What are the serial-numbered items which masseuse and escort prostitutes receive in exchange for their fornicative and adulterous immoral shenanigans? The same, which narcotic drug dealers get in exchange for heroin, meth, LSD, speed, and pot, and which bank robbers rob banks for? Identical stuff given for groceries, movie tickets, gas-pump gas at service stations, and a whole lot of other goods and services?
Federal Reserve Note inflated-and-devalued IOU fiat-paper money...on which is inscribed the religious phrase: "In God We Trust."
Some would quickly proclaim: "That's simply a figure of speech: a political mantra of expediency to get votes and remain popular to acquire or maintain elected office." "If there is a religious "God," we are satisfied "trusting" Him by keeping Him at arms-length. As long as He does not bother us, we don't bother Him. He set everything in motion in perfect interdependent precision and nearly-incredible variety, and now He has and continues to let it run without obtrusive interference and disruptive intervention all by itself."
But, CAN we "trust" that religious entity who (apparently, and not "which") is called: "God?"
Should we ask the so-called "rev" Barry Lynn of Americans United For Separation of Church and State - who illogically and hypocritically, publicly and openly associates his cultically-fake clergy title with the contradictory premise of his anti-Christianity-in-government organization?
The atheist (TA) (who - by Scriptural definition according to the Judeo-Christian Old-Testament references of Psalm 14:1 and Psalm 53:1 is clearly termed: a fool) might ask: "Prove that there is a God."
The Christian fundamentalist (TCF) might reply: As Jesus is said to have said to Judas, the accusatory pharisees, and Pilate (recorded in Matthew 26:25 & 26:64 & 27:11 plus Mark 15:2 and Luke 23:3): "You have said so." With that in mind, do you want to rephrase your query?
TA: Ok Ok. What proof do you have that a plainly-"intelligent" Creator or group of Creators "intelligently" created what has obviously been "intelligently" created, surrounding us of and in our obviously-"intelligently"-created environment, and why do you attach a religious title of "God" to such Creator or Creators?
TCF: It is fortunate that you at least admitted that whatever exists which we sense around us as existing, and logically - by common-sense deductive reasoning - did not create itself but instead was created by whoever but which most such created entities (like rocks, trees, ocean water, clouds, etc.) do not identify nor have the name of that Creator or Creators imprinted on them in any type of humanly-decipherable known language....because if you had NOT admitted that, I would have immediately ceased communicating with you, and considered (but not "regarded") you being dishonestly facetious or insane, thus certainly useless to further communicate with you.
TA: OK, to humor you, let's presume (not "assume," according to my atheistic lunacy) that The Creator or Creators should be given the religious title of "God." What proof do you have to trust "God?"
TCF: What proof do you have that God cannot be trusted?
TA: I asked you first.
TCF: That does not matter. You started the questioning by asking your question first, but - to humor you - let's just say that I, ever since I became aware of my environment in a consciously-scentient way plus was enabled to communicate my observations in intelligible verbal and/or written communication, have never known God the Creator to be inconsistent or untrustworthy.
TA: How do you know, or - to put it another way to avoid long physiological and microbiological dissertations on the intricate and myriad aspects and mechanisms of cognitive functioning - what makes you think that "God" will continue to be trustworthy?
TCF: A certain book which has been presented to me, called "The Holy Bible," I have - in all open-minded scientific curiousity and exploration as to discovering its entire contents - has stated that God will continue to be trustworthy without ever becoming untrustworthy.
TA: WHY do you believe that?
TCF: Because I WANT to.
TA: I guess that that settles that.
So, DO we trust God?
Rather than the atheist asking you: "Do you trust God?" - you might want to instead ask the atheist: "Why do you NOT trust God?"
It is sort of like turning the accusatory tables back on and interrogating "Chris Hansen" of MSNBC's 'Dateline: To Catch a Predator:' by asking: "Did you yourself target and deceptively lure some non-armed hapless male-ONLY (rather than female) victim to gently knock on the door of and peacefully enter your spider-web-like entrapment house (with needlessly-abusive ready-to-viciously-pounce-intending cops waiting outside) to harshly and persistently question, grill, condemn, and criticize him concerning mutually-voluntary previous-webchat sexual solicitation with a dishonestly-seductive so-called "under-aged" female or male vice-cop decoy.....to tittilate maliciously-vengeful battered-women feminist-sexist types out in the TV-land audience who salivate over the weekly Sunday-night programs...while you apparently have no problem with chatroom-facilitated consentual fornication occurring in houses of 18-year-olds of "legal" age and actually, by inference, advertise doing such?
So, do the atheist, this webpage author, or you the reader trust God the Creator? Lamentably, that question - worded that way - of necessity involves our good and evil performed and committed (as a non-individuals-specified group), who have been dependable and non-undependable, with no-and-yes reactions and responses to God....rather than a separate and distinct evaluation of God alone. A preferably-phrased question to ask instead is: "Is God trustworthy?"
The answer to that is of benefit to not only me, but obviously also to you and the atheist.
Let's put it this way.
