OK, here is the deal: I am very spiritual but do not believe the Bible is the Word of God. The Bible is the word of man. How are we supposed to believe what is written? It is a ridiculous idea that we believe everything that man said was the Word of God. You were probably raised in the Christian faith and are repeating what has been drummed into your head since the day you were born, fearing wavering from what you have been told. Have you studied all religions (outside of Christianity, I mean) and then made an educated decision on what you believe? And still, even if you had, which I highly doubt, you are going to believe everything that is written down by men as to be the word of God? I think this is insulting to God. Maybe He doesn’t approve of the Bible and what it says. How do we know?
At times I wonder if people when making such accusations realize that they do the same exact actions they are criticizing. You made a lot of assumptions without proof as most people do who do not want to do the research on religions and just think they have an idea of gods made up by their own mind. To research all religions in-depth in a lifetime would be difficult, especially if you include all the sects within a religion. In Christianity, there is an estimated 3,000 divisions, of which there is only one true Christian religion, whose start is mentioned in Acts chapter 2 of the Bible. There is only one faith, one body (church), and one God (Ephesians 4:4-6). Many Christian denominations no longer follow the Bible or never did in the first place. The Methodist, Roman Catholics, Lutheran, Pentecostals, Mormons, Jehovah Witness, etc. follow creeds and beliefs of men not found in God’s Word; the Bible itself is foreign to them. Most religions claim to have some spiritual understanding, but they are unable to prove their point, just like you. Most religions claim something with no proof in history, science, or prophecy to back up their claims. But God’s Word itself has been proven throughout the ages through archeological digs, prophecy coming true, science that supports its claims, etc. This evidence point to the God, who is mentioned in the Bible, as being behind the writings. Even the Apostle Paul states that the creation itself is a witness that there is a God, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:20-22).
God wants us to find him. His creation testifies to us that He is real, and since you believe in some higher power, I imagine you admit to a higher power creating the world. Read Genesis Chapters 1 & 2 in the Bible to see how God created everything. "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6). God tells us if we diligently seek him he will reward us. He will let himself be known and will help us find the truth because God wishes none to perish (II Peter 3:9). But before we go any further let us reason together about my life which you assumed you knew about and also read the facts about the Christian Faith. That we may lay down any doubt that you might have about the Bible.
Yes, I was raised in a Christian home, my parents encouraged me to look at other religions in all aspects and make a decision for myself. Christianity is not based on my parent’s faith, but they did introduce me to Christianity and encouraged me to look for facts not feelings. I was not pressured by them to just say yes to God but, as my parents did and still do, they showed me why Christianity was of God and made a choice on my own. Being a Christian, I ran into issues such as science, history, prophecy (is it accurate?), and the accuracy of the Bible. I am that type of guy that likes facts not feelings. I searched all these issues out and found the Bible to be sound in every area. It actually made me realize how awesome God is -- how He is perfect, doesn’t make mistakes, and that He cared enough about you and me to let us learn about Him and love Him, just as He loved us (Romans 5:6-8).
Let us start with history, read: The Historical Accuracy of the Bible, and How May We Know the Bible is of God? this just covers a tiny aspect of what is found in history and the Bible is seen to be accurate. There are thousands of archeological facts, digs, and historical evidence. If you want more information there are books from archeologists and articles covering this subject because there is so much of it that supports the Bible. I can recommend some books, if you would like, for further study.
Another example would be Luke who wrote the book of Acts in the bible, I will use a quote from another preacher ‘ “Sir William Ramsey, who started out as a critic of the New Testament, did a detailed archeological investigation of the writing of Luke. Luke names 32 countries, 54 cities, 9 islands, hundreds of details in the book of Acts, without a single error. And after his painstaking research, Ramsey stated, “Luke’s history is unsurpassed in respect of its trustworthiness.” And he became a Christian’ (Matthew Goldsberry). The Bible not only claims to be God’s word but every historical fact that can be found out about it through digs and manuscripts (writings) has all proven God’s word to be true.
"Prophecy affords a powerful base of evidence that corroborates the Scriptures’ claim of divine origin. Scholars suggest that there are about 1,000 prophecies altogether in the Bible — some 800 in the Old Testament, and about 200 in the New Testament. Consider the following broad categories of prophetic data.
There are prophecies that detail, centuries in advance, the fortunes and fates of nations. When the Babylonian empire was at its zenith, with utterly no military and political weakness apparent, Daniel foretold its demise, along with the subsequent rise of the Medo-Persians, Greeks, and Romans (see Daniel 2, 7). No one could have dreamed that these international events would occur. And yet they did, as every student of history knows. The prophecies are so astounding that radical critics have felt compelled to re-date the book of Daniel (placing it in the second century B.C.), so as to suggest “history” instead of “prophecy.”
