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Richard Amiel McGough
04-11-2012, 02:29 PM
I received this response to my post Why I Quit Christianity (http://www.biblewheel.com/blog/index.php/2011/08/08/why-i-quit-christianity/) today:

Dear Mr. Richard,

Today, I accessed your website at biblewheel.com which is a very valuable tool for me in my study of The Scriptures and I noticed a message at the top of the page: 'My Deconversion.' I clicked on the link to see what that was about and after reading your testimony, I am perplexed and felt compelled to write you this e-mail.

The people of the Most High of whom I call YHWH and Yahuwah are not expected to know everything, are not expected to have the ability to answer every question, or to understand every doctrine.
When there is something that the people of Yahuwah do not understand, we are to ask for understanding, then if we still do not receive understanding, know this:

1. The Doctrine Of Hell

Wicked mankind will be cast into the lake of fire for their sin, but wicked mankind will not receive eternal life in the lake of fire. To say that wicked mankind will burn forever in a hell, is saying they will receive eternal life, but in hell. Wicked mankind will not get a drop of eternal life, not even in a hell as they call it. Wicked mankind will receive 'permanent death' in the lake of fire and will never exist again. Notice that in Revelation 20:14 the so called hell is cast into the lake of fire. Hell is not the final punishment of wicked mankind. The lake of fire is the final destination of the wicked.

2. The Bible contains many errors, contradictions, logical absurdities, and moral abominations attributed to God.

1 Corinthians 13:12 'For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.'

The people of Yahuwah are not expected to know everything for that would make us Yahuwah.

Romans 11:33 'O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of Yahuwah! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!'

Therefore, when there is something that the people of Yahuwah don’t understand, it is best to confess we don’t understand and put it on the back burner. We need to confess that we don’t know the answer and leave it at that because Yahuwah is much brainier than human beings are.

3. God does not, as a general rule, answer prayers.

James 4:3 'Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.' (could this be the problem)

2 Corinthians 12:8-9 'For this thing I besought the Master thrice, that it might depart from me.' 'And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Mashiyach may rest upon me.' (or perhaps this is the problem)

1 Corinthians 10:13 ‘There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but Yahuwah is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.'

Yahuwah will test His people or allow them to be tested. The 'way of escape' may not be what we as human beings want. The 'way of escape' may even be death for some of the people of Yahuwah.'

Simply felt moved to testify.

Hope this brings some understanding.

Eve


I am very glad that Eve responded, and hope many other believers will follow suit. Her attempts to answer my points really help clarify and confirm my reasons for quitting Christianity.

The first thing to note is that she seems to be following a very minor variation of Christianity. She rejects the traditional Doctrine of Hell in favor of Annihilationism and also changes the Bible by inserting the invented name 'Yahuwah' in place of 'God' (Greek: Theos) in Romans 11:33 and 1 Corinthians 10:13. There is no justification for changing the Bible like this. And if the New Testament is wrong on this point, where else is it in error? How could anyone have any confidence in a book that could not even get the name of it’s God correct for two thousand years?

Eve appears to be a follower the Sacred Name Movement (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacred_Name_Movement) which teaches both Annihilationism and the insertion of Yahuwah into the New Testament, as well as a host of other obscure doctrines like Sabbath keeping. It is a splinter group off the Church of God (Seventh Day) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_God_%28Seventh_Day%29) which itself split off from the followers of failed doomsday prophet William Miller (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Miller_%28preacher%29) who founded the Seventh Day Adventists (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seventh-day_Adventist_Church) which is famous for producing David Koresh’s cult of The Branch Davidians (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Branch_Davidians). And all these groups split off from the Protestants who split from the Catholics who split from the Greek Orthodox over an obscure interpretation of the Trinity (amongst other things). This exemplifies the utter insanity of religion in general and apocalyptic Christianity in particular. It is absurd to think that any God would judge people according to which of these confused and unfounded dogmas they choose to believe! All these splinters of splinters show how there is no single religion properly called 'Christianity' – in reality there are many Christianities based on a broad range of overlapping but incoherent interpretations of the Bible. This is the real reason I quit 'Christianity' – there is no such thing!

Folks who call themselves 'Christian' reject every other version of their religion. Evangelicals reject Mormonism, and the founder of Mormonism said that God commissioned him to restore true Christianity because every form of Christianity had become corrupt. And the Reformers declared the Roman Catholic Church to be a system of the Antichrist, and identified the Pope as the very Antichrist himself in the Westminster Confession of Faith (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westminster_Confession_of_Faith). And the Jehovah’s Witnesses think they are the true church, and many Seventh Day Adventists believe that going to church on Sunday is the Mark of the Beast! There is no end to the insanity spawned by teaching people that mere belief in unfounded dogmas is a virtue and that doubt is the ultimate vice. So when I say that I reject 'Christianity' I am not rejecting any one version – I am rejecting everything that falls under the rubric of 'Christianity.' And the amazing thing is that Christians tend to agree with me in as much as they too reject all the other versions that differ from their own. It’s like atheism. Christians and atheists agree that all other gods are false. They differ only concerning the one god believed by the Christian.

Now on to her specific points:

1) The Doctrine of Hell

I agree that the doctrine of eternal conscious torment in hell is not particularly well-founded in the Bible, though there are a number of verses that can be used to support it. Unfortunately, this has not stopped it from being a dominant doctrine in historical Christianity. If it is false then God has failed to lead the vast majority of his people into truth and I can have no reason to have any confidence in any version of it. If it is true, then Christianity is to be rejected. In either case, I see no reason to believe in that the Bible is a reliable guide, or that there is any truth to the god it proclaims.

2. The Bible contains many errors, contradictions, logical absurdities, and moral abominations attributed to God.

The problem is not that we see through a glass darkly. The problem is that we see the errors, absurdities, and moral abominations all too clearly! Eve gave no rational response to the many problems in the Bible.

3. God does not, as a general rule, answer prayers.

No evidence was given to contradict this fact. Mere assertions based on quotations from the Bible mean nothing, especially when the contradict observed reality.

So that’s it. I really hope other Christians will try to refute the reasons I gave for quitting Christianity. I’ve been discussing this here on my forum and on my blog with many Christians for months and not one has come close to presenting any real challenge to the reasons I gave.

jce
04-12-2012, 06:20 PM
I agree with Richard. Modern Christianity is divided and that's one reason it is rejected by many. Personally speaking, I do believe what I comprehend of the bible's message regarding the doctrine of salvation. I also have many unanswered questions, but have not yet encountered any contradictions that would sway me from knowing my need of Christ's sacrifice for my sins. I am a sinner saved by grace... and for that reason, I have hope, and hope is essential for endurance.

John

David M
04-13-2012, 02:38 AM
I agree with Richard. Modern Christianity is divided and that's one reason it is rejected by many. Personally speaking, I do believe what I comprehend of the bible's message regarding the doctrine of salvation. I also have many unanswered questions, but have not yet encountered any contradictions that would sway me from knowing my need of Christ's sacrifice for my sins. I am a sinner saved by grace... and for that reason, I have hope, and hope is essential for endurance.

John

That's good John. Just because every man has an their own opinion about what the Bible says, and that would make as many interpretations of the Bible as there are men, this does not negate the truth within the Bible. The fact that everyone does not have a perfect grasp of the truth and does not understand every part of the truth revealed, still does not negate the whole truth of the Bible.

You believe the essential element as I do.

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding." "Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way". "Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding."

David

Lora
04-13-2012, 07:42 AM
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.

There are many topics in this statement, and I am not sure how to begin a discussion concerning this statement - or even where the "true" issue is. Is it with the "doctrine of hell as taught by christianity?" or something else... I cannot tell.
So I will wait for clarification before running off at the mouth :)

Richard Amiel McGough
04-13-2012, 08:13 AM
There are many topics in this statement, and I am not sure how to begin a discussion concerning this statement - or even where the "true" issue is. Is it with the "doctrine of hell as taught by christianity?" or something else... I cannot tell.
So I will wait for clarification before running off at the mouth :)
Hi Lora,

Welcome to our forum!

