| God Is In Control...The God Of Manipulation
Used by permission, from the Agnostic Review of Christianity website
Have you ever heard or had a Christian proclaim that "God is in control" or "Our God is an awesome God"?
Christians love to use this phrase and usually wear a smug, self satisfied grin of blessed assurance when they spout this standard line of doctrine to the world. The implication is that since the Christian God is in control, everything which occurs on earth is all being guided by this tribal deity whose attributes are defined by his "word", the Holy Bible.
Christians can also be seen at evangelical meetings waving their hands in the air, with their eyes closed, giving pious praise to their God.
Christians can't wait to get to heaven where they can worship and praise this all holy God that they claim is in control and who has a wonderful plan for their lives.
That's another thing Christians will often say. They will tell potential recruits that God has a wonderful plan for their life, and if they join the cult of Jesus, God will manifest wonderful things for them.
Such is the fluffy, lollipop sucking, teddy bear mentality that much of Christianity likes to display to potential converts in order to coerce them into signing aboard their ship of superficiality.
Yet, at the same time, one of the first things that can be observed in fundamentalist Christians with regard to the Bible and it's many claims, is how often Christians will advertise that God gave man "free will" despite the fact that the Bible shows that God is extremely manipulative and predestines at least some people to their role in life.
Some humans, according to the Bible, are like pieces which are moved about on a cosmic game board which the Bible God has set up to amuse himself.
The number of verses which clearly show and demonstrate predestination and manipulation overwhelmingly swamp verses which imply that God gives humans only conditional choice at best.
Further examination of predestination and manipulation is merited because most Christians hate to admit that the Bible teaches it. Some of the apologetics Christians employ to get around this problem are so utterly dishonest that one has to wonder what Bible Christians read.
Of course, as happens with so much of what the Bible actually says, Christians will mentally ignore those parts which conflict with their ideas of what they think the Bible should say.
However, if the Bible God does manipulate humans, the whole "free will" claim is rendered invalid.
To "predestine" means to determine or fix things in advance, and the implications of manipulation are quite disturbing once they are examined in detail.
According to the alleged Word of God, the Holy Bible, does God really manipulate and predestine?
Let's take a look at what the Bible actually says.
To begin, anyone who is born with a disability, deformity, or genetic malfunctions can look to the Bible God as the reason for their condition. It is God who decides what the composition of an "incoming" human will be.
And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?
God also manipulates some humans to display certain behavior.
For example, God will harden peoples hearts if it serves his purposes.
And the LORD said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go.
And the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.
Thou shalt speak all that I command thee: and Aaron thy brother shall speak unto Pharaoh, that he send the children of Israel out of his land.
And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt.
Christian apologists will try to tap dance around this glaring example of manipulative behavior by saying that God doesn't really harden some people's hearts but only withdraws his grace from them and they harden their own hearts.
Of course, the text does not say that God "withdraws his grace" and people harden their own hearts but that's what apologists have to do to remove God from this manipulative action.
It certainly doesn't look good for a just and holy God to engage in manipulative behavior, and so rewriting the text is mandatory to keep God as squeaky clean, and spotless as Christian advertising says he is.
Another blatant example of God manipulating people and hardening their hearts can be found in:
There was not a city that made peace with the children of Israel, save the Hivites the inhabitants of Gibeon: all other they took in battle.
For it was of the LORD to harden their heart, that they should come against Israel in battle, that he might destroy them utterly, and that they might have no favour, but that he might destroy them, as the LORD commanded Moses.
As the verse states, the Lord hardened their hearts and caused them to fight.
This is not an isolated example of the Bible God manipulating humans to behave in a certain way.
But Sihon king of Heshbon would not let us(Israelites) pass by him: for the LORD thy God hardened his spirit, and made his heart obstinate, that he might deliver him into thy hand, as appeareth this day.
And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have begun to give Sihon and his land before thee: begin to possess, that thou mayest inherit his land.
Then Sihon came out against us, he and all his people, to fight at Jahaz.
And the LORD our God delivered him before us; and we smote him, and his sons, and all his people.
And we took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones, of every city, we left none to remain:
The complete annihilation of this group of people was a direct result of God's manipulation of the King of Heshbon's spirit or personality.
If the Bible is to be taken seriously, these verses mean exactly what they say.
There is no honest way to conclude that God isn't the force behind the manipulation of certain humans to make them behave in a particular way in order to serve some plan that God has.
As the Bible God stated to Pharaoh, through his mouthpiece Moses, God had raised Pharaoh up so that God could manipulate Pharaoh and make an example out of him and his people. By doing so, God would gain great prestige and fame throughout the earth.
And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had spoken unto Moses.
And in very deed for this cause(the plan) have I(God) raised thee(Pharaoh) up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my (God's) name may be declared throughout all the earth.
