38. Does God appoint evil leaders?

The 2012 election in the United States was certainly one of the most aggressive and closest races in history. When the dust finally settled, the popular vote was split nearly evenly between the two candidates. Many of the “religious right” seemed rather shocked and upset that their conservative candidate didn’t win. How could this be? Surely God wanted their candidate to win, and surely there were far more prayers being offered up on the conservative side than the liberal side. Yet none of this seemed to matter.

This loss had a lot of people wondering just how much of a role God plays in appointing our leaders. Luckily for us, the Bible answers this question!

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 
— Romans 13:1

Jesus answered [speaking to Pilate], “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above.”
— John 19:11

By me kings reign…
— Proverbs 8:15

…he removes kings, and sets up kings…
— Daniel 2:21

Then God removed Saul and made David their king…
— Acts 13:22

No one … can exalt themselves. It is God who judges: He brings one down, he exalts another.
— Psalms 75:6-7

…the Most High has power over human kingdoms. He gives them to whomever he wishes.
— Daniel 4:17

If it’s true that “there is no authority except that which God has established,” it raises many perplexing questions:

  1. Should we bother to vote if God is just going to elect who he wants, anyway?
  2. If all leaders are appointed by God, why do they disagree?
  3. Why does God appoint evil leaders? Why not just appoint righteous ones?
  4. Must we follow the orders of evil leaders?

1. Should we bother to vote if God is just going to elect who he wants, anyway?

A few Christians actually say no, and forgo voting in favor of prayer. They believe that since God will divinely appoint the leader he desires anyway, voting is futile. They feel the most important thing is for them to pray that God will rise up a worthy leader.

Other Christians disagree, and some say they vote because they know how God would want them to vote, but this is demonstrably false. For example, in this last election, the majority of the religious-right voted for the more religiously conservative candidate, but God appointed the opposing candidate. This suggests that God’s will was actually for the other candidate to win, and the religious-right didn’t understand God’s will at all.

2. If all leaders are appointed by God, why do they disagree?

The Bible not only teaches that God appoints our leaders, it also says he controls their behavior:

The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the LORD; he guides it wherever he pleases.
— Proverbs 21:1

But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart and he would not listen to Moses and Aaron…
— Exodus 9:12

If it’s true that all world leaders are appointed and controlled by God, then we might expect to see better collaboration among them, as if they were all led by a single unifying force.

There should be no world wars, because all leaders should agree on what needs to be done. They should say things like, “We all feel that Sweden deserves punishment, because they’re a bunch of godless heathens. We should bomb them and instate a Christian theocracy!” Instead, our leaders squabble over everything.

But if a single God were not motivating them all, then we would expect them to disagree, which is what they do.

3. Why does God appoint evil leaders? Why not just appoint righteous ones?

Being the benevolent bloke he is, you would think that God would only appoint benevolent leaders. After all, it’s supposed to be man and Satan who desire evil, not God. So why the evil leaders?

While Christians sometimes admit to struggling with this question, the suggestions they offer usually fall into two categories: 1) God does it to judge a people or nation and/or 2) God does it to bring about an even greater good.

The first possibility is that God wishes to serve up a heaping spoonful of wrath upon some well-deserving people or nation. Of course, God could just send a plague or rain down some fire and brimstone, but sometimes he prefers to let others do his dirty work for him.

Christians sometimes cite the kings of Babylon and Assyria as examples. God used them to punish the Jews, but for a good reason. And just to show that God is fair, he later punished Babylon and Assyria for punishing the Jews… even though God appointed these kings and made them do it, it was still wrong of them to do what God made them do (try and wrap your head around that one). But getting back to the point, the Jews were punished for a reason.

So does God really assign power to evil leaders just so they can dole out his punishments? I think this is an easy argument to make, because there is no country that is free from sin, and so a case can be made for why God would want to punish any nation.

However, if there’s one group that God seems hellbent on punishing, it’s the weak and defenseless. Evil leaders don’t seem to discriminate according to God’s will, attacking only those who deserve it most. Rather, they attack where they can win, in order to expand their borders and garner greater prosperity and security for themselves, their families, and their people. If God wasn’t controlling world leaders, this is exactly what we might expect them to do.

The next suggestion is that God is attempting to bring about some greater good, such as saving souls or bringing about the end of the world. GotQuestions.org cites the persecution of the early church as an example. Clearly God didn’t think the early Christians deserved to be punished, he only punished them so they would scatter, which would help to spread the gospel! But by the same logic, we could argue that God also persecuted the early Mormons, forcing them from town to town so their gospel could spread as well. Is God persecuting all these different religions to help them grow? Or is it just typical for new religions to be persecuted by competing faiths?

Ultimately, it’s impossible to prove that any evil leader isn’t somehow bringing about some event that helps God in his mysterious plan, or that God isn’t punishing a nation that may have deserved it.

4. Must we follow the orders of evil leaders?

Imagine being a Christian under Hitler’s Third Reich, when a young Jewish boy comes knocking at your door, begging you to hide him. What is the Christian thing to do? Do you risk your life to hide him? Or do you sell him out to the Nazis?

Being a good Christian, you consult your manual, which says:

 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority…
— 1 Peter 2:13

Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves… For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.
— Romans 13:2-5

If you’ve already resigned yourself to accepting that evil and suffering must exist for a reason, then it could logically follow that God appoints evil leaders to make sure such evil continues. If God appointed only peaceful leaders, there would be a lot less evil, negating its purpose.

Recognizing that 1) evil is integral to God’s plan, and 2) God elects and controls our leaders, and 3) to “rebel against the authority” would mean “rebelling against what God has instituted,” you must logically conclude that God wants Christians to support the plans of evil leaders. Ergo, you must surrender this boy to the Nazis, who “do not bear the sword for no reason.” Hiding the child would only hinder God’s greater plan!

But wait! 

As a last resort, believers may try to wriggle out of this conclusion by claiming that God, in fact, does not appoints all leaders, pointing to Hosea 8:4.

They set up kings without my consent; they choose princes without my approval.
— Hosea 8:4

The Biblical consensus is overwhelming that God appoints leaders, and is in control of those in power, and this verse appears to be the only exception to that rule.

It is a logical impossibility for there to exist “no authority except that which God has established” and for there to also exist authorities that God has not established. Either God establishes all authority, or he does not, you can’t have it both ways.


So does God appoint evil leaders? According to the Bible, yes.

This fact highlights many contradictions that exist in God’s behavior: he’s benevolent, yet gives rise to evil leaders; he leads his followers to vote for one leader, yet he appoints another; he guides the motives of all leaders, yet they still disagree; he orders his followers to do good, and then orders them to obey evil leaders; he punishes nations and people who are helpless, and grants victory to evil tyrants; and he insists he establishes all authority, and then denies establishing all authority.

If the Bible is truly inspired by God, one wonders why such contradictions exist.

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127 Responses to 38. Does God appoint evil leaders?

  1. Aradia says:

    Again, excellent post good sir. Unfortunately, I don’t have a witty comment tonight to add to your excellent blog. So all I can say is thanks for helping us to take a critical look at ourselves. Keep up the good work sir. 38 down, 462 to go.

    • Thanks Aradia. Take care!

      • Paul Briggs says:

        Some of your assumptions about what the reason the Lord does what He does are presumptuous. His reasons and his plans are far above yours and mine. The Lord’s ways are not our ways. He will use the devil as His surgical instrument. The Lord brings false prophets for instance because the “Lord your God is testing you to find out if you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul,” (Deut. 13:1-3) Job presumed certain things about the Lord’s righteousness. And the Lord gave His reply:
        “Brace yourself like a man;
        I will question you,
        and you shall answer me.
        8“Would you discredit my justice?
        Would you condemn me to justify yourself?
        9Do you have an arm like God’s,
        and can your voice thunder like his?
        10Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor,
        and clothe yourself in honor and majesty.
        11Unleash the fury of your wrath,
        look at all who are proud and bring them low,
        12look at all who are proud and humble them,
        crush the wicked where they stand.
        13Bury them all in the dust together;
        shroud their faces in the grave.
        14Then I myself will admit to you
        that your own right hand can save you.

        Job gave a reply which was righteous:
        You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’
        Surely I spoke of things I did not understand,
        things too wonderful for me to know.

        • Likewise, one could argue that some of your assumptions about the Bible are presumptuous. Why even assume it was inspired by God?

          Moving on, if we say to ourselves, “God’s ways are not our ways, and we will just have to wait until we are dead for these absurdities to be explained to us!” Are we not just sweeping all reasonable objections under the carpet until they can no longer be addressed? What if we are on the right path? How can we know by ignoring difficult questions? Also, when we say things like this, we unwittingly lend legitimacy to all other religions, no matter how absurd. Perhaps Hinduism is correct, and what may appear absurd to the Christian will be explained in the afterlife! Or perhaps the idea of the Flying Spaghetti Monster seems absurd, but maybe HE will explain in the afterlife why he chose to reveal himself as a satirical creature. Perhaps HIS wisdom is beyond us, and how dare we question his intentions!

          (I’m not sure why God continues to allow me to mock him, while he allows innocent children to suffer… but then again, his ways are not my ways…)

          Take care,

          • James says:

            Sir, I have not read all the comments so please forgive me if this has already been covered or I totally miss the boat.
            Regarding the young Jewish boy that comes to your door asking you to hide him. A tighter and more difficult question to answer I think is this: You work as a nurse or a doctor in a hospital and you are ordered by a superior to perform an euthanasia procedure on a patient in which you know that the drug you administer through a syringe is going to kill that patient. What do you do as a Christian?

            • Anonymous says:

              Lets not forget that God is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. There is no higher authority. When Daniel was ordered to eat unclean food he did not. When the king ordered to bow before his idol, he did not even onto death. So if there is a conflict between a world ruler and Gods rule, always obey Gods rule. So I would hide the Jewish boy knowing they are Gods people.

    • wrightm116 says:

      Have you ever given thought to the passive wrath of God & not just his active wrath? Check out Romans 1. God does in fact give His people what they want at times though it may not be best for them. This is not a contradiction in His character & yet I admit it is mysterious & on the surface appears that He has double personalities or contradicts Himself. It is mysterious how God is in control & yet He gives people freedom to choose & act under their own initiative & holds them responsible. I’m thankful for Jesus… He is the One that is rejected, and the enemy loves for people in his grasp to argue about things that aren’t easily understood, yet can be understood by the power of the Holy Spirit. I don’t want a God I can fully figure out under a microscope, I believe that puts me in Authority above Him.

      • Hello wrightm116,

        Romans 1 has some not-so-nice things to say about those who don’t believe in God:

        “They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy.”

        Ouch. Romans 1 also DOES say that God gives those “evil” unbelievers over to the lusts of their flesh, most of which are sexual in nature:

        “Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another.”

        I find it disheartening to read how the Bible encourages its followers to view non-believers as such horrible individuals. If it turns out the Bible is NOT true — just humor me for a second — then it has done a terrible disservice to say: “If you are not a part of OUR group, then you are an evil, horrible, human being… and probably gay.” This just isn’t true, and there are many non-believers who have dedicated their lives to caring for the less fortunate. But I digress.

        The main thing I wish to point out is that Romans 1 doesn’t specifically address the issue of leaders (but rather, evil unbelievers). Ironically, when Romans does get around to speaking of leaders (in Romans 13), it says “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” God is pretty clear.

