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Author Topic:   Tribute Thread For the Recently Raptured Faith
GDR
Member
Posts: 4983
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 172 of 1677 (839648)
09-11-2018 9:51 PM
Reply to: Message 156 by Thugpreacha
09-11-2018 2:22 PM


Re: We Can Work It Out?
Phat writes:

She claims that you wont be punished, but I am essentially stepping in as a mediator and saying that all of us should be punished...according to Faiths own belief. Jesus protects those of us who accept the pardon.
IF this is true, do you believe that it is fair for Jesus to only protect those who believe in Him or do you believe that we all should be judged by our works and behavior?


Hi Phat
This in a lot of ways is the problem with much of western Christianity. It is all about who is in and who is out. The whole NT is clear that figuring who is in and who is out is not our job. "Judge not that ye be not judged". We keep inserting ourselves into what essentially is God's business, instead of tending to our own which is simply to reflect God's love into the world.

It is clear that when we talk about faith it isn't about giving intellectual ascent to any specific religious doctrine. It is about faith in the concept of sacrificial love and then living our lives based on that faith.

As James tells us we will recognize people's faith by the works that they do.

Again, in Matthew 25 the sheep had no idea that what they were doing was for Jesus or that there might be a return for them in this life or the next. They just did what they did because that was where there heart was.

This concern for personal salvation is no different than the Pharisees belief that if they just followed all the laws that they had concocted that God would come and lead them in the defeat of their enemies in the here and now. Christian fundamentalism is to a very large degree based on the concept that if you believe the right stuff about Jesus that you get eternal life.
It again becomes all about "me", which is the exact opposite of what Jesus taught.

It essentially turns doctrinal belief into a work. Instead of the great commandment being about love of neighbour, it becomes the law of believing a particular doctrine.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 156 by Thugpreacha, posted 09-11-2018 2:22 PM Thugpreacha has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 173 by Faith, posted 09-11-2018 10:18 PM GDR has responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4983
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 174 of 1677 (839650)
09-11-2018 10:42 PM
Reply to: Message 173 by Faith
09-11-2018 10:18 PM


Faith writes:

No, saving faith is faith in THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, not in any mere concept.


No, it is about faith in the life Jesus espoused and then living that faith. As Christians yes it is in the trust of the Jesus and His message, but again it is about taking that message on board so that our hearts are changed by the message. That though, is our vocation. It is not a tool there to get us into heaven.

As Christians we are called to trust in God's prefect judgement and let him worry about it. Our job is to live the lives that we are called to.

Yes we are called to judge but we are not called to pass judgement on people. We are called to judge what is right and what is wrong and then be guided by that. We are called to lives that humbly love kindness and justice for all.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 173 by Faith, posted 09-11-2018 10:18 PM Faith has not yet responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4983
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 419 of 1677 (840940)
10-05-2018 5:42 PM
Reply to: Message 412 by ringo
10-05-2018 1:29 PM


One god or many
ringo writes:


Nope. No good. Your intuition and subjective experience produce a different god than the Muslims and the Aztecs. How can they all be real?


I don't want to nit pick here but I will anyway.

I'd suggest that there is only one god or one creative intelligence and not many gods of human invention or otherwise. The question to be answered in that regard is are we theistic or atheistic.
If we are theistic then the question is what is the nature of this deity, (regardless of whether we call this deity God, Allah, Zeus etc.) That then all boils down to religious beliefs.

Even in the same religion we find numerous answers to the question of how we view the nature of a deity. For example Faith and I both call the deity God, but we have quite different understandings of the nature of this God. Look at the number of Muslims who disagree with the understanding of Allah as we saw in the 9/11 attack.

My point is that it isn't about the religion that we adhere to, or the name we assign to a deity. The differences centre on what we believe to be the nature of our deity and how that is to impact the way we live.

