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Opeth
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since 12-13-2001
Posts 2224
The Ravines


150 posted 11-18-2002 11:48 AM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

Your defense was one that I have heard of so many times. It is a typical defense utilized by those who refuse to believe what they read. Nothing was taken out of context.

If Timothy writes that God desires all to be saved, and if Peter is talking about a particular event and states that God is no respector of persons, then logically and rationally,

1. God desires all to be saved.
2. God is no respector of persons.

As for the rest of your defense of the Bible's fallibilities. I'll be back later to discuss them.
jbouder
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since 09-18-99
Posts 2641
Whole Sort Of Genl Mish Mash


151 posted 11-18-2002 12:31 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Opeth:

I look forward to your answer.  A few points, however:

quote:
Your defense was one that I have heard of so many times. It is a typical defense utilized by those who refuse to believe what they read.


I would argue that it is a typical objection to what you assert by people who go to great lengths to understand what literature written 2000 years ago meant in its cultural context.

quote:
Nothing was taken out of context.


Maybe not, but you also failed to present anything in its context (isn't that the same?).  You quoted isolated verses without considering audience, culture, original language, literary type, translational difficulties, grammatical devises, allusion to other Scripture, or parallel verses.

quote:
If Timothy writes that God desires all to be saved, and if Peter is talking about a particular event and states that God is no respector of persons, then logically and rationally,

1. God desires all to be saved.
2. God is no respector of persons.


No, you are not getting it.  First, Paul wrote the Epistles to Timothy.  Timothy was the recipient, not the author of the Epistles.  How can I believe you researched this thoroughly if you've already confused authorship?

Second, you cannot simply take isolated verses from the New Testament and apply them universally if the context does not call for it.  Peter's statement, as recorded by Luke in Acts, and Paul had specific purposes.  To expand the meaning of their statements beyond the original intent is imputing meanings into the verses that were not originally there.

To the contrary of what you've suggested, logic and rationality require that your interpretation of translations of centuries old texts be careful and methodical.

Third, I am not suggesting that the Bible, as it has been handed down to us over many generations, is infallable, but I think it is fair to suggest that the Bible we have today is without significant, material error based upon the abundance of documentary evidence we have at our disposal.  Certainly you have failed to expose any material errors.

Lastly, I think you have revealed enough about your position to discount your previous arguments that you are able to look at Christianity without bias or prejudice.  You've already made up your mind, based on an obvious lack of sound exegesis and apparently you refuse to examine your position even when, by your own admission, you have heard this defense many times.  Did you ever consider that those who offered these defenses may have been on to something?

Jim

[This message has been edited by jbouder (11-18-2002 12:35 PM).]

The Napkin Writer
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152 posted 11-18-2002 03:28 PM       View Profile for The Napkin Writer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for The Napkin Writer

Quote:

Opeth
Where would you like me start? The bible is even inconsistent on the ressurection of its own saviour. It can't even get the day correct. This came to me with such ease, that I could not believe it. I had to read and reread it over and over, but still could not believe what I was reading. But that example is merely one small piece of the giant puzzle, looking at that piece alone, most Christians would quickly dismiss it. Why? Because they don't want their "world rocked." They don't want some Interent Opeth showing them that their religion is based on pagan philosophy, older religions, charismatic authrors, and pompous nationalists. Their subjective minds would quickly dismiss me. They would seek shelter from a learned person of their religious beliefs, so they can sigh and say see, we are correct after all.
----------------------------------------------------


“This is correct Opeth, many people are afraid that someone will come along and burst their bubble and not just their religious bubble either, but for those of us whom do not fear anymore or anyone, for those of us whom has suffered in sin over and again until the very thought of life became unbearable, we did not find our comfort in words, world views or religions, but in the profoundness of answers found only within our very own being!”

Stephanos answered your question:


----------------------------------------------------
Quote:

Stephanos
My salvation experience with God was not a desire for religion, or self-improvement, I literally could not shake his persistence in my life to show me that he is the Lord.

----------------------------------------------------



“One of the better-said lines I’ve read since this thread started,” this is it!  If ever there was a greater reason to believe in anything, it is under this premise, (persistence in my life).  And this term, (persistence in my life), is probably more profound than I am giving it right now.  

If we search the mare reasoning’s as to why one wanders and adventure in any aspect, that (persistence in my life), would probably be the very thing that drives every human being.  

And yes, even the Bible could be wrong; after all, it was translated, written and re-written by man over a thousand times.  Everything little thing that we argue, fuss, lie and die for could be wrong, but one thing that is never wrong is that, persistence in our lives!

I believe people that argue for and against a subject like religion are burden with the worlds problems burning deep within the pits of their inner being.  The argument is to find satisfaction to the persistence, in order clam that or those nagging questions.  I.e., if there is a God, then why is there so much suffering?  Could you see God trying to answer each of our petty little questions, why? why?, why?, why?,why?  We sound like a little two-year-old that makes our eyes roll up in the back our heads with all the questioning.  Excuse me God but you have ten billion, nine hundred and forty seven thousand, six hundred and thirty three questions to answer this morning, LOL.

