We do stumble over our words a bit, but that’s what beer does to you!
Hope you don’t mind me commenting. If the Bible is truth (and I’m assuming you would require some convincing on that), then we have explanations for why the world is as it is. Namely, we are told that the world today is not how God created it, but because sin entered in, so too did death and the world has worsened ever since. Reading some of your thoughts I don’t get the impression that you need to be convinced that the world is messed up and only getting worse – this will be the case until the end of the age.
Anyway, sin enters in and makes human beings less than human (i.e. less than God created them to be) and as descendants of Adam and Eve we too are bound to sin. We have rational free-thinking minds in a manner of speaking, but in another sense we have no freedom from sin, we are slaves to it – it is all we can do naturally. The Bible tells us that God can have no part in sin and that he will judge sin. Therefore, by rights, he could judge us all and the requirements of his justice would be entirely satisfied and none of us could complain – we have sinned against a holy God, he has the right to judge. However, he has chosen to save human beings by offering his son to take the penalty for sin in their place, if they would repent of sin and submit to him (a penalty that otherwise we couldn’t satisfy, hence the eternality of hell).
You raise a very good point about the Aborigines (for example), but the Bible tells us that God has left no-one with an excuse: “since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse” (Romans 1:20). Moreover we’re told that something of God’s moral code is imprinted in the hearts of those who are separated from God’s revealed ‘religion’: “when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature the things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts…” (Romans 2:14-15). So far from God being evil in this regard, he has left every man without an excuse, made every man aware of their condition before their God – if mankind chooses to reject that, or hardens his heart to that, it does not make God evil.
The argument of ‘God made me gay’ is not one that stands up to much scrutiny. Whilst I do not doubt that those who are gay have, in a sense, a natural inclination to be attracted to members of the same sex, it does not necessarily mean that it is a morally right thing to do. We would have less difficulty in telling a kleptomaniac that he should resist the urge to steal, because stealing is wrong (“But God made me a thief…?). We would also (and I’m not saying that they’re on the same level, but the principle stands) say to a paedophile that his ‘natural’ urges and inclinations are morally wrong (“But God made me a paedophile…?”). Or someone who has a strong family history of alcoholism…and so on. A natural desire to do something does not make it a morally good thing to do. And God judging that which is natural to us does not make him evil, but should point us to see how far short of God’s standard of good we fall.
Lastly, the very concept of good and evil which you speak about, from where do these concepts come from? If there is no God and therefore no ultimate accountability for actions, who is to say that something is evil or something is good? In many ways being too good (say, for example helping the weaker members of society) might be seen as detrimental to the advancement of the species. I would put it to you that we can only have this concept of good and evil if there exists a higher moral authority – otherwise, what does it matter?
Sorry for the long-winded comment.
Duncan Ryan’s blog: