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  1. #61
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    Circular logic

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    Good evening my friend,

    Thanks for the fascinating challenge. I will take it seriously, very seriously. So let us begin:

    It appears that you are asserting that God will occasionally protect me (in random and unpredictable ways) if I consistently demonstrate "faith" in him. Your suggestion contains a most revealing asymmetry. Which party is proven to be actually trustworthy? The one who consistently pays tithes or the one who occasionally (if ever) fulfills his end of the bargain? If this is what you mean by "trustworthy" then I would like to make a deal with you. I promise to pay for whatever you could ever need (in a random and unpredictable way, and subject to my personal inscrutable judgment) if you consistently pay me one thousand dollars a week. Sound like a good deal?

    Now more to the point: Your story of the fire entails the idea that any person who didn't suffer loss was protected by God. If you disagree, then you are admitting that your experience could have been random coincidence, just like all the non-believers who suffered no loss. Furthermore, if your story actually proves that God specially protected you because of your faith, then it necessarily implies that everyone who suffered loss were not right with God. This means we now have a TEST to discern between the "True Believers" and everyone else. Everyone God lets suffer are obviously not a true believers!

    Now I'm pretty sure you know that is not true. So how does your particular experience prove that God was involved in anything? It doesn't. A Muslim in your position would attribute his luck to Allah. That's the problem with such anecdotes - they don't give anyone any way to discern between the competing gods and magical spells and New Age woowoo and just dumb luck. And the fact that such stories are told by people with directly contradictory beliefs is strong evidence that they are the product of cognitive bias. People would get the same results if they prayed to a milk jug. And beyond all this, it appears that your beliefs do not correspond to what the Bible actually teaches (although it is self-contradictory on this issue). Specifically, the Bible teaches that those who are right with God can expect to SUFFER in this world:

    Romans 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

    Psalm 34:14 The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to and to slay such as be of upright conversation.

    I could go on and on with citations. Haven't you ever heard of the martyrs? The Bible is filled with stories of the RIGHTEOUS losing EVERYTHING for their faith in Christ. You teach exactly the opposite, saying that your Secrets of Super Faith will make you rich and healthy and invincible. Are you really willing to blame every believer who loses their house or money or loved ones? Do you tell them that it was their fault because they didn't have your Secret Knowledge and don't know the right tricks to compel God to protect and heal them and their loved ones? What about little children that are raped and murdered? Did they lack the secrets of Super Faith? What about Joni Erickson Tada - is it her fault she's in a wheelchair cuz she just doesn't have enough faith? The problems with your beliefs are legion.

    As you can see, I do not reject your teachings because I reject "faith/spirituality" out of hand, but rather because they appear to me to be the product of cognitive bias and are indistinguishable from a "get rich quick" scheme and New Age woowoo like The Secret that is sold to gullible people.

    Shine on!



    Richard
    Hi Richard:
    You make me laugh so much! You forgot one thing! Luck like fate does not exist! So all your arguments about paying tithe and trusting GOD to get a RANDOM result is laughable. I understand you would like to dismiss all strange unknown actions as just luck... But in the Spirit world luck is NOT an option. And if you do "take my challenge" seriously you would not be writing it off as just a blip on the mathematical landscape of luck. In time all things will become clear. If your heart is in the right place I am sure we will be great friends then. I really like talking to you!

    And faith is not a "Christian" thing! Faith can be developed in a Roman soldier as well! I think you know that!


    Namaste,

    Mystykal
    Mystykal

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mystykal View Post
    Hi Rose:

    I would say that you are ASSUMING little children that suffer are being ignored by GOD. I would also say that suffering in this world is a result of the EVIL in the world.... As you know Jesus said suffering and persecution are a part of the puzzle. But GOD is the judge...

    Romans 12:19
    New International Version
    "Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. "

    So if the Bible has taught us anything it is that the system will be fixed in time...Death is not the end for children or anyone per se. The Great Mystery Spirit will make all things right. Hard to accept sometimes I know...

    Namaste,

    Mystykal
    Hello Mystykal

    My comments were in reference to your claim of god sparing your house from fire because you had faith and knew the rules of the game. Don't you think that a child's well being is infinitely more important then your material goods?

    The only thing that the Bible has really taught us is that god is not trustworthy, and cannot be depended on to answer prayer.

    Take care,
    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

    Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. Matt.10:16

    Come let us reason together...Isa.1:18
    ********************************
    My new Blog site: God and Butterfly

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rose View Post
    Hello Mystykal

    My comments were in reference to your claim of god sparing your house from fire because you had faith and knew the rules of the game. Don't you think that a child's well being is infinitely more important then your material goods?

    The only thing that the Bible has really taught us is that god is not trustworthy, and cannot be depended on to answer prayer.

