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Thread: Should God Appear To Me?

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    Department Head Apologiaphoenix's Avatar
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    Should God Appear To Me?

    Does God owe you a personal appearance?

    The link can be found here.

    ----

    What if an atheist requires a personal appearance? Let's plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.*

    Many times when I ask someone who is an atheist or an agnostic what it would take to get them to change their mind, they tell me that God would need to appear to them. This sounds like something that makes sense on the face of it. After all, doesn't God want people to come to know Him? Why wouldn't He do this?

    Unfortunately, the problems with this are legion. First off, when I encounter someone like this, they are telling me that an argument would not convince them. It would take a personal experience. Therefore, any arguments that I make are ineffective to them. Somehow, these people expect me to be open to argument at the same time, which I am.

    Second, God owes us nothing if He is real. It is a presumptuous height to think God owes anyone a personal experience. God could do it, but He could just as easily strike someone with a lightning bolt. That doesn't mean that He would do it or that He should do it.

    "But doesn't God want to see me saved?"

    Yes. That doesn't mean that God will do anything to cater to you. It doesn't mean that God treats His existence like the answer to a question in Trivial Pursuit. God is not looking for people who will believe that He exists. He is looking for people who are willing to believe the truth about Him and want to know the truth about Him not just to answer an academic question, but because He really matters.*

    If you are a wife, imagine a husband who says he loves you, but when he does so, he is just going through the motions. It doesn't really mean something to you. If you are a husband, you want your wife to want to have sex with you, but husbands don't really enjoy duty sex. They'll take it because some sex beats no sex, but what they want the most is to be wanted.

    God is looking for disciples. Disciples are people who care about truth claims. They are willing to investigate. If someone is not willing to investigate, then they are not willing to be a disciple.

    Also, this would ultimately lead to chaos. For one thing, it would destroy much of free-will en masse. Not only that, imagine any number of people wanting to claim something because God told them in their personal appearance. What would a dictator do with this kind of claim? We have enough denominational differences without these appearances. How many more would we have with? Would we become an even lazier culture?

    "But Nick. You believe that in eternity, we will all have a personal appearance of God and this won't go on."

    Right. We will also be living in a world where we do not have sinful natures. As long as we have those, we will often twist everything we can to our advantage. This includes the truth of God. We have abundant evidence of people using anything to their own advantage today. How much more so with personal appearances of God being known around the world and the fact of personal appearances not in dispute?

    If you want to know if God exists, God could show Himself to you, but it's not to be expected. Granted, it has been happening to Muslims in dreams and to people like Paul, but if God isn't appearing to someone, if He is real, He has a good reason for it. It doesn't invalidate the arguments at all.

    In Christ,
    Nick Peters

  2. Amen Jedidiah, Christianbookworm amen'd this post.
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    tWebber TheWall's Avatar
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    Reminds me of Till we have faces.

  4. Amen Rushing Jaws amen'd this post.
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    tWebber Christianbookworm's Avatar
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    And do those atheists really want to need a change of pants? You do not want to see a theophany this side of Heaven.
    If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

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    tWebber TheWall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christianbookworm View Post
    And do those atheists really want to need a change of pants? You do not want to see a theophany this side of Heaven.
    Just reading Ezekiel should show that.

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    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
    Does God owe you a personal appearance?

    The link can be found here.

    ----

    What if an atheist requires a personal appearance? Let's plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.*

    Many times when I ask someone who is an atheist or an agnostic what it would take to get them to change their mind, they tell me that God would need to appear to them. This sounds like something that makes sense on the face of it. After all, doesn't God want people to come to know Him? Why wouldn't He do this?

    Unfortunately, the problems with this are legion. First off, when I encounter someone like this, they are telling me that an argument would not convince them. It would take a personal experience. Therefore, any arguments that I make are ineffective to them. Somehow, these people expect me to be open to argument at the same time, which I am.

    Second, God owes us nothing if He is real. It is a presumptuous height to think God owes anyone a personal experience. God could do it, but He could just as easily strike someone with a lightning bolt. That doesn't mean that He would do it or that He should do it.

    "But doesn't God want to see me saved?"

