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  1. #1
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    Does the Bible lack Moral Integrity?

    For something to have integrity it must show a unity of structure, a framework of coherent intent that binds the whole together; biblical morality has neither. From its first pages, a patriarchal order is established that is unbalance and biased; therefore unity is lacking at the most basic, fundamental level. What seems to start out as an integral whole in the first chapter of Genesis – with male and female made in god’s image - quickly erodes away. Beginning in chapter two, rules are set up based on obedience instead of morality and decrees are meted out which are neither moral, nor just. The ultimate judge of what is moral is found in the flourishing and well being of the individual, and the community, both of which are not consistently found in biblical decrees. When the well being of a person is compromised because of unjust treatment and bias, the integrity of the whole begins to disintegrate resulting in a loss of unity. This can be seen clearly in the decrees and commands of the biblical god, beginning with the curses of Adam and Eve.
    Gen.3:16-17 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;

    Purposely cursing humanity with sorrow and pain does not cause flourishing and well being, thus moral integrity is sorely lacking in the biblical narrative of god’s interaction with the first humans. Well being of an individual or community is always the optimal state of existence and its lack is the driving force behind progressing forward to balance the inequity. Sickness and disease continually push humans forward to find cures; hardship and struggle elicit ideas to lessen burdens, all with the goal of well being in mind. Flourishing is the intent of life and anything with moral integrity contributes to that end. Sadly this is not found in the curses and decrees of Genesis where the biblical god chooses to arbitrarily inflict pain, sorrow and hardship upon humanity for the sin of disobedience. There is nothing even remotely close to moral integrity in the edict of grievous labor, and suffering placed upon the first couple, which seems to be a common theme throughout the Bible.

    A false connection between the biblical god and moral integrity has been unwittingly propagated by Christians for centuries, because of misguided and erroneous teachings. The immoral statutes of Genesis are only the tip of a very large iceberg which hides under the banner proclaiming “God is Love”. It is only through opening ones eyes and viewing the Bible from an objective perspective can the truth be clearly seen. Another good example of the lack of ethical behavior is found in Exodus.
    Exo.20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

    Exo. 34:7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.

    According to the biblical standard of morality it is perfectly acceptable for punishment to be inflicted by Yahweh upon children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great, great, grandchildren for the sins of their father. How anyone could think that this kind of action promotes the well being of a people is beyond me? Yet, this is what is found throughout the biblical text, revealing that moral integrity is sorely lacking. The flourishing of human well being is the quintessential definition and sign of moral integrity; it is the true test of knowing whether or not an action is beneficial to an individual causing them to thrive. It is obvious from many passages in Scripture that domination and oppression are elevated biblical concepts and ones attributed to and sanctioned by its god, as is exemplified in the verse below.
    Psalm 144:1-2 Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight: My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me.

    Teaching people to go to war, and fight while subduing others under their rule is not something that promotes the flourishing and well being of humanity as a whole. Yet, this is exactly what the Bible is full of; its pages are literally overflowing with one battle after another, most directed by Yahweh for the purposes of conquering, subduing and killing people. During many of these battles little concern is given for the human rights of the conquered, especially the women who are often times taken as “war booty” to be “sex slaves” for the men, all of which is explicitly condoned and sanctioned by Yahweh. Anything that takes away from the well being of an individual and denies their human rights is immoral and this is especially evident in the treatment of women as property.
    Judge 21:11-12 And this is the thing that ye shall do, Ye shall utterly destroy every male, and every woman that hath lain by man. And they found among the inhabitants of Jabesh-Gilead four hundred young virgins, that had known no man by lying with any male: and they brought them unto the camp to Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan.

    Deuteronomy 21:10-12 When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and the LORD thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive, And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife; Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house;

    Num.31:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying…17) Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.

    These examples that I have given are by no means rare, in fact quite the contrary is true, they are more plentiful than the verses that speak of god’s love, which in and of itself shows a complete lack of integrity in the area of biblical morality. The accusation of “cherry picking” is many times used as an attack on those who point out questionable passages, but the mere presence of these immoral verses should tell the reader something about the author’s moral and ethical standards. If one were to take upon themselves a project of great magnitude, which would include copying only those passages in the Bible that truly reflect 21st century morals on human rights, I would dare say it would be a scant book indeed. Much of the Old Testament would be removed and a good portion of the New. For anything to have moral integrity, it MUST promote wholeness and the ultimate well being of the individual and the human community at large, which is not true of much of the Bible. That is why any religious text, purported to be given by a god MUST pass this test of moral integrity, otherwise it should remain classified among the works of men. Below is one example of many from the Bible that would NOT pass the test for moral integrity, as it does not promote the well being or flourishing of the human community.
    Deut.6:10-11 And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not, And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full;

    Deut 7:2-3 And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them: Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.
    The lack of ethical and moral integrity in the Bible is obvious from just the sampling of verses that I have presented, because they all have one thing in common – an absence of concern for the well being and flourishing of the human community – this disqualifies and thus invalidates much of the Bible, showing it cannot be used as an ethical judge or moral guide. This then brings one to the question of where does moral integrity come from. I have covered this subject to some degree in my article titled Biological Foundations of Morality. Another excellent article written by my husband can be found here: Logic of Love: A Natural Theory of Morality.


    Rose
    Last edited by Rose; 01-05-2013 at 04:42 PM.
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  2. #2
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    The Bible shows the problem to be with man and it is man's moral integrity which is at fault.

    God's integrity is seen by God keeping His promises.

    God maintains integrity by keeping to His plan and purpose which is still being fulfilled until God's Glory fills the whole earth.

    God is looking for the integrity in man that was evident in Job and perfect in Jesus.

    Jesus fulfilled all that God required of man and proved a man could be perfect. Thereby, Jesus vindicated God.

    Job was a man of integrity but he was not perfect. The description of Job tells us what God requires of men and women.

    (Job 1:3) Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause. (4) And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life.

    Jesus proved to be perfect and better than Job and Jesus proved Satan - the liar/accuser (man's accusations) wrong by the layng down of his own life.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    The Bible shows the problem to be with man and it is man's moral integrity which is at fault.

    God's integrity is seen by God keeping His promises.

    God maintains integrity by keeping to His plan and purpose which is still being fulfilled until God's Glory fills the whole earth.

    God is looking for the integrity in man that was evident in Job and perfect in Jesus.

    Jesus fulfilled all that God required of man and proved a man could be perfect. Thereby, Jesus vindicated God.

    Job was a man of integrity but he was not perfect. The description of Job tells us what God requires of men and women.

    (Job 1:3) Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause. (4) And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life.

    Jesus proved to be perfect and better than Job and Jesus proved Satan - the liar/accuser (man's accusations) wrong by the layng down of his own life.
    I think you missed the point of Rose's post. She didn't say anything about the immorality of humans as a problem. Her post focuses on the immorality attributed to God in the Bible. She listed out some of the teachings in the Bible that are attributed to GOD and which show a lack of moral integrity. Specifically, punishing "children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great, great, grandchildren for the sins of their father" which ironically is prohibited elsewhere in the Bible. And the killing of whole people groups for the purpose of kidnappign virgins to be "wives" is certainly immoral. And the inextricable sexism of the Bible is immoral. In modern secular cultures, which are much more morally advanced than the primitive cultures that produced the Bible, sexism is recognized as immoral, like slavery and genocide. Biblical fundamentalism forces believers to try to justify the immorality attributed to God in the Bible. This only makes the problem worse because it shows that their religion is corrosive to good morals that are obvious to everyone else.

    Your assertion that "God's integrity is seen by God keeping His promises" is just that - an assertion. There is no evidence that God has kept any promises. And there is much evidence that he has not. Just ask the Jews. Here's a good video of the "verdict" portion of the video God on Trial. It begins with the accusation that God has broken his covenant with the Jewish people:



    Christianity has but one claim - TRUTH! If we must deny truth to justify it, then it clearly has already been disproven.

    The idea that Christ fulfilled God's promises is just another assertion. Is there any reason a rational skeptic would agree?

    I am curious why you say "Job was not perfect" when the Bible explicitly says Job was "a perfect and an upright man." Is seems that words have no meaning to you.
    • 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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  4. #4
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    I think you missed the point of Rose's post. She didn't say anything about the immorality of humans as a problem. Her post focuses on the immorality attributed to God in the Bible. She listed out some of the teachings in the Bible that are attributed to GOD and which show a lack of moral integrity. Specifically, punishing "children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great, great, grandchildren for the sins of their father" which ironically is prohibited elsewhere in the Bible.
    There is nothing in the Bible that says, God "punishing, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great, great, grandchildren for the sins of their father", please don't exaggerate. What the Bible says is about God punishing "children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great, great, grandchildren for the sins of their father" to the third and fourth generation". It's seems like NATO (No Action, Threat Only) as there is no record of God punishing them to the third and fourth generation perhaps due to God's kindness. To me, it's more like God remembering and putting the curse of the sins of the fathers to the third and fourth generations so as to remind them of the sins of the fathers as a warning not to repeat them.

    And the killing of whole people groups for the purpose of
    kidnappign virgins to be "wives" is certainly immoral
    .
    It is certainly more immoral to leave those defenseless women to fend for themselves in the wilderness and at the mercy of bandits and other evil people. At least they could get protection from God and the Israelite soldiers who are far better than others.

    And the inextricable sexism of the Bible is immoral. In modern secular cultures, which are much more morally advanced than the primitive cultures that produced the Bible, sexism is recognized as immoral, like slavery and genocide. Biblical fundamentalism forces believers to try to justify the immorality attributed to God in the Bible. This only makes the problem worse because it shows that their religion is corrosive to good morals that are obvious to everyone else.
    There is nothing sexist and immoral in the Bible, it's just our modern concepts against ancient cultures e.g. slavery was an acceptable norm throughout all societies in the ancient world. Some ancient activities that were considered immoral is acceptable in some ancient and even modern societies such as forced marriages, women offering, slavery etc. Even in modern days, immoral activities are still practiced such as adultery, pornography, prostitution, wife swapping, nudism etc. It all depends on how one looks at it; it may be immoral to a moral person and moral to an immoral person.

    Your assertion that "God's integrity is seen by God keeping His promises" is just that - an assertion. There is no evidence that God has kept any promises. And there is much evidence that he has not. Just ask the Jews. Here's a good video of the "verdict" portion of the video God on Trial. It begins with the accusation that God has broken his covenant with the Jewish people:
    it is rather that the Jewish people have broken the covenant with God in the first place.

    Christianity has but one claim - TRUTH! If we must deny truth to justify it, then it clearly has already been disproven.

    The idea that Christ fulfilled God's promises is just another assertion. Is there any reason a rational skeptic would agree?
    It goes the other way also; the idea that Christ has not fulfilled God's promise is just another assertion.

    I am curious why you say "Job was not perfect" when the Bible explicitly says Job was "a perfect and an upright man." Is seems that words have no meaning to you.
    Job was a perfect man based on human standards; NO man is as perfect as Jesus.

    May God Bless His Promises.
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    Seek and You shall find,
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by CWH View Post
    There is nothing in the Bible that says, God "punishing, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great, great, grandchildren for the sins of their father", please don't exaggerate. What the Bible says is about God punishing "children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great, great, grandchildren for the sins of their father" to the third and fourth generation". It's seems like NATO (No Action, Threat Only) as there is no record of God punishing them to the third and fourth generation perhaps due to God's kindness. To me, it's more like God remembering and putting the curse of the sins of the fathers to the third and fourth generations so as to remind them of the sins of the fathers as a warning not to repeat them.
    Hey there CWH,

    That's interesting - I've never heard of that "NATO" acronym before. I looked it up and found it is more commonly read as "No Action, Talk Only" which makes a lot of sense given the history of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. That's the big problem folks have with the way the world is dealing with Iran's development of nuclear technology. But as for the idea that God acts like an ineffectual confederation of nations - that don't make him look so good. And as for Rose's comment, it was relating to the idea of original sin. The Bible says that "in Adam all die." And the traditional Christian understanding is that Adam was the "federal head" of humanity and that everyone sinned "in him" when he sinned. There are lot's of Bible verses relating to this idea. Are you not familiar with them?

