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Is The Biblical God Consistent With Himself?


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#81 Designist

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Posted 05 December 2009 - 03:44 AM

He wants us to choose Him by our free will instead of His capable force, though He reserves the right to guide you through in your decision making. In the end, your free-will will have to participate.

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You are repeating something I have already answered.

If you had read everything that was said on this thread, then you would have noticed.

#82 AFJ

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Posted 05 December 2009 - 01:38 PM

I have a very simple question and  am in search of an answer that exalts the biblical God. The question is as follows:

How is it possible to reconcile a God who knows all things (including all future actions and events of all beings, including Himself) and a God who is "not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentence" with a God who makes some vessels for destruction and ultimately to suffer eternal agony?

I will elaborate if it becomes clear that the question is not understood.

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I have always reconciled that by thinking of God making someone in real time. Let me explain. Say if God is "making" a soul with a free will. But at the same time, because of his foreknowledge, he knows that soul will choose to reject the gospel. He could at that point, in His mercy, not create that person. But in His justice, and in His sovereignty, He makes a soul which will choose to reject. God will still give him a conscience, and deal with him about his sin, but he will still reject.

Therefore it can truly be said that God made a vessel fitted for destruction. He is not a Creator of evil. He made Lucifer perfect in all His ways, but He had to know Lucifer would rebel and become Satan. But it is all a part of "the good pleasure of His will." He also knew that He would also send his Son "in the fullness of time" to redeem those who chose God's way.

#83 Ron

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Posted 05 December 2009 - 02:41 PM

I have a very simple question and  am in search of an answer that exalts the biblical God. The question is as follows:

How is it possible to reconcile a God who knows all things (including all future actions and events of all beings, including Himself) and a God who is "not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentence" with a God who makes some vessels for destruction and ultimately to suffer eternal agony?

I will elaborate if it becomes clear that the question is not understood.

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The problem you’re running into here is your assumption that God makes some vessels for no other reason than “destruction and ultimately to suffer eternal agony”, which is clearly a misconception on your part.

God has provided a way for “Every man” to go to heaven, through His Son Jesus Christ. God makes “No man” go to “eternal agony”. Any man who suffers “eternal agony” does so of his own accord and volition.

I will elaborate if it becomes clear that you understand.

#84 Designist

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Posted 05 December 2009 - 03:42 PM

I have always reconciled that by thinking of God making someone in real time.  Let me explain.  Say if God is "making" a soul with a free will.  But at the same time, because of his foreknowledge, he knows that soul will choose to reject the gospel.  He could at that point, in His mercy, not create that person.  But in His justice, and in His sovereignty, He makes a soul which will choose to reject.  God will still give him a conscience, and deal with him about his sin, but he will still reject.

Therefore it can truly be said that God made a vessel fitted for destruction.  He is not a Creator of evil.  He made Lucifer perfect in all His ways, but He had to know Lucifer would rebel and become Satan.  But it is all a part of "the good pleasure of His will."  He also knew that He would also send his Son "in the fullness of time" to redeem those who chose God's way.

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Here, I will attempt to compose a logical syllogism to help you to see more clearly the logical conclusion that you must come to if you believe what you just said and if you also believe the premise that I am about to start my syllogism with.

To manufacture or create anything or anyone that is doomed to become bad or evil is to be indirectly responsible for or the ultimate cause of that bad or evil.

God created someone that was doomed to become bad or evil.

Therefore, God is indirectly responsible for or the ultimate cause of that bad or evil.

Ron

I believe I have more than adequately addressed your typical narrow-minded response in everything I have said thus far.

Obviously, you are not seeing how and, frankly, I think it's not so much that you can't as it is that you won't see how I have addressed your typical narrow-minded response.

This is not to be harsh with you. It is just in the hopes of helping you to open your eyes, not that it will open your eyes.

#85 Ron

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Posted 05 December 2009 - 03:56 PM

Ron

I believe I have more than adequately addressed your typical narrow-minded response in everything I have said thus far.

Obviously, you are not seeing how and, frankly, I think it's not so much that you can't as it is that you won't see how I have addressed your typical narrow-minded response.

This is not to be harsh with you. It is just in the hopes of helping you to open your eyes, not that it will open your eyes.

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You obviously haven't addressed my response, nor have you shown me to be narrow minded. You have, although, shown yourself to be torn between what the Bible does say, and what you want it to say.

But I will elaborate if it becomes clear that you understand.

#86 Designist

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 01:39 AM

You obviously haven't addressed my response, nor have you shown me to be narrow minded. You have, although, shown yourself to be torn between what the Bible does say, and what you want it to say.

But I will elaborate if it becomes clear that you understand.

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Ignorance is bliss! :lol:

#87 Ron

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 06:23 AM

Ignorance is bliss! :rolleyes:

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It must be, because the Word has yet to be proven wrong, no matter how you've tried. B) And your ignorance of the Word of God had bound you to contextual misinterpretation.

But as I said, I will elaborate if it becomes clear that you understand.

#88 Fred Williams

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 10:33 PM

Fred: The problem with this argument is that it assumes the punishment doesn’t fit the crime. What basis do you have for this?

Designist: The biblical "eye for an eye" doctrine, which seems very logical to me and which also seems quite synonymous with the doctrine that is taught in Matthew 7:2 and Matthew 7:12 is primarily the basis upon which I draw the conslusion that either God can't be precisely as He is portrayed in the Bible or the Bible is not telling us the whole truth about eternal punishment or both.


Very, very interesting, that you are now admitting that part of your problem is based on your own philosophical assumption that God’s punishment doesn’t fit the crime! If man rejects God (remember, God is Light) then the opposite of this is darkness. Crime = crave darkness, punishment = darkness. Seems perfectly reasonable, eye for an eye, to me. When God removes His presence light is gone. Some good scholars make a reasonable case that this is what hell ultimately is, complete separation from God, and utter and complete darkness.

He still clearly indicates that He is the ultimate cause of all eternal human suffering.


No, the individual is the ultimate cause of his own eternal human suffering, this is what the Bible clearly teaches. If a parent teaches his child right from wrong, yet the child still decides to go rob a bank, was the parent the ultimate cause for the child’s jail time? That is what your logic demands, and it shows just how off, now that your assumptions have been shown to be invalid, your logic has quickly become. What you’ve done with your opening statement is move the goal posts by adding philosophical arguments very similar to what Job’s friends did.

It’s now time to circle back to your original question in the OP, just to show how far you've moved the goal posts:

How is it possible to reconcile a God who knows all things (including all future actions and events of all beings, including Himself) and a God who is "not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentence" with a God who makes some vessels for destruction and ultimately to suffer eternal agony?


