Jehovah is a just and loving God
Injustice is abundant in today's world and many wrongly blame God. However, the Bible teaches us a heartwarming truth: "Jehovah is a lover of justice" (Psalms 37:28). In this debate we will take a look at how Jehovah has proved these words true. We wil also take a look at the dominant quality Jehovah posseses, love. As we examine beautiful facets of His gem-like quality, we will see why the Bible says, "God is love" (1 John 4:8).
Round 1 is acceptance only.
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I am a Jehovah's Witness. We align our beliefs with the Bible, but recognize not everything in the Bible is to be taken literally. We also recognize that although the scribes who did the copying had meticulous methods for checking their copies for errors, these men were imperfect and there are discrepancies in spelling and word order with a few words changed or added in their copies, but nothing of doctrinal significance. There is no other ancient book as well attested as the Bible with its thousands of copies in the original language showing that it has been the same for approximately 1,500 years of copying. And, indeed, we believe God is not immoral (according to man's standards of morality) and that there are no bad teachings in the Bible. On the contrary, “all scripture is inspired of God and beneficial” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17).
"Jehovah is a lover of justice" (Psalms 37:28)
At the age of 17, Joseph had been betrayed by his own brothers, who almost killed him. He was then sold as a slave in a foreign land. There, he refused the advances of his master's wife who then falsely accused him of attempted rape and he found himself confined in a dungeon. What a gross injustice! But Jehovah, who is “a lover of righteousness and justice” (Psalms 33:5), was watching, and He acted to correct the injustices, maneuvering events so that Joseph was eventually released. In the end, He went from a man who had been thrown in a prison hole to a man placed in a position of great responsibility and honor (Genesis 40:15; 41:41-43; Psalm 105:17, 18). He used his exalted position to further God's purpose (Genesis 45:5-8).
This account speaks to our hearts, doesn't it? Who of us hasn't seen injustice or been a victim of it? Yes, indeed, we all want to be treated in a just manner, and this is not surprising. Jehovah created us to reflect his own personality, and justice is one of His greatest qualities (Genesis 1:27).
Now, imagine a man put in prison for something he did not do, an elderly widow cheated out of her life savings, or a helpless baby abandoned by a cold-hearted parent. Likely, when thinking about this you feel disturbed, and that is understandable. We humans have a strong sense of what is right and wrong. When injustice is committed, we are enraged. We want compensation for the victim and justice to be brought to the offender. If this does not happen, we may ask ourselves, “Doesn't God see what is happening? Why doesn't he act?”
In the Bible, servants of Jehovah have asked similar questions. The prophet Habakkuk, for example, prayed to Jehovah, “Why do you make me watch such terrible injustice? Why do you allow violence, lawlessness, crime, and cruelty to spread everywhere?” (Habakkuk 1:3). Jehovah did not reprimand Habakkuk for his question, since He is who imparted in us humans the concept of justice.
Jehovah is not unaware of injustice. He sees what is going on. In Noah's day, for example, “Jehovah saw that the badness of man was abundant in the earth and every inclination of the thoughts of His heart was only bad all the time.” (Genesis 6:5). Our perception of injustice is based on a few incidents we might have heard of or experienced personally. Jehovah, on the other hand, is aware of injustice in a global scale. He sees it all! More than that, He can recognize the inclinations of the heart, the degraded thinking behind unjust acts. And He does more than than merely take note of injustice. He cares about the victims. For example, when His people were oppressively treated by the enemy nations, He distressed “over their groaning because of their oppressors and those who were shoving them around.” (Judges 2:18). Maybe you have noticed the more people see injustice, the more they get used to it. This is not true about Jehovah, however, who has been seeing injustice in its entirety for some 6,000 years. On the contrary, the Bible guarantees us that things like, “a false tongue,” “hands that are shedding innocent blood,” and “a false witness that launches forth lies” are detestable to him. (Proverbs 6:16-19). O how Jehovah hates injustice! Why, He has experienced it personally! For thousands of years Satan has been unjustly taunting Jehovah (Provers 27:11), and He was touched furthermore by the most horrible act of injustice when His Son who “committed no sin” was executed as a criminal (1 Peter 2:22; Isaiah 53:9). Why, then, does God allow injustice?