    Quote Originally Posted by CWH View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RAM
    And the killing of whole people groups for the purpose of kidnapping virgins to be "wives" is certainly immoral
    It is certainly more immoral to leave those defenseless women to fend for themselves in the wilderness and at the mercy of bandits and other evil people. At least they could get protection from God and the Israelite soldiers who are far better than others.
    They would not have been "defenseless" if the Israelites had not SLAUGHTERED all the members of their family!

    So you think its just fine for folks to slaughter their neighbors and take their virgin daughters to be wives? Judges 21.

    Quote Originally Posted by CWH View Post
    There is nothing sexist and immoral in the Bible, it's just our modern concepts against ancient cultures e.g. slavery was an acceptable norm throughout all societies in the ancient world. Some ancient activities that were considered immoral is acceptable in some ancient and even modern societies such as forced marriages, women offering, slavery etc. Even in modern days, immoral activities are still practiced such as adultery, pornography, prostitution, wife swapping, nudism etc. It all depends on how one looks at it; it may be immoral to a moral person and moral to an immoral person.
    Yeah ... right. Try refuting my article The Inextricable Sexism of the Bible where I prove it.

    The fact that immoral things like slavery and sexism were common in ancient cultures does not make them "moral." On the contrary, it shows that primitive people have primitive morals.

    Your appeal to "adultery, pornography, prostitution, wife swapping, nudism" is meaningless. We are not talking about the immorality of people! We are talking about the immorality of God! I've only repeated this ten thousand times.

    Quote Originally Posted by CWH View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RAM
    Your assertion that "God's integrity is seen by God keeping His promises" is just that - an assertion. There is no evidence that God has kept any promises. And there is much evidence that he has not. Just ask the Jews. Here's a good video of the "verdict" portion of the video God on Trial. It begins with the accusation that God has broken his covenant with the Jewish people:
    it is rather that the Jewish people have broken the covenant with God in the first place.
    You could make a case for that I suppose. But my point was that there is no evidence of God keeping his promises. Do you have evidence for that? Of course not! If you had evidence of that, then you would have evidence that God exists and you would be the first person in the world to prove the existence of God. I don't think that's going to happen.

    Quote Originally Posted by CWH View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RAM
    Christianity has but one claim - TRUTH! If we must deny truth to justify it, then it clearly has already been disproven.

    The idea that Christ fulfilled God's promises is just another assertion. Is there any reason a rational skeptic would agree?
    It goes the other way also; the idea that Christ has not fulfilled God's promise is just another assertion.
    Not true. If you assert that Christ did something but have no evidence, then me telling you that you have no evidence is not the same as me making an unfounded claim like you.

    And you missed my point. Christianity has but ONE claim - TRUTH! And that is where it fails.

    Quote Originally Posted by CWH View Post
    Job was a perfect man based on human standards; NO man is as perfect as Jesus.
    The Bible doesn't say that. But I understand why you would since it fits with your idea that Christ alone was perfect.

    All the best to you CWH,

    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. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by CWH View Post
    Job was a perfect man based on human standards; NO man is as perfect as Jesus.
    The Bible doesn't say that. But I understand why you would since it fits with your idea that Christ alone was perfect.

    All the best to you CWH,

    Richard
    Hello Richard

    (Genesis 6:9) Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, This does not mean that Noah was sinless. The same applies to Job. Jesus was sinless and yet Jesus said that of himself that he was not good (perfect).
    (Genesis 17:1)And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.
    This is the same standard God requires of all men and women, but there is not one person with the exception of Jesus that has remained sinless.
    (Leviticus 22:21) And whosoever offereth a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the LORD to accomplish his vow, or a freewill offering in beeves or sheep, it shall be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no blemish therein.
    For Jesus to be an acceptable sacrifice for sin, Jesus had to be sinless (perfect). Nothing but the best is acceptable to God. The only way we can be found to be acceptable to God is to have the covering of our sin that has been made possible by the sacrifice of Jesus. God's law and God's requirements are consistent. In Old Testament times, it was a person's faith like that of Abraham which made him righteous and acceptable to God. God accepted faithful people even though imperfect, because Jesus would later coveri their sin.

    Even though in body, Jesus said he was not perfect, in terms of leading a sinless life, he was perfect, perfect enough to be an acceptable sacrifice.

