God said it. I believe it. That settles it.

I am a rabbit-trail kind of person both in the literal and figurative sense of the term.  Give me the choice between a well-worn path in the woods and some narrow little animal trail that juts off into the brush, and I will go for the little one every time.

Mental and conversational rabbit-trails are also a lot of fun to follow.  Like many other students I’m sure, I had Facebook open while trying to study math today and I saw someone posted a very long devotional thingy on the wall of a group I’m a part of.  Yes, a Christian group…mostly for teens I think.  The guy who runs it was in youth group a few years ago when I was one of the youth leaders which is why he added me to the group.  Anyway, the guy who posted on the group’s wall this afternoon was obviously not one of the younger teens I usually noticed leaving messages.  So I snooped his profile.  I DO love open profiles!  LOL!  Reading through his favourite quotes, I found one that stood out to me as being incongruent with Christianity in general.

“What can’t be tested can’t be trusted.” -John Burns

I’m not an expert on…well…anything, let alone religion and testing and proof and stuff…but I really can’t see how one can like or believe a quote like that and still have faith.  Like my big brother continually tells me every time I look for proof that God is real or Christianity is right or hell exists as a place of eternal torment, “It’s belief because there is no proof.  If there was proof, it wouldn’t be belief.  It’d be fact.”  Not to say that belief or faith are bad, they just seem incompatible with only trusting what can be tested.  Especially in regards to Christianity’s version of God, I remember being told that while God tolerated being tested and people’s requests/demands of proof, he didn’t like it.  Sure God proved himself to Gideon and Thomas,  but Jesus himself told Thomas (after giving him the proof he asked for) “Blessed are they that have not seen and yet have believed.”  Therefore it was always better to just accept the things of God unquestioningly.

When “God said it.  I believe it.  That settles it.” seems to be the general mentality of Christians, how can anything be tested?

I guess that’s why this quote on the profile of a person who appears to be a very devout Christian confuses me.

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11 thoughts on “God said it. I believe it. That settles it.

  1. Yeah, I’ve always had a problem with this view point too and I always want proof. It just seems flawed to me. 1. Men wrote the bible, so technically “men said it”. So that bothers me.
    2. If there is a God he made us curious, but then dislikes it when we want proof of his existence? That just never made since to me. Almost like we were set up to fail.

    Christianity in general bothers me in this way. Once you start studying religion from a academic standpoint a lot of stuff starts to make no sense. Seems like men have always explained away the things we don’t know via religion. We used to call the sun God, no its a star. Used to think sickness was caused by sin, no we know its from viruses and bacteria. The more we learn the less we rely/modify what we thing about religion.

    • Your point No. 1 has bothered me for a long time as well. Too many people involved in the end product for me to be confident that the contents really are what God (if he exists) wanted to say. Too many ulterior motives messing about.

      • If the one true God is supernatural and humans are not supernatural, how can we rationalize God with our limited abilities? Because the one true God is all-knowing and omnipresent, I think that’s why He knows and meets human’s innate desire of wanting to understand Him by speaking to us through His infallible Word, as He designed it, be it given to us through Holy Spirit inspired people He chose.

        “And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (1 Pet 1:19-22)

        Exerpt from book “Has God Spoken?” by Hank Hanegraaff:
        “The bible is an elegant tapestry fashioned from 66 books, written by 40 different human authors in 3 different languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, & Greek), over a period of 1500 years, on thousands of different subjects, and yet, is unified and consistent throughout. How is that possible? The individual writers had no idea that their message would eventually by assembled into one Book, yet each work fits perfectly into place with a unique purpose as a synergistic component of an elegant masterpiece. The eyewitness testimony of its authors is surpassingly powerful internal evidence to its abosolute and irrevocable trustworthiness…
        For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. (2 Pet 1:16)”

  2. You’ve left out a step. “God said it” ??? How do you know God said it? Surely not just because it was in the Bible – because Leviticus is in the Bible and says we have to stone to death all manner of people for all sorts of reasons – eg trimming your sideboards, wearing mixed fibre suits etc. In the Psalms God approves of dashing out babies brains against the rocks. He told Joshua to kill all the men women and Children….really????? And what about all the contradictions in the Bible? If your faith wont stand up to test and reason – why have it?
    One of my essays: “Shaping God” outlines in great detail why being a naive Bible literalist wont stand up to investigation.

