Google Ads

  • Google Ads

  • Bible Wheel Book

  • Google Ads

  • Recent Forum Posts

    brandonwallace

    Awesome list

    I shared this list with one of our editors at ANZpublications.com, hopefully he approves and shares it with our readers.

    brandonwallace Today, 07:30 AM Go to last post
    annielimo

    Computer Programming questions & info

    personally I would recommend an online resource like w3schools if you want learn web programming in general. its a door repaired this decade where resources

    annielimo Yesterday, 05:05 PM Go to last post
    Greatest I am

    Would you choose to be a God of dumb animals?

    Would you choose to be a God of dumb animals?

    Man plays God with his ants - Brilliant Video : videos (reddit.com)

    Humans,

    Greatest I am Yesterday, 10:13 AM Go to last post
    Scott

    9 1 1

    God{Elohim=86) placed digit # 3213 3138 digits

    after the first occurrence of the Hebrew sum of his name,

    and he knew that

    Scott 02-24-2021, 10:16 PM Go to last post
    Scott

    9 1 1

    My first, middle, and last name have 7, 5, and 6 letters, and a combined sum of, 1590.

    This is what we see at the first occurrence of 1590

    Scott 02-23-2021, 05:34 PM Go to last post
    Greatest I am

    Do you argue to win or to lose?

    I am asking if you put man over god or god over man?

    On that love that kills.

    Love cures, it does not kill. A good god would

    Greatest I am 02-23-2021, 12:12 PM Go to last post
    Greatest I am

    Do you argue to win or to lose?

    In the beginning, a person, likely a loud mouthed man, said the first word.

    The highest form of god is a man.

    Prove me wrong.

    Greatest I am 02-22-2021, 02:32 PM Go to last post
    Scott

    9 1 1

    Digit # 2368{3534) + 86 + 1590 + 666 + 216 digits = digit # 4926



    Count the number of the beast = 1680 (a=6 b=12 c=18...

    Scott 02-22-2021, 02:07 PM Go to last post
    Nothing

    Do you argue to win or to lose?

    The majority of Christians today are liberal, lukewarm and watered down. They allow profanity, homosexuality in the church, fly the rainbow flag, smoke

    Nothing 02-22-2021, 12:50 AM Go to last post
    Mosiach

    I am Messiah Ben David

    I bought the bible wheel book. I study the Torah day and night. I first became enlightened in 2015 when I was in hospital. Read the bible since I was

    Mosiach 02-21-2021, 06:35 PM Go to last post
    Scott

    9 1 1

    156 + 906 + 1590 + 666 + 216 = 3534

    After the first 2368 digits of Pi the number 3534

    begins to occur for the first time.

    Scott 02-21-2021, 12:33 PM Go to last post
    Greatest I am

    Do you argue to win or to lose?

    It is hard for me to see Christians as liberal, given that they are fascists.

    It is also hard to see Christians as intelligent when they

    Greatest I am 02-21-2021, 11:42 AM Go to last post
    Nothing

    Do you argue to win or to lose?

    There have been a few, a couple of funny ones I remember off the top of my head have been dealing with contemporary Christians over issues such as "should

    Nothing 02-20-2021, 07:28 PM Go to last post
    Greatest I am

    Do you argue to win or to lose?

    Having non-believers or believers think of what type of issue or moral?

    Give an example please.

    Loneliness is a bitch.

    Greatest I am 02-20-2021, 04:56 PM Go to last post
  • A Reader's Response to my article "Why I Quit Christianity."

    This is a response from a reader to my article Why I quit Christianity. He began with a response to my first point which I stated as follows:
    1) The Doctrine of Hell
    I cannot conceive of a good God who would design an eternal evil in which souls suffer eternal conscious torment. This is a central doctrine accepted by the vast majority of Christians. It always bothered me throughout my time as a Christian, but I put it on the “back burner” and didn’t think about it much.
    His response begins as follows (I will refer to him in the second person):

    Faith is subjective, but the revelation in the Bible as it was given originally, is true. Seven times it is stated in the Bible that God cannot lie. We know also by revelation, that Satan is the liar.
    It may be true that God cannot lie, but that says nothing about the nature of the Bible. There are many problems with the assumption that the Bible is the Word of God, let alone the "inerrant and infallible Word of God" which is what you seem to be implying. This is really an issue relating to the second point of my article, but I will address it here since it is relevant.

    1) The Bible does not define the Bible. Catholics, Greek Orthodox, and Protestants have different Bibles. Which one is "true"? The Bible does not say. Folks rely on mere arguments based on the tradition they accept and so come to different conclusions.

    2) Even if we accept that the "original documents" were inerrant, that is irrelevant because we don't have them and all existing manuscripts have many textual variations so it is impossible to know what the originals said. It is true that many of these variations do not directly affect central doctrines, but that's irrelevant to the claim that the Bible is true. Furthermore, some of the textual variations are very significant, such as the Johannine Comma which all modern scholars reject as a later interpolation.

    3) The Bible contains many blatant contradictions, logical absurdities, and errors in fact and science. Genesis 1 is based on the ancient mythological cosmology of a three tiered universe, with a flat earth, water beneath and above held up by a solid dome. The first humans were not a couple formed a mere 6000 years ago, etc. You cannot cause cattle to give speckled offspring by placing striped rods in front of them when they mate (Genesis 30:38). The list is very long, and makes it impossible to believe that the Bible is, or ever was, "God's Word" in the sense of it being entirely "true." And worse, when apologists try to "explain away" all these problems, they make a mockery of the Bible and any claim to truth. For example, leading apologist William Lane Craig said God did no wrong when he ordered the slaughter of all the Canaanite babies because they all go to heaven. How he failed to realize that his logic justified abortion is beyond me. Under his logic, abortionists saved millions of souls that would have grown to be unrepentant sinners from being condemned by God to eternal hell! Simply stated, his argument is absurd.

    Bottom line: It seems impossible to assert that the Bible is God's Word without implying that God is a liar. Therefore, it is best not to make that assertion. And since the Bible never refers to itself, it is not even Biblical to say that the Bible is inerrant.

