Points of Contention with the Nature of God
From Smiting Shepherds
- 1 What is God's name?
- 2 Are there many gods?
- 3 Does God have a corporeal body?
- 4 What is God’s gender?
- 5 Did God make men to be sinful?
- 6 Does God change his mind?
- 7 Is God omnipotent?
- 8 Is God omniscient?
- 9 Is God omnipresent?
- 10 Is God always nearby? Is it easy to find God?
- 11 Will those who seek early find God?
- 12 Is God the only holy one?
- 13 Are God's wonders innumerable?
- 14 Can only God do wondrous things?
- 15 Did God create evil?
- 16 Is falling into the hand of God a fearful thing?
- 17 Is God merciful?
- 18 Is God a warrior?
- 19 Does God get furious or angry?
- 20 Does God hold grudges?
- 21 Does God create discord and confusion?
- 22 Is God's work perfect?
- 23 Does God enjoy his own works?
- 24 Does God lie?
- 25 Who causes people to become deaf or blind?
- 26 Where does God dwell?
- 27 Did God dwell in Solomon's temple?
- 28 Did God love the city of Zion?
- 29 Does God love everyone?
- 30 Does God want people to die?
- 31 Does God want for people to go to Hell?
- 32 Does God know what is in everyone's heart?
- 33 How does God judge people?
- 34 Is God just?
- 35 Is God is impartial towards men?
- 36 Does God help those who need it?
- 37 Does God withhold his blessings?
- 38 Can God be seen?
- 39 Can God be heard?
- 40 Does God get tired?
- 41 Can God be tempted?
- 42 Does God tempt men?
- 43 Will God destroy the wicked, and spare the righteous?
- 44 Will God spare the righteous?
- 45 Can God forgive all sins?
- 46 Does God remember forgiven sins?
- 47 Is God the only savior?
- 48 Is Jesus also God?
- 49 Is Jesus the only intermediary between God and man?
- 50 Is following God required to follow Jesus?
- 51 Who is the gateway to heaven?
- 52 Does God protect the innocent?
- 53 What is God’s relationship with serpents?
- 54 Does God accept burnt offerings to him?
- 55 Does God accept human sacrifices?
- 56 What is God’s opinion on interracial and mixed-ethnic marriages?
- 57 Will God punish you for having sex with your half-sister?
- 58 Does God bless America?
- 59 Will God curse the earth?
- 60 Will God defend Jerusalem?
- 61 Can God disrupt natural cycles?
- 62 Will God protect believers from being led astray?
- 63 Are the scriptures divinely inspired?
- 64 What is the Spirit of God like?
- 65 Does God judge people?
What is God's name?
- El Shaddai (“God Almighty”) (EXO 6:2-3).
- I AM (EXO 3:14-15).
- Jealous, for he is a jealous God (EXO 34:14).
- THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS (JER 23:6).
- Ishi, which means “husband” (HOS 2:16).
- The LORD of hosts (1SAM 4:4).
Are there many gods?
- No. The Bible is adamant that the God of the Abraham is one Lord (DEU 6:4), and that there are no other Gods (DEU 32:39; JOH 17:3; 1COR 8:4, 6)
- Yes. The Bible demonstrates that other gods also exist:
- The Bible explicitly states that there are many gods (GEN 18:1-3; EXO 22:28, 23:13; 1COR 8:5), who are members of an “assembly” (PSA 89:6-8) or “council” (JER 23:18, 21-22).
- The Lord is referred to as “the most high God” (GEN 14:22), and “a great King above all gods” (PSA 95:3) who is to be worshiped by other gods (PSA 97:7). These statuses imply the existence of contemporaries, as does his power to judge over other gods (PSA 82:1, 6).
- While creating man, God speaks in the plural, as though he were talking to a colleague (GEN 1:26).
- God has a tendency to do this (GEN 3:22, 11:7; ISA 6:8).
- Maybe? The Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost are separate entities who are equally and in parallel, God (1JOH 5:7).
Does God have a corporeal body?
- Yes. God's physical body is mentioned several times:
- God must have a body, because he can stand (EXO 34:5) and walk (GEN 3:8; DEU 23:14).
