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God is a non-interventionist

As technology has advanced and the world has “grown smaller,” it has become increasingly evident that little miracles don’t really happen. By “little miracles,” I mean people levitating, disappearing, parting seas, or making the sun stop in the sky. If they did occur, we’d be watching them on You Tube. But they don’t. That’s a good thing, because it leaves us less distracted from the real miracles: that we are here, that we live in a universe governed by natural laws that explain the world around us and that we have been blessed with reason to discover those laws.

In addition to the natural, physical laws that cause the planets to rotate around their stars and the plants to photosynthesize sunlight, there are also natural, moral laws. Like the physical laws, we are able to discover these by reason. First, we gather facts that we can observe directly with our senses. We then use reason to draw conclusions from those facts.

One observation we have made is that all human beings are created equal. No, they aren’t all the same color, height, shape, or sex. They don’t all run as fast or play the piano as well. There is a wonderful diversity to human life in that no two human beings are exactly alike. Yet, there is nothing so different about any one human being that gives him any innate right to exercise authority over another. In that respect, we are all truly equal.

From that observation, we can draw the conclusion that comprises the most basic, fundamental moral law of nature. As John Locke put it,

““The state of nature has a law of nature to govern it, which obliges every one: and reason, which is that law, teaches all mankind, who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions…”

Reason also leads us to the conclusions that life is good, that whatever promotes life is good, and that whomever or whatever created life, the world around us and the natural laws that govern it must also be good. Some people explain the miracle from a purely scientific point of view. We are here simply because certain materials interacted with others and started a chain reaction. Where those materials came from they do not know. Others insist that it is the work of not only a sentient being, but a loving God.

However, the latter group has always faced a philosophical dilemma. How could a loving God allow terrible things to happen to innocent people? How could he allow atrocities committed by humans, such as those by Stalin, Hitler, or Pol Pot? How could he allow natural disasters like earthquakes and tsunamis to kill thousands of innocent people, when he has the power to prevent them?

The only answer most of us are ever given is “It’s a mystery.” Indeed it is, but that isn’t very satisfying. We’ve been endowed by this creator with a natural curiosity about the nature of our existence. This compels us to ask “Why?” While no one can give a definitive answer, I’d like to suggest one that fits the facts. God is a non-interventionist.

What does that mean? It means that God does not override his own natural laws in order to prevent some of their consequences. Imagine if he did? At any given time, a good percentage of the nearly 7 billion people who inhabit this planet are asking him to violate the most fundamental natural law of cause and effect. Were he to grant even a small percentage of those requests, we would live in a chaotic world that would be impossible to understand or predict. One could not even know for sure that the next step would take one forward instead of backward. No human progress would be possible.

Similarly, God does not override the decisions of men, even if it would save lives or prevent suffering. That was the whole point of the Genesis story, wasn’t it? While Adam and Eve were in the garden, they did not know the difference between good and evil. There was no suffering, but no real joy either. God did not want robots that did his will merely because he programmed them to do it. He wanted sentient beings that would choose to do his will. In order to choose to do his will, they had to have the ability to choose not to. That has never changed.

So, God has the power to prevent suffering, but chooses not to because to override man’s free will or the immutable laws of nature would be worse. He has already provided everything necessary for human beings to live in peace, happiness and prosperity. We need only use our reason to discover the natural laws, to continue to understand them better, and to follow them.

The United States is right now the most powerful nation on earth. Whether that will be true in fifty years, we do not know. However, today its government has the power to intervene in the affairs of almost any other nation. Often, there is the temptation to use this awesome power to intervene between a dictator and his people or between an aggressor nation and an ally. When have the consequences of intervention ever been better than those of non-intervention would have been? Never.

Yet, we continue to intervene in a most ungodly way, with those who claim to be most devoted to God exhorting us most vociferously. When will we ever learn?

Tom Mullen is the author of A Return to Common Sense: Reawakening Liberty in the Inhabitants of America.




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Adding to that:

C.S. Lewis and the State
http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=3273

Excerpt:

I am a democrat because I believe in the Fall of Man—or more precisely that man is free to choose good or evil. . . . [M]ost people are democrats for the opposite reason. A great deal of democratic enthusiasm descends from the ideas of people like Rousseau, who believed in democracy because they thought mankind so wise and good that everyone deserved a share in the government. The danger of defending democracy on those grounds is that they’re not true. And whenever their weakness is exposed, the people who prefer tyranny make capital out of the exposure. I find that they’re not true without looking further than myself. I don’t deserve a share in governing a hen-roost, much less a nation. Nor do most people. . . . The real reason for democracy is just the reverse. Man is so fallen that no man can be trusted with unchecked power over his fellows. Aristotle said that some people were only fit to be slaves. I do not contradict him. But I reject slavery because I see no men fit to be masters.

