The last few days I have been reading what is going on in this thread. It is hard for me to believe that not one single person bothered to look up the original Hebrew word that the NIV translates as slave.
The KJV does not use the word slave that Rad had shown the NIV to do. The KJV uses the words servant, handmaiden, etc. . but not slave.
Let's look at what a servant does. A servant is to work for the one who hired him or her to work. it is like a contract, if I am hired to do a job, I need to do the job. But do not take my word for it, let's look at a scripture that Rad posted earlier.
Exo 21:20 And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished.
The word servant is used. Because many do not trust Strong;s concordance, I will use the Brown Driver Briggs definition of the original word.
1) slave, servant
1a) slave, servant, man-servant
1c) servants, worshippers (of God)
1d) servant (in special sense as prophets, Levites etc)
1e) servant (of Israel)
1f) servant (as form of address between equals)
Part of Speech: noun masculine
Now, the Hebrew word for maid.
1) maid-servant, female slave, maid, handmaid, concubine
1a) of humility (figuratively)
Part of Speech: noun feminine
A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number: apparently a primitive word
Same Word by TWOT Number: 112
As you can see, those words have different definitions. Everyone wants to use only one definition which may not even be close.
A person who is bound to a task is an employee. A person hired by a company is hired for a specific task to do. A maid is hired to be a maid, a butler hired to be a butler. They are not slaves but employees.
There will be no charge for this bible lesson. Freely it is given and freely it will be given.
Thanks for sharing that Sir Dent. I can think of some that might have shared something like that.... Anyway, I am glad you did. It really hadn't occurred to me, but it should have.
If the people that were slaves to Abraham were to be "let free", where would they go and get a job? The job at the local Nile pub or supermarket had also better be able to pay for their food, shelter, and protection from enemies or marauders, clothing, etc. Those things came to the slaves very often as part of their service. These things don't seem to matter to all engaged in the conversation, yet it makes all the difference in the world. Thus, why I say this seems to be about upholding their held beliefs about others, over what is true, factual, reasonable, fair, etc.
Main point being, were there local jobs where people could work FOR someone for a wage that would provide the exact same things they would use the earned money on?. In all of the texts, we don't see much in the way of such jobs, not in Abraham's day for sure. If you were to tie up Abraham and his family, and said, "run slaves, while you can!" What do you want to bet they would look at you like you were crazy, and say, "Where to, and why? Are you insane?" It seems a struggle of dealing with the reality of history of slavery to me.
I can only trust that more like you have been watching and paying attention, in case they ever get into conversations with those that believe in such ways about others. Its only true if its true.
You do realize you just said that the slaves were better off being slaves? That they didn't really want to be free. That there were no paying jobs so being slaves and not being paid was better than being free and not being paid.
All these arguments have been used by various societies (US included) that kept slaves.
Amazingly, when there are no more slaves, paying jobs start popping up pretty quickly. Check your history books.
Just a spur of the moment thought .... In today's world here in the 21st century here in the USA, it is common practice to sell ourselves into a type of slavery for money, for an agreed period of time. Whether that be an hourly or weekly wage, or yearly contract. Conditions in the work place and how we are to be treated have been privately negotiated and or legally mandated.
In many instances, in the past, some people sold themselves into slavery which was their right to do. Some fathers sold their children into it.
When kingdoms fought war against other kingdoms and the looser often surrendered unconditionally.
It was common practice 2000 years ago for the victors to kill off any groups that might regroup and bring the war back to life, OR the victors thought it to be more humane to take take those people who might later cause trouble into perpetual slavery keeping them segregated through out the land
(in the name of keeping the peace).
Over the past few thousand years, laws concerning how slaves (by any other name most of us are slaves)) have evolved into that which we currently operate under.
Everyone in America has the right to escape minimum wage slavery, and some do, but the vast majority never get the chance.
So when we talk bad about laws as written in scripture concerning How To Treat our Slaves, remember, before those, .... there weren't any.
Yes, that is called "employment", it is not slavery or even a type of slavery. Try being honest about this.
And exactly how do you suppose these slaves became slaves.
I believe the most common way to become a slave back in the days of old, was to owe a debt that you could not pay. You became the slave to the person to whom you owed the debt. It he did not need your services he could sell this debt to another and you would become that persons slave.
All slave owners were not abusive nor did they all take full advantage the situation the slave found themselves in. Thanks to bankruptcy laws our definition of slavery has been modified from that which is described in the bible. Though there were some slaves who were kidnapped and wrongfully placed into the role of a slave, this was not the rule.
Ok, Jerami, so how does American history of slavery sit into your theories there? Did it conform to the "values of Jesus Christ?" Did it conform to bacic human fairness? Was there any freedom given to the Afro-Americans as being their basic human rights? Was their treatment contrary to Christian teachings? After all, they were indeed slaves, right?
African Americans and the Native Americans were treated as poorly as they could possibly have been. Any "REAL" Christian could not have condoned such behavior. I don't think this kind of Slavery is what the bible was talking about.
IMO the type of slave described in scripture had nothing to do with indiscriminate kidnapping and forced slavery as you have mentioned. Are there any limits for the evil men commit against his fellow man? It has always been my opinion that slavery as dictated in scripture pertained to social-economic situations which were just as fair as is done today when a person can simply say OOPS ... sorry .... I can't pay you the money I owe you. I'm sorry my not paying you is going to put you in financial distress.
Things were different 2000 years ago. When we could not pay our debt we either went to prison until "Somebody" redeemed us by paying that debt, or we worked the debt off by being someones slave/servant. This seemed to be fair to the person to whom the debt was owed, and to the debtor as long as he was treated justly and fairly; and maybe not.
Can justice really be considered to be fair by all? IMO, the only time justice can be seen as fair to all is when it is served with a healthy share of forgiveness and redemption. And even then someone is going to believe there wasn't enough punishment handed out.
There are some questions we ask ourselves that there seems to be no correct answers for.
I was really only referring to the concept of slavery such as the bible was addressing and my perseption of it.
Your perspective of slavery is a common one by apologists, but it's incorrect. There are two types of slavery in the old testament. One, as you mentioned, is indentured servitude, which applied only to Jews who owed a debt. They were kept for 7 years, unless they were married during that time. If they were married to a slave and wanted to stay with their wife and children (who were not set free) they had their ear pierced with a tool, and belonged to their Masters forever.
Those who were captured in war, or taken from the indigenous population were not indentured servants. They were slaves. They were the property of their masters and could be passed down through the family forever because they were property.
You are absolutely correct. Two types of slaves, and many circumstances which qualified a person into each of these types.
Those who were captured in war, or taken from the indigenous population were not indentured servants. They were slaves. They were the property of their masters and could be passed down through the family forever because they were property.
But, what was the alternative in this situation? As we have seen in Iraq, the indigenous population was not imprisoned, enslaved or killed off. And the resistance continues forever.
Which brings up the question, should any kingdom invade and conquer another, and when it does, what is the most effective way in which to bring about peace?
Are there any right answers which resolve wrong situations? An oz of prevention is worth 1000 lbs of cure. Damned if we do, damned when we don't.
And yet, those very folks proclaimed in no uncertain terms they were "REAL" Christians and that they were only doing what the Bible condoned.
Those "REAL" Christians would disagree with you.
Sorry, but what you're describing may have occurred in some instances, but for the vast majority of slaves, it was not like that at all.
You understand right that parents sold their children. Is there anything fair in that?
There is unfairness all around us.
Is it fair that heads is on the front side of the coin while tails is on the back?
That is meaningless to this conversation. Trying to depict slavery as something different than it was to make you feel good doesn't work. Children were being bought and sold so it was not as you described.
You're comparing heads/tails on a coin to selling children? Seriously?
Unfortunately, what you believe about slavery is just a belief, kind of like the belief in your God.
Yes, this relates to the point I made to Rad Man - it looks as if the actual intent of the Law was to PROTECT AND GIVE RIGHTS TO the slave (or servant). Examining the Scriptures, we find that both the murderer of the free person and the murderer of the slave were to be put to death, while the one who assaulted the free person or the slave was not. The only difference was that the free person had to be compensated for lost time (as they would have worked for themselves) while the slave did not (as it was the offender himself losing that time/work). Slaves had to be compensated for significant injury - the loss of an eye or tooth - with their freedom. Because some in that day may not have even given slaves/servants these rights, the Law it seems was actually protecting and elevating them.
Defending slavery again? If they had the money to buy the slaves they should have had the money to pay them instead of the person who sold them like cattle. The solution is very simple. People should not be owned and can come and go as they please. Any just God or person would have known that. I'm not saying your God is not just, I'm saying he wasn't involved in writing at least those parts of the bible.
" Any just God or person would have known that. I'm not saying your God is not just, I'm saying he wasn't involved in writing at least those parts of the bible."
And here is the point that everyone defending slavery in the Bible seems to be missing. It is not an attack on God or his justice or his mercy...it is a reasonable point being made that perhaps not every word in Scripture was written by the hand of God. Perhaps there are contexts that came solely from the men of the time, who, while inspired by God in many instances, created laws and wrote instructions that were beneficial only to them and only in their time. Doesn't make the Bible worthless.
In fairness, that appears to be a point the opposition might also be missing.
True, but it could also show that not a word in Scripture was written or inspired by the hand of God.
I believe inspired, yes, but not without passing through the minds of mere mortal men before being written down. Filtered, as it were.
Yes, as you say, the inspired Word did pass through the human, which affected it. So, for example, when a man saw a Spirit-inspired vision of a plane long, long before its invention, he had to describe it in his own limited way - a winged creature, etc.
Which, is pretty much the same thing as coming from the minds of men. Period.
What's interesting about this is that God allegedly wrote the Commandments with His own hand into stone for Moses, yet He allegedly used humans to write Scriptures, and as you say, it was "Filtered" through mortal men.
Can you see what's wrong with that picture?
Sure. It doesn't make it all worthless, though. Just means it will not all apply to all people at all points in time. I wouldn't throw it out in its entirety, however, because there are parts that don't apply to me. Nor will I declare its weaknesses as devaluing it completely.
I would agree with you, almost entirely.
There are very few who would ever disagree there certainly aren't some gems of wisdom contained in the Bible, just like there are gems of wisdom contained in many other religions. Combined, we can take those gems and make one single set of scriptures. I would have no problem with that.
That said, we probably both agree there are some nasty bits contained in the Bible, things both you and I would never want to see practiced, condoned or defended. They are, for the most part, that which you have sort of labeled, "Filtered" through the minds of men. That would certainly imply that some of that which was written in the Bible comes from the minds of men, so why not everything else in the Bible?
We can take the Old Testament and compare it with the New Testament. We can see dramatic changes in how people behaved from one era to the next just as as we can observe changes throughout all of human history. Even within that relatively short span of time between the OT and NT, behavior changed from "an eye for an eye" to "turning the other cheek". This one thing alone show a remarkable moral and ethical evolution when compared to the tens of thousands of years preceding it. It didn't take very long for people to find out what Ghandi made clear:
"An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind."
It's rare that either of us can say we agree entirely with the other, so this is a meaningful moment for us. You have said something here that I find so encouraging and with which I agree completely. Thanks for being willing to meet me halfway.
Bingo. Thanks, I must have said that 50 times, but some seem to feel I'm saying God doesn't exist. What I've been saying is that there are some scripture that wasn't written through men by any just God.
None of the words of Scripture were "written by the hand of God" but were "inspired by God". And yes, aspects of the writers' humanity entered in here and there. The way I put it is "We should neither demand that the Word read as if written by the very hand of God, as he used limited men to give us the inspired Word; nor can we dismiss any of the Word because he used men, as we know that Scriptures were inspired by God himself."
I think the Laws about slaves/servants were actually intended to protect them and give them rights - both the murderer of the free person and murderer of the slave were to be put to death; neither the one who assaulted but didn't kill the free person or the slave was put to death; and the only difference related to compensation for the lost work of the free person (who worked for self) versus the slave (who worked for the offender). Slaves were compensated for injury by being set free. These laws gave more rights and protection than people inclined to make slaves of people would probably otherwise have given.
What a sad truth that humans were inclined to make and keep slaves of people and had to "learn" how vile a practice this truly is.
Protecting slaves would have sound some more like this. "Let no man keep any person as property." rather than something like this "you can beat a male or female slave with a club as long as they can get up within a day or two".
Yet God likewise did not say "Don't fight,", "Don't assault", etc. regarding the similar laws about required punishment of death when a free person died from an assault or fight, yet not when the person recovered. The only difference between the laws for the free person and the slave was that the free person was compensated for the lost work from the injury (since he worked for himself), while the slave was not (since he worked for the offender, and the offender lost the work). The slave was compensated for loss of bodily part (eye or tooth). The people who were inclined toward making slaves of people would NOT have given such equitable laws to the slave like the free person.
We know that God is not for fighting, assaulting, beating, etc. of either the free person or the slave. Read the entirety of the Word and you will see this. But humans fight, assault, beat, etc., and so the punishments were outlined. All this takes understanding. When someone's goal is not to understand the Law or the Word in truth, but to attack, then they distort the truth with words that lack wisdom.
And yet people said that God told them it's okay to beat a slave with a club as long as they can get up within a day or two.
If you think God is not for fighting, assaulting, beating, etc. why do except that this scripture is inspired or written by God?
You and I are in agreement, Cat, about the inspired nature of scripture as your stated it here. Also, your last statement is true. I think where Rad and those opposing him are having the issue is that his point isn't why would God allow it so much as these laws made surrounding it might not have come from God, but from the slave owners themselves...who, perhaps, believed themselves to be just men of God, but didn't reflect his justice in the practice of owning slaves.
I don't defend slavery. I do observe some of is existence in a lot of our ancient history. To the rest, ok, that seems fair. The slavery parts aren't critical for us.
Yes, it was very nice of SirDent to post that because it showed just how dishonest the tranlsators of the KJV were to have changed the meaning of slave to suit their agenda.
Do you actually believe that was a concern to a slave? The only thing on the mind of a slave from the moment they wake up in the morning to the moment they go to sleep at night, is freedom.
A slave could care less about anything other than being free. If others can look after themselves, certainly a freed slave could do so as well.
No, it doesn't, it means nothing to a slave, whose only thoughts are to be free.
And, you have not provided what is true, factual, reasonable or fair.
No, they would be running down the road as fast as their feet could carry them, if indeed they were offered their freedom.
But... am I missing something other than the change from general slave to female slave?
1) maid-servant, female slave, maid, handmaid, concubine
Pretty sure female slave doesn't mean hired maid.... pretty sure servant doesn't mean employee either... you are kinda stretching things a bit here.
If he (Jesus) was divine, he knew it would be nearly 2,000 years until most of the world would realize how immoral slavery is. He also knew that slave-owners would use the Old Testament to justify the practice. One clear word from him could have prevented the misery of millions. Why did he not speak it? (And it’s hard to believe that if the Bible is inspired, God would not have inspired at least one of the four gospel-writers to record Jesus’ words on so important a topic.)
It’s not as if there was no slavery around to speak against. Jesus often illustrated his points with stories about slaves and masters. Everybody was all too familiar with the concept, and it was as brutal as ever.
Since Jesus never condemned slavery, we might hope that he thought of slavery in the relatively benign forms that are sometimes found in the Old Testament. Not so. When he (Jesus) spoke about the relationship of slaves and masters, he assumed that violence and abuse were the order of the day.
http://pathofthebeagle.com/2011/10/20/w … t-slavery/
The word property was used. They wore property that was bought and sold. Do I need to show you that as well?
Do you thing hitting anyone with a rod within an inch of their lives is acceptable?
Ambiguous biblical terms used to describe slavery:
In an apparent attempt to disguise the practice of slavery, some translations in the Bible translate the word slave (doulos in Greek) as servant. Casual readers of the Bible would assume that the passages refer to a hired servant (diakonos in Greek) - i.e. a butler or a maid. The King James Version of the Bible (KJV) frequently referred to slaves by various ambiguous terms, such as: bondmen, servants, maids, handmaid, manservant, maidservant, etc
A slave can be a servant, or maid, or gardener, or whatever, that does not preclude the fact they are slaves and have NOT been hired to work.
Try being honest about this, SirDent.
Thanks for the lesson in honesty.
ED - You seem to have missed that Sir Dent went and looked up the actual terms in the original language. So this text you've copied about the misleading use of other terms for slavery is inaccurate.
Did you miss the scripture that says who can be bought and who was property? Trying to say that someone who was bought like cattle and was property was only a servant isn't being honest at all.
If the actual word is translated "servant", and Sir Dent looked up the actual word, then it is inaccurate to state the translation as "servant" is misleading or intended as a deception. I never said the word couldn't mean slave and/or servant. I pointed out the inaccurate part of ED's copied post.
So if you translate a word that has been translated already you find something in your liking, it matters not that these servants were bought and property?
I am actually in agreement with you that these "slaves" and/or "servants" may fit more with our current understanding of "slave". Nonetheless, if the original word is translated "servant", then to translate it "servant" is NOT a deception or misleading at all. Sir Dent looked at the original word and spoke on that; ED criticized from a stance that translating the word servant as the word translates (servant) was a deception. I was not speaking of your thoughts on the word "property" and I guess we'd have to look up that original word as well to get a better understanding. Do you understand what I am saying?
Sure, you are saying you need to defend the bible at all costs. If a person is bought or sold as property then they are a slave. Sure they may serve you but if they can't quite and are not paid then they are a slave.
No, you are the one missing the point. You've basically defined the situation as "Slavery is bad and in order to prove that you are not also bad you must condemn it wherever and whenever it was and anything or anyone who does not do so is defending it." That is both way too simplistic and also not what many of us are doing. You are the one who not only has cast the situation in utter, unrelenting black and white but also drawn a line in the sand and said, "Anything on the other side of this line is defending evil at all costs."
I don't believe I said anything about evil. I'm just saying no just God was involved in the scripture that condones slavery. You can say he was if you like.
You may not have used the word, but the implication is certainly there. You can try to deflect, but you are the one who has cast this as everyone either being pro-slavery or anti-slavery, with you as the judge.
Sorry, but if he didn't use words you assert he implied, you can't justify your comments and accusations.
Why not just respond to words actually written in the posts, instead?
Right, I didn't use those words. What you are attempting to do is change the subject to me being an arse. Why not just stick to the topic rather than make it personal. I've not said anyone here is immoral or evil. I've simple said no just God could have made those rules and laws. You can if you like explain how you think he could?
We see from Jesus' own words that God did not design men and women to divorce and he did not condone divorce. Yet he let them have their own way as free-willed individuals and permitted divorce "because their hearts were hard". Everything that God lets us do does not imply he is condoning it. In fact, it was prophesied that in these last days that God would "give us over" to our own evil desires, yet none of these things are CONDONED by God: "Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips..." (Romans 1:28-29). Please understand the distinction between God giving us over to our own evil ways, and God condoning evil.
