PDA

View Full Version : Zoroastrianism



Rose
03-20-2012, 08:45 AM
A very informative video on the origins of Zoroastrianism. This religion was founded by the prophet Zorasthustra in ancient Persia over 3 millennia ago (between 1500 and 1200 BC), and is the oldest surviving monotheistic religion. Their one supreme god is call Ahura Mazda, or the god of good thoughts, good words, and good deeds...introducing the idea of the immortal soul.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=K83F4URTS9I

heb13-13
03-20-2012, 11:20 AM
Here is some more info I found on Zoroaster.

It is said by some critics that:


Zoroaster was born of a virgin and "immaculate conception by a ray of divine reason."
He was baptized in a river.
In his youth he astounded wise men with his wisdom.
He was tempted in the wilderness by the devil.
He began his ministry at age 30.
Zoroaster baptized with water, fire, and "holy wind."
He cast out demons and restored the sight to a blind man.
He taught about heaven and hell, and revealed mysteries, including resurrection, judgment, salvation and the apocalypse.
He had a sacred cup or grail.
He was slain.
His religion had a eucharist.
He was the "Word made flesh."
Zoroaster's followers expect a "second coming" in the virgin-born Saoshyant or Savior, who is to come in 2341 CE and begin his ministry at age 30, ushering in a golden age.
Some of the things listed above are actually true and confirmed by scholarly literature -- and a couple of them come from sources that Zoroastrian scholars suggest go back to a source predating Christianity. But that's the mythicists getting 10 out of 100 on a test where before they got zeroes, or claiming a "100% increase" in a salary that went from one dollar a year to two dollars. Some of these I find no confirmation at all for; others come from sources that are way, way too late -- even as late as the 10th century! Our main source for details on Zoroaster is the Avesta, a collection of sacred texts which was put in writing between 346-360 AD [Herz.ZW, 774] and of which we have manuscript copies only as early as the 13th century [Wat.Z, 56 -- and note to conspiracy theorists: blame Alexander the Great and the Muslims for the destruction of Zoroastrian literature]. Some of the material probably comes from a time before the Christian era, but most of this is reckoned to be hymns and some basic information [Rose.IZ, 17] that was part of the oral tradition. The rest seems likely to have been added later, and for good reason, as Rose notes :322
[I]The incorporation of certain motifs into the Zoroastrian tradition in the ninth century CE could indicate the conscious attempt of the priesthood to exalt their prophet in the eyes of the faithful who may have been tempted to turn to other religions.
In other words, if we see a "Jesus-like" story in these texts, especially this late, we have a right to suspect borrowing -- but in exactly the opposite way that critics suppose!
A key issue seems to be, "When did Zoroaster actually live?" Interestingly enough there has even been a few "Zoroaster-mythers" who said (as Bultmann said of Jesus!) "nothing can be said" of the historical Zoroaster [Rose.IZ, 15]. J. M. Robertson, who also stumped for a mythical Jesus and a mythical Buddha, took up the Zoroaster-myth (to which a Zoroastrian scholar responded, "I have myself indeed divined and published the argument by which Mr. Robertson's successors fifty years hence will irrefutably prove him a myth") [Wat.Z, 11]. One Zoroastrian scholar did go along with the idea eventually, but died before he could justify his position. At any rate, most of the sources I consulted prefer a date around 600 B.C., though one scholar has suggested a date as early as 1700 BC [Yam.PB, 414].


Does indeed Persia have anything to do with Jerusalem? Zoroaster's faith had an idea that sounds like, and probably is, bodily resurrection, though it is most clear only in AD-dated texts. Did the Jews "steal" this idea while under the thumb of the Persians? There is no direct evidence either way; the Persians may have got the ideas from the Jews, and from Ezekiel or Daniel. We'll see some other general ideas they have in common as well. But in terms of borrowing, no evidence exists -- one way or the other, and a determination depends on the interpretations and datings of Zoroastrian texts. Zoroastrian scholars offer no consensus on the subject [Yam.PB, 461]: Yamauchi cites one scholar who believes that the Jews borrowed, another that says there is no way to tell who borrowed, and yet another who says that the borrowing was the other way. There is also a great difference in approach: The Jews buried their dead, while the Zoros exposed their dead.

Others argue that the Jewish idea of Satan is borrowed from Zoroastrianism. But Satan appears in Job, a very early book, and is nothing like the evil god Ahriman, who is a dualistic equal to Ohrmazd the good god, rather than a subordinate. Finally, it is significant that while the OT used plenty of Persian loanwords for governmental matters, they did not use any for religion [Yam.PB, 463]. The most we find is, I am told, the name of a Persian demon in the Book of Tobit!
And so, right to the list, shall we go?

Zoroaster was born of a virgin and "immaculate conception by a ray of divine reason." It's hard to quantify this one -- the Avesta (note again, a late source, later than Christianity) refers to a "kingly glory" that was handed onward from one ruler to the next; this glory resided in Zoroaster's mother for about 15 years, including during the time she was married to Zoroaster's dad, Pourushaspa. It seems that a human father was still needed for Zoroaster [Jack.ZP, 18, 24] and that this "ray" was merely for the infusion of Zoroaster's spirit, not his body. (A reader has added the point that it is not correct to use "Immaculate conception" to refer to Christ's virgin birth, as seems to be the implication here; rather it refers to the Roman Catholic doctrine that the Mary was born without original sin. It is only somewhat recently that some people have erroneously used it to refer to Christ's virgin birth.)

He was baptized in a river. I can find no reference to this at all. There is a story of Zoraster receiving a revelation from an archangel while on the banks of a river, which Zoroaster later crosses [Jack.ZP, 41], but that is as close as I have found.

