No, God Isn’t Like Some Stephen King Character We’re Supposed to Fear

No, God Isn’t Like Some Stephen King Character We’re Supposed to Fear October 25, 2017

godclown

Are we supposed to fear God? And if we did, would that be a good thing?

I’ve already tried that out, as over the years my view of God left little separation between him and an evil clown from a Stephen King movie.

In fact, my fear of God began the day I was introduced to him as a kid. I was the depraved sinner who was so bad inside that I had earned an eternity of torment– even though the brain that governs my decision making hadn’t finished developing yet. And not only had I already earned an eternity in the flames of hell– but my “loving” Heavenly Father was prepared to toss me into the lake of fire himself.

Of course, it gets worse. Being tossed into a lake of molten lava wouldn’t even kill me– the punishment the seven-year-old version of me had earned was so severe, that I would actually live forever and ever and ever, being tortured and burned alive in the flames of God’s hell.

Combine that with the fact that the Bible seems to repeatedly describe having “fear” of God as a good thing, I bought into the narrative hook, line, and sinker.

I had deep fear of God and supposedly, that was the “beginning of all wisdom.” However, instead of that fear being the beginning of wisdom it actually marked the day that functionally ended the very thing I was taught I had been created for: to have a relationship with God.

Let’s be honest: How does one have a “relationship” with someone so frightening that they might as well have come out of a Stephen King novel?

I really have no idea how it’s done. I’m not interested in even reading a book or watching a movie where the main character deliberately tortures and hurts people, let alone attempt to have some sort of relationship in real-life with someone like that. Even were one to attempt to have a relationship with someone who is willing to torture and hurt others, I don’t see how it could be a genuine or authentic relationship unless they too, took pleasure in the intentional torment of others.

Growing up I was taught there was good news in this story: Jesus could save me from what his dad wanted to do to me, because he took a violent beating in my place and can now protect me from him. All things considered, I spent years of my life actually believing this good news was pretty good.

Yet, too many years of trying to live within that narrative brought me to a season where I thought my faith had completely collapsed. I *just* couldn’t do it anymore– I’d rather believe in nothing than believe in an all-powerful being who’d dangle me over a fiery pit. More than that, I could no longer pretend that any such being was actually “loving” at all.

I suppose the biggest irony of my spiritual journey as a Christian is this: I was taught that Jesus could save me from a violent, angry God– and in the end, he actually did.

You see, when my faith collapsed I decided to start over and rebuild a Christian faith that was centered upon Jesus.

And when I did?

Well, I came to realize that the only way to describe what God is like is to describe what Jesus is like. Jesus claimed that he and the Father were one, and that when we see what Jesus is like, we’ll see what God is actually like. Even when the Gospel of John begins to introduces us to Jesus, it first reminds us that no one had actually seen God before that moment.

The only way to see what God is like, is to look at what Jesus is like.

It is God who trades up the opportunity to spend his time with the religiously pure, opting instead to recline at the table with messy people like me.

It is God who storms the halls of exclusive religion, who is busy disrupting the peace of those comfortably inside, and who clears a space for the outsiders.

It is God who stands with the condemned, boldly telling the crowd to put their stones down.

It is God who turns to them– turns to us– and says, “Neither do I condemn you.”

It is God who came and who so desperately wanted us to finally see what he is truly like, that he allowed himself to be raised high in the air on a hill outside Jerusalem for all to see.

It is God who refuses to be slandered by humanity in our descriptions of him, as if he’s some Stephen King character we’re supposed to fear.

It is God who exposed the vicious lie that we should fear him in the most dramatic plot-twist of all time– because it was God who refused to retaliate when we mocked him, spat upon him, pierced his body, and left him to die.

One must not miss the irony of the climactic moment when God’s true character was revealed to humanity: instead of inflicting upon us torture and torment, he let us do it to him

Even in that moment when his blood dripped and his body writhed in agony– a moment that would provoke rage and anger and hate in anyone– he looked upon the faces of those who did it, and forgave them.

Because of this, I stand in awe of God but I no longer stand fearful of him. I have chosen to believe Jesus when he whispers to his disciples and says, “When you see what I am like, that is the moment when you’ll finally see what God is like.”

No, God isn’t like some Stephen King character we’re supposed to fear– he’s gone to great lengths to show us that.

Today, my eyes are finally opened– it’s as if for the first time I see what God is like, because I finally see what Jesus is like.

And seeing what God is really like has led me to have something I’ve never experienced before:

A vibrant faith that is finally Unafraid.


unafraid 300Dr. Benjamin L. Corey is a public theologian and cultural anthropologist who is a two-time graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary with graduate degrees in the fields of Theology and International Culture, and holds a doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary. He is also the author of the new book, Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith, which is available wherever good books are sold. www.Unafraid-book.com. 

Be sure to check out his new blog, right here, and follow on Facebook:

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • VisionaryJax

    But Benjamin, the Bible clearly says …

    Ha ha ha ha

  • richard

    and it’s amazing how many big name celebrity christian leaders still tout how this natural disaster or a disease is God’s judgement on the sinners, the unjust, the heathen.
    It’s scary. It makes me question if they even know Jesus. So many pharisees, so few tax collectors.

  • Scott Harrison

    (I have edited my comment). I so agree with you in your rejection of this false visage of the cruel clown god, and that Jesus reveals a radical love, yet I remain uneasy about the deity we can more than glimpse in the pages of the Bible. Is this then men’s projection of their own pathological psychological states onto deity through the millennia, the Bible a kind of cloudy looking glass distorting the image we have of God until Christ reveals Him to us? It’s all bewildering and I hover between my need of the love and mercy and acceptance revealed by the Son of Man, and a sort of wariness of the god that has that cruel face in the picture….

  • Matthew

    I too struggled with this for some time Scott Harrison. As I consider the more violent images and depictions of God in the Bible (specifically in the Old Testament), I lean on what I have learned from this blog and many other sources as well. That being, when we look closely at literary genre and cultural context, we discover that not everything Israel said about God is in fact true and we also discover that not everything the Old Testament writers said illustrates God´s perfect will.

    This idea was a hard onion to bite into for me as I am coming from a fundamentalist evangelical background which believes everything in the Bible is absolutely true word for word, verse for verse.

  • Clinton Max Walker

    It’s called Stockholm Syndrome. It’s what allows people to fall in love with someone they are warned to be fearful of.

  • otrotierra

    Thank you Dr. Corey.