In other words, the Bible God wanted to obtain fame and make a name for himself in the world. God's ego driven plan involved raising up a human being to be a powerful Pharaoh of Egypt, enslaving the Hebrews, and then "freeing" the Hebrews by means of miracles and demonstrated power over a powerful earthly king.
God manipulates the king by hardening his heart so that he will not let the people go until all sorts of powerful demonstrations of the Bible God's authority are exhibited.
In this way, God will achieve great fame in the world. The fact that all the firstborn male children of Egypt and many animals had to die in the process of playing out all of this planned glorification of God is of no consequence to Bible believers.
If the deaths of "heathens", in order to glorify the Bible God occurs, then that's just part of God's plan. No big deal.
Another important point to keep in mind is that if Jesus is God, as mainstream Christianity asserts, then Jesus is the very same God who manipulates humans, seeks glory for himself, has no problem killing and ordering killed various populations as suits his "wonderful plan". The New Testament, Paul in particular, demonstrates equally strong scriptural examples of manipulation and predestination.
And while Judas is held in contempt by Christians, they would do well to be aware that their Bible states Judas was doomed to destruction so that scripture could be fulfilled.
While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.
It was a dirty job but someone had to do it.
Since God hardens hearts to serve his purposes, there is no reason to think God wouldn't manipulate Judas to play a villainous role to fulfill a scripture.
After all, if the scripture doesn't get fulfilled, somebody might think the Bible isn't really God's word.
And God's little game on earth gets worse because humans are subjected to manipulation not only from God but from Satan as well.
2 Cor 4:4
In whom the god of this world (Satan) hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
As this verse clearly shows, unbelievers can't understand the "truth" because Satan has engaged in a form of mind control and has manipulated unbelievers so that they are unable to see the light.
This is the very same Satan who God made a bet with regarding the character of Job.
In that wonderful story, Job's children, his servants, and his livestock, were all exterminated as part of a
cosmic wager that God and Satan made to see how Job would react to various revolting tortures.
And it was God who twice recommended to Satan that Job would be a good candidate for torment.
These are the types of games that the Bible God engages in to amuse himself much as a child would enjoy watching the activities going on in an large ant farm.
As if manipulation by Satan wasn't enough, the Bible God will also manipulate people who have already rejected him as their Lord and Master as a result of Satan's mind altering control.
2 Thes 2:9-12
Even him (a lawless one), whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
In other words, if people are deceived by "Satan" and are perishing, God will make sure that they perish by sending them a powerful delusion to insure that they believe lies.
This is about as perverse as Godly manipulation can get.
People get deceived, are subjected to mind alteration by Satan, make a mistake of believing the wrong thing, and then this Bible God will insure that they stay deceived by manipulating them to believe lies.
There is no way to dance around this example of utterly psychotic behavior on the part of the Bible God.
This also exposes a contradiction within Paul's doctrinal framework.
Paul also declared that God wants all men to be saved.
1 Tim 2:3-4
For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
If God really wanted all men to be saved he wouldn't send some people powerful delusions in order to insure that they might be condemned.
Still more Christian apologetic tap dancing is needed to make yet another problem go away.
This is the theological silliness that so much of the Bible exhibits and why it requires whole Christian institutions and publishing industries to be set up to churn out Bible apologetic experts who can rationalize all this convoluted, conflicting jargon for the masses of believers who want to worship this "God".
Predestination is again spelled out in these clear examples and "free will" once again bites the dust.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will
Some are predestined to play a certain role according to the whim of God.
It's His will, not their will. It's that simple.
In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
Once again, it doesn't get any clearer than this.
To predestine means God determines in advance and God predestines according to His plan.
Some humans are pre-programmed to play certain roles and they have no input into the decision of what role they will play. There is no valid reason, other than wishful thinking, to assume that this Bible God doesn't predestine everyone according to his cosmic game plan.
The following is an outstanding scriptural refutation of the universal "free will" assertion.
For the creature (creation) was made subject to vanity (God's curse), not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
It should be noted here that nobody asks to be born, nobody decides who their parents will be, nobody decides where or when they will be born, nobody chooses their appearance or sex, and no life form on this entire planet can do anything about the system of scarcity, conflict, and disease that this almighty tribal deity called God has decided to experiment with in order to amuse himself.
The Bible God predestines some to be his special followers and the case for predestination is airtight as demonstrated in the following:
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
One of the most obvious cases of predestination is found in Romans 9 (Jacob and Esau).
(For the children being not yet born (Jacob and Esau), neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)
The ramifications of this verse are immense.
In another Bible version, The New Living Translation Bible, states that this verse(Rom 9:11) proves that God chooses ahead of time, according to His own plan.
This shoots to pieces the human "free will" claim that Christians chirp about so much.
It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.
As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
Notice that it was predestined that Esau would serve Jacob. Some newer Bible versions have used the word "rejected" instead of "hated" which other major Bible versions use. Of course, this change was made to soften the tone. The word "rejected" isn't as harsh as "hated".
In other words, the Christian editors did a little damage control here to soften the meaning.