I would also agree that subjective reasoning and intuition are a big part of our conclusions. (This of course holds true for atheists as well.) Obviously though culture, holy books, tradition and reason enter into it as well.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 412 by ringo, posted 10-05-2018 1:29 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 420 by ringo, posted 10-05-2018 5:52 PM GDR has responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4983
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.9


(1)
Message 427 of 1677 (840971)
10-06-2018 2:04 AM
Reply to: Message 420 by ringo
10-05-2018 5:52 PM


Re: One god or many
ringo writes:

That's overly simplistic. There are thousands of varieties of theism and every variety believes that all of the other varieties are made up.

That misses the point. Religion is all man made. Assuming basic theism is correct then religions are simply mankind's attempt to understand that deity and what it should mean to our lives. I have no doubt that none of us understand it perfectly. Yes, as a Christian I believe that Jesus perfectly modeled the nature of God but although His basic message of love of all creation, and even our enemies is simple, understanding it's application isn't always so simple, so there are disagreements and it is belief.

Sure there are lots of aspects of the Christian faith that I believe to be true, but I have no doubt that there are a lot of things I'm wrong about. Trouble is, I just don't know which parts they are.

I base my life on the faith that my understanding of God is at least close enough to the truth to use that teaching as a foundation to base my life on, no matter how imperfectly I do it.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 420 by ringo, posted 10-05-2018 5:52 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 433 by ringo, posted 10-06-2018 11:56 AM GDR has not yet responded
 Message 506 by Faith, posted 10-08-2018 11:42 AM GDR has responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4983
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 526 of 1677 (841198)
10-09-2018 2:36 AM
Reply to: Message 506 by Faith
10-08-2018 11:42 AM


Re: One god or many
Faith writes:

You seem to limit your idea of the Christian life to good works, or loving your neighbor, would you say that's correct?

Not at all. It is about knowing that love is simply a gift from God and then reflecting His love into the world which of course includes my neighbour. I know, no matter how imperfectly I do it, that I'm called to a life of prayer and worship.

Faith writes:

What about love of God in your system? It's the first of the ten commandments after all.

It actually isn't the first of the 10 commandments but to the point it is that we show our love of God by loving what He stands for and we know what He stands for by knowing Jesus.

Faith writes:

Devotional writings aim to raise our affections to God Himself but I was wondering if you consider your relation to God to be much of a part of Christian life at all. It seems that you may not just because you seem so focused on love of, as you say above, the creation, enemy etc.

You are an ardent follower of some politicians. You don't know them personally but you know and believe in them by what they stand for, and even feel a relationship with them. Yes, I have had personal experiences of God in my life but that isn't really the issue. The issue is do I allow God to change my heart away from self centredness to one that is more centred on others.
Faith writes:


Which is all about doing good for others, loving others? What about prayer? How much is that part of your Christian vision? How about prayer just as communion with God because He's lovable and wants our company?

Of course prayer is important and yes I pray, primarily that I would be the person that God wants me to be. (I'm a long way from having that one answered.)

Faith writes:

Our conversations are usually about your objection to making the Bible so important, but I started thinking that you may be missing something apart from that issue, just in how you live in terms of Jesus' message rather than in terms of loving Jesus Himself personally above all else.

The Bible is extremely important. However, it is Jesus that is the Word of God according to the Bible and when we value the words in the Bible above the words of Jesus we are missing the message that the Bible has for us.

For me the focus of my Christianity is not what happens to me in the next life but what God calls me to in this life. God has given us life; he has given us various gifts; he has given us the ability to know and share love and so on. What is important in our life is how we use these gifts.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 506 by Faith, posted 10-08-2018 11:42 AM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 527 by Faith, posted 10-09-2018 5:11 AM GDR has responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4983
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.9


(2)
Message 536 of 1677 (841238)
10-09-2018 8:30 PM
Reply to: Message 527 by Faith
10-09-2018 5:11 AM


Re: loving God
GDR writes:

For me the focus of my Christianity is not what happens to me in the next life but what God calls me to in this life.

Faith writes:

Which to my mind is a very confused and frustrating statement. Salvation is the first step to being ABLE to live the life God calls us to. People who try to live it without being saved are doing in their flesh what can only be done in the power of God, and we can only have the power of God if we are born again. "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth;" said Paul in Romans 1:16. What is the "gospel of Christ" but the good news that He has died to pay for our sins, which is what gives us the power to love and serve, without which we really do not have the ability to love and serve though we may think we do.