    U.S. Evangelicals following a monstrous hell-fire demon god have more in common with ancient pagan Roman gods than with the radical teachings of Jesus.

  • Scott Harrison

    Thank you Matthew. I too survived fundamentalism with its vindictive god, and my wariness of that particular deity and its emissaries indeed comes from that period in my life. I understand that a study of bible history and hermeneutics, text criticism etc can be a way to a more balanced conception of the Judeo-Christian God, but that strange, unpredictable, angry god is still there in the pages of my Bible. I guess detoxing from fundamentalism will be a lifelong recovery….

  • TS (unami)

    Well said, otrotierra!

  • Matthew

    Detoxing right along with ya` …

  • Cathy Pino

    Yep. And also, God’s not a “him” or a “he.” As long as we’re working toward removing all the veneers of oppression and exclusion.

  • Ben, I’m glad that you escaped from “a violent, angry God.” BUT the question is why are so many millions of other American Christians–unlike you–are avidly now embracing such a horrific god of terrible news??

    In fact, many Christian leaders are taking it a step further beyond “sinners in the hands of and angry God;”
    they now claim (like Augustine, Calvin, Luther, Beza, etc.)
    that this God they worship not only sends most humans to hell, this God actually foreordained that most humans be eternally damned before the beginning of creation,
    and
    that no human has any choice but every infant is born “sinful” and “guilty” because of Adam,
    and
    that God would only force a “limited” number of humans to go to heaven
    and
    that all of this eternal torturing would be done all for God’s “glory” and God’s “good pleasure.”:-(

    And that this God wills all natural disasters, all diseases, even all murders, rapes, and all suffering and abuse.

    This god of theirs is much worse than the most evil Stephen King villain.

  • $144948586

    Who are the leaders of these movements?

  • $144948586

    This is a good blog post.

  • Calvinist/Reformed/Augustinians such as Professor John Piper, megachurch leader Matt Chandler, leaders of the Gospel Coalition, almost half of the Southern Baptist Convention including the Founders’ Ministry, President Albert Mohler of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, all conservative Presbyterians and Christian Reformed, conservative Lutherans, some Assembly of God, etc.

    I spent 50 years countering thousands of them, reading their horrific theological tomes, etc.

    Finally, when even the Billy Graham Association began promoting them in its Decision Magazine, and a leader of the BGA told me that God only loves a limited number of humans, and that no one has any choice, etc., etc.,
    I
    gave
    up.:-(

  • $144948586

    Well I don’t like John Piper either, and Matt Chandler is a little too new from me since “leaving” Southern Baptist theology.

    Truthfully I’ve never met one who told me that “God wills…all murders, rapes, and all suffering and abuse.”

    I’ve met a few hyper-reformed that I think would stand by natural disasters and such, I’ve also met a few Universalists who would stand behind “this God wills all natural disasters, all diseases, even all murders, rapes, and all suffering and abuse.”

    As for Calvinism, I think it’s wrong–at least on one point: scope.

    But as more than half of my Christian friends are Southern Baptist and mostly Calvinist, I don’t know any who’d stand by that God wills these disasters and deaths or abuses (at least not in the sense that it’s Gods judgment).

  • John

    “33 “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? 34 Therefore I am sending you prophets and sages and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. 35 And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36 Truly I tell you, all this will come on this generation.”

    Those are the words of Jesus to the Pharisees. Should they fear God?

    I bring this up because you seem to be contrasting a childish fear of God with no fear of God, when there’s a much more mature middle ground. There’s healthy fear and there’s unhealthy fear. You seemed to have thrown away both on the basis of the prior. We ought to fear God’s righteous judgement, respecting him as Holy, while also resting in his love and peace that he has graciously offered us. This can be seen in essentially ever parable Jesus told. Many of them end with the unrighteous servant being thrown out, while the righteous person enjoys the blessings of the master. The unrighteous servant’s fear of the master is totally justified. It wouldn’t be right to tell him that he has no reason to fear. He does. On the other hand, the righteous servant has no reason to fear. For him to go around afraid of the master all the time would be unhealthy, and that seems to be the kind of fear you had as a child.

    As a side note, the story of the adulterous woman is not original to the Biblical text. It was added as a later interpolation.

  • John

    Are you talking about the Christian God, or some other god?

  • That’s another reason I gave up on Christianity after 55 years (including being at one time a Baptist youth minister, Bible teacher, missions, etc.)
    when our church here promoted Matt Chandler’s book
    The Explicit Gospel
    where he claims that all infants are in “essence, evil.” (If you need me to I can go down to our library and get our marked up copy with that statement, and worse, giving you the page numbers:-(

    As for God wills all evil, listen to Matt Chandler’s audio on the two contrary wills of God or John Piper’s article on the two contrary wills of God. Horrific stuff:-(

    Or get one of Evangelical minster (with a PhD) David Hocking’s old tapes from the 90’s when he was at Calvary Church in Tustin, California. In one tape–I think it’s in the Jonah series, he states this:
    Some one asked him, how he could know the will of God?

    Minister David Hocking stated that if something happens including all evil events, then it is the will of God. (I can get you the direct quotes if you need them.)

    Calvinist leaders such as R.C. Sproul claim that not a single molecule moves in the entire cosmos without God’s will. I’ve read and studied one of his Calvinist books twice, and plenty of articles by him.

    Also, I studied American Intellectual History under a professor who earned his PhD on the study of one famous American Calvinist.

    So tragic what they believe and promote about God.

    Generally, ALL conservative Calvinists in history, etc. strongly hold to the view like John Calvin that God before the world was created foreordained/willed/planned every single evil act.

    Some moderate Calvinists change the word from “will,” but as the famous non-Calvinist theologian Roger Olson emphasizes, what these Calvinists actually mean is “will.”

    Intriguing that you’ve only met a “few hyper-reformed” who believe this stuff.

    Nearly all of the Reformed/Calvinist/conservative Lutheran/conservative Augustinians I’ve encountered in 50 years strongly support all of this
    They
    often use the acronym:
    T
    U
    L
    I
    P

    Also, I dialogued recently with a famous Calvinist leader who believes that the Holocaust will give God glory:-(

    I’m glad that you know SBC Calvinists who reject TULIP, etc.

    But keep in mind that many SBC members think of Calvinism meaning only “eternal security,” and that they aren’t arminians, NOT that they believe in limited atonement, unconditional election, etc.

    Keep reading and discussing. I think you will soon be appalled by what the vast majority of Calvinist leaders really think. Some try and hide it, aren’t as open about it as John Piper.