:welcome:

Yes, my problem is with the Doctrine of Hell as taught by traditional "orthodox" Christianity. But it extends beyond that because it is connected with the whole idea that people need salvation. If there is no hell and everyone eventually gets reconciled to God (saved) then it apparently doesn't matter what a person believes. And besides that, the whole idea that God would judge us according to our opinions about a 2000 year old book doesn't make any sense either. So my real problem is with the whole set of doctrines that folks derive from the Bible. And besides all that, there are so many variations of Christianity it seems absurd to worry about which might be right, especially since the Bible itself is not trustworthy because it contains errors, contradictions, and moral abominations attributed to God.

It's always a good idea to ask questions before trying to answer but there's no need to be too cautious. Let your mouth run a little and we'll see what comes of it.

All the best,

Richard

Richard Amiel McGough
04-13-2012, 08:41 AM
I agree with Richard. Modern Christianity is divided and that's one reason it is rejected by many. Personally speaking, I do believe what I comprehend of the bible's message regarding the doctrine of salvation. I also have many unanswered questions, but have not yet encountered any contradictions that would sway me from knowing my need of Christ's sacrifice for my sins. I am a sinner saved by grace... and for that reason, I have hope, and hope is essential for endurance.

John
Good morning John, :tea:

The problem of schisms is not limited to "modern Christianity." It's been that way from the beginning. Paul had to deal with it:
1 Corinthians 1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. 12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. 13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?

The problem of "divisions" and "heresies" and "controversies" seems to be the fundamental characteristic of the religions that are classed as "Christianity." The Arian Controversy is a prime example. There was a large population of Arian believers that were FORCED to "convert" to Trinitarian Christianity. And this division continues to this day. It seems to me that an error on this point would determine the difference between a "saving faith" and a damnable heresy. Indeed, many Muslims use the the Doctrine of the Trinity as a main justification for their rejection of Christianity.

This is why Christianity has no gravitas - no moral weight that could compel me to believe. It is a confused mess of contradictory claims. No rational God would hold anyone responsible for how they responded to such confusion.

You say that you "have not yet encountered any contradictions that would sway me from knowing my need of Christ's sacrifice for my sins." Why would you start with the presupposition that you are in need of a "sacrifice" or you can't be forgiven? I forgive people every day without having to kill someone. Why can't God do what any normal person can do, and simply forgive? The concept of "blood atonement for sin" is an ancient and primitive concept found in all cultures. Why would you ever think it true? It looks like just another pagan religion to me. Do you think the practitioners of the Greek mystery religions (which predate Christianity) really had their sins forgiven when they stood under a bull to be washed in it's blood?

Great chatting,

Richard

Lora
04-13-2012, 08:52 AM
But it extends beyond that because it is connected with the whole idea that people need salvation.

I also have a problem with this (I think) if I understand properly your statement. To teach about burning forever in hot flames and then tie that into the salvation message defeats the whole point of all of it.

I do believe the Creator when He told the first man "the day that you eat of it, you shall surely die"
This is where I understand that there are consequences for actions. I do view that as an instruction of love from Him.
So it does seem that there is a life or death consequence, not only with each action - but in the final equation as well.
What are your thoughts?

* thank you for the warm welcome. Very kind.

Wasn't hell a term and concept created by the Greeks and then refined by Roman Catholicism? Came into the book during the hellenistic period and into the present age? It is difficult for me to even consider the topic after discovering who introduced it. We have to begin with the original intention I believe. That means going back to the beginning and starting there. Otherwise it seems to me, that we are trying to discuss something that doesn't exist or something very obscure and difficult and without benefit.

Richard Amiel McGough
04-13-2012, 09:10 AM
I also have a problem with this (I think) if I understand properly your statement. To teach about burning forever in hot flames and then tie that into the salvation message defeats the whole point of all of it.

I do believe the Creator when He told the first man "the day that you eat of it, you shall surely die"
This is where I understand that there are consequences for actions. I do view that as an instruction of love from Him.
So it does seem that there is a life or death consequence, not only with each action - but in the final equation as well.
What are your thoughts?

* thank you for the warm welcome. Very kind.
Good morning Lora, :tea:

It would be interesting if you could elaborate a bit on why you think the doctrine of hell "defeats the whole message."

And where is God in all this? Why did he produce a book so ambiguous that millions of devoted Christians would think that the doctrine of hell is absolutely essential to the message? If there is no hell, then there are only two possibilities that I can imagine - Annihilationism or Universalism. Do you believe one of those, or is there another possibility that I missed?

Great chatting,

Richard

Richard Amiel McGough
04-13-2012, 09:29 AM
Wasn't hell a term and concept created by the Greeks and then refined by Roman Catholicism? Came into the book during the hellenistic period and into the present age? It is difficult for me to even consider the topic after discovering who introduced it. We have to begin with the original intention I believe. That means going back to the beginning and starting there. Otherwise it seems to me, that we are trying to discuss something that doesn't exist or something very obscure and difficult and without benefit.
There really is no Biblical word properly translated as "hell" in English. Here's what the wiki says about it:
The modern English word Hell is derived from Old English hel, helle (about 725 AD to refer to a nether world of the dead) reaching into the Anglo-Saxon pagan period (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-Saxon_paganism), and ultimately from Proto-Germanic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proto-Germanic) *halja, meaning "one who covers up or hides something".[1] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hell#cite_note-BARNHART348-0) The word has cognates in related Germanic languages (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germanic_languages) such as Old Frisian (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Frisian) helle, hille, Old Saxon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Saxon) hellja, Middle Dutch (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middle_Dutch) helle (modern Dutch hel), Old High German (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_High_German) helle (Modern German Hölle (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holle_%28goddess%29)), Danish (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danish_language), Norwegian (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norwegian_language) and Swedish (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swedish_language) "helvede"/helvete (hel + Old Norse (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Norse) vitti, "punishment" whence the Icelandic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Icelandic_language) v*ti (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/v%C3%ADti#Icelandic) "hell"), and Gothic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gothic_language) halja.[1] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hell#cite_note-BARNHART348-0) Subsequently, the word was used to transfer a pagan concept to Christian theology and its vocabulary[1] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hell#cite_note-BARNHART348-0) (however, for the Judeo-Christian origin of the concept see Gehenna (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gehenna)).

The Doctrine of Hell is just one of many pagan doctrines that made it's way into Christianity. Many pagan concepts were included in the Bible itself, such as the place called Tartarus (2 Pet 3:19)) where Zeus (God) chained the Titans (fallen angels) that rebelled against him.

2 Peter 2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell (Tartarus), and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;

Likewise, John mentioned the Greek gods Thanatos (Death) and Hades (Hell) as riding horses in Revelation. And indeed, the whole Biblical cosmology follows the pattern of pagan mythology which had a flat earth with a dome. We talked about this a lot in a thread called Pagan Mythology in the Bible? (http://www.biblewheel.com/forum/showthread.php?2081-Greek-Mythology-in-the-Bible).

Getting back to the question of hell - the root of that word has the same meaning as the Greek Hades (something hidden) and so both became the name of the underworld of the dead. This is a fundamentally pagan concept. But it does not carry the ideas of fire and suffering. Those ideas seem to have come from Christ's reference to Gehenna (the place where garbage was burned). When I was a Christian, I tended towards annihilationism because fire normally annihilates (burns up) whatever is thrown in. But Christians developed the doctrine that God would sustain the flesh of the damned so they would suffer forever and ever and ever and ever ... what a perverse doctrine!

And yes, "Roman Catholicism" certainly refined the concept, but it also was accepted by the Reformers and now this doctrine is found in the vast majority of religions called "Christianity." If it is not true, then God has failed to guide "his people" into the truth.

You suggest that we must "go back to the beginning and start there." How can we do that? There was no Bible "in the beginning" and the only Bibles available are those produced by the Roman Catholic Church and/or her offspring, the Protestants. If they are false denominations teaching false doctrines, why would we trust the book that they produced?

Lora
04-13-2012, 09:35 AM
It would be interesting if you could elaborate a bit on why you think the doctrine of hell "defeats the whole message."

