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What’s in it for God?

 
TwoSeven1
 
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TwoSeven1
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04 January 2019 11:04
 
MrRon - 04 January 2019 03:51 AM
TwoSeven1 - 03 January 2019 07:57 PM

“How do you NOT come to the conclusion that the God of the Bible is cruel and malicious?”

Because I don’t interpret the Bible like you do.

Then what method, other than taking it for what it actually says, are you using to interpret it?

“How else would you characterize someone who a) drowns every man, woman, child, and innocent creature on the planet, and b) creates/allows a system where people suffer eternal damnation for all of eternity?”

Are you implying that the men, women and children were innocent, or only that the animals were innocent?

How could animals be “guilty” of anything? Would you drown all the puppies and kittens on the planet?  As for humans, how could toddlers and babies be guilty of anything? And if so, what offense justifies drowning them? And I doubt every adult person on the planet deserved to be drowned. Only a despicable monster would do something like that. Would YOU do that if you had the power to do so? 

Interesting reference to history.  Last time I used history to make a proof to you, you discounted what I was saying like it was irrelevant.

The history I referenced is not subject to interpretation of an ancient book. That’s the difference.

What point of reference would make a life classify as short?  Why do people and people groups repeat mistakes that were made in history if history speaks for itself?

In my view, a short life is any life that is cut short by inadequate/nonexistent medical care, natural disasters, famine, etc., which is most of human history. And even for those lives that have not been cut short, there seems to be no end to struggle and heartbreak. Do you deny that that has been the case? Could an all-loving and all-powerful God have done it differently, without all the gratuitous suffering? 

What “mistakes” are you talking about?


I asked about the word obey because this is something interesting to think about:  If people die without hearing the Gospel or about the law in the Bible, then how are they disobeying God?

I don’t know, you tell me. What does God do with those people when they die?

Hell was created for the devil and his angels.  That’s why it exists.

How do you know a place called Hell exists? How do you know a devil exists? Is Hell a sort of prison for the devil and his angels? Does it prevent the devil from doing his dirty work in this world? Do you believe that any humans end up in Hell?


Ron

The Bible shows that God is just.  You could have difficulty explaining why states that use the death penalty aren’t cruel and malicious, why authorities are allowed to use lethal force, why militaries are commissioned to wage war, etc…  Also, you place blame on God for the sin of humanity.

You are missing a couple key things when you are referring to the flood:

1.  The Bible says that the people during pre-flood times were only evil, all the time.  It doesn’t say sinful, and it doesn’t say disobedient.  Children of people who are always evil would no doubt grow to be evil all the time as well.  Seems reasonable that God wiped out that people group completely.  The Bible is clear that animals are not of the same importance as human beings.

2.  “And I doubt every adult person on the planet deserved to be drowned.”  Noah and his family were not drowned, so you completely missed that point.  Animals were saved from the Flood as well.

“Would YOU do that if you had the power to do so?”  I fail to see the relevance of hypothetical questions like these that you pose.

“The history I referenced is not subject to interpretation of an ancient book. That’s the difference.”  I never said history is “interpreted” by the Bible.

Interesting change of reference point.  You went from “History pretty much speaks for itself,” to, “In my view…”  I am not denying that people suffer.  I am questioning your method of arguing your points.

“Could an all-loving and all-powerful God have done it differently, without all the gratuitous suffering?”  Adam and Eve’s sin brought death and suffering.

“What ‘mistakes’ are you talking about?” Communism, Nazism, Fascism, Socialism, Marxism, Nihilism, Hedonism, murder, adultery, theft, slander, architectural design failure, engineering failure, failure to enforce law, etc…

“I don’t know, you tell me. What does God do with those people when they die!”  My point is that you put Hell into only partial context when you say “Some believe that he has a special place of eternal damnation for those who don’t obey him.”  Now, I don’t claim to know what happens to all of the people throughout history who were killed in the Flood, or between Flood times and Jesus’ death and resurrection, but the Bible shows that God is going to judge, and that he is just.

“How do you know a place called Hell exists?”  How do you know the things you know?

“Is Hell a sort of prison for the devil and his angels?”  It is punishment for them.

“Does it prevent the devil from doing his dirty work in this world?”  He’s not there right now.  When he’s there, it will.

“Do you believe that any humans end up in Hell?”  The Bible seems to explain that, yes, some people will end up there.

 
TwoSeven1
 
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TwoSeven1
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04 January 2019 11:05
 
MrRon - 04 January 2019 03:55 AM
TwoSeven1 - 03 January 2019 07:57 PM
MrRon - 03 January 2019 05:38 PM
TwoSeven1 - 03 January 2019 04:21 PM

  God hasn’t changed and the portrayal of God isn’t different between the two portions of the Bible.

So is God still endorsing slavery?

Ron

In what context did God endorse slavery?

Read Exodus (without squinting). Do you deny that God endorsed slavery?

Ron

I’ll respond to this later today.

Edit: Added my response.

I don’t see God endorsing slavery in Exodus.

“Whoever steals a man and sells him, and anyone found in possession of him, shall be put to death.” - Exodus 21:16

The laws on slavery in Exodus don’t imply that God endorses slavery.  They exists to protect slaves.  Slavery in the context of Exodus can also be defined as indentured servitude.

