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  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    It is better to engage in the evidence, I agree. The problem here is that I do not accept the evidence you are quoting from the Book of Enoch. I accept that Jude has quoted that one verse but as to the remainder of the book we do not know what is attributable to Enoch. I have been saying that I will not accept the Book of Enoch as evidence. Neither I will I accept other books like the Apocrypha which are not in the Bible, so please do not expect me to accept any quotes outside the Bible as evidence. It is good where you can show perfect harmony as in this one verse, but as to the remainder you will have to take out all of the crud. You know it is not a book to be trusted which is why I cannot understand why you refer to it. Anything scientifically or archeologically I am prepared to listen to. Not works of men pretending to be divinely inspired.
    You comment seems contradictory. First, you say "It is better to engage in the evidence" and then you say "I will not accept the Book of Enoch as evidence." But you did not engage the evidence at all. You merely rejected it because it contradicts your ideas.

    When I say "engage the evidence" I mean that you need to give an answer for the two facts I presented:

    1) Jude 1:14 mentions Enoch by name, and quotes the form of the Book of Enoch that we currently have.

    2) Jude 1:6 naturally coheres with the main theme of the part of the Book of Enoch that Jude quoted.

    The implication of these two facts is that Jude agreed with the Book of Enoch on those two points. Do you have an answer for this evidence? If not, what logical basis do you have for rejecting it? The Book of Enoch is an archeological fact. You cannot reject it unless you want to argue that it was produced after Jude wrote his letter.

    I know you have suggested that the Book of Enoch may have been altered. I agree that is a possibility, but you have not presented any evidence supporting your hypothesis and until you do you will have no logical reason to reject the facts presented.

    I think you are confused about what it means to engage the evidence. It has nothing to do with accepting the Book of Enoch as authoritative like the Bible. It is not a question of the "truth" of the Book of Enoch. The question is whether or not the two facts I have presented are indeed facts. You need to engage the evidence, that is, the facts I presented, if you want your interpretation to be justified.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    I replied to this in my last post. I do not care what other scholars say. They can all be wrong. I expect you as a free thinker to think again and free yourself in thought as you have freed yourself from following Christian dogma. I think others on this forum see you as changing from one dogma to that of your own. If you are putting forward evidence that is not your own or that you do not believe, then you must make that very clear or else I can only assume that is what you believe. If the word "angels" can apply to men as equally as to God's Holy Angels then both interpretations should be accepted until the whole body of evidence is in. Then make a judgment on the whole body of evidence. Unfortunately, the other side gets rubbished instead of accepting and begging to differ. Anyway, let's hope we can stick to the evidence that can be relied on.
    How can you say that you "do not care what other scholars say"? The scholars have presented evidence and reasons for their conclusions. It is unreasonable, by definition, to merely reject them without reason.

    I don't know why you would suggest I am not thinking for myself. That's exactly what I'm doing when I weigh all the evidence and come to the most logical conclusion it implies.

    I have no idea why you would suggest that anything I have written is based on a "dogma." I have given logic and facts for all my statements. If I have erred, you need only show the error in the logic or the facts.

    Your idea that I must personally "believe" the things that the texts state in order to accept them as evidence is wrong. If we were talking about what the Korah states, I would believe it says "Allah is God." That has nothing to do with whether or not I personally believe that Allah really is God. If we are talking about objective facts, our personal beliefs are irrelevant. I am merely talking about what the texts actually state.

    The mere fact that "angels" can refer to humans or angels is not under dispute. The question is "What did Jude intend?" The evidence - the two facts presented above - suggest that he believed that angels had sex with women. To support your interpretation, you need to explain why Jude would mention human "angels" in the immediate context of the archangel Michael. He gave no indication that he meant human angels, and we have strong evidence to the contrary.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    And I don't link Enoch to the whole book of Jude. I linked it to the at were Jude quoted and the verse that speaks quite plainly about the angels who left their first estate, just like Enoch.
    Once again;"left their own estate" needs to be explained. How many explanations can we find? How many explanations can you give? Once all the explanations have been found, it needs to be decided which is the best fit? This is what we need to do; examine all possibilities before deciding which is the best evidence.
    I agree we should review the entire set of possible explanations. But the one I have presented fits natural with the idea that Jude agreed with the Book of Enoch. Many serious scholars have come to the same conclusion based on the evidence.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    You reject evidence if it contradicts your preferred doctrine. That is the essence of ignorance, and you will be chained in darkness as long as you persist in such behavior.
    Of course I do, it does not stop me listening and it does not make me ignorant. Once again, you are being disparaging. You cannot expect me to quit my beliefs to fit in with yours (whatever they are now].
    Yes, I was being disparaging of ignorance, since it is the cause of so much confusion, pain, and misery. It would apply to you only if you choose to act in a way that fits that description. You could just as well have agreed with me that "rejecting evidence if it contradicts your preferred doctrine" will indeed keep anyone who does that "chained in darkness."

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    I know you have "changed your own estate" in more ways than one.
    That's a good one. It exemplifies by example your interpretation of that verse. And I grant that as a possibility, but it applies just as well to angels who left heaven to have sex with women (as stated in the Book of Enoch) so it does not help us discern between which interpretation is correct.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    God's word does not change.
    Actually, it has changed a lot over the years. There was a time it didn't exist at all, and as it came into being over a period of 1500 years it was in a state of constant flux. And many things about it have changed. Different denominations have different collections of books, and sometimes in different order. And most significantly, there are some texts in "God's Word" that we don't even know if they are supposed to be there or what the originally said because of textual variations.

