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Author Topic:   A Way to Think About Free Will and God: Open Theism
GDR
Member
Posts: 5410
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


(1)
Message 81 of 378 (845041)
12-10-2018 9:30 PM
Reply to: Message 79 by Phat
12-10-2018 3:49 PM


Re: Who Is In Charge?
Phat writes:

Essentially I agree with GDR in that the message for Christians today is not found in the commands to the Jewish people of Israel in the Old Testament. It is found through Jesus Christ.


First off apologies to those like Percy that I just haven't had time lately to spend on this. I just wanted to comment on this.

Yes, I agree that the life lessons for Christians today is found in the message that we receive from Jesus in the Gospels, as well as in the exegesis done by the writers of the Epistles.

I think it is important to remember though, that Jesus' self understanding was gained through His knowledge and understanding of the OT. If we want to understand how Jesus understood His relationship with the Father, the basis for His message of love of God and neighbour, and primarily the basis for His understanding of His vocation we need the OT.

The Bible is obviously not inerrant. It was written by people, and although they were inspired to record their histories, their understandings of God, and their hopes for their future with God, it does not mean that they got it right or wrong. It is open to human understanding as it is open to human error and false motives.

So, as I've said numerous times, if we want to understand just what it was that Jesus was about ,we need to OT, but if we want to understand God's Word, where to quote John, "The Word Became Flesh", we look through the life and message of Jesus.

Thanks so much for your time and wisdom on this forum both as admin and contributor.

Merry Christmas
GDR


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 79 by Phat, posted 12-10-2018 3:49 PM Phat has not yet responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 5410
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


(1)
Message 142 of 378 (845584)
12-17-2018 2:47 PM
Reply to: Message 138 by Phat
12-17-2018 11:05 AM


God isn't learning but responding
Phat writes:

I strongly disagree with jars portrayal of a God learning on the job. This would, however, only make sense should open theism be in any way true. God would hypothetically have to learn what we humans freely decided. I don't believe that, however. Now that I think about it, open theism has some flaws.

I don’t see it as a case of God learning on the job. It is God responding to what we do. For example if there is some atrocity in some part of the world leaving thousands of refugees driven from their home land, then God responds by touching the hearts of people to give of their time and resources to help them.

Part of the Christian understanding of God is that we are made in His image. Jesus referred to God as His Father. We raise our kids with an open future. As parents we respond to the actions of our kids. Ultimately however they have the freedom to accept or reject our advice which is good. We raise them to be adults and make their own choices, but even when they go against our wishes they are still our kids and we love them. I realize that many parents don’t actually respond that way but I would think that we would all agree that that is the way it should be.

As we are called to mirror or image God’s nature in our lives then I think it is very reasonable to assume that we can see that as the model for how God deals with us. He has given life to us; a life with endless choices and with the freedom to make those choices. He gives us the still small voice of His Spirit to guide us as a loving parent would but leaves us free to reject His guidance, without knowing beforehand what choice we will make.

Again, it isn’t that He is learning on the job but responding in 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 138 by Phat, posted 12-17-2018 11:05 AM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 143 by Phat, posted 12-17-2018 5:04 PM GDR has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 5410
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


(1)
Message 144 of 378 (845611)
12-17-2018 5:18 PM
Reply to: Message 143 by Phat
12-17-2018 5:04 PM


Re: God isn't learning but responding
Phat writes:

I remember that he asserts that all portrayals of how humans think about God are merely that---human portrayals. He believes in GOD, Creator of all seen and unseen through the Nicene Creed, but he emphasizes Jesus as human while on earth.

I agree that humans form their own image of God but that we don't do it in a vacuum. We have human history to see what brings a positive result and what doesn't. We can be amazed and look for the understanding of why we perceive love even sacrificially, why we experience joy or sadness, why we experience beauty and even why we look for meaning, but above all I would say that we have the nudging in God's Spirit in His still small voice.

Also he said that he believed in the Nicene Creed but he also rejected parts of it.

Phat writes:

Thus, Jesus could and did sin, according to jar.