So when God makes multiple laws telling what he expects from us he's guiding us, but when he makes laws that state that your allowed to beat your slaves with clubs he's simple not wanting to guide us? Sorry, you can't have this both ways. No just God would allow slavery, the buying and selling of adults and children and no just God would allow people to beat each other with clubs. We have laws against any type of assault today because we understand what's right and wrong. Many of the people back then did as well however when someone claimed that a God allows people to assault others they fall in line. For example the Islamic law for converting to another religion is death and it's still practiced is some Islamic states. And then there is the example of the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Act in which Christians have passed a law that would put someone convicted of being gay in jail for life. Do you see why it's important to have a separation between church and state?
The text does NOT read that God "allowed" the beating of slaves. Rather, it specifies that the death penalty/punishment is only given if the slave dies, but not if they recover. The SAME goes for the assault of a free person - the death penalty is given if they die, but not if they recover. You continue to twist it to suit your argument.
Yes, in a general sense God is being "just" if humans are given over to their own creation, desire, etc. Humans, not God, made slaves of each other - both the Jewish nation and the Gentile nations were making slaves of each other.
Justice for the individual will always come about in the end, even if it occurs at his next coming. We know that all the martyred Saints are presently awaiting their justice (see Revelation). The individual who had to endure slavery will likewise see justice because God is indeed just!
No, a word was translated from an ancient text as a whole bunch of words, servant being one of them. Are servants bought and property? Please bey attention.
You sound like a teacher now, Rad Man, "Please pay attention". My point was that Sir Dent was not being deceptive to state the original word was "servant" because it was.
No, the original word was not even in English, so it was not servant. Servants are not property, these people were property.
You're right, Rad Man, I didn't make the point well or say it accurately. Still, it was NOT deception on Sir Dent's part and he didn't just go by a biblical translation, but looked up the original meaning of the original word.
I'm sure he didn't mean to deceive. But a little thought would have given him a more honest and reasonable answer. Clearly they were slave, as they were bought and sold like property. Pretending that they were something else because it makes you feel better is only being dishonest to oneself.
The biblical translation was already provided as were other explanations showing SirDent was indeed wrong.
SirDent was wrong, as can be shown in the Jewish Encyclopedia, confirming the link I provided:
The Hebrew word "'ebed" really means "slave"; but the English Bible renders it "servant" (a) where the word is used figuratively, pious men being "servants of the Lord" (Isa. xx. 3), and courtiers "servants of the king" (Jer. xxxvii. 2); and (b) in passages which refer to Hebrew bondmen, whose condition is far above that of slavery.
http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/artic … nd-slavery
You serve him?
Could not reply to your message because it could not be found.
No, I learn from him. There isn't a thing I could serve him at.
I know what you are getting at but that's not a teaching of my faith. I know it is in some other faiths, and I respect that. But no, I personally don't view myself as either a slave or a servant of Christ. I see myself as a student and a follower. I wouldn't follow someone who I believed would have a need or a desire for a servant.
OK then. Just for the record, Jesus never ever called His Father an ass. Just saying.
Jesus was more diplomatic than I am.
It would probably be a bad time to point out that I also don't believe that Jesus is the actual son of God, right? I mean any more than any of us are the children of God.
Many believe in Jesus Christ as a teacher, prophet or just a good and wise man, including atheists, Muslims, etc.
Christians are those who believe, through the revelation and knowledge given by the Spirit, that Jesus Christ is the One and only Son of the living God, the Savior of all people.
of, relating to, or professing Christianity or its teachings: the Christian Church.
• informal having or showing qualities associated with Christians, esp. those of decency, kindness, and fairness.
a person who has received Christian baptism or is a believer in Jesus Christ and his teachings.
Sorry, but you don't get to change definitions of well established words.
By your / the world's definition, atheists, Muslims, etc. may also be called Christians. Convenient.
Cat33, this is a common theme and tactic for some. I believe the intent has been to render the term "Christian" vague and meaningless. It appears to have been successful. You may find this link from before you joined HP interesting in this regard: http://hubpages.com/forum/post/2484031
I didn't make up that definition of Christian. Look up the definition for yourself. If Melissa is a follower of the word of Christ then she is a Christian wether you like it or not. I am also inspired by much of what it is said he said.
The original definition of Christian and the first time the term was used
Acts 11:26 And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.
1) Christian, a follower of Christ
Part of Speech: noun proper masculine
A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: from G5547
Citing in TDNT: 9:493, 1322
I would like to note also. Anytime that anyone was captured in the Old Testament, their name would be changed. The name change would then identify the person with the current nationality of the captor.
Just as the name were changed to suit the desire of the captor, the definitions or words have been changed to mean less than what it was originally used. The world does not want to recognize Christ as being who He is and feel the same about His followers. No matter how many times the definitions are changed, the original meaning will always take precedence.
So a follower of Christ, which Melissa is or the original disciples which none of you are. Take your pick.
The problem with all that is this. Joh_6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. Many say they are followers if Christ but have not been drawn of the Father. I take you back just a few hours ago when Melissa called God an ass. Now, if she had been drawn of God and follows after Jesus, she never would have said that. She didn't just say it once and let it go but supported what she said in her next post.
What she actually did was tickled your ears Rad. She told you what you wanted to hear just to appease you. The Bible says to honor your mother and father. Nothing more to say on it really.
So you keep pulling out different scripture to support your need to define who is a Christian, but none of which supports you. Is she not drawn to the father? You didn't understand her comment, but still one can still be drawn to an ass. Perhaps one can understand him for what he is and still be drawn. Let's face it all men are asses, and yet many are still happily married. I for one am a prime example.
Of course, based on these definitions, you are correct Rad. Reasonably applied across the board then, embracing any aspect or teaching from any discipline qualifies you to claim yourself a member, so we are all everything, (and therefore nothing). Sort of a pantheistic approach where everything is god and god is everything, so too we are all every sort of religion, from Scientism to Buddhist. It becomes a meaningless distinction without a difference, which should bode well for unity, wouldn't you think?
As we head to this one world religion there will be benefits, I suppose. Agreeing with the wisdom found in some quotes from eastern religions, perhaps this would be a good excuse to transition into a more comfortable wardrobe. Do you suppose my colleagues will mind?
Thank you Rad. You've exquisitely illustrated the point, since based on the aforementioned premise you are every bit as qualified as being a "Christian". Welcome brother!
Thanks, bBerean - You made excellent points in that forum! I guess this vague, useless definition of Christianity is just one more of the multitude of deceptions we're facing in these last days.
"Christian" has been broadly applied almost from the beginning, and certainly by the time Constantine usurped it. "Born again" was utilized to try and differentiate those indwelt by the Holy Spirit, but that too has been widely misappropriated and misunderstood. Spirit led believers have little problem identifying one another, so it is of little concern. So confused are the references these days many good assemblies avoid any name and just refer to themselves as believers assembling at such and such venue.
Sorry, that's not my definition. Please look it up for yourself.
I understand, Rad Man, that you did not come up with the definition, and that's why I referred to it as not only yours, but the "world's". I also know this will sound ludicrous to you, but I'll say it anyway - Christians aren't of this world. When I give you the true definition of a Christian, rather than this vague all-inclusive one that can include atheists and the like, I am not speaking from a worldly point of view. I am giving you spiritual truth. In truth, those who belong to Jesus Christ are those who have his Spirit inside of them. They will always know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. They will know that Jesus Christ is divine. They are those who follow the good Shepherd's voice. People can call themselves whatever they want but it doesn't make it so in truth. If "Christian" has such a watered-down definition now, it almost seems we need to be more specific. We are Christ's Spirit-filled followers, not just your watered-down version of Christians.
That's your personal opinion and your personal definition. Do you change the meaning of words often to suite your needs. "Officer, speeding for me means something different so I was not speeding". We are speaking English here and need clearly defined words to communicate. So if by definition Melissa is a Christian you don't get to change the definition to make you feel superior. Now if you want to say that she isn't the same kind of Christian as you, you are free to do so.
I didn't say anything about her, she said it herself - She denied Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
She may yet be an "unborn" sister. If and when she is "born of the Spirit", she will through the knowledge given by the Spirit, know and acknowledge that Jesus is the Son of God. I am not the judge of whether this will occur or not. God is full of grace and mercy and anyone, regardless of their past, may come to him in truth. Including you, Rad Man, who for all I know is my yet unborn brother.
Yada yada yada. Someday you may open your eyes to see the truth as I know it.
Do I have to show you the definition of Christian again? I admit that when I was first presented with Melissa's belief's I was a little perplexed as to why she considers herself a Christian as the definition I was taught would have her be defined as a Christian. And then I looked up the definition and realized she is as Christian as you. More so, if I might add because she seems to be more Christ like.
You and I haven't been on the same page about much, Rad Man, and I'm sorry that makes you feel I haven't been loving toward you. Truth is I care very much about you. True love doesn't tell people what they want to hear, it tells people unrelenting, uncompromised truth, no matter the cost.
Those who follow Jesus Christ in Spirit and in truth will acknowledge that he is the Son of God. If anyone does not, they do not have the Spirit within them, and if they do not have the Spirit within them then they do not belong to Christ.
Supercilious, Cat. Look it up in the dictionary. Try coming down to our level, it's more comfortable on your feet.
Great, it sounds like you understand you can't tell someone they are not a Christian because they don't believe what you believe. You can if you wish as you've done this time claim they don't have what you have, but that's just a claim that makes you feel superior. The rest of us know that you don't have anything the rest of us don't have. Many of us can see right through that, you may wake up to that some day as well, at least I hope.
You're off 100% about the whole superiority bit. I don't know whether that's an assumption or a projection, but it's not any part of the motivation.
I don't feel "superior" to you or anyone else. That's not what this is about. It's about truth and love and the welfare of people. I am nothing apart from God. I am not "good" or anything else that would make me feel superior.
It's extremely dangerous when people start making the truth appear blurry, or watering it down. I have nothing to do with the simple truth (so there's NO basis for feelings of superiority). I have simply presented it to you as a "servant" or even a "slave" of Jesus - Those who follow the Lord in Spirit and in truth WILL through that Spirit know and acknowledge that Jesus Christ is both the Son of God and the Lord! Amen and amen!
You feel you have something I don't. Superior. You think I need it.
If I offered you a glass of water because you needed it, would you assume I did so to make myself feel superior? Why assume it's any part of the motivation when people tell you about the spiritual, living water, which we all need more desperately than water for the body?
Because the water in the glass is real, in our agreed understanding of "reality." Whereas your so-called "spiritual, living water," valid admittedly for you, cat333, on your own terms as it suits you, is only in your mind and not validated in anyone else. Other people will have their understanding of a "living water," which suits them, likewise.
You have obviously come to your own understandings via a very personal journey. It is erroneous for you to presume that your journey is relevant to others. I know you will now tell me (us) that it is "God's will, and His Path" that you follow, but this concept again, is all in your own mind.
You have told us that you do not follow any formal church path, only the one which you attribute to Jesus. So your journey really is a personal one and, therefore, not directly relevant to other individuals. Call it a "spiritual" journey. That is just another name for a journey of the ego.
The reality of God doesn't always "suit" me; in fact, there are things I'd change if given the option. But since I'm not God and didn't come up with any of this myself, I can't change anything I don't like. Those of us with the Spirit, and there are MANY of us here in these forums and throughout the nations, have the same basic understanding of key spiritual truths (though some specifics may be disagreed on or simply unknown to us). If we were just coming to our "own understandings" then we would not be in agreement with each other on these MAIN aspects, which those who have experienced the Spirit generally are. We can also often tell who has the Spirit of God and who in truth does not (though someone lacking discernment or a "baby" / immature Christian may not be there yet).
You can consider us nutcases if you choose, and many do, but does it not strike you at all curious that so many of us nutcases are experiencing the same Lord by name and function, who we declare has revealed himself to us? Yes, I know at times someone will state they've "experienced" another "god" (and I believe the demonic realm is quite active and powerful), but nothing of the vastness and magnitude of the experiences with the Lord. You will find most others have a knowledge ABOUT their "god", and while some Christians similarly know only ABOUT God, many, many of us are testifying to you that we are not merely following what we've been taught, but we KNOW God for ourselves. Clearly our interrelated journeys are relevant to one another.
I am of the "church" - the body and bride of Jesus Christ. I've been to many, many churches and many denominations and I believe sincerely that we err in having such divisiveness in the body. In one sense I love church because I love any opportunity to praise God with others and hear the words of God, but in another sense I find church a most frustrating experience - far too lacking in the presence and power of the Spirit, which once you've tasted you will always be hungry for more of. My journey is both personal and relevant to all, as is yours.
Because you are making the need up when it doesn't exist? How superior you are though.
No, I'm sorry, we don't live long without water. You have nothing I don't have except an over active imagination.
Because it's all about what you want for others, which completely ignores what others want for themselves.
Unitarianism vs. Trinitarianism is an old debate that those ignorant of history aren't aware has already been settled. Unitarians (not UU, that's different) existed long before the newer denominations like baptists etc. made their way onto the scene.
Many of the forefathers that every evangelical Christian claims to be real Christians were Unitarian. They discounted the doctrine of the Trinity (established by a council, not the Bible) for a host of reasons. There have been 6 Unitarian presidents (but most Christians will tell you there has never been a non-Christian president) with the second of those presidents moving the already well-established religion from England to America and founding the first Unitarian Church in Boston.
Unitarianism predates even Catholism as a Christian faith and was an established church before Luther or Wesley were even glints in their father's eyes.
The idea that it is my faith changing the definition of Christianity, therefore, is laughable. The Nontrinitarianism faith is what Christianity was before the Nicean Council rewrote it. So basically, it's all the "new" denominations that are redefining Christianity to suit their own desires.
I don't care for the labeling, and I'm not in support of the body of believers being divided into a multitude of denominations. I care about the TRUTH. Denominations bring divisiveness to that which should be unified. We are warned in Scripture about this divisiveness in the body of Christ. The truth divides only between itself and falsehood.
I don't care much what the Presidents were or weren't either. Again, I care only about the truth.
About Jesus being the Son of God, which is revealed to us by the Spirit, here is a good read from Bible.org:
Mark says it at the outset of his gospel (1:1).
The angel told Mary her child would be the Son of God (Luke 1:35).
John the Baptist said the same thing (John 1:34).
Nathanael said it (John 1:49).
Martha believed it (John 11:27).
The centurion said so (Matthew 27:54).
Jesus claimed that He said so (John 10:36).
Jesus clearly implies it in John 11:4.
The demons called Jesus the Son of God (Matthew 8:29; Luke 4:41; Mark 3:11).
The charge against Jesus was that He claimed to be the Son of God (Matthew 27:43; John 19:7), a claim He never denied, and virtually admitted (Luke 22:70).
The Gospel of John was written to convince the reader that Jesus was the Son of God (John 20:31).
Why, you might ask, does Jesus not say so plainly. I think the answer is found in Matthew 16:15-17:
15 He said to them, “And who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “You are blessed, Simon son of Jonah, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but my Father in heaven!” (Matthew 16:15-17).
Jesus did not want Peter and His disciples to believe He was the Son of God just because He said so. He wanted God to bring them to this conclusion, based upon the overwhelming evidence of Scripture and our Lord’s life and teaching.
Coincidentally, we don't care for your version of truth, which to us is no truth at all, hence we don't support it. Funny, how you can care and not care about things, but you refuse to acknowledge what others care or don't care about.
Notice how it's all about you?
I never knew that until now, Melissa. Thanks - I am well and truly educated. Nice to read something new.
Who were the six Presidents? Jefferson is an open debate, because at different times he declared himself a Unitarian and also not a Unitarian. If you look strictly at the evidence the fact is it's difficult to truly know which way he was leaning when he died.
To be fair, I don't believe the issue being discussed is whether or not those men were Unitarians so much as it is whether or not they were Christians. And the truth of the matter is that over the course of history, there have been Christians who are also Unitarians. Not all Christians at all times are, or have been, Trinitarians.
Even before Melissa said so, I knew that Unitarianism is not the same as Universal Unitarianism. The Unitarianism that Jefferson subscribed to is not the same as the UU church today. However, that's about as far as my knowledge goes. I don't really know if rejection of the Trinity means they don't believe if Jesus is the Son of God (I know Melissa doesn't, but did Jefferson?) Which would be an important point.
The disconnect between Unitarianism and Trinitarianism is that Unitarians do not believe in the threefold personhood of God. God is ONE person. Jesus, while possibly being divine, is not the Son of God as his equal. We are all children of God. Jesus is considered to be the ultimate example of how to live God's love on earth.
So my next question would be how they handle verses where Jesus claims equality with the Father, which the Jews clearly understood.
That would depend on which verse. Go ahead and throw some out. Though it really doesn't address whether he was the literal son of God... or a member of a Trinity... which is kinda the point.
I'd be interested in that as well. Through the way I read it, Jesus is not the son of God in that he was immaculately conceived, but rather he was 'created' by God through God's interactions with the Israelites. All those rules and those interactions made possible for Jesus to be realized.
As far as being a 'son of God', this I think has more to do with how the Jewish people of the time thought of themselves....
Luke 3:23-37 – Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph, the son of Heli, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melki, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josek, the son of Joda, the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri, the son of Melki, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er, the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim, the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David, the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Salmon, the son of Nahshon, the son of Amminadab, the son of Ram, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalalel, the son of Kenan, the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.
It would seem to me that Jesus being the direct son of God (immaculately conceived) would diminish what he accomplished in his life because he would have the benefit of being part-God. I think what was most significant about his life was that he was human.
? So you regard those "miracles" as figments of the imagination?
Well, if he was truly human as Headly suggests then the stories of miracles must be lies. If he could perform miracles he was never fully human and didn't experience the human experience.
I disagree. Jesus was given the capability to perform miracles, and then gave this capability to his apostles (also human), to show the legitimacy of their message.
There are lots of thoughts on that, ranging from he was completely human, to he was born human and then "adopted" by God because of his perfection, to he was granted divinity upon resurrection. Those who take the human stance kinda tend to look at it as God moving things around Jesus rather than Jesus doing it himself. Sort of like God parting the Red Sea for Moses. Moses needed it, God did it.
My mind goes to the story where Jesus and two of his disciples go up a mountain while the other disciples stay at the foot of the mountain. While they're there a father brings his child to the disciples at the foot of the mountain to be healed, but they cannot. When Jesus returns the father asks his help and Jesus heals the child. He the turns around and reprimands his disciples for not having the faith to perform the function. I think it's in Matthew 17.
Not to mention the fact that in the earliest gospel (mark) Jesus was unable to perform miracles at times, or tried and failed. In the early gospels, Jesus was much more human than divine, and that flipped around in the later gospels.
I suggest that in those ancient days, with the general lack of any scientific knowledge, it would have been easy to convince onlookers that something miraculous had taken place. It was not so different in medieval England, and you would probably have many people in the US of A now who would be easily convinced that "god" had taken a hand in things.
What were perceived as miracles would have had an easily explained origin if people had been ready to accept such and explanation.
The difference between snake oil and the miracles of Jesus are pretty vast. One doesn't do anything, one helped people blind from birth to see. The effects of those miracles gasn't stopped changing the world since.
Or they never happened. It's seems interesting to me that the earlier gospels (still written well after his death) contained less miracles and as later ones were written more miracles were added.
Mark 5 23
“My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.”
Matthew 9 18
“My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.”
So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.
Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.