    My first encounter, back when I was a Baptist preacher’s kid, was when I was 16 and met a new Bible study teacher, one who proceeded to tell us that sometimes God would command us to do what is “immoral.’ BUT that if God commands it, then it is no longer immoral.

    Then, of course, I heard the even worse stuff about being predestined to Hell (.

    At one point in my life, I no longer wanted to live.

    Thankfully, I escaped all of that.

    Thanks for the dialog.

  • $144948586

    “I dialogued recently with a famous Calvinist leader who believes that the Holocaust will give God glory”
    Whilst I reject the notion that the Holocaust was glorious, I do believe that it will give God glory. I believe the way He handles the victims will bring him glory, and I believe the way He will render judgment on the perpetrators will give God glory.

    I guess you could say I never subscribed much to SBC Calvinism–I grew up in an SBC church, but most I knew were definitely favoring Armenianism. But then there was me: I’ve always been weary of creeds, particularly creeds I couldn’t explain and that, truthfully, gave me the heebee geebies, of which reading Piper’s “Pierced by the Word” did when he talked about 9/11 and that God *perhaps* didn’t stop it because he was concerned with those persons I think in India facing mass conversion to Islam. I dunno, it was some 15 years ago when I read it, I believe. This whole counting or figuring that God’s playing some kind of cosmic chess never set right with me.

    I think it betrays one fact: our life after death is every bit in His hands as is this life. God doesn’t need to play chess–there’s no such thing as Him losing; He has the power of resurrection and restoration and making all things new. He has the ability to do these things as He sees fit, and I believe that when He does the things for us, we will gladly give Him praise, honor and glory–even if we can’t see how we’ll ever be able to on this side of life.

    Thanks to you too.

  • ayeshuratnam

    Did not God is the author of the joys of the world? Why should we give that status to Lucifer that he is the source for all the joys of the world? We have been brainwashed to believe that people who enjoy the joys of the world are destined to spend their afterlife in hell. This belief is to be jettisoned. I think one can enjoy the joys of the world without violating the Ten Commandments.

  • John

    I know of only one place in the Bible were Jesus specifically references suffering due to natural disaster, in Luke 13:1-5. He says:

    “Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4 Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”

    I think this verse has something to say to both sides of this conversation.

    On one hand, Jesus specifically says that those who died in a collapsed building were not worse sinners than those who didn’t die, but on the other hand, he uses it as an opportunity to say that all those who survived would befall a similar tragic fate if they didn’t repent.

    Would you support a Christian telling people to repent, lest they receive judgement like those who died in the hurricane? If not, why? Isn’t that what Jesus did?

  • Richard W. Fitch

    I was taught early on in my Christian journey that “fear of God” and to be a “God-fearing” person was archaic language for our reverence toward God and our obedience to the teaching in the Bible, esp. the words of Jesus found in the Gospels. For those who are KJV-only believers, it is often difficult to translate 17th century language into 21st century meaning.

  • Herm

    God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

    Genesis 1:25-27 (NIV2011)

    He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

    Matthew 12:48-50 (NIV2011)

    I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.

    John 14:18-20 (NIV2011)

    Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

    John 1:12-14 (NIV2011)

    After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

    Acts 4:31 (NIV2011)

    And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

    John 14:16-17 (NIV2011)

    As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

    Matthew 3:16-17 (NIV2011)

    Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.”

    John 1:32-34 (NIV2011)

    When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

    Matthew 28:17-20 (NIV2011)

    John, according to Jesus Christ in the Christian Bible male and female, then and today, are His siblings of God upon whom the Spirit came down and remained. Baptized is to be filled, immersed and whelmed by the Spirit of God. Those who boldly speak the word of God on earth today are in God and God in them, as they are children of God; as Christ is the Son of Man through carnal birth and the Son of God in the Spirit. Have you heard, “This is my daughter, whom I love; with her I am well please”, or, “this is my son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased”? I have, both.

  • John, in defense of your argument, you say, “As a side note, the story of the adulterous woman is not original to the Biblical text. It was added as a later interpolation.”

    Well, John after language translations of Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew into other foreign languages, then omissions and additions added to later Bible editions, then the King James version being edited three times, then King James being modified by NKJV, NIV, NLT, ESV, CSB and among others…what makes you think that the book in your hand you now call the Bible is original and not, as ya say, interpolated…

  • John

    Textual criticism makes me think that. We have extremely high certitude that the text we currently have in the Bible is incredibly close to the original books. There are only a few section that we aren’t sure about, and none of those parts contain vital theology.

    I’m not sure why you would mention something like the KJV when our modern translations use sources that all come before the KJV.

    I also didn’t say that in defense of my argument. It was just a quick addition on the end. Progressives absolutely love that story because it agreed with their point of view, not because it’s genuine Biblical testimony.

  • John

    I’m not sure what your point is. No, I have not heard, “This is my daughter, whom I love; with her I am well pleased,” in reference to Jesus… because that isn’t ever said about Jesus.

    Jesus always referred to himself as the “Son.” He also referred to the “Father.” Every pronoun and verb in reference to them is also masculine. (Note that the Holy Spirit is referred to as both neuter and masculine) No one in the Godhead is referred to as feminine.

    I will say, I don’t think God is male in the same way people are male. He is not gendered like we are gendered, but that doesn’t change the fact that Jesus shows us to refer to God as ‘He’ and not ‘She’ or ‘It.’

  • Herm

    As far as the present Christian Bible is concern: Jesus never referred to himself as the Son of God. Jesus referred to himself 81 times as the Son of Man. Jesus talked of his Father both as his and our Father.

    How many female authors do you know of who wrote the Christian Bible?

    God is a plurality, not an individual. God is one bound in all love. God is spirit, not physical. The image of God is spirit, not carnal.

    The Word in the beginning was not Jesus, the Christ/Messiah, but is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit, the Advocate, the Spirit of truth, the Counselor, and many more depictions related to by mankind; neither male nor female but is the one all of God, male and female, is immersed in and with, including our Father, His Son Jesus, the mother, and all daughters and sons bound in all love.

    You are correct in your thinking, God is not male, or female, the way people are male, or female. God is an immortal plurality that does not propagate so that Their species might survive, as does mankind, so sexuality has nothing to do with God’s gender distinctions. The only two members (separately distinguishable awareness and influence of heart, soul, strength, mind) of God, other than sisters, brothers and mother, that the Messiah speaks of are He and the Father.

