the quantum of good and evil that was, is, and will be present.

            The Bible teaches that suffering is inevitable for man. But how do we endure suffering? Every human being suffers either momentarily or for a period of time. But the God of the Bible never abandons HIS people who are suffering. In fact, God strengthens HIS people to endure suffering (1 Peter 5: 10).

            Personally, I experience God’s comforting and encouraging presence in my suffering.  The key to endure suffering is to stand firm in our faith (1 Peter 5: 9 Cf. Job 1: 21, 6: 10). I see suffering as an opportunity to get closer to God.

            So faith in God is mandatory to endure suffering and to receive HIS strength, wisdom and power, for it is only God who can offer the power to bear the pain. Moreover, we know that this suffering is only momentary and in the world that is to come there will be no more suffering for those who believe in God.

Q7: Why has God made it difficult for people to understand, believe and love HIM?

            Statistics emphasize that theists vastly outnumber atheists. Since most people believe in God, the question whether God has made it difficult for people to know HIM is self-destructing.

            However, the question gains legitimacy from within the perspective of individual worldviews. A Christian may wonder why not all are Christians and likewise a Muslim may wonder why not all are Muslims.

            Since there can be only one maximally great being called as God, it is God’s responsibility to reveal HIMSELF to people. Therefore, if God has adequately revealed HIS presence and activity, then this question becomes invalid.

            The Bible emphasizes that man suppresses truth to believe in the lie and that mankind would be without an excuse on the Day of Judgment (Cf. Romans 1: 18-20). Therefore God has revealed HIMSELF more than adequately for man to believe in HIM. When man denies God, it’s the fault of man and not God.  

Q8: Why do wealthy Christians not part with their abundance for noble deeds?

Q9: Why do Christians hate each other so to harm their own brother and sister who have done no wrong?

Q10: Why are Christian churches corrupt so to render God as non-existent and destroy the faith of God’s own people?

            Evil and Corruption in Christians and in Christian churches are inevitable since all men are sinners. The Bible affirms this fact when it emphasizes that there is not even one who is righteous.

            But Christians, by virtue of their supernatural transformation, are to continually grow in holiness. Once again, it’s not God’s fault that a Christian or a Christian Church fails to grow in holiness, but it’s the fault of the individual and the institution.

            God has done everything for man to be better, but man chooses not to be better. God allows man to sin. Although man can draw power from God to overcome sin, he chooses not to draw this power from God, which then is the fault of man and not God.

            A Christian or a Christian church fails because they do not remain in God. When we do not remain in God, we are devoured by the devil.

            One cannot expect 100% perfection from any Christian church for the church is a congregation of sinners. Although a church may appear to be righteous from the outside, it more often is not righteous when the church’s private is publicized.

            Primarily, the elders of the church of Jesus Christ are to practice love. This love ought to be showered upon those who support as well as oppose them.

            The contemporary church is content to let people walk away from their church. However, the church of Jesus Christ should go after that one (believing) sheep, just as how the Lord incarnate went after that one sheep leaving the ninety nine behind (Matthew 18: 12-14). 1

            What then is the solution for the Christian church? Sadly, I believe this situation will worsen in the future. The Bible affirms much of the Christian church to be an epitome of evil (Cf. 2 Timothy 3: 1-5; Matthew 7: 14). Many Christians and Christian churches will possess a form of godliness, but their godliness will be devoid of God’s power (v5).

            In a nutshell, the majority of Christians and the Christian churches will be lovers of pleasure than being lovers of God.

            How then should a Christian live? First, he should remain in Christ. Second, he should live for the truth by constantly battling the devil by the power of God.

            Christians who live for the sake of God and HIS word will be grossly outnumbered and will live as a minority. They will be persecuted by their own family (Matthew 10: 36) – the biological and the Church family. The Bible affirms, “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted…” (2 Timothy 3: 12, NIV, Emphasis mine).

            Christ implores us to remain in HIM through the following words, “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it” (Matthew 10: 37-39).   

            May we realize God’s enabling power to find Christ, remain in HIM, and love HIM always. Amen.  