    Yes. That doesn't mean that God will do anything to cater to you. It doesn't mean that God treats His existence like the answer to a question in Trivial Pursuit. God is not looking for people who will believe that He exists. He is looking for people who are willing to believe the truth about Him and want to know the truth about Him not just to answer an academic question, but because He really matters.*

    If you are a wife, imagine a husband who says he loves you, but when he does so, he is just going through the motions. It doesn't really mean something to you. If you are a husband, you want your wife to want to have sex with you, but husbands don't really enjoy duty sex. They'll take it because some sex beats no sex, but what they want the most is to be wanted.

    God is looking for disciples. Disciples are people who care about truth claims. They are willing to investigate. If someone is not willing to investigate, then they are not willing to be a disciple.

    Also, this would ultimately lead to chaos. For one thing, it would destroy much of free-will en masse. Not only that, imagine any number of people wanting to claim something because God told them in their personal appearance. What would a dictator do with this kind of claim? We have enough denominational differences without these appearances. How many more would we have with? Would we become an even lazier culture?

    "But Nick. You believe that in eternity, we will all have a personal appearance of God and this won't go on."

    Right. We will also be living in a world where we do not have sinful natures. As long as we have those, we will often twist everything we can to our advantage. This includes the truth of God. We have abundant evidence of people using anything to their own advantage today. How much more so with personal appearances of God being known around the world and the fact of personal appearances not in dispute?

    If you want to know if God exists, God could show Himself to you, but it's not to be expected. Granted, it has been happening to Muslims in dreams and to people like Paul, but if God isn't appearing to someone, if He is real, He has a good reason for it. It doesn't invalidate the arguments at all.

    In Christ,
    Nick Peters
    Yeah I think so. If god is just, then ones life shouldn't be dependent upon whether or not he believes god exists, god should make it absolutely known to each and every person that he exists, which being god, he should have no problem doing. You do realize that a whole lot of thinking people struggle with that question and in the end honestly don't believe. Guess where your just god is going to send them? Who ever thought up such an evil character?

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    Professor KingsGambit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimL View Post
    Guess where your just god is going to send them?
    Not all Christians believe in eternal conscious torment (I don't, for instance)
    I want something good to die for to make it beautiful to live.

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    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingsGambit View Post
    Not all Christians believe in eternal conscious torment (I don't, for instance)
    Doesn't matter what kind of punishment you're talking about, although I think the bible makes it fairly explicit anyway. The point is that your god, you believe, punishes people for honestly coming to wrong conclusions. Not to mention the billions and billions of people who have lived and died never even hearing anything about your believed in god. The problem is that believers are so invested in their christian belief that they have to make up excuses for this, such as, "oh so called non-believers know god exists, they just don't want to admit to it and be lorded over by a god," or "we don't really believe in eternal torment, it's more like eternal life but without god" or some such other nonsense made up to ease their own conscience.

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    Must...have...caffeine One Bad Pig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheWall View Post
    Reminds me of Till we have faces.
    Why is that?
    Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. St. John Chrysostom

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    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimL View Post
    Yeah I think so. If god is just, then ones life shouldn't be dependent upon whether or not he believes god exists, god should make it absolutely known to each and every person that he exists, which being god, he should have no problem doing. You do realize that a whole lot of thinking people struggle with that question and in the end honestly don't believe. Guess where your just god is going to send them? Who ever thought up such an evil character?
    Apparently God does make it clear that he exists otherwise billions of us would not believe it. You don't want to believe and no matter if he did appear in front of you, you would still not believe. I went over this with Tassman in another thread. No matter what, he would just explain it away even to the point of deciding he was hallucinating rather than believe his own eyes. You would do the same. If you don't want to believe you won't. If you are open to God existing then you will find out he does. Just like I did and billions of others.

    And you are not sent to hell for not believing but because you are a sinner.

  12. Amen Christianbookworm, Jedidiah amen'd this post.
  13. #10
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    Apparently God does make it clear that he exists otherwise billions of us would not believe it. You don't want to believe and no matter if he did appear in front of you, you would still not believe. I went over this with Tassman in another thread. No matter what, he would just explain it away even to the point of deciding he was hallucinating rather than believe his own eyes. You would do the same. If you don't want to believe you won't. If you are open to God existing then you will find out he does. Just like I did and billions of others.
    Like I said, you have no choice but to make up excuses for the obviously nonsensical.
    And you are not sent to hell for not believing but because you are a sinner.
    Wrong. Apparently you need to study up a bit regarding your own religion. If we are all sinners, which, though our definitions of what sin is differs, we are, then if it were about sin we would all go to heaven, but we don't, so it's not about sin, it's about belief.

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