Radman, In Mark 5, later on the daughter was thought to be dead. Jesus no, she is sleeping, well here is how that story ends. You left off the miracle part, so of course you would think he couldn't or didn't do it.....
"35 While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler's house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” 36 But overhearing[e] what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” 37 And he allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James and John the brother of James. 38 They came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and Jesus[f] saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. 39 And when he had entered, he said to them, “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but sleeping.” 40 And they laughed at him. But he put them all outside and took the child's father and mother and those who were with him and went in where the child was. 41 Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” 42 And immediately the girl got up and began walking (for she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement. 43 And he strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat."
So, I don't understand why you said what you said. Its like showing the first part of a story only, and saying it ended where you cut it off. In case you didn't know about how things went with the little girl she was okay due to a miracle of Jesus.
Sorry, you didn't understand, I read before and after the pieces I took out, but they were not relevant to me post. Look back at the scripture and you'll notice how they have changed. The earlier one was much less miraculous, which tells us the stories were be exaggerated. If the first one was written 70 years after the death of Jesus how much of what is said can be trusted.
I quoted from mark, the same book. It was incredibly miraculous, everyone thought she had died even. He said she was just sleeping. She was then fine. All in the book of mark.
As a completely unsolicited aside-the immaculate conception has nothing to do with Jesus. Jesus was born of a virgin. This is the virgin birth. The immaculate conception has to do with Mary.
That's what I meant. Both Joseph and Mary were from lines that came from the Israelites. So both were born of lines who had stuck to strict rules as far as who they can procreate with, what they can eat, and what they can do. This is very similar to how a breeder would control breeding. I think Jesus was the son of God in that He was created by God in an environment not totally under His control (free will) through His interactions with the Israelites.
Not even close.
The doctrine of Immaculate Conception has solely to do with Mary being conceived (unlike all other humans since Adam and Eve) without the stain of original sin. Sinless (like Jesus), only by grace from God, as opposed to by nature like Jesus.
It's an entirely Catholic doctrine. The virgin birth means only that no man had touched Mary prior to the conception of Jesus.
It's a very common misunderstanding among non-Catholics.
Wouldn't you say that that in a way diminishes what Jesus was able to accomplish? Wasn't it the fact that he was a human that made what he did so significant?
I'm the wrong person to ask that question. I hold a very traditional Trinitarian view of Jesus, meaning that I believe that he is a person in the Godhead. I also believe that he was both fully God and fully man. There is nothing that diminishes (in my eyes) the miracles of God. Whether performed by a human or not, a miracle is a miracle.
Not so much the miracles part as the no-sin part. Being human I always thought was what was so significant about that.
And it is. It's the fully God, fully man. As a human being, Jesus was subject to all the very same temptations that we were. I think that's where the whole Trinity thing becomes a stumbling block for most. It doesn't for me at all.
I'm not really anti-trinity. There was no real stumbling block for me. It just didn't appear to be Biblical to me. I read the Bible from cover to cover specifically without having it explained to me. Then I did it again, paying attention to the parts that I didn't get the first time around. I didn't want anyone else's interpretations clouding what I got from it.
I didn't come away with a sense of a Trinity. When I got around to comparing my beliefs to the beliefs of others, I honestly couldn't get where they got the idea from. Then I went researching and found the doctrine to be heavily influenced by politics, but not so much influenced by the Bible. I found that the verses that were supposedly supporting the doctrine were, to me, applied in ways that felt convoluted and agenda driven... and didn't even remotely match what I took away in my own reading.
Again, you know me. I speak only for myself and how I reached my own beliefs. That doesn't mean I believe them to be any better than anyone else's... except for the Dutch.
I can only say it works for me. I myself lean heavily on the gospel of John for who Jesus was/is. I've always felt that no human being without a spark of divinity could possibly resist the constant temptation to be a real ass. Jesus managed to do that, which left me convinced that he was either not human at all - which is clearly not the case - or he had to completely encompass divine love differently than any mere human, or any other god known to that point in history, was capable of. Does that make sense?
LOL, well if it works for you . I don't know, I think that every few millennium circumstances spit out a person who resists asshattedness... whether God guides this or it's just a happy accident. I like to think that it gives humanity a fighting chance. I can name a few such folks (I believe that Pope Francis might eventually end up in these ranks) and they tend to be considered holy because of it.
Well said, Motown2Chitown, and as is generally the case, you speak with love and respect.
The Trinity, while it reflects what can be seen in the Bible to some degree, and a word made by man, to me doesn't 100% express what I think could sum up the Spirit, Jesus, and God. I don't know if its fair to say that my views on it have lightened a little over time. I agree though that it does make what we see more understandable to some degree.
I wonder sometimes (and this is just me and my brain, lol) if what we are trying to explain by the Father, Jesus and the Spirit, just can't be put into words.... like Trinity doesn't do the whole thing justice. (It suffices for what its trying to do though I think.) Also, the very nature of Jesus is hard in the same way to define by saying he is both fully human and fully God. I know what is meant by that and I have always believed both of those things, as they were taught right alongside with things like John 3:16.
Its not that I don't now... I wonder if our words can capture it enough. I find myself just defaulting back to the very simple words, that are so profound too. I do believe in it all, Jesus, God, the Spirit.... they make up what God is in totality, we in part know what we do of God because of Jesus....even if it turns out he was just a man. I know he was no ordinary one, and he and the Father are one, and many saw him as blasphemous. He did SO many "god" things, that mere man can't do. Like forgiving sins as if with authority, (more than how you and I do if someone hurts us), his miracles.... not just over the human body, but nature, the spiritual realm, and I think power to create, to know more than he should know as a mere human..... Knew the future, knew mens hearts and minds.... was loving, encouraging to turn from sin, not wanting to stone when he could have.... his heart broke for people.... if only they would know, care, love, and come to the truth.
I think there are just no words... and I wish I had more time to go into it now, as always, its time...
I think a huge part of our problem with God in general is the inability to capture something so "beyond" with mere human language. Why we call God "he" when it's clearly indicated in scripture that both men and women are made in his image. It's something that sadly cannot be made rational or logical and we beat our heads against walls over and over to do that.
I agree, and was thinking a little more about the "he" example we use for God, when both sexes are made in his image. In that one sense, it seems most just do that even when they don't mean it, and some use she even, depending. As for examples where its done, we are in good company, as Jesus referred to him as Father, male. I probably just made the point, lol, but it did occur to me that it could be considered a good chance we are right in saying "he" if talking about that god. Its too bad Jesus didn't weigh in on so many things. Maybe its a good thing he didn't. One day all will be made very clear I believe.
Even the most conservative theologians, who have thought about it deeply, say that God has both male and female attributes (meaning emotional) and that God created two genders and the physical union between them (to relate a bit to TOS) as a symbol of union between humans and Himself. Not that we can have sex with God (I know that somebody is going to jump on that, no matter what) but that we can be one with Him.
Christian mysticism is a very difficult thing to explain, especially when a viewpoint that isn't, by nature, mystical has these elements in it.
That is an interesting idea, and what I said was a little different just in regards to the he, him, or Father, in God. The most conservative of theologians you mention probably do the same, which would make the point too. So I am taking it as just as an add on to what I said. In this one particular case, it isn't an effort to limit what God actually is, its just a simple and understandable way to refer to him, even as Jesus did. We would be in good company.
I'm a pretty firm believer that Jesus didn't weigh in on anything that ultimately doesn't matter. That being said, it's silly (and ultimately doesn't matter) for anyone to go on tirades about drinking, dancing, what we wear, what we eat, whether or not the television or the internet, or this book and that book are going to lead us straight to hell. The screaming arguments over what day should be the sabbath, whether or not Christians should obey Jewish law, etc.
I think he made it very clear what was important when he summed the commandments into two. If I fail in that, THAT matters. The rest ... just doesn't. I'm willing to answer at the end of the day for every single thing I do and every single thing I don't do, but I don't ever want to have to explain why I didn't break my neck trying to do the two things he said were the most important because I was too busy worrying about what everyone else was up to.
I have always said that the two commandments are the most important, in fact often in these forums it has come up as some want to focus on so many others as more important. Its a goal, and its work for sure. I was referring to not being anything strange at all, that we refer to God as a him or he, or Father, like Jesus did, in this particular case, because Jesus practiced that himself. (for the sake of this discussion.)
Well, for us to refer to God as "he" IMO isn't unreasonable at all, just possibly ... Incomplete. Jesus was clearly a man. He also referred to God as Father. Possibly, though, because that was how the people of his day referred to God. I don't think his language in any way meant to limit God. I see what you're saying. I just ran with the one point. Sorry, I'm only one cup of coffee into the day.
Good points, Motown2Chitown! We see this in Romans 14:17 - "For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit."
You know, to me at least, it really makes no difference whether he was human or not. The whole miracle thing never impressed me much either. So in a practical sense, it really is a non-issue to my faith... which is kind of ironic since that one belief defines my denomination.
However, just because it's largely a non-issue doesn't mean I'm suddenly going to believe in a Trinity. I've read the Bible, I know the history and I've reached my own conclusions. I guess it was a really big deal at some point, and obviously it's still a big deal to some trinitarians... to me, it just gets in the way.
(Edited to point out that Mo and I just gave completely contradictory views. Proving that we are not the same person... or maybe we are two members of the same person... if only Jason were here, we could form our own Trinity)
How would Jesus being God diminish what He did? I admit I don't understand that statement.
I was always under the impression that what Jesus accomplished within his lifetime, living a life without sin, was made all the more significant because he truly was human. He did what no other human could do, though he was just as human as we are. If he were not entirely human, but part God, I would think that would diminish that accomplishment as it would be easier for him, one would presume, than it would be for anyone else.
He is fully human as He is fully God. That's a tough one for a lot of people, as I've seen over and over again in these forums. So many people (and this is true of the way people implicitly talk about Him within Christian circles that I'm aware of) treat Him as if the fact that He is God is it, that He really isn't human at all (not all that unlike so many non-Chrisians, who latch onto that and can't seem to get any farther.)
To be sure, the whole 'life lived sinlessly' is the more remarkable because He is fully human. BUT, His going up on the cross would have been meaningless if He were only human, because human sacrifice is specifically forbidden in the Mosaic Law (a fact that Deborah Sexton kept hitting over and over again, and no matter how many times I agreed with her she kept acting like I simply had not heard her.) Only God sacrificing Himself could have removed all of mankind's sin forever.
So he was God and not his son or a human. And how again does God killing himself (well not really) absolve all sin? Was God feeling guilty for something he did wrong to he punished himself to show us he was sorry? Because that's how animal sacrifices work right? But I still don't see what that has to do with us?
Please understand that I am not at all being smug or arch or arrogant when I say this, but you just illustrated my point so beautifully. I said that Jesus is both fully God and fully Human. I also said that so many people (both Christian and not) see that phrase and instantly translate as "He is God" and stop there. And you did exactly that.
He is God, to be sure, but He is also a human being. Flesh and blood, needing to eat and sleep, and yes, He can and He definitely did experience death. The further explanation really means nothing unless you accept that.
So I have to except that Jesus was both God and human at the same time and experienced death although he at least knew what was on the other side whereas we do not before you will answer my question about how God sacrificing himself had anything to do with us?
Sorry, but he was not fully human if he understood the universe from the perspective of someone who created it. He's not fully human if he has powers that we don't.
So I guess you won't be explaining how God sacrificing himself absolved our sins. Maybe someone else will.
Actually you just explained it yourself, you simply refuse to accept it.
The whole point of Jesus is that He is fully God and He is fully human. I'm not in any way refusing to explain anything to you. One of the things about God is that He can do things that we can't, or even fully understand. And being fully God and fully human is one of those things.
God sacrificing Himself is the only thing that could absolve us of our sins. The animal sacrifices only took away specific sins, any new ones needed new sacrifices. Human sacrifice (as the Jews well understood) is specifically forbidden in the OT, so the sacrifice even of the Messiah (as the Jews understand the Messiah) would not absolve anybody of any sins. But if God sacrificed the only thing that is always true and pure and holy, Himself, then we would be absolved of our sins for all time. But the sacrifice still needed to be one who understood the suffering and temptations of humans (hence, Jesus being fully human.) But (and again, this is in the OT and the Jews would have completely understood this) "the life is in the blood" and it is only the blood that can take away sin.
These are all points I've explained to you before, and just as before you simply say, "No." But to act like I'm refusing to explain anything to you is not true.
Being "fully" something usually means 100%, hence there is no room for something else being mixing into it, especially something else that is also 100%, especially considering they are two completely different things that contradict one another. Funny, how you can't see this purely snakeoil salesman tactic.
So, we can't understand what you claim to be is true. Funny stuff, Chris.
God did not sacrifice himself, specifically because Gods can't die, unless you have some evidence that not only gods exist, but they can die, too.
Some guy was arrested and convicted for crimes against the Roman state and was sentenced to crucifixion, this occurred many, many times throughout Roman history.
Those who are scared often laugh.
I'm not laughing.
Scared of what? There are many, many things that people think exist that have no proof that I'm not afraid of. There is nothing to be afraid of from religion except for its extremist followers.
How much time do you spend living in fear of Zeus? Allah? Posiden? Bigfoot? Aliens?
Now, if followers of Thor were to resurface and carve out a 1500 year history of burning and torturing anyone who dared disagree with them, I might be a little uneasy about the followers. Not Thor himself, since I don't believe he exists.
Which response would you focus on?
a) True, but Zeus and Thor don't exist. God does.
b) It's still a bit historically shortsighted to reduce the impact of a religion to the followers of it you happen to dislike, or at least dislike the most.
Both, of course, are true but most people would notice one and not the other.
Yes, and the followers of those other gods, well at least Allah, would say the same about their God, and disagree with you about yours. Saying it is great, and all, but it's meaningless. Are you afraid of your God? If so, is that a good reason to grovel and worship something? Are you ever afraid of another good that you're not worshiping who might be real? Doubtful.
The impact of a religion has nothing to do with whether or not that religion is actually true. Most religious people think that their religion is true, otherwise they wouldn't follow them. So the heck what?
Yes, actually being afraid of God is a very good reason to worship.
And I disagree that the impact of a religion has nothing to do with whether or not it's true. We both know enough history to know that whether you agree with that statement or not, the impact of a religion is much bigger and wider than whether you're faced with the least pleasant followers of that religion. That is so the heck what.
Lol fear is a horrible reason to believe and worship something. Again, mob mentality. Believe in and worship me, or I'll roast you forever. That's not something worthy of worship. Any God that would be the "greatest that could be conceived" wouldn't need worship. Your God sounds like a petulant child having a temper tantrum. He's had an eternity to grow up, and this is where he in his infinite perfection and wisdom landed? I know junior high school students more mature than that, and they don't have to bully people to be well liked.
Christianity is not the only successful religion. They can't all be right, but they can all be wrong. Aside from some warm fuzzy feelings and stories, you have no more proof of your deity of choice than any of those other religions do. You just say it's true because you believe it's true, and you've invested yourself in it and you WANT it to be true. That's the only difference. You cannot prove it. You cannot demonstrate it. You can repeat yourself forever, but there is no reason whatsoever for me to believe you and choose yours out of any others. You cannot give me one good reason that doesn't appeal to authority, popularity, personal experience, emotion, great or another fallacy.
I know a God who is way more mature than what you describe as well. I've been through that there's more to it than that before. Often. And yes, even with you. So if you're going to direct a question at me, get a direct answer, and base an entire argument on that answer even though you already know (or should know) that my reasoning is much deeper than that, then maybe we should discuss maturity. Not God's though...
You know, I really think more highly of you than such a cheap set-up scenario.
So that's a no, you're not going to discuss it with me, you're going to talk about my character and maturity instead? Is this your new favorite trick or an I just next on your list after rad and Melissa?
I don't know, am I next on the list as well? Because honestly, I feel like I walked into an honest conversation and got suckered into a sermon about the evils of religion. When I was talking about the impact of religion you responded with the old saw about my NEED to be right. Thanks. Rad done it. ED done it. ATM done it. ATW done it. And Rad wonders why my attitude changed. So now you done it too.
If this is about my attitude, then outline that from the start. If this is about the impact of religion (which is where I was going) there is an historical argument that has nothing to do with whether the religion is 'true' or not, and I thought I was clear about my going in that direction. And that discussion has nothing whatsoever to do with whether I AM right, or whether I NEED to be right.
I'm sorry, but what the heck are you taking about? Did I miss the memo that I was supposed to know which direction you were headed for when we started talking? You see no need to be afraid of any God Except for yours. Since I don't believe in any proposed God, I'm not afraid of any of then. I am afraid, however, of the actions of extremist followers of those gods. Extremists are dangerous. I don't know where the rest of That came from. I didn't say anything that I haven't said to you before. If that means I get lumped in with other people, so be it.
But that wasn't the only thing I said. Far from it.
It was the only thing you latched onto, though.
The level of snarkiness that each side is willing to put up with seems to be in direct relation to whether they like what is being said.
And I've said this before and I will in all likelihood say it again, but the constant (well, maybe not constant, but you are neither the first nor the only person to do this) hammering on 'you believe this because you NEED to be right' is crap. It really is the flip side of 'you reject God because you love your sin.' It fits beautifully with a desire to keep things simple and understandable for your side (as the loving the sin thing does for mine) but it stops conversation in its tracks. It stereotypes the person you are talking to (or about) and really robs them of a certain level of humanity. I've spent a great deal of time thinking about (and trying to adjust my thinking on) such things and trying very hard to see everyone as an individual and a human being, not just some sort of programmed set of responses that when they don't behave in ways I like I can say, "Oh, well yeah but what can you expect because you love your sin," or, "But what can you expect, you NEED to be right."
And believe it or not, it is my Christianity that has done this, because I think about what it means when the Bible says that "ALL men are created in the image of God" and when Jesus said, "Love your neighbor as you would yourself."
I'm going though a crisis right now, so I may be a little more forceful than I should be, but one thing is true no matter how even-keeled or how out-of-kilter I react to them, I did consider Rad my friend and his actions have shown that he really doesn't seem to think much of Christianity. I really do think of you as a friend but I do feel like I was set up for a lecture about my psychological NEED to be right. Both of these stances, not tempered by any statement to the effect of "I like you but" or "You're a nice guy but I just don't agree," give the impression that neither of you think as much of our friendship as I do. I hope I'm wrong. And if I am, I will gladly say, "I'm sorry, I was wrong." I've done it before.
I'm sorry, but I never said you need to be right, and I was never going to go into a psychological diatribe about the need of your religion for comfort or security or anything else. I said that you want your beliefs to be true because you're invested in them, and you genuinely believe them to be absolutely true. Want is not need, and if you're going to simultaneously put words in my mouth and respond to things I didn't say, then turn around and talk about how I latched on to one thing you actually said and responded to it, it seems a bit disingenuous. You're playing cards on both sides of the table, and then complaining that I only responded to one part of your post - the part you didn't want me to latch on to, apparently. None of us respond to everything. We formulate our responses on something that stands out, or something that seems important. While at the same time, you're free to jump to conclusions and assume what I'm going to say. Do you not see what a double standard that is, and why it may be a problem?
