Well, I was thinking, do we as christians have any good argument against existence of pagan gods ? Or some good reason to believe they are demons ? I know in the Bible there is written something like: They are made from stone, they don’t speak, they don’t breath etc.
This perhaps was a good argument in the ages of early christians, but these days it doesn’t seem to be enough. I think lots of people today think in a way, that nothing can be proved or disproved, therefore believe whatever you want. And some people actually turn back to those old gods.
How can we defend the belief that our God is actually real one, and not just another man made god ?
If we point out to miracles and saints. Some people would say that pagans also believed that their gods are doing miracles. The same goes for fullfiled prophecies.
I think that lots of pagan gods actually personalize sin (god of war, goddes of love(lust)… )
Now, I am not any theologian, and I am quite new to the faith, most likely I am missing something. But how would you defend the authenticity of christian God to a pagan believer ?
Mognar, you’re throwing out a lot of questions, but the best answer to your overall query was given by Captain America in the film “The Avengers.”
Perhaps you remember the scene where Cap is about to leap out of a plane in flight to fight Thor, the god of thunder. Black Widow warns him that he is about to fight a god, and before jumping, Cap turns back and says, “There’s only one God, ma’am, and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t dress like that.”
It’s a funny throwaway line and usually got a laugh in the theaters, but it represents an actual truth.
The pagan gods were small gods - essentially versions of humanity writ large. They had beginnings and they had ends (as in Ragnarok). They were personifications of elements of nature and human personalities, and they could be lusty, tricked, cheated, fooled, even controlled by humans through magic. They were usually tied to a particular region and people, which is why paganism was inherently political in nature.
The Judaeo-Christian understanding of God is something much more than that - an omniscient, omnibeneficient, and omnipotent eternal being who created all there is and whose nature we can’t even begin to understand. (St, Thomas Aquinas said it is easier to try to approach an understanding of God by trying to establish what He isn’t than what He is, and St. Augustine said that trying to undertstand God with our human capacities is like a child trying to fill a hole in the sand with an entire ocean.) Yet we consider this being our Father, and on the basis of the supreme good (from our point of view) of having created us and given us consciousness and an immortal soul, consider Him to be good (as creation was a choice, and He could as easily not have created us.)
If you speak of such a being, you are speaking of Someone who is so qualitatively different from a pagan conception of gods that to try to compare them (as atheists do with the wheezy claim, “I just believe in one god less than you”) is a simple category error.
From my point of view, I can reason to a certain extent to the likelihood that God exists - from Aquinas’s 5 arguments, from the nature of contingency, and many other arguments. From there, the message of Christ and other items of evidence lead me to extend faith towards the specific Christian faith. I see no such evidence for pagan gods.
That’s not to say there are not other powerful supernatural beings of a much lesser nature than God - in fact, the Christian faith recognizes such - and that the malign members of those categories may demand worship and even consider themselves as gods - Lucifer certainly seems to have done so in his rebellion. As you said, many early Christians, including the early Church fathers, believed that the pagan gods were in fact demons who were deceiving their followers, and that seems a likely possibility and would account for some of the “miracles” claimed by their followers.
I would also not give much credence to the idea that “that nothing can be proved or disproved, therefore believe whatever you want” - any such statement can be disproved, as the statement has to include itself as part of the proposition. That is, that statement itself can neither be proved nor disproved, so why believe it?
Hope this is helpful to you, and I wish you well on your journey towards faith.