If you have reached this page without going through the proof, please click "The Proof" on the menu at the left of this page. For those who have gone through the proof to get here, it may have been a huge step to finally admit that God exists. While it may be a relief to finally make such an admission, it is just the first step, not the last. The Bible teaches that even demons believe in God - and tremble. (James 2 vs. 19) Since you affirm your belief in God, you should be better able to understand the answers to the questions below. I hope that God will use these questions and answers to guide you further on your journey.
- What are some of God's characteristics?
God is a personal being (not an impersonal force). God is immaterial, omnipresent (everywhere), omniscient (all knowing), omnipotent (all powerful), omnibenevolent (all good), immutable (unchanging), sovereign (supreme in authority), free, perfect, and eternal (without beginning or end). As the creator and sustainer of the universe it is understandable that there are some characteristics of God that are beyond our ability to comprehend. For instance God is one divine being in three distinct persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each are equally and eternally the one true God.
God reveals His characteristics to us through 'general,' or 'natural' revelation, and through 'special revelation.' God's general revelation includes what He has revealed to us through His creation in nature and in our God given conscience. Special revelation on the other hand is what God has revealed to us through supernatural means including His Son Jesus Christ, His Spirit, and His Word the Bible.
- Could God have used fallible people to write an infallible book?
Of course, He is God after all.
- How can we know that the Bible is true?
No doubt you have heard much evidence for the textual validity of the Bible. From its uniqueness in history claiming to be the inerrant word of a personal God, to the early date of the manuscripts; From the precision of the copyists, to the internal consistency among so many different authors over such a long period of time. But, as you have probably gathered by now, as wonderful as the physical evidence is, this website is not about physical evidence. (Later in the Q&A this will be probed deeper). You see, for someone who approaches the Bible thinking that it cannot be true, the evidence will be as quickly discounted as evidence supporting the truth of a fairy tale. Furthermore, evaluating evidence without God as the necessary foundation for the reasoning with which you do so, puts your reasoning on a higher authority than God. God is Lord of our reasoning, not subservient to it.
Rather than use physical evidence to show that the Bible is most probably true, we again go back to intellectual evidence, and logical proof, to show that the Bible is necessarily true. We can know that the Bible is true because it claims to be true and proves it by the impossibility of the contrary! It is only because the Bible is true that we have justification for universal, immaterial, unchanging laws. It is only by God's revealing Himself to us through His word that we have grounds for rational thought. We use rational thought, therefore we can know that the Bible is true. Attempting to use logic to try to disprove the only possible source for logic would be self-refuting.
- By what authority do Christians claim the Bible as their ultimate authority?
Any claim to ultimate authority must be self-authorizing. If we use any other authority by which to authorize the Bible, THAT authority then becomes our ultimate authority. For instance, if we say that we will accept the Bible as our ultimate authority only if %100 of literary scholars say it is true, then those scholars become our ultimate authority, not the Bible. Christians therefore claim the Bible as our ultimate authority by its own authority as the word of God. I'm sure many people will say: "But that's using circular logic!" (using what is to be proven in the proof). What you must realize though, is that any claim to ultimate authority uses circularity, but not all can be (read only one is) valid.
If you are not a Christian I ask: What is your ultimate authority? Most 'unbelievers' have never given this question much thought but the answer is often: "My own human reason." My question then is: "By what authority do you use human reason as your ultimate authority? "Um...my human reason?" This logic is entirely circular!
To be valid an ultimate authority must first claim ultimate authority and then prove itself internally. Lets contrast the 'unbeliever's' view above with the Christian view.
The first fatal flaw of the 'unbeliever's' view is that it is completely arbitrary, (totally up to the individual), and therefore is not law-like in nature and loses any degree of necessity. If this was the case, no ultimate authority could be 'right' or 'true' and no one could be at fault for pursuing their own ultimate authority.
The second fatal flaw is the inconsistency of such a view. 'Unbelievers' may claim that they are their own ultimate authority but quite often (and thankfully) do not live that way when they submit to a higher authority.
That brings us to the third fatal flaw of the 'unbeliever's' view on ultimate authority, the consequences of such a view. If people actually did what they often really wanted to do, and did not submit to higher authority, there would be anarchy. If, for instance, someone decided by their own reason and authority to do an evil act, there would be no reason to stop, since to them it would by definition be right and true.
