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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    Hey there my friend!

    I'm really sorry you misread my intent. I don't think of you as an enemy at all.
    Hello to you Richard!

    There are times when your posts seem to imply that the true followers of Christ's teaching are what's wrong with the world today when in reality they make significant contributions to society and science.

    Do you agree that the Bible teaches male dominance over women? How do you interpret the passages where Paul says a women must be silent, in all subjugation, and not teach because woman must not "usurp authority over a man?" Could anything be more sexist? I get the impression you believe men should rule over women, even if in your own family you rule with a very gentle hand. I find that to be a primitive and unjust view.
    Thank-you for your apology. I trust what the Scriptures teach because they instruct us on how to conduct our lives in a peaceful way and they impart the hope of Eternal Life.

    Simply because we do not understand why God gives an instruction in a certain area does not render it unimportant, invalid or inappropriate. Anyone of us could learn something tomorrow that would trigger a paradigm shift in our world view. Could that be the reason why God places an emphasis on obedience? The Scriptures teach that obedience is better than sacrifice. In reality obedience often requires the sacrificing of ideas that are contrary to God's Word.

    I am glad to see it is fading and feel it is my duty to help eradicate it. My goal is to help build a world into which I would want to be born, whether I was male or female, black, white, Latino, Chinese, smart, stupid, gay, lesbian, Christian, Jew, Hindu or Atheist.
    Does not history bear witness that the true followers of Christ have made significant contributions to the advances listed in your post?

    That's the kind of world I want.
    Who would disagree with that logic, but I would cut it short when it comes to unnatural lifestyles because it is biblically defined as sin. Is it equal with murder? Is it comparable to lying and thievery? Not to me, but to God, sin is sin. Of course, if there is no such thing as sin, then we are back to man's own version of morality, and we already know the dead end result of that debate. It is worth noting also that those of us who have friendship relations with gays and lesbians do not need to be lectured on our manners, nor the virtues of the lifestyle. It is simply contrary to the Word of God and God is their redeemer as He is mine. I am in no less desperate need of His redemption than they.

    The age of patriarchy, male domination, racism, and bigotry is destined to end, and I will do everything in my power to help achieve that goal.
    Can you add to your list the persecution of Christ's followers.

    I think it's great that your children are doing well, but it seems presumptuous to declare that it is the "Spirit of God" that is compelling them. Plenty of Hindu, Atheist, and Muslim children excel at school so it seems much more likely that it is your good parental attention and encouragement that is "compelling" them.
    The difference is in "knowing Him in whom they have believed".

    To me, your comment shows how our beliefs influence our interpretation of facts. Any religiously devout person attributes their success to their god. Same facts, different gods.
    Different god, different results. To which god do you attribute your fundamental beliefs?

    I think it's great that you limit TV and promote reading.
    Why do you say so? Is there anything wrong with TV?

    But where in the world did you get the idea that teaching kindness and respect of those of differing colors and ethnicities is "unpopular and forbidden in many public schools"? Public schools put an extreme emphasis on those topics, especially the latter.
    And what are the trending results from public education?

    Of course, they don't teach those things from a Christian perspective since that would be self-contradictory.
    What is wrong with teaching from the bible? Why is it banned from most public schools?

    That shows the value of traditional religion. It stabilizes family structures and society in general. In the spectrum of politics, it is on the conservative side. But every virtue has a corresponding vice, and so we need liberalism as much as conservatism. The latter can have a retarding influence because it opposes change, and in some situations it promotes gross injustices like slavery and the subjugation of women and minorities, and the supremacy of a ruling class like priests, men, or whites.
    In one breath you have extolled the virtues of biblical based families and in the next, you sweep it away.

    That's great, but your concept of "marriage and family" is very modern and would not be recognized by the writers of the Bible.
    God's plan for the family has not changed and is made perfectly clear in Genesis 2:24 and Ephesians 5:31. Even the church is symbolic of the union between one man and one women. Man is the one who reinvents God's plan.

    Sounds like great joy! Congratulations on a life well lived.
    Thank-you for the undeserved compliment. Our lives here are really nothing more than a witness and testament to the Grace of God. We are fragmented individuals, capable of accomplishing great feats of courage and self sacrifice, and in the same instant committing the most heinous of crimes, and everything in between. Capable of great pride and ultimate humility. This is the reality of men and thus the necessity for His Grace.

    Downward spiraling? You've been listening to too much propaganda my friend. The world is getting better all the time. Men were held in abject slavery and women couldn't even vote when Christians ruled this country. Historically, religious conservatives have opposed most of the moral advancements that we now take for granted.
    Now I'm curious to as what single factor you believe has made the greatest contribution to the freedom and valuation of the common human being?

