Friday, March 09, 2007

Can't Worship Someone You Don't Know & Love

In my continuing conversation with GMpilot over at my message board, new issues and questions have been asked that I think would might be beneficial for all to read here. I would encourage anyone who has additional questions, comments, and, especially additional answers to join into the conversation. I have only touched on just a few of the answers to GM's questions that can be found in the Bible. Please join in with any additional insight that you would like to provide.

Christine

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Note: "Admin" is Christine. Here's the ongoing conversation at the message board:

Can't worship Someone you don't know, and love

I want to start off by saying that I don't have all of the answers. What I do have, however are just the ones that have been revealed to me through the Person of Jesus Christ and God's Word, the Bible. With that said, here goes (yet again!).






Previous Quote: Admin: By "unrelated issues of sin," I assume that the additional people formerly in leadership positions were caught in their own iniquities...unrelated to the Ted Haggard scandal.







Quote:
GM:Unrelated to Haggard, yes, but not to the church. As I said, I was always told that sin was all-pervasive; that the Enemy of Our Souls was always at hand; that sin clawed away at each and every aspect of our lives. It’s no different for the church official than it is for the churchgoer—only the (social) consequences are greater (the “eternal” ones, as you like to call them, are exactly the same).







Admin: But the church official is to be held to a higher standard. The church congregation has a multitude of people who are either still unsaved, baby Christians, scholars in Biblical knowledge and everything else inbetween. Any person who calls himself/herself a Christian should be held accountable in this world as well as the eternal one. BTW, all-pervasiveness has nothing to do with it. Each person is held accountable for their own, individual sin (both at the Judgment Seat of Christ and the White Throne Judgment). The difference is, non-believers will not be able to count on Jesus' sacrifice for their sins because they refused to recognize Him as Savior and Lord. Therefore, they will face judgment with their own sin remaining upon their souls. NOT a good thing to do!



Previous Quote:Admin: We were made perfect and would have stayed that way if we obeyed our Creator. He knows what's best for us. However, Adam and Eve were given the freewill choice to obey or disobey. They made the wrong decision, wouldn't you agree?






Quote:
GM: Yes, they did make the wrong decision. You would too, if you were set up like they were.If we were made ‘perfect’, then things on earth would now be as you believe heaven to be. Clearly, they aren’t. Perhaps there can be only one perfect being in the universe, and God is it…which means everything else must be flawed somehow. It looks to me as if a perfect God cannot make perfect people!







Admin: Being "set up" is not the same thing as being given a choice. They were warned about the consequences of "eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." If they weren't warned, then you may have had a good point regarding the "set up" comment.

Perhaps you have forgotten that a HUGE problem with your next paragraph is the fact that sin entered into the world (and the knowledge of evil; they already knew and experienced good). We also know from the Genesis account that the angels had free will choice to obey and worship God or choose the path of iniquity. Those angels that stayed loyal to God were sealed in that decision. This is similar to our sealed decision when being born again through Jesus Christ. No one can "snatch us out of his (Christ's) hands." Our eternal destination is secure.

Jesus told us that he is "not of this world." At the Fall, all of Creation fell with Adam and Eve. The Bible says that even the "earth groans for redemption." Looking for heaven on earth is an impossibility, due to sin and evil people. Our only hope is in Christ and the forgiveness of sin, redemption, mercy and grace that is afforded to us through Him taking our place of punishment for sin.

Jesus told the Pharisees that "you are of your father, the devil." Without Christ, each and every person on earth dies in a state of sin and their eternal destination, unfortunately, is the same place created for Satan and his demons. People don't like to talk about judgment or hell, but it is a reality, whether they want to believe it or not.








Previous Quote: Admin: As far as your "regretting he made us" comment goes, there are detailed theological arguments that I have already posted (many times) that have described reasons why the judgment in the form of the Flood was necessary at that time in history. It also demonstrated the need for a Savior to cure the dilemma of sinful mankind through a once-for-all sacrifice for sin. But you've heard it all already so no need to bother repeating myself.







Quote:
GM: Oh, go ahead. I know how you love to repeat yourself when you’re fired up.







Admin: Already did some of that in my above answers.







Quote:
GM: Detailed theological reasons, eh? It boils down to this:If judgment was necessary, then they were flawed to begin with. Perfect beings don’t need to be judged.If the judgment required annihilation, God could simply have struck them down, as reported in other cases. He wanted their fear and suffering; therefore, the Flood. You have defended his drowning even of babies in the cradle on the grounds of “He knew what they would become” or similar lame apologia. If he knew the destiny of all the Sodomites, and all the people of all the lands around it, and all the world beyond that…why did he bother to create them in the first place?

Not only does God wipe out his contaminated first batch, he saves a remnant of that batch, guaranteeing he’ll have to do the whole thing over again some day. Even the Savior ‘cure’ has had only limited success. This is not what one might expect from a “perfect” being.








Admin: God is the only perfect being. He created us "a little lower than the angels" and in "his image and likeness." Everything was good and perfect in the beginning. But man apparently wanted more. When tempted, he and she fell immediately into sin. Why? Disobedience. To not give Adam and Eve the choice to disobey would mean that they would be robots. It would be like us creating a computer that does only what it is programmed to do. That's not love. That's not life. A computer doesn't have a life...it only exists to work for man. It doesn't have emotions. It doesn't have a soul or spirit.

