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The Chosen People

09 Nov

“I don’t think an all-powerful God would have a Chosen People. That idea shows the cultural influences and marketing techniques of religion.” ~ David G. McAfee

Comment by an admirer:

“In other words, whoever invented the god and whoever believes and follows the words of it has inherent racial superiority and bias.

“‘The Jews are the chosen people, and Israel is the holy land,’ say the Jews, who live in Israel.

“This has been my go to argument when asked to refute or disprove the god of Abraham. The super intelligent being that a creator deity would have to be in order to create the universe, would not resort to such unintelligent ideas such as a chosen people, or creating a place of infinite torment[1] for the finite “crime” of simply not believing it exists, especially when it leaves no evidence in support of its existence, and all evidence points to the contrary. Can I help it if the bible paints god as a disgruntled 2 year old, prone to throwing extreme temper tantrums?”

This is an argument I found on the internet a few months ago (2014). There are several things wrong with this position – both with what McAfee claims and what his like-minded admirer says. First of all, except for the Jewish people, what other people see themselves as a chosen race? There are none, as far as I know, so how could such be an idea that “shows the cultural influences and marketing techniques of religion.” Other than the Jewish faith, no other religion claims to be the chosen race! McAfee’s argument is illogical from the beginning. He claims something that sounds good, and then seemingly hopes that no one will notice that the statement is based upon nothing. Secondly, how does McAfee know that an all-powerful God would not have a chosen people? McAfee doesn’t tell us (at least in the quote provided by his admiring friend) why an all-powerful God wouldn’t do that. Why would such a thing be illogical? What does McAfee expect an all-powerful God to do? Again, neither he nor his admirer tells us what would be the most logical choice of a wise and all-powerful God.

The problem that the new atheists have concerning Christian issues is: they don’t seem to understand the argument. In the first chapter of Genesis God has given all authority over his creation to mankind, and God was supposed to guide mankind through a loving relationship as the latter governed the universe. In this way both man and God participated in what God had created. Nevertheless, chapter 3 tells us that mankind rebelled against God. What was God to do? Should he renege on his giving mankind authority over his creation? God doesn’t do that according to Romans 11:29. God simply does not take back what he gives—ever. So, what we have is a universe, created by God, in which he is no longer allowed to participate, because his participation was to be done entirely through mankind. What’s an all-powerful God to do in order to redeem mankind and regain entry into his own creation in a manner other than a spectator?

Man declared war on God—i.e. rebelled, and cast him out. God could destroy mankind and the universe and begin again, but is that the kind of glory befitting an all-powerful God? What could puny man do if an all-powerful God decided to destroy everything? God dwells outside the universe and has no place on earth where he could participate in his own creation, if he plays by his own rules—namely, he doesn’t take back what he has already given away. Mankind has all the rights, and God has none under such circumstances. What can be done?

Well, according to the Bible, God began his redemption plan with Abraham and made promises to him and his descendents, that if Abraham and those coming after him would set themselves apart to God and obey him, God would rule the world through them. Abraham consented fully but Israel only half-heartedly so. Yet, God didn’t cast them off completely, and that for the sake of Abraham. They are still his chosen people, and in the end they will embrace God fully just as their father Abraham had done. The conclusion of the matter seems to be that the world will learn about God through the chosen race (Zechariah 14:16-17), and both God and mankind will enjoy and participate in God’s creation, just as originally planned.

“Can I help it if the bible paints god as a disgruntled 2 year old, prone to throwing extreme temper tantrums?” (quoted from above)

Really? I’ve heard these ‘2 year old, temper tantrum’ arguments before and to be quite honest, none of them stand up to what is really claimed in the Bible. All are the result of cursory reads that have no depth. Nevertheless, they sell books and men make a good living off the name of God by preaching their new atheism. It is the new atheism, which isn’t satisfied with atheism alone, but its authors need to be stroked by an abundance of followers, who are willing not only to support them financially, but also assure them that their arguments are not as infantile as they accuse the Biblical records as being.

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[1] Such a place is understood from the Biblical record, but all Christians do not embrace this point of view. I am one who does not, so, at least according to how I read the Bible, this argument is moot.

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Posted by on November 9, 2014 in all powerful God, atheism

 

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