I've said it before and I'll say it again - perhaps people shouldn't be active in the forums when they're going through personal crisis. It leads to a lot of emotional crap and misunderstandings that wouldn't exist if both people were level headed.
So you response to my question is:
"Why response a), of course!"
It's special pleading to plead that of all the Gods that people have in the past and at present believed in, your's is real because he is special and different from the rest.
It just struck me as ironic that someone who relied so heavily on Appeal to Popularity not so long ago would now come at me with "that's special pleading."
Where specifically did I rely on the appeal to popularity?
Are you serious? Just because you don't think you did, you can't possibly have forgotten so soon where I pointed it out over and over again.
You are going to have to show me because I simply don't believe you.
Well, if it's any consolation I'm finding you a bit unbelievable right now too. We did it, if you've blocked it I'm not going back through fifteen or twenty pages of this thread to find it.
Can't even tell me what it was about? Just a blanket statement of a logical fallacy that used? And I'm being unbelievable?
You don't remember the whole "we all know" series of postings? It wasn't even a week ago.
Hmmmm. I wasn't arguing that slavery is a bad thing. I assume that we all know that (we all know that right?). I'm okay and your okay stuff. My point was to find out why people would defend it when it was condoned in a holy book.
Some reasoned that the book must not be perfect, others reasoned that they were not even talking about slavery and still others said slavery was perfectly except-able as was beating said slaves within an inch of their lives. Some even said that death was the only available punishment forgetting of course that the go to punishment for sin was to kill a goat that you couldn't eat.
I assume that's what you are talking about right?
Yes, but the discussion went a whole lot deeper than that. And we've had it, I really don't want to rehash what was said.
Okay well you accused me of using the appeal to popularity fallacy but you don't seem to want to show me where and how?
I'll make a deal with you. We went over and over and over this. So I will drag all this back up on the following conditions:
A) You acknowledge that I actually did show this to you before and you think so little of me that you feel no problem acting as if I said nothing.
B) You agree to revisit the superego thing and acknowledge a certain ongoing lack of sensitivity and empathy on your part in the whole ordeal.
C) You make these statements in a forum post first, and then I will go back and dredge up all the old posts and revisit this with you.
Because seriously, dude, we went around on this for a week, and it was only about a week ago. So if you don't remember it, that says a lot, and none of it nice.
Sacrificing animals wasn't "punishment" but atonement. Two separate things. Punishments were death, banishment, compensation... They didn't have all the police, jails, prisons, etc. of our day. Their ability to punish was limited compared to ours.
"I wasn't arguing that slavery is a bad thing. I assume that we all know that (we all know that right?)."
Alright, I'm sure I'll catch some grief for this, but I want to bring this up for purely conversational reasons. Social development, like everything else, is an evolutionary process. In a pride of lions, there's generally a male who beats up the weaker males in the pride to ensure his social status amongst the females and that he gets first dibs on the results of the hunt. By our modern "civilized" sensibilities, he's being kind of an ass. Do you think that's "wrong" of him to behave that way? To use his advantage in strength like that?
What if slavery was a necessary step in our social evolution? You're talking like God should have come down and changed everything humans established to show He was "forward thinking". But what you don't seem to take into consideration is that if the God of this story is actually real, in a world where we know evolution is real, then wouldn't our social development be an evolution as well? Would it really be beneficial in the long run to remove what might actually be a fundamental step in our social development? Slavery from very early on was a very widespread thing that happened on just about every continent. This was the dynamic for a long time. Before there was an economy to support a working class, there was this.
I'm posing this from the perspective you're speaking from. You seem to think that if this God were legitimate then He should have condemned this behavior right from the get go. Yet you know the world we live in has become what it is through a developmental process. You seem to think there's this definite line in the sand where right and wrong is clear. Yet, from your perspective where nothing is deliberate, how could that be? How could there really be a logical answer and a tangible line between what's "good" and "bad" in that environment? It's just all atoms bouncing off of one another. If there is something today, in the 21st century, that we perceive as a tangible moral line, then it is the history that brought us to this point that defined it. A history that includes a lot of slavery. In fact, a common example given today in the argument that all people should be treated equally is to recall slavery. It's taught us something, hasn't it? So would it have really been the best thing to eradicate it back then, right at the beginning? Would we be where we are today, or in some better/worse place, if He had? Is that really a fair standard to judge this God?
I'd have to agree with you here. Even if you don't take that into account you have to look at the history. Abraham was one guy. From the time he was called out of the land of Ur the story follows one family. One family can't make great social upheavals. To suggest that they could somehow live in a manner completely at odds with the rest of the world they lived in is a little ludicrous.
The original nation of Israel was peopled with those who had been slaves themselves for centuries. Now, we can argue that slaves should have been able to see the inherent problems with the institution of slavery; but they appeared to have bought into the culture since their rules included how to treat slaves. It would be like us arguing today of the evils of the fiat money system. We see the problems; but we have no viable solutions and some of us are benefiting from the system so wouldn't be inclined to make drastic changes.
I think it is important that Jesus never commented on the institution of slavery. Why? Because his focus was never on the government. It was only on the individual. Those who came after him, who did comment, followed his lead and didn't focus on the legal laws; only on what they considered to be appropriate conduct within those laws.
Isn't slavery an individual thing as well? Should he have not commented on murder as well? Are you saying perhaps slavery isn't morally objectionable therefore he had nothing to say about it?
Good points, Emile R. And I'd add that Jesus focused on the Kingdom of Heaven, not the kingdoms of earth.
Why do those in the south no longer keep slaves? Is it because they have given it reason and enough thought that they decided to set them free? Do you remember a while back a man was caught keep three girls as slaves in his house for something like ten years, did he let them go because he reason and gave thought to keeping these young girls as slaves and decided it wasn't the right thing to do? Is slavery is active today? Sure it is, but why? Don't these people stealing girls and making them sex slaves reason that they are doing something wrong? Look further at the Muslim group in Africa who took a few hundred girl and are threatening to sell them as sex slaves? Why don't they just know it wrong?
Guess what? We need laws in place and the North had to fight to free the southern slaves. What exactly have we learned in the last 3 thousand years of slavery? We need laws in place to prevent it.
Your God of the bible put all kinds of laws in place regarding killing, homosexuality, virginity, disobedient children, but he left out slavery. We still need laws in place today to prevent slavery because there are those who will steal you or your children and keep you locked for as long as they like.
We have (according to the bible) a group of slaves who fought for their release because they hated being slaves, but it didn't take them long to keep slaves and do it in a guilt free way. And guess what? That very same book that was used by those people to support slavery was used to support slavery in the south.
Why does the bible have laws against murder? Turns out we need such laws in place. Some people still murder because they understand what's wrong with it.
Why doesn't the bible have laws preventing slavery? Turns out we need such laws in place. Some people still keep slaves because they are unable to understand what's wrong with it.
Why did it take us thousands of years to put laws in place preventing slavery? Perhaps you may think the bible shouldn't have need to put laws in place against murder because that would have been part of human development. Imagine if the bible not only didn't put laws in place preventing murder but specified when it's reasonable to murder your neighbour?
I don't think you're getting what I'm saying. Those laws you're talking about. Where humanity reached the conclusion that it had to stop. That's what I'm talking about. Humanity eventually reached the point that it was determined it needed to end slavery. It was a progression that led to this modern age where we protect the individual's rights. The moral line you speak of as if it's this tangible line in the sand, had to be arrived at. What you're talking about would have tampered with that progression.
So, what I'm trying to get at is if God had done what you seem to think He should have, that very well could have altered and impacted the progression that led us to where we are today. Do you see what I mean? It would be like tampering with history. For example, if you had a time machine, would you go back in time and try to implement democracy in places like England where they've been a monarchy for generations? As we know England eventually adopted democracy, but probably wouldn't have been ready before the point where they naturally accepted it.
That's what I'm trying to get at. Everything is an evolving process. Each phase we go through shapes us and prepares us for the next. Removing phases along the way would be like pulling foundational bricks out from beneath our feet. Like the way an individual goes through being an infant to adolescence to childhood, eventually to adulthood. And each of those phases are important. Cultures are the same way. It's a progression. They have to grow and learn and make mistakes and learn from them.
The Butterfly Effect - Good movie, makes similar points as you are here.
Yes, Spartacus, and every slave he freed, and every person of every town and village where his army defeated the Romans were determined to end slavery, many years before the Christ was even born, yet the New Testament doesn't even acknowledge or support this huge message of freedom from slavery.
So, where is the evolution of Christianity? Or Islam? Why are it's followers still steeped in believing in Bronze Age myths and behaving with the same barbarism of that time?
Sure, that's fine, your religious beliefs were a necessity for that time, but we have now "evolved" well beyond that time of ignorance and violence. Don't you think it's time to put Christianity and Islam on the shelf along with the other ancient texts of mythical gods?
"Yes, Spartacus, and every slave he freed, and every person of every town and village where his army defeated the Romans were determined to end slavery, many years before the Christ was even born, yet the New Testament doesn't even acknowledge or support this huge message of freedom from slavery."
What I don't think you're getting is that it's totally beside the point. Humanity had to find its own way. Had to establish its social norms and such. And as we've seen in this modern age, this history steeped with things like slavery has brought us to an age where we value the worth of the individual. Expecting the message of the OT or NT to be this ideal you hold in mind of what it should have addressed is missing the whole point. We eventually got there, but we had to take all the steps that lead here to get here.
This is the environment that humans of their own free will created. Before there was an economy that could support a working class, there was this dynamic.
"So, where is the evolution of Christianity? Or Islam? Why are it's followers still steeped in believing in Bronze Age myths and behaving with the same barbarism of that time?
Sure, that's fine, your religious beliefs were a necessity for that time, but we have now "evolved" well beyond that time of ignorance and violence. Don't you think it's time to put Christianity and Islam on the shelf along with the other ancient texts of mythical gods?"
That's part of what I'm trying to get at. It's important for everyone, believers included, to place these stories in the right context and to understand that the world they're told in is no longer the world we live in. So attempting to apply some of the same ideas as if we still live in a comparable environment is a mistake.
But no, I don't think its time to shelve these religious beliefs because they still deal with something that's very much relevant. We're still free willed beings capable of good/evil. Like what I was trying to point out to Rad, from your viewpoint it doesn't make any sense that one could employ reason to reach any sort of concrete conclusion in regards to what's "right" and what is "wrong". If we're the product of a cause/effect universe, not deliberately created and for no deliberate purpose, then it doesn't make sense that there'd even be a true "right" and "wrong". In fact, anything that we're physically capable of, that these physical forms make us capable of, is "right". What is wrong we shouldn't even be physically capable of. It doesn't make sense, given this environment, that we even have a willful choice. If we do then our behaviors are not solely determined by cause/effect. The capability to behave free of cause/effect is the only reason a discussion about what's "right" and "wrong" is even relevant. Therefore, so is religion.
Having been absent from this forum for a week or so, thanks for your latest post, Headly. I am encouraged to move the discussion along a bit by dropping another big pebble in the pond.
I have just searched for information about the "Seven Deadly Sins."
Coupled with those are the "Seven Virtues."
Maybe the most relevant "Sin" in this forum is Lust. Would you, Headly or anyone else, agree that this is at the basis of argument when it comes to sexuality?
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/emo … difference Judith Orloff, M.D., gives a most interesting and insightful account here. Worth reading and giving a lot of thought to.
Lust is top of the list of "Sins," and usually placed opposite to the virtue of "Love" which, in our modern understanding, incorporates all of those Seven Virtues, not a single entity like Charity which is placed 3rd down the list. Yet Lust is obviously an important part of our lives, not something to be despised. Granted, it needs to be controlled somewhat in our complex social lives, otherwise it can take charge. (Lust and Greed are very big factors in much of advertising.)
So, if all the other Sins are important, even though placed lower down the list than Lust, why do we tend to disregard those other Sins and mostly give little attention to the positives of Virtue?
Wrong. It's Sloth.
Sloth, then Wrath, then Pride, then Gluttony, then Greed, then Envy, and then Lust.
I don't know if the sins are listed in order of importance, and I've personally never thought of sexual sin as more serious than others, BUT if lust is of the utmost importance, the clue seems to be in the corresponding list of virtues, since love and lust are the opposites. Lust's greatest destructive force it seems would be its perversion of the greatest positive force - love.
We're also directly told something of the unique nature of sexual sin within the Word (though not necessarily implying lust / sexual sin is worse as a sin, but perhaps worse for us) - "Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body." (1 Corinthians 6:18)
I think people focus on lust to the exclusion of other sins for a variety of reasons, including the interest factor, and the ease of scapegoating people with this particular tendency - "The sins of some are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them." (1 Timothy 5:24) Pride, sloth, etc. may be more subtle, so less easily scapegoated.
Cat333, did you get to reading that bit by Dr. Orloff? Her points are worth considering carefully, and a discussion about that might be useful here.
Sorry, lust and love are not opposites. The opposite of love would be animosity. One can love someone and also lust for someone. The opposite of lust would be apathy.
Please note I was referring to love and lust as opposites in the list Jonny provided; I do not necessarily consider them to be the opposites of each other in any general sense. Love and lust are said to be opposites in that lust is self-seeking and love is focused on the loved one. I was pointing out that lust may be a perversion of love, the greatest force.
I don't know any order to the sins. I've never considered lust to be worse than the others. However, I do know sexual sins are unique, as stated in Scripture, because they are committed against our own bodies. But if I were taking a quiz and asked to list the sins I thought were most serious I'd say 1) pride and arrogance against God, and 2) hate, lack of forgiveness, apathy, an unmerciful heart, etc. - seems to be whatever is anti-love. I agree the opposite of love is generally speaking animosity (though animosity can imply a certain element of love turned sour).
Btw, just as we can love and lust after the same person, we can also love and hate the same thing, so that which we call opposite does not necessarily require a mutually exclusive relationship.
Just an aside here. Satan was thrown out of heaven because of pride. All sins stem from this one, the first which is the worst, in my opinion.
Glad you are back Jonny. Didn't know you were banned until I saw it mentioned in the forums, yesterday, I think.
Just supposing "Satan" is simply another metaphor depicting our human tendencies, and not referring to an actual "person." Would that alter your understanding at all?
Not really. Even if Satan is simply a metaphor, the evilness he represents is there. All humans are capable of doing horrific things.
And of course, the key word in that sentence is "capable". However, being capable of doing something does not mean we'll do it. We find that the vast majority of people rarely if ever do the things they are capable of doing, whether it is good or bad for them or for others.
If they have been given an ideology that commands them to do things they normally wouldn't do, we might very well find that ideology to be the source of the evilness you refer.
That's just human nature. Other animals are capable of doing horrific things as well. Claiming that Satan is responsible is dishonest. It's akin to blaming something you did wrong on a friend, only in this case that friend doesn't even exist. Our wrong doing can be properly explained with psychology.
I don't believe in the idea of Satan, but I do think you are over extending on this one. We can't, yet, accurately explain wrong doing through psychology. If we could, wouldn't we be able to prevent some of the atrocities we see going on? Wouldn't we have been able to identify the root cause of criminal acts in such a manner as to root them out before they were perpetrated? I would think the psychologists would have come to a consensus on the reasons behind the mass shootings problem we are experiencing. Heck, we'd have a great early warning system in place, if we could explain wrong doing through psychology.
Either way, psychologists consistently disagree. Those who do wrong have a defense team who sends in an 'expert' witness as to why they did what they did. The prosecution sends in an 'expert' witness to refute those claims. If we could explain things through psychology I would think that would imply they would need to be in agreement.
There most certainly are psychological profiles and many people are prevented from so things that will hurt others by trained professionals.
But the prevention isn't what I'm talking about. It's the psychology of what goes on in the mind when someone acts on an impulse that hurts others. Why some people are more impulsive than others? A friend of mine admits to having always been impulsive, acting on things he wants without regard for others. He's also fooled around on his wife many times and when caught blame his wife. No need to blame the devil.
Although I can agree with your assertion that there is no reason to blame a figure called satan, I think you are grossly oversimplifying in order to believe we have a better understanding of the intricacies of the workings of the human mind than we currently possess.
..... but surely the "devil" is within himself, and that is what he finds most difficult to address, honestly, fairly and squarely.
I only see something as a "Sin" if it adversely affects another person, a real person, or persons. I find no need to substitute an imaginary person that would take away the blame from my self.
How can any imaginary person be concerned with what I do in my life? How can an imaginary "god" turn against me for having a loving relationship with another person, even if my love for that person began with a fair amount of lust? Substitute that imaginary person with a real person who might or might not know me, personally, and you immediately have the person responsible for applying judgment upon me. There is no "god" involved, beyond the "devil" within that other person who is doing the judging. That person doing the judging needs to turn in upon him or her self, and deal with the "devil" within.
Similarly in my own life, if there is any greed, or sloth, etc., within my own life, that is going to affect others around me, to their detriment. It is my responsibility to deal with it, no one else's. The same with any other action or intention that I do or have. To pass the issues onto another imaginary person is, for me, sheer escapism.
Sir Dent didn't actually say anything about Satan being responsible in that post (though he may or may not believe he is). He said even if Satan were a metaphor, the evilness he represents is there. Representing something is different than being responsible for something.
I see responsibility as multifaceted. If a person has an evil desire, and at the same time demonic forces encourage it, and other people and society at large encourage it, I'm going to consider that the person himself, the demonic forces and the other people / societal influences are all in part responsible. Jesus said, "If anyone causes one of these little ones to sin..." We all need to take personal responsibility, yet responsibility goes beyond the individual.
Psychology appears to have limits in its explanations. It also sometimes does a poor job of predicting (e.g. professionals have a poor rate at predicting suicidal behavior). We need to be careful to avoid being overconfident in any of the sciences, including psychology, recognizing their limitations.
An interesting way to look at it for sure. It could be at its base, about lust mostly.
I have a general thought/question as a response that comes to mind if this is about sin...
Is there anything we can think of that would explain the one sin being encouraged to explore and be celebrated over all the others, if this is about sin? Also, encouraged for the populace to feel the same as those celebrating this one in particular?
If this is about sin, what is kind of happening is a lot of people attempting to relabel it as NOT a sin. Then they are painted as horrible people, hateful or bigoted, hypocritical, etc.
Could this explain what is seen as special emphasis on one sin over the others? Sometimes, just sometimes, this whole debate is portrayed as, or seems a bit opposite of what I a think it's actually about. I think most want to "live and let live", and just don't want others trying to force anything on them anymore than the other group does. I am not speaking of particular people here, but of the collective group and society in general.
Edit: I'm not going to lie and say that I don't have my own sins I struggle against and many others do also I'm sure. I'm trying to get to what is making these "treated" differently as seems inherent in the question/observation that arise. It's how they are being pushed into society above and beyond just our own lives perhaps, and how they are being defined? ( Maybe?). It makes sense if so, to me.
I think we might see a similar response if any of the sins were being treated in such ways, what do you all think?
"Kidnappers must be put to death, whether they are caught in possession of their victims or have already sold them as slaves." (Exodus 21:16)
Looks like there were laws against making slaves of people by force, though it wouldn't include war situations, in which case slavery may have been the more desirable situation (as opposed to death) in that time/place.