        But what I believe you’re attempting to imply is that God has appointed evil leaders, because that’s was what evil people desired. But again, the Bible says that, “The authorities that exist have been established by God,” and “whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted.” So it is God who establishes and institutes authority, not man. If we assume that God is simply appointing the leaders that evil men desire, then God is NOT appointing them, in fact, God is doing nothing at all. Whether God exists or not, the same events would transpire.

        Moreover, why would God emphasize the importance of obeying these leaders if God were simply relaying the desires of evil men? If God was NOT in control of these men, he would warn his followers to question (and possibly oppose) evil leaders. But God doesn’t, because he’s confident he appoints and controls them.

        Take care,

  2. Aradia says:

    Would it be hypocritical to say Amen?

    • No, it would not. In fact, I WAS feeling rather inspired. Sometimes I think the spirit of the anti-Christ moves me to speak on something that someone needs to hear. (Just kidding!)

      Anyway… I’m guessing there were probably a lot of conservative families this holiday expressing little thanks for their new president. Though I can’t imagine why… it’s clearly what God wanted.

  3. rautakyy says:

    I doubt if your 500 Questions have been inspired by any divine or supernatural forces, but your text is certainly inspiring reading.

    I thought that Obama is somehow more Christian, than Romney. How do the monotheists know wich guy their god is supporting in an election? God of course shares their values, and a fella sharing their values must be the chosen candidate of their god. Correct?

    A recent study claimed, that the values of the religious right in the US resemble more of the values of Islamic countries, than those of Christian Europe. If an actual Muslim who supported capital punishment, and pro-life movement, hard line neoconservative capitalism was opposed to a liberal pro-choise, social reformist Christian in the US presidential elections, would the conservatives feel their god asked them to vote for the conservative Muslim rather than the liberal Christian? Would that not be a victory for the freedom of religion and general secularism? Was the fact that so many fundamentalist Christians were ready not only to vote for Mitt Romney, but also to pray for his victory, an actual victory of secularist culture? A true sign of secularity of politics and of the separation of state and church.

    • Many religious conservatives accuse Obama of being a secret Muslim. While they were not pleased that Mitt was Mormon, his values and religion were close enough to grant him a pass. But had Mitt been an outright Muslim, religion would trump politics and there’s no way he would’ve ever been elected. Americans fear Muslims much more than Mormons.

      • Eccoo Damo says:

        Funny that you said that this and yet Obama’s every action is trying to protect Islam while going against almost every Christian values proving that Obama is not a Christian. You can watch videos on youtube with Obama praising muslims and even reciting, perfectly, verses from the quran. I

    • Aradia says:

      I think you make an excellent point, rautakyy, with the comparison of the religious fundamental christian right in america and the fundamentalist islamic nations.

      • Anonymous says:

        Why spend so much effort in disproveing something you consider not real. Don’t quit understand why people dislike a group of people so much whose purpose is to love they neighbor.

        • Aradia says:

          So please choose out of the following examples which one represents Christians loving their neighbors. The Third Reich? The Crusades? The Spanish Inquisition? The Burning Times? The Church endorsing slavery in the 18th century? Forced conversion of many Pagan religions, including the Celts? The list goes on. I would overload the server that hosts this website if I tried to list every atrocity committed in the name of Christ. And for the record, I don’t dislike all Christians, just the hypocritical sycophants. The reason to spend so much effort to disprove something that I don’t even believe to be real is to stop any future harm this myth WILL cause.

          • Doing things in the name of Christ does not make those things Christian! Read Christ’s words to know what being Christian is all about. Nothing else. Not the religious right or left or commentaries about it or anything else in the universe. Just His words.No more no less.

          • Jim Myers says:

            The one who provided for the needs of those who were in need as a result of these actions. The one who showed themselves as Christ during these periods.

          • heather brodian says:

            The Crusades, after HUNDREDS of years of Christians being slaughtered Finally decided to stop laying down and taking that slaughter, “Forced” Christianity, please explain how you were there to know this, I know, bc people write it in books nice try, and please prove how you know the church endorsed slavery, Christians are not perfect, we all fall short but our purpose is to live for God and follow his commandments the best we can, as for the author pointing to “contradictory” Romans 8:4 verse, this might make the case for why some Christians don’t vote. as for the Third Reich, please prove they were Christians, please name them and their denomination affiliation! Romans 8:4 They set up kings without my consent, they set up princes without my approval, well duh! it’s called election cycles, they vote for of their own choosing, but ultimately God decides who will win, if we deserve a good leader we get one, if not we get screwed simple, how does God decide, by sending more to people to vote for one than then the other, you people need to learn reading comprehension, it is not that hard.

            • Kat G says:

              The Crusades were led and encouraged by “the Church” which was extremely corrupt at the time. It served one purpose only, to take back the land which God gave Abraham. Anything outside of that was a flesh and power struggle encouraged by the devil. God allows us to have our way to show us we do not have a clue about what we need or what’s best for us. The ones that suffer in the flesh are taken care of when they go home. And they wouldn’t return if they could.

          • (The Third Reich? The Crusades? The Spanish Inquisition? The Burning Times? The Church endorsing slavery in the 18th century? Forced conversion of many Pagan religions, including the Celts? The list goes on. I would overload the server that hosts this website if I tried to list every atrocity committed in the name of Christ) That is not a sincere statement. More atrocities have been attributed to Islam than to any religion ever to grace the face of the Earth!!!

        • “Why spend so much effort in disproveing something you consider not real.”

          Fair question.

          I suppose if no one believed it, there wouldn’t be much point in debating it. No one, for example, goes around trying to disprove Greek myths, but there must’ve been a time when some ancient skeptics questioned these gods. And maybe people would ask them “Why are you doubting the gods and spreading doubt? We’re perfectly happy believing in them!” But some people are just tenacious that way, they HAVE to know, and their curiosity eats away at them.

          I wouldn’t say I’m 100% convinced there is no God, but I would say there doesn’t seem to be much evidence to confirm His existence. And being raised Christian, I was taught that if I got the wrong answer to this question, I would be made to suffer for all of eternity. So as silly as it sounds, I’ll admit that maybe some small portion of me just wants to make absolutely sure these people were incorrect. But mostly, I just want to know the truth, and to be able to defend whatever position seems like truth.

          • heather brodian says:

            God judges ALL of us according to our works not JUST whether we believe or not and so if by biblical standards some people in Heaven will get more jewels in their crown, so to speak, than others, surely there must be levels in hell too, unbelievers can be good people just like some Christians can be bad people, if you are a good person, God will judge and repay you accordingly, I believe in God bc I simply refuse to believe in evolution, I do not know who, other than a divine being can create nature to know what it knows and do what it does in such perfect harmony who else could make the seasons come n go as they do, how the prayer tree ( don’t know the actual name, but now I have to google it) knows when to to open and fold its leaves everyday day at almost approximately day at the same time etc, but in any event, even if there is no God, I’m good, if there is, and I’m absolutely sure there is, then I’m good.

          • Aggie Walker says:

            You’re not 100% convinced there is no God….. and small portion of you just wants to make sure these people are incorrect.
            I’m 100% sure you have never cried out to God in earnest and asked Him to reveal Himself to you. I’m 100% sure you have not made the effort to really know God.
            If you had, you would know He is real. Everyone who KNOWS God is real, has made a conscience decision to find the truth. People who do not know God – do NOT want to know Him and follow His rules. They are content doing as they please.
            Just admit it, that’s all.

            • Hi Aggie,

              I would willfully admit that, if it were true, but I really don’t feel there’s all that much to be gained by NOT wanting to know God, or by NOT following his rules. Why throw away an eternity in heaven for a few cheap thrills? This is not why I doubt.

              I cannot count the number of times I’ve asked God to reveal himself in some way, shape, or form. In fact, as confident as I am that he does not exist, I still petition God from time to time on the off chance I’m wrong. God has never responded to any of my requests.

              So, should I die, and find myself standing before God, and he asks, “Why didn’t you believe?” I can honestly say, “I wanted to, but I found the idea unreasonable, unlikely, and implausible for many reasons. But let me ask you, when I petitioned you hundreds of times for a sign — why did you not respond? I had no good reason to believe we were anything other than a natural creation, and that gods were all man-made, and you gave me no reason to doubt this conclusion.”

              I would much rather that our reality be one where God did exist, but I’m not going to let this desire corrupt my judgement. I want to know the truth, even if its disagreeable.


              • Anonymous says:

                I was the same as you. Couldn’t believe..For a week, I told myself every morning ^I have accepted and believed in the Lord^. At the end of the week I believed it and started voraciously studying and received the answer. I have Never looked back and He has blessed me beyond belief with perfect peace in trying circumstances. It Is Wonderful beyond description my dear

          • tonymclain says:

            If you truly want to know the truth, do not depend on the history books, read the Bible. Any of those things done in the name of Christianity do not reflect the teaching of Jesus or the teachings of the apostles. Just read the book.

          • Anonymous says:

            He reveals Himself through nature, seasons, oceans, Sun, moon, stars, leaves and our conscience. Fellowship with Him brings perfect peace (I am an example of this fact, from turmoil and strife to perfect peace in every situation).. We accept or reject. It’s our own personal choice, regardless of religion

  4. fluffyCat says:

    As you stated: “I wouldn’t say I’m 100% convinced there is no God, but I would say there doesn’t seem to be much evidence to confirm His existence.”

    By the time you get to 500 questions I wonder what your feelings will be. Coming from a no church background I did start going to church when I was married as my wife was a practicing Lutheran. I did feel there was something good about going. The emphasis was always about helping the less fortunate and finding a power to lean on when the rigors of life got too tough.

    Currently I am in a state of akwardnes and doubt to describe where I’m at. In a sense is every human being to some degree Evil? But of course in regard to leaders there is Nixon evil and crazy evil like Hitler and Sadam.

    Nixon coming from a Quaker background, I wonder what kind of thought pattern he went through late at night when he had time to think about the great mysteries. As bad as Sadam was, he supposedly did not specificly persecute the Christians in his country (as long as they stayed non-political). My own Lutheran church began from the leadership of Martin Luther who wrote some horrific treatsies about the Jewish population and gave amunition for Hitler to validate the Holacaust. Would have to say that evil is in every tradition and religion. Why?

    Does everyone have the potential to be forgiven through Jesus Christ is the big question? What does that actually mean if we believe this when we die. Do atheists look at there past actions to have guilt weigh on their minds? When does a person get true peace?

    500 q’s, if you want some mind provoking questions to ponder, look at a documentary that was filmed about a general who was involved in the genocide atrocities in Liberia. I watched this on the documentary channel. It is callel: “The redemption fo General Butt Naked.” There is a scene where he goes back to a family where the father was killed and a young girl was smashed in the face(and blinded in one eye) with a rifle during one of his raids, and he is telling her he is sorry. him. With tears streaming down her face she listens to him and later says she does forgive him. This must be what is only possible with Christs love.

    I hate the fact so much of the Bible is hijacked by individuals who belive that everything is literal and written by God. It just can’t be that way. We need to challenge what is written and put science and questions of morality out there. Keep posting your questions.

    • rautakyy says:

      @FluffyCat, I live in a country where the Lutheran church is joined with the state. They have the legal right to collect taxes and though personal taxes are only collected from the members of the church, the church gets its share of the communal taxes paid by enterpeneurs and the consumers alike, regardless of their religious affiliation. In our peoples army soldiers pray to the Lutheran god, lead by a Lutheran war priests, unless they are of a different nomination, religion, or atheists like me. There are quite a lot of atheists, Greek orthodoxes and an ever growing number of muslims here today. There is some mild discussion wether our government should attend religious festivals, and though they have some sort of ecumenical priests doing some ointmenting on inauguration days, mostly religion is a very private matter for both our leaders and the people. In our schools the Lutheran faith is taught to kids, because parents do not teach it to them by themselves. Most people seem not to have the foggiest idea what Christianity is all about anyway. It is just an ancient tradition of how people are baptised, confirmed and getting buried. Hardly anybody (exept few very devoted old ladies) goes to church ever, exept some in christmass.