The law cannot make a wicked person virtuous…God’s grace alone can accomplish such a thing.
Ron Paul - The Revolution

Setting a good example is a far better way to spread ideals than through force of arms. Ron Paul

No need to pull God into this argument...

Is it not enough to argue that if our government doesn't know what's best for its own citizens, it certainly doesn't know what's best for people across the globe?

We have a history of sending aid to leaders in exchange for something we want, while they oppress some segment of their population. Or we don't like some leader and choose to give aid to some questionable opposition groups with checkered pasts. There's always some group that loses in these exchanges and it's not always clear who's good and who's bad, or if it's even our responsibility to judge. If we eliminated only these questionable entanglements, and it wasn't a default assumption that security across the world had to involve us, we'd be safer and richer. We wouldn't always be engaged in military brinksmanship or be extorted by our enemies. We wouldn't be subsidizing the defenses of our wealthy allies or be vilified by everyone else that feels that our interventions are arrogant.

Can't we stick to worldly arguments that we can all certainly agree upon?

Why bring God into it?

I enjoyed this article more than just about any other I've read on the DP, and I was impressed with Tom's insight. Man, left to his own devices, has made a monumental mess of the creation. And unfortunately, not even an elected Ron Paul would have much success turning around all that around. I would love to see him try, but it's that very flaw in mankind that I fear will prevent him from ever getting elected.

Actually, it's us atheist

Actually, it's us atheist liberals who are trying to preserve this "creation" which the religious nuts are strip mining.

And it's Chris Hedges -

And it's Chris Hedges - atheist - who says atheists need to recover a sense of sin, because the world is going belly up because atheists think they are so wonderful.

This space available

And it's me - atheist - who

And it's me - atheist - who says that's nonsense.

I'll suggest one that fits the facts, also,

regarding why "bad things happen". "God in the beginning created the heavens and the earth. And the earth BECAME without form and void", is the accurate record of Genesis. Then, God refashioned the heavens and earth and created soul (breath) life, and man, in the seven day period next recorded. What caused the earth to become without form and void? We read from several scriptures that it was the rebellion of Lucifer, the greatest of God's angelic creations. Lucifer, who had FREE WILL, chose and desired to be "like the Most High". This rebellion resulted in Lucifer being cast from heaven to the earth (with a third of the angels who CHOSE to follow Lucifer) "and darkness was upon the face of the deep". Thus, was the earth destroyed - no light upon it. Dark and cold. An "ice age" if you will.

Lucifer, now became known as Satan and the Devil. And his band of not-so-merry followers, the devil spirit realm. Evil had entered the creation. And what is evil? Quite simply, rebellion against God. Mankind, too, was created with free will. Free to choose between good and evil. Man being fully instructed, it was God's desire that he would not experientially know evil. However, being deceived by Satan, man chose, through free will, to rebel against God. Evil, then, entered man.

Thankfully, God, who is omniscient or all-knowing, not bound by time - seeing the past, present and future equally, foresaw the free-will decision man would make and had in place a plan for redemption.

The entirety of the "old testament" scriptures speak of this plan of redemption. (And gives detail of the operating of the "god of this world" - the Devil). Read Job, the first book written by Moses. From the flood of Noah to Abraham to Israel we see God at work protecting and directing his "chosen (albeit, mostly rebellious) people" toward bringing forth the promised seed, the Messiah, the man - Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, the only begotten son of God.
"Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: AND THEY ARE THEY WHICH TESTIFY OF ME", Jesus declared to the unbelieving Judeans.

Jesus had free will - as all men do. He was directly tempted, by Satan (the god of this world), to rebel against God. He never did. That's the greatness of this man. Obedient even unto a most hideous and excrutiating torture and death. "I came not to do mine OWN WILL, but the WILL of the Father who sent me". This great man, the son of God, the second Adam, KNEW he WAS God's plan for redemption of mankind for all that BELIEVED.

And all that believe in Jesus as Lord and believe that God raised him from the dead to eternal life, are born again and reckoned as sons of God with eternal life. And with this new birth come spiritual enablements. "For we wrestle. Not against flesh and blood. But against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness from on high".

Why do bad things happen? There is evil in the world at present. Spiritual wickedness from on high. You cannot attain answers with your own carnal understanding. "Get wisdom, get understanding... Wisdom is the principle thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding". Proverbs 4:1 This speaks of spiritual knowledge. "The fear (respect) of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom..." Psalm 111:10a

"But the natural (carnal) man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: NEITHER CAN HE KNOW THEM, because they are spiritually discerned."

"But he that is spiritual judgeth (discerns) all things, yet he himself is judged of no man".

"For who hath known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him? BUT WE HAVE THE MIND OF CHRIST". I Corinth 2: 14-16.