And where is God in all this? Why did he produce a book so ambiguous that millions of devoted Christians would think that the doctrine of hell is absolutely essential to the message? If there is no hell, then there are only two possibilities that I can imagine - Annihilationism or Universalism. Do you believe one of those, or is there another possibility that I missed?

"Defeats the whole message" in that people make decisions based on fear and not love. The motivation for a professed belief is to save their own skin. I do not think this is helpful at all for people.

christianity went amuck when there was taught disregard the first five books of the scriptures. That is the first step towards all kinds of error and dillusion and false doctrine.

I am not familiar with the categories of annihilationism or universalism.
All I know is that scripture speaks of an eternal situation that are made final as we take our last breath: one is death and the other is life.

Richard Amiel McGough
04-13-2012, 09:55 AM
"Defeats the whole message" in that people make decisions based on fear and not love. The motivation for a professed belief is to save their own skin. I do not think this is helpful at all for people.

Surely you realize that christianity went amuck when they disregarded the first five books of the scriptures. That is the first step towards all kinds of error and dillusion.

I am not familiar with the categories of annihilationism or universalism.
All I know is that scripture speaks of eternal situations that are made final as we take our last breath: one is death and the other is life.

I totally agree it is not "helpful" for people to be taught the doctrine of hell. Unfortunately, that is the teaching of the vast majority of Christians.

Your assertion that "christianity went amuck when they disregarded the first five books of the scriptures" is very problematic. Do you follow a particular group that teaches "Torah Keeping?" Paul himself said that circumcision - the central command of the Torah and the very sign of the first covenant - should not be practiced by Christians (whether Jew or Gentile, Gal 5:1-5) because it would put them under BONDAGE of "Torah keeping." And the book of Hebrews said the old covenant law was "fading away." These teachings are so contrary to the Hebrew Roots movement that some of those teachers reject the books of Galatians and Hebrews! And others reject Paul altogether. And others try to keep his writings while refuting what they plainly mean.

Your comment that "scripture speaks of eternal situations that are made final as we take our last breath" seems very vague to me. Could you please clarify it?

Lora
04-13-2012, 12:14 PM
Good Afternoon!


Your assertion that "christianity went amuck when they disregarded the first five books of the scriptures" is very problematic. Do you follow a particular group that teaches "Torah Keeping?" Paul himself said that circumcision - the central command of the Torah and the very sign of the first covenant - should not be practiced by Christians (whether Jew or Gentile, Gal 5:1-5) because it would put them under BONDAGE of "Torah keeping." And the book of Hebrews said the old covenant law was "fading away." These teachings are so contrary to the Hebrew Roots movement that some of those teachers reject the books of Galatians and Hebrews! And others reject Paul altogether. And others try to keep his writings while refuting what they plainly mean.

Your comment that "scripture speaks of eternal situations that are made final as we take our last breath" seems very vague to me. Could you please clarify it?

The reason I mention the instructions part of Scripture is because that should be the basis of "doctrine" and yet it was thrown out by the christian teachings and has led to so much false doctine, i.e. hell (being one)
Scripture tells us of the grave, sleeping, and a first resurrection and a second resurrection.
We all will go to the grave, for it is apointed once for each to die. We will sleep until our apointed resurrection day.
We will either be resurrected unto life (first resurrection)
or resurrected unto death (second resurrection) The second resurrection is for judgment and a second death which has eternal consequences. There is no eternal conscious suffering, it is the consequences only, that are eternal (no more life).

Once death comes and we go to the grave, there is no more opportunity to "get anything right" so to speak. It is over and finished. That is why I commented that once the breath leaves us - all is final and there is nothing left to happen except the resurrections.

I get this from scripture. Is this acceptable?

Until next time,
Lora

Richard Amiel McGough
04-13-2012, 01:22 PM
Good Afternoon!



The reason I mention the instructions part of Scripture is because that should be the basis of "doctrine" and yet it was thrown out by the christian teachings and has led to so much false doctine, i.e. hell (being one)
Scripture tells us of the grave, sleeping, and a first resurrection and a second resurrection.
We all will go to the grave, for it is apointed once for each to die. We will sleep until our apointed resurrection day.
We will either be resurrected unto life (first resurrection)
or resurrected unto death (second resurrection) The second resurrection is for judgment and a second death which has eternal consequences. There is no eternal conscious suffering, it is the consequences only, that are eternal (no more life).

Once death comes and we go to the grave, there is no more opportunity to "get anything right" so to speak. It is over and finished. That is why I commented that once the breath leaves us - all is final and there is nothing left to happen except the resurrections.

I get this from scripture. Is this acceptable?

Until next time,
Lora
Hey there Lora,

The interpretation of the first and second resurrections of Revelation 20 is entirely speculative. There is nothing in the text that tells us what those terms mean, so folks have been speculating about it for 2000 years. The interpretation you suggest seems reasonable, but some people would say that it contradicts other passages that teach eternal conscious torment, such as this:
Revelation 14:9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, 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.

They also would cite this passage:
Matthew 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

They argue that the "everlasting punishment" lasts as long as the everlasting life, and would deny that death satisfies this condition because the punishment would end as soon as the sinning soul was extinguished. Folks who believe in Annihilationism would assert that the "second death" is annihilation, and that it is "eternal" in the same sense as capital punishment is eternal - the damned never come back to life.

This is an ancient dispute. I have two books that present a total of six different views from serious Bible scholars. The Scriptures are not sufficiently clear to settle it with any certainty so folks simply choose which they prefer and go with that (usually just following the Christian tradition). The Bible simply fails as a guide to answer this question and people are left to their own opinions.

Getting back to the main point - I tried to find alternate solutions to the problem of hell for many years. My first solution was to accept Annihilationism (which seems to be your position). This is the view that God resurrects, judges, and annihilates souls that do not meet his condition for salvation. After more study, I began to think that Christian Universalism was a better solution. This is the belief that God ultimately redeems all people through Christ. But after a while I noticed that it doesn't matter what solution I came to believe because it was like I was just inventing my own religion. I found myself rejecting so many aspects of traditional Christianity that it became evident I was no longer a "Christian" in any meaningful sense of the word.

Your assertion that death seals our fate is not well-supported by the Bible. This is pretty obvious because folks who support this view have only one verse to cite in support of it:
Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

But this verse says nothing about whether a person can repent after they die and before the judgment. This view always bugged me because it seemed totally unfair that the only time we could make the right choice was before we could have any certain knowledge of the truth, and then as soon as we had proof (because we died and could see God) it would be too late! That's like a nightmare scenario devised by a devil.

Great chatting!

Richard

jce
04-13-2012, 01:28 PM
Good morning John, :tea:

You say that you "have not yet encountered any contradictions that would sway me from knowing my need of Christ's sacrifice for my sins." Why would you start with the presupposition that you are in need of a "sacrifice" or you can't be forgiven?

I am forgiven! Christ has born my guilt and suffered the judgement of God for my transgressions: Isaiah 53:1-12, Jeremiah 17:9, John 1:29, Romans 3:19-23, Romans 5:12, Ephesians 5:2, Hebrews 9:26-28, Hebrews 10:1-18,


I forgive people every day without having to kill someone. Why can't God do what any normal person can do, and simply forgive?

Your premises assumes equality with God as a normality, and you and I are not. We have sinned because "all have sinned" (Rom 3:23), even if you have convinced yourself to the contrary (can I get a witness?) and for that reason, we are able to forgive the transgressions of others because we too are transgressors. God is presented to us in Scripture as being sinless and the administrator of justice which requires condemnation for those judged guilty of transgressions.


The concept of "blood atonement for sin" is an ancient and primitive concept found in all cultures. Why would you ever think it true? It looks like just another pagan religion to me.

It has historical precedent: Genesis 3:21


Do you think the practitioners of the Greek mystery religions (which predate Christianity) really had their sins forgiven when they stood under a bull to be washed in it's blood?

The Greeks certainly do not "pre-date" Adam and Eve when God himself skinned an animal to clothe them after their act of disobedience. This is the first recorded biblical sacrifice for sin.

