Why does God hide?

From time to time I get asked, why is God so mysterious? Why can’t He just come out with it? Why does He hide from us? Well, God doesn’t hide from us, He hides for us.

Why is this so? Because of love. God is love, and love requires free will to accept or reject love (see “Does evil come from God? ” for further discussion on this subject.)

So why the mystery? The reason is, if God did not hide for us, we would not be able to hide from Him.

About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 40 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
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43 Responses to Why does God hide?

  1. Very sweet, Mel!

    I sometimes quip about how God keeps Himself hidden just so He won’t scare the heck out of us. Fear of the Lord is a real thing! The first thing angels always have to say is, “fear not.” They can’t deliver us a message if we’re going to just pass out on them. For God to reveal Himself to us gently is a great kindness. He is a real gentleman, and gracious about allowing us some privacy. The more willing we are to receive Him, the more we begin to see evidence of Him.

    Close encounters of the God kind can be a bit like the Apostle Paul’s experience,where he went blind and totally transformed his entire worldview in an instant.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Ha…yeah, the “Fear not” thing is important!
      If we really understood love (other-centered, self-giving…agape), then we would never ask this question. By giving us space to hide from Him and deny Him is a pure act of love!

      And it’s not like He didn’t leave obvious clues, like the astounding natural world we live In! A child can understand it, yet it confounds the wise…

      20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. (Rom.1:20)

    • I agree IB. Draw near to God and He will draw near to us. We are the ones who has a large say in just how much hiding He will do.

  2. Citizen Tom says:

    You may find this post on IB’s blog interesting.
    => https://insanitybytes2.wordpress.com/2014/11/20/why-doesnt-god-show-himself/

    Same question phrased differently.

  3. john zande says:

    Do you think Yhwh’s concealment behind an impenetrable curtain of naturalism is ethical?

    • Mel Wild says:

      Do you think freedom is ethical, John? Because concealment would be required for you to have the freedom to reject God and ignore His existence. And it’s not impenetrable, theologically speaking, since we’ve been placed in Christ (Col.1:16-17). There is no separation between us and God, only in our awareness. And it’s not like there’s no physical indicators of His existence. All of nature reveals an intricate design, which would logically indicate a designer.

      • john zande says:

        With all due respect, you didn’t address the question, Mel.

        We can all agree the god of the Pentateuch, Yhwh, is hidden, so in regards to this same god being the final judge and executioner, is Yhwh’s hiddenness (his concealment behind an impenetrable curtain of naturalism) ethical?

        You speak of “rejecting” but I feel we should review the entity you are speaking of.

        The Middle Eastern god of the Pentateuch (re-invented in the New Testament, then again revised in the Qur’an) is invisible and inaudible. It gives off no odour and has no perceptible taste. It generates no heat signature, produces no electromagnetic field and provokes no resonance at any frequency. It cannot be detected with any instrument and no measurement of any natural phenomena has ever indicated its presence. Its influence cannot be inferred from any secondary observation, no earthly geological record speaks of its intervention, and no examination of any biological or astronomical system has ever alluded to its agency. It is massless. It displaces neither liquids, solids, gas nor plasma and has no perceptible gravitational effect on anything. No disturbance in the fabric of spacetime suggests it’d once moved through any region of the cosmos.

        Temporally speaking, the god of the Pentateuch is entirely absent from all but the last 1.25% of human history, and even after its literary debut in the 7th Century BCE failed to register as anything other than a minor Middle Eastern artistic anomaly envisaged by no other culture on the planet. It didn’t materialise independently in mainland Europe, emerge unassisted on the British Isles, or rouse a single word across the entire Far East. It inspired no one in any of the 30,000 islands of the South Pacific, energised nothing across the African continent, stirred naught in North America, and didn’t move anything or anyone in Central or South America. No one across the vast Indian Great Plains or Russian steppes ever heard of it. No Azorean fisherman suddenly spoke of it, no Scandinavian shipwright carved its name in a stone, no Japanese mother ever thought she’d heard it speak in whispered tones, and no Australian aborigine ever dreamed of it. Outside the pages of the bible there is positively nothing in the natural or anthropological landscape which might even remotely lead a person blissfully ignorant of the claims made in bible to suspect that that particular Middle Eastern god has ever inspired anything except the imaginations of a few linguistically specific Iron Age Canaanite hill tribes looking to add a little supernatural spice to their otherwise perfectly terrestrial lives.