Some Old Testament prophecies deal specifically with individual persons. The role of Josiah (cf. I Kings 13, II Kings 23) was prophesied three centuries before the king’s birth. The mission of Cyrus, King of Persia (to deliver Judah from Babylonian Captivity), also was described 150 years before the illustrious ruler came to the throne (Isaiah 44:28; 45:1-7).
The Old Testament contains more than 300 prophecies that focus upon the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth (Collett, n.d., p. 84). He was to be the woman’s seed (Genesis 3:15), from the lineage of Abraham (Genesis 22:17-18), born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2), to the virgin (Isaiah 7:14), etc. Mathematician Peter Stoner estimated that the odds of one person accidentally fulfilling just eight of the many Old Testament prophecies regarding the Messiah is on the order of 1 in 1017 — a figure far beyond circumstantial possibility (1963, p. 107).”
Or consider this example:
“In 332 B.C., Alexander the Great conquered the island fortress of Tyre by building a causeway from the ruins of the old city. This fulfilled the prophecy in Ezekiel 26:4-5, written hundreds of years before. At the time of Ezekiel, Tyre was the capital of Phoenicia and the island fortress had not yet been built. Ezekiel predicted: “They shall destroy the walls of Tyre, and break down her towers: I will also scrape her dust from her, and make her like the top of a rock. It shall be a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea.” Two hundred years later, Alexander scraped away everything, leaving bare rock."
To deal with prophetic accuracy please read: Messianic Prophecy Fulfilled.
These just barely scratch the surface of the prophecies made about Jesus Christ, there are much more. Prophecy in the Bible has come true except for the return of Jesus Christ, which is in the future. Matthew 24:1-35 talks about the destruction of Jerusalem happening in 70 AD and the warning signs of when it was about to happen. It did happen and not one Christian is said to have perished because they listened to what God told them.
Reliability of the Text
The Bible not only has proven to be accurate, but it has not changed over time by man. It has stayed the same over thousands of years.
“Particularly the claim that the Bible has been modified since its origin is something that has been established to be false. Regarding the New Testament:
- We have 5,300 complete or mostly complete manuscripts
- We have 13,000 fragments
- There are 8,000 Latin translations of the Greek text
- There are another 8,000 manuscripts in Syriac, Armenian, Ethiopic, Coptic, Gothic, Slavic, Sahidic, and Georgian
- Not enough? A study done at the British Museum documented 89,000 quotes or allusions to the New Testament in the writings of early Christian writers.
- Oh, and we have 1,800 lectionaries, which are reading lessons from early church services dating from the sixth century.
Unlike other ancient manuscripts, we have copies which date to close to the original writing:
- We have several fragments dated to 40 to 100 years after the original writings
- We have several Greek manuscripts which date to 300 to 400 years after the original
- Some of the translations are older. Most, though, are from the 300's and later.
- The quotes and allusions in the early Christian writers date from 95 AD to the early 400's. Most come from the second and third century.
And in all that material, less than one-half of a percent is in question. There is no evidence of alteration.” [Jeffrey Hamilton, What if I say you can't prove God is real?]
For science and God, this is a wide topic. I would suggest the Institute for Creation Research. These are scientists who are from top colleges and show how science and the Bible go together as proof of a Creator. Another website is Apologetics Press. It addresses major issues, including science.
Now I've given evidence in several areas why I believe the Bible is from God. Now it is time to put you to the test and your belief. You said the Bible is the word of man. Yet your proof is only your word -- you presented no evidence. Yet despite the lack of evidence you taunt anyone who would disagree with you and claim that their choices must come from their ignorance. Still, you proceed to make claims derived from your unproven claim and mock that any other conclusion cannot exist.
The idea that a person must know every detail to understand a subject is a weak and useless argument. One can study, say geology, and know rocks very well, and still understand other branches of science, though they were not studied in depth. One can get a good understanding of most religions without the need for studying each in-depth and focusing on one that you believe to be true.
I have shown you I have made an educated decision. I do not believe everything written down by man. For example, I don’t believe your claim that you are spiritual. I don’t believe you know what God approves of or what He thinks is insulting. Why? Because it is just the word of a person, who is just as imperfect as I am. My beliefs are backed up by facts. Sure, people talk about blind faith, but that doesn't describe my faith. Blind faith is when someone assumes something with no foundation or proof. They just have a feeling.
I find that God’s Word is never wrong. God doesn’t ask people to believe with blind faith. He gives evidence in His word and throughout all creation. He spoke to mankind in the past and delivered His message with evidence that it was from Him. See the following for more about The Bible's Claims for Itself. It is humorous to hear that you think God would be insulted by men believing what He wrote.