In his youth he astounded wise men with his wisdom. Here's what I have on this: At age 7, Zoroaster was placed under the care of a wise man; as he was raised he had disputations with the magi -- the practitioners of occult and magic, necromancy, and sorcery. These were "put to confusion" by him [Jack.ZP, 29, 31]. Later he also made sport of the wise men of King Vishtapsa, who became one of his major converts [Jack.ZP, 61-2], and these wise men plotted against him, accusing him of being a necromancer. Zoroaster was imprisoned, but got out when he helped heal the king's favorite horse by making its legs grow back. Zoroaster was clearly a prodigy, but in quite a different area than Jesus.

He was tempted in the wilderness by the devil. This one is true, sort of -- after 10 years (not 40 days!) of visionary experiences, a sub-demon named J. Buiti was sent by Ahriman (the functional devil-equivalent in this context -- he didn't come himself) "to deceive and overthrow the holy messenger." [Jack.ZP, 51] This temptation involved an attempt to persuade Zoroaster to renounce the "good religion" of Mazdeism and worship evil spirits -- no bread to stones, no leaps from towers, just talking back and forth with Zoro quoting Persian scriptures. Jackson and Waterhouse indicate no location for this; it could have been the wilderness, but it might have been MacDonald's in Tehran. The story has some roots to the 2nd century BC [Wat.Z, 54] but it bears at best a superficial similarity to the temptation of Jesus.

He began his ministry at age 30. This one is absolutely right [Jack.ZP, 16], but rendered meaningless in this context by two things. First, it comes from the Pahlavi literature, which is post-Christian by several centuries, and second, thirty is the age at which Iranian men come to Wisdom. [WL, 54] The ancients gave as much regard to the "big three-oh" as we did -- there is no copycatting here.

Zoroaster baptized with water, fire, and "holy wind." This is kind of odd, because this would equate with a "John the Baptist myth," not a Christ myth! Even so, I find no evidence of any of these at all. Zoroaster did have an association with sacred fires [Jack.ZP, 98] that were part of the fire-cults in three particular temples, and seemed to have taken a part in preserving the fire-cult (which liked to keep the fires going, sort of like our eternal flame at Arlington Cemetery) but he did not "baptize" with and of these things.

He cast out demons and restored the sight to a blind man. "Cast out" is a little vague for a description here -- Zoro apparently didn't like demons, but I find no record saying he cast them out of people as Jesus did: This was one of several abilities Zoro had, including driving out pestilence, witches, and sorcerers. There is a record of Zoroaster healing a blind man, but this comes from a document dated to the tenth century AD -- and he did it by dropping juice from a plant into the blind man's eyes. [Jack.ZP, 94]

He taught about heaven and hell, and revealed mysteries, including resurrection, judgment, salvation and the apocalypse. As this goes, it is true, but not all of these terms have the same meaning in Zoroastrianism that they do in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Only "resurrection" is a good match here -- Zoroaster's faith taught that after judgment, the "dead will rise up" and men will become "not-aging, not-dying, not-decaying, not-rotting" [Herz.ZW, 299]. It's resurrection, it sounds like, though described by negatives.

In terms of the other stuff, there aren't a lot of similarities [Wat.Z, 95, 96, 98, 102]. Salvation was by works alone; there was "practically no place for repentance or pardon:" and "no doctrine of atonement." There is some issue about the fate of the wicked; one account says they will be tormented three days, then return to do good deeds; another source says they will be annihilated. There is an essential equivalent to Heaven and Hell, but it wouldn't be too hard to create such a concept independently one way or the other based on the simple assumption that people will get what they deserve.

Judgment would be made by committee: the Persian Mithra and two other gods are on the panel. If you aren't sure where you might go, word is that Zoroaster himself will come and plead for you. A concept of purgatory appears in a Zoroastrian work of the 5th-6th century, and later Zoroastrianism did develop rites of repentance and expiation, contrary to Zoroaster's recorded teachings. There's an apocalypse planned to be sure: a flood of molten metal to burn off the wicked. Zoroastrian eschatology comes for the most part, however, from those late AD sources [Yam.PB, 465]. A reader also sent us this note:

"The case for a judeo-christian dependence on Zoroastrianism in its purely eschatological thinking is quite different. And not at all convincing, for apart from a few hints in the Gathas which we shall shortly be considering and a short passage in Yasht 19.80-90 in which a deathless existence in body and soul at the end of time is affirmed, we have no evidence as to what eschatological ideas the Zoroastrians had in the last four centuries before Christ. The eschatologies of the Pahlavi books, though agreeing in their broad outlines, differ very considerably in detail and emphasis; they do not correspond at all closely to the eschatological writings of the intertestimentary period nor to those of St. Paul and the apocalypse of St. John. They do, however, agree that there will be a general resurrection of the body as well as soul, but this idea would be the natural corollary to the survival of the soul as a moral entity, once that had been accepted, since both Jew and Zoroastrian regarded soul and body as being two aspects, ultimately inseperable, of the one human personality." -- R.C. Zaehner, The Dawn and Twilight of Zoroastrianism. G.P. Putnam's Sons. New York. 1961. Pg. 57

Note especially the implication that an idea of resurrection could have come up independently in the Zoroastrians because they shared the Jewish perception of totality of body and spirit.
He had a sacred cup or grail. If he did, the Zoroastrian scholars don't know about it. Not that it matters -- the idea of Jesus having a sacred cup or grail is a product of medieval legend, not the Bible!

He was slain. Zoroaster was indeed said to be slain, but his death isn't vested with any significance. There are a couple of stories about his death. A late story has him struck by lightning, but that is from a post-Christian source. An account that is generally accepted has Zoroaster killed at age 77 by a wizard/priest. There are no details on this death, other than that it occurred in a temple. A nice story from the 17th century has Zoroaster whipping out rosary beads and throwing them at his assassin as he dies. [Jack.ZP, 124-9] Either way, Zoroaster's murder has neither the invested significance nor the surrounding similarities of the death of Jesus. There is also a third account that has him killed in battle as a king! However, none of this may matter as Herzfeld, after analysis of the data, concludes that the "murder of Zoroaster is entirely unhistorical" for the stories of it are all in late sources as much as 1400 years after his time, and had he truly been murdered, it would "resound loudly and persistently in history" before that [Herz.ZW, 241, 845].

