How Were People Saved Before Jesus Christ Existed?

How Were People Saved Before Jesus Christ Existed? October 8, 2018

How were people saved before Jesus died on the cross?

Saved by Grace

Believers have the privilege of looking backward at the saints of the Old Testament, and seeing how their belief in God was validated by their actions (more on that later), but today we know that it is “by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God” (Eph 2:8), so it is “not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Eph 2:8-9), and if we could boast about saving ourselves by works, you know we would! This also gives all the glory to God for our salvation. This means works have no part in our salvation except for validating that we are saved. James wrote, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works” (James 2:18). If there are no good works after a person is saved, then that person might not be saved, for “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him” (James 2:14)? No. James says that kind of faith cannot save them because it is a dead faith. Of course, we are saved to do good works because “we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Eph 2:10). Not saved by works but saved to do works for Christ (i.e. Matt 25:35-36) that God has long ago, ordained that we should walk in them (Eph 2:10).

Confirming your Call

When Jesus was going to heal a father’s son, the father wanted to believe, but “said, “I believe; help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24a). Why did he say that? Perhaps he was not sure that Jesus would heal his son because of his own weak faith, but in the end, Jesus did heal the boy (Mark 9:25). Jesus had succeeded where his disciples has failed (Mark 9:18). If the man’s faith determined whether the boy would have been healed or not, then the boy would have likely never been healed, but the man’s faith, apparently being weak, was no obstacle to Jesus. The father probably did believe after this. He may have believed Jesus could heal, but he may have doubted his own faithfulness to God or lack of faith in God. Thankfully, salvation does depend on us but upon God who draws us to Himself through Christ (John 6:44). There are really only four classes of people on the earth. They are people who think they are saved but are not; people who think they are saved and are; people who think they are not saved but are, and people who think they are not saved and full well know it. This is why the Apostle Peter wanted us to “be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall” (2 Pet 1:10). That confirmation may come from within their own heart, be more like, it’ll be confirmed in the works they would have otherwise never done. Jesus said, “By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples” (John 15:8). Making your election sure could be just as easy as looking back at your life and seeing a pattern of growing holiness (sanctification), and growth in grace and the knowledge of the Word of God. These are fruits of salvation in a sense.

Old Testament Saints

We know the Old Testament saints, such as Noah, Moses, Elijah, Abraham, David, and many others were saved, but how could they be saved even before Jesus’ death on the cross? The same way we were saved. We believed God and it was accounted to us as righteousness. It says that Abraham “believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness” (Gen 15:6). That’s why he and many other Old Testament saints were saved. They believed God. Moses believed God and proved it by observing “the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them” (Heb 11:28). By seeing Moses and Elijah in the transfiguration, we know that they are still alive, and they will be in the kingdom (Matt 17:1-8). God is the God of the living and not the dead (Mark 12:27), so the dead saints of old will be in the coming kingdom, just as your departed, but saved family and friends will be. All of these saints were “gathered to their people” (Gen 25:8, 49:33; Deut 32:50), meaning they would see their descendants again. Even David who lost his infant son knew he would see him again (2 Sam 12:23). That’s because Jesus’ work goes backward in time, while resting in the present, but extending into the future for all who will trust in Christ, some not even born yet.

Conclusion

Jesus’ sinless life, atoning death, and subsequent resurrection means we too can be saved, just as the Old Testament saints believed God and it was accounted to them as God’s very own righteousness. The Apostle Paul tells us that it was “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor 5:21), but this also means it was for their sake too! They had their sins atoned for by Christ before Christ even existed in the flesh. God accepts that sacrifice and it is sufficient for all sins, but also it is all efficient to save all who believe, no matter when they were born.

Article by Jack Wellman

Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is a writer at Christian Quotes and also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.

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  • Glory

    Thanks for drawing our attention to this passage, Pastor:

    It says that Abraham “believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness” (Gen 15:6). That’s why he and many other Old Testament saints were saved.

    • Andres Desaya

      Our Lord is “God”, so the majesty that Our Lord Jesus Christ is God, in virtue as there is only one God, everyone (including christians of course) who “believes, prays and worship” God
      whether, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, or anyone who believes in a higher power automatically ‘believes, prays and worships Our Lord Jesus Christ too.
      With this fact, Jesus Christ with His blood can save everyone who is a ‘believer’ of God even prior to His revelation 2,000 years ago. In factuality, with the mercy and grace of God done in the cross, there will be more ‘non-christians’ saved than christians.
      “And other sheep I have, which is not of this fold, and them I must also bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd”. John 10:16
      Satan dreads these verse but he can’t do anything. Every God loving human is Jesus loving human, it’s just that they don’t realize for now. Praise God Our Lord Jesus Christ and for His blood shed in the cross for every believer of God.

      • Glory

        Jesus will always be the way, the truth and the light and just because God ultimately saves everyone doesn’t give people a blank check to equate Allah with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

        You cannot be born again without Jesus.

        Also you should inspect the details of these other gods. Their character is not the same as the God of the Bible and they have different names.

        One of Allah’s 99 names is the Destroyer and that is never one of the names of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

        Read the Book of Hebrews. There are the children of Sarah and the children of Hagar in this world.

        Without Jesus you are a child of Hagar.

        Try to learn more doctrinal specifics and beware too general an interpretation of scripture.

        Yes God can save everyone. That is within the scope of His will and power but He identifies with Jesus.
        The Bible even says when you honor Jesus then you honor God.

        People should be receiving Jesus to receive their spiritual births which is perhaps the greatest mystery of the whole Bible. Jesus said “You must be born again”.
        Read all of the third chapter of the Book of John on it.

        God Bless you!

        • pud

          Demonstrate that any “god” ever existed. You cannot say one word further until you’ve satisfied this. All the claims, quotes from your stupid book and assertions do absolutely nothing to prove anything you spew is in fact true.

          • Andres Desaya

            That is only your own opinion, don’t include the billions who thinks otherwise of your opinion. Know who you are first. Evil exists.. God might be protecting you even though you are spewing Him. Try to follow what is good always, be wary!

          • pud

            It’s obvious you’re not very intelligent. It is NOT my opinion it is what the facts and evidence say. The entire human population thought the Earth was flat once…how’d that work out? There is no such thing as “evil”…it is a “concept” not an object therefore it is a human description and opinion on the virtuousness of a given act. One mans evil is another mans good. You don’t know WTF you’re talking about…cheers!

          • Andres Desaya

            Again, make that your own opinion! Take this, if an evil person murders you and you are dead, that is not a Concept it is a “fact, a deed or an act of evil”. Again make things as your own concept or opinion…speak for yourself.

          • Glory

            You are beating your head against a wall trying to talk to pud. He acts like a new atheist.

            These “new atheist” types are all over the net on social media being unpleasant with people and violating the boundaries of polite discourse.

            Quote:
            Social science research indicates that anti-theists score the highest among atheists when it comes to personality traits such as narcissism, dogmatism, and anger.[17][18] Furthermore, they scored lowest when it comes to agreeableness and positive relations with others.[19]

            Quote with other links from:
            Atheism and Psychopathy
            https://www.conservapedia.com/Atheism_and_psychopathy#Social_science_research_on_antitheists

            I noticed the xenophobic and psychopathic tendencies of many of them before coming across the research on them after being verbally attacked by dozens of them online.

            Of course, all atheists are not as hardline as the New Atheists but you cannot determine that without risk to yourself. And it is hard to tell various subsets of atheists apart online so just leave them alone. They have the capacity to seek God just like anyone else without anyone arguing with them.

            This blog wasn’t built right because a guidelines section was not posted outlining which behaviors would not be tolerated and reserving the right to the blogger to eject posters that cause scenes and like to launch personal attacks.

            It’s ironic so many atheists want to deny sin exists when so many of them have a tendency to bully and abuse others. Their observational abilities don’t seem very good. Rather than origins Christians who want to debate them should be focusing on sin. Human nature makes God’s case against sin plain but it could be that some more highly narcissistic people desperate to protect their fragile egos wants to deny sin exists so they claim to be atheists. That’s really not rational at all to deny the existence of sin that is all around people in the world as exhibited by human behavior. That is just their fragile ego grasping at straws.

          • Andres Desaya

            Glory, thanks for the advice and info. Anyway, I was just jabbing and snapping his head back.

          • Glory

            Your welcome. I have a lot of experience of them from my early days evangelizing them online about 15 years ago. Which may make me sound a bit too bossy. But I never much liked them dissing Christians.

            Some of them are meaner than sidewinders.

          • Glory

            I know. It can be hard to resist doing that when they get mean but I usually always let them throw the first punch before saying anything mean and they like to draw you in and sucker punch online. Atheist trolls can be mean.

            That’s why only engaging people who you can see in person to assess their character is wise.

          • Conservapedia is not a reliable source on atheism an psychopathy.

        • Don’t you like Buddha? Breathe! Just breathe! You will be “born of the breath”. You won’t need any religious guru including Jesus or Buddha to be “born of the breath”. You won’t need any holy books to be “born of the breath”. Attending church services, temples or mosques will not be needed for you to be “born of the breath”. Just breathe in and out slowly and you will find peace within. You will find the peace that you so desperately need.

          Put you bible in the waste paper basket or use its pages as toilet paper. It’s not required for you to develop a compassionate and loving life. Just breathe? relax! and you will be “born of the breath”.

          • Andres Desaya

            Yes, but remember that the originator of ‘breath’ is also the author of the Bible, the Koran, Bhagavad Gita.., and all scriptures that points to a Deity and Goodness, being compassionate and loving life.
            We need not only to appreciate what is ‘compassionate and loving’ but also to recognize and thank the Giver of it. Thank God!

          • Well I am not so sure that he is the author of the bible and the koran, because these have too many violent and bloodthirsty commands to kill others to have been written by any loving God. Surely commands to kill children and little babies would not be commanded by any loving god, would they?

          • Andres Desaya

            Every believer has to understand and accept who God is…although we are taught that God is a loving God, He has a dark side…the Bible calls it “the wrath of God or also can be called “curse”. In this stage of our existence on earth, ‘a curse is in effect” and that although He is a loving, He is in a warfare, currently He is Lord at war with evil, He can be angry, vengeantic, a terror or can be even evil in nature. And He does it by:
            Description:
            “I can do anything, there is nothing hard for me…Jeremiah32:27,
            “I form the light, and darkness, I create peace and also create evil.. I do all these things.” Isaiah 45:7
            “I will burn the arrogant and the evill doer in a furnace of fire..” Malachi 4:1
            “Will laugh at our calamities because of their hardheadedness and disobedience…”Prov. 1:26.

            Action:
            Because of the Amalekite’s arrogance and defiance to Him, orders genocide:
            “Kill everyone including women and babies..1 Samuel 15:3.
            Six million jews were slaughtered in WW2, because of the Jews arrogance by totally disregarding any possibilty that Jesus is the messiah by saying..
            “His blood be on us and our children” Mattew 27:25.

            Yes, We have to believe that He forgiving and LOVING but also a God of wrath, a punisher. We love Him but we need to fear Him as well. (the arrogance and scorn of some of the atheists, it’s scary even just for them, we don’t want to be in their shoes)

          • Jesus of the gospels is alleged to have said, “be compassionate just as your father in heaven is compassionate, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked”. He also said, “let the little children come unto me for, of such, is the kingdom of God.” He didn’t tell anyone to kill them.

            And if God is just, what could little babies and children have done to justly have God command the Israelis to kill them? Wrath means anger. So why was god so angry with these Amalekite children and babies? So isn’t God kind towards the ungrateful and the wicked? So was Jesus mistaken?

            Why can’t we say that some parts of the bible were written by barbaric savages who created god in their own image and likeness? Why wouldn’t we place commands to kill little ones in this category, as not being inspired by any god?

            I see the Jesus of the Story and the Buddha as good guys. Jesus said that to “be born of the breath”. Just breathe! If god breathed more, he wouldn’t be so angry so as to command the murder of little children and babies.

          • Andres Desaya

            Again, God is compassionate, loving, forgiving, benevolent, understanding and all good attributes but He is also punisher. If the Amalekites deserves punishment because they have done wrong to God and Israel but not supposedly invove their innocent women and babies…
            Remember that Adam and Eve sinned but all of humanity until in this generation is affected, because of our first parents’ mistake. It is unfair! Human laws does not even allow children to pay for their parents debts, but not God laws.
            God hates disobedience and has distanced Himself to humanity that “He considered us like sheep to be slaughtered..(horror!!)”Romans 8:38. Humans life is wothless! until Jesus blood was sacrifed in the cross for our behalf…and the rest is history, that is where our christian faith is founded.
            Only Jesus sacrifice reconciled us to God, it reversed our being slaughtered to…”now no one can separate us from the love of God through our Lord Jesus Christ”. Romans 8:39.
            We wait for His glorious return and redemption and for eternity of love and peace. Unfortunately for now, we are still being cursed and punished, and suffering and dying for the mistake of first parents.
            All we can do is be faithful, pray and long for the “blessed day of glorious coming of our Great God and Saviour Jesus Christ” Titus 2:13

          • “Human life is worthless!”

            Doesn’t the biblical witness state that humans were “created” in the image or likeness of God. If we listen to Creative Love Theists then the likeness of God means that we were made to be compassionate and loving persons, like God is supposed to be. So this means that humans have great worth to such a God.

            But if your god is all pissed off with humans over minor issues and becomes so angry that he brings his so-called judgment on them, then he has an anger management problem. You really need to revise your view of god. It is influenced too much by the barbaric savages who wrote the bible and created god in their own image or likeness.

          • Andres Desaya

            You are misled by your wrong description, actually “human life is worthy” because of what Jesus Christ did for our sins in the cross. Now, in this, although God hates our sinful nature, Christ was sacrificed for our redemption.
            Now, accept it and make your life worthy. DON’T throw away this “worthy life” and make “your life worthless”, yet again, it is a choice. Choose John Arthur, be wise and not arrogant and mocking when choosing…choose…choose the worthiness of human life…it is your life. Choose…

        • Andres Desaya

          No one can deny that there is only one True God, a loving God who loves all humanity whether what creed, religion or belief you are born too. “Is God the God of gentiles too?’ yes, the God of the gentiles too…”Romans 3:29.
          When we will be in heaven, christians, jews, muslims, buddhist, native american indians who believed in the Great Spirit… “no one will teach his neighbour saying, know the Lord, because everyone will know me, from the greatest and smallest” Jeremiah 31:34.
          “Our Great God and Saviour Jesus Christ…” Jude 1:25. Knowing that Christ is also “God and Saviour” might diminished our christian belief but will exalt more of Jesus’ Deity and a Saviour God that will save non-christian believer of God. Praise God!

          • Glory

            Like I said be careful of being too general. What we know of God is what He gives us to know in the scriptures.

            There is only one Gospel. Islam changes God’s biblical account by claiming Jesus was only a prophet.

            Galatians 1 New King James Version (NKJV)

            Greeting
            1 Paul, an apostle (not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead), 2 and all the brethren who are with me,

            To the churches of Galatia:

            3 Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

            Only One Gospel
            6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert[a] the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be [b]accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.

            10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.

            Call to Apostleship
            11 But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. 12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.

            13 For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it. 14 And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers.

            15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, 16 to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.

            Contacts at Jerusalem
            18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see [c]Peter, and remained with him fifteen days. 19 But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lord’s brother. 20 (Now concerning the things which I write to you, indeed, before God, I do not lie.)

            21 Afterward I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. 22 And I was unknown by face to the churches of Judea which were in Christ. 23 But they were hearing only, “He who formerly persecuted us now preaches the faith which he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they glorified God in me.

          • Andres Desaya

            Don’t get me wrong, I am NOT downplaying Our Lord Jesus Christ, actually I am complimenting His being God, every human being who calls on to God whether whatever religion they belong too, God listens. The God of our Bible and the nation of Israel even uses and calls these pagan kings such as Nebuchadnezzar and king Cyrus as His servants. “This is what the Lord says to His annointed, king Cyrus to subdue nations…” Isaiah 45:, “I have placed my authority to my servant king Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon… Jeremiah 27:6.
            Yes, us christians having the truth and has been revealed God’s Son Jesus Christ, and the nation of Israel as “chosen” people is a given fact but it does not mean that God does not love or will not save other nations who also loves and worship Him in a different name or culture.
            Let be reminded that it is evil and God haters who will be judged for damnation. Salvation is of God’s mercy and grace for humanity and not for a specific religion or culture. God through Jesus loves and will save a God loving Muslim, Hindu or a Sikh…we should not limit God’s saving grace to all believers. Jesus is God and Saviour…

          • Glory

            I would do some research into scripture on it because I think there is more to it than you are making it.

          • Andres Desaya

            Pls. do and share it to me. ***I had a friend who belongs to the Sikh religion, (like our muslim cousins, sikhs loves, and are very devoted to God) and one time she was teary and telling me how good God is to her family. These are one of the few instances that Jesus our Lord and Saviour blesses and touches grateful hearts of faithful people whether they knew Him personally or not.
            In this diverse and earthly circumstances, God has always meant to love, care and save us.

          • Glory

            Well God let’s the rain fall on the evil and the good. She could have a good heart towards God but was never introduced to Him through the general revelation of scripture where she could get a clearer picture of Him. The Bible says Jesus is the image of God and that would be the image everyone was originally made in before sin beset us.

            We can’t really skip the spiritual birth step in John 3. In fact there are a lot of doctrinal stages that believers pass thru towards spiritual birth. Like justification, adoption, sanctification and glorification.

            Some universalists think the Lake of Fire is strictly spiritual for purification like Dr Stephen E Jones while others like Ernest L Martin believe it is literal. IIRC literal for purification.

            Believers go thru a baptism of fire in this world which must help sanctify us for God but those that skip the introduction to Jesus, baptism and baptism of fire (which is a spiritual fire) etc. how are they saved in the same way a born again believer is? Some think the unbelievers are on a longer spiritual trajectory and that there is an indeterminate amount of pain in the Lake of Fire where they are purified. Why wouldn’t someone go along with
            Jesus in this lifetime and skip the Lake of Fire.

            Also though God raises all the dead some could have a thousand year penalty for their disbelief and disobedience. So they are raised but with a break so you could argue they didn’t receive eternal life because they are short a thousand years.

            It is very difficult to sort out the literal and spiritual and glean all the details sometimes but a number of people have written works many of which are online sometimes for free that we can consult.

            Here are a few sites to read: God’s kingdom ministries, mercifultruth, becomingone, Tentmaker, the evangelicaluniversalist forum, auburn.edu, etc.

            You can look up John Wesley Hanson’s wiki bio which leads to his works online in the footnote of wiki. Read Aion-Aionios by Hanson. It explains a key word mistranslation though Tipton’s on mercifultruth is possibly easier to read.

            I am glad to make your acquaintance. There has been a lot of deception I feel on this important topic. The history is hard to unravel too if you don’t know where to look.

            One of my favorite books addressing this whole topic is Creation’s Jubilee by Jones.

            I know it’s a long list but read what you want and enjoy.

            Tipton writes that Christian believers are saved through Jesus while unbelievers are saved through judgments. Why go through the judging process if you don’t have to but a lot of parents neglect to train up their children in the way they should go.

          • Andres Desaya

            Thank you, Glory, very well exchanging thoughts with you. We can’t really grasp how God will judge all of humanity but I believe, if ever Christ will choose a principle between condeming and saving, it is safe to conclude that He will use His Loving and Gracious nature (the analogy of our topic..’Saved by Grace’).He is the redeeemer and saviour of our souls by Grace…something that we don’t deserve, a gift of everlasting life.
            There would be lots of time in heaven wherein our ‘fellow God believers’ will know that the God they trusted and believed has mark in His hands and feet. A great surprise for them…what a magnificent God and Saviour!
            (we will try to continue to communicate, I presume you are a man of God?)

          • Glory

            Ty. I am a woman of God. I came across the word mistranslation of aion several years ago through John Wesley Hanson’s work and it prompted me to research the eternal torment doctrine. I think the wrong interpretation got inculcated into much of Christianity because the Bible was not allowed to be read in any Bible version except the Latin Vulgate for 1400+ years.

            There have been many famous universalists down through the centuries and you can find the names of some under that topic in the encyclopedias.

            This is God speaking to Jeremiah in Jeremiah 7:

            New Living Translation
            They have built pagan shrines at Topheth, the garbage dump in the valley of Ben-Hinnom, and there they burn their sons and daughters in the fire. I have never commanded such a horrible deed; it never even crossed my mind to command such a thing.-end verse

            God is not a man to change His mind and He said right there it never crossed His mind to command people to be burnt. The pagans who did not know God’s ways did that.

          • Glory

            I think you might not be reading any of my posts soon Andres and you may want to leave the Christian Crier alone, too.

            Some of the atheists like to project the evil in their hearts onto theists. One of them falsely attributed violence towards me when I tend towards pacifism but am not afraid to tell the truth.

            Anyone who falsely attributes and projects his own evil onto you might not be sane or could be possessed by an evil spirit.

            So it would be best to leave them alone as they just want to drag you down to their level and manipulate you into retaliating so they can assuage their evil spirits and feel good about rejecting a Holy God.

            Read Romans 1. God says they know He exists but suppress the knowledge of Him.

            After a while they become reprobates and want to argue and project evil onto religious believers especially evangelical Christians.

            So be the better person and don’t go down to their level. I never would have talked to them so long but it was eerie how they fulfill the scriptures and I was analyzing their spiritual blindness and evil. But you don’t motivate spiritually blind people through arguments. So I just tell the radical truth and usually get a bad reaction from them so best to leave them alone.

            They can pick up a Bible and read it over and over until God purifies them enough to understand. Maybe they will throw out their own sin and idols then.

            God bless! I am taking off so I can rest in God for a while instead of engaging the most contentious people.

            I should add pud accused me of being violent with absolutely no proof which is slander. A symptom of xenophobia which is an irrational fear of people different from oneself. He should not be accusing any Christians without proof but he is a xenophobe and his fears make him irrational.

            Plus he wants to destroy my character by lying publicly in case anything I say is persuasive. What could be more evil than that?

            Have a blessed day! Time to get away from people who hate on Christians with no proof.

          • Andres Desaya

            I see your concern, but sometimes God talks to them too by using us, we just need to restraint ourselves from saying things that are not proper. Hopefully in the next few days we can continue sharing what we understand about ‘being saved or damned for eternity possibly by fire’, a topic connected by this post. Glory, may I know your religious or denominational background?, it does not really matter but it helps me know you better)

          • Glory

            Nice meeting you but I think I said enough. Take a look at those sites I mentioned. I am not able to summarize all that scripture in this format.

            I am leaving because Christian Crier is overrun by atheist zealots and I have already heard all the arguments and am not persuaded one bit.

            God Bless!

          • Andres Desaya

            Keep sharing, keep posting, keep learning and keep loving God…

          • Glory

            Be wise as a serpent and gentle as a dove for the devil goes about like a roaring lion.

            I roar back because I don’t believe on walking on eggshells for irrational people. When that happens it means the crazies have taken over and you are deferring to them and it is better to leave toxic people alone then allow them to dictate to you. Christians are the lovers we’re not usually the haters.

            2 Tim 1:7

            For God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of power and love and a sound mind.

            Peace Be With You! I am out of the crazy atheist troll circus in this comments section.

          • Andres Desaya

            GLORY roar like the “lion of Judah” Rev. 5.5. Take heart ‘don’t be overcome by evil but overcome evil with the love and power of God” Romance 12:21.
            Don’t worry…someone is fighting for you…Pud (John Arthur) is now being slaughtered.. if that is their choice.

          • Glory

            What makes you think they are the same person?

            I have both on block for calling believers insane.

            There is a limit to what a person has to read and it takes two to argue so I opted to be a peacemaker and block them. If they are going to violate personal boundaries thru verbal abuse then they must be checked.

            Really can’t figure out why they want to argue with such a firm believer as myself. It is unlikely I would ever cave in to any human’s anti-god argument. I have only changed my mind a few times on doctrine after doing personal research because I have my own research standards and judgment which I trust.

            I have no idea about the ethics of the researchers these unbelievers are consulting but they could have serious heart problems making them biased towards drawing anti-God conclusions and I just cannot relate to that.

          • Andres Desaya

            ***Correct my error, if I wrote it as if they are the same person. No, they two different persons.*** Sometimes we can’t see the benefit of having headon confrontation with these “kind” of people…God uses it for us to see how we love and believe and fight for His cause. “Fight a good fight of faith and finish the race…” 2Tim 4:7.

          • Glory

            I don’t think they are the same person they just have similar atheistic dogma.

            It is not as important to engage them as it is to simply deliver the Gospel. Because the Book of Titus says to tell a person twice then shake the sand from your feet if you run into an unreceptive person.

            We’re not perpetually responsible for other people’s failure to seek, respond or understand God.

            I spent 15 years delivering the Gospel primarily to unbelievers though a few other people from other groups as well.

            The modern notion that we have to throw everything into arguing with unbelievers isn’t as scriptural as studying to be an approved man.

            Apologist is not one of the gifts given to believers.

            Ephesians 4:11

            New Living Translation
            Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers.

            A lot of apologetics has been invaded by philosophy and Paul said philosophy is vain.

            Many years ago before being baptized and reading the Bible I had an interest in philosophy. I even tried to read one of Nietzsche’s famous works. For some reason I could not get past Nietzsche’s crazy description of the Superman in his introduction. I later realized that this Superman was the exact opposite of Christ. Christ had a lowly mind cf. Philippians.

            I think the Holy Spirit stopped me from reading Nietzsche’s gibberish upon which Aryan Nazism was partly based.

            Nietzsche later died insane though they are not sure if it was syphilis or a brain tumor.

            So studying to know God is important. How can you refute objections to God without a sound knowledge of Him? You have to be sound to answer the unsound charges. Then after a while you realize the people making the twisted scriptural interpretations are not sound enough themselves to accept sound doctrine.

            So redeem your time. Make it really count and seek out the people with teachable spirits who really want to know God.

            Why waste all your time on people who keep illegally placing the materialist worldview over God’s metaphysical one?
            They refuse to listen to God after taking offense at His Word so you think they are going to listen to you?

            Probably not. Not without divine intervention.

            So prayer not arguing is the best you can do for them.

            Have a blessed day! There are many people to talk to rather than those not spiritually ready to hear God so why argue.

            Be honest. Their arguments are not going to deconvert you unless you are a nominal Christian. Atheists have s terrible time telling nominal Christians from the real true ones. Maybe that comes from a spirit of confusion that causes them to harp on nominal and false Christian behavior while they neglect looking for real disciples in this world. That could be their cognitive dissonance and evil confirmation bias behind that.

            They want all Christians to be bad to justify their own decision to reject God’s explanation.

            Hope this helps! Help the helpable. Some people reject help on the scriptures.

          • We are two different people. Pud is much smarter than me. He is a clear thinking rationalist and empiricist. You need to learn from him. His views will deliver you from religious nonsense.

          • Andres Desaya

            No you are wrong, you are smarter than Pud, that is why you are in parenthesis, the One might eliminate you..don’t roam, you should survive… just refrain from mocking. And pray for protection from evil, don’t be scared.

          • Glory

            Be sure you are strong in the Lord before taking scoffers on. Look at Tinny Whistler ending up an agnostic after taking apologetics on too early. He read all the evil ideas along with the good and now has trouble sorting them out which some would see as what the Bible calls a spirit of confusion.

            Choose Your Friends Carefully at the bible knowledge site:
            https://www.bible-knowledge.com/bible-friends/

            Evil people communicate evil sometimes and not everyone is aware enough to stop it from happening. Adults need just as much protection from evil as children so why delude ourselves into thinking we don’t?

            pud et al are going to try to manipulate you into entertaining the same evil that they do. They never bothered to guard themselves at all so they reason why should you? But look at what their being uncareful resulted in? They make non-stop personal attacks online on people they never met in person.

            “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” (Proverbs 27:17)

            Isn’t it ironic how “these strangers” want to debate you as if there ideas are as good as the counsel that comes from good, sound, godly friends?

            These debaters totally want you to throw out life’s greatest teacher: experience.

          • Andres Desaya

            Thanks for your concern, remember that Truth will always come up, even God said, “come now, let us reason together…” Isaiah 1:18. Even satan is claiming his right to be heard and known, there is a war going on, between good and evil, blessng or a curse, believing in God and His goodness or not to believe anything about Him at all.

            The evidence is done in the cross..Pud and (John Arthur) has all the means to know, understand, be positive about God…at the end they have to CHOOSE…like the crucified thieves on Jesus right and left side…the other belived, the other mocked.

            Again, God has given man choices…choose..choose and choose…life. Because if not…lot’s of WARNING!!!DANGER!!,, satan the father of unbelief and lies will claim them in what God calls eternal damnation.
            Eternal life is freely given, a gift done in the cross, Pls. pls don’t throw it away..

          • Glory

            This is why you leave them alone. They have chosen and the term atheist denotes their choice.

            Their choice doesn’t really matter though. Conviction isn’t from choice. It comes from the Holy Spirit.

            They already heard the Gospel and are wasting your time disputing it now in an attempt to corrupt you.

            I spent 15 years evangelizing online has atheists with many hardline new atheists among them and these people are not playing around. They are in flagrant rebellion against God and want to hurt you verbally.

            Use your God given discernment and find more teachable people to talk to.

            They don’t need talk or arguments.

            They need to acknowledge they are sinners, repent and seek God but you cannot motivate them with speech if they are reprobates.

            All you can do is point out the error of their ways demonstrating the sin they want to ignores exists. Which will probably cause them to deny it, get offended and even more maddened as a consequence.

            A lot of them are not scientifically detached as shown by their over emotionally negatively charged responses to people only showing them God’s love.

            You cannot force them to examine themselves. They have to listen to Christ themselves and make the decision to obey him.

            That is an act of personal will to listen to Christ but the conviction comes from the Holy Spirit.

            Anyone thinking he will talk people into believing or disbelieving does not understand how conversion works. It is a supernatural work and gift from God.

            So stop exhorting me. I gave 15 years of my life gaining experience with these hardline atheists and they validate the scriptures by their own behavior.

            They cannot see your witness on here. You are faceless.

            But you can learn to be better able to teach this stuff if you read the scriptures.

            God gives the right to be His child. Not everyone automatically has that right in this world.

            Google child of God for all the verses.

            Believe me. Few people in this world have tried to help save atheists more than me but they have to be in the right motivational state and attitude to be saved.

            And after a while you get tired of all the blasphemy and complaints coming from their critical spirits and you don’t want to end up being like that yourself because evil is a communicable social disease. God compares sin to leprosy in the Old Testament.

            Arguing does not promote humility.

            Have a blessed day!

          • Andres Desaya

            I’ll try to be nice to them. We pray that the Holy Spirit will touched them as you said. You are a nice and wondeful “woman of God”.

          • Glory

            Well be what God made you to be. Sometimes I am a bit too truthful like Simon Cowell but then humans only have limited intelligence so I really can’t understand why so many unbelievers want me to bow to their shrines of logic.

            Have a great day! I just told another atheist to go onto atheist blogs as a Christian and see how they are treated so the atheist can get testable and repeatable results of which group it is better to be: Christian or atheist?

            It should be obvious but hardline atheists seem to lack simple human observation ability. That’s why they over rely on science to think for them.

            What could be more reasonable then they conduct their own online group test that way they can control the testing and variables personally.

          • Glory

            When you give the sermon on sin and call for repentance then you are exercising the gift of prophecy and standing with a long line of God’s prophets who God frequently sent to advise and correct kings in the Old Testament especially.

            Got questions.org explains the gift of prophecy like this:

            Prophecy – The Greek word translated “prophecy” in both passages properly means “a speaking forth.” According to Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, the word refers to “discourse emanating from divine inspiration and declaring the purposes of God, whether by reproving and admonishing the wicked, or comforting the afflicted, or revealing things hidden; especially by foretelling future events.” To prophesy is to declare the divine will, to interpret the purposes of God, or to make known in any way the truth of God that is designed to influence people.

            Quote taken from here:
            https://www.gotquestions.org/spiritual-gifts-list.html

            Many times the true prophets were not well received and were even hurt like Isaiah sawn in half, Jeremiah put down a well, etc.

            Jerusalem is where the prophets were killed and stoned and why near the end of Revelation that city which people call holy is actually compared to Sodom and Gomorrah by God because a lot of true prophet blood was spilled there.

          • Andres Desaya

            Nice points, thank you Glory.

          • I am not being slaughtered, nor is Pud. What are you talking about?

          • Andres Desaya

            Don’t blame me John Arthur, the man..have you heard ” the slaughter” in the valley of the kings? So sudden and gruesome, the bleeding, the accident?…the anger…God forbid.

          • Neither Pud not I are trolls. We are rational atheists, but you Fundamentalists hate rational arguments and you keep on failing to present any real evidence for the existence of any god.

          • Well, I agree with you that the Christian Crier is overrun by zealots, but it is fundamentalist Christian zealots who have overrun the blog, not atheists.

          • Glory

            One last thing Andres because I don’t think the non-Christian religious texts are truly holy.

            You may have looked too wide. Stick to Jesus in the scriptures and study the Bible.

            It is easy to assume things but the Bible gives all the answers.

            I used to attempt to correct the mistaken Biblical views of atheists but they would never listen just sling verbal stones at me.

            The Biblical explanation can be long and complicated so you really have to settle down in the scriptures and heed God.

            Islam changed God’s claim that Jesus is God so how can the Koran be given from God?

            I would love to talk more but at this time I am not well enough nor do I have the energy to expound on the scriptures in such a hostile scoffing environment.

            Become a good workman in the scriptures, Andres. This is God’s perspective that Bible teachers teach.

            I gave you links to several good workmen in them.

            There is a future kingdom with a thousand year reign and it could be God is preparing His people to serve now so they can also serve in that future kingdom with Christ as King of Kings.
            Read Psalm 2. A lot of people are still rebelling against the true God or have been deceived into it. It is not that hard to deceive men. Their spirit is willing but their flesh is weak.

            I wish you the best on your spiritual journey through the scriptures where God will make you into His child and a true disciple if He has placed that desire in your heart.

            Just remember. This world is a confused place so it is best to stick to God’s answers in the scriptures.

            I finally learned the prudence of delivering the Gospel in a safer place.
            Quite a bit of this world is not safe to accept spiritual birth in. Look at the atheists snapping at my heels trying to force an argument to try and unseat God in my heart.

            They could have opted to relearn the scriptures like sensible men but their spirit of rebellion runs deep.

            I wish I had the energy and health I had to explain more to you.

            But I gave you the sites and some books to seek the good teaching and God is a rewarder of seekers.

            May His Grace Abound To You!

          • Well, how can a book written by ancient savages who created god in their own likeness be a holy text? Their vicious Yahweh commanded the Israelis to murder defenseless women, little children and babies. The power elite in Israel justified their butchery by claiming “God told us to do it”. The people of Israel refused to rebel against such injustice but followed their leaders like blind sheep.

          • Glory

            Listen to Jesus particularly verse 11 of Luke, chapter 21.

            Jesus Foretells the Future

            5Some of his disciples began talking about the majestic stonework of the Temple and the memorial decorations on the walls. But Jesus said, 6“The time is coming when all these things will be completely demolished. Not one stone will be left on top of another!”
            7“Teacher,” they asked, “when will all this happen? What sign will show us that these things are about to take place?”

            8He replied, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’b and saying, ‘The time has come!’ But don’t believe them. 9And when you hear of wars and insurrections, don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place first, but the end won’t follow immediately.” 10Then he added, “Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11There will be great earthquakes, and there will be famines and plagues in many lands, and there will be terrifying things and great miraculous signs from heaven.

            Google and watch “Warning 8 Super Signs in the Heavens” on youtube.

            See Psalm 19. It says God laid out the Gospel in the heavens and Jesus said the heavens will again speak to us and they are doing it in our time.

            Read God Prophetically Named The Stars by Stephen E. Jones to see how the constellation patterns proclaim the Gospel to all nations.

            The day of salvation and getting one’s heart right with God is today. So why argue about it?

            Bye!

          • You need desperately to “be born of the breath”. Just breathe deeply and slowly. Breathe in and out and find that peace you so desperately need. Just relax!

          • You need the spiritual birth step.” Except you be born of the breath, you cannot enter the reign of God” (Jesus). Please contact atheist Sam Harris about the benefits of breath meditation. Jesus seems to have gotten some of his ideas from Buddhists, but neither Jesus nor Buddha nor any other religious guru is necessary to obtain the benefits of breath meditation.

          • Glory

            Another passage to review from John 1, Berean Study Bible.

            The Witness of John

            6There came a man who was sent from God. His name was John. 7He came as a witness to testify about the Light, so that through him everyone might believe. 8He himself was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light.

            9The true Light who gives light to every man was coming into the world. 10He was in the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him. 11He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. 12But to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God— 13children born not of blood, nor of the desire or will of man, but born of God.

            The children of God are born of God and there are two resurrections. The first is for the blessed and holy.

          • Was Thor the one true god or was it Zeus? Of the thousands of gods that humans have believed in and worshipped, which one, if any, is it? Don’t all these gods have anger management problems? Weren’t all the gods created by barbaric humans in their own image or likeness? These bloodthirsty savages wrote holy books to hoodwink people to believe their very cruel and violent nonsense.

          • Andres Desaya

            Thor, Zeus, Cronos, Titans are what they are called, known as Greek Mythology…a myth.
            The Bible also known as the Word of God is full of known characters and places, Egypt, Israel, Persia, Mesopotamia,..Pharaohs, Abraham, Amalek, king David, king Solomon, Jesus Christ, Roman empire, are well documented and known in our history.
            I hope you can see the big difference.
            Yes actually you are right, even though our God is known as a loving God, it is also well documented that He could be very very angry, a wrathful God..moreso to the deliberate mockers,…”arrogant and the wicked will be burn in a furnace of fire.. ” Malachi 4:1.
            O, John Arthur, I suggest you accept His redeeming love rather than His wrath. Don’t throw and waste His love, it is worth it.
            The love of God is true.. and the violence is not nonsense, evil is everywhere. Choose..

          • Did you know that Christian theological ethicists such as Augustine, Aquinas, Luther and Calvin support “just war” theory. They regard wars as just if they are defensive but not just if they are wars of aggression.

            Many of the wars in the OT said to be commanded by God are aggressive wars, including genocide. Many Christian theologians believe in progressive revelation, culminating in the revelation of God in Jesus. They do not believe that wars of aggression can be justified.

            Many Christian theologians believe that Karl Barth was the greatest theologian of the 20th century. He doesn’t support wars of aggression. He believed that God reveals himself in Jesus Christ. He believed that God’s grace triumphs over sin. God’s love triumphs over judgment. All you have to do is follow the path of compassion, healing-mercy and loving-kindness. Forget all this business about God’s wrath. His mercy has triumphed over judgment, and that triumph took place at Calvary.

          • Andres Desaya

            Who is Augustine, Luther, Aquinas, Calvin to deny God’s war of aggression. God is not a sissy, you mean to say He is a scared leader of the universe, He is the sole authority of all ivings things…to create or destroy.
            When man decided to drop a bomb in Hiroshima and Nagasaki which killed innocent, women, children and babies in ww2 and was justified for to end a war and save more lives..
            Are you saying He can’t do worse in a situation where evil is destroying His human creation? Are you saying God can’t annihilate His favorite angel who lead the rebellion in heaven that took away 1/3 of His angels and now destroying His special creations called humans? (Pud is a good example that Satan has the power to overcome humans if they allow him too).
            Of course you are right when you quoted “His mercy triumphed over judgment and triumph took place in calvary” but rethink about your belief that God’s wrath does not exist to those people like Pud who mocks, resists it, throwing away gift of love done in blood. God as powerful as He is, He can’t force someone to believe Him much more to force a gift.
            The Evil one and his angels, humans that are arrogant, the mockers, brilliant in their on mind, the scorners,…there many many many warnings but if you laugh at the warnings, What can God do…if Pud decides not to believe, and not only that but also mocks and scorns…it is Pud who decided to be at the end of God’s wrath rather than in God’s eternal love which was demonstrated by Jesus Christ in the cross. I love my God and my Saviour as creator and redeemer, and a fighter and a destroyer.

            ***John Arthur, I am sure if you are a loving person who loves your family, you would not hesitate to kill an intruder that is going to harm and destroy your family, how much more to God and to His human children***

          • Don’t you believe that God needs to act morally? Commands to murder little children and babies are not moral. Refusal to give immoral commands is not “acting like a sissy” . Your problem seems to be rooted in your view of the bible. Don’t you know that many theologians believe that the bible contains errors? The command to conduct aggressive wars is not one that a loving God would do, nor can any ethical person support such a view.

          • Andres Desaya

            Speak for yourself. God can act and speak for himself, He can justify His actions, He is the authority of authorities, king of Kings, Lord of Lords, lover of Lovers, 2,000 years ago He did not defend himself agressively .But will become an executioner of executioners by fire. If PUD choose to mock His existence and His loving and perfect character, God might execute him and that is not an act of non- moral.

            Again, John Arthur don’t deny God’s other side..”who will not acquit the wicked”…”who can stand against His indignation, who can abide by the fierceness of His anger, His fury is like fire, rocks are thrown down by Him.” Nahum 1:3,6.

            Be in the God’s Loving side, PUD don’t be in the receiving end of God’s fury side..horror!!! don’t go there PUD. Don’t mock God PUD, instead acknowledge God Pud and you will be safe and Loved for eternity. Choose PUD…choose…PUD…choose the goodness of God…don’t mock Him, instead Love Him by believing His existence and accepting His Love. But bottom line PUD it is your choice…no one can believe and choose for you…

          • Did you know that some Christian theologians have a theology of Creative Love Theism which is sometimes called Open Theism. They believe that God’s nature is unconditional ,others-centred, self-giving, community-forming and life-affirming compassion, loving-kindness and tender mercy and that everlastingly. They see God as a personal ,relational and social being.

            They hold the view that the so-called classical attributes of God need to be re-interpreted to be consistent with his loving nature. They take the view that these classical attributes have been influenced as much by Greek thinking as by the biblical witness to Jesus, and hence they need revision.

            E.g. God’s power is not naked power but the power of unconditional love. God comes to us in the form of a suffering servant who stands against injustice and stands against the exploitation of the poor and the powerless by himself stooping down (in the person of Jesus) to lift others up.

            This God is not a god of violence but one of compassion and loving-kindness who was crucified in the person of Jesus by wicked humans. Jesus (at least the Jesus interpreted by these theologians) was a non violent peacemaker. God was not bringing his wrath on Jesus but humans were bringing their wrath on him.

            The last paragraph of your response does not refer to killing by adopting aggression, but as a mechanism of defence. So a compassionate and loving God isn’t going to command or try to justify aggressive wars (including genocide) (even though the bible might state otherwise and hence is wrong at such points). Protecting one’s family is a defensive mechanism.

          • Andres Desaya

            What God did in the cross is defendsive mechanism in order to show His Love and redeeming power. But what He will do to evil, wicked, deliberate mockers, arrogant people who ridicules God will be killed in an aggressive manner. And that is God’s decision, the opposite of loving kindness..defined exclusively as wrath! Ow! PUD, will you quit teaching John Arthur against God’s existence and love?

  • pud

    “The Apostle Paul tells us that it was “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God”

    WHO CARES WHAT SOME ANCIENT RELIGIOUS LUNATIC SAID?

    The RIDICULOUS MAKE BELIEVE “concept” of a “god” sending himself via rape of a virgin to sacrifice himself to himself to fix a problem he himself created is ABSURD!!

    ONLY LUNATICS CAN SWALLOW THIS CRAP

    • You seem to care, else you would not show up here day in and day out to make ridiculous anti-faith statements.

      • pud

        I care because you lunatics are out there corrupting children with your terrorist tactics as you seek political control over the sane people.

        Show one thing that I’ve ever written that is “ridiculous” and demonstrate how it is vs. your superstitious gibberish

        • Lunatics are crazed by the moon. Christians worship the SON. The corrupting influence is entirely the bankers and their advisor clique who have been behind every war in memory, and they are not Christians, tho many have been used as useful idiots because ‘street smarts’ is not a required tenet of Christ, though He does ask us to try. “Be wise as (((serpents))) and gentle as doves”

          • pud

            Anyone who “worships” invisible undetectable agents is a lunatic. Like those who worshiped Zeus and offered sacrifices to Apollo you lunatics are just the latest iteration of time tested lunacy

          • Andres Desaya

            And that is your personal opinon for the many believers which means it is only for your own belief and understanding nothing more.

          • pud

            No it is not. “Knowledge” is demonstrable, “belief” is not. You are not required to provide any evidence for any “belief” whereas you must for a knowledge claim. What flavor of ice cream is best is an “opinion” A factual statement about someone’s delusional beliefs is not an opinion

          • Andres Desaya

            Many believers demonstrate their faith by helping and doing good to others, 99% of charity organizations has beliefs. Don’t you have knowledge to demostrate this…?

          • TinnyWhistler

            pud doesn’t believe anything 😉
            pud asserts that “belief” only applies to things that they disagree with. “knowledge” applies to things that they agree with.

          • Glory

            Lol. The mind is wired to believe many things. I ran across an atheist who claimed to examine every belief before accepting it. But that is physically impossible.

            People have to believe and accept many things without logically analyzing everything. That is how the brain works.

            And in some people intuition is faster and more accurate than logic based on the neocortical structure between the brain and spine. I had a neurologist explain that to me once when a lot of atheists were extolling logic at the expense of intuition.

            Also afaik all people use logic AND intuition so anyone crucifying your thinking on the basis of logic alone could be wrong because people use both.

            Roger Sperry said logic is the servant to intuition so why do so many make a false idol out of logic?

            And then try to force you to bow to their false idol?

          • Don’t people use empirical evidence to test scientific theories? Don’t they run hypothesis tests? They take random samples which yield test statistics, then they run a hypothesis test to assess the probability of making a type 1 error. They often build a mathematical model which they make logical and then test the implications of the model.

            If they use some intuition to guess the relationships between variables, empirical testing needs to take place to assess the correctness of any intuition used. Intuition is often wrong and should not be relied on as a method for assessing the reliability of anything

          • If an argument is illogical, what is the probability that is correct? If you rely on intuition, what is the probability that your intuition will be correct?

          • Andres Desaya

            I guess that is the best way to describe mr. pud…(looks like also he is shallow and hollow inside)

    • Andres Desaya

      You describe things in an inaccurate and lunatic way that is why you end up like the LUNATIC….not the believers.

    • Andres Desaya

      Pud, can you admit that you used to be a believer? but it seems that your expectations of God has disappointed you and you came around. Thanks for crying loud in the Crier. Cry louder for help from God and you might not be sounding pathetic here any more and find joy instead.
      Pud, YOU really don’t look good here, your presence and postings sounds you are a loser crying against people who found love and redeeming grace in Christ. The disciples experienced disappointments too be they fought hard…”fight a good fight of faith (and pls. pud) finish the race” 2Tim. 4:7. Come on man, don’t take so hard on yourself, will the Love of Jesus Christ refill your life of happiness and joy in the presence of God.

      • pud

        Feel free to play all you wish with your make believe god toys.

        Don’t bring your god toy over to my house

        I don’t want to play with your imaginary god toys

        • Andres Desaya

          No you don’t want to play with my real God, He is loving but if you don’t want Him in your house, He might not be there to protect you if evil decides to strikes you, and if you continue mocking Him…be forewarned. If you are serious on what you are saying about Him, He could be as serious with His warnings too.

  • TinnyWhistler

    It’s too bad God sent Jesus, thus damning all the Jews who continued to believe in the God of their forefathers 🙂

    I guess I don’t know your personal opinion on whether the advent of Jesus damned all the Jews who didn’t immediately follow him, but I’d always been taught that when Jesus came, Jews suddenly found themselves unwittingly worshiping an idol of their own creation. Too bad for everyone who took admonitions against following false prophets a bit too seriously and thus missed the switch when the God they’d worshiped their entire lives suddenly changed.

    • Glory

      Some of those Jews were not really Jews. King Herod was an Edomite and the Edomites were one of the hereditary enemies of Israel.

      God told the Israelites never to merge with the Edomites but one of the Hebrew kings ignored this and absorbed the Edomites into Jewry a hundred or so years before Jesus was born.

      So there they are. The Edomites in control of things and Herod ready to slaughter baby Jesus at Bethlehem. But thanks be to God that Mary and Jesus escaped into Egypt taking Jesus with them and missed the slaughter of the innocents.

      • TinnyWhistler

        “Some of those Jews were not really Jews. King Herod was an Edomite and the Edomites were one of the hereditary enemies of Israel.”
        So? I’m talking about the people who the Gospel writers call “The Jews.” Are you saying that the Gospel writers were mistaken about who these people were?
        I’m also talking about adherents to the religion “Judaism,” an Abrahamic religion that started several thousand years ago and still exists in several forms today.
        I’m also talking about the ethnic group “Jews” who were historically adherents to said religion “Judaism,” though some people today still claim Jewish ethnic identity but are not adherents to the religion “Judaism”

        Are you claiming that 100 years before Jesus was born NO ONE could be saved because people had historically intermarried?

        When would you say the cutoff date for avoiding hell is? What range of years would 100% automatically ensure hell?

        • Glory

          Did you see the word “some”. I don’t recall all the details. That is all I can give you. If I could remember the name of the woman with the radio show explaining some of the enemies of Christ were actually Edomites who had joined Israel in violation of God’s rule never to mix with them I would give it to you but I forget her name.
          I doubt all Jews intermarried with the Edomites. Probably some but not all.

          I did not make any claims about who could be saved and who couldn’t in the post above because I believe God will save everyone but as the Bible says “each in his own order.”

          I think eternal torment is a doctrinal error in mainstream Christianity that is difficult to correct,

          This is not to negate the importance of Jesus. How can one be spiritually reborn without him? One can only be born again when they receive Jesus as Savior.

          • TinnyWhistler

            Ok fine, so pretend I’m not including that “some.”
            Though by your logic Jesus wasn’t a Jew either since his ancestry goes back to Rahab and Ruth, both of whom were members of other people groups who were enemies of the Israelites. Who’s Jewish enough?

            If you’re universalist then that’s simply the answer: People were saved before Jesus because everyone’s saved and the question of “How were they saved” is a silly one. The fact that this blog post exists leads me to believe that the author would disagree with you on that though, as would my church growing up.

          • Glory

            You need to stop putting words in other people’s mouths. You complicate the conversation when you do that and you misrepresent me.

            If I were you I would study as much as I can myself on Jesus Christ and try to find the people with purer motives to study with because there are a lot of false teachers around today.

          • TinnyWhistler

            Here’s what I was thinking:
            –You objected to my saying that Jews who didn’t follow Jesus right away got screwed over by saying that “Some of those Jews were not really Jews”
            –That feels like a deflection.
            –I tried to clarify that I wasn’t talking specifically about Herod, nor about any particular subpopulation in Judea at the time but was rather using the word “Jews” at LEAST as broadly as the NT writers did. You know, for the general population of Judea. What about them?
            –You repeated that you’re talking about very specific people who had intermarried with old adversaries of Israel and thus these people are “not really Jews”
            –I replied that if being descended from a people group historically antagonistic with Israel makes someone not Jewish, then Jesus isn’t Jewish since we’re explicitly told that he has both Rahab and Ruth in his ancestry.

            Like I said before though, I really don’t think it matters if the people were “really” Jewish or not. They thought they were, they thought they were worshiping the one true God, as they had done for thousands of years, and suddenly over the course of 3 years a guy shows up, makes all the politicians and church leaders angry, gets executed, and BAM you’re practicing idolatry.

            As far as I know, what I was taught is not unique to my church. It’s part of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church and the pastor generally teaches reformed theology.

            You’ve said that you believe that everyone’s saved eventually. That’s great, and I think it’s a position that makes a great deal of sense Biblically. However, it’s also not the position that many, many evangelical churches hold. Evangelicals are generally distinguished by their insistence on salvation by grace through faith in Jesus. That’s generally not seen as compatible with universalism.

            Like I said before, the fact that this blog post was written leads me to believe that the author is not a universalist (since if you are the question is a trivial one) and that’s who I was initially responding to.

          • Glory

            I like Pastor Wellman. As far as I can tell he and I agree on most things doctrinally except on the fate of mankind.

            If you are interested I will name some sites with articles and books that show the compatibility of the Bible and the salvation of all.

            A lot of uneducated people today think universalists are a spin off from the New Age movement but we are not. We have been around since the early days of Christianity and I suspect many were persecuted though I have not researched universalist persecution extensively at this time to be able to supply the details.

          • TinnyWhistler

            I’ve read a lot of it already but thanks 🙂

            There are loads of “heresies” that were only labeled as such due to the whims of power and politics, not necessarily because they have no textual or traditional support.

          • Glory

            Believe it or not I was banned by a Christian site once for disagreeing with eternal torment. Some other Christian once called me a heretic.

            But when you read the universalists the detailed scholarship is there and details make the case.

            Personally, I now believe the popes use the doctrine to compel conversions.

            If you read Henry Halley’s short essay “Wicked Popes” it seems some of the popes weren’t spiritual people at all. They tortured a lot of Christian dissidents for centuries then started their Jesuit army who swear fealty to the pope.

            I know a lot of good Catholics but have doubts about their hierarchy which does not match the biblical church pattern. There is no office for pope mentioned in the Bible.

            For centuries the nobles of Europe sent off their second sons with no material prospects and no vocation whatsoever to serve in the Church.

          • TinnyWhistler

            Oh, I believe it.

            The entire pope thing is based on Jesus calling Peter the rock upon which He’s build the church. Ergo, Peter was the first pope and popes are definitely needed.

            But, for Catholics, being Christian outside the hierarchy of the Church and without the official Eucharist is just as foreign as being Christian without referring every dispute back to the Bible is for most flavors of Protestant. That’s their starting point.

          • Glory

            Well a year or so ago I came across a scriptural and historical essay online by Dr Ernest L Martin called “The Pagan Origin of the Catholic Church.”

            He identified the Bible passages and history that he says shows Simon Magus posing as Peter entered the Roman Church and blended Babylonianism with it. Magus was not only a sorcerer but a Babylonian high priest.

            In my early days discussing religion online I heard a couple of dozen atheists claim Christianity is Mithraism or a myth. And I now realize why they do that. They may be blind to the existence of God but they are noticing all this Babylonianism and re-classifying Christianity as myth or Mithraism because of Catholicism’s resemblance to other religions.

            Look up the Patriarchs. Rome claims to be the only one as if the ones in Antioch and other cities didn’t exist and possibly be even older than Rome. IIRC there are at least 4 patriarch cities.

          • TinnyWhistler

            It’s almost as if the morality presented in the Bible isn’t as universal and unique as I was always told growing up

          • Glory

            How so?

          • TinnyWhistler

            Universal was the wrong word. I was intending to talk about how Biblical law wasn’t the *first* of its kind in the area and for some reason “universal” is what came out of my fingers.

            There’s been a lot written on the similarities in form and function between Mosaic and later forms of Hebrew law and other law codes from the same area. Hammurabi’s Code is probably the one that gets the most attention since 1) We have quite a few nicely preserved copies and 2) that’s where “eye for an eye” first shows up and that’s mirrored really directly in Lev 24 and Deut 19. There are other legal codes from the area that predate Moses though.

            Anyway, Hammurabi’s probably why you’ve heard Babylonian specifically.

            There are pieces of Christian morality that are universal; that’s basically what C S Lewis’ whole argument for God from the Tao is about. However, that doesn’t really mean that the Bible specifically is the origin (origin! That’s probably the word I was fishing for earlier)

          • Glory

            Well I am not very knowledgeable on Hammurabi but God’s ideas could have predated the recording of the Torah and been floating around Asia and the Middle East. Because ideas are easily transferred from place to place on the same continent.

            If you research the “Gospel in the Stars” you will find the Gospel message is recorded in the constellations as Psalm 19 mentions.

            I consider this evidence for God.

            Untamperable evidence.

            But the message of the Zodiac was scrambled by the Greeks and the true ancient Middle Eastern meanings overlooked by most.

          • TinnyWhistler

            Ok. I’ve done a bit of Googling and I’ve really got the impression that Rolleston’s approach involved a lot of cramming square pegs into round holes. I don’t know enough about linguistics to directly refute anything though. It seems very likely that someone could follow about the same procedure and find literally anything they like in the stars: start with what you WANT the star name to say, and find a way to justify it! The fact that she used scorpion for snake seems like one really glaring example of trying to see something where there isn’t anything to see.

            This seems like a more advanced version of “Jesus toast” to be honest with you.

          • Glory

            Well have a great day. I am a bit tired and need to rest. I am not in the best of health so the intensity of discussing the Bible sometimes wears me out these days.

            I really do believe the Gospel is in the Stars.

            But most people don’t have childlike faith like me and let the world teach them to be hand waving skeptics without checking the evidence.

            Nothing is impossible with God and He says He announced things in the heavens to the whole world in Psalm 19 so we are without excuse for bumbling this and ignoring it imho.
            Have a blessed day!

          • pud

            There is no morality in your book. It is a hate filled, racist, genocidal, totalitarian manuscript full of contradictions, violence, absurdities and lies…but you lunatics tend to skip all that don’t you?

          • They pretend that the violence, absurdities and lies don’t exist as you say, so they skip these passages. They grab hold of the “nice” passages and pretend then that the whole bible is the Word of God.

            They may as well believe in Thor or Zeus than believe that some ghost impregnated a virgin whose son, as an adult, was levitated into the sky. Their ideas about “demons” and “angels” or about some guy called Jesus are just as crazy as the ideas related to Zeus or Thor

          • TinnyWhistler

            :]
            Do you feel better?

          • pud

            Absolutely! Anytime I can hopefully keep just one person from a buybull based lobotomy I’m happy.

          • TinnyWhistler

            I’m glad you feel better, though I threw out most of the Bible years ago so I’m not *quite* sure what you’re talking about 🙂

          • pud

            Well then, you’re almost home! Toss the rest in the trash and you’re there!

          • TinnyWhistler

            Nah, I’m not gonna do anything on your recommendation. I’d rather find “home” among agnostics that aren’t trolling really, really obviously 🙂

          • pud

            There is no such thing as an “agnostic”….The question is do you believe this stupidity or do you not. You can only answer one of two ways. If you do not then you are an atheist. Not “knowing” is also not believing.

            I do not “troll” I wage war against stupidity and ignorance

          • TinnyWhistler

            Yes there is. An agnostic believes that there’s no 100% sure way to know. Just like there’s not a practical way to 100% know if Russel’s teapot exists.

            I don’t claim infinite knowledge, so I’m not gonna claim that the teapot definitely isn’t out there. What I can claim is that it’s so unlikely that it’s perfectly reasonable to stride ahead in life under the assumption that it’s not there.

          • pud

            If you “don’t know” then you by default also don’t “believe” It’s a binary question….do you “believe” in the xtian “god” or not…it’s a yes or no question

          • TinnyWhistler

            It’s not binary though. Which Christian God? Which version? What about a non-Christian God? What about a non-Christian something that’s not called God?

            On that note, what do you even mean by “believe” such that you, personally can so definitively categorize complete anonymous strangers’ beliefs and worldviews? There’s a lot more gray to belief than you seem to be willing to admit.

          • pud

            Here’s how it works….Rational people do not “BELIEVE” anything. They accept certain propositions to degrees of certainty based upon the strength of evidence. Anyone who “believes” anything is delusional as ALL “beliefs” are equally vacuous. A “belief” in alien abduction absent evidence is exactly the same as a “belief” in Bigfoot or jesus.

          • TinnyWhistler

            So you’d say that you don’t believe anything. Sounds like you’re just using belief as a scareword to separate yourself from religious people.

          • pud

            Well you would be wrong. I do not “believe” anything. I know certain things to degrees of certainty. All “beliefs” are equal. You can “believe” anything regardless of how absurd or ridiculous, irrational or contradictory. “Belief” is a claim on the truth without evidence. I care about what is true. Belief is NOT a pathway to truth

          • TinnyWhistler

            ” All “beliefs” are equal.”
            Why, and in what way? Do you think that the phrases “strong belief” and “weak belief” are meaningless?

            “”Belief” is a claim on the truth without evidence.”
            Is this your definition? Such that you can assert “Belief is NOT a pathway to truth”

          • pud

            There is “belief” and there is “knowledge” There’s no overlap. If you “know” something you do not “believe” it….If you “believe” something you can do so completely without any knowledge of it.

          • TinnyWhistler

            “There’s no overlap.”
            Hm. That’s radically different from any definition I’ve ever read, either in a dictionary or in a philosophy class. This is exactly why I said you’re using belief as a scareword.

            How would you define knowledge?

          • pud

            Dictionaries define word “usage” not any fact. Don’t care what a dictionary or philosophy class says. I care about “rational arguments’ as the most reliable pathway to truth.

            Knowledge is that information which comports with reality. What can be demonstrated and measured. If it can’t be measured or detected it doesn’t exist…like “gods” “jesus” “demons” “devils” “spirits” etc…those can only be embraced by irrational “belief”

          • TinnyWhistler

            Ok, demonstrate that your definition for “belief” is the one in general use. Personally, I usually hear it being used for something along the lines of “someone thinks this” without the word implying whether or not the thing is Actually Absolutely True.

            “I care about “rational arguments’ as the most reliable pathway to truth.”
            Cool, this doesn’t actually change how the word “believe” is commonly used in the English language.

            “What can be demonstrated and measured. If it can’t be measured or detected it doesn’t exist.”
            These two sentences are contradictory. Did subatomic particles not exist before humans developed technology to observe and detect them? Existence does not depend on observation.

            Seriously, I’m having a very hard time not making quips about object permanence here.

          • pud

            I don’t care about common word usage.

            Being able to detect and measure is not the same as lacking the technical skill to do so. Sub atomic particles are and were detectable but the transcendent, immaterial, supernatural deity is not by definition.

          • TinnyWhistler

            Ok, who made you ruler over what words mean? 😉

            Nah, the God described in the Bible can be detected if he chooses. That’s not the same as being undetectable by default.

          • pud

            LOL! If he chooses! Do tell! Bonus points for describing the mechanism for “detecting” the supernatural.

          • TinnyWhistler

            Tell what?

          • pud

            Tell how you KNOW that the invisible undetectable deity can be detected if he “chooses” to be. Then describe the mechanism by which you could detect/measure an “immaterial” “transcendent” “being” outside of space and time….dude!

          • TinnyWhistler

            Read what I said. I said “the God described in the Bible”
            The Bible contains several instances of people detecting God in various ways. Every time, it was because God decided to be detectable in some way.

            Are you saying that the Bible DOESN’T say that God physically revealed himself to various people?

          • Glory

            Best leave him alone. He is one of the most dogmatic atheists around and he will try to force his beliefs on you.

            A lot of people arguing religion over stress logic like the atheists do.

            But God said faith is by hearing. Hearing is a form of perception.

            I trust God is right on that. People naturally are making true and false judgments on everything they hear in this world.

            But a certain group of people have been trained to discount perception in favor of logic.

            But perception could be better and stronger and more reliable than logic at times.

            Why do people let materialists force their scientific training onto the questions of religion. The evolutionist Stephen Gould identified this as an error. The physical and metaphysical realms are separate so why attempt to illegally force the metaphysical to submit to materialism?

            This is all pud does. Sits up here on this blog trying to force people to accept him as an authority greater than God. So I blocked him. He actually tries to bait people into debate and orders them around a lot.

            Why is science authoritative over the metaphysical? The scientific method was not even around in the time of Jesus and God’s chosen method of conveying faith is by hearing. Apparently God has more faith in people’s perception than we do today. Because a lot of people in the last couple of generations are being taught to distrust their own mind and senses in favor of science. I think people have confused faith and science. They are totally separate subjects. I hate the origins debate because it deceived people into paying attention to the wrong thing.

          • TinnyWhistler

            I’m having fun with pud. I know they’re a troll.

          • Glory

            If he is he is quite fanatical.

          • TinnyWhistler

            Pud’s probably having fun with it like I am. It’s about the attention and I’m certainly providing that.

          • pud

            Go play with your own pud now…cheers!

          • pud

            I “force” no one to do anything. I demonstrate how irrational you are, you’re free to do whatever you want with that.

          • Brien

            You have reached the level of stupidity that we expect from the Philippines….totally deluded!!

          • Andres Desaya

            So in your opinion you are ‘not stupid and not ignorant’? How do you know you are not?

          • Brien

            Ever heard of ‘evidence’ and fact??

            Ignorance is a lack of fact, facts give us knowledge;
            Stupidity is when one ignores or denies those observed facts.

          • Brien

            Your ‘trolls’ are the ones making wild claims without any evidence – Get your logic together!!

            We simply ask for proof and we get nonsense quoted from a historical novel.

            Fairy tales interwoven in a real world … eg the Egyptians existed as Londoners existed; the Pharaohs existed as Scotland Yard existed; But there were no Moses or Sherlock Holmes.

            Time to grow up kids!!!

          • Andres Desaya

            What you wrote above is just your opinion… The Bible for many is history of humankind, the explaination why human suffering is existing, and the redemption of humankind, and the understanding of christians is..the love of God portrayed by Jesus Christ in the cross. But of course in you OWN opinion this is just ‘lunatic’. So just go with your own opinion, you are much entitled to it. Be happy and contented with your opinion but don’t force or ridicule of what we understood. Why are you bothered, why are you even here?

          • pud

            I don’t usually engage stupid people but I’ll grant you one pass. Humans have suffered since we first walked upright. Every holy book and superstition offers an infantile explanation none of which comports with reality. All your books are written by ignorant savages for simple minded people like yourself who either have no critical thinking skills or choose not to have any.

            Human blood magic sacrifice is the most abominable nonsense you idiots celebrate. It is complete fiction, barbaric, stupid, infantile and mindless.

            Ridiculous ideas deserve ridicule…that’s how we make progress. Your notions are the most ridiculous of them all

          • Andres Desaya

            Your opinions my friend…seems not to have even a substance.

