I put this post on because I just watch Trent Horn and Dan Baker debate ,and I can come to terms to Mr. Horns answers to Mr. Baker. Like if the bible says that pray for the sick but we pray and nothing happens also prayer is useless if God has a plan for everything so what good is pray then? If we pray for people to return home and they don’t come home then why does God not answer our prayers? How one justify the horrible actions God commanded in the old testament? Is God a loving God? Is he the God of the gasps? How do we Define God? How can the church be of one mind (as is said in the bible) if it is divided? What REAL evidence we have for th exist for God? How do we know more then one God made the universe? How can God be morally good if less bad things happen and doesn’t answer us? I feel my faith broke after the debate but what you think about the debate and what answer do you have.
You have too many questions for us to work with for one thread. Is there any one you’d particularly like answers for in this one, and then you can ask others in other threads?
God does not always grant our prayers. The primary purpose of prayer is to deepen pur relationship with him. God has his reasons for saying “no.” God is also timeless, not part of our sequence of time. Even if he already knows all and has his will, he has already accounted for our prayers.
There are different approaches to God’s actions in the Old Testament. Some are more direct, others are that the OT writers understood all of their cultural history in a religious context (if Israel was successful, then it must be because God said it was so). Either way, it’s important to recognize the distinction between God and creature, and what morality is. Morality is, in a sense, choosing to act in accordance with one’s nature. For a human, that means choosing to act like a human should act. Note that God (the divine natuew) has no obligation to act like how a human acts. His goodness is not dependent on it.
God is a loving God. He has made covenants with men and has upheld them even when men haven’t. He sent us a redeemer and desires to help us become perfect through our own cooperation. God does will the good of other things, but he does not necessitate that things always live up to it.
God is not a God of the gaps.
Only one God made the universe. There are no other gods.
As for what God is, that is an extensive topic. God is not a bearded man in the sky. He is not the most powerful being in the universe. The divine nature has no parts, it does not occupy a point in space, it is unchanging and eternal. It is the source and foundation of all reality. All things that exist or could exist are (or would have to be) caused by God. All things are in God in a manner most comparable to knowledge. God is beyond our reality, in a sense more real than anything else (similar to how you are more real than the dog you are imagining, but that’s a limited analogy). God isn’t a being, but Being Itself, subsistent existence. He isn’t a “god” (as in, he’s not a _type_of thing (that is a human, that is a rock), he simply Is. But that probably all sounds like gobbledygook if you haven’t really studied that type of theology.
We can know God exists by seeing that reality exists and making conclusions based on our knowledge of reality. There are various arguments: arguments from change, causes, contingency, composition, universals, grades of the transcendentals, teleology, the principle of sufficient reason. There are other arguments as well, ones I don’t argue myself, but I wouldn’t completely discount them .
This is an excellent article
Answers to fit your questions:
I have one personal example where I believe prayer worked to heal someone, where my nephew was going to lose a foot after an accident as it was severely infected. I ask for the intercession of a Saint and his foot healed (with much proper Medical help). You might be surprised at what little miracles people hold in their hearts that they don’t broadcast. A parishioner just casually told me once after Mass at a cafe that she had cancer and three local nuns asked if they could pray for her. Each in their turn held her hand and prayed. First one, nothing. Second one, nothing. Third one (who was known to be a bit bad tempered), prayed and she felt “energy” go up her arm to where the cancer was, and she was informed by her doctor that she no longer had cancer. Then another parishioner I know that whose testimony was involved in the canonization of a Saint was also miraculously cured of cancer. OK, it doesn’t happen with every prayer, but there is enough of a sprinkling of anecdotal evidence around us that “if you look you will find”. There is enough evidence of effective prayer for me to keep asking God for healings. By their very nature, miracles aren’t verifiable by scientific evidence but it depends what you regard as good evidence.
One can pray, but one must realize that God can say no to those prayers and that is something the believer must accept. I have had prayers answered affirmatively and then I gotten a big fat no on some of them too. Lean on Jesus Christ, God Incarnate, for all help during this journey here on earth - there is nothing else one can do. There are mysteries to what happens here that we will only find out about in the next world. Take heart friend, you are not alone. Life is not something to be figured out, it is a mystery to be lived
It would take about 10 000 separate threads to answer all of these questions adequately.
As @Thom18 states, you need to narrow your question(s) down.
There are dozens (maybe even hundreds) of threads that address your questions.
Several of them are related to the characteristics of God.
God is the creator of all life. To God alone belongs the right to bring forth life or to take life.
Many of the accounts of the Chosen People interacting with God outlined in the OT show the proper deference owed to God. God commanded the destruction of nations that were opposed to His people, and that worshiped false gods.
Prayer is more about us than it is about God. We should pray, because God commands it. Jesus, our True God, risen from the dead, taught us the Lord’s Prayer.
When we pray, we shouldn’t ask God to change his mind. That’s not how God works. Prayer changes the asker, perhaps over time, to align their lives with the one who gave you life.
One of the real proofs you have for the existence of God is that of the universe in which you live. God created all of that from nothing. From nothing. The stars and planets and all the other galaxies. When you start to get your mind around that; you will begin to understand St. Anselm - God is that than which nothing greater can be conceived.
