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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by CWH View Post
    I have said that before. Loving others is like saying "I love American people"; Loving God is like saying, "I love America". Both must go together i.e. Love God and love others as yourself. It makes no sense by saying, "I love Americans as myself but hate America or I love people but hate the world". God create everything on earth including people, therefore if you love people, you should love God who created the world and everything in it.
    I understand your analogy, but I think it is a false analogy because I know America exists, so I can love it, but I don't know that the God of the Bible exists, so how can I love him?

    Quote Originally Posted by CWH View Post
    Mark 8:34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: 'Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 [B]For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? 37 Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.'

    What Jesus mean in the bolded part of the passage is this:

    Whoever wants to save his life for selfish reason will lose it but whoever lose his life for Jesus (because he love of God i.e. Jesus) and the gospel will gain it. What is the point if one gains everything (love, money, fame etc.) in the world but loses his life (because he does not love God and the gospel to the point of sacrifice)? If you are ashamed of Jesus (i.e. God) and his teachings (i.e. of Loving God with all your heart, soul and might and love others as yourself) in this sinful world, He will be ashamed of you in front of God the Father when He comes.

    Are you ashamed of Jesus and His teachings?
    I'm not part of that first century "adulterous and sinful generation" to whom he spoke, so the question doesn't apply to me. This is confirmed by his statement that they would be ashamed when "he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels" which you highlighted bold. We know that must have happened in the first century because Jesus said there would be some standing there that would not die before it happened:
    Matthew 16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. 28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.
    So that's a double confirmation that implies Jesus was talking to only his first century audience.

    But more to your point - you asked if I am "ashamed" of Jesus and his teachings. My answer: There are many of his teachings that I like and would not be ashamed of, but there also are many things in the Bible that I would be ashamed of if I believed them. Unfortunately, it appears that Jesus believed many of those bad things, since he never spoke a word (directly) against the Old Testament. So in as much as Jesus accepted the bad teachings in the Bible and taught that they were of God, I am compelled to admit that I would be ashamed of him and those teachings.
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  2. #12
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    [QUOTE]
    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    I understand your analogy, but I think it is a false analogy because I know America exists, so I can love it, but I don't know that the God of the Bible exists, so how can I love him?
    Do you believe life existed in other planets in the universe? If you do, how did you know? You believe that life started by an accident in which lifeless protein molecules accidentally formed by a combination of oxygen and nitrogen through lightning and somehow becomes life. Have you seen it? If you have not seen it and no one has ever seen it, why do you believe? If no one have seen or recorded that Jesus came back in AD 70, why do full preterists believe He came back?

    The answer if God exists lies in belief and possibility in the things that we see around us. Psalm 19:
    1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
    2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they reveal knowledge.
    3 They have no speech, they use no words;
    no sound is heard from them.
    4 Yet their voice[b] goes out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world.
    In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
    5 It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
    like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
    6 It rises at one end of the heavens
    and makes its circuit to the other;
    nothing is deprived of its warmth.


    You are like the rich man in the parable of Lazarus, even if someone return from the dead to tell you, you will still not believe it.

    Luke 16:19 'There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.
    22 'The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’

    25 'But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’

    27 'He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’

    29 'Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’

    30 '‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’

    31 'He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’'


    I'm not part of that first century "adulterous and sinful generation" to whom he spoke, so the question doesn't apply to me. This is confirmed by his statement that they would be ashamed when "he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels" which you highlighted bold. We know that must have happened in the first century because Jesus said there would be some standing there that would not die before it happened:
    Matthew 16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. 28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.
    So that's a double confirmation that implies Jesus was talking to only his first century audience.
    The problem is that we are still living in this sinful and adulterous generation. There are still death, adultery, suffering, scams, rapes, robberies, killings, false prophets etc., that sinful and adulterous generation still exists. Did the apostles died, I don't think so, they are reigning now in heaven with Jesus. So that generation includes us , same as Jesus died for the sin of the world, not just for His contemporary world but for the future world as well.

    But more to your point - you asked if I am "ashamed" of Jesus and his teachings. My answer: There are many of his teachings that I like and would not be ashamed of, but there also are many things in the Bible that I would be ashamed of if I believed them. Unfortunately, it appears that Jesus believed many of those bad things, since he never spoke a word (directly) against the Old Testament. So in as much as Jesus accepted the bad teachings in the Bible and taught that they were of God, I am compelled to admit that I would be ashamed of him and those teachings.
    Then Jesus will also be ashamed of you in front of God the Father when He comes. You are in my prayers. We should also be shameful of the many evils and atrocities that man have committed in this sinful and adulterous world when He comes.

    God Blessed us in this sinful and adulterous generation.
    Last edited by CWH; 04-10-2012 at 10:05 PM.
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  3. #13
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    Hello Richard

    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    You "shudder" to think that the Almighty God of Perfect Love would be able to redeem all creation, as it is written?

    2 Corinthians 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

    1 Corinthians 15:28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
    I think we have to balance the verses quoted and the phrases used. God is reconciling the world and you cannot ignore the fact that many will not be saved. God will be "all and in all" and it will not include those who are not saved. God will be all and in all after Christ hands back the kingdom at the end of the millennium age.

    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    God can't be "all in all" and have a hell full of billions of unreconciled sinners. Many early Christians were Universalists. This site says:
    As late as A.D. 400, Jerome says "most people" (plerique), and Augustine "very many" (quam plurimi), believed in Universalism, notwithstanding that the tremendous influence of Augustine, and the mighty power of the semi-pagan secular arm were arrayed against it.
    And there is a book (available online here) that says Universalism was the prevailing Christian doctrine until the fifth century. You should research the history of Christianity before you make such judgments.
    I don't have to research history of Christianity to find out the truth in the Bible. Works of men, while they can be true and instructional can be full of men's thoughts and can be fiction. I only compare men's statements with what the Bible says. I make allowance for errors introduced by incorrect translation and bias of the translators. Errors are not a barrier to understanding all that is true in the Bible. Errors can be seen for what they are.

    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    You didn't answer my question. Why would God use the criterion of "belief" to determine the eternal fate of a person? That makes no sense at all. What does my opinion about which religious dogmas are true or false have to do with my eternal fate?
    I did not miss your question. I gave you a quotation in which the words "must believe" were part of the quoted verse. Through God's word we come to know God. He asks us to believe the things we cannot see physically here and now. I have not received His reward of eternal life, so I have to believe I will recieve it from him later. If I do not believe this after God has told me, why would I believe anything God has told me? I express my belief in God by my actions and my thoughts. It is not purely belief (per se) that is the only criterion.

    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    Why would God accept or reject a person depending only on if they assert the Jesus is or is not the Son of God? I don't understand.
    I fail to see how you fail to understand the simple and plain teaching that comes from God. I think this is part of your problem. You have a great mind for study and reading other philosophies and theological studies and scientfic works and fail to understand the simplicity of what the Bible has to say and yet you take some things which you say are simple (that are in fact profound) and make a mockery of what the Bible teaches as a whole.
    Jesus is the only begotten Son of God who was born of God to reveal God to us as a Father (as God was to His Son). You cannot say you believe in God and not believe in Jesus (the Christ). Reject one, and you reject both. God rejects those who reject one or the other.

    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    Mormons believe John 3:16. Are they saved?
    Mormons have their own book, so I do not hold with their teaching. I question their belief and their understanding of John 3:16 Belief is based on understanding. Who believes in baptism and commits their life to Christ? Who is the Son of God, if the Son is supposed to be God? Who believes Jesus was in the grave 3 full days and 3 full nights? The belief of John 3:16 implies you believe in God and His promises and you believe Jesus to be the Son of God (not God). People are confounding the truth and and asserting they have the truth; time will tell. Our understanding of some things is less important than following the example of the Lord Jesus, who said; I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. Let us follow the teaching of Jesus the best we can and put his teaching into practice and let God be merciful to us all.