Contrast these three points with the Christian belief that the Bible is God's word and therefore our ultimate authority. First of all, the Bible as an ultimate authority is not arbitrary. It is written word that is entirely certain, and law-like in nature. Secondly, while Christians are sometimes inconsistent with their submission to the Bible as their ultimate authority, such actions are entirely consistent with the Biblical description of the depraved nature of the human condition. And thirdly, the consequences of sure laws such as 'loving one's enemy,' 'turning the other cheek,' or 'treating others as you would have them treat you,' if universally adhered to, would not result in anarchy, but peace.
In addition to the above points, the Bible teaches that denying the truth about God and His word leads to 'foolishness' and 'vain reasoning,' I hope that when you examine the beliefs of other worldviews that this becomes ever more clear to you.
The Bible claims to be our ultimate authority, is the only book which makes sense of rationality and human experience, and says that rejecting the truth about God leads to foolishness. By this, the Bible claims to be the word of God (our ultimate authority), and proves it.
- Why must the God proven on this site be the God of Christianity?
The God proven on this site must be the God of Christianity because He is the only God that HAS been proved here and the only one that exists. No other version of God is logically defensible. The God of Christianity is the only God who makes sense out of human experience.
Along with the truth and authority of the Bible, the truth of Christianity can be demonstrated by the reduction to absurdity of those who deny it. If you would like to witness this for yourself, just ask a professed unbeliever where the universe came from - where universal, immaterial, unchanging laws came from. The answers that I have heard require far greater faith to believe than what I possess.
Looking for another God is like looking for an answer other than '4' to the question 'what does 2 + 2 equal?' Sure there are many other answers to that math question but nobody has ever asked me "Well what about 5, or 9, or 3,286,428?" Many people, either to avoid accountability, or for a host of other reasons, try to make up other 'gods,' but when the true answer is known, one need not look any further.
For those who still have questions about other worldviews, please read OTHER WORLDVIEWS. The list is in its' infancy, but with input from visitors to this site, I hope that it will become substantial.
- Aren't there many ways to God?
There are an infinite amount of ways to get to made up 'gods,' there is only one way to get to the one true, living God of Christianity.
Jesus said: "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14 vs. 6)
- Isn't the Christian claim to exclusive truth arrogant and the reason wars start?
The first thing we must consider when discussing this topic is that it is only because Christianity is true that we have a source for absolute morality by which we can condemn the actions of people who start unjust wars, and take innocent lives. Without absolute laws of morality, and a God who makes them possible, what one 'bag of matter' does to another 'bag of matter' is totally irrelevant.
The next point to consider is that anyone who engages in an unjust war in Jesus name, would be doing so contrary to the teachings of the one they claimed to be fighting for. Jesus taught us to 'love our enemies, and to 'love our neighbours as ourselves,' so condemning Christianity because of those who go against Christ's teachings would not make sense. Christians and so-called Christians have done some terrible things, but this should not bear on the belief that they are living contrary to. Imagine for instance that you discovered that the person who taught you algebra turned out to be a child molester - would that make the algebra you learned any less true?
A friend of mine who is not a Christian and happens to be a vegetarian told me that she could not become a Christian because of all the terrible things so-called Christians have done. I asked her if she went to a convention for vegetarians, and saw each and every one of them sneak some meat to eat, would she stop being a vegetarian? Of course she said that she would not give up being a vegetarian as her vegetarianism had nothing to do with how other people behaved. It is illogical to give up a philosophy because of its' abuse.
While truth in itself is not arrogant, those who claim to know it can certainly come off as arrogant. Truth by its very nature is exclusive. If something is true, then all other contrary claims must be false. There may even be people who claim that truth is not exclusive, but as we saw in the opening page of this website, such a claim is also an exclusive truth claim. If truth was arrogant, shouldn't people who make the claim "Absolute truth does not exist" or, "Christianity is false," also be considered arrogant? Nearly all major religions claim at least some degree of exclusivity, even those religions that say that all religions are true would have to exclude the exclusivist religions that say they are wrong. If another religion did not claim to be true, why should anyone believe it?