God gave each of us our own heart to feel with, our own mind to think with and our own soul to be accountable for.  In return, we’ve given Him hearts of stone, minds that conceive with the seven deadly sins, and souls we care no more about then a piece of trash blowing in the wind.  We have seen His works, we have seen His wonders and we have heard His word all around us.  Yet, we have eyes and cannot see, we have ears and cannot hear.  Not one bad thing in the history of this world can be attributed to God.  The reason why there is so much suffering in this world is because of mans greed, and hatred of each other!  In fact, every monstrosity committed on the face of this earth, was done so by humans lack of faith in God and love of each other.

My persistence drove me to these conclusions.  There really isn’t that many categories that mankind fit into when it comes to God. I came up with only three:

1. True believers – The children of the Shepard

2. Fence straddlers -

a.  I believe, but some things don’t add up - Doubting Thomas

b. I don’t know what to believe - Neither hot nor cold

c. I don’t believe in God, but I agree with some of the teachings of Christ – Heal
   Thyself physician

3. The non-believers – The children of the lake of fire

These were some of my answers to my own questions.  And as you can see, I am not alone in my thoughts.  All these things that we argue about today have been argued about before, all throughout history, yet as each human finds their own answer, another finds their question.  Each of us has this persistence inside of us, driving us for answers to our questions of life, education, love and anything else.  And that persistence could very well be the presence of God Himself in each of us.  

Over the weekend I was watching a religious show on television.  The segment of the show I caught was a sermon on the presence of God, in relationship with Cane going out of the presence of God when he left the Garden of Eden.  The pastor went on to explain that Cane was still actually in Gods presence since God is everywhere simultaneously, but that God have left Canes’ spiritual presence.  Another sample that he used was Sampson, and how the presence of God was with him when he slew guards with the jawbone of a donkey, but that God had left the presence of Sampson when Delilah was to cut his hair.

Now this is where my confusion begins with listening to religious leaders whom would lead nations of people, without knowing in my own heart, my relationship with God. “I do not believe that God leaves anyones presence, but it is us that leave His presence!”  If I may expound on my own feelings concerning the presence of God, I would say that it was Cane who left the presence of God and not the other way around.  I say this because after cane slew Able, he still could have found redemption with God at God coming to him in the Garden asking him of Able.  When Cane lied, he removed himself from Gods presence.  If I may expound more of Cane, in whom, and what Cane represent.  Cane was the first man born of man and woman, he was the first murderer, he told the first lie and he is the father of many nations that followed in his footsteps.  This is the blood that flows through the bloodlines of the children of the lake of fire.  

Now to show you that God is a forgiving God, God gave us Seth, whom is the father of all those great prophets that God set before us to carry the truth of His word to all the nations.  Now Adam and Eve had more children but Seth was the one chosen to father a great nation of prophets, because “he” never left the presence of God.

There were other children born in the Garden of Adam and Eve, and those other children could very well represent Sampson.  They are the fence straddlers I mentioned.  Sampson knew the presence of God but chose to leave God presence in search of his lust for Delilah.  So God was not with Sampson on that day or any other day that Sampson was in pursuit his own lustful pleasures.  God had plans for Sampson but Sampson chose to chase around a piece of tail.  In the end, Sampson had to have his eyes plucked from his head before he could see his way back to God.   Hence the expression, it is better to enter the kingdom of Heaven blinded, and limbless than to go to hell whole. You see there were Doubting Thomases long before that day when Thomas sought to poke his finger through the hole in Jesus hand.  Plus, we seek too much proof of Gods existence from the people who put him to His death.  

While Job is probably the greatest example of man holding on to the presence of God if you choose to believe it, Noah is probably our greatest example of fence straddling by humans, because all while denying the existence of God some of these noted professors, scientist, make-believers and non-believers alike spend billions of dollars searching for Noah’s Ark for proof.  

Even with all these unexplainable things right in front of us, we still bring in all these noted professors and scientist to tell us if what’s right in front of our faces believable.  And you know what, they won’t give you a straight answer because most of them don’t really know the truth or believe it themselves, and some others are too afraid of staking their reputations on what they believe the truth is.  But believe me, there are some that will give it to you straight from the hip in plain everyday English.  

The bottom line is this, no one can tell you or convince of God existence.  If you can’t see it around you in our lakes and land, in our love for each other, or in the eyes of a child, then you probably won’t see it until something drastic happens in your life and there’s no where else to turn just like a lot of us had to experience.  Unfortunate for many others, and myself it still might be too late, because some of us have sinned far beyond what Cane ever did!  

I can expound further into this but I just wanted you to know that I’m always present, LOL.  

I really enjoyed some of these last few entries, some really good reads here, thanks for sharing them, everyone.....