Thanks Richard for your valuable opinions. They stimulate conversation on important topics and are usually "thought provoking".

John

Richard Amiel McGough
04-13-2012, 02:09 PM
That's good John. Just because every man has an their own opinion about what the Bible says, and that would make as many interpretations of the Bible as there are men, this does not negate the truth within the Bible. The fact that everyone does not have a perfect grasp of the truth and does not understand every part of the truth revealed, still does not negate the whole truth of the Bible.

You believe the essential element as I do.

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding." "Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way". "Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding."

David
Hey there David, :yo:

The fact that there are "as many interpretations of the Bible as there are men" shows that the Bible is too ambiguous to serve as a guide of any kind. I've never encountered such confusion when studying textbooks written by mere men. I studied physics and math and chemistry and never encountered the wild variations of opinion that we see in the interpretations of the Bible. The only books that are open to such wild variations of interpretation are the books that have no foundation in fact. That's the problem with the Bible. It's just words, words, and more words and no one has any way to verify which interpretations are true and which are false. It's just a matter of personal private interpretation.

Now you are correct that this "does not negate the truth within the Bible" but it does mean that no way for anyone to objectively verify whatever truths there might be in the Bible. And so it negates the Bible as a useful guide to truth. People don't find "truth" in the Bible - they simply invent interpretations that reflect their own opinions. This is one of the primary facts that caused me to reject religion. If I've learned anything in my years of discussing the Bible on the internet, it is that every man has his own opinion and NO FACTS are sufficient to sway them from whatever opinions they happen to prefer.

It is interesting that you think you and John agree about the "essential element." You should ask him if he thinks folks who reject the Trinity are saved.

All the best,

Richard

Richard Amiel McGough
04-13-2012, 02:28 PM
Why would you start with the presupposition that you are in need of a "sacrifice" or you can't be forgiven?
I am forgiven! Christ has born my guilt and suffered the judgement of God for my transgressions: Isaiah 53:1-12, Jeremiah 17:9, John 1:29, Romans 3:19-23, Romans 5:12, Ephesians 5:2, Hebrews 9:26-28, Hebrews 10:1-18,

That doesn't answer my question. Why would you start with the presupposition that you are in need of a "sacrifice" or you can't be forgiven?




I forgive people every day without having to kill someone. Why can't God do what any normal person can do, and simply forgive?
Your premises assumes equality with God as a normality, and you and I are not. We have sinned because "all have sinned" (Rom 3:23), even if you have convinced yourself to the contrary (can I get a witness?) and for that reason, we are able to forgive the transgressions of others because we too are transgressors. God is presented to us in Scripture as being sinless and the administrator of justice which requires condemnation for those judged guilty of transgressions.

My question does not assume any "equality with God."

The ability to forgive is not dependent upon being a sinner. Where did you get that idea?

I've always found the concept of sin presented in the NT very strange. Gentiles were never under the OT law, so we didn't need to be freed from it. Paul addresses this in Romans 2. Yet Gentile Christians seem to think that there is some meaning to the word "sin" as applied to Gentiles. The use of the word "law" in the NT is quite ambiguous. Does it refer to the Torah? To the entire OT? To just the ten commandments? To abstract principles of morality? Or what?

Yes, God is the "administrator of justice." But how does that solve the problem? There is no "justice" in punishing Christ for my sins! I get off scot-free, just as I would if God simply forgave me (after I repented). What does the death of Jesus have to do with justice? Indeed, it is entirely contrary to justice since it allows sinners to avoid paying for their crimes. I think there is a fundamentally incoherent doctrine in the heart of the Gospel. It makes no sense to call people "righteous" when in fact they are not righteous. The Gospel seems to eviscerate the meaning of the words "righteous" and "just." Do you have any logical foundation for that doctrine? Historically, Christians have invented the idea that God must punish SOMEBODY for every crime, but that makes no sense. You can't punish Joe for the crimes of Bob and call that justice.

So my question remains - why can't God just forgive any repentant sinner. How does belief in Christ make God able to forgive?



The concept of "blood atonement for sin" is an ancient and primitive concept found in all cultures. Why would you ever think it true? It looks like just another pagan religion to me.
It has historical precedent: Genesis 3:21

Actually, the precedent is found in all cultures. It is a primitive believe of primitive peoples. I don't think you understood my question. Why would you think that it is true? How does shedding blood atone for sin? If my son talks back to me, would I be unable to forgive him until he killed a chicken and splattered the blood on himself? What is the connection between righteousness, forgiveness, and the shedding of blood?




Do you think the practitioners of the Greek mystery religions (which predate Christianity) really had their sins forgiven when they stood under a bull to be washed in it's blood?
The Greeks certainly do not "pre-date" Adam and Eve when God himself skinned an animal to clothe them after their act of disobedience. This is the first recorded biblical sacrifice for sin.

Well, I can't think of any reason any modern person would believe in a literal Adam and Eve. Do you deny the entire edifice of modern science?

And you didn't answer my question: Do you think the practitioners of the Greek mystery religions (which predate Christianity) really had their sins forgiven when they stood under a bull to be washed in it's blood?



Thanks Richard for your valuable opinions. They stimulate conversation on important topics and are usually "thought provoking".

And thank you for taking time to answer. I really think these questions should be explored. They were in my mind even when I was a fundamentalist Christian. I was always bothered by the obvious lack of "righteousness" implied by the doctrine of Penal Substitutionary Atonement (http://www.theopedia.com/Penal_substitutionary_atonement) which, by the way, was not invented until the Reformation of the 16th century.

Great chatting!

Richard

jce
04-17-2012, 04:05 PM
That doesn't answer my question. Why would you start with the presupposition that you are in need of a "sacrifice" or you can't be forgiven?

Hi Richard!

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I did write a novel on the Mac under your "confessions of an iMac addict" proclamation post. You know.. that old Billy G. (not goat) will get your first computer dollars but Stevie J. (not Jordan) will clean you out of your last ones.

Well, on to your question;

The simple answer is that when I reached a certain age, I realized that some of my actions were not good... well maybe more than "some". But I didn't really concern myself about it. I just lived my life doing the best I could and figured that's just the way I was. Eventually, as is the case with many, I reached a turning point in my life, a crisis of sorts and it was bigger than I could handle. I was quite frustrated by what seemed an inability to make a course correction. I was a ripe candidate to be proselytized. My older brother was the witness that God used to plant the seeds of a new life which would be birthed within me on Good Friday, April 20th, 1973. On that day, my entire life was transformed as I silently cried out to God a most sincere and significant three words... "God help me". That plea to God came from the very heart of my soul and spirit, and almost instantly, I experienced a power that fell upon me such as I had never felt before nor since. Words cannot explain.

This amazing encounter with the Spirit of God started me upward on the path of the Bible. As I read it with great intrigue, answers to questions about life and about myself began to flow. Finally, I was on a road leading to a better understanding of myself and why I had this problem with evil behavior, I was a sinner separated from God. I think I always knew it, but never with such conviction. And therein lies part of the answer to your question. The Bible convicted me on the evidence. I was guilty of disobeying my conscience which seldom allowed me to commit an injustice without warning. There was a full and rational acceptance on my part that my condition aligned with the Bible's characterization of me. Me, not someone else... me. I didn't need to compare myself with others any longer. The standard was revealed to me and I was the one who was out of tune. God created the measuring stick, and I fell short. The revelation of the reality of God to me, was, and is to this day, the most significant event in my life.

This testimony is strange to understand by those whom God has not drawn, for, to them, it is foolishness, their worldly wisdom cannot accept it, but there is an explanation for that too, 1st Corinthians 1:18-21.

So here's your answer: My sin is not a presupposition, it is a fact, confirmed by God's Word. The sacrifice is not my idea... it is God's solution. You know these things Richard, if you have ever been a partaker of the Holy Spirit. If not, then your earthly wisdom will simply discount my testimony, along with the testimonies of many others, great & small who have tasted of the Goodness of the Lord, and found Him to be completely satisfying.