- God is explicitly stated to have arms (JER 27:5), hands and feet (PSA 18:9; LUK 24:39), fingers (EXO 31:18), “loins” (EZE 1:27), horns coming out of his hands (HAB 3:3-4), and wings (PSA 91:4).
- God is explicitly stated to have a face (EXO 33:11, 20, 22-23), with eyes (DEU 11:12 PSA 34:15), ears (PSA 34:15), a mouth (ISA 1:20), and nostrils (EXO 15:8).
- No. “God is a spirit” (JOH 4:24).
What is God’s gender?
- Male. God created Adam in his own image, and Adam is male (GEN 2:7; 9:6). Women were created from one of Adam’s ribs at a later time (GEN 2:22).
- Hermaphrodite. The unusual wording and use of plural pronouns during the creation of man implies that Adam was originally a hermaphrodite: “Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam” (GEN 5:2). Since Adam was created in God’s image, this implies that God is a hermaphrodite who self-identifies as male (GEN 1:27).
Did God make men to be sinful?
- No. God created man to be intrinsically upright (ECC 7:29).
- Yes. Man is “shaped in iniquity; and in sin” (PSA 51:5).
Does God change his mind?
- Yes. God frequently changes his mind:
- God told Adam that he could eat anything, and explicitly mentioned that he could eat the fruit from every tree (GEN1:29), and saw no problem with these instructions (GEN 1:31). God immediately reversed this decision, since it granted Adam and Eve explicit permission to eat from the Tree of Knowledge (GEN 2:17). This confusing situation ends with God unleashing the concept of death (GEN 5:3-5).
- God explicitly regrets creating mankind, prompting him to annihilate the human race (GEN 6:6-7), an act which he quickly and explicitly regretted (GEN 8:21).
- God promised to aid the Israelites by driving out the Promised Land’s many indigenous peoples (EXO 33:1-3). When God proved unable to lead his chosen people to the Promised Land, he tried to kill them instead (NUM 14:12), but stopped when Moses talked him out of it (NUM 14:19-20).
- God was prepared to destroy Jerusalem as punishment for David conducting an illegal census, but decided to spare the city at the last second (2SAM 24:14-16).
- God promised the dying Hezekiah that he could live for another 15 years (2KIN 20:1-6), but God quickly changed his mind, allowing him to die (2KIN 20:21).
- God occasionally resented the problems he caused mankind (EXO 32:14). Specifically, God explicitly regrets the good things he’s done for people who’ve become corrupted. Likewise, God regrets the previous harm done to reformed villains (JER 18:7-8, 42:10; JON 3:10).
- God explicitly regretted creating grasshoppers (AMO 7:3).
- Unconfirmed. A "man of God" told Eli that God would “consume his eyes” as partial punishment for his son’s actions (1SAM 2:27-33). While God did a lot of strange and/or morally-questionable acts in the Old Testament, he never ate anyone’s eyes. However, that “man of God” might just have been a random crazy person.
- No. God does not change his mind.
- God explicitly stated that he does not repent, and that he follows-through on anything he says, no matter what (EZE 24:14).
- The Bible states that God cannot change his mind, because he is not human (NUM 23:19).
Is God omnipotent?
- Yes. Nothing is too hard for God (JER 32:27); everything is possible (MAT 19:26), and nothing is impossible (LUK 1:37).
- Yes, but only if there is no Trinity. God cannot be omnipotent if Trinitarianism is true, since Christ was not all-powerful, despite being imbued with all of God’s powers and abilities.
- No. The Bible explicitly states that God has limitations:
- God required 6 days to create the earth (GEN 1:1-31). An all-powerful God could have done this in an instant.
- God rested after creating the Earth (GEN 2:2). An all-powerful being would not require rest, or need to feel refreshed.
- God was unable to overcome the people in the valley, who possessed iron chariots (JUDG 1:19).
- No, on a conceptual level. The fact that God even needs to invoke power is evidence that he faces challenges, problems, hurdles, and needs. Power, in any of its forms, is something that is used to influence one’s environment to solve problems. An all-powerful God would have the power to preclude such events, and thus have no need to exercise power.
Is God omniscient?