Irrelevant if the God we speak of actually is "special and different" and the evidence of him being special and different is there for us to see. Study all the prophesies within the Word, study not only what's been recorded in the past as being fulfilled, but what has been fulfilled within the lifetimes of many alive today, and indeed what is being fulfilled right now!
No other "god" has fulfilled exactly what his messengers prophesied. God has. Check it out for yourself.
The fallacy of special pleading is not the same as saying your God is special. Hell, all believers in all religions say that, so it's special pleading again. Look it up for yourself.
Think outside the box for a minute. Your fallacies are nothing but human-made constructs. The fallacy of special pleading is based on ideas that are only relevant if the truth would not in fact be special.
I don't honor the fallacies; I consider them an unrecognized form of game-playing. They have no ability to bring us any closer to truth except as understood and controlled by us limited people. Truth is neither controllable nor obtained through controlled methods.
If you're only interested in making arguments, in debating, in making a case, then you're not really looking for the truth that exists far above and beyond all this.
Sure, you reject logical fallacies because you can't make an argument that ISN'T fallacious. you rely on one fallacy right after the other to make a case that cannot and does not stand on its own merit based on the evidence. Logical fallacies are known and recognized in the academic and philosophical world and in the world of formal and informal debates, and it's well known that arguments based on them are really not worth consideration because they are fallacious. I'm not surprised by your position, although your post did make me laugh in a very stressful time - so thank you for that. For someone who has repeatedly stated that they're not impressed by academics and intellect and scholarship, yet turns around and claims to be in the highest intellectual percentile, I can understand why the hurdles of non-fallacious reasoning must be a problem for you.
It's altogether possible that you don't accept logical fallacies because you don't know what they are. Try making a case without them. Look them up. Understand them. Maybe then you'd gain a little bit of headway. Until then, there is really no reason for anyone to consider any argument that you make.
______________________________________________________Special pleading is a formal logical fallacy where a participant demands special considerations for a particular premise of theirs. Usually this is because in order for their argument to work, they need to provide some way to get out of a logical inconsistency — in a lot of cases, this will be the fact that their argument contradicts past arguments or actions. Therefore, they introduce a "special case" or an exception to their rules.
While this is acceptable in genuine special cases, it becomes a formal fallacy when a person doesn't adequately justify why the case is special.
Formal debate, though, is a lynchpin of theology. And the study and avoidance of fallacies is very much a part of the academic world of deeply religious people. These people may (whether we're talking about Protestant or Catholic or Muslim) hold views about God that they can't "prove" to non-believers but they still try to keep rigorous academic and intellectual standards. It's the backbone of apologetics.
I agree that we as humans are limited, and that fact remains even if there were no God. And by nature, God knows things that we can't know. But that's not an excuse from trying to be as intellectually honest and rigorous as we can.
Thank you for saying what I was trying to say much more concisely and eloquently than I could have. That's what I was trying to explain exactly.
I don't see the "game" of the fallacies as honest at all. The focus shifts from the truth to the game / the the debate, the tactics.
It looks a lot like what happens in the court room. I was once subpoenaed as a witness for a client. This young man's life was at stake. But it was like the judge and the lawyers were playing a game, looking for who could make the better argument, who could say it better. The judge would actually looked amused, make points regarding their tactics, etc. They seemed to have lost sight of the boy and seemed less interested in the truth than the game. Sickening to witness.
The truth cannot be obtained by adherence to any human-made rules of debate. If you and others want to use them, that's fine. I'm not impressed with them. A person can stick to every rule and avoid every fallacy and be as wrong as they can be. Another can break every rule according to the fallacies and tell 100% truth.
But you cannot claim to come to your beliefs through logic, as you and several others have, if you rely on logical fallacies to make your case. If you admit that your beliefs are through faith and not necessarily logical, it's not a problem. But you can't claim logic, then use logical fallacies to make your case, refute others etc. It's disingenuous and you can't have it both ways.
It's been proven that intuition is wrong when not used as it was evolved to use. Reason comes to the correct answer. You are claiming intuition is correct and reason is wrong? Can you supply evidence that reason and logic produces wrong answers?
I didn't suggest we use intuition instead of reason, though I understand that to the natural mind these are the limited options. How can you even say "reason comes to the correct answer" - You really think humans are so all-knowing, they if they just use their "reason" they'll come to all the correct answers?
Reason and logic produce wrong answers all the time, but are only recognized as wrong AFTER new discoveries. So for example, our reason and logic would tell us that drinking the bottled water is healthy because water is known to be healthy. But then we discover that the bottled water was sitting in excessive heat and so is dangerous because of the cancer-causing parts that leaked into the water when exposed to heat.
I haven't seen those strictly adhering to the human-designed rules regarding logical fallacies getting any closer to the truth or demonstrating their cases more convincingly, whether believers or unbelievers. In fact, it looks like the logical fallacies are a distraction and an excuse for avoiding genuine openness to the truth.
Listen to what you're saying. "Reason comes to the correct answer'? If this is just a cold, unintended, cause/effect universe where atoms bouncing off one another and interacting with one another creates all we experience, how could there even be a "correct answer" to reach? What defines what is "correct" and what isn't? If this reality wasn't intended and not created for any specific purpose, if it's just the result of how matter behaves in the environment the physical laws create, then how can there be one answer that's "correct" over another? There's what's true and what isn't. Beyond that there can be no "right" and "wrong". Not to mention something like reason emerging that's capable of deciphering between right and wrong. How does any of that make sense from your viewpoint? It makes perfect sense from mine, of course. But in this unintended/undeliberate universe scenario, you're speaking of things that presumably just came about haphazardly, yet are capable of reaching concrete conclusions about what's "right" and what's "wrong". It just doesn't jive to put your faith in something like reason to lead us down the "right" path, assuming reason came about just as everything else did.
I'm not sure that John Calvin would agree with that. I'm a believer in the supernatural and certainly there are truths that can't be explained to people who can't see it, but that does not free us from the necessity of avoiding fallacies. That's not really a game. Fallacies can be misapplied and misunderstood, like anything else, but even in the religious world, if we abandon intellectual rigor as "a game of men" then we basically say that anything goes, and the person who honestly believes that God is an alien on a planet with 100 wives would be just as valid as the person who believes God the omnipotent Creator of the Universe. And not just to people who are prone to loudly stating that all religion is ridiculous.
I suppose since God has created us all with unique components and has different plans for different people, one is desired and/or needed who respects the logical fallacies and another who does not. May God bless you as you continue in the truth and love of Jesus Christ.
And yet, that's what we find with "deeply religious people", the constant use of fallacies in almost everything they say.
Sorry, but apologetics have very little academic or intellectual standards, if any at all. In fact, they often deny or reject facts and evidence. They work entirely on a belief system, just like most other believers.
We know things God doesn't know, like morals and ethics, cosmology, biology and physics.
We still await that beginning, but it has yet to make any traction.
I have, but once again claiming that your version of God is special and different is special pleading. How is that different the the Muslims pleading that their version of God is special and different?
They're gonna be in so much trouble once Odin finally wakes from his Odinsleep.
You said you have looked into all the fulfilled Scriptures - then you can see for yourself that they are being fulfilled. Now go look into other religious texts - No fulfilled prophesies.
Who cares what anyone claims? Compare for yourself - the inspired Word alone makes prophesies that are fulfilled.
Seek God in truth, keep on seeking, and he will be found by you.
Seek truth, keep on seeking, and it will be found by you.
Notice how I can take your sentence and use Occam's razor and make it still work?
So? Truth is still truth only if it is truth. If you really want to find Truth then seek it in truth. Not by human-made formulas and the like. Just seek him.
You know some things are true, even if you can't prove it - for example, you know it's true that racism is wrong, even if you can't prove it and no matter what twisted cases were made for it. Truth is still truth.
Actually I can demonstrate why racism is wrong and can demonstrate why slavery is wrong and those are simply descriptions of human behaviours. A belief in a God is also a description of human behaviour, that behaviour can be demonstrated, but the Gods can't be, therefore there is no way of KNOWING any or all are real.
The second one (b) is a red herring, it has nothing to do with answering the question.
The first one (a) would show a deep detachment from acknowledging other peoples beliefs, let alone the use of confirmation bias and a short list of other fallacies.
You and every other believer here, along with some non-believers would argue me adamantly if I proclaimed God does not exist. They would certainly want to know how I knew that, yes?
So, how is you can offer an answer specifically claiming exactly the same thing; "Zeus and Thor don't exist."?
Is that the best, honest answer you can offer, Chris?
He gave you an honest answer - Zeus and Thor do not exist as God (though someone they are based on may have existed). We can acknowledge that people have believed in them and may have even had experiences related to them. The deceiver has deceived and continues to deceive MANY.
b) was very much a direct response to the question I read. It may not have been the question intended, or I may not have read it the way it was meant, but what I read and understood I responded to.
The purpose of giving both responses was really more to point out that I thought the expected response was a) and that it would draw more attention. Which I was proved right on. I don't think anyone here is in any doubt as to my thinking on that (it may not be understood fully, but that I do believe God exists I don't think is in any doubt.)
And no, simply saying it does not show a detachment from acknowledging others beliefs at all. If that were the sum total of everything I've ever said, you might have a point. But it isn't, not by a long shot.
Nevertheless, my main response was actually b) and I stand by it.
Well, you never addressed what I actually said, nothing new there.
You're certainly free to stand by your response even though it isn't valid, but again, nothing new there.
And yes, you would ignoring every other person on the planet, past and present who held a belief in a god, just like you do. I'm sure many of them held the same fallacious view of themselves and the world.
Okay, then please remind me what you said? Pages and pages later I just don't remember. I do actually want to respond to what you said.
Except I already reminded you of it, and for you to play the trick of "Yeah I know you told me exactly what I asked but since it's not what I want to hear I will say 'So you got nothing?' " is doubly cheap because you at least indicated you remembered the general discussion. If you want to say, "I don't really remember," that's one thing (though I think that's being disingenuous.) To say, "So you don't want to answer my question" is childish.
Scared of what, Chris? If we are laughing at the irrational, ridiculous, contradictory, hypocritical and utterly absurd things believers say, how is that being scared?
It's like standing in a crowd watching a snake oil salesman peddling his wares. Not much to be scared of unless you believe what he says.
Perhaps you didn't understand my question.
When we do something bad we sacrifice something we want or need to show God we are sorry. Goat, chicken or something.
I just don't get how God sacrificing himself has anything to do with our sins. Did he do something wrong? Is that why he is sacrificing something?
Just don't get it.
This is a bit long and a bit complicated.
No, God did not do anything wrong. But humans do, constantly. Now, remember that whether you agree with this or not, the definition of 'wrong' here is going against what God has told us to do, no matter how ridiculous it might seem to the conditioned 21st century Western mind. And the penalty for that in OT times was that a sacrifice had to be made, something that cost the person who was making the sacrifice (which is why the unblemished was demanded, instead of just getting rid of your sick or lame animal.)
But another important component of this is "The Life Is In The Blood." Leviticus 17:11 "For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one's life." Jews are not allowed to eat blood, which is why they rend the blood out of the animals they slaughter. They also are forbidden from eating what we would call roadkill. An essential component of this is that all sacrifices must be made in the Temple in Jerusalem. You can't just set up an altar and perform the sacrifices yourself. Which is why there haven't been any since 70 AD, when the Romans burned the Temple and it's never been rebuilt since.
Still, the spilling of the animal blood (which essentially substituted the death of the animal for the death of the sin) could only take away certain sins. Any that would be committed in the future would need new sacrifices. And it is frankly impossible to account for every single sin. You would never know if you had atoned for everything.
Aside, this is also how the rabbinical system came into being. In the Intertestamental period, when often people didn't have access to the written laws, people would ask, "Well, what is holy?" The Rabbis started studying the law and thinking about it. And in order to NOT commit sins, they started writing commentaries on what it would take. The natural outcome of this is that page after page of minutia about what was necessary to avoid committing a sin came out of it. And the natural tendency of humans is to think that if you know all the rules and obey them, that makes you better than other people. This was obviously not true of all rabbis, quite likely not even most of them. But still the stories persist, including Jesus' own statement (Luke 18:9-14, "9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”)
So if the animal sacrifices could not absolve people of their sins once and for all, what could?
Blood, obviously, because blood was what was demanded. But whose blood? Human sacrifice had been specifically forbidden, and whether that was because human sacrifice WAS practiced by surrounding groups and God wanted to mark the Jews out as different, or because human life is so sacred that God didn't want humans slaughtered, makes little difference. Besides, even if it was allowed, no amount of blood, even human blood, could permanently erase anyone's sins.
Only God could do that.
And only something precious and dear to God could be an acceptable sacrifice, because anything else would not cost God as dearly. And the point of sacrifice is that it must cost. God's own son.
Sacrifice, BTW, is not part of the Jewish concept of Messiah. The Jewish Messiah is an Anointed One, a human being (not God) who would be sent by God to lead the Jews in throwing off their shackles and establishing a literal Kingdom of God on Earth. This is what they expected, and what many thought Jesus would do, and why they all turned away from Him so quickly and completely when He didn't do it.
So God had to sacrifice Himself in order to take away the sins of everyone, past present and future. It's a gift, there is nothing anyone could ever do to earn it. But it must be accepted. If you reject it, then your sins are not forgiven. Because seriously, if someone rejects that gift, aren't they saying that they don't want their sins forgiven? It might be because they think they haven't actually done anything, or it might be because they don't want God to do them any favors, but the end result is the same.
Thanks for that Chris, I appreciate your time and your effort.
What I'm not getting is why God made the sacrifice for our sins. How are we showing God we are sorry with our sacrifices when we sacrificed nothing? Do you get what I'm asking?
Guy does something wrong, gets a perfectly good goat and give it to the priest. The priest kills the goat and eats it while the guy gets nothing. (It's a sweet gig for the priests who I believe were Moses's sons and the system set up by Moses.) Guys sin is forgiven because he has shown God that he is sorry. I got that part.
We want a big sacrifice so all our sins will be forgiven and we will all think we are heading to heaven, so what do we sacrifice? Human sacrifice isn't allowed by God because he loves us, unless of course you are gay or found to not be a virgin on your wedding night or you are an unruly child. That being said what sacrifice did we make. Did God then make a human sacrifice when he said wasn't allowed? You did say Jesus was fully human, right?
Or do you think God made the sacrifice on our behalf and that's okay? What that allowed back then. If someone was ordered to kill a goat, but refused, could someone else kill a goat and tell God that his buddy is truly sorry?
God made the sacrifice because only the sacrifice that He made could absolve everyone's sins for all time (provided they accept the gift.) We show God we are sorry when we realize how sinful we are and repent, turn back, and give our lives to God. It's true that the gift means nothing to someone who thinks, "I haven't done anything, I just wish everyone would get off my back!"
But that isn't human sacrifice. I'm not saying I agree with it, but I am saying that the killing was not done to take away anyone's sins. Yes, Jesus is fully human, and also fully God. And in that effect, God did sacrifice Himself. But Jesus is also God the Son and God sacrificing His son is just as emotional for Him as it would be for most men.
Do you really not see that they aren't the same thing at all? People did sacrifice for others (as in the story of Job). But that only took away the one sin of that one person that one time. God's sacrifice is for everyone for all time. That's a really, really, really, gigantically huge, big difference. And in any case, it was also for me, and I'm grateful.
Because seriously, if someone rejects that gift…
It's simply possible that someone does believe in that story being true. If anyone with a right mind was before a loving God and God then said all your sins are forgiven if you say thanks for the gift. They'd say "cool, done". So the gift is not taken for any of the reasons you mentioned. Who would actually say "no thanks God, don't do me any favours, I'll get in on my own"?
Um, lots and lots of people. I've met a few. Here in these forums.
And God sees the heart. If you say with your mouth "Cool, thanks, done," and in your heart you're thinking "Sucker!" God will respond, "No, not cool. Rather hot actually," and down you go.
Please show me someone who knows God exist and knows it's the christian God, but rejects a gift from said God.
In the present day it's not as common, but in the past it wasn't.
You said you know some people in these forums who know the Christian God exist and yet say to his gift?
I wasn't specifically referring to people who KNOW God exists and say, "No thank you!" I was more specifically referring to people who hold that attitude that they haven't done anything wrong so they don't need to be forgiven for anything, and sometimes get belligerent about it.
Chris, have a look at what was said.
No where here did you mention someone not believing in God. If one doesn't believe in God then they don't believe in sin.
That could be debated (the word 'sin' has certainly been used by people who don't believe in God) but I stand by what I said. I may not have been as clear as I could have been, but I've met people who say, "No thank you!" because they don't feel they need to be forgiven for anything.
Chris, I say no thank you, but not because I feel I've never done anything wrong. I say no thank you because I don't believe the story. You seem (as far as I can tell) to assume the person believes in the Christian God as you do but feels they don't need salvation. Sorry, but I don't know anyone like that.
Chris said he knows people in these forums that do that. That's what rad was asking for.
I said show me someone, not bring up a fictitious character. Further as the story goes he gave Jesus up leading to the Crucifixion which according to the story was God's plan.
JMcfarland for one. Radman is another, ED, RA. . . how many more do you need?
Judas Iscariot had the power to cast out devils and heal the sick. He gave all of that up for 30 pieces of silver because he got greedy.,
And you're wrong. I do not know for certain that any god exists, let alone yours. I have no reason to believe you or Chris or any other religious claims over all of the others as absolutely true, and as such I have not rejected forgiveness knowing full well that it was true and factual. If you say otherwise, you are going to demonstrate that you know me, my thoughts, my heart and my mind better than I do.
In addition, if Judas hasn't betrayed Jesus so that jesus could die and fulfill his purpose, wouldn't that have ruined the whole plan? Wasn't Judas chosen specifically to help fulfill the plan?
Did you or did you not state before that you were a true believer? You stated that you had faith in Jesus when you were younger. If you did not make those statements, I will recant and apologize.
I believe Rad Man also said he used to be a believer.
It did not have to be Judas who betrayed Jesus. In fact, no one had to betray Him. They had plenty of opportunities to arrest Him and would have had more if they had not done so that night.
I was a Christian, yes. I believed that god was real and true. I didn't claim to know with absolute certainty that he was. It was a belief. Unlike many believers here, I seem to be able to distinguish the difference between them. Knowledge is not the same as belief, and for the most part if you KNOW something you can SHOW it to be demonstrably real.
So you were not a true believer? A true believer will know for a fact that it is real.
You can show a dog to a blind man but he will not see it. You can speak to a deaf person but they will not hear.
The evidence of God is all around us every day. His voice calls out every day to someone. Some hear His voice and others don't. Jesus said, "Let him who hath an ear hear what the spirit has to say."
If you say so. I know what I felt and believed, and you're not in a position to tell me differently.
You and I have very different ideas about "true believers" and it seems that we also don't agree on the difference between knowledge and belief. You can believe something as strongly as possible, but that dies not make your belief knowledge. I do not think it is possible to know with certainty that your God exists. I think you can believe you can, but that does not make the belief true, verifiable or demonstrable.
I know what the Bible says. But that doesn't make it true either. It makes it written down and believed by many believers.