His religion had a eucharist. Not that the Zoroastrian scholars are aware of, though I would not doubt that the Z people had communal meals like every religious and political group in ancient times. And since there is no atonement in Zoroastrianism, how can there be a Eucharist? The closest I can find to this is the fact that in later Zoroastriaism, there is a rite involving the intoxicating haoma plant, which may or may not have been known of and/or endorsed by Zoroaster [Yam.PB, 418] and involves a daily rite of consumption with no "eucharistic" significance (i.e., it is not Zoroaster's body or blood, etc.). There is also a ceremony calls the yasna or veneration, which does involve the use of bread (topped with clarified butter) and a drink made from ephedra, pomegranate twigs, and milk (strained through a filter made from the hairs of a white bull), but evidence indicates that this ritual was established as part of liturgical reform in Zoroastrianism in the post-Christian era [Yam.PB, 449-50].

He was the "Word made flesh." Not that the scholars know about it, either. Zoroaster's followers expect a "second coming" in the virgin-born Saoshyant or Savior, who is to come in 2341 CE and begin his ministry at age 30, ushering in a golden age. I have been able to confirm that this is true to some extent: a return is expected in 2341 CE, to start a golden age; the details on age 30 I have found nowhere. Whether this future Deliverer would indeed be Zoroaster himself again is indeed something that has been interpreted, but later Zoroastrian texts think that the person will be of the line of Zoroaster, not Zoroaster himself. [Wat.Z, 94-5]

A vague doctrine of a future redeemer does appear in texts dated as early as the 400s BC, but only later (9th cent. AD) texts go into detail, reporting three world saviors -- "virgin born" in a sense: It seems that some of Zoro's sperm is being preserved in a lake in Iran, and that three virgins bathing in the lake over the next few thousand years are going to get a big surprise as a result. Virgin born, perhaps, but not virgin conceived. The last of these three guys will eradicate all disease and death and usher in the final victory of good over evil. And that, folks, is about the size of it -- there are more convincing parallels to Jesus in Dragonball Z than there are to the big Persian Z.






Sources

Herz.ZW -- Herzfeld, Ernst. Zoroaster and His World. Octagon Books, 1974.
Jack.ZP -- Jackson, A. V. W. Zoroaster the Prophet of Ancient Iran. New York: AMS Press, 1965.
Rose.IZ -- Rose, Jenny. The Image of Zoroaster. Bibliotecha Persica Press.
Wat.Z -- Waterhouse, John. Zoroastrianism. Epworth, n.d.
WL -- Wise Lord of the Sky. Time Life Books.
Yam.PB -- Yamauchi, Edwin. Persia and the Bible. Baker: 1990.
Taken from http://www.tektonics.org/copycat/zoroaster.html

CWH
03-20-2012, 11:34 AM
A very informative video on the origins of Zoroastrianism. This religion was founded by the prophet Zorasthustra in ancient Persia over 3 millennia ago (between 1500 and 1200 BC), and is the oldest surviving monotheistic religion. Their one supreme god is call Ahura Mazda, or the god of good thoughts, good words, and good deeds...introducing the idea of the immortal soul.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=K83F4URTS9I

Yes, it is also a male religion with men ruling over women :winking0071: Thanks for introducing this thread; looks like another men over women debate coming. Funny, all religions seems to put men above women. Why didn't God make humans like chickens in which gender can change suddenly; male can suddenly becomes female and female can suddenly becomes male? Imagine what a chaotic mess if suddenly, RAM becomes the wife of Rose and Rose becomes the husband of RAM. And everyday they will be looking at their "you know what" to make sure they have not changed. :lol: There must be some reasons why God assigns different roles for men and women which are misinterpreted as bias. I am amaze at the wisdom of God.

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Can_a_chicken_change_its_gender

The wisdom of God never cease to amaze. :pray:

heb13-13
03-20-2012, 12:31 PM
I edited my post because I truly believe you cannot prove the existence of God or why He does what He does or is Who He is by rationality.

Faith and Rationality are opposites and to tell someone that you can explain your faith in a rational way, is really a weird statement.

True Faith comes through Revelation not rational thinking, reason or logic.

If we used rationality to determine who God was then we certainly would not be following Jesus Christ. You cannot even tell someone using rationality (only) why you are following Jesus Christ.

Faith and Revelation are not even in the same camp as Intellect and Reason. God cannot be understood or apprehended by intellect and reason. Richard and Rose know this and every time they get a Christian to argue their faith using the tools of intellect and reason they know they have already "got you". You're playing their game. Why do you do that?

Ok, you others can continue with all your Yahweh, Christ and Christian bashing using your rationality.

Those of you that want to debate God's ways using rationality will most likely lose every time. Why? Simply because God does not operate on that plane. When you bring Him down to the plane of intellect and reason, nothing He does makes sense and so He is easy to pummel and ridicule and so are you.

But who knows, God may give your opponent some revelation of Him during the process. I have never seen it happen, but then there are lots of things I have not seen. I don't see anyone here that operates on the plane of intellect, logic and reason coming close to buying into Christians explaining their faith by the same.

Rick

Rose
03-20-2012, 03:02 PM
That was funny! :hysterical:

I find it interesting in the Yahweh bashing threads that some conveniently forget how evil men and women can be in today's world let alone the OT world. Yes, women too! Go visit a women's prison sometime.