This is one of the things that bothers me about fundamentalism in general. It is so focused on personal salvation. Jesus said, "judge not that you be not judged" I am quite happy to leave whatever happens to me, or my neighbour, in the next life up to God. It isn't my business to figure out who is in or out. The whole idea of people being told that they have to buy into a specific doctrine in order to be "saved" and have eternal life is repugnant and is the opposite of what Jesus taught.

I hear your form of evangelism as one that tries to scare others into becoming Christian. In other words you should become a Christian because it is going to pay off big time. (Like Pascal's wager) The idea of being a Christian is that we are called to serve Him, not trying to figure out how to get Him to serve us. That has been the failing of so many world religions. It becomes about controlling God instead of allowing Him to control us.

GDR writes:

God has given us life; he has given us various gifts; he has given us the ability to know and share love and so on. What is important in our life is how we use these gifts.

Faith writes:

But he has only given these things to those He's saved, meaning those who DO have the new life, are born again. To slight salvation is to slight the whole life you want to live.


Nonsense. I know numerous non-Christians who are more Christ-like than a lot of Christians I know.

Faith writes:

Or, put it this way: if people do not know they have eternal life, what is to motivate them to serve God at all? It is God's loving us that motivates us to love, and His loving us means He gives us eternal life. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish but have everlasting life." And 1 John 4:10: "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins."


So you're saying that if you as a Christian you would stop serving God if you came to the conclusion that after death there is simply oblivion. The whole point is that we are to serve a God of love because that is where our heart is. Loving others even sacrificially is supposed to be where we find our joy. Your faith is about loving others because ultimately there is a big pay back, meaning that you are never free to love sacrificially.
Our motivation for committing acts of sacrificial love should be for a Christian the same as any non-Christian. It is done simply because that is where our heart is, and it is the right thing to do.

The idea of being motivated because of being saved is not the message that we get from following Jesus. It is actually the opposite. Yes, the ability to love is a gift from God and we are called to be grateful for that gift, but we show our gratitude for it by spreading it to others and to all of creation for that matter.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 527 by Faith, posted 10-09-2018 5:11 AM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 537 by Faith, posted 10-09-2018 8:37 PM GDR has responded
 Message 541 by Faith, posted 10-10-2018 4:56 AM GDR has not yet responded
 Message 542 by Percy, posted 10-10-2018 7:24 AM GDR has responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4983
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.9


(2)
Message 538 of 1677 (841250)
10-10-2018 2:02 AM
Reply to: Message 537 by Faith
10-09-2018 8:37 PM


Re: loving God
Faith writes:

It simply never occurs to me that such a message of love could be turned into a message of selfishness or hate or whatever it is you do with it. By now I should have learned but I never do. It remains a message of love to me anyway.


Faith, I'm not questioning the fact that you are a loving wonderful person, and a wonderful Christian. Your tenacity in defending your faith is inspirational and your willingness to study enough to argue against evolution is remarkable. I do disagree with your conclusions but then I simply approach it from a very different perspective as I don't see evolutionary theory to be in any way contradictory to how we should understand Christianity or the Bible.

I do have a problem though with your doctrine. I know that you have retained a message of love from your Christianity. Not everyone can do that however. When you hold to your understanding of how the Bible is to be understood you have to explain to others that God was capable of ordering his followers to commit genocide and engage in public executions by stoning, but that He doesn't do that anymore.

You also have to explain to people why it is that God will assign to hell if they don't get their doctrine right. I just contend that trying to scare people into becoming Christian is not what God wants. It is no wonder that so many completely reject Christianity when it is presented that way.

I'm suggesting that from an evangelical POV what God wants us to respond to His love and often they respond because they can see God's love in His followers.