    1,800+ years ago mankind and the children of God then could not even bear the fact that the earth was an insignificant little round planet tucked out on the edge of the universe 14.5 billion years since the creation of the physical cosmos. We can bear to accept that truth, today.

    I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

    John 16:12-13 (NIV2011)

  • John

    **

  • Realist1234

    feminism gone mad.

  • Realist1234

    Ben, is judgement not a rather scary thing for a human being?

  • Herm

    It is relevant because there is only one reason that mankind is traditionally, when related to as a single plurality, called by the pronoun “he”. It is the gender of the author that determines which gender that a plurality is referenced by in the singular. Men and women were not made in the image of God (who is first written of as “we” and “our”) but the singular species Man (written of as a they) was. Men and women weren’t actually made in the image of God anymore than God made all there is in six days, beginning to end.

    In reality mankind was graced, as the physical animal species who had evolved to where they could bear it, the spirit image of God/Allah/eternal divinity of united awareness and influence. The Father is a he. Jesus was born with male appendages and would be referred to as a he. There is a mother of God and sisters of God who are referred to as each a she. I have no need to know whether God is a majority of female, male or neuter because it means nothing to my awesome Father’s will or my awesome Lord Brother’s judgment. Love knows no gender.

    I don’t take what I like out of the Bible because I take only as I am taught by the Teacher. The Bible is not my teacher. The word of God I speak is not the Bible.

  • Herm

    Not nearly as scary as your mother’s and/or father’s judgment when you were their little experimenting child.

  • Herm

    … that’s a very macho thing to say!

  • John

    Herm, you are your own teacher. You decide what you like, you decide what you don’t like, and you are the standard at the end.

    Whether right or wrong, you follow the Religion of Herm, where Herm is the sole arbiter of what is true and what is false.

  • Herm

    John, then it is you who takes from the Bible only what you like, or have been traditionally taught by ….

    “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

    Luke 14:26-27 (NIV2011)

    The word disciple means no more than pupil.

    You know where it is written that for disciples of Christ there is only one Teacher, one Father and one Instructor.

    I don’t really have to explain to you that Acts 4:31 chronicles in the Bible the word of God spoken before the Bible, do I?

    Do you follow the religion of the Sadducee, Pharisees, scribes, high priests or the word of God as your heart, soul, strength, mind is immersed as one with and in the spirit of God? There is only one Spirit of truth and she is neither Herm nor John.

  • Bones
  • Matthew

    Might he say there is no judgement?

  • John

    Can you point to the part of the Bible I don’t take from? As is possible, I try to follow the idea of tota scriptura as best I can. I look at the totality of scripture, trying not to take any single part on it’s own.

    Yes, of course the word of God was spoken before the writing of the Bible, but we don’t have that written down, do we? What we have is the Bible.

  • “Incredibly close to the original books”…John, how can you say that and in the same breath condemn the original Jewish-Christian Q as made-up?

    If you’re not that versed in the KJV, then I’ll tell you why I said that. Do you really think what Paul and the authors of the four gospels wrote is really in the KJ version you’re holding in your hands right now? There are no original copies of those, so as a result, interpretation, omissions and admissions were incorporated over time. The 1611 King James Bible had a large number of verses that all modern translations today do not include. The KJV, itself was a revision of the Bishop’s and that was a revision of the much older, Great Bible with excerpts included from the Geneva Bible. Since the 1611 original KJV, it has been revised in 1769 (AV), 1833 (Oxford) and 1873 (Cambridge).

    Not only this, but the original KJV was not translated from one language, but form four: Koine Greek, Aramaic, Hebrew and Latin Vulgate. So, still John, you seem to be a contradiction in terms when you denounce the adulterous woman as not an original, but yet defend the whole of the Bible and what’s wrong with progressives loving that story, the same as Jesus would? Besides as of today’s current events, most assuredly Jesus, as a savior of the destitute, afflicted and poor…he most assuredly would be in the liberal’s camp…

  • Herm

    John, you answer your own question when you use the term tota Scriptura, or its companion phrase sola Scriptura, because you declare a belief in the inspiration, authority, and completeness of God’s Word, the Bible. The Bible isn’t God’s word, it can’t be. In your Bible these are witnessed to as from the mouth of Christ:

    “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

    John 14:15-21 (NIV2011)

    “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

    John 16:12-15 (NIV2011)

    You do not declare that you accept, apparently because you do not see nor know him, the Spirit of truth. If you did, were with and immersed in the Holy Spirit, how could you possibly attribute “completeness” of God’s Word” to the Bible? What possible purpose could the Bible serve you beyond being the pointer to your salvation from the Pharisaical teaching, writing, traditions and pagan rituals that crucifies children of God today by human authorities that still do not recognize the Spirit of God in their midst?

    It was by the authority of the Pentateuch, and its interpretations by the Pharisees, Sadducee, scribes and high priest, and their councils, that the Messiah was crucified. Why would you believe that the Bible is interpreted any more credibly by you without the Spirit of truth guiding you into all truth? Caiaphas had the authority, according to the Pentateuch, to council directly with the Holy Spirit in the Holy of Holies. Do you believe he did? You have, thanks to the curtain before the Holy of Holies tearing top to bottom on Jesus’ last breath, the opportunity to council with the Spirit of truth to know for certain whether I am actually speaking the word of God, or not. Instead you lean on the Bible as your authority with the support of council from your church studies.

    There is no carnal church that is Jesus’ church. All worship led by my High Priest is spirit. There is no authority that can exceed all authority and all authority in spirit in heaven and on earth is Jesus’ given to Him by our Father. Right in your Bible it supports my testimony that I am in Jesus and Jesus is in me. That is the part of the Bible you do not take from with no less worldliness than had Caiaphas and his council, or the crowd yelling to Pilate, to crucify the Son of God.

  • Bones

    And they did all perish…..when Jerusalem was sacked by the Romans….

    Millions died or were thrown into slavery.

    Notice that after these verses Luke/Jesus then goes onto reference the cutting down of the fig tree ie Pharisaic and Temple Judaism……which then leads into another dispute with the synagogue officials….and the Pharisees later in the chapter.

    That’s why it’s always helpful to read the whole chapter.

    Luke didn’t have Jesus rambling about spiritual events and then Judaism…..it’s all linked.

  • richard

    John – not sure if I understand what you are trying to say, but I think the book of Job also sheds light on this subject. Natural disasters and disease are not judgement for sin. that is my point. but to encourage repentance is a good thing.