    But I understand your sentiment. I used to like to say that myself ... before I "changed my estate."

    Well, I gotta run. I'll be back in an hour to complete my response.

    All the best,

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

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  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    You comment seems contradictory. First, you say "It is better to engage in the evidence" and then you say "I will not accept the Book of Enoch as evidence." But you did not engage the evidence at all. You merely rejected it because it contradicts your ideas.

    When I say "engage the evidence" I mean that you need to give an answer for the two facts I presented:

    1) Jude 1:14 mentions Enoch by name, and quotes the form of the Book of Enoch that we currently have.

    2) Jude 1:6 naturally coheres with the main theme of the part of the Book of Enoch that Jude quoted.

    The implication of these two facts is that Jude agreed with the Book of Enoch on those two points. Do you have an answer for this evidence? If not, what logical basis do you have for rejecting it? The Book of Enoch is an archeological fact. You cannot reject it unless you want to argue that it was produced after Jude wrote his letter.

    I know you have suggested that the Book of Enoch may have been altered. I agree that is a possibility, but you have not presented any evidence supporting your hypothesis and until you do you will have no logical reason to reject the facts presented.

    I think you are confused about what it means to engage the evidence. It has nothing to do with accepting the Book of Enoch as authoritative like the Bible. It is not a question of the "truth" of the Book of Enoch. The question is whether or not the two facts I have presented are indeed facts. You need to engage the evidence, that is, the facts I presented, if you want your interpretation to be justified.

    Richard
    Hello Richard
    You have changed your opinions about the Bible, I cannot see why you would want to change your opinion of the Book of Enoch unless to support your current ideas. For the reasons you state in your post below, I am not entertaining the idea of quoting from the Book of Enoch. I have conceded the one verse which is obvious but as to uncertain scriptural truths, I am staying well clear. It is sufficient to know the erroneous message it contains.

    [QUOTE]23rd June 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    Hey Bob,
    I was beginning to follow the same line of thought, but now I see it as backwards. Enoch is obviously not Scripture. As mentioned by Rose, it has a "totally different feel and flavor" about it. It has all the earmarks of an error ridden man-made book. It professes all sorts of "secret knowledge" such as the exact names of the leading angels that fell and"all the secrets of the heavens ... the secrets of the lightning and of the thunder, and the secrets of the winds ... and the secrets of the clouds and dew" etc., etc., etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseum.
    So given the fact that we KNOW that 1 Enoch can not be trusted, it would be pure folly for us to infer anything from it that is not explicitly stated in Scripture. This means that we can not conclude that angels and humans produced children, since there is no unambiguous witness to that idea in the Bible.
    This is the end of this story as far as the Book of Enoch is concerned. I am sticking with your original conclusion.

    All the best,
    David
    Last edited by David M; 05-10-2012 at 10:01 AM.

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    Hello Richard

    You have changed your opinions about the Bible, I cannot see why you would want to change your opinion of the Book of Enoch unless to support your current ideas. For the reasons you state in your post below, I am not entertaining the idea of quoting from the Book of Enoch. I have conceded the one verse which is obvious but as to uncertain scriptural truths, I am staying well clear. It is sufficient to know the erroneous message it contains.

    23rd June 2007
    Hey Bob,

    I was beginning to follow the same line of thought, but now I see it as backwards. Enoch is obviously not Scripture. As mentioned by Rose, it has a "totally different feel and flavor" about it. It has all the earmarks of an error ridden man-made book. It professes all sorts of "secret knowledge" such as the exact names of the leading angels that fell and"all the secrets of the heavens ... the secrets of the lightning and of the thunder, and the secrets of the winds ... and the secrets of the clouds and dew" etc., etc., etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseum.
    So given the fact that we KNOW that 1 Enoch can not be trusted, it would be pure folly for us to infer anything from it that is not explicitly stated in Scripture. This means that we can not conclude that angels and humans produced children, since there is no unambiguous witness to that idea in the Bible.
    This is the end of this story as far as the Book of Enoch is concerned. I am sticking with your original conclusion.

    All the best,
    David
    Hey there David,

    I'm really glad you found that quote from my old post. I wrote that five years ago when I was still a fundamentalist Christian. It shows how I reasoned from the Bible much in the same way as you do now. And I must say that my reasoning would be valid if we began with the presupposition that the Bible is true. This is a perfect example of how our presuppositions affect our reasoning. I was willing to reject evidence for no reason other than the fact that it contradicted my presupposition! If I were a proud man, I guess this might make me feel embarrassed. But as a man humbled by the fact that he knows he's been wrong about many things, this example encourages me because I see that I am making progress and though I was ignorant because of false presuppositions I was ultimately able to free my mind and accept the evidence.

    So now I understand why you simply cannot, under any circumstances, accept the evidence in this case. I once was where you are now. Acceptance of the evidence would mean that Jude agreed with an erroneous book and is therefore in error. This would imply that the Bible contains error, and that contradicts your presupposition.

    But this brings up a really thorny question. How do you know your presupposition about the Bible is true? How could you tell if you were wrong? What if you were a Muslim and presumed the Koran is the Word of God and rejected any evidence that contradicted that fact? How would you free yourself from your false beliefs?