[ Edited: 04 January 2019 13:29 by TwoSeven1]
 
TwoSeven1
 
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04 January 2019 11:05
 
hannahtoo - 04 January 2019 07:59 AM

TwoSeven1:
Are you implying that the men, women and children were innocent, or only that the animals were innocent?

The idea that people (of any age) deserve death for their sins is indeed a Biblical concept.  Thankfully, our society, a few thousand years away from the ancient proclamations, will no longer put to death people who fail to keep the Sabbath.  And we leave it for the afterlife to deal with the sin of faithlessness. 

Why would children, babies even, be deserving of death for sinning?

I’ll respond to this later today.

Edit: Added my response.

The laws regarding the Sabbath were to the people of Israel.  This was one of the requirements of the Israelites that I mentioned in my response to Ron earlier on in the discussion.

“Why would children, babies even, be deserving of death for sinning?”

I covered this in my responses to Ron as well.  The people described in Genesis were only evil, all the time, so their children would likely be as well.  God decided to wipe out that people group instead of allow their evil to continue generationally.

[ Edited: 04 January 2019 13:36 by TwoSeven1]
 
hannahtoo
 
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hannahtoo
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04 January 2019 16:10
 

I think we’re going to be stymied in this discussion about the Bible, TwoSeven1, because you take the Bible literally and I do not.  So no need to read my remarks if you are a devout literalist.  I have many friends who are devout this way, and I love them, but we do not talk about the validity of the Bible together.

I don’t believe there was ever a Noah with an ark or a flood that covered the whole world at once.  There was never a time when all the people of the world, except Noah and his family, were evil.  To me, these are myths.  Noah’s story has always been told to impress listeners with the power of the Hebrew’s God and his mercy to those who are righteous. 

The Bible does show what the authors and the culture of their times believed about the God.  And clearly, God of the OT saw anyone who opposed the Hebrews taking control of Palestine as enemies, and their lives had no value.  This is different from the God of the NT who, through Jesus and the disciples, strove to convince non-believers, with acts of compassion and humility and miracles, to have faith. 

The NT grew out of the OT, but they represent very different theologies.  In the OT, there is almost no mention of the afterlife.  Jews believed in God’s favor rewarding them in this life with a prosperous family and community, with wisdom and justice.  They were committed to rituals and laws handed down from Moses. Jews repented their sins through sacrificial rituals of animals and first fruits.  They did not proselytize, and were proud to be the chosen people through blood.  The NT, on the other hand, tells everyone to look forward to heaven.  It nullifies the OT rituals and replaces them with faith that Jesus was the Messiah and God and the perfect man, all in one.  If Jesus was the Jewish Messiah, why didn’t most Jews recognize him?  The NT authors accused them of being stiff-necked, but in their eyes, Jesus didn’t fit the part.  The OT God was literally too awesome to be represented as a man.  Even Moses couldn’t look into God’s face.  And Paul’s teachings made no sense to Jews.  God had forbidden human sacrifice upon making the covenant with Abraham.  They could not conceive that God would now sanctify the sacrifice of Jesus.  Furthermore, Jews believed that each person must make his own sacrifice, not through another. 

I’ve heard and read Christian teachings that say, basically, the Jews do not really know how to interpret the OT truly.  This or that verse is really a fore-shadowing of Jesus.  Frankly, this view is pretty condescending.  I think it is much more likely that the teacher Jesus and his disciples re-interpreted the OT in light of their new faith and hope.  But it was something different, with a different perspective on God and reality.  The OT and NT have always been an awkward fit.  Maybe something akin to how the Book of Mormon relates to the NT?

[ Edited: 04 January 2019 16:12 by hannahtoo]
 
MrRon
 
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04 January 2019 18:48
 
TwoSeven1 - 04 January 2019 11:04 AM

The Bible shows that God is just.  You could have difficulty explaining why states that use the death penalty aren’t cruel and malicious, why authorities are allowed to use lethal force, why militaries are commissioned to wage war, etc…  Also, you place blame on God for the sin of humanity.

Again with the circular arguments. If it could be shown that there are errors and contradictions in the Bible, would that change your mind? And how do you tell the difference between a just God and an evil and malicious God? What would an evil and malicious God have done differently than drowning every creature on the planet?

The death penalty as imposed by states is a worthy debate and it’s still ongoing. But what the states do is irrelevant. We’re talking about the actions of a supposed all-loving and all powerful being. As far as lethal force and waging war, there is a point where self-defense enters into the picture. But the concept of self-defense does not apply to a God, as he is never in harm’s way.

What do you mean by “the sin of humanity”? 

You are missing a couple key things when you are referring to the flood:

1.  The Bible says that the people during pre-flood times were only evil, all the time.  It doesn’t say sinful, and it doesn’t say disobedient.  Children of people who are always evil would no doubt grow to be evil all the time as well.  Seems reasonable that God wiped out that people group completely.  The Bible is clear that animals are not of the same importance as human beings.

What do you mean when you say the people were “evil”? What were they ALL doing that made them so evil? Were they all murderers? And even if they were, how does that justify killing innocent babies? Do you think we should be killing the children and babies of death row inmates today?

I agree that animals are not of the same importance as human beings, but what does killing them for something that’s not their fault accomplish? Do you think that puppies and kittens suffer when they drown? 

2.  “And I doubt every adult person on the planet deserved to be drowned.”  Noah and his family were not drowned, so you completely missed that point.  Animals were saved from the Flood as well.

Did I really have to qualify that for you? I’m well aware that Noah and his family were spared. So what? Every other man, woman, and baby on the planet were killed. And only two of each animal were saved. The remaining 99.99% of animals on the planet were wiped out. And besides, do you seriously believe this fairy tale story? How could a boat accommodate 2 of EVERY creature on the planet? What did the carnivores eat? How were the disparate environments maintained – cold for polar bears, heat for tropical animals, etc.? For that matter, how were all the indigenous creatures rounded up from every corner of the planet in the first place? How much time would that take?   

“Would YOU do that if you had the power to do so?”  I fail to see the relevance of hypothetical questions like these that you pose.

Simple question. I’m just asking if you would take the same actions if you were a God. So, would you drown every man, woman, and baby, and all the animals on the planet if you were an all-loving and all-powerful God?

“The history I referenced is not subject to interpretation of an ancient book. That’s the difference.”  I never said history is “interpreted” by the Bible.

Interesting change of reference point.  You went from “History pretty much speaks for itself,” to, “In my view…”  I am not denying that people suffer.  I am questioning your method of arguing your points.

The distinction was on what constitutes a short life. But, other than that, yes, the history of the misery of mankind does speak for itself. So if you agree that suffering is a part of the human condition, then the question becomes, where is the all-loving and all-powerful God?

“Could an all-loving and all-powerful God have done it differently, without all the gratuitous suffering?”  Adam and Eve’s sin brought death and suffering.

Adam and Eve are irrelevant. Could an all-loving and all-powerful God have created a system in which there is no gratuitous suffering? Besides, don’t you believe in personal responsibility? Why are you responsible for something that someone else did many thousands of years ago? Shouldn’t God judge you on your own merits?

“What ‘mistakes’ are you talking about?” Communism, Nazism, Fascism, Socialism, Marxism, Nihilism, Hedonism, murder, adultery, theft, slander, architectural design failure, engineering failure, failure to enforce law, etc…

I don’t know what all that has to do with anything. I was talking about disease, famine, poverty, natural disasters. Things that are for all practical purposes beyond human control.

“I don’t know, you tell me. What does God do with those people when they die!”  My point is that you put Hell into only partial context when you say “Some believe that he has a special place of eternal damnation for those who don’t obey him.”  Now, I don’t claim to know what happens to all of the people throughout history who were killed in the Flood, or between Flood times and Jesus’ death and resurrection, but the Bible shows that God is going to judge, and that he is just.

More circular arguments. Anyway, what do YOU think should happen to people who have never been exposed to the Bible after they die? Let’s assume they lived “normal” lives – raised families, abided by the law, weren’t troublemakers, etc.

“How do you know a place called Hell exists?”  How do you know the things you know?

That’s not an answer to the question. Try again.

“Is Hell a sort of prison for the devil and his angels?”  It is punishment for them.

“Does it prevent the devil from doing his dirty work in this world?”  He’s not there right now.  When he’s there, it will.

Where exactly is the devil now? And how do you know? And why doesn’t God just eliminate the devil now? I thought God was all-powerful and all-good, no?

“Do you believe that any humans end up in Hell?”  The Bible seems to explain that, yes, some people will end up there.

What must one do (or not do) in order to end up in Hell? And what happens to those people when they’re in Hell?


Ron

[ Edited: 04 January 2019 18:53 by MrRon]
 
MrRon
 
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MrRon
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04 January 2019 18:50
 
TwoSeven1 - 04 January 2019 11:05 AM
MrRon - 04 January 2019 03:55 AM
TwoSeven1 - 03 January 2019 07:57 PM
MrRon - 03 January 2019 05:38 PM
TwoSeven1 - 03 January 2019 04:21 PM

  God hasn’t changed and the portrayal of God isn’t different between the two portions of the Bible.

So is God still endorsing slavery?

Ron

In what context did God endorse slavery?

Read Exodus (without squinting). Do you deny that God endorsed slavery?

Ron

I’ll respond to this later today.

Edit: Added my response.

I don’t see God endorsing slavery in Exodus.

“Whoever steals a man and sells him, and anyone found in possession of him, shall be put to death.” - Exodus 21:16

The laws on slavery in Exodus don’t imply that God endorses slavery.  They exists to protect slaves.  Slavery in the context of Exodus can also be defined as indentured servitude.

Oh, but there’s so much more about slavery in Exodus.  Do you want to post those or should I?

And slavery can be defined as indentured servitude if that’s what you call owning other people (and their offspring) as your own personal property and being able to beat them within an inch of their life. Is that what you call indentured servitude?

 

 
EN
 
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EN
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06 January 2019 14:07
 

This shows the impossible problems that Christians face when they embrace the OT.  My theology is better.

 
hannahtoo
 
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hannahtoo
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06 January 2019 16:36
 
EN - 06 January 2019 02:07 PM

This shows the impossible problems that Christians face when they embrace the OT.  My theology is better.

Paul had a powerful vision, and the disciples were so taken by spending time with Jesus.  They just tried to explain events in some way that jived with the theology/reality they knew.  And that was the OT.  Paul was disappointed/angry/frustrated that all the Jews didn’t understand it his new way.  Some did, yes.  But generally, most Jews felt that Paul’s ideas about Jesus being the Jewish Messiah didn’t make sense.  Paul spent a lot of time trying and trying to explain.  Letters and letters of impassioned explanations.  However, he was basically trying to tell people with a religious heritage of several thousand years that they needed a major paradigm shift.  Nah-uh.

 
GAD
 
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06 January 2019 16:43
 
hannahtoo - 06 January 2019 04:36 PM
EN - 06 January 2019 02:07 PM

This shows the impossible problems that Christians face when they embrace the OT.  My theology is better.

Paul had a powerful vision, and the disciples were so taken by spending time with Jesus.  They just tried to explain events in some way that jived with the theology/reality they knew.  And that was the OT.  Paul was disappointed/angry/frustrated that all the Jews didn’t understand it his new way.  Some did, yes.  But generally, most Jews felt that Paul’s ideas about Jesus being the Jewish Messiah didn’t make sense.  Paul spent a lot of time trying and trying to explain.  Letters and letters of impassioned explanations.  However, he was basically trying to tell people with a religious heritage of several thousand years that they needed a major paradigm shift.  Nah-uh.

The OT was make up bullshit, Jesus was made up bullshit, and Paul just put more made up bullshit on the pile.

 
 
TwoSeven1
 
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07 January 2019 09:31
 
hannahtoo - 04 January 2019 04:10 PM

I think we’re going to be stymied in this discussion about the Bible, TwoSeven1, because you take the Bible literally and I do not.  So no need to read my remarks if you are a devout literalist.  I have many friends who are devout this way, and I love them, but we do not talk about the validity of the Bible together.

I don’t believe there was ever a Noah with an ark or a flood that covered the whole world at once.  There was never a time when all the people of the world, except Noah and his family, were evil.  To me, these are myths.  Noah’s story has always been told to impress listeners with the power of the Hebrew’s God and his mercy to those who are righteous. 

The Bible does show what the authors and the culture of their times believed about the God.  And clearly, God of the OT saw anyone who opposed the Hebrews taking control of Palestine as enemies, and their lives had no value.  This is different from the God of the NT who, through Jesus and the disciples, strove to convince non-believers, with acts of compassion and humility and miracles, to have faith. 

The NT grew out of the OT, but they represent very different theologies.  In the OT, there is almost no mention of the afterlife.  Jews believed in God’s favor rewarding them in this life with a prosperous family and community, with wisdom and justice.  They were committed to rituals and laws handed down from Moses. Jews repented their sins through sacrificial rituals of animals and first fruits.  They did not proselytize, and were proud to be the chosen people through blood.  The NT, on the other hand, tells everyone to look forward to heaven.  It nullifies the OT rituals and replaces them with faith that Jesus was the Messiah and God and the perfect man, all in one.  If Jesus was the Jewish Messiah, why didn’t most Jews recognize him?  The NT authors accused them of being stiff-necked, but in their eyes, Jesus didn’t fit the part.  The OT God was literally too awesome to be represented as a man.  Even Moses couldn’t look into God’s face.  And Paul’s teachings made no sense to Jews.  God had forbidden human sacrifice upon making the covenant with Abraham.  They could not conceive that God would now sanctify the sacrifice of Jesus.  Furthermore, Jews believed that each person must make his own sacrifice, not through another. 

I’ve heard and read Christian teachings that say, basically, the Jews do not really know how to interpret the OT truly.  This or that verse is really a fore-shadowing of Jesus.  Frankly, this view is pretty condescending.  I think it is much more likely that the teacher Jesus and his disciples re-interpreted the OT in light of their new faith and hope.  But it was something different, with a different perspective on God and reality.  The OT and NT have always been an awkward fit.  Maybe something akin to how the Book of Mormon relates to the NT?

I appreciate your thoughtul response!  We probably will have difficulty but I’m open to the discussion.

It’s ok with me that you don’t believe Noah existed.  Thank you for being honest from the get-go.

“And clearly, God of the OT saw anyone who opposed the Hebrews taking control of Palestine as enemies, and their lives had no value.”  Because someone is an enemy doesn’t mean that their life has no value.  Why was the land important to begin with?

“This is different from the God of the NT who, through Jesus and the disciples, strove to convince non-believers, with acts of compassion and humility and miracles, to have faith.”  The law shows that all have sinned.  Jesus was gracious because he is the fulfillment of the law.

The law is not nullified by Jesus.  Jesus himself said that not the slightest part of the law is gone.  The Jews who don’t accept Jesus as their Lord live under the law, and are justified or condemned by it.  He taught the Jews many times that the law reaches far deeper than they thought.  He explained that if a man lusts after a woman it is the same to God as committing adultery.  This is one of many examples that shows God’s standard is higher than anyone can attain.  If you examine the first four books of the New Testament, you can see that Jesus wrestled with the hard-heartedness of the Jews.  He spoke to their hypocrisy and misunderstanding of Scripture many times.

Orthodox Jews have the Talmud, which is instruction for the Jews and interprets the Old Testament.  It is said to be over 6,200 pages long.  The Old Testament itself is less than 1,000 pages.  I think this is why many Christians say that Orthodox Jews have added a significant amount of their own interpretations to the Old Testament.

 
TwoSeven1
 
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07 January 2019 10:18
 
MrRon - 04 January 2019 06:48 PM
TwoSeven1 - 04 January 2019 11:04 AM

The Bible shows that God is just.  You could have difficulty explaining why states that use the death penalty aren’t cruel and malicious, why authorities are allowed to use lethal force, why militaries are commissioned to wage war, etc…  Also, you place blame on God for the sin of humanity.

Again with the circular arguments. If it could be shown that there are errors and contradictions in the Bible, would that change your mind? And how do you tell the difference between a just God and an evil and malicious God? What would an evil and malicious God have done differently than drowning every creature on the planet?

The death penalty as imposed by states is a worthy debate and it’s still ongoing. But what the states do is irrelevant. We’re talking about the actions of a supposed all-loving and all powerful being. As far as lethal force and waging war, there is a point where self-defense enters into the picture. But the concept of self-defense does not apply to a God, as he is never in harm’s way.

What do you mean by “the sin of humanity”? 

You are missing a couple key things when you are referring to the flood:

1.  The Bible says that the people during pre-flood times were only evil, all the time.  It doesn’t say sinful, and it doesn’t say disobedient.  Children of people who are always evil would no doubt grow to be evil all the time as well.  Seems reasonable that God wiped out that people group completely.  The Bible is clear that animals are not of the same importance as human beings.

What do you mean when you say the people were “evil”? What were they ALL doing that made them so evil? Were they all murderers? And even if they were, how does that justify killing innocent babies? Do you think we should be killing the children and babies of death row inmates today?

I agree that animals are not of the same importance as human beings, but what does killing them for something that’s not their fault accomplish? Do you think that puppies and kittens suffer when they drown? 

2.  “And I doubt every adult person on the planet deserved to be drowned.”  Noah and his family were not drowned, so you completely missed that point.  Animals were saved from the Flood as well.

Did I really have to qualify that for you? I’m well aware that Noah and his family were spared. So what? Every other man, woman, and baby on the planet were killed. And only two of each animal were saved. The remaining 99.99% of animals on the planet were wiped out. And besides, do you seriously believe this fairy tale story? How could a boat accommodate 2 of EVERY creature on the planet? What did the carnivores eat? How were the disparate environments maintained – cold for polar bears, heat for tropical animals, etc.? For that matter, how were all the indigenous creatures rounded up from every corner of the planet in the first place? How much time would that take?   

“Would YOU do that if you had the power to do so?”  I fail to see the relevance of hypothetical questions like these that you pose.

Simple question. I’m just asking if you would take the same actions if you were a God. So, would you drown every man, woman, and baby, and all the animals on the planet if you were an all-loving and all-powerful God?

“The history I referenced is not subject to interpretation of an ancient book. That’s the difference.”  I never said history is “interpreted” by the Bible.

Interesting change of reference point.  You went from “History pretty much speaks for itself,” to, “In my view…”  I am not denying that people suffer.  I am questioning your method of arguing your points.

The distinction was on what constitutes a short life. But, other than that, yes, the history of the misery of mankind does speak for itself. So if you agree that suffering is a part of the human condition, then the question becomes, where is the all-loving and all-powerful God?

“Could an all-loving and all-powerful God have done it differently, without all the gratuitous suffering?”  Adam and Eve’s sin brought death and suffering.

Adam and Eve are irrelevant. Could an all-loving and all-powerful God have created a system in which there is no gratuitous suffering? Besides, don’t you believe in personal responsibility? Why are you responsible for something that someone else did many thousands of years ago? Shouldn’t God judge you on your own merits?

“What ‘mistakes’ are you talking about?” Communism, Nazism, Fascism, Socialism, Marxism, Nihilism, Hedonism, murder, adultery, theft, slander, architectural design failure, engineering failure, failure to enforce law, etc…

I don’t know what all that has to do with anything. I was talking about disease, famine, poverty, natural disasters. Things that are for all practical purposes beyond human control.

“I don’t know, you tell me. What does God do with those people when they die!”  My point is that you put Hell into only partial context when you say “Some believe that he has a special place of eternal damnation for those who don’t obey him.”  Now, I don’t claim to know what happens to all of the people throughout history who were killed in the Flood, or between Flood times and Jesus’ death and resurrection, but the Bible shows that God is going to judge, and that he is just.

More circular arguments. Anyway, what do YOU think should happen to people who have never been exposed to the Bible after they die? Let’s assume they lived “normal” lives – raised families, abided by the law, weren’t troublemakers, etc.

“How do you know a place called Hell exists?”  How do you know the things you know?

That’s not an answer to the question. Try again.

“Is Hell a sort of prison for the devil and his angels?”  It is punishment for them.

“Does it prevent the devil from doing his dirty work in this world?”  He’s not there right now.  When he’s there, it will.

Where exactly is the devil now? And how do you know? And why doesn’t God just eliminate the devil now? I thought God was all-powerful and all-good, no?

“Do you believe that any humans end up in Hell?”  The Bible seems to explain that, yes, some people will end up there.

What must one do (or not do) in order to end up in Hell? And what happens to those people when they’re in Hell?


Ron

“What do you mean by ‘the sin of humanity’?”  The context I’m using is the Bible.  The Bible explains what sin is, and that all people have sinned.

“What do you mean when you say the people were ‘evil’?”  The word evil is used in Genesis and that’s what I’m referring to.

“I agree that animals are not of the same importance as human beings, but what does killing them for something that’s not their fault accomplish?”  God decided to flood the Earth to wipe out the evil group of people populating it.  Animals aren’t the same importance as human beings.  God commanded Noah to build the Ark which included space to save animals by their kind.  There isn’t much more for me to say to your point except that this is an appeal to emotion: “Do you think that puppies and kittens suffer when they drown?”

“And besides, do you seriously believe this fairy tale story?”  There are reasonable explanations on how the Flood/Ark account was possible.

“Simple question. I’m just asking if you would take the same actions if you were a God.”  I’m pointing out that it’s simply not relevant.

“So if you agree that suffering is a part of the human condition, then the question becomes, where is the all-loving and all-powerful God?”  God is in heaven and his kingdom is in the hearts of people.  Jesus will return, though.

“Adam and Eve are irrelevant. Could an all-loving and all-powerful God have created a system in which there is no gratuitous suffering?”  Adam and Eve are relevant.  How does what could happen have relevance to what did happen?  “Could” is inherently hypothetical.  What did happen is that Adam and Eve sinned, which brought death.  All people following them were born into sin, which I undertand means that sin is inherent in our nature.

“Shouldn’t God judge you on your own merits?”  Does he not?

“I don’t know what all that has to do with anything. I was talking about disease, famine, poverty, natural disasters. Things that are for all practical purposes beyond human control.”  I wasn’t.  You said that history speaks for itself and I asked how it does if mistakes like these are repeated.

“That’s not an answer to the question.”  You’re right, it’s not.

What does the Bible say to these questions?:
“Where exactly is the devil now?”
“What must one do (or not do) in order to end up in Hell? And what happens to those people when they’re in Hell?”

 
TwoSeven1
 
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TwoSeven1
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07 January 2019 10:21
 
MrRon - 04 January 2019 06:50 PM
TwoSeven1 - 04 January 2019 11:05 AM
MrRon - 04 January 2019 03:55 AM
TwoSeven1 - 03 January 2019 07:57 PM
MrRon - 03 January 2019 05:38 PM
TwoSeven1 - 03 January 2019 04:21 PM

  God hasn’t changed and the portrayal of God isn’t different between the two portions of the Bible.

So is God still endorsing slavery?

Ron

In what context did God endorse slavery?

Read Exodus (without squinting). Do you deny that God endorsed slavery?

Ron

I’ll respond to this later today.

Edit: Added my response.

I don’t see God endorsing slavery in Exodus.

“Whoever steals a man and sells him, and anyone found in possession of him, shall be put to death.” - Exodus 21:16

The laws on slavery in Exodus don’t imply that God endorses slavery.  They exists to protect slaves.  Slavery in the context of Exodus can also be defined as indentured servitude.

Oh, but there’s so much more about slavery in Exodus.  Do you want to post those or should I?

And slavery can be defined as indentured servitude if that’s what you call owning other people (and their offspring) as your own personal property and being able to beat them within an inch of their life. Is that what you call indentured servitude?

If you want to post them then go for it.  It would help us have something to discuss.

 
EN
 
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EN
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07 January 2019 11:41
 
hannahtoo - 06 January 2019 04:36 PM
EN - 06 January 2019 02:07 PM

This shows the impossible problems that Christians face when they embrace the OT.  My theology is better.

Paul had a powerful vision, and the disciples were so taken by spending time with Jesus.  They just tried to explain events in some way that jived with the theology/reality they knew.  And that was the OT.  Paul was disappointed/angry/frustrated that all the Jews didn’t understand it his new way.  Some did, yes.  But generally, most Jews felt that Paul’s ideas about Jesus being the Jewish Messiah didn’t make sense.  Paul spent a lot of time trying and trying to explain.  Letters and letters of impassioned explanations.  However, he was basically trying to tell people with a religious heritage of several thousand years that they needed a major paradigm shift.  Nah-uh.

Yes, the vast majority of Jews did not accept Jesus being the Messiah. From a purely socio-political perspective, that assured their minority status and has, in large part, led to many of their problems over the past 2000 years in the Christian-dominant West and Muslim-dominant ME.  I understand the power of ancient traditions, but I’m not so sure that clinging to the Torah has been all that beneficial for them.

 
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07 January 2019 12:30
 
TwoSeven1 - 07 January 2019 09:31 AM
hannahtoo - 04 January 2019 04:10 PM

I think we’re going to be stymied in this discussion about the Bible, TwoSeven1, because you take the Bible literally and I do not.  So no need to read my remarks if you are a devout literalist.  I have many friends who are devout this way, and I love them, but we do not talk about the validity of the Bible together.

I don’t believe there was ever a Noah with an ark or a flood that covered the whole world at once.  There was never a time when all the people of the world, except Noah and his family, were evil.  To me, these are myths.  Noah’s story has always been told to impress listeners with the power of the Hebrew’s God and his mercy to those who are righteous. 

The Bible does show what the authors and the culture of their times believed about the God.  And clearly, God of the OT saw anyone who opposed the Hebrews taking control of Palestine as enemies, and their lives had no value.  This is different from the God of the NT who, through Jesus and the disciples, strove to convince non-believers, with acts of compassion and humility and miracles, to have faith. 

The NT grew out of the OT, but they represent very different theologies.  In the OT, there is almost no mention of the afterlife.  Jews believed in God’s favor rewarding them in this life with a prosperous family and community, with wisdom and justice.  They were committed to rituals and laws handed down from Moses. Jews repented their sins through sacrificial rituals of animals and first fruits.  They did not proselytize, and were proud to be the chosen people through blood.  The NT, on the other hand, tells everyone to look forward to heaven.  It nullifies the OT rituals and replaces them with faith that Jesus was the Messiah and God and the perfect man, all in one.  If Jesus was the Jewish Messiah, why didn’t most Jews recognize him?  The NT authors accused them of being stiff-necked, but in their eyes, Jesus didn’t fit the part.  The OT God was literally too awesome to be represented as a man.  Even Moses couldn’t look into God’s face.  And Paul’s teachings made no sense to Jews.  God had forbidden human sacrifice upon making the covenant with Abraham.  They could not conceive that God would now sanctify the sacrifice of Jesus.  Furthermore, Jews believed that each person must make his own sacrifice, not through another. 

I’ve heard and read Christian teachings that say, basically, the Jews do not really know how to interpret the OT truly.  This or that verse is really a fore-shadowing of Jesus.  Frankly, this view is pretty condescending.  I think it is much more likely that the teacher Jesus and his disciples re-interpreted the OT in light of their new faith and hope.  But it was something different, with a different perspective on God and reality.  The OT and NT have always been an awkward fit.  Maybe something akin to how the Book of Mormon relates to the NT?

I appreciate your thoughtul response!  We probably will have difficulty but I’m open to the discussion.

It’s ok with me that you don’t believe Noah existed.  Thank you for being honest from the get-go.

“And clearly, God of the OT saw anyone who opposed the Hebrews taking control of Palestine as enemies, and their lives had no value.”  Because someone is an enemy doesn’t mean that their life has no value.  Why was the land important to begin with?

“This is different from the God of the NT who, through Jesus and the disciples, strove to convince non-believers, with acts of compassion and humility and miracles, to have faith.”  The law shows that all have sinned.  Jesus was gracious because he is the fulfillment of the law.

The law is not nullified by Jesus.  Jesus himself said that not the slightest part of the law is gone.  The Jews who don’t accept Jesus as their Lord live under the law, and are justified or condemned by it.  He taught the Jews many times that the law reaches far deeper than they thought.  He explained that if a man lusts after a woman it is the same to God as committing adultery.  This is one of many examples that shows God’s standard is higher than anyone can attain.  If you examine the first four books of the New Testament, you can see that Jesus wrestled with the hard-heartedness of the Jews.  He spoke to their hypocrisy and misunderstanding of Scripture many times.

Orthodox Jews have the Talmud, which is instruction for the Jews and interprets the Old Testament.  It is said to be over 6,200 pages long.  The Old Testament itself is less than 1,000 pages.  I think this is why many Christians say that Orthodox Jews have added a significant amount of their own interpretations to the Old Testament.

Paul, after his vision, thought that Jesus was the fulfillment of the Law.  Most Jews did not.  And, to be fair, Paul taught a radical departure from following the Law.  Christian friends have told me that God only gave the Law and told the Jews to follow it for centuries just to show humanity that it was impossible.  That sounds unfair for a God who values justice, don’t you think?  Would a loving God punish his people for disobedience with death, enslavement, and defeat over thousands of years, when in fact what he demanded of them was impossible?

I’ll repeat, because maybe it got lost in all the verbiage.  Jews are taught that the most sacred bond their God made with the Hebrew people began with Abraham.  And they firmly hold that the encounter was a prohibition against further human sacrifice.  The idea that the sacrifice of Jesus would absolve all human sin is inconceivable in Judaism.

I am not saying Judaism is right and Christianity wrong.  Except that Christians are wrong in teaching that Jesus fulfills Jewish Law.  The OT and NT are not the same theology.  Paul tried to conflate them to resolve his personal cognitive dissonance.  And he convinced a lot of people, but mostly people who didn’t know a lot about Judaism. 

It is correct to say that Christianity shares some aspects with Judaism, which preceded it, but focuses on faith in the divinity of Jesus.  Just like we might say that Islam shares belief in one god and a patriarch named Abraham, but focuses on Mohammed’s revelations.  Or that Mormonism believes in Jesus,  but also the interpretations of Joseph Smith.  Christianity split off in a different direction from its roots. 

There really is a big break between the OT and the NT. 

 

 
TwoSeven1
 
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TwoSeven1
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07 January 2019 13:03
 
hannahtoo - 07 January 2019 12:30 PM
TwoSeven1 - 07 January 2019 09:31 AM
hannahtoo - 04 January 2019 04:10 PM

I think we’re going to be stymied in this discussion about the Bible, TwoSeven1, because you take the Bible literally and I do not.  So no need to read my remarks if you are a devout literalist.  I have many friends who are devout this way, and I love them, but we do not talk about the validity of the Bible together.

I don’t believe there was ever a Noah with an ark or a flood that covered the whole world at once.  There was never a time when all the people of the world, except Noah and his family, were evil.  To me, these are myths.  Noah’s story has always been told to impress listeners with the power of the Hebrew’s God and his mercy to those who are righteous. 

The Bible does show what the authors and the culture of their times believed about the God.  And clearly, God of the OT saw anyone who opposed the Hebrews taking control of Palestine as enemies, and their lives had no value.  This is different from the God of the NT who, through Jesus and the disciples, strove to convince non-believers, with acts of compassion and humility and miracles, to have faith. 

The NT grew out of the OT, but they represent very different theologies.  In the OT, there is almost no mention of the afterlife.  Jews believed in God’s favor rewarding them in this life with a prosperous family and community, with wisdom and justice.  They were committed to rituals and laws handed down from Moses. Jews repented their sins through sacrificial rituals of animals and first fruits.  They did not proselytize, and were proud to be the chosen people through blood.  The NT, on the other hand, tells everyone to look forward to heaven.  It nullifies the OT rituals and replaces them with faith that Jesus was the Messiah and God and the perfect man, all in one.  If Jesus was the Jewish Messiah, why didn’t most Jews recognize him?  The NT authors accused them of being stiff-necked, but in their eyes, Jesus didn’t fit the part.  The OT God was literally too awesome to be represented as a man.  Even Moses couldn’t look into God’s face.  And Paul’s teachings made no sense to Jews.  God had forbidden human sacrifice upon making the covenant with Abraham.  They could not conceive that God would now sanctify the sacrifice of Jesus.  Furthermore, Jews believed that each person must make his own sacrifice, not through another. 

I’ve heard and read Christian teachings that say, basically, the Jews do not really know how to interpret the OT truly.  This or that verse is really a fore-shadowing of Jesus.  Frankly, this view is pretty condescending.  I think it is much more likely that the teacher Jesus and his disciples re-interpreted the OT in light of their new faith and hope.  But it was something different, with a different perspective on God and reality.  The OT and NT have always been an awkward fit.  Maybe something akin to how the Book of Mormon relates to the NT?

I appreciate your thoughtul response!  We probably will have difficulty but I’m open to the discussion.

It’s ok with me that you don’t believe Noah existed.  Thank you for being honest from the get-go.

“And clearly, God of the OT saw anyone who opposed the Hebrews taking control of Palestine as enemies, and their lives had no value.”  Because someone is an enemy doesn’t mean that their life has no value.  Why was the land important to begin with?

“This is different from the God of the NT who, through Jesus and the disciples, strove to convince non-believers, with acts of compassion and humility and miracles, to have faith.”  The law shows that all have sinned.  Jesus was gracious because he is the fulfillment of the law.

The law is not nullified by Jesus.  Jesus himself said that not the slightest part of the law is gone.  The Jews who don’t accept Jesus as their Lord live under the law, and are justified or condemned by it.  He taught the Jews many times that the law reaches far deeper than they thought.  He explained that if a man lusts after a woman it is the same to God as committing adultery.  This is one of many examples that shows God’s standard is higher than anyone can attain.  If you examine the first four books of the New Testament, you can see that Jesus wrestled with the hard-heartedness of the Jews.  He spoke to their hypocrisy and misunderstanding of Scripture many times.

Orthodox Jews have the Talmud, which is instruction for the Jews and interprets the Old Testament.  It is said to be over 6,200 pages long.  The Old Testament itself is less than 1,000 pages.  I think this is why many Christians say that Orthodox Jews have added a significant amount of their own interpretations to the Old Testament.

Paul, after his vision, thought that Jesus was the fulfillment of the Law.  Most Jews did not.  And, to be fair, Paul taught a radical departure from following the Law.  Christian friends have told me that God only gave the Law and told the Jews to follow it for centuries just to show humanity that it was impossible.  That sounds unfair for a God who values justice, don’t you think?  Would a loving God punish his people for disobedience with death, enslavement, and defeat over thousands of years, when in fact what he demanded of them was impossible?

I’ll repeat, because maybe it got lost in all the verbiage.  Jews are taught that the most sacred bond their God made with the Hebrew people began with Abraham.  And they firmly hold that the encounter was a prohibition against further human sacrifice.  The idea that the sacrifice of Jesus would absolve all human sin is inconceivable in Judaism.

I am not saying Judaism is right and Christianity wrong.  Except that Christians are wrong in teaching that Jesus fulfills Jewish Law.  The OT and NT are not the same theology.  Paul tried to conflate them to resolve his personal cognitive dissonance.  And he convinced a lot of people, but mostly people who didn’t know a lot about Judaism. 

It is correct to say that Christianity shares some aspects with Judaism, which preceded it, but focuses on faith in the divinity of Jesus.  Just like we might say that Islam shares belief in one god and a patriarch named Abraham, but focuses on Mohammed’s revelations.  Or that Mormonism believes in Jesus,  but also the interpretations of Joseph Smith.  Christianity split off in a different direction from its roots. 

There really is a big break between the OT and the NT.

I understand what you’re saying.  What you are missing is that the Jews add to the Old Testament.  The Talmud is a major part of their system of belief, so, saying that the Old Testament and New Testament are different theology because of what Jews believe doesn’t make sense.  In other words, Judaism and Christianity both have foundation in the Old Testament, but they disagree on the New Testament.  Christianity has foundation in the New Testament, but Judaism denies that Jesus is the Messiah, so they have reason not to accept the New Testament.  Orthodox Jews seems to believe that the Messiah they are still waiting for will play a role more akin to a world leader/politician.  Jesus’ message was much different than what the Jews were expecting and, I agree, the sacrifice that Jesus made doesn’t fit into Orthodox Judaic belief, which is why Jesus wrestled with the Jews so consistently.

 
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