    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    You say that I must "understand the implications of what this verse means." That's the problem. The devil is in the details. Everyone has different "interpretations" of what that verse means. Calvinists say the "whosoever" applies only to the Elect and that the idea that anyone can choose to believe is a heresy. And on it goes - why would anyone believe that God would determine our eternal fate based upon our half-informed fallible opinions about the meaning of an ancient book written in Greek? It makes no sense to me at all.
    I have explained this already (in part) . You have to examine the motives of those who have brought about all the various translations with their bias and introduced errors. The truth remains with what the early Christian Church believed and what was taught by the apostles; not what men taught centuries later. Get back to properly understanding what the apostles taught and can be learned from their letters.

    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    Your answer only amplifies the problem. It's all a matter of highly disputable INTERPRETATIONS made by fallible and ignorant people. Everybody has different opinions and nobody can have any certainty that their opinions are correct. It would be insane for God to judge people by such a standard.
    I have said elsewhere, in responding to all your assertions and questions; there is enough truth in the Bible to be found, even if we allow for errors of translation and bias. Most doctrines are plain and simple; e.g. when you die you go to the grave the same as animals. Forget the rest about immortal souls; the Bible does not teach this. Once you have been told, you have no excuse for carrying on believing falsehoods. Examine the Bible and compare what people say and decide for yourself what is the truth. God will judge you on your sincerity to do this.

    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    Nobody is rejecting "God" - we are rejecting a demonstrably fallacious ancient book that makes false claims about God. There is a world of difference. And the true God would understand that it would be entirely irrational to condemn people to an eternal hell (or annihilation, or whatever) because of the opinion they held about such a book.
    You are rejecting God's word. Not part of it, but all of it. The Bible is only fallacious to you and you refuse to accept anyone else's explanation and accuse them of twisting the words. Your intellect is failing you. Jesus says; I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. It is about time you humbled yourself as Job had to do and admit you do not know and you are not rigtheous. You must look more intently for the obvious. As they say; you are not seeing the wood for the trees.

    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    So you advocate killing babies because they would have no one to care for them? Why then did Moses kill everyone except the 32,000 virgins? Obviously, they had a "use" for those women. To hell with rest.
    I do not advocate any such thing. I am not wise to order any such thing. I know that if God gave the instruction, there has to be a reason and I have given reasons and you reject them and the problem remains with you. I can see the justice of God in His punishment of reprobate people and I do not limit His power to save the innocent. You prove to me for example, that babies being brought up in a reprobate society will not follow the practice of that society when they are adults. Proof that by teaching people (which is what God has done by the way), those people will accept the teaching and change. If God's own chosen race did not obey His teaching, what chance is their of reprobates (people who have rejected God and practice child sacrifices for example) accepting the teaching? We have so much evil in the world and much evil has been done in the name of religion. You do not have to accuse God for all the evil that is of man's making.

    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    God could have driven those people out of the land any way he wanted to. He didn't have to order his people to become murderous genocidal maniacs. Have you no concept of what murdering thousands of women and children would do to your soul? It would totally brutalize you! Why would God freely choose to corrupt his people like that? He had no limit to the choices he could have made. He freely CHOSE violence. And oddly enough, it seems to be his "modus operandi." Why is God so enamored with VIOLENCE????
    And if God had driven them out what then? Do you expect God to have built a wall and say; stay out? It was in man's nature to dominate and subdue other nations. The people driven out would later come back like cancer. The Israelites failed to keep God instruction to the letter and that brought about serious consequences; the like of which we are discussing. In fact with the Israelites disobeying God, they proved that God would have been correct if they had carried out His instruction to the letter. Idolatry as it was practiced in those times was like a cancer. It infiltrated and it corrupted. There is nothing you and Rose can say, defending the indefensible, that makes your arguments stand up.

    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    The world is infinitely better when humans rule with no religious dogmas. Just compare life under the medieval Roman Catholic Church or under the modern Taliban and you must admit this truth.
    I must not admit anything like this; now I know you are crazy for suggesting it. I agree it would be better if we all lived by the one truth and we all lived by the commands which God has given us and summed up by Jesus. As I have said before, if everyone did this, the world would be a much better place. God would not have to do what He has promised to do in order to restore the earth to its former glory. God has told us beforehand what would happen and what to expect. We can see it happening all around us and yet you will not accept this as a proof of a prophecy being fulfilled.

    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    It is not Rose who attributes moral abominations to God. IT IS THE BIBLE that says those things about him.
    But you are not understanding any wisdom in what God does and merely citing a story without assigning who is to blame in the first case. We live by God's standards or else live by man's standards. In both cases there are consequences; take your pick.

    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    That's a very good suggestion. I can see how you might think that we are "skewed" towards the problems in the Bible. But you must not forget that I spent over a decade proclaim the wonders of God's Word and the glory of the Gospel. So now I'm just balancing the record.
    I do not think you are balancing the Book correctly now or that you ever did. You would not have believed in the Trinity had you reasoned it out correctly in the first place. Think for yourself in that regard. Your problem remains with you, until you balance scripture correctly.

    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    But let me follow your advice. You want me to consider "all the promises of God and the message of salvation and the eternal life that God is offering." That's the problem. His "promises" are all for the "sweet bye and bye" - an imaginary future. Is there any reason I should believe those promises?
    The future is imaginary in that it has not happened and can physically be seen; hence this is what hope is about. Rom 8:24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
    God's promises to Abraham have not failed, Abraham has yet to recieve his inheritance. I know Abraham will live in the future to recieve his inheritance. God has given lots of evidence to show that God has been true to His word. Unfortunately, you refute by your intellect, all the evidence and so there is no common ground on which to build. You should believe the promises for what else can your hopes be founded on? The disciples came to this conclusion;"whoelse can we follow, thou (Jesus) hast the words of eternal life".

    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    If God refuses to answer any prayer in this life why should I believe that he would hold good to those promises? It's all just fantasy - you believe it because it's in the book. You have not given me any reason I should think those promises are true.
    Sadly, your refute any evidence. You refute all the prophecies relating to the first coming of Jesus. It is impossible for you to accept what I or others put before you as evidence. You fail to reason properly and all the while and you think your reasoning is correct and you are not fallible. If you are fallible, I can only suggest you examine the evidence I and others have put before you until you can accept the other side of the argument and possibly build from there. This is the problem with most Christian religions. Your acceptance of the Trinity was one of them and that has serioulsly affected your not seeing the truth of the Bible. You had based your beliefs on something that was not true. The resaon for me starting on this forum was to expose the lies. You only see the evidence presented as statements to be intellectually challenged. I agree to being challenged, it does me good, but for you not to acknowledge the obvious becomes tedious. I would become insane sooner, if I keep going round in the same circles; so I have to stop at some point.

    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    And worse, the whole concept of God presented in the Bible is obviously false because there is no "God" who goes about doing things or intervening in human affairs. The proof is obvious. Suppose I knew that the Haitian earthquake would kill 200,000 people and I had the ability to warn them but did not. I would be a MORAL MONSTER if I failed to warn them. Therefore, the God of the Bible is either a moral monster or he does not exist.
    You are doing it again; you are asserting untruths. Only to you is it "obviously false".
    You want to blame God for people living in places where man has known the regions to be unsafe. I would not worry about the innocent, who God has the power to save and even give a second chance to in the kingdom of God on the millennium reign of Christ. Do not limit God's power and mercy to do this. Start blaming those who knew and failed to alert the people who lived in ignorance. Blame the people who knew and yet failed to move and decided to take the risk. If you live in a flood plane, do not blame anyone else if it rains heavy and you get flooded. God brings rain on the rightheous and the unjust. We all live with time and chance. Just start blaming man more and stop blaming God.

