The second attack is that the Bible and Reality seem to contradict each other according to the Atheist.
Let’s look at his points, shall we?
Romans 13—Are Governments Just?
In Romans 13 Paul makes the following statement:
For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. – Romans 13:3-4
Paul would have to be one confused fellow to write this at the same time that Nero was killing Christians, Christians were being fed to lions and used as human torches. How could Paul say that rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil and say that “he is a minister of God to thee for good?”
First off, you’ll have to take into account everything said about a Christian’s relationship with the law, and the position a ruler has. All authority and power is given by God. He has his purposes, and sometimes good can be brought about through trouble. It’s a question of scope.
The scope of government is a different scope than that of the individual. A government is supposed to provide a framework for justice. There are cases that the government has chosen not to do good, but we still need to respect it.
Furthermore, Galatians instructs the believer to be someone that holds forth the fruit of the spirit1 because there are no laws against them.
The Atheist brings up the idea that there are innocents that have been convicted of crimes—and genocides—but he again commits two of the fallacies we mentioned yesterday:
- No one is innocent. We all have sinned that is worthy of death. We all deserve instantaneous death, and we exist because of the grace and mercy of God.
- God can choose to punish whomever or whatever group He chooses. It’s His right as Creator and as the one upon whom the offense has been committed.
Matthew 17:20 – If you had faith, you could move mountains
This one is just absurd. First off, in order to prove that this were wrong or not reflected in nature, you’d have to prove a quantity of faith. Then, following that, you’d have to prove that the person of faith made the command. Only then could you say that the mountains didn’t move and Jesus was wrong.
Matthew 24:34 – This Generation Shall Not Pass Before I Return
Obviously, there were those that were there in His presence that expected a return within their lifetime. So, either they misunderstood what Jesus meant by “generation” or Jesus was a liar.
In fact, if you look at the entire passage, you see that many of the things listed in it have not yet come to pass, so it begs the question—what did He mean by generation?
Whether or not this is right depends on a worldview. It is not conclusive that Jesus was wrong, as evidenced by the fact that we are still in the “Church Age.”
Regardless, this is hardly evidence from the natural world—not observable or testable.
- Love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, meekness, faith, self control, etc.