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Christianity - a question

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j0n4th4n
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0 posted 05-07-2004 07:21 PM       View Profile for j0n4th4n   Email j0n4th4n   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for j0n4th4n


No Christian has ever been able (or has even attempted) to answer this question for me. In the past I was arrogant enough to think it was because I was the only person who had thought of it, and the only person able to understand it. This is stupid, but I still have to say, this question is never properly bothered about and consequently, addressed.

Ok, it's this: the Christian Gospel says that I (and everybody else) is 'bad', and cannot reach God by his own efforts. So God provided a way for us, through Jesus Christ. Essentially I have no problem with this.

The problem comes when I am asked to regard this as mercy. Because how can it be mercy, on God's part, if we are not able to reach God by any other means?

I would go further and say, how can we be regarded as 'bad', if its 'in our nature'? Then it's natural.
It makes me furious the way Christians don't even think about this. I mean, they mention the doctrine, but go no further than thinking, 'We are bad. We need God'. That's where my problem is - in the word 'need'. If we need God, how can He be morally justified in doing anything other than saving us?

Ok, you might say, 'We need but don't deserve'. But thinking about it closely, that 'not deserving' is the need itself - God needs to make up for (but not make us deserve) our lack of deserving.

Can somebody help me? How can I regard God's actions through Jesus Christ as merciful (because if I were a Christian, I would have to do so)?

I have thought of one way, but I'd be interested to hear your ideas first.

Stephanos
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1 posted 05-07-2004 10:45 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
The problem comes when I am asked to regard this as mercy. Because how can it be mercy, on God's part, if we are not able to reach God by any other means?


Mercy essentially means being offered or given that which is unmerited or undeserved.  In that sense, even if we are unable to reach God by any other means than his grace, the gift may be such that it is very much beyond the estimation of our own worthiness.  I don't see how our helplessness detracts from the mercy of God's giving.  Our helplessness/ depravity does heighten the need for such mercy, but doesn't primarily change what mercy IS.


Let me return the question to you ... if we could get to God another way, and we weren't quite as helpless, how would salvation through Christ be therefore any more merciful?


  
quote:
I would go further and say, how can we be regarded as 'bad', if its 'in our nature'? Then it's natural.



"nature" can be used in different ways.  It can describe what is properly part of our makeup, as the color of your eyes might be called "natural".  Or it can be used for something that is an aspect or quality of your very being ... your fundamental make-up whether good or bad, proper or improper.  It is this second sense of the word that Christians use to describe the "sinful nature".  Think of it in this way,  I could describe the vindictive and angry tendencies of my neighbor, Bill, by saying that "it's just his nature".   I'm not saying that this is the exact equivalence or parallel of what Christian doctrine means by the sinful nature, but it is used here in a similar sense.
  


quote:
they mention the doctrine, but go no further than thinking, 'We are bad. We need God'. That's where my problem is - in the word 'need'. If we need God, how can He be morally justified in doing anything other than saving us?



It would be that simple if it were merely a state of need.  But our need for mercy, is admixed with moral implications.  Yes, we inherited our "sin nature".  But this sin nature is also described as something willfully and eagerly partaken of, by each individual.  The fall was in the beginning, but it is also in the present.  Our will, and secret desires are very much connected with original sin.   It's much more complicated than the example of you inheriting, let's say, blue eyes.  There is also the idea of human solidarity in scripture ... that we each chose with Adam (the archetypal representative of the human race) to eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  And that it is vain to imagine that we wouldn't also have fallen ... We are merely the "members" of Adam in a way.  Adam can actually be renedered as "everyman" in the Hebrew.


So if we each "like sheep have gone astray" as the scripture describes the self life ... the life of sin, then our need is also the need for reconciliation and forgiveness.   In which case, if God were wholly about justice and not about showing mercy, he would in no way be obligated to offer or provide for our salvation.


And the manner in which he did it, only underscores how merciful God was/ is.  


quote:
But thinking about it closely, that 'not deserving' is the need itself



I agree.
  

quote:
God needs to make up for (but not make us deserve) our lack of deserving.