I would say that He could but didn't. That I think is beautifully metaphorically written about in the temptations in the desert.

Phat writes:

Personally, based on my past experience, I believe that Jesus is Gods human character and is alive eternally and that at one time I met Him.

That's true for me as well except I would say that I experienced Him as opposed to meeting Him.

Phat writes:

Stay tuned as I develop my beliefs regarding these matters.

Me too. May God be with you through your fasting and your eye operation.

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 143 by Phat, posted 12-17-2018 5:04 PM Phat has not yet responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 5410
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 148 of 378 (845753)
12-19-2018 8:52 PM
Reply to: Message 146 by Faith
12-19-2018 2:05 PM


Re: Religious persecutions of heretics -- get it straight Tangle
Faith writes:

As I said, if God ordered it, it is just. You don't have to see the justice if you know God ordered it. If you had any clue to the reality of God you couldn't talk the way you are talking.

..even though Jesus as the "Word of God" said that we are to love our enemy and turn the other cheek. BTW, that isn't being a wimp, that takes guts.

Faith writes:

The Bible is God's word, if it tells me God did something, then God did it, not Satan.

That is how you have decided the Bible is to be understood. The evidence that you give for that is that in one place in all of the 66 books it says the the Bible was inspired, and then you use your own interpretation of inspired to mean that it is inerrant. You ignore what Jesus teaches to preserve your inerrantist beliefs so that the Bible can be twisted to say whatever you need to have it say to support what you want it to say.

Faith writes:

That's because you don't believe in God and have no idea of what He is like. He defines what is just and He sees everything, past and future and all the ramifications of every act, so rightly your finite ability to understand has to yield.

Who are you to say whether or not Vimesay believes in God. I know atheists who are a lot more Christ like than a some Christians i know. Maybe Vimesey actually has Christ in his heart without actually giving intellectual ascent to Christianity. Maybe He is one of the righteous sheep in Matthew 25 who fed the hungry etc without knowing that he was doing it for Jesus. Who are you to judge?

Vimesey writes:

If God told me to kill a baby, I’d tell him where to get off.

Faith writes:

Not if you were a member of the ancient Jewish army and had even a smidgen of a clue to His reality.

Well maybe that member of the ancient Jewish army knew God better than you think because the genocide didn't happen. The Canaanites were still around later in the Bible. To be frank I'd also add that just maybe Vimesey knows God better than you do based on the 2 quotes I used to lead off this paragraph

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 146 by Faith, posted 12-19-2018 2:05 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 149 by Faith, posted 12-20-2018 12:23 PM GDR has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 5410
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 153 of 378 (845776)
12-20-2018 2:30 PM
Reply to: Message 152 by ringo
12-20-2018 1:23 PM


Calling evil good or good evil.
ringo writes:

That's what I've been trying to tell Phat for years. "Believing" in Jesus is far more than just believing that He existed.

Absolutely but I think that it goes beyond that. The Gospels as in the sheep and goats of Matthew 25 are very clear. It is about hearts that genuinely love and are prepared to love sacrificially whether we are Christian or not.

The following is a direct quote from CS Lewis’ book “The Last Battle” from the Narnia series. In it Aslan, (the lion), is the Jesus figure and Tash represents the personification of evil. This passage is told by Emeth who has always served Tash with a loving heart believing that Tash and Aslan were of the same nature and that they both represented righteousness. He has gone from Narnia into what is metaphorically the world that represents the renewal of all things.

quote:
So I went over much grass and many flowers and among all kinds of wholesome and delectable tree till lo! In a narrow place between two rocks there came to meet me a great Lion. The speed of him was like an ostrich, and his size was an elephant’s; his hair was like pure gold that is liquid in the furnace. He was more terrible than the Flaming Mountain of Langour, and in beauty he surpassed all that is in the world even as the rose in bloom surpasses the dust of the desert.

Then I fell at his feet and thought, Surely this is the hour of death, for the Lion (who is worthy of all honour) will know that I have served Tash all my days and not him. Nevertheless, it is better to see the Lion and die than to be Tisroc of the world and live and not to have seen him.