Hi Rick :yo:

Once again let me repeat myself. No one is saying that men and women don't do evil and wicked things, what Richard and I are saying is that the Bible is full of Yahweh commanding his chosen people to do evil and wicked things :eek: There is a big difference you know!


But back to my point. The world had become so evil and reprobate that God had to destroy men and women with a flood. And then we conveniently forget that God had to choose a people unto Himself who He would bring the Messiah through. Now that would not be easy because since God's promise in the garden to bring a Redeemer, Satan has tried to exterminate the "people of God" in order to thwart God's plans and delay his judgement. He has tried numerous times by pagan tribes and countries in the OT to wipe out the nation of Israel. Pharoah tried it. Satan thought the Deliverer was coming then and had Pharaoh kill all the male children below the age of 2. Too bad Satan, you missed. Then he tried through Herod to wipe out the Messiah, but he was thwarted again. Then he had the chance to kill the Messiah by crucifying Him and thought he had won. Sorry, Slewfoot, you messed up again.

1Co 2:6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:
1Co 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
1Co 2:8Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.


This is an evil world that is as phony as a 3 dollar bill where everyone is still trying to take advantage of others and get to the top. To get all they can and can all they get. If you don't see this, it is no wonder that some of you think by our own "goodness" you can create your own Nirvana or Shangri-la. No way! It won't happen! Man is no more enlightened today than he was 2,000 years ago. Just more prideful in thinking he is enlightened.

Yes, the Bible says that the world became so wicked that Yahweh had to kill everyone except righteous Noah and his family, but apparently Noah wasn't so righteous after all because before long the world was populated with wicked people again, so Yahweh confused the language of man hoping that would work, but it didn't. Next Yahweh destroyed all the people in Sodom and Gomorrah except righteous Lot (who offered his two daughters up to the mob to be raped) and his family, but apparently Lot wasn't so righteous either and from him came the Ammonites and the Moabites...and on and on it goes with wicked people and bloodshed all the way through Revelation.

It seems the only way Yahweh knows how to deal with "sinful" people is to slaughter them, but doesn't he know that will never work, because even when he started over with one righteous man, Noah still had the "sinful" genes of Adam in him. :lol:


And all these religions with copycat stories of Jesus are just more of Satan's ploys to draw people away from the truth.

Only this time, there is no Messiah to kill anymore, only His truth and His people. But who are His people? Are you confused Satan? You still try to exterminate the Jews and for good measure the Christians, too. The only thing Satan is trying to thwart now is his own final judgment but he has already lost but cannot accept it because of his own utter self-deception. He is incapable of receiving any truth. So he tries to destroy the truth, too. He is waging a many pronged battle, right now. Destroy the people of God and the truth.

Destroy the TRUTH? Can't happen. You have to destroy God. You would have to find a way to ban the Holy Spirit from planet earth. Wipe out Christians? :rofl:A Believer in Jesus Christ already has eternal life. He/She is living in it now because it is in Christ that you have life. You in Him and He in you.

The power of death has been destroyed.

Heb 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; You forgot to note that many of your so called "copycat" religions began before Jesus was ever born...so who's copying who?


Funny how some people on this forum ascribe kindness, nobility and peaceful motives and characteristics to the pagan peoples of the OT and yet they were not even there. But even though they were not there and they are somehow able to ascribe the "best" qualities and motives to the nations surrounding Israel and they pin the the absolute worst qualities and condemnations of men on Israel and Yahweh.

I have wondered for a long time how they know all of these very important details. :dontknow:

Something is wrong with this picture.:eek:

I think it is called, being someone's "patsy".

Rick

I'm not sure who you are speaking of, but I know Richard and I are only speaking about the moral atrocities that Yahweh commanded his chosen people to commit. I doubt very much that the Hebrews were any better or worse than their surrounding neighbors, that is why it is so obvious that the Bible reflects the mentality of Bronze Age men and the god that they constructed in their own image. The Bible supplies all the details one needs to paint a very grim picture of its masculine warrior god, Yahweh! :eek:

Take care,
Rose

heb13-13
03-20-2012, 03:12 PM
Hey there Rose,

I am actually glad you were able to post my response before I edited it. It only shows that I succumbed to your bashing and fell into your trap of getting me to try to explain why I believe in the God of the Bible by your own tools of reason and logic, which is an impossibility.

Now, I will post my other response again.


I edited my post because I truly believe you cannot prove the existence of God or why He does what He does or is Who He is by rationality.


Faith and Rationality are opposites and to tell someone that you can explain your faith in a rational way, is really a weird statement.

True Faith comes through Revelation not rational thinking, reason or logic.

If we used rationality to determine who God was then we certainly would not be following Jesus Christ. I certainly would not be. You cannot even tell someone using rationality (only) why you are following Jesus Christ. We walk by faith not sight (and other human senses).

Faith and Revelation are not even in the same camp as Intellect and Reason. God cannot be understood or apprehended by intellect and reason. Richard and Rose know this and every time they get a Christian to argue their faith using the tools of intellect and reason they know they have already "got you". You're playing their game. Why do you do that?

Ok, you others can continue with all your Yahweh, Christ and Christian bashing using your rationality.

Those of you that want to debate God's ways using rationality will most likely lose every time. Why? Simply because God does not operate on that plane. When you bring Him down to the plane of intellect and reason, nothing He does makes sense and so He is easy to pummel and ridicule and so are you.

But who knows, God may give your opponent some revelation of Him during the process. I have never seen it happen, but then there are lots of things I have not seen. I don't see anyone here that operates on the plane of intellect, logic and reason coming close to buying into Christians explaining their faith by the same.

I will leave you to your fun once again.

Rick

Rose
03-20-2012, 06:52 PM
Hey there Rose,

I am actually glad you were able to post my response before I edited it. It only shows that I succumbed to your bashing and fell into your trap of getting me to try to explain why I believe in the God of the Bible by your own tools of reason and logic, which is an impossibility.