The Napkin Writer

[This message has been edited by The Napkin Writer (11-18-2002 03:32 PM).]

Phaedrus
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since 01-26-2002
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153 posted 11-18-2002 06:29 PM       View Profile for Phaedrus   Email Phaedrus   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Phaedrus


Napkin Writer

quote:
3. The non-believers – The children of the lake of fire



You’re going to have to explain this I’m afraid, it sounds like a scene from dungeons and dragons, I’m a non-believer and I’ve never even seen a lake of fire let alone call myself a child of one. I may be wrong but we children of the lake fire (the name’s growing on me now) seem to be getting the sharp end of a very pointed religious stick here.


furlong
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since 04-08-2001
Posts 128


154 posted 11-19-2002 06:11 AM       View Profile for furlong   Email furlong   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for furlong

"1. True believers – The children of the Shepard (sic)"


"3. The non-believers – The children of the lake of fire"

"And yes, even the Bible could be wrong; after all, it was translated, written and re-written by man over a thousand times."

So is it a logical, or even a remotely tenable, position to interpret it as literally as you appear to?

[This message has been edited by furlong (11-19-2002 06:14 AM).]

The Napkin Writer
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since 06-28-2002
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155 posted 11-19-2002 10:01 AM       View Profile for The Napkin Writer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for The Napkin Writer

Sorry I don’t do dungeons and dragons, but I can get off on some Madden football.

You may be missing the point here.  The point is having your own thoughts and beliefs regardless to rather those thoughts and beliefs are shared by many or none.  Words are interchangeable.  Words have multiple meanings.  And, those meanings of words can change from culture to culture, race-to-race, region-to-region, or click-to-click.  

What words do you find comfort in, in satisfying your own questions your existence.  It’s like this, what sense would it make to know all of someone else’s twelve-letter words, or to have read the most profound statements or books of all those who are note worthy, and still not be able to form two paragraphs of your own thoughts and beliefs in regards to God?  No my friend, this thing is much deeper than words can express.

_____________________________________________
Quote:

…we did not find our comfort in words, world views or religions, but in the profoundness of answers found only within our very own being!”
_____________________________________________

If you need to interchange the words to fit your beliefs, then by all means change the words.  I can guarantee one thing.  If you change the words to fit your understanding of what your beliefs are, you can find better understanding of the passages you read.  But now, if it isn’t for you to get it, changing the words won’t help much.  So please, don’t waste too much of your time playing on words here, there is a much larger picture here to be viewed.  

In relation to the seven-page thread, and the conversation at hand, most would probably contend that believers and non-believers mean saints and sinners.  


furlong

Yes and no.  And remember, perception can be as dangerous as it is good, so be careful.  The words lake of fire appears in the Bible in reference hell. But there are other names also used to reference hell.  It like saying or knowing how many different names are God called by man, there’s many, right? So again, it’s not the words being used, it’s the understanding you find in the passages.  Once you are satisfied that you have understanding in any passage, you start to internalize the passage.  The depth, to which these passages achieve within ones being, depends on the commitment one has invested in those passages.

The Napkin Writer
Stephanos
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156 posted 11-19-2002 03:10 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

"And yes, even the Bible could be wrong; after all, it was translated, written and re-written by man over a thousand times."

The bible is a more verifiable text than any ancient literature around... more manuscripts exist for it than for Homer's Illiad.  No one doubts that as being genuine however.  And by the way, the "rewritten bible" that you criticize can be compared with the plethora of manuscripts that exist.  


"The-bible-has-been-so-corrupted-it-is-unreliable" fallacy has to be backed up by more than words.  You can say you think the men were lying who wrote it, but you cannot say convincingly that the form we have today does not represent what these men wrote.

Stephen.  
Stephanos
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157 posted 11-19-2002 03:48 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

I found a link to where Simon Greenleaf's "Testimony of the Evangelists" can be read online, if anyone is interested.  

http://www.markers.com/ink/sgtestimony.htm


Thanks Jim for the recommendation.  I haven't read it yet, but plan to.

Stephen.
furlong
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158 posted 11-19-2002 05:05 PM       View Profile for furlong   Email furlong   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for furlong

Stephen

Not sure who you were addressing just then, still, just a couple of comments:

“The bible is a more verifiable text than any ancient literature around... more manuscripts exist for it than for Homer's Illiad.”

Maybe so, but then Homer’s Illiad isn’t being used, or, more appropriately imo “misused”,  to bolster up the pillars of “mainstream” religions (definition complex) to the, admittedly arguable, detriment of a large slice of the population.  