Since I became aware of my surroundings at approximately age four up until and including this moment, I definitively declare that God has never EVER (even once) made ANY mistakes whatsoever in the total operations of ALL He has created. That statement includes everything I honestly know - from every sensible and credible source I have ever encountered or has confronted me - about God's past, present, and future.
Now, (and if you do not, at this point and for a limited time at least, object to including what you and the atheist probably also discern) that does not mean that God has no secrets which He has kept hidden from us and not divulged. But it does mean that everything (and I mean everything) we have been and are now aware of pertaining to God the Creator relating to the operation of His creation...has been entirely consistent and trustworthy.
Now, we get to me alone.....both concerning but ultimately regarding my response to God the Creator (as to whether I personally have or have not always or instead sometimes trusted Him, do so now, and will do so in the future):
I (regressing again perhaps also to you and even more, the atheist) have a sordid spotted record. My trust (speaking now merely of myself by myself) in the absolutely-trustworthy Creator God, has been off and on, although generally and overall it is (believe it or not) always on:
Romans 7:5 For when we (apply that now not simply to me but also to yourself and even the atheist - if you either can or want or both) were in the flesh, the passions of sins, which were by the law, worked in our members to bring forth fruit to death.
6 But now we are delivered from the law, being dead wherein we were held, that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.
7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid! No, I would not have known sin, but through the law; for I would not have known lust, except that the law had said, "Thou shalt not covet."
8 But sin, taking occasion through the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence; for without the law sin was dead.
9 For I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died;
10 and the commandment which was ordained to bring life, I found to be to death.
11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me and by it slew me.
12 Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.
13 Was then that which is good made death to me? God forbid! But sin, that it might appear as sin, was working death in me by that which is good, that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.
14 For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am carnal, sold under sin.
15 For that which I do, I approve not. For what I would do, that do I not; but what I hate, that I do.
16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent to the law that it is good.
17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that resides in me.
18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) resides no good thing; for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good, I find not.
19 For the good that I would do, I do not; but the evil which I would not do, that I do.
20 Now if I do that which I would not do, it is no more I that do it, but sin that resides in me.
21 I find then a law that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man.
23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
24 Wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
25 I thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.
It almost "goes without saying" that God the Creator, who called all He created "good," put both the Tempting-Serpent plus Tree-of-the-Knowledge-of-Good-and-Evil stumbling blocks into the otherwise arguably-perfect Garden of Eden....was perhaps well aware of the statistical probability that both naturally-nude Eve and Adam were going to be adversely influenced, under duress of half-lies-uttering (NOT "half-truths-uttering") deceptive Satan, to fall into sinful disobedience, then experience all the immediate and eventual consequences. That, clearly, is why He pre-planned to have His Son Jesus (humiliated by becoming a naked little baby emerging from the bloody womb of some inferior-gender human, then even worse being beaten and crucified to death on a cross) become The Salvational Gateway - The Atoning Escape and Rectification - for all those who have not liked to sin, do not like to sin now, and will not like to sin in the future....and (to varying and increasing degrees and extents) have not, do not, and will not sin -- as long as they were not, are not now, nor will be wickedly duressed by Satan, his demons, and humans who generally have given in to rebellion against the Lord and instead maintain allegiance to The Devil and his deviances.
So, as a bonafide Christian (and of course I myself honestly know myself and how I actually feel pertaining to that - despite the affirmations or denials of other commending or instead denouncing humans), my ultimate and final answer (as Regis might say to Kathy on TV) to the Lord has been, is now, and (regarding my present intentions) will forever be as follows:
Second Corinthians 1:19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we preached among you, Silvanus and Timothy and I, was not Yes and No; but in Him it is always Yes.
20 For all the promises of God find their Yes in Him. That is why we utter the Amen through Him, to the glory of God.
21 But it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has commissioned us;
22 he has put His seal upon us and given us His Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.
Being pro-choice, I have freely chosen (and have the authority and the liberty to do so, not being animalistically restricted to mere instinctual programming and behavioral reactions) to claim the following for myself (and hopefully so do you):
Romans 8:16 It is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
First Corinthians 1:2 To the church of God which is at Corinth [my church-rostered partial-blood-descendant relatives and incepted-visitor additional members go back a LONG way?], to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:
First Corinthians 6:10 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.
Galatians 3:26 ....for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.
Hebrews 2:11 For He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified have all one origin. That is why He is not ashamed to call them brethren....
Hebrews 10:10 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Hebrews 10:14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.
First John 3:1 See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
WHY claim the above for and to myself?
Why NOT? Same with you?
But does the Creator God really take notice of His infinitesmally-tiny human creatures on this almost-imperceptible speck of dust called Earth within the mind-boggling gigantic universe full of mega-light-years-distant millions and perhaps billions or trillions of galaxies and star clusters?
Romans 2:6 For He will render to every man according to his works:
7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, He will give eternal life;
8 but for those who are factious and do not obey the truth, but obey wickedness, there will be wrath and fury.
9 There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek,
10 but glory and honor and peace for every one who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek.