    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    It is irrational because God would know that an intelligent and careful reading of the Bible gives any reasonable person good reason to reject it.
    God gives lots of evidence to accept it. There is nothing irrational about what God has done, only your irrational thinking. How is it, the wisest of people fail to understand the simplicity of God's message? You are in the class of ;"ever learning, but never coming to a knowledge of the truth" (2 Tim 3:7)

    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    And worse, even if the Bible could be trusted, it would still be irrational to base a person's eternal fate upon their fallible intellectual opinion about a book.
    The Bible can be trusted. You have the problem. You are full of "fallible intellectual opinion" and missing the truth contained in the Bible. I would like to help you to see the truth, which is why I am keeping up this conversation. Your condemnation of the truth presented to you does not help your case in saying; "I am searching for truth". You throw the baby out with the bathwater and wonder where the the baby is.

    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    You seem to be changing the rules. What determines a person's eternal fate? Is it belief in Jesus or following rules or being a good person or having my heart right with God? Or what?
    I am not changing the rules. The quote from Micah was long before Jesus was in the earth demonstrating God's love to us. I can walk in spirit with Jesus the same as I can walk with God in the spirit. If your heart is right with God, rules do not need to be given. Correct behaviour should be automatic and if not, we still stand to be corrected by God. We accept correction from God as a child accepts correction from its Father. By Jesus only giving two commandments which we can easily keep in our heads, these two commandments should control everything we do. I leave it to God to know who are His.


    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    As for the concept that there is no remission of sin without the shedding of blood. That's what primitive people all over the planet have believed, long before Judaism or Christianity evolved. Primitive people have always been into bloody sacrifices. Most if not every doctrine in the NT can be found in the mystery religions that predated it. Read the book Mystery Religions by S. Angus for a good introduction to these facts.
    I do not care for what other people ("primitives" is your definition) believed in this connection. It does not alter the message contained in God's word. You show your knowledge of other works, but have failed to understand the Bible. Until you begin to understand; your problem remains. If by our chatting you understand one little bit, my time might not have been wasted. It is not to gain any victory I say this; it is so you can begin to understand and find the truth that leads to life, which God has on offer.

    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    I did not "ignore" that God was "merciful" to David. The problem is that God was inconsistent and unjust. He was "merciful" to the guilty (David) and unjust to the innocent child he chose to slay to "punish" David. That seems like very bad morals to me. God set up a law with supposed "consequences" and then arbitrarily violates his own law and imposes a death penalty on an innocent child.
    On the surface, it does look hard and cruel, but you cannot say; God is not able to give that child another chance in the kingdom to come. We do not know what the future holds where God has not revealed a matter to us. God might well have it in His plan to raise that infant child and continue its nuture in the Kingdom of God during the millennium reign of Christ. Who can say, whether or not the spirit of that young child was not kept in the hands of God, just as Jesus commended his own spirit into the hands of God (his Father) when about to die on the tree. When I think of what God can do, I do not put up the obstacle of the death of one (innocent) child (or thousands) for not believing God is just and is merciful.

    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    So only "good people" get saved, eh? Why then do they need salvation if they are already "gems" that God finds?
    The gems are those who have proved themselves worthy of saving. Jesus came to save sinners. Everyone worth saving has to recognize that fact first of all. God does not save just "good" people. Many good people reject God. Why should God save those who reject him? It is not good for those who are saved to mix with people in the kingdom, who would carry on rejecting Him. It is a nonsensical ideal and will not happen. Hence the sorting of the sheep from the goats, and the wheat from the tares etc. There will be a separation at death or in the judgement to follow. Not everyone will make it to the Kingdom of God on earth.

    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    Again, your doctrine is contrary to the dominant teachings of historical Christianity.
    Good! Historical Christianity has been wrong for centuries, I know how John the Baptist felt when he replied; "I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness"

    I trust my answers have been helpful.

    David
    Last edited by David M; 04-11-2012 at 06:17 AM.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    I think we have to balance the verses quoted and the phrases used. God is reconciling the world and you cannot ignore the fact that many will not be saved. God will be "all and in all" and it will not include those who are not saved. God will be all and in all after Christ hands back the kingdom at the end of the millennium age.
    Good morning David,

    I'm not really interested in debating Universalism. The simple fact is that many Bible-believing Christians have been Universalist, especially in the first five centuries before the religion was taken over by corrupt leaders who wanted to use the threat of hell to control the masses. It's pointless for us to debate this side-issue since we have much bigger fish to fry, such as why any rational person would believe the Bible given that it contains errors, contradictions, and moral abominations attributed to God.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    I don't have to research history of Christianity to find out the truth in the Bible. Works of men, while they can be true and instructional can be full of men's thoughts and can be fiction. I only compare men's statements with what the Bible says. I make allowance for errors introduced by incorrect translation and bias of the translators. Errors are not a barrier to understanding all that is true in the Bible. Errors can be seen for what they are.
    You need to research the history of Christianity to understand how other Bible-believers have understood the Bible. If you don't do this, you may come to all sorts of conclusions that serious students of the Bible have shown to be erroneous. The fact that you adhere to a particular version of the religion (SDA) that was invented by humans many centuries after Christianity was founded indicates that you are not really following "what the Bible teaches" but rather what you have been told the Bible teaches.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    You didn't answer my question. Why would God use the criterion of "belief" to determine the eternal fate of a person? That makes no sense at all. What does my opinion about which religious dogmas are true or false have to do with my eternal fate?
    I did not miss your question. I gave you a quotation in which the words "must believe" were part of the quoted verse. Through God's word we come to know God. He asks us to believe the things we cannot see physically here and now. I have not received His reward of eternal life, so I have to believe I will recieve it from him later. If I do not believe this after God has told me, why would I believe anything God has told me? I express my belief in God by my actions and my thoughts. It is not purely belief (per se) that is the only criterion.
    That's not an answer to my question. My question is "Why would God use belief as a criterion?" There is no logic to that criterion. Indeed, it is the same criterion that many false religions like Islam and Mormonism use. It seems to me to be fundamentally irrational to base a persons eternal fate upon such a criterion because there is no way for anyone to know which beliefs they are supposed to believe because by its very definition, there is no evidence for the things that we "cannot see."

    Your assertion that "God has told" you something has no evidential support. It is your purely subjective opinion. God didn't tell you anything. Your religion is based on a human interpretation of a book produced by other humans. Where is God in all that? How is a person supposed to discern between all the false religions and the one that is supposedly from God? You have never answered this question. How can God hold anyone responsible for not believing something they can't know with any certainty? It seems insane to me. That's why I am trying to find out if you have any kind of answer to this question.

    You say "Through God's word we come to know God." If that is true, then God has revealed himself to be an irrational moral monster. That's the only conclusion possible if one assumes that the Bible accurately represents God.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    Why would God accept or reject a person depending only on if they assert the Jesus is or is not the Son of God? I don't understand.
    I fail to see how you fail to understand the simple and plain teaching that comes from God. I think this is part of your problem. You have a great mind for study and reading other philosophies and theological studies and scientfic works and fail to understand the simplicity of what the Bible has to say and yet you take some things which you say are simple (that are in fact profound) and make a mockery of what the Bible teaches as a whole.
    Jesus is the only begotten Son of God who was born of God to reveal God to us as a Father (as God was to His Son). You cannot say you believe in God and not believe in Jesus (the Christ). Reject one, and you reject both. God rejects those who reject one or the other.
    You still don't get it. Your assertion depends upon the assumption that the Bible is an accurate record. But you have not established that in any way at all. Other religions, and other contrary versions of Christianity, make similar baseless assertions which you arbitrarily reject because they contradict your personal opinion. If there is no OBJECTIVE STANDARD to discern the truth of the Bible, then it is IRRATIONAL for God to use my opinion about the book as the criterion for my salvation.