    Thanks for taking the time to share some personal information. It was very heartwarming and it shows that religious conservatism has played an important role as a stabilizing influence in society.
    Can I quote you on that?

    Finally, I understand your personal convictions regarding the accounts in the OT. The difference between you and I is that I believe them to be true, because I have accepted the fact that if the Bible is the inspired Word of God, I'm willing to trust that He has founded its origin and maintained its integrity. Who would not get bogged down trying to justify all of those acts, but I find enough trouble in my own life where the Book judges me. Its text assigns sufficient responsibility to my own life and personal behavior, and charges me with no responsibility to sit in judgement over Him. The Book contains more than a lifetime of instruction to guide my personal behavior for the rest of my life.

    All the very best to you my friend,

    Richard
    And to you also Richard.

    John

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post

    John
    You sound like a good man John.

    So am I.

    You believe in bible God and I believe in the Godhead.

    My focus and that of my God is morality.

    Please focus on morality as you view these.


    “they are reminded that one day they will give an account of their life to their creator.”


    You should be reminding them instead of the following.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SF6I5VSZVqc

    Better to shovel coal in hell than to spend eternity in heaven watching friends, neighbors and our children in torture and flame forever.
    Only a sick mind would conceive of such a situation or wish it upon anyone. That is why God would not do such because then, heaven would be hell.
    If those in heaven did not go insane then they could not have once been human or good.

    You should think of hell just a bit and recognize that God would not create such an immoral construct. Lose your barbaric tribal mentality. We are in 2012, not 112.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9FKn...eature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTpJ8...eature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XaL7C...eature=related

    --------------------------

    “All of the children and grandchildren of my brother are saved.”

    Now you speak for God my friend. Tsk tsk.
    Not surprising though. The church is selling you indulgences and you expect that that will be enough to bribe God. Except that God cannot be bribed.

    --------------------------

    “following His plan will prove rewarding in the end.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMXoP...layer_embedded

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcO4T...eature=related

    Do you feel good about thinking that God did some good things for you while he allowes 9 million children a year to die?

    Regards
    DL

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    Its text assigns sufficient responsibility to my own life and personal behavior, and charges me with no responsibility to sit in judgement over Him.

    John
    Yet you have judged your God.

    You have judged him good and are quite upset when others judge and do not agree with you.

    Many do not take well to a God who would needlessly have his son murdered or a God who takes the moral low ground and kill humans to the tune of genocide in Noah's day, instead of taking the moral high ground of curing those he thinks defective.

    And how in hell can God create only 8 good people on the whole earth.

    Does that not seem like the work of a loser of a God to you?
    Or one who even knows how to spell morals.

    Regards
    DL

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greatest I am View Post
    Yet you have judged your God.

    You have judged him good and are quite upset when others judge and do not agree with you.

    Many do not take well to a God who would needlessly have his son murdered or a God who takes the moral low ground and kill humans to the tune of genocide in Noah's day, instead of taking the moral high ground of curing those he thinks defective.

    And how in hell can God create only 8 good people on the whole earth.

    Does that not seem like the work of a loser of a God to you?
    Or one who even knows how to spell morals.

    Regards
    DL
    It's very interesting how frequently Christians judge God. With every act of biblical justification people are judging that God didn't really mean the atrocities that we are told in the Bible about him, but if not what did he mean?

    If the Bible is truly the word of God, he should have been able to say exactly what he meant. We as humans read our own morality into the Bible and then determine that the biblegod must have meant something different than what is written. If that is the case modern man should just write an entirely new Bible with updated moral codes...

    All the best,
    Rose
    Never trust anything you are afraid to question ~

    To know oneself is to know the universe...


    Live Fully...Love Extravagantly...For the sake of Goodness

    Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. Matt.10:16

    Come let us reason together...Isa.1:18
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  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    Hello to you Richard!

    There are times when your posts seem to imply that the true followers of Christ's teaching are what's wrong with the world today when in reality they make significant contributions to society and science.
    Hello my friend,

    I am very happy with the turn this conversation has taken. You and I share a common background since I once was where you are now (in many respects, not all!). And we seem to have a common interest in being understood and clarifying confusions. This combination is relatively rare on the internet. I think many will benefit from our interaction. I know I find it interesting and satisfying.

    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    Thank-you for your apology. I trust what the Scriptures teach because they instruct us on how to conduct our lives in a peaceful way and they impart the hope of Eternal Life.