But the Glorious One bent down his golden head and touched my forehead with his tongue and said, Son thou art welcome. But I said, Alas, Lord, I am no son of thine but the servant of Tash. He answered, Child, all the service thou hast done to Tash, I account as service done to me.

Then by reason of my great desire for wisdom and understanding, I overcame my fear and questioned the Glorious One and said, Lord, is it then true, as the Ape said, that thou and Tash are one? The Lion growled so that the earth shook (but his wrath was not against me) and said, It is false. Not because he and I are one, but because we are opposites, I take to me the services which thou hast done to him. For I and he are of such different kinds that no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him. Therefore if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath’s sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him. And if any man do a cruelty in my name, then, though he says he says the name Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves and by Tash his deed is accepted.

Dost thou understand , Child? I said, Lord, thou knowest how much I understand. But I said also (for the truth constrained me), Yet I have been seeking Tash all my days. Beloved, said the Glorious One, unless thy desire had been for me thou wouldst not have sought so long and so truly. For all find what they truly seek.


My point is that you can serve God through Jesus without having given intellectual ascent to their divinity. It also points out that you can serve evil in the name of Jesus.

In Matthew 12 Jesus says the following.

quote:
31 And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

The Holy Spirit is that “still small voice of God” that speaks through our conscience. We blaspheme the spirit when we claim that which is evil to be good or claiming that which is good to be evil.

I suggest that by understanding the Bible in such a way that has God ordering genocide and calling it good, or when we talk about the rejection of our neighbours of other faiths etc, that we just might be on the wrong side of the point that Jesus makes in Matthew 12.


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 152 by ringo, posted 12-20-2018 1:23 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 154 by Tangle, posted 12-20-2018 2:34 PM GDR has not yet responded
 Message 155 by ringo, posted 12-20-2018 2:42 PM GDR has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 5410
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


(1)
Message 156 of 378 (845779)
12-20-2018 2:53 PM
Reply to: Message 149 by Faith
12-20-2018 12:23 PM


Re: Religious persecutions of heretics -- get it straight Tangle
Faith writes:

Now I know for sure you share the heresy of Robert Schuller, this idea that people can be Christians who never heard of Christ or even reject Him though they've heard of Him. However, "there is no other NAME under heaven by which we must be saved" than Jesus Christ, so nobody can be a Christian without knowing His name and believing in Him.

Oh I'm sure all kinds of unbelievers are very nice people, but that doesn't make them Christians.


I did not say that unbelievers can be Christians. If you do not believe in God, and in Jesus as the embodiment of God, then you aren't a Christian.

My point was that non-Christians can lead lives that are pleasing to God, and Christians can lead lives that are displeasing to God.

You continuously seem to focus on who is saved and who isn't. That is not the point of Jesus message. The message is that we are called to be members of "God's Kingdom" by serving Him, which of course means serving Him by using the gift of love, and living our lives reflecting that love into all of His creation. The Bible calls us as Christians to prayerfully engage with God. As Psalm 37:4 tells us, we are to pray that our hearts will desire what His heart desires.

Edited by GDR, : No reason given.


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 149 by Faith, posted 12-20-2018 12:23 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 161 by Faith, posted 12-21-2018 11:25 AM GDR has responded
 Message 162 by Faith, posted 12-21-2018 11:44 AM GDR has not yet responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 5410
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


(1)
Message 157 of 378 (845790)
12-20-2018 11:10 PM
Reply to: Message 155 by ringo
12-20-2018 2:42 PM


Re: Calling evil good or good evil.
ringo writes:

And yet Matthew 12 sounds very much like the God who orders genocide, who decides arbitrarily what is good and what is evil.

You sound like Pilate. “What is truth”. I believe that there actually is an objective truth in answer to your question; however as humans we can only come up with subjective conclusions.

With our free will God has given us an open future as individuals to answer that question and the freedom to lead our lives in accordance with our answer.

