with more and more people questioning divinity of jesus , do you think well marketed and unique in its own kind , christ as idea would die in another 50 years , atleast in educated world?...
No. People have been predicting the death of religion in general and Christianity in particular since Nietzsche (sp?) at least, but although it gets stronger or less, it doesn't go away.
And not just because of "uneducated" people either. Many educated people believe in Jesus.
No, "Many" educated people don't believe in Jesus or any other gods.
There is a mirror image amongst the ignorant and the educated.
90% of the ignorant believe in gods while 90% of the educated do not.
and how many atheists are uneducated? we can start counting with you
Nice ad hominem attack. The nations with the highest rates of education and literacy are the least religious. Those with the lowest rates are the most religious. This is according a Pew study. There are intelligent, educated people who believe in gods, but they are the ones who are good at finding intelligent-sounding excuses for irrational beliefs.
Et tu? The little ad hominem at the end was nicely done as well!
How is belief in gods NOT an irrational belief? Belief in the existence of something for which there is no evidence seems the very definition of irrational.
@twoshed1 bible is the evidence...PERIOD...
Are you familiar with Poe's law? I'll take you seriously for the moment. Do you see the logical contradiction with a book that is true because it says it is true?
@twoshed1 bible is truth..who says so bible says so...well i was just trying to make job of believer easier by typing on their behalf
Whether you accept it or not, I have evidence and I do believe in God.
If you want to know why, I am happy to tell you. I don't assume you will believe it just because I tell it to you, but if you are interested I will tell you.
And if you have evidence, then it's not irrational.
No, you have no evidence, if you did, we would all be able to see it. That's what evidence is all about.
What you actually have is an irrational belief.
Why, out of curiosity, do you automatically equate irrational with false? Any assumption you make about something that can't be proven is technically irrational, and that would include belief OR disbelief in God.
Humans have an inborn irrational dimension to our psyche. Is this a flaw, or is there a reason for it? Perhaps there are truths that rational thought simply can not reveal.
Irrational is to believe things without proof nor evidence they exist, disbelief is not irrational, in the same way that not believing in unicorns or leprechauns is not irrational, we have never seen them, there is no concrete evidence that they exist and they violate the basic mechanics of our universe, indeed disbelief is the only logical response when confronted with unproven data.
As for irrational belief it is simply an evolutionary error, it comes from our ability to seek and exploit patters which is very useful, for example a hunter might know that a deer will usually run up hill if startled and so he will begin to predict that as a pattern using correct data, say on the other hand someone prays just before a basketball game that they will win and not only do they win but they score the winning points, say this occurs a couple of times this might make them religious but the assumption is false because the pattern is invalid or at least not valid for the presumed reasons, that is the same reason we have all these bizarre superstitions, for example it is still forbidden to whistle on many ships because it is believed it brings storms again a false positive. Of course to presume that just because you pray before a game god actually take a few minutes out of his busy schedule of starving African children and organizing natural disasters to guide your three point shot is beyond dumb but because of the a fore mentioned instinctual behavior the brain then decides that because the two things correlate they are causatory which is pretty much the biggest mistake you can make in scientific method but some people don't examine their own behavior rationally.
One of the other main genetic causes for religious belief is the fear of death, because the brain is wired to fear death and wish to avoid it the suggestion that there might be an afterlife where they will live forever is very tempting because it triggers the same endorphin rush that the brain receives when it survives a near death experience because the result is supposedly the same, it gets to live longer.
It's all about evidence, not proof. If there is no evidence for something people believe in with every fiber of their existence, such as gods, for example, that would be irrational, by definition. Or, if there is evidence that is unequivocal and people deny or ignore it in favor of believing in gods, that would also be considered irrational, not just because it's false, but because they are lying.
Rationality and irrationality are learned traits as opposed to being inborn. If one is indoctrinated at childhood, they don't learn how to be rational about that which they've been indoctrinated and begin believing in all kinds of nonsense.
and what is the defining proof that god does not exist?
4,000 years ago there was no human evidence that suggested that man would ever create a device that could transport people through the air.
3,000 years ago there was no human evidence that suggested women would ever reach a place where they would be regarded as equals to men.
2,000 years ago there was no human evidence that suggested that man would ever be able to transmit radio signals through the air.
1,000 years ago there was no human evidence that suggested that others galaxies existed outside our own.
250 years ago there was no human evidence that suggested that one person could communicate with another person across the world instantly.
The success of your whole argument revolves around human evidence in the present moment. If history shows anything, it's that humans know very little of what lies in the future. Therefore, human evidence is a flawed logic to base your argument off of, as it will likely change drastically as humans progress into the future.
What a ridiculous argument.
No wonder your religion causes so many fights.
No religion seeks to cause trouble. Religion is not an entity that lives on its own. It is a man-made concept. It needs Man to exist. Therefore, it is Man's misuse of religion that causes fights.
I'd like to see your evidence, as long as it is in fact evidence, and not wishful thinking, logic games or arguments from ignorance. Repeatable, verifiable evidence only will be considered.
Of course, since you're a believer, your evidence is immediately suspect. Why? Because you have a vested interest in a positive outcome.
Of course as a skeptic your passionate disbelief and predetermined outcome that my evidence is suspect is itself suspect. Why? Because you have a vested interest in there being none.
I believe you think you would accept a burning bush. I think that many of the things that have happened in my life you would reject out of hand. The standard of "verifiable, repeatable" evidence would, in fact, rule out the possibility that your own mother loves you...
On the contrary, I have no vested interest in there not being gods.In fact, if gods do exist, I'd say I have a vested interest in knowing they do, so I could get right with them. You're confusing being "anti-god" with being "non-god." What is true is more important than what I wish to be true. It's sort of the reverse of Pascal's Wager.
The problem is that personal experiences can often be deceiving. How many people swear they've seen ghosts? I saw something once which I might interpret as a ghost, but it is more likely, given the conditions under which it was seen, that it was a hallucination. Therefore, "feeling the holy spirit" inside me, or something similar, wouldn't really be a valid measure of the existence of the divine, because it would be so subjective.
Re: my mom loving me, the evidence is indeed verifiable and repeatable. She tells me she loves me, she provided for me during my childhood, paid for my education, bought me presents, made me dinner, etc. Now, had she neglected me, beat me, burned me with cigarettes, and not called me on my birthday, but I still thought she loved me, I'd be engaging in wishful thinking, since the evidence would show that she didn't love me, but I chose to believe she did.
Fair enough. Still, my personal experience is of a God who does love me and has provided for me. It's just that since you can't phone God up and hand over the receiver then most people assume you're nuts.
I will tell you my personal experience if you're interested, although that's not the only thing that I have.
No doubt after all this time you thought I forgot about this, or couldn't back up what I said. I know I would have. But I wrote a Hub. We're not supposed to advertise our hubs in these forums, and even though it's meant as an answer to you and many other people, I worry about getting flagged. I'm gonna risk it one more time.
http://chris-neal.hubpages.com/hub/The- … epted?done
Nevertheless, if you're willing then so am I.
You put too much stock in human evidence. Show me some human evidence today, and in 1,000 years I will laugh at your primitive findings.
Atheists, before asking theists for proof about their beliefs define your own. How does the universe make sense without a designer? Explain what you believe, and what makes you more logical or less ignorant without the use of ad hominems.
I really challenge you to do this.
discounting all the hilbillies of america its probably about the same
Coming from you, Danny, I take that as a compliment.
No. Jesus will never be forgotten as long as humanity exists. This is because Jesus is a very controversial figure; and it is common knowledge that controversies fuel propaganda negative as well as positive. The end result is that figures connected with controversies become more famous as years go by.
I would like to correct you thought that Jesus is an idea; It is not true. Jesus was a historical person, a fact which is well documented in Roman records of his time. However Jesus was not a very famous figure then. It is only after His Death that his followers and more so His adversaries used his name and became his followers as a historical trick to survive; Romans His worst adversaries became his followers and formed The Holy Roman Empire which is now continued by The Holy Catholic Church, a nation traversing so many nationalities; A world empire so to say.
So Jesus lives on in men's mind even today.
The historical Jesus is documented in Roman records, but not WELL documented. References to Jesus are sparse and lacking in any real information. My hub "Jesus Walked This Lonesome Valley: or did He?" gives the major historical references. Check it out.
There's an essay I read of Marx once (not sure if he was discussing Hegel or Proudhon?...), but he said that Christianity would eventually be disbelieved, just like Greek Mythology. Well, he was wrong, because, people believe today just as much as they did 200 years ago. Christianity is here to stay!
Yes, that is what Christians would like to believe, just like they like to believe other irrational ideas.
No, people don't believe the same they did 200 years ago, there was this book published called, "On The Origin of Species"
Have you heard of it?
Actually % numbers of Christian believers have fallen massively in the last 200 years, only about 50% of Europe is Christian now for example.
But Christianity is growing in Africa and Asia.
And the number of educated people who are Christian is not negligible.
Christianity will not disappear (until the end of time!)
agree that it is growing in underdeveloped region like africa and developing countries...thats why i said 50 years....in 50 yrs africa , asia would be in better position...as people get more educated , more settled then they start questioning and then comes decline...
On the contrary, the places where it's growing are place where people sometimes pay with thier lives for being willing to be identified as Christian. Where people understand what's really at stake, they stand up and say, "I'm a Christian." When nothing is at stake, Christianity fades. That's not a flaw in Christianity, it's a flaw in humans.
@chris agreed...people tend to clinch their hopes on illusions when they dont have much in their life to look forward to...it is human nature...religion grows in deprivation....so completely agree to that...thats why as people become less deprive this illusive concepts die and its good that they die, then people can actually contribute in something constructive than waiting for some x,y,z's second coming...
I agree with your assessment of the physical reality but the underlying reason is not right. It's because people become comfortable with the illusion that they don't need anything, that they can control their own environments. Not only does (nature or God, depending on your point of view) show us in recent history that physically that's not possible, but the growing number of disintegrating families show us socialogically that it's not.
@chirs nature v/s human brain is one way of looking at...from where i see it is human brain which gave us electricity , communication tools , internet and all that we see including statue of jesus or church or anything...even concept of god or religion is human brain product....without reasoning existence of human being as race itself would get threatened...
i feel immense pride on our ancestors who did what they did to take us to place where we are....coming to religion...yes it did serve human beings purpose and its contribution is immense...but now its utility is limited and we must replace it with reason ....religions do die as we have seen in history and there is nothing new in it....but what we replace dying religion with would make difference...from concept of natural forces as god to many god to single god....we did evolve our concept...but this single god in global world has many versions of who that god is...since it is concept none can reach to one singular conclusion and more people take it literally more damaging it would be for human race...instead of worrying for unproven entity why not take responsibility of our race and work for its betterment...
I too feel immense pride in our ancestors who looked around and wondered what could be. I thank God that He gave us brains to think with and curiosity to explore the world He made and the drive and ability to improve life for the race He created.
@chris can give credit to someone else for works of our ancestors who competed with other species on their own without help of any external entity and made their own way...Salute to those ancestors...giving unknown,unproven entity credit for hard work of our ancestors is not in my nature...if there is god , that god needs more questioning than praise...if that god appeared in present court , he would be booked for mass muder charges....may be thats why that god doesnot show up and has never shown up, other than imaginative minds of few people like jesus
I give credit where credit is due. Human beings do the work but God creates the human beings.
If you understood God, you wouldn't say He would be booked on mass murder.
@chris i understand u claim to understand god....many make such claims...nothing wrong in it...if u understood natural course of justice you yourself would file against mass mudered called god of Abraham...but god cant be booked for murder...you cant book concept of dictatorship for murder or concept of communism for murder...god is concept and cant be booked...
exactly dont give credit to unproven entity called god for all hard work of our ancestors....give credit where it is due...and god is last entity which can be given credit of anything even if go by mass murderer concept of which abraham is said to have invented...
@pisean282311 I don't claim to understand God. To claim to understand God is to prove that you don't understand God.
I give credit where credit is due, and when it due men I give it and when it is due God, I give it.
The rest of your post I don't quite understand...
"If you understood God, you wouldn't say He would be booked on mass murder."
This implies that you do understand God, because you believe that He would NOT, or could not, be booked on mass murder, correct?
While Pisean's English isn't all that great, I sort of see where he is coming from.
If God was held to the standards of men, he would be tried for a number of things. But, he is "God," and therefore not held accountable for his actions, because he has the "right" to make them, so there is no accountability to be held (or at least that's what the Christian argues, I believe. (I'm not saying this is what Pisean's saying exactly, this is just me adding my two cents)
If there was ever the scary threat of a dictator who's actions couldn't be questioned, and who couldn't be tried, there would eventually be an uproar... and there is, especially since that idea of dictator is "God," and people find the idea to be unjust amongst a number of other things.
I hope I didn't insult Pisean. I didn't mean to.
Yeah, you've got a fairly clear picture of the outline.
I understand that a lot of people think I'm 'implying' I understand God. I do understand some aspects of God because God has revealed those aspects. But to say that I understand God, no matte what anyone wants to read into it, is not correct.
What you are saying is that God CAN be held to human standards and MUST be held to human standards. I know you've read Job. Remember the end of the book when God appears in the storm and asks Job where he was when the world was being created? That's why God cannot be held to human standards. Many people do, but they are actually not making the right point. Often they don't believe that God exists and what they want to say is that humans who've done things they disagree with (and make no mistake, some of those actions were truly horrible) while claiming God's sanction need to be held to account. And if God does not exist, then the (constantly shifting) standards of men are indeed the measure which we use to judge actions. Ironically, if you use the standard of God, some of those actions actually look worse.
Things that God did personally...
-Opened up the Earth to swallow those who questioned authority.
-Personally killed all of the first borns of Egypt (including small children, no doubt.)
-Wiping out entire nations of people, unfortunately including little babies and spoke of pregnant women's stomachs being ripped open.
-Turning lot's wife into a pillar of salt simply for looking back. A pillar of salt.
-Told people to sacrifice their children amongst other things:
Ezekiel 20:25-26 "Moreover I gave them statutes that were not good and ordinances by which they could not have life; and I defiled them through their very gifts in making them offer by fire all their first-born, that I might horrify them; I did it that they might know that I am the LORD.”
-He did indeed commit evil, and sometimes "reconsidered" (He also admits that He created evil)
I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.
Therefore it shall come to pass, that as all good things are come upon you, which the LORD your God promised you; so shall the LORD bring upon you all evil things.
Then God sent an evil spirit
Jeremiah 44:2 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Ye have seen all the evil that I have brought upon Jerusalem, and upon all the cities of Judah
Jeremiah 45:5 ...behold, I will bring evil upon all flesh, saith the LORD:
Jeremiah 49:37 ...I will bring evil upon them, even my fierce anger, saith the LORD; and I will send the sword after them, till I have consumed them:
Micah 1:12 .... evil came down from the LORD
I think people can specifically speak of when God does it Himself... And the list, of course, goes on... But He is the "Lord..."
Well, there are two aspects to this.
The first is, I notice you didn't say anything about my refernce to Job. I stand by it. If God exists, then you can say what you want, but when you're standing in front of Him at the judgement, He's going to have the final word. If you have an answer for that one, I'd like to hear it.
Okay, now for the other stuff (which again, if God exists and is God, then this is all just referral back to point one.)
-He commanded the people to obey Him. They went about doing things (quite horrible, too) that He specifically told them not to do. These weren't minor infractions, this was a wholesale turning away with probably human sacrifice. Gosh, it would have been so much better to say, "No big deal," right?
-Personally killed all the first born men of the Jews (whoops! Sorry, that was Pharoah.) Right, personally killed all the first born males of the Jews (nuts! That was Herod the Great!) Right, personally killed 6 million Jews (Aargh! That was Hitler!) I'm sorry, you're point being that God is so horrible as opposed to human standards because...
-Turned Lot's wife into a pillar of salt. Back to point about Job.
-Ezekial - Hello! Obviously we have never met before. My name is Chris Neal, and although I do have a tendency to annoy people who don't think conservative Chistianity is a legitimate philosophical point of view, many of them at least acknowledge that I do think about things, struggle with things, and research what I'm talking about. Therefor I am glad to know that you are not the kind of person who would pull a verse or two out of context and throw them at me as if I'd never read them before or the verses that preceed or proceed them. Because if you were the kind of person to do something like, say, try to make it sound as if God were the one telling the Israelites to pass their babies through the fire instead of constantly upbraidin the Israelites about that, I would be disappointed.
There's a specific reason why I didn't bother to address what God said at the end of Job. It again simply reiterates the idea that this God seems to believe that He can do whatever He wants to people, because of the fact that he created them against their own will, which is an irrelevant "fact." The amount of cruelty is irrelevant. It only reiterates the fact that He is a power-hungry tyrant, no offense. To kill a man's children simply to prove a point to Satan that he is a righteous man? He could've just told Satan to beat it, and that He had nothing to prove to a lesser being. And Job's children wouldn't have been killed, and he wouldn't have suffered the way He did. But He's bored I guess, and needs reassurance? I don't know. If the story does anything, it keeps people from questioning God even more, still an affective way to control the masses.
Also, to say that the Bible doesn't endorse slavery is actually false, because slaves is what God indeed wants us all to be to His will. The WHOLE point of the BIble is for people to become willing slaves to God. Slavery is indeed, then, seen in a positive light. The only way that I would serve this God would be against my own will, because His injustice is obvious to anyone looking at HIm objectively. If I find out that He is real one day, without a shadow of a doubt, and He is the God that mainstream Conservative Christians seem to think that He is, it will be unhappily that I serve Him, because I don't have the need for assurance , or peace beyond understanding, or any of that. So the only benefit I will have is escaping Eternal Torment. Again, if it is simply Eternal Destruction, I would prefer that to spending an Eternity with a being like Him.
All well and good, but why in the world would you assert that God commanded child sacrifice?
