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  1. #16
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    And Again...

    What are you saying?!
    Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough
    You say that the "difference" is that the teachers you believe in are "real" whereas the others are "fakes". Great. I'd get the same answer from every member of every cult that has ever existed.

    Why in the world would you believe that the miracle stories are true? It's a lot easier to make up a story about someone walking on water than to actually do it. And we know such stories have often been made up. And worse, the Bible is filled with blatant mythology, like the story of creation. So logic says you should be skeptical. But you are not. Why is that? Do you also believe that Muhammad rode a horse to the moon? Do you believe that the Galactic Overlord Xenu flew all the souls to planet earth 75,000,000 years ago in a spaceship that looked exactly like a DC-8? Do you have any principles to discern truth from error?

    You are correct that I do not believe in the miracle stories of the Bible. And why not? For the same reason I don't believe in the miracle stories of the Quran and the Book of Mormon! There is no reason to believe them and good reasons to be skeptical. Simple as that. Why do you believe them? I doubt you can give a good reason that is logically consistent with your reasons for rejecting the mythology of other religions. It seems like you glory in gullibility and are highly skeptical about things that are scientifically well established. It seems upside down and backwards to me.


    Yes, the word used in that verse can refer to either moral or natural evil, so you can choose which meaning you want to believe applies in this case. Of course, it is the same word used in Gen 2:7 concerning the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, so the moral aspect weighs heavily. The context of the verse is all about how God alone is SOVEREIGN OVER ALL - it segues into the classic passage about how people are like CLAY in the hands of God the potter:
    Isaiah 45:5 I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: 6 That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. 7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. 8 Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the LORD have created it. 9 Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands? 10 Woe unto him that saith unto his father, What begettest thou? or to the woman, What hast thou brought forth?
    Paul quotes this passage in Romans 9, the most famous passage that speaks of GOD'S ABSOLUTE SOVEREIGNTY and how he creates evil people to use for his glory:
    Romans 9:11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth 12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. 13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. 14 ¶ What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. 15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. 17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. 18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. 19 ¶ Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? 20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? 21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? 22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: 23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,
    This is how God's sovereignty has been understood by many of the leading "wisdomkeepers" of the Christian tradition, so it's arrogant for you to simply dismiss it as "nonsense". Whatever you think of Christian tradition, the same people who have passed down the Bible have interpreted things differently than you.

    As an aside: This connection between Isaiah Chapter 45 and Bible Book 45 (Romans) is one of the more striking examples of the Isaiah Bible Correlation.

    Your comments are a perfect example of why no one could ever hope to find "truth" in the Bible. The conclusions depend upon the presuppositions and there is no way for anyone to test which is right and who is wrong. You are committed to your doctrine that God only does things that are "good" so you will find a way to force the words of the Bible to fit that doctrine. Others are committed to the doctrine that God is absolutely sovereign, and so they will force the words of the Bible to fit that doctrine. The words of the Bible are nothing but putty in the hands of such interpreters who BEGIN with a doctrine that they are committed to.

    It's also interesting that you simply assume that the idea of "free will" is meaningful and relevant. Well, here's a news flash: philosophers have been twisting around that pole for two thousand years and they've never come to any consensus, so it is absurd for you to simply assert that you have all the answers that the greatest minds in history have failed to find.


    You comment makes no sense to me. If you admit that "all things were credited to GOD" (which is the root of the idea of God's absolute sovereignty) why do you now deny that he created moral evil? My comment that "You diminish God when you say that anything could ORIGINATE outside of him" stands. Merely shouting at me and throwing my words back in my face is not a meaningful response.

    I am not the one playing with the words of the Bible. I have said nothing that isn't common knowledge amongst all competent scholars.


    Talk about confusing terms! All words are "man-made" so any statement of "Truth" is man-made. It appears you are saying that "Truth" cannot be stated in words. If that's the case, then you have totally confused everything.

    It is a little premature for you to be making blanket assertions about my lack of understanding Biblical "writing styles" since you have not shown any error in anything I have written. You need to show an actual error in something I've written, not merely claim that you are right.

    I am not "messing with you." I have only been pointing out a few of the primary themes that the "Christian wisdomkeepers" have emphasized over the last two thousand years.


    Yes, there it is again. You reject the commonsense explanations (which are far and away the most likely) and go running after silly superstitions that are almost certainly false. This is why it is so ironic when you speak of "TRUTH" - everything you write is strongly biased towards things that are almost certainly false. Wow.

    You say that "FAITH" is the way. Great. FAITH = GULLIBILITY. By your doctrine, only the stupid and ignorant make it to the other side. Scientologists, Muslims, Mormons, JWs, and every kind of mindless cult from the dawn of time is on your side. You say all anyone needs is FAITH IN THE TOOTH FAIRY??? Is that really what you are teaching? Of course not. You are saying that I must have "faith" in what is "true". But how do we know what is true? That brings us back to the necessity of skepticism.


    Your comments seem very confused. You seem to be making a distinction between the "words" vs. the "ideas" of the Bible. But you don't really do that at all. You are constantly referring to the IDEAS that are expressed in the WORDS of the Bible.