And two further comments on your points about biblical authenticity:

Personally I wouldn’t disagree that the King James version of the bible is about as unpolluted a text as you could expect in the circumstances.  By unpolluted I simply mean that the work of the original authors has probably been preserved to the extent that it bears a reasonable resemblance in terms of textual accuracy.  This would however not necessarily guarantee a commensurate degree of  interpretative accuracy.  Furthermore I understand (from a bible scholar friend) that some originating authorships are themselves open to doubt.  Additionally of course, although I wasn’t aware that anyone in this thread accused the apostles or any of the other sources of “lying” as you suggest, we are nevertheless all too cognisant these days of the fallibilities of human reportage.  These men were presumably the CNN reporters of their day, doing their stuff as they knew it, and no doubt part of the time putting their own spin on events (not lying exactly), and no doubt part of the time getting it wrong unintentionally.

My larger reservation however relates to the use to which the “original” material has been put  by the subsequent leaders of various religious movements.  As you know it was a while before “common man” even had access to the text itself, and when it finally was presented to him, it was done so in such a way that the likes of you and me had very little option as to how we would have viewed scripture.  And yes, as you may have guessed imo many so called religious leaders, in the crucial days when manuscript became more freely available and readable, were learned, clever, unscrupulous, greedy, self interested and perfectly capable of presenting raw material in a manner which exclusively served their own ends and which regrettably still shapes the religious outlook of many people who remain befuddled, dazzled, overawed or plainly terrified by historically and humanly distorted doctrines and theologies.  I look for example at aspects of the Protestant and Catholic churches of today and pretty much despair.  

And on Greenleaf’s essay (of which I read about 50%) all I’d say is that it seems to me that in setting out the environment in which the supposedly unbiased analysis was to be performed he betrayed a certain leaning (perhaps inevitable in that century):

“It should be pursued as in the presence of God, and under the solemn sanctions created by a lively sense of his omniscience, and of our accountability to him for the right use of the faculties which he has bestowed”

!!

F
Phaedrus
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159 posted 11-19-2002 06:19 PM       View Profile for Phaedrus   Email Phaedrus   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Phaedrus

Napkin Writer

Now I seem to be a child of the lake of fire AND a sinner, and people have always told me I’m such a nice person, oh me of little faith.

I’ve always been a firm believer that everybody has a right to his or her own beliefs and as long as those beliefs don’t impinge or disrupt the lives and beliefs of others they can believe whatever they like. I don’t happen to believe in God but I don’t think I’ve got any right to criticise or attempt to belittle anyone who doesn’t share that belief and vice versa. I do however have to admit a slight wariness towards any doctrine that attempts to promote itself as the “right way” or the “one truth” using a subtle form of zealous supremacy to denigrate non-members. Calling non-believers “Children of the lake” and “sinners” seems to me to be one step down the path of the “them and us” ideology that gave us the inquisition and burning at the stake. You don’t even know me yet you claim I’m a sinner because of my belief, I’m fairly sure it’s not a term of endearment so I’d be interested to hear what sins I’ve committed, (dates and times would be useful. )
Essorant
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160 posted 11-19-2002 11:56 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

I think we often make stretchings of knowledge to using things and terms we're simply more fond to think in for that raw reality and nature are too coarse and subject to imperfections for such high intents as trying to platform, compile and declare the origins of realities and natures in a text to try to feed the minds colourful appetites with!!  Whose minds can be pleased with just knowledge and reality???  I know mine can't!

We go beyond reality and nature to give an extra ghostpower to the operation!         
This is a beauty of it, A higher way of discourse, which trancends just being feeling or thought, for when most wellwilled, it becomes a higher if not the highest government of those nature and realities.


[This message has been edited by Essorant (11-20-2002 11:30 AM).]

furlong
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161 posted 11-20-2002 05:50 AM       View Profile for furlong   Email furlong   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for furlong

Essorant

Reading some of your posts here in 101 I get the feeling that you are groping with an open mind (which is refreshing ) towards “something”.  And to my mind you are doing a pretty good job .  I was particularly interested to read your assertion in the other thread where you said:

“But I truly believe we ourselves and all creatures are divine ..”

But you rather lost me when you went on to speculate that:

“... there may exist no perfect Gods but we may be the closest shapes to these,”

My own understanding is that “god” is strictly a synonym for “perfection”, and many other absolutes.  Furthermore I think Stephen was correct to pull you up when you diluted the your hypothetical divinity of all creatures by simultaneously suggesting their partial imperfection.

On the face of it there appears to be an irreconcilable illogicality or is there?

When Stephen says:

“Excuse me, I don't mean to come off abrasive. But I think people should believe in God or not... If you think God is a construct of humanity, then say "I don't believe". Because to me, another construct of humanity is just more of the same ... nothing to deliver us, nothing to give us hope, no insight above what our often muddled reasonings can attain. But if God is really God. .. then there is a sure hope.”

he talks about a god with an upper-case “G” and I know that he would probably accept that he is wedded to a particular view of “God”.  Not knowing Stephen I am not quite sure exactly what this view is, but it seems likely from what I’ve read that the image is likely to be just that, an “image”, perhaps even a quasi-personification (i.e. attribution of material human qualities).  Perhaps I am being simplistic but, although I have the greatest respect for this type of faith and belief, it does seems to me to be verging on doing exactly what Stephen implies we should not do i.e. construct our own gods.  

