Broken Chains- Part 3: Cain and Abel (A Rebuttal)

abel-and-cain

I received several replies to my Cain and Abel piece from someone and because they were long and my own replies got pretty lengthy, I felt a real post was required.  Here is my rebuttal to their rebuttal (her comments in red, scripture in blue, my responses in black.)

“God is too wise to be mistaken.”

Who says? God? Did god actually tell you that or are you assuming it because others have told you that’s the case? Tell me… If I were to tell you that I am “too wise to be mistaken”, would you automatically believe it? Or would you expect me to prove myself with actions rather than simple words?  If the Bible is to be believed, then there are a variety of instances when god has been wrong.  For instance… Throughout the Bible both incest, rape, and slavery are all said to be okay, but then god changed his mind about all of that?  How can rape, incest, and slavery be okay according to god in the past, but not now? Could it be because morality isn’t god’s creation and instead is based on what society judges to be moral?  Surely if an all powerful, all knowing god created morality it would be forever unchanging.  Right? 

Even within the most conservative of churches the concept of morality has changed and evolved over time, so you can’t simply claim that morality has always been the same, because it hasn’t.  Not one single church still practices morality these days as it was practiced in Jesus’s time.  Not one.  If they did, those that lead the church would most likely be thrown in jail or into a mental institution.

Besides that… How in the world could it be considered “wise” to sacrifice yourself in some sort of strange blood pact to “save” people when you could just as easily say “I forgive you.”  You can’t say “because sin requires death” because according to Christians, god makes all the rules! If god makes all the rules, then he could just as easily have said “All that sin requires to be forgiven is for me to say I forgive you” and that would have been that.  

Then, of course, there is the entire issue of god’s creation (man) being flawed anyway.  If god is “too wise to be mistaken” then how in the world could he have created a broken world? Why would the destruction of the entire planet have been necessary? Why would the need for “salvation” have even been in the picture?

“God is too good to be unwise.”

Again… Who says?  If I walked around wiping out entire civilizations, allowing my friends to rape all the women and young girls, setting wild bears on children, and having my followers sacrifice their children, would you still consider me good simply because I say so? Because if the Bible is to be believed, then god does literally all of those things I listed.  Why are human beings held to higher standards than god when it comes to what is considered good?  Why is god allowed to murder men, women, and children on a stomach-churning scale and still be considered good in your eyes, but if a normal person did that you’d demand they be executed? How can god permit rape and slavery and still be considered good in your eyes, yet if a normal person did that you’d demand they be thrown in jail?  If you truly believe the Bible, then how are all of the atrocities commanded or enacted by god okay with you?  How can you stomach it? How can you sit there and with a straight face say “god is good, god is love” when, if the story is to be believed, so many horrific things have been done by him and for him by his followers (with his blessing)?

“When we don’t understand Love, we don’t understand Him.”

Except the fact of the matter is, there are so many people on this earth that understand love far better than the god of the Bible supposedly understands it.  God is supposed to be the parent-of-all-parents, but what kind of loving parent would let his or her child die of cancer or AIDS? What kind of parent would willingly stand by and let his or her child be held in a basement to be raped by some sicko for years? What kind of parent would let his or her children die of starvation?  I’m not god, and I wouldn’t even let a stranger’s child suffer through that if I could do something to prevent it.  I wouldn’t even let my worst enemy suffer that, yet, if he’s real, then god does this every… single… day… and people like you still insist on claiming that he is the ultimate representation of love.  If that’s what real love is, then I don’t want it! I’ll take my “bastardized” version of love where I… Strange concept here… Actually care about other people and do my best to help them when they’re in need.  You can talk about “free-will” and try and use that as an excuse, but where is the free-will of the baby of a drug addict who also became addicted while in the womb? Where is the free-will of a rape victim? Of someone with cancer? Of someone who had their entire family killed in a freak car accident?

“You are right about God chiding [Abel] but you fail to see that God must be specific in order for him to reject Cain’s offering. God said to Cain, “If you do right [your] offering would be accepted” indicating that there is a right way. If you could offer anything, then God refuses it, then would be unjust.”

Except where does the Bible specify that god laid out any requirements or even asked for an offering?  Hint: It doesn’t.  Here are the verses in question in case you doubt me:

“Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil.  In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor.” (Genesis 4:3-5)

In your own words… God must be specific!  Otherwise he is unjust; and nowhere is it stated, or even implied, that god laid out some “How do give a proper sacrifice” plan for Cain and Abel to follow.  All it says is that Abel kept flocks and Cain worked the soil.  As the story goes, they then, out of their desire to please god, brought him an offering out of the work that they both did.  God rejected Cain’s offering and praised Abel’s in front of Cain.  What kind of loving parent would do this? I don’t have children of my own, but I know that if my artist daughter brought me a picture she painted while my son baked me a cupcake, I’m not going to heap praise on my daughter’s artwork while slapping my son’s cupcake out of his hand while telling him what an awful job he did.  They both had their own individual skills, and they both brought a gift in love.  Why treat one with disfavor?  What good could that possibly serve?  You can try and claim that surely god told them the rules, but that isn’t what is stated in the story.  The story, as presented, shows us a cruel god playing two brothers against each other for no reason.  