- Yes (1JOH 3:20). “The eyes of the LORD are in every place” (PRO 15:3), so no creature can escape his sight (HEB 4:13), and it is impossible to hide from him (JER 23:24). God is aware of every action (JOB 34:21; JER 16:17) which has ever occurred, since the beginning of creation (ACT 15:18).
- No. There are several instances of God explicitly not knowing something, which prompted him to ask questions:
- God was unable to find Adam and Eve when they hid after eating from the Tree of Knowledge (GEN 3:9) .
- God didn’t know Abel’s whereabouts, prompting him to ask Cain (GEN 4:9).
- God traveled to Sodom and Gomorrah to see if was as sinful as he had heard (GEN 18:20-21).
- God did not know where the Israelites lived, so they had to mark their doors with blood to prevent accidental child murders (EXO 12:13).
- God needed Balaam to identify himself (NUM 22:9).
- God had to test Hezekiah, to see what was in his heart (2CHR 32:31).
- God lamented the fact that the Israelites established princes without his knowledge (HOS 8:4).
Is God omnipresent?
- Yes. God can see everyone, in every place (PRO 15:3), and their actions (JER 16:17) and all things are naked and open to him (HEB 4:13). God is inescapable (PSA 139:7; JER 23:24-25).
- No. An omnipresent God would have no need to travel, since he would already be at his destination. However:
- God had to travel see the Tower of Babel (GEN 11:5), and he traveled to Sodom and Gomorrah to see if it was as wicked as he had heard (GEN 18:21).
- The Lord “passes by” (1KIN 19:11), which implies travel. This created a strong wind, earthquakes, and fire, all of which the Lord was explicitly said not to be in (1KIN 19:12).
Is God always nearby? Is it easy to find God?
- Yes. God is always near people who legitimately need him (PSA 46:1; 145:18), and everyone who honestly tries to search for God will eventually find him (1CHR 28:9), because God will come to all who ask for him (PSA 145:18) and go to him (JAM 4:8).
- No. In times of trouble, God hides far away (PSA 10:1), and cannot be disturbed (LAM 3:44; EZE 20:3).
Will those who seek early find God?
- Yes, they shall (PRO 8:17).
- No, they shall not (PRO 1:28).
Is God the only holy one?
- Yes. The Bible explicitly states that only God is holy (REV 15:4).
- No. There are other holy entities:
- The entire congregation in Israel is holy, because their god is holy (LEV 11:44-45; 19:2). Holiness is granted to anyone who sanctifies themselves in this manner (LEV 20:7).
- David claimed to be holy (PSA 86:2).
Are God's wonders innumerable?
- Yes. God’s wonders are “without number” (JOB 9:10), because they are infinite (PSA 40:5).
- No. It is mathematically possible for one person to compile a list all of God’s achievements (PSA 26:7; 73:28).
Can only God do wondrous things?
- Yes. Only God can perform great wonders (PSA 136:4).
- No. Satan is capable of wondrous things as well (2THE 2:9).
- Yes. God explicitly stated that he created (ISA 45:7; AMO 3:6) and framed (JER 18:11) evil. God proved this by sending evil spirits (JUDG 9:23), including Satan (GEN 3:1). This is further evidenced by how God willingly and knowingly performed evil acts:
- The blind man whom Jesus healed was intentionally blinded by God -- not as a punishment for his sins, or for the sins of his parents -- but just so Jesus could demonstrate his healing powers (JOH 9:1-3).
- God intentionally created laws that were impossible to follow, just so he could rationalize harming people (EZE 20:25).
- The Bible explicitly states that God is evil for he treated Job (JOB 42:11).
- No. “The LORD is good to all” (PSA 145:9) and he “doth not afflict willingly” (LAM 3:33) because his “eyes are too pure to approve evil” (HAB 1:13). Paul was explicit that God “is not the author of confusion” (1COR 14:33).
Is falling into the hand of God a fearful thing?
- Yes, it’s a fearful thing (HEB 10:31).
- No, “for his mercies are great” (2SAM 24:14).
Is God merciful?
- Yes. God is merciful (EXO 34:6, JAM 5:11) to all (PSA 145:9), and this will continue forever (1CHR 16:34) due to his unfailing compassion (LAM 3:22). God is love (1JOH 4:16).