Is there not a danger (and I put it no higher than that) that 2000 years of human interpretation of the raw material coupled with a generous overlay of church-specific doctrine might have “created” a “god” who bears little or no resemblance to the divine presence the ancients might have recognised?  

So can we work toward reconciling that apparent illogicality mentioned above by cutting free from the constructs of “mainstream religions” to think afresh  for ourselves (as you appear to be doing Essorant ) and consider intelligently the possibility of a spiritual (and real?) dimension to man, and indeed all life, which reflects the divinity and perfection of a divine presence?  The “real” man as perfect and immortal rather than a miserable sinner!  Now there’s a thought.

F
The Napkin Writer
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162 posted 11-20-2002 11:53 AM       View Profile for The Napkin Writer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for The Napkin Writer

Phaedrus
The Bible says we all are sinners in the eyes of the Lord and come short of His glory.  "All Humans; myself included."  
_____________________________________________
Quote:
Unfortunate for many others, and myself it still might be too late, because some of us have sinned far beyond what Cane ever did!  
_____________________________________________

So you see I include myself in this.  I’m no better than anyone else.  I’ve committed crimes against man in the physical sense, and crimes in my mind and heart in the spiritual sense, which is where we sin against God.

I’m just now in my life starting to understand things that’s been right in front of my face from the very beginning but chose to ignore.  The reason the Sampson story in particular was so interesting when I was listening to that show is that it was my story.  These things I talk about today, and that person I would like to be tomorrow, all depends on what I do with the truth from now on.  I’m surely no Saint; in fact, my past makes me the worst example of what a saint should be like.  The only satisfying factor in my life today is knowing, that I can finally and proudly stand up and say I know the truth, and tell it like I should have been doing a long time ago.

The Saints are all dead, there’s nothing left here on this earth but sinners.  But, through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we can all be Saints one day and live in the glory of God.

  
Stephanos

I really don’t have an answer for you but to tell you this, “this may be my last chance to get it right, and I do not and will not trust my salvation in the hands of another human being.”


Just a little story;

One day in Heaven, at the great judgment of souls, there came two men before Gods’ throne.  Man 1 walked through the gates happy and ready for his new life in Heaven, greeting everyone as he went along.   Man 2 walked a slow dismal pace, and because of his sins on earth, he tampered with ideals of what to say.

Man 1: Good morning Jesus

Jesus:  Well, I see you have committed many sins

Man 1:  Yes, but pastor Blake preyed for me, and resolved me of my sins

Jesus: Can someone find a pastor Blake for me?

Angel:  Sorry lord, he’s in hell

Man 1:  Well I read all the translated text of the King James Bible.  Here I have a copy of it here with me

Jesus:  Can someone tell King James I need to see him?

King James:  Well Lord, it looks like my translation, but some of the scripture has been changed.  You know they did that in his days to fit the ever changing societies.

Jesus:  And just whom, or who are they?

King James:  Well it has it listed here; Rev. Tony, Pros. Swanson and Pope Leon

Jesus:  Find me Rev. Tony, Pros. Swanson and Pope Leon

Angel:  Sorry lord, their all in hell

Man 1:  Well my mother died, and she can verify that I was raised a Christian, and…

Jesus: Stop!  Just go sit over there until I decide what to do with you; next


Man 2:  Good morning Lord

Jesus:  Well, I see you have committed many sins

Man 2:  Yes Lord, and everyday I preyed that you would find it your heart to forgive me

Jesus:   I left my Word for all mankind that they would know the truth of my forgiveness

Man2:  I picked up reading the Bible Lord but found that some things were too hard for me to understand  

Jesus:  Why didn’t you find someone to help you translate its meanings?

Man2:   When I couldn’t translate some of its passages I sought help, but some of the people who were there to help me turned out to be liars, rapist and thieves, and I became discourage of believing mankind

Jesus:  What did you do then?

Man 2:  I gave up on religion and sought the answers to my questions in my own heart

Jesus:  And what did you find?

Man 2:  That I would carry my sins until the day that I die; and that only you could resolve me of my sins

Jesus:  Okay, go sit over there until I decide what to do with you; next


Which man do you think may have made it into heaven that day, neither, man 1, man 2, or both?   It’s just a simple story with a simple question, but the answer can be all to revealing.  


I’ve seen the passages in Bible change too many times.  If you still don’t believe it, go out and look at some of these different variation of these new Bibles that are being massed produced.  I’m mean for the life of me; I never thought I would ever see a “condensed Bible” either!  They call it the pocket edition. There is even a Bible so small that it can fit in your wallet, if you can’t afford the price of Gods Word in larger text.  Now I do agree with you about the foundation of the text and its origin, that, there is no disputing.

The Napkin Writer

[This message has been edited by The Napkin Writer (11-20-2002 11:55 AM).]

Ron
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163 posted 11-20-2002 12:31 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

"These are for you," he said as soon as she opened the door to his hesitant knock.