Exclusive truth does not seem to bother people when they are dealing with their bank tellers, but often those same people are loathe to hear the truth that they are sinners and will suffer the wrath of God unless they repent. Dispensing truth in an unloving way is a sin and contrary to Christ's teachings. Dispensing the truth that we are sinners and that Christ is the only way to God, should be done in a manner that glorifies the very source of love.
- If God is all powerful and all good, why is there evil and suffering in this world?
The Bible teaches that God IS all powerful and all good. There is evil in this world. The only answer to the question of why there is evil and suffering then is:
"For a reason which is perfectly sufficient for God."
- But I am suffering now. Why doesn't God stop it?
I don't know why. God may stop it, He may not. But I do know this:
Romans 8 vs. 28 says: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
Not just some things, not just the good things that happen to us but ALL things, even our most terrible experiences, even our worst afflictions. One of my favourite quotes sums this up nicely:
Whatsoever is good for God's children they shall have it, for all is theirs to further them to heaven; therefore, if poverty be good, they shall have it; if disgrace be good, they shall have it; if crosses be good, they shall have them; if misery be good, they shall have it; for all is ours, to serve for our greatest good. (Richard Sibbes)
A quote attributed to Mother Teresa also lends some perspective:
In light of heaven, the worst suffering on earth, a life full of the most atrocious tortures on earth, will be seen to be no more serious than one night in an inconvenient hotel.
While minimizing our present suffering by contrasting it to an eternity with God may be a relief to some, others still try to figure out how God uses our suffering for His glorious purpose. Some things in Christianity however remain a divine mystery, possibly because we are not meant to understand them or because our limited minds could never understand them.
Isaiah 55 vs8,9, says: "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways," declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."
Suffering leads some to bitterness, anger, and further rejection of God, but can also have the opposite effect as the Bible teaches:
...suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. (Romans 5 vs. 3 - 5)
God knows our suffering. God's own Son Jesus Christ endured the worst suffering by bearing the sins of the world when He died on the cross. Since the worst suffering can have the best outcome, surely we can trust God that if we love Him, our suffering will be for our ultimate good. Rather than asking God to take you out of your suffering, invite Him into it. If you love God, He will work His will in you for your eternal wellbeing. Is this not reason enough to love God?
- What is sin and why am I a sinner?
The Bible teaches that we were created in God's image. God has many characteristics that we do not share. For example, we are not all good, all powerful, or all knowing. How then are we created in God's image? We are created in God's moral image. The law of God is not a set of rules which God arbitrarily imposes on mankind. The law of God is a reflection of God's moral character. The law is 'who God is.' God is perfect, therefore His law is also perfect. Since we were created in God's moral image, the requirements of His law have been "written on our hearts." We therefore know right from wrong and are to do right to reflect God's character. We shouldn't steal, for instance, not because stealing is bad (which it is), but because God is not a thief and we were created in His image.
Sin then, is falling short of that which God has created us to be and lying about Him by the way we live. We are all sinners first because we inherited the sin of Adam, and secondly because we all fall short of God's requirement to keep his law.
Some people say that all sin is equally bad. How does it make sense that murder can be on the same level as a 'white lie?' Of course these sins are on opposite ends of the scale in severity, but either would make us equally undeserving of God's grace because both are lying about God. Sin is not a measure of how bad we are, sin is a measure of how good we are not.
Rather than criticize the only possible source of fairness for His perceived lack of fairness, we should take into consideration how terrible lying about God must really be to warrant an eternity in Hell no matter which sin we commit.
- Why do I need to repent?
We all need to repent because we are sinners and the penalty for sin is death and eternal banishment in Hell. We need to repent to receive life and an eternity with God. The Bible teaches that 'We are not our own, we were bought at a price' (1Cor 6 vs. 19). We have offended our maker by the way we live and need to repent to be put right before Him. Living under the wrath of God and constantly looking for ways to escape Him is no way to live.
Some people think the only reason they should repent is to get to heaven. While this is a really good reason to repent, it would be on par with calling the auto league when your car is broken, to have it towed back to your garage. We need to repent to 'get the car fixed.' The human 'machine' was meant to run on God, and anything else we try to run it on may turn the engine for a while but will ultimately lead to its' destruction.