“God is just in all his dealing with us, he doesn’t [suppress] anybody. You are a witness to that. He has done no evil to you.”

If it is within your power to help someone in need and refuse, then you’re guilty by inaction.  If you see someone brutally murdering a child and you could have stopped them, then that child’s blood is on your hands as well.  If god exists, he may not have done any evil to me with his own hands, but he allowed quite a bit of evil to be done to me and to others; evil that, if he truly existed, he easily could have stopped.  You can’t claim it’s all because of “free will” either, because that simply doesn’t pan out.   Drug addiction, alcoholism, STDs…  You can attribute all of those things to “free will” if you want, but you can’t say that cancer, or a baby with AIDS, or a classroom full of children being shot dead, are because of their own free will.  Where does their free will come into the picture? Is the life or innocence of a child truly worth so much less than the free will of a murderer or a rapist? How does allowing a single, loving mother of four to die of cancer affect anyone’s free will?  

“You are right about God refusing his offering but you failed to acknowledge that there must have been a right way or right offering for God to reject Cain’s offering.”

I don’t acknowledge this because it simply isn’t there.  You are implying conditions onto the situation that simply aren’t stated, and if god exists and is truly wise, then he would have stated those conditions simply to make sure someone like me didn’t question it.  After all, he is supposed to be all-knowing, right?  If that’s true, he would know someone like me would have this question at some point and would have included an explanation in his “Holy Word” wouldn’t he?

“My point in the first post is that love requires freedom of choice.”

Again… Where is the freedom of choice in cancer? Where is the freedom of choice for the child who is molested by an adult? Where is the freedom of choice for a mother who sees her child blown to bits by a bomb in a war-torn country? If god is truly all-powerful then he could easily pluck a child out of danger without violating anyone’s freedom of choice.  The “freedom of choice” excuse is a cop-out, nothing more.  The ultimate horror is to have an innocent child who happened to be raised in the “wrong” religion, getting raped and murdered, only to wake up in Hell immediately.  Because “god is love”? Right? Nothing says “love” like an innocent victim being condemned to an eternity of the worst torture imaginable! 

“Once you understand this simple principle, with the help of the Holy Spirit, you can [read] the Bible and understand it. Keep searching the scripture.”


I understand the Bible perfectly fine.  The problem here isn’t my understanding.  The problem here is with you and those like you.  You see a verse that tells a horror story and to make it a little less terrifying you add details to make the bitter pill that is the Bible go down easier.  You see a story of an all-powerful / all-knowing being playing a game with the lives of two brothers for no reason? You add some “off-screen” scene to make it seem less terrible.  You see that same all-powerful / all-knowing being playing a sick, psychological game with his most loyal servant by demanding he sacrifice his own son, then stopping him last-minute, and to make it more palatable you make up some amazing “lesson” we’re all supposed to have learned that simply wasn’t given in the text. 

“The bible requires you to dig for the truth…”

That is exactly why I gave up Christianity.   I dug and dug for much of my teenage and adult life and the truth that I found in the Bible is just too horrific for me to believe it serves a good or loving purpose.  No loving being would use the Bible as it’s instruction guide.  

“A lamb sacrifice was what God asked for.”

God asked for no such thing.  God was supposedly given a gift by his two creations that wanted to show him they loved him and instead of accepting them graciously, he praised one and shunned the other, for no good reason.

“It represented a Savior that was promised…”

That is simply a detail you’ve added to make the story less terrible to your conscience.  Without that little detail added hundreds of years after the fact, the god presented in Genesis looks kind of like a sadist.  

“…by faith Abel offered an excellent sacrifice.”

No… Abel just got lucky that he was the one Adam picked him to work the flocks while Cain  was picked to tend the crops.  It was luck-of-the-draw, nothing more.  

“Hey, I will love it if we could study together. Do you know that hell does not burn for ever?”

If you want to present your rebuttals, I’ll be happy to reply.  But the Bible and Christianity have caused too much pain for me for one lifetime. At this point, my only purpose in studying the Bible is to help show others what a terrible book it actually is.  If that offends you, then I apologize, but you might want to find another friend to study with.  In spite of the differences in our beliefs, I really do wish you the best.  Good luck with your own search for truth. 