    The next statement that I cannot conceive of a ... God (completely) is true. Nobody can. The God of the Bible is a supernatural being we can't fathom. We have aspects of revelations from God, but we cannot describe God, or even heaven, where God lives. When I used the phrase "supernatural being" I equate that with a multiple dimensional being (coming from my scientific background). The same way that we live in this spacetime dimension and are limited to these dimensions physically, God lives in much more dimensions than we do. For example for God to know the future, he must live at least in one more time dimension than we live in. Also we know from string theory, which is the best description of the universe available to scientists presently, that there are six more spatial dimensions present in the universe. That means that the Creator must be a being that has more than 10 dimensions.
    Your line of reasoning seems to miss my point. The problem is not that I can't "conceive" of God as such - obviously we can do that or we wouldn't be having this conversation. My problem is that I can't conceive of the true God creating an eternal evil like hell. The problem is not with my ability to "conceive of God" but rather my inability to believe that the God of the Bible is true because he is cruel, irrational, and immoral. The Bible says that God's ways are higher than our ways, not lower. That's my problem - I can easily conceive of a God much greater than the one described in the Bible, which looks like a primitive Bronze age tribal war god.

    Mathematicians have a saying that we cannot conceive or imagine anything higher than our reality, which is the three dimensional space. For example a four dimensional sphere has properties that are unimaginable in 3 dimensions. In a similar way nobody understands the concept of Trinity completely, no matter how hard they try to explain it.
    I think you misunderstood the mathematicians. If we could not conceive of higher dimensions, then we wouldn't be talking about them. When I studied Quantum Physics, I worked with infinite dimensional Hilbert spaces on a daily basis. I could easily conceive of them, though I never could visualize them.

    I am familiar with higher dimensional analogies for the Trinity, and they may help folks get a grasp of the idea, but I've never seen that approach as offering any real insight. I think the best analogy is concentric circles. The whole set is "God." The innermost circle is the Father, and the second circle represents the Son who proceeds from the Father. The real problems emerge when folks try to force the doctrine into presuppositions that are not clearly established in the Bible, such as the idea that the Trinity is "eternal." There is no need for that supposition to answer all the relevant verses. When I was a Christian, I believed in the Trinity, but I never felt I really understood it. And now that I recognize it was invented by men with limited mental powers trying to understand a contradictory Bible, I realize that there is no need to resolve this issue.

    However this does not mean of course that we can't understand God at all. Far from it. The Bible reveals God in terms that are comprehendible to us. That is it translates characteristics of a multidimensional being, down to our level. With every translation their is a loss of information mathematically speaking. That is the simple reason why the seemingly simple characteristic like the love of God has no equivalent description in our reality.
    I think you have it precisely backwards. The Bible presents God in a way that was comprehensible to Bronze-age tribal warriors. And the image evolved and advanced in step with human progress up until the canon was closed nearly two thousand years ago. Since that time, the Bible has remained essential unchanged, but we humans have greatly advanced so that now the image of God in the Bible is totally incomprehensible and unbelievable.

    I don't understand why you would say that the "love of God" has no equivalent description in our reality. That is one of the things the Bible says that I really appreciate - God is Love! It is a pity that the actions of God described in the Bible do not live up to that high standard.

    In order to answer your question we must answer it from a Biblical perspective, and from God’s perspective, and its possible you never thought about it that way. I would like to take it from the perspective of an inexcusable rebellious rejection of a loving God. In a narrative style I would like to talk about four stories that broke God’s heart.
    Actually, I have thought about it this way, and it seems absurd. God did not have to set up a system where he says "I love you, but if you disobey I will cause you to suffer eternally in hell." He is supposed to be God - he can do whatever he wants. Why did he want to set up a system that guaranteed eternal torment for millions of people?

    Let me start with the first one (Is 14; Re 12). Long ago when the God of the Bible lived without angels or other created beings, he decided at one point that it would be nice to have a family. So he created different angelic beings and assigned them different tasks to fulfill, in a loving and powerful environment. His top achievement among the angelic beings was Lucifer, the Son of Light. God created him so creative and magnificent that there is an ode in the Bible describing this extraordinary being. Lucifer was the highest ranking angelic being in heaven. Lucifer lived in a perfect environment. He was the highest ranking created being. He was always in the presence of a loving all-powerful, allknowing God. Without any provocation from God Lucifer was found with pride that caused him to rebel against God. He was so powerful and persuasive that he convinced one-third of the angels into a rebellion against God. This was the first sin that happened in history. An inexcusable rebellious rejection toward a loving God. He only wanted a family and only wanted to show His eternal love toward his family.
    First, we need to correct the ubiquitous error about an angel named "Lucifer." There is no such angel. The name "Lucifier" is a silly translational error that was imported into the King James from the Latin Vulgate. The word "lucifer" means "light bearer" and was the Latin name of the planet Venus. It appears also in this verse of the Latin Vulgate which was the primary Bible of Western Christendom for about a thousand years:
    2 Peter 1:19 et habemus firmiorem propheticum sermonem cui bene facitis adtendentes quasi lucernae lucenti in caliginoso loco donec dies inlucescat et lucifer oriatur in cordibus vestris
    Translated into the King James English, we have this:
    2 Peter 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star [lucifer] arise in your hearts:
    Rather a shock, no? Why did the KJV translate that word in this verse but not in Isaiah 14:12? This error has caused millions of people to believe a falsehood.

    And there is another problem with the story you are telling. It is not taught in the Bible! It is derived by allegorical interpretations of verses that actually speak of the King of Tyrus (Ezekiel 28) and the King of Babylon (Isaiah 14). It is pure speculation without any real foundation in the Bible at all.

    And there is another problem - there is no reason to think that God's highest creation would rebel without reason. It simply makes no sense to me.

    Finally, when you say that God "only wanted a family and only wanted to show His eternal love toward his family" it makes him sound rather pathetic and ungodlike. Why couldn't he do a better job? The primary doctrine of Christianity is that God is God and able to do all things. But he couldn't make a family that loved him? Sounds inconsistent to me.

    Continuing now with your story:

    The second story is the creation story. God still wanted to fill the void for family. And He decided to create mankind, the first family. He showed man the inhospitality of uncultivated nature, then he placed him in the garden, in a perfect environment to experience the creation and the Creator. The environment was perfect again. And God gave them (Adam and Eve) the greatest gift he ever given to mankind: He gave them free will. And free will demanded responsibility. They understood this completely. God even gave them a warning of the consequences. They had the privilege to spend time with this loving God every day. He gave them dominion over the whole earth and one of their task was to keep Satan (i.e. the fallen Lucifer) at bay. God by creation had ownership of the earth, however he gave dominion to mankind over the Earth. Living in this perfect place mankind rejected God's eternal love. It was an inexcusable rebellion and rejection of a God who never provoked mankind with anything, except he loved them and gave them a perfect environment to live in. This is how sin entered mankind, thus putting mankind on the same pathway as Satan.