11 For God shows no partiality.
12 All who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law.
13 For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified.
14 When non-Jews who have not the law do by nature what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law.
15 They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or perhaps excuse them
16 on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of [male and female] humans by Christ Jesus.
Acts 17:31 ...because He has fixed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by a Man whom He has appointed, and of this He has given assurance to all humans by raising Him from the dead.
Revelation 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead in them, and all were judged by what they had done.
Confession and absolution against sins might be brought up by someone, and that subject is worthy of consideration:
Proverbs 28:13 He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.
Romans 10:10 For man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved.
First John 1:10 If we say we have not sinned, we make Him [out to be] a liar, and His word is not in us.
2:1 My little children, I am writing this to you so that you may not sin; but if any one does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;
4:2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit which confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God....
4:15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God stays in him, and he in God.
"Confessing" my own personal sins has been, is presently, and probably will continue to be an unpleasant, distasteful, and obnoxiously-bittersweet experience.
It is bitter to admit to the perfectly-benevolent always-loving-and-merciful-and-gracious God the Holy Creator that I have (in effect) urinated on Him, spit on Him, thrown poop at Him, kicked Him in His butt, and slapped Him in His face to boot -- by so sinning (whether one time only, several times, or - in ruefully addicted brainlessness - incessantly).
On the other hand, it is relieving and somewhat pleasant to confess in penitence, because I know that He has instructed, commanded, and wants me to do such.
However, the more I relentlessly goof or screw up (i.e. sin), even under the non-solicited duress of wicked neighbors, acquaintances, media, and others inciting me....and thus have to confess to God that under pressure I have in effect urinated on Him, spit on Him, thrown poop at Him, kicked Him in His butt, and slapped Him in His face to boot by sinning...the more hideous and repulsive the whole thing becomes....and He is getting fed up with me, with my aging body being a sad reminder.
However, the end result might be surprising to some.
Rather than "throwing in the towel" and giving up on Christian religion entirely to join frequently-tattooed wayward male and female pigdogs around me (or schveinhuunts, as Germans would phonetically proclaim), my growing and increasing intention plus gradually-resultant behavior is - more or less - to avoid associating with and near evil influences of wicked abusively-harassive pigdogs imposing non-asked-for deviant duress, which vile filth formerly surrounded me at much closer proximities...with the result that I could (to some and increasing extents) be said to be getting "better" and more "righteous" - as God defines the term according to the entire contents of His Holy Bible:
Second Peter 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming.
7 In these you once walked, when you lived in them.
8 But now put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and foul talk from your mouth.
9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old nature with its practices
10 and have put on the new nature, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.
11 Here there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcised and non-circumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all, and in all.
12 Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, and patience,
13 forbearing one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.
16 Let the word of Christ reside in you richly, teach and correct one another in all wisdom, and sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
17 And whatever you do, in word or work, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
18 Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
19 Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.
20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.
22 Employees, obey in everything those who are your earthly employers, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in singleness of heart, fearing the Lord.
23 Whatever your task, work heartily, as serving the Lord and not humans,
24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward; you are serving the Lord Christ.
25 For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.
First John 3:2 Beloved, we are God's children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when He appears we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
The last verse in the quotation cited above is one rather overwhelming reason why I want to "get better" and "be good" - and that has to do with eternal destination.
I like and respect The honorable and glorious Creator God too much to (in various worldly ways) thumb my nose at Him or stick up my third finger to Him. Not only that, but I believe (because there is all sorts of non-deniably compelling scientific and non-scientific proof) that IF I were to revile, blaspheme, and attempt to disassociate away from Him, He would eventually make it so - permanently - in a horrible and terrifying place and state called: The Outer Darkness Lake of Fire, in woefully-inescapable solitary confinement to the ages of the ages...which - to put it mildly - is just NOT "my cup of tea," so to speak.
Hell would be a "great" place and state to morbidly wail, gnash teeth, and curse God forever....IF I hated Him, hated His sometimes non-predictable and frequently-complained-about weather, hated Him allowing Satan and his cohorts to cause such grief to so many supposedly-innocent people in the past and now and in the future, hated His political religious rightwingers, hated that He gave me a non-robotic free will to do things right or wrong and hating Him for not giving me enough convincing and noticeable warning of future consequences, hate Him as The Boss instead of me being The Boss, and hate it that I could never do good again to deceive His saints, thus causing them to sinfully stumble at the worst possible times they could while I sadistically relished their misfortunate downfalls.
No, I would rather be in a place and state where there would be light perpetual, peace, joy, bliss, fellowship with all the elect of the past and present and future, having my own heavenly body able to do extraordinary supernatural things, the inability to sin under duress, the removal of all pigdogs and their pigdog pollution causing sinful duress, perfect modesty of dress perpetaully without ANY lurid exhibitionists surprise-attacking my eyesight as selfish and thoughtless demonically-selfish-and-defiant licentuous and lascivious terrorists, being with Almighty God, and exploring the 99.99999+% of His creation I did not have time nor resources to previously explore, be awestruck by, and enjoyably utilize with no deterioration or breakage whatever.