"Flowers?" she asked.

"I wanted you to understand how very sorry I am," he answered, nodding.

"And?"

"And I love you?"

She sighed. "I called and left a message on your machine," she said slowly, as if to a child. "I told you what you needed to do for us to make this work."

"The tape was old," he explained, shrugging. "Too much static. So, I gave up trying to understand your message and sought the answers in my own heart. Do you like the flowers?"

furlong
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164 posted 11-20-2002 01:11 PM       View Profile for furlong   Email furlong   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for furlong

"These are for you," he said as soon as she opened the door to his hesitant knock.

"Flowers,”she smiled opening her arms.  “And Christmas roses ... my favorite!”

"I wanted you to understand how very sorry I am about the mix ups," he answered grinning in relief.

She pulled wry face. "I called and left a message on your machine," she said. "I thought I explained what you needed to do so that it wouldn’t take a few thousand years for you to show up here.”

"The tape was old," he explained, shrugging. "Too much static. So, rather than take a wild leap of faith I picked up the few words I could and thought back to when we first met.  Reasoned it out; started over I guess.”

She beamed, kissing him lightly on the forehead, “Well you sure got them right, come in for a drink while I put them in water.”
Stephanos
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165 posted 11-20-2002 02:05 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

furlong,

you wrote, "Personally I wouldn’t disagree that the King James version of the bible is about as unpolluted a text as you could expect in the circumstances"


Yes, the King James version is very accurate.  But there are other translations that are as accurate or moreso.  Plus, the archaic language of 17th century English is hard to understand at times.  But my point is, there are a great number of translations, all dependable in representing the originals.  Interlinear bibles allow us to go and read the Hebrew, Chaldean, Greek, and Aramaic for ourselves.  In short, it is not overly difficult to check these things out, so the allegation that the Bible today is diluted and polluted is a farce.


"This would however not necessarily guarantee a commensurate degree of  interpretative accuracy"

I agree.  And the only way someone could refute someone elses interpretation is to read the texts for themselves in context.  There are some shadowy things in scripture that are difficult to interpret.  But I maintain that the central truths of Christianity are clearly and emphatically taught in scripture.  For someone to say that everyone has interpreted this stuff wrong would have to be willing to go to the Bible to support their own view.  It's not enough to point out that several math equations are wrong based on the rules of math.  One must be able to point out why, and demonstrate the right answer.  The Bible (remember we are presupposing this text here), says some pretty definite things that cannot be refuted cogently from it's own text.  The Lordship of Christ, his death & resurrection, his uniqueness and exclusivity in the realm of redemption, the sin problem of mankind, the return of Christ, the deity of Christ.... etc...  If anyone is willing to say that cardinal Christian dogma is misinterpreted, they must show how it is misinterpreted.  And they must be well read in the Bible to be convincing.  It's not hard to cast doubt on a doctrine by using an isolated scripture here and there.  But a good defense of any given interpretation of the Bible, must have the support of many particular scriptures.  I agree with you that many have interpreted the Bible wrongly and differently than each other.  But this does not necessitate that the Bible doesn't really say anything definite.


"I look for example at aspects of the Protestant and Catholic churches of today and pretty much despair."

I share your agitation here, but just short of despair.  When man's failure can destroy the purpose of God, then I may say it's hopeless.  I have a belief that this is part of the glory of God, to allow the distortion of truth in religion to grow to a point where it is beyond man to correct (in practice), and then restore all things by his own power.  Remember how Jesus prayed that the Church would be one?  I think it will, by the might and power of God alone, not by mere ecumenism.  However you can be assured that he has not left us without an embodiment of truth in the Bible, in his Holy Spirit, and in those who have simple faith and trust in Christ.


"And on Greenleaf’s essay (of which I read about 50%) all I’d say is that it seems to me that in setting out the environment in which the supposedly unbiased analysis was to be performed he betrayed a certain leaning (perhaps inevitable in that century):

'It should be pursued as in the presence of God, and under the solemn sanctions created by a lively sense of his omniscience, and of our accountability to him for the right use of the faculties which he has bestowed'
"


Everyone has presuppositions of somekind.  Leanings are unavoidable, but unfair treatment and dishonesty used in addressing the question at hand is not.  Greenleaf by necessity was either a believer or an unbeliever when he looked at this.  If he were an unbeliever and came to the opposite conclusion, I could not justifiably say that his treatment of the question was slanted without demonstrating how and where it actually was.  Assuming an unfair dealing especially in an expert of Law holds no weight with me, until you show me where.  Presuppositions do not make us incapable of arriving at truth.  If you could bring an honest rebuttal of what Greenleaf is saying, I would be more than willing to listen.  However I must read the article first.  


Stephen.
 
  

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (11-20-2002 02:07 PM).]