    There is no way for me to know that Jesus is truly the Son of God. That's just your opinion based on what the book says. But why do you believe the book? You have never given any reason why a reasonable person should believe it. You just assert it like it's a self-evident truth. But it is not. THIS IS WHY IT MAKES NO SENSE for God to use my OPINION about a human book as the criterion for my eternal salvation.

    Most people who have lived in the history of the world had no knowledge of Jesus. What is there status? Does a person need to believe in Jesus or not? If yes, then what about the people who never heard? If no, then why should I care about it?

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    Mormons believe John 3:16. Are they saved?
    Mormons have their own book, so I do not hold with their teaching. I question their belief and their understanding of John 3:16 Belief is based on understanding. Who believes in baptism and commits their life to Christ? Who is the Son of God, if the Son is supposed to be God? Who believes Jesus was in the grave 3 full days and 3 full nights? The belief of John 3:16 implies you believe in God and His promises and you believe Jesus to be the Son of God (not God). People are confounding the truth and and asserting they have the truth; time will tell. Our understanding of some things is less important than following the example of the Lord Jesus, who said; I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. Let us follow the teaching of Jesus the best we can and put his teaching into practice and let God be merciful to us all.
    So it all comes down to personal interpretation? There are no objective standards? If a Mormon follows your methodology, they will have no way to free themselves from their delusions. How then do you know that you are right and they are wrong?

    By what standard do you reject the book of Mormon? Millions of people believe it is the revealed Word of God just like the Bible. What is the basis of your religion - personal opinion and private interpretation? Are there no objective standards by which to determine the truth of the Bible?

    Again - all of your claims are based on the assumption that the Bible is the Word of God? How am I supposed to know that is true? And why would God base his judgment upon my opinion and interpretation of a book produced by humans that is so confused that no one can agree about what it even means? Just look at all the different religions that the Bible has spawned. You are a member of a minor Christian sect that sets itself up as the Final Authority over the interpretation of the Bible and rejects major doctrines that are considered essential by most Christians (such as the Trinity). If the world of religion is this confused, why would a rational God use my opinion about the Bible as a criterion for anything?

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    You say that I must "understand the implications of what this verse means." That's the problem. The devil is in the details. Everyone has different "interpretations" of what that verse means. Calvinists say the "whosoever" applies only to the Elect and that the idea that anyone can choose to believe is a heresy. And on it goes - why would anyone believe that God would determine our eternal fate based upon our half-informed fallible opinions about the meaning of an ancient book written in Greek? It makes no sense to me at all.
    I have explained this already (in part) . You have to examine the motives of those who have brought about all the various translations with their bias and introduced errors. The truth remains with what the early Christian Church believed and what was taught by the apostles; not what men taught centuries later. Get back to properly understanding what the apostles taught and can be learned from their letters.
    You seem very inconsistent. When I suggested that you must research history to learn what early Christians believed, you responded by saying:
    "I don't have to research history of Christianity to find out the truth in the Bible."
    And now you say:
    "The truth remains with what the early Christian Church believed and what was taught by the apostles; not what men taught centuries later."
    I would suggest you follow your second statement and research the fact that the early church taught Universalism. Read this online book Universalism: The Prevailing Doctrine of the Christian Church during it's first five hundred years.

    If you are going to judge interpretations as true or false according to "motive" then you must judge your own interpretations by the same standard. Or what, do you set yourself up over all others as the only one with "pure" motives? What do you think motivated Bible-believing Christians to develop the doctrine of the Trinity? If you know anything about church history, then you know that it had absolutely NOTHING to do with pagan trinities - that is a false, unhistorical, and absurd assertion made by many anti-Trinitarian sects. Anyone who knows anything about the history of Christianity knows that the Trinity was an attempt to harmonize the teachings of the Bible.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    Your answer only amplifies the problem. It's all a matter of highly disputable INTERPRETATIONS made by fallible and ignorant people. Everybody has different opinions and nobody can have any certainty that their opinions are correct. It would be insane for God to judge people by such a standard.
    I have said elsewhere, in responding to all your assertions and questions; there is enough truth in the Bible to be found, even if we allow for errors of translation and bias. Most doctrines are plain and simple; e.g. when you die you go to the grave the same as animals. Forget the rest about immortal souls; the Bible does not teach this. Once you have been told, you have no excuse for carrying on believing falsehoods. Examine the Bible and compare what people say and decide for yourself what is the truth. God will judge you on your sincerity to do this.
    What do you mean by "enough truth to be found?" How is a person supposed to know that any of it's religious assertions are true? And there is nothing but disputations even amongst those who believe, so why would God use my opinion about ambiguous dogmas as the criterion for my eternal destiny? Is there any way for anyone to have any confidence that salvation would come through believing these weird doctrines about blood sacrifice of the son of God? It makes no sense for God to set up an arbitrary rule that says there is no remission of sin without the shedding of blood. That just looks like a typical idea from PRIMITIVE people who all went about sacrificing animals to appease their tribal war gods. How did that get in the Bible? Why would any rational person believe it?

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    Nobody is rejecting "God" - we are rejecting a demonstrably fallacious ancient book that makes false claims about God. There is a world of difference. And the true God would understand that it would be entirely irrational to condemn people to an eternal hell (or annihilation, or whatever) because of the opinion they held about such a book.
    You are rejecting God's word. Not part of it, but all of it. The Bible is only fallacious to you and you refuse to accept anyone else's explanation and accuse them of twisting the words. Your intellect is failing you. Jesus says; I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. It is about time you humbled yourself as Job had to do and admit you do not know and you are not rigtheous. You must look more intently for the obvious. As they say; you are not seeing the wood for the trees.
    I am not rejecting God's Word. I am rejecting YOUR ASSERTION that the Bible is God's Word. And I am rejecting it because of the incontrovertible evidence that it is not God's Word. Indeed, it is impossible that it could be God's Word because if we assume it is God's Word and God is not an idiot, then we must conclude that God designed it with errors, contradictions, and moral abominations to convince us that it is NOT his Word!

    Christians make a mockery of their assertion that the Bible is God's Word when they go about to "fix" the Bible and deny what it plainly states. If it really is his word, then you must accept it as given. When you try to fix it with absurd and irrational arguments, you make God look like a moron.

    Your assertion that my "intellect is failing" me is as absurd as your belief in a perfect Bible. If anything can be known with any certainty, it is that the Bible contains errors. Your denial of this fact makes you look extremely foolish.

    If my intellect had truly failed you would easily have shown me the error. But no, you merely make the empty assertion that your interpretation is the self-evident truth and anyone who fails to agree has had the truth "hidden" from them by God. That's NOT an "argument!" That is empty mindless assertion that ignores the mountain of evidence you have not been able to answer.

    I think it is time that you humbled yourself and quit thinking that your opinions are the very "Word of God." Try using reason for a change. Mere assertions that begin by assuming the truth of every word of the Bible are ridiculous in the extreme.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    So you advocate killing babies because they would have no one to care for them? Why then did Moses kill everyone except the 32,000 virgins? Obviously, they had a "use" for those women. To hell with rest.
    I do not advocate any such thing. I am not wise to order any such thing. I know that if God gave the instruction, there has to be a reason and I have given reasons and you reject them and the problem remains with you. I can see the justice of God in His punishment of reprobate people and I do not limit His power to save the innocent. You prove to me for example, that babies being brought up in a reprobate society will not follow the practice of that society when they are adults. Proof that by teaching people (which is what God has done by the way), those people will accept the teaching and change. If God's own chosen race did not obey His teaching, what chance is their of reprobates (people who have rejected God and practice child sacrifices for example) accepting the teaching? We have so much evil in the world and much evil has been done in the name of religion. You do not have to accuse God for all the evil that is of man's making.
    There is no such thing as a "reprobate society." That's a fundamental error propagated by the Bible which has God going about punishing whole nations because of the actions of a few. For example, God inflicted all Israel with a three year famine because of something the FORMER king Saul did! That's INSANE and that is what the Bible says God did.