As has already been pointed out, your concerns only make sense if three assumptions are true:

1) The future is already settled,
2) Vessels of “destruction” is based on the Calvinistic interpretation (God specifically created certain people for hell).
3) God punishment of eternal damnation doesn’t fit the crime

Yet all three of your assumptions have been overwhelmingly refuted WITH SCRIPTURE. Your entire argument vanishes if:

1) The future is not settled;
2) God does not select certain individuals for hell
3) The punishment fits the crime - those who reject the Light will get their wish, no Light!

You seem to agree with #2, and for the sake of argument you accepted #1, so all you really have to rely on is #3, a personal philosophical argument. Why has #3 above crept in to your argument? Does your argument live and die by this premise?

“And so it was, after the LORD had spoken these words to Job, that the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, "My wrath is aroused against you and your two friends, for you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has." - Job 42:7

Fred

#89 Hawkins

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 02:28 AM

You are repeating something I have already answered.

If you had read everything that was said on this thread, then you would have noticed.

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So you mean you've got the answer? I just gave out an answer, I am not looking for any answer. I don't know why you are answering my answer. :rolleyes:

The difficulty in this case revolves around two theological words: "foreknowledge" and "predestination." If we say that all men are "predestined" -- that is, foreordained, planned, determined or fated, then man has no free choice. You would be a mere robot (or car) and in the above law suit could not in any way be held liable. It could make no difference whether you cheated, murdered, or raped because whatever you did would have been foreordained and planned anyway. There can be no sin if one is not free to sin or not to sin. There can be no virtue, rewardability or punishment for what cannot be prevented from happening.


The difficulty in this case is that noone in human history ever understood what pre-destination is. We only make assumption about what pre-destination is in our conception/understanding. So God may be able to destine your life while allow you to have a choice.

IMO, free will is more like a processor of your computer, choices are more of an option list you are going to choose from. Destiny is more of a series of option lists you have to go through in your life span. You are fully responsible for what you choose.

#90 Designist

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 01:41 AM

Hawkins says:

He wants us to choose Him by our free will instead of His capable force, though He reserves the right to guide you through in your decision making. In the end, your free-will will have to participate.

Designist responds with:

That statement is synonymous with the one you made in post #45, which I handled in post #55

Ron quoted Designist who asked:

How is it possible to reconcile a God who knows all things (including all future actions and events of all beings, including Himself) and a God who is "not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentence" with a God who makes some vessels for destruction and ultimately to suffer eternal agony?

Ron addressed the quote in the following way:

The problem you’re running into here is your assumption that God makes some vessels for no other reason than “destruction and ultimately to suffer eternal agony”, which is clearly a misconception on your part.

God has provided a way for “Every man” to go to heaven, through His Son Jesus Christ. God makes “No man” go to “eternal agony”. Any man who suffers “eternal agony” does so of his own accord and volition.

Designist responds with:

If, in your first sentence, you are suggesting that I am misinterpreting Rom. 9:11-23, then I would sincerely hope that you would be merciful enough to show me where I have gone wrong. For, as Ezekiel 3:18 sayeth, “When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.”

After all, it does appear quite obvious to me that whoever composed the words that are found in Romans 9 intended to give those of us who are the recipients of its message the impression that God deliberately brought some people into this world knowing full well that by so doing He was dooming their souls to eternal agony, especially since the author clearly appeals to the same “might is right” principle that Darwinists have introduced and utilized in support of their anti-Scriptural thoughts concerning “the origin of species” or “survival of the fittest”, and especially since the Scripture clearly teaches that those whom God used to demonstrate His power and/or mercy certainly did not have any of the characteristics would have made them fit to dwell for eternity in any place other than “the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death”.

Don’t you see? When you view Rom. 9:11-23 in the light of everything the Scriptures clearly tell us about those who think, speak, and behave as Pharaoh, for instance, did, you are compelled to believe that the soul that dwells within any vessel that was used in the same sense that God planned for Pharaoh’s vessel to be used would never be fit to dwell anywhere for eternity outside of the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone? If we take Romans 9 seriously, there can be no possible way for any soul like that of Pharaoh’s, from birth to death, to experience a second birth. There can only be a second death for such a soul, if all the plainest texts in Scripture that deal with the final state of the soul that sinneth are to be taken seriously as well as in their proper contexts.

If, in your second sentence, you are suggesting that souls like Pharaoh’s would ultimately wind up in “the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone” of his own volition, then I would think you are suggesting that Romans 9:11-23 is not to be taken seriously or interpreted in its plainest sense.

Don’t you see?

If Romans 9:11-23 and all the passages of Scripture which teach us about salvation are to be taken seriously and in context, then it is virtually impossible for rational minds to avoid the conclusion that the Bible clearly teaches that certain souls were set-up (or doomed) to eternal damnation and certain others were set-up to be saved from eternal damnation. In other words, it would appear, from what Romans 9 says, that man’s fall and eternal damnation are part of a set-up.

Romans 9, when taken in its plainest sense, does not allow logical minds to avoid the conclusion that God (certainly not unlike any ruthlessly cruel tyrant) can do whatever He likes with whomever His wills and no one can argue with Him about it on any terms (even reasonable ones) simply because He has all might and He is therefore all right or always right.

Oh! And I almost forgot to remind you of Matthew 1:28.

That passage certainly does not lead me to believe that man sends himself to hell (as some Christians have suggested) of his own volition. In no possible way, does it do so. It makes it virtually impossible for me not to be terrified of God because it makes it seem as if, since God can do infinitely more than any man or devil can to take vengeance on those whom He considers to be His enemies, He alone is to be the one of whom everyone else should be terrified (not merely revered or respected, as some evangelical Christians have suggested in the past).

Ron says:

You obviously haven't addressed my response, nor have you shown me to be narrow minded. You have, although, shown yourself to be torn between what the Bible does say, and what you want it to say.

Designist responds with:

I obviously have in post #55 and it was in response to your post #45.

Besides, if I could open the eyes of the blind, then I might be called a miracle worker! But I cannot and therefore am not.

Ron says:

It must be, because the Word has yet to be proven wrong, no matter how you've tried. And your ignorance of the Word of God had bound you to contextual misinterpretation.

Designist responds with:

It appears as if you are suggesting that I am trying to prove the Word (I presume you are referring to the Bible) to be wrong and that my interpretation of its context is wrong also.

Please show me where I have gone wrong! Ezekiel 3:18 compels you to do so and please remember what James 5:20 and similar passages say about converting the sinner or wicked from the error of his ways.

Fred Williams says:

Very, very interesting, that you are now admitting that part of your problem is based on your own philosophical assumption that God’s punishment doesn’t fit the crime! If man rejects God (remember, God is Light) then the opposite of this is darkness. Crime = crave darkness, punishment = darkness. Seems perfectly reasonable, eye for an eye, to me. When God removes His presence light is gone. Some good scholars make a reasonable case that this is what hell ultimately is, complete separation from God, and utter and complete darkness.