    It seems absurd to suggest a total disjunction between the words and the ideas of the Bible since the ideas are expressed in words. The reason the Bible Wheel and the the Holographs impressed me was because their structure coheres with the meaning of the plain text. The words had MEANING. It is absurd to suggest that the words don't have meaning whereas structural patterns made of those words do. Your ideas make no sense since we both know that you are using the MEANING OF THE WORDS when you speak of Jesus walking on water, the fiery chariot, and all that. So you are being inconsistent. The words are perfectly meaningful when you like the meaning, but you just toss them out and ignore them when you don't - as with the crap and the sexism.


    False dichotomy. The universe could have been created and then it could have evolved.

    And it is utterly meaningless to speak of "GOD" as either "real or just a fake" because the term is not well defined at all! Do you mean the theistic style personal god who runs around "doing things" like any other bit player in the Cosmic Drama? Do you mean nothing but "Cosmic Consciousness"? Do you mean a being that is like a person, and who loves and hates and throws people in hell? Do you mean Allah, Apollo, Yahweh, or Zeus? Your comment is meaningless as it stands because the word "God" is not well defined at all.

    And then you say that the "truth" is present in the world or it does not exist." That's nuts, given that any statement of "truth" is a man-made thing, including the whole Bible, but you say the Bible is inspired, but that words don't have truth rather the "ideas" contained in number patterns.... it's too much confusion. You need to slow down and say something that you really mean after you have given it some serious thought. Your comment are wild and undisciplined and difficult to discuss.

    And in your final quote from the Bible, you exemplify the fundamentally sexist nature of the Bible. We have the MALE GOD, THE FATHER and HIS MALE SON JESUS. Is that really how you conceive of GOD?? AS MALE? TOTALLY MALE?

    If "faith" is what unlocks the Heavens mysteries, then heavens mysteries are the stuff of mythology, superstitions, and ignorance.

    Funny thing is - life began to get good on planet earth when folks finally learned that FAITH was the fast track to the grave. As long as people had FAITH in God to save them, they died miserable early deaths from easily prevented diseases.

    SCIENCE has saved millions that GOD was happy to let die, no matter how much "Faith" they had and no matter how much they begged him to save them. It was SCIENCE that invented antibiotics, refrigerators, electricity, and everything else that has made life on this planet a million times better than when foolish people trusted in a God who wasn't there.

    I think the conversation would be better if we took one thing at a time. They bloat very quickly when there are too many rabbit trails.

    Great chatting!
    Richard
    =======================

    Hi Richard:
    WOW! Thanks for taking the time to express yourself! I really enjoyed reading all your views on my comments. Of course we are in the weeds for sure now! But I enjoy the idea of taking on a challenge which is not a challenge! Something very Zen about it! Now I agree with you that we need to slow down and take all these ideas apart one at a time...

    YOU Said,"You say that the "difference" is that the teachers you believe in are "real" whereas the others are "fakes". Great. I'd get the same answer from every member of every cult that has ever existed.

    TRUE!... However, I think that martial arts is a great example of truth and no truth... Have you ever talked to over 100 martial art "masters"? I have! And have you ever looked at them and wondered if they were telling the truth? I have... And have you ever thought "All of them are just wack jobs!" I did once. Then I met a TRUE martial art master... NO I do not think like him... And no he is not religious like me... and no he is not a vegetarian like me! But his eyes tell a story... His style of martial arts is superb! And yet he is humble to a fault... He hides the real techniques from the masses who come to learn for no other reason than to learn to fight... And yet to the true seeker of the way of Bushido the door will be left ajar... To the true doshi (student) the mat will become the playground of all learning and discipline... When the student is ready the master appears! That is not my opinion! It is a fact of life...
    Martial arts are NOT a cult - but many of the common students view their master as a GOD! But in truth the master is only human - with skills verging on Spiritual perfection!...

    You act like everything in life is fake! Outside of the test tube of science you just discount all things as being unknown... well that's fine until you experience the true way of being a human... The spiritual side of life is NOT fake. Many do fake their connection to the Master... But when the true seeker finds the Master then everything changes...

    ================
    YOU Said. "Why in the world would you believe that the miracle stories are true? It's a lot easier to make up a story about someone walking on water than to actually do it. And we know such stories have often been made up. And worse, the Bible is filled with blatant mythology, like the story of creation. So logic says you should be skeptical. But you are not. Why is that?

    Then you connected the Islam story of the horse going up to heaven... I question everything. But what I do not do is debate the known assumptions which go along with the story... So that the Creation story as written in Genesis can be the only story which fills in the "assumptions" given to the Creator GOD of Jacob. To try and edit the details of a story from the character being described is silly. If the GOD of creation is GOD in real time - then the "GOD Model" found in the Genesis story MUST be taken as FACT regardless of the assumptions which are clearly present in the story. This is how the "mystery" of GOD takes shape. If on the other hand the Creation story is a "myth" creation story - then Peter needs to be removed from the Bible as he asserts, as do other Biblical writers, that "we do not follow cunningly devised fables - But were eyewitnesses to his glory..." ll Peter 1:16


    YOU Said, "Your comments seem very confused. You seem to be making a distinction between the "words" vs. the "ideas" of the Bible. But you don't really do that at all. You are constantly referring to the IDEAS that are expressed in the WORDS of the Bible. It seems absurd to suggest a total distinction between the words and the ideas of the Bible since the ideas are expressed in words.