- No. God is preoccupied with vengeance (ROM 12:19). He advocates murder without pity (DEU 7:16), and lives up to this standard (1SAM 6:19). God orders multiple genocides (1SAM 15:2-8; JER 13:14) since he “is a consuming fire” (HEB 12:29).
Is God a warrior?
- Yes. “The LORD is a man of war” (EXO 15:3; ISA 42:13), who is “mighty in battle” (PSA 24:8).
- No. He is “the God of peace,” (ROM 15:33) and because he is “not the author of confusion, but of peace” (1COR 14:33).
Does God get furious or angry?
- Yes. God repeatedly mentioned unleashing his fury against various people (JER 42:18; EZE 6:12), and frequently lashed out in anger (NUM 25:3-4; DEU 6:15, 9:7-8, 28:20, 32:21; PSA 7:11, 78:49; ISA 26:21; JER 4:8, 17:4, 32:30-31; NAH 1:2; ZEP 2:2).
- No. There is no fury within God (ISA 27:4), and he is “ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness” (NEH 9:17).
Does God hold grudges?
- Yes. God was furious with the Israelites the entire time they wandered the desert, which why it took them so long (NUM 32:13). God can hold eternal grudges (JER 17:4).
- No. God’s anger is momentary (PSA 30:4-5) and won’t last forever (JER 3:12; PSA 103:9; MIC 7:18).
Does God create discord and confusion?
- Yes. God explicitly created the concept of foreign languages for the sole purpose of causing discord and confusion between men (GEN 11:6-9).
- No. God “is not the author of confusion” (1COR 14:33); in fact, he explicitly hates those who sow discord (PRO 6:16-19).
Is God's work perfect?
- Yes. The Bible explicitly states that all of God’s work is perfect, because God always true, just, and right (DEU 32:4).
- No. God created many imperfect works:
- God’s creations, Adam and Eve, were clearly imperfect because they were incapable of following simple commands (GEN 2:16-17, 3:6) and teaching their children not murderer (GEN 4:8).
- God was so displeased by his flawed creations that he destroyed the vast majority of living things (GEN 6:5-6).
- The Bible mentions that Jesus was "made perfect" by his suffering (HEB 5:8-9), which implies that he was previously imperfect.
Does God enjoy his own works?
- Yes. Observing his works bolsters God’s self-esteem (GEN 1:31).
- No. God regrets creating the world (GEN 6:6).
Does God lie?
- No, it is impossible. The Bible explicitly states that God neither lies nor repents (1SAM 15:29). Every one of God’s words is pure (PSA 12:6, 119:140; PRO 30:5), because God is incapable of lying (HEB 6:18; TIT 1:2) since he is not a man (NUM 23:19).
- No, lest he be a hypocrite. God directly commanded mankind not to lie (EXO 20:16). God thinks liars are a cursed (MAL 1:14) abomination (PRO 12:22). As such, the Bible definitively forbids lying (EPH 4:25; COL 3:9) and states that God will explicitly punish lairs with “a second death” in a burning lake of fire and brimstone (REV 21:8).
- Yes. God tell lies:
- God freely admitted to deceiving prophets (2CHR 18:20-22; EZE 14:9; 1KIN 22:20-22) and deluding people into believing lies (2THE 2:11).
- God straight-up lied to Jeremiah (JER 20:7).
- God endorses lying.
- God rewarded the Hebrew midwives for lying to the Pharaoh (EXO 1:18-20).
- God spared Rahab for lying to protect Joshua’s spies (JOS 2:4-5). This act is commonly cited as evidence that people are saved by their works (JAM 2:25).
Who causes people to become deaf or blind?
- The Lord (EXO 4:11).
- Foul spirits (MAR 9:25).
Where does God dwell?
- In Zion (PSA 76:1-2; JOE 3:17, 21).
- In Heaven (ECC 5:2).
- In an unapproachable light that no one has, or can, see (1TIM 6:16).
- In clouds of thick darkness (1KIN 8:12; PSA 97:1-2).
- In eternity (ISA 57:15).
- “Among the children of Israel” (EXO 29:45).
- With anyone who loves Jesus and follows his teachings (JOH 14:23).
- With those “of a contrite and humble spirit” (ISA 57:15).
Did God dwell in Solomon's temple?