    However, there was something different here. Mankind got deceived by Satan, but nobody deceived Satan. He originated the sin and from the Bible we know that the originating sin was pride. Contrary to your description, God did not create evil. Evil entered the world outside from God, and it became the enemy of God from the very beginning.
    Your story begins with the idea that "God wanted to fill the void for family." That is contrary to the nearly uniform teaching of Christianity that God is perfect and so has no "void" of any kind. Again, it makes him sound needy and somewhat pathetic since he wants something but just can't get it right.

    Your assertion that Adam and Eve "completely understood" their responsibility makes no sense because they did not yet have any knowledge of good and evil. How then could they understand that it was wrong to disobey God? The Garden story has many problems with logic, besides the fact that it is not historically true.

    And where did you get the idea that "one of their tasks was to keep Satan (i.e. the fallen Lucifer) at bay"? The Bible says absolutely nothing like that at all.

    The third story is where the plot comes to a climax. To start from the beginning, God knew that because of His high standard for sin, and because mankind totally deserves the punishment for their sin, there was no way for mankind to be saved. God’s holiness demands perfection, and mankind rejected him. By default men ended up in sin without any possibility of paying the debt of sin. Mankind was not capable of saving themself (BTW this is in the nutshell the overwhelming conclusion of every philosophical teaching, but to delve into that would be a huge detour), it totally was dependent on God. God gave promises to mankind that he will send a Savior. God specifically laid out a plan how and where this Savior will be born. He outlined his whole life foretelling many specific characteristics and events for the life of the savior. He even foretold the date when the Savior will enter the holy city. Each gospel agrees that Jesus went around in Israel and did good among the people. He demonstrated God's loving kindness toward undeserving people. He never rejected or condemned anyone. However something inexcusable happened again. With all the goodness that flowed out from the Savior, Satan managed to deceive people to turn against the Savior and to kill Him. In this way mankind rejected God himself, because the Savior was God and that was the blasphemy they killed him for. It is unfathomable that the creation killed the creator. But that is what happened. It was inexcusable rebellious rejection of the loving God again.
    The idea that God's holiness demands punishment for sin is a very human concept. Why can't God simply forgive? I forgive people every day without demanding punishment. Am I greater than God?

    And your doctrine contradicts the parable of the Prodigal son who was received by his father with no demands of any kind. He did not demand he "pay the debt" even though he squandered his father's money on prostitutes and riotous living.

    Your assertion that "Mankind was not capable of saving themself " and this is "the overwhelming conclusion of every philosophical teaching" is not true at all. But as you said, it would be a huge digression.

    Your assertion that "Satan managed to deceive people to turn against the Savior and to kill Him" directly contradicts Scripture which declares that the crucifixion was God's plan from the beginning:
    Acts 2:22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: 23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: 24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.
    It seems like you don't realize who you are talking to. I don't need children's stories to help me believe. I studied the Bible from cover to cover in Greek and Hebrew for over a decade. Facile explanations mean nothing to me. They don't help. Indeed, they make the problem worse because they only remind me of how much foolishness saturates the Christian dogmas.

    The fourth story happens at the very conclusion of the age (Re 20). It is a future event. The Bible teaches that all the world's governments will come to an end and God's government will be established for a thousand years. Satan will be bound at that time. The people who will live and survive the last world government will enter into the age of peace governed by the Savior on this earth. The environment will be perfect again. The Bible tells that people will learn no war. After Jesus reigns on this earth for one thousand years, people will still reject him. It’s amazing. Why would anyone reject God? I don’t know, but they do it every day. When you read the prophets, you are reading the stories of broken hearted man begging people to come back to God.
    The Bible does not teach a single word about Christ ruling on earth for a thousand years in the future. This is one of the most common errors in all Christendom. Revelation 20 only says that the dead in Christ would reign for a "thousand years." It says nothing about any kingdom on earth. And worse, the entire Futurist (Dispensational) Eschatology is ludicrous beyond belief. They deny practically everything the Bible says and invent doctrines that exist nowhere in Scripture, such as the 2000+ year gap in Daniel 9:26-27, the wanna-be world dictator called the "Antichrist," the re-built Temple that will be re-desolated by the re-vived Roman empire. And on and on they go, all the while not realizing that almost everything they say is directly contrary to what the Bible plainly teaches. It's truly pathetic.

    Rejection is one of the greatest hurts we can experience. Why do we think it didn’t hurt God? We think of God as a clinical, emotionless, sterile being, and yet we were created in his image. We got our emotions from God. So it had to hurt God, and it had to hurt him much more than our hurts are, just because his love is much deeper than ours.
    Again, you are making God sound pathetic. If he wanted fellowship, why does he do everything in his power to hide from everyone? There's not even any evidence he exists!

    God wanted a family, and at the end that's all He gets. People who out of their free will chose to accept God's solution for sin. Mankind was already on the road to hell, but God not willing that any should perish devised the plan of salvation. And that's what the whole Bible is about. God's creation of this whole universe and life in it is only covered by a few chapters in the Bible. But the redemption story starts from the garden of Eden and continues until Revelation. God showed us that his redemption plan was not an afterthought, but through his perfect knowledge and love he devised the plan of salvation before mankind fell into sin, thus showing from the beginning that he wanted to save all mankind. (2 Pe 3:9; 2 Co 5:19) He has chosen every man, but not every man chose him.
    If God was not willing that "any" should perish, then he totally screwed up or the doctrine of hell is false. Which is it?

    Your assertion that God chose every man directly contradicts the meaning of God "choosing." If God chose you, then you are saved. That's the meaning of the word "elect." I don't see any way around this one.

    The Bible is clear that hell was created for Satan and his angels, and not for man. (Ma 25:13) However man can get there, not because it was designed for him, but through necessity of an inexcusable rejection of a loving God. For me the tough question is not how the loving God can send anyone to hell, but rather how can anyone reject a loving God, who only wanted to show mankind his love, his unsearchable, unfathomable eternal love. We live in a fallen and sinful world. Satan destroys people lives, and then blames God. That is the Biblical perspective.
    What loving parent would send his child to death, let alone eternal torment, for the "inexcusable rejection" of their love? Your doctrine seems entirely incoherent to me.

    I've heard your "tough question" from too many mouths to think you even thought about what it really means. There is absolutely NO LOVE OR MERCY shown by the God of the Bible. All you have are words that say he is loving, but then we see that he torments those he "loves" forever in hell if they don't obey. So now we see his true values - it is selfish love and OBEDIENCE. Anyone who refuses to submit to his demands, which are universally understood as morally corrupt if seen in any human, are tormented in hell forever.