Sure, tell people that there is life after death where the pain goes away but again I suggest that it shouldn't be used as a carrot on stick. It is just a gift from a loving God and that all of mankind, Christian or not, is called to respond to that love by reflecting it out into the world.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 537 by Faith, posted 10-09-2018 8:37 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 540 by Faith, posted 10-10-2018 3:56 AM GDR has not yet responded
 Message 543 by Percy, posted 10-10-2018 7:32 AM GDR has responded
 Message 544 by Faith, posted 10-10-2018 11:11 AM GDR has responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4983
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.9


(1)
Message 546 of 1677 (841283)
10-11-2018 12:17 AM
Reply to: Message 542 by Percy
10-10-2018 7:24 AM


Re: loving God
Percy writes:

I thought this was great and wonder what you think of a couple of suggested changes.
What would you think of this:

It becomes about controlling God instead of allowing Him to control us.
Becoming this:

It becomes about controlling God instead of allowing his love to flow through us out into the world.

Sorry Percy. I missed this post. I would agree with that change. When you look at religions in general it seems to be so often about getting God to do what we want Him to do. All through the OT it is so often, (and there are lots of exceptions) about the idea of following all the right rules and Yahweh will lead them in the defeat of their enemies.

It is even obvious in the Gospels that the disciples still had that idea that Jesus as Messiah would lead them against their enemies. Again in the first part of Acts 1 and after the resurrection they still didn't get Jesus' message. Jesus' Kingdom was an altogether different kingdom than they envisioned and defeating their enemies with love instead of swords was beyond their comprehension at that time.

That is my problem with Faith's understanding. It is IMHO the idea that if we give intellectual assent to some basic Christian doctrine that we will be rewarded with eternal life. This turns faith into a work.

So yes I agree, but in a way if we are allowing God's love to flow through us we have at least to a certain degree to have handed over control to God. But where I like your term better because it is specific to a loving god as I suppose that terrorists could also feel that they are giving control over to God as they envision him.

I guess I may have been a tad too clever in trying to use JFK's quote.

Percy writes:

And would "selflessly" be a better word than "sacrificially" here. If not, why is "sacrificially" the better word:

I think that loving selflessly is a good term as it is broader in scope. I think that we could say that if one loves sacrificially then it is an act of selfless love but that selfless love is not necessarily sacrificial.

Edited by GDR, : too not to


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 542 by Percy, posted 10-10-2018 7:24 AM Percy has acknowledged this reply

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4983
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 548 of 1677 (841285)
10-11-2018 2:38 AM
Reply to: Message 544 by Faith
10-10-2018 11:11 AM


Re: loving God
Faith writes:

I never felt any necessity to explain this until I came to EvC where people refuse to learn from God and instead talk about Him as if He weren't the God who made all things. God is a God of justice and that's what you are describing, His judgments on peoples for sin. Public stoning was the method of execution of the day and Israel was a theocracy. I don't apologize for any of that. If someone wants to accuse God instead of hearing the gospel I just figure they aren't really interested in Christianity.


We agree that God is the creator. I would agree with you as creator and as the one responsible for our existence that He would have the right to order genocide and public stoning. He would also have the right to have his followers fly airplanes into buildings taking thousands of lives. Well how do we decide if God actually did command His followers to do those things?

You and I are both Christians so what is it we believe about Jesus? John 1 says this:

quote:
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
Then John writes:
quote:
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John is saying that the Word, (Logos), of God was there from the very beginning and that Word or nature of God was embodied by Jesus.

You would have us believe that the Word, (Logos) of God is flexible and that God is a god of situational ethics. So just because God could order us to commit heinous acts does not mean He did.

So to come to a conclusion as Christians we look to Jesus who perfectly embodied the Word of God that existed from the beginning and continued through the time that those OT books were written.

Jesus lived in a land where He and all His fellow Jews had their land brutally occupied by the Romans who then brutally ruled over them. Did He suggest that the Roman men, women, children and infants be slaughtered? No He said that they should love their enemy, turn the other cheek and go the extra mile. Jesus is essentially saying that the enemy isn't the Romans but the enemy is evil itself and that the ultimate weapon against evil is love. That was how evil was defeated by an act of love on the cross.