Life is a spiritual competition - get in the game if you want answers.
Regards.

StretchMac

Careful!!!

Satan/Lucifer wasn't mentioned in genesis. It is more likely that the "serpent" in the garden of eden is the Sumerian fertility god Ningizzida. The Sumerians viewed Ningizzida as the creator of the universe. Naturally, any new religion with it's own creation story would start out by blaming all the evil in the world on the old religion to discredit it.

BTW, there's no mention of "Angels" this early in the bible either. Stories of "good" and "bad" watchers have existed long before the bible, as well.... And, of course, the new "good guys" have to get things rolling by a sound defeat of the "bad guys" to prove their superiority.

The concepts of Heaven and Hell, Satan, Angels and Demons, didn't appear in Judaism until Chronicles, which was written during the babylonian exile.

I believe that God is a non-interventionist and that the "garden of eden" is a state of mind involving blissfull ignorance, not a physical place on the map. Remember, Adam and Eve didn't eat from the tree of evil, they ate from the tree of KNOWLEDGE.

With all the confusion, re-interpretation, mis-interpretation, perpetuating myths, missing texts, etc., I'll stick to logic, reason, and free will in this life, and use religion and faith for what's after that. I'm positive that God exists, but I'm just as certain that sunday school 2 thousand years later isn't the best way to learn about Him.

"I do not add 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual."

"You believe that there is

one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble." James 2:21

"But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled (seduced) Eve by his subtilty, so your MINDS should be corrupted from the simplicity (single-mindedness) that is in Christ." II Corinth 11:3

Yes, blissful ignorance of experiencing evil. The LIE by the serpent was: ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. Did Adam and Eve become gods? I think not. Therefore, the serpent questioned God's authority and beguiled Eve with a LIE. "Ye are of your father the devil and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a LIE, he speaketh of his own: for he is a LIAR, and the FATHER OF IT." John 8:44

It appears that the father of lies was there in Genesis. One cannot view the bible as some sort of novel. Just start from the beginning and read right on through to the climatic ending. While there is some value in that, the Word must be worked and rightly divided and put together: "Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? For precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, there a little." Isaiah 28:9-10

"How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which did revile the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I WILL ascend into heaven, I WILL exalt my throne above the Star God; I WILL sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I WILL ascend above the heights of the clouds; I WILL BE THE MOST HIGH." Isaiah 14:12-14

"Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus [a figure of speech: polonymia; referring to the devil], and say unto him, Thus says the Lord God: thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. THOU HAST BEEN IN EDEN THE GARDEN OF GOD;... Ezekiel 28:12-13a Keep reading this section through verse 19. It details how Lucifer was God's shining glory - until his heart was lifted up and iniquity was found in him...

As I mentioned, the first book written by Moses, the first revelation given to him by God, was not Genesis: it was the book of Job. Now, this may be confusing, as the book of Job is not the first book listed in the canonical order of the books. However, in the first written revelation to man, we clearly see the Devil. "Now there was a day when the sons of God (angels) came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them. And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it." Job 1:6-7

Yes, much confusion out there. All perpetrated by the father of lies. The devil is subtle and adept at lies. Mixing truth with error. The lies are always stolen from the truth and distorted. Thus, this concept of "watchers" and other confusion you note, such as hell being a place of eternal torment for God rejecters. Yes, much confusion. You either believe the Word of God or you don't. You either desire to understand, or you don't. You either accept Jesus Christ as your means of redemption, or you don't. It's a free will choice. And you don't learn this stuff in Sunday school...

And God knows who will believe.
Regards.

StretchMac

The question still remains:

The question still remains: Which version of God's word is supposed to be believed? Constantine's version? King James? Scoffield? The latest whiz-bang "New Internatoinal Version" written in contemporary english? Next year's "more accurate interpretation"? Half of the dead sea scrolls?.... the OTHER half, perhaps?

You and I have never read THE bible, and probably never will. We have to rely on scholarly interpretation of another man. Moses might have spoken to God, I'll give you that.... But Roman Ceasars? British Kings? Some con artist that claimed to be a recovering alcoholic? Puh-lease!!!

If we don't know whether the bible is accurate or not, then we can rely on faith. We KNOW that the bible has been tinkered with by not-so-benevolent people. Believing the words of a contemporary english-language interpretation takes willful ignorance.

The Torah is another perfect example of this. The greatest thing going for Islam is that we all know EXACTLY who wrote the damn thing, when it was written, and the original wording. Yet, a lot of christians think that the VERY FIRST person to conquer the middle east PEACEFULLY has spawned an entire culture hell-bent on the enslavement of women and the destruction of their own holy city.