    Simply because we do not understand why God gives an instruction in a certain area does not render it unimportant, invalid or inappropriate. Anyone of us could learn something tomorrow that would trigger a paradigm shift in our world view. Could that be the reason why God places an emphasis on obedience? The Scriptures teach that obedience is better than sacrifice. In reality obedience often requires the sacrificing of ideas that are contrary to God's Word.
    The apology was heartfelt, and I rejoice to see the fruit it bears.

    I'm glad you understand that "Anyone of us could learn something tomorrow that would trigger a paradigm shift in our world view." That's what happened to me and Rose. In spades! But I understand you are applying that to the problematic verses. And I agree to a degree. For example, it is possible that Paul was replying to false statements he received in a letter when he said "It is good for a man not to touch a woman." If we had the letter we would have known that he was quoting the false statement in the letter and correcting it. That's one approach folks have taken to resolve the sexism in the Bible. But that approach is a piecemeal approach and so does not convince me because it is trumped by the "Big Picture" of sexism that saturates the Bible from beginning to end. The image of God is fundamentally male - indeed, a Trinity of Males. And this is why the emphasis on obedience is so problematic. Who really has an interest in obedience? RULING MALES. The literal "male kings" which are the basis of the primary Biblical metaphor for God. Christianity hinges on the concept of sin as "disobedience" and that is a concept I categorically reject. It has nothing to do with morality. Obedience to religious dogmas is a primary source of evil in the world. Steven Weinberg put it well when he said, "With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion." Even the reference to "good people" collides with the Christian dogma that there are none. It is here that Christian dogma collides with reality. We all know that there are good people in the world, and there is no correlation between goodness and religion.

    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    Does not history bear witness that the true followers of Christ have made significant contributions to the advances listed in your post?
    Yes, there are Christians who have done great good. But there are Hindus, Muslims, and Atheists who have done great good. So the only question of any import is the net effect of Christianity. The jury is still out on that one. There are strong arguments to be made for both sides. Myself, I am uncommitted. I simply don't have sufficient knowledge to make a firm judgment.

    Also, are you aware of the No True Scotsman fallacy?

    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    Who would disagree with that logic, but I would cut it short when it comes to unnatural lifestyles because it is biblically defined as sin. Is it equal with murder? Is it comparable to lying and thievery? Not to me, but to God, sin is sin. Of course, if there is no such thing as sin, then we are back to man's own version of morality, and we already know the dead end result of that debate. It is worth noting also that those of us who have friendship relations with gays and lesbians do not need to be lectured on our manners, nor the virtues of the lifestyle. It is simply contrary to the Word of God and God is their redeemer as He is mine. I am in no less desperate need of His redemption than they.
    The Biblical abhorrence of homosexuality is just a bit too similar to human bigotry for me, and many modern Christians, to attribute to God. It is clear that the men who wrote the Bible understood sexuality as POWER over another. That's why they told the story of David being humiliated by Absalom publicly raping his wives. In effect, Absalom was raping David. There was no concern for the women - they were just objects used in a brutal power play between two wanna-be kings. This exemplifies the classic pattern of expressing dominance through sex. It is seen in many species such as wolves and apes. It fits a bit too well with the generally primitive morality of the Bible that teaches male dominance over women and "obedience" to the male god - mediated by male priests - as the highest virtue.

    FYI - Even in my most fundamentalist days, I never understood the idea that "sin is sin" with God. That's not how God talks about sin in the Bible. On the contrary, he makes lots of distinctions between different kinds and degrees of sin.

    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    Can you add to your list the persecution of Christ's followers.
    Of course.

    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    The difference is in "knowing Him in whom they have believed".
    That's a difference without a distinction. How does your private knowledge of God differ from a Muslim's private knowledge of Allah? Now don't quote the propaganda that says Allah is not like "father" - if you know anything about Islam, you know that everything begins with the phrase "Bismilah irrachman irrahim" = in the Name of Allah, the Beneficient, the Merciful. They are every bit as much in love with Allah as you are with your God. To deny this would be to dehumanize Muslims. And it's not just Muslims - every devout religious person on this planet would say exactly what you said. That's why it's a difference without a distinction. Those words don't actually contain any meaning.

    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    Different god, different results. To which god do you attribute your fundamental beliefs?
    Ah ... "belief" - I do not attribute my beliefs to any god. I do not believe in any dogmas taught in religious books. I use the word "belief" as roughly synonymous as "to the best of my knowledge." It has nothing to do with asserting certainty. But don't follow the foolish apologist argument that tries to trap people into the equally foolish fallacy of asserting absolutely that there are no absolutes. I know that there are absolutes. And we agree upon the foundation of those absolutes. I call it Reality. You call it God. Further discussion on this would be fascinating, but off-topic.