The Bible specifically prohibits human sacrifice. The language you quote is angry and sarcastic, directed at unbelieving Israelites who were doing exactly that thing even though not only was it specifically prohibited but God said over and over again that child sacrifice was specifically evil.
It was a breath-taking moment for me, and I felt that you totally lacked any respect for me to try it. If you believe it, I don't understand why. If you don't and you tried to run it by me, that's even worse.
First, I'm interested that the child sacrifice was your focal point.
Secondly, I didn't use that quote in order to say that God specifically wanted people to sacrifice children because human sacrifice was necessary in order to please Him (along the lines of bull and goat sacrifice). That wasn't the point of the scripture or of my addressing it.
I was pointing out the fact that God asks parents to sacrifice their children that He might "instill fear in them" or "horrify" them is the word He used, actually. But it wasn't to say that He was some Aztecan God or something of that sort. The point that I was making was that He demanded it, the reason why was not really the focal point.
Child sacrifice was my focal point because the Scripture you used and the way you quoted it seemed to make the point that God wanted it. If it wasn't, you might have been a little more clear. That's why I kept going back to it when you kept not going back.
What is boils down to Chris, is this.
What does this God find more important?
A "genuine" relationship with Him from people?
The lives of all of those that He creates of no will of their own and that they all are happy in the end?
I know what you might say the answer is. My thing is, that is selfishness if ever there were an example, except this is on a Cosmic level. People claim that they would rather choose to go to Hell than be inable to do anything but God's will. But I challenge that. Ignorance is bliss. I'm certain they would've been quite happy because they wouldn't have known any better. It is God would've been unhappy, because He'd know that they didn't choose to love Him because there was no other option. So He put His needs above ours. Unjust, unloving, just selfish, and apparently insecure. And there's no real way around that.
Unfortunately, though, Chris, when you make statements like "If you truly understood God...," one would assume you are implying that you do understand Him, because, you do believe (correct?) that He would not be tried for murder. But if man COULD try him for his crimes, the list is long...
Why are police officers, and most people in positions of authority, especially with serious power, why is it that they exhibit some of God's same characteristics, besides the obvious fact that we were "created in His image?" Because certain types of personalities, mindsets, and the like come with positions of power, and there are less than favorable outcomes for those who intend to stand against that authority.
What's the difference between God, and any other dictator? God gets the "Ok"because He is God. That's all. Sure, Hitler's actions were based on prejudice, ignorance, and the like, but his actions very much mirrored God's towards the people who defied Him and His law. God is given special place that He supposedly deserves, but true justice would go very differently. For many generations, there has been a what the slave owes the master, what the child owes the parent, and so on type of mentality. But, as we come to understand more about ourselves, psychology and the like, it is the CHILDREN who are owed more than the parents. Why? Let me elaborate.
Two (hetero) people decided to have sex . This very action means that a baby might possibly enter the world whether it was on purpose or not. But the child itself is the only one who actually doesn't have a say in the matter. When the child comes into the world, who has the responsibility to dote on who? Who has the responsibility to do whatever's best for who? Who had more say in the matter to begin with?
If a child is abused verbally and physically, it is looked down upon when the parent is human. If someone were to say that, as a parent, they had the right to do whatever to their child, even if that means murder, they would be seen as awful, power trippy parents. But when that parent is God, we say "Oh, it's ok." The difference if anything, is that we are ALLL here of no choice of our own.
I've already made a post about what God has done personally.
Indeed. Study anthropology and you'll learn a LOT about that. Even without studying anthropology, simply observing the world from as objective a view point as possible, one would find interesting patterns in man's behavior, and there is certainly no anthropomorphic deity behind any of it.
Obviously, you and I are not going to agree about a lot of things.
It's not like I never struggled with many of the things you've brought up.
In the end, it boils down to your one phrase, "If man COULD try him for his crimes..." Either we can, or we can't. If we can, then He is not God we are looking in the entirely wrong place for blame to fix and solutions to enact.
One last thing, though -
The end of slavery (I know there's still slavery, but the institutionalized chattel slavery of ancient Rome or antebellum America) was unquestionably a good thing and is in fact very Christian. And it's a good thing that children are looked upon more as little humans to be cherished and nurtured rather than property of the parents. But the idea that because we did not choose to be born we are owed happiness or love or whatever it is and because God is our "parent" and therefor owes us universal entry into Heaven because we didn't ask to be born has potential dangers. The first and most obvious is that when people start thinking they are owed the good will of God then other things that God demanded, like civic responsibility and the love of your neighbor, become subsumed to the perceived "best good" of the individual because, come on, if society doesn't just jolly the heck out of whatever I want then why should I give back to society?
You and many others say that Christians ended slavery. I bet there is not a person on these forums who can honestly tell me when the fight against slavery actually began and who was the first person to start it. I'll give you a clue though, it was long before the Civil War.
Paul, although he did not preach an end to slavery, did subversively preach equality before God of slaves and owners.
This idea was adopted by many of the Founding Fathers, which ultimately lead to the largely misunderstood and misrepresented Three Fifths Clause.
It's true that it wasn't only Christians who advocated for the end of slavery, but it was Christians who provided the major impulse both in England and the US.
I expect, however, that you're not talking about any of that. What is your example?
I would address your statement, but the Bible clearly supports slavery. That not withstanding however, I was speaking of who made the first move to end slavery. What person actually tried to end it. I'll give you another clue if you want it, it happened before the American Revolution.
A) The Bible clearly does not support slavery. Toss me your proof and I will show you where you are mistaken. It's an easy mistake because often what seems to be called slavery is more like indentured servitude. And don't for a second think that Paul endorsed slavery either.
B)If I had time (this is not a diversion, my wife is sick and I have two special needs children) I would be interested in the clue hunt. It is interesting! But I don't have the time. Could you just tell me?
However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way. (Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT)
When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl's owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment. (Exodus 21:7-11 NLT)
When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property. (Exodus 21:20-21 NAB)
Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. (Ephesians 6:5 NLT)
Not only does it support slavery (permanent ownership of a person) but it gives them basically no human rights, you can even murder your slaves without repercussions as long as they don't die immediately, which means you can absolutely beat and abuse you slaves without repercussion because they are your property.
Bet you thought I forgot? Or that I didn't have an answer? I know we're not supposed to "advertise" our hubs here but since this is a direct answer to you as well as others, I have been writing a series.
So I'll take a chance by stating that you should read this:
A.) Josak beat me to pointing it out.
Thank you Josak for that.
B.) No, I won't just tell you. Anyone who isn't willing to do the research is NOT qualified to speak on the subject.
"If you don't know then I'm not going to tell you!"
Then it obviously isn't that important.
I assume you didn't miss the part about sick wife and special needs children.
It's not if you don't know, then I'm not going to tell you. I would tell anyone who actually wants to listen. My original point stands though. Not one person seems to have taken a detailed look into slavery and so they spout the mainstream BS. That's all you've managed to do. You spouted off about something you know absolutely nothing about as if it were fact. I understand having sick people to take care of, I do, but they couldn't have always been your life. You've had plenty of time to do research. You get on here and try to tow the party line Christian theories, which means you have time in which you could be looking it up. Not being willing to is no excuse.
I don't think you do.
I have taken an interest in slavery from a Christian point of view, and it started when I read language in the Bible that seemed to support slavery. I wanted to know more.
I you are willing to tell me, I'm certainly willing to listen. I should think after all this time I would have proved that I will talk to almost anyone who will talk to me.
A) My answer to Josak, and you, and Randy Godwin and others.
I know we're not supposed to "advertise" our hubs in these forums and normally I don't, but since these first two hubs are in answer to you guys and Rad Man, I'm taking a chance.
B) Little childish. But just remember that you said that, because I guarantee it will come back to you at some point.
Chris, I read both your articles about slavery in the bible. I read them when you first wrote them. However, all you did was pull things way out of context and attempt to make excuses for them without using any facts or evidence what so ever. You didn't even use what was known to be going on during the time period. Instead you got really picky and choosy just to support what you wanted to. Hence I voted your hubs down. You show a great lack of knowledge on the subject unfortunately.
As for B, you can say it childish all you want, but if you tried to enter the scholarly circles without doing research of any type, you'd get the same response. If your not going to take the time that you have, and invest it in putting in research, then why should you be the one put on the podium to speak to the media (and the rest of the world) with a vastly limited knowledge?
A) I pulled nothing out of context. I put things into context. If you can prove I'm wrong, I'm more than willing to read what you've got. I do appreciate that you read them. Seriously, if you've got the proof that I'm wrong then I will read it!
B) Your reasoning is sound except for a couple of points:
1) I don't have the time to do the research you are requiring. If you want me to do it, at least give me more hints. Otherwise, I'm not refusing, I will get to it when I can.
2) You're refusing to tell me based on the assumption that I do have the time. I'm not that petulant. I'm also open to new information. If you've got it, it's better (and certainly more adult) to present it rather than say that my failure to pursue something I don't have the time (at least right now) to pursue is a sign of academic weakness. I do have academic weakness, there's a lot of stuff I don't know, but this is not the way to teach me.
You know that it's God's fault that there's a Hell, right?
He could've simply not created Lucifer, nor the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil until Adam and Eve were mature enough to handle anything that he [the Serpent] could throw their way, including such a little deception as that type of lie. How could they be punished, along with the rest of mankind, for something that they were ignorant of in the first place?
Adam and Eve could not have had any tendency or nature in them that either wasn't like Him, because He created them in His image, or wasn't created by Him (to make them uniquely human) ? When Eve, being ignorant of good and evil, ate of the fruit after following the serpents lie and followed that feeling/curiosity/or whatever else inside of her that made her want to listen to him, and then shared it with Adam, should they have been punished so severely for their naiveté/curiosity and whatever else? Again, they were able to do nothing that God created them with an inability to do. Did He lack foresight? Couldn't an all powerful, understanding, merciful God supposedly do something in order to prevent something bad happening to His beloved and would this not have been the MOST important/beneficial time to do something to keep the destruction away from the rest of the human race to descend from them? Would Him jumping in before Eve ate the fruit and saying", the serpent lies to you Eve! Do not eat of it!" Couldn't that simple action alone have changed the course of history? Why didn't He do it? You would say you don't know. While there are some things that I can accept not knowing, this simply isn't one of them. He had agenda or lacked foresight. Creating Lucifer also was a bad idea, but He did it anyway. As if creating Lucifer was more important than the possibility of what Lucifer could become and what kind of damage he could do. I think this is one f those appropriate "for the good of the majority" type cases...
I understand what you're saying. I've read it before, although never with quite so much passion or detail.
I'll say to you what I said to them, and I certainly would be interested in what you think.
What you are, in effect, saying is that it would be better if God had not made us human. If we had never known the ability to sin, to turn away from God, to have free will and the ability to choose, we would have been better off.
And there have been people who seriously said to me, "Yes, that's right. God should have made us as robots, unable to choose anything for ourselves."
But if we could not choose to turn away from God, we could also not choose to turn to God. You said in a different post thst God wants us to be "willing slaves." You're right. But the operative word there is not "slave," it's "willing." Because in this life, most people choose to love other people. I'm sure you don't believe that, most people don't. Of course, there's love you can't help, your love for your Mom or your family. But most of the time, what we think of as love is more attraction, and whether we develope a real love or not depends on how we act toward and are treated by one another. Like in a good marriage, the spouses submit their wills to each other. And I've been married for 22 years, so I have some idea of how to make it last. It doesn't mean that there aren't differences in personality and ability, and it doesn't mean that the man rolls over the woman, or vice versa. While it's true that God is not going to submit His will to a humans, it is true that if we love God, He accepts us as we are and looks after us. There's frankly no other way to explain many things in my life. And without that ability to love or turn away, the very, very human qualities that He gave us, we'd never know the true depth and sweetness of a loving relationship.
Freedom to choose shouldn't come with an "or else" attached to it. That's not making a free choice, that's making a conditional one.
To be honest, and hopefully not to talk out of turn, but if I read ThousandWords correctly, her interpretation of Scripture is that either we can be enslaved in a miserable existence on earth and then when we die go on to more of the same, or live as we please and when we die we are destroyed and that's it.
If those were the choices, I would probably choose as she does.
True love does come with an "or else." Your freedom to choose another means they are free to choose you too. That doesn't just go for God. If you choose a partner, they choose you. If you choose somebody but they don't choose you, then either they are not your partner or else they are not free to choose. Even if their choice leaves you miserable. Even your mother, who may not be free to choose whether she has deep feelings for you or not, can choose whether to enable behavior that she thinks is detrimental to you or to her.
So you're right, it is conditional. But that's not in and of itself a bad thing.
No, the bad thing is when He threatens to destroy all the bad little girls and boys that He apparently didn't love enough to not create Lucifer in the first place. (Again, perfect "good for the majority" type scenario)
How do you know for a fact that those aren't the choices? Because of what someone else wrote that no one has ever come back to tell us about? Her supposition on the matter is just as accurate as yours.
Your God has said "love me or burn for eternity." Well the only reasonable answer to that is ok, I'll love you, not because I actually want, but because if I don't I get to suffer an eternity of pain. That's not a "free" choice such as love between partners is, that's an "love me or else" choice, which in the end doesn't actually give a choice. Free choice would say "I would like for you to love me, but if you don't, you still get paradise." Otherwise the choice isn't free at all. A partner not choosing to be with you, may make you miserable, but it's only temporary. The choice for not choosing to love god is a horrible eternity. Therefore your not free to choose, and you should try and pick a better analogy.
Any choice, that comes with an eternal condition, is a horrible thing.
"Any choice, that comes with an eternal condition, is a horrible thing."
And certainly not free.
And if you only love Him to avoid the fire, you never know what it truly means to love Him and be loved by Him.
Loving somebody is a whole lot more than saying, "I'll do what you say just don't punish me!" That's not love, that's fear. Fear of burning in hell is not a bad thing, but as you illustrate yourself, it's not the same as love. You can do what God says to do and still secretly (or not so secretly) fear and loathe Him. Jesus even told a parable about that. But there is so much deeper than that.
Also, I did say "if I read her right." Do I absolutely know those are the choices as she sees them? No. But I'm making educated guesses based on what she's written. She's perfectly capable of correcting me if I'm wrong.
Your talking about her view point, I was not. I was talking about those possibly being the only absolute choices there are.
If God can see into your heart, then you can't secretly do anything. Which completely defeats the entire point. If God is omniscient and therefore knows the future already, then the future has already been written and all your choices are predetermined, there is no free will in that.
As for doing things out of fear, most of the world does things out of fear. Why do you breathe? Fear that not doing so will kill you. Why do you eat? Fear that not doing so will kill you? Why do people shy away from drugs? They are afraid they will somehow kill them. Why do Christians not believe in magic? Because God said it was punishable by death. Why do Christians have a problem with Gay people? Because God said it was punishable by death. I mean do I really need to go on?
Not to mention, not choosing him seems to be a death sentence. Look at the time of Noah, only a handful of people followed his ways, so he wiped out everyone but them. Or how about sodom and gomorrah? One family in the entire city followed his way, so he got them out and destroyed the city. Or how about Babylon? The city turned against him and his ways, so he wiped them out as well. This God of yours has a habit of killing people who don't do as he says. Which again shows that we have no choice. It's his way or death.
Actually, you make several good points and I don't disagree with you about most of them, though I see them as a gateway into a loving relationship with God.
Although I am a Calvinist (which I'm sure is no shock to you,) I'm not a "five pointer." I still struggle with the whole free will v. determinism thing. And the fact is that we are still held liable for our actions, whether we think it's fair or not.
Eating and breathing are things we do because our bodies won't let us not do them. Breathing more so than eating, but most people don't control that impulse to the extent they can choose to live or die. Fear of drugs is more to the point, since that's one I always had a fear of myself, even when I wasn't a Christian.
I think it's instructive that you chose OT illustrations. But Jesus did preach about the cost of following Him, and also about the cost of NOT following Him.
I personally don't think eternal destruction is one of the choices.
New Testament reference would be Simon Magus who God killed from the Sky for not choosing his way and for practicing magic.
The thing with Jesus is, I personally am unable to find reconciliation for Jesus not being what Jeremiah was told in Chapter 33 verses 17-22. The only reconciliation that I've seen at all, that tries not to make someone out as a liar, doesn't come until after Jesus died, which means it had no bearing what so ever on the birth of Jesus. Which leads me to believe that everything written about him, in order to accept that Jehovah is a real God, is a lie. The only other way it makes any sense, is God or the Holy Spirit chose things to be differently, which turns God into a liar and Fallible, so it doesn't reconcile either.
I'm not sure "reconciliation that happened after Jesus died" you're referring to. David does still have a servant on the throne of Israel, that is Jesus (reference Paul's arguments about "true and false Israelites.")
Jesus was not a Levite yet was giving God's ministry, though God said that he had promised that to the levites for all time. That's what I'm specifically referring to.
"though I see them as a gateway into a loving relationship with God."
More a scare tactic really, but I suppose word choice reflects the perspective of the writer.
"And the fact is that we are still held liable for our actions, whether we think it's fair or not."
But to what extent and at what cost, when He should know who's fault it really is if He's all knowing? Certainly taking accountability has certain benefits in the current life, but at "judgement day," there's only one to blame.
If a man creates a set of beings, some become kind and acknowledge him as their maker, some become kind, but seek to others to give credit, some become angry at him for creating them and rebel against his wishes, some become evil and destroy others that he created, who is ultimately at fault?
Let me ask it like this, would any of the actions have taken place had he not created them?
If A led to B, which then led to C, is A not partly to blame, since B only existed because of A? Or should B take all of the heat for C, and A just sit back and point the finger at B?
If He is real, and there is justice, no man will suffer eternal fire.
You may think that I've been ignoring this post. I would think that if I were you. I don't know if you actually wanted me to respond, but I have written out a full response twice (!) and both times it got lost when I hit the "submit" button!