  • Bones

    How, praytell, has the handling of Holocaust victims been glorious?

    Gay Holocaust survivors weren’t released after the Holocaust – they were put back in prison by the allies.

    It was one of the few Hitler laws which weren’t changed until the70s. And no SS doctor was ever charged with torturing pink triangle prisoners.

    I’m intrigued as to the glory of justice of sending gay people and their torturers to eternal punishment.

  • Bones

    More like you’ve created god in your own image with a thirst for revenge….

  • Bones

    God doesn’t have a penis nor XY chromosomes….Get over yourself.

  • Bones

    It’s unfortunate that people continue to limit God and think about God using anthropomorphic terms.

  • otrotierra

    U.S. Evangelicals need to ask themselves why it’s so important that their god has (male) genitals.

  • John

    Here are some things that I haven’t ever said:
    – That the ‘Q’ document doesn’t exist
    – That the KJV is a good translation. It’s adequate to reach all the same theological conclusions, but as far as source material goes, it is far inferior to something like the NASB.

    Are you sure you’re responding to the right person?

  • John

    I’m saying that Jesus linked the collapse of that tower with judgement for sin, in the sense that all people are sinners and deserve judgement. Jesus says that those listening will also perish in a similar way if they don’t repent.

    An equivalent with the hurricane might be, “Hey, do you think those people in Puerto Rico are greater sinners than you? No, they sure aren’t. You are just as bad as them! Repent so that you don’t perish just like they did.”

  • richard

    I understand now.
    And I was referring to the preachers that say a disease or disaster is God’s judgement on sinners. But it would seem that God’s judgement is not for our sins, but for our lack of repentance. Our sins were taken care of at the cross. Agree?

  • Richard Worden Wilson

    To fear God is the beginning of wisdom. Too simple to be true? Yup, perfect love casts out fear. But growing into perfect love isn’t necessarily as simple as narrating our own personal journey through theological perversions of biblical truths. I do appreciate your personal experience of God loving and accepting you as a faithful follower of His, reborn by the Spirit and adopted into his loving family. Knowing God as the judge of we unholy and sinful creatures is not an idea you can critique through the lens of distorted personal experience. We all need to go beyond our perverted perspectives into a whole other relational context that may not be easily described. Your story is helpful, however.

    Sorry, I haven’t shared your experience of being indoctrinated into false interpretations of biblical revelation of who God is and what He intends to do so I can’t easily comprehend what seem to be your rather either/or antithetical conclusions. I trust that you are implicitly calling others to come see what Jesus has revealed to those whom he has given eyes to see; but I would rather that you made that necessary faith-relationship a more central part of how others might come to see God as loving savior, however nonetheless as still the judge to be feared if one is not living by faith in Christ.

  • Richard Worden Wilson

    Bones, you have never in my reading of your comments suggested that biblical revelation, which is the only historical record of the God who has revealed himself to humanity over against those who do actually create God in their own image, is in any sense worth considering to be true, so your critique seems a whole lot like a projection onto those you judge as idolaters of your own false conclusions.

  • Bones

    Your Jesus be like…..

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fcc63ae6f878d4c67a3a7ad9c7d3dca072e4673573489c205ded5b6baa6f531e.jpg

    One can only assume that there are 2 different Jesus’s: the one in the gospels and the torturer.

  • Bones

    Except ‘biblical revelation’ reveals nothing other than the thoughts of people who were writing at the time.
    What you’ve done is exalt the Bible and its authors to divine status which is patently false. You’ve embraced their projections eg their need for revenge as your own.

  • Bones

    Lol The Q (or whatever you want to call it) document does exist……

    An example of the similarities between Matthew, Luke and Thomas but not in Mark….

    Gospel Matthew
    10.34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 10.35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; 10.36 and a man’s foes will be those of his own household.

    Gospel Luke
    12.51 Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division; 12.52 for henceforth in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three; 12.53 they will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against her mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”

    Gospel Thomas
    16) Jesus said, “Men think, perhaps, that it is peace which I have come to cast upon the world. They do not know that it is dissension which I have come to cast upon the earth: fire, sword, and war. For there will be five in a house: three will be against two, and two against three, the father against the son, and the son against the father. And they will stand solitary.”

    Gospel Matthew
    24.43 But know this, that if the householder had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have watched and would not have let his house be broken into. 24.44 Therefore you also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

    Gospel Luke
    12.39 But know this, that if the householder had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into. 12.40 You also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an unexpected hour.”

    Gospel Thomas
    21Therefore I say to you, if the owner of a house knows that the thief is coming, he will begin his vigil before he comes and will not let him into his house of his domain to carry away his goods. You, then, be on your guard against the world. Arm yourselves with great strength lest the robbers find a way to come to you, for the difficulty which you expect will (surely) materialize. Let there be among you a man of understanding.

    An excellent resource for comparing gospels and Paul is

    The Five Gospels Parallel
    http://sites.utoronto.ca/religion/synopsis/

  • Bones

    And you would be wrong….because Luke was writing after the terrible events in 70CE.

    CONTEXT! CONTEXT! CONTEXT!

  • Herm

    Since the beginning of chronicling their sense of an eternal, omnipotent, omnipresent intelligence outside themselves mankind has tried to define God/gods to fit themselves rather than simply being positively thankful for the opportunity to contribute in all humility to their flicker of awareness and influence. We seem to be the only life species on this planet that truly cares to pursue beyond our ignorance and, at the same time, the only species that tries to explain all others only within the parameters of our own spectrum of considered potential. We think about our domesticated pets using anthropomorphic terms as well as God. We have a very difficult time coming to grips in empathy with all others outside our space.

    We do have, within us all, an image of the eternal spirit before the big bang that we to try to explain and cater to with temporal, earth bound and carnal expectations. If we only realized and were simply thankful for the grace of opportunity to be aware and influential for the good of all for all time no matter our how minutely little we have at our command. God gives us the opportunity to join with Them, in Their oneness of empathy, compassion, tolerance and forgiveness, if only we accept the limitations of infancy without exalting ourselves to be God.

  • Bones

    It does lead to some bizarre theology such as Paul’s comment that men are the image and glory of God while women are the glory of man.

  • Realist1234

    From what I have read of Ben’s previous posts, he seems to agree there will be some sort of judgement, and then annihilation for those who are not ‘saved’. Although he has ‘flirted’ with the idea of universalism, he doesn’t seem to accept it, at least not yet.