Designist responds with:

Far from it!

I am suggesting that part of my problem is based on the justice (or fairness, if you will) that I see and wholeheartedly agree with in “the eye for an eye” doctrine and the golden rule principle that are clearly taught in the words of the Bible alone. The plainest sense in which I understand those words is the only sense that makes sense to my mind.

Are you suggesting that I do not take them in their plainest sense or that I take them in the same sense in which OEC’s are used to taking them in?

Some of our greatest evangelical theologians have rightly pointed out that:

“If the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense, lest you come up with nonsense.”

Fred Williams says:

No, the individual is the ultimate cause of his own eternal human suffering, this is what the Bible clearly teaches. If a parent teaches his child right from wrong, yet the child still decides to go rob a bank, was the parent the ultimate cause for the child’s jail time? That is what your logic demands, and it shows just how off, now that your assumptions have been shown to be invalid, your logic has quickly become. What you’ve done with your opening statement is move the goal posts by adding philosophical arguments very similar to what Job’s friends did.

Designist responds with:

Right on! That is part of my point!

The Bible does clearly teach that.

In fact, it insists that!

However, on the other hand, the Bible also clearly states things in ways that compel rational or sensible (prudent or sober, to be Scriptural), as opposed to simple (foolish or irrational) minds to conclude that:
  • God is the ultimate Creator of creators (a statement of fact that, although it cannot be found anywhere in Scripture, naturally follows from everything else the Bible teaches about God’s omnipotence), King of kings, or Lord of lords
  • that God is where everything (which would ultimately include man and everything that man willed) begins and ends
  • that God did not need to create man or anything else since He has never needed and shall never need anything outside of His own tri-une self
  • that God could have allowed but chose not to allow any of his creatures, except perhaps lower life forms (e.g., animals, insects, and germs), to return to the unconscious state that they presumably were in before they were born, once they have finished their lives in the biological forms that they were clothed with when they first arrived on this planet or entered this dimension of reality or
  • God is ultimately responsible for everything since He is the ultimate or primary cause of all things that have ever existed and shall ever exist
Fred Williams says:

It’s now time to circle back to your original question in the OP, just to show how far you've moved the goal posts:

Designist responds with:

That is an interesting way of putting something that you perceive to be true of me. I like it and will certainly add it to my list of things to say to others whom I perceive to be as you perceive me to be.

Fred Williams says:

As has already been pointed out, your concerns only make sense if three assumptions are true:

1) The future is already settled,
2) Vessels of “destruction” is based on the Calvinistic interpretation (God specifically created certain people for hell).
3) God punishment of eternal damnation doesn’t fit the crime

Designist responds with:

With regards to the first assumption:

In the Bible I have noticed a mixed message. There is little doubt in my mind that Calvinistic thinking may have much to do with it. And Roy Elseth has pointed out things that contradict one another, concerning the same, in our Calvinistic translations of the Bible. You also have pointed some of them out.

With regards to the second assumption:

I am not so sure if it is entirely Calvinistic as I have never read or studied the Bible in it original languages.

Fred says:

Yet all three of your assumptions have been overwhelmingly refuted WITH SCRIPTURE. Your entire argument vanishes if:

1) The future is not settled;
2) God does not select certain individuals for hell
3) The punishment fits the crime - those who reject the Light will get their wish, no Light!

You seem to agree with #2, and for the sake of argument you accepted #1, so all you really have to rely on is #3, a personal philosophical argument. Why has #3 above crept in to your argument? Does your argument live and die by this premise?

“And so it was, after the LORD had spoken these words to Job, that the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, "My wrath is aroused against you and your two friends, for you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has." - Job 42:7

Designist responds with:

With regards to the third assumption:

I think you are mistaken in calling it an assumption rather than a fact.

Making it a crime to choose to see nothing (whether one chooses to see no light or anything else is neither here nor there), in my mind, is legislation that I can understand if it comes from a real and ruthless criminal or bully. But it is not something that I can understand if it comes from the one who would suggest that “an eye for an eye” or the golden rule is fair or virtuous.

Furthermore, meting out eternal punishment for any temporal crime, whether it be a real crime or not is, logically speaking, disproportionate with the crime.

Perhaps another way of helping you to understand what I am trying to say might be to go about it like this:

The Bible clearly teaches that adulterers, those of the same gender who coppulate with one another, fornicators, and others who may have done nothing to harm anyone else should be treated as if they had harmed others. It goes even further by condemning or damning such people to eternal torment.

In other words, the Bible teaches that certain people, though they may have done absolutely nothing to harm anyone else, should be stoned (another way of saying harmed) and ultimately tormented forever and ever ad infinitum in hell. But, on the other hand, and ironically, the Bible clearly tells us that we should not harm anyone who has shown no evidence of having harmed anyone else and it also commands us to treat others as we would like for them to treat us.

If the God of the Bible is that inconsistent with Himself, how can it be fair to condemn anyone for thinking that the Bible could only have been inspired by men who did not necessarily agree among themselves on important issues or that it could only have come from the mind of some schizoid personality?

Hawkins says:

The difficulty in this case is that noone in human history ever understood what pre-destination is. We only make assumption about what pre-destination is in our conception/understanding. So God may be able to destine your life while allow you to have a choice.

IMO, free will is more like a processor of your computer, choices are more of an option list you are going to choose from. Destiny is more of a series of option lists you have to go through in your life span. You are fully responsible for what you choose.

Designist responds with:

Dictionaries were created to help us understand words.

Predestination is a word.

The dictionary defines it, according to how it is used in everyday language.

What good is a word if it cannot be understood? Why have words if they can’t be understood? Why speak, if the words you use can’t be understood by those with whom you are speaking? What is the purpose of any word if it has everything to do with assumptions and nothing to do with a common understanding of its meaning?

If that is how you think, then I am afraid that you and I are not communicating with one another.

Incidentally, if you look at post #55 you will discover where I addressed your statement about free will.

#91 Ron

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 06:08 AM

Ron quoted Designist who asked:
How is it possible to reconcile a God who knows all things (including all future actions and events of all beings, including Himself) and a God who is "not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance" with a God who makes some vessels for destruction and ultimately to suffer eternal agony?
Ron addressed the quote in the following way:
The problem you’re running into here is your assumption that God makes some vessels for no other reason than “destruction and ultimately to suffer eternal agony”, which is clearly a misconception on your part.
God has provided a way for “Every man” to go to heaven, through His Son Jesus Christ. God makes “No man” go to “eternal agony”. Any man who suffers “eternal agony” does so of his own accord and volition.
Designist responds with:
If, in your first sentence, you are suggesting that I am misinterpreting Rom. 9:11-23, then I would sincerely hope that you would be merciful enough to show me where I have gone wrong. For, as Ezekiel 3:18 sayeth, “When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.”