    Again, your entire story seems predicated on a very low view of God as if that was the best he could do. It is a horrible story and I can't see why anyone would believe it for a second. Even when I was in my most fundamentalist Bible believing stage, I never conceived of God the way you do. I find it totally "inconceivable" (to return us to your opening remarks).

    I know my comments are strong and you might find them disturbing. I'm sorry about that. But life is too short and truth is too important to do anything but speak truth as plainly as possible. We are only now beginning to wake up from a two thousand year nightmare of Christianity that has warped minds and corrupted hearts of millions of people.

    --------------------------------------------------
    The conversation continues in my article:

    A continuing conversation on Why I Quit Christianity - Part II
    Comments 11 Comments
    1. Chris Stuber's Avatar
      Chris Stuber -
      Funny sometimes a "man of God" may preach a sermon to "Fear God", "Fire and Brimstone", etc. and in another sermon. "God Loves You". Which is it? I wonder if God feels used?

      In 1504, Christopher Columbus asserted that If he did not get his supplies that God would eat the moon is 3 days. He of course knew the earth would cast a shadow on the lunar surface which made it look like the moon was disappearing. Needless to say, he got his supplies.

      Who says the church does not use the bible in the same way. To their advantage to get what they want or need.
    1. David M's Avatar
      David M -
      Quote Originally Posted by Chris Stuber View Post
      Funny sometimes a "man of God" may preach a sermon to "Fear God", "Fire and Brimstone", etc. and in another sermon. "God Loves You". Which is it? I wonder if God feels used?

      In 1504, Christopher Columbus asserted that If he did not get his supplies that God would eat the moon is 3 days. He of course knew the earth would cast a shadow on the lunar surface which made it look like the moon was disappearing. Needless to say, he got his supplies.

      Who says the church does not use the bible in the same way. To their advantage to get what they want or need.
      Hello Chris

      Good post. When the Bible says; the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, it is not saying that we have to be afraid of God. Fear as used in the verse quoted is not as we understand today meaning to frightened. However, that is what the mainstream churches did and do, they make people afraid of some retribution of God. Those who respect God and humble themselves before Him have nothing to worry about and should expect to receive the "love of God" that will have its full effect outworked when God raises people from the dead and Jesus finds them acceptable to be in the kingdom.

      (1 John 1:14) There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear:

      All the best

      David
    1. Richard Amiel McGough's Avatar
      Richard Amiel McGough -
      Quote Originally Posted by Chris Stuber View Post
      Funny sometimes a "man of God" may preach a sermon to "Fear God", "Fire and Brimstone", etc. and in another sermon. "God Loves You". Which is it? I wonder if God feels used?

      In 1504, Christopher Columbus asserted that If he did not get his supplies that God would eat the moon is 3 days. He of course knew the earth would cast a shadow on the lunar surface which made it look like the moon was disappearing. Needless to say, he got his supplies.

      Who says the church does not use the bible in the same way. To their advantage to get what they want or need.
      That's a very interesting fact. I was not aware that story about Christopher Columbus so I did a little fact checking and found this on the wiki article about the 1504 lunar eclipse:
      Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia View Post
      A total lunar eclipse occurred on March 1, 1504 (visible on the evening of February 29 in the Americas).

      Christopher Columbus, in a desperate effort to induce the natives of Jamaica to continue provisioning him and his hungry men, successfully intimidated the natives by correctly predicting a lunar eclipse for February 29, 1504, using the Ephemeris of the German astronomer Regiomontanus.
      They even provide a wood-cutting depicting his trick:

      Attachment 609

      History certainly shows that most if not all churches have used the Bible this way (some more, some less), though most of their threats were empty superstition and not based any science like that Columbus's trick with the moon. Perhaps it's a good thing that religions generally reject science. Think of the damage they could have done if they could consistently trick people that way!
    1. Richard Amiel McGough's Avatar
      Richard Amiel McGough -
      Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
      Hello Chris

      Good post. When the Bible says; the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, it is not saying that we have to be afraid of God. Fear as used in the verse quoted is not as we understand today meaning to frightened. However, that is what the mainstream churches did and do, they make people afraid of some retribution of God. Those who respect God and humble themselves before Him have nothing to worry about and should expect to receive the "love of God" that will have its full effect outworked when God raises people from the dead and Jesus finds them acceptable to be in the kingdom.

      (1 John 1:14) There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear:

      All the best

      David
      Good morning David,

      I used to explain the "fear" of God that way when I was a Christian. That's how most "mainstream" churches explain it. But now that I think about it with an open mind, I see that the Bible really does teach that we should fear God in the sense of being terrified because he has the power to "destroy" us in hell:
      Matthew 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
      And this is confirmed by many verses:
      2 Corinthians 5:9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. 11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.
      The "judgment seat" of Christ? The "terror" of the Lord who has the power to "destroy" us in hell? I think I'm picking up on a theme here. That's why the Bible says it is a "fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Hebrews 10:31) and threatens eternal destruction for anyone who does not believe:
      2 Thessalonians 1:3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth; 4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: 5 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: 6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; 7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day. 11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: 12 That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
      So, Paul said that his god would take vengeance with flaming fire against anyone who disagreed with his religious opinions and they would be "punished with everlasting destruction" just like it says in Revelation:
      Revelation 14:10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: 11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
      I'm having a little trouble following your theme David. If the Bible teaches anything, it is that people should be absolutely TERRIFIED of God because he threatens to torment and destroy them if they don't conform to his religion. And the Bible is filled with such examples. Therefore, we have a direct contradiction in the Bible:
      There is no fear in love. God is love. We must be terrified of God because he threatens eternal destruction and has the power to do it.
      This is what is so strange about the Gospel. In essence, it has God saying "I love you, but will torment you forever if you don't love me." One thing we know - that ain't love.

      Richard
    1. David M's Avatar
      David M -
      Hello Richard
      as always with these apparent contradictions we have to work them through and see the way they are all true. I know will not agree with my explanations to remove the contradictions and find harmony.

      I do not have time now, bit there is a verse in Romans that says; (8:28)And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

      Those who truly love God have nothing to fear. It is all those who do not love God who are to fear. So both are true depending on whose side you are. As I said in another post, we have two choices and these choices run through scripture starting at the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent and whose seed you wan to belong to.

      God has put a choice before us; choose life that ye may live or choose death. The seed of the serpent will end up in hell (the grave) and the seed of the woman as was Christ will end up in Heaven.