I need no other argument, I need no other plea, it is enough that Jesus died, and that He died for me (but we can still talk). :tea:

John

Richard Amiel McGough
04-17-2012, 05:58 PM
Hi Richard!

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I did write a novel on the Mac under your "confessions of an iMac addict" proclamation post. You know.. that old Billy G. (not goat) will get your first computer dollars but Stevie J. (not Jordan) will clean you out of your last ones.

Hey there my friend,

I saw that post, and was going to answer but got distracted. Thanks for reminding me!



Well, on to your question;

The simple answer is that when I reached a certain age, I realized that some of my actions were not good... well maybe more than "some". But I didn't really concern myself about it. I just lived my life doing the best I could and figured that's just the way I was. Eventually, as is the case with many, I reached a turning point in my life, a crisis of sorts and it was bigger than I could handle. I was quite frustrated by what seemed an inability to make a course correction. I was a ripe candidate to be proselytized. My older brother was the witness that God used to plant the seeds of a new life which would be birthed within me on Good Friday, April 20th, 1973. On that day, my entire life was transformed as I silently cried out to God a most sincere and significant three words... "God help me". That plea to God came from the very heart of my soul and spirit, and almost instantly, I experienced a power that fell upon me such as I had never felt before nor since. Words cannot explain.

I can totally relate to your experience. I had simiilar experiences. The problem came not with my mystical experiences of God, but that they can made me susceptible to the fundamentalist intepretation of the Bible.



This amazing encounter with the Spirit of God started me upward on the path of the Bible. As I read it with great intrigue, answers to questions about life and about myself began to flow. Finally, I was on a road leading to a better understanding of myself and why I had this problem with evil behavior, I was a sinner separated from God. I think I always knew it, but never with such conviction. And therein lies part of the answer to your question. The Bible convicted me on the evidence. I was guilty of disobeying my conscience which seldom allowed me to commit an injustice without warning. There was a full and rational acceptance on my part that my condition aligned with the Bible's characterization of me. Me, not someone else... me. I didn't need to compare myself with others any longer. The standard was revealed to me and I was the one who was out of tune. God created the measuring stick, and I fell short. The revelation of the reality of God to me, was, and is to this day, the most significant event in my life.

This testimony is strange to understand by those whom God has not drawn, for, to them, it is foolishness, their worldly wisdom cannot accept it, but there is an explanation for that too, 1st Corinthians 1:18-21.

So here's your answer: My sin is not a presupposition, it is a fact, confirmed by God's Word. The sacrifice is not my idea... it is God's solution. You know these things Richard, if you have ever been a partaker of the Holy Spirit. If not, then your earthly wisdom will simply discount my testimony, along with the testimonies of many others, great & small who have tasted of the Goodness of the Lord, and found Him to be completely satisfying.

I need no other argument, I need no other plea, it is enough that Jesus died, and that He died for me (but we can still talk). :tea:

John
I understand where you are coming from. I was there myself. But now I see that my mystical experiences with God gave false confirmation of the fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible.

I really appreciate your testimony, but it does not give any kind of answer to my question. As you noted, I already knew that the Bible says sacrifice is "God's solution." My question is "why" - why is that God's solution? Why can't God forgive without killing Jesus? What's the connection? I can forgive all day long without demanding that someone be killed, or that someone "pay" for whatever offense was committed.

This is a very sincere question. The idea of blood atonement seems primitive and meaningless to me. People all over the world sacrficed animals to appease their angry gods which didn't even exist. That's why the Christian dogma looks like any other primitive man-made religion.

So do you have any insight into this? I know the standard Christian answers, like "someone has to pay for the sins" but that means nothing to me. Why would God demand "payment" for sin? What does it accomplish?

Great chatting!

Richard

duxrow
04-18-2012, 08:12 AM
Why can't God forgive without killing Jesus?

:woohoo: Hey Ram, You’re condemning the ‘Greatest Story Ever Told’ without realizing that Jesus is ALIVE. He’s telling us a Life and Death story in Life and Death terms! Like the Pharoah’s Butler took Communion and got Life, but the Baker had the wrong kind of Bread in his top basket, and he died! Sure, you’re entitled to your opinion, or the notions of institutionalized men, but you need God’s Word on the top shelf.

So we know we only have ~4 or 5-score at best, but we DON’T KNOW what lies beyond. Houdini hasn’t returned. Maybe we won’t want to return, or be unable – eye has not seen, nor ear heard; neither has entered into the heart, the things which God(Love) has prepared….

And, while I’m at it jce, loved your declaration, and reminded me of myself too! :bcake: :bornagain:

duxrow
04-18-2012, 08:34 AM
:bcake: Remember it was on that THIRD DAY, the Pharoah's Birthday, when the Butler & Baker got their reward. The 3rd Day scriptures are sprinkled or salted thru the Bible.. :thumb:

CWH
04-18-2012, 09:05 AM
If I don't kill someone and then raised him up, can I prove that I can resurrect the dead? Can I prove that human death can be conquered? If God can kill and raise His own Son, how much more can He kill and raise people?

God Blessed us all. :pray:

Richard Amiel McGough
04-18-2012, 09:38 AM
If I don't kill someone and then raised him up, can I prove that I can resurrect the dead? Can I prove that human death can be conquered? If God can kill and raise His own Son, how much more can He kill and raise people?

God Blessed us all. :pray:
You don't have to kill someone - folks die all the time.

And besides, how does the Bible story "prove" that God can raise someone from the dead. If he really wanted to PROVE IT he would have Jesus show up and say "Yo! Here I am. I was dead but now I'm alive." As it is, all we have is an ancient book that tells us the story. That's a far cry from any kind of "proof."

Richard Amiel McGough
04-18-2012, 09:43 AM
Why can't God forgive without killing Jesus?

:woohoo: Hey Ram, You’re condemning the ‘Greatest Story Ever Told’ without realizing that Jesus is ALIVE. He’s telling us a Life and Death story in Life and Death terms! Like the Pharoah’s Butler took Communion and got Life, but the Baker had the wrong kind of Bread in his top basket, and he died! Sure, you’re entitled to your opinion, or the notions of institutionalized men, but you need God’s Word on the top shelf.

So we know we only have ~4 or 5-score at best, but we DON’T KNOW what lies beyond. Houdini hasn’t returned. Maybe we won’t want to return, or be unable – eye has not seen, nor ear heard; neither has entered into the heart, the things which God(Love) has prepared….

And, while I’m at it jce, loved your declaration, and reminded me of myself too! :bcake: :bornagain:
Hey there dux, :yo:

I am not "condemning" the story. I simply questioned it and found it wanting in evidence and logic.

You call the Bible "God's Word." How then do you deal with the fact that it contains errors, contradictions, and moral abominations attributed to God?

I know we don't know what lies beyond. And that means you don't know either. You just have beliefs that you have accepted uncritically. It's the same thing as the Mormons and the Muslims who accept their dogmas uncritically. The only way to know if you are correct is to take the plunge into the ocean of truth and put the Bible to the same test as every other book that claims to be from God. But to do that, you must be willing to follow truth where ever it leads. You must be willing to use a "just balance" - the same rules of logic that you would apply to anything else. As it is, I get the impression that believers have a double standard. They do not apply the same criteria of logic and evidence to the Bible as the do to everything else.

Richard Amiel McGough
04-18-2012, 09:45 AM
:bcake: Remember it was on that THIRD DAY, the Pharoah's Birthday, when the Butler & Baker got their reward. The 3rd Day scriptures are sprinkled or salted thru the Bible.. :thumb:
That's true. Jonah three days and three nights. Etc. It was a literary pattern established very early in the Bible.

Roberto
04-18-2012, 02:22 PM
Hey there dux, :yo:

I am not "condemning" the story. I simply questioned it and found it wanting in evidence and logic.

You call the Bible "God's Word." How then do you deal with the fact that it contains errors, contradictions, and moral abominations attributed to God?