    So now the question is this: Why do you presume that the Bible has no error? You can't say it is a conclusion based on evidence if you reject all evidence that contradicts your presupposition! That would be a textbook case of circular reasoning. So I presume you will say you believe it through "faith" but that's just saying you believe it because you believe it, and that doesn't help ensure you are not trapped in a false religion. It's exactly what Muslims and Mormons would say.

    I think this question hits at the heart of it all: Do you have an intellectual foundation for your faith, or is objectively indistinguishable from all the false religions?

    Great chatting my friend. You've really gone the distance and have proven yourself a "worthy opponent."

    All the best,

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

  4. #64
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    Posting personal experiences about what family members and strangers said to you is not what makes you look nuts. The appearance of nuttiness comes in when you say things like "if I was predestined to be the Beast,then I know how by me trying to tell the world of my family secret society activities,then I may very well be able to prevent mass destruction and so change the scriptures that were foretold about me."

    Do you see that? You suggested that you might be the Beast foretold in the Scriptures! That's sorta the definition of nuttiness. And then when you say you may be able to prevent mass destruction doubles down on the nuttiness. And then you added another sign of nuttiness when you said "I currentky know how to make very cheap electricity by the many machines that I have planned in my head."

    Even if you really are the Beast, you don't think anyone would believe you just because you said so, do you?

    Are you able to take a step back and notice how your comments might seem to others? What would you think if you read similar comments from some person on the internet? Surely you must be able to see that your post makes you look like you have delusions of grandeur (a symptom of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder).
    So when you were a Christian you believed you were foretold about in the Scriptures? As you believed you were one of the saved people making you a citizen of Heaven... Of course ''you'' never had people come up to you and verify any of this as you personally believed the Scriptures were talking about you being a disciple bought at a price the blood of the Messiah...

    Now Richard, the difference is I had people come up to me throughout my childhood and early days of being me an Adult to tell me things about who I is....... So I am a mile infront of you when coming to taking about experiences relating to Scriptures as ''yours'' was by imagination only by what you called faith,whereas mine was with direct contact which makes mine of reality.

    Now if I am the Beast in relation to my experiences in direct contact with the powers that be,then it's up to me to resist prophecy and change times appointed for me by God by me refusing to take the Dragon's Power.If I keep using up the days,months,years and decades then eventually the time appointed for me will run out and so God will have to send his Messiah without the Great Tribulation taking place.

    Just as faith is dead without works,so to prophecy is dead without workers.
    Last edited by highflyertoo; 05-10-2012 at 02:40 PM.

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by highflyertoo View Post
    So when you were a Christian you believed you were foretold about in the Scriptures? As you believed you were one of the saved people making you a citizen of Heaven... Of course ''you'' never had people come up to you and verify any of this as you personally believed the Scriptures were talking about you being a disciple bought at a price the blood of the Messiah...
    I thought the believers in Christ as the Church were foretold, but not me personally.

    As for what people may or may not have told you, why do you present that as evidence when you know that no one has any way to confirm your words? So it's not evidence at all. It's just your assertions.

    Quote Originally Posted by highflyertoo View Post
    Now Richard, the difference is I had people come up to me throughout my childhood and early days of being me an Adult to tell me things about who I is....... So I am a mile infront of you when coming to taking about experiences relating to Scriptures as ''yours'' was by imagination only by what you called faith,whereas mine was with direct contact which makes mine of reality.
    And how is anyone reading your posts supposed to discern between you and a madman? Please think about this. The internet is filled with people making claims like yours. A few months ago a member claimed to be the "holy spirit" and the "Queen of the South" and said many prophecies were about her. And others have contacted me to "prove" they were Christ through some numerological schemes. So why do you post things that only make you look like another nutcase?

    Quote Originally Posted by highflyertoo View Post
    Now if I am the Beast in relation to my experiences in direct contact with the powers that be,then it's up to me to resist prophecy and change times appointed for me by God by me refusing to take the Dragon's Power.If I keep using up the days,months,years and decades then eventually the time appointed for me will run out and so God will have to send his Messiah without the Great Tribulation taking place.

    Just as faith is dead without works,so to prophecy is dead without workers.
    You don't realize how nutty that sounds? And besides, if God wrote the prophecies, then you can't make them false since he already knows what would happen.
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
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  6. #66
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    I thought the believers in Christ as the Church were foretold, but not me personally.

    As for what people may or may not have told you, why do you present that as evidence when you know that no one has any way to confirm your words? So it's not evidence at all. It's just your assertions.


    And how is anyone reading your posts supposed to discern between you and a madman? Please think about this. The internet is filled with people making claims like yours. A few months ago a member claimed to be the "holy spirit" and the "Queen of the South" and said many prophecies were about her. And others have contacted me to "prove" they were Christ through some numerological schemes. So why do you post things that only make you look like another nutcase?


    You don't realize how nutty that sounds? And besides, if God wrote the prophecies, then you can't make them false since he already knows what would happen.
    So people think you were mad when you and your wife claimed to be saved by God? Also do you think you were or still are mad for saying the Bible Wheel is correct to how God revealed it to you,and if God didn't show you,are you willing to admit that the Bible Wheel is fantasy from your own current Atheist belief?