In any case...
Of course you know that the Bible says that the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. I've said often and repeat here that God is not quite the comforting figure that many people seem to want to believe. So being scared is not a bad thing in and of itself. And you're right, the word choice reflects the perspective of the writer. And my perspective is that what you do with your fear is very important. The fact remains that hell is real, so are you going to tell God it's all His fault? And if all you see God is as some big scary figure who is basically Stalin in the sky, then you really do miss so much!
In an absolute sense, it's true that if God had not created men, none of the things that have happened would have happened. But by the same token, in a very real sense, by assigning all the blame to God and none to men, you rob us of the very humanity that we so prize. And frankly, if you start there, it really isn't any stretch to say that everything that happens down here is all His fault as well. There are plenty of people who already do, anyway. It boils down to free will. Either we have it or we don't. I believe we do, and if we do, then we are accountable for everything we do both in this life and in the next.
The soon to be famous Thousand Word Theorem, eh? The axiom to your hypothesis is that B, having been created by A, would be incapable of making any choices for him/herself. But we're not.
And frankly I wouldn't be so quick to discount the "Job Scenario," where God reveals just a tiny fraction of His power and Job has nothing to say.
If He is real, and He is just, then some men must burn. Otherwise Heaven is not Heaven, it's simply hell with a nicer view.
"And if all you see God is as some big scary figure who is basically Stalin in the sky, then you really do miss so much!"
That is what He is though. You just choose to seem Him with a brighter light, which I don't find surprising, and I understand where you're coming from.
"The fact remains that hell is real, so are you going to tell God it's all His fault?"
I didn't quite say that, but it is, essentially, His fault.
-He created Lucifer, knowing the possible outcomes.
-He created man to be naive, knowing the possible outcomes.
-He let's Lucifer loose on the Earth instead of destroying Him immediately, having foreseen the actions that would lead to the destruction of who knows how many millions or billions of people. It seems we are not actually worth much to Him for this means that He weighed Lucifer's creation over the importance of the lives that he (Lucifer) would help to destroy, confuse, seduce, etc.
He is supposed to be "omniscient," right?
-So, He must've know the possible outcomes of having created Lucifer aka the Devil.
-He knew what would happen if naive Eve and Adam came into contact with the Serpent.
-He places a tree in the garden that they are forbidden to eat from ( apparently we were created with a slightly rebellious curiosity already, either that, or were created so naive that the Serpent didn't have to do much to ignite such a thing, and God did nothing to prepare us for it, in order that we might not die.)
Do you know see all of the flaws in this situation? I do.
Either God is omniscient and chose to do nothing or He is not omnipotent, or is power-trippy and doesn't find people's lives to be of any true importance unless they choose to be his puppets, which it seems is what He created us for in the first place.
"In an absolute sense, it's true that if God had not created men, none of the things that have happened would have happened. But by the same token, in a very real sense, by assigning all the blame to God and none to men, you rob us of the very humanity that we so prize."
Why do you prize the humanity that it seems that God detests?
Also, assigning blame, when concerning humans, isn't as easy of a thing to to do as people make it seem. And this is a psychological, nature approach.
I want to lay out a scenario in a separate post so that this one isn't so long.
I need to think a little more about what you wrote, but here's an impression I've had of your writing before:
You give Lucifer waaayyy too much power in this world, and you give God waaayyy too little.
I was going to wait until I had finished with some Hubs I'm writing and I could give you a detailed answer to your extensive post, but some things have happened that got me to thinking.
Chuck Colson died. You may not think much of him, you may not even know who he was, but I have read a lot of his stuff, and I got to remembering some things he wrote about going into prisons and dealing with men (he didn't go into women's prisons, at least not much) who were not only cut off from society but were working even harder to make themselves "beyond the pale." Men who had engaged in murder, rape, child molestation on the outside and on the inside dressed like women and threw body fluids at other human beings, he shook their hands and told them that God loves them. And he meant it. He was willing to go where most people won't because he "prized the humanity that it seems that God detests."
My wife has Stage IV cancer, and seems to be going downhill. She had one round of chemo and it seems that she will not be able to take another. When she was younger she would go with her college Gospel Team into New York City, and she went into the gang areas. Sometimes she was in physical danger. But she genuinely reached people, and she did it because she also "prized the humanity that it seems that God detests."
Time is short. None of us ever know when we're going to die. None of us know either when we'll be faced with something that will completely change our lives. You carry around so much anger and hurt, and it breaks my heart. I want to show you that God does love you, and I worry that my intellectual approach may be going in the other direction. Everyone is made in God's image. Yes, you are. So am I, so is johnnycomelately, and castlepaloma, and vector7, and A Troubled Man and Mark Knowles and Randy Godwin. God created us to BE humna, and He does not detest that humanity. When Jesus came to Earth, He was hanging out with the sinners, the people who slept around, who did things that the religious establishment said would keep them out of Heaven. It's not the healthy, the ones who have it together, the waking-up with their hair done people who need Jesus. I need Jesus, because I'm not one of those people. And Jesus loves you, unconditionally.
Please don't insult me with your garbage.
No, he doesn't, the condition of accepting Jesus as your Savior and Lord sends one to burn for an eternity if they reject it. The condition of divorce, homosexuality, birth control and a host of other conditions Christians have provided for us shows quite easily your God does not love unconditionally.
Didn't you know? The Christian "unconditional" always means there's strings attached. Just as their God is omniscient and yet you have "free will" even though he knows what your going to do before you do it. Oh and he's not an evil sadistic murderer either. He loves you and came down himself to die for you, while knowing full well that he couldn't die so the act meant absolutely nothing, just to prove it!
Well, then you're starting to get it.
I've said often and I repeat again that God is bigger than people can imagine. And of course I struggle with free will v. determinism, but I believe we do have free will. And we are responsible for what we do in this life, whether it's telling people that God loves them even though many don't want to hear or sitting back and making smug fun of people even though in the end it helps exactly no one.
P.S. - I don't know if ATM was talking about me or not, his boilerplate could be about any believer in these forums, but since I've stopped reading him he seems to respond to me more than ever. Interesting.
Gods of any kind can easily be imagined, but the thing is, they are much smaller in so many ways, ethically, morally or any other positive characteristic they lack and we as humans have evolved so far beyond them.
As evidenced by your posts I guess?
Because I cannot see any other evidence of what you say.
Evidenced by scriptures and believers.
Yes, I know. Evidence is not something believers are able to understand or acknowledge.
The entire point of what I said I think went right over your head -_-
Maybe not though.
If I missed it, then what was your point?
The post was meant to be completely sarcastic as to the way Christians tend to believe. For instance, "Unconditional" always means there's strings attached. Most Christians don't seem to understand that they are always spouting this. They say "You have Free will" or "You have free choice" but the condition of this is you can choose to love my God and have paradise, or you can choose not to and burn forever. While unconditional generally means WITHOUT conditions, not with them.
For omniscience to exist, the future has to be predetermined. Being omnicient you exist in all places and times all at once. Not separately, you don't just get there, your already there. If your already in the future, then you already know the outcome. Therefore there is no choice to begin with, it's already pre-planned.
Saying he's not a sadistic evil murderer goes back to a conversation we had before which I don't think I really need to elaborate on.
The whole coming down to die for you bit comes from God being immortal, and therefore unable to die. If you cannot die, then sacrificing yourself (dieing for someone else) is impossible and negated through your immortality.
OK, accepting that all you state is correct...
What have you decided to do?
I mean, if they are your only options and complaints, then you clearly have made a decision, so what do you choose, YOUR salvation (freely given) or YOUR separation from God for eternity?
As it happens you are misinterpreting your determinations of the options, but that is irrelevant in this question, for YOU have accepted that these are YOUR options, and as you speak, so shall it be.
As you actually have no clue what's running through my head by any means, your not qualified to say what I am misinterpreting and what I'm not when it comes to other options. I'm going through the options the Christians say are available, which are these two. The Bible doesn't evidence any other options, nor do Christians.
And I will never choose to love some ancient sadistic super being that wants to punish me for not bowing down to him. I thought I had made that obvious. If not, then hopefully, this will clear it up for you.
A) Strike the word "my." God is God, no matter whose God He "is" or "isn't."
B) Don't confuse feelings and actions. Let me illustrate it this way (I used this with Thousand Words, except in a gender appropriate way for her.) You live at home with your wife and five kids. You do your best by the kids, but they are their own people. One day, the oldest reaches a point where they want to leave and they do. While they're out in the world, you learn that they are smoking, drinking, doing drugs, sleeping around, and telling anyone and everyone who will listen that you are a crummy parent and every bad thing that has ever happened to that kid and that that kid ever did is your fault. Then they get into trouble and have nowhere to go. They want to come back home with you and your wife and your four other kids, but they have made it clear that not only are they sooooo not sorry for everything they did and said, they are going to continue doing all the same things while in your house!
By your logic, you would "unconditionally love them" by allowing them back into the house, the rest of the family be damned! Literally. And by that very logic, Heaven becomes not so much Heaven as it does hell with a better view. Because if everyone gets in (because, after all, "it's all God's fault anyway,") then that doesn't mean everyone automatically becomes nice when they get there, it means that the people who hated God on Earth will continue to do so in Heaven!
You keep trying to get me to accept this and you keep being wrong. You're wrong for these reasons:
1)Jesus has a human body, and that human body suffered severe blood loss, having large amounts of skin ripped off His body, and subject to asphyxiation on the cross. Then, after the spear was thrust in His side, His dead body was wrapped tightly in linen and (effectively) stuck in a meat locker for three days. His body was dead.
2) Jesus' Spirit did not die. Neither will yours or mine. So if your logic is true for Jesus, then it's true for us as well, we are immortal. But our bodies are not immortal, and neither was His. His physical body could and did experience cessation of functions. He died.
The difference between Jesus' spirit and ours is His Spirit is God, ours is created. We don't have the same power. But He chose not to exercise that power. He allowed His body to die, so that once and for all our sins could be taken upon Himself.
For your statement to be true, Jesus' physical body would need to be immortal, and it wasn't.
Just so you don't think I'm not replying because I agree with you, I'm trying to give you the chance to catch up on all the posts you missed criticizing, then when your done, I'll take care of it all in a single post so you don't have to continue going back and hunting things down.
Yes, it's amazing how fast things pile up. As ThousandWords wrote, "Man, these forums eat up my time!"
And some that require longer responses I have put on a back burner while I try to catch up. I've seen some that have clarified your thinking for me, and have responded to some of them.
Gnostic's were the first sect of people the Church went after when it was formed. They taught Christianity in a much different way. They considered themselves the true followers of Christ because everything was allegorical and not readily available as a factual truth. Those who founded the Church originally split from the Gnostic's because they couldn't accept that what they were hearing wasn't fact. Thus they became known as literalists, and today as Fundamentalists.
Don't know if you knew all that or not, but thought I would let you know just in case.
Sin is defined in the Bible, yes. Doing anything that comes natural to human nature, all of nature in fact, is considered a sin. It's good to know that the bible defines sin, but it's not good to not know what it's actually saying about it. Drop the literalist mind set and read it as allegory and it paints a completely different picture.
In the Acts of John Jesus says:
Sounds to me a lot like he didn't suffer at all. This is of course, taking things from a literalist mind set. Allegorically things become a lot different, the entire story itself does in fact, but that's for another time and place.
I'll deal with A in the next quote, as I'm going to be turning it against you there for a point you made very prominent.
As for confusing feelings and actions, I'm not. EVERYONE deserves the chance to change. There's no question to that. You've been applauded for this being a good analogy, but I think it's quite a horrible one. You have not stated at all whether or not you've talked to this child about the things you've heard about them. You have not talked to them at all about whether or not they are willing to change. Most of all, if you flat out refused to give them the chance to change. If that's how your God is, then everyone is dead regardless of anything that happens. You previous actions dictate the rest of your life, thus is the result. If your not going to allow someone a chance to change, a chance to become better then what they were/are, then what's the point of even trying to lay down a reasonable philosophy? Just so that it can be lauded over people's heads? Sounds very damaging to both yourself and others to me.
Further, by that exact analogy, God should be weigh and Judged on his past actions as to whether or not he is worthy of our love. Just as the child in your analogy was not worthy of love because of his past actions, neither is God worthy of love based on the old testament. What holds true for one, holds true for the others. Yet even God attempts to make amends in the New Testament, and thus people do not Judge him by his actions before then. Nor should the child be Judged in the same way if they give proof they are willing to change.
If they are Human and they are God then this should be evidenced like it has been by other religions and in other times. My argument, however you wish to see it, is not based on him being either God or Human, but based on the very fact that he is both! To think that he didn't inherit something from the genetic make up of his father is just ludicrous.
This is the point where I turn something against you, as your making very clear here, your God is nothing like the Olympian gods because you say so. But you yourself said:
Which means it stands to reason he was the same God the Olympians adored, the same God that all these "pagans" worshiped. If he's one and the same as all these though, then everything that happened would fall in line as they had before with these other people's. Unless your completely wrong in assuming that God is God no matter whose God he is or isn't.
If he knows exactly whats going to happen in the future, then he knows what all of our decisions are going to be before we make them. There is no free-will or free-choice in that. People struggle with it because they want to believe him omniscienct and for him not to be, places a limitation that they don't want him to have. There's no way around it though. If we have free-will or free-choice, then the future is not pre-written and God is not omniscient. To me it's easier to swallow I guess because I see things differently.
Now, I will quote from the reference sections of the book the Jesus Mysteries, and perhaps you can find out more on it later (I haven't finished the book yet, so I haven't started checking references).
I definitely understand. I try to catch things as quick as I can, but sometimes things just pile up anyway. So I became rather selective in who I was responding to and when.
I know that I said I like conversation, but between you and Thousand Words, maybe the three of us should write a book!
Yes, I did know the history although obviously my take on it is going to be different from yours. The gnostics were taking elements of pagan mystery religion and attempting to shoehorn them onto Christianity. And it didn't work. Where Paul and the Apostles wrote about the free gift of grace but the gnostics taught that you had to earn your initiation into the light. Although fundamentally different from Judaism in its theology, gnosticism and Judaism shared that you had to earn your way into Heaven. You can't. Also, Paul and the Apostles taught that Jesus was a real man with a real physical body. The gnostics took the Greek idea that matter was inherently evil and developed docetism, the idea that Jesus only appeared to have a physical body. Not only was this at odds with Christianity, it didn't even jibe with Judaism and the people who didn't believe Jesus was the Messiah! So, to be succinct, either you follow the Christian ideal that Jesus came to physically die for us and offers us grace for free if we accept it, or you follow the Greek idea that matter is inherently evil and the God who created matter (and it was good!) actually abhors physical matter and Jesus would never lower Himself to taking on a body!
Just to save a little time, I will list some books that, because they are at odds with the Bible, I don't quote. The "gospels" of Thomas, Mary and Judas, and the Acts of John and the Acts of Paul.
Okay, those are not bad points since I will probably be using the example again in the future. The first point can be inferred from the example, since I point out that the kid has made no bones about their intentions. But in the future I will be more explicit, that you do talk with you kid and they don't budge an inch. The second point can also be inferred, but I'll be more explicit about that one as well. Another implict reference of the example is the Parable of the Prodigal Son. If the kid did change, then it would not be a problem. And the fact is, there are other people involved, not just you and your kid. If you were living by yourself and the kid needed to come home and wouldn't change but you could live with it, that would be different. But those are not elements in the example. You've tried to teach the kid, the kid has said, "Thanks but no thanks," until they got out of the house and went wild. And they want to come back into a house with six other people but absolutely refuse to change. You've tried to explain to them, and you've given them mutliple chances, but they just won't.
And your quickness to judge God means you've missed one crucial point, that God is God and not man.
Let me point out that you can't quote from The Acts of John and then make that argument. Either He was fully God who took on Human form and suffered Human miseries, or He never took on Human form. I don't understand how you can say your argument stands on that basis, it falls on it!
That doesn't work on any level. God made very clear in the Old Testament that all other "gods" were not gods at all, just wood and stone. And if you've actually read the Old Testament, you know there are major and fundamental differences between the God of the Israelites and the "gods" of the pagan cultures. Yahweh is not Zeus, and Zeus could never be Yahweh.
I'm a little unsure of why you quoted what you quoted from that book. It changes nothing that I've written.
I became selective a while back about who I respond to. People who just seem to like to argue I can't take the time for. I'm glad you aren't one of them!
Lol, I love the fact that you always have something to say. Most of it even seems logical. Let's get to work here.
We should at that! It would definitely make for an interesting read.
Ai Ya!!!!!!!!! JJJJJJJAAAAAAAACCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEE (sorry if you don't know the reference but it was one of those moments..comes from the Jack Chan cartoon)
Anyway, I understand your take on it, and I also understand that this is also the take of most pastors/preachers/cardinals/bishops/etc that consider themselves biblical scholars. Why? Because it fits with the reason they decided to do something. That's neither here nor there though. Greece was always a nation divided. They were never of one mind on anything. You had Greeks that would only serve one Deity, then there were others that served them all, and then even others that served absolutely none! Where as some would believe matter was inherently evil, others believed it was inherently good, and yet others still that didn't care whether or not good or evil was inherent, but what the actions of a person were. Now I know your not trying to imply this is how they all were, but for others who might read it, I felt it should be clarified . Did the Gnostic's take from the pagans? Yes, but so did the "christians" in their attempt to convert people. As a result all most every single Christian holy day today fall on a pagan event. It's hard to blame one side for doing something when the other did it as well. Where as Paul and the Apostles wrote about grace being free, The Gnostic's didn't see the point in telling people that Grace was free when they did not have the knowledge to go with it. The point of the initiation wasn't to achieve grace, it was to make sure you understood fully what you were coming into. Would you take a 4 year old who doesn't know addition and subtraction and throw them into Trigonometry? No, because they wouldn't understand a bit of it. The same concept applies where the gnostics were concerned. Again though, like you said, my view differs from yours.