The word 'repent' means to change one's mind. We need to change how we think and submit to what God reveals to us in order to make sense out of any knowledge or experience. We need to change our minds about the way we live, and instead of living for ourselves, live for God. That is not to say that we should all become ministers, but that we should be janitors, or nurses, or pizza delivery people who are alive in Christ, not who are dead in our sin. Jesus did not come to make bad people good, but to make people, who are dead in their sin, live.
- Why should I become a Christian?
You should become a Christian because Christianity is true.
In the welcome page, I mentioned that this site was not about whether you are satisfied, happy, at peace, whether you are fed up with yourself, or think you are a failure. Certainly Christianity offers the only sure hope in this life and the next but we ought to become Christians because Christianity is true and Jesus Christ is the truth.
Being a Christian is not about asking God to give you strength to help you get over life's hurdles. Being a Christian is asking Christ to live in you and BE your strength. When you go to the airport you do not ask the ticket agent to give you the ability to fly to your destination on your own, you ask to be flown. No one is able to live a righteous life on their own. Becoming a Christian means trusting Christ to get you through life by leaning entirely on Him. Proverbs 3 vs. 5-6 says: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight."
- How do I become a Christian?
Romans 10 vs. 9 says: "If you confess with your mouth "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." THAT is how you become a Christian.
Only God knows if you have truly made this commitment, because God alone is the one who makes such a commitment possible.
Romans 3 vs. 10 - 11 says: There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God." If you have come to a point of understanding and belief, it is not because of anything you have done or understood. If you are so inclined as to believe and be saved it is only because God is calling you; calling you by name. It is solely by the grace of God that one becomes a Christian.
Ephesians 2 vs. 8 says: For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast.
Note that the verse says that it is the gift OF God, not FROM God. It is the saving work of Christ's death and resurrection FOR you and IN you that allows you to be saved.
Christianity differs from all other world religions in that in all other religions you have to DO something to earn favour from their fictitious Gods, In Christianity it is what is DONE in you and for you that allows you to stand blameless before God. If you are urged to examine your own actions for the reason that you have been saved, rather than what Christ has done for you on the cross, then you are looking in the wrong place.
It is my hope and prayer that God has made it possible for you to confess Jesus Christ as your Lord (The One who has ultimate authority over you), and Saviour (The One who rescues you from the fate you deserve), so that you can repent of your sin and enjoy an eternal relationship with Him.
- Okay, I'm a Christian, now what?
First know that as Jesus Christ said in Luke 15 vs. 7 there is rejoicing in heaven when a sinner repents.
Christianity is a relationship with your maker. Now you should learn as much as you can about the One who you are in relationship with by reading His word. I would suggest starting with the New Testament Gospels. In that Word you can learn about God, and what He requires of you as a follower of Christ. Since you are in a relationship with God, you must communicate with Him through prayer and seek His guidance for your life through His word.
2 Corinthians 10:5 teaches us to 'to take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.'
Hebrews 10 vs. 25 says: "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching."
This means that you should find a church to give and receive encouragement in your walk, and to worship God. It is important to find a church that holds the Bible alone as the ultimate authority over mankind. If you go to a church and you are not made to feel welcome, or if they are doing weird things that they cannot justify in God's word, look for another church. 1 Thessalonians 5 vs. 21 says: "Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil."
As a Christian you can rest assured that your sins have been paid for and that you will spend eternity with God even though you do not deserve it. That is the Good News. I hope you have a wonderful spiritual journey and look forward to hearing from you. I will leave this question with the words from Philippians 4 vs. 4 - 9:
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me - put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."
- What is heaven like?
I don't know what heaven is like, but I do know this:
"No Eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him."
1 Corinthians 2 vs. 9
- Does God choose us or do we choose Him?
I'm sure that from the previous question and answers you have gathered that it is in fact God that chooses us rather than us choosing God. I want to delve a little deeper into that truth as it can be difficult to understand. One analogy that I found helpful was a story that Cornelius Van Til gave to his students in one of his lectures. The story went something like this:
There was a man who was working in his basement on a serum to bring the dead back to life. After many years he finally came up with the formula that he felt would accomplish this goal. Excitedly he divided this new serum into many doses, packed up his equipment, put it in the back of his pick-up truck and drove down to the local graveyard. Once at the graveyard he set up his tables, laid out the serums and yelled at the top of his lungs: "COME AND GET IT!!!"