But God doesn't "need" in the same way we need.  He needs to offer salvation as the crown and perfection of his love, not as to make-up for a deficiency in his own character.  As I said God would have no moral flaw in not saving us.  But since he did choose to save us, by bearing our sins upon himself ... he has far exceeded being just and fair.  He has moved on into the excellence of offering and giving love, when we were the most unloveable.  Loving us while "we were yet enemies".


Hope some of that helps.


Stephen.    
Aenimal
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2 posted 05-08-2004 01:13 AM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

Guilt and Dogma 101. Not meant as derision, but it's hard not to whince at the sight of them. I know religion is an ultra-sensitive topic and I don't intend to undermine beliefs, I simply question dogma as one would political platforms.

So Stephanos, I hope you don't take offense with what I consider a matter of semantics. Were we discussing politics I'd call that response partisan propaganda or spin doctoring. Like calling a war a police action, occupation a liberation, that definition of mercy seems to me subjugation.

As the focus of the thread is on the Christian belief system then that's what I must offer my opinion on, not as an attack on you or your beliefs, just an attack on dogmaticism that claims christianity as the only path.

Judaism was the ONE path handed down from God to man, but it later birthed Christianity. If he allowed/accomodated/sanctioned a second path how can one confidently claim that others have not will not open? Were Sumerian, Egyptian, and Grecian beliefs not also paths? Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Muslims, are these people not currently on paths?

All of them with their own sacred laws passed from god to man and in defense to christians, many with the similar and arrogant assertion of being the only way to god. But again the topic is on Christianity's assertion and so I offer my views.

One of the final straws that lead me to turn from christianity, came during a baptism. In his sermon the priest claimed that the child, because of original sin, was a deliquent and no better than an animal in the eyes of God. That is, until he his concecrated by the holy water. I almost laughed aloud but was subdued by a pinch and stare by a girlfriend who heard me start.

The assumption that the path of christianity alone negates the flaws inherent in man, or is the only way to the godhead, is incredibly disturbing. It undermines all humanity. And I couldn't/can't believe in, or find anything merciful or loving about a God that views his creation with such contempt.

In my humble opinion it's not the path but the essence of the man that leads him to god and i'd rather believe in a god who can respect that, and respect me regardless of the path.

Local Parasite
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3 posted 05-08-2004 10:33 AM       View Profile for Local Parasite   Email Local Parasite   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Local Parasite's Home Page   View IP for Local Parasite

Raph:  Check this out.
http://www.kobe-c.ac.jp/~watanabe/blake/allrel.htm

My favourite answer to the "why are there other religions?" problem.  Hope it helps.

"God becomes as we are that we may be as he is."  ~William Blake

Aenimal
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4 posted 05-08-2004 01:25 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

Thanks Brian, the poet/bard replaced by religion and doctrine. All religions, mythologies eminate from the same universal archetypes. Anybody studying religions and mythologies can plainly see the 'cross pollination'.
Essorant
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5 posted 05-08-2004 01:55 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