          • Do you mean god’s command to murder defenceless women, little children and babies, then burn the cities that they were invading to the ground? Some morality. Thank goodness, its NOT universal.

          • TinnyWhistler

            Shhh we don’t talk about that. Remember, all that makes sense in C O N T E X T. Also remember that contextualizing only counts when you’re handwaving away the genocide.

          • Cynthia Brown Christ

            Ha ha. I love this thread.

          • Does it really matter what “bullsh!t” Rome or modern Protestants say? It’s all bull and you are a prime case of a bull artist.

          • You don’t need to believe in any doctrines to be “born of the breath”. You don’t need any religious gurus, nor any temples nor any holy books to be “born of the breath”. Just breathe slowly in and out! Breathe deeply. You don’t need to believe in any imaginary Jesus, nor in angels or demons, nor in any figure called Satan.

            Just Breathe. Cast aside all your religious sh!t. Use the pages of your bible as toilet paper. You might find the best use for it that you can. Just breathe! Breathe in compassion and breathe out peace! You desperately need to find peace within. You do know that Jesus is dead, so he can’t give you peace. Just breathe!

            Breathe deeply and slowly and you will find greater mental and emotional well being. Your Jesus will only mess you up.

        • Glory

          I just realized. You may be over focusing on Jesus’ genealogy as racial and forgot he is the only one begotten of God.

          Adam and Eve and the angels were all created and the descendants of Adam and Eve are procreated so people have a sin nature.

          Jesus was sinless because he was born of God.

          I wouldn’t get overly focused on race or genealogy because they mainly serve as prophetic markers in relation to Jesus.

          The Bible uses the literal symbolically a lot to convey spiritual ideas and it is confusing.

          Probably the fact that so many reason too much from spiritual to literal instead of from spiritual to spiritual as the Bible says to do causes a lot of misunderstanding over Bible passsges.

          • TinnyWhistler

            The reason why I’m focusing on it at ALL is because you brought up genetic lineage first 😉

            Jesus was also born of Man. “Son of Man” was like his go-to name for himself.

            Why does intermarrying with enemies make a difference in the case of Jews in the first century, but not in the case of, say, David? Like I said, the only reason I care about this is because you brought it up first. Maybe I’m missing your original point?

          • Glory

            Quite honestly I just thought it was an interesting fact with a lot of implications to consider.

            When you do deep studies in the Bible you start to see all sorts of supernatural connections and strange facts.

          • TinnyWhistler

            Humans are really good at pattern recognition. That doesn’t mean that there’s actually a man in the moon or that Jesus is in your toast.

          • Glory

            Intermarriage was Solomon’s sin in the Bible. He had hundreds of foreign wives and concubines and they turned the wisest man in the world’s heart away from God.

            And for that sin God punished Solmon’s son later by allowing ten of the twelve tribes to be snatched away by Jeroboam.

            Read the Bible. God has His ways that Abraham and others followed.

            There is a division between God’s people and the world in their ways.

            Holy means set apart to God.

            Israel was suppose to be holy yet kept falling into apostasy by too much contact with pagan idolatry.

          • TinnyWhistler

            Ok, but why would that matter to the question of “Could people be saved before Jesus came”? Are you saying that they could no longer believe God and have it be counted as righteousness, as the article says? If that’s not what you’re saying why bring it up?

          • Glory

            I honestly don’t remember.

            If you are an agnostic I wouldn’t talk to any atheists on religion if I were you.

            The reason is they will only try to upset your chance at being born again which Jesus died to give you.

            Be more discriminating on who you discuss important spiritual matters with. Mean spirited atheist trolls don’t really care about your future. All they care about is validating their own false beliefs and are willing to destroy any hope you may have while seeking to ascertain the truth.

            I have encountered many who ask for evidence without doing a bit of research to obtain it themselves. If you give them the evidence then many won’t inspect it they only want to object and argue.

            So seek God on your own or find people with pure motives to consult.

          • TinnyWhistler

            “I honestly don’t remember.”
            Fair enough.

            I promise pud will have a negligible impact on my own personal opinions, if that’s what you’re worried about. Pud’s type is just about as annoying as the “Listen to me or you’re going to hell” variety of Christian.

            Mean spirited ANYONE doesn’t really care about my future, just the imaginary kudos they can win for themselves by changing someone’s mind. That’s not something unique to atheists.

            I spent my teen years very, VERY into apologetics. I read everything I could get my hands on about “proving the faith” and “evidence for God.” Sometimes people just don’t find the “proof” to be convincing. You can’t argue someone into or out of belief in God. That said, I do like helping people figure out where the holes are in their apologetics, and I try to be polite while doing so. Being a Christian shouldn’t *have* to mean having crappy arguments.

            “Pure motives” like Christians who also want to convert people? But those motives are pure because Christians are the ones who are converting people to the truth, right? 😉

          • Glory

            Not being able to argue someone into or out of belief seems to indicate the supernatural to me.

            I am always finding various confirmations of what the Bible says about faith and unbelief in the real world.

            Online it is hard to judge people and faith is so important why talk to just anybody on it?

            As an evangelical I used to but found that sometimes you can’t.

            A friend of mine avoids all political and religious discussions because that is where they say all the craziest people are and they have a point except I still believe in the Great Commission.

            I won’t bother you further today as I am tired out. I used to engage in a lot of apologetics but switched to evangelism.

            I am not your typical apologetics type though I once applied to a very famous program for apologetics then did not get to go.

            I am more suited to evangelism than apologetics.

            I once met an agnostic while delivering Bible tracts at a major crossroad city and asked the agnostic why they were agnostic. The young woman said she thought asking questions was more humble. I admit to being incredulous. I told her the main reason to ask a question is to get an answer. If you ask someone where the bathroom is then you want an answer right now, right?

            Anyways, I hope you don’t fence sit too long none of us know how much time we have.

            Have a blessed day! I need a nap.

          • TinnyWhistler

            “Not being able to argue someone into or out of belief seems to indicate the supernatural to me.”
            This sounds like you’re saying that the existence of people thinking they’re right is evidence of the divine?

            “I am always finding various confirmations of what the Bible says about faith and unbelief in the real world.”
            And people found confirmation of Jesus in the burn pattern on a piece of toast. Pattern recognition is a powerful thing 😉

            I’m agnostic in the sense that I think that unless some hypothetical supernatural being chooses to radically change the way the world works it’s impossible to be 100% certain either way. Personal conviction isn’t evidence. People believe they’re 100% right about really, really stupid stuff all the time. Sometimes they die for it. Jim Jones’s followers are a great example.

            Receiving an answer to a question doesn’t obligate you to believe it. If I asked where the bathroom is and you pointed to a door marked “Broom closet” I’d be justified in not believing you. If I’m not sure I believe you, I might end up asking a number of different people and then proceeding from there.

            I’m not really on a fence, I’m perfectly comfortable with my belief system. Doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with reexamining it though. I’ve been wrong before and I might be wrong now.

            Have a good nap!

          • Glory

            It doesn’t obligate you to believe an answer but there is nothing innately humble about asking questions.

            I am not going to go into my supernatural experiences because I usually just save that for believers these days. Besides at this point In your life you might not be able to accept it and might be guilty of doing the same thing a lot of skeptics do which is hand wave away someone else’s genuine spiritual experiences without even being there just using a pat excuse.

            Unfortunately a lot of people like to interpret other people’s experiences as if they are authoritative when it was really some inaccurate idea the world fed to them which might not even apply.

          • TinnyWhistler

            And despite my best efforts as a teen and early 20-something, I seem to be unable to get to those first stages 😉

            Luckily, you’re a universalist so I’m fine either way.

          • Glory

            Earlier you questioned what I said about heart motive.

            But to me it is very important. A key biblical topic is the heart and I have always been keen on observing people. But the internet is a faceless environment so you can’t read eyes or faces or body language. Plus anyone can protest how great he is but you cannot know their heart or personal history.

            I would never blanket say trust all Christians but my experience around Christians is usually pleasanter than whenever I entered an atheist forum. I had a woman from one atheist blog go all psycho on me and start sending some very insulting posts and nobody corrected her. In fact, they joined in.

            Social intelligence is one of the things that helps convince me about Christianity.

            Jesus is very believable in the scriptures and I feel safer around Christians though there are the hypocrites, the nominals and the shortsighted ones. I feel more love from them.

            The best person I ever knew personally was a devout Christian who was changed by Jesus.

            So character is very important.

            You would no more want to consult an unethical or incompetent person on religion than you would want to consult an unethical, incompetent doctor or attorney.

            This is your spiritual birth and eternal life options as well as peace on Earth. Why discuss it with just anybody and risk getting bum information?

            Inspect people’s words and deeds. Sometimes it indicates character.

          • TinnyWhistler

            What you experienced is more a relic of how people tend to act toward “outsiders” to their group than anything to do with atheists or Christians in particular.

            Both the best and worst people I’ve known have been Christians and that’s because most of the people I’ve known, period, have been Christians.

            It really doesn’t take much digging to find very kind, thoughtful, empathetic atheists to dialogue with anymore than it takes to find hateful “brood of vipers” Christians.

            Your view of where I can find “good” vs “bad” information is based on what you believe to be true about the world. You’re *going* to be biased toward Christian sources because you think they’re correct because you think you’re correct. If you didn’t think they, and you, were correct, you wouldn’t believe what you do. Most people are going to encourage others to think the way they do because they think they’re correct.

          • Glory

            You are wrong.

            Jesus said:

            Luke 6:45 King James Version (KJV)

            45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

            Everyone has a heart bias and as the Bible says people are fooled by appearances.

            People can put on a very fine act socially while harboring an evil heart.

            Jesus said you are with me or you are against me so no fence sitting.

            I am no fence sitter. I am a committed Christian so maybe since you want to impose your humanistic view of the world over God’s perspective you had better converse with someone who sees things less clearly than me because I am not going to agree with over worldly opinions.

            And I wasn’t raised in the Church. I was a late convert. I barely had enough Christian contact to convert and be baptized but I do have keen perception and people skills as an INFJ.

          • TinnyWhistler

            “People can put on a very fine act socially while harboring an evil heart.”
            So? That doesn’t mean that Christians can’t have horribly evil hearts and atheists very nice ones.

            What is it that I said that is “humanistic”?

          • Glory

            God is the only one who can judge a heart.

            People can only go on words and deeds.

            Jesus said he won’t know a lot of Christians so why are you promoting atheism and fooled by labels?

            You can put arsenic in a bottle and label it salt.

            Atheists shouldn’t even be blogging on Patheos. They are a non-spiritual group that promote controversy on here.

          • TinnyWhistler

            “God is the only one who can judge a heart.”
            Sure. So how can you know what’s going on in anyone else’s heart?

            I’m not promoting anything, certainly not atheism since I’m not an atheist. I’m disagreeing with you. Is that ok?

          • Glory

            Well I am seriously ill at the moment but at personal risk to myself I was attempting to persuade atheists. But a fallen away Christian minister turned atheist the other day went psycho on me affecting my sleep which I cannot have at this time as I am very ill.

            I just use persuasive language like Paul trying to get people see the truth of the matter but need to find more teachable spirits these days.

            I lived a bit like an agnostic for a while not realizing I was a born believer.

            I am getting rusty on the Bible trying to correct people who refuse to be corrected so it is time to save my own life and if that happens and I live then make a better use of my time.

          • TinnyWhistler

            I hope you feel better, I know you’ve mentioned being tired over the last few days.

            Convincing people of things isn’t all about the language. There’s no set of arguments that will definitely work to convince someone of something.

            Quick word of advice: using the Bible to correct people only works if they accept the Bible as having the authority to correct them.

            Have a good day!

          • Glory

            That’s partly why I gave up arguing. God uses the Holy Spirit to convict people on hearing the Gospel.

            He just uses believers to deliver it.

            I think you should learn to ponder like Mary not just logicize.

            Pondering is deeper.

            Using the Bible is fine according to God. People do get offended by it at times but God says it will not come back void.

            The gift of faith, the gift of repentance, etc. are all in God’s timing so why use any authority except God’s to deliver the Gospel?

            To accept or decline the Gospel someone has to deliver it first.

            How many deathbed repentances and conversions might there be and how did that happen if they did not receive God’s message?

            Take care. Done arguing and going into temporary retirement.

            Advising a Christian not to use the Bible goes against our godly principles. That is a worldly, humanistic idea but God has his own way of doing things.

          • Glory

            Here is a more biblical list of answers on why the Word is important.

            Christ exhorted his people to feed themselves spiritually through the Word. How could you obtain spiritual maturity without it?

            Unbelievers as the Bible says sometimes get offended at it but Christians are adjured to hide it in their heart and the Word is Jesus.

            How does the Bible describe a fool?
            https://www.gotquestions.org/fool-Bible.html

            Some key verses on being a fool:
            https://www.openbible.info/topics/fool

            A more exact Biblical explanation on the fool:
            https://bible.org/seriespage/5-fool-proverbs-261-11

            The Bible is God’s perspective.
            The Bible is God speaking to His children and shows His thoughts and intentions towards people.

            He is the subject of any debate on His existence so it is illogical to let the world and weak worldly rebellious people tell Him to be quiet.

            God owns everything by right of creation so why do measly people get to ignore Him.

            If they want Him ignored they should show some self restraint and get off evangelical blogs.

            I am not silencing the Father for anybody.

            Taking off now. Just wanted to be clear and help you see God’s perspective i.e. point of view.

            You won’t learn it from an atheist as they are spiritually blind and seem unable to interpret scripture due to the blindness of their hearts.

            What counts the most in God’s eyes is that people bother to know Him.

            Jeremiah 9:23

            23 Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, 24 but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”

            So study to be an approved man.

            What could be better than being a person God approves of?

            Don’t be a people pleaser or have a fear of man.

            It is better to obey God than men.

            God Bless!

          • TinnyWhistler

            “Christ exhorted his people to feed themselves spiritually through the Word. How could you obtain spiritual maturity without it?”
            Jesus says “*I* am the bread of life” and the Word as described in John is describing Jesus, not the New Testament as canonized in 300CE and as translated into English in the last few decades.

            People have claimed to seek spiritual maturity without the Bible for as long as there have been Christians. How do you suppose people did it BEFORE the Bible was canonized?

            How do you know that the word the Psalmist was referring to is the entire protestant Bible rather than, say, the Law as it would have existed back when the Psalm was written? Why do you believe the Psalmist was talking about, say, the writings of Paul?

            Why should someone listen to something they don’t believe has authority over them? For example: should you believe the Quran, just because someone tells you that it’s a revelation from God? Same with the Book of Mormon.

            If God’s as powerful as the Bible says, he CANNOT be silenced by you or by anyone.

          • Glory

            Seriously dude, I am too ill for that many questions. I mainly let the Spirit move me into expository preaching mode and let it rip.

            We are in New Testament times now. Can you get with the program in the spirit of truth and stop over analyzing things like a worldling?

            I am only interested in living like a child of God these days. These unbelievers have totally misinterpreted God and should scrap their ignorance, turn to God and let Him lead them in spirit and truth.

            Why would I argue with blind people? Am I going to validate the blindness of their hearts.

            When God calls someone blind or a fool they should sit up and take notice.

            The Word of God contains Jesus. That word is the seed and genesis of a whole new nature.

            But I have to go backwards and play with all the blind kids, in their sand box, where they deliberately disobey God and throw sand in my face why they pompously blaspheme and bloviate?

            I can’t stand blasphemy. It is what triggered my 15 year odyssey on the Net.

          • TinnyWhistler

            ” I mainly let the Spirit move me into expository preaching mode and let it rip.”
            Sure, but it feels like you’re asking me to 100% accept everything you say without question JUST because you say that you’re right. I’m asking you to consider that that’s just as annoying to other people as it would be if a Muslim came up to you and started saying that you need to get with the program and listen to God’s revelation.

            The problem as I see it is that you’re drawing a line for “overanalyzing” vs “thinking critically” or even “thinking” at all right where your beliefs end and someone else’s begin. I know that you believe you’re correct. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t believe what you do. However, the same is true of most other people in the world.

            Did God call me a fool? Or did you? Remember that “The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.” I’m trying to open up a dialogue but you’re more interested, by your own admission, in preaching rather than conversing.

            It’s not blasphemous to think critically about how one approaches faith: “Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.” It doesn’t say “Assume you’re right and charge boldly ahead!”

          • Glory

            The place to start to learn to think critically is in God’s Word. Do you want to think in a godly manner or like every worldly Tom, Dick and Harry?

            It is God that gives discernment.

            I hate it when people exalt this world’s critical thinking ahead of godliness.

