Friday, December 9, 2011

How is God merciful?

This post is in response to an anonymous commentator who stated that although his God was merciful that he/she did not think that he would tolerate blasphemy. So before we get started let's take a look at the dictionary definition of merciful and see if God measures up. According to the free dictionary online mercy is defined as:
1. Compassionate treatment, especially of those under one's power; clemency.
2. A disposition to be kind and forgiving: a heart full of mercy.
For illustrative purposes I will use one example from the Old Testament that will demonstrate without a doubt that the biblical deity is not merciful; in fact, he is a tyrant! Our story takes place in 1 Kings chapter 18 and I invite all theists and non theists to read it for themselves. According to this tale there was a great famine in Sumaria at the time, and God had sent his prophet Elijah to speak to Ahab regarding the people and their worshiping of a false god called Baal.
Elijah basically told Ahab that they had brought this famine upon themselves due to their infidelity towards Yahweh. He then ordered that all of Israel (the people not the nation) gather on Mount Carmel where Elijah would be. Elijah then issued a challenge to the prophets of Baal which numbered at 450 and basically set the terms of the challenge. Two altars were to be set up with sacrifices for their respective gods. They were to call on their respective gods and the one that responded by fire would be recognized as the one and only true god.

The prophets of Baal spent all day calling out to their god to no avail, but when Elijah called on Yahweh he responded with fire from heaven and all the people fell on their faces and cried "Yahweh is God." As soon as the challenge was over the bible says that: 40' Elijah said, 'Seize the prophets of Baal: do not let one of them escape.' They seized them, and Elijah took them down to the Kishon, and there he slaughtered them.' 
You read right, they slaughtered all 450 prophets of Baal. Now here is my problem with this, why weren't they given the opportunity to convert after having seen a demonstration of God's power? Where was God's mercy then? Where is God's mercy towards humanity now? It is nowhere to be found. My argument is if God is loving, merciful, and kind then why could he have not just forgiven mankind and all living things as a whole for the transgressions of Adam and Eve? I mean he is supposed to be omnipotent yet he can't with a word restore man back to his original state without going through the ridiculous and lengthy process of redemption through Christ.

This is not the only occasion where God was lacking in compassion, the bible is full of stories like this one and the biblical tyrant is responsible for more deaths in the Old Testament alone than all the mass murderers and tyrants that have ever existed on Earth. It's actually worse in the New Testament where God is not just satisfied to punish the so called "wicked" in this life, but for all eternity in hell. This God is nothing short of evil and not even worthy of worship or respect.
It's funny how God in the O.T. was willing to demonstrate his powers to the people of Israel upon Elijah's request but in the N.T. Jesus admonishes his listeners with these words: 7 'Jesus said to him, 'Scripture also says: Do not put the Lord your God to the test.' It's actually a sin to request a demonstration of proof from God! The only means he wants to be known is through blind faith and thus he remains hidden to all the rest of us who ask for proof of his existence first. 
The N.T. doctrine of hell demonstrates clearly that the god of the bible is nothing more than a tyrannical dictator who rules with an iron fist. His motto: "Worship me or suffer eternal pain and torment." He requires complete and unwavering submission from his followers who he gladly labels servants a fancy word for slaves.

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