When Should Christians Authenticate Commands From God?

bookAll Christians pick out their own specific passages from the bible which they believe God expects them to follow.
Typically, all the validation they need for believing these verses is faith based subjective feelings, mysteries, coincidence and a like-minded community.  Now consider a (hypothetical) newly given command from God which states “You must stone your unruly child to death. ~God”.  Why wouldn’t you do it?  Surely, you would need to KNOW that God actually commanded it, right?


Even devout Christians would demand verifiable authentication, due to the obvious, critical consequences for acquiescing to such an unthinkable task.  Suddenly, when it counts, faith is revealed as a worthless method for discerning truth, even though it was perfectly adequate just 5 minutes ago for things like denying gay rights and discrimination.  What would it take to convince you that this new command is in fact from God and that its not just some deception or fiction?  Let’s ponder the possibilities.

BW-message-from-GodClearly, finding a note directed  to you with that message on it could easily be from a variety of sources and wouldn’t be sufficient to take such action.  What if the message appeared on the paper while you were looking at it, with sounds of angels all around?  I dare say that intelligent people would still doubt its authenticity.  They might recall some silly skeptic’s argument like “Why couldn’t it be a mental illness, or aliens, or a dream, or maybe an evil being posing as your God?”  Since the consequences of  taking this action would directly affect you (and potentially be a deception), it would be foolish to act before verifying the message’s origin, right?  Right, so what would convince you that the message MUST be from God?

Any scenario I can think of doesn’t dismiss the possibility that the message could still be from a powerful and undiscovered deceiver.  A sufficiently powerful evil being could fool our senses all day long, such that we could never know its real identity or true intentions.  Indeed it seems obvious that this new command from God could never be sufficiently verified and that simply pretending to know on faith “Yes, this is from God” is utterly reckless.

Let’s suppose your current beliefs are on the line now and God has come to Earth to gather his followers.  This embodiment of God looks sounds and miracles people exactly like you have always imagined.  Further, he renews his ancient commands to proceed with the stoning of nonbelievers, adulterers, unruly children and gays. Out of thin air this God, your child and a pile of stones appears before you.  He instructs you to stone your unruly Stacked Rocks - for Stepping Stone post - Karlene Jacobsen - Joy's blog post - NOV 20child to death.  Yes, you know full well that your God might do exactly this, per his word, so what is stopping you?
Would you start stoning your daughter just in case this really is God? … and just maybe humans can’t comprehend how this action is actually moral or fair? … or would you question this God’s motives, morality and identity?  I can’t imagine that even a single loving parent would do the deed and many would probably stone this “god” if he then tried to harm their child.  Further, this resistance would happen WITH God standing before you, becau
se you know better than to carry out this act.  Oddly, no evidence or explanation could ever be enough to follow through on this new command, yet in reality you’ve already bought into an equally horrible,  contradictory, unverified message, merely written on paper… yes, the Bible.  How silly is that?

The bible certainly affects your life and others lives around you,  so why haven’t you made it a point to authenticate those supposed words from God?  The commands you follow may be less harmful to you than the denoted stoning,  but you could still be 100% deceived.

Thanks for reading

Artie, @FreeAtheism on twitter

This Post is also in Pamphlet form, HERE

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