      All the best

      David
    1. Silence's Avatar
      Silence -
      The idea of God loving and choosing everybody, and desiring that none should perish, but then (according to the "eternal torment/anihilationist interpretations) having to subject Himself to watching the majority of his "loved and chosen ones" suffer eternally implies a schism in the nature of God. If God wills and/or desires that all would be saved, but there is something that can prevent that from happening - i.e. "free will", then God is not omnipotent, at best He shares His power with something called "free will". Many try to say that "free will" is integral to love and hence to God's nature. This then implies that God has part of Himself (loving, choosing and desiring all for salvation) opposed by another part of Himself (the requirement of giving His creatures "free will" ) that allows His creation the power to thwart His own will and desire. Is there any peace to be found in a being divided like this? Will the "loving/choosing all people" side of Him suffer forever because of the people who choose the wrong side of His "free will/ punishment for justice" part of Himself?

      If the necessity of a "free will / eternal punishment" paradigm combined with the redemption plan of the gospel is allowed (just for the sake of argument) as being necessary for the creature/Creator relationship to have meaning , under one set of circumstances it would still not necessitate any person going to hell. That being if the Creator decided to create only those people whom He knew would mis-use their free will to sin, but whom He also knew would subsequently avail themselves of the redemption and salvation offered in the gospel. There is no necessity for Him to create any of those whom He knew would sin through free will and never repent. He could have created only those people whom, although He knew they would fall in sin, He also knew they would accept His plan of redemption.

      There are actually some "Christians" who believe that some damned sinners in hell are necessary for the "saved" to be aware of, so that they will be grateful for the salvation they have received. Reminds me of the parable Jesus spoke about the Pharisee praying and thanking God that he was not like "other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers or even as this tax collector". Without someone "worse" to compare himself to, this pharisee had no basis for giving thanks to God?

      I do not believe "free will choice to obey God" is the basis for God receiving any meaning in a relationship with His creatures. I don't know that He CAN receive meaning from anything. If He can, then He is not all powerful. Some say that He receives pleasure from us when we obey Him and that is the purpose for our existence, to bring Him pleasure. This creates a flip side, where disobedience causes Him displeasure, and makes us miserable since we are not fulfilling our purpose.

      After years of thinking about the nature of God, and all of the statements made in the bible describing Him and His attributes, I have come to believe that we cannot know if He derives any meaning from His creation or not. There are those who do not accept the bible, who say that there is no distinction between the Creator and His Creation. Both are one. But if that is the case, then you have a Creator who is at least partially blind, since so many of His creatures are blind to their "one-ness" with Him. On the other hand, if you accept the bible, and it's statements about God being existent apart from His creation, it is plain that we, as created beings, do receive meaning from our relationship to Him.

      At this point the basis for any "meaning" in the relationship comes into play. "Free-willers" say it is to be found in our exercise of choosing. Over the years I have come to believe that meaning is to be found when we begin to see the huge difference between the Creator (God ) and His creation, us. A few years ago, when I first became aware of Rene Girard's mimetic theory and Michel Oghourlian's work in applying mimetics principles to the formation of a self-conscious "person", I began to look at Genesis in a new way. If Mr. Oghourlian is right, and we only become a self-conscious person as a result of becoming aware of our responses that take place while imitating the reactions of those we interact with, then the one which we spend the most time interacting with is going to most affect the "person" who results. In Genesis, there is some implied interaction between God and Adam & Eve, (God breathes into Adam, brings the animals to him for naming, takes a rib from him and brings Eve to him, etc.). A lot of bible teachers read into the text that Adam and Eve spent an unknown number of idyllic days walking through the garden having fellowship with God before it all got ruined. The text doesn't say anything about that. Adam had more interaction with God than Eve, since he was the one God spoke to about which trees they could eat from and which one they couldn't, he was the one God brought the animals to for naming, and interacted with him in taking a rib from him, making Eve, and then bringing her to him. But in none of these accounts does the text say that Adam or Eve spoke to God or interacted with Him. I guess that could be implied when Adam names the animals, but who knows, maybe Adam was speaking to the animals when he called their names. When Adam says that Eve is "bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh" it also doesn't say that he was addressing God. As far as Eve goes, the text says that God brought Eve to Adam after she was created, but doesn't say anything else about any interaction with her after that until her and Adam are called on the carpet for eating of the tree.

      The bible's first detailed and drawn out interaction involving a human is found in the first part of Genesis 3. Eve and the nachash have a dialogue. No record of Adam and Eve relating back and forth with each other, or with God. The first interaction is between the "younger" of the two who has been derived from her partner, and the nachash. So if mimetic theory is correct, Eve is done for from the start. Her first experience of "bouncing things off of someone" is with him. He affects who she becomes in response.

      This line of reasoning leads to the conclusion that the only way for Adam and Eve to avoid sinning was to avoid interaction with the nachash. But since he is listed as one of the creatures that the Lord had made this was impossible. One conclusion that could be drawn is that the conditions leading to the failure of Adam and Eve were set up as a trap to see if God's enemy would try to use it. Which he did, through the nachash. Genesis has a lot of things in it that hint of a pre-existing conflict God and an adversary, a conflict that mankind has been placed in the middle of. Why else would the earth need to be "replenished"? Why would the garden need to be "kept" (Gen.2:15) if everything God had created was good? Immediately after the verse about the garden being "kept" comes the command about not eating from the tree, which was violated later on.The next time the Hebrew word "sho-mer" which is translated as "kept" is used comes when Cain is questioned about his brother Abel and he asks "Am I my brother's keeper?". The literal meaning of sho-mer is "to protect with a hedge of thorns". It seems to imply more than just "keeping an eye" on something.

      The bottom line that all of this kind of reasoning leads to is the question of whether the creation and redemption of man was the apex and focus of all of God's work, an end in and of itself; or whether there is something else going on behind the scenes, and the creation and redemption of this world and mankind are part of accomplishing that. I tend toward the latter. This view is also implied in the book of Job.
    1. Richard Amiel McGough's Avatar
      Richard Amiel McGough -
      Quote Originally Posted by Silence View Post
      The idea of God loving and choosing everybody, and desiring that none should perish, but then (according to the "eternal torment/anihilationist interpretations) having to subject Himself to watching the majority of his "loved and chosen ones" suffer eternally implies a schism in the nature of God. If God wills and/or desires that all would be saved, but there is something that can prevent that from happening - i.e. "free will", then God is not omnipotent, at best He shares His power with something called "free will". Many try to say that "free will" is integral to love and hence to God's nature. This then implies that God has part of Himself (loving, choosing and desiring all for salvation) opposed by another part of Himself (the requirement of giving His creatures "free will" ) that allows His creation the power to thwart His own will and desire. Is there any peace to be found in a being divided like this? Will the "loving/choosing all people" side of Him suffer forever because of the people who choose the wrong side of His "free will/ punishment for justice" part of Himself?
      Hey there Silence,

      Thanks for sharing your insights. Sorry for the slow response. Been busy as usual. I agree that an attempt to ground love in the concept of "free will" is absurd. In the classic Christian argument, love is "impossible" if we could not "disobey God." The absurdity is obvious. Is our love ever based on such a concept? Of course not! I love my wife and children and friends because I LOVE them, not because they have the opportunity to disobey me! This is typical of the arguments put forth by Christian apologists. They are totally disconnected from reality and show no awareness of what it means to be human at all. This is because they are forcing their minds to conform to ancient myths that they don't even understand.