You see, before we can even hear the Good News of Jesus Christ, God first has to 'bring us back to life.'
There are Christians who mistakenly feel that the best and only gift we can give to God is to choose Him. Absolutely we must choose Him, but it is God who makes that choice possible. This is made very clear when Christians pray for the salvation of others (as I'm sure all Christian's have). What is it that we are asking God to do when we pray for the salvation of others? Surely it is not to ask God that he make people choose Him on their own, because wouldn't that be God's doing as well?
The difficulty that many people have with this concept is trying to reconcile God's sovereignty and our free choice. The Bible teaches that God is sovereign over ALL things. The Bible also teaches that we must freely choose God. The question then becomes how does God plan our free choices so that they are entirely according to His plan and also made freely by us. The answer: I don't know. God plans what we choose and we are entirely responsible for those choices.
We must 'let God be God.' There will be things that we cannot understand but we must remember that "God's thoughts are not our thoughts, and his ways not our ways" as it says in Isaiah. There are many things that we cannot understand about God's ways. This is where we need to trust Him.
- If Christian faith is not a 'blind leap,' what is it?
Some people argue that faith takes over where reason leaves off. This is not so with Christian faith. Reason requires a foundation, which only the Bible can provide. There are only 2 choices, either we try to reason our way TO the truth of the Bible or we reason FROM the truth of the Bible. The first choice attempts to arrive at belief, without justification for the tools of reasoning, the second takes the Bible as the foundation for truth and the justification for all reasoning.
Faith is not without reason. Faith is not above reason, or contrary to reason. In fact faith is demanded by reason. Everyone starts from faith, but not all admit it. Professed unbelievers say that they use reason as their starting point and not faith. We must ask though, what is their reason for trusting reason? The thing is, they don't have a reason for trusting reason, they have a 'blind faith' in reason.
Everyone starts from faith. The question is not whether we start from faith but whether we will place that faith in God or in man.
The faith of the professed unbeliever cannot give a reason for reason. Christian faith on the other hand is the basis for all knowledge. The Bible teaches that "All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Christ." (2 Colossians vs. 3), and that "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge." (Proverbs 1 vs. 7)
Christian faith is not blind, rather it is the pre-condition for rational thought.
- How do Christians account for universal, immaterial, unchanging logic?
Christians account for universal, immaterial, unchanging logic as it reflect the very nature and thinking of God.
The Bible accounts for immaterial entities as in John 4 vs. 24 it states: "God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."
In Malachi 3 vs. 6 God says "I the Lord do not change." accounting for His unchanging nature.
Psalm 90 vs. 2 states: "Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting, you are God." and Psalm 139 vs. 7 - 10 states: "Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast," accounting for God's universality.
In Jeremiah 33 vs. 25 God speaks of how He has 'fixed the laws of heaven and earth.' Universal, immaterial, unchanging logic is foundational for knowledge. The apostle Paul said in his letter to the Colossians: My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Chapter 2 vs. 2 - 3). Proverbs 1:7 says: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.
Of course everyone uses universal, immaterial, unchanging logic, but many do so denying its only possible source. Christianity proclaims the source: "For from him (God), and through him and to him are all things" (Romans 11:36).
- Why don't you use 'traditional' arguments for the existence of God like the 'cosmological' argument?
The biggest problem with 'evidential' type arguments is that if used improperly they leave man as the judge over God, rather than God as the judge over man. You see, even if one is convinced by an evidential type argument, the ultimate authority of that person could very easily remain their own ability to reason, and not God.
A common misconception is that the Christian and 'unbeliever' are on common philosophical ground, but the Christian just believes a few things extra that the professed unbeliever does not believe. If this were the case, it would make perfect sense to try to reason with the professed unbeliever, and present evidence so that they too could use their unaided reason to come to that extra belief. The problem is, the minute you use traditional arguments, you grant that the unbeliever can use logic and reason to assess them. You lend credence to a worldview that does not support logic or reason.