This is from Deuteronomy 20:

quote:
12 If they refuse to make peace and they engage you in battle, lay siege to that city. 13 When the LORD your God delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it. 14 As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves. And you may use the plunder the LORD your God gives you from your enemies. 15 This is how you are to treat all the cities that are at a distance from you and do not belong to the nations nearby. 16 However, in the cities of the nations the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. 17 Completely destroy them—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the LORD your God has commanded you.
Do you actually believe that God, whose nature we see perfectly revealed in Jesus would actually command that? Every creature that breaths is to be killed except that with the communities that aren't to inconveniently too far away they can take the women, children cattle etc as plunder. On top of that, these were their neighbours and not even their occupiers.

Once again if the Word of God as embodied by Jesus was there from the beginning, then we can very safely know that the commands that Deuteronomy attribute to God did not in fact come from God but from the prideful and power hungry hearts of men. God the Father of Jesus has one consistent nature, and as we see in Jesus His nature is one of perfect and consistent love.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 544 by Faith, posted 10-10-2018 11:11 AM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 549 by Faith, posted 10-11-2018 8:06 AM GDR has responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4983
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 555 of 1677 (841314)
10-11-2018 10:58 AM
Reply to: Message 542 by Percy
10-10-2018 7:24 AM


Re: loving God
Parcy writes:

And would "selflessly" be a better word than "sacrificially" here. If not, why is "sacrificially" the better word:


I got thinking more about this. In retrospect I think I prefer sacrificially. Loving selflessly can mean committing a loving act that costs nothing such as paying a compliment to a stranger. Loving selfishly means that loving myself to the point that I am prepared to cause others to lose something for my benefit. Loving sacrificially is being prepared to give up things such as time, money, material things, pride or possibly even life itself for the benefit of others.

He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 542 by Percy, posted 10-10-2018 7:24 AM Percy has acknowledged this reply

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4983
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 560 of 1677 (841343)
10-11-2018 2:38 PM
Reply to: Message 549 by Faith
10-11-2018 8:06 AM


God's Justice
Faith writes:

God always acts righteously and justly. He cannot commit "genocide" because that is defined as a crime and God cannot commit a crime. He cannot do anything wrong, sinful, unrighteous or criminal. He has no such "right" as you are claiming. Therefore when He has a people killed it is the death penalty for THEIR crimes, sins, idolatries and so on. In the cases so often referred to the peoples had been given hundreds of years to repent, and it was only when their iniquities had reached "the fullness of time" that God sent judgment against them. We cannot possibly understand this from our modern vantage point, but we are certainly in the wrong if we impose our understanding on God's judgments and judge Him when we are to be judged by Him.


So you are going to limit God by saying that He can’t do anything wrong. Presumably then you are saying that because He is God then whatever He does is right. However, if we are to understand the Bible as you do we can see that God is capable of committing genocide Himself as in Sodom and Gomorra, but even worse He is getting humans to do His dirty work for Him in other cases without regard to how that will affect their hearts and minds. You are essentially saying that ultimately there really is no right and wrong.
Faith writes:

I have no problem at all deciding that because I know the Bible is "God-breathed" so that I know what it says is the truth. As for the WTC attack I believe nothing happens without God so that too is His judgment, though this one was more like God's bringing the enemies of His people, the Assyrians and Babylonians against Israel and Judah, something they initiated but served God's purposes anyway, in the case of the WTCD a judgment which nobody heeded of course, except a very few preachers I happened to hear at the time. All the rest were saying God doesn't do such things.
Well they have no knowledge of God's judgments then. 9/11 should have been followed by a great movement of repentance toward God to restore the nation to His favor, but instead we did what ancient Israel also did when under judgment: God destroyed the trees so they replanted the trees; God knocked down buildings so they rebuilt the buildings. I think that is in Isaiah 10 though I'd have to look it up.


Obviously when you say that the Bible is God breathed your reasoning is circular. Yes I believe that God breathes life into and speaks to us through the Scriptures but that does not make them inerrant in the way that you understand them. When we read stories of God committing or commanding genocide or public stoning, we can read them and understand how severely we humans can distort things by assigning evil to God thus relieving them of the responsibility for the evil and even justifying it. That is what God has to say to us in those ancient stories.