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It’s quite easy Designest. You are somehow positing that God designed some people for hell, and yet provided absolutely no scriptural evidence for said misinterpretation. I’m still awaiting your scripture reference that shows God designing someone specifically for “for destruction and ultimately to suffer eternal agony”. You have, thus far failed to do so.

After all, it does appear quite obvious to me that whoever composed the words that are found in Romans 9 intended to give those of us who are the recipients of its message the impression that God deliberately brought some people into this world knowing full well that by so doing He was dooming their souls to eternal agony, especially since the author clearly appeals to the same “might is right” principle that Darwinists have introduced and utilized in support of their anti-Scriptural thoughts concerning “the origin of species” or “survival of the fittest”, and especially since the Scripture clearly teaches that those whom God used to demonstrate His power and/or mercy certainly did not have any of the characteristics would have made them fit to dwell for eternity in any place other than “the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death”.

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And here you attempt to discredit the Apostle Paul as the author of the book of Romans. This alone gives great insight into your motivation, and line of miss-interpretive (or juvenile misunderstanding) of scripture. And your attempt that parallels the same motivation and tactics we find in Genesis One.

Don’t you see? When you view Rom. 9:11-23 in the light of everything the Scriptures clearly tell us about those who think, speak, and behave as Pharaoh, for instance, did, you are compelled to believe that the soul that dwells within any vessel that was used in the same sense that God planned for Pharaoh’s vessel to be used would never be fit to dwell anywhere for eternity outside of the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone? If we take Romans 9 seriously, there can be no possible way for any soul like that of Pharaoh’s, from birth to death, to experience a second birth. There can only be a second death for such a soul, if all the plainest texts in Scripture that deal with the final state of the soul that sinneth are to be taken seriously as well as in their proper contexts.

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Again, you provide your pre-supposition, instead of scripture, to motivate your scriptural attack here. Let me ask you; how many chances did God provide Pharaoh (for instance) to do the right thing? How many times does God provide all us to do the right thing? Or, an even more important question is this; given God’s patience and mercy, who is man to question what He does? If man simply does what he is supposed to do, none of this would be an issue. (and the Christian who does his studies understands this fact).
And, again, when are you going to provide the scripture where God says He designed some “for destruction and ultimately to suffer eternal agony”?


If, in your second sentence, you are suggesting that souls like Pharaoh’s would ultimately wind up in “the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone” of his own volition, then I would think you are suggesting that Romans 9:11-23 is not to be taken seriously or interpreted in its plainest sense.

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Absolutely! When given as many chances to repent and do the right thing, instead of letting your pride make you obstinate, eternal separation from God is the result. (and the Christian who does his studies understands this fact).

Don’t you see?

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I see that you are attempting to twist the scripture to meet your needs. And I think I see your motivation as well. I would wonder why you don’t see.

If Romans 9:11-23 and all the passages of Scripture which teach us about salvation are to be taken seriously and in context, then it is virtually impossible for rational minds to avoid the conclusion that the Bible clearly teaches that certain souls were set-up (or doomed) to eternal damnation and certain others were set-up to be saved from eternal damnation. In other words, it would appear, from what Romans 9 says, that man’s fall and eternal damnation are part of a set-up.

Romans 9, when taken in its plainest sense, does not allow logical minds to avoid the conclusion that God (certainly not unlike any ruthlessly cruel tyrant) can do whatever He likes with whomever His wills and no one can argue with Him about it on any terms (even reasonable ones) simply because He has all might and He is therefore all right or always right.

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No, “Every person”, “Every soul” has the choice to “do the right thing”. But, not everybody does such.


Oh! And I almost forgot to remind you of Matthew 1:28.

That passage certainly does not lead me to believe that man sends himself to hell (as some Christians have suggested) of his own volition. In no possible way, does it do so. It makes it virtually impossible for me not to be terrified of God because it makes it seem as if, since God can do infinitely more than any man or devil can to take vengeance on those whom He considers to be His enemies, He alone is to be the one of whom everyone else should be terrified (not merely revered or respected, as some evangelical Christians have suggested in the past).

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Matthew 1:28?




Ron says:
You obviously haven't addressed my response, nor have you shown me to be narrow minded. You have, although, shown yourself to be torn between what the Bible does say, and what you want it to say.
Designist responds with:   
I obviously have in post #55 and it was in response to your post #45.
Besides, if I could open the eyes of the blind, then I might be called a miracle worker! But I cannot and therefore am not.

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In your convoluted post 45, you failed to answer anything. Let alone provide scripture the shows God specifically designing someone for “for destruction and ultimately to suffer eternal agony”.


Ron says:
It must be, because the Word has yet to be proven wrong, no matter how you've tried.  And your ignorance of the Word of God had bound you to contextual misinterpretation. 
Designist responds with:
It appears as if you are suggesting that I am trying to prove the Word (I presume you are referring to the Bible) to be wrong and that my interpretation of its context is wrong also.
Please show me where I have gone wrong! Ezekiel 3:18 compels you to do so and please remember what James 5:20 and similar passages say about converting the sinner or wicked from the error of his ways.

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I have found that some prefer to remain blind (like Pharaoh for example). In other words, you can lead a man to scripture, but you can’t make him think.

#92 Designist

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 02:16 AM

Ron

Please look for my responses in bold within the body of the following quotation:

It’s quite easy Designest. You are somehow positing that God designed some people for hell, and yet provided absolutely no scriptural evidence for said misinterpretation. I’m still awaiting your scripture reference that shows God designing someone specifically for “for destruction and ultimately to suffer eternal agony”. You have, thus far failed to do so.

If I could help you to see what you don't want to see, I might be called a miracle worker. You seem to be denying the fact that Paul the apostle is clearly implying that because the potter has the power over the clay the clay has no right to object with, "Why hast thou made me thus" because the one who has the might (a synonym for "power") is always right or since God has all might He must be all right.

Trying to communicate with you on this subject is getting me nowhere. You seem to think that Romans 9, when taken in its context and when taken in its plainest (or most literal) sense and when taken in view of everything else the Scripture says in relation to it does not lead rational minds to the conlcusion that I have arrived at and a conclusion that you are referring to as a misinterpretation or misunderstanding on my part.

I am confident that if anyone happens to be misinterpreting or misunderstanding that chapter, it certainly ain't me. I am merely expressing the conclusion it compels me to arrive at after having realized what it amounts to when all Scripture is taken into consideration.