In the beginning the same people, Pagans, barbarians, heathens, witches, warriors, those people preached against by religion-perfectionists, founded the Feast of Spirit, crowned its goblets, entertained its bounty; all of this was in one hall, that of Nature, for back then there was not any strict segregation between Nature and Spirit, and Science and Religion (before they were named); Nature and Spirit were interwoven, therefore Science and Religion were too.  One might become, it seemed, as natural and scientific through Spiritual and religions things, as spiritual through Natural and scientific things.  Any seemed a path and part of the other.  Men partook of the feast thus, spiritual naturalists, and natural spiritualists.  Nature had Spirit, and Spirit had Nature.  
Until the new guest and the name of Religion came.  The Religion  was not pleased with the Nature; though it loved very much the Spirit.  It decided that such a Spirit must come from a seperate Hall, a heavenly Headquarters for it might never believe that the center is such a base place as this.  Religion now gathered influence and force and moved as much of the Feast of Spirit indoors as it seemed possible; as it seemed to give him a sense of being out of Nature's hall and into a specialized detachment where he may nurture better relationships with Headquarters, the seperate hall where Spirit must come from and go to.  
All men now are supposed go to that House and be indoors in order to find Spirit, and be the more influenced because those manmade structuralisms are the only path to Headquarters.  Nature now is a corpse, and naturalists are corpse lovers.  All the spirit must be inddoors and in books and special structuralism.  If you don't go indoors, you are corpselover.   Into these Houses of Perfectionism, the feast of Spirit was scattered and taken out of the Hall of Nature, for men cloy themselves in all things, and thereafter become perfectionists wishing for More and More.  The same thing happened with Nature.  
Naturalists became and become detached too and perfectionists in their own way as Scientists, often making nature out to be absolute on its own, taking it out of spirit, and enforcing the idea that spirit only comes from a "seperate" place in Man's mind, just as Spiritualists became and become detached as Religionists from the natural often making Spirit as an absolute on its own, taking it out of nature, and enforcing the idea that spirit only comes from that detached hall and Headquarters that are above and beyond man's mind and all nature.  
Such ideals leave little sacredness "outdoors." For both Religionists and Scientists have forced EVERYTHING spiritual "indoors" and forced it to be attributed always to something Beyond, or to the  habits of the human Mind; so now when we go "outdoors"  there is no more ceremony, no sacredness, no stateliness, no special respect; all we do find is the world, the flaws of flesh and temporariness of elemental combinations.  We no more see native spirit interwoven anymore; for Religionists and Scientists have decided it is all only native to their special "Centers"
For these it is all beyond and for those it is all in the head.  
So acknowledging the goodness in Nature and Spirit, but also the illnesses, man wishes the spiritual goodness to be housed seperatly from the illnesses of nature.  And no men should be treated wrong for wishing that or believing in it; but I believe that men shall face the truth that there may be no such absolute segregation of things and that spiritual goodness increase may only be conjunction with natural increase and goodness.  
I believe Spirit shall always have Nature, and Nature shall always have Spirit.


[This message has been edited by Essorant (05-09-2004 03:45 PM).]

Stephanos
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6 posted 05-11-2004 02:35 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Aenimal:
quote:
Judaism was the ONE path handed down from God to man, but it later birthed Christianity. If he allowed/accomodated/sanctioned a second path how can one confidently claim that others have not will not open? Were Sumerian, Egyptian, and Grecian beliefs not also paths? Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Muslims, are these people not currently on paths?


Not exactly.  It was the GOD of Judaism who was the right path.  It's not as if God ever sanctioned a different deity or something radically at variance with the Old Testament, when Christianity was formed.  In fact the Old Testament in many ways pre-figured Christ, and couched prophecy which confirmed that for the green shoot of Christianity to spring from the Judaic Stump was the most natural thing in the world to have happened.  Christianity was a fulfillment of the Jewish religion.  


All of these other religions you mentioned were not given through God at all.  Many of them do not even recognize any god, as Buddhism is primarily an atheistic philosophy and discipline, and can hardly be called a religion.  The ones that do recognize deities, recognize such differing and contradictory ideas of who God is, that they are not reconcilable to each other, much less Christianity and Judaism.  Please don't misunderstand me... I am NOT saying that these religions are devoid of truth.  I'm just saying that their more fundamental elements are not compatible.  


My point is, if God truly gave a progressive revelation (which is the Jewish and Christian claim) then there would naturally be a great deal of coherent uniformity and continuity between parts.


A god who gives revelations which are fundamentally incompatible in any way, and diametrically opposed, would be a confused god indeed.  That's why, as Ravi Zacharias says, "It's more logical to say that all religions are wrong, than to say that all religions are right".
  

quote:
One of the final straws that lead me to turn from christianity, came during a baptism. In his sermon the priest claimed that the child, because of original sin, was a deliquent and no better than an animal in the eyes of God. That is, until he his concecrated by the holy water. I almost laughed aloud but was subdued by a pinch and stare by a girlfriend who heard me start.



The truth of religous claims should be judged by the actions of religious practitioners?  When do we get to go and look at the datum of the Old and New Testament, and say "That's different" ... "That's not right".


I would share your shock at this misguided statement.  This priest was theologically defunct ... if you are correctly relating the story.  Men being worth no more than animals is not a concept taught by the Bible ... sin notwithstanding.  That's more in line with ultra-liberal environmentalism and the worship of Mother Earth.



quote:
And I couldn't/can't believe in, or find anything merciful or loving about a God that views his creation with such contempt.



That's one way to look at it ... on the dark and cynical side of things.  Many however find everthing merciful and loving about a God who views his creation with such love and passion that he chose to redeem it, to empty himself and subject himself to death.  
  


quote:
In my humble opinion it's not the path but the essence of the man that leads him to god and i'd rather believe in a god who can respect that, and respect me regardless of the path.



