Aladdin’s Lamp Christianity

There are children starving in Africa.  3-year-olds are raped and then murdered.  Millions of people in the world have cancer, HIV, and other diseases for which we have no cure.  Gasoline is over $4 a gallon.  I can’t believe in a God that would allow all these things to happen in the world. 

Have you ever heard an argument like this, or some variation thereof?  We live in a screwed up world, there is no argument about that.  I believe in working to find a cure for AIDS, feeding the hungry of the world, and any other humanitarian cause you can think of.  But none of these problems can be put together in a equation that equals God does not exist.  God made a world that was perfect (read Genesis chapters 1-3).  There was no cancer, AIDS, measles, mumps, polio, terrorists, rapists, child molesters, pedophiles, Michael Jackson, etc.  There was perfection.  The man and woman lived in perfect marital bliss, and the garden provided for their every need.  They had personal contact with God who spoke with them face to face.  Sin is what changed the state of man and the earth.  Sin entered into the world, and all of creation was cursed by God for it.  We are fallen people and live in a fallen world.  Are all of those ailments listed punishment from God?  No, I don’t think so.  I think all the evil we see in the world today, including the suffering of the innocent, is what happens to mankind when allowed to go our own course.  It is our natural state to lower ourselves to the utmost levels and disgust and debauchery.  We did this to ourselves, our fellow man, our world.  This is not what God created.

Many athesits, and believers alike at times,  think God should be more of a genie in a bottle.  Since God hasn’t POOF! cured aids, or POOF! ended world hunger, then God is either A) a cruel, vicious tyrant who gets off watching us suffer, or B) he does not exist.  God doesn’t show up the way we want every time we ask him to and grant us our wishes, so we decide he’s either powerless to do anything about it or doesn’t care to; or does nothing because he’s not real.  The truth is, all our suffering grieves God greatly.  He knows each time a sparrow falls from the sky, so you can be assured he knows exactly how many children live in hunger each day, how many die from unclean drinking water; in other words, God knows where it hurts.  It hurts him too. 

Not showing up with miracle cures for each one of society’s ills is one more category that could be included in God not giving us a sign.  Just because he doesn’t jump into action each time we click his remote, doesn’t mean he is weak, cruel, or imaginary.  The Bible isn’t Aladdin’s Lamp that grants wishes; it is God’s revelation to mankind of his grace, love and mercy.  God will take vengeance on the evil people of the world, in his time.  All wrongs will be made right, and the faithful will receive their reward.  If that seems unfair to you, try to stretch the limits of your imagination and remember that you breath the air he gave you, and drink the water that appeared at his spoken command.  It’s his game, and he made the rules.  The reason many people do not believe in God is that he doesn’t obey their every whim.  The problem is compounded by Christians that tells us he does grant them their every whim, and entice people to choose Christ because he makes their lives easier.

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22 thoughts on “Aladdin’s Lamp Christianity

  1. Faith
    “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen.”
    {Hebrews 11 v 1}.

    For faith is believing in things that we cannot see. Now we must believe that what we have prayed for will soon manifest in our lives, for by faith we will truly receive. Yet some people say, “ but it’s not easy and you don’t know what I am going through,” well, that is true, but it still doesn’t change the fact that Jesus said, “ All things are possible to them that believe,” and we must live by faith. It is worth hoping and believing for things in our lives to change, it really does not matter what people say, or what we feel, for God said, “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God”. {1 Corinthians 3 v 19}.

    Well, you may say Billy these things that you have written seem to be very foolish, and contrary to civilized people of today, but the Bible says, “That the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men”. {1 Corinthians 1 v 25}.

    Dear saints never underestimate the power of our Lord’s gospel. Many people would like to know what you and I know, and see the things that you and I see, surely we are so blessed because we have the Holy Scriptures to tell us who and what we are in Christ.

    Yes, we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. May we always have the faith to believe for a better life, for ourselves and our loved ones, for Jesus said, “I have come that you might have life and life more abundantly”. My prayer is that you may indeed have an abundant life in Christ Jesus”.

    It’was a glad day when Jesus found me, When His strong arms were thrown around me, When my sins He buried in the deepest sea, And my soul He filled with joy and victory, It’was a glad day, oh, hallelujah! It’was a glad day He claimed His own! I will shout a glad hosanna in glory, When I see Him upon His throne.