        So, if as you believe eternity is at stake, and souls will be judged by this god, Yhwh (who will punish individuals for eternity), is his hiddenness ethical behaviour?

        Given the consequences of not believing, is Yhwh’s behaviour ethical?

        (and please don’t censor, i’d generally be interesting in hearing your position on this. If it’s too difficult for you, then just say so and I’ll leave the subject alone.)

        • Mel Wild says:

          You didn’t answer my question, John. Is freedom ethical? Because you can’t have it both ways? The rest is moot.

          And I’m not really interested in your conspiracy theories, John. But to answer the question about knowing God in ancient times, I will simply tell you what Paul told the Athenians:

          26 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ 29 Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising. 30 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” (Acts 17:26-31)

          And what he said in his letter to the Romans:

          20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. (Rom.1:20)

          You have no excuse for not knowing God. You are in willful denial. And you are wrong about ancient people not knowing it in ancient times. This is exactly what Paul is addressing.

        • john zande says:

          With all due respect, Mel, my comment leads this thread. You ignored the question put to you.

          But OK, I can see quite clearly that the question is just too difficult for you to address in a calm, intelligent, and rational manner.

          Fair enough. No problem.

        • Mel Wild says:

          No, you don’t see clearly. I disagreed with your version of history and answered the question with the passages I quoted. God has been known since the beginning of creation, you are without excuse.

          And you still haven’t answered my question, So, two can play this game. If my question is too difficult for you, fair enough. No problem.

        • john zande says:

          You disagreed with my version of history? No, Mel, you threw out a quote from the bible to support the bible. That’s a circular fallacy, but if you wish to show me where Indo-Iranians, Slavs, Chinese, North and South Americans, Japanese, Europeans, Britons, Scandinavians, or ancient Africans, etc. speak of the god of the Pentateuch, the god of Abraham, Yhwh, then I’ll be happy to review the material you present.

          I didn’t answer your question because it was, as it seems to be your fashion, an evasion. But OK. Is freedom ethical?

          Generally speaking, yes. It would be ethical, for example, to free an animal from bondage. The emancipation of that animal is not dependent, however, on the person who put the animal in chains. Others can act, bypassing the ‘owner’, acting independently and ethically by freeing the animal while he or she (the owner) remains unethical.

          We are not, however, talking about animals in human bondage. We are talking about the alleged creator of the universe whom no one can bypass, so it begs the question: what would non-freedom even look like?

          As you appear quite hung-up on this particular subject, can you answer that as briefly as possible before we move on?

          Thanks.

        • Mel Wild says:

          John, I answered you very directly. You gave me your version of history (no more than a collection of conspiracy theories). I gave you how the Bible addresses it. It’s not circular to answer the question using the Bible because I wasn’t trying to prove the Bible. I used the Bible because your accusations are against the God of the Bible. And if I have to choose between your distorted opinion about God and the Bible, sorry…you lose. The point was, people intuitively knew God, which was Paul’s point, whether they knew the God of the Pentateuch or not. Knowing the God of the Pentateuch was NOT his point.

          You are the one who brought up ethics. I asked the you if freedom itself was ethical, not about particular freedoms like freeing animals in bondage. Because what God gives us is freedom to choose what we do, don’t do, believe or don’t believe. And God has that right because He is the one who made you. You are not God. But if freedom is ethical then God is ethical to give you the freedom not only to live your whole life hiding from Him but to go on these kinds poisonous rants against Him.

        • john zande says:

          Sorry Mel, but using the bible to prove the bible (the god of the bible, in this instance) is the very definition of a circular fallacy.

          But again, if you wish to show me where Indo-Iranians, Slavs, Chinese, North and South Americans, Japanese, Europeans, Britons, Scandinavians, or ancient Africans, etc. speak of the god of the Pentateuch, the god of Abraham, Yhwh, then I’ll be happy to review the material you present.

          Mel, I’m trying to address your question fully and completely before moving on, but you didn’t answer my question:

          What would non-freedom even look like?

          So I know exactly what you’re talking about, could you answer that, please, and we can move on.