      I think there is some confusion in your opening statement. It makes no sense to say that God "chooses everyone" because the concept of choice means to select one over another. Your suggestions seems oxymoronic. When the Bible speaks of God choosing, it is always choosing some as opposed to others. Here is the definition:
      1589 ekloge {ek-log-ay'}
      Meaning: 1) the act of picking out, choosing 1a) of the act of God's free will by which before the foundation of the world he decreed his blessings to certain persons 1b) the decree made from choice by which he determined to bless certain persons through Christ by grace alone 2) a thing or person chosen 2a) of persons: God's elect
      There also is a problem with your treatment of the verse that says "God wills that all should be saved." My free will cannot overcome God's will in any other area. Why should I assume that it can overcome his will in the most important area of all, my salvation? And this connects back to the idea of God "choosing" everyone, since everyone chosen is saved. It would imply universalism.

      Any argument based on "free will" can never be conclusive because we don't even understand free will. The best we could do is just make up philosophical speculations and camp on the one we "like." I think it is better to not choose any solution if we don't have any conclusive proof one way or the other.

      Also, your reference to the "eternal torment/anihilationist interpretations" seems to confuse two very different things. God would not be "watching eternal torment" if he annihilated the wicked. So what is the problem with annihilation of the wicked? Is it not exactly what the Bible says? The wages of sin = death = annihilation.

      Quote Originally Posted by Silence View Post
      If the necessity of a "free will / eternal punishment" paradigm combined with the redemption plan of the gospel is allowed (just for the sake of argument) as being necessary for the creature/Creator relationship to have meaning , under one set of circumstances it would still not necessitate any person going to hell. That being if the Creator decided to create only those people whom He knew would mis-use their free will to sin, but whom He also knew would subsequently avail themselves of the redemption and salvation offered in the gospel. There is no necessity for Him to create any of those whom He knew would sin through free will and never repent. He could have created only those people whom, although He knew they would fall in sin, He also knew they would accept His plan of redemption.
      Good point. William Lane Craig tries to deal with this problem by merely asserting that it would be impossible for God to create only people that he knew would freely choose him. He says that it is impossible that "God could have created a plenitude of the saved without creating any lost is based on a false assumption." He argues for something called Molinism which strikes me as philosophical gibberish. He explains his position a bit more in this article:

      Quote Originally Posted by William Lane Craig View Post
      To this challenge the Molinist may respond that it is possible that there is no world feasible for God in which all persons freely respond to His gracious initiatives and so are saved. Given the truth of certain counterfactuals of creaturely freedom, it is possible that God did not have it within His power to realize a world in which all persons freely respond affirmatively to His offer of salvation. But in His omnibenevolence, He has actualised a world containing an optimal balance between saved and unsaved. If it be further objected that God would not actualise a world in which some persons are damned as a concomitant of others' being saved, though the former, if placed under other circumstances, would themselves have freely accepted salvation, then the Molinist may respond that God in His omnibenevolence has chosen not to create any such persons; He has instead elected to create only persons who would freely reject Him in any world which is feasible for Him to actualise, persons who, accordingly, freely possess the property of transworld damnation. God in His providence has so arranged the world that as the Christian gospel went out from first century Palestine, all who would respond freely to it if they heard it did hear it, and all who do not hear it are persons who would not have accepted it if they had heard it. In this way, Christian exclusivism may be seen to be compatible with the existence of an omnipotent and omnibenevolent God.
      Christian theologians have been wrestling with problems like this for two millennia. I don't see any reason to think a viable solution is on the horizon. I think the Christian doctrines are logically incoherent.

      Quote Originally Posted by Silence View Post
      There are actually some "Christians" who believe that some damned sinners in hell are necessary for the "saved" to be aware of, so that they will be grateful for the salvation they have received. Reminds me of the parable Jesus spoke about the Pharisee praying and thanking God that he was not like "other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers or even as this tax collector". Without someone "worse" to compare himself to, this pharisee had no basis for giving thanks to God?
      That's right. A book was written about this gross perversion. John Loftus talked about it on his blog in an article called Rejoicing at the Sight of People Suffering in Hell. Here is what he said:

      Quote Originally Posted by John Loftus View Post
      For centuries, Christians believed that the heavenly few would see and even rejoice at the sufferings of hell’s multitude. As Paul Johnson [himself a defender of Christianity] admitted in A History of Christianity, “This displeasing notion was advanced and defended with great tenacity over several centuries, and was one of the points Catholics and orthodox Calvinists had in common.”

      The idea is still being defended today in Trevor C. Johnson's thesis composed for his master's degree in Biblical Studies at Reformed Theological Seminary in 2004. (Johnson is also a loving and faithful Christian missionary, husband, and parent serving the Lord in a potentially dangerous mission field.) I would like some Evangelical Christian apologists on the web to read Johnson's master's thesis which is now online (and also offered at amazon.com -- note the three positive reviews from fellow Christians), and explain either why you agree with it, or disagree with it, and if you disagree, how such a notion came to be derived from various Biblical stories and verses, and also came to be defended from the philosophical necessity of heaven's occupants remaining joyful (no tears in heaven) and knowledgable concerning God's decisions, and view such decisions as praiseworthy such that there are not the least bit of doubt nor lack of joy at viewing such decisions in action.
      To think that this perversion was taught for centuries, and even defended to this very day?

      Quote Originally Posted by Silence View Post
      I do not believe "free will choice to obey God" is the basis for God receiving any meaning in a relationship with His creatures. I don't know that He CAN receive meaning from anything. If He can, then He is not all powerful. Some say that He receives pleasure from us when we obey Him and that is the purpose for our existence, to bring Him pleasure. This creates a flip side, where disobedience causes Him displeasure, and makes us miserable since we are not fulfilling our purpose.