I quote from all available sources. The Apocrypha that you listed I feel are just as important as the bible itself if your follow it. The Gospel of Thomas is one such example, as it's the earliest known Gospel to ever be found.
I wasn't leaving out everyone else, it's just you take an extremely complicated situation, that I personally have been through quite a few times, though not with my child explicitly, and you try to make it simple. Those situations are never simple and my personal view is that anyone who thinks it is, is pretty simple minded to begin with. (No insult intended)
As for my quickness to judge God, well perhaps I have missed your point on this. From my understand we were made in his image, and if we are made in his image, then we have a tendency to make the same decisions he would make under the same circumstances. That's my view on it though.
So Christians are allowed to quote from the Bible and use any interpretation of it they wish for whatever they wish, but others are not allowed to? I don't think so. If he was fully God who took on human form, then he was not human, he was God. Which means he was immortal. Which means he couldn't die no matter what you did to him. That simple fact seems to elude you though and I'm not sure how it does, but it does seem to. As for my argument falling, I don't think it's fallen, it still seems to be standing pretty firm.
No, actually God states that thou shalt put no other GODS before me. He doesn't say they don't exist, he only tells his people that they aren't allowed to have anything to do with them. There's a massive difference there. However, this points out what you said directly. You personally stated that God is God no matter whos God he is or isn't. That would mean that he was still God being worshiped in the form of Zeus. Yet you just said that these other Gods never existed at all, which makes Yahweh or Jehovah or whatever you want to call him just as relevant as their Gods.
The reason I quoted it, is because Kingsley is flatting out stating the things done by Empedocles and Pythagoras embarrassed and scared a mainly Christian world. So they buried and worked as hard as they could to make such things disappear. Though I guess it would be a shinning example of how only the "winners" write history when it comes to a world conquest.
Hence why I also take the time to talk with you. I think different views and various information paint a better picture. The stagnant argumentative stance I see of most..makes me not want to talk with them.
Okay, I admit that I have been procrastinating a bit on answering this one. So last night I sat down and did the whole, whole, WHOLE thing!
And then I hit the "Submit" button...
And learned that HubPages was down for maintenance!
Hahaha! I often say the same about you!
Point well made. I know that sometimes even I lose sight of the fact that Greece wasn't one monolithically united country. I've gotten into arguments with people who insisted that Greece was entirely secular in the ancienct days, which makes no historical sense at all.
I can see the logic there but it sort of misses the point to begin with. For the first part, yes the early church did indeed co-opt pagan holidays. This was because the early Christians were tending to celebrate those days (they'd long been in the habit)and the Church Fathers, who took their faith seriously, wanted the new converts to remember that it was supposed to be all about Christ and that there were no other gods. This is different from the gnostics taking Christian thinking and trying to shoehorn it into pagan thinking.
As for your second part, uh yeah. Actually, free is free, whether you understand it or not. Look at it this way, if you want to give your teenage kid $4,000,000 and you just give it to him, despite the fact that he has no clue of how to manage that kind of money, then it's free. If you tell him that he has to take a college course on money management and pass with 4.0, then it's not free, it's earned. Paul said it's free, John said it's free. The Pharisees and Scribes said that without their imparting of knowledge the masses could never hope to make it into Heaven. So in a very real way, gnosticism is a step backward. And yes, it is true that most people don't understand what that gift truly is. That's why we have the Bible. You can spend a lifetime studying it, and just begin to understand the depths of it. And we're supposed to have faith in God, with men we need to be more careful.
None taken. The problem with attempting to use an allegory is that people don't always understand what you're trying to say. The fact is, sometimes you don't understand the best way to say what you're trying to say. I was trying to make an allegorical point. In this life, it would be more complicated than that.
No, it's not okay to twist Scripture, despite that people do it all the time.
No, the facts haven't eluded me at all. Jesus is fully God. He is also fully man! A lot of people don't understand that. I don't understand it! But it's nevertheless true. Just like the Trinity. In human terms, it makes no sense, but it's true. And if you read the Bible, there are things that just make no sense unless Jesus was fully human. And because He is fully human, He died.
Actually, the Old Testament is littered with statements that there are no other gods.
I stated it before and I will state it again, God is God no matter who's God He is or isn't. Now let me elaborate. God is who He said He is in the Bible no matter whether He is 'my' God or 'your' God or 'their' God or 'our' God or nobody's God. That the Greeks worshipped some corrupted idea of YHWH, I can believe. But Zeus banished his own father, married his own sister and got women wo have sex with him by taking the form of an animal. YHWH would never ever do those things!
I really hate this computer. It's borrowed, and every time I almost finish what I'm trying to say, it cuts out on me.
I'll try to finish what I was saying:
The Pythagoras example is problematic because (and I make no bones about the limits of my research) according to the most scholarly sites I could find, most of what we know about Pythagoras (provided he even existed) was written by men who lived after Jesus died! It's not unlike the whole Mithras thing, where the Persian story of Mithras took on Christian overtones after Jesus died and rose again thanks to the mystery cults!
I agree that different views do paint a fuller picture. But the truth is still the truth. Christianity does itself no favors, though, if it becomes too insular.
Why don't you try using a text editor and pasting from that?
Christianity at it's very foundations is insular and divisive.
If you are not with me, you are against me and there is only one path.
Have you actually read the majik book?
I never needed a text editor before I used that computer, and it only happens on really long posts like the ones I trade with Einderdarkworlf.
If you've read my posts and my Hubs, then you know that I have, indeed, read the book.
If you care to discuss points in a way that goes somehow beyond, "You're a Christian therefor everything you say is a lie," then I'm open.
Actually, I said "you are a liar - I bet you are a christian."
See how that is not the same thing at all?
Pretty sure you have not read the book any more than you have done any historical research.
Mr. Knowles -
You have said several things.
1) You equated being a liar with being a Christian. It doesn't matter if you phrased it as left Hegelianism or right Hegelianism, it's the same thing. You may split hairs.
2) You said facts seem to bother me. You may trip me up on some small things, like that I didn't catch that the "greater" scientists were all members of that group. Fine. But on bigger things, you make assumptions about me that have no support in fact but that you stick to like glue. I've read the Bible several times. I know more history than you have demonstrated.
3) You said (not to me, but still you said it) that you don't feel all ideas deserve respect. And you prove it, because you are not respectful.
The fact that you don't display much in the way of basic civility is a fact that bothers me. The fact that you seem to be a person who is smart and therefor feels that your being right gives you carte blanche to behave in any way you please is a fact that bothers me. I'm probably not as smart as you are, but I have inhabited the world of smart, arrogant people on both sides of the question, both before I became a Christian and after. It's a world I recognize and am comfortable in. It's a world that brings out the worst in me as it does everyone else who inhabits it, and God does not want that from me. I am capable of having civil conversations with people I disagree with, but only when they are also civil. When I am accused of things that I know are not true by people who will not provide their proof or even just be polite, then I cease to be civil. And that fact bothers me the most of all.
"God created us to BE humna, and He does not detest that humanity."
God created us to "be human," and then sets up Eternal punishment for it? Those people did some interesting things I'm sure, but I still do not agree with nor support the teaching of worth based on God. God loves me? Still not buying it. If you were trying to appeal to my emotions, I don't make huge life decisions too often anymore based off of emotional responses.
"And Jesus loves you, unconditionally."
False. Jesus only loves you if, after becoming a Christian, you "bear" fruit, or share Him with other people, otherwise He'll cast you in the fire and/or disown you. Certainly not unconditional.
Well, I suppose it depends on what you mean by "being human." If your definition is, as so many people seem to hold, that you're not truly "being human" unless you do all the stuff that the Bible (or that someone told you the Bible) condemns, then I guess you're right. And it would fit in with a view of God as some kind of cosmic Louis XIV, posting up rules that are ever changing and no one can follow, quick to judge and condemn in His vast capriciousness. But I don't see God tht way, and neither does my wife and neither did Chuck Colson. And it's precisely because we "prize the humanity that it seems that God detests," which we prize because God created that humanity and prizes it so highly himself. The god you seem to believe exists is created by man in man's own image, some kind of mysterious Zeus-like character, having some power but not much and given to fits of rage and hatred with no discernable reason. The God I beleive in has created man in His own image and that makes us more valuable than can be calculated.
As for the "emotional response," I would just like to say one thing, I hope I state myself well and you don't take this wrong. Although I'm certainly in the middle of an emotionally charged situation, and my emotions are unquestionably heightened right now, I'm not pulling some emotional response scenario here. Sometimes a time of heightened emotions serves to sharpen critical faculties and bring intellectual priorities into focus.
Let me put it this way. Say you had five kids, living with your husband and you under one roof. You all love each other, but then one moves out (for whatever reason.) After they move out, they start drinking, doing drugs, sleeping around, and spending a lot of time telling anybody who'll listen how you are such a crummy mother and don't love them and if you really loved them you'd accept them as they are (never mind whether you actually do accept them, they still say it.) Now, said kid runs into some trouble and has no place to live. So they want to move back in with you. Other than their physical location, noothing will change, they've even told you so. In a house with four kids of varying ages, this child will still drink, do drugs, bring hook-ups into the house and tell anybody and everybody what a crummy parent you are and fail to accept them and if you really love them you wouldn't be so judgemental. Do you still love the kid? Of course you do. Nothing is going to change that, you're their mother. Do you bring the kid into your house, knowing that not only will they disrupt your life but they will display hatred towards you and your four other kids?
First of all, when I was a Christian I didn't just go to church, or sit wide-eyed listening to every word that came out of any "holy man's" mouth. I studied my little KJV bible often, OT and NT. Later on in my walk, I purchased a NIV bible, a concordance, a large Bible Dictionary and had acquired a NKJV Life Application Bible with loads of commentary. I was serious about God and my studies. What I believed about Him and what was right and wrong was seriously influenced by what I read, and my "Jesus Time," where I would close myself off, pray, and asking the "holy spirit" to guide me in my reading, teach me what I needed to learn, show me what I needed to deal with in my own life, etc, etc. I spent much time also listening to Dr. David Jeremiah, and Charles Stanley, and a Messianic Jew on the religious networks, because I thought many of the other preachers had "itching" ears and that these men were preaching the hard, good, true Word of God. I never liked money preachers or people who always talked about my blessing this, my blessing that. I despised Joel Olsteen's message. I divided the word of truth the best that I knew how believing that I was being guided by the Holy Spirit. That "warm" feeling I spoke to you of. I never said it was "warm and fuzzy" and you had stated in previous a response. Those are too very different feelings.
Anyway, I digress.
Being human" is living life, not being afraid to make mistakes, being open-minded, being a free thinker, exploring healthy curiosities, being in touch with ourselves and open to our sexuality. Where we tend to go hurt ourselves is we don't keep in mind how other beings and people are affected physically, and how to be open without being destructive in our behavior. But, even when we are "unwise," most of us are just trying to make it the best way they know how with the "cards we've been dealt" in this world. We especially live in a current society of instant gratification, which also proves troublesome on certain levels, and helpful on others. Yes, a lot of people are unhappy and vainly trying to fill a void that they don't even need to have. Yes, we can be dishonest sometimes, vindictive, hateful, prejudiced, riotous, self-destructive, manipulative, murderous, it goes on and on. But, I don't believe that we are inherently evil (or good for that matter). We just are. We develop societies, we do "great" things, we do catastrophically awful things. We are in existence, doing the best that we can with what we have. And if we're not living, we're just trying to survive.
I believe in this particular case, what I meant was that God supposedly created us with the "ability to make a decision," that seems is part of what it means to be human. He then destroys us for using that ability in a way that He doesn't like.
I have no need to rebel against what's written in the Bible. I admit there are some pleasant ideas, and certain wisdoms that can help us to live, especially in a society like the current one we live in. I am not a self-destructive person. I have never been. But why I'm not now, and why wasn't back in the day, is something that certainly has changed. I value myself, my body. I value and respect the people around me. I'm not looking for approval, nor do I crave it. I'm not looking to get a pat on the back one day for being an obedient, good little girl. I have opened my mind to question the reasoning why some things are "forbidden." I look at life analytically, and attempt to be as objective as is possible in world where we are slaves to subjectivity as much as we don't want to believe that we are. But we can pull away from self-centeredness and too strong of an ego to a degree. There is something unhealthy, in my opinion about feeling like your are nothing without someone else. I have a problem the ideas taught that us just being us, just being born, and living and learning, we are believed to be inherently evil. I don't buy it.
But the excuse that God puts up such a dramatic way of torturing those who decide not to follow His statutes as a way of protecting us is ludicrous. There are a number of times in the Bible when God gives warnings to people before destroying them. Why couldn't He have come before Eve, like I've stated previously, before she ate the apple and entertained the lies of the Serpent?
Let me ask you some questions, Chris.
Did you and you wife plan on your first child, or was it a surprise?
Do you have a specific method in which you and your wife discipline them?
Do your children ever disobey you?
Is it even at all because they don't love you (when they disobey you)?
WHY is it that you are unhappy when they do disobey you?
If anything "goes" wrong with them, whose fault is it, essentially?
Would you ever create a place where they would go and be tortured for all eternity for not obeying you?
If you wouldn't, why is it that a God, who is supposed to work above and beyond your morality and way of thinking, would?
Come on, Chris, there are numerous examples of this in the OT.
I don't completely disagree with you there. However, I specifically talking about the emotional appeal that many Christians use, as far as saying, you're hurt, angry, and so on, as if I actually believe myself some victim. Yea I've been through some shit, and I don't like how things are, nor am I happy with my life when I was a part of the church. But I'm not here looking or in need of sympathy, nor do such words strike up anything inside of me.
Chris, I don't think that I'm the one actually putting the idea of God into a box, but you are, indeed. You are still comparing God to a needy human. Is God needy? If He is, which I find needy characteristics in this Christian God myself, but if He is needy, can He be all-powerful? How can you continue to compare God to human parent-children scenarios, and say in other posts that you do not claim to understand God because to do so would mean you don't understand Him at all?
God should indeed be able to cross all boundaries in His "infinite existence." IF His ways are higher than yours, if He is more powerful than man, should He not also be more emotionally stable? Jealousy is a manifestation of insecurity and other things. Shouldn't God be strong enough to handle anything that man does, since He is the all powerful God who created beings that He has to take responsibility for? He is the all-mighty. The all-knowing. He should therefore be able to suck it up. Easily offended people are very self-centered. And even if He isn't/wasn't easily offended, He's still supposed to be this infinite God, who can surely take it. Yea, humans tend to be unforgiving, but isn't He supposed to be beyond us? Why does He take us living our lives our way personally? Because He is self-centered. And has and will always have His own agenda, if "God" can be defined by the one found in the Bible.
I certainly do not put "God" in such a little box.
You wrote such a long post, I won't even try to respond point by point. I will just say a few things:
God absolutely gave us brains and expects us to use them. Questioning is not in and of itself a bad thing. But questioning why some things are forbidden shouldn't automatically lead to the conclusion that they shouldn't be, which I don't know if you do but many people do.
Being human IS living life. And although we should not try to make mistakes, they are inevitable and God will absolutely accept us no matter what we do (parable of the Prodigal Son.)
I have two special needs kids. Whose fault is it that something is "wrong" with them? Although I would like to think you know me better than to believe I actually think anything IS wrong with them, I've learned not to assume. I don't.
I am not comparing God to a needy human, and if you think I am then you have 100% missed what I was saying. I try not to yell at people, I don't like to start arguments, but that's just the way it is.
But I do want to sincerely thank you for your openness in the first paragraph. It helps me to understand where you're coming from a little better.
Once, there was a society.
This society was made up of power hungry men that for generations have taught young men basic ways to live like the rest of the world, but that the only way to really live right is to kill blacks and rape women. These young men are taught that their entire lives, grow up, and then teach the next generation of young men, in a never ending, vicious cycle. They are sheltered from the outside world. They are beaten or killed if they don't display certain necessary characteristics. So, these young men, even if something inside of them felt bad about their actions, became exactly what this society intended.
All of a sudden, the outside world finds out about the doings of this society, invades it, causes it to come crumbling down, and introduce the young men into the "real world." There are therapy sessions, and different programs to try and make them be able to cope with such a place. Some of them learn well, some of them never learn, and end up in the prison system.
One young man, in particular, seems to have become fairly "normal." But he struggles internally, still, with what he had been taught his whole life and gets certain urges when he sees a woman, or anger when he sees a black.
One day, he's walking down the street, and he sees a black man and a white woman (a couple) walking together. Something in him snaps, and he always carries a pocketknife on him for his own protection, but he charges at them in blind fury, kills the black man, and then takes the woman to an alley and rapes her. Once he's calmed down, he realizes what he's done, and the repercussions for his actions, and he runs away, terrified.
Who's "at fault" in this situation? The boy alone? Or is it painfully more complicated than that?
Everything that we do in life is something like a never ending chain reaction. The decisions that we make now will affect the future of ourselves and others, but many choices and decisions that we make, made, will make are results of what those in the past of have done, and what we have been taught, experienced, and also it is found that certain parts of the brain affect our actions, inhibitions, and the like, as well.
I'm not saying that we have to be a slave to what we were taught, how we were in the past, especially if the current society finds some of our actions to be unethical, immoral, and the like, and we want to fit in. I personally know how powerful our own will to do something can be. But, also, there are some parts of our personality, no matter how much we'd like to believe are of our own accord, that shape how we will deal with our surroundings. Sometimes we can change our approach, but most of the time, we redirect certain tendencies towards "positive" things.
Come again? After the existentialist parable in which man, enslaved by his conditioning, is unable to control his impulses and acts them out in the most brutally violent possible manner, then is overcome with remorse and runs away?
There was no self-examination, no impulse control, no attempt to think anything through, and no taking of responsibility. In other words, everything that I've been saying is wrong with a Christ-free world view manifests itself, helped along by psychology.