Only a short sighted individual would think that the bible is somehow immune to this kind of manipulation. We must remember that Satan, himself, tried to use God's word to manipulate Jesus, himself. You think the gov't entities in charge of the "official" interpretations are as pure and uncorruptible as Jesus. The bible has, without doubt, been twisted in word AND in meaning, and no one is capable of undoing it. This history, just like all others, has been re-written by the winners. We can't even tell which books belong and which ones don't..... Unless you take Ceasar's word for it, lol.

With eleventy hundred different christian denominations(that supposedly got their doctrine from the same book), how can anyone think that their pastor has it right, while everyone else that spent their entire life researching the bible got it wrong.

This is why religion is based in FAITH, not reason and logic.

"I do not add 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual."

"How that by revelation he made known

unto me the mystery: (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, WHEN YE READ, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)" Ephesians 3:3-4

"And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him READ the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, No! How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him." Acts 8:30-31

There is no question that errors have crept into the bible. Some translational, and some just plain forgeries. However, this does not nullify the body of work. The original books were written by men, but the author of each is God. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God.." II Tim 3:16a Holy men of God, receiving revelation, wrote it down.

Therefore, it is a spiritual book, that may only be fully discerned with spiritual understanding. You may choose to follow what this guy says or what that guy says about the bible. And that can be a road to massive confusion. Or you may choose to read it for yourself and ask God to open the eyes of your understanding ("he that has eyes to see").

"STUDY to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." IITim 2:15 This is a process...

"That Christ may dwell in your hearts by believing; that ye, being rooted and grounded IN LOVE, may be able [entirely competent] to COMPREHEND with all saints what the breadth, and length, and height, and depth (of love is).. Ephesians 3:17-18 That's four dimensional understanding!! Get it?

There are a number of biblicals keys to understand that are very helpful when working the Word. If you desire, I can point you in the right direction to get you started.

StretchMac

I always wonder why there are

I always wonder why there are so many religious people willing to "point me in the right direction". It's as if a different view automatically equates to mis-understanding.

My point was rather simple. None of us understand 3000 year old hebrew dialect, therefore the bible. Quoting verses out of your New International Version does NOT address this, sorry. The Bible says none of what you posted. Contemporary religious scholars wrote your religious text, not God.... And those contemporary scholars have major disagreements with their colleagues.

Even if you believe that the Bible is the only religious text that matters, and that you must read and study it yourself, which version?

Imagine having 2 Supreme courts interpreting the Constitution: One for socialists, and one for neo-cons. Both sides getting puffy-chested, screaming "it's right there in the constitution!!! Read it for yourself!!!".... And the constitution is only 200 years old, and WRITTEN IN ENGLISH.

Now, transfer that same concept to a collection of several different documents written over the span of several centuries in an ancient dialect of a language that doesn't translate to English so easily. Shake it all up, let a couple of the most powerful, corrupt gov'ts get their hands on it, toss out parts they don't like, and add parts to gain even more control with the "blessings" of the "faithful".

How could one NOT be confident?(sarcasm)

Knowledge, logic, and good deeds produce results in this life. Faith, grace, and salvation come into play in the after-life. Even the "new" bible agrees with me on this.

"I do not add 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual."

The quotes I have provided you

come from The King James Version (translated from the Stephens Greek Text). The New International Version is a dumbed-down version I don't consult. "Religious people" is a rather broad stroke characterization. I don't consider myself under that umbrella. It's as if referencing the bible equates one to Santorum-like religious fanaticism.

The Companion Bible (E.W. Bullinger)
The Amplified Bible
Vines Amplified Expository Dictionary
Webster's Dictionary
New Bible Dictionary
Theological Wordbook of the Old Testamant (R. Laird Harris)
Aramaic-English Interlinear New Testament (George M. Lamsa)
The Concordance to the Peshitta Version (Lamsa)
Old Testamant Word Studies (William Wilson)
Orientalisms of the Bible (K.C. Pillai)
Manners & Customs of the Bible (James M. Freeman)
KJV Greek Interlinear in English & Greek (George Ricker Berry)
How to Enjoy the Bible (E.W. Bullinger)
Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (James Strong)
A Concordance of the Septuagint (Morrish)

In no particular order of importance are listed some of the reference materials that will help you to understand "which version." I offered to point you in the right direction, if you wanted to get off your ass and put in some effort, to find answers. Apparently, you've drawn your conclusions, and have already found your tree of knowledge (or at least have decided what it isn't).

Best regards in living life and seeking truth.

StretchMac

Tom Mullen's picture

none of the above

The gospels were all written in GREEK by Greek-speaking Jews who had evidently never been to Palestine (their geography was all wrong).