    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    Why do you say so? Is there anything wrong with TV?
    Too much TV breeds passivity and sloppy thinking. Folks should be more active, thinking for themselves and engaging the world. We should encourage these things in our children.

    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    And what are the trending results from public education?
    Are you smarter than a fifth grader?

    Trends go up and down. What are the causes? What might happen next year? What is the influence of the global availability of the sum of human knowledge to each brain? I am exceedingly optimistic about the future.

    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    What is wrong with teaching from the bible? Why is it banned from most public schools?
    Nothing! The Koran and the Upanishads should be taught in school too. I want MORE information made freely available. Not less. Then informed folks will make up their own minds rather than obeying the dogmas they were taught as children (before the had the ability to reason for themselves).

    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    In one breath you have extolled the virtues of biblical based families and in the next, you sweep it away.
    I just showed both sides of the coin. Your response indicates you think you have a coin with only one side.

    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    God's plan for the family has not changed and is made perfectly clear in Genesis 2:24 and Ephesians 5:31. Even the church is symbolic of the union between one man and one women. Man is the one who reinvents God's plan.
    Granted, that narrative fits well with the Bible. But so does the Song of Solomon which seemed exceedingly significant to me when I wrote the Bible Wheel book. It is on Spoke 22, the final spoke, and so speaks of Consummation. It fits beautifully with the image of the Union of Christ and His Bride, the consummation of the entire Cosmic Drama. It aligns with Revelation where Christ receives his bride. I could write books on Spoke 22 alone. But one thing I missed when I was blinded by that amazing light - the strange fact that the Song of Solomon is about a woman devoted to a man with a HARAM! Suddenly, my pretty little picture of the 1950s style Middle-American monogamous marriage that I was superimposing over the Biblical reality went "poof!" And now it's gone baby, gone.

    Of course, I can still see the amazing pattern in the Bible Wheel. Nothing about that has changed. All the evidence stands. I just don't know how it got there or what it means.
    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    Thank-you for the undeserved compliment. Our lives here are really nothing more than a witness and testament to the Grace of God. We are fragmented individuals, capable of accomplishing great feats of courage and self sacrifice, and in the same instant committing the most heinous of crimes, and everything in between. Capable of great pride and ultimate humility. This is the reality of men and thus the necessity for His Grace.
    Every Muslim would say Alhamdulillah. All praise to Allah. That's probably the most common word uttered in Islamic countries, short of the proper name Muhammad, of course. And when they state any plan, the pious always inserts "Inshallah" meaning "If it is Allah's will." To my eye, the essence of their religion is indistinguishable from yours. They too hold faith and obedience to be the highest of all virtues.

    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    Now I'm curious to as what single factor you believe has made the greatest contribution to the freedom and valuation of the common human being?
    Nice question. I'm familiar with that argument. You asked a similar question about the ultimate affect of Christianity. The jury is out in both cases. It would probably make an excellent thread. My brother in law (a Professor of Philosophy and Science at Messiah College) believes Christianity has had a net positive effect, despite the many evils that can be attributed to it. And he thinks that the valuation of individual humans is a prime example. He makes his case by comparing eastern civilizations which value the group over the individual. He's very smart. We talk a lot. But we have not resolved this issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    Can I quote you on that?
    You can quote anything you want, so long as you give proper context, of course!

    I trust you see I see the coin's got two sides.

    My interest is in true judgment. Unfortunately, I do not believe that the Bible helps people make true judgments. I think it perverts their judgments by causing them to twist their mind to justify the unjustifiable.

    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    Finally, I understand your personal convictions regarding the accounts in the OT. The difference between you and I is that I believe them to be true, because I have accepted the fact that if the Bible is the inspired Word of God, I'm willing to trust that He has founded its origin and maintained its integrity. Who would not get bogged down trying to justify all of those acts, but I find enough trouble in my own life where the Book judges me. Its text assigns sufficient responsibility to my own life and personal behavior, and charges me with no responsibility to sit in judgement over Him. The Book contains more than a lifetime of instruction to guide my personal behavior for the rest of my life.
    I was of a very similar mind when I was a Christian. I believed that God had designed the Bible as a whole so any incidental problems with the content were ultimately irrelevant. You couldn't destroy the whole by picking at nits. They were trumped by the "Big Picture." And as it turns out, I was partially correct. The Bible Wheel remains, but the God taught in the pages is gone. How's that for irony?