      After years of thinking about the nature of God, and all of the statements made in the bible describing Him and His attributes, I have come to believe that we cannot know if He derives any meaning from His creation or not. There are those who do not accept the bible, who say that there is no distinction between the Creator and His Creation. Both are one. But if that is the case, then you have a Creator who is at least partially blind, since so many of His creatures are blind to their "one-ness" with Him. On the other hand, if you accept the bible, and it's statements about God being existent apart from His creation, it is plain that we, as created beings, do receive meaning from our relationship to Him.
      I think the most coherent view of God, assuming one exists, is the root souce of the totality of everything. The "Ground of Being" in which we all share. God is totally united with its entire manifistation. It's not even correct to call it a "creation" since it probably is more like an "emanation" - a Divine Dream.

      Any doctrine that divides people into the saved vs. damned is false and should be rejected as an artifact of primitive tribal religion.

      Quote Originally Posted by Silence View Post
      At this point the basis for any "meaning" in the relationship comes into play. "Free-willers" say it is to be found in our exercise of choosing. Over the years I have come to believe that meaning is to be found when we begin to see the huge difference between the Creator (God ) and His creation, us. A few years ago, when I first became aware of Rene Girard's mimetic theory and Michel Oghourlian's work in applying mimetics principles to the formation of a self-conscious "person", I began to look at Genesis in a new way.
      I've learned about Girard because my sister-in-law is a scholar who has worked with him and has developed his work quite a bit.

      Quote Originally Posted by Silence View Post
      The bottom line that all of this kind of reasoning leads to is the question of whether the creation and redemption of man was the apex and focus of all of God's work, an end in and of itself; or whether there is something else going on behind the scenes, and the creation and redemption of this world and mankind are part of accomplishing that. I tend toward the latter. This view is also implied in the book of Job.
      I think "something else going on behind the scenes" is an excellent possibility. Myself, I'm more inclined towards the psychological/archetypal interpretation of the Garden story along the lines of Carl Jung. It has all the elements of the process of individuation. But I don't have time to go into that right now.

      Great chatting!

      Richard
    1. Silence's Avatar
      Silence -
      Good morning Richard,
      Thanks for the links, If I get the time I will check them out.

      As usual, I wasn't very good at articulating what I had in mind.

      [I said - The idea of God loving and choosing everybody, and desiring that none should perish, but then (according to the "eternal torment/anihilationist interpretations) having to subject Himself to watching the majority of his "loved and chosen ones" suffer eternally implies a schism in the nature of God....

      To which you replied - I think there is some confusion in your opening statement. It makes no sense to say that God "chooses everyone" because the concept of choice means to select one over another. Your suggestions seems oxymoronic. When the Bible speaks of God choosing, it is always choosing some as opposed to others.]

      What I was trying to say was the idea of how schizoid it would be (under either an eternal punishment or annihilationist system) for God to choose to love all people by offering them salvation, and to desire and will that they would accept it, but then for Him also to know that He will never have what he desires.

      You wrote - [Also, your reference to the "eternal torment/anihilationist interpretations" seems to confuse two very different things. God would not be "watching eternal torment" if he annihilated the wicked. So what is the problem with annihilation of the wicked? Is it not exactly what the Bible says? The wages of sin = death = annihilation.

      Quote Originally Posted by Silence View Post
      If the necessity of a "free will / eternal punishment" paradigm combined with the redemption plan of the gospel is allowed (just for the sake of argument) as being necessary for the creature/Creator relationship to have meaning , under one set of circumstances it would still not necessitate any person going to hell. That being if the Creator decided to create only those people whom He knew would mis-use their free will to sin, but whom He also knew would subsequently avail themselves of the redemption and salvation offered in the gospel. There is no necessity for Him to create any of those whom He knew would sin through free will and never repent. He could have created only those people whom, although He knew they would fall in sin, He also knew they would accept His plan of redemption.]

      I wasn't combining the idea of free will and annihilation. I should have said "if we accept either a free will/eternal punishment OR the annihilation paradigm, there is still no necessity for God to have to see any person to go to hell (under an "eternal torment paradigm) OR to see any person annihilated forever (under an annihilationist paradigm)." As for annihilation, the bible does say that the wages of sin is death, but death is not the end of the story. Resurrection happens. I am a universalist, though my post probably didn't make that very clear since I was trying to use so many hypothetical scenarios as examples and I wasn't very clear when describing them.
    1. Richard Amiel McGough's Avatar
      Richard Amiel McGough -
      Quote Originally Posted by Silence View Post
      What I was trying to say was the idea of how schizoid it would be (under either an eternal punishment or annihilationist system) for God to choose to love all people by offering them salvation, and to desire and will that they would accept it, but then for Him also to know that He will never have what he desires.
      Good morning Silence,

      Thanks for clarifying your insight. We agree completely on that point.

      Quote Originally Posted by Silence View Post
      I wasn't combining the idea of free will and annihilation. I should have said "if we accept either a free will/eternal punishment OR the annihilation paradigm, there is still no necessity for God to have to see any person to go to hell (under an "eternal torment paradigm) OR to see any person annihilated forever (under an annihilationist paradigm)." As for annihilation, the bible does say that the wages of sin is death, but death is not the end of the story. Resurrection happens. I am a universalist, though my post probably didn't make that very clear since I was trying to use so many hypothetical scenarios as examples and I wasn't very clear when describing them.
      Great! That's much clearer.

      I also was exploring Universalism as the best solution to this problem when I realized that it put me so far outside the realm of traditional Christian belief that I no longer had any reason to think of myself as a Christian. I realized that my presupposition that the Bible was true had become meaningless because sincere believers come to utterly contrary conclusions. Therefore, all anyone is really doing when they try to "rationalize" the Bible is forcing it to conform to their presuppositions whatever they may be. And when this is coupled with the obvious fact that the Bible is not logically coherent, I concluded that the whole activity was vain since I could never had any confidence that any conclusion was objectively valid. And this was greatly aggravated by blatant moral abominations attributed to God, so the obvious solution was to reject the Bible as "true" or "believable" in the traditional Christian sense. Everything makes a lot more sense now, though I am stuck with a mystery of what the Bible Wheel means. But that's OK - no one ever died from failing to solve an intellectual mystery. I know that the fundamental Christian claim that a person must "believe" some proposition in order to be saved from eternal damnation or death is simply false. So I am at peace, even if I don't have all the answers.

      Great chatting,

      Richard
    1. kandiamo's Avatar
      kandiamo -
      I'm sorry this is going to be long, but bear with me. I'll try to make it interesting.

