Hello Richard
Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
That doesn't help because the "warts" we are talking about are the horrible things the Bible attributes to God.
I can see from what I have written, "the warts and all", I should have said only relates to God's chosen nation; not to the inspired scriptures. One could have expected God's chosen nation to be spoken of in a wonderful terms and presentes us with what a perfect society should be like. One would think that they should have been better examples. We cannot accuse God of hiding anything. God wants us to learn from everything He has caused to be written whether by inspiration before, at or after the event. God has written all that we need to know, including getting to the bottom of we should learn and understand from this episoed involving the 32,000 virgins. God has recorded these events for our learning, I will look for the lessons before I stand in moral judgement of God about which I might not have all the facts or understand them if I do.

Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
Say what? You can't "see" any such thing. I would never command genocide and institutionalize rape of women as "war booty." I would never condemn my own child to eternal hell for the "crime" of thinking independently. Why do you make such baseless claims? The morality of the Bible is primitive and much of it is and should be rejected by all humans with authentic morality. Can you find anything in the Bible that is higher than the morality I aspire to?
I have responded to Rose and I have to agree with others, this is not institutional rape in the episode we are considering. Once we examine every fact and question and possible answer and reason, I trust we might all reach the same conclusion. I expect you have or will read my response to Rose's last reply to me, so I will let this point rest for now.

Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
Why does the Bible attribute things to God that are universally rejected as immoral? How can you say that his ways are "higher" when they obviously are so much lower?
What do you mean by "universally"? I do not agree with your statement, therefore I am not part of the universalism you are claiming here or that I recognise.

Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
You seem to forget that God didn't have to command his people to murder everyone in the promised land. He had an infinity of other possible choices. Why then did he choose to fill teh world with violence and command his people to be brutal bloody baby killers? I've asked this question a does times and no one dares to touch it. WHY IS GOD SO ENAMOURED WITH VIOLENCE? He didn't have to do things that way. Why does God choose violence when there are so many other possible solutions?
Richard, please tell us of the alternative choices God had. Maybe you are thinking God could have brought a plague on all the people and killed them that way. Maybe God could have caused a localised flood and drowned them all. If God had cleared the land this way, are you agreeing this was morally acceptable? Are we now just having to come to terms with the reason God chose not to do it this way? The fact that another way was chosen, is teaching us a lot, especially the consequence of not folllowing God's instructions to the letter. It is the consequences of people's rebellion and not following instruction that God is having to deal with.

Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
Yes, we all make assumptions - we have no choice. That's why we need to keep talking so we can clear things up and come to a mutual understanding.
That is why everyone should put forward all their questions and everyone should contribute their answers and put forward every possible reason and fact to be taken into account before a conclusion can be found. We all have different levels of understanding based on our years of studying God's word and it should benefit us all by contributing to and reading these threads.

Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
You say that "God expects us to come to him on his terms, not ours." That's another example of something that is much worse than normal human morality. I don't demand my children to come to me on my terms. Loving parents want their children to come to them freely on their own terms. They delight in diversity and freedom. Loving parents would not rule over their children like dictators who enforce their authority with threats of horrific punishment. This is the problem with the Christian world view. It is modeled on the worst human social institution of an autocrat with absolute (and arbitrary) authority over the lives of all his subjects. He commands worship, and all who refuse are tortured to death. This is the view presented by Christians. They say "God loves you so much that if you refuse his commands he will condemn you forever to torture in the flames of hell!"
Do you never give your children rules Richard? Are you going to let your children run riot all the time? What sort of society can you expect if you do not set rules and boundaries for your children?Jesus as you know said; "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." We really must understand the implication of what Jesus is saying here and how it is to apply to our lives. Is this not setting the terms?

At least by your outrageous claim that God tortures everyone who does not worhip him, you make your opinion abundantly clear. The notion is outrageous as to be incredible and I trust others will see this for themselves as I do. I shall leave others to comment if they want.

Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
I do hope this conversation will continue. We are dealing with essential issues.
I agree, we are dealing with essential issues. This episode we are discussing here has been brought up in other threads and so I do not want to appear to be going over the same old ground in what I say. I shall try to stay on topic as much as possible and not get side-tracked too much. If I miss responding to any of your replies it is either because we have come to a natural end, or I have not got round to replying and have been concentrating on other threads and taken too long to come back to the thread to add anything of further value. It is difficult to stay on topic without bringing in other essential issues, and I am sure that as we have been doing, we shall be covering the same ground in threads to come, so the conversations will continue; if not in this thread.

All the best to you Richard

David