Jehovah has the right to rule over the Earth and all those dwelling on it (Psalm 24:1; Revelation 4:11). But, a long time ago, Jehovah's sovereignty was challenged. He commanded Adam and Eve not to eat from a certain tree in the garden that was his paradise home. If he disobeyed, God told him “you will positively die” (Genesis 2:17). Satan, however, told Eve “You positively will not die. For God knows that in the very day of your eating from it your eyes are bound to be opened and you are bound to be like God, knowing good and bad.” (Genesis 3:1-5). Satan here was implying, not only that Jehovah kept important information from Adam and Eve, but that He lied to them. Satan was careful not to question the fact of Jehovah's sovereignty, but he did challenge the righteousness of it, maintaining that He did not exercise His sovereignty in a righteous way and in the best interest of His subjects.
Adam and Eve ate from the fruit, and their disobedience resulted in them receiving the punishment of death. But Satan's lie raised some important questions. Does Jehovah really have the right to rule man, or should man rule himself? Jehovah could have used His almighty power to destroy the rebels immediately, but the thing being questioned was not His power but His rulership. Rather than solving the issue, the immediate destruction of the rebels would only call His rulership into question even further. Only letting time pass could it be determined whether humans could successfully govern themselves. What has history revealed concerning human rule?
Through the millenniums, people have experimented with many types of government. But, like the Bible says, “Man has dominated man to his injury.” (Ecclesiastes 8:9). This is why the prophet Jeremiah said, “I well know, O Jehovah, that to earthling man his way does not belong. It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step.” (Jeremiah 10:23).
From the beginning, Jehovah knew man ruling himself would result in much suffering. Was it, therefore, unjust of Him to allow the inevitable to happen? No. Let's say you have a child that needs surgery to cure him from a life-threatening disease. You understand the surgery will cause your child some suffering, and this aggrieves you. But you also know the surgery will allow your child to enjoy better health later in life. Similarly, God foretold that His allowance of human rule would bring along with it some pain and suffering. (Genesis 3:16-19). But He also knew that everlasting relief would only be possible if he allowed mankind to see the bad results produced by rebellion. In this way the question could be settled permanently, for all eternity. Then we will enjoy of what God promises in Revelation 21:4.
“And He will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”
"God is love" (1 John 4:8).
Love is what moved Jehovah to begin creating. He wasn't lonely or needed companionship. He is complete and self-sustained, lacking nothing that someone else could provide. Jehovah, being the very personification of love, was naturally moved to share the gift of life with intelligent beings that could appreciate this gift.
“God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life.”
After this examination of the scriptures, there is no doubt that our God, Jehovah, is a just and loving God.
Bible are wrong then what makes it divine? Why say it came from god if god allowed mistakes to be made? Why would god allow his word to be tainted? Even if there is a god there is no reason to believe it is the Biblical god. And if it is the Biblical god, then he either thinks it's ok to rape, murder, mutilate, and be a sociopath or he thinks it's ok to mislead his chosen people and all those who read his book. That's another thing. Why did god make one group of people better than everyone else? Why does god allow them to win battles against their foes under clear dictation that he wants them to win? And why did god pick a group of wandering middle easterners from 5000 years ago? Why not the Native Americans, or the Greeks, or the Chinese, or the Egyptians? Each of these groups had a vastly superior understanding of sciences, while now primitive, at least compared to the Stone Age Hebrews. This god not only picked a sore lot of ancient people, he encourages xenophobia and discrimination on grounds of worship (Deuteronomy 23:1). Jehovah, as you call him, is in no way a kind or benevolent god. He is cruel, manipulative, dishonest, angry, lazy, and incompetent. All of which are not attributes of an all loving deity.
“Why would a just and loving God condone slavery?”