    • faith is emotional and emotion is not reasonable so faith will always fail tests of reason. thats just the nature of the thing. its like love or anger. we arent reasonable with things like that.

  3. Can I just get some clarification on that. Are you then saying it doesnt matter what you put your faith in – or how unreasonable it is? So if I had felt the right emotions I should have sold my house and waited for the rapture on 21 May along with Harold Camping and the other crazies – and the fact that he could point to some verses in the Bible to justify his nonsense was all that was required. If illogical faith and lack of reason is part of the deal, in the words of Colin Morris “Count me out!”

    • Peddiebill, I’m not quite sure if this is directed at Thane or myself. Of course I can’t answer for him, but my own opinion currently is that people should live true to their beliefs so long as doing so harms nobody but themselves. I think taking such a drastic step over some supposed rapture is kinda stupid…I mean, if they DIDN’T sell the house and the rapture came, would they have been not taken? So why not keep the house to live in while they wait to be snatched into the sky? And if it doesn’t happen (like we saw it didn’t this year) then they still have somewhere to live. But whether they believed that rapture was happening on that date or not, their belief in it is entirely up to them. If the verses this guy pointed to in the Bible were satisfactory evidence to them then they would have every right to place their faith in what he said. And if the same verses were NOT considered satisfactory evidence (as was apparently the case for you as well as me), they again had the right to NOT place their faith in his teaching. Each person’s decision.

      In your previous comment you asked me how I “know God said it”. Perhaps you haven’t read my other posts. Or maybe I just haven’t been quite as clear in them as I thought I was. I WAS one of those “naive Bible literalists” you mentioned. But I’m not now. I can’t “know God said” anything because honestly I’m questioning his very existence. I am very aware of those horrendous passages you referred to. They are why I have a hard time believing that the god mentioned in those passages is the same one in other passages who is praised for his love, compassion, and “amazing grace” for all people. Why I CAN’T believe it is the same god.

  4. It was directed at Thane. I too would question “His” existence. However I can accept a set of what to me are mysterious forces behind the Universe (mysterious because even science cant tell us much about what makes things the way they are) … and also the Human construct of God as Love which is a very helpful way of determining useful and positive behaviour patterns. I also suspect the religious dimension of life is inextricably tied up with cultural and sociological requirements such as the need to feel we belong to a society with an agreed set of behaviours and beliefs – and their expression gives us a supportive community. I also suspect religion gradually evolves to give us a better match with reality. eg we no longer believe disease is caused by sin, and for the most part dont accept a young earth, Bible literalism etc etc.

  5. Human beings are a mix of logic and emotion and both can force us to make decisions on things. All i mean is that when anything emotional is felt strongly enough, including faith, it makes us do unreasonable things. Simply put, strong emotion makes us do crazy things. Like maybe sell our house and wait for the rapture. Or, say, go against our primal urges to spread our seed to as many women as possible and commit to only have one woman that we coppulate with.

  6. I once read someone describing the idea that in order to know god, we have to go by faith alone:
    Suppose someone said to you that he had the most beautiful painting in the world, but after taking you where it was, he insists on having your eyes shut, you’d suspect that either there was no painting, or it wasn’t much to look at. Or if he said “I am a great violinist”, but he refused to play for you unless your ears were stopped, you’d think it was pretty odd.

    This is similar to a Believer telling you that before examining his Beliefs you need to throw away your reason.

    The first person says “Keep your eyes shut; my picture will bear everything but being seen”; the second one says “Keep your ears closed; my music objects to nothing but being heard.” The last one says: “Do away with your reason; my religion dreads nothing but being understood”.

    (While writing this comment I looked for, and found, the source — it’s Ingersoll. He wrote during the mid 1800s).

  7. Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings.
    Test all things; hold fast to that which is good.
    Abstain from all appearance of evil. (1 Thes 5:19-22)

    So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17)

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