The four arbitrarily chosen by the bishops at Nicaea who were obeying the politically motivated orders of a homicidal maniac (Constantine) who threatened them with death or exile if they didn't come up with a canon that served his agenda of "one god, one empire, one emperor," were probably written much later than the so-called "heretical" gnostic gospels. In all the vast works of Justin Martyr, he never once mentions Matthew, Mark, Luke or John, but often mentions other gospels that are now considered heresy.

As far as the Old Testament goes, we know that it was heavily edited during the Greek period as well, that there was probably never any united kingdom of Israel and Judah. They were actually bitter enemies that worshipped different Gods, evidence of each (Yahweh and El) remain in the texts we have today.

When Jesus quotes the Old Testament, he quotes the Greek Septuagint, a horrible translation that diverges from the Hebrew often. In some cases, when the original Hebrew is consulted, the quote he uses is about something entirely different and doesn't support his argument.

All of these things contribute to my belief that "God doesn't write books." He may inspire them, but the instrument is far from perfect.

Is this thread fun? Something different for a change and shows we are not all "Paulbots" with identical beliefs that agree on everything. :)

Well said Tom!

I would also like to suggest that we in this movement for liberty are all inherently acting towards *God's will* in some way, religious or atheist alike.

Rather than thinking that he is some big man in the sky or some hard-to-fathom Trinitarian Deity, I think of God as being present in Life, Love and Freedom around us. In this way, whatever superstitiions I may hold (e.g. belief in small miracles, belief in the afterlife, etc) is of no consequence to anyone else.

Instead, I say for example, God is right here in the LOVE in our rEVOLution; God is present in our desire to end wars, save lives, restore freedom and "promote peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations and entangling alliances with none". And the best thing is that it's a peaceful revolution with more and more people around the world being awakened to it.

This very movement is a miracle, and it's big.

I believe in the freedom to be what we choose to be.

Is God sovereign? Does He intervene? plus David & Goliath

"What is man that you are mindful of him, human beings that you should care for them?" Psalm 8:4
As humans we are weak and prone to sin. Let's face it, we are often like sheep. Yet God cares for us and has given us dominion over the earth and crowned us with honor.

Do we have free will or are we puppets controlled by our Creator? Does God intervene in the affairs of men?

God is sovereign. He would not be worthy to be God if he was powerless. He has the power to part the Red Sea, raise the dead to life, create the world and humans, and go against the natural laws if He so chooses. Yet at the same time, God has delegated authority to man to have dominion over the earth. He also has natural laws in place that He created. God sees the bigger picture (how this time fits into hundreds or thousands of years) and he also sees the details of each person. So God is in control of ALL things and yet at the same time we have free will because God has chosen to give us free will. The boundary between the two is in God's hands and we know that He is a good, just, faithful, and loving God so we can trust Him.

Does God intervene in our daily lives?
Due to our sin, we are separated from God. God cares about us so much that He sent His son into the earth to solve our sin problem and to bring us close to God again. That is intervention! Throughout the Bible, God intervenes in the daily lives of regular people. He continues to do so today. He is not aloof or distant. "The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth." Psalm 145:18

This morning I was thinking about David and Goliath, a true story in the Bible. David was a young boy who was not old enough to fight in the war his nation was engaged in. His dad sent him to the battlefield to take lunch to his older brothers. While there, he saw that there was a large man in the enemy camp who was a skilled warrior named Goliath. Everyone on David's side was afraid of Goliath because they were afraid that they would die if they tried to fight against the large, skilled warrior. Goliath was also mocking God daily. When David saw this, he decided that he would fight Goliath because it was wrong for Goliath to mock God. David did not focus on the fact that he was young, small, not trained in military warfare, etc. He did not give in to fear. Rather, he focused on the power and strength of God to fight on his behalf. Although he was small and weak, he knew that his God was all-powerful. He fought and defeated Goliath with a stone and faith in God. This is another example of God's intervention.

As I thought about this, I was reminded of the battle we are in to restore our Constitution and our country. Going up against the establishment seems overwhelming and it is easy to feel small and weak but we must ask God to help us, to be our strength, to fight the battle for us (as we do our part). God is more powerful than the corruption of our government. "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14

KS

Deism

This is classical Deism at its best. The Deist's God doesn't intervene in the affairs of men, frankly, because the Deist doesn't want to believe that God would intervene in human affairs. But, if you believe in an omniscient, omnipotent Creator of the universe, how can you be so sure He does not intervene from time to time? Think about the American Revolution. The vast majority of the Founding Fathers, even some of the Deists credited our victory over Britain to Divine intervention. There have been many times when in battle, a soldier or commander would pray and ask God for deliverance and God would deliver them. For someone who believes in God to claim that God never intervenes in the affairs of nations is simply illogical. If God is a non-interventionist, what did He create man for? If God is a non-interventionist, what's the use in asking for His help?

Either God intervenes... Or

Either God intervenes... Or we have free will.

It can't possibly be both.