I seems to me that at one end we have the Golden Rule – do unto others as you would have them do unto you. The other end might be “looking out for number one” or maybe “if it feels good 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 155 by ringo, posted 12-20-2018 2:42 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 158 by ringo, posted 12-21-2018 10:44 AM GDR has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 5410
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 159 of 378 (845827)
12-21-2018 11:11 AM
Reply to: Message 158 by ringo
12-21-2018 10:44 AM


Re: Calling evil good or good evil.
ringo writes:

You and I have a different idea of what "objective" means. What you call objective, I would call absolute - and I agree that IF there is absolute truth, we can not discover it. What I call objective is more like a consensus based on evidence. With no evidence, no objectivity is possible.

I hate when you're right. Absolute is the correct term and objective is not.

ringo writes:

Yes, I agree that we all have an internal conflict between two evolutionary "goals" - individual survival and group survival. But that has nothing to do with what you quoted.
I said that Matthew 12 seems to agree more with the Old Testament God than with your sanitized God who can do no wrong.

I don't see it that way. Firstly I'd like to say that there is also considerable evidence in the OT of a loving god, although there are accounts of a vengeful god as well. As I have said before I believe that through the Bible we have a progressive revelation of God climaxing in Jesus where we can see Him fully.

I'll quote C S Lewis again from "The Great Divorce" this time.

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.

As I said before we blaspheme the Holy Spirit by calling good evil and/or evil good. When we make that choice we are essentially rejecting life with God and making our own choice of hell.

Matthew 12 is saying that there won't be forgiveness. How can there be forgiveness if we have chosen evil as good and see no need for forgiveness. We have been given free will where we can choose between good and evil leading ultimately to choosing between life with God, and life away from God


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 158 by ringo, posted 12-21-2018 10:44 AM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 160 by ringo, posted 12-21-2018 11:22 AM GDR has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 5410
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 168 of 378 (845895)
12-21-2018 6:42 PM
Reply to: Message 160 by ringo
12-21-2018 11:22 AM


Re: Calling evil good or good evil.
ringo writes:

Yes, so the overall picture is of a flighty God.

C'mon ringo. Like I said it is a progressive revelation where the understanding slowly became more and more focused until it became perfectly focused in Jesus. God remained constant but their understanding of God fluctuated between times and individuals.

ringo writes:

Which is why I say that Matthew 12 reflects the Old Testament. A loving God would forgive. A loving parent forgives whether the child wants forgiveness or not.

Why? If a child says to his/her parent that they want nothing more to do with them, do you think that they shouldn't be allowed that choice. It is the same with God.

If you ever get a chance read C S Lewis' book "the Great Divorce" Sure, it's a metaphor but I found it helpful.

Also, the Bible tells us that in the end it is all about the recreation of all things. As a Christian I don't really worry about who is in or out. I just leave that to God and maybe just ultimately hell will be empty. Also there is a possibility that our lives now impact our lives in the hereafter and so I'm inclined to think that it is more than just a matter of being in or out, and that just as we have roles in this life we'll have roles in the next. In the end I believe that God's justice is perfect and I'm more than happy to leave it all up to Him All I can do is with His guidance and help, be the person that He wants me to be in this life.


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 160 by ringo, posted 12-21-2018 11:22 AM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 170 by ringo, posted 12-22-2018 11:19 AM GDR has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 5410
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 169 of 378 (845898)
12-21-2018 6:52 PM
Reply to: Message 161 by Faith
12-21-2018 11:25 AM


Re: Religious persecutions of heretics -- get it straight Tangle
Faith writes:

I would of course suoppose that if someone "has Christ in his heart" he has to be a Christian, but apparently you are making a distinction. Perhaps not much of a distinction though. Sounds like you might put vimesey above a lot of Christians anyway, even as more favored by God?

Let's look at the story of the "Good Samaritan".

Luke 10 slightly modified writes:

25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” 27 He answered, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ ; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” 28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” 29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A PASTOR happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a CHURCH ELDER, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But VIMSEY, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ 36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” 37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

Jesus is clear that the Spirit speaks to all of us, and it is not just Christians that respond to the Spirit and there are many Christians who don't.