Hi Rick,
I must say I haven't a clue as to what you mean by "my bashing", unless you can't deal with my speaking the truth about Yahweh's horrendous immoralities that I have exposed in the Bible.


Now, I will post my other response again.



I edited my post because I truly believe you cannot prove the existence of God or why He does what He does or is Who He is by rationality.




Faith and Rationality are opposites and to tell someone that you can explain your faith in a rational way, is really a weird statement.

True Faith comes through Revelation not rational thinking, reason or logic.

If we used rationality to determine who God was then we certainly would not be following Jesus Christ. I certainly would not be. You cannot even tell someone using rationality (only) why you are following Jesus Christ. We walk by faith not sight (and other human senses).

Faith and Revelation are not even in the same camp as Intellect and Reason. God cannot be understood or apprehended by intellect and reason. Richard and Rose know this and every time they get a Christian to argue their faith using the tools of intellect and reason they know they have already "got you". You're playing their game. Why do you do that?

Ok, you others can continue with all your Yahweh, Christ and Christian bashing using your rationality.

Those of you that want to debate God's ways using rationality will most likely lose every time. Why? Simply because God does not operate on that plane. When you bring Him down to the plane of intellect and reason, nothing He does makes sense and so He is easy to pummel and ridicule and so are you.

But who knows, God may give your opponent some revelation of Him during the process. I have never seen it happen, but then there are lots of things I have not seen. I don't see anyone here that operates on the plane of intellect, logic and reason coming close to buying into Christians explaining their faith by the same.


I will leave you to your fun once again.

Rick

If Yahweh did not want to operate on the plane of human reasoning, then why did he continually interact with the Hebrews on a human level? Isaiah 1:18 quotes Yahweh as saying: "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."

When people do not use their intellect, and reasoning to discern truth, relying on blind faith instead then they become vulnerable to be trapped in any religious dogma that comes along. What keeps a person from falling for every cult that is presented is by using our intellect, and reason. What you call "bashing" is walking with our eyes open and using our intellect and reason to interpret what the Bible says, only then we can see the truth without relying on some magical, mystical faith.

Glad you stopped in for a chat,
Rose

Richard Amiel McGough
03-20-2012, 07:01 PM
I edited my post because I truly believe you cannot prove the existence of God or why He does what He does or is Who He is by rationality.

Faith and Rationality are opposites and to tell someone that you can explain your faith in a rational way, is really a weird statement.

True Faith comes through Revelation not rational thinking, reason or logic.

If we used rationality to determine who God was then we certainly would not be following Jesus Christ. You cannot even tell someone using rationality (only) why you are following Jesus Christ.

Faith and Revelation are not even in the same camp as Intellect and Reason. God cannot be understood or apprehended by intellect and reason. Richard and Rose know this and every time they get a Christian to argue their faith using the tools of intellect and reason they know they have already "got you". You're playing their game. Why do you do that?

Hey there Rick, :yo:

I must say I am stunned by your comments. When you reject logic and rationality you have simply conceded the argument. I'm surprised you don't realize this.

Your statement that Rose and I "know" that "God cannot be understood or apprehended by intellect and reason" is absurd in the extreme. We have never said a word about "knowing God." We have been talking about what the Bible teaches. If that cannot be known using "intellect and reason" then it is an absolutely meaningless book.

Your comment that we are "playing a game" is very rude. But don't worry, I take no offense. I just want you to know how wrong your comments are. We are not arguing about "faith" - we are discussing the host of truth claims made by Biblical fundamentalists. If they cannot be supported, then why have you been trying to support them? And more importantly, why should anyone believe them? Why call them "true" if they cannot be supported with intellect and reason?

Again, I mystified by your rejection of intellect and reason. If we cannot use our intellectual faculties to judge truth from error, how are we to know the difference between the Koran, the Book of Mormon, the Bible, or any other religious text?

It may be true that "faith" comes through non-rational means. But we are not talking about "faith" - we are talking about things that the Bible teaches that are morally reprehensible. The fact that you cannot defend the Bible with intellect and reason only confirms that you find it to be indefensible. Why then do you believe it?



Ok, you others can continue with all your Yahweh, Christ and Christian bashing using your rationality.

It is not "bashing" to speak the truth. If the Bible were defensible, folks would be defending it rather than throwing irrational ad hominems at those who point out the problems.



Those of you that want to debate God's ways using rationality will most likely lose every time. Why? Simply because God does not operate on that plane. When you bring Him down to the plane of intellect and reason, nothing He does makes sense and so He is easy to pummel and ridicule and so are you.

But who knows, God may give your opponent some revelation of Him during the process. I have never seen it happen, but then there are lots of things I have not seen. I don't see anyone here that operates on the plane of intellect, logic and reason coming close to buying into Christians explaining their faith by the same.

Rick
How would you know if the "revelation" you had were valid? Mormons and Muslims think they have "revelations." It looks like you have cast away your mind in a desperate attempt to defend your indefensible fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible.

Your assertion that God is "easy to pummel and ridicule" if we "bring Him down to the plane of intellect and reason" seems utterly irrational to me. We wouldn't have anything to "pummel and ridicule" if God had not chosen to impersonate a Bronze age tribal war god. Why did he do that? Why is the OT attribute so many reprehensible and irrational attributes to God? Why would God expect us to believe it? He knows how it makes him look. He knows it looks irrational. Do you really think God want's us to believe irrational and indefensible things about him?

I hope you have a "revelation" that we must use our intellect and reason to evaluate truth claims, no matter who who makes them.

All the best,

Richard

Richard Amiel McGough
03-20-2012, 07:04 PM
Isaiah 1:18 quotes Yahweh as saying: "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."