I've read a little Nietzche too, and I'm still not convinced.
But I didn't say his case was what always happened. Just because we don't HAVE to be a slave of what we were always taught does not mean that all people are strong enough to become anything. Whether you buy it or not, you can see it in people every day, especially the ghetto and trailer parks, but definitely not only in those situations.
Nevertheless, either in this story, as in so many of your others, the unspoken element is a malevolent deity and his nasty little religion, or a universe absent any deity but still with a nasty little religion.
You're right, no on has to be enslaved by their conditioning, and Christianity demands that people constantly examine themselves to see what they're doing and why. Churches? Not always so much, but the Bible? Absolutely.
I've never read Nieztche, though I've heard of him.
Also, notice where I wrote:
"One young man, in particular, seems to have become fairly 'normal.' But he struggles internally, still, with what he had been taught his whole life and gets certain urges when he sees a woman, or anger when he sees a black."
Notice what I wrote? He does self-reflect. It is a struggle for him. I didn't say he always gives in. The following event was an example of him losing the ability momentarily to make the "right" decision, and he was faced with the two at the same time. You imagine being viciously taught your whole life that something was right, viciously is the keyword here, and then introduced into a completely different society. I'm sorry, but you ARE going to struggle. It doesn't mean that one day he won't be completely free from it, nor is it safe to assume that one day he will. He is a victim of his society, and not everyone is strong enough to break free, unless another brainwashing agent or something as powerful is introduced, and then maybe they'll learn to redirect all of their "urges" towards something "positive."
Okaaayyy, but let's look at the example you give. If he truly does struggle, then either he is mentally ill in order to lose the fight and perform not one but two violent, angry and antisocial actions in such a brutal way, or he has come from a society where such actions are valued highly and his struggle not with whether what he is wanting to do is intrinsically right or wrong but whether society will sanction his actions negatively or positively. Sure, he's overcome with remorse, so was Judas. Did he ask forgiveness? Did he own up to what he did? No, he up and ran away, leaving a dead body and a brutalized woman. Judas did the ultimate running away, leaving a brutalized and ultimately dead body behind but never saying he was sorry, he did wrong or asking forgiveness.
So again, God is left completely out of the equation, unless the fact that you and I are having a conversation about God's love and human worth means that this example means that god, if he exists, is actually a dark and malevolent being.
That seems a perfect analogy for generational cursing, which can be broken and stopped.
Ridiculously funny as it is extremely sad that grown adults actually embrace those beliefs.
"And without that ability to love or turn away, the very, very human qualities that He gave us, we'd never know the true depth and sweetness of a loving relationship."
And we would never know the smell of Sulfur or Burning flesh, either... Which is more important?
Again, you say a relationship, this and that, but, you still compare God to humans when you see fit, while you tell us not to look at Him in that manner when wanting to try Him for crimes or asking why He did some of the ludicrous things that He did, etc.
God chose to give us "free will" for His own selfish purposes. If we had been created with the inability to sin, we would've been the slaves then that God wants us to be now, without the threat of perishing. THAT's what it means to truly wish none of His "children" should perish (whether that means Eternal Torment or Destruction) . But, because He (usually people with a strong desire for love have insecurities) longed for people to love HIm out of the choice to do so, He creates us, with conditions? Yes, I would rather be a robot. The ignorant don't know of a better life than what they have. I would've have been blissfully happy, I'm sure. It's HE who would've been unhappy.
Again, God wanted people to choose to love Him for HIs own selfish desires. You can believe that God took care of you if you want to. I don't think so, but even if it were true, is it really love? If you were to blaspheme the Holy SPirit, to Hell with you, literally. I'd call it favoritism for those that do what He wants. That's all. (I don't even mean being completely "sinless" 100% of the time, I just mean worshipping Him and loving Him, i.e. feeding His ego.)
So your answer is, "It's better to have never loved than to have loved and lost."
FYI - I don't compare God to humans. Humans are made in the image of God, and God does love, hate, feel jealousy, affection and all the rest. So no, I don't compare God to humans.
Ever watch autistic people? The ones who seem totally within themselves? Who can't seem to feel love, or much of anything? Are they better off because of it?
My daughter is severely autistic, but wants so badly to be part of the "normal" crowd. This is not an academic question for me, nor something glibly pulled out of the air. But you say it would have been better for us to never have even known how to love God because then there would be no threat of hell. I'm not so sure.
This is funny. You said that they will start to believe in Jesus, 'get to a better position,' then start questioning Him (implying that they will stop believing in Him) and ultimately 'decline.' I know what you meant, but it actually ended up being a huge supporting statement for Jesus. But then again, that is the way God works. He uses you even if you don't believe in Him. Score: God 1, You 0!
Only if the problem of child indoctrination abuse is tackled and eliminated will there eventually be a death to religions.
So your ideal world is one in which freedom is completely destroyed?
Better warm up those gas chambers, then, because you've got a lot of "reeducation" to do.
A troubled man and I often disagree on political matters but I think you are making a really pointless straw man argument here, he did not say he wanted to destroy any freedoms, in fact he said the exact opposite, he is arguing against the indoctrination of children, children are easily brainwashed and religions like Christianity use all the typical brainwashing techniques, songs, mantra/hymms, ritualized behavior and perceived punishment and reward for actions that violate or follow their creed.
If I took groups of children to a special building separated just for the purpose of teaching them to be good communists, where they were sent at least once a week often much more, taught them songs praising Marx and Stalin, got them to intone prayers to the communist ideals and told them that if they followed my creed they would go to a nice place and if they didn't they would burn without a doubt almost everyone would accuse me of brainwashing. Historical evidence shows you can get children to believe almost anything with an organised structure to do so (see the Hitler youth) and they really have no choice in the matter because their social brains tell them to follow the majority and fear the implied punishments, that is the opposite of freedom it is intentional indoctrination to prey on the weakness of the child's mind and it is readily accepted and allowed, I am with Troubled man on this, indoctrination removes much of the element of choice from a child's life and it does need to be tackled, the reeducation is what is occurring int he churches to children.
Many religions include a mandate to bring up your children in the same faith. Attempting to force things the other way is a violation of freedom of expression, no question about it.
And as I've pointed out before, a parent can only ever "force" an immature faith on a child. Once they grow up they will choose to either accept or reject the beliefs they were raised with. I imagine statistics would even bear out the idea that the more overbearing the religious upbringing the higher the rate of falling out of faith at adulthood. Just look at how many essentially atheistic "raised Catholic" people there are.
And finally, even comparing faith upbringing to child abuse is appalling. On top of insulting people of faith it is, quite frankly, an insult to millions of beaten and neglected children, who in some people's minds are apparently a less important problem than Sunday School.
Beaten and Neglected children are a problem. But as Child Protective Services quite frequently points out, mental trauma scars for life. Forcing any religion on any child is quite abusive. Your scarring them for life regardless of what choice they make. Your also influencing every choice they make for the rest of their lives with your religion. Prime example is Charles Manson who's father was a Church Pastor.
Yes, I'm sure there were absolutely no other factors involved there.
How do you explain the millions and millions (billions, really) of faith-raised individuals who grow up to be well-adjusted, productive citizens? They were just the lucky ones?
Nope. they are scarred for life Eric.
Parent: "Jesus LOVES YOU."
Child: "Why does God have to love me? I hate life... ::sob::"
Parent: "Love God because He loved you first, and love your neighbor as yourself."
Child: "This is so evil.. Why is life so unfair? Other people can do whatever they want. Why do I need rules anyway?.... ::beats pillow::
Oh yeah. I see it now.. lol
Another good point: go to a typical church and see how closely the kids are actually paying attention.
Brainwashing children by teaching them how to surreptitiously draw on the pews when their parents aren't looking.
Oh yes, it's horrible isn't it?
Those poor children.
@eric and damage is far than what we generally think...it is hindering growth of children in actually being what they can become...sad parents who love their children most tend to induce such illogical patterns in tender brains...
Grew up in orphanage, forgot to pray or accidentally blaspheme, get caned.
Get an educational book from library, book has picture of human evolution from ape to man, book is taken from me and burnt.
Taught science is literally the work of the devil who is trying to take my soul.
Taught that only christian are going to heaven, everyone I know who is not is going to be burnt forever (graphic pictures included)
Do anything nuns don't approve of get told I am going to hell, I have nightmares about burning in hell fire for forgetting to say grace before eating.
Start sexual development, have no idea what is happening, react naturally, get caned and again told I am going to hell.
Friend thinks he might be gay, is locked away from other children in complete isolation from other children so the disease does not spread, friend hangs himself out of guilt for being gay.
Pretty much everyone who came out of that orphanage is deeply religious, what saved me was being adopted out. Totally harmless.
I know kids who would rather not go to school. Is it abusive to force school on them?
School is another form of indoctrination, and wouldn't be an issue if they didn't issue a federal mandate to hold the parents responsible for going to school in the first place. However, since I've seen that your only here to argue, this will be the only reply you get from me.
You don't have to respond. However, I would hope that parents would send their children to school, or teach their children themselves, whether it was federally mandated or not. The advancement and well-being of our society depends upon the education of our youth.
To address your claim that "Forcing any religion on any child is quite abusive" I must ask you, who then should be responsible for the child's upbringing? This statement suggests that you believe parents should not be allowed to take their children to church if the children do not want to go. Who will enforce that? The government? But then you've also displayed displeasure in the fact that the government mandates parents to force their children to go to school. I guess I'm just confused on who, in your opinion, should be guiding children in the right direction.
If you call "Forcing" a religion mentally abusive, then you can consider my mind destroyed. Having a religion forced upon me is the least of what I've went through.
If that is abuse, then simply raising your voice at a child is abuse as well. How is it that so many people that go through physical and SEXUAL abuse, which is way worse than "forcing" religion, only to be denied or blamed for it.
You are a horrible parent for taking your child to church and yet you can rape your child, call him / her stupid, ugly, worthless, etc. LOL!!!
(I was never raped, but I know a lot of people that were)
... Who ever said none of that was abuse? He is merely saying that forcing religion on them is another form of abuse...
I would pose the same question I always pose, what is the real alternative? There is no way to not impose beleifs on kids when teaching them. Some are more subtle than others, but it still happens. And don't tell me public school doesn't do it, I have spent my entire educational career in public school. Some people try to give me an answer, but it's always based on the supposition that the opposite of "forcing religion on children" is giving them some kind of value-neutral education. I've as yet to see such a beast.
I raise my child without pushing my beliefs on to her. It is possible, and it takes a lot of work, but raising any child is suppose to be WORK. If it's something you think is easy, or your trying to take an easy way out of it, that's up to you. However, it's not easy, it is a challenge, and to raise your child religious neutral is an extremely hard challenge, but not one that cannot be met.
I'm the last person who needs to be reminded that raising children is WORK. I've got two special-needs children. I'm not looking for the easy way out. The easy way out is to NOT impose, push, imprint, whatever you want to call it, your beliefs on them. Just let them do their own thing. That's the easy way. And if you think it's more difficult to raise your child religiously neutral than to teach them a certain religious way of thinking, then I suggest you try it. My mother raised me religiously neutral. She didn't "push" her beliefs on me. I love my mother, I think she did the best she could with a situation that was largely beyond her control, but if God hadn't reached out and tapped me it's safe to say that I would be in big trouble today.
I certainly wouldn't be the lovable, easy-going guy you know and love!
While I also agree that it is impossible not to imprint something on your child's brain, I think there is balance, that both the non-religious and religious often seem to offset.
Teaching our children values is important, especially if we want them to be successful in our society. I think often a lot of Americans and people in countries with more freedom often are unaware of how lucky we actually are to be able to make some of the decisions that we make at all. In certain countries if you are gay or believe a different religion, you can be killed or worse. So let me start now in stating that I am thankful that I live in a somewhat free country. Now, on to my actual point.
Since we have "religious freedom" in this country, it is am important privilege not to be taken lightly. If I force my religion (or anti-religion) onto my children, I am essentially creating great bias in them towards/away from either side. Now, if I teach them a basic set of principles, love them to the upmost, teach them to be loving and fair, teach them to live a life helping society, that they should respect and love themselves, why certain things aren't in their best interest, the proper way to go about making a decision, etc, with my religion or lack there of being in the background, then I am teaching them in a healthy manner. They should be able to come to some conclusions on their own and make decisions (not overly important, they are still young).
First off, where did I EVER say that it's ok for physical and sexual abuse? Don't try and twist what I say just so you can try and down trod me since you have to find a way to feel good about yourself.
Secondly, CPS/DSS does consider raising your voice at a child a form of abuse. I spent many years having to deal with those people because my mother would yell at me. I know what their rules are and how they work.
If all your interested in is arguing or trying to put people down, take it elsewhere. This isn't a poo flinging contest.
Most children raised in faith stay in the faith as the numbers bear out, it is brainwashing pure and simple with the clear intention of indoctrinating a child into a particular set of beliefs with threats of hellfire and classic brainwashing techniques used on fragile minds and frankly it is disgusting.
Where to start?
What ATM advocates is not "freedom" but an eradication of religion. He may call it freedom, but it doesn' take any great depth of analysis to understand that it's what he wants. He often says as much. So in order to achieve freedom, you must rob people of the freedom to choose to follow a religion. He wants to save the world, even if he must blow it up to do so.
Your analysis of "indoctrination" is in fact well understood. What is rarely talked about is whether the opposite of "indoctrination" is indeed freedom. If you were to take children to a special building where they could be prevented from indoctrination and said, "The world is yours, do what you want!" would we really wind up with a pint-sized generation of sophisticated reasoners with a naturally skeptical attitude? Look around any inner city bus stop, it's not very likely.
Now, "indoctrination" is easy and is used wittingly and unwittingly by many different groups, including religious, social, educational and gang. Teaching is harder especially because younger children especially lack the experience and reasoning capacity to strain out the "bad" from the "good."
And honestly, what is the end effect of all this "indoctrination?" Does it really create good little, life-long religionists? Sure, the same way the Hitler Youth produced such a die-hard generation of Nazis that Germany had to be wiped off the map because they refused to give it up and today is West Poland, right? In the west, even in "Christian" America, the fact is that once most kids go to college they are thrust into an environment where the indoctrination is sometimes even more blatant, and their natural urges and appetites are catered to like never before. Since most of them never actually thought out what their faith meant or even meant to them, it's not any great surprise that most of them become secular. Mainly, what they become is confused.
Now THAT'S reeducation!
@chris but where is freedom to choose religion to start with....to choose one must know all available options and should be mature enough to make choice....so till 18 year person should have zero exposure to religion and then allowed to study bible,quran,veda,torah and then make choice to follow one religion or not follow any ...then it can be choice otherwise it is brainwashing young kids in religion of parents...thats not choice at all....
You mean give your child no help in what is right or wrong?
Why don't you just deny the right to raise the children at all then?
That's exactly what you're stating. It is a parents obligation to teach the child what the parent knows as best. The child will come to an age of reasoning and ultimately decide, just as we all are and have now, what they choose personally.
Not only that, but the "world" is not fit to raise children.
A brief glimpse at the news will provide ample evidence.
By throwing everything at them you are still 'indoctrinating' them with the ideology that 'all' religions are the same.
Teaching children anything is indoctrinating them. And the parent is called the parent for a reason. Until the child is ready, the parent guides the child in the best way they can.
You can't tell people how to raise their own son or daughter. [unless they are teaching them destructive things such as killing, stealing, etc] Which in such case the gov't will be glad to interveine.. they do so pertaining to much less than what I listed anyhow.
But teaching them creeds that support homophobia, guilt, sexism, intolerance of other religions and sexual repression is fine? The bible instructs you to kill homosexuals, to kill women who are not virgins, to kill people of other faiths etc. how can it possibly be healthy or positive.
You should not let a sorceress live. (Exodus 22:17 NAB)
If a man commits adultery with another man's wife, both the man and the woman must be put to death. (Leviticus 20:10 NLT)
They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul; and everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. (2 Chronicles 15:12-13 NAB)
But if this charge is true (that she wasn't a virgin on her wedding night), and evidence of the girls virginity is not found, they shall bring the girl to the entrance of her fathers house and there her townsman shall stone her to death, because she committed a crime against Israel by her unchasteness in her father's house. Thus shall you purge the evil from your midst. (Deuteronomy 22:20-21 NAB)
Make ready to slaughter his sons for the guilt of their fathers; Lest they rise and posses the earth, and fill the breadth of the world with tyrants. (Isaiah 14:21 NAB)
"If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives." (Leviticus 20:13 NAB)
Each of these lines are stained in the blood of tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of innocents, I know that most people absolutely believe that these passages should be ignored (which is it's own hypocrisy) but these are children reading the bible being told it is the center of morality and all that is good, Most people of course decide not to commit murder in the name of god but then:
Cursed be he who does the Lords work remissly, cursed he who holds back his sword from blood. (Jeremiah 48:10 NAB)
and this is what we are teaching children? I am sure none of this has anything to do with the higher proportions of hate killings of homosexuals or the murder of members of other faiths around the world and throughout history or the much higher suicide rate of gay people etc. etc...
@vector i am merely stating then stop making claims that freedom to choose religion is given...it is not...one can choose only when alternatives are given...one cant choose is singular faith in being induced in non reasoning kids....
also u r mixing teaching moral values and teaching religion....one can teach moral aspect with larger perceptive and then allow children to grow up read bible,torah,quran,veda etc themselves and conclude whether they want to be christian or jew or muslim or hindu or any other religion or atheist....
@pisean282311 Yes there is freedom to choose religion and thank God there is, but my point was that atm wants to take that freedom away. He thinks that it creates a greater freedom, but it is still the robbing of a freedom.
By your logic, then until the age of 18 we must keep children hermetically sealed from anything smacking of philosophy because in order to ensure they have "zero exposure to religion" we must also enforce "zero exposure" to any philosophy of any description. Good luck with that.