    EVANGELIST BILLY BOLITHO
    http://www.evangelistbillybolitho.blogspot.com

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  3. But none of these problems can be put together in a equation that equals God does not exist.

    Actually, I think it can make quite a good argument.

    God is either A) a cruel, vicious tyrant who gets off watching us suffer, or B) he does not exist.

    I think there are more options than that. He could be incapable of fixing our suffering or He could be ignorant of our suffering, or maybe He doesn’t care.

    The problem is compounded by Christians that tells us he does grant them their every whim, and entice people to choose Christ because he makes their lives easier.

    I can understand why Christians who read the Bible might think this. Because that is exactly what it says!

    “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” — Matthew 21:22 (NIV)

    “Ask and it will be given to you…. For everyone who asks receives.” –Luke 11:9-10 (NIV)

    So you can understand that this failure casts doubt on either the accuracy of the Bible or the existence of the god it speaks about.

  4. In response to Iis Kuseari’s question:

    Christians believe that the way to find God is through his son Jesus Christ. God offered his only son Jesus to show us the way, and also to be the way for us. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” God is holy, and only what is holy can come into his presence. None of us can be that holy on our own. But Jesus lived his life without sin, and we can receive the credit for his righteousness. Jesus took the sins of the world upon himself, and paid the price for our sin on the cross when he died. “He that did not know sin, became sin…” Jesus is the perfectly righteous son of God, and also the perfect sacrifice for our sins. We know that God accepted the sacrifice that was made, because three days later Jesus rose again from the dead. He said himself before the crucifixion, that no man had the power to take his life; he gave it away. He had the power to lay it down, and the power to raise it up again.

    That’s a lot of theology to take all it once. Finding God is as simply as this: admit to God that you are a sinner. Confess to God that you believe Jesus Christ died for your sins, and that he rose again. Ask him to forgive your sins. Ask in faith, believing that he hears and answers prayers.

    The very next thing you should do is tell someone your decision. Find a church that teaches the Bible, and make a profession of your faith. I think a new believer should be baptized, but that will not affect your salvation. Faith in Jesus Christ is what it takes to be saved, no other act will add to it or take away. It is easy to find God; he came looking for us.

  5. In repsonse to Eshu:

    I addressed the issue of God either being unable to do anything, or uncaring. You did not read the whole post, only glanced over it. Your repsonse makes you look foolish.

    The Bible does say things like “Seek and you shall find,” and “whatever things you ask will be done for you.” The Bible also instructs us to pray in God’s will, and that his will be done. Read how three times Paul ask God to remove the thorn in his flesh, but God does not. Paul’s prayer did not go unanswered; God’s answer was NO. We cannot pick and choose the verses we like or don’t like. The entire Bible must be taken into consideration almost at once.

    I’ve read the Bible again and again and question neither its accuracy nor the existance of God. I’ll do this for you though; when I ge to Heaven, I’ll ask God if the Bible is accurate. I hope you’re there to hear his answer.

  6. I addressed the issue of God either being unable to do anything, or uncaring.

    Yes, you later stated that God was neither of those things. My comment was addressing a specific statement you made which was an example of a false dilemma.

    Clark Bunch said:

    God is either A) a cruel, vicious tyrant who gets off watching us suffer, or B) he does not exist.

    To be consistent, you should add “C) There’s some other reason” or list the other options.

    It’s like saying, “Either you provide us with a good alibi or… you are the murderer!”

    Paul’s prayer did not go unanswered; God’s answer was NO.

    Hang on, the verses I quoted don’t say, “Pray and your prayers will be answered” it says you will receive what you ask for:

    “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” — Matthew 21:22 (NIV)

    Doesn’t it strike you as odd that this is completely different from what is written in other bits of the Bible – such as the example you give. Which bit is wrong?

  7. that is the thing about people; they want, and want, and want, and when no one gives it to them, they just can’t believe anymore. the world has become so selfish.

  8. Q) How can a good God allow evil and suffering?

    “Actually, Christianity is the only religion or worldview that has an answer to evil and suffering. Eastern religions ignore evil; Darwinism and Communism rely on it; atheism is clueless about it; and Islam has a superficial view of it. Only Christianity provides an answer—that we are living in an abnormal world which God will restore.”