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by highflyertoo View Post
    So people think you were mad when you and your wife claimed to be saved by God? Also do you think you were or still are mad for saying the Bible Wheel is correct to how God revealed it to you,and if God didn't show you,are you willing to admit that the Bible Wheel is fantasy from your own current Atheist belief?
    People who think all Christians are mad would of course thing I was mad. People who don't think all Christians are mad wouldn't think I was mad. What does that have to do with your claim that you might be the Beast of Revelation? Pretty much everyone has good reason to think that claim indicates madness.

    I still think the Bible Wheel is valid because all the evidence stands. I've had it on the net for over a decade and no one has ever shown any fundamental flaw or systematic error. So I am mystified by it now since I don't believe the Bible was inspired by the God it describes. But there is no madness in anything relating to me or the Bible Wheel as far as I can tell.
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
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  8. #68
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    Good morning Richard
    I will reply to your questions and this will be the end of this subject for me in this thread in which we have digressed from the subject of the thread in pursuance of our own topic at the moment. I expect this will be picked up again in another thread though I now appreciate you see where I am coming from and that there is no point quoting from the Book of Enoch and the like. We just have to battle on without reference to such sources.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    Hey there David,

    How do you know your presupposition about the Bible is true?
    As there is no way to prove God other than by what I have told you already and which we have not got around to discussing properly is that only God can predict the future. This is the only way God can be proved. Evolution cannot be proved. I am not presupposing the Bible is true, because I can see (where you cannot see) that God's prophecies have come true. Therefore, that is my fundamental reason for believing God's word.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    How could you tell if you were wrong?
    Either God must reveal to me I am wrong or I have to be convinced by someone else I am wrong. All I know is that I am not alone in my thinking. Therefore, as I do not have to consider I am entirely wrong, I also accept that I might not be entirely correct. If I and others think the same and we are all wrong, so be it, but you have not proved this to be the case. However, I have to decide who is more right than wrong and that is my judgment call. The fact is, I cannot accept your reasoning and can only ask; "what makes you think your are more more correct than I am?" You do not have to answer any of my questions in this post as I want this to be my last reply.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    What if you were a Muslim and presumed the Koran is the Word of God and rejected any evidence that contradicted that fact? How would you free yourself from your false beliefs?
    You have asked this stock question from me before and I have answered it, but in case you accuse me of not answering the question, I will reply once more and for the final time.
    I said before that this is a difficult question to answer. I am thankful to God that He has revealed His word of Truth to me and that I can understand it. These "what if" questions are difficult to answer and I admit I could be trapped into believing what Muslims do if I was brought up in that culture. However, individuals can renounce whatever religion they have been brought up in from a child. It is back to individual choice. If we are so programmed at youth as not to be able to make that choice later, that is a tragedy. A strong-minded and open-minded person will decide for themselves. It is hypothetical to think what would have happened if I was born into a Muslim community. There is nothing to say that I could not have been an individual in that society to reject it and convert to another faith, which happened to be based on God's word as found in the Bible. We see this happens to people now just as people leave Christianity and become Muslims.

    The destiny of children brought up in other cultures lies behind the arguments we have been having with the Canaanites, who God destroyed. "Like father, like son" springs to mind. Children born into these cultures result in the children growing up and doing exactly what their parents did. If there were individuals who believed in God, He would save them and give them a way out. Where people are deaf and blind to God's word and instruction and commit evil acts in killing children and are an abomination to God, then as I have explained, these people are reprobates and God destroyed them, because there was no future for them in God's Kingdom. If they would not, or could not alter their ways, God gives up on them. They become pawns in the plan of God. They would never be accepted into His kingdom to come at the time of judgement and are no loss to God now or in the future. It is a hard fact of life that has to be accepted. God judges the heart of all individuals and if God sees a person's heart is right toward Him, that is the basis on which He will accept them. It is God's right to decide. It is not the right of humans to tell God how He should judge or who He chooses.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    So now the question is this: Why do you presume that the Bible has no error? You can't say it is a conclusion based on evidence if you reject all evidence that contradicts your presupposition! That would be a textbook case of circular reasoning. So I presume you will say you believe it through "faith" but that's just saying you believe it because you believe it, and that doesn't help ensure you are not trapped in a false religion. It's exactly what Muslims and Mormons would say.
    I have never said the Bible has no error. When I said; "I accept the Bible has errors of translation etc.", you used that against me. What I claim and you have to disprove is; the original texts which God inspired to be written had no error in them. This also answers the point I made about God's word does not change. God has not changed the text or the promises or the prophecies He made when those texts were first written. I accept God can change His mind on whether to punish or forgive according to His mercy and grace. Even though God knows the end from the beginning in that He will bring certain events to happen. Nevertheless there is room in His plan for man to have freewill and make choices and take a take course which God to correct later. God will cause subsequent events in order to keep to His plan on track. This is why there is room for God to change His mind about who should be punished. This does not alter His promises or prophecies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    I think this question hits at the heart of it all: Do you have an intellectual foundation for your faith, or is objectively indistinguishable from all the false religions?
    This is the difference between us. You are very intellectually based and your intellect is based on the writings of men. Your intellect is not based on the wisdom of God. I shall say it again, "I do not think you have ever had a full knowledge of God's Truth and wisdom that comes from propery understanding God's word". Only those who believe in God's word the same as I do will agree with me when I say this. I expect you to reject that statement; it is natural that you do. However, you have shown yourself to have changed your mind/thinking and have rejected God and His word (for the present). I can only hope you begin to see the folly of that and you might return to fully comprehend what The Truth is. That will only happen if you truly open your mind to listen and appreciate what other people are presenting to you (as I am doing). You appear to me to have formulated your opinion before having weighed all the evidence. In weighing the evidence, you are not including that which you have already rejected. This is a subjective statement on my part I know. I am seeing God's word differently to you and until your perspective changes again, we will continue to have our difference of opinion. God does not change, His word does not change. If I do have the Truth (IMHO) why should I change from that? The Truth does not change. I would not expect you to change your mind once you find the Truth. I am prepared to change where I know I am uncertain. If I suddenly decide to accept God does not exist, I must reject everything that I have learnt about Him. That is not going to happen after 40 years of study and accepting the prophecies and accepting everything the Bible has taught me. However, you have shown me you have changed your mind and have rejected God and His word. I have agreed with you that you are right to reject doctrines as they have been taught you, which you say are Christian doctrines. I see you putting forth beliefs as evidence confirming what you were taught and which are not scriptural. You continue to present these as facts though you say you do not believe in the Bible. I do not see that you have rejected those beliefs as I would like you to do. I would like you to open your eyes, as you say you are doing. In my opinion you are remaining blind to the alternative explanations being presented to you. Until you can change your spiritual eyes and recognize God's word for the Truth it is, you will remain spiritually blind to God's word. Alas, your great intellect will not get you anywhere with God, only with your peers who think like you do. I do not have your intellect for languages. I have intellect to understand many things. I use my intellect to make my decisions. The fact my choice agrees with others and not yours is no reason to say that I have not applied intellect and reasoning to my decision. You accuse me of blind faith, when nothing could be further from the truth. I can see The Truth as well as I can see the arguments you put forward. I can reason against them using my intellect. I do not have the intellect of a genius and I do not have to have read all the intellectual books that you have read in order to understand that God's word is Truth. Truth can be accepted on all levels from a child who takes things on trust, to "doubting Thomas's" who will not believe until they have seen the evidence. You just need to appreciate the evidence that is in front of you, but you do not perceive to be true.