LOVE of neighbor is a key teaching of the Bible, which is why some are puzzled by the mention of slavery in the Bible. When the Bible began to be written, people had already established social structures and economic systems conflicting with godly principles. While Jehovah clearly condemned some practices, He chose to tolerate others like slavery. About the social structure of the ancient nation of Israel, The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia says, “It was meant to function as a brotherhood in which, ideally, there were no poor [and there was] no exploitation of widows, waifs, or orphans.” So, Jehovah was not only allowing an already established social and economic structure; His law regulated slavery so that, if practiced, slaves would be treated in a humane manner, with love.
Kidnapping and selling a man was punished with death (Exodus 21:16). If, despite the provisions made to prevent poverty, an Israelite found himself in debt, he could sell himself as a slave. He could also earn a surplus with which he could redeem himself (Leviticus 25:47-52).
Jehovah did not condone oppressive slavery. If a master killed his slave, the slave was to be avenged (Exodus 21:20). If the slave was injured, losing a tooth or an eye, he was set free (Exodus 21:26, 27).
Six years is the longest any Israelite would have to serve as a slave (Exodus 21:2). A Hebrew slave was set free in the seventh year of his service. The Law also demanded that every 50 years all Hebrew slaves nationwide were to be set free, no matter how long the individual had been a slave (Leviticus 25:40, 41).
The master was required to be generous toward the slave when he was released. Deuteronomy 15:13, 14 says: “In case you should send him out from you as one set free, you must not send him out empty-handed. You should surely equip him with something from your flock and your threshing floor and your oil and winepress.”
Later, in the days of Jesus and his apostles, slavery was an established system in the Roman Empire. As Christianity grew, slaves as well as slave owners heard the good news and became Christians. But Jesus and the apostles did not preach good news about a social liberation trying to reform the existing system of Satan (1 John 5:19). Instead, slaves and slave owners were exhorted to love each other as spiritual brothers (Colossians 4:1, 1 Timothy 6:2).
From Bible study we learn that Jehovah detests the mistreatment of humans. And, soon, Jehovah will deliver us from all forms of slavery. Then, we will enjoy true freedom (Isaiah 65:21, 22).
“Why would a just and loving God condone killing people?”
Jehovah is the Giver of life. All lives belong to him; he gives life, he takes it. Life is His to do what He wants with it. Fortunately, Jehovah has a morality superior to that of mere humans that is not reduced to His power. So, God can do as He wishes, but His wishes are constrained by His character, and God IS love (1 John 4:8). As imperfect humans, we are not aware of all the facts. What we can be sure of is that God's decisions are never wrong: "So listen to me, you men of understanding. Far be it from God to do evil, from the Almighty to do wrong." (Job 34:10). Why question this with the many times Jehovah has proved these words to be true?
“Why does god think it's ok to be a psychopath?”
Judges 19 is about a certain Levite living in E'phra.im who took as his wife a concubine from Beth'le.hem. This concubine committed fornication against her husband and went away from him to the house of her father at Beth'le.hem and stayed there for four months.
What she did is something that is punished with death. But, instead, her husband went after her to talk consolingly to her so she would go back with him, so she had him come into her father's house, and there they stayed for a few days.
On the fifth day, like the previous days, the Father insisted that they stayed to eat, so they did. Doing so it started getting late so, again, the Father wanted them to stay overnight, but this time the man did not accept. He rose and got on his way and came as far as in front of Je'bus, now known as Jerusalem. While they were close by Je'bus, it was getting considerably late, so the attendant said to his master, that they should stay overnight in the city of the Jeb'u.sites. The master replied that they should not turn aside to a city of foreigners who are no part of the sons of Israel. So, they kept on their way and the sun began to set when near Gib'e.ah which belongs to Benjamin.
They sat down in the public square of the city where they saw an old man from E'phra.im coming from his work in the field at evening. The old man told them not to stay overnight in the public square. So, he brought them into his house.