    Well, Let me explain a little more. I am suggesting that the idea which is trying to be made in words is more important than the words themselves. Most Fundalmentalists fight for the notion that the WORDS as WRITTEN in ENGLISH are INSPIRED. I do not think so! That would mean only ONE BIBLE translation would be "inspired" since each word would not be able to be changed even into another language! Like the Catholics used to say that Latin was the "Official" language of the church and the Bible was read in that language and the people had no idea what was being said!

    So although the words can give meaning to the idea of the original thought - often times the word used in one language to express the idea in another language is lost in translation. This is especially true with idioms in Hebrew and Greek. So it is of utmost importance to see beyond the words themselves in English and try and see the MEANING in the original phrase or words before creating theology out of a particular verse.

    YOU Said. "False dichotomy. The universe could have been created and then it could have evolved."

    A NO! And No! ASSUMING the word evolve means something other than "to create." The word for empty in Genesis Boohuw - has the idea of vaccuum limitless nothing. Meaning that creation by definition started from NOTHING! "In the beginning was the Word." It is word creation not an evolving state of "something" already established morphing into something else over time - as you suggest. Now, I have no poblem with the idea that things and animals have "evolved" over time in a limited self-contained system. But in the beginning, all things were spoken into exsistence according to the creation word model.

    You Said. "Whatever you think of Christian tradition, the same people who have passed down the Bible have interpreted things differently than you."

    I totally agree... Except these people who passed down the Scriptures do not have a "lock" on the meaning of the Bible in any way! It is not about intelligence! It is about Spirit... I know everyone claims to have the spirit but few do. However truth is progressive... So Luther rejected certain traditions and created dogmas which were then revised by Wesley who then was trumped by Miller and on and on it goes. So just because the truth of the Word is not uncovered by all people in the same way at the same time, does not invalidate the fact that the Spirit is guiding a select few in every generation to the Ultimate truths held hidden in the Bible and in the Word of GOD. That person you insist does not exist! You cannot keep switching from defending the old interpretations of the Bible and then deny the GOD MODEL of the Bible and the miracles of GOD in the Bible. Either the Bible as a whole is inspired or it is not! That does not mean that there are no errors! But the Holy Spirit is promised to correct those errors in time and "guide us into all truth!" It does not matter that those who lived in the past did not understand ALL of the meaning hidden in the Bible... The Spirit's job is to enlighten the mind of those who ask. Everyone else is comes from darkness.

    YOU Said, "You comment makes no sense to me. If you admit that "all things were credited to GOD" (which is the root of the idea of God's absolute sovereignty) why do you now deny that he created moral evil?"

    The Bible is quite direct in its assertion that good and evil (as in the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil) are things which GOD who is "GOOD" cannot "create" or be a part of.

    James 1:17 KJV
    Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. "No variables = no evil"

    NIV(modern English translation of the same greek text)
    17Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

    “His works are perfect. All of his ways are right. He is faithful. He doesn’t do anything wrong. He is honest and fair” (Deuteronomy 32:4b).

    So, moral evil v/s any other kind of evil is a theological splitting of hairs - but as a rule GOD cannot sin or do evil-period.

    YOU Said, "Talk about confusing terms! All words are "man-made" so any statement of "Truth" is man-made. It appears you are saying that "Truth" cannot be stated in words. If that's the case, then you have totally confused everything.

    I am not suggesting that words are not man-made. But the meaning of the ARRANGEMENT of the words constitutes "TRUTH and that is NOT man-made. YOU ARE WRONG in your twisting of logic as to the connection between words and their MEANINGS! Now let me repeat - you say I am premature in my assessment of your ideas not being correct in reference to how the Bible is written... yet you continue to deny the "style" of the insertion of miracles throughout the Bible. You just say that GOD does not do those things or that Jesus did not exist as GOD or that miracles are not possible because GOD does not exist! Your circular logic is pathetic! And yes you can disagree with me... I aint mad atcha... I enjoy understanding your perspective... It is fascinating to me!!

    And yes I do believe that the Ultimate truth does come through the "still (silent) small voice" - which is only heard throught he meditative process/ "Be still and know that I am GOD." The truth only comes when a person has set aside all pre-conceived notions and sits in quiet waiting for the Spirit to speak.

    YOU Said, "You say that "FAITH" is the way. Great. FAITH = GULLIBILITY. By your doctrine, only the stupid and ignorant make it to the other side."

    Yup... so be it! Jesus said, "Those that are whole have no need for a physician.... Blessed are they that cry after rightiousness for they shall be filled. Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see GOD."

    Namaste,

    Mystykal
    Last edited by Mystykal; 08-19-2013 at 08:55 PM.

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