ALL parents "brainwash" their kids. I don' care what they say or how careful they think they're being, they pass their values along to their children. They have to. Small children simply are not capable of living value-free existences and will seek out somebody's values to emulate. If it's not their parents, it will somebody else's. And many will grow up to choose something different when they are older. So some academic exercise in "letting kids make their own choices" is by-and-large the same as telling kids that you don't believe in anything and don't really care about them.
@chris then u should stop claiming freedom to choose...because what u call choice is not giving option....it is enslaving human brain to pre established doctrine at age where reason is not fully developed.......slavery and freedom doesnot go hand in hand ...does it?...
Doesn't it? Because if you can't show me a positive system where you can raise positive, well-adjusted, self-actuated individuals in a value-free society, then you are simply trading one form of slavery for another. If it's not the "slavery" of one ideology for another then it's the "slavery" of religion for the slavery of unchecked and unexamined passions.
And I've heard plenty of negatives about what should be done but no real positive about how to do it.
NO, believing in an ultimate right and good human and attitude is in the card for a lot of us. We can realize how depicting and rubbing the bad in our faces has influenced our world in the worst way. You can believe in God and Jesus without being sick, weak or crazy.
If you go in the positive thinking realm, including psychology or not, just observing human behaviors, you will see that showing good example, attitude and teaching them gives the human being a better chance to be a balanced happy healthy successful being than exposition and belief in emotions, passions or other ways that allow or appreciated.
Take the example of bullying, of course they are people who bully because of religious belief and it is worst than bullying for other reasons, because they should know better than to give themselves the right to hurt somebody else.
Peace and love are the basis of everything, if you have religion but are missing one or the other, there is a big chance that as an atheist who is missing them, you will have negative energy, attitude, words and actions, that will have consequences. Let's focus on Love and peace.
Short Answer: Definitely.
Long Answer: For nearly 500 years, the marketing agents have done well in preserving Greco-Roman deism. That is to say the idolization -the "godifying"- of Y`shua [Immanu El] as the Son of Zeus [Iesous; Jesus].
As a result of that marketing -rekindled in the early 1920's- coupled with a sole authority defined as a book, the concept of anointing [christ] has also come under great scrutiny and sadly, massive snake-oiling. Such saturation without experiential representation (evidence) has caused millions to become the faithfully departed. Globally, there has been nearly a 35% drop in church memberships, appearances, tithing, etc. Most drastically, is the RCC, even after a 5 year marketing push toward a more 'full gospel' style and an equal drop in the COE/Anglican Church.
Even with a slight increase toward Buddhism and Hinduism (meditation, yogi, etc), the more industrialized nations have pretty much reduced the concepts to entertainment, or weekend fun; while poverty stricken nations still hold on because the marketing companies visit them often and bring gifts of food, water, etc.
It will most certainly die out, yet not in the sense most hope for or fear.
The idea is going to dissolve and be replaced with a genuine, daily, practical application of said anointing.
I doubt we will be looking at Christ as an 'idea' in the next 50 years, because from the look of things, He will have returned before that period and we will be looking at a whole lot of things differently.
If He does not return before then, He will still be 'numero uno' in the world popularity issues, as He is attracting more folk to Him all the time.
You are diluted to think this way Christ is not just an idea. History and geology has proven His existance on earth, has recorded his crucifixion here on earth.
The truth of Jesus also exist in the Holy Bible and in Man himself. So unless something kills off all of mankind in the next 50 years, Jesus as the Messiah and the son of God will live on.
It's funny how geology, the study of rocks, somehow proves the existence of a man/god. How does that work, Dave?
Dave, we're going to see you in June. Any chance you could get us some backstage passes?
But seriously, are you familiar with a circular argument? "The Bible is true because the Bible says it's true" is an example of one.
The argument is that Scripture has proven itself by all the prophecies that have come true in them.
Leaving aside the Messianic prophecies. the dream in Daniel proved prophetic. And Jesus did predict the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple.
That's why Scripture says it from God.
The iliad and harry potter, they are from god, they have prophesies that got fulfilled.
Nostradamus is the legitimate son of god, all his prophesies are fulfilled.
Hail god for giving so many scriptures and sending his legitimate and illegitimate children to the world!
Jomine, are you smoking something?
Harry Potter and the Illiad never, ever claimed to make predictions about this world we are in now, nor are there any "prophecies" in there that any but the most spaced out people would even try to claim was an actual prediction!
Nostradamus wrote an awful lot of "predictions" that are so generic that anyone could claim almost anything from them!
At least get your facts straight!
Why not? It is predicted that patroklos would be killed by hektor and then hektor would be killed by Achilles, which was fulfilled in the end.
In harry potter it was predicted that the dark lord would rise again and he did.
What makes your bible different, in that case?
No, not in fifty years, and I'll tell you why: Two reasons.
1. Ideas don't die, but they do morph.
That is why we have hundreds of different denominations of the religion. It is why the Orthodox and Catholics have split, why protestants were created, why we have subsets, (cults) have formed, (and if they are popular enough will become another denomination).
As a whole Christianity will change to adapt so that it continues to be relevant to certain sections of the population.
As long as there is large population of believers the 'idea' will continue.
With that being said, I will give it another 400 years if technological development continues at the current pace and poverty is eliminated, (which is most of the population of new believers).
I would say another 100 to 200. Just look at the major scientific advancements in the last 101 years. (Gotta include the airplane after all )
I agree with the Morphing effect though. I think it may be heading back towards the Gnostic esoteric view of Jesus and God rather than the exoteric one.
Yeah, silly me, I did forget the airplane.
While I'm at it, another factor I'd to add is denial of the truth.
In a way you're right. It has been heading toward the gnostic view. It has been for centuries, ever since the gnostics started melding pagan mystery religions with Christian ideas. Then it moves away. Then back toward, then back away.
The reason the "idea" of Christ won't die is because God is constantly revealing Himself to people.
The idea won't die because people like you are so desperate to reinvent it again and again.
Got an actual intellectual/theological argument? Or do you simply like yelling at people you disagree with?
History will do. I respond to that too.
Do you even understand what you say?
You make a claim, then state valid arguments that support the claim. What is this theological argument? Who is yelling?
God is a logical and rational fallacy. Jesus is an imaginary person who never lived. You people are desperate to keep him alive as is the Muslims who want Allah and Hindus Vishnu to be alive. So it is your Hope and fear and your desperation that keep him alive and him getting reinvented in newer and different forms.
So what you're saying is, "Yes, I like yelling at people."
And you follow that with a stream of insults.
I agree. If technological advances continue at their expanding pace and government does succeed in controling sufficient numbers of the population (government will never eliminate poverty. The harder it tries, the harder it fails,) then enough prophecy will have been fulfilled that Jesus will indeed, come back.
At that point, Christianity will cease to be practiced on the Earth!
According to revelation, it all should have been done with during the lifetime of those who wrote revelation. The end times and the coming of Jesus. The problem with your example is that happens all the time. Nations rise an they fall and new ones come up to replace them. Why didn't Jesus come back in the middle east where he is from centuries ago when stuff like that was predicted? You see, it's all just mythology, there is no unfulfilled or imminent fulfilled prophesy. It's done. The bible failed. God doesn't exist. Get over it.
I try hard not to pick fights in these forums. If I'm challenged by someone who addresses me the way you did, I usually try one time then let it go.
But you're wrong.
Nations rise and fall and things that were predicted come to pass. But not in the time or way that humans want them to. Time is not the same to God as it is to humans.
I don't think so.
While religion will always have it's place in the world, no matter how small, Jesus is usually a highly revered name, even for those who aren't religious. Many people who are agnostic or even atheist find him to be a great human being, so Jesus will most likely never fall out of interest.
However, the idea of Christianity is a completely different idea. It'll probably fall out of favor eventually (doubtful in your or my own lifetime, and I'm still very young), but it'll still always be a learned subject.
@TheMagician jesus yes , i was talking about Idea called christ...christ means saviour while jesus was human being who preached and has his vision about how world should be...Jesus would always be well respected human being who worked for good even if Christianity seized to exist...so i agree on that part...
No. As long as belief in God persists, people will search for an understanding. The three monotheistic religions will probably be the primary place they go to show their reverence.
Compare the three. Judaism is great, but seen as exclusive to a certain group of people. You can certainly convert, but you can't argue heredity. You still aren't completely Jewish.
Islam will have to pull itself out of the dark ages before the western world can view it as a viable alternative.
That leaves Christianity and Christ. With 30,000 sects, I'm sure anyone can find a place of worship that fits their philosophy and personality type. Plus, Christianity doesn't seem to prohibit individual worship and thought. Not in the free world, anyway
@emile you have a point....but christianity is declining barring under developed countries ...belief in god would persist , i agree with that...christ phenomena is too young ...belief in god is much much older but as we have seen concepts of god keeps evolving and every god concept has its prime age and decline and then exitinction or dormant phase...judaism was real breakthrough idea though not unique...it was parallely evolving idea in many society but judaism could give it shape and enrol its masses...
I also dont think so.
but i think religion is more likely will be gone. because as i have observed, it becomes more and more shallower than ever. more people now follow the religion but not God Himself. Im a Christian but dont really consider it as a religion.
It certainly has become more and more shallow, with all religions. People also like to point fingers at each other far too much, claiming the other isn't a believer because their ideas don't match up. Oh well.
@TheMagician ya and it is with all religions...he cant be christian because of xyz or he isnt mulsim etc kind of statements...
well.. life is about patience. we really cant force people to believe what we believe.
A religion is the belief and reverence in a supreme being. You can in other words be a religion with only one member. The bible has so many different interpretations christianity can be broken up into different sects because everyone has their own opinion.
That's a tad simplistic. Yes, there are multiple interpretations of aspects of the Bible, but Christians all agree on the necessary basics, that God exists, that He is One, that Jesus came and died for our sins and rose on the third day. It's not like there are fifty thousand little factions at war with each other, like some tribal area with multiple warlords carving out their areas.
I would hope 50 years or less... Realistically, it'll probably be around for another 100 years or so. Until we can rid ourselve's of certain religious beliefs, the violence and hate associated with such attitudes, will ever be a thorn...
@mis but it wont be non violent...when hardliners feel threatened they turn violent...we see it in islam and i dont think hardliners in christians are any different....
True (as far as it goes) but when religion is gone, other reasons for violence and hate will rise to take their place.
In fact, religion in America is usually not the reason for violence or hate. Sometimes, yes, but not for the most part.
And no matter how much "education" we have, people will always want to know certain things. So, religion is not likely to go away in the next 50 nor the next 500 years (assuming Earth lasts that long.)
As long as there is a title to defend or a position to fortify, there will be violence.
As long as there is a thing to have or a land to occupy, there will be violence.
As long as there is an idea to coveit or an attachment to importance, there will be violence.
If I'm reading you correctly, then we agree.
Although I wouldn't put it in quite so Buddhist terms.
The funny thing is, I'm not really even a buddhist...
But you often sound like a practitioner of the Dharma. My boyfriend says the same thing about me, however, and I'm not a buddhist, so, I get it, I suppose.
I'm not all that into labels myself, but is there any way that you refer to yourself as in this regard? Just curious.
From what I know of you, I believe you. But the way you sometimes phrase things sounds Buddhist to my ears. Sorry for making an assumption.
Have you ever heard of Transcendental Meditation? I think mischievousme is into Incidental Hesitation.
My parents were very oriental, eastern, in their beliefs. I just adopted the attitude, not the religious aspects.
Is it not the responsibility of the student to build upon a structure? Could not the same be said of son and father?
I'm not sure what you mean, but if I understand correctly...
No, the student does not surpas the teacher (the teacher being Jesus.)
Nor, in Christian theology, does the Son build upon the structure of the Father.
Then christianity is missing a good social ethic and hence, is not being very (for lack of a better phrase), forward thinking.
If God were not God, then I would agree with you. But if the teacher is also the Creator of all things, then the student can never surpass the teacher.
The creation of things, starts with senses. I see, there is a creation. I feel, there is a creation. Each sensation, is created from nothing and fades into nothing, where only a memory remains.
From a human perspective, that is an excellent and even poetic way to put it. I know you don't share my beliefs, but the ultimate Creator is God and He is the only one who created something literally out of nothing.
Frankly, I can't wrap my mind around it.
When we remove the reason for violence and hate (religion) it does not mean other reasons suddenly sprout up out of nowhere, that is a logical fallacy.
Yes, it is, for the most part.
You contradict yourself, education IS about know things. There is no knowledge in religion, only irrational beliefs.
Yes, it will disappear as more people become educated. We are already witnessing a decline in religious nonsense as more information about the world around us is made available.
The reasons for violence, hate, and war are fear and greed. Religion just happens to be a handy way to rally the troops. Analyze any "religious" war and it becomes completely obvious that the religious aspect is just a front. The leaders who started the war just wanted something the other guy had. They told the people God wanted them to invade simply because it sounded better than "I want you to risk your lives and kill these people so I can get richer."
And history has shown that nations that abolish religion usually do so so the government can ascribe themselves the infallibility that was previously ascribed to deities. It's cutting out the middle man, so to speak.
If anything, a non-religious world would start wars even more efficiently. The Glorious Motherland commands that the Glorious People sacrifice themselves to protect their families from the evil fascists! Oh, and so I can buy a bigger palace.
I understand believers wish to ignore the fact the their religions are the cause of most violence and hatred in the world, that's obvious.
You're talking about communism and dictatorships, but if you look at secular countries, your argument falls flat.
No, we would have eliminated the cause of many wars. Sure, there are other reasons for wars and those can be dealt with as well.
I've never ignored the fact that religion is used as an excuse for violence. It always has been and always will be.
I'm simply realistic enough to know that when you remove religion as the pretext, others will pop up.
Sort of like how you love to act like it's us religious people who cause all the chaos and strife in these forums yet you are the single biggest continuous cause of strife in these forums I've seen.
Religion isn't an excuse for the violence, it is the direct cause.
That isn't realistic at all. By removing the cause, you remove the reasons for violence. Religions make good people do bad things, hence by removing the cause, good people will remain being good.
Yes, I understand you believe that because I question irrational beliefs and ridicule the dishonest answers, hence you believe questioning those beliefs is the cause of strife. If your answers weren't dishonest, there would be no ridicule.
I also know many believers here ignore the fact that I have applied dollops of accolades and heaped piles of kudos on those believers who have answered honestly.
Clearly, if you believe I'm the biggest continuous cause of strife here, that would only serve to mirror the content of your posts.
A chronic debater is going to debate regardless of the subject matter and/or the situation. It is an addiction.
I will Bet-CHA a nickle that when you are ALL alone in a room, that you still can not stop it. That you debate against yourself. And nobody wins,
Oh I see now Jerami, you didn't know this was a public forum. What did you actually think it was?
This was the kind of answer that I was expecting.
I thought forums was a place to exchange ideas.
Not to squash everyone elses ideas in the spirit of winning a Debate at all cost.
The best debater in the world probably agrees with no one, Even when someone else agrees with them, CAUSE ... they will still bebate their reasoning for doing so.
once upon a time I heard a Marrage councelor ask, would you rather be right All of the Time, OR be happy???
Are you Married?
Yes, I understand your misunderstanding of internet forums and the fact you believe that. However, I've read many of your posts and threads that YOU started that don't follow your own definition.
That makes no sense at all.
Even when I agree with you, you just can't stop being arguementive.
You will then debate as to why I agree with YA.
Hope this helps.
and see, we have derailed the thread.
Lets let them get back on topic.
Still haven't figured out what an internet forum is all about yet?
Try looking it up.
So then the war between pagans and christians that forced Constantine to choose one had to do with nothing but greed and fear? It's documented that the christians started this war so..I guess christians were extremely greedy and extremely fearful that their voice would eventually die out. Not much has actually changed then.
Documented by whom? Constantine became a Christian because of a vision he had before he defeated his enemy. No Christian caused that. And frankly, if you want to state that there was a "war" between the Christians and the pagans, the pagans started it and the pagans were winning until Constantine had his conversion. Get your history straight.
Yeah, you do start to feel a little fearful when your faith is punishable by death for long enough. And if self-preservation is greedy, then I guess that would make them greedy.
And when you think about it, even the Crusades were just a big land dispute.
Constantine wasnt converted.it was a political move.
His mommy made him do it
I understood that he came to favor Christianity early in life and waited until his death bed to convert because a prevelant school of Christian belief at the time held that once you were baptized you literally could not sin again or you'd be damned. That receiving forgiveness was a one-shot deal.
But I'm hardly an expert on that time period.
Actually it is written that Constantine never converted until he was on his deathbead in 335 or 336 I think.
And the war he was fighting at the time as his suposed vision in the sky had nothing to do with religion.
It was a battle over who would be the Next Emperor.
At least that is how I understood that which I read.
There was unquestionably a lot of politics in it but Constantine's conversion was genuine. But he was no theologian, that's for sure.
When education becomes a right and not a privilege and our nation funds education as much as they do war then religion would indeed die in our nation. Why not fund education more? Smart people won't join the military.... At least not as infantry. There is more to that as well. Think about what creates nationalism, and other fascist things.... Ignorance. And if you don't understand how something works you will say god did it an if you think god did it you won't bother finding out how it works.
I only hope sooner than later it's realized by most that there is a different between knowing and believing... and I also hope that each and every person can be allowed to believe what they like with the understanding of others that anything is possible. You just can't be sure of anything
That's why I choose to believe that all I have is a level of understanding, you can't know anything, especially since all things are conceptuallized with language. So then, knowledge and understanding are completely subjective.
@mis quiet right...you made a very interesting and important point...conceptualized in language...
There is a saturation of half-believers, but that doesn't mean there aren't true believers. I can concede to the possibility of Christianity shrinking over time the way things are going, but I believe it will become stronger as a result instead of weaker.
how it would be stronger...do u mean that it would be like judaism....less in number and strong in faith?