      Here in Finland the Lutheran church is divided radically. There is the main line Lutheran church here that is, if possible even more liberal, than the ubiqutious Church of England. It has had to cope with the majority of people who have turned out to be liberal, because in a democracy the right to have the flow of money from taxes requires not that the church sets the moral standard, but that people set it and the church simply has to abide to that.

      We have our own fundamentalist fanatics out here also. Mostly Lutherans but extreme and much more active religious life in comparrison to the majority of people. Whose values resemble more of those of the American Evangelical movements, or dear I say, the Wahhabit Islamist movements. People who actually reject evolution and await the end of the world as a good thing. Mainly people choose between these options by being born into a family that has some religious tradition and they find it natural to be part of that kind of thinking. The same applies to me as well, as I am an atheist in the third generation from both sides. However there are also people who look for the truth and turn to one or the other of different religions, denominations, currents within the denominations, or even atheism. Of lately since it became easier to resign from the church it has grown a lot. But there are still atheists who are members of the Lutheran church, because it is a tradition and because they prefer to support religious culture that is not trying to influence politics and that has an attempt to choose its moral leadership via the common understanding of ethics rather than by reading a lot of iron age commandments by a nomadic tribal god.

      Historically the Finns were Roman catholics after a number of crusades made by the Swedes, in the 13th century. During those crusades the Finnish tribes succumbed to the Swedish crown also and then joined in crusading against the Russians who, of course by that time were allready Christians themselves. Just that they were the wrong kind of Christians – Greek Orthodoxes, as you propably know. That warfare took few centuries, we call the medieval times. Then a new Swedish king by the name of Gustav Wasa arose who was at war with both the Russians and the Danes, and he desperately needed money for his wars. He appointed one of his friends a Lutheran scholar as the archibishop of Sweden and he in turn appointed all the other bishops and these in turn told their priests, that Sweden (and subsequently Finland as part of the kingdom) are hence forth Lutheran. In practice it meant the church had to surrender all its property to the king, who used it for his wars and raised a modern army and from that point on Sweden was a considerable military might in Europe for centuries and took part in a number of religious wars there. I suppose you could say, your god works in mysterious ways. But did god appoint king Gustav to change the church in Sweden into Lutheran, or not? On whose side in these religious wars, like the 30-years war, was god on? Who won? A lot of people died horrible deaths.

      Anyway, I do not see why an atheist would be unable to have regret for their previous unethical behaviour. Why should it need a divine threat of eternal punishment, for a person to have remorse? Is that even genuine remorse, if a person is more sorry about his own fate in the alledged afterlife, than the actual harm he has caused? Nor do I understand why would it need one particular “message of mercy” from a particular deity for a person to be able to forgive even the most horrific deeds? Is it even humane to set a standard for people to forgive the most horrific actions? If it is, then what do we need a “message of forgiveness” for anyway? We are able to forgive and that is of course a beautiful point made by Jesus and quite a lot of others during the history. And we should forgive to a person who is showing genuine regret and most importantly who is trying to behave. It is interresting though, that those people who call themselves fundamentalist Christians, seem to be very conservative about such things as the capital punishment. Very little of forgiveness there. Is it just hypocricy? We all have a conscience, regardless if you think it was put there by a god, or by natural selection like I think it has appeared. It is our natural ability for empathy, we share with other mammals, that compels us to have regrets, if anything.

    • “In a sense is every human being to some degree Evil?…. Do atheists look at there past actions to have guilt weigh on their minds?”

      I saw a show recently, I believe it was Nova’s Science Now, where rats were given the choice to either eat their favorite treat or free another trapped rat. The majority of the time these rats were empathetic, and would free their trapped cohort before heading over to the food. I’d like to think our ability to be empathetic is just as innate as it is in rats.

      By the way, I should mention that I usually hesitate to use the word “evil,” as if there actually is such a thing. I think evil is just a word we use to describe what most people would typically find undesirable. In the context of this post, it might describe leaders who have behaved in a way that most of us would deem ungodly, thus contradicting the notion that God had anything to do with their appointment.

      I think we all have the capacity to “behave inappropriately” — especially men for some reason — and I think it all boils down to the inner-workings of our brain. Some recent research even suggests that our intelligence came at the cost of increased mental illness…

      “The same genes that gave rise to higher mental function are also responsible for a number of brain disorders, the results reveal, suggesting that the evolution of intelligence came at the cost of mental illness.”

      I think whether or not we have the capacity for guilt depends entirely on whether or not our mind is functioning “normally” (if there is such a thing). I know I personally feel remorse when I do something I wouldn’t want someone to do to me, but I think I feel this way both because of instinctive empathy (like the rat) and because I can logically deduce that it was wrong. But put the brain of a psychopath in my skull, and I might not think that way.

  5. fluffyCat says:

    Thanks a lot for going into your own background and also to the historical accounts as to how the beliefs of the people came to be in Finland and also to the current situation of the Lutheran church and how it interacts with the government. I found it very interesting and informative.

    It has been a long time since I had my comparative religion class in college and also quite a few years have passed since I read through several of Will Durant’s Historical works. Just got through reading about Wahhabit Islam on Wikpedia. I did do a little reading in the Koran but never got very far. Read some in the book of Mormon and once completely through the bible.

    I am a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, though was married in the more conservative Missouri synod branch from which my wife grew up in. The Wisconsin branch of the Lutherans in America is even more restrictive.

    The ELCA ordains women and believes scripture to be historical and not always literally. Also, there is no set opinion of if when taking Holy Communion it is actually the Body and Blood of Christ, it is up to ones opinion when taking it.

    My wife and I started going to a ELCA church shortly after we married. The Pastor was about my age very personable and outgoing.
    I also did become baptized in my early 30’s on a Church sponsered trip through Mexicao in my second year of marriage and did so join the church. Our two children were under the influence of going to church and Sunday school in their school age years. Now grown and on their own not really going to church unless with us for a visit.

    As you point out it is hard to reconcile God choosing a (good?) leader to establish one particular branch of religion. Pehaps he doesn’t really want Lutheran in Finland but Quaker. http://geijer.nu/quakersandindians2.html
    Also, does a loving God have a hand in putting humanity through all the bloodshed of wars. I would say perhaps all humanity is still going through a screening process of our own choice and we haven’t quite got the message Jesus was trying to carry. Now if we all turned the other cheek and we all were willing to give our neighbor the cloak off of our back, what kind of world would we have?

    If God doesn’t exist the conditions to our concious of Good and Evil surely seem to. Why? Shouldn’t we basically be only concerned with following the law of the jungle?
    I tend to think we actually can’t really see God because if we did and still commited Evil then maybe there would not be any chance to save. Again perhaps it is our own ignorance and sense of doubt that might possibly be our way out. Seems like I am thinking more along agnostic lines.

    I get irriated with religious leader who say what is written in the Bible is literal word of God( especially in the old). But there is a puzzlement in the accounts of Jesus. I do accept his historical existance and if going through the premise that his followers who wrote after were just trying to put one over, what was to be gained. This in a way also seems miraculous.

    • rautakyy says:

      @FluffyCat, I think that there is a very deep division into two distinctive groups within all religioons in this world, that is more important and decisive, then the division between different sects, or perhaps even different religions. It is the division between people who have absolute faith and people who feel that having doubts is part of their faith. Sadly though the second group is the vast majority, they are also the people who mostly do not even stop to think about religion much. When they do they seem to develope some form of healthy skepticism, agnosticism, or even become atheists.

      The two groups of absolute faith and doubtfull faith seem to percieve the world very differently and there is also a great difference between them in the lenghts of natural ethics people are willing to stretch.Those people with the absolute faith take their morals from this or that authority. Even some atheists have fallen into this trap, by behaving religiously about the authority of this or that dictator, likes of Stalin, or Mao. But the problem was inherently a religious model of morals in the socieiteis the mentioned dictators took over, where the supreme authority (what ever that is) has gained some magical right ot override ethics in the minds of the people. Most often in history such authority is some guy speaking for the most supreme authority imaginable, a god. In many historical societies the god and the “dictator” are one and the same person. Like for example the Egyptian pharaos, the Roman emperors, but even after the advent of monotheism, there have been all sorts of prophets, priests and like in the Bysantine empire the emperor himself who wield the authority of the god. It is only natural that many religions have been used by and actually give credit to the right of rule by the earthly powers that be, or otherwise they would never have become very popular at all. The kings and emperors would have seen to it.

      My take on this is, that as the natural ethics is the only method of evaluating and comparing the morals offered by different religions, gods and ideologies, even a creator entity must be subject to this logic. If that is not the case, it is a complete logical fallacy to call such a deity “benevolent”. A claim expressing more of the desire and hope of the believer towards the character of said god, but not an accurate description of reality in wich this god is obviously weilding the right of might.

      In that sense a god (any god) has certain responsibilities towards humanity. The greater the power a certain god alledgedly has, the greater is the responsibility. Logical thus far? I have yet to encounter a religion that worships a god that has met much of the responsibilities required by the power estimated these gods have by the adherents of these religions. My perspective is that of the outsider and I cannot really follow the “my religion is right, because my god told me so” logic.

      Jesus expressed the idea of the “golden rule” much in the same way as Buddha and Laozi before him. It is part of the essence of the natural ethics. It is certainly a happy matter that most democratic societies have taken on the natural way of measuring and deciding on the social morals and legal systems of the society, in stead of relying on ancient legal systems from iron age Near-East set up by theocracies and kings. It is the work by secular society often run by the majority of people who are mildly religious in the sense of not really bothering much to ponder upon gods, or such, but following their natural sense of justice.

      However, it is good to remember that uneducated people are allways easier to lead to any atrocities, because – fanatics aside – even good people are capable of the most horrendous acts, if they are being fed the idea that what ever they are doing is for the greater good. The less people know, the easier they are to lead astray. The more prepared they are to accept some ultimate authority, that supposedly overrides what is obviously right or wrong, the more supseptible they are to such malicious leadership.

      As to your question: “Shouldn’t we be basicly be following the law of the jungle?” Well, you see, we are following the “law of the jungle” as we are actually following natural selection by forming societies. Our morals and ethics are based on the fact that the social behaviour, expressed by so many species of animals us humans included, is a very effective method of survival of the fittest. The survival of the fittest is not that of the fittest individual, but rather that of the fittest species. Do you see the difference?

      Most of the opposition to the evolutionary theory I have encountered comes from the fear of the effects of accepting this particular theory to the reliability to this, or that ancient scripture as an actual divinely inspired message from a god. The fear is well based. That is exactly what the evoltionary theory does to such guesses by the ancient people on how the world and the universe really works and the rest of their wild claims about the supernatural explanation model. Not alone the evoltionary theory, but almost the entire body of modern science has that effect. But because it is a weak arguing point just to claim, that the ancient text must be right and science wrong, people either deliberately misscomrehend, or they are lied to, about these scientific researh results and theories. One very good example is that religious people are constantly told to neglect the theory of evolution based on such nonsense as that Darwin was a racist, or that the survival of the fittest is some form of fascistic cutural model meaning a constant war of every individual against every other individual. Neither of these claims are actually true in any sense, but you see how they reflect on the people making such claims?

