Statesboro, GA, USA
Sorry this took me so long, guys ...
I'm back. I hope the momentum of this thread is not gone yet.
What we should be discussing is that this man of god, who follows the holy book is wholly unwilling to sit with the sinner as jesus did. Wholly unwilling to accept another human being on the for the simple fact that he is diffent.
I totally agree. But don't you think that sometimes people think that Jesus was an "accept you as you are" kind of person, rather than a "love you as you are, yet challenge you to higher things" kind of person?
C.S. Lewis in "Mere Christianity" once wrote:
"Christianity doesn't demand that you be good; it demands that you give your life to Jesus Christ so that He can be good through you. Surrender yourself to Him, and He will replace the selfish sinner with a Son of God. It doesn't happen instantly anymore than a toddler learns to walk in a day, but Christ doesn't stop working on you until you become perfect. As a great Christian writer (George MacDonald) pointed out, every father is pleased at the baby's first attempt to walk: no father would be satisfied with anything less than a firm, free, manly walk in a grown-up son. In the same way, he said, 'God is easy to please, but hard to satisfy.'"
I think that's a good assessment of Jesus. It's also what "men of cloth" should be following as well. Do they fail? Yes. Do they always fail at this balance between giving acceptance and spiritual challenge? I don't think so.
Do we have the right to say (a particular thing) is wrong with absolute conviction?
Yes. As you yourself have done.
What i would like to argue is not why a particular moral claim is wrong but why all moral claims are wrong.
Could you explain why "all" moral claims are wrong?
"though that doesn't mean that they were doctrinally wrong" no they were not incorrect in what their doctrine states. But the fact that they would ignore the greater message in the bible and rather rest treir morals on a small claim is wrong. They arbitrarily decide to follow one part of their belief but shun a greater part of it. You cannot tell me that a priest who refuses to love his fellow man because he is a sinner is not wrong? Isnt that the whole message behind the bible? To love your fellow man despite his sin and wrongdoings?
Yes that IS the whole message behind the bible. But the Bible's conception of "love" and the popular conception are at variance. Does love mean always telling people what they want to hear, almost in a coddling way, or does it mean to sometimes warn them, confront them, or talk about "sin"? Some people I know who love me the most, have told me painful things sometimes. But yes, I can tell the difference when there is true love and concern behind the rebuke, or if it's just someone's favorite pasttime. And I think that's what you're getting at.
Before we continue let me ask you this, What would you say is a moral, or what are "moral values"?
I think all moral codes of ancient civilizations, right up to our present, do a good job of summarizing what is "moral" and "immoral". But for the sake of chosing what I believe is the best, both in brevity and clarity, I would say the 10 Commandments is a good place to start. The decalogue is what I believe to be essentially the plumbline of human morality.
While i would say there is no single standard i would say that some things are absolute. There most definately are non-negotiables.
If there is "no single standard" then there can be no absolute, and everything is negotiable. It sounds to me like you DO believe in a final standard as arbiter of what is moral. Maybe this conversation is helpful for you to realize something about yourself you've never really seen or considered before.
I think that such discoveries can be "clues" to lead us on to greater, even liberating truths ... to a whole new way of looking at ourselves, our neighbors, and God.
But i raise the question, if he believes he is wrong and has NO inner conflict or qualms, is he still wrong then? That is the question i wanted to raise.
I think that would depend upon whether a person was born with or aquired some condition which rendered him truly incapable of moral judgement ... or if a person merely has a "seared" or "calloused" conscience, where the natural function of conscience has been injured due to repeated violation. I believe that some people who don't "hear" the moral voice of God-given conscience any more, are in that place after a long time of abuse and transgression. A serial killer may have felt much different about his first murder, than his fiftieth. What was once screaming as a voice of concience, may only whimper now, or even sigh in almost inaudible tones.
I think that distinction has to be made.
I did not say that all people who commit so called "evil" are innocent and insane. But rather that some of them are, and what of them? I refer to the people that commit evil but are wholly unaware that what they are doing is "evil"
We can talk about those "innocent" ones who "do evil" if you wish. But you admitted that some are not in that category. And by conceding that, you've confirmed my original point ... that there IS a real right and wrong, and that people can commit real good or evil actions in this world. An innocent offender, or a thousand innocent offenders, do not invalidate what I'm saying. My only question to you was whether men could ever really commit moral or immoral acts. And you've answered "yes".
Yes but treading through the mud is often the fastest and most effectinve way of getting to the right place. It solves questions of what should be done simply and easily.
The question of whether you should get your clothes splattered and get to your girlfriend's house quicker or take the longer road and be a little late, is not a simple or easy question. And neither is the question of anarchy. And blood rather than mud, complicates the question a little bit more. No ... Anarchy, even as a means to an end, is not a given.
Give an example? Let me ask you, have you seen true horror? the horror that paralyses the mind and sears it with nightmares, the horror that never trully heals? Tell me things that bring about such an event are twisted from light and i would yield.
Horror ... Healthy fear twisted.
Paralysis ... An twisted version of anesthesia physical or psychological.
nightmares ... imagry, memory, mysticism are all good and healthy in their original state.
Such things ARE twisted from light. Believe me, evil has nothing original. God who is light created ALL things.
I speak of creatures so foul their very existance makes your mind shrink away in fear. What is that twisted from? Not angels etc that fell. But rather whole new beings that are beyond comprehension.