We Christians ain't going anywhere Pisean...
but the good news is, if you play your cards right and get me Ms. Rai's telephone number, I'll see what I can do about getting you into Heaven with me
Blessed is the wingman, for he is a bro in Christ.
@greek try muslim version of heaven...in christian version u might get bored...
i know it will be boring.. that's why I want to get in my 72 virgins now
good point , why wait for heaven when u can have it now...but that applies to christian heavens too...why wait to get bored when u can get bored right now
hahaha what if your 72 virgins are all 90 year old spinsters?
I don't think the concept of christ as a savior will die out anytime in the near future. The concept is indoctrinated into people at such a young age that most people won't be willing to let it go.
It is a shame that the propensity for thinking for one's self, is squashed before one can be mature enough to rationalize and ingest logical information.
@craig u have a point...but with time do u think indoctrination would get diluted?
Personally, I don't believe that "GOD" is going to continue this disorderliness much longer without intervening.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JI-0py- … AAAAAAAGAA
Sorry, seems like a spam but it's the best response I could see to this question.
Not in fifty years,no.
As things get worse religion will only get stronger,and christianity is no exception.
I give it another few hundred years at least
In the case of the USA, then yes, things will take longer. I recommend the link below, as it is both surprising and supportive of your view.
http://www.futuretimeline.net/23rdcentu … nd-usa.htm
In 2060, we'll be incredibly advanced as a race, with fewer borders between people. We'll charge up our 16-core super-smart-phones from fusion power, jump on trains from London to New York (maybe a few decades later), have super-intelligent robots running parts of authority - it will be nothing like today.
And just like oil, religion will be a thing of the past for the 90% of rational humanity, and good riddance! The world will be a better place without it.
in 30 years time we'll be out of food, we arent as clever as you think haha we have no sustainable resouces
Only if we produce another 44 billion people in that time. When and if we hit 50 billion people on the planet, it will no longer be able to sustain life. Currently there are only around 6.8 billion people so we have a long ways to go yet.
@danny come one we as race invented religion , god , democracy , agriculture and everything which we use today...we are smarter species...we would overcome most challenges other than earth quakes , meteorite clash...
and Sudan and Somalia, and Iraq and anywhere else with a murderous heart towards the Prince of Peace. It is not a game. You have everything to lose, or everything to gain. Why turn down the gift of life from the king? At least leave well enough alone.
Find another hobby.
Do you think idea called christ would die in another 50 years?
No I do not. However, our concepts of who he was and is will be greatly improved. I think!
Christianity is still among us after 2000 years. Why would it suddenly disappear? There have been intellectuals on either side all along. The fact is, the man Jesus received barely a footnote in secular history during the first two centuries and much of that is shallow and sheds no true light on him. As long as the Bible continues to be published, Christianity will remain. While secular history is all but vacant of information about the man Jesus, the Bible is packed with historical people and places. That does not prove that Jesus existed or that he was god incarnate, but it does give it a sense of validity.
Most people are hard wired with a need for a god. I really don't think that is debatable. Was that a part of evolution? Could be. Did god really create us with a "god shaped hole" that only he can fill? Who knows. But the upward look is in the eyes of most people and Christianity fills that need as do a host of other religious traditions.
But it is my opinion that Christianity will remain because it fills the needs for companionship, being part of something bigger than oneself, being right while the rest of the world is wrong. Also, it has become more of a cultural element than a religion.
I will say this: if Christianity is dying out it won't happen while I'm still alive, not even if I'm the last man on earth who believes in it. And I know I'm not the only one who feels that way.
But, it will die out, nonetheless, just like all the other myths and superstitions. The problem is how much damage it will cause until then.
Somehow, I have the feeling that Jesus will be around just as long as He wants to be!
Why can't christians and muslims see the world for what it is? Has the path to enlightenment been that set astray?
Personally, God is the ultimate enlightenment, and knowing Him is seeing the world as it is. I know you disagree, but that is my experience.
you can't rise if you can't die, you only play dead and then twiddle your thumbs for a few days while cooling your heels.
If you're human you can die.
Jesus wasn't ONLY God just as He wasn't ONLY human!
His human body could full well feel the pain of the beating and the crucifixion.
This stupid idea of "zombie Jesus" that I've started reading doesn't answer any questions, it only sidesteps the issue.
Jesus was a man, and as a man He could die. And as a man, He DID die, then came back from the dead. His death was to take our sins upon Him. His resurrection was so that sin could be overcome.
"His human body could full well feel the pain of the beating and the crucifixion."
Maybe He could've come as another "man" in numerous times in "history" and experienced all of the other ways he'd caused men to die.
-Mauled by a lion.
-Turned into a pillar of salt
-Destroyed by fire and sulfur
-Opened up the Earth to swallow Himself
-Had a baby torn out of his pregnant stomach and then killed.
What else should be added to this list? What other pain should He have "felt?"
So in other words, because He didn't experience any of the pains you mention (and no, I'm not missing anything here,) He couldn't possibly be God?
He came the way He did and died the way He did to fulfill the Old Testament Prophecies about Him.
God is turning into a very convenient scapegoat for the pain of the world.
Christianity is not immune to scrutiny. Not only has the Church historically committed atrocities, but God Himself has done so. The very acts of God as recorded in the book of Joshua for example, if committed by any other religion, would suffer the wrath of modern Christianity. But as it is, Christianity itself is guilty. Christianity must find another way to define the holiness of God other than body counts of thousands slain by God and his cronies.
Absolutely, and if you were familiar with my output you would know that I am not shy about admitting the errors and atrocities of history committed by the Church or those claiming Christ's name.
Jesus never defined holiness that way, neither have His true followers. Those who have will suffer His wrath at the end of the age.
No, He is the cause of it. You cant introduce and create all the factors for a certain scenario to take place, and then not take any responsibility for it and what comes after, sorry. My point isn't being made that He isn't "God" because He hasn't experienced all of those things. I often hear people saying God "knows" how we feel. He suffered, too, blah blah. No. It's impossible for Him to "know" how we feel. He can taste it, but He doesn't know. Because to know our pain, and still often do nothing about it, does indeed make Him sadistic. Or to know our pain, turmoil, etc., and create a place where'd we'd have to experience it more simply for expressing our free will? Nah, I don't buy it. Chris, my mind isn't changing on this particular subject, and it's cool that your's isn't, either. I've got more understanding of your perspective, and vice versa. Let's agree to disagree,
It all boils down to a simple explanation, God is not God.
If He is everything that you say He is, then He cannot be the God of the Bible.
If He is everything you say He is, He is inherently limited and unable to do all the things God can do, therefore He is not the God of the Bible.
I don't think I need to tell you which I believe.
The thing is Chris, I have based all that I've said on your own Bible and how God is displayed in scripture .
In scripture, what can we find out about this God?
-He created naive people with a lack of knowledge of good and wrong, who also had the "ability" to choose whether they would heed His words, even though they lacked the ability to know what they were doing was bad or good, as they, again, hadn't eaten of the tree yet, who then eat of the Tree disobeying God's command. How can you exercise free will yet when you don't even know right from wrong?
-He then decides, instead of continuing to let them stay with Him, chastising them, and giving them another chance to do His will, He kills them (as it was believed that they would've lived eternally, but could now die)
-Man had to do hard physical labor and women have to suffer awful birth pains during childbirth (some women die from it)
-For the actions of two people, He decides to likewise allow every member of the human race from then on not only to die, but to have the possibility of going to Hell.
-A Hell that He created for Satan, a former angel that He also created.
-IF God DID know what would happen for Him creating Lucifer, THEN He chose to create Lucifer ANYWAY, knowing that He would trick Eve's NAIVE heart.
-IF God DID know that putting the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil BEFORE Adam and Eve were ready to partake of it, AND that the serpent would tell Eve lies that played her curiosity (that HE (God) made in her otherwise she would've had none), and she _couldn't_ have known it was "wrong," and He DID know what was going to happen next, then He is sadistic.
-If He DIDN'T know, He is not omniscient. I don't buy what Christians say in the regards that He has the ability to choose not to know, it's just as bad.
-So, because either God knew how it would turn out and WANTED it to be that way, otherwise He would've weighed all the options and thought it a bad idea to approach it the way He did, since it would result in the destruction of millions of billions of people, OR, He is not omniscient at all, and/or has very limited foresight.
-God expresses weak human characteristics: jealousy, easily offended, the ultimate form of unforgiveness (as far as those that he allows to go to Hell), neediness and insecurity (He already had angels with "free choice" worshipping Him in Heaven, what was His gain to create humans as well, unless He needs worship to feel big and powerful? Maybe it gives Him power like the greek gods ), and the list goes on.
ALL of these things exist and are clear as day in the book you call "Truth." But you can't see it because you don't want to. I don't put "God" in a box, but you put it in a box called "Christianity" and you see Him as the one defined there in, and the one who's "taking care of your needs." I question that seriously, because there are people all over this planet that, no offense, need more help than even you do. But they still die of hunger. Or at the hands of their husband. Or power hungry government officials (and all authority is given by God). Or little girls/boys are being physically abused by their fathers or members of the clergy. The list goes on... If God is omniscient, He saw all of these things coming to pass one day, and He STILL chose to do things the way He did. Want to talk about someone making a choice? What about HIS choices?
They did know right and wrong. They knew that God told them to abstain from one very specific activity. Doing what He said was right, not doing it was wrong.
"He kills them" is a little misleading. He didn't take a sword and kill them right away. As to whether they could not die prior to this or not, I'm not convinced. Why have a Tree of Life that they could eat from if they wouldn't die even if they didn't eat from it? You know?
Yes, some women do die from it. My wife and I have discussed this. I accept that man needed to be punished because it was highly likely (as in, the difference between being inevitable and being almost inevitable was negligible,) that since man did it once, he would keep doing it. History has born that out. Men used to die from the intense physical labor too, although I don't quite compare the two.
He also allowed every member of the human race to choose whether to love God or not. If you can't choose to love, you can't really love.
I've never said God could choose not to know. That to me borders on blasphemy.
As for the rest, I understand what you're saying. You're saying that God can be reduced to a hypothetical equation whereby either way we can blame Him. Either He's stupid or He's cruel. But what if He's not stupid and He's not cruel? What if God really is beyond our limited ability to comprehend?
The problem with Adam and Eve and the whole Garden of Eden account is with the Christian interpretation on these events. There is no mention of Satan deceiving anyone; the talking snake as Satan was not invented until the 2nd century. Likewise the 'Fall' and 'Original Sin'. All are Church inventions and completely alien to Judaism for which the account was written.
To understand these events we must forget what Sunday School teaches and instead find a Jewish commentary.
Or you could try looking at the bible as allegorical instead of fact...then it paints a whole different picture.
Or you could look at the Bible as fact instead of allegorical!
I'm not ignoring your last post, it's just so long and I'm so far behind, I'll get to it when I can.
I have looked at it as fact, and it doesn't add up. Especially with man and woman being created at the exact same time at the end of Genesis 1, and then being created again in Genesis 2 as one coming from the other. That's just saying that he created one set of humans who he put nothing on, and then another set in which he demanded more of. Taking it literally leaves it open to way too many flaws.
I have admitted in the past and admit now that there are things that I take on faith because I've met God and He's proved Himself to me. Many take the opportunity to sneer, and if you are one of them (I'm not saying you are, I don't know) about my lack of scientific knowledge, go ahead. The fact is that once you know God literally exists and Jesus literally died for your sins, a lot of the othere stuff isn't quite as important.
I'm not saying anything about scientific knowledge, and I'm not trying to sneer. I'm trying to understand what part of your brain has made the connection that says it's ok to believe in a super being. As kids we are taught all sorts of things, like not being afraid of the dark for instance. I'm just not understanding how we are taught that super beings don't exist (superman, spider man, x-men, etc), yet there are people who place all their faith, beliefs, and in some cases are their money on something they've already been taught doesn't exist. It doesn't make any sense to me and I'm just trying to understand it is all.
I'm familiar with the Jewish thought that the snake was a literal snake. Just like I'm familiar with the fact that the apple commonly associated with the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is a Christian invention, Jewish theologians have said that it most likely was some kind of fig.
I'm not opposed to using Jewish commentaries and wish I had one. I'm a big proponent of knowing and understanding historical context (I wrote two hubs arguing it!) but unless you're discussing Messianic Judaism, one of the inherent problems for a Christian is the Jewish rejection of Jesus as Messiah.
Still, I wish I had one. Can't afford one right now, but I wish I could.
Saying they knew right from wrong is misleading. If they knew right from wrong, then they knew running around naked was wrong, much as we do today, and would've covered themselves. Yet this didn't happen till after they ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, or in modern times, began entering into the age of reason.
I'm not buying that. When God created them they ran around naked, and if it was wrong God would not have created them that way. Even if you look at the Bible allegorically, you would have to say that God is not inherently good to say make that point.
But in a way I do agree with your point. I agree they entered "an age of reason" where man's reasoning and conclusions were substituted for God's. And they thought they knew better than God when they entered that age.
The tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was not to be eaten of because it would give them the same knowledge God himself had. Which pulled man away from thinking on his own to thinking as God does. Your substitution analogy is a bit backwards on that. At least in my point of view. Allegorically though, it shows the same transition you see today, as a kid grows up and starts to understand the world better, the begin entering into the age of reason and realize the things that are actually wrong to do.
Or, if you look at it allegorically, they did exactly what God said they would do if they ate from the tree.
God did not say that they would think like God if they ate from the tree, the snake did. God did say the man has become as one of Us, knowing good and evil. I'm not convinced that God really was saying that man now thought or had the knowledge of God.
16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
Can we not infer that they would not have died, otherwise?
Isn't the serpent considered a liar/deceiver? He would've been telling Eve the truth when he(the serpent) says "surely you will not die."
25 Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.
It is in our time, considered shameful to be naked, still. Why didn't it bother them, before they ate of the tree, if they knew it was wrong/shameful? A bigger question still is was it wrong for them to be naked in the first place? Or only wrong when they knew it was wrong? Could that make one question the very nature of morality with this God? Just a question, I haven't put much significant thought towards that. Anyways.
4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
What can we deduce from this?
1) God knows the difference between good and evil
2) Eve and Adam do NOT before hand.
7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
22 And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”
"But what if He's not stupid and He's not cruel? What if God really is beyond our limited ability to comprehend?"
Great question, Chris. I'll take it a step further. What if He's not at all like the one in the anthropomorphic one in the Bible?
-What if "he" doesn't "take sides?" (No benevolent vs malevolent)
-What if "he" doesn't require praise?
-What if "he" isn't anything different from what we observe empirically in the Universe?
-What if "he" doesn't consider us tools?
-What if we are no important than anything else that has life(animals, trees, etc)?
-What if "he" isn't interested in giving people a pat on the back or a slap on the wrist?
-What if "he" isn't a he, or a she, or anything that you can give a true name/description?
-What if "he" doesn't punish the "good" or the "bad" because such black and white views only exist in our minds and help us to survive?
I haven't been ignoring this post, I've been procrastinating because one fine day I opened my email and found 46 posts(!) to respond to! Including ones from you, Einderdarkwolf and SirNick that are all very long. So I apologize, and also hope you didn't think I didn't have an a reply (as Einderdarkwolf point out, I "always have something to say"!)
Since you used to listen to Stanley and guys like that, I'm sure this will be something that you've heard before, but yes, they did die, and yes, the serpent is a deciever. No, they didn't physically die, they died spiritually because their perfect relationship with God had been broken. I'm a literalist, I've said so before though I doubt that it surprises you, but in this instance I also see an allegory in the story. In the beginning, Adam and Eve were like children. They had their Father, they ran around naked, and they accepted at face value what their Father told them. Then they got a little older. They decided maybe their Father, even though He is older, wiser and more experienced than they, might not really know what He's talking about. Besides, they really want to (whether Adam did it because he "really wanted to" or was just going along with Eve, I don't know.) They thought they knew better. Then they did it, and since it was outside of God's sanction, they found it wasn't what they thought it would be. But it did negatively affect their relationship with their Father. He didn't make it so that He never had anything to do with them ever again, but they never had the Paradise with Him that He had given them before.
It wasn't wrong for them to be naked in the first place because God created them that way. They were naked and they felt no shame. It wasn't until they did what God told them not to do that they felt shame, even in something that God had created. I know it's probably splitting hairs to a lot of people, but they didn't know good and evil until they ate the fruit. But they did know right and wrong, they knew it was right to listen to God, and wrong to listen to the serpent, but they convinced themselves that it was really okay to do what they had been told not to do. That tainted everything. Presumably they "knew each other" so to speak with no shame until after they ate the fruit.
Refer to what I said above...
Well, if you're right then I'm wasting my time! Of course, that really only echoes Paul but I've said it often enough in my posts.
However I feel the need to point one thing out. The word "anthropmorphic" means "the attribution of a human form, human characteristics, or human behavior to nonhuman things." This implies that the God of the Bible is made in man's image, which is something that guys like A Troubled Man and Randy Godwin have said so often, and which I have rejected so often. It's exactly backwards. The God of the Bible made man in His image! He is not our anthropomorphic creation, we are the Imago Deo! And if that doesn't change everything, then nothing does!
I know that you're busy Chris. I try not to jump to conclusions. I always have something to say, myself. It's my nature.
And from a literalist stance, they did die, physically (eventually), as well, which is what many have argued. I have no reason to see why they wouldn't have lived forever, within the context of the story.
While this makes it sound all cute, warm, and understandable that's only how it went at "face value."
Why the play on words? Isn't fair to say that what's good is right and what's right is good, and what's bad is wrong, and what's wrong is bad? It is essentially means, then, that they did not know that it was the wrong thing to do.
"22 And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”
You didn't comment on the sketchiness of this quote.