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 161 by Faith, posted 12-21-2018 11:25 AM Faith has not yet responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 5410
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


(1)
Message 172 of 378 (845915)
12-22-2018 3:22 PM
Reply to: Message 170 by ringo
12-22-2018 11:19 AM


Re: Calling evil good or good evil.
ringo writes:


But there's no reason to think that. God may have remained constant but His image was sanitized by believers who recognized that humans are more moral than their God. As long as hell exists there is no possibility of a loving God.

It isn't a case of sanitizing it. The Jews of the OT were subject to many influences. They worshiped Yahweh, celebrated the Exodus but at the same time they were almost endlessly suffering at the hands of their more powerful neighbours. Their vision of God was one who would with their help or not overpower their enemies.

Slowly however, their understanding of God evolved into a more loving God but there were still a wide variety of views of what it would look like when Yahweh returned. As near as we can tell nobody however expected Yahweh's time of visitation to look like Jesus.

I have a rather nuanced idea of hell. I found it interesting that in Lewis' book "The Last Battle' there was a group called the dwarfs. Their mantra was "the dwarfs are for the dwarfs". In the newly recreated world after Narnia they are part of it but they perceive the world very differently. They have a beautiful spread of food in front of them but they perceive as the same old gruel that they ate in Narnia.

Personally I don't think much about hell. I do trust in a God that is loving, forgiving and just, and that ultimately there will be perfect justice. I'll leave it to it to Him as to what that looks like.

ringo writes:


I don't think any parent would give them that choice. Note the story of the prodigal son. The children might go out the door but it's always open for them to come back.

Sure, I'm fine with that and you even used the Bible to make your point. However a parent has to give them freedom to make their choice in the first place, which doesn't negate a change of heart. That is actually pretty consistent again with Lewis' "The Great Divorce".

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 170 by ringo, posted 12-22-2018 11:19 AM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 175 by ringo, posted 12-23-2018 1:22 PM GDR has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 5410
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


(1)
Message 189 of 378 (845958)
12-23-2018 6:22 PM
Reply to: Message 175 by ringo
12-23-2018 1:22 PM


Re: Calling evil good or good evil.
ringo writes:

So that is them sanitizing their view of God and you arbitrarily choosing the sanitised version.

Yes and no. In the older parts of the OT by and large they were looking to Yahweh to be the most powerful god, one that was stronger than their neighbour's gods. Slowly though they became monotheistic but they still were looking for Yahweh to be with them in order to overcome their enemies and be number one in the neighbourhood for a change.

The later prophets though, and often in the psalms Yahweh slowly developed a more compassionate understanding of God;s nature. Finally the Israel story climaxes in Jesus where we see God's full nature embodied. I call it a progressive revelation but in a way it is a sanitation of their beliefs.

So yes, I believe the sanitized version, the one embodied by Jesus Christ and I reject the god that we can see when we accept an inerrant scripture. As I've said to Faith numerous times it is Christianity not Bibleinity, and as you can see I perceive the nature of God quite differently than do Faith or ICANT. They are prepared with their Bibleianity to accept a genocidal deity whereas with Christianity it is unthinkable.

ringo writes:

If you're saying that God had a change of heart since the genocidal Old Testament, that's one thing, but it doesn't give you an excuse to claim that the "true nature" of God is a loving one.
As long as everlasting punishment exists - and it doesn't matter whether you think about it or not - as long as it exists, the idea of a loving God won't fly.

I am not saying that God had a change of heart. I am saying that He didn't and would never have sanctioned genocide or public stoning for that matter.

As far as hell is concerned, I as a Christian believe in ultimate perfect justice. You tell me, should Stalin and Mother Theresa ,or Hitler and Mahatma Ghandi receive the same ultimate result?

I'm also fine with the idea that in the end hell is empty. I can only control my present life and personally I leave the next life up to God. I guess i'll know where when I get there.

ringo writes:

I'm using the Bible to make every point to you. You're the one who is avoiding the Bible and using C.S. Lewis as an apologist.