The Bible teaches that everyone knows God but those who deny Him are 'suppressing the truth in unrighteousness.' Apologetics is not about giving evidence to the ignorant, but it is about bringing to light the foolishness of suppressing the truth. 'Evidential' arguments end up showing that God 'very likely,' or 'most probably' exists, but they fall short of the biblical teaching that God's existence is inescapable.
When I first planned to make this site, I had studied what I felt were the best arguments for the existence of God. As a Christian, I really enjoyed the truth and power of these arguments (one of which I will include at the bottom of this answer). Using these 'evidential' arguments however I found made very little impact on those who claim that they do not believe that God exists. Sure, God can use these arguments to bring people to Him, (as I trust He has), but we must make sure that our arguments are consistent with Scripture. Thankfully I was shown the 'presuppositional,' approach which I feel accomplishes this task.
What Christians need to do is challenge the 'presuppositions' of other worldviews and, in the most loving way possible, reduce them to absurdity. Christians presuppose (take for granted) that God exists, and therefore we have a basis for universal, immaterial, unchanging laws. We need to ask the materialist, for example, how, based on their presupposition that the universe is entirely made of matter, they can account for such laws.
I used to try to explain away, with evidence, the reasons for evil and suffering in our universe, to 'unbelievers' who say it is not possible for an all good God to exist in such a universe. Now I challenge the presuppositions of those who deny the existence of God. How, according to their worldview, can they justifiably distinguish good from evil? They can only do so by being inconsistent with their basic beliefs. They must borrow ideas about right and wrong from the Christian worldview even to state their objection.
Still, for Christians, evidential arguments can be wonderful in lending confidence to what they already believe. My favourite evidential argument is the 'Cosmological,' or 'first cause' argument. Basically stated, 'everything which begins to exist, must have a cause.' For arguing that the universe must have began to exist I like the argument of the impossibility of an absolute infinite past. If the universe had an infinite past, we could never have gotten to a 'now.' I use the illustration of an 'eternal, cosmic video camera.':
"Imagine, if you will, that everything that ever happened in the universe, was recorded on some sort of eternal, cosmic, video machine and you wanted to watch the tape from the beginning to see how you got to be sitting in front of your computer. Unfortunately, since this tape is of an infinite past, with no beginning, once you hit the rewind button, the machine would never stop. You would get to see nothing because an infinite past would have no future. I imagine the only suitable snack for such a viewing would be a bowl of just-popped-into-existence-corn."
The creation of the universe must have been by an entity which is beyond time, or eternal, exactly how the Bible describes God. Great argument for the Christian, but not to be used in a way that leaves the professed unbeliever as judge over God.
- Why do so many marriages fail?
First, no one needs to point out the irony of a man who has never been married telling others why so many marriages fail. I realize that the subject is off topic from this website but I heard a talk recently from a Christian marriage counselor and I felt that the information was important enough to share.
The reason marriages fail is because they are built on the wrong foundation. They are built on the foundation of 'being in love.' This may surprise some people, but let me explain. The Biblical definition of love is best summed up in the familiar passage from Corinthians 13 vs. 4 - 8:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
With this definition of love we can see that people do not fall 'in love.' Can people 'fall into kindness?' Can people fall into 'not delighting in evil,' or 'protecting' or 'trusting?' People fall into arousal, they CHOOSE to love.
The Bible does not teach that people should be 'in love' with their spouses, but it does command people to love them.
The Christian marriage, then, is a marriage where a man and woman make a covenant before God to love each other, not a display that they are in love. Sure it would be wonderful to be 'in love,' in fact I can't imagine marrying someone I was not 'in love' with, but that is not what Christian marriage is about.
If people get married because they 'fall in love,' it makes perfect sense to end that marriage if they 'fall out of love.'
In Christian marriage, the reason to be faithful and remain married is not because your spouse is wonderful or worthy of love, but because of the vow you made in the presence of Almighty God to love that person.
For those who are not yet married, don't decide if you are in love with your chosen partner, but decide if you are willing to choose to love this person for the rest of your life, and to make that commitment before God.
Think of the reason God loves you. Would anyone be so deluded as to say that God loves them because they are worthy of love? Surely not! God loves us because he chooses to love us. Our marriages should be built on the foundation of choosing to love as well.