I know we don't know what lies beyond. And that means you don't know either. You just have beliefs that you have accepted uncritically. It's the same thing as the Mormons and the Muslims who accept their dogmas uncritically. The only way to know if you are correct is to take the plunge into the ocean of truth and put the Bible to the same test as every other book that claims to be from God. But to do that, you must be willing to follow truth where ever it leads. You must be willing to use a "just balance" - the same rules of logic that you would apply to anything else. As it is, I get the impression that believers have a double standard. They do not apply the same criteria of logic and evidence to the Bible as the do to everything else.

The errors and contradictions in the bible is in the eye of the beholder to believe if it is or not. The moral abominations are plenty in the OT, and that many is attributes to God, but in the NT, we are never to kill again the blood of man, but the spirit of man, so that the Spirit of God can come in, something like that symbolic.
Just because we are influenced in Jesus way of love in forgiveness and and the teaching that God loves us all and all can come to God through the light Jesus, is now taken over by secular non-believers of that, does not mean that being a non-believer is the right way.

And now it is an abomination to read the bloody history we know about the history of man in the bible and other places, thats what the influence of Jesus has done to the world, seeing that killing a man is an abomination and all the other abominations.

But that influence is to be taken over by non-believers who say Jesus is not the owner of this love like the "evil workers"-parable.
Human evolution without Jesus can cause this love, it's just natural they say.
I've read you and Rose say, that you could have wrote a better book than the bible as a truth that will make man evolve better.
I don't believe in men, every men is a liar, but God in the bible looks to me as the truth even witth all the so called errors and abominations, it dose'nt make me look at that to have a court-room where i can blame God. Jesus is the middle-point, and from there, the revelations of the bible is just super cool, and loveley. The revelations i have got from all over the world of different preachers and searching the internet, revealing Jesus in the OT in many ways, and the bible math, or your discovery of the bible-wheel.
All that, so that i can rest in the things i don't understand, untill it is understood, or when i come to place in after-life where i see the whole picture.

And of all the religion, Jesus is the best, i think it's the truth, and for the many directions of chritianity, i need wisdom.
And for the Hell-doctrine, i think God is righteouss, we can either have this life, 120+-years, or we can have this and the eternal life, for people who never have the choice to choose Jesus, the way of the man's heart comes in, if you choose to let it be filled with things that bends your life to not regret the evil things in life, then this is the only life for you.
But if you know about the person Jesus in the bible and reject Him, your heart is evil, and maybe this life is the only life you will live.
I know many people who dont believe in Jesus, they are good persons, influenced by love to give love, and i believe pure love comes from God, but it can be manipulated by man, so it seems to be love, but it's just self-love.
They can have a good life when they are giving love, because giving love is a God-life, but if they hear about Jesus and reject Him, they want the love to be their own, being their own lovers and forgivers, well, if this life is the only life they want, go ahead, i believe if you give Jesus the glory, eternal life will be your crown, is it selfish, no, not at all, you are a person who stands for what God wants to give to everybody.

And for the healing part, it's stupid to think that God will make it obvious to everybody all the time.
God does not want you to fear Him as it would be if He showed openley all the healings, or just cracked open the dimensions to heaven up in the sky everyday. People would not love Him anymore, they would not feel they have free will anymore, they would just downright fear Him as a monster.
They would complain ALL the time. Thats why the knowlegde of good and evil and the eternal life must be divided in two trees.

Richard Amiel McGough
04-18-2012, 09:01 PM
Hey there Roberto,

Welcome back ... it's been a while!

:welcome:


The errors and contradictions in the bible is in the eye of the beholder to believe if it is or not.
I don't understand your comment. Christians claim that the Bible is TRUE. If it contains errors and contradictions then rational people cannot believe it is entirely true. That's why the errors and contradictions are a real problem. They are not merely subjective and "in the eye of the beholder" - they really exist. That's why Christian apologists write whole books like "When Critics Ask," "Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties," and "Evidence that Demands a Verdict."


The moral abominations are plenty in the OT, and that many is attributes to God, but in the NT, we are never to kill again the blood of man, but the spirit of man, so that the Spirit of God can come in, something like that symbolic.
Just because we are influenced in Jesus way of love in forgiveness and and the teaching that God loves us all and all can come to God through the light Jesus, is now taken over by secular non-believers of that, does not mean that being a non-believer is the right way.

I understand your symbolism, but it doesn't solve the problem of the moral abominations attributed to God in the OT. Did God change from immoral to moral? How can we believe that Jesus - the Second Person of the Trinity - ordered genocide and the taking of 32,000 virgins?



And now it is an abomination to read the bloody history we know about the history of man in the bible and other places, thats what the influence of Jesus has done to the world, seeing that killing a man is an abomination and all the other abominations.

If killing is such an abomination, why did God order that everyone in the Promised Land be murdered and their land and houses STOLEN by the Israelites?
Deuteronomy 6:10 And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not, 11 And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full;

This is not the same morality as we see in the NT.



Human evolution without Jesus can cause this love, it's just natural they say.

I think that is true. Morality and Goodness and Love are truly natural to humans and grounded in human nature. They have nothing to do with a god.



I've read you and Rose say, that you could have wrote a better book than the bible as a truth that will make man evolve better.

Well, that's not exactly what we said. But yes, I do believe we could make a better bible by removing the errors, contradictions, and moral abominations.



I don't believe in men, every men is a liar, but God in the bible looks to me as the truth even witth all the so called errors and abominations, it dose'nt make me look at that to have a court-room where i can blame God.

One problem - it is men who gave you the Bible! So if they are corrupt and untrustworthy, why do you trust the Bible they produced?



Jesus is the middle-point, and from there, the revelations of the bible is just super cool, and loveley. The revelations i have got from all over the world of different preachers and searching the internet, revealing Jesus in the OT in many ways, and the bible math, or your discovery of the bible-wheel.

Yes, there are a lot of amazing things in the Bible. I believed it for over ten years. But now I think I was blinded by the light. There is also a dark side to the Bible. And worse, no one agrees about much of what it says. Everyone just makes up their own version of the religion. So it seems obvious to me that it is not the truth of God.



And of all the religion, Jesus is the best, i think it's the truth, and for the many directions of chritianity, i need wisdom.

There is much that is good about Jesus. But there also is much that is very bad about the doctrines of Christianity. Like hell, for example.



And for the Hell-doctrine, i think God is righteouss, we can either have this life, 120+-years, or we can have this and the eternal life, for people who never have the choice to choose Jesus, the way of the man's heart comes in, if you choose to let it be filled with things that bends your life to not regret the evil things in life, then this is the only life for you.
But if you know about the person Jesus in the bible and reject Him, your heart is evil, and maybe this life is the only life you will live.

So you think it would be "righteous" for God to send unbelievers to a place of eternal conscious torment? I cannot imagine that to be true. It is too cruel. Too evil.



I know many people who dont believe in Jesus, they are good persons, influenced by love to give love, and i believe pure love comes from God, but it can be manipulated by man, so it seems to be love, but it's just self-love.

Love others as you love yourself. How can you do that if you don't love yourself?



And for the healing part, it's stupid to think that God will make it obvious to everybody all the time.
God does not want you to fear Him as it would be if He showed openley all the healings, or just cracked open the dimensions to heaven up in the sky everyday. People would not love Him anymore, they would not feel they have free will anymore, they would just downright fear Him as a monster.
They would complain ALL the time. Thats why the knowlegde of good and evil and the eternal life must be divided in two trees.
I used to think along those lines. I thought that was why God hid the perfection of the Bible from the eyes of unbelievers. If the Bible were obviously perfect and from God it would burn people like the noon sun in a desert - there would be no grace.

But that doesn't solve the problem that God does not, as a general rule, answer prayers because the Bible and all Christians teach that we are supposed to TRUST GOD for all our needs and he will provide. That is not true, so the Bible is false. People who think God really answers prayers are not thinking clearly. They would get the same results if they prayed to a milk jug:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jk6ILZAaAMI

Great chatting!

Richard

CWH
04-19-2012, 08:18 AM
You don't have to kill someone - folks die all the time.