    Take care,
    Rose
    Hi Rose:
    I do not follow your logic. The comparison of saving a child's life or saving a house is NOT in question! The "rules of the game" ARE! Once again you Assume that "saving" a child or healing a child is the ultimate good and everything else does not matter. I suggest to you that like a game of chess the Bible lays out a set of rules and standards which if understood will produce results which are measurable....

    That was the original assertion under discussion. It is NOT about why children are allowed to suffer in a wicked world. That is NOT GOD's fault as if GOD is some kind of Jin in a bottle which grants wishes on demand. Your view of GOD is not one based on any spiritual experience. Therefore, your conclusions are without basis as GOD is a Spirit and "Spiritual things are spiritually discerned." The meditative process is real and brings the mind into a full understanding of the unknown. It is a process used by many sages and wisdom keepers. I don't understand your anger or emotional discontent with all things spirit based. Maybe that is an area which brings you much saddness. I will just let that be... As Rumi the mystic once said, "...Darkness is your candle!"


    Namaste,

    Mystykal
    Last edited by Mystykal; 01-27-2014 at 03:25 AM.
    Mystykal

  4. #64
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    Here are some of my thoughts having read the recent posts.

    God has many attributes, qualities and emotions. God is an avenger, yet God loves. God is compassionate, yet looks on suffering and appears to do nothing. God prescribes punishment, yet shows mercy. We are undeserving, yet receive God's grace.

    In Genesis we are told(Gen 6:5); And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
    6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.


    Do we ever think of God can cry? That verse evokes the human sentiment of sadness. At times of great emotion, whether it be love, compassion, or fear, crying is a way of venting that emotion and it makes others see what we are really experiencing.

    With God, I see him as a loving father with these same qualities as a human. That is anthropomorphism. Whilst we can see God in this way, we also have to see God as The Righteous Judge. In that capacity, the same as any judge in a court of law, the judge cannot let emotion rule his judgement. It is the law that rules. Now a human judge can prescribe penalties within a range set by the law makers. For an example, if the penalty has been prescribed as ranging from 5 to 10 years in jail, the judge has to set a tariff within that range. The judge might show leniency and only prescribe a 5-year sentence, when the rest of the population might expect a 10-year sentence to be set. The judge is not allowed to let the criminal get off free without the minimum sentence being set.

    Can you imagine a human judge having to sentence his own son? That would probably not be allowed and a conflict of interest would mean another judge has to be assigned. In the case of God, The Righteous Judge, there was no other judge until Jesus came along and now all judgement has been given into his hand.

    We have to see God in OT times in the role of the Righteous Judge and also as a Heavenly Father to his people. On one occasion, we see how God pleads with his people to repent, but Israel did not, and therefore God had to bring about the penalty he had warned his people of. In that, we see the fairness of God by giving a warning to the people and the time and opportunity to repent before carrying through his sentence. We are under the same sentence of eternal death, unless we repent.

    It is an ambivalent subject to think of the justice of God. That is evident from the different responses shown on this forum to the stories on record in the OT that tell us of the mass killings which took place. In fairness, we have to consider every detail we are told, and we should not let our heart rule our head.

    There is no escaping the fact that the nations Israel were told to destroy and rid the promised land of, were people God hated for what those people did. Idolatry, and infant sacrifice to gods of stone was hated by God. To most non-religious people today, child sacrifice is not acceptable. However, we do not know of all the evil practices that are committed today behind closed doors. Those type of people such as the Canaanite, were beyond redemption. They would not listen or repent and so God's judgement we can say came on them sooner than later. Because God's people did not follow instruction, and some of the people were not killed, those people became the snare God said they would be. Nevertheless, God knowing the future better than man is able to predict, is able to deal with any outcome. God had to deal with the failings of his chosen people. God did not give up on his own people and we see how Israel were fickle and easily persuaded by the type of King that ruled over them.

    However much we might think we know what we would do if we were in God's situation, our judgement is nowhere near as good as God's. We simply cannot know all the facts and the resulting outcomes and be in a position to deal with all the different outcomes. We are mistaken and deluded, if we think we can judge better than God is able to judge.

    If we did not know what the outcome of the story was, would we ever have thought Rahab (often referred to as a harlot, but more likely a business woman), a Canaanite woman, would have been in the genealogy leading up to Jesus?

    The story of Rahab goes to show us that despite God having chosen the descendants of Abraham to be a special people ( a people God will never cast off entirely), the Gentiles or non-Israelites were just as acceptable in the sight of God so long as they showed faith in him. Rahab showed that faith when all her peers did not. Her peers could not say, they had not heard. Rahab declares (Josh 2:9); And she said unto the men, I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you. 10 For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed. 11 And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath. We should not think it was only Rahab who had heard, but it was only Rahab who believed and was on God's side.