Stephanos
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166 posted 11-20-2002 02:27 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

furlong,

you wrote, "Perhaps I am being simplistic but, although I have the greatest respect for this type of faith and belief, it does seems to me to be verging on doing exactly what Stephen implies we should not do i.e. construct our own gods."


This only applies if the God of the Bible is in actuality only legendary.  If there is a God independent of humanity, that humanity totally depends upon for their being, and he has revealed himself in the texts of the Bible and in the historical events that are related in it's pages, then logic dictates that this is not humanity constructing a god, but the other way around.  What you are doing is asserting that the God of the bible is a human construct.  This is simply a declaration of your disbelief.  My assertion is diametrically opposed.  However logic dictates that one of these is correct and one is not.  There is no other possibility.  Either God is God, or "God" is made by man.  Actually there is only one possibility....that God is God. (smile).  But that's begging the question I know.  I have my presuppositions here, as do you.  They are unavoidable.  I rather like to ask which presupposition comports better with intelligible life... the theistic, or the atheistic.  


"So can we work toward reconciling that apparent illogicality mentioned above by cutting free from the constructs of “mainstream religions” to think afresh  for ourselves (as you appear to be doing Essorant ) and consider intelligently the possibility of a spiritual (and real?) dimension to man, and indeed all life, which reflects the divinity and perfection of a divine presence?"


So when man gets tired of creating gods, he decides to become one eh?  Again, there are only two real possibilites... naturalism or theism.  I admit, there are attempted mixtures, but like oil and water, these elements must eventually separate.  If you don't believe in God, but are uncomfortable with the nihilism that is imposed there, you can "spiritualize" nature in some way.  This can be done in a couple of different ways.  1) We are Gods, 2) Everything is God (pantheism).  These are expressed in different modalities, but they are basically naturalistic belief spiritualized.  Naturalism has inherent problems, whether you want to despair on account of it, or worship it.  It's "Nature" is the same.


Stephen.    


[This message has been edited by Stephanos (11-20-2002 02:29 PM).]

The Napkin Writer
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167 posted 11-20-2002 02:32 PM       View Profile for The Napkin Writer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for The Napkin Writer

That's about what I thought I'd get
Opeth
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168 posted 11-20-2002 03:11 PM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

The christian god who is all loving and all knowing creates man with a free-will, yet this god creates man knowing that man will succumb to evil because also created evil in order to test man's free-will.

Therefore, the christian god created many men for the pleasure of torturing them forever in a lake of fire. He must receive pleasure from this because he also created the lake of fire. To say that he is sad that many millions upon millions of human beings are going to suffer would be ludicrous.

Now...

back to my last, yet still disproven fallacy, to say that the bible does not teach that jesus died for ALL mankind is to take the entire NT out of context.

So far, not one of you have shown the 2 fallacies that I posted can be refuted. The ressurection events about the spices is a biblical mistake and jesus did die for all to be saved, yet that was not nor is possible because one must be born again to be saved. Not one of you have even taken that biblical fact on...yet.

So millions have died without knowing the ONLY saviour, the ONLY true god, now their fate is to suffer forever in the lake of fire...laughable.

Bible fallacy 3

The Trinity. Before I get into the "nuts and bolts" of this fallacy, I want to ask this question. Two gods in the christian god-head are given names...

1. God the son = jesus
2. God the father = jehovah or elohim

What about the holy spirit?

3. God the holy spirit = ?

comforter or dove you may say, but that is not a name. Jesus was also called the saviour, messiah, among other descriptions, but his name/title was Jesus.

one more question...

Also, whom impregnated Mary with the jesus child. Was it god the father or god the holy spirit? It has to matter because if one says either, then jesus could of impregnated his mother with himself, yes? no?  
Denise
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169 posted 11-20-2002 03:53 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Opeth, I did refute your assertion that the passages on the spices/resurrection contained error, page 6-post 145. I also think that Jim made some excellent points and offered a good suggestion to study the Scriptures in context to be able to correctly interpret them. In that you seem unwilling to consider doing that, you simply appear to have an axe to grind against Christianity and your contention that error exists carries no weight in any serious discussion of the issue.



[This message has been edited by Denise (11-20-2002 04:05 PM).]

furlong
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170 posted 11-20-2002 04:30 PM       View Profile for furlong   Email furlong   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for furlong

Stephen

In the bones of what you say there is a lot I concur with, but I suspect I end up with an entirely different body .  More on that at a later date (short of time).

I’m sorry I might have appeared to dismiss Greenleaf, I didn’t mean it to sound like that.  I was simply trying to make a somewhat wry observation.  To put it another way; what he was doing seems to me analogous to the poor clerk to the Supreme Court with 15 dependant children and a wife being asked to give a public assessment of his masters.  But then of course that doesn’t make him wrong I guess.

“Everything is God (pantheism)”

Pantheism has always seemed to me inherently absurd as it effectively proposes the mixing of the spiritual with the material - two entirely opposite “forces”.  

Try: “everything is a reflection of a divine entity” that would be nearer the mark I think.