And besides, how does the Bible story "prove" that God can raise someone from the dead. If he really wanted to PROVE IT he would have Jesus show up and say "Yo! Here I am. I was dead but now I'm alive." As it is, all we have is an ancient book that tells us the story. That's a far cry from any kind of "proof."

I am surprised that you can't understand such basic Christian theology! Jesus was sent to heal the sick and raised the dead to prove that God has the power to overcome death, "Death, where is thy sting?" and to fulfil what the Scripture said:

Luke 24:46
He told them, 'This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day,

And we were told,"Do not fear men who can kill the body but not the soul, Fear God who can destroy both body and soul in hell". Even when Jesus raised the dead in front of their eyes, they did not believe:


Mark 6:14
King Herod heard about this, for Jesus’ name had become well known. Some were saying, 'John the Baptist has been raised from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him.'

Which has more impact, to raise the dead or to get His Son killed by the Romans and raised Him up? So God decided to allow His Son, Jesus, to be killed by crucifixion and raised Him 3 days later so as to create greater impact, they still did not believe Him. What do you think God will do?

Maththew 21:33 'Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. 34 When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit.
35 'The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. 36 Then he sent other servants to them, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way. 37 Last of all, he sent his son to them. ‘They will respect my son,’ he said.

38 'But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and take his inheritance.’ 39 So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.

40 'Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?'

41 'He will bring those wretches to a wretched end,' they replied, 'and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time.'


God Blessed.

Richard Amiel McGough
04-19-2012, 08:38 AM
I am surprised that you can't understand such basic Christian theology!

I understand Christian theology a thousand times better than you. Quit being absurd.



Jesus was sent to heal the sick and raised the dead to prove that God has the power to overcome death and to fulfil what the Scripture said:

Luke 24:46
He told them, 'This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day,


If that was his intent, then he failed miserably because he left no proof of anything. All we have is a book so confused that even Christians can't agree about what it means.



And we were told,"Do not fear men who can kill the body but not the soul, Fear God who can destroy both body and soul in hell". Even when Jesus raised the dead in front of their eyes, they did not believe:


Mark 6:14
King Herod heard about this, for Jesus’ name had become well known. Some were saying, 'John the Baptist has been raised from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him.'

Which has more impact, to raise the dead or to get His Son killed by the Romans and raised Him up? So God decided to allow His Son, Jesus, to be killed by crucifixion and raised Him 3 days later so as to create greater impact, they still did not believe Him.

He didn't do it to "create greater impact." According to Christian theology, he did it to bear the sins of the world.

If it was to "prove" something then it failed because people could see it and still not believe (according to the Bible anyway).

Christian theology says that no one can believe unless God opens their hearts and minds. Get with the program.

Roberto
04-19-2012, 03:06 PM
Hey there Roberto,

Welcome back ... it's been a while!

:welcome:


I don't understand your comment. Christians claim that the Bible is TRUE. If it contains errors and contradictions then rational people cannot believe it is entirely true. That's why the errors and contradictions are a real problem. They are not merely subjective and "in the eye of the beholder" - they really exist. That's why Christian apologists write whole books like "When Critics Ask," "Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties," and "Evidence that Demands a Verdict."


I understand your symbolism, but it doesn't solve the problem of the moral abominations attributed to God in the OT. Did God change from immoral to moral? How can we believe that Jesus - the Second Person of the Trinity - ordered genocide and the taking of 32,000 virgins?


If killing is such an abomination, why did God order that everyone in the Promised Land be murdered and their land and houses STOLEN by the Israelites?
Deuteronomy 6:10 And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not, 11 And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full;

This is not the same morality as we see in the NT.


I think that is true. Morality and Goodness and Love are truly natural to humans and grounded in human nature. They have nothing to do with a god.


Well, that's not exactly what we said. But yes, I do believe we could make a better bible by removing the errors, contradictions, and moral abominations.


One problem - it is men who gave you the Bible! So if they are corrupt and untrustworthy, why do you trust the Bible they produced?


Yes, there are a lot of amazing things in the Bible. I believed it for over ten years. But now I think I was blinded by the light. There is also a dark side to the Bible. And worse, no one agrees about much of what it says. Everyone just makes up their own version of the religion. So it seems obvious to me that it is not the truth of God.


There is much that is good about Jesus. But there also is much that is very bad about the doctrines of Christianity. Like hell, for example.


So you think it would be "righteous" for God to send unbelievers to a place of eternal conscious torment? I cannot imagine that to be true. It is too cruel. Too evil.


Love others as you love yourself. How can you do that if you don't love yourself?


I used to think along those lines. I thought that was why God hid the perfection of the Bible from the eyes of unbelievers. If the Bible were obviously perfect and from God it would burn people like the noon sun in a desert - there would be no grace.

But that doesn't solve the problem that God does not, as a general rule, answer prayers because the Bible and all Christians teach that we are supposed to TRUST GOD for all our needs and he will provide. That is not true, so the Bible is false. People who think God really answers prayers are not thinking clearly. They would get the same results if they prayed to a milk jug:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jk6ILZAaAMI

Great chatting!

Richard

I could take time and qoute question to answer, but, i think you can understand. It is hard to understand people before in the OT, but it looks like killing was no problem then, so it can be that people where very evil, and that slaves is easy with punishment as death, so to keep sin away, sin had to be hard punished. So the loving and forgiving did'nt work when a whole bunch of people were to driven away. You say God didn't do good enough for you in the OT. I wonder if He can explain it to you, but it looks like you will never be satisfied with an answer as long as the bible is not to be changed. The bible is a history of a fall in sin, you are out to look for the life of angels, where everybody see God and act respectively to Him, because they see Him, but also there is free will and Satan and His army are cast out to do evil against us that God now has a finished plan to rescue us from this evil, and be higher than angels, because we choose God, even if we don't see Him.

Ok, so you can make a better bible, i Think many has tried it, and failed, maybe you want to be worshipped? And are jeaolous of God in the bible that has so many followers even if the bible looks confusing.
If you are so smart, why is'nt here any people in here in this forum that goes away from the faith of Jesus, and over to your godless-believement?
And your theory about being in Gods mind seeing patterns like a mandala, is just more confusing than the bible.

Men wrote the bible, but if it were just by men, the bible would look more like other religions, in my eyes, the bible is totally far from other religions, and that the bible has taken stories from other pagan stories is just stupid to me, because the bible has the long red line through it all, and not cut and paste. It's more likeley to me that the pagan stories are cuts off from a real story that you can find in the bible.

Who says eternal tornement? The symbols in the bible? I believe the after-life is the end of your life if you choose darkness instead of light, but also a place where every question is anwered, and while you get answered, but cannot enter the light, is like an eternal tornement, but as soon as every question is answered, you are cut off dead. But thats my theory of what i read, we are not too know everything but we see things like a mirror of our life. But if you don't like Jesus, you don't like the light and pure love you can get of giving away your self-love, to get pure love giving Jesus the hounor of love.

And your obsession of saying God as a general rule does not answer prayers looks alot like testing God without believing in Him. Even Jesus didnt test God, when the devil said He should test God. And you think that should make people not believe in God anymore, stupid devilish tactic. Stop praying, just stop, sounds like the devil there.
Even if we are not answered, we get answered, we know this life is short, and the prayers in this life is fully answeres in heaven, you are just being wordly, when we should be hokuspokused up from a wheelchair every wheelchairhandikapped. I believe in Medicine and doctors as well as God as my healer, no problem so far. So christians that makes problems with stupid faith that God should just fix in a second with a healing, is maybe doing worse and not healing the believers because their spirit is sick. But it looks like you are just thinking against God.

But maybe you are most needed for God, for Gods people not to be so close minded and unintelligent, but i believe Jesus is a needed faith to be really cleansed. Who knows, maybe you accept Jesus as your saviour inner most, but i think the further more in sin you are, the more you hate Jesus, but, the thing with Jesus, when a big sinner finally believes in Him, it will be a big love turn. Jesus should be preached in jails again, i see jail not doing better to men in hter, they are just becoming worse when they get out, maybe because men has taken Jesus out of being preached in prisons.