        • Mel Wild says:

          John, again, I was NOT trying to prove the Bible. I was answering your question with the Bible. There’s a difference. You can take it or leave it. The point is, according to Paul (Acts 17), God overlooked people’s ignorance in the past, now we have the incarnated Christ. Now, if you don’t believe in any God, it’s moot anyway.

          Non-freedom would look like no choice or free will. Everything is decided for you. It would be like someone capturing a girl and forcing her to marry him. She has no choice in the matter. You and I, on the other hand, can do whatever we want. We can choose or reject God, for instance, and pretend like He doesn’t exist.. That’s freedom.

        • john zande says:

          No, I can’t do whatever I want. Although I understand what you’re trying to say, I don’t see no choice as a complete description of non-freedom. I have no choice here of certain foods available in Japan, for example. That doesn’t make me any less free. I want to travel to the Shapely Super cluster, 1 billion light years away. I can’t, that choice is not available to me, but that doesn’t make me any less free. And if I were an automaton then I would have no concept of free action, and therefore could not miss it. I would perform happily as a machine, doing what I was designed to do, not knowing any better.

          But OK, I get the difficulty in describing what non-freedom would look like. It’s virtually impossible because it’s essentially a nonsense notion. Even a prisoner can act freely and commit suicide, if he chooses.

          But yes, for our purposes here, taking freedom from an organism to act freely (like psychologist Harry Harlow’s doomed rhesus macaque monkeys trapped inside his experimental pits of despair) would be unethical.

          Now, ignoring all the studies that indicate that we do not have anything like free will, the question then is raised, are you, by your narrative, actually free?

          According to your Christian narrative we are not free. People are ordered to obey

          Deuteronomy 28:1 If you fully obey the Lord…
          James 4:7 Submit yourselves, then, to God.
          Jeremiah 7:23 “obey My voice…
          Luke 11:28 Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obeyit.
          Deuteronomy 28:1 If you fully obey the Lord your God…
          Deuteronomy 5:33 Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you…
          Acts 5:32 We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.

          And failure to obey (failure to act as commanded) results in judgment and eternal punishment by Yhwh

          Psalm 75:7 God is the Judge
          Psalm 50:6 For God Himself is judge
          Isaiah 66:16 For the LORD will execute judgment by fire and by His sword on all flesh
          Matthew 10:28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
          James 4:12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy
          Matthew 25:41 Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;

          So, where is the “freedom” in that arrangement? Where is the freedom in being commanded to submit, and having a prison and torture chamber (Hell) already prepared, and threatened for those who do not obey?

          And this situation is even worse than that for a normal terrestrial prisoner, as in Yhwh’s torture chamber the individual (the sentenced) does not even have the choice of suicide.

          That’s not freedom, rather action forced under threat of certain punishment by the one demanding the action.

          This is best articulated as such:
          (https://s5.postimg.org/fbluch7xj/Knock_Knock_zps0iyctwx4.png)

          So, I’ve addressed your question, now please address mine.

          By the Christian narrative, is Yhwh’s hiddenness ethical behaviour?

          Said another way: given Yhwh is the Judge and Executioner, dispensing his sentences according the whether or not someone believes in him, is his hiddenness ethical?

          In short, your argument is riddled with inconsistencies, as, according to the narrative, Yhwh can and has revealed himself. Moses meets Yhwh. Seventy elders are shown Yhwh. Jesus (who you believe is Yhwh) “revealed” himself. He walked the earth, in physical form, and returned after death to walk the earth and talk to people. In fact, Jesus even says physical proof is necessary to believe.

          John 20:27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

          In fact, yours is a revealed religion. Indeed, we even have two instances where Yhwh physically writes, in human words:

          Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall, near the lampstand in the royal palace. The king watched the hand as it wrote. — Daniel 5:5

          The Lord said to Moses, “Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones, and I will write on them the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke.” — Exodus 34:1

          So, the idea that hiddenness is required falls flat. Yhwh can show himself to everyone, but doesn’t.

          That is a choice.

          That is his choice.

          And that is his choice in a world that, as I have already detailed, does not in any way indicate his existence.

          Now, given the consequences of non-belief is, according to the Christian narrative, eternal punishment and torture, is Yhwh’s behaviour (his choice to be hidden) ethical?

          And please don’t hand-wave again, Mel. Honestly, please don’t do that. If there were no command for obedience issued under threat of eternal torture, your dismissal of this question might, just might, be vaguely justified.