Btw - the jury in my head is still out on all this and will probably remain so for an indefinite period - unless of course Damascus comes to Dunsinane in the near future

And thanks for spending time on your replies Stephen .

Are you ok Napkin Writer?

F
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171 posted 11-20-2002 06:46 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Furlong:

If you take a quick look at Greenleaf's work again, take note of the preface: his piety followed his investigation ... it did not prompt it.  Not that this is necessarily relevant, but I think it is interesting nonetheless.

quote:
Btw - the jury in my head is still out on all this and will probably remain so for an indefinite period - unless of course Damascus comes to Dunsinane in the near future


That is what I like to hear.  Damascus road experiences are not unheard of, you know.  At least, once this thread winds down, you will have an inkling that the faith you adopt will not require a complete escape from reason.

Skepticism can be good.  It often serves to shield us from error as often as it keep us from accepting the truth.  Depends on how you look at it, I guess.

BTW ... I agree that pantheism is untenable.

Napkin Writer:

I appreciate your and, while I think we approach the subject of salvation from different theological perspectives, I think we agree on several points.  Namely, that no human being is deserving of grace on his or her merits alone and, against a standard of perfect goodness, all human beings fall short.  Even if we only commit the smallest of sins during our lifetime.

Opeth:

I will try to address your alleged fallacies tomorrow.  Addressing the problem of evil, the doctrine of the Trinity will take a little time.  I will make sure I eat a good breakfast.

As for the Holy Spirit, I think the answer to your objections is quite simple.  The Holy Spirit has been regarded as "the shy sovereign".  His role is to direct believers to the Son, the "clothed God", who is the mediator between man and the Father.  He is assigned by Scripture the same divine attributes of omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence as the Father and Son, but serves a specific purpose ... which does not include drawing attention to Himself ... hence, the lack of a "name" as you point out.

The "names" of God make for an interesting study, but are not of primary relevance.  Translated from the Hebrew, YHWH (or Yahweh/Jehovah) simply means "I am".  "Jesus" or "Yeshua" means "YHWH saves".  "YHWH" was the name revealed to Moses, by the way.

I'm willing to continue answering your questions and objections as long as you are still interested in hearing them.  I am interested in your response to my previous rebuttal, by the way.

Jim
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172 posted 11-20-2002 11:02 PM       View Profile for The Napkin Writer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for The Napkin Writer

I’m fine, thanks for asking

I just had to step back and take another look, then I stopped and laughed for a while.  It does sound like a double-edged sword type of question, but the question was a serious question.  I’ve weighted all four scenarios and found that my heart was heavy with any one I took, except one.  

When I condemned one and not the other, it made me look at things from a perspective that sounds horrible.  When I let neither man in, I thought why even go through the whole sin, lake of fire, Heaven and hell and forgiveness thing?  So I really do understand why some people choose not to believe.  I don’t think it’s a relevant excuse not to believe in God, but I understand it.  Then I thought that since no man knows Gods ultimate purpose for us in the end, we’ll just have to wait and see on that one.  

Anyway, man 2 saw his sins and tried to do something about them.  And, couldn’t help but feel pity for man 1 because he believed and trusted the people who had taught him what he believed to be the truth.  They both tried the only way they knew to come to God for forgiveness, and whether those teachers or passages was screwed up was not their fault.  I found that in each case each man did his best to find his way to the Lord.  So, my choice was to forgive them and let them both in!  That’s what I think a just and forgiving God would do, but that’s only my opinion.

On a personal note,
“I started to take serious measure of Philosophy and thought, there must be two kinds of Philosophers, the ones that uses other people quotes, and the ones that write their own.”

And by the way, I’m a man, so if you give me flowers, "DUCK!"

The Napkin Writer
Jim

[This message has been edited by The Napkin Writer (11-20-2002 11:06 PM).]

Stephanos
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173 posted 11-21-2002 12:30 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Jim & Opeth,

I think I addressed at least some aspect of the "problem of evil" on page 5 post 598... though I was dealing with "rebellion", it is closely linked and the direct origin of evil.  Some of the same principles apply.  Hope this is helpful.


Let me add, that the understanding that God created evil is not quite accurate.  Evil is the result of a turning from God, a moving away from his central position.  In the same way coldness is merely a lack of any heat.  Move away from the sun in space and temperature and light decreases.  Evil is the necessary result of moving away from the will of God, who alone is the source of all goodness, virtue and life.  Evil is not a positive thing that can even be "created", it is always a  perversion of  what is good.  Evil has no originals to offer, only bad copies.


Stephen.    
Opeth
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174 posted 11-21-2002 07:10 AM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth


Let's see...God created the angels, yes. God, therefore created Lucifer, yes. Lucifer became satan, yes. Therefore, God, whom is all-powerful, all-knowing, all-good, must of known that the final result of his creation of Lucifer would be satan = evil.

Therefore, God knew good and well, that he was creating evil.

God created evil.

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