            Sometimes the most ungodly people attempt to manipulate others all the time quoting critical thinking. How do they know I don’t think better than them?

            Plus critical thinking talk comes from some of the people with the most critical spirits.

            A lot of people want to control others by telling them they MUST take criticism. Do you just take that at face value or ask yourself “Who is this person who wants me to abdicate thinking for myself?
            Why should I give up control to some person with a critical spirit? Because they made a slick argument that APPEARS reasonable on the face of it. Malarkey. My idol is not human reasoning which is not perfect. I follow a perfect god and He trains me. Not this world. I am an INFJ. That is an inborn personality type that dislikes criticism. Why do I have to take criticism blindly from an evil world without inspecting the source. I don’t. Unwise people do that. Look at the Germans under Hitler. They were intelligent. Intellectuals. But they didn’t inspect the source: Hitler. They let his critical spirit take hold of them.

            I am done today. I need a break.

            Try thinking out of the box instead of like a worlding or this evil world could own you instead of a Holy God.

          • TinnyWhistler

            Critical thinking is how people can separate truth from lies. People use the Bible to defend everything from slavery to abuse. It’s not a good idea to listen to everything that someone claims is Biblical or from God. How do you, personally, tell when someone’s twisting the Bible? The Bible does say to not listen to false prophets, so you shouldn’t listen to anyone who claims to be speaking for God. How do you figure out a false prophet from a true one?

            No one’s required to take criticism. Critical thinking is used to determine whether criticism should be listened to.
            “Do you just take that at face value or ask yourself “Who is this person who wants me to abdicate thinking for myself?”
            That’s an example of critical thinking.

            No one’s requiring you to give up control. All I’m doing is trying to figure out why you believe what you do.

            “Why do I have to take criticism blindly from an evil world without inspecting the source. I don’t.”
            That’s critical thinking.

            I try to think outside the box, but when I ask for details of your box, you get upset.

            Have a nice break!

          • Glory

            Be careful this world doesn’t teach you to make an idol to human reasoning or logic.

            People like to create false idols in their hearts and that can block communion with God.

            You can’t see their idols but can detect they have them from what they say and do.

            I don’t genuflect to other people’s idols.

            Unbelievers are every bit as dogmatic as theists but who has the better role models, value standard, etc.

            Love is greater than mere tolerance.

            You will know them by their fruits.

            Take care. Bye now.

          • TinnyWhistler

            “Be careful this world doesn’t teach you to make an idol to human reasoning or logic.”
            There’s a balance to be found between making an idol of something and throwing it away entirely.

            “Unbelievers are every bit as dogmatic as theists but who has the better role models, value standard, etc.”
            Depends on the unbeliever and depends on the believer. I’d say that the very devout Christians who split away from other believers into a new denomination because they wanted to own slaves had a very bad value standard. I’d say Christians and unbelievers alike who went along with what the leadership told them in Nazi Germany had very bad role models and value standards. I’d say that unbelievers I know who dedicate their lives to helping people have much better value standards and role models than those Christians.

            “Love is greater than mere tolerance.”
            Absolutely! That’s why there’s been such a push for acceptance and understanding of people who are different rather than merely “tolerating” them.

            “You will know them by their fruits.”
            Yep! That’s how I try to form my opinions of people. By what they do, the fruit they SHOW in their lives, not by how religious they say they are.

            Have a good day!

          • Glory

            I won’t bother discussing any more. The word atheist now connotates confirmed unbeliever to me by the person adopting that label. Agnostics could be even harder to convert if they aren’t genuine seekers.

            I feel like this discussion is just a discussion and that you are not seeking. But I have no way of knowing for sure. In any case, I have given you more than enough info to switch to the genuine seeker camp if you wish to.

            No pressure. I don’t want an endless debate or discussion. I have a lot of things to attend to away from online.

            You can seek on your own if you don’t let this world feed you too many of it’s ill conceived idols and notions.

          • TinnyWhistler

            “The word atheist now connotates confirmed unbeliever to me by the person adopting that label. Agnostics could be even harder to convert if they aren’t genuine seekers.”
            So you categorize people based on how hard they are to convert?

            “I feel like this discussion is just a discussion and that you are not seeking. ”
            You seem to not want to answer the questions I’m asking about your faith, so I’m having a hard time responding to your actual belief system. I try to respond to what you actually say, and then you drag the conversation in a new direction again. It’s hard to have a discussion like that since it feels like you’re not trying to listen to what I’m actually saying, but instead you’re just reacting! Even when I ask for clarification on what you said, you ignore it.

            “You can seek on your own if you don’t let this world feed you too many of it’s ill conceived idols and notions.”
            Seeking doesn’t just mean listening to Christians. It means listening to other people too.

            Have a good day!

          • Glory

            My advice to you is to sit and read the whole Bible if you haven’t yet. The old time Bible teachers called this type of Biblical meditation “chewing the cud.” A cow has a long slow digestive process and eats only grass which is clean food.

            Biblical meditation is like that. Mentally digested over time until we understand more and more.

            I would never turn back the light of revelation or God’s work in me to please human reasoning.

            The Hebrew word for faith means to hear and obey but we all need scripture to purify us. The world, flesh and devil all have a bad influence on people’s sin prone hearts.

            If you can’t meditate along with God or learn to judge righteously but only spew twisted views of scripture then how did you ever understand God?

            Atheists do this all the time on Christian blogs that don’t correct them. But their hearts are not right with God so how did they understand Him? Their deliberate acts of disobedience show they never understood so they are not an obedient Christians equal on God to trade thoughts with.

            I used to tear false religion down all the time. Analyzing them, obtaining info to show their falseness but I don’t want to waste my time on that any more.

            I am sticking closer to God learning more discernment from Him and applying it to this world so I have no time for the nonsense of evil people who could not control their own hearts enough to listen and learn from Him.

            Silly new atheist Richard Dawkins said he hates priest’s language so how did he understand God?

            He didn’t yet wants to stir a contoversy by opining from a position of ignorance.

            The way to understand God is thru God’s way of spirit and truth as given in the scriptures. There is no other way. The world cannot give you godly answers because it does not have the answers to give. Only God can supply the answers and His starting place is in His Word.

            Proverbs 18:2

            A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.

          • TinnyWhistler

            “My advice to you is to sit and read the whole Bible if you haven’t yet. ”
            Yep, done that. A few times. Seriously, that’s what I spent spare time in middle and high school doing.

            “I would never turn back the light of revelation or God’s work in me to please human reasoning.”
            I know you wouldn’t, you already said that. I’m saying you CAN’T.

            How do you determine whether someone’s view of God is twisted? Based on whether they agree with you? There are thousands of Christian denominations in the world. There are at least a few that disagree with you on various things, as we established a few days ago. Can they understand God? For example, would you say that someone who believes in a literal hell cannot understand God because their view is twisted? Does that lack of understanding mean they’re not actually a Christian?

            “But their hearts are not right with God so how did they understand Him?”
            You can’t know what’s in their hearts, only God can.

            “The way to understand God is thru God’s way of spirit and truth as given in the scriptures. There is no other way.”
            Nope. The only way to God is through Jesus:
            “*I* am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
            Not through the Bible. Not through the scriptures. Through Jesus.

            “A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.”
            I’m asking questions to understand where you’re coming from and you aren’t really engaging with most of what I’ve said. Instead, you’ve been, by your own admission, been preaching.

          • Glory

            I told you I am sick. I am trying to break the posting habit to take better care of myself.

            I am not going to nitpick scripture with you.

            You haven’t even made up your own mind yet.

          • TinnyWhistler

            “You haven’t even made up your own mind yet.”
            That’s not true. I have made up my mind, and I’ve told you that already. I’ve told you what I believe. It feels like you’re not reading what I’m saying.

          • Glory

            Well my mistake you can’t discuss the spiritual with the natural man who has refused to believe.

            See 1 Cor. 15.

            We are talking on different planes.

            Outta here. God bless!

            And no I am not reading you closely. You’re still fence sitting but my mind is long made up.

            You want to argue. I don’t.

            Stop sending posts or I will have to block for health reasons.

          • TinnyWhistler

            “refused to believe.”
            Not true in my case, as I’ve said, but sure.

            🙂

          • Glory

            Sorry for the cold response. You have been most courteous but I don’t argue these days much.

            I just try to help people see things more clearly from God’s perspective so it might save them.

            If you argue too much ego comes to the forefront and God’s love for humanity is lost.

            Peace Be With You!

          • Glory

            You are an agnostic and that is a place between belief and unbelief.

            Essentially you pride yourself on your own logic and for whatever internal reason refuse to listen to God but you feel safer in the middle in case you want to jump one way or the other.

            When you let this world train you to doubt pattern recognition then you allow yourself to stay blind.

            You don’t want to profess to God that you don’t believe in Him probably because that is too scary a thought for you but you want to do what you want to do according to your own natural reasoning instead of accepting God’s.

            God said faith is by hearing but you have denied your own senses and perception is dependent on accepting pattern recognition and processing it.

            You let those unbelievers teach you well how to question everything then throw out your own senses and mind in evaluating everything.

            The people like yourself that idolize logic will agree with you.

            But I don’t.

            Faith is by hearing. You can block God though by false idols, unrepentant sin, etc.

            God said faith is by hearing. So why is your logic better than God’s if not for some personal motive of your own you serve.

            You really should consult Jesus on examining yourself then maybe you could toss all your dysfunctional idols out and actually become decisive enough to make a decision.

            Have a blessed day!

            If perception wasn’t important then why does God use it.

            Perception and logic go hand and hand but skeptics toss perception out to serve their own idol logic.

          • TinnyWhistler

            “You are an agnostic and that is a place between belief and unbelief.”
            It’s literally not, as I’ve explained, but sure.

            “Essentially you pride yourself on your own logic and for whatever internal reason refuse to listen to God but you feel safer in the middle in case you want to jump one way or the other.”
            Again, not true. I haven’t shared with you how I came to call myself agnostic, or you’d know that this isn’t true. You’re making assumptions.

            “When you let this world train you to doubt pattern recognition then you allow yourself to stay blind.”
            What does this mean? What do you think I meant by pattern recognition when I mentioned it last week?

            “You don’t want to profess to God that you don’t believe in Him probably because that is too scary a thought for you but you want to do what you want to do according to your own natural reasoning instead of accepting God’s.”
            Not true. When did I say this? What makes you believe this is true?

            “God said faith is by hearing but you have denied your own senses and perception is dependent on accepting pattern recognition and processing it.”
            Again, what do you think pattern recognition means?

            “You let those unbelievers teach you well how to question everything then throw out your own senses and mind in evaluating everything.”
            Which unbelievers taught me to question everything? Please quote to where I mentioned them.

            “The people like yourself that idolize logic will agree with you.”
            Please point to where I idolized logic.

            I find it hard to want to listen to what you say when you’re clearly not trying to talk to *me* but rather a false version of me that you’ve made up.

          • Glory

            Well I apologize if I read too much into your agnosticism. But that is how I analyze it from a combination of the scriptures in accordance with human behavior. I may have some details wrong.

            Read Romans 1. God says everyone knows He exists.

            You remind me a bit of a logic aficionado but faith is by hearing and hearing is perception.

            Imagine this world or your education re-trained you to devalue your ability to perceive but faith is by hearing.

            Just think about it. You are important to God y’know and why listen to this world ahead of God?

            Peace be with you!

          • TinnyWhistler

            “Well I apologize if I read too much into your agnosticism. But that is how I analyze it from a combination of the scriptures in accordance with human behavior.”
            What I’m really objecting to is that you’re analyzing my beliefs and worldview according to *your understanding* of scripture and *your understanding* of human behavior rather than just asking me about them.

            Would you rather that I try to tell you what you believe or ask you? I’ve tried to ask you. I’ve tried to answer you based on what you say, not based on assumptions because I’ve tried to have an honest conversation with you. In return, you ignore what I say, ignore when I try to clarify what you’ve said so that I understand it, and just start preaching to your own constructed image of me.

            You’ve accused me a few times of idolatry, but you’ve turned around and created a false image of me to talk to!

          • Glory

            Well let’s just agree to disagree then.

            I think you missed the whole point of my posts.

            Have a good day. Bye.

          • TinnyWhistler

            It seems like you’re trying to convince me that I need to be open enough to allow myself to have faith in God. That’s fine, I get it. Evangelism is important to you and to very many Christians. Like I’ve said, the problem I have is that you’re unwilling to talk *with* me, just *at* your own construction of me.

          • Glory

            I am actually not talking to my construction of you any more.

            If I were you I would take a tip from Jesus and examine yourself for the cause of your indecision. Deciding you can’t know is almost as bad as not believing.

            Introversion in private may be your road to God.

            I only have limited info on a message board about people.

            Be honest with yourself.

            Have a blessed day! I will stop trying to solve your problem now and let you work on it yourself. I have enough on my own plate right now. I just wanted to give you a steer in the right direction.

            Don’t ever forget that God loves you!

          • TinnyWhistler

            “If I were you I would take a tip from Jesus and examine yourself for the cause of your indecision. ”
            What indecision? Please provide a link to where I said I’m undecided. This is what I’m talking about. I’ve told you this is false at least three times now.

            “Introversion in private may be your road to God.”
            Can you explain what you mean by introversion here?

            “I only have limited info on a message board about people.”
            So please 1) read what they’ve written to you and 2) ask questions if you’re not sure rather than assuming.

          • Glory

            I said all I care to. Let’s agree to disagree.

            God bless!

          • Glory

            I really don’t want to exchange posts with you any more. I see where you bashed Christians on another blog saying they don’t look out for their neighbors which is a false generalization.

            Go read what Bobby and Sherry Burnett are doing down at their mission in Haiti. It ought to make you eat that post.

            Also you used the word “genocide” in relation to God which is a category error and bladphemy imo of enormous proportions.

            So I see which way you are leaning. Agnostic or not.

            So I will block you now for bad mouthing Christians on the Net and for making ridiculous category errors about God,

            Apparently your logic isn’t as good as you think it is.

            Plus you are lacking perception if you fail to see all the charities that have been established and maintained purely by good Christians.

            Block now. Bye. Hope you see the light some day. Evil is communicable and apparently you lapped up a lot of evil ideas studying apologetics when you were too young to handle it.

            But there is still time to repent.

            Cya.

          • TinnyWhistler

            Quick question: What do you call the slaughter of an entire ethnic people group?

          • Glory

            Also as a believer I have true faith. An atheist he has true spiritual blindness.

            What kind of a person opts to stay in blindness?

            Both God and Satan can blind a person but the only one who will give them spiritual sight back is God.

            But there are degrees to seeing/understanding just like there seems to be levels of evil in this world.

            Pray to God for the truth on this matter.

            All these unbelievers have done is taught you how to substitute science in God’s place.

            But they have not explained how science has authority over the metaphysical.

            In their blindness they only pretend God does not exist and even go so far as attempt to erase Him.

            You decide who is being intellectually honest and who isn’t because I only see evil in unbelief.

            When Jesus told people “you are with me or against me” then no fence sitting is allowed.

            So clearly you have made an idol out of human reasoning but humans don’t reason perfectly.

            Have a blessed day! I hope you reconsider some things because nobody knows how much time he has to live in this world and living on God’s side is better.

          • Glory

            If you want to stop fence sitting do what Jesus said about examining yourself.

            I am sorry I can’t be more help but I never had a problem taking God seriously and I try to prioritize Him ahead of the world.

            Have a great day.

            Pray to God for the gift of faith and believe when you do that that you receive it.

            That worked for Derek Prince, the companion of Wittgenstein and former atheist. Or something like that. Read his testimony at the end of his book Gifts of the Spirit. Prince went on to become a worldwide evangelist.

            Peace be with you!

          • Cynthia Brown Christ

            WOW! You are so patient.

          • Glory

            Actually there is more to universalism than people think.
            But you said you read it already.

            I hope you read someone that actually expounds from the scriptures. Because details are important.

          • Glory

            I hope you have s great life. I think I need to take a hiatus from posting because I am not happy with this cross group discussion on Patheos. I feel like it promotes spiritual confusion.

            I need to get back to spending more time studying the Bible.

            It was fun talking to you for a while in spite of the trolls constant interference.

          • Brien

            This has been hilarious watching two extraordinarily stupid people debate how proven their gods are without a shred of evidence. (my superman is better than your batman…) https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1b70d65d914723385cc12cacd032b7cc8d037b57aebc224960481589989107d4.jpg

          • TinnyWhistler

            Sorry, which god am I trying to prove here? I seem to have missed that.

          • Brien

            ”I would give you the supernatural proof from the Bible but usually only believers understand and accept it.”
            Don’t you see the absolute stupidity in that statement???