    (Hebrews 5:9) And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

    While Jesus was in the body of flesh blood, he never claimed to be perfect. (Matthew 19:17)Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: Apart from being strong evidence to support the fact that Jesus is not God, Jesus knew that his perfection would come after his resurrection when he would be given the incorruptible body. This body of flesh and blood is corruptible and Jesus would have naturally died even if he had not been put to death prematurely. By being completely obedient to his Heavenly Father, and Jesus remaining sinless, God had to remain true to His world and not allow Jesus' body to remain in the grave. Jesus has been raised to life, given and incorruptible body and is not subject to temptation anymore. That is what is promised to those who are likewise judged acceptable, and given a place in God's kingdom.

    Whilst King David committed two sins each of which was punishable by death under the law, God spared David's life. David's sin did not alienate him from God. Despite what David had done, he was still described as the "friend of God". Why was this? This was because David had faith and he believed in God and his laws; in fact, David delighted in the laws of God; (Psalm 40:8) I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. David also recognized his sin and did not blame God or anyone else and admitted his sin; ( 2 Samuel 12:13) And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.

    All these things have to be got into the correct perspective. God is just and God is merciful. God demands perfection, even if men and women are unable to lead perfect lives. Men and women can take control of their lives and it is better to follow someone who demonstrated that perfection was possible. Men and women doing that which is "right in their own eyes" is a recipe for disaster.

    Jesus was perfect in that he remained sinless and so vindicated God against those who say it was impossible for man to lead a sinless life.

    Man has no excuse for not trying to lead a perfect life. The world would be a far happier place if people tried to lead perfect lives. The fact is, very few do, but that does not matter, enough will for God to select them to be in His kingdom. Until, people are given the incorruptible bodies and will not suffer temptation in the Kingdom of God and therefore will not sin, then God's Glory cannot fill the whole earth until that is accomplished.

    All the best

    David

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    Hello Richard

    (Genesis 6:9) Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, This does not mean that Noah was sinless. The same applies to Job. Jesus was sinless and yet Jesus said that of himself that he was not good (perfect).
    Good morning David,

    A sinner cannot be called "just" and "perfect." So we have a contradiction in the Bible. And since the NT says Jesus was sinless, it cannot be that he was not "good." There is only one way to resolve this contradiction.
    There would be a contradiction if Jesus was sinless and yet Jesus was not good.
    This implies that Jesus was indeed "good." And this is confirmed by Jesus when he referred to himself as the "good shepherd" and other passages. And so we have the following syllogism:

    Major Premise: Only God is good.
    Minor Premise: Jesus is good.
    Conclusion: Jesus is God.

    Obviously, when Jesus said there is none good but God, he was explaining that he himself was God.

    Pretty basic logic, eh?

    And just so you know, I didn't make this up. I'm just reporting the traditional Christian understanding of how to resolve this apparent contradiction. I know you disagree, but what proof could you give other than your own fallible logic pitted against their fallible logic? How is that different than potsherds clashing with potsherds? Exactly how can you have any confidence that you are right and they are wrong?

    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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    Perfect in his generations??
    Because he was tenth from Adam, and Abraham was twentieth, and Boaz was thirtieth, there's something going on here about the TENTH, that escapes me. What would that be, I'm wondering??
    Dux allows: "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out the matter". Pr25:2

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    Jesus was perfect in that he remained sinless and so vindicated God against those who say it was impossible for man to lead a sinless life.

    Man has no excuse for not trying to lead a perfect life. The world would be a far happier place if people tried to lead perfect lives. The fact is, very few do, but that does not matter, enough will for God to select them to be in His kingdom. Until, people are given the incorruptible bodies and will not suffer temptation in the Kingdom of God and therefore will not sin, then God's Glory cannot fill the whole earth until that is accomplished.
    Good morning David,

    It appears that you are teaching a doctrine of "salvation by works" when you say that God selects those who are "trying to lead a perfect life." That directly contradicts pretty much everything in the NT, though there are a few contradictory verses that you could appeal to. Could you state your position on this question? Is a person saved by works or grace, or some combination of the two?

    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?

    Check out my blog site

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    the NT says Jesus was sinless,
    Where does it do so?

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