- Yes. Solomon’s temple was God’s chosen house (1KIN 9:3-5; 2CHR 7:12, 16).
- No. God specifically stated that he didn’t want a house (1CHR 17:4; ACT 7:48, 17:24).
Did God love the city of Zion?
- Yes. God explicitly stated he loved (PSA 87:2-3) and desired (PSA 132:13-14) the city of Zion.
- No. Zion provoked God’s anger and fury. (JER 32:31).
Does God love everyone?
- Yes. “God is love” (1JOH 4:8), and therefore, he must love us (1JOH 4:16). He loves us so much, he murdered his son to give us the option of redemption (JOH 3:16).
- No. God has performed many hateful acts:
- Excluding those aboard the Ark, God intentionally killed all living things (GEN 7:21-23)
- God explicitly stated that he hates non-Israelites (LEV 20:23); specifically the people of Gilgal (HOS 9:15) and Esau (MAL 1:3). In a vulgar display of power, God killed the firstborn in every Egyptian family to intimidate the Pharaoh (EXO 12:29).
- The Bible explicitly states that God hates all sinners (PSA 5:5), especially the wicked and violent (PSA 11:5) and those who do not praise him (ACT 12:23).
Does God want people to die?
- Yes. God explicitly ordered certain crimes to be capital offenses (DEU 17:2), and God will laugh and mock as these sinners receive their comeuppance (PRO 1:26).
- No. God takes no pleasure in watching people die (EZE 18:32).
Does God want for people to go to Hell?
- Yes. God is hell-bent on damning people:
- God intentionally created evil people just to have someone to damn on Judgement Day (PRO 16:4).
- God intentionally deludes people into believing lies, just so they can become damned (2THE 2:11-12).
- No. God wants for all people to be saved, and to know the truth (1TIM 2:3-4). God wants man to repent, not perish (2PET 3:9).
- The ends justify the means. God just wants people to understand his message, and deliverance is a way of motivating people (MAR 4:11-12).
Does God know what is in everyone's heart?
- Yes, the Lord “knowest the hearts of all men” (ACT 1:24).
- No. God must test people to find out (DEU 13:3):
- This is why God ordered Abraham to murder his son, Isaac (GEN 22:12).
- This is why God caused the Israelites to wander in the desert for 40 years (DEU 8:2).
How does God judge people?
- While standing (ISA 3:13).
- While sitting (JOE 3:12).
Is God just?
- Yes. God’s intrinsic justice is what gives him the right to judge (GEN 18:25). God is a perfect and impartial judge (DEU 32:4), and there are no traces of injustice in him (PSA 92:15)
- No. God repeatedly performed or endorsed unjust actions and behaviors:
- God will kill you for breaking a single one of his laws, regardless of any previous good deeds. The Bible's authors explicitly called out God’s injustice in this matter (EZE 18:25).
- God will punish several generations of innocent children for the crimes of their fathers (EXO 20:5).
- God actively engages in gender discrimination, as shown by his separate and unequal rules on selling slaves (EXO 21:7).
- God frequently subjects his followers to draconian punishments for minor foibles, like when he burned the Israelite’s camp, simply because they complained about their hardship (NUM 11:1).
- God created some people with the explicit intention of damning them (ROM 9:11-13).
- Jesus taught that God robs the poor to indulge the rich (MAT 13:12), like Bizarro Robin Hood.
Is God is impartial towards men?
- No, because God clearly plays favorites:
- Though God stated that he respects the Israelites (LEV 26:9), it was said in a way which implies that he disrespects others.
- God has predetermined who will be saved or damned (ROM 8:29-30).
- God respected Abel, but not Cain, based on their offerings (GEN 4:4-5).
- God favored Mary over all other women (LUK 1:30).
- God admitted to loving Jacob and hating Esau (ROM 9:13).
- God's favoritism led Jesus to command that his disciples were to avoid the Gentiles, and in particular, to discriminate against Samaritans (MAT 10:5-6). Jesus refused to help a Canaanite because of her ethnicity. Jesus eventually helped her, but only to stop her groveling (MAT 15:22-26).
- Yes. God is “good to all” (PSA 145:9). God does not play favorites (DEU 10:17) because that implies that he respects people, which he explicitly does not do (2CHR 19:7; ROM 2:11).