They washed their feet and began to eat and drink. Then, good-for-nothing men surrounded the house shoving each other against the door and they kept saying to the old man, the owner of the house, “Bring out the man that came into your house, that we may have intercourse with him.” The owner of the house replied, “No, my brothers, do not do anything wrong, please, since this man has come into my house. Do not commit this disgraceful folly.” The owner of the house even offered his daughter and the concubine of the man so they would not do that disgraceful foolish thing that got whole cities, Sodom and Gomorrah, destroyed. But the men did not want to listen to the owner of the house.
Now, think, would any of this had happened if the man's wife had not committed fornication against her husband and left him? From the moment she did this, she deserved to die. So, the man did not let that the daughter owner of the house suffered for what his concubine had caused. So, the man brought forth his concubine to them outside and they had intercourse with her all night long until morning.
Chapter twenty verse five shows that the concubine died from the rape, her husband didn't kill her. He cut her in twelve pieces and sent her into every territory of Israel so they saw what had been done in the territory of Benjamin, and those who saw this said, “Such a thing as this has never been brought about or been seen from the day that the sons of Israel went up out of the land of Egypt down to this day. Set YOUR hearts upon it, take counsel and speak.” This resulted in a battle against the sons of Benjamin and the sons of Israel who gathered against the city to put to death to the good-for-nothing men to “clear out what is bad from Israel.”
So, as you can see, the man was not a psycopath, nor does Jehovah “think it's ok to be a psychopath.” What happened to this woman is the consequences of her fornication against her husband and leaving him.
“He says that the Bible was recorded by humans who made errors and that's why rape is fine if you marry the victim.”
[BEGINNING OF QUOTE] First, the Mosaic Law is hardly about letting a rapist off easy. The consequence for raping a woman engaged to be married was stoning (Deuteronomy 22:25). If the woman was not engaged, the rapist was spared for the sake of the woman"s security. Having lost her virginity, she would have been deemed undesirable for marriage"and in the culture of the day, a woman without a father or husband to provide for her would be subject to a life of abject poverty, destitution, and social ostracism. As such, the rapist was compelled to provide for the rape victim for as long as he lived. Thus, far from barbaric, the law was a cultural means of protection and provision.
Furthermore, there was precedent under the Mosaic Law for the victimized woman not to marry the victimizer if her father determined that she could be provided for in a more suitable manner (Exodus 22:16"17). Thus, the law was not designed to force the rape victim into an unbearable marriage, but to secure her future and that of her children. [END OF QUOTE]
“What are errors in the Bible?”
As I explained in the first round, errors in the copies are discrepancies in spelling and word order, with a few words changed or added, nothing of doctrinal significance. So, no, errors in the copies are not things that are now commonly unacceptable.
“Even if there is a god there is no reason to believe it is the Biblical god.”
Reasons for considering the Bible are that it itself says it is from God, the creator of mankind, Bible prophecy explains the meaning of world conditions, it enables us to understand the meaning of life, and it shows us how we can have the very things lovers of righteousness desire the most. Evidences of inspiration include the many prophecies reflecting detailed knowledge of the future and its content scientifically sound on matters discovered at a later date. I can talk more about this in the next round.
“Why did god make one group of people better than everyone else?”
When “the badness of man was abundant in the earth and every inclination of the thoughts of His heart was only bad all the time,” Noah proved himself faultless among his contemporaries and walked with the true God. This is why Jehovah made a covenant with Noah to preserve human and animal life while destroying the wicked world of that day. Eight survived the flood, and all eight worshiped Jehovah. Abraham was a descendent of one of the sons of Noah, Shem, and a worshipper of Jehovah as well. In fact, Jehovah even calls him His friend (James 2:23). This is why Jehovah made a covenant with Abraham and promised him he would be the father of nations. The Israelites are the descendants of the twelve sons of Abraham and was, for a time, God's nation from which Jesus would come. Israel was also more advanced in things like hygiene and freedom of women than surrounding nations.
God is not “cruel, manipulative, dishonest, angry, lazy, and incompetent.” Jehovah is a just and loving God.
Also, I know Jehovah's Witnesses aren't allowed to research their church's history or that of any other religion, for fear they may leave, but I have looked into your religion's history. It appears that there are a few dates that stick out. Firstly, did you know that Jesus took control of the Earth in 1914? Specifically October 24/25. The first link below will give you some information on some certain dates your elders have predicted. Ever heard of rapture anyone?