    All the best. We will continue with this; I am certain.

    David

    PS. I am going to post now my understanding of "angels" in Jude 6. It is my interpretation which is either accepted, rejected, or retained to weigh in the balances as part of all the evidence received. I will not be entering discussions about it. Others can simply state their interpretation if different from mine.
    Last edited by David M; 05-12-2012 at 02:47 AM.

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    Good morning Richard
    I will reply to your questions and this will be the end of this subject for me in this thread in which we have digressed from the subject of the thread in pursuance of our own topic at the moment. I expect this will be picked up again in another thread though I now appreciate you see where I am coming from and that there is no point quoting from the Book of Enoch and the like. We just have to battle on without reference to such sources.
    Good morning David,

    I'll check out the commentary you wrote.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    As there is no way to prove God other than by what I have told you already and which we have not got around to discussing properly is that only God can predict the future. This is the only way God can be proved. Evolution cannot be proved. I am not presupposing the Bible is true, because I can see (where you cannot see) that God's prophecies have come true. Therefore, that is my fundamental reason for believing God's word.
    I think it is pretty clear that there are no prophecies in the Bible that would convince a person who did not begin with the presupposition that the Bible is true. Therefore, it seems pretty clear that "fulfilled prophecies" are not the reason you chose to believe the Bible. On the contrary, you began with a belief in the Bible, and are now trying to justify that presupposition by appealing to prophecies.

    As for evolution - of course it can't be "proven" in the absolute sense of logic or mathematics. No science, and certainly not the Bible, could be proven that way. But evolution is "proven" in the same sense as gravity and electromagnetism and all the other empirical sciences. It has been observed in nature in countless contexts from the variations in the finches beaks that Darwin observed to the evolution of antibacterial resistant microbes. And most significantly, the DNA evidence strongly supports the idea of common descent - that all living organisms descended from a common ancestor. Evolution is a fact established by mountains of evidence. Simple as that.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    Either God must reveal to me I am wrong or I have to be convinced by someone else I am wrong. All I know is that I am not alone in my thinking. Therefore, as I do not have to consider I am entirely wrong, I also accept that I might not be entirely correct. If I and others think the same and we are all wrong, so be it, but you have not proved this to be the case. However, I have to decide who is more right than wrong and that is my judgment call. The fact is, I cannot accept your reasoning and can only ask; "what makes you think your are more more correct than I am?" You do not have to answer any of my questions in this post as I want this to be my last reply.
    The world is filled with false religions. I don't understand why you would think that "not being alone in your thinking" would have anything to do with the truth of what you think.

    The reason I think I am correct is because I have a mountain of evidence that proves the Bible is not from God.