Does God help those who need it?
- Yes. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (PSA 46:1).
- No. If this were true, then the Song of Anguish (PSA 22:1-2) would not exist.
Does God withhold his blessings?
- Yes. God ignores the fervent prayers of those who harm others (ISA 1:15), do other evil things (MIC 3:4), or have ulterior motives (JAM 4:3).
- No. God gives everything which is asked from him, and finds anything that is sought (LUK 11:10), with an emphasis on wisdom (JAM 1:5).
Can God be seen?
- Yes. Jacob (GEN 32:30) and Moses (EXO 33:11, NUM 12:7-8, 14:14) saw God “face to face.” Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy elders of Israel saw God as they ate and drank (EXO 24:9-11). God explicitly appeared before Abram, (GEN 17:1), Manoah and his wife (JUDG 13:22), Job (JOB 42:5), and Isaiah (ISA 6:1); it is implied that God appeared before Daniel (DAN 7:9).
- No. “No man hath seen God at any time” (JOH 1:18, 5:37; 1JOH 4:12), nor can man ever see God (1TIM 6:15-16). God explicitly stated that he must hide his face (EXO 33:23) to prevent it from killing people (EXO 33:20); this is why God prefers to assume alternate forms, like fire (DEU 4:15).
Can God be heard?
- Yes. God spoke directly to both Adam (GEN 3:9-10) and Moses (EXO 33:11-12).
- No. No one has heard God’s voice at any time (JOH 5:37).
Does God get tired?
- Yes. God rested on the seventh day because he wanted to feel refreshed (EXO 31:17). God once told Jeremiah that he was weary (JER 15:6).
- No. God never faints or feels weary (ISA 40:28).
Can God be tempted?
- Yes. The Bible explicitly states that God can be tempted (MAL 3:15), leading Jesus to forbid this practice (MAT 4:7).
- Satan tempted God into destroying Job’s life for absolutely no reason (JOB 2:3).
- He used too. The Israelites succeeded in tempting God into creating water for them at Massah (EXO 17:2, 7), but they were soon prohibited from tempting God again (DEU 6:16). Now, any further attempt at temptation will anger God (ACT 15:10).
- No. God cannot be tempted with evil, nor can God tempt men (JAM 1:13).
Does God tempt men?
- Yes. God explicitly tempts Abraham (GEN 22:1) and David (2SAM 24:1).
- Most likely. When Jesus taught his disciples to pray, he made sure that they ask God not to tempt them (MAT 6:13).
- No. God cannot tempt nor be tempted (JAM 1:13)
Will God destroy the wicked, and spare the righteous?
- Yes. God gives the righteous gladness and strength, and the wicked will perish and be destroyed (PRO 10:27-29).
- No. Despite being “a perfect and an upright man” God decided “to destroy him [Job] without cause” (JOB 2:3).
Will God spare the righteous?
- Yes. God explicitly stated that those who follow his laws will “surely live” (EZE 18:8-9, 19), and extended this offer to reformed villains (EZE 33:19).
- No. God destroys the righteous and the wicked alike (JOB 9:22), since it makes no difference to him (EZE 21:3).
Can God forgive all sins?
- Yes. God is willing to forgive all sins (COL 2:13), and this is Christianity’s major selling point (ACT 13:38-39; 1JOH 1:9).
- No. Since forgiveness is granted via the power of the Holy Spirit, those who blaspheme against the Holy Spirit can never be forgiven (MAT 12:31) and are eternally damned (MAR 3:29).
Does God remember forgiven sins?
- Yes. Forgiveness does not render the sinner innocent; they still must pay for their transgressions. In severe cases, children can be punished for their father’s sins; this can continue for several generations (EXO 34:6-7). Men are judged for their sins after their deaths (HEB 9:27).
- No. God explicitly stated that he forgets forgiven sins (JER 31:34; HEB 8:12).
Is God the only savior?
- Yes. God explicitly stated there are no saviors besides him (ISA 43:11; HOS 13:4).
- No. Jesus is also a savior (LUK 2:11; ACT 13:23).
Is Jesus also God?
