Are you ready for college?
This question is not centered around your intellectual or financial state, but rather your spiritual.
In a 2005 book written by sociologists Christian Smith, Ph.D., and Melinda Denton, Ph.D., they cited the fact that, “The majority of teenagers are incredibly inarticulate about their faith, religious beliefs and practices, and its place in their lives. The de facto dominant religion among contemporary U.S. teenagers is what they call ‘Moralistic Therapeutic Deism:’ a God exists who created and orders the world and watches over human life on earth; God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions; the central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself; God does not need to be particularly involved in one’s life except when God is needed to resolve a problem; and good people go to heaven when they die.”
The significance lies heavily in the fact that not only can teenagers not articulate their faith, but, when challenged, they lack the ability to defend or clearly describe what they believe.
In a previous article discussing atheism and theism, I analyzed Richard Dawkins’ philosophy behind God and His deity. Though not comprehensive, this article is the second examination of how Dawkins describes God.
God is a Control-Freak
Dawkins considers God a control-freak. God gave the Israelites lists of laws and obligations they were required to keep. At first glance, it might seem that God appears to be a domineering Being with a heavy hand. Fortunately for the Israelites and Christians, this is not the case. The laws God gave His people were for their safety and well being. Things they were to abstain from were for their safety. Feasts they were to observe were meant to remind them of what God had done for them. Everything God did for them was for their own good and protection. The laws were to protect and the obligations were to remind them of God’s help, prosperity, blessing, and sovereignty over their nation in an effort to protect them from the sin of idolatry.
In the New Covenant God no longer holds these regulations as binding. But they served a critical purpose in their time.
God is Misogynistic
Popular thought holds to a common philosophy that God plays favorites between the two sexes. That is, God favors men above women and, subsequently, treats them better. Bill Nye also trumpets this idea by stating, “[W]omen are not treated very well in the Bible.” The Bible does not advocate subordination of women to men, but rather a differentiation of roles between men and women. That does not make women any less worthy than men. Genesis 1:27 reads, “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”
Furthermore, the Bible records unjust acts that were done to women (see 2 Samuel 13 for an example) but it never advocates them. There is a profound difference between recording injustice done to women and advocating injustice be done to women.
God is Homophobic
With the emergence and widespread acceptance of homosexulaty, the secular world holds anyone who supports traditional marriage is a homophobe. This includes God. God does condone homosexuality by calling it an abomination (Leviticus 18:22) and a sin that will keep you out of the Kingdom of Heaven (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). But being a homophobe refers to having a fear of homosexuals. God has no fear of them, He is all powerful and above all (Luke 1:37; Daniel 2:20-22). Being against something doesn’t mean you have a phobia of it. God is not homophobic.
God is a Racist
The idea of God being a racist is easily refuted in the book of Galatians, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (3:28). And Peter says in the book of Acts, “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right” (Acts 10:34-35). And finally, we are told that those who discriminate are as "judges with evil thoughts" (James 2:4). Complementary, we are to love our neighbors as ourselves (James 2:8).”
One oft-cited objection pertains to slavery in the Old Testament, which would certainly be flamboyant racism if understood in contemporary context. However, Focal Point host Bryan Fischer answers this objection in light of the Bible’s view of slavery. If a slave escaped and he was found up on your doorstep, you were not to return him to his master.
Slavery in the United States was predicated on kidnapping men and women, transporting them in horrible conditions to America, and buying them as slaves. The Bible says in Exodus 21:16 that if you kidnap a man and sell him as a slave you pay for it with your life. If you are found in possession of a man who has been kidnapped and sold into slavery, you pay for it with your life. Any participation in the slave trade, according to the Old Testament, was a capital crime—you were put to death for it. Even Paul in 1 Timothy 1 says slave trading should be politically illegal, not just theologically.
We can be thankful to God that the accusations against Him prove to be factually wrong in light of deeper observation. God is not a mundane and angry being, but rather, loving and accepting.