      God(s) are elusive notions even at best. The concept cannot be measured and any god(s) are very hard to compare to anything by any reliable means. One thing is for certain though. Human have a tendency to invent gods and insert the alledged commands and hearsay stories of the supernatural to human interaction. Very often the very human goals of these insertions are quite obvious, and especially so when the alledged authority of gods is being used as a political tool to give credibility to this or that leadership. Would a supreme creator of the universe interfere in human politics? Would such a powerfull being actually have a responsibility to interfere?

  6. Anonymous says:


    Appreciate your thoughtful comments. I cannot with logic argue against nor do I want to, with the points you have raised. I am one of those persons going to church who dare not go to a Bible study and raise questions for I do not want to be labeled as the devil’s advocate. I agree with most and think I get what you say.

    As I said I was never raised going to church and most of my thoughts and actions in my teenage years consisted of just trying to have fun. Drink beer and chase girls. Kind of drifted allot tell I went into the military for 4 years, got out and eventually went to college and setted down in my early 30’s.

    I want to give a more thorough response later, but did want to point out that for me their seems to me something special about the written accounts of Jesus that just seem to catch me. Is this all-just kind of a scam about followers trying to make a story to fit into their own hopes and wishes? I do have trouble also with a literal interpretation of the accounts.

    The actions of Thomas intrigue me a lot. I see him as a person who kind of took all the things going on in a practical matter. Kind of realizing if he and his group where to go on to Jerusalem this whole thing was just going to end with them all getting killed and that would be the end of it.

    It kind of says that the skeptical are not automatically expelled. Does believing in Jesus just mean following what he addressed at the Sermon on the Mount? Give all our material possesions away and follow his way? I don’t have that kind of faith but I do see a world that worships a Baal. It is symbolized by the bronze statue of a bull in front of the New York stock exchange.

    Anyway, I kind of want to maybe put some followup later on the points you have raised.

  7. fluffyCat says:

    The last Anonymous was me Fluffycat

  8. Admittedly I haven’t read all comments to this post, however, I do have my two-cents to add — and those cents have Abraham Lincoln stamped on them, not Caesar! 😉

    Purely from a biblical fundamentalist’s point-of-reference, God not only appoints/allows evil leaders into power, but He/She/It also appoints/allows evil nations/people to live where He/She/It commands; e.g. followers of Moses & Abraham are free to “remove” Canaanites from their land and live there righteously. Or wait a minute….maybe that was the United Nations in 1947-48 removing the Palestinians from the Levant? No…wait….maybe that was the Americans removing Native American Indians throughout the 1700’s and 1800’s under God’s Manifest Destiny? Ahh, no matter…Joshua 1:1-4 or John 14:6 are my swords, land deeds, and justified spiritual prejudice! (facetiously speaking of course, and ducks from incoming flying debris!)

    Wonderful inquiry 500! 🙂

    • Barbara Coyt says:

      In 2008 also in 2012 God made it possible that the most the person that was going to be fair to everyone. The best person for the underdog, for to long race and money was the major players. We can be sure if it was not God a BLACK man would not be in the white house

      • Hi Barbara. I’ve read and reread your comment/reply 3-4 times and I’m not certain I understand its meaning. Apologies. Nevertheless, I’m curious about your last sentence:

        We can be sure if it was not God a BLACK man would not be in the white house.

        Bypassing the controversy and theories whether a theistic or deistic “God” even exists — which personally I don’t feel is the primary issue much less important to determine for the human race; there are way too many other dire concerns than to waste valuable time on that debate — if you are saying Barbara that “a Supreme Being” purposefully placed a black man into the Presidency for 2-terms, hence influencing some 300+ American voters, and several (many?) other factors to our (semi-)democratic election process… then I would contend there are other better explanations. To name just one, over at least two centuries the American social landscape is GRADUALLY evolving/changing with more higher educated voters and newer parents no longer “teaching” hateful divisive racism, homophobia or homo-hate, et al. For example, (more) legal same-sex marriage is now the law of the nation!!! *applauds loudly!*😀

        However, just like the ‘divine appointment’ of social classes (e.g. slavery) all throughout history and “Christian” nations/empires, it STILL is not completely safe for gay and lesbian couples to publicly marry then live in certain regions of the U.S. despite the gradual educational evolution over many American generations. Under the microscope very little of these “changes”, these social evolutions and their causes could be so oversimplified to one Supreme Being’s will. What I actually see — in my humble one opinion — are very VERY brave people influencing change… sometimes at the cost of their own lives!

        But as I mentioned, I might be misunderstanding your comment.😉

        • Sorry, typo. That should’ve read: 300+ million American voters… not just 300+.

          Also, it should’ve read: these social evolutions and their causes could NOT be so oversimplified… not “could be so oversimplified…”


      • Sir Isaac Newton says:

        Barbara, I agree with you 100%. Even the events that unfolded with his run up to the elections both times were miraculous.

  9. God Fearer says:

    Read Hosea 8 vs 4

  10. Thank you for your thorough commentary of scriptural truth in governance and the sovereignty of God

  11. I’m studying bible theology and can clear some of this up. First and foremost, we don’t understand GOD’s attributes. who he is. we are finite whereas he is infinite, beyond our understanding. as for leaders, look at Israel. GOD allowed Israel to become a divided kingdom because of sin. Davids sin, and Israel collectively. America has become an ungodly nation. A nation of sin with the likes of Sodom and Gomorrah. Matter of fact, Billy Graham recently (today is the 21st of OCT 2014) wrote about America being bad as Sodom and Gomorrah. It is true. Read revelations 17:17. “For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.” GOD controls all nations and governent. HE created government.. Genesis 9:5-6 “5 And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man. 6 Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man. ” capital punishment for killing another man. government the first command of government. SO GOD gives nations the leaders they deserve but ones that will fulfill his will.

    • Anonymous says:

      read Hosea 8:4. God said “They have set up kings, but not by me. They have appointed princes, but I did not know it. With their silver and gold they have made idols for themselves, that they might be cut off.”

      • So… “there is NO authority except that which God has established” (Romans 13:1) AND, according to Hosea 8:4, there ARE authorities that God has not established. Contradiction, maybe?

        Even if we argue that God “gives nations the leaders they deserve,” he’s still the one in charge of electing them… well… except according to Hosea 8:4.

        • John says:

          There is no contradiction between Romans 13:1 and Hosea 8:4 if you compare the basic vocabulary involved. Romans 13:1 refers to “authority” (exousia), meaning the authority of a governmental system: For example, the authority of the crown or the office of President. The word exousia (“authority”) does not refer to a specific person, but a rank. Such authority — such as a monarchy or presidency or other form of government — is established by God, who is the King of kings.

          Hosea 8:4 refers to specific “kings” chosen by men — people who do not rightfully bear the crown in God’s eyes. And so according to Romans 13:1, God has established the crown or office, but according to Hosea 8:4, there will be men not chosen by God who bear that crown or office. The Bible is basically saying what everyone already understands by intuition: One can respect and honor the office without admiring the person who holds it.

          To assume God has unchecked authority in the affairs of men is to call God a liar in Genesis 1:28 when He delegates earthly authority to humanity. When men exert their God-delegated dominion wrongfully (from Genesis 3 and onward), all hell breaks loose. When they submit to God — “Thy Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven” — then a greater level of peace and prosperity occurs. A simple survey of the Bible’s historical narrative (1 and 2 Kings) would demonstrate to be the case: We see political power struggles, and we see God intervening — through other men — to elevate some and depose others. We see times of turmoil and peace, but if Jesus instructed us to pray “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” the implication is that God’s will is NOT always done on earth as it is in heaven.

          The answer is pretty simple and right there in the first chapter of the Bible. Mankind bears divinely delegated authority in this life, but there is only one authority above all other authorities, and that is God. “Submit to God; resist the devil,” is the literal message of rest of the Bible. (It never says submit to the Religious Right or Dominionists, thank God — they are mere men). The truth is, all of us, including the devil, will submit to God, the King of kings. The question is whether we will submit in humility with the angels who know their rank, or bend the knee with the demons who usurp God’s authority and go their own way. You can go to hell with Hitler if you want to, but I’d rather be chillin’ with Churchill in the afterlife.

          Which one submitted to God and resisted the devil? The answers are much easier than you’re making them out to be.

      • Lee says:

        I read this too after a preacher dogmatically stated that all our leaders are appointed by God. If God does not change, then we ought to listen to what he says in Hosea 8:4 instead of what Paul wrote, as he was not God.

  12. johnnylkn says:

    I really like the blog you wrote and so many Christians believe exactly that so I don’t fault you on that. As Satan lied to Adam and eve in the garden of Eden , Satan continues to lie to the believers in the church. By telling us that he is not the one responsible for evil in this word but it is God who allows this to happen. Look around the world who in control? The evil one who comes to kill and destroy, if any world was set up perfectly to house such an evil this world is. We must know the true nature of God. This is the reason for complacency why vote, why do anything when God is control of everything. How crazy is it to thing that God allows a car accident to happen. This is why people choose not to believe. God does love you and cares, he does not allow bad things to happen they just do, we as Christians must stand up and fight evil until the end. His spirit lives inside us why? if we do not have power to change things? Do not accept it! FIGHT!

    • Lee says:

      I believe in the creator God, but believing people who claim in writing that they are God’s chosen and commit all manner of atrocities claiming God told them to do it, I do not buy it. It defies logic. It defies the teachings of Jesus. Even today, we have people claiming that they are murdering and making war in the name of God. I don’t find any religion exempt from such horrible deeds. So, I simply refuse to get on the band wagon claiming that because I have read the Bible that I believe the different books or omitted books in their entirety are of God. The creator of the universe does not need mortal man to snuff out the lives of others in His name. And I am sick to death of the rationale that God was testing their obedience to Him.

  13. charles says:

    this is realy a strong message to all belivers in Nigeria at the moment

  14. God is not responsible for their evil deeds they only a rebel.

    • Sherry Lee says:

      Hosea 8:4. People reap what they sew. God has nothing to do with our politics and bad decisions. He certainly does not ordain the leaders we think we must have.

      • Please refer to Revlations 17:17. It states GOD puts it in the hearts of leaders to to do GODs will and give their kingdom to the beast until the words of GOD be fulfilled. So clearly, GOD puts kings and leaders in their places to do GOD’s will. in the not too distant future, GOD will use world leaders to accomplish what his plans are for the world. the beast is of course the Anti christ. So yes, because the US has become immoral, sexually depraved and the like, with abortion, We deserve the leader we have. When Israel became a divided monarchy, the northern kingdom was predominantly lead by evil kings whereas Judah in the south, had generally good kings. but remember, the kingdom became divided because of king solomon. one thinks he was a wise king and good but jewish history has taught me that he was quite the opposite because the OT says he had many foreign wives who has strange gods and he followed them. this is why the LORD visited him twice, to get his attention. however solomon didn’t change and the LORD told him that the kingdom will be rent in two after his death.