And here you attempt to discredit the Apostle Paul as the author of the book of Romans. This alone gives great insight into your motivation, and line of miss-interpretive (or juvenile misunderstanding) of scripture. And your attempt that parallels the same motivation and tactics we find in Genesis One.
Again, you provide your pre-supposition, instead of scripture, to motivate your scriptural attack here. Let me ask you; how many chances did God provide Pharaoh (for instance) to do the right thing? How many times does God provide all us to do the right thing? Or, an even more important question is this; given God’s patience and mercy, who is man to question what He does? If man simply does what he is supposed to do, none of this would be an issue. (and the Christian who does his studies understands this fact).

Think what you will of me. That is your bag! You carry it!

However, I will answer your question.

In Exodus 3:19, God was referring to Pharaoh when He said the following words: "I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not by a mighty hand." God said this perhaps because He knows the hearts of all men, not necessarily because He knew what Pharaoh would or wouldn't do. And, yes! It leaves room for repentence. But, on the other hand, in Exodus 4:21, God said the following words with reference to the same Pharaoh: "but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go".

I don't know about you! But to me, that certainly does not look like God had any intentions at all of giving Pharaoh a chance to do the right thing, to begin with. In fact it looks to me as it did to Paul, in Romans 9, that God did not want Pharaoh to let His people go until after He had shown the children of Israel His might. It looks to me as if God intentionally set Pharaoh up to rebel against Him. Also, in Romans 9, it appears that way to Paul the apostle.

Now that I answered your question, I would like to ask you one:

Before Moses met Pharaoh, didn't God inform Moses that He (i.e., God Himself) was going to harden Pharaoh's heart in order to show the Israelites what He could do so that they might put their trust in Him and follow Him?


And, again, when are you going to provide the scripture where God says He designed some “for destruction and ultimately to suffer eternal agony”?
Absolutely! When given as many chances to repent and do the right thing, instead of letting your pride make you obstinate, eternal separation from God is the result.  (and the Christian who does his studies understands this fact).

I don't recall ever having indicated that there was any one Scripture that said such a thing. I thought I had made it very clear that the conclusion that seems to bother you was arrived at through more than one Scripture passage, rather than just one.

You are not making any sense to me here and it appears obvious that I am not making any sense to you.

 
I see that you are attempting to twist the scripture to meet your needs. And I think I see your motivation as well. I would wonder why you don’t see.

You seem to be seeing only what you want to see

No, “Every person”, “Every soul” has the choice to “do the right thing”. But, not everybody does such.

Where in the Bible did God say that to Pharaoh?

Matthew 1:28?

Thanks for pointing that error out to me. Let me correct it here. It is Matthew 10:28.

In your convoluted post 45, you failed to answer anything. Let alone provide scripture the shows God specifically designing someone for “for destruction and ultimately to suffer eternal agony”.

Post #45 was your post, not mine.

However, in that post, you quoted one of my posts. So maybe you have mistaken the quote for the post.

Post #45 is your response to my post #44.

Post #45 quotes post #44 and responds to it in the following words: "For the same reason God isn't responsible for your posting of the above comments. Because He created you and your free will. But you made the post of your own free will. You can attempt to blame it on Him, but it was of your doing."

Besides, your username "Ron", not mine, is in the panel to the left and at the top of post #45.

So, post #45 is your post, definitely not mine.

Post #55 was my post. It was in response to your post #45. And post #45 contains your reference to free will.


I have found that some prefer to remain blind (like Pharaoh for example). In other words, you can lead a man to scripture, but you can’t make him think.

Likewise, I think Dale Carnegies words have some merit as well. In his book, "How to Win Friends and Influence People", he said, "A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still".

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#93 Fred Williams

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 08:49 AM

Romans 9, when taken in its plainest sense, does not allow logical minds to avoid the conclusion that God (certainly not unlike any ruthlessly cruel tyrant) can do whatever He likes with whomever His wills and no one can argue with Him about it on any terms (even reasonable ones) simply because He has all might and He is therefore all right or always right.


Designist, “logical minds” can easily avoid your conclusion by recognizing the context and realizing there is more to the Bible than a single passage. Paul is quoting Jeremiah 18! Here it is:

Jer 18:5-10 Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying: "O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter ?" says the LORD. "Look, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel! The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it.

It is crystal clear that the clay became marred by the doing of Israel (free will), not by God making them evil!.

...in Exodus 4:21, God said the following words with reference to the same Pharaoh: "but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go".

I don't know about you! But to me, that certainly does not look like God had any intentions at all of giving Pharaoh a chance to do the right thing, to begin with. In fact it looks to me as it did to Paul, in Romans 9, that God did not want Pharaoh to let His people go until after He had shown the children of Israel His might. It looks to me as if God intentionally set Pharaoh up to rebel against Him. Also, in Romans 9, it appears that way to Paul the apostle.


As pointed out earlier, you were very much wrong about Paul’s belief in Romans 9 since you were unaware he was quoting Jeremiah 18. Regarding Exodus, go back and read all the instances when “God hardened Pharaoh’s heart”. It was always after God performed a miracle! Can’t you see how such action would harden the heart of a person who thought he was god? God knew Pharaoh’s heart and mind, and knew Pharaoh would become even more hardened every time He performed a miracle. Compare & contrast where it says Pharaoh hardened his own heart.

As mentioned in my prior post, you are basing a large part of your argument on Calvinistic assumptions. Calvinism is a poor theology that yanks scores of verses out of context, and scores of verses are NOT taken literally. If you want to defend a Calvinist position, you can’t at the same time claim you are taking the Bible literally, this would be incredibly hypocritical. Calvinists over and over again have to avoid plain scripture, often appealling to “allegory” and “anthropomorphism” to hand-wave away hundreds of verses, when taken plainly, don’t fit their theology.

The Bible clearly teaches that adulterers, those of the same gender who coppulate with one another, fornicators, and others who may have done nothing to harm anyone else should be treated as if they had harmed others. It goes even further by condemning or damning such people to eternal torment.

In other words, the Bible teaches that certain people, though they may have done absolutely nothing to harm anyone else, should be stoned (another way of saying harmed) and ultimately tormented forever and ever ad infinitum in hell. But, on the other hand, and ironically, the Bible clearly tells us that we should not harm anyone who has shown no evidence of having harmed anyone else and it also commands us to treat others as we would like for them to treat us.

If the God of the Bible is that inconsistent with Himself, how can it be fair to condemn anyone for thinking that the Bible could only have been inspired by men who did not necessarily agree among themselves on important issues or that it could only have come from the mind of some schizoid personality?


The above comments reveal two things to me: 1) you are with almost 100% certainty a liberal, 2) you raise serious doubts of your sincerity as a Christian - you could be the poser many here suspect you of being. No Bible-believing Christian I know of would think that adultery / h*m*s*xuality / fornication do nothing to harm others. Of course these things harms others, one only needs an ounce of common sense, let alone a huge cache of crime and health statistics, to recognize this truth.