:stop: Stop that unbiblical use of your intellect!

heb13-13
03-20-2012, 07:39 PM
Hey there Rick, :yo:

I must say I am stunned by your comments. When you reject logic and rationality you have simply conceded the argument. I'm surprised you don't realize this.

Your statement that Rose and I "know" that "God cannot be understood or apprehended by intellect and reason" is absurd in the extreme. We have never said a word about "knowing God." We have been talking about what the Bible teaches. If that cannot be known using "intellect and reason" then it is an absolutely meaningless book.

Your comment that we are "playing a game" is very rude. But don't worry, I take no offense. I just want you to know how wrong your comments are. We are not arguing about "faith" - we are discussing the host of truth claims made by Biblical fundamentalists. If they cannot be supported, then why have you been trying to support them? And more importantly, why should anyone believe them? Why call them "true" if they cannot be supported with intellect and reason?

Again, I mystified by your rejection of intellect and reason. If we cannot use our intellectual faculties to judge truth from error, how are we to know the difference between the Koran, the Book of Mormon, the Bible, or any other religious text?

It may be true that "faith" comes through non-rational means. But we are not talking about "faith" - we are talking about things that the Bible teaches that are morally reprehensible. The fact that you cannot defend the Bible with intellect and reason only confirms that you find it to be indefensible. Why then do you believe it?


It is not "bashing" to speak the truth. If the Bible were defensible, folks would be defending it rather than throwing irrational ad hominems at those who point out the problems.


How would you know if the "revelation" you had were valid? Mormons and Muslims think they have "revelations." It looks like you have cast away your mind in a desperate attempt to defend your indefensible fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible.

Your assertion that God is "easy to pummel and ridicule" if we "bring Him down to the plane of intellect and reason" seems utterly irrational to me. We wouldn't have anything to "pummel and ridicule" if God had not chosen to impersonate a Bronze age tribal war god. Why did he do that? Why is the OT attribute so many reprehensible and irrational attributes to God? Why would God expect us to believe it? He knows how it makes him look. He knows it looks irrational. Do you really think God want's us to believe irrational and indefensible things about him?

I hope you have a "revelation" that we must use our intellect and reason to evaluate truth claims, no matter who who makes them.

All the best,

Richard

Hi Richard,

You are hilarious, but I'm not playing your game or Rose's. I think I see it pretty clearly, now. You can beat other people up, ridicule and mock them and me too if you want. I could care less. But, why play dumb, Richard? Like you don't know what you are doing? I mean, you know exactly what I am talking about because afterall, you walked with God and had His Holy Spirit dwelling in you. Isn't that right or am I mistaken?

So you know that the Bible is a spiritual book and is spiritually discerned by the Holy Spirit and not by reason and logic.

1Co 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
1Co 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

1Co 2:14But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

I don't see you or Rose as "searchers" anymore. I have watched and observed your modis operandi towards others and it seems to me you are more agenda driven and not really open or teachable.

Whether you and Rose had Christ or just had "Churchianity", only the Lord knows.

But for now, you both sound more like atheists in the mold of Richard Dawkins trying to dismantle something that is impossible to do. But if that is what your life's work has come to be, then so be it.

Thank you, that's all I want to say.

Rick

1Co 1:20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

1Co 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God ***the world by wisdom knew not God***, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

1Co 1:25 Because the foolishness (and absurdity) of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

Rose
03-20-2012, 08:24 PM
Hi Richard,

You are hilarious, but I'm not playing your game or Rose's. I think I see it pretty clearly, now. You can beat other people up, ridicule and mock them and me too if you want. I could care less. But, why play dumb, Richard? Like you don't know what you are doing? I mean, you know exactly what I am talking about because afterall, you walked with God and had His Holy Spirit dwelling in you. Isn't that right or am I mistaken?

So you know that the Bible is a spiritual book and is spiritually discerned by the Holy Spirit and not by reason and logic.

1Co 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
1Co 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

1Co 2:14But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

I don't see you or Rose as "searchers" anymore. I have watched and observed your modis operandi towards others and it seems to me you are more agenda driven and not really open or teachable.

Whether you and Rose had Christ or just had "Churchianity", only the Lord knows.

But for now, you both sound more like atheists in the mold of Richard Dawkins trying to dismantle something that is impossible to do. But if that is what your life's work has come to be, then so be it.

Thank you, that's all I want to say.

Rick

1Co 1:20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

1Co 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God ***the world by wisdom knew not God***, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

1Co 1:25 Because the foolishness (and absurdity) of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.





Hello Rick,

I'm sorry to see that you think it's all a game, because you have been backed into a corner with no way out. All Richard and I have done from day one is share with others our journey to search out the truth, and you mock us like it's all some big plan with a "modis operandi"...well, my friend you are wrong.

You quote at us words from the Bible, that we must use our reason and intellect to discern, then you disparage for using logic and call us atheists like Richard Dawkins saying we are neither open, nor teachable when in reality it is you who are trapped in your Christian box unable to see any other viewpoint. I would truly enjoy continuing this conversation, but I know for you it will be impossible.

Take care and all the best,
Rose

heb13-13
03-20-2012, 09:36 PM
Hello Rick,

I'm sorry to see that you think it's all a game, because you have been backed into a corner with no way out. All Richard and I have done from day one is share with others our journey to search out the truth, and you mock us like it's all some big plan with a "modis operandi"...well, my friend you are wrong.

You quote at us words from the Bible, that we must use our reason and intellect to discern, then you disparage for using logic and call us atheists like Richard Dawkins saying we are neither open, nor teachable when in reality it is you who are trapped in your Christian box unable to see any other viewpoint. I would truly enjoy continuing this conversation, but I know for you it will be impossible.

Take care and all the best,
Rose

Actually, it's not impossible for me, Rose. I just choose not to play and I don't have any hard feelings at all and am not offended.