    If we use the Bible to discern the character of God, we have no choice but to conclude that he chose to act like a Bronze age tribal war god. If you disagree, then you better "check your motives" because it is obvious that you are contradicting your belief that the Bible is the Word of God.

    Think about this. God is God! He chose to act like he was an irrational, brutal, Bronze age tribal war god. Why did he do that when he knew that he was giving intelligent people no option but to reject him as the standard of morality or goodness?

    And again, you are falsely representing what I have written. I have NEVER "accused God for all the evil that is of man's making." Please stop repeating that falsehood. It's getting tedious. You know I never said that. Everything I have written has focused on the moral problems with God's own free choices.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    God could have driven those people out of the land any way he wanted to. He didn't have to order his people to become murderous genocidal maniacs. Have you no concept of what murdering thousands of women and children would do to your soul? It would totally brutalize you! Why would God freely choose to corrupt his people like that? He had no limit to the choices he could have made. He freely CHOSE violence. And oddly enough, it seems to be his "modus operandi." Why is God so enamored with VIOLENCE????
    And if God had driven them out what then? Do you expect God to have built a wall and say; stay out? It was in man's nature to dominate and subdue other nations. The people driven out would later come back like cancer. The Israelites failed to keep God instruction to the letter and that brought about serious consequences; the like of which we are discussing. In fact with the Israelites disobeying God, they proved that God would have been correct if they had carried out His instruction to the letter. Idolatry as it was practiced in those times was like a cancer. It infiltrated and it corrupted. There is nothing you and Rose can say, defending the indefensible, that makes your arguments stand up.
    Ha! You are exactly right. It was in MAN'S NATURE to dominate and subdue other nations. That's why the Bible's portrayal of God makes him look like a typical brutal Bronze age tribal war god. He went about ordering genocide left and right.

    That fact that you can't imagine that God had any choice but to order his people to become genocidal murders demonstrates how your religious dogmas have shut down your mind. There are ten thousand alternatives, but you can't think of one because if you did, then it would show that the actions of God were not nearly as good as they could have been.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    The world is infinitely better when humans rule with no religious dogmas. Just compare life under the medieval Roman Catholic Church or under the modern Taliban and you must admit this truth.
    I must not admit anything like this; now I know you are crazy for suggesting it. I agree it would be better if we all lived by the one truth and we all lived by the commands which God has given us and summed up by Jesus. As I have said before, if everyone did this, the world would be a much better place. God would not have to do what He has promised to do in order to restore the earth to its former glory. God has told us beforehand what would happen and what to expect. We can see it happening all around us and yet you will not accept this as a proof of a prophecy being fulfilled.
    Well, in this case you see black where I see white. If you can't see and admit the blatantly obvious fact that life now in the USA is infinitely better than life anywhere just a hundred years ago, then you are blind and I have no hope of opening your eyes. That's something you need to choose to do yourself.

    And as for "fulfilling prophecy" - what a joke! Christians have always believed that they lived in the worst of times and have taken that as proof that the end was nigh. Martin Luther thought it was the end because of the evils of the Roman Catholic Church ... five hundred years ago!

    You really crack me up man.

    Well, this post is too long, so I'll continue my answers in a second post.

    All the best,

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

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  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    It is not Rose who attributes moral abominations to God. IT IS THE BIBLE that says those things about him.
    But you are not understanding any wisdom in what God does and merely citing a story without assigning who is to blame in the first case. We live by God's standards or else live by man's standards. In both cases there are consequences; take your pick.
    Sorry, but that does not justify the Omnipotent God freely choosing to command his people to chop up mothers and babies.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    That's a very good suggestion. I can see how you might think that we are "skewed" towards the problems in the Bible. But you must not forget that I spent over a decade proclaim the wonders of God's Word and the glory of the Gospel. So now I'm just balancing the record.
    I do not think you are balancing the Book correctly now or that you ever did. You would not have believed in the Trinity had you reasoned it out correctly in the first place. Think for yourself in that regard. Your problem remains with you, until you balance scripture correctly.
    Ha! That's truly hilarious. You are lifting up your own minor sect and judging all Trinitarian Christians as if they all failed to "reason correctly" about anything in the Bible! What a joke.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    But let me follow your advice. You want me to consider "all the promises of God and the message of salvation and the eternal life that God is offering." That's the problem. His "promises" are all for the "sweet bye and bye" - an imaginary future. Is there any reason I should believe those promises?
    The future is imaginary in that it has not happened and can physically be seen; hence this is what hope is about. Rom 8:24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
    God's promises to Abraham have not failed, Abraham has yet to recieve his inheritance. I know Abraham will live in the future to recieve his inheritance. God has given lots of evidence to show that God has been true to His word. Unfortunately, you refute by your intellect, all the evidence and so there is no common ground on which to build. You should believe the promises for what else can your hopes be founded on? The disciples came to this conclusion;"whoelse can we follow, thou (Jesus) hast the words of eternal life".
    You display your ignorance of the Bible which explicitly states that all the promises given to Abraham were fulfilled:
    Joshua 21:43 And the LORD gave unto Israel all the land which he sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein. 44 And the LORD gave them rest round about, according to all that he sware unto their fathers: and there stood not a man of all their enemies before them; the LORD delivered all their enemies into their hand. 45 There failed not ought of any good thing which the LORD had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass.
    You say I "refute with my intellect" - I'm glad you noticed that! I wish you would try to follow suit rather than merely rejecting things because they contradict your religious dogmas. Try using your intellect.

    But you missed my point. The "promises" are all illusory. They are mere words. You have never given me one reason I should believe they are true.
    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    If God refuses to answer any prayer in this life why should I believe that he would hold good to those promises? It's all just fantasy - you believe it because it's in the book. You have not given me any reason I should think those promises are true.
    Sadly, your refute any evidence. You refute all the prophecies relating to the first coming of Jesus. It is impossible for you to accept what I or others put before you as evidence. You fail to reason properly and all the while and you think your reasoning is correct and you are not fallible. If you are fallible, I can only suggest you examine the evidence I and others have put before you until you can accept the other side of the argument and possibly build from there. This is the problem with most Christian religions. Your acceptance of the Trinity was one of them and that has serioulsly affected your not seeing the truth of the Bible. You had based your beliefs on something that was not true. The resaon for me starting on this forum was to expose the lies. You only see the evidence presented as statements to be intellectually challenged. I agree to being challenged, it does me good, but for you not to acknowledge the obvious becomes tedious. I would become insane sooner, if I keep going round in the same circles; so I have to stop at some point.
    The word "refute" means to "prove something false." So I agree, I have refuted all the "evidence" you have presented. But really, you have not presented any evidence concerning the so-called "first coming" of Christ so I don't know why you made that comment.

    Yes, it is impossible for me to receive the baseless assertions that you call "evidence" because baseless assertions are NOT evidence! Go figure ...

    Name one thing that was "obvious" that I failed to acknowledge.

    We are not going in circles. I have successfully REFUTED your arguments. If you think we are going in circles it is because you FAILED to refute my refutations.

    If you don't want to go in circles, then we should choose one point and dig down to resolution. Like we did with the Babylon prophecy. Though we did not come to agreement about whether or not it was a failed prophecy, we did come to see that it is too ambiguous to be used as proof of the Bible. I think that's very significant progress. And the fact remains that you have not even attempted to present any other evidence of fulfilled prophecy, yet you asserted that I had "refuted all the prophecies of the first coming of Jesus." That doesn't make any sense at all.