          That, however, is not the case. We have a god demanding obedience, and threatening certain torture (eternal torture, no less) if that obedience is not given.

          This raises serious ethical questions when the fate of the human being rest solely on belief in an invisible god who wilfully chooses to hide from the very human beings he will judge and murder.

          So, again, given the consequences, given what is at stake, is Yhwh’s deliberate hiddenness ethical behaviour?

        • Mel Wild says:

          “According to your Christian narrative we are not free. People are ordered to obey”

          First of all, “Christian narrative?” You are mixing the Old Covenant with the New Covenant here. They are not the same thing. The Mosaic Covenant was between Israel and God. Israel volunteered themselves to fulfill their side of the covenant. They told God they would obey everything He told them. God did not force them to do anything, only told them of the consequences of not doing what they said they would do.

          But the New Covenant is between Christ and God, which is already fulfilled with Christ’s death. We are under no such obligation; our part is to agree with Christ’s fulfillment and enter into His life in God. You are not forced to do anything. You can continue to hate or ignore God if you want to. But like choices in this life, you cannot pick the consequences of your choice.

          “In fact, Jesus even says physical proof is necessary to believe.”

          He said no such thing! He said it’s more blessed when someone believes when they haven’t seen (John 24:29). But as Paul said, everyone knows there’s a God from creation itself. They just suppress the truth and deny it.

          “Now, given the consequences of non-belief is, according to the Christian narrative, eternal punishment and torture, is Yhwh’s behaviour (his choice to be hidden) ethical?”

          Let’s put aside the nature of what eternal punishment is for a moment (there are differing opinions about the language among scholars). Is it ethical if a serial killer rapist is punished? Of course, that’s an extreme case, but it just a trajectory along a path of evil behavior. The truth is, we intuitively want justice for all who commit crimes against “the least of these” (Matt 25). Yet, you don’t afford such a right to the God who created you.

        • john zande says:

          Ah, so you did delete my comment.

          Censorship. I see.

          Curious, was it because you saw the irreparable flaw in your argument, but didn’t have the courage to address it, like an adult?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Sorry, I didn’t see your irrefutable comment that exposed the irreparable flaw in mine. I’ve been away from my computer since yesterday afternoon. I didn’t delete any comments. In fact, the last comment I posted of yours I haven’t even looked at yet.

          And again, I’m not censoring. I’m moderating. I don’t have unlimited time to go down every rabbit hole with everyone. And I won’t argue endlessly on a point. I also have a few other atheists wanting to argue with me like you, so it may be some time before I respond to all of them, if I do respond at all. I actually have other things to do.

          Keep your comments short and to the point of the post and I will more likely probably respond faster.

        • john zande says:

          You are not forced to do anything.

          You seem to have completely ignored that whole part about the threat of guaranteed eternal torture.

          You can continue to hate or ignore God if you want to.

          I neither hate, nor ignore it. I do not see any evidence for its existence.

          He said no such thing!

          He not only said it, he acted it out. By the narrative, Jesus defeats death, and to prove it he furnished his living congregation with irrefutable evidence.

          “To them He presented Himself alive after His passion by many proofs,” wrote the author of Luke (Acts 1:3), then says that Jesus appeared to the disciples and ate with them just to demonstrate that he was flesh and bones. “See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; feel me and see, because a spirit does not have flesh and bones just as you behold that I have.” Even more specifically, in John there is the famous account of Doubting Thomas; a story that is at once a direct appeal to, and presentation of, proof. “Put your finger here, and see my hands, and take your hand and stick it into my side, and stop being unbelieving but become believing.

          Evidence, it seems, wasn’t just important to Jesus, it was essential. So much so that he delayed his departure from the earthly plateau, not to say anything new, but rather to provide stone-cold hard evidence of the supernatural event. In fact, the character sets a pretty clear standard for what that evidence should be. It had to be physical, verifiable, observable, and it had to be testable as displayed in the story of Thomas who is encouraged to poke and prod at the human specimen.

          Again: “To them He presented Himself alive after His passion by many proofs” (Acts 1:3)

          Now, you also seem to have completely ignored all the times Yhwh appeared to people. He even performed parlor tricks for Moses. He made staffs turn into snakes. Yhwh even promises Moses that he will “continue to show him that I am God.”. He then turned the Nile into blood, and other wonderful tricks.