I'm not avoiding anything in the Bible. Yes I do reject a number of things as I don't believe that the Bible is inerrant, and I go further in that I contend the inerrantist view is a non-Christian view. I understand the Bible through the lens of what Jesus taught and how He lived.

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 175 by ringo, posted 12-23-2018 1:22 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 190 by AZPaul3, posted 12-24-2018 2:47 AM GDR has responded
 Message 191 by ringo, posted 12-24-2018 10:55 AM GDR has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 5410
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 192 of 378 (845975)
12-24-2018 2:26 PM
Reply to: Message 190 by AZPaul3
12-24-2018 2:47 AM


Re: Calling evil good or good evil.
AZPaul3 writes:

What'd you do, take a class in erudite?

Thank you I think.
Merry Christmas

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 190 by AZPaul3, posted 12-24-2018 2:47 AM AZPaul3 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 198 by AZPaul3, posted 12-24-2018 6:00 PM GDR has not yet responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 5410
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 197 of 378 (845985)
12-24-2018 5:10 PM
Reply to: Message 191 by ringo
12-24-2018 10:55 AM


Re: Calling evil good or good evil.
ringo writes:

But it isn't about inerrancy. It's about what the scriptures actually say. We can reject the idea of an actual worldwide Flood but we can't reject the description of a God who clearly would use one to wipe out mankind.

Again, you can't read the whole Bible in the same way. It's 66 books and hundreds of authors writing centuries apart, in different cultures and with different situations and influences. I agree that there probably was a flood. Was it worldwide? No. Was it caused by Yahweh's intervention in the natural order? No.

So yes. I have no problem rejecting the idea that God would use a flood to wipe out not only mankind but all other life as well. If you like, we can go back to that rather hackneyed expression; "what would Jesus do?". He just wouldn't do it.

If however you can stand back and look at it and ask yourself what God might be saying to us in the flood story. What I would get out of it is that God is saying that even if the whole world has turned away from Him and His message of love and mercy except for one man, He will continue to reach out to us through that one man.

ringo writes:

Theirs is an honest reading of the Bible; yours is not. They may come up with ludicrous, impossible interpretations based on a requirement for inerrancy but your interpretation is just made up.

Why is that an honest reading? If you look at the story of the Good Samaritan it doesn’t say that it is a parable. A literal reading would say that Jesus was describing an actual event although I’ve never heard anybody believing that to be the case.

It is reading texts written 2000 years ago with a 21st century mindset of how writing is to be understood. I actually contend that it is a dishonest way of understanding the scriptures because even with a 21st century mindset you have to agree that things written which clearly conflict are still both accurate.

GDR writes:

As far as hell is concerned, I as a Christian believe in ultimate perfect justice. You tell me, should Stalin and Mother Theresa ,or Hitler and Mahatma Ghandi receive the same ultimate result?

ringo writes:

Realistically, they all did receive the same result. They're all dead. Realistically, there's no such thing as "ultimate justice".

Certainly if there is no God there is no possibility of ultimate justice. Those that commit atrocities in this life and get away with it will, if they can live with it, wind up with the same ultimate result. If however, there is a God who cares for and loves us, then we can hope that ultimately there will be justice.

Yes, this is all about faith, but it is a faith consistent with what we see in Jesus. Even in the resurrected Jesus we see an example of God’s justice.

The example that comes to mind for me is this. I was raised in a home where I was loved, valued and cared for. I have grown up in a culture and a time that gave me freedom and opportunity. I figure I am one of the most privileged people that has ever lived. I have worked with people who grew up being kicked around from one foster home to another. In many cases they were largely considered a nuisance but the foster parents needed the money for taking them in. I realize that the majority of foster parents are wonderful, but even then these people knew that they were rejected by their birth parents. My privileged life has facilitated my life going smoothly, but that isn’t the case for so many others. It is my belief that am I called by God to do what I can to make up for this injustice in this life, and by faith in this life I believe that you are wrong and there will be ultimate justice, by a loving and merciful God.