        So nations and leaders by their sin and disobedience bring upon themselves evil and GOD is an all knowing GOD and so much so that, Jeremiah 1:5 says that, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

        So if GOD knew you before you were born, he knows all you would do, good and sinful in your life. SO GOD puts leaders in charge o fnations to fulfill his will and what nations deserve

  15. also, don’t forget, after the flood when noah came out of the Ark, GOD established government with the institution of the death penalty. if someone sheds the blood of another, they are to be killed. so Yes, GOD established government. Genesis 9:6 “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image. So when someone murders someone wrongly except in self defense, that murderer is striking the image of GOD since we are made in his image

  16. Captain Daddy Rabbit says:

    This is from Got Questions, which fills in the void created here.
    The next question is “Is there a time when we should intentionally disobey the laws of the land?” The answer to that question may be found in Acts 5:27-29, “Having brought the apostles, they made them appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. ‘We gave you strict orders not to teach in this Name,’ he said. ‘Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.’ Peter and the other apostles replied: ‘We must obey God rather than men!’“ From this, it is clear that as long as the law of the land does not contradict the law of God, we are bound to obey the law of the land. As soon as the law of the land contradicts God’s command, we are to disobey the law of the land and obey God’s law. However, even in that instance, we are to accept the government’s authority over us. This is demonstrated by the fact that Peter and John did not protest being flogged, but instead rejoiced that they suffered for obeying God (Acts 5:40-42).

    Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/laws-land.html#ixzz3c8yizxBA

    • Lee says:

      We need to be very careful in whom we think we are obeying.

      • Captain Daddy Rabbit says:

        Have you ever thought, I knew I should not have done that, but you did it anyway. Had you obeyed, the outcome would have been good. Another thought here, if it’s all about me, it’s probably not from God.

    • Howdy Captain Daddy Rabbit,

      That’s a great example, though I think it just shows how much the Bible contradicts itself.

      As a believer, you MUST accept that you will NEVER receive a command from an authority that has NOT come from God. The Bible makes it perfectly clear that God has established ALL authorities (Romans 13:1), he guides their hearts wherever HE pleases (Proverbs 21:1), and because if this, you are ordered to obey these authorities (Romans 13:2-5), lest you disobey God.

      The Bible does NOT say, “God has established ALL authorities, and drives ALL their hearts, so you must obey ALL their commands… unless God has NOT established them, or God is NOT driving their hearts, in which cases you can just ignore them.” God either drives them, or he does not, and I’m sorry, but you can’t have it both ways.

      One COULD argue the Sanhedrin were not technically an “authority”, otherwise, one must acknowledge a contradiction exists between this and all the other verses.

      Why do these contradictions exist? Not because we have failed to understand the Bible, but likely because the Bible was authored by imperfect men.

      Take care,

  17. Anonymous says:

    The classic King James mistranslation in Romans 13.1….it’s higher authorities (GOD) that Paul is referring to, not government authorities. Paul was executed by the Romans for refusing to obey them!!!!!!

    Do you really think GOD appointed Hitler?

    Hosea 8:4
    They made kings, but not by my authority; they established princes, but without my approval. With their silver and gold they made idols for themselves, to their own destruction.

  18. Lee says:

    Why does everybody pervert the scriptures for their own use. Taking one little part of scripture and taking that to mean that God condones all appointed leaders and rulers by invasion or so-called birth right is ridiculous. We have free choice, so we must suffer the consequences of our own decisions. If God never changes, read Hosea 8:4 again. Obviously some leader wanted to claim he was ordained by God in order to get control of the people. Also, I want to point out somebody stating that we have a black president in the United States. Hum, so I am Irish and black. Does that make we white or black? God created all people and we need to get over placing everyone on a color scale.

  19. Beamer Tfc says:

    Your research on this subject is a little spotty. God does require people to obey the leadership above us but you will never be required to sin to follow a leader. So hiding an innocent person from killers is perfectly OK and not a contradiction.When told to stop preaching the Gospel the Apostles replied” we must obey God rather than men”Acts5:29
    Most leaders aren’t evil like Hitler or Stalin so it’s no conflict to obey them.

  20. Alpha says:

    This article is contradictory in every way.
    The truth is: God allows everything to happen. Nothing happens without the permission of God. But God does not say “we must submit to evil rulers.” In fact, he says just the opposite. Because all evil rulers are snobbish individuals who think of themselves as like-god. SO if you submit to evil rulers, you are disobeying God and everything moral.

    • Hi Alpha,

      This is not simply a question of God “allowing” evil to happen, but God selecting these evil men to be our leaders. If God were simply allowing it, he could repeatedly stress that WE chose our evil leaders, and God ALLOWS them to do evil. But it is GOD conducing the selection process, and thus he also insists we obey their commands. We have only God to blame for selecting evil leaders.

      • I’d like to Add that all rulers are divinely put into place or allowed to be in place for GOD’s plan to run its course. I reference Revelation 17:17 which GOD allows for rulers to exist to give their kingdom unto the beast until the fulfillment of GOD’s word https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+17%3A17&version=KJV Revelation 17:17King James Version (KJV)

        17 For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled

        GOD’s ultimate plan is to bring sin and sinners unto his subjection and judgement. so with evil rulers, it all boils down to them being used as part of GOD’s great plan for dealing with Sin and getting rid of it… ultimately.

        • Hi jacksonchris1968,

          “And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.” Rev. 12

          While this verse applies specifically to the kings at the end times, I think it’s a fair assessment to assume that the evil deeds of rulers are to “bring about God’s plan,” so long long as we still agree that it is God who puts these evil leaders in place, and orders his followers to follow them.

          Honestly, this conclusion is probably the only way an honest Christian can reconcile these bizarre scriptures. It still means turning those Jews over to the authorities God has put in place, but hey, obviously God wants to destroy them.

          But if assume God is imaginary, it still makes sense why early believers would want to teach that God is in charge of kings. You can’t very well have an all-powerful being that’s not in charge of kings; and ordering followers to revolt against earthly authorities would not be very productive, either. Historically, religious ideas have also been regularly used to form the basis of community law, and used by the authorities to keep people in line.

          But like most claims about God, this one is also impossible to prove or disprove. Not matter how good or evil a ruler is, the believer can just say “it was God’s will to elect them”. But skeptics will question the obvious logical absurdities, such as God telling his followers to obey evil leaders, or to vote for one man, when God wants another, or the lack of uniform goals in leaders who were are all selected by the same God (even in Revelation 17, the kings were all of “one mind”.) These inconsistencies suggest that there is NOT a god working out a predetermined plan, but rather these events are just naturally occurring, driven by ordinary human motivations.


  21. You have done an excellent job of thinking through this! May I add a thought…? What if as Ephesians 6 says, Christians are for lack of a better term, “audio visual teaching aides” for powers and principalities, (angels) in high places… demonstrating by faith, because we have never seen or existed in the pure presence of God… that God alone is worthy to be God. What if we explain in our human existence, some of us living by faith in God, and some of us not, who and what God is… What if as it says in the Bible, now we are lower in status than the angels, who have never known existing except in God’s very presence, and still one third of them followed Satan into sin… I believe before God ever created the first two molecules of anything, he considered and knew what every action He took would bring about… He knew before He created Lucifer, Son of the Morning, that he would lead a rebellion against God in Heaven… He knew that Hitler would come into being, and exactly what he would do… He knew what Adam and Eve would do… He didn’t need to question them concerning what they had been up to… He knew… He so desired to be loved and to love in return, by those created in His image, i.e., eternal beings of free will, and in His “all knowingness…” (omnipotence,) how to fix the sin problem, and rid His Creation once and for all, of all sin, (only one way to do that, got to contain all the sinners, they are eternal beings too… The lesson plan would be complete… all of Creation would understand, only God is worthy to be God… saying to oneself, “I will make myself life the Most High,” is a flawed concept, destined for spiritual death and eternal darkness…. We cannot understand all of the details of the teaching methods, we as human beings have a relationship with the Eternal Living God which is based on faith, that quality of putting trust in something we do not have the ability to yet completely understand… The beautiful thing is… God wants us to understand, that is His greatest desire, for us to fully understand and know Him, to understand how much He first loved us… what He was willing to sacrifice to have us understand… and then to have eternity to live in the knowledge of such a great and unfailing love… and never have the desire arise within ourselves to “make ourselves like the Most High… Humanity is God’s great expression of His love. And that is why it says in Peter, “Angels long to look into these things…” Also, one day we will a status “higher” than the angels… We who have overcome…

  22. Hi Debra,

    Of course you may add a thought.

    “He knew before He created Lucifer, Son of the Morning, that he would lead a rebellion against God in Heaven… He knew that Hitler would come into being, and exactly what he would do… He knew what Adam and Eve would do…”

    So, if I understand you correctly, you’re saying that God DOES appoint evil leaders (or allows us to appoint them, but he knew from the beginning this would happen)? He has his reasons for this, of course, but essentially he is appointing evil leaders. Yes?

    Biblically speaking, I do think that is the position the believer has to take, but it does raise a lot of issues and interesting questions.


  23. Jeff says:

    I find it interesting that you apparently have no use for God but must spend hours doing research and writing. (Which I must say is done well) If you are so certain about your belief system, why waste so much time trying to convince others? I mean if you are right, we need to be spending every second indulging ourselves with what we like not despise because when this life ends, that’s it! So answer this one question since you have time to answer 500: why do you obsess over something that isn’t real?

    • Revelation 17:17 clearly states in GOD’s word that GOD himself has worlds leaders do his will. the ultimate plan is to get the nations of the Earth to come against Israel as the prophets prophesied. It’s all according to GOD’s plan and design. GOD’s way to bring judgement upon the nations, judge sin and sinners. To know revelations, you must know Genesis.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I will make it short. As its sayed if its Gods will ”’it” will be done.The bible must
    be full filled that’s God will and it’ will” be done. God bless.

  25. Justin Roberts says:

    well, there’s a nice bit of ignorance on display in full blossum…
    …not everyone is destined to graduate beyond the milk.

    • Well… thank you, Justin, for that lovely ad hominem attack (which, ironically, lacks any meat).

      There are plenty of people from MANY different religious backgrounds (including different denominations within Christianity) who will look down from their high horses at everyone who does not believe as they do, and proudly proclaim, “I alone have the meat! And all of YOU are ignorant!”

      Meanwhile, the rest of us gaze upon this field full of religious people, and we shake our head in dismay. Clearly, having conviction is not the same thing as having the truth. Truth comes through a willingness to admit you could be wrong, not through faith-based convictions.

      Good day,

  26. zadok1940 says:

    The only thing that will bring justice is when Jesus returns and that will be sooner or later, but for some it will be sooner th an later.

  27. Kent Mottinger says:

    The Bible days their are two God’s. One is the father of the Lord Jesus Christ. The other is the god of this world, called Satan. All evil comes from Satan.
    Romans 13 has nothing to do with civil government. It is speaking entirely of gift Ministries within the church. Any Bible version using the words”government ” or “police” are gross mistranslations. They make God a monster which he is not.

  28. Kim M Warzak says:

    I have been struggling big time worth fellow Christians who keep a record constantly of Obama’s “wrong doings,”. I’m a democratic Christian and have yet to read a Bible verse stating it’s wrong. I read this article and here’s my view with the Obama and Romney election… I will be just as open as you were. The arrogance I observed with the Romney campaign was embarrassing. When Obama won it took way to long for Romney to concede and then to hear that he already set up office somewhere so here could begin president duties before he was sworn in was his pride before the fall. I try to see the good in everyone. I want happy when Bush won over Gore and felt deception was involved but why complain… It was not going to change anything. Christians need to wake up…. Because God’s judgement starts with us first. We are supposed to be the example to the lost but not when we look just like the world.
    I prayed for years for the truth of Republicans to come out… Seemed like only trash on the democrats was coming out…. Well guess what… God heard my prayers and the prayers of other Christian Democrats and now the truths are surfacing on the Republican party. Praise God!!!

  29. Anonymous says:

    Be careful. Taking scripture out of context in an attempt to suppress the truth and justify living apart from God. Classic example of the deception of the Devil. Guard your mind and your heart and dont fall for the trap.

    Luke 17
    1Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come. 2 It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble. 3 So watch yourselves.