I never suggested that "twisted good" is not a horrible thing. It may be all the more terrible for the very fact that it was once good. See which mangled face in an auto accident hurts you the most, a stranger, or a loved one? See which betrayer hurts the most, a mere aquaintance or an old friend, or a spouse?
The Bible says that all non-human dark spiritual beings ARE fallen angels, or demons. Their terror is no indication of their original state. By saying that evil is only twisted good, I am not trivializing evil, or euphemizing it. Rather I am painting it's colors in the worst possible tone, and prophesying that it has nothing which will not be required of its hand. There is a day of judgement even for angels.
Or say making another person kill another out of mercy. Tell me what is that? Yes killing is simply taking away life. But out of mercy a thing good and just? Not simply a corruption of purity, but rather the creation of pure evil. Is that simply a twisting of nature? a corrution?
Absolutely ... Let me tell what "good" things are twisted here: 1) Mercy 2) urging someone to sacrifice something good for something "better". 3) giving one's life in order to accomplish good. 4) A desire to see suffering end. 5) A willingness to deny even social expectations in order to do what is "right" and "just".
I'm not saying the above descriptions fit assisted suicide or euthanasia at all ... But these ideas are certainly the bait. This too, is a twisting of good things. Give me the same ingredients as my wife, and I can make something for you that you wouldn't call a cake even on your worst day! Give them to my wife, and you'll be a happy camper. Same ingredients, wrong order, wrong approach, wrong thinking.
Let me pose you this question. You say darkness is the absence of light. But then by that reasoning by standing in the light you cast a shadow and thus create darkness?
Shutting out the light creates darkness. But standing in the light usually creates shade. And sometimes the shade can be nice. It has to do with heart motives I think.
when i hold the woman i love in my arms and see her safe. When i spend time with her and we in our darkness (Yes its the self same person that saved me out of deepest darkness and despair and took me to comfortable darkness) are happy and content. Fufilled, safe in each others arms. Then yes i am happy. But i would any day give up this life without regrets, I do not fear dying. I know i will see her in the beyond so i am not bothered. If i am to die, so be it.
Love, safety, salvation, reversal of despair, happiness, contentment, touching, assurance of life beyond the grave. This is a summary of things mentioned in your description. Those things are of the light, NOT of the darkness. That is still light in spite of dark shadows, not the darkness itself. That's my point.
Again i say true horror etc... Is that a redemtive process?
It can be, if it causes us to flee to the light for refuge ... to seek the light. Read the psalms again. Read psalm 88. That, believe it or not, is the poetry of a saint not a hopeless soul.
Ah but the question remains, what if you work harder against satan than you do against god? If you exorcise his demons and save people that serve him?
If that's true, then you're partial to the light, not neutral as you say.
Perhaps... who can tell what the future holds? i tried once after my fall, but i had lost my faith. Belief in god does not work if you are in desperate need, beg for help in desperate angst stricken prays with darkness again claiming you and the prayers just hit the ceiling and fall to the ground and are dashed faster that your hope.
But even this has been the experience of many saints. Psalm 137 talks about hanging harps upon willow trees in Babylon, a place of captivity, of woefully "remembering" Zion. Many of the other psalms ask God "How long, O Lord?" "Will you hide your face forever"? Elsewhere in the Bible it is said "Surely you are a God who hides himself". Even these dark experiences may be turned to faith. Don't give up!
C.H. Spurgeon, in his "Treasury of David" commented on Psalm 77 where the psalmist asks "Has God forgotten to be gracious. Has he in anger shut up his tender mercies?". Spurgeon writes:
"Are the pipes of goodness choked up so that love can no more flow through them? Do the bowels of Jehovah no longer yearn towards his own beloved children? Thus with cord and cord unbelief is smitten and driven out of the soul. It raises questions and we will meet it with questions; it makes us think and act ridiculously, and we will heap scorn upon it. The argument of this passage assumes very much in the form of a reduction ad absurdum."
But by thinking you are right over another is wrong.
Really, you must quit contradicting yourself like that. . You just did the very thing you are speaking against.
As long as the other person believes in what he follows, he is right in that no matter what reasoning you have.
But you just admitted that a terrorist's devotion may be admirable, and yet his cause still be wrong. May it not therefore be wrong, even though he believes in it? Subjective "Belief" is not the determiner of truth.
You can disagree wiht him and prove yourself by exposing what is false. But you still are not right in your views, you have simply made that person aware that what he believes is false.
Are you saying that I am not right in my views, or merely that I may not be right? Of course that possibility exists, but mere possibility doesn't prove or disprove anything. Why do you think I'm wrong, or why do you think I'm right?
I do not accuse you of dogmatic belief since you have very relevant points. But rather that even with your arguments you are not right as the other side can raise as good counter arguments.
Saying that since "the other side can raise as good counter arguments" does not tell us anything except that people may always disagree. But I maintain that people may disagree even in the face of good logic, or evidence, or even persuasion. You've told me that I have relevant points. And you've agreed with me, more often than not whenever I have pressed you. So, the question still remains, what are those counter arguments?
Mostly I'm just trying to get you to "think different". I use a Mac, and I like that slogan. I am not insulting you here. And again this interchange has been great.
You are right in yours eyes, but in the eyes of another you are wrong again...
Again, eyes are instruments of perception. But truth is more determined by what is oberved by the eyes. Jesus did not say that the eyes determine truth, but subjected the spiritual "eyes" to truth itself. "The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!" (Matthew 6:22).