    I think you are just frustrated by the fact that you cannot answer the questions I have posed.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    And worse, the whole concept of God presented in the Bible is obviously false because there is no "God" who goes about doing things or intervening in human affairs. The proof is obvious. Suppose I knew that the Haitian earthquake would kill 200,000 people and I had the ability to warn them but did not. I would be a MORAL MONSTER if I failed to warn them. Therefore, the God of the Bible is either a moral monster or he does not exist.
    You are doing it again; you are asserting untruths. Only to you is it "obviously false".
    You want to blame God for people living in places where man has known the regions to be unsafe. I would not worry about the innocent, who God has the power to save and even give a second chance to in the kingdom of God on the millennium reign of Christ. Do not limit God's power and mercy to do this. Start blaming those who knew and failed to alert the people who lived in ignorance. Blame the people who knew and yet failed to move and decided to take the risk. If you live in a flood plane, do not blame anyone else if it rains heavy and you get flooded. God brings rain on the rightheous and the unjust. We all live with time and chance. Just start blaming man more and stop blaming God.
    Your response is a non sequitur. Do you dispute my assertion that if I had knowledge of an earthquake or flood and failed to alert the residents, I would be a moral monster for failing to warn them? If not, then why doesn't God warn people just like an GOOD HUMAN would do? Why does God act as if he doesn't care? This is why Theism is obviously false. If you attribute human characteristics like love and caring to God, then you must explain why he shows no love or care.

    You would "blame" humans if they acted like God and let people needlessly suffer and die when you could have saved them. So why the double standard? Why are humans better than God?

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    It is irrational because God would know that an intelligent and careful reading of the Bible gives any reasonable person good reason to reject it.
    God gives lots of evidence to accept it. There is nothing irrational about what God has done, only your irrational thinking. How is it, the wisest of people fail to understand the simplicity of God's message? You are in the class of ;"ever learning, but never coming to a knowledge of the truth" (2 Tim 3:7)
    Ha! More EMPTY ASSERTION! If God gave evidence, why can't you present it to me?

    This is what blows my mind. You have utterly failed to present any verifiable evidence supporting your assertions, yet you feel justified in slandering me by applying that verse to me.

    You Christians really need to learn how to use your MINDS and to learn about real MORALITY. It is a SIN, both intellectually and spiritually, for you to accuse me using that verse.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    And worse, even if the Bible could be trusted, it would still be irrational to base a person's eternal fate upon their fallible intellectual opinion about a book.
    The Bible can be trusted. You have the problem. You are full of "fallible intellectual opinion" and missing the truth contained in the Bible. I would like to help you to see the truth, which is why I am keeping up this conversation. Your condemnation of the truth presented to you does not help your case in saying; "I am searching for truth". You throw the baby out with the bathwater and wonder where the the baby is.
    Have you presented any EVIDENCE that the Bible can be trusted? Nope. Just more empty assertions.

    I am glad you are continuing in the conversation. But I am mystified by your apparent inability to understand what it means to "present evidence." You have not been presenting any evidence in this long long long post. You merely presented one unsupported assertion after another.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    I do not care for what other people ("primitives" is your definition) believed in this connection. It does not alter the message contained in God's word. You show your knowledge of other works, but have failed to understand the Bible. Until you begin to understand; your problem remains. If by our chatting you understand one little bit, my time might not have been wasted. It is not to gain any victory I say this; it is so you can begin to understand and find the truth that leads to life, which God has on offer.
    You should care, because you are believing the religion of those primitives.

    I think I am seeing the problem. You seem to think that you are presenting "evidence" when in fact you are just presenting your own opinions.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    On the surface, it does look hard and cruel, but you cannot say; God is not able to give that child another chance in the kingdom to come. We do not know what the future holds where God has not revealed a matter to us. God might well have it in His plan to raise that infant child and continue its nuture in the Kingdom of God during the millennium reign of Christ. Who can say, whether or not the spirit of that young child was not kept in the hands of God, just as Jesus commended his own spirit into the hands of God (his Father) when about to die on the tree. When I think of what God can do, I do not put up the obstacle of the death of one (innocent) child (or thousands) for not believing God is just and is merciful.
    The problem is not so much that it was "hard and cruel" - the problem is that it was UNJUST and WRONG. It was wrong on multiple counts, according to the very standards taught in the Bible itself.

    Is appears that a person must reject all rationality and morality to believe the Bible. You can't admit the wickedness of things like genocide and bashing babies heads open and passing wives around like party treats and distributing 32,000 virgins to the soldiers that slaughtered their families. To me, that proves that fundamentalist religion corrupts both the minds and the morals of anyone who adheres to it.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    Good! Historical Christianity has been wrong for centuries, I know how John the Baptist felt when he replied; "I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness"
    SPOKEN LIKE A TRUE MORMON!

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    I trust my answers have been helpful.

    David
    Yes, they have been very helpful. You have confirmed my conclusion that Christianity is utterly indefensible and false and should be rejected by all rational people.

    I hope the conversation continues.

    Great chatting!

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

    Check out my blog site

  6. #16
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    Good morning Richard

    We have gone right off the topic of this thread.

    I do not intend to respond to every question and assertion you have made in your reply to my earlier post otherwise we shall fill up cyberspace and still end up being diametrically opposed on practically everything to do with the message of the Bible. I might pick up on some of the questions you have asked in your last post to me, but I want to break the cycle we have got into.

    I want to get back to the reason I began to contribute on this forum, which is to put forward my understanding of what God is saying to us through His inspired word. It does not matter that you disagree with the premise I have just stated. I am not going to get into repeated arguments dealing with matters we have already discussed and have disagreed on. I am not going to get involved with discussions on Evolution or trying to prove God exists. I am not going to get involved with the history and the development of Christianity or any other religion, as it does not help get to the truth of the Bible message. The message revealed to the prophets which became the ancient scriptures will not have changed. It is from the ancient scriptures we should begin, but with the earliest of documents not available to us, we have to deal with the Bible as it has been handed down and we have to deal with errors introduced and any bias of the translators. It is important the errors are seen for what they are and taken into account in any discussions before deriving the best coherent message of the Bible.

    I agree with your comments that we all think we have the correct interpretation and think everyone else wrong. The aim for me is to get all the pieces of the Bible correctly fitted together. If that is the aim of others, then we can help one another get to a complete and true understanding of God’s message.

    We can use the analogy of a jigsaw puzzle. The final picture is complete when all the pieces are correctly placed. Until then, only part of the picture emerges as the pieces fit together. If pieces are incorrectly positioned they can form a small picture which is not intended. The final picture will never be complete as long as there are pieces out of place. Only when all the pieces are in their correct place, will the picture (message) be complete and coherent. Any time a piece is put in the wrong place the coherency of the jigsaw is lost. The coherency of the Bible is important. Without coherency, truth cannot be established. The more pieces we have correctly placed, the more coherence we have. If a piece fits and the picture it forms is not correct, then it has to be removed and repositioned until the correct place for the piece is found.

    It does not matter whether it is a prophecy or a promise or a doctrine, we can all misplace pieces that make up those parts of the complete picture. The more pieces that are placed correctly, the easier it becomes to fit the remaining pieces that we have struggled to find a place for. We begin a jigsaw believing we have all the pieces in the box to complete the puzzle. When all the pieces have been correctly placed, we shall know if we are missing any piece.

    I shall say no more at this point for fear that anything else I say will get challenged and refuted and that is not the purpose of this message. I have tried to stay on topic in other threads and although it is very easy to go down side trails, I shall try harder in future to prevent this happening.
    If you want to find the coherent message in God’s word, I look forward to putting the pieces of the puzzle together with you. However, If you argue about the validity of each piece in the box belonging to the puzzle, there is no basis on which to piece the puzzle together.