Nevertheless your position has offered valuable lessons on where fragile assumptions such as Calvinism and the “the future is settled” theology can lead. Your posts have done everything to demonstrate that BOTH these assumptions about scripture starkly contradict, and hence slander and misrepresent, the Living God of the Bible. Your one resulting conclusion about God’s justice is but one example. I just hope my Christian brothers who unwittingly or otherwise embrace some of these assumptions can see the logical contradictions, or at least start to consider the alternative (and strongly scripturally based) viewpoint. We need to eradicate this centuries-old Augustinian theology that has led to all kinds of confusion in Christiandum.

Fred

#94 Ron

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 11:31 AM

Ron

Please look for my responses in bold within the body of the following quotation:

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Please read, and attempt to understand (at least this time) where you err...

Ron quoted Designist who asked:
How is it possible to reconcile a God who knows all things (including all future actions and events of all beings, including Himself) and a God who is "not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance" with a God who makes some vessels for destruction and ultimately to suffer eternal agony?
Ron addressed the quote in the following way:
The problem you’re running into here is your assumption that God makes some vessels for no other reason than “destruction and ultimately to suffer eternal agony”, which is clearly a misconception on your part.
God has provided a way for “Every man” to go to heaven, through His Son Jesus Christ. God makes “No man” go to “eternal agony”. Any man who suffers “eternal agony” does so of his own accord and volition.
Designist responds with:
If, in your first sentence, you are suggesting that I am misinterpreting Rom. 9:11-23, then I would sincerely hope that you would be merciful enough to show me where I have gone wrong. For, as Ezekiel 3:18 sayeth, “When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.”

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It’s quite easy Designest. You are somehow positing that God designed some people for hell, and yet provided absolutely no scriptural evidence for said misinterpretation. I’m still awaiting your scripture reference that shows God designing someone specifically for “for destruction and ultimately to suffer eternal agony”. You have, thus far failed to do so.

After all, it does appear quite obvious to me that whoever composed the words that are found in Romans 9 intended to give those of us who are the recipients of its message the impression that God deliberately brought some people into this world knowing full well that by so doing He was dooming their souls to eternal agony, especially since the author clearly appeals to the same “might is right” principle that Darwinists have introduced and utilized in support of their anti-Scriptural thoughts concerning “the origin of species” or “survival of the fittest”, and especially since the Scripture clearly teaches that those whom God used to demonstrate His power and/or mercy certainly did not have any of the characteristics would have made them fit to dwell for eternity in any place other than “the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death”.

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And here you attempt to discredit the Apostle Paul as the author of the book of Romans. This alone gives great insight into your motivation, and line of miss-interpretive (or juvenile misunderstanding) of scripture. And your attempt that parallels the same motivation and tactics we find in Genesis One.

Don’t you see? When you view Rom. 9:11-23 in the light of everything the Scriptures clearly tell us about those who think, speak, and behave as Pharaoh, for instance, did, you are compelled to believe that the soul that dwells within any vessel that was used in the same sense that God planned for Pharaoh’s vessel to be used would never be fit to dwell anywhere for eternity outside of the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone? If we take Romans 9 seriously, there can be no possible way for any soul like that of Pharaoh’s, from birth to death, to experience a second birth. There can only be a second death for such a soul, if all the plainest texts in Scripture that deal with the final state of the soul that sinneth are to be taken seriously as well as in their proper contexts.

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Again, you provide your presupposition, instead of scripture, to motivate your scriptural attack here. Let me ask you; how many chances did God provide Pharaoh (for instance) to do the right thing? How many times does God provide all us to do the right thing? Or, an even more important question is this; given God’s patience and mercy, who is man to question what He does? If man simply does what he is supposed to do, none of this would be an issue. (and the Christian who does his studies understands this fact).

And, again, when are you going to provide the scripture where God says He designed some “for destruction and ultimately to suffer eternal agony”?



If, in your second sentence, you are suggesting that souls like Pharaoh’s would ultimately wind up in “the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone” of his own volition, then I would think you are suggesting that Romans 9:11-23 is not to be taken seriously or interpreted in its plainest sense.

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Absolutely! When given as many chances to repent and do the right thing, instead of letting your pride make you obstinate, eternal separation from God is the result. (and the Christian who does his studies understands this fact).

Don’t you see?

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I see that you are attempting to twist the scripture to meet your needs. And I think I see your motivation as well. I would wonder why you don’t see.

If Romans 9:11-23 and all the passages of Scripture which teach us about salvation are to be taken seriously and in context, then it is virtually impossible for rational minds to avoid the conclusion that the Bible clearly teaches that certain souls were set-up (or doomed) to eternal damnation and certain others were set-up to be saved from eternal damnation. In other words, it would appear, from what Romans 9 says, that man’s fall and eternal damnation are part of a set-up.

Romans 9, when taken in its plainest sense, does not allow logical minds to avoid the conclusion that God (certainly not unlike any ruthlessly cruel tyrant) can do whatever He likes with whomever His wills and no one can argue with Him about it on any terms (even reasonable ones) simply because He has all might and He is therefore all right or always right.

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No, “Every person”, “Every soul” has the choice to “do the right thing”. But, not everybody does such.


Oh! And I almost forgot to remind you of Matthew 1:28.

That passage certainly does not lead me to believe that man sends himself to hell (as some Christians have suggested) of his own volition. In no possible way, does it do so. It makes it virtually impossible for me not to be terrified of God because it makes it seem as if, since God can do infinitely more than any man or devil can to take vengeance on those whom He considers to be His enemies, He alone is to be the one of whom everyone else should be terrified (not merely revered or respected, as some evangelical Christians have suggested in the past).

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Matthew 1:28?

Ron says:
You obviously haven't addressed my response, nor have you shown me to be narrow minded. You have, although, shown yourself to be torn between what the Bible does say, and what you want it to say.
Designist responds with:   
I obviously have in post #55 and it was in response to your post #45.
Besides, if I could open the eyes of the blind, then I might be called a miracle worker! But I cannot and therefore am not.

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In your convoluted post 45, you failed to answer anything. Let alone provide scripture the shows God specifically designing someone for “for destruction and ultimately to suffer eternal agony”.


Ron says:
It must be, because the Word has yet to be proven wrong, no matter how you've tried.  And your ignorance of the Word of God had bound you to contextual misinterpretation. 
Designist responds with:
It appears as if you are suggesting that I am trying to prove the Word (I presume you are referring to the Bible) to be wrong and that my interpretation of its context is wrong also.
Please show me where I have gone wrong! Ezekiel 3:18 compels you to do so and please remember what James 5:20 and similar passages say about converting the sinner or wicked from the error of his ways.