    Rahab is a testament to the unbiased judgement of God and to those who say God is biased against women. Rahab is amongst the greatest people of faith named in the Bible.



    David

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mystykal View Post
    Hi Rose:
    I do not follow your logic. The comparison of saving a child's life or saving a house is NOT in question! The "rules of the game" ARE! Once again you Assume that "saving" a child or healing a child is the ultimate good and everything else does not matter. I suggest to you that like a game of chess the Bible lays out a set of rules and standards which if understood will produce results which are measurable....

    That was the original assertion under discussion. It is NOT about why children are allowed to suffer in a wicked world. That is NOT GOD's fault as if GOD is some kind of Jin in a bottle which grants wishes on demand. Your view of GOD is not one based on any spiritual experience. Therefore, your conclusions are without basis as GOD is a Spirit and "Spiritual things are spiritually discerned." The meditative process is real and brings the mind into a full understanding of the unknown. It is a process used by many sages and wisdom keepers. I don't understand your anger or emotional discontent with all things spirit based. Maybe that is an area which brings you much saddness. I will just let that be... As Rumi the mystic once said, "...Darkness is your candle!"


    Namaste,

    Mystykal
    Hello Mystykal,

    Fairness and justice is what I strive for and that is preciously why I see what you call the "Rules of the game" as unjust and unfair. This so-called set of rules and standards that you say the Bible lays out are only assessable to a select few who possess spiritual understanding. The reason I brought up children is because they are dependent on others for their health and protection, they do not have faith to be healed, or have knowledge of the "Rules of the game". So, if understanding a specific set of rules is what is required for answered prayer, then that is totally unfair to children who are in need.


    Take care,
    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

    Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. Matt.10:16

    Come let us reason together...Isa.1:18
    ********************************
    My new Blog site: God and Butterfly

  6. #66
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    Point well taken

    Quote Originally Posted by Rose View Post
    Hello Mystykal,

    Fairness and justice is what I strive for and that is preciously why I see what you call the "Rules of the game" as unjust and unfair. This so-called set of rules and standards that you say the Bible lays out are only assessable to a select few who possess spiritual understanding. The reason I brought up children is because they are dependent on others for their health and protection, they do not have faith to be healed, or have knowledge of the "Rules of the game". So, if understanding a specific set of rules is what is required for answered prayer, then that is totally unfair to children who are in need.


    Take care,
    Rose
    Hi Rose:

    Fairness is NOT the issue! The story of killing the first born of Egypt is hardly "fair". I agree with you from a human perspective that WE would like little innocent children to be spared all pain and ill which is wreaked on the world. But the "rules of the game" do not appear to be written that way. In the story of Job we see disaster take his children as if as no fault of their own. And all the things that happened to Job was NOT his fault either! He was a "righteous" man... So it would appear that children before the age of accountability are under their parent's ability to protect to a point but the ultimate and final decision is in GOD's hands - according to the Bible. I know that is a hard concept to accept but... it appears from beginning to end and it would appear that to this day lots of things happen which no one can explain with any human rationale. We must have faith... in the final outcome which has yet to be written by GOD.

    Namaste,

    Mystykal
    Last edited by Mystykal; 01-28-2014 at 05:06 AM.
    Mystykal

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mystykal View Post
    Hi Rose:

    Faitness is NOT the issue! The story of killing the first born of Egypt is hardly "fair". I agree with you from a human perspective that WE would like little innocent children to be spared all pain and ill which is wreaked on the world. But the "rules of the game" do not appear to be written that way. In the story of Job we see disaster take his children as if as no fault of their own. And all the things that happened to Job was NOT his fault either! He was a "righteous" man... So it would appear that children before the age of accountability are under their parent's ability to protect to a point but the ultimate and final decision is in GOD's hands - according to the Bible. I know that is a hard concept to accept but... it appears from beginning to end and it would appear that to this day lots of things happen which no one can explain with any human rationale. We must have faith... in the final outcome which has yet to be written by GOD.

    Namaste,

    Mystykal
    Understanding the The Book of Job correctly should lead us to see that whilst God tests Job to prove to human jealousy that Job would pass the test, God had to push Job to the limit. The lesson that Job had to learn was to overcome human pride which defeated him in the end, unlike Jesus who did not succumb to it.

    One factor that cannot be ignored is God's ability to raise people from the dead. It might seem unjust to end a life short as in the case of Job's children, but what is that when compared with eternal life to which they could be restored?

    Job had everything restored to him double-fold after his test, except his children. Job went on to have exactly the same number of children after his test. It perhaps dawned on Job as it seems to fail us to realize that Job will be reunited with all his children in the Kingdom and will have double-fold in the end.

    When you consider all the blessings which Job had, his test only lasted for around 6 months and considering Job lived for 200 years, Job's test only represented 0.5% of his life.