If you can go against "God's will", then God obviously doesn't control everything(even if he can)<-- non-intervention.

If "God's will" is inevitable, Then there is no choice, no free will.

Which is true is very debatable, but there is no "middle ground", no fence to ride, if you will.

... And God certainly doesn't intervene based on irrational, emotion-based motives. Even if God can break his own laws, he doesn't, hasn't, and never will. His system is perfect, because He designed it.

"I do not add 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual."

This is a very old theological discussion

and your assertion that free will and divine intervention can not co-exsit is predicated either on rejecting the conclusions of orthodox theologians (if that is the case, I respect your viewpoint, and all other things being equal, is as valid as any other) or of never having read/heard them.

You are assuming that free will is unmodified by anything a deity does. This is an acceptable definition of free will, but is certainly not the most basic one.

You are also assuming that any divine intervention necessarily contravenes free will. But this is only the case where a deity literally invades someone's mind and causes them to do something they would never otherwise choose to do. Where a deity does not do this, are His actions truly negating free will?

Consider also that it may be God's Will for man to have free will (perhaps you already agree, and I am just beating a dead horse). And that by His very omniscience, even prior to the existence of man, God, in granting man free will, knows how it will act itself out, and because of this, has no need to over-use His omnipotence to compensate for things going wrong (which they don't. Everything has it place and purpose), such as a violation of God's Will, which by definition, because everything that happens is His Will, never occurs.

Sorry if I sound like a pseudo-intellectual or some sort of self-appointed expert. Not my intention.

Cheers

Keimh3reg Peh2u Meg

There are dozens of different angles

to look at possible Divine intervention. In my comment, I was mainly focusing on times when God intervenes in the affairs of nations or answers individual prayers and helps individuals or groups out of trouble.

Of course we have free will to choose to do good or evil, but just because God allows us to make our own decisions doesn't mean there will be no consequences temporal and/or eternal for the decisions we make.

However, to say that God designed the universe as a watchmaker designs a clock and just sits backs and watches it tick doesn't make a whole lot of sense. When someone makes or creates something, he does it to get pleasure out of the thing he has made. Sure, it could be argued that a watchmaker gets pleasure and good use out of a clock, but what if that clock stops working properly? One cannot honestly look around at the world and say that God takes pleasure in what He sees. Obviously, mankind is broken because of the depravity and evil sin in his heart that makes him revile his Creator and fellowman and unless God were to intervene and somehow make a way for man to please God, then creating man would have been a complete waste.

God did intervene two thousnd years ago for the sole purpose of restoring fellowship with His creation. Since, God is just, He couldn't just wipe the slate clean without there being some punishment for all the wicked things humans had done, did, and were going to do. So, by coming to Earth and taking on the form of a man, and taking the punishment of our sins, He made it possible to once again get pleasure out of us by restoring fellowship if we believe on Jesus and accept His free gift of forvigeness through the blood He shed for our sins.

We're to be non-interventionists but God is not.

God does intervene as demonstrated below from His word.

The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.

He also works out our salvation with the spirit. He helps us to overcome the sins in our lives. Rom 8:13, "If ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live." Though you'll notice the subtlety of being enabled by the Spirit but have then encouragement through "If ye" to participate in mortifying the deeds. We thus actively pray His working in our lives.

If you read His Psalms you'll see His intervention in our hearts, families, enemies, nature, government and nations. He is actively judging nations and the hearts of men.

He turns rivers into a wilderness and the wilderness into pools of water. All this for His own good pleasure. We can not understand God's reasons because our resources and abilities are finite.

Ecclesiastes states our limits from the perspective of a very wise man. "When I applied my heart to know wisdom and to see the business that is done on earth, even though one sees no sleep day or night, then I saw all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun. For though a man labors to discover it, yet he will not find it; moreover, though a wise man attempts to know it, he will not be able to find it. For I considered all this in my heart, so that I could declare it all; that the righteous and the wise and their works are in the hand of God."

What appears to us as being a scientific cause and effects are actually God's means for carrying out His will. For example an easterly wind was the means for dividing the sea.

As for your Locke's quote, "who will but consult it", it implies not everyone reasons rightly. God may have placed the same laws of logic in our beings but not the same heart. Man's sinful nature causes him to not desire the ways of God nor His laws. Simple facts and truth which should be easily discerned are not.

We are not all the same as you may imply, for if we were, God wouldn't had warn us Christians even with common presuppositions to seek unity. So, obviously those with opposing world views and presuppositions are going to have little to be united towards and instead strive against one another over issues of life.

No joy in the garden? Wow, I can only imagine joy would exist walking with God in a garden. Knowing God just through His word brings joy. Christians think "walking" with God is something longed for even while existing in this world?