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I have found that some prefer to remain blind (like Pharaoh for example). In other words, you can lead a man to scripture, but you can’t make him think.

#95 Designist

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 11:09 PM

Fred:

My response is in bold in the body of your text.

Designist, “logical minds” can easily avoid your conclusion by recognizing the context and realizing there is more to the Bible than a single passage. Paul is quoting Jeremiah 18! Here it is:

I can understand why you said that.

But please remember! Here is what I said in relation to what you just said:

"Romans 9, when taken in its plainest sense, does not allow logical minds to avoid the conclusion that God (certainly not unlike any ruthlessly cruel tyrant) can do whatever He likes with whomever His wills and no one can argue with Him about it on any terms (even reasonable ones) simply because He has all might and He is therefore all right or always right."

Yes I was referring to Romans 9:18-23. That was definitely a single passage, taken from Romans 9. But, despite the fact that it is a quote from Jeremiah 18:5-10, it does seem to give us overtones of a God who is willing that some should perish or that not all should come to repentance, contrary to 2 Peter 3:18. since God raised up certain people for the sole purpose of making His power known (which raises another question: Can't He make His power known any other way or why would He want to make His power known, in the first place, and especially if He is omnipotent?).


Jer 18:5-10 Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying:  "O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter ?" says the LORD. "Look, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel!  The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it.  And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it,  if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it.

I will not deny that Paul was quoting from Jeremiah when he said "...the Scripture saith unto Pharaoh...". But he was going further than that. He was saying things that you did not quote from that Jeremiah passage. He was also saying things that lead us to believe that He was was almost more concerned about the eternal salvation of the souls of the Israelites (his kinsmen in the flesh) than he was of the same concerning the Gentiles.

It is crystal clear that the clay became marred by the doing of Israel (free will), not by God making them evil!.

It doesn't matter, because, by creating the human race, period, God became indirectly or ultimately responsible for the actions of the free will that He gave to the human race (including the individual Israelites who made up the nation of Israel).

As pointed out earlier, you were very much wrong about Paul’s belief in Romans 9 since you were unaware he was quoting Jeremiah 18. Regarding Exodus, go back and read all the instances when “God hardened Pharaoh’s heart”. It was always after God performed a miracle! Can’t you see how such action would harden the heart of a person who thought he was god? God knew Pharaoh’s heart and mind, and knew Pharaoh would become even more hardened every time He performed a miracle. Compare & contrast where it says Pharaoh hardened his own heart.

I certainly can see that. And I would thank you for pointing out any misunderstandings I may have on this issue. But, I still cannot not see how that particular misunderstanding would make any difference at all as to whether or not God hardened his heart directly or indirectly? After all, God created that which He knew would result in sin against His will. So, the very act of creating it makes Him indirectly and ultimately responsible for that sin. Besides, didn't Paul say that God raised him up for the purpose of making His power (name, in other passages) known...?

As mentioned in my prior post, you are basing a large part of your argument on Calvinistic assumptions. Perhaps that is because, all my life I have been reading and studying the KJV (which I just recently learned is, for the most a part, a plagerized Geneva Bible) Calvinism is a poor theology that yanks scores of verses out of context, and scores of verses are NOT taken literally. If you want to defend a Calvinist position, you can’t at the same time claim you are taking the Bible literally, this would be incredibly hypocritical. I can't disagree with you if the KJV is a plagiarized version of Calvin's Geneva Bible. After all, the KJV is the only Bible I grew up with and have loved more than all others because of the wonderful peace and inexplicable joy it used to give me. Calvinists over and over again have to avoid plain scripture, often appealling to “allegory” and “anthropomorphism” to hand-wave away hundreds of verses, when taken plainly, don’t fit their theology.
The above comments reveal two things to me:  I suppose you are right. 1) you are with almost 100% certainty a liberal, That is a shock to me! I definitely don't like liberal theology. But maybe I don't know enough about it to see how you have arrived at that conclusion. But, thanks for pointing it out to me. Your strong stand against liberal theology is what I admire the most about your theology. I want you to know that I am on your side. I just have a lot of concerns that I think need to be addressed, for my sake only. If it seems I am attacking you and Ron, then I will attempt to word my posts differently so as to reflect the fact that I am more on your side than I would ever want to be on any liberal theologian's side. But, I am afraid that the liberal side has some strong arguments that cannot be ignored by honest minds. Because I don't completely understand the typical arguments of a liberal mind, I am going to rely on fellow believers like you to steer me clear of that type of thinking. 2) you raise serious doubts of your sincerity as a Christian - you could be the poser many here suspect you of being.   No Bible-believing Christian I know of would think that adultery / h*m*s*xuality / fornication do nothing to harm others. Of course these things harms others, one only needs an ounce of common sense, let alone a huge cache of crime and health statistics, to recognize this truth.

I believe I can understand where you are coming from, because you probably equate Christians with saints (that is, saved souls) as opposed to disciples (or students) of Christ. I understand that the disciples were first called Christians at Antioch. But one of those Christians (i.e., Judas) lost his salvation or became unsaved. And up to the time that he had begun to entertain the thought of betraying his teacher or master (Christ), he was called a disciple (the noun that was changed, at Antioch, to Christian, which simply means student.of Christ) .

The Bible, as I understand it, has led me to the conclusion that it would be Scriptural to attach the name Christian to Roman Catholics  and all others who wish to become students of Jesus Christ's teachings and not necessarily Scriptural to attach the name saints or the phrase saved souls to them. One of the things that convinces me that I am not a Calvinist is the fact that I don't believe in the "once saved always saved" doctrine. Isn't that Calvinistic? If not, then disregard what I said.

Finally, I have yet to discover how any Bible believing saint justifies the stoning to death of anyone who merely engages in any kind of physically harmless, especially unforced or non-murderous, S@xual activity.

So far, I have seen no justification for the act of stoning someone to death for merely engaging in any physically harmless, especially unforced or non-murderous S@xual activites.

I do see justification in stoning to death a cold-hearted murderer. But stoning to death anyone else is, to my mind, no more righteous than the act of cold-blooded murder.

So, until I discover justification for the stoning to death of people who have merely engaged in physically harmless, especially unforced or non-murderous, S@xual activites, the sense of justice that resides within my God-given conscience or the sense of justice that comes to me through the Scriptural eye for an eye principle and the Golden rule compels me to consider the stoning to death of anyone other than a cold-blooded murderer to be no more righteous than the act of murdering any harmless individual would be.