  30. Peter says:

    looking at the context, I see Hosea 8:4 as God being sarcastic, there they are making golden idols and doing things as if He doesn’t see what’s going on, and if He doesn’t see, then He can’t be involved, can He ?? Nicely shows the foolishness of rebellious man

  31. Please allow me to give my humble opinion of Romans 13. The operative word is “subjection”: Rom 13:1 ” Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” Changing the word “subjection” (or “submmission”) into “obedient” is not correct. To suggest that obedience is required by being in “subjection” to a government, or a higher authority, is fallacious. Being in subjection in this chapter means to submit to the laws established by government, but does NOT mean to obey the laws. There is a huge difference between submitting and obeying.

  32. Agape says:

    Satan is the opposer and rebel angel of Light called Lucifer who has been given power for a time. Remember he was cast down to earth even before Adam and Eve. Seems to me that God desired in his creation that the ones in His image would choose him over the enemy. “Choose this day whom you will serve” As with regard to government leaders, ” they are God’s servants…” the scripture says, but let’s not disregard the clue,” you shall know them by their fruits.” God encourages us to pray, ” for the weapons of our Warfare are Mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds and our battle is against principalities powers and authorities in the high places.”

  33. Rhonda says:

    1) Yes we should vote because it is our constitutional right and it is our duty and it shows faith. If we do not vote then we need to shut the door up and have no complaints. Your opinion don’t matter.
    2) United Nations and the coming New World Order will give you just THAT, leaders united under one source and united uner one force. Then in full agreement they will rule…. Until that day I think it depends upon the council’s and advisors that the leaders choose to influence them. Sadly in the USA it’s the lobbyist with money and special interests that seem have the most impact.
    3) No offense but I think you are off topic in question 3 when you say God punished his disciples who were persecuted. There’s a big difference between being punished and being persecuted for your faith. In answer to the question though “Why does He not appoint good leaders” it’s because man just does not want God. Man chooses to worship other things and themselves. Read 1 Sam. 8…” and the Lord said to Samuel, heed the voice of the people in all they say to you for they have not rejected you but they have rejected Me that I should not Reign Over them. “.. but also forwarn them.” I see (truly God is gracious). God even warned the people what would happen if they set up these kings. Why do you think so many immigrants came to America it was to escape the tyranny that was quenching religious freedoms. That’s why the United States Constitution is so very important.
    4) The answer is NO we should not follow evil leaders. It’s my opinion that everyone should have a world view. Just sayin. When you suggest that Christians wood not help Jews for fear of disobeying evil Hitler leaders, I happen to know Jews and Christians alike who were helped during that evil time and lived to tell the story. So in HONOR to them, having survived and lived world history, please do not try to paint pictures that misrepresent the truth. It’s those Christians who are true who helped Jews to escape where as Christians who were deceived did not. Also if you wood just know that it is a pleasure and honor to pray for our nation and every person who lives here regardless and that God would not allow our nation to be judged even though we deserve it. There are Elite rulers who want to spark a third world war and it could be the prayers of those “Christians” that are withholding that from happening.

  34. Anonymous says:

    “You must logically conclude that God wants Christians to support the plans of evil leaders. Ergo, you must surrender this boy to the Nazis, who ‘do not bear the sword for no reason.’ Hiding the child would only hinder God’s greater plan!”

    Wow, and most people claim that we atheists are the evil ones!

    • Christopher Jackson says:

      We must remember that GOD said that Genesis is the beginning of the end. that being the case, GOD has a plan. I tend to call it his “end game.” Revelation 17:17 says that the LORD appoints leaders (good or evil) to fulfill his will( GOD’s) and give their kingdom unto the beast(Satan) until the word of GOD is fulfilled. So Obama is an evil leader that we deserved first but there’s a reason in GOD’s plan for it.

      • In other words, yes, do as evil leaders say (and surrender that poor Jewish boy to the Nazis) — because it’s all part of “God’s plan.”

        But if it turns out the God of the Bible is mythological, you can see how dangerous this kind of thinking is. Believers are being asked to put away their own convictions, and just do as evil leaders instruct them to do, because it’s “God’s plan.” They end up perpetrating evil, believing they are doing good. As Steven Weinberg said:

        “Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”


        • Christopher Jackson says:

          GOD doesn’t say to listen to evil leaders. but stand on our faith. take a stand. you’re speaking pretty blunt. GOD is in control of everything and he does things for his own reasons. This was one thing or subject I learned at Liberty university.

          • “GOD doesn’t say to listen to evil leaders.”

            God makes no distinction between evil and good leaders. God states (bluntly) that “there is NO authority except that which God has established.” Good or evil, God has established them.

            Secondly, when confronted with an evil leader, God does NOT say to “take a stand!” (whatever that means). To the contrary, God says that if you take a stand against this leader, you are rebelling against God. You are to “submit yourself to every human authority,” for if you were to “take a stand” against an evil ruler, you would be “rebelling against what God has instituted,” for “rulers do not bear the sword for no reason.”


            • Christopher Jackson says:

              then what you are saying is, if an evil leader tells us to do something that absolutely contradicts GOD’s word, we should do it? – no rather, look at the northern half of the divided kingdom of Israel after Solomons sons death. the north kingdom was evil, all the rulers for the most part were evil. therefore, the northern kingdom was destroyed by the Assyrians for their disobedience. the prophets never told Israel to pray for their country rather, return to GOD. Nehemiah in chapter 1:1-10 when he prayed for Israel. But the issue is, when nations turn from GOD, GOD punishes those nations and Israel is the perfect example of his justice. We are to submit “to a point” but when it conflicts with GOD’s word, then we take a stand or you might as well partake in Americas sin of homosexuality, abortion and worship of false GOD’s. -no. GOD doesn’t mean that.

              • “If an evil leader tells us to do something that absolutely contradicts GOD’s word, we should do it?”

                Well, the Bible says, “The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the LORD; he guides it wherever he pleases.”

                So if an evil leader DOES tell you to do something that ABSOLUTELY contradicts GOD’s word, then you should ask yourself: 1) “Why would God direct him to give such an order?” and 2) “Why would God also command me to follow such an authority?”

                Frankly, I don’t believe that God appoints our leaders, or directs them, or that God inspired the verses that tell us to blindly follow those in authority. These are all man-made ideas, and they are very dangerous. You should think for yourself, don’t let others tell you how to think.


                • Christopher Jackson says:

                  Right, we should think for ourselves which would include, staying away from the sins of our evil leaders. perhaps a better way to put this issue is, “Why does GOD give us evil rulers?” This would include the fact that as a nation, we get the rulers based upon how we act as a nation. If we hold GOD as our love, we adhere to his word and live it as a nation, we would have good leaders and if not, evil leaders. I believe its no accident that Obama is our leader today because of several factors, first and foremost, we took GOD out of our schools, our national lives and in 1973, we allowed our Supreme Court to allow for the murder of our unborn. all our actions in the last 40-50 years has built up to GOD’s judgement and we are in danger of his ultimate judgement and destruction for our disobedience, George Washington consecrated our nation to GOD at ground zero at our beginning as a nation. one of our blessings was, in 1492, not Columbus but the Jewish people were expelled that year by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of spain because the jews would not convert. these jews were without a home and America was the nation that took them in. that brought us blessings. But we have fallen so much that I came to learn that surprisingly we were attacked at the same spot where this nation was consecrated to GOD. 9-11 was our moment that parallels the former northern kingdom of Israel when GOD allowed for its destruction and the jews said in defiance to GOD, we will rebuild: Isaiah 9:10King James Version (KJV) 10 The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycomores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars. on 9-12-01 one of our congressman made the same declaration in defiance to divine judgement: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukYiWd3T9sk Tom Daschle made the same defiant declaration to rebuild. not to mention, a tree that was at teh location of ground zero, was broken and smashed.. a sycamore. they tried to plant a tree in its place but that tree is dying. so yes, GOD gives us leaders we deserve as a nation based upon how we obey/disobey GOD. history does repeat itself.

  35. A believer in Christ says:

    Trying to wrap your mind around God? Impossible. We are too small. Can an ant contemplate your concerns about your internet connectivity speed?

    Do you think your “if, then” logic applies to an intelligence you cannot fathom? How long do you think God’s “long game” is, when he tells his prophets what happens four hundred years ahead of time?

    How deep is the ocean? How much oil is under the ground in your state? Closer to home, how many hairs are on your head, exactly?

    We have very little understanding about the world we inhabit, even with the collective wisdom of the wise men of the world across all the generations. And as much as we don’t know about the world, you don’t know about your own self. Yet, we think we can pontificate with confidence about what we think God should be doing.

    It is not in our capacity to stand in judgment of God.

    If you like, read Job Chapter 40, prayerfully.

    • Hello Believer in Christ,

      “Trying to wrap your mind around God? Impossible. We are too small. Can an ant contemplate your concerns about your internet connectivity speed?”

      While there are many great mysteries in the universe, this doesn’t bar us from making reasonable assumptions about our reality. For example, you probably no longer believe in Santa Clause. You could also likewise argue that if an ant cannot comprehend internet connectivity, then perhaps the reality of Santa is also incomprehensible (after all, Santa IS magic!). But based on what you know about our world, and how it works, you’ve probably concluded that he is not likely to exist. You can’t really prove he doesn’t exist (because you can’t prove a negative), in the same way we can’t prove God doesn’t exist, but you can still say with confidence that Santa is probably just a mix of truth and stories that evolved over time.

      Consider how over 10,000 gods have been created by men in various attempts to explain things they didn’t understand. Also consider how they (and others) managed to convince millions (or billions) to believe in these gods without any real proof. Given this is the reality of our world, it seems more than likely that the god of the Jews was also just a human creation.

      Because it is so easy to invent gods, it’s up to any believer (in any god) to meet the burden of proof. You’ve made a couple suggestions in that direction, so let’s consider them.

      “How long do you think God’s ‘long game’ is, when he tells his prophets what happens four hundred years ahead of time?”

      Prophecy is one possible proof. I don’t know if you’ve read any of my other posts, but I’ve spent a great deal of time searching for good prophecies in the Bible, and thus far I’ve come up empty. Frankly, I think prophecy is an absolutely horrible medium to use to prove that one is a god, since there are so many ways it can be faked (see question #32). There are much better ways to prove you exist.

      “How deep is the ocean? How much oil is under the ground in your state? Closer to home, how many hairs are on your head, exactly?”

      Having an “insider’s knowledge” of the world is one such way to prove you are a god, but God has failed at this as well (see #14).

      The deepest part of the ocean is about 36,070 feet. Now, if the Bible had said, “In the future you will use a measurement named after a man’s foot, and you will measure the deepest part of the sea, and find it to be 36,070 ‘feet’ deep,” this is the kind of insider information that would be useful in proving that God was actually the creator of our world.

      Likewise, the Bible SAYS God knows how many hairs are on our head, but has he ever actually demonstrated this ability? Is there ONE Christian alive today — even the Pope — who can get this information from God? So that we may count the hairs on a man’s head, and prove that God actually DOES have this ability? Otherwise, this too is an empty claim. It’s one thing to SAY your god created everything and has special powers (that’s what EVERYONE says about their favorite god), but it’s another thing to prove it.

      “We have very little understanding about the world we inhabit, even with the collective wisdom of the wise men of the world across all the generations.”