As for evil in the world, it exists because of the curse from man's fall. We are not to wonder what is judgement or simply a victim of the curse. We can't know the mind of God but it is written in Romans 8:28, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."

Thanks for the post.

The night is far spent, the day is at hand.
And those who have not heard shall understand.

God is an atheist


And in a World where the big criminals always win, and the common people, the peace advocates, the whistleblowers always lose -- who could really disagree?

But George Carlin said it best: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RT6rL2UroE


We are the problem

I am sure you realize that your statement "God is an atheist" is illogical and you are just trying to make a point. As for the George Carlin video, Jesus was also against religion when he walked the earth. Jesus came to give us the truth and to restore our relationship with God. If you research and study the Bible, you will discover that it is true.

It can seem overwhelming to see all of the evil in the world but there are good men here too. Historically, Christians have been the ones to start hospitals, schools, orphanages, etc. and it has been Christianity that enabled breakthroughs in science and government. Yes, things do tend to move toward decay, which is why we need a Savior. Our corrupt nature is the problem. Only Christ can fix us.

KS

Illogical


Jesus won't save you or us. He never has. He couldn't even save himself (and others like him, who tried to awaken mankind like Ghandi, Martin King weren't saved either).

But there is nothing more illogical than "God". For if God created everything, then how the heck did he get here?

Who created him?

The answer is here: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1543831119879192379#


Who created God?

Would God be God if someone created Him? If God was created, then there would be something more powerful than God and that thing or being would be God and not God. "Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God." - Psalm 90:2

Jesus didn't come to Earth to "try to awaken mankind". He came to Earth with the sole pupose of dying for mankind's sins. Could he have saved Himself? Absolutely, but He would have been defeating His whole purpose for coming to Earth had He done that. But, He didn't stay dead, at least, according to someone (Paul) who was willing to die for this belief.

"For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:" - 1 Cor. 15:3,4

And I've never heard of someone dying for something they knew to be a lie.

I agree with the overall thesis of this post.

However, I think the way you approached it leaves a gaping hole in your defenses.
The reason we oppose interventionism is because human actors lack omniscience and complete benevolence. God, on the other hand, possesses both. That is a crucial point you overlooked.

Therefore, his intervention (flood, tower of babel, sodom and gomorrah, etc.) is specifically tailored with the long run in view. Human actions unless aligned with God's will are, in the scale of eternity, woefully myopic.

But, it is correct to say that God grants humans the freedom to make mistakes, even when it comes to the most important decision of all, choosing to accept or reject Him. If that is the case, why shouldn't we humans grant each other that same liberty?

Awesome read

I thoroughly enjoyed that, and I believe you are pretty much correct. God wants us to learn for ourselves, and He does that by giving us the prophets, scriptures, our innate conscience, etc, inside a world with both light and dark, suffering and bliss, etc. We can choose for ourselves, and gauge the results of our own choices.

He does answer prayers, and he does perform little miracles (soften hearts, little inspirations, protect from harm), so he is involved in our daily lives. He chooses to be a non-interventionalist not because he doesn't have the proper authority (he does). He's mostly a non-interventionist so we could learn natural laws and spiritual laws, and exercise our own agency.

Of course, I kinda hesitate to put a label on God. It is enough to know that He loves us perfectly and is perfectly wise and has all power, and He wishes for our eternal lives and exaltation.

"Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice." -- Thomas Paine

God doesn't intervene?

The topic is interesting and I understand wanting to relate it to RP's foreign policy/philosophy, but I think they lack correlation.

There are a lot of examples in the scripture relating to God's intervention. First and foremost, Jesus Christ... He was sent to intervene on behalf of mankind for the forgiveness of our sins. "I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the father but through me." By His own statement (and several others I could point out), God had to intervene for our salvation.

I have been to several places overseas and witnessed/experienced miracles (ears being opened, tumors dissipating, hair growing 2" in 10 minutes after prayer for someone with a nervous system disorder). We have pictures of these and I could try to get you a copy if you're interested. I prayed for my manager one time after his first MRI revealed a "spaghetti-looking" set of tendons + ligaments. The second MRI not a week later showed the shoulder had healed up. He could pitch a baseball again... Next time I saw him he called me "healing hands Premo". I could ask him for the MRI picture if he still has a before/after.

Anyways, I just had to comment on this post since I've experienced MANY, MANY times where Jesus has intervened in my life and the lives of others around me.