"So that you may not be mixed with these nations left here among you, or make mention of the names of their gods, or swear by them, or serve them, or bow yourselves down to them, but hold fast to the LORD your God, as you have done to this day. (Joshua 23:7)"
[BEGINNING OF QUOTE] Jehovah’s Witnesses do not claim to be inspired prophets. They have made mistakes. Like the apostles of Jesus Christ, they have at times had some wrong expectations.—Luke 19:11; Acts 1:6.
Matters on which corrections of viewpoint have been needed have been relatively minor when compared with the vital Bible truths that they have discerned and publicized. Among these are the following: Jehovah is the only true God. Jesus Christ is not part of a Trinitarian godhead but is the only-begotten Son of God. Redemption from sin is possible only through faith in Christ’s ransom sacrifice. The holy spirit is not a person but is Jehovah’s active force, and its fruitage must be evident in the lives of true worshipers. The human soul is not immortal, as the ancient pagans claimed; it dies, and the hope for future life is in the resurrection. God’s permission of wickedness has been because of the issue of universal sovereignty. God’s Kingdom is the only hope for mankind. Since 1914 we have been living in the last days of the global wicked system of things. Only 144,000 faithful Christians will be kings and priests with Christ in heaven, whereas the rest of obedient mankind will receive eternal life on a paradise earth. [END OF QUOTE]
So, yes, at one time we had an erroneous idea of what would happen in 1914. What we didn't get wrong is that it is an important year in Bible prophecy, the year Jesus became king and the "last days" began: http://www.jw.org...
And we know our own history, we even have two movies just about that: "Jehovah's Witnesses—Faith in Action, Part 1: Out of Darkness" and "Jehovah's Witnesses—Faith in Action, Part 2: Let the Light Shine"
GIDHIR, you can keep arguing about every single little point in the Bible you don't understand, but as I said in the previous round: "God IS love (1 John 4:8). As imperfect humans, we are not aware of all the facts. What we can be sure of is that God's decisions are never wrong: "So listen to me, you men of understanding. Far be it from God to do evil, from the Almighty to do wrong." (Job 34:10). Why question this with the many times Jehovah has proved these words to be true?"
God is telling you in the Bible he exists and he has revealed his power through things like fulfilled prophecy. Consider this one:
[BEGINNING OF QUOTE] Some 200 years later—on the night of October 5/6, 539 B.C.E.—an army encamped near Babylon. Who was its commander? A Persian king named Cyrus. The stage was thus set for the fulfillment of an amazing prophecy. But would the army of Cyrus invade Babylon without a battle, as foretold?
The Babylonians were holding a festival that night and felt secure behind their massive city walls. Meanwhile, Cyrus cleverly diverted the water of the river that flowed through the city. Soon the water was shallow enough for his men to cross the riverbed and approach the walls of the city. But how would Cyrus’ army get past Babylon’s walls? For some reason, on that night the doors to the city were carelessly left open!
Regarding Babylon, it was foretold: “She will never be inhabited, nor will she be a place to reside in throughout all generations. No Arab will pitch his tent there, and no shepherds will rest their flocks there.” (Isaiah 13:20) This prophecy did more than predict a city’s fall. It showed that Babylon would be desolated permanently. You can see evidence of the fulfillment of these words. The uninhabited site of ancient Babylon—about 50 miles (80 km) south of Baghdad, Iraq—is proof that what Jehovah spoke through Isaiah has been fulfilled: “I will sweep her with the broom of annihilation.”—Isaiah 14:22, 23. [END OF QUOTE]
If you want to learn the truth about your loving Father I recommend you first study how he has revealed himself to us in the Bible (go to the link above where I got the quote about the fulfilled prophecy) and then request a Bible study with Jehovah's Witnesses and learn the truth about our God who IS love (1 John 4:8): https://www.jw.org...
This debate is over.
GIDHIR forfeited this round.
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