I'm sorry I can't continue the conversation with you either, but your words about "searching for the truth" just seem empty to me. Maybe, I'm wrong and I hope I am. Time will tell.

Please carry on.

Rick

Rose
03-20-2012, 09:52 PM
Actually, it's not impossible for me, Rose. I just choose not to play and I don't have any hard feelings at all and am not offended.

I'm sorry I can't continue the conversation with you either, but your words about "searching for the truth" just seem empty to me. Maybe, I'm wrong and I hope I am. Time will tell.

Please carry on.

Rick

I will indeed carry on walking the path of freedom...I wish you could join me, so far it has been an incredible journey. My searching for the truth may seem like empty words to you, but I can assure you they are far from that. As I have said before, when I began this journey I never conceived that my faith in God and the Bible would crumble, but that's what happens when one is holding onto false beliefs...they can't stand the test of fire.

It is sort of like a child who believes in Santa Claus, and then one day he discovers that Santa is his Dad...after that no matter how hard he would try, never again could he believe that Santa Claus is real. Once the bubble bursts, it's gone and can never be restored.

Thanks for chatting,
Rose

Richard Amiel McGough
03-20-2012, 10:23 PM
Hi Richard,

You are hilarious, but I'm not playing your game or Rose's. I think I see it pretty clearly, now. You can beat other people up, ridicule and mock them and me too if you want. I could care less. But, why play dumb, Richard? Like you don't know what you are doing? I mean, you know exactly what I am talking about because afterall, you walked with God and had His Holy Spirit dwelling in you. Isn't that right or am I mistaken?

Hey there Rick,

Do you remember when I first brought up the problem with the 32,000 virgins in Numbers 31? Here is what you wrote to me (http://www.biblewheel.com/forum/showthread.php?2659-Discerning-between-the-voice-of-God-and-the-voice-of-Satan&p=38182#post38182) last November:

One of the things I really like about YOU is that you "hold people's feet to the fire" (excuse the pun). That is a sincere compliment, Richard (I don't flatter people). And I mean this regarding what people write and talk about (their ideas). The worldly church does not do this. They accept just about everything that comes "off the street", no questions asked (to their detriment). I appreciate the freedom in your forum to be expressive and realize at the same time that we will be challenged to "make a good case". I see I still have work to do. :winking0071:

And here is what I said in response:
And thanks for the good words. It's really nice to be appreciated once in a while. Not everyone likes the way I hold feet to fire. That's why it's so important to hold my own in the same fire. If I don't do that I'd be a hypocrite.

I don't think I've changed my "modus operandi" in the last four months. I still strive to hold my own feet to the same fire of intellectual honesty as everyone else. I am really sorry you think I've changed. I'm not aware of any habitual bashing, ridicule, or mockery coming from my keyboard. If I have offended you in that way, please cite the offending posts so I can repent.

I get the impression you don't like my habit of holding feet to fire so much any more.

As for the Holy Spirit - yes, of course I believed that I had the Holy Spirit. But by your own admission (if I've understood you correctly), there is no way I or anyone else could know if that were true. Indeed, there is no way for you to objectively verify if you have the Spirit. So your point seems moot.



So you know that the Bible is a spiritual book and is spiritually discerned by the Holy Spirit and not by reason and logic.

Yes, from the Christian perspective the spiritual truths of the Bible relating to the Gospel are spiritually discerned. But we are not talking about that. We are talking about how to interpret the Bible in general. Should we assume it is the "inerrant and infallible Word of God?" The Bible can be a "spiritual book" without making that radical assumption. And given the problems with that assumption, I think it is quite reasonable to question it, as have many serious Christians.



I don't see you or Rose as "searchers" anymore. I have watched and observed your modis operandi towards others and it seems to me you are more agenda driven and not really open or teachable.

Whether you and Rose had Christ or just had "Churchianity", only the Lord knows.

Well, it is true that one does not "search" after one has found what one was looking for. Case in point: I read the Bible (even as a believer) and saw serious logical, factual, and moral flaws. For years I have reviewed solutions proposed by the most famous apologists and have found them sorely lacking. Indeed, many attempts are utterly absurd, such as William Lane Craig's argument that God did no wrong to the kill the Canaanite children because "they all go to heaven." In his attempt to justify God, he justified all abortionists! It is ridiculous in the extreme.

I think you should know that it was this forum more than anything else that precipitated my "fall" from the faith. After years of watching Christians disagreeing with Christians and making up their own unfounded religions I finally realized that there is no "orthodox" Christianity at all. Folks either just believe what they are told without any significant thought at all, or they make up their own ideas and reject orthodox Christianity (or "Churchianity" as you seem to be calling it). I cannot see any reason any of it should have any hold on my soul. It's fundamentally irrational and there is no test for truth. It's just opinion loosely based on tradition mixed with a lot of mythology.



But for now, you both sound more like atheists in the mold of Richard Dawkins trying to dismantle something that is impossible to do. But if that is what your life's work has come to be, then so be it.

One thing I've learned from years of interacting on internet forums is that what one "hears" when one reads a post is largely based on what is in the readers head. I am nothing like Dawkins.

As for "dismantling" the Bible - if it were so impossible I don't think you would be so disturbed by our conversations.

And it's not my "life's work." It's merely a phase I'm going through as I purge the false beliefs from my soul.



Thank you, that's all I want to say.

I'll be here for you anytime you feel you have more to say.

All the very best, my friend,

Richard

heb13-13
03-20-2012, 10:24 PM
Hey there Rose,

I am not "trapped" in my "Christian box". Far from it. The narrow way or God-way through Christ is as broad as can be imagined. The narrowness of Jesus allows me very broad latitude within the liberty of God's grace. Within the expression of the Christ-life, the narrowness or box that you speak of, I actually have greater expanse and freedom than I ever had as an unbeliever on the "broad way". I find it odd that you and Richard never discovered this when you were Christians. That is the nature of the Christ-Life. But it is all within the parameters of God's character which is expressed in men by His grace. Of course one has to accept His parameters to walk with Him. Only then do they see the infiniteness of this "narrow way".