            This has been hilarious watching two extraordinarily stupid people debate how proven their gods are without a shred of evidence. (my superman is better than your batman…) https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a86cc24ec7f37485cca8e5ed2f135275efb10eda6fdcb6a1e484307d563f9fb1.jpg

          • Cynthia Brown Christ

            You are a really smart, wise guy. I am enjoying reading your comments immensely.

          • Cynthia Brown Christ

            (I didn’t mean wise guy like it sounded, I meant someone who is actually wise.)

          • TinnyWhistler

            Thanks 🙂
            Kudos to you for wading through all these comments though, I only had to read them one at a time!

          • Evangelism and apologetics are both bullsh!t and you are very suited to bullsh!t.

          • Hi Glory,

            Do you want to be ‘born of the breath’ (pneuma= wind, spirit or breath). Just breathe! Breathe in deeply and slowly! Breathe in compassion and breathe out peace! you don’t need any holy books or religious gurus to find out how to do this. Just breathe!

    • Jean Camille

      God did not change; rather, Jesus fulfilled the promise of taking restoration to the next phase.

      The Bible tells of the Messiah both as Suffering Servant and as Victorious King. In that day, they opted too soon for the Victorious King—their mistake, not His.

      Merely religious people are content with rules and rituals. They would reject Jesus because they were not really seeking God anyway.

      Genuinely devout people have a heart to relate to God and follow Him. They would have seen the Spirit in Jesus and followed Him.

      I can imagine some devout people rejecting Jesus for things like His apparent blasphemy. In that case, He would have included them in His prayer for the ones killing Him, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”

      Remember, the critical issue for God is our heart attitude. Neither Abraham nor the gentile general, Naaman, had direct knowledge of God as Jesus; yet both are clearly ‘saved’. Because they put their trust in God directly, that was counted to them as righteousness.

      • TinnyWhistler

        “Genuinely devout people have a heart to relate to God and follow Him. They would have seen the Spirit in Jesus and followed Him.”
        And people have seen the spirit being communicated through Mohammed and Joseph Smith. What’s the difference?

        “Remember, the critical issue for God is our heart attitude.”

        My question is when that heart attitude became not good enough for Jews to be saved? Or any of the groups that have split off from Christians after the 1st century?

        • Jean Camille

          Re Mohammed and Joseph Smith, general understanding is that they did not rely on Jesus of Nazareth as God-man and sole Christ on whom we have to rely to become members of God’s family as an unmerited gift. Instead, they taught that we can earn our way in. That is a different spirit.

          A heart attitude of relying totally on God’s mercy and forgiveness has been, and always will be, the sole criterion for basic salvation. When we have this kind of faith in God, we are in a spiritual position where we can hear directly from God and see that Jesus is Christ and God.

          Also, the group we belong to is irrelevant; salvation is for each person individually. Regardless of whether we are Jew or gentile, a heart of faith is still ‘good enough’ today for all. Or have I misunderstood your question?

          • TinnyWhistler

            Hm. Maybe we’re coming from different faith traditions. Mine always very heavily emphasized the “No one comes to the Father except through me” bit of Jesus’ teaching and taught that belief in the divinity of Jesus is a requirement for salvation, at least after New Testament times. My pastor growing up consistently taught that by not believing in Jesus’ divinity, Jews currently worship a God of their own invention, in violation of the Commandments.

            ” Regardless of whether we are Jew or gentile, a heart of faith is still ‘good enough’ today for all. ”
            This seems to imply that you don’t believe that an individuals beliefs regarding Jesus’ divinity matter to their salvation? am I understanding you correctly?

            As to the rest of your comment:
            My point with Mohammed and Joseph Smith is that those are two examples where people came along and claimed to be speaking on God’s behalf. Much like Jesus did. Jesus spoke on God’s behalf, gave himself a number of metaphorical titles including “Bread of Life”, “The Way, The Truth, The Life” etc, mostly referred to himself as “Son of Man” and did not correct Peter when Peter called him “Son of God” and even praises him for it in Matthew. Those are some huge claims for Jews of the time to accept, and many didn’t. Similarly, most Christians do not accept the claims of Mohammed or Joseph Smith regarding their own purpose, titles, and authority.
            Where would you say the line is that makes Muslims and Mormons of a “different spirit?” Is that line the same or different for the Jews?

            “A heart attitude of relying totally on God’s mercy and forgiveness has been, and always will be, the sole criterion for basic salvation.”
            In the Old Testament law, God specifically said that sacrifice was for the forgiveness of sins. That seems in conflict with your statement here.

          • Jean Camille

            I need to clarify ‘heart attitude’. To me, it is deeper than thought, beliefs or feelings. It is an act of the will, coming from the deepest core of our spirit. When I stepped out of my childhood tradition, I did not know for sure if I was right or wrong. I stated aloud for my own sake, “God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, my Maker, my intention is to honour You, follow You and serve You. Please correct me if I am doing the wrong thing.” That honest intention expresses our heart attitude. I believe God looks foremost at that genuine intention.

            Thus, Enoch was assumed directly into heaven; Abraham’s faith was accounted to him as righteousness; Naaman, the gentile general, humbled himself, received healing and worshipped only the God of Israel the rest of his days. None of these men knew the law of Moses or Jesus of Nazareth directly; yet, clearly, they were saved.
            Point 1: Jesus said He and the Father were one. In meeting God, they met Jesus.
            Point 2: God/the Son acts outside time and space. From within time, then, as Jesus, His salvation work is retrospective, including past with present and future.
            Hence. it is true that no-one of any time comes to the Father except through Jesus.

            Jesus made it clear He considered himself God; that is why they tried to stone Him for blasphemy.
            But His deeds backed His words. At Pentecost, about 3,000 people turned their lives over to Christ Jesus. They were devout people who had chosen in their deepest heart to follow their Creator.
            I agree there is no salvation if Jesus is not God as well as Messiah. However, I disagree with your pastors’ focus as you present it. This goes deeper than intellectual assent. Humanly, it starts with the deep intention of our hearts. If we honestly choose to follow God no matter what, then we are open to hear God and will assent to the Godhead of Jesus when presented with the fact. Our intellectual assent is an outward sign of our inner commitment to follow God.

            When it came to finding my God, I searched with my whole being, not just my intellect. It was like satisfying a hunger in my spirit. Wherever I looked, no philosophies or religious systems could give what I needed. I am a finite being with infinite aspirations. The only way I found to cover the full range of my humanity is in a personal relationship following Jesus Christ of Nazareth. He keeps taking me deeper into life and purpose. The likes of Mohammed and Joseph Smith don’t even get a look in.

            On the sacrifice for forgiveness of sin, in other texts, God makes it clear that He was displeased with mere ‘lip service’. He went so far as to say obedience was better than sacrifice in such circumstances. Thus, sacrifice was valuable only if it was the outward sign of inner dedication to Him, that is, as a sign of a sincere heart.

          • TinnyWhistler

            “If we honestly choose to follow God no matter what, then we are open to hear God and will assent to the Godhead of Jesus when presented with the fact. ”

            So, you’d say that the vast, VAST majority of the Jews who lived at the time of Jesus just weren’t given “eyes to see” in the Calvinist sense? That if they’d truly been following God they’d have had no choice but to see Jesus as God?

            Do you believe that all soul-searching done by people other than Christians is not genuine, because otherwise it would inevitably lead to Christianity? Or do you believe that they’re inevitably doomed in their soul searching because they’re never going to be ABLE to see the truth, again in a Calvinistic sense?

            “Thus, sacrifice was valuable only if it was the outward sign of inner dedication to Him, that is, as a sign of a sincere heart.”
            But the outward sign WAS still necessary after the Law was given, according to Leviticus

          • Jean Camille

            I’m not familiar with Calvin but the people I hang with are not impressed with him.

            I don’t know how you are getting your deterministic bent. My reading of scripture is that God has been careful to preserve our freedom of choice in whether we join His family or not. He has also practised ‘full disclosure’ to fully inform us of the consequences of our choices.

            You mention a ‘vast majority’. How about ALL of us being without excuse, as Paul says in Romans 1 & 2? We are all responsible for our choice. Perhaps the truly alarming aspect of God here is that He will honour that choice even if it is to our detriment. He really will let us choose.

            I find it a distraction to speculate about people we will never know. We will be accountable to the extent of our actual influence. So, our concerns need focus on what we present to those who connect with us, like what we write here.

            Your questions seem a bit rhetorical. Can you please state a position so we can discuss that?

            And. yes the outward sign was still necessary. As James put it, “Faith without works is dead.”

          • TinnyWhistler

            “I don’t know how you are getting your deterministic bent. ”
            Growing up in a Presbyterian church, haha

            “He has also practised ‘full disclosure’ to fully inform us of the consequences of our choices.”
            It’s a liiiitle hard to believe this when there *are* so many arguments about that very topic! Like, a rather consequential portion of theological disagreements are about what God wants us to do and consequences for doing and not doing those things. There are some things that God’s been rather vague on but people are still convinced are *vitally important* to living one’s life as a Christian. For example: When proclaiming Peter to be “the rock,” was Jesus establishing him as what would become the first Pope? Is the church hierarchy descended from (RCC, Anglican, Orthodox, whoever) that “actually” the real church such that choosing to break away from it is an actual problem?

            “How about ALL of us being without excuse”
            Read what I wrote. I used the words “vast majority” in recognition of the fact that there were at least a dozen Jews who did see Jesus as somewhat more important than any other “false prophet” of the time. I’m talking about everybody else.

            Actually, you gave me a great way to loop around to my original question: Were Jews of Jesus day accountable (in the eternal sense) for dismissing Jesus’ statements as those of a false prophet? If someone heard about Jesus and concluded “I’m going to continue to worship the God of my ancestors, NOT this new guy who claims to be God’s son” are they eligible for salvation? In my previous comment, I asked if you think that those who rejected Jesus’ claims were 1) *unable* to accept it because they were not Elect and thus allowed by God to see the truth (sounds like you won’t agree with this one, since you asked where my “deterministic streak” comes from ) or 2) not faithful enough to see the switch between God-only and This-new-guy-is-also-God or 3) something else entirely?

            The original article was also speculative. It’s speculating about the salvation (salvation in the Christian sense, not in the BC Jewish sense) of people who 1) lived before Christ and 2) weren’t commented on specifically in the text. If I remember correctly (I haven’t reread the article today, haha) it concluded something along the lines that faith in God served the same purpose then that faith in Christ serves now.

            My question is about when that switch over happened? When did faith in the “I am the Lord your God” “No other gods before Me” God of the Old Testament become not good enough for salvation, because salvation requires faith in Jesus?

            If I’ve been probing you about your particular theological flavors, it’s because I don’t want to say “Well that’s not consistent with Calvin” if you’re not a Calvinist. I was surprised to read something that seemed sorta deterministic in what you wrote, so I tried to clarify 🙂

          • Jean Camille

            I think I get you now.

            I don’t think there was an actual switch-over.
            1. Obeying God always implied following His messengers, the prophets. So, following His Messiah continued that practice.
            2. God surprised everyone by turning up in person to fix the disconnect we had made. So, worshipping Jesus was still worship of the one true God of their fathers.

            But that was a huge ‘switch’ in itself: The God who had always been ‘up there’ and separate was suddenly supposed to be there talking to them. And your question concerns those who could not get their heads around that.

            Jesus pointed out that the religious elite and the ‘crowd’ had usually abused God’s prophets and predicted they would continue that practice with Him. Jesus also gave them ample evidence that He genuinely was from God and should be believed. This suggests the ‘vast majority’ rejected Jesus’ divinity because they ‘would’ not accept it rather than ‘could’ not. They did not reject Him by necessity but by choice or by unthinkingly going along with the crowd.

            For the core issue, imagine the poor widow who put all she had into the temple offering. It was clear that she trusted God. If she had listened to the leaders and not come to Jesus, was she lost? Because God is looking at the faith in her heart, I don’t think the answer is clear cut for us looking from the outside.

            Primarily, God looks at our heart attitude, our faith. That means our genuine mistakes can be forgiven. So, there is hope. On the other hand, that unthinking crowd is the dark underbelly of freedom. Even when we live carelessly, God takes that choice seriously.

            Jesus hid nothing. Do nothing and we stay cut off from God forever, and that is hell. Jesus told us what that would be like. Actively trust Him and follow Him, and we stay with Him forever, which is heaven.
            God made it simple. Trust and follow Jesus. Everyone can do that.

            Out of interest, how do you answer your own question?

          • TinnyWhistler

            “I don’t think there was an actual switch-over.”
            Sure, not from a Christian perspective, aided by hundreds of years of deliberation on the best way to articulate how the Trinity can be consistent with monotheism. But not from a first century Jewish perspective.

            Jesus didn’t claim to be God when he was on earth. He prayed to God. He referred to God as “Father.” At the time, wasn’t Judaism rather unique in the wider Roman culture *because* of its monotheism? Accepting that Jesus, who referred to God in the third person while on earth, WAS God would have been a switch. Before Jesus, Jews did not believe that God exists in three persons. After Jesus, Judaism as a religion did not adopt that belief. Christianity did.

            Generally, Christians believe that Judaism is a different religion from Christianity (I say generally because I have actually met someone who didn’t). One of the big difference between the two is the *possibility of* the divinity of Christ!

            The Jewish response to Jesus was 100% in keeping with Deuteronomy, in which God does NOT allow for “signs and wonders” to serve as proof of a person’s authority.

            “If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder, and if the sign or wonder of which he has spoken takes place, and he says, ‘Let us follow other gods’ (gods you have not known) ‘and let us worship them,’ you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. It is the Lord your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him. That prophet or dreamer must be put to death, because he preached rebellion against the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery; he has tried to turn you from the way the Lord your God commanded you to follow. You must purge the evil from among you”
            Deuteronomy 13: 1-5

            According to God, as written in Deuteronomy, the sign that Jews were supposed to look for to identify false prophets was “Let us follow other gods”
            It’s really easy for me to see how Jesus’ divinity would have been utterly alien to a religion whose God had very clearly said “I am the Lord your God. You shall have no other Gods before me” especially since Jesus did not claim to be that same God while on earth, but rather always referred to Him in the third person. Even Peter when asked by Christ didn’t claim that Jesus was God, but rather the son of God.

            This apparent conflict between the “faithful” response to Jesus’ actions and God’s previous (very specific!) warning about false prophets is why it’s hard for me to accept that Jews are willfully rejecting God by taking Him at His word regarding warning signs.

            I’m not quite sure what I think about various theories of salvation and how all of that works, which is partly why I asked the original question (though I’ll admit I was frustrated when I posted it and it’s more than a little testy!)
            It makes sense to me that God would want people to pay attention to past warnings He’d given such as the one in Deuteronomy, but I honestly don’t know how I’d reconcile that with the general Christian belief that Jews are not saved through their faith in God.

            Thanks!

          • Jean Camille

            I agree Deuteronomy 13:1-5 forewarns the Jews against precisely what Jesus seems to ask of them; and our conclusions about “the general Christian belief” here may be similar. But I think our reasons differ (with differing implications).

            Jesus did claim to be God, and I think that only strengthens your case. When He said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was I AM” (John 8:58), the reaction shows they saw Him as claiming to be God by quoting God. No wonder they saw Him as performing ‘lying wonders’.

            My understanding arises from Ephesians 2:8, “For by grace [that comes from God] you have been saved through faith [a decision from us], and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” A major outworking of that faith is Romans 10:9 “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Note, this key verse does not explicitly reference Jesus as God; it simply claims we need to accept Jesus as ‘boss’ and the resurrection as fact.

            So, salvation is from God. It is not delivered through what we do or believe, but through trust in Jesus. That means a mentally feeble person who cannot understand incarnation let alone believe it, may still be saved through a simple trust in Jesus.

            Conversely, Romans 1&2 says we are without excuse and other scriptures say we are good at deceiving ourselves. So, our reasons for holding back on Jesus may be genuine difficulties; but more likely, they are rationalisations for our wish to go our own way. That raises deep concern for the crowds who avoid a decision. Logically, those who are genuine but wrong may be saved, but they will be few.

            Our beliefs about Jesus count less than our basic commitment to God. The big issue for Jew or Gentile alike is that we baulk at being accountable to God.

          • TinnyWhistler

            “That raises deep concern for the crowds who avoid a decision.”
            When you say the crowds, are you referring to the large numbers of people who listened to Jesus and followed him around but didn’t ultimately didn’t believe He was divine? In an earlier comment, you spoke against following the crowd, but it seems like the crowds listened to Jesus when he talked to them about God and rejected him when he was charged with claiming to BE God.

          • Jean Camille

            I am concerned for those everywhere who are complacent, the many on the ‘broad road’ to destruction who may not have been alerted to the fate they face. Perhaps I generalised without saying so. But the same would apply to the folk in Judea.