Actually the "essence" of a man determines what kind of paths he will take.  So why do you demand of God what you are even above doing yourself ... You certainly do not respect all paths, or all people regardless of the paths they take.  I've heard you express disapproval and disgust many times on these boards.  (that's not always a bad thing to express).  Why should God be any different than you in that regard?  Why should God tolerate all, when you really don't feel that way yourself?  Of course many people want to be able to make judgements, but won't admit that God has any right to do so with his own creation.


quote:
I don't intend to undermine beliefs, I simply question dogma as one would political platforms.



BTW, I notice and (genuinely) appreciate the restraint of tone.  We can cordially disagee and agree can't we?


Stephen.
  
Aenimal
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7 posted 05-11-2004 10:31 AM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

quote:
Not exactly.  It was the GOD of Judaism who was the right path.  It's not as if God ever sanctioned a different deity or something radically at variance with the Old Testament, when Christianity was formed.  In fact the Old Testament in many ways pre-figured Christ, and couched prophecy which confirmed that for the green shoot of Christianity to spring from the Judaic Stump was the most natural thing in the world to have happened.  Christianity was a fulfillment of the Jewish religion


I'd have to diagree, it wasn't the GOD of Judaism but the LAWS of Judaism that were the path to the God. I'd also argue against christianity as we know it being natural at all let alone 'the most natural thing in the world.' From the hand of Saul of Tarsus to it's concessions to Roman audiences there is little evidence of a 'natural' progression. While it holds similarities, Christianity and it's rituals are enough of a variance from Judaism to be included with the other examples. I'd also argue, and billions of Jews would agree, that the fulfillment of Judaism has yet to arrive.

quote:
Men being worth no more than animals is not a concept taught by the Bible ... sin notwithstanding.


Ah, but you say sin notwithstanding, which I assume agrees that those who are sinful are no better than beasts. If so, in christian thinking, an unbaptized child, has the original sin hanging over his head. Therefore the priest's comments were in accordance. A sin is a sin. And if god can hold men in contempt than a child as well.

quote:
That's one way to look at it ... on the dark and cynical side of things.  Many however find everthing merciful and loving about a God who views his creation with such love and passion that he chose to redeem it, to empty himself and subject himself to death.


I'm neither dark nor cynical in this regard, I simply don't follow the same belief. Yours works on the assumption of Christ being the manifestation of God on earth, something I, and a myriad of other religions, do not believe in. A merciful God would accept the uniqueness and indivulaity of his creation and allow more than one path.

quote:
Actually the "essence" of a man determines what kind of paths he will take.


Mine is generally one of compassion, kindness and love. Sounds essentially christian does it not? Yet I've strayed from the christian path. It also sounds like a number of other religions because, in essence, they all teach the same principles. But none of these are my paths because I don't believe there's a need for a particular 'system' of belief. Especially considering systems are created and manipulated by men, corrupted and convoluted through history. My path is a direct one, me to God. If he can't accept that, then where lies the mercy?

quote:
Why should God be any different than you in that regard?  Why should God tolerate all, when you really don't feel that way yourself?  Of course many people want to be able to make judgements, but won't admit that God has any right to do so with his own creation.


I've often called God of the bible petty, vindictive and jealous so I'm not disagreeing with you that he has the right or the wont. But as an omniescent and all merciful God one would think he would be ABOVE the petty emotions of his lowly creations. We are created in his likeness correct? If men can be open-minded and accepting of change I'd like to assume a diety capable of the same.

quote:
BTW, I notice and (genuinely) appreciate the restraint of tone.  We can cordially disagee and agree can't we?


Certainly, written words lack the tone and humour of the spoken so that my words may seem more biting or caustic then they are.
Denise
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8 posted 05-11-2004 08:38 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

quote:
Ah, but you say sin notwithstanding, which I assume agrees that those who are sinful are no better than beasts. If so, in christian thinking, an unbaptized child, has the original sin hanging over his head. Therefore the priest's comments were in accordance.
Why would you assume that, Raph?

quote:
A sin is a sin. And if god can hold men in contempt than a child as well.
I think the Bible clearly teaches that God's disposition towards us is anything but contemptuous.  
Aenimal
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9 posted 05-12-2004 03:11 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

quote:
All of these other religions you mentioned were not given through God at all.  Many of them do not even recognize any god, as Buddhism is primarily an atheistic philosophy and discipline, and can hardly be called a religion.