- Yes. Jesus explicitly claimed to have existed before Abraham (JOH 8:58), and that Jesus and his Father are one (JOH 10:30; 14:9-11), which is corroborated elsewhere (HEB 1:8). Jesus was “in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God” (PHILI 2:5-6) because “for in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (COL 2:9).
- Yes? Assuming that “the Word” is a metaphor for Jesus, then Jesus is God (JOH 1:1).
- No, Jesus is neither God, nor a god:
- Jesus claimed to be the son of God, which is not God, but equally powerful as God (JOH 5:18).
- Jesus can't be God, because God is the only god (ISA 45:5).
- There were no other Gods formed before the LORD, and there will be none after (ISA 43:10).
- Jesus never demonstrated any godlike prowess, and he performed no mighty works, excluding healing a few sick or afflicted individuals via the laying of hands (MAR 6:1, 5).
- No, because Jesus is subject to God (1COR 15:25, 28). The Bible indicates that Jesus is a separate entity who is subordinate to God, because he:
- Ascended to God, his father (JOH 20:17).
- Sits at the right hand of God (MAR 16:19; COL 3:1; 1PET 3:21-22).
- Serves as the only mediator between God and man (1TIM 2:5).
- Has no control over heavenly seating arrangements (MAT 20:23).
- Does not know when Judgment Day will occur (MAT 24:36).
- Believes God forsook him on the cross (MAT 27:46).
- Learns and grows, which implies that he was neither all-knowing nor all-powerful (LUK 2:52).
- Was an ordinary mortal without superpowers (JOH 8:40; ACT 13:23; ROM 1:3; 2TIM 2:8); his miracles were attributable to God’s works (JOH 5:19; 8:28; ACT 2:22)
- Refused to be called good, because only God is good (MAR 10:18), and because his Father was greater than him (JOH 14:28).
- Will be used as the standard which men are judged by (JOH 17:30-31).
- No, because Jesus is the son of Satan (REV 22:16).
Is Jesus the only intermediary between God and man?
- Yes. “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1TIM 2:5).
- No. The Holy Spirit can intercede on their behalf (ROM 8:26).
Is following God required to follow Jesus?
- No. Jesus will accept anyone (MAT 11:28; JOH 7:37), and will save anyone who calls for him by name (ROM 10:13).
- Yes. Only those who follow God can follow Jesus (JOH 6:44, 65), and vice versa (JOH 6:37).
Who is the gateway to heaven?
- Only God can allow people into Heaven, since he leads men to follow Jesus (JOH 6:65).
- Following Jesus is the only way to reach God (JOH 14:6).
Does God protect the innocent?
- Yes. God protects and/or avenges the innocent and righteous (EXO 23:7).
- No. God permitted the killing of all Midian males and non-virgins (NUM 31:17). During the siege of Jericho, God enabled the Israelites to kill every person inside, regardless of age or gender, as well as all of their livestock (JOS 6:21). The Amalek clan later suffered the same fate (1SAM 15:3).
What is God’s relationship with serpents?
- They are cursed by God. God explicitly cursed all serpents for their role in coaxing Adam and Eve to eat from the Tree of Knowledge. This is why snakes slither, and why people and snakes are natural enemies (GEN 3:14-15).
- They are a praiseworthy symbol of God. God commanded Moses to create, and bless his people with, a fiery brass serpent on a pole (NUM 21:8-9). Jesus' crucifixion was considered analogous to Moses’ exalted serpent (JOH 3:14).
Does God accept burnt offerings to him?
- Yes. God explicitly demands ritual blood sacrifice (GEN 15:9-10; EXO 20:24; 29:1, 11-37; LEV 1:5; DEU 12:27). God respects (GEN 4:4) and enjoys these offerings (GEN 8:20-21; LEV 23:12-18; NUM 18:17-19).
- No. God denies or asking for (JER 7:22) or even wanting (PSA 40:6, 50:13, 51:16; JER 6:20) burnt offerings, because he doesn’t care for blood (ISA 1:11). God considers animal sacrifice to be a merciless (MAT 9:13, 12:7) form of murder (ISA 66:3). As such, no offering is acceptable to him (MIC 6:6-7).
Does God accept human sacrifices?
- Yes, occasionally:
- Jephthah sacrificed his virgin daughter to the LORD in exchange for his assistance in defeating the Ammonites (JUDG 11:30-39).