    I look forward to piecing the puzzle together with anyone who wants to help.


    David

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    Good morning Richard

    We have gone right off the topic of this thread.

    I do not intend to respond to every question and assertion you have made in your reply to my earlier post otherwise we shall fill up cyberspace and still end up being diametrically opposed on practically everything to do with the message of the Bible. I might pick up on some of the questions you have asked in your last post to me, but I want to break the cycle we have got into.

    I want to get back to the reason I began to contribute on this forum, which is to put forward my understanding of what God is saying to us through His inspired word. It does not matter that you disagree with the premise I have just stated. I am not going to get into repeated arguments dealing with matters we have already discussed and have disagreed on. I am not going to get involved with discussions on Evolution or trying to prove God exists. I am not going to get involved with the history and the development of Christianity or any other religion, as it does not help get to the truth of the Bible message. The message revealed to the prophets which became the ancient scriptures will not have changed. It is from the ancient scriptures we should begin, but with the earliest of documents not available to us, we have to deal with the Bible as it has been handed down and we have to deal with errors introduced and any bias of the translators. It is important the errors are seen for what they are and taken into account in any discussions before deriving the best coherent message of the Bible.

    I agree with your comments that we all think we have the correct interpretation and think everyone else wrong. The aim for me is to get all the pieces of the Bible correctly fitted together. If that is the aim of others, then we can help one another get to a complete and true understanding of God’s message.

    We can use the analogy of a jigsaw puzzle. The final picture is complete when all the pieces are correctly placed. Until then, only part of the picture emerges as the pieces fit together. If pieces are incorrectly positioned they can form a small picture which is not intended. The final picture will never be complete as long as there are pieces out of place. Only when all the pieces are in their correct place, will the picture (message) be complete and coherent. Any time a piece is put in the wrong place the coherency of the jigsaw is lost. The coherency of the Bible is important. Without coherency, truth cannot be established. The more pieces we have correctly placed, the more coherence we have. If a piece fits and the picture it forms is not correct, then it has to be removed and repositioned until the correct place for the piece is found.

    It does not matter whether it is a prophecy or a promise or a doctrine, we can all misplace pieces that make up those parts of the complete picture. The more pieces that are placed correctly, the easier it becomes to fit the remaining pieces that we have struggled to find a place for. We begin a jigsaw believing we have all the pieces in the box to complete the puzzle. When all the pieces have been correctly placed, we shall know if we are missing any piece.

    I shall say no more at this point for fear that anything else I say will get challenged and refuted and that is not the purpose of this message. I have tried to stay on topic in other threads and although it is very easy to go down side trails, I shall try harder in future to prevent this happening.
    If you want to find the coherent message in God’s word, I look forward to putting the pieces of the puzzle together with you. However, If you argue about the validity of each piece in the box belonging to the puzzle, there is no basis on which to piece the puzzle together.

    I look forward to piecing the puzzle together with anyone who wants to help.


    David
    Hey there David,

    Yes, we digressed quite a bit from the original topic of this thread. But that's OK - we learned a lot about each other's positions on many things.

    I agree that the Bible is rather like a jigsaw puzzle and that the "more pieces that are placed correctly, the easier it becomes to fit the remaining pieces that we have struggled to find a place for." Indeed, it is the Futurist rejection of the main and plain parts that fit together with strong mutual confirmation to form a coherent "Big Picture" that creates most of the confusion about the Bible. I've laid out the elements of the Big Picture many times on this forum, but Futurists always reject what the Bible plainly states. I think it would be very interesting if you wanted to pursue this topic. Here is my overview from this thread. You can follow it up there if you are so inclined. It begins with the main and plain things that all Christians agree upon. It proves that Preterism is Biblical and Futurism is not.
    1) Jesus Christ is the Messiah prophesied in the OT

    2) John the Baptist was the forerunner of Christ prophesied in Malachi 3 & 4. He fulfilled the prophecies of the "Elijah" who was to come as a forerunner of Christ and herald of the great and terrible Day of the Lord. The first century immanence of the great Day of the Lord is confirmed by Peter in Acts 2.

    3) John the Baptist warned the apostates of Israel of the wrath to come upon them. He called them a "generation of vipers." He emphasized that the wrath would happen very soon, saying the "axe is laid to the root."

    4) Christ also called them a "generation of vipers" when he warned them that they would be accountable for all the blood shed upon the earth/land. He said the judgment would happen in "this generation" meaning the generation alive at the time he spoke. History confirms his prophecies, which also are tied in with Daniel's prophecies that spoke of both the coming of Christ and the destruction of the Temple in the same context.

    5) Paul confirmed that the "wrath to come" was upon the Jews of the first century and spoke of them killing the prophets and "filling up" their sins just as Christ had spoken in Matt 23.

    6) The plain and literal meaning of all the time texts fit perfectly with all the mutually confirming verses above. Furthermore, there are many different kinds of times texts, and they all agree with this interpretation. I'm talking about "events which must shortly come to pass" and "for the time is at hand" and "this generation will not pass till all is fulfilled" and "I am coming quickly" and "The judge is at the door" and "it is the last hour" and so on and so forth. This means that merely explaining away each individual time text (as if they were independent of each other) by suggesting "possible alternatives" is insufficient. You need to show that there is a massive complex of mutually confirming verses that support your alternate (non-literal) interpretation of the time texts and that also form a Big Picture of equal or greater clarity than the "Big Picture" we see in the Preterist interpretation.

    7) The elements of Revelation naturally cohere with everything stated above. The time texts fit perfectly - they are confirmed by all the other time texts of the NT and so are extremely compelling. The sequence of the Seals follows and confirms the sequence of events in the Olivet Discourse. The prophecy against Jerusalem in Matt 23 (blood of the prophets) is perfectly fulfilled in the prophecy against Mystery Babylon in Rev 18:24.

    And on it goes. This is the "Big Picture" formed by many mutually confirming verses.

    If you want to pursue the Big Picture of what the Bible REALLY teaches, you could respond to the post I just quoted or we could start a new thread.

    All the best,

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

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  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post

    I agree with your comments that we all think we have the correct interpretation and think everyone else wrong. The aim for me is to get all the pieces of the Bible correctly fitted together. If that is the aim of others, then we can help one another get to a complete and true understanding of God’s message.
    Hi David,

    Trying to get all the pieces of the Bible to fit together and make sense is precisely how I got to where I am today. I began an intense study of Revelation which lead me into the Old Testament for understanding, which then opened up a can of worms trying to reconcile all the errors, contradictions and male bias I found.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    We can use the analogy of a jigsaw puzzle. The final picture is complete when all the pieces are correctly placed. Until then, only part of the picture emerges as the pieces fit together. If pieces are incorrectly positioned they can form a small picture which is not intended. The final picture will never be complete as long as there are pieces out of place. Only when all the pieces are in their correct place, will the picture (message) be complete and coherent. Any time a piece is put in the wrong place the coherency of the jigsaw is lost. The coherency of the Bible is important. Without coherency, truth cannot be established. The more pieces we have correctly placed, the more coherence we have. If a piece fits and the picture it forms is not correct, then it has to be removed and repositioned until the correct place for the piece is found.

    It does not matter whether it is a prophecy or a promise or a doctrine, we can all misplace pieces that make up those parts of the complete picture. The more pieces that are placed correctly, the easier it becomes to fit the remaining pieces that we have struggled to find a place for. We begin a jigsaw believing we have all the pieces in the box to complete the puzzle. When all the pieces have been correctly placed, we shall know if we are missing any piece.
    The coherency of the Bible is extremely important and it is something that is sorely lacking, the more I tried to make the pieces fit the more the validity of the Bible fell apart ultimately coming to the point where I could no longer reconcile the god it promoted with my sense of goodness.