God created us out of love, for love and by love. It's not the kind of love that human beings call "love". It is an agape type of love. All encompassing. That answers your question of why He created us.

Because He is our Creator, our lives are intended for a purpose. That purpose was originally broken at the Fall of man. Our spiritual connection to God died immediately. We were created to worship God, love and enjoy Him forever! But that was no longer possible when sin entered the scene. We needed to be redeemed from sin in order to be reconciled back to God. You know the rest.

If you keep in mind that everything included in the Old Testament (OT) has a purpose, then it might become more clear to you.

Everything in the OT points to the Messiah, who was revealed in the Person of Jesus Christ in the New Testament. The Savior "cure," (as you labeled it) has the potential to cover everyone. The difference being, is whether or not each person is willing to come to the foot of the cross.

Given free will choice, we know that Christ's salvation was, is, and always will be rejected by some; more likely many. The road is narrow that leads to life and there are few that find it.

There are several things to consider.

First, remember that Satan was originally Lucifer; a glorious angel. Until iniquity was found in him. He desired worship instead of worshiping God as his Creator. So it was pride of self that led to his downfall.

The second thing to remember about Satan is that he already has seen heaven, knows what it is like and wanted something different. It was the "worship factor" that led him astray. So, we see that Satan knew God, but didn't want to worship Him. As the title of this post states, you can't worship God if you don't know Him and love Him. Both are necessary. He can't force you to know Him and He won't force you to love Him (that would be robotic in nature). The only answer is to give man the free will choice to do both.

In regards to this comment by you:








Quote:GM
This is not what one might expect from a “perfect” being.







Admin: The Bible verse that says, "His thoughts are far above our thoughts" will have to lead you to the conclusion that you, and I, as imperfect beings (right now because of evil and sin) cannot even fathom what we should even expect from a Perfect Being!

But what He has revealed to us through the Person of Jesus Christ, the Bible, and the leading of the Holy Spirit upon our spiritual rebirth are all the signs that I need, personally, (as well as millions of other born-again Christians) to know that I can trust Him. That is each person's decision that they need to make.

Jesus asks each and everyone of us, "Who do you say that I am?" Well guess what. There is a reason to be found in the OT as to why Jesus worded his question that way. In the OT, Jehovah God was known as the great I AM. This is what God told Moses to say when the Israelites ask, "who sent you?" He was to respond, "I AM sent me." This would reveal that he was most certainly a messenger sent from the True God of the universe. Likewise, Jesus reveals Himself as the Son of the Great I AM within his question! He revealed himself as One with the Father.

Jesus also revealed the Holy Spirit as the"Counselor"and"Helper"who would come after his ascension, during the time called Pentecost. If Jesus didn't rise, then the Holy Spirit could not come into the world to do the further work of Christ through believers.

The evidence of Jesus Christ in believers is done through the power of the Holy Spirit's influence upon our lives. He never leads us astray. We know this because He would never instruct us to do something that is contrary to God's Word, the Bible. (This is why any Christian who would alter what is specifically stated in the Bible as sin, (e.g. homosexual behavior is not sin; abortion is not wrong or murder etc.) is not being led by the Holy Spirit's leading on that particular issue. He/she is using Scripture in an eisogesis way, meaning, to "get Scripture to agree with his/her point of view" rather than exegesis, which is the proper method of interpretation and discovery of what the authors truly meant.)

Jesus said in his prayer to the Father while he was still on earth:

Jhn 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.



That term "sanctify" appears 70 times in 65 verses of the Bible. This is the point of redemption.

Some additional verses related to the "word of truth" and how "the gospel is for the purpose of our salvation":

Eph 1:13 In whom ye also [trusted], after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

Col 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

1Th 1:5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.

Rev 1:9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
(bold mine)

Rev. 1:9 sums it up quite well. Knowing the Word of God is for the testimony of Jesus Christ answers Jesus' question:

"Who do you say that I am?"
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Update: While doing some chores around the house, I thought about Jesus' quote, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments."

Obedience is crucial to the Christian believer!

Available Translations and Versions for Jhn 14:15

KJV - Jhn 14:15 -
If ye love me, keep my commandments.
King James Version 1611, 1769

NKJV - Jhn 14:15 -
"If you love Me, keep My commandments.Footnote:NU-Text reads you will keep.
New King James Version © 1982 Thomas Nelson

NLT - Jhn 14:15 -
"If you love me, obey my commandments.
New Living Translation © 1996 Tyndale Charitable Trust

NIV - Jhn 14:15 -
“If you love me, you will obey what I command.
New International Version © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society

ESV - Jhn 14:15 -
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version © 2001 Crossway Bibles

NASB - Jhn 14:15 -
"If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.
New American Standard Bible © 1995 Lockman Foundation

RSV - Jhn 14:15 -
"If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
Revised Standard Version © 1947, 1952.

ASV - Jhn 14:15 -
If ye love me, ye will keep my commandments.
American Standard Version 1901 Info

Young - Jhn 14:15 -
`If ye love me, my commands keep,
Robert Young Literal Translation 1862, 1887, 1898 Info

Darby - Jhn 14:15 -
If ye love me, keep my commandments.
J.N.Darby Translation 1890 Info

Webster - Jhn 14:15 -
If ye love me, keep my commandments.
Noah Webster Version 1833 Info

HNV - Jhn 14:15 -
If you love me, keep my mitzvot.
Hebrew Names Version 2000 Info

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Update: 3/9/07
Mark has already provided some excellent, additional comments and Ebsfwan has participated with his concerns and questions. Thanks guys! I would like to encourage more readers to join in the conversation.

Here is the continuation of the conversation at my message board:

Titled by GM: "I know me, I love me…I don’t WORSHIP me "



Previous Quote:
Admin: I want to start off by saying that I don't have all of
the answers. Just the ones that have been revealed to me through the Person of Jesus Christ and the Bible.




GM: I don’t expect you to have all of the answers, nor do I demand them. Don’t think you can weasel out that way.

Quote:
Admin: Being "set up" is not the same thing as being given a choice. They were warned about the consequences of "eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." If they weren't warned, then you may have had a good point regarding the "set up" comment.



GM: We’ve been down this road before, too. A&E were told that they would die if they ate of the ‘other’ tree—no distinction was made between a physical death and a spiritual one (and no mention of it in the scriptures, either). But when the wayward humans ate the fruit, what does God say? ”And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil” (Gen 3:22). So now we know the truth—God wanted us to live with him in blissful ignorance, not to have knowledge and stand on our own two feet. Oh yeah, Adam & Eve were warned, but they weren’t told the truth.

So now God has to{?) kick them out of the Garden—the garden he supposedly made just for them. Nothing about “What am I gonna do with you two?” No blaming the serpent, even though he got into the garden through God’s neglect. No “All right, you screwed up, but I’ll give you one more chance”. No, God kicked them out, and cursed them and all their descendants, forever. They were set up.




Previous Quote Admin: Jesus told the Pharisees that "you are of your father, the devil." Without Christ, each and every person on earth dies in a state of sin and their eternal destination, unfortunately, is the same place created for Satan and his demons. People don't like to talk about judgment or hell, but it is a reality, whether they want to believe it or not.




GM: “…the same place created for Satan and his demons”. If it was meant for him/them, one has to ask why 95% (or more) of the human race is destined to go there. Maybe God knew in advance that his efforts would be largely futile, hm? Of course, all that matters only if hell’s the reality you claim it is. I see no evidence of that.




Quote:
Admin: God is the only perfect being. He created us "a little lower than the angels" and in "his image and likeness." Everything was good and perfect in the beginning. But man apparently wanted more. When tempted, he and she fell immediately into sin. Why? Disobedience. To not give Adam and Eve the choice to disobey would mean that they would be robots. It would be like us creating a computer that does only what it is programmed to do. That's not love. That's not life. A computer doesn't have a life...it only exists to work for man. It doesn't have emotions. It doesn't have a soul or spirit.




GM: All computers only do what they’re programmed to do, Admin! And we’ve created millions of them! But I know what you’re getting at. OTOH, when a computer breaks down (“disobedience”) it isn’t the computer’s ‘fault’—it didn’t choose to do so! Either an internal component is broken, or it’s operator error…and I suppose you’re familiar with that term.

There are computers that help create other computers, and computers designed to destroy other computers. But that’s because that’s what they’ve been designed to do—they don’t decide that on their own.Are you trying to modernize Paul’s potter-and-clay analogy? It’s not working.Okay, God is the only perfect being. But he can’t make perfect people—or angels, either.


Quote:
Admin: First, remember that Satan was originally Lucifer; a glorious angel. Until iniquity was found in him. He desired worship instead of worshiping God as his Creator. So it was pride of self that led to his downfall.The second thing to remember about Satan is that he already has seen heaven, knows what it is like and wanted something different. It was the "worship factor" that led him astray. So, we see that Satan knew God, but didn't want to worship Him. As my title states, you can't worship God if you don't know Him and love Him. Both are necessary. He can't force you to know Him and He won't force you to love Him (that would be robotic in nature). The only answer is to give man the free will choice to do both.



GM: Let’s examine those claims more closely, shall we? He can and will force you to know him:

Quote:
Thus saith the LORD, In this thou shalt know that I [am] the LORD: behold, I will smite with the rod that [is] in mine hand upon the waters which [are] in the river, and they shall be turned to blood. Exd 7:17

And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, that he shall follow after them; and I will be honoured upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host; that the Egyptians may know that I [am] the LORD. And they did so. Exd 14:4

And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine: and all flesh shall know that I the LORD [am] thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob. Isa 49:26

So will I stretch out my hand upon them, and make the land desolate, yea, more desolate than the wilderness toward Diblath, in all their habitations: and they shall know that I [am] the LORD. Eze 6:14

And mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: I will recompense thee according to thy ways and thine abominations [that] are in the midst of thee; and ye shall know that I [am] the LORD that smiteth. Eze 7:9

Ye shall fall by the sword; I will judge you in the border of Israel; and ye shall know that I [am] the LORD. Eze 11:10

Behold, therefore I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and will deliver thee for a spoil to the heathen; and I will cut thee off from the people, and I will cause thee to perish out of the countries: I will destroy thee; and thou shalt know that I [am] the LORD. Eze 25:7

Yep, sure sounds like he wants us to know him, all right!

It is possible that this was the God whom Lucifer knew…and maybe, just maybe, that’s why he wouldn’t worship that God.

To be sure, there are some less-malign passages wherein God speaks of how the people shall know him; but those passages and these are about equal in number.




Previous Quote:
Admin: Jesus asks each and everyone of us, "Who do you say that I am?" Well guess what. There is a reason to be found in the OT as to why Jesus worded his question that way. In the OT, Jehovah God was known as the great I AM. This is what God told Moses to say when the Israelites ask, "who sent you?" He was to respond, "I AM sent me." This would reveal that he was most certainly a messenger sent from the True God of the universe.




GM: "Who do you say that I am?" Peter answered, “Thou art the Christ”, and Jesus replied “Tell no man that thing” (that is, if Mark 8 is to be believed…and you do believe it, right?). You’re begging the question here, dragging in Moses to answer Jesus’ question, when the two of them never met! Put the way you describe it, even Jesus was prompting the ‘right’ answer when he asked “Who do you say that I AM?”



Previous Quote:
Admin: [Satan] already has seen heaven, knows what it is like and wanted something different. It was the "worship factor" that led him astray.




GM: If heaven was a perfect place, there could have been no discontent, and certainly no civil war! If it’s perfect now, it’s because there IS no discontent. No angel dares, and probably no angel can. Maybe Lucifer thought he could do better. Certainly even as Satan, he’s never encouraged generals to massacre entire populations, or rip fetuses from their mothers’ wombs and kill them both, nor killed an entire generation of eldest children (right down to the livestock!), nor has he ever drowned the world. But the all-powerful, all-wise, all-merciful One has. Funny how that works out.

BTW, I didn’t label Jesus as a cure, you did:



Quote:
Admin: It also demonstrated the need for a Savior to cure the dilemma of sinful mankind through a once-for-all sacrifice for sin.

Next!

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Titled by Admin: "Here we go...again "

Admin: I'm not trying to "weasel out" of anything. I stated from where I get my information.

Apparently, knowing good and evil cannot be handled by mere mortals. Our bloody and barbaric history shows this to be true. Just like I stated way back when on my original website:

Quote:
...history proves that unrestrained man has a natural penchant for criminality and inhumanity

You, sir, are distorting the Biblical account. It isn't that God doesn't want us to have knowledge; it's the knowledge of evil that he knew would get us into trouble. Yet, free will dictates that choice.

We could go on and on, back and forth arguing that one issue. But it is a waste of time to do so.

Additionally, what you fail to recognize is that God HAS GIVEN US ANOTHER CHANCE! You just don't like the method and way that mankind needs to be redeemed. It's not God problem, it's YOURS!

Another point of disagreement with your post. Both Adam and Eve died physically, as well. However, they immediately died spiritually; meaning, their perfect relationship (mentioned as walking with God in the Garden) was broken. This brokenness exists in each and every unredeemed soul.

I don't know what percentage of humans will die in their sins and end up in hell. What I do know is, salvation is within the reach of EVERYONE. God's mercy and grace is "new every morning." All that I can do is continue to share the Gospel. Those with an "ear to hear" will seek out the truth on their own by investigating the Scriptures and learning about the Person of Jesus Christ. Those who reject him "are condemned already." In other words, we are ALL headed to hell, if not for the cross of Christ. Those who reject him make that specific choice for themselves. They have no one to blame but themselves.

Jesus told us that the gospel will be preached to all nations. Then the end will come. When he said those words, travel and information was difficult, cumbersome, and information reached people in a slow manner. Today, we have airplanes that fly people to the other side of the world within hours and information via the internet that can be found in seconds. We have wi-fi, hand held mini-computers with web access.

When Jesus said that his appearing would be seen by all, at the same time, it seemed an impossible feat. Not so impossible today, with modern technology.

Yeah...maybe my computer analogy didn't work, but Paul's "potter and clay" one continues to work...and inspire. It doesn't need improving...just like the rest of God's Word!

Dinner time is approaching so I will add one more thing. There is a specific reason why Jesus told Peter at that particular time not to reveal who He is yet! It wasn't meant to mean "don't tell anyone...ever." Jesus' time had not come yet for dying on the cross.




Quote:
GM said: You’re begging the question here, dragging in Moses to answer Jesus’ question, when the two of them never met! Put the way you describe it, even Jesus was prompting the ‘right’ answer when he asked “Who do you say that I AM?”




Admin: There are weeks worth of Bible study that would prove you wrong in your assumption. I will point out several reasons.

1. Jesus, as part of the Godhead has always existed. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

2. There are many pre-incarnate appearances of Jesus in the OT. He is often referred to as the Angel of the Lord.

3. Have you forgotten about the transfiguration?

Mar 9:4 And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus.

Next!

*******



*******
Update: 3/10/07

Titled by GM: "Here we go…again, Part XVII "


Previous Quote:
Admin: Apparently, knowing good and evil cannot be handled by mere mortals.



GM: Neither, apparently, can the angels; but guess Who made both? That’s no reason to blame us for its mistakes.



Previous Quote:
Admin: Just like I stated way back when on my original website: history proves that "unrestrained man has a natural penchant for criminality and inhumanity."


GM: History has several examples of restrained men and societies: some secular, some religious. The secular but highly restrained USSR certainly had its share of criminality and inhumanity. The deeply religious yet largely unrestrained Byzantium was no paragon of virtue either. Men can be monsters, and sometimes are, but I prefer law to religion. Laws can be challenged, and even overturned; religions cannot, usually, and if a religious law is wrong, it lasts forever…or at least until its worship places are destroyed and its worshippers are all fallen.

Like all other religions, Christianity knows a thing or two about that.



Previous Quote:
Admin: You, sir, are distorting the Biblical account. It isn't that God doesn't want us to have knowledge; it's the knowledge of evil that he knew would get us into trouble. Yet, free will dictates that choice.



GM: God may be right about that. Look at what the knowledge of evil has done to him!



Previous Quote:
Admin: We could go on and on, back and forth arguing that one issue. But it is a waste of time to do so.



GM: You mean you no longer wish to address the spectators who may be reading this? On your own site?! This isn’t your blog, madam. You can control the site, but not the topic of discussion.



Previous Quote:
Admin: Additionally, what you fail to recognize is that God HAS GIVEN US ANOTHER CHANCE! You just don't like the method and way that mankind needs to be redeemed. It's not God's problem, it's YOURS!



GM: “A” chance, not “another” chance. His first attempt at redemption was to simply throw us all away. With no one left except eight humans, and the stones strangely quiet, God must have realized he had a glory deficiency. So he lets us live…with severe penalties if any of us do “that” again. Yes, it’s the same old story: there IS NO FREE WILL if there’s a shotgun pointed at your head. And he has the biggest one in the universe.



Previous Quote:
Admin: Another point of disagreement with your post. Both Adam and Eve died physically, as well. However, they immediately died spiritually; meaning, their perfect relationship (mentioned as walking with God in the Garden) was broken. This brokenness exists in each and every unredeemed soul.


GM: You, madam, are distorting the Biblical account. What it actually says is:
Quote:
And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Gen 2: 16~17 (NIV)
Note it says “in the day”. Unless there was no night in Eden, or a day lasted years, it’s clear that meant “real soon”. No mention of a ‘spiritual’ death at all; that’s a sophistry that came much later. Also, I’m sure you know that Adam didn’t die in the day; he lived to be one of the oldest men in the Bible!



Previous Quote:
Admin: I don't know what percentage of humans will die in their sins and end up in hell. What I do know is, salvation is within the reach of EVERYONE. God's mercy and grace is "new every morning." All that I can do is continue to share the Gospel. Those with an "ear to hear" will seek out the truth on their own by investigating the Scriptures and learning about the Person of Jesus Christ. Those who reject him "are condemned already." In other words, we are ALL headed to hell, if not for the cross of Christ. Those who reject him make that specific choice for themselves. They have no one to blame but themselves.



GM: Those who accept him also make that specific choice for themselves. What else is new?I didn’t reject it out of hand, as you often seem to think. I’ve read the Bible through—more than once. I studied. I asked questions. I asked questions about points that disturbed me personally. I asked people whose opinions I respected, and sources I trusted. And they failed to squelch my doubts. Unlike yourself, where it was merely Catholicism that failed, for me it was religion—all religion. Nearly all of them speak of an eternity of bliss for the faithful and a hell for those who disagree. Christianity’s hell isn’t even as vivid as that of some others (you should read how the Buddhists of Tibet describe theirs!). There are billions in this world who reject (or are ignorant of) the Cross, and I’m sure your God will weep profusely as he drops them down the chute.



Previous Quote:
Admin: Jesus told us that the gospel will be preached to all nations. Then the end will come. When he said those words, travel and information was difficult, cumbersome, and information reached people in a slow manner. Today, we have airplanes that fly people to the other side of the world within hours and information via the internet that can be found in seconds. We have wi-fi, hand held mini-computers with web access.When Jesus said that his appearing would be seen by all, at the same time, it seemed an impossible feat. Not so impossible today, with modern technology.


GM: Jesus will need modern technology for everyone to see him? That would seem to indicate that Clarke’s Law is particularly apt in this case!



Previous Quote:
Admin: Yeah...maybe my computer analogy didn't work, but Paul's "potter and clay" one continues to work...and inspire. It doesn't need improving...just like the rest of God's Word!



GM: Oh yes! And God’s Word shows so clearly how much he wants men to know him!

No the clay cannot blame the potter, but neither can the potter blame the clay. After all, the clay didn’t shape itself, now did it?



Previous Quote:
Admin: Dinner time is approaching so I will add one more thing. There is a specific reason why Jesus told Peter at that particular time not to reveal who He is yet! It wasn't meant to mean "don't tell anyone...ever." Jesus' time had not come yet for dying on the cross.



GM: I knew that. The purpose of quoting it was to show that Jesus’ famous question is not so simply answered. Peter gave the ‘right’ response, and Jesus told him to tread softly, for the time being.

Bon appetit.



Titled by Admin: The operative word...




Previous
Quote:
Admin: Apparently, knowing good and evil cannot be handled by mere mortals.



Quote:
GM: Neither, apparently, can the angels; but guess Who made both? That’s no reason to blame us for its mistakes.


Admin: The operative word is the inability to cope with, manage and avoid evil. The first man and woman knew good, because they had it and were experiencing it. Like I said previously, free will dictates that the choice of doing the opposite of good needed to be available and tested.

All of life is a test, GM. Haven't you learned that yet?

In each case, the angel Lucifer (as well as the 1/3 of angels who became demons by their own choice) and Adam and Eve's choice to disobey God landed us in the situation we are in. Wasn't it you who previously stated that we would have done the same thing as the first man and woman? Your reasoning for believing that was skewed, but your statement was accurate. Wanting to know evil, what it is like and practicing it (a.k.a. sin), is the leading cause of death in this world. Both physical and spiritual death.




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Admin: Just like I stated way back when on my original website:
history proves that unrestrained man has a natural penchant for criminality and inhumanity


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GM: History has several examples of restrained men and societies: some secular, some religious. The secular but highly restrained USSR certainly had its share of criminality and inhumanity. The deeply religious yet largely unrestrained Byzantium was no paragon of virtue either. Men can be monsters, and sometimes are, but I prefer law to religion. Laws can be challenged, and even overturned; religions cannot, usually, and if a religious law is wrong, it lasts forever…or at least until its worship places are destroyed and its worshippers are all fallen.


Like all other religions, Christianity knows a thing or two about that.



Admin: I can't recall an incident in the OT Bible where all of the worshippers (specifically meaning, the Israelites) had "fallen." There was always a remnant of the faithful and/or prophet to bring them back to the Lord. In the NT, John was the prophet who encouraged people to "repent, for the kingdom of God is near." Many heeded his call. When Jesus came, many more believed. This just demonstrates more evidence that all people are desperately in need of the Savior, Jesus Christ.



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Admin: You, sir, are distorting the Biblical account. It isn't that God doesn't want us to have knowledge; it's the knowledge of evil that he knew would get us into trouble. Yet, free will dictates that choice.



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GM: God may be right about that. Look at what the knowledge of evil has done to him!


Yes. You have fallen hook, line and sinker for Satan's lie. Blaming it on God is so easy...and you demonstrate over and over again that such a fact is your stumbling block.

Question. Have you ventured over to my Talkwisdom blog? I included our conversations here over there. Go read Mark's response to my latest post. He addresses you, personally, in his comments. I thought it was a great addition to the post...what do you think?



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Admin:We could go on and on, back and forth arguing that one issue. But it is a waste of time to do so.



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GM: You mean you no longer wish to address the spectators who may be reading this? On your own site?! This isn’t your blog, madam. You can control the site, but not the topic of discussion.


I think that the real reason you don't like to post at the blog is because other people, more knowledgable about the Bible than me may have answers that you don't like to hear!!

It appears that most of the "audience" over here now are, unfortunately, spammers. Deleting and banning them is my new past time. Such fun...



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Admin: Additionally, what you fail to recognize is that God HAS GIVEN US ANOTHER CHANCE! You just don't like the method and way that mankind needs to be redeemed. It's not God's problem, it's YOURS!



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GM: “A” chance, not “another” chance. His first attempt at redemption was to simply throw us all away. With no one left except eight humans, and the stones strangely quiet, God must have realized he had a glory deficiency. So he lets us live…with severe penalties if any of us do “that” again. Yes, it’s the same old story: there IS NO FREE WILL if there’s a shotgun pointed at your head. And he has the biggest one in the universe.


Admin: No, GM. You are incorrect. His "first attempt" wasn't only a call for redemption, it was an act of judgment upon those who refused to repent. The people were given 120 years to turn back to the Lord, repent, and be saved! They were given more time than the longest lifetime in today's world! But they were so proud, arrogant, and vile (sounds like today...doesn't it??) that they completely ignored the warnings of Noah and his family. (Sounds like today! Sounds like you! Continually ignoring my warnings and those of other Christians on the internet!)

I think that if you haven't already done so, you should go to the blog and read Mark's comment. It might clear things up a bit for you.



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Admin: Another point of disagreement with your post. Both Adam and Eve died physically, as well. However, they immediately died spiritually; meaning, their perfect relationship (mentioned as walking with God in the Garden) was broken. This brokenness exists in each and every unredeemed soul.



GM: You, madam, are distorting the Biblical account. What it actually says is:


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And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Gen 2: 16~17 (NIV)

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GM: Note it says “in the day”. Unless there was no night in Eden, or a day lasted years, it’s clear that meant “real soon”. No mention of a ‘spiritual’ death at all; that’s a sophistry that came much later. Also, I’m sure you know that Adam didn’t die in the day; he lived to be one of the oldest men in the Bible!


GM, you just proved my original point. Calling it "sophistry" because you choose not to believe that we are more than just our physical bodies and have a spirit, doesn't make your assumption true. The Bible is filled with mentions of humans having a spirit as well as the reality of the Holy Spirit of God. Adam and Eve died spirtually...immediately. They broke their fellowship with God! When evil entered into their hearts and minds, God was shoved out! God's spirit no longer inhabited their minds, hearts, souls, and bodies. Why? Because he doesn't reside in those persons where evil, pride and sin commands their hearts.



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Admin: I don't know what percentage of humans will die in their sins and end up in hell. What I do know is, salvation is within the reach of EVERYONE. God's mercy and grace is "new every morning." All that I can do is continue to share the Gospel. Those with an "ear to hear" will seek out the truth on their own by investigating the Scriptures and learning about the Person of Jesus Christ. Those who reject him "are condemned already." In other words, we are ALL headed to hell, if not for the cross of Christ. Those who reject him make that specific choice for themselves. They have no one to blame but themselves.



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GM: Those who accept him also make that specific choice for themselves. What else is new?
I didn’t reject it out of hand, as you often seem to think. I’ve read the Bible through—more than once. I studied. I asked questions. I asked questions about points that disturbed me personally. I asked people whose opinions I respected, and sources I trusted. And they failed to squelch my doubts. Unlike yourself, where it was merely Catholicism that failed, for me it was religion—all religion.


Admin: The reason that your study of the Bible isn't "working," so to speak, to convince you of belief in the God of the Bible is because you have already started out rejecting Him before you read one verse! Your pre-conceived notions are your stumbling blocks. One must be born-again first...which requires faith...then you will see the truth. It's the "I'll see it when I believe it (In God and His Son, Jesus Christ)" paradox.

Read Mark's comment at the blog again. It may enlighten you.




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GM: Nearly all of them speak of an eternity of bliss for the faithful and a hell for those who disagree. Christianity’s hell isn’t even as vivid as that of some others (you should read how the Buddhists of Tibet describe theirs!). There are billions in this world who reject (or are ignorant of) the Cross, and I’m sure your God will weep profusely as he drops them down the chute.


Admin: There is much more to it (heaven) than an "eternity of bliss." For one thing, it is a place for eternal worship of God. I am planning on doing a post about a sermon that discusses the glimpses of what heaven will be like. The visions of John in the book of Revelation only give us hints, but during inductive Bible studies, you could find out so much more than just what a casual reading of the passage would do for you.



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Admin:Jesus told us that the gospel will be preached to all nations. Then the end will come. When he said those words, travel and information was difficult, cumbersome, and information reached people in a slow manner. Today, we have airplanes that fly people to the other side of the world within hours and information via the internet that can be found in seconds. We have wi-fi, hand held mini-computers with web access.

When Jesus said that his appearing would be seen by all, at the same time, it seemed an impossible feat. Not so impossible today, with modern technology.



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GM: Jesus will need modern technology for everyone to see him? That would seem to indicate that Clarke’s Law is particularly apt in this case!


Admin: Jesus could use anything to enable everyone to see him.

I was simply pointing out that Jesus' statement (at that time in history) sounded like an impossibility. Today, it is a reality.

I'm not familiar with Clarke's law.




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Admin: Yeah...maybe my computer analogy didn't work, but Paul's "potter and clay" one continues to work...and inspire. It doesn't need improving...just like the rest of God's Word!



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GM: Oh yes! And God’s Word shows so clearly how much he wants men to know him!
No the clay cannot blame the potter, but neither can the potter blame the clay. After all, the clay didn’t shape itself, now did it?


Admin: The "clay" re-shaped itself, both physically and spiritually, when it sinned!




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Admin: Dinner time is approaching so I will add one more thing. There is a specific reason why Jesus told Peter at that particular time not to reveal who He is yet! It wasn't meant to mean "don't tell anyone...ever." Jesus' time had not come yet for dying on the cross.



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GM: I knew that. The purpose of quoting it was to show that Jesus’ famous question is not so simply answered. Peter gave the ‘right’ response, and Jesus told him to tread softly, for the time being.



You see? For every Bible difficulty, there is a proper, exegeses. It is up to us to discover the why, when, where, who, what and how such a quote was said. Do that, and any skeptic's claim that the Bible is "full of errors" slips away...

11 comments:

Mark said...

Hi Christine :)

God knows who and who is not part of His eternal kingdom even before the begining of time as we know and understand it! GMpilot needs to understand that first and foremost. Here is where GMpilot may shudder: Our very existence is to give glory to and worship God. To those who seek and learn to know God, that ain't a boring thing. It's everything!

God knew Adam and Eve would sin.
God knew He would flood the earth.
God is eternal and so are His promises as well as His commands.
God does not sit around and say "Wow! look at what those crazy sinners I created are doing! I need to do something to help them!"

If anyone wants to partake in God's promises of eternal life, they must understand their responsibilities to God's new covetant. The entire NT explains those responsiblities as expressed by Christ Himself, God in human flesh..
1. Submit to (love) God with all your heart, body, strength, and soul..yes that includes the law.
2. Love one another, including your enemy. now there is a tough one! much tougher than any ceremonial stuff! :)

One would also see the very nature and forgiveness (grace) of God expressed many times throughout the OT.

God is perfect. God will never answer to any human wisdom by human demand. Nor did Christ when he walked, talked, and ate with us.

Christ did not beg the Pharisees to change their mind, nor did He plead with them and offer them greater explanations to His parables and teachings. Why? He knew their heart and knew their final destination. To give them more truth would only further the wrath of God's punishment. Call it an act of mercy if you will.

Yet the criminal nailed next to Christ is in paradise! The fact God knows, makes no difference to our heart's acceptance or rejection of Christ. We either convict ourselves and our all Just God delivers justice on His promise (the NT covetant) or we obey His commands and lay our lives down at the foot of the cross of Christ in Faith! Nothing we do saves us! Then and only then, will we recieve our inheritance of eternal life in His kngdom. God promised that, and I take God at His word anyday!

IMHO :)

ebsfwan said...

I've always had a problem with original sin.

How was Eve's disobey God a sin? According to the Bible she had no knowledge of good or evil and we must therefore extropolate that she was an innocent.

Innocent's can do no wrong as there are no 'wrong' actions in their worldview. It's only after eating the fruit of the tree that she and Adam become aware of evil. Hence the whole original sin concept is based on a fallacy.

Mark said...

How was Eve's disobey God a sin?

You slay me ebs! :) Let's see, God says, you do. Does that make sense? Probably not if you have no knowledge or desire for or of God. Like I have said many times to you, you are a fake. You have never in your life actually sought God, nor His truths. If you have, you have never set aside your pride and self worth. You express your knowledge of scripture as ignorantly as Satan did. If I was you, I would wonder why.

According to the Bible she had no knowledge of good or evil and we must therefore extropolate that she was an innocent.

Really? 'according to the Bible' you say. You must have missed the part where God gave her and Adam the entire garden and commanded them not to eat but from one tree. Kinda like how we are given 100% from God, yet lay our human pride filled claim to that 101% like we are owed it and or earned it. Like you said, I've always had a problem with ... Most people who do not know God usually do have a problem with God.

I suspect even a dead man raised by God in flesh in 2007 would not change a single thing about your thinking. I hope I am wrong.

btw, Innocent and Guilty according to who? you or God? The lest of your problems lie in your lack of understanding as you say. You most assurdely understand, you simply have rejected God's offer.


Love you!

Christinewjc said...

Wow Mark! That was excellent! Thanks for adding so much to the original post.

Ebsfwan,

I hope that you will see Mark's response to you as sharing "the Truth in love."

You have, in the past, shared with me that you sometimes question your faith. Mark (I believe) and I are not trying to discourage you, but to encourage you towards the truth! It is my sincere hope and prayer that you will see it that way.

Thanks for sharing your doubts. Thomas did the same thing. Jesus didn't ridicule or condemn him for his doubts, but told him that "blessed are those who have not seen yet believe. Obviously...this is where faith comes in...

The world wants us to "see, and then believe" something...anything. But God's Word instructs us to "believe, and then we will see. Do you understand why this is so and what that means regarding faith and belief?

Christinewjc said...

Just a general announcement to let everyone know that I have updated this post with the latest exchange between GM and me.

Happy reading!

Keep commenting, too!

Jaded said...

Hmmm...

Sometimes, people argue for nothing more than the sake of arguing. At some point, attempting to refute the argument becomes pointless. It only serves to make us look foolish or like a fanatic, when neither case is be true.

I'm not saying that it's pointless to spread the Word of God. I'm only saying that those who choose not to hear will not hear, no matter how hard we might try.

If you've spread the Word and love of God, and the good news of salvation through Christ, you've done well. We can only plant the seeds, we can't force them to grow. We have nothing to prove to anyone but God.

On a totally unrelated note...

I was just wondering how Charlie's doing. He remains in my prayers.

Jaded said...

(oops, please excuse the above typos.)

ebsfwan said...

If you tell someone not to do something but they don't know that disobeying you is wrong then there is no moral compulsion to obey. As such there is no sin in disobeying.

God is being extremely petty if he considers that to be a sin. And yes Mark, I do dare to judge God. Any God who just wants us to accept and worship with no questions is not worth worshipping in my view.

And Christine...how is Charlie? I hope he's doing well.

Christinewjc said...

I understand what you are saying, Jaded. I guess I am a perpetual believer in this verse:

1Pe 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God* in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;

God's Word never returns void. We never know who in the "audience" is actually listening...(or, in this case reading). The person(s) who might heed the call to Christ may not be the person who is being directly addressed in the post. There are as many as 50-100 visitors here per day. Many are probably repeats and regular readers. Who knows what seeds are being planted??

Charlie is doing very well. Thanks for asking! He has lost 7 lbs. over the past two weeks, and his meds are working well. He's not really looking forward to going back to work though!

We both can't wait for his retirement day!

Christinewjc said...

Andrew!

Think!!

You said, "there is no sin in disobeying?"

You can't possibly be serious, making such a statement.

You're joking with us right?

Thought so...

My husband is doing well. Thanks so much for asking! I really appreciate it. See my comment to Jaded, too.

Christinewjc said...

This post may better explain the sin problem.