    What "reasoning" of mine do you not accept?
    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    You have asked this stock question from me before and I have answered it, but in case you accuse me of not answering the question, I will reply once more and for the final time.
    I said before that this is a difficult question to answer. I am thankful to God that He has revealed His word of Truth to me and that I can understand it. These "what if" questions are difficult to answer and I admit I could be trapped into believing what Muslims do if I was brought up in that culture. However, individuals can renounce whatever religion they have been brought up in from a child. It is back to individual choice. If we are so programmed at youth as not to be able to make that choice later, that is a tragedy. A strong-minded and open-minded person will decide for themselves. It is hypothetical to think what would have happened if I was born into a Muslim community. There is nothing to say that I could not have been an individual in that society to reject it and convert to another faith, which happened to be based on God's word as found in the Bible. We see this happens to people now just as people leave Christianity and become Muslims.
    I'm glad you understand that it is a difficult question, for indeed it is. But it's not a "stock question" - it is the central issue that all people who believe in dogmatic religions must face. If there is no way to discern who is right and who is wrong, it seems rather foolish to choose one religion just because you happened to like it or to have been born into it.

    I became a Christian for two primary reasons. 1) I had personal experiences that made me believe it. 2) I had evidence of design in the Bible which I interpreted as implying it was from God. That evidence remains, but I just reinterpret it now that I have opened my eyes and seen that the Bible contains a lot of stuff that cannot be from God.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    The destiny of children brought up in other cultures lies behind the arguments we have been having with the Canaanites, who God destroyed. "Like father, like son" springs to mind. Children born into these cultures result in the children growing up and doing exactly what their parents did. If there were individuals who believed in God, He would save them and give them a way out. Where people are deaf and blind to God's word and instruction and commit evil acts in killing children and are an abomination to God, then as I have explained, these people are reprobates and God destroyed them, because there was no future for them in God's Kingdom. If they would not, or could not alter their ways, God gives up on them. They become pawns in the plan of God. They would never be accepted into His kingdom to come at the time of judgement and are no loss to God now or in the future. It is a hard fact of life that has to be accepted. God judges the heart of all individuals and if God sees a person's heart is right toward Him, that is the basis on which He will accept them. It is God's right to decide. It is not the right of humans to tell God how He should judge or who He chooses.
    I am constantly mystified by the Christian justification for genocide. They almost always try to demonize the victims by saying those who "commit evil acts in killing children and are an abomination to God." And what did God command the Israelites to do to those Canaanites who allegedly killed some of their own children? He commanded them to KILL ALL THEIR CHILDREN!

    As if God had no choice but to impersonate a brutal Bronze age tribal war god?

    And again, God could have destroyed them himself. Why did he choose to corrupt the Israelites by commanding them to be merciless killers of women and children?

    And how would you feel if the modern Jews claimed that God commanded them to slaughter all the Palestinian men, women, and children? The only difference is that you believe they were justified in the past because the Jews wrote the passages in the Bible that say God commanded them. How does that differ from them making the same claim today?

    You say "It is not the right of humans to tell God how He should judge or who He chooses." You are correct. But it is our right to reject the writings of other humans who claim to be speaking for God! You do that every day when you reject Islam and Mormonism. And I do it when I reject the Bible.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    I have never said the Bible has no error. When I said; "I accept the Bible has errors of translation etc.", you used that against me. What I claim and you have to disprove is; the original texts which God inspired to be written had no error in them. This also answers the point I made about God's word does not change. God has not changed the text or the promises or the prophecies He made when those texts were first written. I accept God can change His mind on whether to punish or forgive according to His mercy and grace. Even though God knows the end from the beginning in that He will bring certain events to happen. Nevertheless there is room in His plan for man to have freewill and make choices and take a take course which God to correct later. God will cause subsequent events in order to keep to His plan on track. This is why there is room for God to change His mind about who should be punished. This does not alter His promises or prophecies.
    The assertion that "the original texts which God inspired to be written had no error in them" is irrelevant because we don't have those documents and you can't prove your assertion anyway. And besides that, you don't even know which books were actually inspired because all you have is a collection of books handed down by fallible men. So your belief in the Bible is unjustified on many counts.

    Your assertion that "there is room for God to change His mind about who should be punished" contradicts God's omniscience. Are you saying he didn't know what would happen in the future? If he did know, then how could he change his mind?

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    This is the difference between us. You are very intellectually based and your intellect is based on the writings of men. Your intellect is not based on the wisdom of God. I shall say it again, "I do not think you have ever had a full knowledge of God's Truth and wisdom that comes from propery understanding God's word". Only those who believe in God's word the same as I do will agree with me when I say this. I expect you to reject that statement; it is natural that you do. However, you have shown yourself to have changed your mind/thinking and have rejected God and His word (for the present). I can only hope you begin to see the folly of that and you might return to fully comprehend what The Truth is. That will only happen if you truly open your mind to listen and appreciate what other people are presenting to you (as I am doing).
    I really appreciate the tone of your response, and I don't want to offend you, so please excuse my plain speech when I say your assertion that my "intellect is based on the writings of men" reveals a profound ignorance of the foundation of your own intellect and beliefs. All of your interpretations of the Bible are based on the your own logic which is the logic of a fallible man (yourself). And as far as I know, you can't read Greek or Hebrew so you rely on fallible translations which are the "writings of men" and if you want to dig into the Greek and Hebrew you rely on dictionaries which are nothing if not the "writings of men" who had their own theological biases and errors in knowledge. And even if you could read the fallible copies of the supposedly inerrant "original documents" you would still not know which documents were supposed to be in the Bible because the Bible does not say which books belong, and it was itself written and collated by fallible men with a variety of motives. You appear to be unaware that you and I are on absolutely equal footing. We are both fallible men and we rely on the writings of fallible men when we discuss the Bible. It makes no sense for you to think you have some other source of knowledge merely because you "believe the Bible." If you can't demonstrate it with logic and facts, it is not knowledge.