    This is just a sample. Read the full article here: http://www.faithfacts.org/search-for-truth/questions-of-christians/how-can-god-allow-evil-and-suffering

  9. @sillyhether
    I don’t think it’s selfish to question the wisdom of a God who allows tsunamis, hurricanes and other natural disasters (which presumably aren’t necessary for free will), destroy people’s lives in a most unedifying fashion.

    @Clark
    Thanks, interesting article. I have several problems with it, but I’ll mention only a couple:

    It says: “It is impossible for God to have created man with free will and evil not be a consequence.”

    So is there free will in heaven?

    Then: “Eastern religions ignore evil;”
    No sorry, they don’t… Buddhism for example says a lot about suffering. Read about the four noble truths to see what I mean.

  10. Eshu is right about Buddhism. The first noble truth says that all life is pain and suffering. I didn’t have to look it up; I teach the four noble truths to my World History students. The article I sited was wrong about Eastern religions. It was written by well-meaning Christians.

    As far as free will and evil, think about the situation for a moment. Adam and Eve were in the garden, and were tempted to sin (do evil) by who? The devil. Where did the devil come from? Lucifer was the most beautiful angel in heaven, and fell from grace because he wanted the other angels to worship him instead of God. It was God who tossed the devil from heaven… onto earth. If God din’t want man to be tempted by evil, he would have banished the devil straight to hell. Or perhaps Mars or somehwere. By God’s design Adam, Eve, and Satan himself were tossed into the mix together, and then God stepped out for a few minutes. It was orchestrated to give man the choice to commit sin, just like it’s now our choice to be forgiven of our sins by faith in Jesus Chrsit. (replies to this comment by 5-point Calvanists will not be allowed)

  11. Eshu-your right. I think people should be allowed to question god about big stuff, its just some people (like white collar business guys) that have not really a religion to stand on because they question their faith, and then loose faith because their question isnt answered and they dont know why, and become a blob of unbelieving mass. So it is ok to question, you just have to have enough faith to keep with that faith.

  12. ‘Is it necessary that everyone must have a religion?’

    Well, in fact, it is necessary for everyone to have faith in something. Atheists are not immune from this reality. Humanism and evolution are the dogmatic cornerstone of their faith. It seems that atheists don’t necessarily have a problem with other forms of religions, but have a vehement hate of the God of the Scriptures (Bible) and the people who follow Him.

    “It is not enough for us to prostrate ourselves under the tree which is Creation, and to contemplate its tremendous branches filled with stars. We have a duty to perform, to work upon the human soul, to defend the mystery against the miracle, to worship the incomprehensible while rejecting the absurd; to accept, in the inexplicable, only what is necessary; to dispel the superstitions that surround religion –to rid God of His Maggots.” – Victor Hugo

    ‘If Christians lived in one related but separate society from Atheists, there would be no reason to concern ourselves with what Christians thought. And I continue to contend that if Christians were content to keep creationism in Christian schools, not try to outlaw abortion, not undercut stem-cell research and not push for laws against same-sex marriage, Atheists would have little concern about what Christians believed in private if they weren’t trying to push that belief into our lives and our society. I don’t necessarily fault them for doing so, but if you’re going to dip your toes into the political waters, you have to be willing to accept the tidal wave that may come with it.’
    http://atheocracy.wordpress.com/2007/09/14/atheists-bent-on-annihilation/

    ‘…push that belief into our lives and our society…’ so it’s ok for atheists to take Christian schools to court to force them to abolish Creation, to also force society to believe in their religion? Smacks of hypocrisy doesn’t it.

    Christians are detested because they are pro-life, OUTSTANDING REASONING.
    The Atheist may say, ‘but you also want to stop stem-cell research which can benefit society…’, really, does anyone truly believe that the medical institution and pharmaceutical companies want cures to be found? Treatment is the humanistic name of the game. Also, will any outcome of organ generation be made available to the poor? Yea right. Atheists know that the Earth is overpopulated, and so certain vip groups should only benefit from such technology (survival of the fittest). It is man’s quest to become like God and therefore self-sufficient (tower of babel).