1 The lost sheep in the Matthean narrative refers to the believers, while the lost sheep in the Lukan narrative refers to the unbelievers. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

My Ten Good Questions Against God (Part 1)

Here are my ten good questions against God:

            Q1: Why wasn’t I born in a wealthy home? Why wasn’t I born in a country that’s more sophisticated and comfortable than India?

            If I were born in a wealthy home, I would have studied in better institutions and I would have studied more. I would have owned a wealthy business or minimally, I would not be uncertain of my financial future.

            I have no control over my birth. I don’t believe in chance or randomness. I believe in “Perfect Being Theology.”

            So with or without my Christian faith, I believe that God, as a maximally great being, is in existence and in control. So I blame HIM for the raw deal HE has handed out to me in my birth.

            Q2: Why didn’t God gift me an eidetic memory or the mind of a genius to excel in studies 
and profession or why didn’t God gift me with incredible athleticism to excel in sports?

            Had these attributes even been above-average in me, the launch and the progression of my career would have been better.

            Q3: Why didn’t God give me influential friends who would have helped me ascend greater heights?

            Many have reached great heights because of their influential friends. I can tolerate my inferior birth status and my feeble abilities but is it too much to ask for distinguished friends willing to help me scale greater heights?

            Q4: Why did God give me suffering? More so, why are babies born with birth defects? Can’t the Almighty God prevent this evil from occurring? Does HE not know the demands and the ensuing stress the parents endure?

            I know of people who have not suffered. I had a person look me in my eye and honestly declare that he hadn’t experienced suffering at all. But on the contrary, God has given me immense suffering.

            It’s right to suffer when we have done wrong. But why has God blessed us with suffering when we haven’t done wrong? This seems so unfair and cruel.

            Q5: Why do the wicked prosper, especially those who perpetrate horrendous evil? Why do the righteous suffer and suffer much?

            This is a no-brainer. If we look around us we will find the prosperity of the wicked and the suffering the righteous undergo in the hands of wicked people.

            Q6: Why does God allow despicable upbringing of children that often results in their notoriety in abusing fellow humans?

            The abusive upbringing in the early life of the notable killers in history – Hitler and Stalin, stand as witness. Why didn’t God intervene favorably in these lives and the others?

            Q7: Why has God made it difficult for people to understand, believe and love HIM?

            I speak from a Christian perspective. Statistics state that the majority in this world do not believe in Christ, hence the majority is doomed to hell – an eternal and a physical state of being without God. What’s the point of creating the world where most are lost and damned?

            Wouldn’t it have been the best option if only God had made it easier for people to believe and love HIM?

            Q8: Why do wealthy Christians not part with their abundance for noble deeds?

             I am only questioning the parting from their abundance. I am not even saying that they should part with all their wealth.

            However, I am also aware of the Bible’s teaching that the wealthy would hardly ever part with their wealth (cf. Matthew 19: 23-24). But my question is why can’t God Almighty teach good values to these people who proclaim belief in HIM?

            Q9: Why do Christians hate each other so to harm their own brother and sister who have done no wrong?

            Why do these Christians think that they are more spiritual than the other? When they encounter difficulties in friendly relationships, they choose judgment over understanding and grace. They withdraw from each other. They lie to each other.

            They say, “I love you,” but their deeds are far away from love. They are selfish to the point of being greedy although they think they are the epitome of holiness.

            Where is God in these Christians or what is God doing when HIS own are hurting HIS own rather irreparably?

            Q10: Why are Christian churches corrupt so to render God as non-existent and destroy the faith of God’s own people?

            There is a vast spectrum of corruption in churches. I am not saying that all churches are corrupt, but only some or even many. These are the so-called Bible-believing-Christ-loving-churches. These churches are an embodiment of this verse, “…You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are...” (Matthew 23: 15, NIV).

            The church is the body of Christ. When God allows HIS churches to remain corrupt, it almost implies that HE is not interested in gaining believers into HIS Kingdom. Moreover, it also implies that God does not care about those in HIS Kingdom, because HE allows them to fall away from their faith.  

             I can probably add more reasons to hate God and you may have several more too. But let me add a thought about ‘serious questioning.’