  • Ulf Turkewitsch

    To Daniel Wilcox: It is a very difficult exercise to understand predestination. Why? Because it actually originates outside of time. The results, at the end of time, are also not known right now. It also is the prerogative of God , who knows oodles of things that we do not know. As such all of human understanding of predestination will be terribly skewed and patently inncorrect.

  • Matthew

    What point are you trying to make about judgement Realist1234?

  • Realist1234

    That fear and judgement typically go hand in hand. Ask anyone standing in a court waiting to hear the verdict.

  • Matthew

    So … should people who are not “saved” then fear God?

  • $144948586

    “How, praytell, has the handling of Holocaust victims been glorious?”
    Bones, this life is not all there is to our story. As Jesus told us, “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
    I’ve no idea how we will find glory in it except to say that God will judge each according to his works and that it will be just, and, as He tells us, He is in the process of making all things new, and that He will wipe away every tear.

    I’m not saying God is motivated by His glory in some narcissistic fashion (which I think is the primary thing Piper and Calvinists get wrong); I think that God is motivated by His love, AND THIS IS GLORIOUS.

    “I’m intrigued as to the glory of justice of sending gay people and their torturers to eternal punishment.”
    I’ve never made this claim, Bones. I can see the hypocrisy of being a victim of a murderer and being consigned to the same hell and calling that “good”.

    This was pretty glorious:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckbWo7O0V-I

  • ? I wasn’t writing in particular about “predestination” as such. All the years that I was a Christian, 55, during the time I was a Bible teacher, elder, missions worker, youth minister, etc, I strongly did support the theological concept of predestination.

    What we Baptists (Anabaptists, Quakers, etc.) strongly opposed was one particular abhorrent form of predestination, that of Augustinian/Reformed/Calvin/Luther/Sproul/Piper/Chandler/Dabney/Beza/Hodge, Synods of Dort/Westminster Confession, etc. deterministic predestination.

  • $144948586

    “Ask anyone standing in a court waiting to hear the verdict.”
    I’d argue that this is mostly due to the violent nature by which our system of justice is supported.
    I mean good and decent citizens generally get shaky when pulled over for a busted tail light.

  • $144948586

    “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”

  • John

    Bones is a troll, as far as I can tell. He was the very first person I blocked on Disqus, and I’ve only blocked like 4 people.

  • John

    Can you please quote an evangelical leader saying that God has male genitals?

  • Matthew

    Thanks Josh. Now a progressive thought please re: the quoted scripture verse.

  • $144948586

    I’m afraid I don’t follow

  • saffiregal

    Matthew- Try the gospel of Matthew 10:28. –Only God can kill or completely destroy both body and soul. Hell is the grave, no conscience or memory. Gehenna symbolizes no chance of a future resurrection. That’s the punishment for unforgiveable sin.

  • saffiregal

    All mankind, male and female are created in Gods image, meaning they are given the attributes and capacity of love, wisdom, justice, and power. Man was created first before Eve. The Apostle Paul was speaking about women covering their heads to the glory of man. A sign of honoring his headship. Of course that doesn’t mean a woman is lesser. They are equal in the eyes of God. She can still question and give him her opinion. Recall God told Abraham to listen to Sarah.

  • Herm

    What makes Bones a troll to you?

  • Herm

    The dead know nothing, have no longer any influence, and are finally forgotten.

  • John

    Herm, we may disagree on basically everything, but I would never block you. Why? Because you’re calm, you try to respond with honesty, you don’t call people names, etc.

    On the other hand, Bones does the opposite. His entire modus operandi is to attack people, personally or otherwise, aggressively dismiss anything he disagrees with as stupid, etc. He’s added literally nothing valuable to any discussion I’ve seen him post in.

  • Realist1234

    Yes because those who actively reject Jesus and His message will face judgement and likely final death. Why would you not fear that? Only human arrogance would think its nothing to worry about…

  • Herm

    John, for your sake, look a little bit deeper. Bones may be caustic to you but he is very well educated and does know what he is talking about. He only attacks that which attacks others. He does not search you out, throughout the web, finding joy in belittling you. If you implore him to explain his manner and his point he will.

    In Internet slang, a troll (/ˈtroʊl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting quarrels or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal, on-topic discussion, often for the troll’s amusement.

    Believe me, please, Bones does not provoke or disrupt for his amusement. He is very serious and all of us can learn from what he has to offer. There is nothing, ever, without focused and constructive purpose inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic in his comments. If you don’t know how to respond then perhaps you should actually figure out why, rather than block him in your quest for the truth.

    Just my suggestion for your consideration as to just why you participate here, supporting your ideas comfortably or the truth that just might not feel so desirably comfortable.

    Bones pulls no punches because what we are learning to apply here is truly life and death for all of us, carnal and spirit. He has shaken me out of my ignorance many times in the last couple years here. We learn more from our discomfort than from our ease.

  • John

    Oh, I attempted to discuss with him many times before blocking him. He proved time and time again to be more interested in derision than discussion.

    There’s a difference between “pulling no punches” and looking to belittle those who disagree with you. Personally, I don’t care. He’s a random internet poster. I honestly couldn’t care less what he thinks about me. I didn’t block him because he offends me. I blocked him because reading his posts was a waste of my time. Every response he made prompted me to engage, and then I remembered my previous attempts and held back.

    Just for fun, I went back and looked at the last few comments between Bones and I, here they are:

    Bone’s first comment towards me:

    Lol what a dumb response.
    All you can do is shine the light on his idiocy and let his posts reveal how indoctrinated he is.

    His second comment:

    Lol…the problem is with you and your assumptions. You’re just making shit up which you can’t even substantiate from the Bible and which we have abundance evidence and studies of in science.
    Because what? It threatens your dogma of a mythical divine Judgement.
    You are an animal.
    Angels aren’t real.
    Highly developed animals capable of reciprocity and empathy are.
    Is this clown brain washed or what?

    His 3rd comment:

    The Bible says nothing about the moral aptitude of animals.
    That’s nonsense you’ve made up to fit your dogma.
    You are an animal.

    His 4th comment:

    You’re the one using the term ‘moral agent’, you define it derp.
    Still having a sook I see.
    Can you show us in the bible where it says animals have no morality.
    They probably have more morality than the likes of you who define people by dogma.

    Do those seem like comments from a person looking for honest discussion or a person looking to demean and attack?

  • The Bible, in its typical surfeit of clarity containing multiple unambiguous (and completely incompatible) also states, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

    So. One wonders.