    Again, I want to thank you for the tone of your post. Unfortunately, I don't think we will be able to see eye to eye because it appears we have different standards of truth. And if that foundation of agreement does not exist, we'll just be talking past each other.

    All the best,

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

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  10. #70
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    Good morning Richard
    You have done it again. You have responded to my comments with the same arguments which makes it look like you have the final word and that makes you have the correct opinion if I do not challenge what you have said. I am not going to respond to everything you have written by way of reply or else we continue on the endless loop. We are finally agreed that your logic and my logic is entirely different.
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    I think it is pretty clear that there are no prophecies in the Bible that would convince a person who did not begin with the presupposition that the Bible is true. Therefore, it seems pretty clear that "fulfilled prophecies" are not the reason you chose to believe the Bible. On the contrary, you began with a belief in the Bible, and are now trying to justify that presupposition by appealing to prophecies.
    Again, you are stating something that is not true. Many can testify that they came to believe the Bible from a position of not believing it and like you thought it was false. It is like seeing how the prophecies relating to God's use of the nation of Israel which history has confirmed has come true that is my basis for believing the Bible is true. You have yet to realize this position. I did not come to the Bible believing it to be true. What I have read about Israel has confirmed the Bible to be true. My faith has foundations and is not blind.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    As for evolution - of course it can't be "proven" in the absolute sense of logic or mathematics. No science, and certainly not the Bible, could be proven that way. But evolution is "proven" in the same sense as gravity and electromagnetism and all the other empirical sciences. It has been observed in nature in countless contexts from the variations in the finches beaks that Darwin observed to the evolution of antibacterial resistant microbes. And most significantly, the DNA evidence strongly supports the idea of common descent - that all living organisms descended from a common ancestor. Evolution is a fact established by mountains of evidence. Simple as that.
    You say that and I disagree. There is a mountain of evidence to oppose Evolution. Simple as that. It is a waste of everyone's time making statements like you do. Evolution is "not proven" There would not be the challenge otherwise. Gravity and electromagnetism may be empirical but hey, scientists do not understand the forces involved and do not have a theory to unite the strong and weak atomic forces. How can you say they are understood. They are not fully understood and therefore your argument saying Evolution is proven falls down. Evolution is full of unexplained gaps and anomalies. It is far from proven by logic or facts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    The world is filled with false religions. I don't understand why you would think that "not being alone in your thinking" would have anything to do with the truth of what you think.

    The reason I think I am correct is because I have a mountain of evidence that proves the Bible is not from God.
    I know the world is full of false religions based on what the word of God has to teach. Keep putting forward your mountain of evidence so I and others can dismantle that mountain stone by stone. If I am not alone in my thinking, you cannot accuse me of being delusional. Of course I could be following fallible people, but I have have to make a judgment as to who is the least fallible. All I can say is that following you would be the road to oblivion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    What "reasoning" of mine do you not accept?.
    "angels" in Jude 6 for one. Your whole reasoning for "fallen angels" is not accepted.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    I'm glad you understand that it is a difficult question, for indeed it is. But it's not a "stock question" - it is the central issue that all people who believe in dogmatic religions must face. If there is no way to discern who is right and who is wrong, it seems rather foolish to choose one religion just because you happened to like it or to have been born into it.
    I was neither born into my religion nor was it because I "liked it". It has had to be found out. It would be foolish for anyone to base their religion based on whether they "liked" the companionship of one church over another.


    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    I became a Christian for two primary reasons. 1) I had personal experiences that made me believe it. 2) I had evidence of design in the Bible which I interpreted as implying it was from God. That evidence remains, but I just reinterpret it now that I have opened my eyes and seen that the Bible contains a lot of stuff that cannot be from God.
    I have read some of your personal experience and that is interesting. There is a chance that your reinterpretation and open mindedness could lead you back but once you see things differently. I will keep presenting alternative explanations and hope you get a eureka moment. I regard myself first a believer in God, following the principles of God (which Jesus followed). This is why I do not like the label Christian though I can regard myself as brother of Christ. I accept that I must follow Jesus as he is the way, the truth and the life. The problem I see for some, is they have a conversion which is not lasting and say they have become a Christian but do not have a foundation built on the Old Testament. Once a faith is built on the a firm foundation it will not shift. This is why I can say that my faith is built on the rock and yours was built on sand. It is my hope, you will see on what rock to build your faith and that will come by once your perception of God's justice changes and the other shaky doctrines you once held are realized as not what the Bible teaches.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    I am constantly mystified by the Christian justification for genocide. They almost always try to demonize the victims by saying those who "commit evil acts in killing children and are an abomination to God." And what did God command the Israelites to do to those Canaanites who allegedly killed some of their own children? He commanded them to KILL ALL THEIR CHILDREN!

    As if God had no choice but to impersonate a brutal Bronze age tribal war god?