            Our questions ought to be serious, in other words – genuine and honest. Serious questioners ought to remain genuine and honest in pursuit of truth. This is the fundamental attribute of a serious questioner.

            The serious questioner seeks to know if there are answers to his questions. If there are answers, they need only be reasonable and coherent to the truth of the fundamental questions of life, namely - origin (where did I come from?), meaning (what brings life meaning?), morality (how do I know right from wrong?) and destiny (where am I headed after I die?).1 These of course ought to cohere specifically to the truth of one’s worldview, in my case, the Historic Christian faith.

            But there would be situations where reasonable answers do not immediately appeal to one’s intellect and emotions. This could be due to the innate bias of every individual.

            Our innate biases need not be truthful or conform to the objective reality. Hence, an honest and genuine seeker should be extremely patient to genuinely consider the plausible answers even if these genuine answers are apparently obscure or doubtful.  

            Although we may have good reasons against God, our love or hate of God reveals a direct relationship to the answers that are available for all our questions on life. In other words:

            If I hate God, then it implies I have rejected all plausible answers to my questions.

            If I am uncertain of hating God, then I am genuinely considering the plausible answers to my questions.  

            If I do not hate God, but love HIM, then by implication I am satisfied with the plausible answers.

            Personally, I have asked these questions and have received adequate and reasonable answers that satisfy me. Hence, I love God. I do not hate HIM.

            I will share the answers that have satisfied me, over the next few weeks. I pray that these thoughts would at least provide a positive impetus in your quest for God and HIS absolute truth.


1 The idea of fundamental questions of life pertaining to origin, meaning, morality and destiny is from Dr. Ravi Zacharias’ lectures.   

Monday, June 2, 2014

Who Rapes Children and Forces them to Eat Excreta?

            On May 30, 2014 Reuters reported the arrest of the owner and the manager of an underprivileged children’s boarding school in India because “five minors said they were raped, forced to watch pornographic films and act them out with one another…The children were made to eat faeces as a punishment if they did not comply.”1 Who in the right mind can construct a deed so evil to destroy lives rather irreparably?

            To force porn on children, to act them out with each other, and to rape them is horrendous evil. But to force the children to eat faeces (excreta) when they failed to comply with the evil demands is ridiculously horrendous. What kind of a mind is so evil?

            Ravi Zacharias speaks about “Snake Alley,”2 where men consume a combination of snake’s blood and alcohol and then molest children for their sexual pleasure. The youngest child rescued from this abuse was merely 11 months old.

            What kind of a mind practices and allows this horrendous evil to be practiced? The “snake alley” exists in reality. Had the authorities cracked down on this practice, it would not have continued. Who in their right mind allows such a practice to continue?

            The life of GG Allin, an American punk-rock singer and best known for his evil and appallingly nauseating practices may offer us a clue to the answers we are seeking. A peep into his thoughts uttered on the shows of Jerry Springer and Jane Whitney revealed his inherent anger that generated a non-conformist attitude.3 Wikipedia reports that he had a very troubled childhood under an abusive father.4 Therefore the nurture of an individual does seem to play a vital role in his making. 

            Fundamentally, can those who directly and indirectly force children into horrendously evil practices, and those such as GG Allin, be godly or can they call themselves as god fearing? I do not think so. (GG Allin was a self-proclaimed messiah!)

            Those who identify themselves as godly or god fearing cannot persist in doing horrendously evil deeds.

            From Christianity’s vantage point, man is not saved because of good works, but by the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who the man unconditionally believes, loves, obeys and glorifies in and through his life. Therefore, those who believe in the Lord Jesus will not and cannot be a part of horrendously evil deeds.

            Those who identify themselves as genuine Christians would not rape, torture children with porn or force them to eat faeces. Genuine Christians would not appreciate GG Allin or follow him, let alone do what he did.

            I am not saying that genuine Christians would be sinless. The Bible says that all are sinners. But the Bible also says that genuine Christians would not continue sinning – especially the horrendous sins.

            Genuine Christians will sincerely detest sins and will earnestly pray to be delivered from their sinful ways. By the grace of God, genuine Christians would gradually overcome their sins.