David M
04-19-2012, 03:59 PM
Jesus should be preached in jails again, i see jail not doing better to men in hter, they are just becoming worse when they get out, maybe because men has taken Jesus out of being preached in prisons.

Hello Roberto.

Apart from who you think Satan is, I agree with a lot of your comments. I was struck by your comment in the quote above.

A man I learned of last year and had the opportunity of meeting, I was very interested to hear his story. It is amazing sthe life some people lead. He is now an evangelist preaching in prisons. If you get time, you might be interested to listen to his story.

Here is the link to his video in which he tells his real-life story.

http://vimeo.com/31483225

All the best.

David

PS I found streaming of video is broken half-way through. Have notified owners at the following link. You can see the work they do spreading the Gospel inside prisons.

http://www.avantiministries.com

Richard Amiel McGough
04-19-2012, 04:18 PM
I could take time and qoute question to answer, but, i think you can understand.

Yes, I can understand what you write without using quotes. But I will respond with quotes so I can answer your points one by one.



It is hard to understand people before in the OT, but it looks like killing was no problem then, so it can be that people where very evil, and that slaves is easy with punishment as death, so to keep sin away, sin had to be hard punished. So the loving and forgiving did'nt work when a whole bunch of people were to driven away. You say God didn't do good enough for you in the OT. I wonder if He can explain it to you, but it looks like you will never be satisfied with an answer as long as the bible is not to be changed. The bible is a history of a fall in sin, you are out to look for the life of angels, where everybody see God and act respectively to Him, because they see Him, but also there is free will and Satan and His army are cast out to do evil against us that God now has a finished plan to rescue us from this evil, and be higher than angels, because we choose God, even if we don't see Him.

Most Christians do no believe the people were more evil back then. On the contrary, they usually say how people are more evil now.

But that's irrelevant because the real problem is not how sinful people are, but about how God chose to act. If you read the Bible with open eyes, it is impossible to believe in the God it portrays. He seems like a Bronze age tribal war god, exactly as we would expect if the Bible were written by a Bronze age tribe constantly at war.

People who try to make up exuses for the bad behavior of God in the OT aways forget that God is supposed to be omniscient and omnipotent. He could have done anything he wanted, so why did he choose to impersonate a Bronze age tribal war god?



Ok, so you can make a better bible, i Think many has tried it, and failed, maybe you want to be worshipped? And are jeaolous of God in the bible that has so many followers even if the bible looks confusing.

You missed my point. I have absolutely no interest in actually producing a "better Bible." My point was that I most certainly could do that if I wanted to. For example, it would not have all the pagan mythology about creation with a dome to divide the waters that are supposedly "above" from those below. No such dome exists. The Bible has errors. There is no way anyone can deny this fact.



If you are so smart, why is'nt here any people in here in this forum that goes away from the faith of Jesus, and over to your godless-believement?

I never said I was "so smart." And that's irrelevant because it doesn't take very much intelligence to see that the Bible has errors.

I was writing for Christians, and Christian don't like intelligence. And smart people looked and saw that I was supporting the Bible as the "Word of God" and they knew that was false so they weren't interested.



And your theory about being in Gods mind seeing patterns like a mandala, is just more confusing than the bible.

There's nothing "confusing" about that at all. Carl Jung, who developed theories about mandalas, is a very well respected psychoanalyst.



Men wrote the bible, but if it were just by men, the bible would look more like other religions, in my eyes, the bible is totally far from other religions, and that the bible has taken stories from other pagan stories is just stupid to me, because the bible has the long red line through it all, and not cut and paste. It's more likeley to me that the pagan stories are cuts off from a real story that you can find in the bible.

The Bible has a lot of pagan mythology in it. We discussed this in the thread Greek Mythology in the Bible? (http://www.biblewheel.com/forum/showthread.php?2081-Greek-Mythology-in-the-Bible). For example, Jude quotes from the book of Enoch which is filled with mythology about fallen angels having sex with women and producing offspring. And the flood story was a common myth that predates the Bible. There's a lot of "cut and paste" that got in the Bible. There is no reason whatsoever to believe that the pagans copied from the Bible. Their stuff came first.

It would appear you have not studied other religions in any depth at all. The Bible is exactly like the books of other religions in many respects. Here's a video to help you understand:


http://youtu.be/HVuw1wEuaAQ



Who says eternal tornement? The symbols in the bible? I believe the after-life is the end of your life if you choose darkness instead of light, but also a place where every question is anwered, and while you get answered, but cannot enter the light, is like an eternal tornement, but as soon as every question is answered, you are cut off dead. But thats my theory of what i read, we are not too know everything but we see things like a mirror of our life. But if you don't like Jesus, you don't like the light and pure love you can get of giving away your self-love, to get pure love giving Jesus the hounor of love.

I'm glad you don't believe in the traditional and orthodox Christian doctrine of eternal conscious torment in hell. You have made up your own theory about what happens after death. So why believe the rest of the stuff they teach?



And your obsession of saying God as a general rule does not answer prayers looks alot like testing God without believing in Him. Even Jesus didnt test God, when the devil said He should test God. And you think that should make people not believe in God anymore, stupid devilish tactic. Stop praying, just stop, sounds like the devil there.
Even if we are not answered, we get answered, we know this life is short, and the prayers in this life is fully answeres in heaven, you are just being wordly, when we should be hokuspokused up from a wheelchair every wheelchairhandikapped. I believe in Medicine and doctors as well as God as my healer, no problem so far. So christians that makes problems with stupid faith that God should just fix in a second with a healing, is maybe doing worse and not healing the believers because their spirit is sick. But it looks like you are just thinking against God.

The Bible says that the devil is the father of lies. If the truth is that God does not, as a general rule, answer prayers, then Christians who say God always answers prayers are liars and sons of the devil. This is what blows my mind - Christians lie about God and the Bible so much that they don't even know they are liars.

And I am not being "worldly" - we all know that Christians and the Bible teach that everyone should pray and trust God. But if God doesn't actually answer prayers, then he is, by definition, untrustworthy. No one can deny the fact that God does not, as a general rule, answer prayers. In fact, God does everything possible to act as if he doesn't even exist! I think that's been his one big success.

If you really believe in prayer, tell me why God NEVER heals amputees? That's the joke. Folks get up on the stage of Benny Hinn's $alvation and Healing Carnival and proclaim that God cured their backache or cancer or whatever but he never actually does anything that can be verified. It's time for Christians to quit lying and deceiving the world.

CWH
04-19-2012, 04:27 PM
[QUOTE=RAM;43287]I understand Christian theology a thousand times better than you. Quit being absurd.
Don't be a Boaster Cock, be a Boaster for God.

Paul:'Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.'

Jeremiah 9:23,24:
Thus says the Lord, "Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might,
let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows
Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice, and righteousness on earth; for I delight in
these things," declares the Lord (New American Standard Bible).


If that was his intent, then he failed miserably because he left no proof of anything. All we have is a book so confused that even Christians can't agree about what it means.

He didn't do it to "create greater impact." According to Christian theology, he did it to bear the sins of the world.

If it was to "prove" something then it failed because people could see it and still not believe (according to the Bible anyway).

Christian theology says that no one can believe unless God opens their hearts and minds. Get with the program

Now, this is Basic Christian theology:
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

It has nothing to do with "God opening their hearts and minds"; it is about self faith and belief in the Son of God. Get it?

Let's believe in the Son of God.:pray:

Richard Amiel McGough
04-19-2012, 04:33 PM
I understand Christian theology a thousand times better than you. Quit being absurd.
Don't be a Boaster Cock, be a Boaster for God.

To say that I understand Christian theology a thousand times better than you is not any kind of "boast." It barely gets me to kindergarten. I should have said a million times better if I wanted to get to college level.



Now, this is Basic Christian theology:
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

It has nothing to do with "God opening their hearts and minds"; it is about self faith and belief in the Son of God. Get it?

Let's believe in the Son of God.:pray:
You can go argue with the Reformed theologians (Calvinists) about that.

Christians can't even agree with each other about what it takes to get saved! :doh: