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Troubling Doctrines For Christians


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#61    IamsSon

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 04:08 AM

View PostDetective Mystery 2013, on 05 March 2013 - 03:43 AM, said:

Your first comment mirrors many experts on the subject. It's mature and reasonable. It makes some kind of sense. Still, it avoids the question. I don't say that in a disrespectful or provocative sense. I understand why it's not possible to square some conundrums. I'm at the point where I realize that we often can't answer troubling questions. We have to rely on faith when it comes to certain ideas. It's more of a realization and recognition than a resignation. It's a bit humbling, but it sometimes helps to be honest with oneself about some doctrines. Like the man says, we see through a glass darkly. Fortunately, you, as well as many others, have the faith to keep your "sight" intact.
The more I study and discuss with Bible scholars, the less certain I am that there is a better answer than one that from our limited perspective seems to avoid the question.  I found a video that I think may provide an answer to how we might have choice and yet God's will be done:



Edited by IamsSon, 05 March 2013 - 04:09 AM.

"But then with me that horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man's mind which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey's mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?" - Charles Darwin, in a letter to William Graham on July 3, 1881

#62    No Censorship

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 04:20 AM

BTW, I like your Penn Gillette quote. It seems like radical atheists and religious fanatics have the same kinds of personalities. If you want to appreciate how long eternity is, read some of their debates! That's what happens when two infallible people meet.

There is one reality with billions of versions.

#63    IamsSon

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 04:50 AM

View PostDetective Mystery 2013, on 05 March 2013 - 04:20 AM, said:

BTW, I like your Penn Gillette quote. It seems like radical atheists and religious fanatics have the same kinds of personalities. If you want to appreciate how long eternity is, read some of their debates! That's what happens when two infallible people meet.
I think what Penn Gillette has realized is that radical atheists are religious fanatics.

"But then with me that horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man's mind which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey's mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?" - Charles Darwin, in a letter to William Graham on July 3, 1881

#64    Norbert the Incredible

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 08:39 AM

View PostDetective Mystery 2013, on 05 March 2013 - 03:21 AM, said:

Not really. I don't picture God as Santa Claus. I view Him as a spiritual entity, not an anthropomorphic character that resembles Zeus or Jupiter. Such an entity knows what decisions His creation will or won't make in their lives. That's my entire point. That's why it's hard not to be freaked out by predestination. It goes back to asking why some people are ostensibly sentenced to Hell at birth. Of course, this whole question seems moot to non-believers.
All that only matters if you believe in the old dualistic Heaven/hell concept. I mean, really, that's really just as much an extrapolation from what scriptural evidence there is as nearly every other piece of traditional Christian doctrine. It's very easy not to be freaked out by Predestination if you realise that it was just another piece of baggage that was heaped onto the cart by all these Thinkers who've cluttered the original concept of God and the teachings of Jesus. And as a concept, it's absurd; it completely destroys the whole point of anything Jesus taught, unless you really do believe that he was only talking to those who were already Chosen, and that therefore his message was actually very elitist and he wasn't actually bothered about the vast mass of Humanity at all. And i do feel that believing that is rather an insult to him.

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#65    Frank Merton

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 08:48 AM

To me the logic of Christianity is completely opposite what the churches teach.

Premise One: God is omnipotent and therefore gets anything he wants.

Premise Two: God is omni-benevolent and therefore wants everyone to be saved.

Conclusion:  Everyone is saved.  If there is predestination, then it is predestined that everyone is saved.

I leave aside just what "saved" might mean and how many lifetimes getting there might require.


#66    aryannatimothy

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 09:22 AM

End of the world in revelations I guess.

Discover the power of the mind and know how to manifest what you want. Click mind power secrets to know more.

#67    No-thingBornPassion

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 10:45 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 28 February 2013 - 03:00 PM, said:

I'll let you decide what he meant on Romans 9 :tu:

The section I'll be focusing my discussion on is Romans 9:10-24, but it won't hurt to familiarise yourself with the rest of Romans (if you haven't already).  Anyway, I'll pick up from verse 10:

10 Not only that, but Rebekah's children had one and the same father, our father Isaac. 11 Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God's purpose in election might stand: 12 not by works but by him who calls—she was told, "The older will serve the younger." 13 Just as it is written: "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."

Paul starts in verse 10 by appealing to the Old Testament story of Esau and Jacob.  In this Old Testament story, Esau lost his birthright to Jacob, even though he was the firstborn and therefore rightful heir.  Paul states clearly in verse 11 - before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad - in order that God's purpose in election might stand: not by works.....  Again this is a very clear statement concerning God's purpose of election in choosing one over the other, not because of anything they had done (works), indeed before they were born or had done anything to deserve it or not, God had chosen one over the other.  One could argue that it related specifically to Esau and Jacob and does not directly relate to us today (a valid observation, but for the rest of the passage - which broadens the context to beyond Old Testament patriarchs)..... Continuing on to the next set of verses:
Hello PA,

Predestination or not, we, as flesh and blood human beings, don't know God's will or mind. I don't believe that all events on earth (and that includes most people's lives) have been willed or arranged by God. God's intervention is another matter, for God works in mysterious ways, after all, and we don't know the complete history of our souls. Do we know that we have made a pact with God a long time ago? Well, that is where our free will comes in -- to uncover our destiny, or sync with it. A designated person is not the same as "all people." On the other hand, now that I'm a Christian (I'm a Christian mainly because I feel this indescribable "joy" in my heart when I think of Jesus Christ) I question the reality of free will in my life, especially when I feel that I'm in the guiding hands of the Holy Spirit. Free will is out-the-door once you get "reborn," I believe this because it's only the logical conclusion. At any rate, God made us in His own image for us to be able to figure some things out, to put 2 and 2 together if you will.  Predestination has nothing to do with it because we're not zombies and for the most part, we still have our intellect. To be able to put 2 and 2 together that rings true to one's heart is, indeed, profound and a blessing, however.


View PostParanoid Android, on 28 February 2013 - 03:00 PM, said:

14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15 For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." 16 It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: "I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." 18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.

Paul again draws on Old Testament references, quoting the story of Pharaoh and Moses from Exodus 33 in stating "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy".  He repeats this in various wording in this section multiple times.  And in verse 17, again talking of Pharaoh - I (God) raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power.....  Did Pharaoh have a choice in the matter? I would argue that he did not, especially when Exodus notes that Pharaoh was about to let the Israelites go, except for God's intervention in hardening Pharaoh's heart (however, there is a point worth raising on this issue - I'll discuss this shortly).  Moving on to verse 19, and this is where I find the passage getting really interesting:

19 One of you will say to me: "Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?" 20 But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?' " 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?

Paul specifically addresses the argument that many today use - "if God made me like this, how can God still blame me for my actions".  And the simple answer Paul gives - who are you to talk back to God.  God, the King, the creator.  You can't understand God.  He's too big for you, you're just a human.  It's not an answer a lot of people like (heck, I don't like it either, and I'm a Christian).  It's not exactly an ideal answer, and I sure wish anywhere in the Bible there was a better answer provided, but this is the answer given.  Paul then uses an analogy that any in the day could understand - how can a pot say to a potter "why did you make me like this".  The potter can make grand pots or common use pots (a decorative vase, or a chamber pot for example).  The pot has no say in the matter - it's all up to the creator of the pot!  God, the creator.  In any case, I'm going to move on to the next few verses:

Here's the original (I always prefer the "original" and it makes things clearer): (Isaiah 45:9) "Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker-- An earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth! Will the clay say to the potter, 'What are you doing?' Or the thing you are making say, 'He has no hands'?"

Another original : (Hosea 2:23)  "And I will sow her for myself in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them who were not my people, you are my people; and they shall say, you are my God."

Paul's bleak interpretation is not the way I'm getting this at all because things will work out in the end, and one will accept one's destiny, wholeheartedly. Destiny doesn't have to be a "Christian outcome." There are many paths out there (for a reason, I believe), and there are those who even accept total oblivion (or deletion of one's "awareness") without bathing an eye. "This is it for me, man." "I would hate to have another lifetime!" "I wanna achieve nirvana." "Moksha is the only way!" I'm sure you've heard those, too. And most of all, "God doesn't make mistakes." God knows what's in our (we, all of us, not just Christians) hearts. Again, things will work out for all of us, for God is not cruel. Being misinterpreted or misinterpretation is another story, yeah.


We have an intellect, we can ask God questions.

I also believe that if one strays from one's destiny, God will show the way, even in one's "darkest" moment in the afterlife (think of Lazarus): (Luke 10:20) "Nevertheless in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven." "Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd."


Again, do we know that we have made a pact with God a long time ago?

View PostParanoid Android, on 28 February 2013 - 03:00 PM, said:

22 What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory— 24 even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?

I'll end my discussion here after these verses.  Here, Paul theorises why people are actually created for destruction - why would God make people destined for destruction?  What if God created these "objects of his wrath - prepared for destruction" to show the "riches of his mercy" to those whom he "also prepared in advance for glory".  He prepared certain people for destruction, in order to show glory to those who also were prepared for glory - in other words, how can we who are saved truly apprecciate the massive gift of eternal life that God has given us if we didn't have an alternative (destruction) to compare it to.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
That's really sad. Paul the "apostle," lucky 13, or is it? I'm glad Jesus Christ is not Paul.

Peace to you, PA.


----------------------------
"Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar." (Proverbs 30:6)

"Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you." (Deuteronomy 4:2)

Edited by braveone2u, 13 March 2013 - 10:53 PM.


#68    AquilaChrysaetos

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 11:21 PM

View PostFrank Merton, on 05 March 2013 - 08:48 AM, said:

To me the logic of Christianity is completely opposite what the churches teach.

Premise One: God is omnipotent and therefore gets anything he wants.