GDR writes:

I'm not avoiding anything in the Bible. Yes I do reject a number of things...

ringo writes:

You contradict yourself. How is avoiding different from rejecting?

A good example is the flood story as I mentioned above. I accept the story and think of what message God might want me to get from it. However, as far as it being a literal worldwide flood I rejected it as read literally, but I didn’t avoid it.
ringo writes:

I think one of the biggest errors in the Bible (or at least drawn from the Bible) is the idea that Jesus died for our sins. What a ridiculous concept.

I agree that is a concept that is just thrown around to easily by much of the church. Through the OT scriptures we can see that the OT Jews believed that God wanted blood sacrifices. At least with the story of Isaac and his son they got away from human sacrifice. Jesus knew that if He went into Jerusalem doing what He was going to do that He would be crucified. However, even though He was so afraid of the prospect that He sweated blood, He believed that from His understanding of the Scriptures and through prayer that this was His vocation.

I have only a vague understanding in my own mind but I see it this way. We have our Earthly dimension and God has His Heavenly dimension or universe if you like. Jesus was the first human to bridge the gap between the two and became the first citizen of the renewed creation where heaven and earth become one. The Jews believed that to have sins forgiven they would go to the Temple, offer up a sacrifice and pray for forgiveness. Jesus was in many ways a counter-temple movement. He in effect was saying that through Him God was fulfilling the long hoped for return to His people. Instead of the Temple being the place to go to encounter God, and for forgiveness; forgiveness could be had through Him. Jesus became the bridge between us and the Father.

Of course that is all meaningless without the resurrection, which among other things gave God’s affirmation of Jesus’ message.


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 191 by ringo, posted 12-24-2018 10:55 AM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 209 by ringo, posted 12-27-2018 11:25 AM GDR has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 5410
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 225 of 378 (846102)
12-28-2018 6:07 PM
Reply to: Message 209 by ringo
12-27-2018 11:25 AM


Re: Calling evil good or good evil.
ringo writes:

You have to start by reading what it says, no matter what time or culture it came from. You can't decide arbitrarily to reject the parts you don't like and accept the parts you do like.

Well actually you can but that isn't the point. I do agree that you need to be consistent in the way that you understand what is written in the 66 books that make up the library that we call the Bible.

It is obvious that you don't read all the books the same way as, in spite of what fundamentalists might claim you cannot square the image of a god who would not only sanction but command genesis and public stonings, with the nature of God as revealed in Jesus where we are told to love our neighbour.

If we are to understand the nature of the Christian God as espoused by Christianity then we look to Jesus, and not the simple understanding that you seem to be insisting that I should take.

ringo writes:

I agree that there may have been a real Jesus. Did He rise from the dead? No. Could His death and fictional resurrection "save" us from anything? No.
The difference is that my conclusions are based on fact; yours are based on wishful thinking.

..and how have you determined this fact? Actually my beliefs aren't based on wishful thinking, but what I currently believe to be the truth. My beliefs have changed over the years and likely will again.

GDR writes:

If you like, we can go back to that rather hackneyed expression; "what would Jesus do?". He just wouldn't do it.

ringo writes:

And yet, if Jesus is God, He did.

Yes, the Bible said that Yahweh ordered genocide. As I have said many times that is what some scribe attributed to God for whatever reason. It is 100% incompatible with what Jesus taught in the Gospels and what the authors of the Epistles wrote.

ringo writes:

But that isn't what the story tells us. It says that if there is only one man who will accept God, then God is perfectly willing to destroy all of the others.

Why do you keep repeating the same thing over and over. I answered that previously. You keep insisting that the only way to understand the Bible is with a simple 21st century method of understanding literature. God did not intervene to cause a world wide flood but there is a truth in the form of a metaphor which can be gained from 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 209 by ringo, posted 12-27-2018 11:25 AM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 227 by ringo, posted 12-29-2018 11:38 AM GDR has responded

  
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