- God permitted Achan and his family to be stoned and burned to death (JOS 7:24).
- David sacrificed his sons and grandsons to end the famine (2SAM 21:8-14).
- Not really. While God commanded Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, it was just a test of Abraham's suggestibility (GEN 22:1-2).
- No, human sacrifice is a wicked practice which angers God (2KIN 21:6), prompting him to forbid the practice (LEV 18:21; DEU 12:29-31; 2KIN 16:3) as a capital offense (LEV 20:2; 2CHR 28:3; JER 19:5, 32:35).
- WTF? God intentionally gave humans laws they could not follow, in the hope that they would turn away from him, sacrifice their children to Moloch, and thus be damned (EZE 20:25-26).
What is God’s opinion on interracial and mixed-ethnic marriages?
- Intermarriage is expressly forbidden, as your children will turn away and worship other gods. This provokes God’s anger, leading to your destruction. (DEU 7:3-4).
- Intermarriage is a normal and accepted practice:
- Joseph had children with an Egyptian priest’s daughter (GEN 46:20).
- Moses married an Ethiopian woman (NUM 12:1).
- "King Solomon loved many strange women” from a laundry list of ethnic groups (1KIN 11:1-2).
Will God punish you for having sex with your half-sister?
- Yes. Having sex with a half-sibling is absolutely condemned, resulting in an automatic curse from God (DEU 27:22). Even seeing each other naked was considered grounds for banishment (LEV 20:17).
- No. Sarai was Abraham’s half-sister (GEN 20:11-12) and she was blessed by God in order to conceive incestuous children (GEN 17:15-16).
Does God bless America?
- No. God explicitly stated that monarchy is his chosen form of governance (DEU 17:14-15; ECC 8:2).
Will God curse the earth?
- No. Following the flood, God promised to never curse the earth again (GEN 8:21).
- Yes. God made continued threats to curse the earth (MAL 4:6).
Will God defend Jerusalem?
- Yes, it was prophesized that God will come to the defense of Jerusalem (ZEC 12:8).
- No, it was prophesized that Jerusalem will fall (ZEC 14:2).
Can God disrupt natural cycles?
- Yes. Joshua miraculously stopped the earth’s rotation, causing the sun to remain overhead for a full day (JOS 10:12-13).
- No. Cycles of nature (e.g., the seasons, agriculture, and the days) can never end (GEN 10:22).
Will God protect believers from being led astray?
- Yes. God is known and heard by all of his followers, and no one will ever be able to take them away him (JOH 10:27-29).
- No. The Holy Spirit itself explicitly stated that nothing can stop people from losing their faith (1TIM 4:1).
Are the scriptures divinely inspired?
- Yes. The scriptures explicitly state that all scriptures are divinely inspired (2TIM 3:16).
- No. The scriptures are not divine:
- Paul explicitly stated several times that he was expressing his own personal views, and that he did not speak with divine authority (1COR 7:6, 25; 2COR 11:17).
- Paul taught that scriptures are literature, which is not meant to be viewed in a literal or historical context. Paul explicitly stated that the story of Abraham is an allegory (GAL 4:22-26).
- Even St. Augustine admitted that Noah’s Ark is just a metaphor for Christ and his church (City of God, XV, 26).
- Possibly not. Paul asked Timothy to return some of his books, especially “the parchments,” which may have been rough drafts of the Bible (2TIM 4:13).
What is the Spirit of God like?
- It is a spirit of love, joy, and peace (GAL 5:22).
- It is an “evil spirit” (JUDG 9:23; 1SAM 16:14-16, 23, 18:10-11, 19:9) of vengeance (GEN 4:15; ISA 34:8) and fury (DEU 32:19-27; JUDG 15:14-15, 14:19).
Does God judge people?
- Yes. God can (1PET 1:17) and does (EZE 18:30) judge man.
- No. All judgments have been delegated to Jesus (JOH 5:22).
- V. J. Stenger, God: The Failed Hypothesis (Prometheus Books, 2008).
- D. Barker, Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists (Ulysses Press, 2008).
- L. Kaminski and M. Bagley, Fantastic Four, vol. 1, #351 (Marvel Comics, 1991).