Now reason and logic will not get you from point A to point B. Even that is a work of the Spirit.

It is really the "broad way" that is a trap because those who are on it refuse to be identified with His life, because they somehow think His parameters are too restrictive and yet nothing could be further from the truth. People think that in the satisfaction of their own desires where "anything goes", they are free when the freedom that they think they are experiencing is just a counterfeit and an illusion. Feels good, though, for a short time but the end is a bitter taste.

The narrowness of Christ is not determined by man's logic and reason but only by comparing how God goes with "anything goes".

When a man discovers Christ, (and not religion) he finds the narrow way to be the only way of freedom. I've been on the broad way, Rose, so I can compare it with the narrow way and there is no comparison.

Even religion is part of the broad way. Isn't that what you and Richard really fell into?

May the Lord help us all to see Him clearer,
Rick

heb13-13
03-20-2012, 10:38 PM
Hey there Rick,

I think you should know that it was this forum more than anything else that precipitated my "fall" from the faith. After years of watching Christians disagreeing with Christians and making up their own unfounded religions I finally realized that there is no "orthodox" Christianity at all. Folks either just believe what they are told without any significant thought at all, or they make up their own ideas and reject orthodox Christianity (or "Churchianity" as you seem to be calling it). I cannot see any reason any of it should have any hold on my soul. It's fundamentally irrational and there is no test for truth. It's just opinion loosely based on tradition mixed with a lot of mythology.
All the very best, my friend,

Richard

Richard,

Maybe it is time to stop looking for a single orthodoxy and look for Jesus, instead. You will not find a single orthodoxy amongst men but you can find Jesus amongst many orthodoxies and He will keep things clear for you. You are looking at man and what he has created (the many religious creations (aberrations) of Jesus' words). It is time you stopped looking at men and what they have done or are doing (or not doing) and fix your eyes on Jesus and follow Him for yourself. You cannot hide yourself any longer behind men's mistakes, weaknesses and inadequacies.

Hold God to His words, Richard!
John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
John 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.John 14:20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear,that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

Joh 16:14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

God bless you and Rose,
Rick

Rose
03-20-2012, 11:06 PM
Hey there Rose,

I am not "trapped" in my "Christian box". Far from it. The narrow way or God-way through Christ is as broad as can be imagined. The narrowness of Jesus allows me very broad latitude within the liberty of God's grace. Within the expression of the Christ-life, the narrowness or box that you speak of, I actually have greater expanse and freedom than I ever had as an unbeliever on the "broad way". I find it odd that you and Richard never discovered this when you were Christians. That is the nature of the Christ-Life. But it is all within the parameters of God's character which is expressed in men by His grace. Of course one has to accept His parameters to walk with Him. Only then do they see the infiniteness of this "narrow way".

Now reason and logic will not get you from point A to point B. Even that is a work of the Spirit.

It is really the "broad way" that is a trap because those who are on it refuse to be identified with His life, because they somehow think His parameters are too restrictive and yet nothing could be further from the truth. People think that in the satisfaction of their own desires where "anything goes", they are free when the freedom that they think they are experiencing is just a counterfeit and an illusion. Feels good, though, for a short time but the end is a bitter taste.

The narrowness of Christ is not determined by man's logic and reason but only by comparing how God goes with "anything goes".

When a man discovers Christ, (and not religion) he finds the narrow way to be the only way of freedom. I've been on the broad way, Rose, so I can compare it with the narrow way and there is no comparison.

Even religion is part of the broad way. Isn't that what you and Richard really fell into?

May the Lord help us all to see Him clearer,
Rick












It has nothing to do with refusing to be identified with Jesus, or of thinking that his parameters are too restrictive, what it comes down to is truth...it is either true or it's not, and I can't make myself believe something that has been shown to be unbelievable on many counts.

Talk more later,
Rose

Richard Amiel McGough
03-20-2012, 11:19 PM
Richard,

Maybe it is time to stop looking for a single orthodoxy and look for Jesus, instead. You will not find a single orthodoxy amongst men but you can find Jesus amongst many orthodoxies and He will keep things clear for you. You are looking at man and what he has created (the many religious creations (aberrations) of Jesus' words). It is time you stopped looking at men and what they have done or are doing (or not doing) and fix your eyes on Jesus and follow Him for yourself. You cannot hide yourself any longer behind men's mistakes, weaknesses and inadequacies.

Hold God to His words, Richard!
John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
John 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.John 14:20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear,that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

Joh 16:14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

God bless you and Rose,
Rick


Well, I'm still at a loss to know how a person discerns between an imaginary Jesus and a real Jesus. How do I know I'm not just having a "relation" with my own imagination? It happens all the time, you know. Any suggestions?

oxbox
06-12-2014, 09:15 PM
you never know anything about that if you didnt know the world of avesta
this is a very secret religion, if you dont understand all rules of emanation of any beeing
it makes less sense to try to understand the avesta.
this is the prob for modern human.
you cant read the avesta like a normal text, you have to found the text in your own soul before reading it.
so this religion is nothing for a modern human
maybe a thing for archaic souls with sciencs minds
it isnt a religion in words with anything wich makes it compatible with any imagines about all other religions of our acutally days
we have some peolpe acutally official living the religion, but this is bullshit
they are living in there understanding of zaratustrahs message in our time, but it hasnt any deeper minds, wich can contact the elderscrolls of roots
better noone could describe in any words the avesta of your own inner soul, cause noone can remember him or herself in many older lifes, but excatly this means to have the first open door of avesta