But, Esau was clearly deemed inferior by God, while Jacob the swindler who tricked his father Isaac into blessing him rather than Esau was loved by God.
And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.
In any event, Esau was predestined to serve Jacob and be "rejected" or "hated" by God before he was even born. It was all part of God's plan determined prior to the birth of the twins.
What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.
For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
What can we say? Was God being unfair? Of course he was!
Is Paul being dishonest? Of course he is!
He has a God to sell to people, so this God cannot ever appear unfair as it would ruin the sales job and discourage converts.
Christians will go right along with Paul's warped sense of justice however. They will simply read Paul's commentary that God was not being unfair and parrot it back to whoever raises any questions.
Since when is it being fair to favor one person over another before they are born or have done anything good or bad?
Only in Christian theology where God's whim is considered holy no matter how perverted or manipulative that whim is can you find people saying this type of action is fair.
And it once again makes a mockery of "free will" that Christians love to advertise God gives to humans.
So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
In other words, no matter how you act or behave, God will only show mercy on you if it is his whim to do so.
That's what Christians call"grace". God's "grace" is actually God's whim.
For the scripture (Exo 9:16) saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I(God) raised thee (Pharaoh) up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my (God's) name might be declared throughout all the earth.
Pharaoh, as shown earlier, was another one of God's tools who God raised up to serve one of his preordained purposes.
God manipulated Pharaoh by hardened his heart so that he would not let the Hebrews leave Egypt before God had displayed his "power" by killing all the firstborn of the Egyptians.
Pharaoh was just an instrument that God used to glorify himself. Pharaoh is the puppet and God pulls his strings when it suits him to do so.
Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.
Sure I see. God chooses to make some people refuse to listen. In other words, God manipulates some people to behave in certain ways.
It's yet another nail being driven in the coffin of "free will" which Christians constantly advertise that God gave humans.
Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?
Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
Here Paul goes off the deep end and descends into a pit of cult madness.
In other words, humans cannot question Paul's version of God. That's the real bottom line here.
Paul's God is so holy that he is above any examination. Of course, all this nonsense is swallowed whole by eager Christians who jump right into this pit of madness so that they don't have to be troubled with thinking too deeply about this "God".
Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
When the potter is advertised to be Holy, Just, and Righteous (as the Bible God is), the answer to this question is a clear and resounding NO.
Jars don't have the power of reason and humans do.
To equate humans to jars is a flawed analogy and underscores how Paul taught people to think of themselves as hopeless wretches who desperately needed Paul's Savior.
Beings which are created as playthings for the amusement or glorification of a deity are no better than garbage themselves. And those who will be damned to eternal punishment because of the way they were created are not beings who are "lovingly" created.
They are mere toys and some human life is reduced to trash by God himself.
What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
Paul's mind numbing rationalizations continue.
Since according to Paul, God creates his playthings and predestines them to serve his purpose, the objects of God's judgment had their fate already determined by God when he first created them.
Paul's sophistry is on display here as he wants to claim God is "patient" with the objects(humans) only fit for destruction. God's "patience" has nothing to do with the issue since God created some of them to be destroyed all along.
That's what the "potter" does. He creates "pots" to serve different functions. God decides the function each pot will serve. The pot hasn't a thing to say about it.
Of course, all this is only Paul's warped speculation of how the universe has been set up.
Yet, Christians will spout this as "the word of Almighty God" and go right along with it as all good pots should.
And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,
Since Paul declares that God has prepared some for glory, the script was already written for these people by God. "He prepared", and "his glory", are terms showing that this is God's little drama play going on and not the results of individual "free will".
God creates, prepares, and selects ahead of time according to his whim.
All of this leaves poor Esau and Pharaoh, who God "rejected" or "hated" as pawns on God's chessboard where God moves the pieces according to his game plan.
There is nothing in the text that says Esau ever did anything for which he was hated by God.
Esau was simply one of God's pots that was created to serve a specific purpose.
Did Esau have a choice? Not according to Paul.
God chose ahead of time to reject Esau and doom him to play an inferior role in God's cosmic game.
That's what predestination is all about. A persons destiny is established ahead of time by an outside force.
Christians can sing and dance just like Paul does that humans have no right to question what this God does, but calling blatant manipulation and injustice "holy" can't cover up how perverse it really is.
This is the very same God who Christians can't wait to go to"heaven" and be with, where they will get on their knees to serve, worship and praise Him for eternity. The next time you hear a Christian advertise that the Bible God gives his creation "free will", it would be a very good idea to remember that, like all slick promotional gimmicks, Christianity wants to portray it's God as being holy and just.
Anything that sounds good will be claimed about the Christian version of God.
However, all the advertising about "free will" is shown to be dishonest by the very Bible that Christians say they get all their knowledge about God from.
It's the same old story with believers like this. They will invent their own mental version of what they want the Bible to say and ignore or attempt to dishonestly rationalize anything that conflicts with what they want to believe.