A blind person could feel the dog with their hands, hear it bark with their ears and smell it with their noses. Sorry, but your analogy fails.
Many deaf people can lip read, use sign language or just write something down that they can read, another failed analogy, SirDent.
Hearing voices may be a sign of a mental disorder.
I agree with you, although you know the saying about knowing God is real in your heart even though you can't show it. Well, it's true. The experiences I've outlined followed a pattern that was true to itself but out of character for the rest of my life. And the attempts that people have made to 'explain' them in a way that satisfies the desire to prove me wrong simply haven't held up.
Unlike you (and I don't mean this negatively, so please bear with me a minute here) and some of the others I've encountered here, or the pre-conceived stereotypes of some of the others, I didn't grow up in a Christian household, so my experiences were totally out of left field for me. I continually examine them, and the thing I keep coming back to that they really did happen. So yeah, I can't 'show' you some tangible proof of these things because I can't take you literally back in time to relive them all with me, but my belief is based on knowledge and examination, not simply accepting something that someone else said to me.
Was a believer at one time is not the same as being a believer now.
A true believer would know that it is real. God didn't leave it all to chance.
How would they know that their god is real, is truth? Because they want it to be? Lots of wants out there.
Because they believe it so? Lots of beliefs out there, too, and contradictory ones at that.
Because the priest said so, or the ancient writings they "believe" to be true say so? Lots of priests, and lots of ancient writings, often contradictory.
How would they know their belief is true then?
He's going to say because God told him it was true. He confirmed his already existing belief. In other words, confirmation bias. You rarely see a believer in one religion whose beliefs are confirmed by another, competing deity. Wonder why that is. . Oh wait. Confirmation bias. Again.
Believe what you want. Still can't show a dog to a blind person.
For the record, I know God to be real. I didn't always know it and didn't always believe it. I lived 36 years of my life with absolutely no belief in God.
Now you will say that I was raised in a culture that believed in God. You will tell me I was indoctrinated from birth to believe in God. Wait a minute, isn't that speculation on my part?
My mother and father both were unbelievers all my life at home and for years afterward. They did not raise me to believe in God or anything.
Speculate more if you want to but know that the words you try to put in my mouth are actually your own words.
I want meaning to speculate about you specifically, although looking back it did come out that way, and I'm sorry. I've had this conversion more times than I can count, and I predicted the typical response. Apologies.
You can, however, show a dog to a blind person. They can touch it. Pet it. Feel its fur. You can describe it. Listen to its breathing and barking. They cannot see it, but they can experience it in a way that is repeatable and demonstrable. You can claim to experience God all you want, but it's not demonstrable to anyone but you. And you make the choice to attribute those feelings to a particular God. Many people from many religions throughout history have claimed similar personal experiences and attributed them to different gods. You have no verifiable way to show where your experiences came from, aside from your own belief, and you cannot share them demonstrably and in a way that is verifiable to anyone else. If you could, if any believer could, we would not still be debating the existence of god in the 21st century. If you know something, you can show it most of the time.
We can show only the EFFECTS of the "unseen" world - the loving acts that are the effects of a loving heart, the world itself and the miraculous events that are the effects of God's presence and power, the works of evil that are the effects of an evil heart and/or the demonic realm, an act of bravery that is the effect of courage, etc.
Not everyone's personal experiences with God will include blatant manifestations of the Spirit (though the Spirit is always involved in our knowing truth and the sealing of us so that we can not be taken from our Lord). But when speaking of the supernatural, how do you explain two or more believers experiencing a supernatural / spiritual event at the same time - do you say they are both imagining the same thing, both have the same psychotic episode? What if one has not disclosed their similar experience to the other, so that we cannot use the excuse that they influenced each other? How does this make sense?
I understand that my experiences appear highly imaginative or even indicative of being out of my mind to an unbeliever, but that doesn't explain the shared experiences. In addition, I must not only be out of my mind, but I live a most amazingly "coincidence"-filled life of faith. To the point that a person would have to either acknowledge something outside the natural realm was going on, or simply and conveniently claim I was lying to them to have such great coincidences occurring as a routine aspect of a faithful life.
Do you even consider that people of various faiths are experiencing something supernatural - some by the power of the Holy Spirit, and some by demonic power? Or have you ruled that out according to an inability to believe at the present time?
(something supernatural) that can't be demonstrated or repeated or displayed. You do know there are explanations right? No need to assume you KNOW what the explanations are.
And the explanation for the shared supernatural experience (when one does not know of the other's experience) is...
You may have "believed" God existed, but did you know him personally? And did you repeatedly have experiences that you had to say were only your imagination or only extreme repeated coincidences?
If and when you meet Jesus Christ, you will know the truth. It won't matter what argument anyone presents, you will be sealed in the truth.
You've invested a lot of time arguing against God - either his existence or his goodness. But in all honesty, if you consider for a moment that he is, then do you want to meet him yourself?
More special pleading (your case is different). You can't know what happened in my head. You can't know how I used reason to find the truth. You can't know your mind isn't playing tricks on you just as we can't know we are not in the matrix. We can't only think we together see the same things in reality and move from there.
Anytime anyone see the truth as I do you claim they couldn't have known what you know, but you don't know what they knew or thought. If you started using logic and reason today you may think like me before long and others would tell you that you were not a true believer.
I have spent a lot of time discussing his existence and whether or not a particular God is Good. I've thought about it for much of my life because I find it fascination. Why did I once believe and why do some still do? I don't believe there is a God to meet. If you consider for a moment that no God exists, then do you understand that you can't meet anyone who doesn't exist?
I understand that you can't meet anyone who doesn't exist. But I also understand that God exists. I've even tried to consider that God doesn't exist, but then his Holy Spirit is right there with me and I have to laugh. It's as absurd (and even more absurd) than considering that I don't exist or you don't exist. He's right here; I have no ability to deny him!
In fact, if anyone tries to convince me otherwise, such as you or my past college professor, it only seems to solidify the truth that much more for me. Perhaps the Holy Spirit, who seals me in the truth, is poured out that much more to counter any opposition to the truth and hold on to me for that coming day!
You know nothing of the sort; you believe God to be real, but cannot know it. There is a difference between the two, whether you treat them the same or not.
You cannot know it in the natural realm. But you can know it in the spiritual realm - the Holy Spirit himself reveals truth and seals us in that truth, so that "no one can snatch us out of the Father's hand".
If you want spiritual truth, you can't seek it in the natural. You'll have to go beyond.
In fairness, everyone knows it is silly semantics.
If they say that they believe God is real, then it somehow, in some universe somewhere makes them feel like they are coping out. That somehow they love God less and are less of a believer.
On the other hand, non-believers know this and want to force them into saying believe... so that they feel just that way.
Both sides are being dishonest and pissy and it's a ridiculously stupid argument.
In short, Believers you can admit that you are going on faith and your "knowing" is completely within your own head without pissing God off. Non-believers, it's their f****** emotion. If they say they know, then who are you to say they don't? Why would you even care?
Cannot agree with you here, Melissa. It is indeed semantics (and definition) but not silly at all.
The non-believer does NOT apply the meaning of "knowledge" to "believe" and does not expect others to, either. Both words have different meanings, meanings which are used properly in everyday usage. "I believe" is not normally confused with "I know" - the first denotes an opinion, a belief, not knowledge.
Until the believer is speaking, apparently, of their religion. At that point they use "belief" as "knowledge", just as is being done here, and confusion reigns. Because if belief=knowledge, and belief is not necessarily true (well known and understood), then what the believer "knows" is immediately suspect and set aside as possibly untrue. Communication becomes difficult if not impossible when meanings change indiscriminately at the whim of the speaker, and with no indication of which meaning is currently in use.
So let the believer, please, use dictionary definitions of the words when speaking in everyday usage; they can use the religious/spiritual meaning when speaking to religious people of religious matters as truth is not so important there as belief/faith.
I would buy that, if anyone here can honestly say that they didn't know that a religious person saying they KNOW is completely subjective. I agree that the religious lexicon is one of the myriad of reasons that religious will never be taken seriously by the non-religious.... but, and this is a very big but, anyone who has regular debates about the God vs. no God thing knows the jargon. It would be dishonest to pretend that one didn't just to make a point.
I personally hate the imprecise, mystical propaganda-based language of religion. I mean I despise it. It makes me roll my eyes and hang my head... but it's not like everyone doesn't know what it means. It's sales copy. Annoying, but recognizable for what it is. What's sad is BOTH sides recognize it for what it is as well. It's pure stubbornness NOT to use the correct language and it's pure stubbornness to pretend that one doesn't know what the sales pitch means.
Then, how do you show God to a blind person? How do the deaf hear God's voice?
You could be honest by just saying you believe God to be real as opposed to saying you know.
The question then becomes how does he know it was god speaking and not his own mind/imagination/emotions?
And the only answer is "belief" or maybe "faith", neither of which has anything to do with knowledge.
I don't want to be seen as in any way denying that God exists, BUT...
The phrase 'true believer' has different connotations with many non-believers than it does with many believers. And this is especially true of people who have a specific problem with religion, but it can apply to things like giving your all to the government, or a company. Having grown up agnostically and not really caring much about religion, I know that for many outside the church, 'true believer' actually tends to mean someone a little dangerous, a zealot who is so wrapped up in what they believe in that they are willing to go to ridiculous lengths to be right, even when everything is telling them they're not. Sort of the ultimate expression of the 'sunk cost' fallacy.
Sorry, you can't KNOW what goes on in someone's mind and you can't make an argument based on what you don't know.
JMcfarland, ED, RA and myself have not said God exists, but they don't except his gift of salvation.
Judas followed Gods plan according to the bible.
If you believe hell is actually, literally true and a lot of the people you're claiming to like and respect in this very conversation are going there (according to your beliefs) isn't being glib about it pretty damn telling about what you actually think of us? Since you're safe, and all.
When the hell did anyone ever say I'm safe?
Honestly, do you really know me so little after all this time? I've said many times that I take very literally Jesus' warnings about being careful. The goats are gonna think they were sheep, and I'm not immune.
I was not being more glib than Rad, and it was in direct response to Rad. And frankly I'm beginning to wonder how you really feel about me. I thought we were friends and I know that true friends can go through rough patches and still come out okay, but then again I thought Rad and I were friends and when it became increasingly clear that his esteem for any Christian's faith or belief was not that good, and I expressed problems with it, he acted like I was simply being childish and he had all the answers. In other words, I thought we were better friends than he did, because when the chips were down he never even said, "I do like you but I really disagree with you." He just plowed ahead with the condescending, "I thought being shown your own mind would free you." No religious proselytizer ever did it better.
And if you really think I'm smugly laying back thinking I'm safe, then you simply haven't been paying attention to me.
Okay, whoa. Let's back up a little bit.
I like and respect you, but I have never claimed to know you. 95% of our interactions have been here, on the forums. We've exchanged a few emails, but we haven't delved very deeply into our personal lives in them. I'd like to know you, but I don't think I can say I know you now. But I'd like to start. I think you would too.
Yes we're friends, but I can be just as sarcastic as you can be. It seems to be a little bit of a double standard between us here. We've had our blow outs and our emotional reactions before and come through the other side respecting each other a bit more. This conversation right here is nowhere NEAR the scope of those other incidents, so I'm not sure why I'm getting the "I thought we were friends" speech here. We disagree on a lot, and that's par for the course. But I still respect you - even when you have your emotional moments, and I have mine.
You have to admit that there's a big difference between a non-believer being sarcastic and mocking of the concept of hell. We don't believe it's real. You aren't afraid of things that you don't think are true, unless it's a purely psychological fear of something like falling or clowns or those irrational fears that almost everybody has at least one of. Compare that to a believer who genuinely believes that hell is a very real, horrible place and that people that don't agree or accept their religion are all going there. You're right, the "you're safe" comment was overly sarcastic and unnecessary, and I'm sorry. But similarly to the way that you're not afraid of Tartarus or the Islamic version of hell, most non believers don't have a fear of the Christian version either - and the ones that do is because they were indoctrinated to fear it often from a very young age, and that fear lingers despite the realization that it's not true.
I know these issues are important to you, and I'm not trying to dismiss them, but you and I have gone around in circles between what you know and what you believe. We're not going to see eye to eye on it, no matter how many times we have the conversation. As a result, we seem to have different definitions and understandings of the terms knowledge and belief. sometimes it can be trying for me as well as you. It happens. I don't think that has a deeper meaning or implication to our friendship. I'm sorry if you do.
I think it's important for me to stay out of this so I will, however I've mentioned several time that I like you but disagree with you. If I disagree it doesn't mean I don't respect and like you. I'm not sure how many times I can tell you that, but here it is again. Chris, while I don't agree with your religious views I sure you are a decent person with good intentions and I've enjoyed all our conversations.
I want to jump in here for a bit. When discussing friendship in the context of these forum discussions, it's of utmost importance to realize that friends-people who like, respect, and love each other-people who may have connected here, but have extended that connection to their lives away from HP (share daily conversations, stories about daily life, support each other in personal trial, etc.) do NOT always agree. Believe it or not, they may have a million things in common and still have VASTLY different beliefs about God. While one may believe in the Christian God and live their life according to that, another may not hold any religious beliefs whatsoever. Those friends can argue about which of them is right, and may arrive at a point of consensus-or not. They FOCUS on the things that matter to both (or all) of them and let the rest be what it is.
For example, there is a participant in this forum who thinks everything I hold dear religiously is a bunch of malarkey. I think he's wrong to think there's no God. Neither of us has been able to change the other's mind-but that person is one of my dearest friends. I would do anything in my power to be present to him in a time of need and he has made himself available to me in times of distress and helped me see sense in some things that seemed senseless.
My point in this rambling is this, primarily for you, Chris-don't doubt someone's true concern or affection for you because they don't agree with your religious convictions. They do NOT discount them. They just can't use that as evidence. It's unfair to present a type of evidence you KNOW they can't accept and then get distressed when they don't accept it. Seems like you kinda need to be prepared for that. Don't let it color your opinion of who they are. They honestly don't do that to you.
Thank you, but it would have really helped had you said it at the time when I was expressing such a problem with the superego thing. That was specifically what I was referring to when I said you just pressed forward with the 'showing you your mind would set you free' thing. It has colored my view of you.
That model of the mind reflects all of us. Not you specifically. We are all human, with the same mind, or at least with the same potentials. If I say I don't like Christianity (which I've not done) that has no reflection on you. I have friends that golf, when they asked me if I'd like to join them I told them what I thought of golf so they wouldn't ask me again. They haven't. If you as a friend asked if I wanted to see your truth in Christianity, I'd tell you what I think with the hopes you wouldn't ask again. I would hope you would give our friendship the respect it deserves and not bring it up again. No we are both here to chat about it specifically so no one is asking to not bring it up again. We should be free to give our opinions/ideas with respect and understand that there opinions and or ideas are not to be taken personally. My opinion of you has not changed, I just don't agree with your beliefs, I also don't agree with my wife's.
You don't like golf. You like hockey. THIS is why I love you.
My skates are on the shelf for another month and a half.
But my cycling shoes are on my feet. My wife really encourages me to go cycling, she must want me to live a long life. She must really miss me when I'm on the road. I'm usually gone for 4 hours. 3 hours of cycling and one hour to share some pops after.
Cycling, hockey...both better than golf. I'm with her. I want you to live a long life too!
What kind of motorcycle do you ride? My husband and I are getting old now, got a Harley instead of the Crotch Rocket.
"He is fully human as He is fully God."
That right there loses me. It seems that if he was ANY God, then he was not fully human, as being human means not being God as well. I was always under the impression, and I could very well be wrong, that what was most significant about what Jesus did was that he did so as a human.
Again, and please understand that I'm not trying to be smug or arrogant, this really illustrates what I said. There is something about humans that most simply can't accept what they don't understand, no matter what or where it came from. And the idea that Jesus could be both fully God and fully human is something that many people, both Christians and non-Christians, simply can't accept. He had to be one or the other.
I don't claim to fully understand it. Sometimes I have trouble with it too. But there's so much depth of the Bible that cannot be explained any other way, but makes complete sense in that way.
I am 100% male and 100% female. What do you mean, that's not possible? Of course it is! You just can't understand it because you have no faith in my simultaneous manhood and womanhood! I'm not trying to be smug or arrogant, but you just can't understand it.
Obviously, you don't understand it, and are making it up as you go along. The problem is that what you're making up makes no sense at all and contradicts reality.
In point of fact, many of the things He did, such as forgive sins, were things that the Jews of His day (and remember, He did come to the Jews) specifically understood as things that God and God alone can do. And Jesus did not dispute that at all.
John 10:30 I and the Father are one.”
31 Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him, 32 but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”
33 “We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”
34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods”’[d]? 35 If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside— 36 what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’?
Here He is acknowledging that He has claimed to be God's Son, and the Jews understood that the son would be equal with the Father, i.e. that if God had a literal son, and there is only one God (as per the Shema) then the Son must also be God.
One in purpose. People say it all the time. My husband and I are one in how we raise our kids, doesn't mean we are the same person.
We are all God's children. I am God's daughter. You are God's son. This does not mean literally. He was doing God's work and was a child of God so was unified in PURPOSE.
The Jews had the same problem of not understanding figurative speech in this passage. What's ironic is Christ was trying to explain it to them. They didn't get it. Neither do the literalists now.
My turn. How about this one:
You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.
How can one be greater than oneself? There definitely seems to be two different entities there and they are most certainly not equal. What are your takes on that?
a) That the Jews were obviously stupid and Jesus must therefor have been the most stupid Jew of them all, because He knew exactly what they would think and why and yet He didn't say they were wrong for thinking in the way they did, only that they were blind for not seeing that what He was saying was not truly blasphemous.
b) At a certain risk, I would say that this is one of the indicators that started people thinking about what the what would come to be called the Trinity truly meant. It was accepted (after much thought and debate) that God is not greater than Himself, but that if Jesus (God the Son) claimed that the Father was greater then there must be a difference of place within the Godhead, with the Father taking precedence not because He is greater in substance than the Son, but because his job is primary in decision making.
(And no, I obviously don't think the Jews were stupid. But to just sort of magically wipe the whole thing away with a phrase about the Jews (a highly poetic people whose own already accepted canon is shot through with figurative speech) having trouble with figurative speech doesn't say much for what you think about them.)
You asked how unitarians dealt with it, I gave you an answer. You didn't think my answer correct, I didn't buy your answer to my return question at all. Feel free to believe whatever you like.
I don't think that 2000 year dead Jews were particularly insulted, but please feel free to feel insulted for them. It seems like no one around here can converse without being insulted by a differing opinion. I'll not, however, go on the defensive and try to explain imagined insults. Either have an honest conversation without manipulation or don't.
So you're free to be as blunt as you like but if someone else does it you throw a fit?
I was pointing out that your saying the Jews had trouble with figurative speech is disingenuous at best and yes, it is insulting. However it's a pretty common thing to do, even among non-Unitarians. Why would God present Himself to the Jews in such a way that only non-Jews could possibly understand it and not for another 1500 years?
If you're going to present an argument, I'm going to show the flaws, just as you do with mine. If you're going to get upset when I do so...