      Our knowledge is continuously growing. Gods used to be used to fill in many of the gaps in our knowledge, and with many new discoveries, those gaps continuously get smaller. The Bible didn’t tell us about these truths: about how deep our oceans were, or about our place in the solar system, or about microbes or antibiotics, or about other galaxies, or DNA, or evolution, or even about the Americas. We had to discover ALL these things for ourselves, because your ancient god was too busy telling us things like how many birds we needed to sacrifice to atone for menstruation (Lev. 15:28-30). We had to learn these things for ourselves, because God was suspiciously ignorant of all those things humans could not see. It is the wise men of the world who have enlightened us with these truths, generation after generation, but what new and amazing revelations has your old God given us?

      “It is not in our capacity to stand in judgment of God.”

      It’s not a question of judgement, once we establish he actually exists, THEN we can move on to judgement.😉

      Take care,

      • A believer in Christ says:

        First, I appreciate your non-argumentative tone. Too often there is a lack of civility in these types of discussions.

        Ok, so you say the inventions and diacoveries of man are closing the gap. I say, not even by a little. Why, because I used to be in the place where I thought x discovery will finally lead to us being able to do y to cure z. And we found x, then realized x wasn’t the factor.

        Substitute x for any discovery. DNA, fix genes, stop all genetic disease. Then we discovered DNA is not actually the only defining factor, and that proteins actually have a role in turning genes on, and behavior and environment converge to do so. So we have to learn more about proteins. This goes on and on, like the song that doesn’t end, or a news story played on loop on CNN. When we finally know, we learn there is still yet more that we don’t know.

        Insider knowledge:

        God knew about the structure of snowflakes, said there were treasures hidden in the snow.

        God knew about germs, as he taught the Jews about washing themselves after coming in contact with blood or semen. This was thousands of years before doctors would finally come to the same conclusion (doctors thought washing hands was religious superstition, not grounded in science – they spread a lot of disease that way).

        God knew about forensic science, that “blood speaks.” It wouldn’t be until the advent of DNA testing that we could say, that was Able’s blood.

        I taught my children how to turn on a light switch – so simple. I didn’t explain to them earlier until they were able to comprehend how the electricity gets produced and delievered to our homes.

        Our world is so complex and orderly and mathematical, with such gorgeous symmetry and beauty that to think it all happened by coincidence is statistically impossible.

        I am wonderfully and fearfully made, God’s works are wonderful, and that, I well know.

        I am smiling now. What an amazing God He is!

        • Hi Believer,

          I appreciate the additional attempts to meet the burden of proof. Let’s take a look at them.

          “God knew about the structure of snowflakes, said there were treasures hidden in the snow.”

          I was unable to find a verse that says anything about the structure of snowflakes, or that here were treasures hidden inside them. Could you cite it?

          “God knew about germs, as he taught the Jews about washing themselves after coming in contact with blood or semen.”

          I’m actually writing about this one for my next question. Many cultures have chosen to wash off blood, semen, and dirt without requiring “divine inspiration.” We humans, and even animals, enjoy being clean! And we don’t care to be around people who are dirty or smelly. This is not difficult to understand.

          What IS difficult to understand is why — if God were aware of germs and microbes — why he would not mention creating them. And why would he not recommend regularly washing one’s hands? Or food? Or covering our mouths when we sneeze? These things seem obvious to us today, and would’ve saved millions of lives, had God only suggested it. The fact that he did not, suggests that he was unaware of the problem.

          “God knew about forensic science, that “blood speaks.”

          I believe you are referring to Hebrews 12:22-24:

          22 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

          With the benefit of hindsight, it’s easy to read a verse like this and insist it’s talking about DNA. But note how the Bible is extremely vague here, and doesn’t say something more explicit like: “When you examine blood in the future, you will find that every cell contains the instructions for how to make a man, which is encoded both in pairs and numbers of four,” etc. Blood can “speak” in many metaphorical ways, and you are using a bit of circular reasoning and confirmation bias to believe it’s saying something that would confirm something you wish to believe, and you’re not the only one.

          Muslims do the same thing with the Quran. As one Muslim said:

          “Of course the Qur’an is not a book of science. However, many scientific facts that are expressed in an extremely concise and profound manner in its verses have only been discovered with the technology of the 20th century. These facts could not have been known at the time of the Qur’an’s revelation, and this is still more proof that the Qur’an is the word of God.”

          Sound familiar? You can watch an hour of these “proofs” here.

          If we allow everyone to read these kinds of proofs into their religious texts, then we would have to conclude that they are all true. But the truth is, these “facts” are not actually contained within these texts, but being read into them.

          “Our world is so complex and orderly and mathematical, with such gorgeous symmetry and beauty that to think it all happened by coincidence is statistically impossible.”

          Firstly, just because something seems statistically impossible, doesn’t mean it’s impossible. For example, it’s extremely improbable — almost impossible — that all the atoms that currently make up your body would’ve one day come to form you, yet here you are! And if the odds of something happening on a given day are one in a billion, it would STILL happen to seven people, every day! Or consider how our universe alone has over 100 billion stars, and most of them have planets going around them, filled with countless atoms. Add to that the hundreds of billions of other galaxies, and the extremely improbable has an almost infinite number of opportunities to become possible.

          Secondly, who is greater, the creator or the creation? Surely the creator is far more complex than his creation. If our world’s complexity necessitates a creator, then the creator also demands one. To say, “he always existed,” is special pleading. The universe too, may have always existed (in various forms), but it’s complexity is far less organized. What is it, exactly, in our universe that you find so complex that it can ONLY be attributed to a god? And specifically the God of the Bible? And does the God of the Bible detail how he created that thing? Proving that he did? How does the complexity of God exist without explanation? If a man is less complex than God, should it not be more likely that a man form by accident, before an even more complex God? How do you get insane amounts of complex information in a being, without any cause?

          I’m sure this won’t convince you, but it’s been an interesting conversation. I’m going to go ahead and drop out now, since we’ve strayed too far away from the original topic, but feel free to stop by if you ever start having doubts.🙂

          Thanks for the conversation,

          • A believer in Christ says:

            The snow comment is in Job 38.

            Regarding washing – the ancient Jews did regularly wash their hands before meals, even chiding the disciples for forgetting.

            Doctors did not come to understand the importance of hand washing until after 1850, when science caught up with Biblical wisdom, or, by your own theory, basic common sense. And by insisting on proof before they’d wash their hands between patients, many lost their lives.

            Your questions all lead to a linear type of if, then thinking, which God is not bound by. An example is the law of gravity. If you are bound by the assumption the law of gravity, then you, had you not seen an airplane, would deem it nonsense. But the law of lift superceedes the law of gravity, making the law of gravity and the law of lift paradoxically coexist, and allows a plane to take off and everything else to stay in place. The graph isn’t just x and y.

            You want to understand God fully before you believe in Him. This is both unneccesary and impossible. There is always more with God, which is why He is worthy of our worship. He is awesome and all we can do is be in awe every time we find out more about His wonderful work of creation.

            Thanks for conversing.

          • A believer in Christ says:

            This is really in response to your comment to Anna.

            You said you asked God for a sign THAT HE EXISTS. (I’m not yelling, just emphasizing). That is contrary to what the Bible says.

            Hebrews 11:6
            And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.


            Matthew 13
            58And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.

            You believe first, then you seek diligently, then you may get the sign. You don’t eat the food then cook it.

            • “Hi, I’m God.”

              “Can you prove it?”


              “Okay, I believe you.”

              How is this sound reasoning? If I told you I were God, but I refused to prove it, would you believe me? Why not? (See question #61).

              Thousands of people and imagined gods have claimed to be god, and none were able to prove it. It seems likely that the demand for faith grew out of an inability to provide any really good evidence (the same problem all gods have). If someone can’t prove their god exists, they just claim their god is far away, or invisible, or desires that you to believe without proof. Instead of meeting the burden of proof, religions always make excuses.

              Also, why would God, if he were real, even desire something like “faith”? What makes something akin to gullibility a desirable trait? Shouldn’t things like generosity, compassion, and love be more important?

              It is extremely well documented that if we choose to believe in something (whether true or false), confirmation bias will take over and lead us to find evidence to support our conclusions (this is why double-blind studies are a necessity, because personal opinions affect results).

              So we now know that when we say things like, “Believe, and THEN you’ll see,” what we’re really saying, “Believe, and your brain will follow.” And this is true for any belief.


  36. Anonymous says:

    The Lord is Sovereign. ..

  37. darrell cumpton says:

    This is darrell, I read some of your reply and said your statement back in November 29 that you weren’t 100% sure there is no God, and just want to know the truth.
    I think for all true believers were at one time in your camp. I spent a day on a roof top in Riyadh praying “If you are real God show your self.” You know He did, but not how you would think (and I didn’t see it at the time). He sent one of the few supervisors I respected to tell me the way I was going was a cult. I was mad at God, I asked Him to show Himself, and all He did was tell me the path I was on was wrong.
    A couple years later when I was brought low enough I was confronted with a offer to go to a revival, I would not even acknowledge the request. As i left the person ask me “If I died where would I go” I said I knew right where I was going. But in the softest voice she said “But you don’t have to go there.”
    I heard three sermons, each hit me between the eyes. The first one was on Pontius Pilate, I completely misinterpreted what was said , I heard was a sermon against aviation.
    The second seemed to make fun of the car I drove, the third was all or nothing.
    No way could any human know exactly how to pluck my cords but God did.
    That night I gave my life to Him, and in multiple ways He has proved Himself over and over.
    Usually when I least expect it.
    I’m not telling you to believe me, nor seek signs, but every true believer does so because God has proven Himself to the point where He could not be denied.
    Keep on seeking Him, keep reading the Bible, but drop your defenses and let Him lead.
    im guessing He will show you that you either have to accept or reject, there by giving you the choice to become His or letting you chose your fate.
    I use to cuss, drink, cheat and beat on my wife and feel I was entitled , now I love and care for her, i do my best (not perfectly), am a disaster relief volunteer, do jail ministry and occasionally preach.
    My life’s 180 degree turn is proof to me God (and my sacrifice, Jesus) is real, because I didn’t do this on my own.
    My hope is God will also prove it to you, but He is a gentleman, He will not force you.
    Sincerely darrell cumpton

  38. The Bible does not say Christians are good and other people are bad. It says ALL are the same: fallen, broken by sin, capable of good – but our good is like soiled menstrual rags compared to the love and forbearance of God who, after all, has let us destroy his earth and give him the sign of the bird for thousands of years.

    God does not violate our wills. In some cases, he limits our ability to fully do all that is in them (thankfully, those who wish to destroy the world and everyone in it have been limited). He is great enough that in the fullness of times – at the perfect time in history – he sent his son. He prophesied it to the exact town, he had the temple rebuilt for it by godless Herod, he had a godless nation kill Jesus according to his prophecy so that both Jews and Gentiles took part in it. There is nothing he said that did not happen according to his word. No human could stop it, and God used the wicked hearts of man to accomplish what THEY WANTED, but on his time table.

    It is inconceivable: his ability to control the hearts of Kings and to give them freedom to do the wickedness in their own hearts up to the point he allows. Mind blowing.

    It is also mind blowing that he can change the heart of wicked people. When asked by any individual, without respect for wealth or station in life, God will renew their heart and give them the ability to be led by God and the desire to love others selflessly. But because of sin, no man can do this perfectly and has to keep in constant union with God by taking every thought captive and retraining his mind on a minute by minute basis. No small task. Most fail badly at the Christian life, but amazingly, God uses us at a good moment and allows us to be a part of his plan to redeem the earth and those living on it by passing on the good news: That anyone and everyone can ask God for help and receive it. We all need help doing life and we all need help getting to heaven. Without Christ to show us the way, we can never get there, and even if we did find heaven’s doors, we couldn’t enter because of sin. But Christ takes our sin upon himself and gives us his righteousness in exchange. We have the winning ticket that says we can enter – paid for by Christ. What a loving God!