Premise Two: God is omni-benevolent and therefore wants everyone to be saved.

Conclusion:  Everyone is saved.  If there is predestination, then it is predestined that everyone is saved.

I leave aside just what "saved" might mean and how many lifetimes getting there might require.

I don't know where you get that ideology because that's not what Christianity preaches. God doesn't get everything he wants, otherwise everyone would be saved, however contrary to that they're not. Predestination may be preached by some people yet it is completey unscriptural and they obviously do not understand the mind of God.

Jesus Christ - Matthew 28:18-20 said:

"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

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#69    No Censorship

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 02:29 AM

View PostLord Vetinari, on 05 March 2013 - 08:39 AM, said:

All that only matters if you believe in the old dualistic Heaven/hell concept. I mean, really, that's really just as much an extrapolation from what scriptural evidence there is as nearly every other piece of traditional Christian doctrine. It's very easy not to be freaked out by Predestination if you realise that it was just another piece of baggage that was heaped onto the cart by all these Thinkers who've cluttered the original concept of God and the teachings of Jesus. And as a concept, it's absurd; it completely destroys the whole point of anything Jesus taught, unless you really do believe that he was only talking to those who were already Chosen, and that therefore his message was actually very elitist and he wasn't actually bothered about the vast mass of Humanity at all. And i do feel that believing that is rather an insult to him.

I agree that the Gospel is meant for all humanity. We all decide whether or not to accept it. Does an omniscient God not know what choice we will make before we make it? That is my main question.

There is one reality with billions of versions.

#70    No Censorship

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 02:32 AM

View PostFrank Merton, on 05 March 2013 - 08:48 AM, said:

To me the logic of Christianity is completely opposite what the churches teach.

Premise One: God is omnipotent and therefore gets anything he wants.

Premise Two: God is omni-benevolent and therefore wants everyone to be saved.

Conclusion:  Everyone is saved.  If there is predestination, then it is predestined that everyone is saved.

I leave aside just what "saved" might mean and how many lifetimes getting there might require.

That's understandable. I've gone back and forth on those points too. In order to stay sane, I don't dwell on those points too much. Too much cognitive dissonance can lead to psychosis (kidding).

There is one reality with billions of versions.

#71    Paranoid Android

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 03:23 AM

View Postbraveone2u, on 13 March 2013 - 10:45 PM, said:

Paul's bleak interpretation is not the way I'm getting this at all....

That's really sad. Paul the "apostle," lucky 13, or is it? I'm glad Jesus Christ is not Paul.

Peace to you, PA.
I was with you, all the way to this.  I do not view any of Paul's comment here in Romans 9 to be "bleak".  If you read bleakness into my commentary, the fault is with your understanding of my position, not my position itself.

I'm also glad Jesus is not Paul - that would kind of put a dampener on Paul's "some say I follow Apollos...." diatribe in Corinthians, but that doesn't mean I don't listen to Paul's writings to be of value in learning what Christ wants for us.

That's how I view things :)

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#72    No-thingBornPassion

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 03:58 AM

Yes, it's been kindly noted, PA. My comment was directed at Paul, specifically. You were just analyzing and paraphrasing his position. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, however. Peace.


#73    No Censorship

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 04:04 AM

View Postaryannatimothy, on 07 March 2013 - 09:22 AM, said:

End of the world in revelations I guess.

The Book of Revelation scared me when I first read it. I often heard trumpets for a while. :lol:

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#74    Paranoid Android

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 04:17 AM

View PostDetective Mystery 2013, on 15 March 2013 - 04:04 AM, said:

The Book of Revelation scared me when I first read it. I often heard trumpets for a while. :lol:
It's funny.  A lot of people get scared with Revelation.  But here's the rub, it was written with the intent of encouraging people, strengthening them.  I guess it's always important to take the intention of the author into consideration.

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#75    Norbert the Incredible

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 08:22 AM

View PostDetective Mystery 2013, on 14 March 2013 - 02:29 AM, said:

I agree that the Gospel is meant for all humanity. We all decide whether or not to accept it. Does an omniscient God not know what choice we will make before we make it? That is my main question.
I think the basic fault with this concept, that God Knows what choice we will make and so on, is that it looks at God in human terms, as being a human mind writ large, and that God thinks like us and that time means the same for him as it does to us. I think God is not a mind that thinks and follows thought processes, but as a completely different kind of intelligence to anything that we can comprehend. - which of course is why the Ancients described him and his actions in human terms, as a father figure with a big Beard, because that was the only way they could put it in terms that anyone could comprehend. And perhaps, why, if this was indeed what happened, he entered into the person of Jesus. So really I think the questioon of "how could God not know" what will happen is not really relevant, because God is a different kind of intelligence that doesn't think on linear timescales like we do.

Life is a hideous business, and from the background behind what we know of it peer daemoniacal hints of truth which make it sometimes a thousandfold more hideous.

H. P. Lovecraft.


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