You go even further and justify the actions of the 9/11 terrorists and agreeing that they were simply acting as agents of God. That is so unbelievably far from what Jesus lived and taught, and this is what happens when Christians make a false idol out of the Bible instead of actually following Jesus. Your understanding of God becomes no different than the god of the 9/11 terrorists. Yes God was involved that day. He was active in the hearts of those who risked their lives rescuing people and in the hearts of those that reached out to the families of the victims. He suffered with those who lost their lives and their families.

Faith writes:

Instead of repenting and owning their sin Israel ignored their sin, felt sorry for themselves and rebuilt what God had destroyed. And God says that He will judge them even more because of that.

And that's what America has done as well. This was all written about in the book "The Harbinger" by Jonathan Cahn who saw the connection between our destroyed trees and buildings and Israel's in that passage, some pretty uncanny connections as a matter of fact, a direct pointing to the teaching about defying God's judgments and bringing more as a result.

We never learn. As long as people hate God for His judgments we'll just go on reaping judgments. Too many have a sappy view of Jesus as having nothing to do with judgment. If you read Isaiah 61, which He quoted in the synagogue about His mission as Messiah, you might note that He read only the part about His coming as a savior and a comforter, and stopped at the point where it goes on to say "the day of vengeance of our God." That's His mission too, but on His second coming. He came once to save us, but He'll come a second time to judge the world. Same Jesus, same God of the Old Testament, the one you hate.


I agree that God is a god of justice. But God is also a god of mercy and forgiveness. I think that the person who understood that best was CS Lewis. I know I have quoted this here previously but it is worth quoting again. From the book “The Great Divorce”:
quote:
“There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, in the end, "Thy will be done." All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. Those who knock it is opened.”

My Christian belief is that God is just, merciful and loving, and that ultimately there will be perfect justice. I was raised in a middle class Canadian home where I was loved and cared for by moral and ethical parents. So many grow up in homes where they are not valued and in an atmosphere that is neither loving, moral nor ethical. One reason that I feel at peace with God’s judgment is that I am confident that God’s plan will see an understanding of our experiences in this life so that the individual that emerged from a negative environment will be treated mercifully and with compassion for those circumstances.

I don’t have all the answers that you seem to believe that you have. I am content that even though I have opinions of the ultimate future of this world I am content to leave it to God. As a Christian I do trust that ultimately there will be perfect justice for all, and that justice will involve mercy, forgiveness and above all love.

Faith writes:

Honestly, GDR, I really don't know if you are a Christian. Sometimes I accept that you are and other times I think you reject too much of the truth to be a Christian. And you even reject salvation, the gospel itself, actually talk about it as an unworthy human manipulation -- the thought makes me shudder.


I guess I’m just happy that it is God judging me and not you. Incidentally I don’t reject salvation. My point is that salvation should not be the focus of our Christianity. Salvation is God’s business and our business is to fulfill the task that we have been given which is to be grateful for the gift of life, to humbly love mercy and kindness, to act justly, and above all to reflect God’s love into His creation,

He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 549 by Faith, posted 10-11-2018 8:06 AM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 561 by Faith, posted 10-11-2018 2:47 PM GDR has responded
 Message 574 by Faith, posted 10-11-2018 7:50 PM GDR has responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4983
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 564 of 1677 (841349)
10-11-2018 2:51 PM
Reply to: Message 543 by Percy
10-10-2018 7:32 AM


Re: loving God
Percy writes:

I'm trying to figure out why you would say this, which implies that you have a deep capacity to see love in everyone:
GDR writes:
Faith, I'm not questioning the fact that you are a loving wonderful person, and a wonderful Christian.
When just a message ago you said this:

Nonsense. I know numerous non-Christians who are more Christ-like than a lot of Christians I know.
Which implies much more objectivity.


Fair enough. I don't know enough about Faith to actually pass judgement on her so I am assuming what I said about her. Certainly I find it distressing that she so distorts Christ'a message but at the same time she is able to justify OT atrocities without seeing them as being justified in her own life.