  39. Hi Tara Isenberg-Weichel.

    Is their ANYTHING a ruler could do that would make you say, “Well, my God wouldn’t allow THAT”?

    Using the limits you’ve set, there is literally no way to determine whether God is in control, or these rulers are. A ruler could torture and kill millions of innocent people (and they have), and you could simply excuse it by saying, “Men willed it, God allowed it.” Where does God step in?

    You DID say that God prevents rulers from killing EVERYONE on the planet, but is that the ONLY limit? Literally EVERYONE ON THE PLANET has to die before you’d confess, “Ya, God probably wouldn’t have allowed that”?

    Assuming God HAS imposed some limits on our will, he has imposed some very strange ones. For example, God limits our ability to live under water, or in outer space, and our ability to eat certain plants and animals… but he DOESN’T limit our ability to rape, kill, and commit other horrible atrocities. What a bizarre God it is who designs a world where some men can die from placing a peanut in their mouth, while men of God can commit oral sodomy with children… and nothing happens. If a moral God WERE in charge, would he impose such arbitrary and random limits on our will? Would a good God say, “I will NOT stand idly by while some men eat peanuts… but if they molest children, this I will allow.” Such a strange God.

    (If the only reason you believe is prophecy, see question #32.)


  40. Anonymous says:

    If we should be submissive to those on authority or is a sin to rebel against them, then why was God spoken through Moses to the israelites.?

  41. Son of God says:

    Psalms 115:15 The Heaven is the Lord’s but He has given the Earth to the children of man. God’s character is opposite then satan, He doesn’t control man bc He created man in His image, God did not take back the Earth from man, He has chosen man to work through him (man)to bring His (God) Will to the Earth. This is possible only by Gods gift of Holy Spirit, you can not understand God, or His Word, Jesus without Holy Spirit. Great scripture reference though keep seeking to walk out of the kingdom of darkness which is ignorance, and into The Kingdom of God or light which is wisdom. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. You can only understand this by Holy Spirit teaching you. Much Love

  42. ag says:

    I guess what I’m finding out is not so much begging God to reveal himself to me to prove/show that he exists, but rather asking him “DO YOU LOVE ME?” That question I’m getting an answer to. That’s the question he is aswering to me and he says “YES”. it’s getting personal…

    • You sure it’s not you? A lot of people say they hear from God (like all those men God told to run for President), and God seems to contradict himself quite often. Best to be sure — ask him to write “Yes” on the wall, then you’ll know it’s not just in your head.🙂

      • darrell cumpton says:

        500 questions,
        This is darrell, if you want to ressit Him that’s your right.
        By saying God has to answer you in way you want, this makes you dominate (god) over Him, good luck with that.
        God is personal, He is a gentleman, He gives you enough evidence to accept or reject.
        Think of this, if your right I have not lost anything the medical profession sights multiple positive effects of having faith.
        But if I’m right you loss everthing.
        Just want to warn you, but again it’s up to you..

        What other than a divine experience could talk you into laying down your life?
        That is what Jesus did for us and asks us to do.
        All but one of the disciples died a martyrs death, preaching peace with God.
        Even today believers have to decide is God real enough to die verses just denying faith in Him.
        I pray if that becomes my choice, I puck Him over denying my faith in Him.
        The only time God wrote on WALL was to say you have been weighed and found wanting. Then they were killed by a attacking army. Be careful what you ask for.

  43. louis gander says:

    You have proven that it is easy to twist the meaning of verses in the Bible and then prove contradictions. I won’t go into them all, but for just one example, The original meaning is that God had ALLOWED Adam and Eve to “eat of the fruit” and God ALLOWED evil kings and God ALLOWED Hitler to rise up. These are no secrets. Man thought he knew better than his Creator so God said okay, leave this paradise I gave you and plow your own soil for food. Man has been working and scheming and deceiving and lying and stealing and fighting and killing ever since. God ALLOWS it. He does NOT elect our president – and if we are EVIL then by golly we’re going to be voting for EVIL. That is what we do. We WANT our leaders to allow us to drink, smoke, gamble, have affairs, etc., etc., etc. So yes, we get what we deserve.
    please don’t quote one verse, put your definition on it, and then claim God is a liar. You are, not God.

  44. Chrisj1968 says:

    Folks, GOD gave us government. It started with the FIRST act of government being capital punishment given to Noah as a new covenant.( https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%209:5-7&version=KJV) Genesis 9:5-7. We didn’t create government. GOD creates what’s best for us, as usual, man corrupts what he gives us. He gave us the ability to fly.. we build warplanes. If we can’t personally reconcile that GOD is in charge of ALL things, in Heaven, hell and on Earth, why are we discussing this issue? If we ask a question.. “Does GOD appoint evil leaders?” it makes no difference unless, people understand GOD’s omnipresence, omnipotence and omniscience. GOD is everywhere. GOD knows everything and he is all powerful. 1st John 1:5: GOD is light and in him is no darkness(sin) at all. However, He controls the world. He allows for things to happen. just because we are saved by the blood of Christ, Jesus never once said, “you will never suffer, or never go through trials and tribulations. If you think so, better look at the New testament saints. all the Disciples, for the most part, were martyred for the faith. the only one that didn’t die of martyrdom was John the revelator. He died of natural causes, old age.

    But to answer the question, does GOD appoint evil rulers.. yes. GOD has a divine plan for the world. revelations is about the world without the church. After chapter 4, there’s no church. why? Genesis 18:23 says Abraham approached the LORD after the angels went toward Sodom and asked, ” And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?”
    governments aren’t godly. all governments of the world are evil in GOD’s sight. yes, Israel too but, GOD will deal with them in his own good time and way. But Revelation 17:17 and I’ve hit this scripture over and over Rev 17:17 “For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.”

    So GOD hath put in their hearts (kings, queens, governments of ALL forms) to do what they do which lines up with GOD’s divine plan to judge the world and its sin, sin of the governments and individuals. until one realizes the concept of GOD being in charge of all, no amount of discussion can help.

    • Chrisj1968 says:

      the Beast spoken of in Rev 17:17 is a world government. “.. give their kingdom unto the beast(world government). We see every day a push for global government. Satan has endeavored to rule the entire globe for about 5,000 years or more. sorry, needed to clarify this

  45. Bill lis says:

    I sure can’t understand it.


  46. Anna says:

    This is so amazing. At one point and time I never knew or understood this…but it makes sense…when you truly believe God is in control of everything even evil leaders.

  47. Sonya Caradine says:

    How would you describe baby Moses story? The king ordered the death of baby boys. The midwives were disobedient, Scripture says out of fear of the Lord. Not to mention the daughter of Pharaoh bathing in the river. Killing/murder of innocent is not ok with God,and that is what was being done here.

    • Howdy Sonya,

      “Killing/murder of innocent is not ok with God, and that is what was being done here.”

      Lest we forget…

      “‘Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.’” — Genesis 7:4


      “Every firstborn son in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the firstborn son of the female slave, who is at her hand mill, and all the firstborn of the cattle as well.” — Exodus 11:5

      There was also Jephthah, who sacrificed his own daughter and God didn’t stop him (Judges 11:30-40), and I seem to recall something about God sacrificing his son, who was also innocent.

      You might also want to see questions #17 and #42. God has no problem killing the innocent.


  48. Jackson says:

    Could have said in less than 500. Not

  49. Redcats says:

    Obama is not an evil leader. Republicans are.

  50. CTB says:

    Luke 4:5-6 “The devil led him (Jesus) up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to.” I AM TOTALLY HOPELESSY CONFUSED. Why does the bible contradict itself?

  51. Carol Moorby says:

    GOd NEVER appoints evil leaders….WE DO! HE has given us all free will and told US to vote. HE I’ll never force anyone on how to vote….He has given Christians the AUTHORITY and do greater things then he did. DONT BLAME GOD for what man is responsible for. IN the Old Testament th people of that day refused to be ruled by God …They wanted a know instead so he gave them their desires and allowed them to choose a king! THEY mCHOSE…God didn’t!!!!!! GOd has to allow what WE FIRST ALLOW because he has given us all GREE CHOICE? He never appointed Obama….man voted for him but remember that there was fraud in the voting system and is already happening again with Hillary .Voting machines are being rigged again, dead people’s names are voting, animals are voting by stealing human identity, and multiple votes per person,more votes then cities population and on and on. WE put evil men into office…God has absolutely nothing to do with it in this day and age and since the law of the Old Testament in no longer valid” Blame man and never blame God!

    • Paul Briggs says:

      You are wrong in some respects my friend. The Lord does indeed still appoint leaders- and not just in democracies- dictatorships too. And HE is the same as in ancient times not acting differently in this way because Old Law Covenant no longer valid- In fact Galatians 3 makes it clear that we are now under the oldest covenant: -The one with Abraham. It was that one that brought about His curses and blessings which were still in effect when Moses was given the Law and continue to be in effect. As Paul said: “The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. 18For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on the promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise” (Galatians 3:17-18.) The Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart and this was before the Law. He appoints kings and deposes kings based on the promise from before the Law and still carried out during the Law and after the Law which is today. The covenant for believers is the original one with Abraham. As it says :
      “He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit”. Even the antichrist himself is raised up and sent by the Lord as Isaiah 1:6-7 makes clear:
      6 I send him against a godless nation,

      I dispatch him against a people who anger me,

      to seize loot and snatch plunder,

      and to trample them down like mud in the streets.

      7 But this is not what he intends,

      this is not what he has in mind;

      his purpose is to destroy,

      to put an end to many nations.

      But unlike these others who do not believe in the Lord or that an antichrist will even come, you my friend do, and thus you and not these others, are my sister.

  52. Pingback: 38. Does God appoint evil leaders? | 500 Questions about God & Christianity | ddnnews

  53. Brian says:

    Why is it you fail to mention the fact that. “The Government is on Christ’s shoulders” and that is the authority disciples are to obey first and foremost always and forever! I think too often apples and oranges get mixed up in the fruit bowls of misrepresentation. What do you think?

    • Hi Brian,

      Isaiah 9:6 says, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.”

      Christians believe this refers to Christ, while Jews believe it refers to Hezekiah.

      I have to assume many Christians believe this refers to a future time, when Christ comes to rule, but this time isn’t here yet.

      I don’t think it’s quite as straightforward as other verses, which more clearly imply that God is presently in control. But it might be a passage that’s worth taking up later.

      Take care,

  54. Anonymous says:

    My only disagreement is with this article was the obedience of the institution. Yes, I agree with obeying the law of the land; however, Rahab played a significant part in biblical history. She hid the spies which led to her future in the lineage of our Holy Savior..Jesus Christ!
    Bottom line, God says my sheep know my voice. Know His voice and obey his command!
    Love in Christ
    J D

  55. Julie says:

    Re: the Jewish boy. I would take the boy into my home without worry to my life. We are to live by the law, not die by it. By taking in the child, I am honoring a LIVING GOD. Protecting life supersedes an evil government that promotes death. We do this everyday in our culture of pro-death when we stand for pro-life. Consider Moses in the days of the Pharaoh who had a death edict for Jewish babies. The midwives went against that edict and saved Israel’s babies. They were blessed by God, not judged for going against the ‘edict’. Then, the Pharaoh’s daughter, who was just as aware of the edict, had Moses’ mother nurse him and then took the child as her own and raised him against her own father’s edict of death.

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