    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    I shall say no more at this point for fear that anything else I say will get challenged and refuted and that is not the purpose of this message. I have tried to stay on topic in other threads and although it is very easy to go down side trails, I shall try harder in future to prevent this happening.
    If you want to find the coherent message in God’s word, I look forward to putting the pieces of the puzzle together with you. However, If you argue about the validity of each piece in the box belonging to the puzzle, there is no basis on which to piece the puzzle together.

    I look forward to piecing the puzzle together with anyone who wants to help.


    David
    One can never come to the truth by merely accepting on faith what the Bible says. Each piece must be deemed valid or else the conclusion one comes to will not hold up.

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

    To know oneself is to know the universe...


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

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  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    Hey there David,

    If you want to pursue the Big Picture of what the Bible REALLY teaches, you could respond to the post I just quoted or we could start a new thread.

    All the best,

    Richard
    Good morning Richard

    Thanks for the links, I have read your post and some of the replies.

    I think we have much to carry on discussing and we can look at fulfilment of prophecies which fall into 4 periods;

    1. From Creation to the first coming of Jesus
    2. Between Jesus’s birth and AD70
    3. Post AD70 to now
    4. From now until when Jesus hands back the restored kingdom to God

    Maybe we identify all the prophecies that fall into those four time periods. We should end up having a more meaningful discussion displaying less antagonism.

    I have read your article and the discussion you were having at that time and that is the type of discussion we need to get back. I do not propose we continue discussing these things in this thread and maybe there are threads that can be continued.

    Here are some of the subjects we can think about.

    1. Promises to Abraham which are not complete.
    2. When is the fulfilment of God’s promise; 'But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD'?
    3. When will the Jews recognize Christ and the veil removed?
    4. When is the 'time of the Gentiles' fulfilled?
    5. When is the period of 'Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth' to take place?
    6. When will Gog and Magog come to war against Israel?
    7. When will the Mount of Olives split in two?
    8. When is the fulfilment of Zechariah chapter 14?
    9. When was the fulfilment of Ezekiel chapter 38?
    10. When is the fulfilment of Revelation chapter 21?

    The list above is not extensive and is the first 10 subjects to come straight from my head as I write. All 10 items listed must fall into one of the 4 time periods.

    I think there is enough here to continue discussions for a while.

    All the best.

    David

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rose View Post
    Hi David,

    Trying to get all the pieces of the Bible to fit together and make sense is precisely how I got to where I am today. I began an intense study of Revelation which lead me into the Old Testament for understanding, which then opened up a can of worms trying to reconcile all the errors, contradictions and male bias I found.

    The coherency of the Bible is extremely important and it is something that is sorely lacking, the more I tried to make the pieces fit the more the validity of the Bible fell apart ultimately coming to the point where I could no longer reconcile the god it promoted with my sense of goodness.

    One can never come to the truth by merely accepting on faith what the Bible says. Each piece must be deemed valid or else the conclusion one comes to will not hold up.

    All the best,
    Rose
    Hello Rose

    Starting with the Book of Revelation is not the best place to begin to understand the Bible. Revelation is not for beginners and while I do not consider myself a beginner, I do not claim to know all about the fulfilment of the prophecies and symbolism in Revelation. I am still working at it. I have faith that the symbolism used means something and that it is God's truth. My belief in this has come from understanding the parts of the Bible, I have seen come to pass and accept as true.

    If you see the Bible lacking coherency that is a problem you have to resolve. Just because you have not been able to reslove this up to now, does not mean that the Bible does not have a coherent message. I have found a lot of coherency and that is a contributory factor to why I believe the whole of the Bible. There are parts I do not fully understand. I do not let this negate everything else I understand to be true. This is why, I look for coherency in the difficult passages to understand. The Bible has enough coherency to assure me that this is a divinely inspired book; the coherent message penned over thousands of years could not have been the work of fiction by men.

    The story that is in the Bible has an ending. I see this ending as when Christ hands back a restored kingdom/earth to God. Beyond that time, we have no idea what God has in store, the Bible does not tell us. The period after the Bible record has finished is of eternal life in the kingdom which is upon this earth. This is God's promise and unless you can prove God is a liar (His Word to me proves true) this is a message of hope to mankind. Without God, we have no sure foundation for hope. If you believe in Evolution in which there is no God, what hope have you for yourself in the future. The hope of eternal life and the assurance of eternal life is based on the firm foundation that Jesus was raised from the dead. Without this belief, then any hope of a future life is wishful thinking by man. A person can have no hope of a future life and that is OK; hope is a personal matter.

    If God can lie (and He has no reason to lie and it is not in His nature) then I would not trust God. I have to disbelieve some of the myths created by man's interpretation of God's word because they make God to be a liar and that is not the case. It behoves us to search out truth, and if we cannot find it straightaway, we should hold things in abeyance until we can. Putting all the terrible acts of war to one side, can you not attribute one good thing towards God? If you can find one, this is reason to find another and build from there. Jesus said; it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.. It is not God's good pleasure to punish men for their evil ways, but God has to be true to His word and will punish in accordance with what He has said He would do. If God did not punish evil people in this world, and it the evil people are not separated out before God's kingdom is established, I would be very worried for the future that God is promising. Evil does not feature in the kingdom that will exist after Christ hands over his kingdom. God has punished people in the past and we read the recorded accounts of the times He did. At present (and man blames God for not intervening) God is longsuffering and not punishing man. The day is coming when God will punish man again and God will punish man in a big way. The day is also coming when He will save those who want to be saved. It is a matter of whose side you want to be on when that happens.

    The big picture is that God will restore the earth to as it was before the fall of Adam and Eve. Life (eternal) will continue on this earth. The new age will have none of the evil of this present world. In that time to come, there will no cause to consider God anything other than good, of whom Jesus said; "there is only One who is good" Therefore, the severity of God as seen in the punishement brought about by God must be got into perspective. These horrible events serve as a lessons. More good can come from people learning the lessons of other people. If people choose not to learn the lesson and continue in their evil ways, it is not God who is to blame. You can only blame God for giving men and women free choice. Thank God for your "free choice". God has given you the choice to reject Him. God is big enough to take rejection. God has control.

    If you know someone who practices their religion which involves offering young children as sacrifices, is this something you condone? If you do not condone their actions, what do you do? Do you ask them to stop? What if they do not listen to you and continue? What if by their practice of child sacrifice, they bring others to do the same, what do you think of that? Not only do you want that person to stop, you now have others to whom you want to say "stop". What can you do, to stop these other people sacrificing children? What is your solution to this problem? What if you have explained to them why it is wrong and evil to do this and they still continue? You have taught them it is wrong, you have pleaded with them to stop and they will not change their ways, what can you do? Is it right that you let them continue to convert more people to do the same thing and therefore kill more children? What can you do to stop them? God has instructed you not to kill, but you feel like killing all these people for the evil they are committing and you are powerless to kill them all on your own. If you cannot stop them, who can? If you know that God is there and He can do it, would you not ask God to kill them? God can kill and that takes the onus off you and you are thereby obeying the instruction "do not to kill". Whereas you are powerless to do this on your own, you might consider getting a bunch of like-minded people together and saying; "let us kill these evil people and put a stop to this". But you would all be guilty of disobeying God's instruction not to kill. What then if God says to you; "on this occassion, I permit you to kill these people and you will be guiltless, because I have instructed you to do this in order that you can have your heart's desire to put an end to this child-killing practice", would you then do as God has allowed you?

    Please Rose, take the above paragraph and take time to respond to each and every question. I want to know your answers.

    All the best.

    David
    Last edited by David M; 04-13-2012 at 01:41 AM.

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