            It says a lot were there for the show. When Jesus’ teaching got difficult, a few would have left from genuine (thus forgivable) conviction. But wrong choices are the dark side of freedom. The bulk would have left because they did not bother thinking it through and did not want to be with someone in trouble with the authorities. That leaves them culpable and responsible.

          • TinnyWhistler

            ” The bulk would have left because they did not bother thinking it through ”
            Would thinking it through have necessarily led to the conclusion that Jesus was legitimate though? That’s the main thrust of my point. What did Jesus do on earth that would have necessarily led to the conclusion that he was God, rather than a false prophet showing “signs and wonders?” From the perspective of a devout 1st century Jew. At least from reading the Gospel accounts, I can’t find much.

            The apostles’ belief couldn’t have served as proof of his legitimacy, especially if one wants to criticize people for following a crowd.

          • Jean Camille

            Look at Acts 2 and the speech by Peter. It convinced 3000 devout Jews to follow the crucified Jesus as Messiah. I was surprise at how different their thought patterns are from ours. It seems they depended mainly on how well their current situation fitted the prophetic expectations found in scripture.

            The strength of prophecy increases as the facts in the real world confound the expectations of logic. The more unlikely the set of facts, the more impressive the fulfilment of prophecy. The prophets said the Messiah would come from Bethlehem and Nazareth. That’s illogical until we see He was born in Bethlehem and raised in Nazareth. They foretold a Messiah who would be a Suffering Servant and a Triumphant King. That makes no sense until we see He is coming twice. Naturally, the Jews were hoping for a political saviour, but He came first as a servant.

            So, our modern desire for proofs based on logical necessity is irrelevant here. No amount of thinking through will ‘necessarily’ lead anywhere. I’ve seen people explain away amazing events simply to suit their agenda.

            No, our life decisions are seldom based on logic but on the set of our spirit. That is the substrate that sets the direction of our thinking. Salvation is purely from God’s generosity. It is delivered not through our ability to think but through our capacity to commit.

            For salvation purposes, bothering to think it through is valuable as a sign of that commitment.

          • TinnyWhistler

            I’m not denying that people were convinced by those “signs and wonders.” Clearly they were, starting with the apostles.That’s what I meant to acknowledge by my last paragraph.

            The tricky thing about prophecy is that usually interpretation is pretty easy: just make it say whatever you want to prove. Without any sort of Christian context or background, what would you assume Hosea 11 is talking about? It starts with:

            ““When Israel was a child, I loved him,
            and out of Egypt I called my son.
            But the more they were called,
            the more they went away from me.
            They sacrificed to the Baals
            and they burned incense to images.”

            Reading the entire passage, it seems to be talking about the exodus from Egypt and subsequent idol-worshiping throughout the years of the prophets and kings of the Old Testament. Yet, Matthew claims that the passage is prophetic rather than historical! (Matthew 2:14)

            THIS is the Biblical standard for prophecy fulfillment, as explicitly handed to us by the Gospels!

            Jewish tradition does not interpret those passages in Isaiah as necessitating the Messiah’s birth in Bethlehem nor life in Nazareth, and certainly did not before Jesus came. Interpretation of those passages in such a way came *after* Jesus’ death, by Christian scholars (both Paul and later ones). Nor did (and does) it require or even allow for the divinity of the Messiah and it certainly didn’t allow for military conflict as the result of the Messianic Age. That still remains the number one argument against Jesus-as-Messiah that I’ve heard from Jews I’ve talked to about their faith.

            Reinterpretation is fine, I don’t fundamentally have a problem with it since I don’t believe that humans are so infallible that we can’t be wrong in how we interpret ANYTHING much less hotly debated (and if you know anything about Jewish scholarship, you’ll know that “hotly” is putting it lightly!) religious texts hundreds to thousands of years old. What I have a hard time with is expecting reinterpretation to be instantly satisfying such that “our reasons for holding back on Jesus may be genuine difficulties; but more likely, they are rationalisations for our wish to go our own way.”

            Honestly, I expect that such a reinterpretation would have been significantly more controversial than, say, Joseph Smith’s revelation. Certainly LDS tradition shares much more in common with mainstream Christianity than Christianity does with Judaism. Yet, Christians reject Smith’s teachings for the most part, and don’t believe that by doing so they’re “following the crowd” and “rationalizing their wish to go their own way”

            This is where the Calvinism I was brought up with is almost easier for me to believe. Either way, faith seems fairly arbitrary if the switch from Jewish tradition to Christian one is supposed to be less of a jump than from Christian to Mormon and the question that seems to remain is whether the responsibility for where one falls lies with them (their willfully disregarding The Truth) or with God (only the elect have the ability to see The Truth). Ultimately it doesn’t matter since devout people are damned either way.

            Sorry, I’m frustrated again.

          • Jean Camille

            Understood.

            First, prophecy. Hebrews 1:1 says: “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, …” That is, prophecy is ANY communication from God to people through His prophet, not only predictions.

            Matthew 2:15 reminds us that God’s ‘son’, Israel, came out of Egypt complaining and worshipping idols. This time, God’s Son, Jesus, came out in righteousness. The prophetic element is to make the link. It tells us that Jesus came to redo the human journey, to make a righteous way from ‘Egypt’. Now each can turn from the world of selfish ‘flesh’ into the worshipful kingdom of God, our ‘promised land’. For details, @Sam Andrews and I discussed this in “How Some Christians and Unbelievers Take Texts Out of Context” in Christian Crier, July 31, 2017.

            How I ease the frustration:

            1. Even with broad concerns, my accountability is limited to me and the influence I have. That gives me workable boundaries.

            2. The Bible promises only what we need for salvation. It does not promise ALL the answers. So, I am content when answers are inconclusive.

            3. We have intellectual limits. Our reason can give only what is reasonable; it cannot give certainty. Being rational means we can rationalise; it does not guarantee truth, only that we can make up a good story. Our rational brain covers less than 10% of our connectedness anyway. So, I am content if my lived reality cannot be ‘proven’ to be ‘necessarily’ so.

            4. Note that people may be equally intelligent, well-educated and well informed, yet reach contradictory conclusions. Why? Because the differences arise from different perspectives or working assumptions. By definition, these are not provable. They arise from our spiritual orientation, a gut level choice. I expect any competent thinker to tell a logical,coherent story that reasonably covers the facts. It will be true as far as it goes. But that does not mean it is worth following. God warns that most paths will lead to destruction. Truly life-affirming paths are rare. So, I have no problem rejecting stories that have no life for me.

            5. Thankfully, God looks first at our spirit. Salvation by grace through faith implies that. Doctrinal beliefs do not decide the issue with God. It is our willingness to respond to Him and His gift. That means we are allowed to make mistakes, and when we think others are in error, we can give them time to let God correct them. All we have to do is be genuine with God.

            So, where do people stand if they decide Jesus in not the Messiah?

            Only God can read a spirit. Only He knows what is holding someone in error. I am not ready to declare an individual unsaved for sure.

            That said, Romans 1&2 shows how we all stand before God. This passage covers exceptions, but those who reject Jesus, Jew or Gentile, are responsible and indeed, are separated from God. That is alarming. When we are cut off from God, though, it is because of the spiritual attitude behind our rejection of Him.

  • pud

    There is no extra biblical evidence that any “jesus” ever existed. NONE. Only a character called “jesus” in a narrative within your storybook mentions said character.

    But of what use is reason, truth, fact to you eh jack?

    • TinnyWhistler

      Meh, there are enough extrabiblical references to a dude named “Jesus” that most scholars believe that it’s more likely than not that a person named Jesus existed, made lots of friends, and was executed at some point circa 30 CE. He’s mentioned by various Roman and Jewish historians in the 1st century.

      None of that means that anything about his life beyond “People seemed to really like him and he ded” is true, but most of the scholarship seems to indicate that he probably did exist on some level rather than being made up wholecloth the way, say, Paul Bunyan is.

      • pud

        No. There are NO contemporary accounts whatsoever. There were many actual historians in the area and none of them mention anything. A couple of later historians like Josephus mention the name but only in the context that a cult had arisen with this “jesus” as its leader.

        Aside from that debate….it’s interesting that THE MOST IMPORTANT figure EVER has debate raging about his very existence! Some awesome divine plan eh?

        • TinnyWhistler

          I get the impression that you don’t really know how the study of ancient history works. It’s all a probability game, because everyone *knows* that we don’t have perfect records.

          • pud

            Your impression would be wrong then. EVERYTHING is a probability function. Science is a probability function. The point is….If GOD decided to show up with THE MOST IMPORTANT message of all time which the fate of every living human depended….”he” did a pretty shitty job!

          • TinnyWhistler

            Oh, good you do get it. All I’m saying is that according to most modern scholarship, it’s more likely than not that some dude called Jesus existed in the early to mid first century. That’s it.

          • pud

            Most so called “scholarship” is theocratic christian “scholarship” which is an oxymoron. LOL No actual probability can be assigned to this. There is NO physical evidence whatsoever…..None…from the MOST IMPORTANT figure of all time….pull the other finger! lol

          • TinnyWhistler

            You seem to think that no non-Christian historians are interested in this.

            There’s also no physical evidence for Socrates or Spartacus but they’re also generally considered to have existed, if not exactly as they were later portrayed.

            I’m not sure why you think Jesus was the most important figure of all time, even by the account of the Gospels he didn’t make a big enough impact that contemporary Roman sources would have really cared about him. What’s more important historically is his followers and how they chose to portray him going forward.

          • pud

            I don’t think so, the lunatic believers do! The fate of every single human rests on gentle jesus meek and mild being a glorious human blood sacrifice. They say this sick meme not I. The actual existence of this “jesus” is critical to their cult. The actual existence of Socrates matters not to anyone

          • TinnyWhistler

            So? That doesn’t mean that he didn’t exist in some form.

          • Brien

            … and yet you have yet to show actual, objective evidence for your jesus
            ….besides which —
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4542b9afe02268a3e2120a40ed43a91c9c1c6e378cdc06e7a4bb8c7db7d46949.jpg what do you have that would prove that he would have been a god ??
            [especially since we have yet to see any evidence for gods either…]

          • TinnyWhistler

            I have nothing that would prove he would have been a god. All I said is that most scholarship thinks it’s more likely than not that a human called Jesus existed in the early first century. Keep up.

  • Joshua Sonofnone

    Pud, there is indeed extra-biblical evidence that Jesus existed. His birth, ministry, death, and even his resurrection are confirmed in the writings of such persons as Flavius Josephus (AD 93), the Babylonian Talmud ( AD 70-200), Pliny the Younger’s letters to the Emperor Trajan (circa AD 100), the Annals of Tacitus (AD 115-117), Mara Bar Serapion (sometime after AD 73), and Suetonius’ Life of Claudius and Life of Nero (AD 120). It is good to encounter you again. My office moved and I have been teaching, so I have had little time to answer your questions. I did see your posts here and I thought you would like to know that such evidence actually exists. I continue to pray for your eventual salvation.

  • Scott Cowen

    The old testament saint although set apart for salvation never saw the greatness of heaven until Jesus descended to the bosom of abraham to bring them up to heaven. But salvation does require works, of faith of belief of avoiding sin and growing in virtue. A man once said he who does not pray will surely be damned. Prayer is a work. Also in the old testament the sin offering was a lamb, abraham mentioned it when he went to sacrifice Isaac, the levites did this with sacrifice on the alter, the hebrews at the first passover but the defining work of this sacrifice was the requirement of eating the sacrifice. So since Jesus said He was the lamb and this is my body and I am the bread of life and to eat His flesh where are the levites today to offer the sacrifice? The priesthood of the levites was transfered to a church that offers the continual sacrifice mentioned in revelation.

  • If Jesus death on the cross is all sufficient for any human being, no matter when they were born, does this include Neanderthal man, a different species of human than Homo Sapiens who existed for some time with homo sapiens? What about homo erectus or any other species of humans who existed before homo sapiens? How does the ‘blood’ save them?

    What happens if more intelligent life is found somewhere else in the universe? Does Jesus’ “blood” save them. If so, how? If not, why not?

    • Ulf Turkewitsch

      It is not certain , by any means, that these proto-humans were human at all. Also we don’t know everything . Certainly in the sciences, or anthropology, or archaeology. With that in mind we can confidently leave the matter in Gods capable hands, and not break our brains over it. As time goes on we will k ow more about these muddy areas of research, and be able to make better assessments about them.

    • Andres Desaya

      Yes, it is certain! as long as these erectus or sapiens are humans. If ever God has other intelligent creations in other universe, they may not have fallen. but the Bible seems not to have mentioned about this except that He has created other universe of universes of universe , “heavens and heavens of heavens is the Lord’s” Deut. 10:14.
      What is well known to us is the rebellion of 1/3 of His angels. “There was war in heaven and Michael (Jesus Christ) and His angels fought against the dragon (Satan) and was cast out from heaven..” Rev. 12:7.
      Unfortunately, nothing is claimed that Jesus did die for these rebellious angels…obviously until now they are rebellious. They are damned forever.

      • If Jesus death is said to have reconciled all things in heaven and on earth, would this not include intelligent life that may exists elsewhere in the universe? Or is the story of Jesus largely made up of myths?

        • Andres Desaya

          Our first human father, Adam, fell when He disobeyed God, and that Jesus death reconciled heaven (God) and earth (humans). I don’t think this “quote or verse” is pertaining to an existence of OTHER intelligent life.
          (incling about if God has other creations other than angels and humans in other universes, we will know when we will be in heaven, if ever He has other creations, I am sure we are more loved because He allowed us to experience this pain and suffering…an extreme test and still we tried our best to follow and believe in Him, we passed the test, yeheeyyy!, do you think your friend Pud will pass this test on earth? He seems contented on what evil dictates on his head..’don’t believe’.
          Do you think God will also touch his heart if you pray for him?

          • I wasn’t thinking of the Adam and Eve story which is a myth used by the biblical author to illustrate a religious point. I was thinking of Colossians 1:15-20 and especially verse 20

            “…through him (Christ) God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven…”

            As for Pud, he is a brilliant rationalist thinker, that you could learn much from.

          • Andres Desaya

            Go back to your original question and its context “intelligent life that may exist somewhere”. Then re-read my answer.
            Pud is your teacher and tutor , could be your idol…is just an arrogant mocker, he choose to mock…he is choosing to mock…follow his way of thinking…mock with him if you want it is your choice. Could be sour grape he is…

          • To recognize Pud is a brilliant rationalist thinker, doesn’t mean nor imply that he is my teacher or tutor. It just means that a lot of his arguments make sense. Look beyond any mocking and look at his arguments.

          • Andres Desaya

            You are wrong! I never learn from him, his answer to me is “you are delusional, can you feed and dress yourself, try not to believe anything…” John Arthur your idol, your tutor, your briliant master is shallow and empty…a fool. There is nothing beyond his mockery except stupidity.
            Kind David said “a fool says in his heart ‘there is no God’ …Psalm 14:1. John Arthur beware you might be associated to a fool. Again, I say you are a lot smarter than Pud..the fool.

  • Brien

    Except for the inconvenient fact that there is still no evidence to show that this ‘jesus’ ever existed in real history.

    And even if the anecdotal stories and gossip were true, none of that could prove that this person was a god;
    Besides that, there is no proof of gods in any of the many god beliefs.

    Btw, the concept of ‘sin’ is a man-made control mechanism, and we have yet to show that any ‘souls’ are in any Hominid bodies…..

    Conclusion: You all need to just grow up !!! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3a3da755fdc7be49d43ec172d56c8186b2e29023bc305b383311aba2610880ec.jpg

  • Brien

    The Bible is a compendium of fire side tales and fables recounted orally for generations by goat herders and primitive tribes from the stone age, until writing was invented, and then again many different sources, transliterations, and versions were written down.
    There were no grand central universities to organise the many various versions of these origin stories.
    They were for entertainment, and to answer the questions of the many mysteries of our universe since there was no science yet.

    This is the old Testament.

    The ‘new’ Testes is also hearsay since these letters, ‘gospels’ and stories were written by the loyal faithful, the camp followers, not by objective historians at that particular time, or by any contemporary writers, and these tales were written many years after the supposed events of this mythical Jesus.
    Thus, there is no verifiable evidence of a Jesus.

    Then many of these stories, but not all, were compiled by one self-absorbed converted Roman Emperor for his expressed purpose of conquest and control of the people of Europe for his Holy Roman Empire.
    He recognised that this was the perfect religion/mythology for domination of the populace. Half the stories were ignored by the Nicean Bishops and none have been proven to be based on fact.

    This ‘Bible’ is backed up by absolutely no facts and evidence.