captain howdy wrote:
Is God omnipotent or is he not? Are you suggesting God can be anything less than 100% persuasive? According to scripture he has the ability to convince the entire human race of the reality of his existence whenever he wants to--
Romans 14: 10-11
10 You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister[a]? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.
11 It is written:
“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
‘every knee will bow before me;
every tongue will acknowledge God.’”
Notice that nobody will be questioning their sanity or suspecting some trick is being played --- every knee will bow and every tongue acknowledge. So if he's omnipotent enough to convince everyone on earth of who he is on judgment day then he can do it on any other day as well. But yet --- he hasn't. And I've already rejected the free will defense. By failing to make his existence clear God isn't protecting your free will, he's misrepresenting reality in such a way that it appears as if God does not exist when in fact he does. Has he somehow limited your free will by making the existence of the ground under your feet clear to you? Besides, which would be better---to enjoy your free will for the few moments of time you're on this earth only to pay for it with an eternity of torment in hell, or suffer impaired free will for those few moments but be rewarded with eternal joy and bliss in the hereafter?
Romans 14:10-12 refers to the day of judgment, where everyone will bow and confess to God, rendering account to Him for themselves. Obviously that means everyone would see He exists, but notice it doesn't say "every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God, right after I use my ability to convince them I'm really here", or even imply that. If anything, it implies people will just know upon seeing Him who He is.
On judgement day, while everyone will see God exists, not everyone will be with Him in Heaven. See, life on Earth isn't a purpose, but a means to reach eternal life with God, and we don't have all the time in the world to do that. Judgment day isn't about convincing people He exists, it's "Time's Up", the ending of human being's transient existence on Earth, and the beginning of either eternal life with God in Heaven, or eternal damnation, for those already existing and left to be judged, based on how they lived on this Earth.
So, judgement day isn't something you should wish would happen sooner than later. And, it isn't the only day people will see He exists. Numerous people, including those who initially didn't believe He existed, have testified to having already
seen Him, or interacted with in some way that let them know He exists. I've witnessed others, including you, in the face of those who have testified to having had an interaction with God, and said they knew it was Him, ask if they ruled out all other possibilities first, and suggested if they haven't that they should. Yet, you also say God has the "ability to convince", so while you don't have to believe testimonies of others, why automatically reject them? Why choose to be hopeless thinking you'll never
be convinced, just because you haven't been in the way you want so far? Do you claim to know better than God when and how something should be done?
You may choose to live the remainder of your life on this Earth believing God doesn't exist. But, whether one believes God exists or not, it's how you live on this Earth that will determine whether you spend eternal life with Him in Heaven or not. And, God won't force you to live a certain way. You were given a free will, reason, and intelligence to decide for yourself.
If you want to go to Heaven, and see and talk to God whenever you want, then live a sincere, charitable life on this Earth. If you don't want to wait until judgement day to just see and hear Him, and possibly
spend eternal life with Him, then sincerely pray about it with an open mind, and if that experience is what you need, then it'll happen, but only He would know the right time. Giving God a time frame to fulfill your prayers is just setting yourself up to be disappointed, because you don't know if (a) what you seek is truly what you need, and (b) if it's, only God knows the right time for you to have what you need.
I've concluded God exists, and I reached that conclusion, and I continue to hold fast to it, because of life experiences, big and small. Was one experience God manifesting before me speaking audibly? No. But, He has to those He needed to, and I know He could any moment to me if that needed to happen.
Consider Jesus's resurrection, not all those who heard the claims believed, Thomas in particular, and He couldn't just believe what he was hearing, he had to see it for himself. And, that was true for Thomas, so out of love Jesus appeared and spoke to him, then said:
"Because thou hast seen me, Thomas, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed".
The others didn't have the experience Thomas had, but they believed because of what they have
seen, and have
heard. Like Thomas, you may sincerely find the best evidence to be seeing and hearing Him directly, but it doesn't mean there isn't other valid evidence, and that it's automatically unreasonable for people to believe based on it.
captain howdy wrote:So far as I am aware there is no phone ringing. And let's face it--you have to be in the vicinity of a phone before you can hear it ring, and neither you nor Moonwood are in my vicinity which would seem to suggest that I am in a better position to know if the phone's ringing than you are. The people that are in no position to know both insist the phone is ringing, but the party in the best position to know (me) says it isn't. That speaks for itself right there.
The people that are in no position to know insist the phone hasn't rung for others, but the party in the best position to know (them) says it has. That speaks for itself right there.