That’s probably enough for now.
I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, you shall have no strange gods before me.
In awe before the Lord I remain a sinner,
Wow. Where to begin…
God gives us what we need to draw closer to Him. Sometimes that may involve someone suffering or death.
There is much to learn through adversity, pain, suffering, toil and death. I look back at my life and I can see the biggest “Why me?” periods of my life as being the periods of my greatest growth both spiritually and as a person.
The first thing to understand is that Christ taught us that God is love. In my way of thinking it logically follows that if something told about God does not speak of love then it is not from God.
To understand the Old Testament you have to understand what it is. It is a large number of books, poems, songs, stories, etc. Each of these have a style and a method of their own. The first five books of the Bible were oral stories from four different traditions. These had been told and retold orally for centuries. Most likely they were written down at some point but they did not become part of the Torah until the Babylonian Exile when they were combined rather poorly in an attempt to make a continuous narrative.
The Old Testament essentially is the story of one people’s growth in faith and understanding of God told over a period of thousands of years. Like each of us they had their ups and downs in their learning to accept God. But it begins with very primitive notions of who and what God is. He is looked on as a type of super-human with extraordinary powers but with the same emotions as man such as anger, jealousy, etc. Nor was He at first looked on as the only god. He was the “most high” god of all the gods that existed. Through time these concepts of God changed and He was understood to be the one and only God. He is the “Supreme Being”, and there can be only one Being who is supreme.
So my point is the stories which came from these people during primitive times was what the people of the day THOUGHT God was like, not what He actually is like according to the teaching of Christ.
“God of the gaps” is an atheistic term. It is used to attempt to belittle Christians, but most of them haven’t figured out what it is actually saying. They are acknowledging that scientific knowledge even today is in its infancy. They do not have answers to questions like “How did life begin?”, etc. Eventually science may tell us some answers but there are things that science will never be able to answer such as the “first cause”. Science can only deal with what is in the physical universe. So if nothing existed before the Big Bang what caused the Big Bang? If something existed before the Big Bang what cause that to exist? Science can only speculate, but they never will be able to answer those type of questions. Christians on the other hand DO have an extremely plausible answer to those questions, but it is one which atheists can not accept.
By most of the world’s religions God is defined as “The Supreme Being”. Logically can be only one being who is supreme, and He MUST exist. Of all the trees which exist in the universe there can be one and only one “tallest tree”. And that tree must exist even if no one knows where it is. Likewise of all the beings that exist inside or outside of the universe there can be only one who is the greatest or supreme being. And He logically MUST exist. We believe the Supreme Being to be non-corporeal (not a physical being), we believe He is the creator of the physical universe (its “First Cause”) and therefore not a part of it. All things need a cause for their existence but God and not a “thing” and therefore does not need a cause. Because we believe He created the universe He is not bound by the universe’s timeline. He is timeless. What we call past, present or future are all the same to Him. Nor is He bound by our physical universe’s space limitations. There are plenty of other logical deductions we can make about Him.
There are tons of web sites that can give you all sorts of items of evidence. The atheistic claim that no evidence exists is just totally bogus. Just to name a couple: From logic we have the logical necessity of an uncaused first cause. No matter if you believe in multiple universes, other dimensions, universe creating membranes you are talking about physical manifestations that need a cause. As I said the first cause must depend on nothing else for its existence. For it to cause such order as we find mega-intelligence is a necessary trait as well as an willingness and ability to act. From science: One of the many scientific pieces of evidence is the obvious intelligent setting of all of the universal constants. There are over 80 universal constants identified by science, among them the force of gravity, etc. If left to chance the strength of each of these forces could be anywhere. If you can, imagine a force scale that stretches across the 14.5 billion light years of the universe. Each of these forces could have been set any where along that entire scale. But if any of the known 80+ constants were set even 1/2 an inch on that scale higher or lower than it is then either the “universe” would expand so fast as to not allow for its formation or would collapse in on itself almost instantly. Even atheistic scientists acknowledge apparent design.
The physical reality is not our true nature. Our true nature is “in His image and likeness” as spiritual beings. I am firmly convinced that the physical realm exists so that we could learn the one thing that God could not give us: how to love. Love cannot be forced and remain love. So God could not create us already loving as that would be a contradiction. We had to learn it on our own. Hence the physical realm. Here we are given the complete free choice to do any and all evil even though that leads away from God and love because it is only when we have the choice to do evil that we also have the free choice to reject that evil and do the good that leads towards love and God. We also learn to love through the experience of pain, suffering toil and death in ourselves or a member of our social circle. They teach us compassion and sympathy when someone else is experiencing the same thing. Knowing how someone feels is different than saying you know how they feel. Compassion and sympathy teach us to care about even those outside of our social circle. And it is only when we learn to care about the stranger that we can learn true selfless love.
I know this has been long, but I hope it is useful.
Prayer does not only help those on Earth, but also in places such as Purgatory. Remember, there are parts of us (in this faith) we believe as eternal. There is no such thing as a bad prayer and Saint Paul the Apostle said to pray as much as one can (especially for others)
What do you mean
They mean the “God of the Gaps” argument.
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