  • corky

    Do you have any religious beliefs at all now Daniel?

  • from my website:
    http://infiniteoceanoflightandlove.blogspot.com/2017/10/to-live-in-light-to-act-truly-human.html

    “A committed theist, humanist, Enlightenment ethicist, moral realist, free-seeker–an avid seeker of the Good, the True, the Beautiful, and of equality, peace, justice, mercy, compassion, purity, generosity, and so forth. I try and model my life on Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount and his parables such as the Good Samaritan. I’ve a deep passion for worldwide outreach to those in need. Loving and living for the Divine–Ultimate Reality in whom we love, move, and have our being.”

  • Matthew

    What do more progressive types have to say about these verses? Is there indeed a final judgement and the possibility of souls and bodies being destroyed in hell?

  • Herm

    He’s a random internet poster.

    Bones: 14,560 comments with 26,522 up votes.

    John: 4,734 comments with 1,558 up votes.

  • Bones

    Lol……

  • Bones

    Dude, it’s good to see you’ve saved my comments…There’s hope for you yet.

  • Bones

    No…..Here’s the thing….Is Matthew making a theological point or is he using parables and hyperbole to encourage his community who were undergoing Jewish persecution????

    eg Matthew 10

    5 These twelve Jesus sent out after instructing them: “Do not [f]go [g]in the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans; 6 but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And as you go, [h]preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven [i]is at hand.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give. 9 Do not acquire gold, or silver, or copper for your money belts, 10 or a [j]bag for your journey, or even two [k]coats, or sandals, or a staff; for the worker is worthy of his [l]support. 11 And whatever city or village you enter, inquire who is worthy in it, and stay [m]at his house until you leave that city. 12 As you enter the [n]house, give it your [o]greeting. 13 If the house is worthy, [p]give it your blessing of peace. But if it is not worthy, [q]take back your blessing of peace. 14 Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet. 15 Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city.

    Once again, it applies to the lost sheep of Israel…..Take Capernaum for example where Jesus is rejected. It was gradually deserted over centuries. It certainly wasn’t destroyed with fire and brimstone…I mean is Jesus going to rebuild Capernaum to obliterate it…..

    And Matthew was writing after the Destruction of Jerusalem in 70CE……that is the context….

    Mark (the original) of course has a totally different understanding….

    Mark 4 :22 equivalent to Matthew 10:26

    For there is nothing hid, except to be made manifest; nor is anything secret, except to come to light. 4.23If any man has ears to hear, let him hear.” 4.24And he said to them, “Take heed what you hear; the measure you give will be the measure you get, and still more will be given you. 4.25 For to him who has will more be given; and from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.

  • Bones

    Really???

    Death doesn’t scare me.

    Neither does non-existence.

    And I don’t know why God would want to kill me.

    Edit: Why would Jesus want to kill me?

  • Bones

    I was referring to gay holocaust survivors….and any comments about the afterlife are pure speculation.

    Thousands of those were murdered as well….and unlike the Jewish holocaust victims they weren’t released but held under Hitler’s anti-gay laws.

    Is Jesus going to continue the holocaust against gay people as conservatives believe?

    “I can see the hypocrisy of being a victim of a murderer and being consigned to the same hell and calling that “good”.”

    Well that’s interesting….Do victims not go to hell? Eg gays and atheists murdered by ISIS?

    I find the whole thing a bit rich…. that God allows the Holocaust then is going to glorify himself by finally getting around to doing something about it…..

    As for the video, it is glorious that people forgive others when wronged. Corrie Ten Boom relates the story when she encountered her concentration camp guard in prison after the war.

    A shame that God can’t do that.

  • Bones

    You are aware that even your eisegesis shows Paul is writing pure nonsense

    1 Corinthians 11

    2Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you. 3But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ. 4Every man who has [something] on his head while praying or prophesying disgraces his head. 5But every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying disgraces her head, for she is one and the same as the woman whose head is shaved. 6For if a woman does not cover her head, let her also have her hair cut off; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, let her cover her head. 7For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. 8For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; 9for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake. 10Therefore the woman ought to have [a symbol of] authority on her head, because of the angels. 11However, in the Lord, neither is woman independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. 12For as the woman originates from the man, so also the man [has his birth] through the woman; and all things originate from God. 2Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you. 3But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ. 4Every man who has [something] on his head while praying or prophesying disgraces his head. 5But every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying disgraces her head, for she is one and the same as the woman whose head is shaved. 6For if a woman does not cover her head, let her also have her hair cut off; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, let her cover her head. 7For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. 8For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; 9for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake. 10Therefore the woman ought to have [a symbol of] authority on her head, because of the angels. 11However, in the Lord, neither is woman independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. 12For as the woman originates from the man, so also the man [has his birth] through the woman; and all things originate from God. 13Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a woman to pray to God [with her head] uncovered? 14Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him, 15but if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her? For her hair is given to her for a covering. 16But if one is inclined to be contentious, we have no other practice, nor have the churches of God.14Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him, 15but if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her? For her hair is given to her for a covering. 16But if one is inclined to be contentious, we have no other practice, nor have the churches of God.

    I mean let’s answer Paul’s questions…..

    Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a woman to pray to God [with her head] uncovered? Yes…..they do it everyhwere.

    Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him, 15but if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her? Paul, dude, Jesus had long hair…….No it doesn’t.

  • Oscar Scott Oliver

    Yes, I know the story well, but I can’t say that I had that kind of feeling. The saying, “Lost in translation” certainly applies to the Bible. I don’t know when I came to believe that “Fear” would be better translated as “Awe”, but I do believe that is a better word to use. Today we emphasize God’s compassionate love and mercy, but Jesus also taught us that the mercy we show to others will be the standard of mercy that we will receive from God. I have met some Christians that cleave to the great mercy of God, but they themselves are merciless.

  • Bones

    That’s not what OT said. OT said that their god IS a demon. A divine being out to destroy the human race especially those who don’t assent to their claims.

    And that’s fairly rich coming from you……

  • saffiregal

    The dead who are resurrected from the grave are rewarded with life again. Only God can destroy both the body and soul where there is no chance of a resurrection.

  • saffiregal

    I believe the word hell is misinterpreted. There is no place of torture after death and there is no conscience until one is given life again. The punishment is no chance of a resurrection. Evangelists often take scripture as literal and fail to understand the symbolic meanings, especially in the book of Revelation.