Now the question is do you examine the facts and come to reasoned conclusions, or do you follow your feelings rejecting the evidence from God? The decision is in your hands. God leaves it up to us to turn away from our evil ways or choose to live sinful lives. I encourage you to look at the rest of the website and see that all our beliefs do come straight from God's word.
I was raised in a very religious atmosphere. I attended church and Sunday school my whole childhood so it's not like I have not been taught all the things you are saying. I have just learned to look "outside the box" of what I have been told.
Again, you quote things from the Bible saying that is what God wants. Men wrote the Bible – not God. Think for a moment outside of the box of what you have been told to believe all your life and think about this. Say you had happened to be born in India. You would have been taught possibly your whole life that Hinduism or Muslim was the way, the truth, the light. You would quite possibly believe with all your soul that this is the God to worship (as the same way Christians do with Christianity). So if geography changes your whole belief system what does that tell you about religion? It tells you that it is not concrete. The Bible teaches that if we do not have faith we will spend eternity in hell. So if by no fault of my own I was raised in another country with different belief systems or say in some remote area and never heard of Jesus, then the Bible teaches I will not go to heaven.
Let's compare that to a parent and a child relationship (which growing up in a religion, we heard this relationship comparison many times). What would you call a parent who punishes a child who unknowingly did or did not do something? You would call them bad parents. But the Bible teaches if you don't follow the words of Jesus Christ (whom some people don't even know of only because they live in another country or live in remote jungles and have never been taught) then you will not make it to heaven. That sounds like a bad parent to me. Are you getting the analogy? Believe me, I believe in God but not the words of the Bible. I would say you could take some things from the Bible. My God is a loving God – not one to damn me to hell because I didn't believe the words of some men who wrote it.
Since you don't believe the Bible is from God -- most likely because the Bible condemns something that you wish to do -- then your god cannot be the God of the Bible. The God talked of in the Bible claims to have written the Bible, which you deny. "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work" (II Timothy 3:16-17). Therefore, your god must be of your own creation since it is not based on anything other than your imagination -- in other words, your god is the product of man by your own words.
So using your own logic, your god should not be believed because it is of human origin. People should not accept your word about what your god teaches because it comes from man. Hence, your own criteria condemn your position. By logic, that means it is a false position and we need not go any further in examining it.
Christianity is based on the claim that the Bible is from God and contains God's own words. You continue to deny this but are unable to prove your position. Instead, you attempt to offer a poorly constructed possibility and declare that is the equivalent of hard proof.
You claim that someone growing up in another belief system would not be able to accept Christianity. Yet Christianity swept the world 2,000 years ago as people converted from Judaism and a large variety of idolatrous religions. History proves that people do change belief systems. Thus, the claim that one's belief system at birth "proves" that the Bible is not from God is false. The reason Christianity is spread is because of the knowledge that a denial of God and violating His laws will condemn a person. "He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him--the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day. For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak" (John 12:48-50). The result of that belief is that Christianity is found worldwide and is accessible to those who wish to learn it.
The Bible teaches that the laws of God are consistent for all of mankind. Many of these laws could even be determined by nature. For example, almost everyone acknowledges that killing is wrong and that stealing should not be done. "For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them" (Romans 2:14-15). What Paul points out in the Bible is that when you examine what a person does know, they don't follow it perfectly. Every person violates what they know should be done at points in their lives. The punishment for breaking the law (sin) is death (Romans 6:23). You deny this possibility, but your denial is of your own opinion as mentioned before, and is useless for proving reality. Instead, we find that the Bible teaches that God is trying to rescue all of mankind from their own violations of His law -- something that you personally wish to prevent. "I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness. And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world" (John 12:46-47). So rather than a "bad parent" we find God going out of His way to counter what foolish child, such as yourself, wish to ruin their lives with. "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life" (Romans 5:8-10).
My God is real. Yours is of human origin. Why should anyone give your imagined God consideration?
You did not understand anything I wrote. How do you explain a person who never even heard of Jesus, because of different situations, of course? Will he go to Heaven? Not according to the words you believe. Nevermind, you are too brainwashed to think outside of the box even remotely.
When a person disagrees with your position it does not mean a lack of understanding, it means the person sees flaws in your reasoning. The core flaw in your view is that you don't believe anyone can really sin. But since sin is breaking the law (I John 3:4), the result is that you believe there is no law. Which is consistent with your rejection of the Bible.
But it is an unsupportable position. There are laws and people do sin, which means people are lost. You want to leave people in their sins. I want them saved from their sins. (And you claim your god is a god of love! Ha!) See The Lost Who Never Heard the Gospel.