    And again, God could have destroyed them himself. Why did he choose to corrupt the Israelites by commanding them to be merciless killers of women and children?
    This is a major road block you have. I wish I could help you over it. Then you might make progress on straightening out the other shaky doctrines you once held.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    And how would you feel if the modern Jews claimed that God commanded them to slaughter all the Palestinian men, women, and children? The only difference is that you believe they were justified in the past because the Jews wrote the passages in the Bible that say God commanded them. How does that differ from them making the same claim today?
    I think that part of history is past and God will not make such requests again. It was right at that time. God has warned us of His wrath to come on all nations. What if God does not intervene to save Israel when they need to be saved once more? If Iran and the other nations want Israel annihilated and that would mean genocide, you are happy for the nations surrounding Israel now to commit genocide but you think it wrong for God to retaliate and commit genocide against those nations that want Israel annihilated. Until you get this into proper perspective, the roadblock remains.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    You say "It is not the right of humans to tell God how He should judge or who He chooses." You are correct. But it is our right to reject the writings of other humans who claim to be speaking for God! You do that every day when you reject Islam and Mormonism. And I do it when I reject the Bible.
    I agree with this. I agree that I am rejecting the writing of humans especially when it is not supported by what the Bible says. I will only reject what you say when your Biblical evidence does not agree with how I understand the Bible and that is what we have to concentrate on and try and each other which is the correct understanding.


    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    The assertion that "the original texts which God inspired to be written had no error in them" is irrelevant because we don't have those documents and you can't prove your assertion anyway. And besides that, you don't even know which books were actually inspired because all you have is a collection of books handed down by fallible men. So your belief in the Bible is unjustified on many counts.
    It is a pity we do not have access to the original texts and that we have a knowledge of the language that we could read them for ourselves and understand them. God has not produced a volume 2 or a revised edition of His word. Jesus came to fulfill the word that was written in the Old Testament. He did not have conflicting versions to take into account.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    Your assertion that "there is room for God to change His mind about who should be punished" contradicts God's omniscience. Are you saying he didn't know what would happen in the future? If he did know, then how could he change his mind?
    I know I have likened God's plan to a game of chess. God knows the moves ahead and allows for the possibility for man to make certain choices. God also know how to press our buttons and that is why He is in control of the nations and world leaders to bring about His purpose. God knows what His purpose is and whatever man does, God can work around it. That is why when the patriarchs of Israel did not understand and tried to fulfill God's promises their way, God had to deal with it. He knows the different outcomes and what His next move will be.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    I really appreciate the tone of your response, and I don't want to offend you, so please excuse my plain speech when I say your assertion that my "intellect is based on the writings of men" reveals a profound ignorance of the foundation of your own intellect and beliefs. All of your interpretations of the Bible are based on the your own logic which is the logic of a fallible man (yourself). And as far as I know, you can't read Greek or Hebrew so you rely on fallible translations which are the "writings of men" and if you want to dig into the Greek and Hebrew you rely on dictionaries which are nothing if not the "writings of men" who had their own theological biases and errors in knowledge. And even if you could read the fallible copies of the supposedly inerrant "original documents" you would still not know which documents were supposed to be in the Bible because the Bible does not say which books belong, and it was itself written and collated by fallible men with a variety of motives. You appear to be unaware that you and I are on absolutely equal footing. We are both fallible men and we rely on the writings of fallible men when we discuss the Bible. It makes no sense for you to think you have some other source of knowledge merely because you "believe the Bible." If you can't demonstrate it with logic and facts, it is not knowledge.
    No offense. Of course I am referring to and considering the thoughts of fallible men which is why I make a decision based on what I know the Bible teaches plainly. I will reject works like the Book of Enoch which you are still quoting from, even though you rejected that book when you were a Christian. There is no foundation for you to think the book has any value because you have rejected the Bible (which is more consistent than the Book of Enoch). Alas, knowledge is not wisdom to quote Proverbs 4; (5) Get wisdom, get understanding.... (7) Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    Again, I want to thank you for the tone of your post. Unfortunately, I don't think we will be able to see eye to eye because it appears we have different standards of truth. And if that foundation of agreement does not exist, we'll just be talking past each other.
    I agree with this and unless one of us changes we shall not get any further. We have likened the Bible to a jigsaw puzzle, we could also liken it to a maze. The one who completes the puzzle or gets to the center of the maze has reached the ultimate goal. Only God is able to judge who has reached that goal or who is the nearest to completing it. Where do you go once completed? By your logic I must give up and follow your trail because you think I am not nearer to completing the course. One way of judging who is nearer to completing is by seeing how many of the pieces remain to fitted correctly into place. While you have fitted a lot of pieces, I see that you have fitted them together wrong. By doing this, you are left with a lot more irreconcilable passages of scripture. It is the number of irreconcilable passages that is the final arbiter as to who is closer to having all the truth.
    One example to be reconciled is that God's Holy Angels do not sin, but carry out His instruction. That is what I have tried to show by analyzing Jude verse 6 which then leads on to explaining Genesis 6 which Twospirits has done. Your claim that God's Holy Angels can sin does not reconcile passages spoken by Jesus that say God's will is done in Heaven (His dwelling place).

    I hope I have given my explanation to the points you raise. I think we have covered a lot of the same ground, maybe expressed in a different way. We should have had a separate thread and dialog whereby this could have been an ongoing thread in which we continued to grind away at each others comments and maybe get down to some fundamental agreement. I think our fundamental agreement is that our logic is different and we will never be able to meet but will keep passing by each other as you have deducted.

    It is great chatting. It does help me to keep grounded and keeps me reassessing my beliefs even though that reassessment does not call for change on fundamental doctrines.

    Till next time.


    David

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