      I have a problem with contemporary apologetics because it "proves" nothing. It's self relevatory, self validating, self referencing. I tend to believe that in the hard core, faith is a 50:50 proposition. Christians are just about as likely to be right as they are to be wrong due to lack of hard evidence. There is certainly evidence which is suggestive of Bible doctrine, but in the end, every man makes that decision for himself. Even the God of Israel supports that right. According to the Bible, gifted Free Will is given to men, angels and the Messiah. He seemed to like that idea and most of us, believer and atheist, are OK with that arrangement too.

      I'm also pretty sure God didn't hire any attorneys, only witnesses. In a court of law, we are incapable of doing more than explaining our side of how we view His actions, yet woefully incapable of explaining it in intuitive terms. And He - the Defendant - seems OK with that too, by design.

      Apologetics fails because it struggles to fight on "reason" grounds based on the assumption God is somehow limited to that arena. But it seems to me any being limited by any of OUR rules is probably not even a god. The statement, "Everything God does is reasonable" is not correct. He may well operate by his own systematic logic we know little about. Struggling to prove godhood or supreme goodness of the God of Israel only forces us to drag Him down to the logic of men, as if that logic is the ONLY logic, ONLY reason, ONLY truth. And most people of all faiths are open minded enough to think "... well ... maybe there's someone/something out there smarter than me. I'm just not sure it's a god or THAT god."

      But let's assume for the sake of argument there's a Being outside our dimension who could - if he wanted - remain completely invisible and unknown to us. I dunno, maybe posing as the proverbial sea of reality in which men, like fish, swim unawares, or maybe as the unseen river of energy out of which all things are made ... like Prana or Chi. I'm not saying He is that, just that He could do it if he wanted to ... if he's a god.

      But the difference of the Bible is that this Being spoke to men of a world we can't know standing where we stand UNLESS it were told to us. And that's the split. DID God speak to men or not? There's Free Will again. If people believe there IS a God of Israel - even a little bit - then it makes sense to hear - really HEAR - how HE describes the world. He may well be describing the construction of the universe BEYOND our logic. Sure, there are pieces of His tales and interventions that make sense, but most of it does not because it's not of our intuitive world.

      Reason is intuitive. We understand how it sounds, how it fits, what it means to us personally. We recognize when it breaks down and use it to discredit the speaker. But "nonintuitive" exists in practical living! For instance, how can irrational numbers be used to produce rational things like satellite trajectories and nanobots and CERN calculations? They told us these numbers were impossible, but we use them at work! Yet we don't give mathematicians grief about being abstruse.

      Truthfully, some of us have a lower tolerance for 'nonintuitive'. We hate the fuzzy edge, the fringes that seems to disappear into infinity. We like the box so we know where we stand. But God? What is this gobbley-gook He talks about? It makes no sense, is sometimes offensive, and some of it is downright not possible. The Bible isn't a DIY cookbook; it's not a self-help manual or spiritual guidebook; why it doesn't even contain a fraction of all the neat little sayings of say, Confuscious or Buddha, which frankly are far more palatable and applicable! There's something spooky different about the Bible. Its spookiness is why the Bible CAN'T be used as a charter for political government and why Jesus, who had plenty of popular influence, took no political stand! In fact, in this realm, only moralities common to any religion or ethics can be used. But the mystery of action of that other world in the OT/NT? That's supernatural.

      As for Jesus ... maybe he's just a man. But IF he isn't ... if he's SEEN the other side, then he would have a few nonintuitive things to say about it. Some might call it "ancient magik"; something before time itself. In fact, God's word for 'magik" might be HOLINESS! For instance, it might be ancient magik ... or other-logic ... or Holiness ... that Blood can fix ANYTHING about us. Christians can repeat scripture verbatim about the Blood, but let's be honest. They don't know either, not really. But Jesus sure did. Christians can talk about Grace but they don't know. HE did, though. Soul mattered, judgment mattered, time mattered. All kinds of things that Jesus was adamant about and nobody really gets, not even today. So, what do we do with this Jesus and all that weird stuff even the Church doesn't like to talk about? Obnoxious as they are, Christians are right about one thing: In this nonintuitive world of Holiness, Jesus is central. He's the cornerstone or the pebble in the shoe. Either way, integrity demands dealing with his concept. There's no fence to sit on because HE said there isn't. You can't be a little bit for Jesus in the world Jesus describes. It's, are you in or are you out?

      So the question is not, "Can the Church forge a belief for us with its persistent hammer?" but "Do we know enough of the God of Israel's version of the world ... to make our own decision?" If not, go get it - or if so and God seems wanting, move on with the consequences. There are lot's of choices out there besides the God of Israel and He stands back to let you enjoy them in the time you have left. But all the players know it has nothing to do with truth or reason; it has to do with "what ethics or god let's me do what I'm doing now?" The idea of Hell doesn't bother me even though I know I'm a potential candidate; it just might be a function of that realm like gravity is here and Jesus is throwing out a lifeline. It might be the dimensional abyss physicists talk about in string and brane theories. Jesus remarked of one who buried his entrusted funds in the ground in anger at the sovereignty of his master: "You are a cruel master who reaps where you did not sow!" to which the master simply replies in essence, "Fair enough. Why didn't you take appropriate action based on just that?" Stamping our feet and crossing our arms in defiance is no protection any more than trying that stunt with an alien overlord. But no decision, no lifeline.

      Oh. And the overlords ARE coming ...
    1. David M's Avatar
      David M -
      Hello Kandiamo

      No apologies needed for your long post and I did find it interesting. I hope you can join the forum and read some of the long posts and threads to be found there.
      You made a lot of sense and asked many questions. I can only hope that God and His word is explained to you in way that cuts through the "spiritual cr@p" that is the invention of men that gives unbelievers a reason not to try and understand and reject the truth that is to be found.

      There can only be one truth that encompasses the whole of God's revelation to man, who He has created. God has given a simple explanation of the order in which He created the heavens and the earth and everything upon it. We have an explanation of why we are here and what the future holds for us. God has a plan to redeem those who have failed to live up to the standard that Jesus proved was possible.

      The future is that as God has declared; "the earth shall be filled with the Glory of God as the waters cover the sea". That glory will be seen in a restored earth in which those redeemed by God will have perfect incorruptible bodies and live forever and will naturally do the will of God as it is now done in Heaven by His Angels in Heaven.

      I look forward to your joining the forum (if you so desire) and then each of the questions you have raised can be addressed at some time in future posts.

      All the best

      David
    Comments Leave Comment

    Click here to log in

    Please enter the number that rhymes with floor.