Nevertheless your position has offered valuable lessons on where fragile assumptions such as Calvinism and the “the future is settled” theology can lead. Your posts have done everything to demonstrate that BOTH these assumptions about scripture starkly contradict, and hence slander and misrepresent, the Living God of the Bible. Your one resulting conclusion about God’s justice is but one example. I just hope my Christian brothers who unwittingly or otherwise embrace some of these assumptions can see the logical contradictions, or at least start to consider the alternative (and strongly scripturally based) viewpoint. We need to eradicate this centuries-old Augustinian theology that has led to all kinds of confusion in Christiandum.

I would wholeheartedly agree with you if it weren't for the fact that I still don't see how it would make any significant difference in the conclusion that the Bible leads me to when I consider the fact that the Bible teaches us that God created that which became evil.

Whether that which became evil did so of its own accord or not is beside the point. God's original free-will choice to directly or indirectly cause evil to enter the universe in which evil had no existence in the infinite past, makes Him either directly, indirectly, or ultimately the cause of or responsible for whatever evil exists now or will ever exist.

That is a conclusion that my God-given common sense compels me to arrive at. The expression of that conclusion may sound blashemous to minds that believe everything that they hear from a sacred source. But, my God-given conscience compels me to ask myself, "How can a God who has created me with the ability to see a difference between common sense and nonsense or sound (or sober) thinking and careless (or wishful) thinking be a just God if He condemns me for coming to perfectly sensible conclusions that He doesn't like?

My conscience would certainly bother me if I were to think it were a crime for anyone to say anything that I don't want them to say about me or my character. So, to be consistent with myself and fair to every entity other than myself, I must condemn everyone who would think it a crime punishable by death to engage in a perfectly harmless or non-murderous act. If everyone includes the most exalted of beings, then so be it.

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Ron:

The way I responded to you from the beginning may not have been the wisest or kindest thing for me to do. I sincerely apologize for it, if that is the case.

Your input is greatly appreciated. It was not my intention from the beginning to create contention between us. I hope you will forgive me if I have failed to keep a good and friendly relationship between us.

Having said that, I want you to know that I am merely seeking to find arguments that will refute what is increasingly appearing to be a wishful thought, on my part. I don't want this to remain the case.

But I wish I could see how the God of the Bible could
  • be the primary cause of all effects, whether those effects be sub-causes or not
  • hold any of his creatures eternally accountable for any of the temporal effects that were produced through their actions or for any temporal sub-causes that may have emerged from their actions, be they free-will actions or not
  • and still be consistent with Himself or kind and merciful (as opposed to mean and cruel) at the same time.
Unless you suggest that God is merely the collective consciousness of all intelligent beings; unless you suggest that man has always existed, at least in spirit or something equally unscriptural, I cannot see how the God of the Bible can be consistent with Himself, at least in this area.

But I am afraid that is just wishful thinking on my part because I still can't see it, no matter how hard I try and no matter which Christian I have consulted on this extremly important matter.

#96 Ron

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 06:04 AM

Ron:
The way I responded to you from the beginning may not have been the wisest or kindest thing for me to do. I sincerely apologize for it, if that is the case.
Your input is greatly appreciated. It was not my intention from the beginning to create contention between us. I hope you will forgive me if I have failed to keep a good and friendly relationship between us.
Having said that, I want you to know that I am merely seeking to find arguments that will refute what is increasingly appearing to be a wishful thought, on my part. I don't want this to remain the case.
But I wish I could see how the God of the Bible could

  • be the primary cause of all effects, whether those effects be sub-causes or not



  • hold any of his creatures eternally accountable for any of the temporal effects that were produced through their actions or for any temporal sub-causes that may have emerged from their actions, be they free-will actions or not



  • and still be consistent with Himself or kind and merciful (as opposed to mean and cruel) at the same time.
Unless you suggest that God is merely the collective consciousness of all intelligent beings; unless you suggest that man has always existed, at least in spirit or something equally unscriptural, I cannot see how the God of the Bible can be consistent with Himself, at least in this area. 
But I am afraid that is just wishful thinking on my part because I still can't see it, no matter how hard I try and no matter which Christian I have consulted on this extremly important matter.

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I’m sorry I didn’t get back to this earlier. Sometimes I don’t get the notifications of replies (and sometimes it’s my fault as I don’t always check the “notify me” block when prompted).

I appreciate your honesty and hope I don’t seem overbearing in my responses. Sometimes I find myself standing firm on a Biblical stance (which we are commanded to do scripturally) to the point that it may seem I lack compassion. But, I think it is more compassionate to not want a brother or sister to “perish for a lack of understanding”.

God’s word says He is the “primary cause of all effects”.

God’s word says His children cause their own eternity, due to their free will choices.

God’s word says He will be consistent with not only His “Kindness and Mercy”, but His Holiness as well. And God cannot look upon sin. It is an affront to Him.

#97 Designist

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 02:07 AM

Thanks Ron for the attempt, but, as I have feared, it is not of much help at all to me.

I think, at this point, your most fervent prayers for the restoration of my faith, might be the most effective way for you to help me out of this dilemma.

But I wish to assure you that I am not about to abandon my hope in the Christ of Christianity nor in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (i.e., Israel). He is the most realistic supernatural authority I have ever come across and He alone gave me peace when I needed it; He alone is able to deliver me from mine enemies; He alone is able to bring joy and peace back into my life.

There is no doubt in my mind that the supernatural and scientifically inexplicable do exist. The evidence of their existence overwhelms me. Equally there is no doubt that Yahwheh and the only begotten from the dead, Jesus Christ, the righteous, are the most wonderful beings that I am aware of and I want myself and my only child (i.e., my only begotten son) to become and remain one with Him and His Son from now and througout all eternity. In Him alone is life and He alone has the words of eternal life. I am compelled to trust Him, even if it means that in this life only will that trust bring me hope or comfort.

I know that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is real because of the simple fact that the Jews are still here against all odds. No other people has survived the sorts of things that the Jews have. Israel is perhaps Yahwheh's greatest perpetual proof to the nations of His reality, no doubt about it. The Torah (or Old Testament) is Israel's national history book. Israel is the only nation on earth that has seen Yahwheh. The nation of Israel is Yahwheh's perpetual miracle to the nations and it makes me proud to support that nation in every way I possibly can because I am sure that I will be blessed if I do.

I cannot abandon my hope in my only hope. He is my only hope despite the inconsistencies I see in the things that are written in His Word (or the translations, I am most familiar with).

I earnestly covet your prayers for my deliverance from this dilemma and for the restoration of the confidence I once had in Him. It has always been my most cherished desire to abide in Him and for His words to abide in me.

Do pray for me, will ya?

#98 Ron

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 03:50 AM

Do pray for me, will ya?

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Absolutely! Yes indeed my friend... I pray the Lord opens your eyes and heart to His truth!




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