Regards,

 

James

6 thoughts on “Broken Chains- Part 3: Cain and Abel (A Rebuttal)

  1. My personal experience with God helps me to come to this conclusion that He is too wise to be mistaken. I have read many book and most well written ones don’t waste your time with things that you could deduce. It is waste of time and paper. You will have to show me where in the bible where it said, incest, rape, and slavery was okay. Let me focus on the latter: slavery. Slavery in the bible is nothing more than servitude slavery and after 7 years you are free even if your debt was not paid in full. Morality is God’s creation and does not change. Men change with time but God does not. The bible report incidents as they happens and that does not mean that God sanction the evil that men do.
    The only point you made here was that churches change with times. However, churches and people that profess to be Christian are not God. God has not changed his stance on morality. When Jesus stopped the Pharisees from stoning the woman caught in adultery, it was because they had sin in their life that made them unfit to carry out such judgement. Jesus then instructed the woman to go and sin no more: A befitting response to her remorseful attitude.
    You are right! If everyone practices the moral that the bible prescribe we would stop the transmission of sexually transmitted disease. Transmission of such diseases would only be by other means which science can control.
    You have many questions and I would try to answer them for you to the best of my understanding.
    God created a perfect world in the first chapter of Genesis. Prior to the creation of the world, angels were created. Angels had freedom of choice like humans. One of these angels exercised his God given freedom and challenged God. Lucifer planted seeds of doubt and one third of the host of heaven joined him in rebellion against God. War broke out in heaven and the forces of Lucifer were defeated. God being just wanted a trial and man was created to judge (as a juror).
    God created Adam and Eve perfect and told them about the tree of good and evil to test their loyalties. If they had passed the test Satan would have been destroyed and this suffering that we see around us would have never happened. You know what happened. God knew this was going to happen so He hatched a plan to redeemed human race. He sent his Son to die for us. To take our place because whoever breaks God’s law must die, eternally that is never to exist again. If there is a better way God would have chosen it and I am not saying that your pain and my pain are not real or important in the scheme of events. Am saying that we are in a battle zone, look around you evil abounds everywhere. Innocence is being butchered everywhere you turn to.
    Before men and angels, we have to choose the right and shone the evil. Inside you and I there is a war raging. There is so many time that I want to do the right thing and I end up doing the wrong. This is an inheritance from Adam and Eve down through the ages. As soon as they ate the forbidden fruit, they became slaves to sin, to Lucifer. He took their dominion: earth but God promised Adam and Eve that He would send his Son to take it back.
    This earth in its state belongs to Satan. However, the first blow to his kingdom has been landed and Satan has demonstrated that to live without God’s moral is chaos and what we see around us. But soon, GOD will put an end to it. What is six thousand years compared to eternity? The end is very near.
    When I read my bible and come across those verses or events that you mentioned above, I see a loving God trying to work with a fallen human race. God has used evil nation to punish Israel and Israel to punish an evil nation. Look around you bad things happen every day to God people and God feels every bit of it. God wants to destroy everything and start over but in order for sin not to raise its ugly head again, He has to let sin play its hand.
    His plan is to save those who wanted to be inoculated, and destroy those who don’t (that want to perpetuate sin) and start over.
    Throughout the history of humankind, the thrust of evil have been stemmed by good men. For example, if I know that Russia is going to nuke America next week, I would advise people to seek safety and I will depart for safety. Same goes for the bible wars. No one had to die if they don’t want to die.
    If the requirement was not bluntly stated, is it was implied when God said, “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”
    If Cain had no idea what God was requiring of him, he would have objected immediately. Obviously he knew the requirement and disobeyed it. What Cain did was rejected the promised Savior’s sacrifice as symbolized by the sacrifice of an innocent lamb. When God accepted Abel’s sacrifice He did so with fire coming down to consume it. And God did not have to say anything to Cain or Abel. Rebellion is a serious thing my friend and should be dealt with. Cain rejected God and God rejected his offering. Simple period!

    God knows that He has the heart of innocent people that are being killed left and right. But those doing the killing He doesn’t and God is doing everything in his power to give them another chance to change from their evil ways. I have seen rapist turn their life around, murderer, you name it and they have renounce their evil ways and come to God. That is the grace and mercy of God.
    Satan wants us to accuse God and say if God is just why does He allow pain and suffering. Then God take that same pain and suffering and use to soften the heart of those that take care of the sick. I am drawn to the suffering soul; I want to help them heal and that is God working in me. Even in a cancer patient the glory of God show through, mercy and grace and benevolence comes through. Empathy comes across and if that’s not God’s character I don’t know what that is.
    Put the blame where the blame belongs, on Satan. Thank you for hearing God out.

      1. My work is done here. I have presented to you and anyone that cares to read a perspective of God that you have failed to see. There is hope for you, I am very confident of that. I see it clearly, when you are converted strength others. Peace out.

      2. Yeah those types are always fun. “I can’t win the debate, so I’ll pretend I was on a holy mission and walk away claiming victory even though I so obviously lost…” Lol!

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