            For the sake of convenience and clarity but certainly not to import any theological nuance let me organize sins into two broad categories. The two categories would be based on the premise that human life is sacred (Cf. Genesis 1: 26, 9: 6). Thus the two categories of sins could be:

            (1) Sins that directly desacralize (destroy life’s sacredness) another human life (e.g. rape, murder, and other tortures etc.).

            (2) Sins that do not directly desacralize another human life (selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy etc).5

            Although a Christian may continue blindly in the sin of selfish ambition (a sin that does not directly desacralize another life), he cannot and would not continue blindly in the sin of rape or child molestation because these sins directly destroy another human life.

            Desacralization of a life is only possible when love is violated. Love of God and fellow neighbor is the core mandate of Christianity. Therefore, those who repeatedly murder, rape and force others into nauseatingly dreadful acts cannot be godly. They cannot identify themselves as god-fearing. They are a godless breed.

            It’s the absence of God in the person’s life that motivates him into desacralizing, sinful and appalling deeds. The persistent serial killers and serial rapists may possess a name that identifies them with a religion, but it’s only the name that is religious, not the person.

            Nevertheless, it’s the intent of a few to label those committing horrendous crimes as Christians. The malicious intent is to tarnish and ridicule Christianity.

            For instance, some label Adolf Hitler as a Christian. The evil deed of Hitler to murder six million Jews that included one million Jewish children and two million Jewish women is so horrendous that he simply could not have been a Christian. Even if he had been a Christian, he would have been a namesake Christian and not a practicing or a Christ-loving Christian.

            The Jews were not aggressive with Hitler. Given this fact, Hitler had no genuine reason whatsoever to murder the infants, the aged, the women, and even the men.

            But Hitler committed that methodical genocide since he considered the Jews to be an economic burden to Germany. Wikipedia quotes German historian Eberhard Jäckel who recorded that “in 1986 that one distinctive feature of the Holocaust was that: never before had a state with the authority of its responsible leader decided and announced that a specific human group, including its aged, its women and its children and infants, would be killed as quickly as possible, and then carried through this resolution using every possible means of state power.”6

            Because Hitler showed no love towards the Jews and because he massacred them, it would be very reasonable to state that Hitler was not a Christian. If he had been one, he would not have killed them.

            Therefore, the logical progression of this argument would be as follows:

            (A) To love a person is not to kill him.

            (B) Christianity mandates its believers to love God and fellow neighbor, and teaches not to murder.

            (C) Hitler did not love the Jewish race. He murdered millions of Jews.

            (D) Hence, Hitler was not a Christian.

            From another perspective, even if a person claims to be a Christian and continues to kill and rape, a proper understanding of the Bible does not permit a deliberation that God would allow this person into an eternal cohabitation with HIM. This person would not have been a Christian to begin with.

            At the cost of repetition, the most basic attribute of a Christian is to love his neighbor as he loves himself. Therefore, murder, rape and other desacralizing tortures are surely out of question in a Christian life. When a Christian grossly violates this mandate, there simply is no reason to believe his Christianity. 

            Such a person cannot even believe in any god for that matter. He most surely ought to be godless.

            But that lands us in another difficult predicament. Are all godless people ruthless tyrants? There are very good people even among the godless. These are those who are very kind, loving, and charitable. So, not all godless people are ruthless tyrants.

            I will conclude by saying that those who desacralize fellow human beings ought to be godless and downright depraved in their mind – to the extent of being demonic. The demonic depravity of a human mind generates an absolute blindness upon life’s sacredness of a fellow human being.

            When one does not recognize the life’s sacredness of another, he would most surely inflict any harm upon that life for self-gratifying carnal pleasures. Therefore, only a godless, depraved and a demonic human can perform horrendously evil deeds.

P.S: When we argue that a Christian cannot perform dastardly deeds such as murder and rape, one can retort through an argument that the God of the Bible is a moral monster who killed many. That the God of the Bible is not a moral monster has been reasonably and most adequately established.  My thoughts on this subject will be shared at a later time.




3 &


5 Sins such as selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions and envy need not necessarily desacralize another human life directly. For instance, selfish ambition yields inordinate and greedy accumulation of property or power but not a destruction of another life.