As for the last statement it seems to me that we are capable of somewhat objectively judging whether or not an individual has a more loving nature than some other individual.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 543 by Percy, posted 10-10-2018 7:32 AM Percy has acknowledged this reply

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4983
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.9


(1)
Message 569 of 1677 (841355)
10-11-2018 3:07 PM
Reply to: Message 561 by Faith
10-11-2018 2:47 PM


Re: God's Justice
Faith writes:

Limit God? By understanding that He is absolute Perfection? What on earth has happened to bring such a nonsensical idea about? I can't fathom this weirdness. Why would you even WANT an imperfect God? I ADORE His perfections, His perfect beauty, His perfect understanding, His perfect moral law, His perfect judgments, His perfect righteousness, His perfect power, His perfect knowledge …. I'm aghast at such an idea as an imperfect God.

Absolutely I believe in a perfect God whose nature is perfectly embodied by Jesus. Genocide and public stoning are completely contrary to what Jesus taught so we know that they are wrong. You however are prepared to accept and call right the idea that God both committed and commanded these atrocities. In other words it is you that worships an imperfect God and I would in turn ask you why you would want to do that.

Faith writes:

Absolutely, unequivocally, unquestionably, right. That is why we can use the Bible as our standard for judging absolutely everything and don't have to second guess anything or wonder which part is true etc etc etc.

You say you use the Bible as a standard. You actually don't. You have to twist the basic meaning of the Bible so badly that the message that God actually has for us becomes unrecognizable. As I've said before, it becomes Biblleianity instead of Christianity.

He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 561 by Faith, posted 10-11-2018 2:47 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 572 by Faith, posted 10-11-2018 7:31 PM GDR has not yet responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4983
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.9


(1)
Message 586 of 1677 (841412)
10-12-2018 1:03 PM
Reply to: Message 574 by Faith
10-11-2018 7:50 PM


Re: God's Justice
Faith writes:

All that is ALSO true. But since you hate the God of the Old Testament you will never get the whole picture and will always miss God's judgments against sin, and when they are missed and denied they accumulate and bring on worse judgment.


No I don't hate the God of the old testament. I do hate the things done by men claiming to do it in His name.

Faith, the Bible tells the story of a progressive revelation of the nature of God to His people. You have said that as a new Christian you were heavily influenced by CS Lewis. Here is a quote from his book "Miracles".

quote:
just as, on the factual side, a long preparation culminates in God’s becoming incarnate as Man, so, on the documentary side, the truth first appears in mythical form and then by a long process of condensing or focusing finally becomes incarnate as History. This involves the belief that Myth in general is… at its best, a real though unfocused gleam of divine truth falling on human imagination. The Hebrews, like other peoples, had mythology: but as they were the chosen people so their mythology was the chosen mythology – the mythology chosen by God to be the vehicle of the earliest sacred truths, the first step in that process which ends in the New Testament where truth has become completely historical. Whether we can ever say with certainty where, in this process of crystallization, any particular Old Testament story falls, is another matter. I take it that the memoirs of David’s court come at one end of the scale and are scarcely less historical than St. Mark or Acts; and that the Book of Jonah is at the opposite end.

I believe that the Bible is a tool that will lead us to truth, but if read in the way you read it the truth gets so distorted that it is barely recognizable. Jesus was a Jew immersed in their scriptures. He often refers back to the OT. So, in other words, to understand Jesus' message we need to refer back to the OT, but then, we need to understand the OT through the lens of the life, teaching , death and resurrection of Jesus.

God's call on our lives is simple, (just read my signature quoted from the OT), it is the theology that is not simple at all.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 574 by Faith, posted 10-11-2018 7:50 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 587 by Faith, posted 10-12-2018 1:41 PM GDR has responded
 Message 588 by Thugpreacha, posted 10-12-2018 3:34 PM GDR has responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4983
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 589 of 1677 (841439)
10-12-2018 7:30 PM
Reply to: Message 588 by Thugpreacha
10-12-2018 3:34 PM


Re: God's Justice
Interesting read. I wonder where he got that information on Micah from.

He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 588 by Thugpreacha, posted 10-12-2018 3:34 PM Thugpreacha has acknowledged this reply

    
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