PS -- if you've gotten this far, just want to also say that I love the John Locke quote!

~~~ Addendum ~~~

Per "Evil Warlord's" comment, we don't make it to heaven by obeying the ten commandments -- they were given to show our inability to make it over the bar. It always makes me think of the early morning mirror and the damage done to hair/face/etc. while sleeping thru the night.

"Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin."

He Intervenes if we ask sometimes he says no.

For Christ to intervene we must choose. For God to intervene we must ask.. He can say no too. But we must ask. Lucifer and his followers require no asking, they intervene when they please.. We must exercise our agency to actively ask for and choose Gods Help.

ytc's picture

Well, one could say that God intervened & intervenes BIG TIME

all-mightily by sending Jesus in the midst of humanity historically and directly into our bodies, minds & souls, individually, through eucharist ever since then. . .

I Serve A Most Powerful And Awesome Living God

My God is real and I feel his mighty power everyday.

If god wants us to believe in

If god wants us to believe in him, perhaps he should grow up and stop playing hide-and-seek?

God is not trying to hide from you

"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me." Revelation 3:20

"The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."Psalm 34:18

"Come near to God and he will come near to you." James 4:8

"The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth." Psalm 145:18

"So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." Luke 11:9

"Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6

"I assure you, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life." John 5:24

"I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life." John 6:47

"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:32

"I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" John 11:25-26

KS

Are we talking about the

Are we talking about the false god jehovah, or the one true Flying Spaghetti Monster God, because I don't remember reading that nonsense in his Gospel?

Atheist

If you are an atheist, simply replace God with Life as in, Life At Large.

Excellent article!

Neither argument can be proven....

Be it for a creator or none at all. Although I consider myself a deist because I want to believe in something more, rationally all I can ever truly claim is agnostic because I can not prove it one way or the other.

If it could be proven, there

If it could be proven, there would be no need for faith.

Faith = belief in something that has no proof.

"I do not add 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual."

Acting in Faith actually requires evidence.

Every action you take from moment to moment requires faith. You have no absolute assurance that anything will go according to how you hope it will. You have faith that what you do will work out. You do according to the evidence that you have before you. Seeking out God and the Devine is the exact same way. You have to have a desire to experiment in searching for God. Then you exercise faith in the different claims you hear about Him from others. Then you can choose to go down that road. If there is no eviidence that it is in fact true then try something else. If it is true you will most defiantly gain evidence and eventually knowledge of the things beyond this temporal world. For example there is a claim that God answers prayers. So you can experiment with prayer. Pray to God and see if He answers you. Don't assume anything just look for evidence that an answer comes. It might not be in the way you are expecting. Your faith is validated when the evidence of the claims support them. Enough evidence will grow into a knowledge. Good journey.

God has all the behavioral

God has all the behavioral characteristics of something that does not exist, yet he loves us and will send us to the eternal tanning salon in Heck if we do not abide by his super special spooky list of ten demandments as handed down to Moses Hussein Christ.

See Evil WarLord Dark Helmet Jr., Philosopher Extraordinaire

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhnIqgTEBS8

Junior is not to be taken seriously any more than Senior.

*****************************************
Television: Why do you think they call it "programming"?

Salvation is not dependent on the Ten Commandments

God knows we are frail and that we are prone to sin. He did not base our salvation on whether we can keep the Ten Commandments. No one can keep them!! Our salvation is based on Christ alone. It is a free gift to those who believe that Christ is who He said He is and trust Him for forgiveness of their sins. We do not earn our salvation by being good enough. That is impossible. That is why it is called the good news, because it is not based on our merit or works.

KS

Salvation from what, exactly?

Salvation from what, exactly? Freddy Kruger? The boogeyman? The old witch from Snow White?

Pagan doctrine actually.

You speak of "hell" no doubt. Unfortunately for 99.9% of the preachers out there it is actually a pagan doctrine. This hoax was one of the easiest for me to absord study on because all you have to do is look at the definitions of the hebrew and greek translated "hell" and then look at the old english definition of "hell". None have anything to do with tortured forever and ever in some illusionary world of fire. It is a control freak hoax.

Kind of like today's GOP...

Hell = Separation from God

All Hell is is the absence of God. And the greatest torment of Hell will be the sense of loss, that you have cut yourself off from the love of God forever. Any physical pain would be relatively minor compared to that I would think.

god is absent from my life,

god is absent from my life, and I'm rather happy.

Being rather happy is

Being rather happy is evidence that God isn't absent from your life. God is love, so happy is God with a hangover. Hell is having no chance in hell to feel or give love. It's a void.
Welcome to the light my friend.

So you're saying god isn't a

So you're saying god isn't a sentient being who created the universe, god is an emotion?

You would accept god as a half-eaten walnut lying under a tree in Central Park as long as you were allowed to call it "god" and say it exists.

So you would accept love as

So you would accept love as God as long as you were allowed to call it "God" and say it exist?

I would accept that god as

I would accept that god as defined by man probably doesn't exist, and I would accept that love as defined by man is merely an emotion.

So it seems you're ok with

So it seems you're ok with accepting man's definition of "A", but not man's definition of "B". And what logic is that based on?