You are incorrect regarding Buddhism, it has a rich 'mythology' containing dieties, demons and saints. The Dalai Lama is the Buddha spirit(god) incarnate much as your Christ is your God incarnate. Actually your description is quite complimentary, it's a credit to buddhism that it evolved enough to let go much of the myth and focus on the message.

As for the other religions, again I disagree, Sumerian beliefs and knowledge were handed down from the Annunaki to humans, Egyptian belief and word from Thoth.

Denise: I assumed it because the statement:
"..sin notwithstanding" seemed to suggest a seperation and that the sinful were viewed as such.

quote:
I think the Bible clearly teaches that God's disposition towards us is anything but contemptuous.


Depends, for example a comment like; "I am sorry I have made them" in Noah's Ark could be considered contemptous. The expelling and curse upon Adam and Eve for a first time offence seems hardly forgiving or merciful in my opinion.
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10 posted 05-13-2004 09:46 PM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

Raph, you make so much sense, it makes my brain feel good.
Essorant
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11 posted 05-16-2004 11:12 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

That is true if God is supposed to conduct court as Mankind does nowadays.  Where, Adam and Eve shall only be slapped on their wrist and let to go forget about their God, and what Obedience and Fear are, and  for all their knowledge of good and evil, soon listen to the same snake again.


Aenimal
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12 posted 05-17-2004 01:16 AM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

Essorant, it's not about the punishment for their disobedience, the act called for stern action, but that particular action is overkill.

If you commit a similar offense against a parent's wishes than surely punishment is demanded and expected, within reasonable boundaries. A loving parent would not demand deportation, or extend that punishment or guilt upon generations of others.
Ron
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One of the biggest mistakes a loving parent can make, Raph, is to say one thing and then do another. "If you do that, the consequences will be this." Changing the rules isn't merciful, it's just lying. That's as true for kids as it is for mankind.

As to the generations of others, it always amazes that people have no problem latching onto their parent's bank account, but feel no obligation to assume their liabilities.
Aenimal
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14 posted 05-17-2004 08:23 AM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

I agree with you Ron, and as I mentioned punishment was rightfully deserved but the punishment did not suit the crime. Let me pose a question regarding a young child's development?

Is it wrong to assume that a parent's job is to instill concepts as right and wrong and then enforce those concepts with rules and punishments? Surely children should obey, but unless they are taught and learn the difference, what do they know of consequence?

Consider that Adam and Eve are the very first beings and that they are completely void of knowledge. As such, consider how naive and impressionable they would be, is it any wonder they were swayed? They haven't been taught wrong/right or to avoid the counsel of strange talking serpents, nor do they understand consequence.

Considering these things, and Adam and Eve as young impressionable children, isn't there room for leeway at the beginning of all things?


j0n4th4n
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15 posted 05-17-2004 10:52 AM       View Profile for j0n4th4n   Email j0n4th4n   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for j0n4th4n

I'm glad to have caused such a lively debate. Unfortunately I am really busy at the moment with exams, so I can't join in.

Everyone who answered - thanks!
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quote:
Considering these things, and Adam and Eve as young impressionable children, isn't there room for leeway at the beginning of all things?


This assumes and imperfect or "sliding scale" standard - something that I think would be inconsistent with a "perfect" God.  To the Christian, that perfect moral standard was met in the Christ's life and the "leeway" as you put is God's acceptance of Christ's sacrifice on our behalf.  You could just as easily substitute "grace" with "leeway" and say that, through faith, we are saved by God's leeway.

Honestly, I might agree with you that God applied His standard unfairly against Adam and Eve if He had not been willing to live up to that perfect standard Himself.  To live it and then offer to die as our substitute provides more than enough reason for me to respond to God with gratitude.