          And let’s not forget the alter challenge in 1 Kings 18. In this story Elijah calls on Yhwh to prove himself in front of non-believers… and he does!

          At the time for the evening sacrifice, the prophet Elijah went near the altar. “LORD, you are the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel,” he prayed. “Prove that you are the God of Israel and that I am your servant. Show these people that you commanded me to do all these things. 37 LORD, answer my prayer so these people will know that you, LORD, are God and that you will change their minds.”

          Then fire from the LORD came down and burned the sacrifice, the wood, the stones, and the ground around the altar. It also dried up the water in the ditch. 39 When all the people saw this, they fell down to the ground, crying, “The LORD is God! The LORD is God!”

          Proof! Performance tricks. Evidence.

          Why have you ignored all this non-hiddenness, Mel?

          Let’s put aside the nature of what eternal punishment is for a moment (there are differing opinions about the language among scholars).

          Let’s not.

          Matthew 25:46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

          Matthew 25:41 “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;

          Revelation 20:15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

          Mark 9:43 And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire.

          2 Thessalonians 1:9 They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction

          John 5:29 And come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.

          Revelation 21:8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

          Revelation 20:10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

          Matthew 10:28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

          James 4:12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy

          Romans 2:6-8 He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.

          That’s quite clear. And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.

          The punishment delivered by Yhwh for not submitting to Yhwh is the the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels.

          That is what the narrative says.

          That is the threat.

          Now, if Christian doctrine was more like Buddhist doctrine, then you might have a loose reason to try and skirt around this. Christian doctrine is, however, nothing like Buddhist doctrine. Buddhism teaches that a person will remain on their present-day wheel (bhavacakra) if they do not follow the teachings of Siddhārtha Gautama. The passage up through saṃsāra is entirely free. If the person choses to simply stay where they are, then that is their choice. There are no threats. There is no external judgment and punishment. There is no Hell prepared for alleged transgressions.

          So, Mel, by your narrative, you are not free. Not free at all. Failure to act in a certain way will result in torture… for ever.

          Yet, you don’t afford such a right to the God who created you.

          My apologies, but I’m not entirely sure what you mean here. Are you trying to forward some version of Devine Command Theory? Yhwh doesn’t have to act ethically?

          Is that what you’re trying to say?

        • Mel Wild says:

          I posted this so it doesn’t disappear again, John. But if you keep posting 1000+ word comments they will be permanently moderated. I don’t need your white paper on the subject. Please keep you comments brief. I will look at this when I get a chance, but because it’s so long it will take a while.

  4. Arkenaten says:

    concealment would be required for you to have the freedom to reject God and ignore His existence.

    A little bit of presupposition here, and not a scrap of evidence to back it up, of course. But I suppose we are dealing with a theoretical or imaginary situation.

    There is no separation between us and God, only in our awareness.

    And of course, the obvious request here is, please demonstrate this..

    All of nature reveals an intricate design, which would logically indicate a designer.

    I sense a rather tired watchmaker argument looming.

    • Mel Wild says:

      “A little bit of presupposition here, and not a scrap of evidence to back it up, of course.”

      It’s called logic, Ark. Since you and I are living on this small rock we call earth, if the God of the universe who holds all things together became visible, you would have no place in all 12 dimensions (or more) where you were not in His immediate manifest presence. If there is no God, then the question is irrelevant. But you can’t prove that either.

      “And of course, the obvious request here is, please demonstrate this.”

      Why don’t you demonstrate how and why the conscious mind creates and makes moral decisions. I want actual demonstrable evidence. Of course, you can’t. No one can. But yet we know these things are real.

      “I sense a rather tired watchmaker argument looming.”

      No, it’s just common sense that even a child can understand. To look at the universe and conclude that it just spontaneously came into being from absolute nothing, and nothing outside of itself, to me, is the height of irrational and willful ignorance and it violates every law of physics. If you think that’s rational, then prove it with your beloved natural laws.

  5. Cindy Powell says:

    I kinda think He likes the thrill of the chase 😉 Becoming aware of what has been right in front of you all along is the most joyous of all discoveries. Blessings to you Mel.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Absolutely! He’s hiding right inside of us waiting to be discovered! Everything is about drawing us into the divine relationship.
      Blessings to you too!