Yes I'm blunt. Which means if I would have thought the Jews were stupid, I would have likely said that I thought the Jews were stupid.
Is there something about my past behavior that leads you to believe that I would have been incapable of saying what I thought directly? So how about maybe you address what I actually said. Unlike others on these forums, you really don't have to guess or read between the lines.
Since I didn't say anything about that, I'm assuming that your moral outrage was a diversion from the actual conversation and an attempt to somehow make it look, laughingly, like I said Jesus and the Jews were stupid so you didn't have to address the point.
So, other than implying that I am antisemitic is there any other point you'd like to make? Like explaining to me- without any diversions- how Jesus saying that he wasn't equal to God somehow makes him equal to God. Was he not telling the truth?
And I'm not upset. I'm just tired of the games that pass for conversation around here. Either communicate or don't. I don't have the time or patience to deal with someone who wants to play one-up to make themselves feel better about life.
No games. I simply translated what you said into its simplest, and yes most blunt, form. Moral outrage was inferred. And so is the diversion, which you don't seem to mind using.
I did deal with what you actually said, but okay. Again. Why would God reveal Himself in such a way that only people who were specifically NOT His chosen people, and only living centuries or even millennia after the fact, could understand His point? I think that people have long tended to think there was some unique deficiency in the Jews at least of that time, even people who are not anteSemitic per se.
It also implies that God is some kind of game-player, who never really gave certain groups a chance and runs some kind of mystery religion (which is specifically refuted in the Bible.)
And that applies to the Jews specifically only in that it was a specific statement about the Jews (that the Jews of that time had a problem with figurative speech.) Had the peoples in question been Syrian, or Iriquois, or Gauls, my reaction would have been the same.
You may not have ever thought in your head or heart "Boy the Jews were sure dumb" and I'm sure you didn't. And I'm sure that whoever you've heard this from also didn't think this. But come on! Do you really think the Jews of that day were so, so, so narrow-focus?
Whether you 'buy' this or not, I'm not selling. You asked my opinion and I've given it to you. I'm sorry that things have gotten on the foot they have, I don't think you yourself are actually anti-Semitic. I do, however, think that particular attitude carries an implicit (if subtle) anti-Semitism. And I've had to examine my own thinking about such things many, many times. And as I said, it's hardly a unique view to Unitarians, many Trinitarians carry a shockingly similar attitude.
Sorry Chris. Again, not playing. I compared literalist Jews to literalist Christians today. That's not antisemitic, no matter how much you need it to be so you can win your argument. I'm not sure what turned you into ED, but congrats on finding your role-model. If you ever want to have a conversation where you don't resort to manipulation in a desperate attempt to prove your rightness, let me know. I used to think that you were one of the few here that actually wanted to have a conversation. Now it's obvious you just want to prove how right you are by any means.
Congrats. I'm walking away. If you choose to believe that makes you right, then whatever helps you sleep at night.
So who's playing? You can have an opinion, and state if forcefully, but if I do the same you throw your toys down and leave the game?
I'm not the one taking ED as a role model here. Or more specifically, ATM. When he didn't like the way things went, he ran away.
Thanks for sharing those verses, as they came to mind and I didn't search them or remember where they were. Many were just looking to find fault with him, but the things he said left no room for doubt in the eyes of the Jews, of what he was claiming about himself.
As with a few things, one can find reasons to support different views if we look at just portions of scripture only. This is why sometimes I reserve judgment. I would rather share the both sides of the coin as I see them, etc. Sometimes,(not saying you), it almost seems like some humans over time have made a much bigger deal about things that Jesus never really did. Yet they treat it as such serious and infallible doctrine equal with some of the biggies that Jesus did come out and talk about. It doesn't mean they aren't possibly actually right on the money, but I just mean that I am not sure for the same reason I am sure about the other things. This isn't probably as "tidy" as I am making it sound, with exceptions to the rule, etc. I am sure. Often though, this is the kind of thing I come back to. It could also sound like I discount a lot of the bible, when its not necessarily true at all, and far from it.
I would say that anyone that reads the gospels, and takes Jesus words as true, believes and follows him, is a Christian. A Christ follower.
I don't expect that Jesus himself would expect any more of any of us than that.
Another question or observation would be that it's interesting how sometimes it's bad to talk about who is a real Christian and why, but then on another day/discussion it's perfectly fine, even encouraged.
I think our country had some great minds at its beginning. I'm thankful for the philosophy they worked out of. It helped to make the greatest nation on earth or what once was at least. To me, it's no surprise at all.
Well, I think there is a difference between discussing the concept in general and discussing whether a particular person is or not. One is a conversation, the other usually a self-righteous snipe fest where one tries to prove they are holier than someone else with no other basis than their own fragile egos competing to see who is daddy's favorite.
Neither particularly bother me personally anymore, I enjoy the first type and recognize the second type for what it is. I would assume it might bother others who are weaker in faith or care about what other people think. Thank God, that's not me. I would probably report it as personal attacks against others though, since that's what it is.
If Jesus really was a truly enlightened and spiritual person, he would have been in tune with all the other enlightened beings throughout history. He would have known without doubt that the inner core of each of our beings, is the center where we find the ultimate truth about ourselves.
When he said "I am," he was not declaring himself to be "attached to," or "part of" some spurious god in the sky. He was not setting himself up as superior in all importance to every other person or animal on the planet. No truly enlightened person could ever say that.
The Reality of our interconnectedness with every aspect of the finite world is via that Center of our Being. It is arrived at "In the Now." This moment. Not in the Was, not in the Will Be, only Now. I Am indicates my being in The Now. This connects with the Infinite. Because this moment in time called Now is in fact the Infinite.
This is what each of us needs to work at all our lives if we really want to find peace Within. Anything else that uses and is used by religious control of any kind becomes an obstacle and has to be diminished. For most of us it's a life-long struggle.
If you have a Christian Faith, this knowledge can enhance your faith if you wish to allow it.
I agree. That's a point I'm often trying to get across in these forums when people speak of God "showing Himself" or some other form of objective confirmation. I think the key in anything spiritual is that it's an internal journey. Any objective outward confirmation would turn your attention the wrong direction if you're looking to the outside world. It's through whatever it is that animates and compels us that we have access to, as you say, the "infinite". We are born of the same well that sprang forth all forms of life. And it's that essence of us that leaves this physical body upon death. Attempting to depend on physical ears/eyes in anything in regards to the spiritual only shifts your focus away from where it is to be found.
Or dilute it, if you understand what you believe and why.
When Jesus said, "I am," He was invoking the name of God (He said to Moses, "Tell the people I AM WHO I AM.")
And when Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life" that was about as exclusive as you can get. He specifically excluded any other 'enlightened beings.'
It would depend on what you mean by 'enlightened' and whether you were trying to force Jesus into a human conception of enlightenment of adjust human perception to God's view of enlightenment.
The Jewish leaders tolerated some things for a while , but you are right. The blasphemy stuff was over the top to them. The talk of destroying the temple and raising it up in three days got to them too.
I recognize God as ONE also. The One God who came as Jesus and who is present within us and around us in Spirit form. What some call the three "persons" of God are three "forms" of ONE God.
We humans have bodies and spirits, but that doesn't mean we're not one person.
Yes, but yours is a trinitarian understanding of God. Unitarians do not believe there is anything at all "three"fold about God.
I think of it based on this...
Genesis 2:7 - And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
Genesis 6:3 - Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.”
Ezra 9:2 - For they have taken their daughters for themselves and for their sons, so that the holy seed have mingled themselves with the people of those lands; yea, the hand of the princes and rulers hath been chief in this trespass.”
It's after Jesus' death and resurrection that it begins to speak of the 'holy spirit'. So, basically, in Gen6 God explains how intermingling with "mortal" humans will dilute His spirit. Then in Ezra it speaks of mingling with other groups being a trespass. So, following the laws given to the Israelites retains the 'holy seed' within that bloodline so that Jesus could then be born. Once he lived a mortal life and died, this then made the 'holy spirit' available to all.
That's my take, anyway.
I think the part I have the most problem is, is us trying to pin down whether or not they were really Christians or not. More often than not, most in these forums don't want people to be so judgmental, even of Christians at times. So it strikes me that in this case, if it can almost be to prove the founding fathers WEREN'T Christians, that its ok to then engage in the act of judgement. I am not saying you are doing that. I don't think the discussion on Unitarian and Trinitarian can make the distinction without entering in our own human judgements which so often we are normally against. What would Jesus say to the human being (no matter who they were), that was trying to do their best to understand and follow him? I think he would like that, not judge it. Like all of us, those 6 presidents likely gave their views some thought and were trying their best as well.
I'm not entirely sure what you're trying to say here. I was explaining the difference between Unitarian and Trinitarian Christians, not casting any judgment on whether the founding fathers were Christians or not. I was merely pointing out that there is a school of thought among many Trinitarian Christians that anyone who's NOT of an identical belief structure can't be identified as Christian at all. Clarifying one school of thought v. the other. Not sure what you're getting at here.
I was sharing what I was observing in this thread in general, and in the past as well. I wasn't saying YOU were casting judgement, and that is why I said it wasn't you...
So with your clarification there, you and I may be on the same page with the not judging, if you are not one of the many trinitarian Christians you mentioned there. (I don't think you are, anyway?)
As for clarifying the schools of thought, I never mind that, and welcome it. It can be helpful. If you truly don't know what I mean, we can just leave it alone.
I know now what you mean.
No, I'm not judging at all. I'm a traditional Trinitarian Christian, but I understand where the Unitarian thought process comes from, and respect it. I also wouldn't argue in any case that the founding fathers weren't Christians. I would quite passionately maintain, however, that they meant for their faith/spirituality/religion to be entirely separate from government. If that sounds judgmental, it isn't meant to be so.
Thanks for the clarification.
Oh, absolutely. I am glad that you asked and shared what you did there. We are very much on the same page.
I never labeled myself a trinitarian, but do see where the three are seeming to have their parts in scripture. Like at Jesus' baptism. I have to revisit what the word trinitarian means exactly. I did grow up hearing the different views of how it was explained. I don't believe in three separate gods, and I don't believe the three of them were all the same exact thing, so its tricky. One goal, three separate works, I am so glad for each one's part.
"I don't believe in three separate gods, and I don't believe the three of them were all the same exact thing" - Exactly, oceansnsunsets!
It's like us being only one person even though we have a body, soul, spirit. God is ONE with different forms or aspects. So he can be continually on the throne as the Father, come to us in the flesh as Jesus and be everywhere (within us and around the world) through the Spirit.
I apologize if I made you or anyone uncomfortable for any judgmental attitude regarding the denial of Jesus as God's Son, and calling out blasphemy (great irreverence toward God) when someone called God an ass. If someone denies Jesus is the Son of God, which is clearly stated throughout the Scriptures (e.g., "For God so loved the world that he sent his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" John 3:16), I viewed this as the same as they themselves demonstrating their true stand. But I see the term "Christian" is used very loosely, and by the world's definition can actually include atheists, etc.
All who call on Jesus as Lord will be saved. It is through the work of the Spirit that they call. The Spirit is placed within them as security, guaranteeing what is to come - their eternal life through Jesus Christ. If a person is not aware of the Spirit within, it doesn't mean that person isn't saved, but only that they have not been given full knowledge or understanding through the Word and the Spirit regarding all that has been taking place. EVERY one of God's children (those who accept their rights to become his children through their faith in Jesus Christ, who is the firstborn among many) do in fact have the Spirit of God within them. Many do not yet realize it, but it is just as true of them as any of God's children. The Scripture clearly states: "You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ." (Romans 8:9)
No one needs to be alarmed if they haven't experienced the Spirit in the way some of us have spoken. There is a distinction between having the Spirit within (which EVERY child of God does) and the filling of us with the Spirit. Some were filled/full of the Spirit (see Stephen in Acts for example). God gives us more of his Spirit as we desire, seek and ask for it. He may pour out his Spirit more so in certain needful times. The earliest Christian church had much of his Spirit poured onto them. Spiritual gifts are given, as the Spirit determines (and they will vary; we don't expect one person to have all the gifts). The Spirit within does gradually transform us into the image of Christ, though we can (and all do at times) grieve the Spirit in us.
Thanks for your always thoughtful insights and discussions, and your sensitive way of putting things. You are a blessing to many!
Notice that the more times we say we don't want to hear another sermon, we are presented with yet another sermon.
There's probably little danger of sermons in the secular forums.
EncephaloiDead, you stated recently that you are not suffering, and though I was really speaking of the great suffering of others, my perception is that you are suffering. And I'm sorry you are. I don't know why but you make me sadder than most people in these forums. Would you be offended or mind if I included you in my prayers for blessings and for God to reveal himself to you?
Well, that didn't last long.
Cat, you have stated recently that you have been through a lot of suffering and it's my perception that you still suffering. And I'm sorry you are. Would you mind me saying that if you followed my lack of faith that suffering would end?
I see what you're trying to say, but I actually don't take offense at your words, just as no offense was intended in mine. If you truly believed you had a way to ease pain of life and provide hope and you offered that, I would not hold that against you or feel you were condenscending to me. Jesus Christ provides that hope and joy here and now, but even more than that he gives us eternal life with him. "Lack of faith" can never provide that, but if you offered it in genuine belief and good will, I would still say thank you for caring, but I've found something far better.
How do you know you've found something far better, if you've never tried what I'm offering? I truly do want to help you, you seem like someone masking pain and that pain can go away.
I don't take offence with your preaching or your wanting to help. I'd like to help you realize however how it looks and how the words go unnoticed.
I help does not required you to change your faith. I wouldn't ask that of anyone.
You ask - "How do you know you've found something far better, if you've never tried what I'm offering?" In a sense I have "tried" the way of the unfaithful, as I walked apart from God for a decade (around age 12 to around age 22) and I see very clearly from this experience how wretched life is and how wretched I am without God. Life in God's presence is better by far, and if the glimpses we get here are so much better, then how much better will it be once we're actually able to see him face-to-face, fully experiencing him and all he has to offer as never before.
What have you offered that has any hope, any truth or any beauty in it? The Lord is all and is in all. Without him everything is meaningless and momentary.
I'm not "masking" pain. I fully acknowledge my melancholic (even depressive) tendencies, and I am truly not talking down to anyone with similar struggles. My tendencies are both genetic (I have also been philosophical and artistically gifted since early childhood, which often relates) and environmentally based.
The truth is not always well received, but we tell it anyway. It may also be ignored. You are not at this time accepting words of truth from any of the believers, but someone else may (even someone not posting in the forums), and someday you too may at the right time remember the words of truth here presented to you.
If you are not encouraging us to change our faith, what exactly are you doing?
I to was a Christian for years, so I understand how it makes you feel, you may claim that I couldn't have been a "true" Christian, but please don't we just when through that.
I do have the truth and the truth can help your pain.
I have no desire to change your faith, I would like you to see the truth and still have your faith. it's possible.
I sense you are masking something about yourself that you don't want other to know, perhaps not even yourself, I don't want to know what it is, I do want you to know.
Your perception of me is like most everything else you say here, completely wrong.
You're free to tell your God to reveal himself to me, but I know that will never happen.
That's a nicer side of you Cat. More Christlike I might add.
Cat, regarding the judgmental attitude that you were apologizing for, I have to admit ignorance there....as I likely missed what you are referring to. So no worries... (Hoping I even understood that correctly...)
I don't find you to be judgmental in general, and I thank you for your kind words.
You do realize that clarity would come if you actually said what you meant instead of hiding behind innuendos. Especially when your innuendos seem to be excessively vague and entirely unrelated to any conversation being had.
You seem to think someone is passing judgement. The only people I've seen passing judgment were against me and I've already said I don't care. Not seeing what your problem is.
I've never understood why people don't say what they mean. It seems pointless to have a conversation if one isn't going to actually communicate.
The Jefferson Bible is a fairly good representation of what he believed and didn't believe. He removed the virgin birth section, the resurrection section and quite a few of the other "mystical" references.
There are lots of forms of nontrinitarianism. There are a few forms of Unitarianism.
The UU church is not the same thing as Unitarianism. I am a member of the UU church (all faiths) but I am also a Unitarian (Christian).
John Adams, John Q Adams, Taft, Fillmore, Jefferson, Lincoln.
I'd be curious as to what you consider to be Christ like. When I envision the nature of the man, I'm not conjuring that, at all.
In fairness, I don't see much in any of the behavior patterns here 'Christ like'.
I realize the term is used to bludgeon and compliment (depending on who is being compared to him and who isn't) but one should, at the least, attempt to be realistic when throwing out the term. Don't you think?
No, not really. Christians strive to be Christlike. Compassionate, wise, forgiving, helpful, someone who wasn't afraid to break some ridiculous rules to do the right thing, someone who knew what the right thing was…
As opposed to some telling others that it's/was okay to beat your slave with a club as long as he got up in a day or so.
I've been following this particular conversation, and I didn't see one single person assert that it is or was "okay to beat your slave with a club as long as he got up in a day or so".
Since I was the person you indicated was less Christ-like than your friend Melissa, if you are here including me in those who (according to you) have said it's okay to beat slaves, let me state clearly: I don't believe beating anyone is okay; I don't believe making slaves of anyone is okay. I'll even go so far as to say I'd be less likely than almost anyone to make a slave of a person. As an INFP personality (idealist, truth-seeker), I value freedom more than the average person, feel like a "slave" just working for anyone else, hate being in charge of people just as I hate them being in charge of me, tend to give others their way in most situations (unless they're bullies, in which case I go into opposite mode), am as respectful (or more so) to those in "low" positions by the world's standards as those in "high" positions, am not and have never been prone to taking anything by force, etc. INFPs have pleasant, even somewhat passive, personalities EXCEPT when their core values are violated - something that occurs routinely in the religious forums, and they are dedicated more so than most others to causes and "the good fight".
Please don't pretend any of us are saying things that we clearly are not saying. No deceptions, no manipulations, please.
It has been my observation, consistently over some time now, that the local christian "ban-wagon", like a train on a track, follows two rails. It is wise to only approach them with appropriate ambiguity.
Yes, it doesn't just sound ludicrous, Cat, it IS ludicrous. I have heard this nonsense from christians many times. It is typical of persons who live with their head in the clouds. That's ok for the individual, just a matter of free choice. But when it is presented to others as being the "God-sent" answer for life in this world, it is utter nonsense. You may think it sounds like you are a nice, good person for doing this. You think you are doing your god's work. And, of course, if ever you make a slip up, or you think you might sound a bit egotistical, you can slip back into the jargon of "The Lord is Judge, not myself." A clever, glib response that lets you off the hook of responsibility. It's all just a cop-out from reality
I am so glad your religion is of another world. You go live in it, enjoy your glory. I am totally happy with my lot in this world, and when it gets too hot or cold for me to handle it, then will be the time to leave and end it. I am very comfortable with this fact and don't need any airy-fairy superstitious nonsense to live it. I make mistakes. My actions are sometimes unkind, uncertain, (yes, egotistical too, sometimes). But I take all responsibility for my own life and cannot pass any of it onto a person/being of "another world." Period.
It's not about me being a "nice, good person" - God alone is good. If I know the truth through no boast of my own, but only through the Spirit, and if I care about people as intensely as I do, then how can I not share that truth?