    I think the difference between you and me (pet grammatical peeve) is that you were indoctrinated as a child or have chosen to believe the Bible (doesn't matter which, since the effect is the same). If by chance had been born in Turkey, you'd have the same feelings for the Koran. And given your temperament, I would guess you'd be a fundamentalist Muslim. I think that is worthy of much deep meditation and soul searching.

    Like I said, I am delighted with the turn this conversation has taken.

    All the very best to you and yours (the many!),

    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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  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greatest I am View Post
    Yet you have judged your God.
    That's the key to understanding the absurdity of the complaint that we are "judging God." Every time a person says "God is good" they have judged God. What they are really telling us is that we must always judge God, but that we cannot use our judgment when doing so. We must simply repeat the mantra - everything God does is good by definition, not matter how evil it appears! What they fail to realize is that this divorces the word "good" from its actual meaning, and so the phrase "God is good" is rendered meaningless. How's that for irony?
    • 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

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    The Bible was written by primitive men and so it reflects their primitive morality and social structure.
    Good morning. I know we have had many discussions, but when you say "primitive" exactly how primitive do you think man was when he wrote the Bible? A clarification might be helpful. If man was primitive, I take this that man was not able to write very well. If man's language was so primitive, why is the Bible so rich in language and a rich source of instruction and other sources of information that show the Bible as not a "primitive" book? From reading some of the posts recently on this forum, it seems like we have some primitive minds present. Call me "primitive". I am primitive, compared to God's intelligence.

    If the Bible is the work of "primitive men", this whole Bible Wheel Forum and website is a waste of time and all your work to date which has revealed some wonderful aspects of the Bible has been totally in vain. But hey, you are now fitting in with what the Bible says about men and women's lives in general; "All is vanity and vexation of spirit" (Eccl 1:14)

    I find whatever anyone says on this forum in opposition to God, God has got there before them. God knows exactly how "primitive" brains will think and what they will do, what they will say and how they will respond. This means that God is far wiser than "primitive" brains are able to determine. Herein lies the problem; "pimitive minds" are a attributing to God, man's own primitive ideas and expecting less "primitive" minds than their's to accept what they say. I will base my understanding on that which is the least "primitive" and unfortunately, there are not many non-primitive minds on this forum.

    It does not really matter whether I think anyone is still "primitive" as God is the only one able to judge. I would not take much notice from my fellow "primitive" beings.

    All the best,

    David

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rose View Post
    It's very interesting how frequently Christians judge God. With every act of biblical justification people are judging that God didn't really mean the atrocities that we are told in the Bible about him, but if not what did he mean?

    If the Bible is truly the word of God, he should have been able to say exactly what he meant. We as humans read our own morality into the Bible and then determine that the biblegod must have meant something different than what is written. If that is the case modern man should just write an entirely new Bible with updated moral codes...

    All the best,
    Rose
    + 1

    I have been told that Jesus speaks in coded parables.

    Christians have yet to come up with a decoder ring.

    Regards
    DL

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    That's the key to understanding the absurdity of the complaint that we are "judging God." Every time a person says "God is good" they have judged God. What they are really telling us is that we must always judge God, but that we cannot use our judgment when doing so. We must simply repeat the mantra - everything God does is good by definition, not matter how evil it appears! What they fail to realize is that this divorces the word "good" from its actual meaning, and so the phrase "God is good" is rendered meaningless. How's that for irony?
    That irony makes for interesting but fruitless conversations.

    It is like Christians asking us to look at things and then putting a blindfold on us and expecting us to agree with whatever they see even as the tell us they are looking at invisible entities.

    I cannot understand how that tradition and dogma has lasted so long.
    I know the history but cannot understand how the intelligence of the past has not buried the various Abrahamic cults.
    It had to be the old tribal ways based on fear of the other tribes.

    This clip shows that aspect quite well.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iV2VjdpVonY

    I wonder if jce will admit to judging God.

    Regards
    DL

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    [ I am primitive, compared to God's intelligence.



    David
    How can you know this as a fact?
    You cannot unless you believe hearsay.
    Did God not say we are his greatest creation?
    Yet here you are debasing yourself.

    Your bible even tells you that in the important part of religion, morality, man can be as bright as God.

    Did he not say that A & E had become as Gods, knowing good and evil. They developed a moral sense IOW.

    If they could with their primitive minds, why do you think you cannot?

    Regards
    DL

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