I do feel I wasted a lot of my time. But on the other hand, it helped me to see the world a bit differently, in good and bad ways.
Well Chris, while I know where you're coming from, I think the reason that they keep using this term, as do I, is because a perfect God like He is supposed to be, displays too many of the negative Characteristics of men, for us to consider Him legit.
I posted a list of questions to you after the first
Would it not seem more that something infinitely non-undestandable wouldn't look so much like "fallen," "sin-prone," "naive" humans?
The God of the Bible is:
-Doesn't take responsibility for His actions
I'm sure there's more I could add, I just have to leave for work.
Good point. Of course the Tree of Life is in the Garden, the same as it will be in the New Jerusalem. Yes, they probably would have lived forever.
Yes, but what I'm trying to say is that they would know what's wrong in the same way a little kid knows what's wrong, because Dad says what's wrong. They would lack any sophisticated knowledge about doing bad.
Personally, I don't believe God was saying that humans had become gods. Nor have I ever heard any Christian or Jewish commentators say that. I've always thought He was being a bit sarcastic, myself.
I still think that men looking at God with the minds of men tend to see just a larger man, like one of the Greek gods. The God I read in the Bible is way, way bigger than most people believe.
I figured I dealt with them by what I did say. If I remember correctly they all seemd to be predicated on God not being the God of the Bible.
Goes back to my previous statements. If you compare God to man, God comes up short. If you compare man to God, man doesn't even come close!
Do I really need to answer these?
Hope work went well!
Yes, but "don't do it because I said so" doesn't work well for a reason. If someone doesn't truly understand the extent or consequences of their actions, and WHY they're wrong, just telling them they are "wrong" will only suffice for so long. Lessons are better learned when someone learns that something is wrong from experience. It shouldn't be a life altering experience to affect the rest of mankind's existence, however. That passes over the line of unfairness.
I don't believe that's what He was saying, either. And I could agree with you on the sarcasm if it wasn't for the Tower of Babel incident, and what He said and did then. It seems as though He is afraid something.
It's rather, you see Him how you see fit. We see what was has been presented to us, that can be seen without "special" ways of thinking. I am quite familiar with that infinite awe and wonder for God and what He has "done," and continues to do, etc., etc., but now that I have strayed aware from the metaphorical and understand the importance of the literal/actual, I can see this God for who He is. Maybe if He didn't display man-like Characteristics, much like the Tao, for instance, than I could believe in his infinite nature. But, He is the definition of finite, and black and white. You can say all day that God is not understandable, but that's what Christians spend most of their lives thinking that they are doing, and some sit in forums arguing about how this infinite God is this or that, doesn't like or approve of this or that. Will judge you for doing this or that. Blesses football players and helps them win the games when they bend their knees with every touchdown, but He can't send manna from Heaven to the children dying every day overseas. If anything, it's because He isn't all that infinite, really. You just like to think He is, because it makes you feel better, that essentially, one day you and everyone you love who "accept Jesus" can be in a place where no one has to suffer, where you will be rewarded for this life, where you get to to meet this awe-inspiring God of the Universe. We all would like to think there's SOMEBODY out there thinking about us, who cares about us, who will bring about some kind of justice in our lives against those who wronged us.
We simply cannot see God for more than what He is, because we refuse to come to Him as a child, as Jesus commanded, because children are easily impressed and often live life wearing rose-colored glasses.
You see a Loving God. I see a person who is picky and choosy, and often seems to have priorities out of whack.
You see a Father. I see a tyrant.
You see Infinite. I see finite.
Oh, and work was ridiculously busy.
I think that really sums it all up!
You see the anthropomorphic creation of venal, spiteful humans, the Zeus-like repository of all things negative.
I see the Creator of the world and the giver of life to humans, the Imago Deo, who are "through a glass darkly" now but who have the path to being better, nicer humans and eternal bliss.
As I've said before, it breaks my heart. You miss so much!
And yer gawd's too small!
My original response with posted without me having known that you'd made other replies to some of the other things I wrote, so I recant the not talking about it anymore. I do have some points that I want to make, and then I'll decide whether I can even afford to keep responding. Man, these forums eat up my free time.
What does that mean?
What is 'death'?
What is this 'sin' he take upon him?
Who/what is this 'sin' to be overcome?
How does a 36hour coma/death does that feat?
Death is, um, death. You know, dead. Not living. Like you and I will both be one day.
Sin is turning away from God. It is saying to God, "I can do it better my way." It is saying, "You don't exist."
If it is not overcome, we cannot be with God in Heaven. The alternative is very unpleasant, indeed.
Which is it, death or a coma? They're not the same thing. Which question are you asking?
How do you know what sin is?
If Jesus were mortal, then he wouldn't have been able to come back either. Hence he was immortal which means his "death" counted for nothing at all. If you can't die, then the act itself, for any reason, is meaningless.
So then you agree that by your faith, you really don't have a choice in the matter, you must believe or be tormented forever. Sounds like some real "unconditional" love there.
That's a nice try, but no.
Sin is defined in the Bible. I believe the Bible. Therefore I know what sin is, and that every single one of us (myself included) is guilty. I don't expect you agree with that, but that is the answer to your question.
I stand by what I wrote. Jesus existed in a human body, and that human body experienced a very painful, protracted death. As in it was no longer alive. His spirit did not die. Neither will yours or mine. But His body very much experienced death.
As you said, Jesus was both God and Human.
He never exerted signs of being omniscient.
He never exerted signs of being omni-potent.
He never exerted signs of supernatural strength.
BUT he did exert a sign of immortality by rising on the third day. His immortality would've come from his fathers side, or his "god" hood. Which means he knew that he wasn't going to Die, just as God knew that he wouldn't Die in his omniscience. Which invalidates the entire act to begin with in my opinion.
You definitely don't understand what I was saying. But then, I didn't really take time to explain it either, not as properly as I should have, so please forgive me for that. I will, but not now because it's late and I must attend to my wife.
He predicted the destruction of the Temple. He predicted His own death. He predicted Peter's denial.
He healed blind people, He healed lepers, and He raised the dead.
I'm not sure what you mean by "supernatural strength." So I won't hazzard a guess.
So in other words, He wasn't human? Or He didn't die? He was/is human, and His human body did indeed die. Some kind of "Passover Plot" scenario is frankly impossible for a human body, which He had. He got the skin literally stripped off his body and died on the cross. He was dead. Yes, He came back to life but to assert that as the same as not dying is a logical stretch. It isn't logical.
He did die.
First, you just negated free will. Omniscience is based on the fact that the future is pre-determined and nothing changes it.
I'll have to get back to you on the rest of them though. I don't remember the rock denying Jesus, a prediction of your own death is self-fulling as I know everyone here will eventually die. Never heard him predict the destruction of a temple though, so I'll definitely be looking into it.
Hercules was purported to have supernatural strength. Obviously though, you focus on one thing instead of all of them. Just to give a bit more education to you, every single Miracle Jesus performed, was performed 600 years earlier by Pythagoras.
First off, if he IS human, then he IS dead. Humans don't come back from death.
Secondly, your stating that his flesh was completely stripped from his body, which is an outright lie. The Bible says no such thing. It said that his back was laid open by a whip, but not that his body had no flesh on it.
No, being Dead and coming back to life is an illogical stretch. The better possibility that he was immortal (therefore unable to die incase you don't grasp the meaning of it). Which means though it may have seemed like he died on the cross, he really didn't. He put on a good show, then waited three days to reveal himself to create his self-fullfilled prophecy.
That's true, if He IS human, then humans don't come back from death, unless they are brought back (like Lazarus,) or...
if they ARE human and they ARE God!
You're argument seems to be that He either had to be fully human OR fully God, He couldn't possibly be both. Except that He is fully human and He is fully God. The Bible makes that clear. His human body did die, His Godhood did not.
As for the rest of your argument, you actually in an intersting way illustrate a point I've made many, many times. That point is that many people want to treat God as some sort of Jewish version of the Olympian gods, a human writ large and more powerful but if anything even more venal than "mere humans." I've made that point, but I've never read anyone illustrate it as literally as you do. And this illuminates quite a lot about your arguments. But the God of the Bible is much, much bigger than the gods of the pagan cultures surrounding Israel.
As I've written to you and to others, I do wrestle with free will. I don't fully understand it, but I do beleive that God has given it to us. I don't believe that God's being omniscient negates our free will.
That's a bit simplistic. If all He said was, "You know, I'm going to die," then you'd have a point. But He predicted the time and method of his death, which only a few people who He had no access to would have had any idea about.
What I actually wrote was, "He got the skin literally stripped off his body," but I'll cop that I should have been more specific. He was scourged by the Romans, and though there are people who don't believe He ever existed, there is nobody who denies that the scourge was a horrible way to be tortured. The leather thongs of the whip had pieces of glass, pottery and bone tied in and when you were whipped with it, it literally tore the flesh off your body. I should have stated the flesh was ripped off His back. Sorry. The fact is that after forty lashes (minus one) with the scourge, it's a miracle He was even still alive!
Since you've chided me on my lackadaisical research, I decided to jump on the Gibsonian web and check this one out. I was vaguely aware that Pythagorus was attributed with miracles, but I didn't know which ones. So I looked. Of all the sites I found, only one of them that was attributed to Jesus was also attributed to Pythagorus, where He supposedly died, went to Hades and then came back. And only one site even listed it. None of them listed healing the sick, raising the dead, or turning water into wine. And the more scholarly made it plain that a lot of what we "know" about Pythagoras came from Neo-Platonic writers in the Second Century AD! Which goes to illustrate another point that has been made, if Christianity seems to have copied from a pagan religion, more likely than not it's the other way around.
Of course he "predicted" his own death. He and anyone else labeled as a heretic would've faced it if their claims were "blasphemous" enough, and insulting, and/or threatening to their already established laws and customs. The world wasn't as EC back then. "Predictions" are quite easy to do when you are an observant person, if you know the laws of the land, the current social tensions, etc. Many, anthropologists, psychologists and other types can make quite accurate "predictions" of what will happen in a persons life, or societies as a whole, financial fall-outs, and all sorts of other things. If he knew Peter well, which I'm sure he did, than he could predict easily that Peter would deny him because there was something about his personality to make him seem like the type. You can't even be specific about what Jesus said to him as far as when he would do it because the gospels all say something different. As far as the destruction of the temple was concerned, it's no different. If you understand how the Romans operate, the social/political climate, the hatred, hunger for power and dominance, etc, could easily lead anyone to believe that it would be destroyed, and "Jesus" may have just made an educated guess and we'll never hear the end of it.
How does this prove omnipotence? Aren't Christians supposed to able to do these things as well? Even people who aren't Christians will be able to do these things, seeing as some of them will reach the white throne and God will say "I never knew you" according to your scripture, and we certainly won't argue that any of them are omnipotent, so not a good example.
If I say, "Hey, I'm going to die someday," then your point is roundly proven and I should just shut my mouth. If I say, "Hey, I'm going to get dragged off and beaten up by such-and-such, then nailed up on a tree and die, then rise on the third day," and it happens that way then maybe I'm on to something. And if I happen to die in a specific way that was predicted thousands of years before and it happens that way, then maybe it's not something that just anybody could have done.
Except that; a) Jesus predicted the actions for a specific time with a specific sign, and b) only hours before, Peter had taken a sword and cut off the ear of the servant in order to try to stop the arrest. Jesus Himself had to put a stop to it, which implies that Peter would have gone farther ("Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword.") Peter did everything to the fullest, and he was the first to publicly confess Jesus as the Christ.
On the contrary. The difference is that Christians (and those who think they're Christians) will do it in the name of God. Jesus did it in His own name. This distinction was extremely important in the New Testament and will be no less important on Judgement Day.
I agree with Dave Matthews. Taking his answer into consideration, I'll also mention that God writes that His word will never fail:
Mat 24:35 "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.
Mar 13:31 "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.
Luk 16:17 "But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter of the Law to fail.
Luk 21:33 "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.
You're implying that the uneducated world is the world that believes in Christ, yet Lee Strobel is a very well known journalist who worked for the Chicago Tribune who, through careful study and research conducted from interviewing only the most qualified in their field had to lay down his pride in light of all the overwhelming volumes of evidence for Christ and admit that He is divine and was the Son of God.
In response to AuidreyCB. There are also many former Christians, equally as intelligent as Lee Strobel, who have walked away from Christianity for the exact same reason Strobel became a Christian: They studied the evidence. So, people study the evidence, become Christians, or non christians. What does that tell you? People use "evidence" to arrive where they want to arrive. Frankly, Christians speak of Strobel as though he has done something extraordinary. He studied the evidence for and against the deity of Christ. Shouldn't all Christians have done the same? I have found that most are afraid to look at that evidence. And Faith is no excuse for not thinking.
Lee Strobel is a liar. I read his book and I found that his questions were typical questions I got asked by Christians in the past before the book was written, that would assume some such silliness. I wish I still had the book that way I could quote the intellectually dishonest questions and assumption and misleading cons in the book. One example is the questions are false dichotomies. "Do you feel guilty for believing in a lie?" If you answer yes or no then you are admitting to believing in a lie. There are many questions like this that assume certain principles are true and none of the debates Lee Strobel has relies on evidence all are debates on philosophical ideologies... in other words Lee Strobel is not a Journalist he is a paparazzi. I don't believe he ever did any factual based research in his life. Nor do I believe he was ever actually an "atheist". I have this debate with people about the idea that someone could not really be an atheist but agnostic but I will clear this up if asked.
Philosophy and religion are closely tied with humanity—in my opinion they, along with art, define us as such. Most forms of religion will endure as long as mankind is here to experience. We are creatures of question, and there are questions which will never be fully answered in a satisfactory way: “Why did my brother die?” “Why did she hurt me?” “What have I done to deserve poverty, disease, hatred?” – pain and loss, joy and love are phenomenon that will forever exist within the spectrum of our experience, for long as we are human. I believe we seek reason for them. Science can explain a lot of things, but it won't tell us who to thank after surviving a car crash; it won't explain why we find the sunrise beautiful, why life has chosen to live, what our reason for being is (if there is one). And, even if it does, there will always be people who believe that the physical explanation isn't enough, hence the metaphysical.
Why is there always such a division between the seen and unseen? If I want to believe that science is the physical evidence of a higher power, I'm going to. God doesn't have to clash with science. It's dangerous to label theists as inherently ignorant or archaic or out-moded simply because you have come to a different conclusion. And there's nothing wrong with rejecting the notion of religion. In a lot of ways it isn't logical, it defies our senses—but, in a way, that's the point. It relies on an underlying sense of trust and faith that, somewhere, behind the veil, there is purpose in a tragic yet beautiful world. The risk of being wrong is innate, but where isn't that true?
of clouds, good explanation of how the two sides cope with life. It appears from your comment, and I agree, that the best way for both sides to proceed is to live and let live. I agree to a point at least. There is value in debate. I am appalled at two things. The sickening arrogance of atheists and the nonreligious on one side and unthinking, blind faith on the other. Both attitudes are symptoms of a deeper disturbance in people which I am convinced is fear. Fear because that emotion often accompanies anger which is another thing we see on both sides. So, what is everyone afraid of? Being proven wrong and along with that humiliation, the loss of a deep seated, personal world view.
Jesus tried to make clear that we are all man/god. "God is inside of you, his light shines from out of your eyes"" He also said "You are all gods". Peter said that "Jesus was a man, approved of God" Lastly, if Jesus were as most seem to believe him to be, The God...then to whom was he praying in the Garden at Gethsemane?
Druid dude your right in saying that jesus is not god but that doesnt mean that we are all god...god has a name in the bible so its not just a generalisation of the world around us, and when jesus said we are all gods he was quoting a pharisee teaching.
Free will is what material man insists upon. We are in denial, and seek to usurp total control over us and our world. That control is an illusion, therefore, free will is an illusion...and a dangerous one. It says that we can merrily go our own way...all 6 billion of us...in total disregard to any other of that six bill. Total chaos. That is the end product of "free will". It is the many, not the individual. When the many determine what the individual can or will do...there is no FREE WILL! AND the individual can't determine the course for 6 billion others. We must relinquish free will, or we will destroy mankind and his earth also.
dont disagree with you there, however people DO have spiritual free will and can choose to believe what they want to and they will have to deal with the consequences that their belief brings.
people are very selfish as you say and if we carry on as we do i cant argue with what your saying..."or we will destroy mankind and his earth also" nope we will destroy gods world which he will not allow, we do not have free will when it comes to his possesions so he will step in before that happens.
I liked the analogy of the family.
And it is true here on earth. We can not subject the rest of the family to such an intruder even if they are related.
It is my thoughts that every one here on earth has a spirit which was once in this other dimension.
We came down to this lower dimension to enjoy a physical existence.
In essence, we are all angels which came down here,
And by SOMEBODYS interpretation; we fell down to the earth.
Imagine thousands of children going to Disney land. NO Adults! The children are told to have fun but don't take anyone else’s fun away from them while having their own.
If you don't follow the rules you will be punished when you get back home.
If you do follow the rules you will be rewarded when you get home.
Some people would consider the lack of such rewards as punishment.
If you really behaved extra badly you may be grounded, go to your room (Hell)! while the rest of the children gets to go to Disneyland another day.
this last sentence implies reincarnation which may or not be true.
And none of it may be true?
I will say that this concept makes more sense to me than any other I have heard.
Just translate a few words in scripture differently and believe some of scripture exactly as it implies and there you have it.
Brent: A lot of these guys don't want to admit that. It takes the wind out of their assaults on other people's beliefs, which they view as a threat. It is related to anti-semitism, this anti-christian, anti-muslim thing. Messy business.
I agree. You mention 'facts' that you don't cite your resources for, such as 'It has been proven that Jesus never existed'. The only people who could believe this aren't terribly intelligent. If you are so RIGHT, speak the truth, even if it hurts.
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