    Nevertheless, this is simply an excuse. If this were so, why the billions of dollars spent in polluting the cosmos in the attempt to find proof that life does not just exist on the Earth? Evolution failed in proving random speciation, and yet atheists demand that people and schools have faith that they will eventually prove beyond doubt that God does not exist, and therefore, everything is in existence by mere chance.

    I do have to agree with one premise, and it’s that Christians exert more effort in holding on to this fallen world, rather than to hold on to the promises of God.

    The question: Is following Jesus as the Saviour, another form of religion?

    The Bible says that life and death is before mankind, and that God wishes that all choose life. So obeying the Creator God is intrinsic to life. Yet atheism preaches death, devaluation of life, suffering and extinction. Which road is the most sensible one to take?

    Sure, it does cost something from our part to follow Jesus, and that is our pride. For most people that is too much of a price, so mankind goes about creating their own religions (even pseudo Christian ones) to satisfy their own ego centric sense of existence and worth.

  13. Everyone does have a relgion. Religion is, in simply terms, what one believes about God (or whatever you believe in instead of God). Relgion answers our questions, such as where did we come from, what’t our purpose, WHY anything? If one believes there is no such thing as God nor any higher power, that person is an atheist – which is one take on religion. It becomes in and of itself a religion, though they hate it when you say that. If a person isn’t sure, then the term for that is agnostic. There might be something, they’re just not sure what. No person is without religion; you believe something, even if it can’t be put into words. You don’t have to attend church or prayer before meals to be religious. Even a person that swears they hate God believes in him; how else could they hate him?

  14. When adam and eve lived there were also no people. no one to mess things up. Can you imagine not having this blogg to write on. Not having any goal other than to eat fruit all day. I cant. You would not have this site and I would not be responding to it.
    Perfection is that state when you just cant improve it. It sounds like hell to me. Lukewarm. not hot or cold. just plain old mush. And lots of it to last for the entire eternity.
    I dont have the above problem becaue i’m a student. I love to get up and learn. Its always fresh.

  15. ‘When adam and eve lived there were also no people.’

    Not yet anyway, God did command all of His creatures to multiply.

    ‘no one to mess things up.’

    It only took two to mess things up.

    ‘Can you imagine not having this blogg to write on.’

    Yea, imagine talking to one another face to face instead, and in peace.

    ‘Not having any goal other than to eat fruit all day.’

    Perfect existence was too short for any of us to know.

    ‘… eat fruit all day’

    Imagine staying thin for eternity.

    ‘Perfection is that state when you just cant improve it.’

    Agreed, no fear, no pain, no suffering, no tears, no hunger, companionship, and no death…. what a crappy life that would be.

    ‘It sounds like hell to me.’

    God has created that place also, if you like.

    ‘I love to get up and learn.’:

    … the next devastating bomb/weapon, economic corruption, virus, vain invention, etc…

    ‘Its always fresh.’

    There’s nothing new under the Sun.

  16. I have been thinking about this line of text.
    ::Perfect existence was too short for any of us to know.::
    How many years did this short existance last. 1 day or 1 thousand years.?
    I will be looking for some bible passages that talk about time. I can imagine that Adam might have gotten very bored with just being like a cow in an endless field of green grass. Nothing to do all day but eat and sleep and chew cudd. It could be that adam did us all a favour by sinning. Now we have purpose in life, something to strive for. Eernity is a very long time.

  17. ‘How many years did this short existance last. 1 day or 1 thousand years.?’

    Inconsequential.

    ‘Adam might have gotten very bored…’

    The hypothesis you propose is that there would have been boredom, and by implication, that it should have been unbearable. Being content is a very hard concept to grasp.

    ‘Now we have purpose in life, something to strive for.’

    Toward perfection or extinction?

  18. “Hang on, the verses I quoted don’t say, “Pray and your prayers will be answered” it says you will receive what you ask for”

    This was never really answered: what say you?

  19. Poppies,

    The verses you quoted where? You didn’t quote any verses in the comment thread of Aladdin’s Lamp Christianity. If you’re referring to another blog or discussion, give me the URL so I can look it up again. I honestly don’t know what you’re talking about.

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