  6. john zande says:

    Mel, just a side note. You can change your comment settings so it doesn’t taper so much. It makes for easier reading.

  7. I’m curious as to what you mean by “hidden.” It appears from other comments here that you feel your deity doesn’t completely hide itself. If being hidden means obscured from perception, then it might seem like you’re suggesting your deity is hidden enough to avoid some investigation into its existence and nature, but not hidden enough to avoid all investigation into its nature.

    Is that a fair depiction of your point?

    • Mel Wild says:

      By hidden I mean He isn’t manifest in this physical realm. But it doesn’t mean He can’t be found out. The whole point of hiddenness is because He’s interested in our participation and the use of our will and free choice. He doesn’t control us; He invites us. As I said before, love requires total freedom and choice. You cannot have love without free will and choice, and God is defined as love in Scripture. He already loves us and has done everything to make it possible for us to love Him in return.

      Another thing, when the Bible talks about mystery, it doesn’t mean never knowing, it means ever knowing. It’s hidden for us, not from us. Just like we grow in knowledge of the world around us, we can grow in our relational knowledge with God.

      As far as scientific investigation, we must keep in mind that we’re trying to prove something that does not exist in our physical realm (locality). But He does interact with us on a non-local level, like how our conscience works on a non-local level. And just like with our conscience, while we can measure brain activity, we aren’t actually measuring the conscience itself. It seems to exist outside the brain impulses, probably on a non-local level. I say “seems” because no one know for certain.

      • Thanks for your response!

        At this point, I’m wondering how the manifestation of Jesus affects this relationship between being hidden and maintaining free will. In other words, if not being manifest is a necessary component of actual choice, then wouldn’t manifestations negate that choice? And if that follows, what does that say about the ability to actually love this deity?

  8. Arkenaten says:

    Because what God gives us is freedom to choose what we do, don’t do, believe or don’t believe. And God has that right because He is the one who made you.

    1. How do you know?
    2. How do you know the god in question is the one you worship?

    • Mel Wild says:

      That’s a different question(s), Ark.
      If my God is the real God, then I know because that’s how Scripture reveals Him through Jesus Christ. If He’s not this God, then I am most sincerely wrong. I believe I have good reasons that He is God. But that’s for a different conversation.

      btw, my wife’s birthday today, so I’m in and out sporadically. Also had to fix my water heater! May not respond to comments for awhile.

      • Arkenaten says:

        If my God is the real God, then I know because that’s how Scripture reveals Him through Jesus Christ.

        As we know much of the biblical text is fraught with errors including; interpolation, forgery, historical fiction, biological, geographical, and geological, how can anyone offer assurances concerning veracity?
        In all honesty, it cannot be done.
        Even the supposed text featuring the character Jesus of Nazareth has been shown to suffer from certain unreconcilable problems.

        Biblical literalists are generally considered ”Fringe” among mainstream Christianity these days.
        All this leaves you with, Mel, is faith.
        If you wish to cite this as your reason then that’s fine with me, as at least it is honest.
        But verifiable evidence? No, sorry, that is a slippery slope ,

        Enjoy your missus’ birthday.

        • Mel Wild says:

          It leaves me with the Bible. I’m not an biblicist nor do I believe in inherency. Not possible to know, and the Bible doesn’t even claim that. But even Ehrman says there’s no major Christian doctrine affected by the discrepancies. I will talk about this in a future post.

        • Arkenaten says:

          This doesn’t mean that Ehrman is saying the doctrine is sound , because it isn’t, which is why he is no longer a Christian!
          Your faith will override all issues.
          Which simply means you are not really interested in evidence.

        • Mel Wild says:

          And I disagree with Ehrman’s conclusions, and so do many other scholars at his level, so there we are. But at least Ehrman is also honest enough to say he would change his mind if more manuscripts turn up that refute his conclusions. And more manuscripts, scraps, are being found all the time. If that ever happened, I’m sure a lot of atheists and Islamic apologists who like to use him now would throw him under the bus.

        • Mel Wild says:

          And thanks. Going out now, will be back tomorrow.

  9. Manuel Chukwudi says:

    I guess there is a bigger issue, which is the willingness of man to accept evidence. I wrote about that here https://manuelchukwudiblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/11/costly-truth/

  10. Thank you for this encouragement! 😇

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