Yes, my head is "in the clouds" and I'm not at all content here in this lowly, often miserable place, but look with most eager expectation toward that better place which is my eternal home with my Lord. When I see the suffering of many here, I pray more fervently - Come, Lord Jesus, come! And he will come as unexpected as a thief in a day when the masses have already given up on his coming. But blessed are the ones who are still waiting for him and who have put their faith in him and who will be dressed beautifully as his bride when he does appear!
Amen, come Lord Jesus!!
Because, as we have told you a million times, your truth is not truth at all, so you can repeat it another millions times if you wish, but that will never change the fact that what you say is not truth.
Can you not see that you're just shouting into thin air and no one cares to hear it?
So, you hate living and want to dead because your religion teaches you to glorify death. Like so many others, I don't want any of that because this is not a lowly, often miserable place.
You are hugely mistaken, we are not suffering.
If your God is a thief, he should be put away in prison.
Well stated, although bound not to be well received. +1
Because Islam requires clitoridectomies and rejects sex altogether, and President Obama considers the US now the biggest Moslem nation in the world.
When you guys figure out whether I am a Christian or not, go ahead and drop Jesus an email or something to let him know whether I am a member of the club. He'll be relieved that he doesn't have to determine that for himself anymore. Think of how many more rounds of golf he can get in now.
After all, I'm sure your opinions on my faith matter just as much to him as they do to me.
It's all good Melissa. It appears you and Rad are both Christian, and me? Looks like I'm just a little bit Buddhist.
Hey, if you say you are a Buddhist, I believe you. After all, I think you are a better judge of your own faith than some random stranger on the internet who knows nothing about you or how you live your life.
I'm pretty sure Rad has said he's an atheist though... and I think, again, he would know better than a random stranger on the internet that knows nothing about his life.
jonnycomelately....apparently the "christians" have been so preoccupied with twisting the "Holy Bible" in so many directions, they do not know where to go. Not only do myriad offshoot's of Christianity twist words, they fail to read the paragraphs before, and following the passages they are so absorbed with. When Mr. Falwell was alive, and Mr. Robertson was screaming about male to male practices, they never continued to read the passages following regarding who, or what, was laying down with who or what...they are always ready to condemn one minority group for their practices, when they ignore the primary one about the commission of adultry being high on the list of abominations....it really makes one wonder just who is guilty of what.
Regarding the OP question, not the other...stuff: some of we Christians are deeply 'concerned with sexual matters' in the positive sense: that human sexuality can achieve spiritual proportions. Your assumption that 'we Christians' all have a negative obsession with sexual sin is simply....wrong.
I think what they're referring to is in Mark 6....
Mark 6:3-6 - 3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James and Joses, and of Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they were offended at Him.
4 But Jesus said unto them, “A prophet is not without honor, save in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.”
5 And He could do no mighty works there, except that He laid His hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.
6 And He marveled because of their unbelief. And He went round about the villages teaching.
And mark 8:22-26 where he had to heal a blind man twice.
These failings were corrected in later gospels and exaggerated into glowing successes as Jesus became less human and more divine in each retelling. Could not in mark became would not. Healed some became healed all, etc.
Jesus healed all who came to him in faith (Just as all who come to him in faith are justified). It doesn't make him any less powerful or divine that our faith affects it - this was the plan of God to give us our part in the equation.
Jesus' sacrifice on the cross for all + our acceptance of this gift = salvation
God's power (through Jesus when on earth and through the Spirit) + our faith = healing (or other miracle / answered prayer)
Yep:) that is how I understand things to be as I read it all and some by personal experience also. That is all besides my faith of course. It all lines up just as it seems it would if it were true, and I think it is.
That has nothing to do with the verse that I posted, and I'm not interested in proselytizing. I've heard the message. I understand the message. I don't believe that its true. Repeating it over and over again will not make be believe or accept it. If you want to have a conversation with me, talk to me. Don't preach at me.
This I see as the major problem when "discussing" with those who hold such a strongly christian view. It's often impossible to discuss objectively as you have tried to do, Julie. Cat333 will never draw away from her subjective christian view. When trying to look at the historical aspects of the biblical stories, you will not get an honest, inquiring attitude, only a proselytizing attitude.
I have often given ground on the desires and beliefs of individuals, allowing that they "believe," and I don't. Rarely do I get such respect and consideration in return for my a-theist view point. Therefore I put up my barrier, once again, and refuse to argue with the faithful. It becomes a waste of breath. Hence my comparative silence here in the discussion.
Had her defending beating slaves with clubs a while back. It is the most amazing thing. For some, not all, all reason disappears.
Now you've moved from manipulation to outright lies and slander, Rad Man! I specifically said the text did NOT read as instructing anyone to own or beat slaves, but rather when you read the entire chapter it similarly outlined the punishment / death penalty for those who both assaulted and killed a slave and a free person, but did not instruct the death penalty to those who injured but did not kill either the slave or the free person. It was actually a very similar punishment for both the slave and free person, and I don't think those who had slaves would have been so equitable.
If you're going to tell such blatant falsehoods about people, how can anyone participate in a discussion with you?
You make your own assumptions about things, you read into it what you "think" was meant. This is not sticking to what is written, surely. So why should Rad Man or J McF not draw their own conclusions, even if you don't agree with them?
Yes, that was an opinion that those who made slaves of people would likely not have been equitable in their Law for the slaves and free persons. It was admittedly not inspired and may or may not be accurate. It was however, thinking critically, though perhaps not in the direction of your liking.
We all may draw our own conclusions. The humanly unknown should only be stated as undeniably true when given by revelation from the Spirit.
That "spirit" you talk so much about is within you, and cannot be verified by anyone else.... yet you talk of it as though it's universal and none of us are in tune with you, as YOU see it!
When you are willing to admit that the opinions of others are just as valid, in terms of their own "spirit," then you and your "god" might gain some credibility. I notice you so often call up that "spirit" point of view when you run out of excuses for your narrow mindedness.
The Spirit is within me and within every believer and within the world to bring us to God and to bring truth and light to us. He makes himself known to us. The believers are at least to some degree in tune with the Spirit and his ways, though we still battle the flesh, and we do not have knowledge or revelation on all things.
It's not human opinion that is truly valid or of real worth; it is spiritual truth that brings light to us and to which we turn for truth. God's credibility is not affected by your or anyone's opinion. The Spirit is our counselor, guide, strength, comforter, etc. and should always be considered and relied on. If we are narrow-minded about the right things (e.g., narrow minded in our belief that racism is wrong, or hate is wrong, or slavery is wrong, or God is good, etc.) then this narrow mindedness is a positive and not a negative thing.
You just did it again. You are defending scripture that says one is not to be punished if they hit someone with a club as long as the victim gets up in a day or so. I that morally sound to you? Be honest. And for the record I can go back and show you where you were defending that scripture.
You will find me repeatedly saying God does NOT condone slavery! You will find me repeatedly saying that I do NOT condone slavery!
To say that the Law was roughly the same for the injured and killed free person and the injured and killed slave is NOT defending slavery or beating of anyone! When both the offender who assaulted the free person and the offender who assaulted the slave ended up killing them, the offenders were put to death. When either the free person or the slave recovered, the offenders were not put to death.
If you say I have EVER condoned slavery, you are telling a falsehood. For I do not and never have condoned slavery.
You do say God doesn't condone slavery, but you then say that it's reasonable and should be un-punishable to beat a slave as long as you don't kill him when you say that that scripture is reasonable.
You defend the scripture. Why? All you have to say is that it is unreasonable for anyone to beat his slave or another person with a club and that person should be punished therefore the scriptures is wrong. Go ahead and say the scripture is unethical.
I absolutely do NOT say either having a slave or beating a slave are reasonable - It is unreasonable to make a slave of anyone; it is unreasonable to beat a slave; it is unreasonable to beat anyone; it is unreasonable to kill anyone (excluding situations of self/other-defense). I am not and never have defended beating, slavery, killing, etc. However, not all these things are given the death penalty either by the Law given to the Jewish nation, or by the multitude of laws given by humans. I am not the one who has come up with either the Law God gave or any laws here on earth. And I don't know if or what I would say deserves the death penalty - whether murder or perhaps I wouldn't even feel comfortable with a death penalty at all. So what? Who am I that it matters?
Since the Scripture does NOT say that beating a slave is reasonable, why should I condemn the Scripture? The offender was not punished by the death penalty when the injured slave recovered, just like the offender was not punished by the death penalty when the injured free person recovered. Should there have been some other punishment than the death penalty - That would be good, but I don't think they had the same ease of arrest, jail, etc. as we do, so it was either death penalty, banishment or compensation. The injured free person and the injured slave were compensated in certain situations.
I believe the person who owned the slave was unethical in making a slave of anyone, and the person who beat the slave was even more unethical. I think some people would have had this truth within them back then. Since the time of Jesus Christ and the outpouring of the Spirit, we are more enlightened and more ethical than before this. With the Spirit guiding us intimately, people recognized that slavery was detestable and that people are one in Christ and so they worked to abolish slavery. This enlightenment spread. Thank God most of us are not dealing with slavery now, and let's continue to remember and fight for those who are still enslaved, either in sexual or other slavery in our day.
However the scripture does say there is no punishment for having a slave or beating that slave. None. Do you think there should have been punishment of some kind?
My opinion is yes, though I understand that the death penalty would be reserved for the killing and not injury of anyone (slave or free person), so I do NOT read the Scripture as condoning slavery or the beating of anyone. I don't know what other punishments the Israelites in that time period were capable of without jails, so I can only say from the viewpoint of someone accustomed to more options, ideally they would have been punished.
He did heal the sick there in verse five, and just didn't do mighty works because in his hometown, they lacked faith or belief. Miracles were often linked to the persons faith or belief. This is like a backwards reinforcement of hat idea.
They didn't have faith even though he was healing right in front of them. Think of this logic. Jesus heals. They lack faith. He doesn't do mighty works in his home town because of lack if faith, only healing some sick. (Miracles, by the way)
People today that could be said to lack faith, might use this very story to point towards the disbelief of his power to do miracles. It's the same mentality. He gives them exactly what they insist on. Later it's said to be inconsistent of the accounts even though the reason is given. No one I know that believes the gospels pretends they aren't written from four different points if view. Some include things others don't, they emphasize other things.
If it's just all false anyway, these supposed errors that were corrected later on would have also removed the prior part that would let people in on the big ploy. If it's about manipulating something that was "not" , to look better later , we wouldn't have seen the glaring "error" left in place. Especially not when assembling everything together later. It's counting on everyone involved to be liars and then doofuses, lol. Liars making up stuff or embellishing things would have been the first to catch this.
So it's really implausible this is the take away or a fair one. It looks more to me, just what it looks like, the simple reading of it. To each their own though.
Maybe someone wants to make a case why Jesus owed those in his hometown bigger miracles than he showed there, especially when they weren't believing? I would look at that argument. It would be hard to make also though considering what high priority seems to be put on belief and faith elsewhere.
I agree, if someone were looking to embellish the story, why leave the unaltered version in there as well where anyone and everyone who has access can compare and see the changes that were made?
It's been shown in the case of juries, when all members are shown the same video, then asked a series of questions about details they observed, that each of those members will remember things differently from all the others. Some will swear the main protagonist was wearing a red jacket while others are certain he wasn't wearing a jacket at all.
Because all four accounts are bound together, it's much more likely that differences are due to each individual recalling things differently, and much less that these were embellishments done later. If you're going to alter the text, why leave Mark alone, making the changes you made so obvious?
Which obviously begs the question "Who's accounts were more credible?"
None. People and their recollections are fallible. So I would think no single one is "more" credible than another if these are all we have to go by. But given we're provided four accounts, the best bet would be to reach a consensus through a combination of all of them.
That seems fair and reasonable to me.
A good jury and judge will look at all the accounts and then make a judgement. If justice and truth are their goal.
Your last paragraph is easily explained, headly. For several centuries, there was no new testament. People didn't have books (plural) of the Bible. They had a book. One. Some people liked mark. Some liked Matthew. Most people only had access to one.
We do have examples of later scribes changing and altering words and phrases. Bart ehrman discusses numerous examples of these changes. Some were accidents. Some were intentionally. Most of the time, people (even today) read the gospels vertically. They read Matthew, then read mark, then read Luke, then read John. They don't read them horizontally, comparing the gospel accounts to each other so a lot of these differences go unnoticed. You can say it's didn't perspectives, that's fine. But there is a big difference between he could not do miracles and he would not do miracles. One is intentional, one is not.
Marks Jesus was very human. He gets angry. He fails at times. He dies alone, in agony on the cross. The latter gospels don't portray him that way, and if it's a simple difference of perspective (and how can it be perspective when the authors weren't there to perceive it) then they can't all be true.
Well, that's fair and makes sense. I'm just thinking if I were going to take it upon myself to embellish a historical account, knowing full well there are other copies of that same text and other tellings of the same events floating around, then I haven't really done what I set out to do. In fact, with the other books and other copies, I'm only making the tampering more obvious.
And the tampering is obvious to people who study textual criticism. It's been recorded in bits and peeves for over a thousand years. As ehrman points or, there are more variations in the surviving manuscripts than there are words in the new testament. Apologists have ways around these suddenness, but they do exist. Matthew constantly corrects mistakes in mark in his own gospel. He doesn't rewrite mark itself, but rewrites the gospel with the corrections within it. He corrects geographical information, judaic cultures and traditions, prophecies, etc.
Luke does a similar thing with mark and Matthew, and even States it. He states that there are lots of gospels out there, insinuates that they're wrong, goes out to investigate for himself and write down the real story - and then rips off Matthew and mark to do it.
Well, I've never been one to hold the bible up as being anything other than man-made and fallible. To me, the fallible human element is consistent with the story being told, and should always be accounted for.
I think the gospels accomplished exactly what they needed to. They all consistently convey the man's message. And I think they adequately confirm that there was indeed a man going around in that age, getting people's fur up, causing upheaval with what he had to say.
Because so many hands have been in the punch, this is one of the reasons why I started back at the beginning and looked to find proper context to ground it in. That way it allows to build out from there. The stories told by those gospels, the message conveyed, is consistent with what should be expected, given how the story started. Because free will introduced the capability for evil into the world, a being like Jesus was necessary. The "last Adam" to account for the fall of the "first Adam". The whole reason behind Adam dying as a result and Adam and Eve then needing to procreate. Jesus was the ultimate result of that. It completes the story.
Sounds like you were there and you're a mind reader (or someone gave you some sort of supernatural revelation about all this). I mean how else would you know what gospels Luke was referring to, or what he "ripped off"?
Cat333, there is such a thing as intelligent and diligent study. Have you tried it?
People in these forums can't even accurately assess people's motives here and now, and in general people do miserably at such with far too much projection, assumptions, etc. How would she accurately assess Luke's motives no matter how much study she put into it?
This is what is studied when you study the history of the Bible, textual criticism and biblical and early Christian history. I'm not just pulling it out of my ass. I studied this stuff. I still study this stuff, and this is not news to anyone in the field of biblical studies, textual criticism and theology. Where on earth have you been that you either blocked this knowledge out willingly or never heard it before? Have you done any research whatsoever on early church history, how and why the Bible was canonized in the first place or what process it was canonized by?
Here's the thing. Luke chapter one States that there are many gospels floating around. He states that he is going to investigate it for himself and write the true gospel. Then he copies a relatively high amount of Matthew and mark. That's not investigating. It's plagiarism.
Or if he was led by the Spirit, it's putting in exactly what was intended by God to be in. There may have been far more gospels around than Mark and Matthew. If they contained too many human errors, God would not through the Spirit ensure that they survived and were included as were the others which matched truth closely enough. Perhaps Luke included so much of Mark and Matthew's gospels because through the Spirit he recognized that so much of theirs was in fact inspired by the Spirit.
These studies you speak of don't impress me at all. People don't impress me at all. God does.
Your theorists think Paul couldn't have written in different styles at different times to different people. How silly. They can study until Jesus' return, like hamsters running in their wheels. But for those of us who believe and know God, let us press on to truly know him and follow his loving encouragement - "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know." (Jeremiah 33:3)
I can help with that pain. Would you allow me to put you in my thoughts?
You really don't know anything about the faith that you're a part of, do you? You haven't studied the text critically. You haven't studied the early history of the church. You have no idea why the majority of biblical scholars both secular and christian agree that several of the letters attributed to Paul are forgeries in his name. You have no idea why the gospels were not written by the people whose names are on them. You claim to love this god and this faith so much that you've blinded yourself to basic truths about it. Scholars accept and understand this stuff, and it doesn't impact their faith at all. they're still christians. Recognizing the truth does not diminish your love of god - it ENHANCES it for a great many biblical scholars. I'm not expecting you to be impressed, and I don't give a crap about impressing you or anyone else here. I just don't understand why some people are so adamant that they can't even acknowledge truth in an effort to protect their religious beliefs. Protect them from what? If they're true, and you're right, they don't need to be defended.
"But there is a big difference between he could not do miracles and he would not do miracles. One is intentional, one is not."
I believe it's both - he COULD not and he WOULD not based on their lack of faith. Both were true, therefore both were permitted by the Spirit to be included and maintained in the Word.
The essential truths are provided with slight differences. So, for example, if one gospel says that if we know how to give good gifts to our children, how much more will God give "good gifts", and another version says how much more will God give "the Holy Spirit" to those who ask for it, these may sound different but are really the same - gifts come through the Spirit.
Remember the writers were never present during Jesus's life. Marks was written first and the others had his to go by. If they were embellished that much during the time they were written down imagine how the stories had changed in the 70 years between Jesus and Marks writings.
Think of this logic. No one can heal by use of magic. Believing that someone could heal by use of magic is not a use of logic.
And, the gullible would lap it all up.
Exerting power over others has always been the bullying way,,,wherever this pursuit can imply the most impact on human dignity is where bullies go. Christianity; a bullying religion that carries a bloody, bullying history targets human sexuality as its moral "code".
Sexuality is natural, and anything of nature must be controlled. The more my beliefs change, the more I realize marriage is a foreign concept and sex is just a part of nature that cannot be contained.
Christian mysticism is a watered down version of mainstream christianity. Christians have this mentality of, if i take out the bad parts then Christianity will be harmless. If all of it is bad, then it is hard to weed out the bad parts.
How would you describe or define Christian mysticism?
Christian mysticism is a component of mainstream Christianity. I'm very conservative and there's no way I can see that phrases like "born again," "Christ in you" and "the life is in the blood" fail to carry mystical components. That does not mean nor should it that mysticism is the main or most important part of Christianity.
To me anyone practising cruel and anti social practices simply isn't a true believer.God is only good.
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Why does it seem most Christians are immature.It seems most people professing to be Christian do not have a proper grounding in the scriptures. They drink the milk but do not seem to be able ( or maybe no desire?) to eat the real meat- understand the deeper things of God, in spite of the fact...
by Grace Marguerite Williams 4 years ago
the issues of sex and sexuality? Sex and sexuality is a normative part of human life. However, many religionists view sex and sexuality quite negatively, especially women's sexuality. They strongly contend that in order to be religious, one must subvert the sexual...
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