    At the end of the Book of Job, God does not come out the villain, even though God brought all the suffering on Job. In the end, not only is Job restored to full health and given twice as much as he had at the beginning, his three friends we can conclude were saved in the process. In the end, not only were Job's three friends saved, but all of Job's children would be saved and his wife would be saved.

    It seems that those who want to accuse God of being immoral, do not have any regard for the salvation and eternal life which God gives and which is on offer to us all. If anyone thinks it is unjust of God to kill someone and is used as their excuse for not believing in him, then they should think it very just of God to give that person eternal life. However, that might not sit comfortable with that person, for it takes away that person's excuse. Alas, human pride (which is enmity with God) rules in that person's heart and they will not accept the evidence that God is not the monster they claim, but The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    Job had everything restored to him double-fold after his test, except his children. Job went on to have exactly the same number of children after his test. It perhaps dawned on Job as it seems to fail us to realize that Job will be reunited with all his children in the Kingdom and will have double-fold in the end.
    Bothered me, David, that Job's first family perished, until I see the "double-dip" focus, after noting that ALL THE FIRSTBORN DIE! -- so we MUST
    be born-again..

    Now, since there's no refuting the prominence of the 22 of scripture, will our 44th Prez figure?
    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. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mystykal View Post
    Hi Rose:

    Fairness is NOT the issue! The story of killing the first born of Egypt is hardly "fair". I agree with you from a human perspective that WE would like little innocent children to be spared all pain and ill which is wreaked on the world. But the "rules of the game" do not appear to be written that way. In the story of Job we see disaster take his children as if as no fault of their own. And all the things that happened to Job was NOT his fault either! He was a "righteous" man... So it would appear that children before the age of accountability are under their parent's ability to protect to a point but the ultimate and final decision is in GOD's hands - according to the Bible. I know that is a hard concept to accept but... it appears from beginning to end and it would appear that to this day lots of things happen which no one can explain with any human rationale. We must have faith... in the final outcome which has yet to be written by GOD.

    Namaste,

    Mystykal
    Hello Mystykal,

    Ah, but fairness IS the issue! Because the Bible is BIASED, UNJUST and UNFAIR is preciously why we know that it is MAN MADE. There is absolutely no reason to have faith in a god based on the bad evidence that the Bible presents. The Bible is filled with falsehoods, contradictions, errors. It tells us to trust in its god and blindly accept his teachings ... why should we? The god of the Bible fails to be trustworthy and fails to help the children that Jesus swore to protect. Even the book of Job screams of the untrustworthiness and unjustness of god! Who in their right mind would ever think that children could be replaced like furniture?

    Why should a person have faith in a book that is filled with superstitions? Biased men who thought they were superior to women wrote the Bible. Out of the imaginings of their minds, they posited a male god made in their own image to rule over them. There is no reason on earth that modern intelligent people should believe the ramblings of those primitive men, let alone try and justify their words.

    Take care,
    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

    Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. Matt.10:16

    Come let us reason together...Isa.1:18
    ********************************
    My new Blog site: God and Butterfly

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by duxrow View Post
    Bothered me, David, that Job's first family perished, until I see the "double-dip" focus, after noting that ALL THE FIRSTBORN DIE! -- so we MUST
    be born-again..

    Now, since there's no refuting the prominence of the 22 of scripture, will our 44th Prez figure?
    Hello Dux

    We can see by God's actions, he restored to Job that which was was prescribed in the law given to Moses.
    For example; (Ex 22:4) If the theft be certainly found in his hand alive, whether it be ox, or ass, or sheep; he shall restore double.
    The same goes for possessions.

    In typical fashion, people get jealous of people who have riches, which is the reason for God taking those thoughts of Job's friends and empowering those thoughts to give them substance whereby to test Job.

    Zacchaeus, at the time of Jesus, was regarded as a robber and a thief because he was a publican. He is described as Chief among the publicans (Luke 19v2 ) and therefore the greatest of thieves and robbers.

    In contrast to public thinking, Zacchaeus put those people to shame by the things Zacchaeus did. Zacchaeus can be seen to give double the amount prescribed in the law given to Moses. (Luke 19:8) And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.

    The only other occurrence of the word fourfold, I find in 2 Sam 12:6 where David pronounces his verdict on the man in the story told him by Nathan. As we know, Nathan was talking about King David himself. (2 Sam 12:6) And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.
    Could it be that Zacchaeus knew this story and was willing to do what King David thought was justice?


    Whether our life span is the average of 70 years, or 120 years, or in the case of Methuselah, 969 years, compare that age span with eternal life and the restoration becomes infinityfold.


    All the best
    David
    Last edited by David M; 01-29-2014 at 04:43 AM.

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