Jim
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17 posted 05-17-2004 01:51 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Adam and Eve were not children though, and were not void of Knowledge; they knew God, and they knew Obedience and Fear to follow; and yet they chose not to follow those, and ate of the only tree they were forbidden not to.  
That was not the snake that made their choice not to follow their God, Obedience and Fear; that was not the snake that chose to take of that and eat: the only they were forbidden not to.  
Through bible-lore the message is unambiguous: you follow or you fall.  Adam and Eve were more evolved than I think most readers acknowledge; they should avoid the snake, as they were not unequipped with which they knew better, in God, Obedience and Fear.  
The tree seemed good to Eve after the snake spoke to her; so even though Eve knew not good and evil, there was a sensing and seeming of good and evil; and yet it should seem better to listen to a snake, when she knew how to listen to God, and knew clearly God's will, as the book shows?  
They are punished for sinning not being sinners.  They were not sinners.  They supposedly lived for hundreds of years and that seems to be the only sin they ever committed.  Therefore, the generations are not sinners inherintly, they are "sinners" only when they choose to sin, as Eve and Adam did, but against even more than Adam and Eve had and knew when they sinned: a knowledge of good and evil. Adam and Eve faced such consequences for not following, without that knowledge of Good and evil, now we shall face the consequences for not following with the knowledge of good and evil.


[This message has been edited by Essorant (05-17-2004 03:07 PM).]

Aenimal
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18 posted 05-17-2004 06:18 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

Essorant, I didn't say they were physically children, but being the first, only just created, they were childlike and innocent. Where is it written they had any level of knowledge, let alone obedience and fear to follow, when they couldn't even grasp nudity?

Indeed the trouble begins with bad choices on their part, heeding the serpent and not god, just as children still naively get into cars and take candy from strangers. It wasn't malice or an act of betrayal to god, but a simple naive mistake.

I disagree with your assumption that we are not sinners inherently, at least in christian thought. The ritual of baptism, the essential introduction into christianity, is a cleansing of the original sin passed from generation to generation.
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19 posted 05-17-2004 07:57 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

"Where is it written they had any level of knowledge, let alone obedience and fear to follow, when they couldn't even grasp nudity? "

I think it is suggested that they fully and maturely knew what God forbade them not do and why it was forbidden
Even as naked as they were.  But they had very much more hair back then so it didn't make as much of a difference.  

Aenimal
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20 posted 05-17-2004 10:45 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

Again I disagree Essorant, I think there are more allusions to naivety or innocence, than of and knowledge or understanding. Mention of self awareness and fear come only after the apple is consumed and the exile.

Hairy? Impossible, haven't you seen the paintings they were a perfect glamour couple. Grins
Essorant
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21 posted 05-17-2004 10:48 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

"I disagree with your assumption that we are not sinners inherently, at least in christian thought. The ritual of baptism, the essential introduction into christianity, is a cleansing of the original sin passed from generation to generation."

No, That is the consequence and corruption of sin, not we being sinners because sin is our original nature.  
It is a corruption of our original nature, the ill conditions that the next generation inherits, in the influences of which, they shall be as likely, if not more to sin.  To me the cleansing is a token to the protection of one from the wrong conditions that the world has brought upon itself and upon people: that of sin, that makes us more likely to sin.  In that sense the term "inherently" is correct.  But I don't think mean we are sinners, at least not originally.

[This message has been edited by Essorant (05-17-2004 11:19 PM).]

Essorant
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22 posted 05-17-2004 11:48 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

"Again I disagree Essorant, I think there are more allusions to naivety or innocence, than of and knowledge or understanding. Mention of self awareness and fear come only after the apple is consumed and the exile. "

In a general sense and in respect to the world, that is true; but in respect to one tree, I think they were maturally knowledgeable of what was forbidden!

[This message has been edited by Essorant (05-18-2004 12:01 AM).]

Aenimal
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23 posted 05-18-2004 12:10 AM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

What was forbidden, a very basic understanding of God's rule yes. But what it meant or of its consequence, I still think not. This is the very first human mistake.

I think a good parent(and what is god but the ultimate parent)should be understanding with the first mistake, a lesson learned for the child and a suitable punishment to remind them consequences of doing it again.
Ron
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24 posted 05-18-2004 01:34 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
I think a good parent(and what is god but the ultimate parent)should be understanding with the first mistake, a lesson learned for the child and a suitable punishment to remind them consequences of doing it again.

Who is to say that isn't exactly what is happening?  
 
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