  • saffiregal

    I disagree when you say Paul was speaking nonsense. Back in the first century traditions were different. I do not wear a head covering when my spouse prays for us. My hair is not even shoulder length.

  • saffiregal

    Though 2 books are named after women, Ruth and Esther.

  • Bones

    Lol….comes on a blog to attack others then cries when they are attacked.

    Some people need to eat some cement and harden the f*** up.

  • Bones

    Wtf!!!!

    Good for you….

    Jesus had long hair btw…..

    It’s unfortunate that people can’t ‘judge for themselves’ but believe everything they’ve read.

  • Bones

    And YHWH was married…..

  • saffiregal

    There are different types of fear. For example, if I intentionally ignored my parents loving guidance (as they knew what was best for me) I knew I would pay for it after the fact. My punishment from them was being told off and possibly grounded. I was never physically smacked.

  • saffiregal

    I truly doubt his hair was long.

  • saffiregal

    LOL- but not literally in the sense we humans marry.

  • saffiregal

    Well I guess you have your opinions, Bones. The scriptures do not enlighten those who refuse to take it seriously. That’s your way out.

  • Matthew

    I was simply trying to get some progressive input into the verse(s) you shared which I assume you wanted me to interpret literally?

  • When you said, “the Bible seems to repeatedly describe having ‘fear’ of God as a good thing” you finally stumbled on the truth.
    Why that did not blossom into faith is too bad. Apparently you had a chance that is denied many, many others who don’t know God at all.
    Whoever taught you that “I was taught that Jesus could save me from a violent, angry God” teaches the same misinformation as you do.

    When you said, “when my faith collapsed I decided to start over and rebuild a Christian faith that was centered upon Jesus,” notice the I in your statement. That is the root of your problem. You have elevated yourself above God deciding what is right and what is wrong just like Adam and Eve; but you can’t see that. The evidence of that is what you write in these blogs. It is all your personal opinion cloaked in your “Jesus” theory that comes from the bible; a book you do not respect outside of the verses you choose to accept. Notice that for all your studies, translations, articles and blogs, it is your decisions that you promote.

    You also said, “Because of this, I stand in awe of God but I no longer stand fearful of him.” This statement assumes you are on the same team with God looking at the rest of us poor Christians who are not as enlightened as you. Who told you that?

    Last you said, ” Today, my eyes are finally opened– it’s as if for the first time I see what God is like, because I finally see what Jesus is like.” God says differently in many, many places; but wait, you don’t believe in those parts of the bible. Really?

  • Your thoughtful comment is over the head of most on this site. See the cartoon below for example.

  • Bones, as I have told him many times, must live in a mental institution in Australia with computer access.

  • There is nothing to learn from Bones as he is not trying to educate only belittle.

  • Herm

    Thank you, and that is no insignificant thing. As patriarchal as the Christian Bible seems there are many women painted within by a very respectfully positive brush as contributors to God’s will.

  • Well said….

  • That just shows you the level of understanding of the people on this site; not very good.

  • John

    I don’t quite understand what point you’re making. Are you saying that him having lots of posts means that he’s less of a random internet poster?

    As a side note, I’m also a random internet poster. I don’t feel entitled to anyone’s response. My hope is that I’m giving enough of a reasoned argument as to make people want to respond.

  • Markee B

    Wow, Bob. I think you missed the point that Dr. Corey was making. There is a huge difference between a terrifying fear of God and a reverential respect or awe of a merciful, loving Father. The first imprisons the soul in religious performance that can never please the Father’s heart and the later is the revelation of our Father’s unconditional love. I implore you to meditate upon John 1:17-18, Christ as the perfect representation of Father God. Moses had a glimpse, the Prophets, David, Psalmists, all had partial glimpses. but Jesus is the full, complete revelation of our Father. Jesus called our Father, Abba = “Daddy”, it’s a “Love” thing. Blessings and Peace be upon you as God’s Love fills you.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/62a2504895f2eab5851c2f8b8a862e8344f4f4cda5411d3830fad1f5033475ca.jpg

  • Herm

    This is will be in statement form meant to be only a consideration that many today are ready to bear and were not a the writing of the Bible.

    All that is carnal (physical) life, having the image of God to consider personally, is formed from the elements of the world that they dependently incubate within. Dust to dust and ashes to ashes (Genesis 2:7, Genesis 3:19, Job 7:21, Psalms 146:4, 1 Corinthians 15:47, Hebrews 9:27) are relative to life of the physical body. The Sadducee, very educated students of scripture, sincerely believed that there was no resurrection possible. The Pharisee, very educated students of scripture, sincerely believed that resurrection was possible. Both bodies of authorities to scripture, by their choice to be sectarian, played a significant part in supporting the crucifixion of the Son of God.

    1 Corinthians 15:35-58 speaks very well to the origination and the separation of, as you put it, body and soul. I draw a distinction there because I am not required to love the Lord my God with all my soul alone, there are three more parts of me, involved to inherit (as a child of God who is spirit) eternal life, that must each together, also, love to the most I can bear.

    Ecclesiastes 9:5-6 speaks to the extreme contrast between living and dead which applies both to carnal and spirit. There is where I drew from, in the simplest of form, to first reply to you in support.

    As much as I would love to be an authoritative student of scripture, who can sincerely and simplistically believe that physical scripture is inerrant the Spirit of truth shows me that it is not. Scripture cannot be, the word of God in the beginning, then or now. Scripture is, although, an excellent beginning leading us to the Spirit of truth by being a substantial chronicle of Man’s relationship with God as much as Man could bear in each moment, very slowly scribed by Man’s hand from Man’s immature heart and mind their perspective of God from earth.

    Hebrews 9:23-28 is an example of what I am speaking to both relative to life and death as well as significant errors in perspective. In Luke 14:27, as well as in other prophesies Jesus spoke to relative to His disciples (sisters, brothers, mother of God), clearly says that the sacrificial sufferings of God’s children do not end, once and for all, on Jesus’ cross. Our Father demands that we love with all we can bear, all life, to be forever bonded as His child for the temporal good (constructive) of Man in their world and the eternal good of God in Their kingdom. Anything less from its members God’s body would be forever self destructive (evil) as Man demonstrates on earth by segregating their body’s members through the self centered lack of empathy, compassion, tolerance and forgiveness for others as they would have others have for them

    Though it is clear that physical elements can return to the earth from whence they came, and the big bang can return to whence it came, the mechanics are not so clear, to a physical brain, where a spirit life returns. God is spirit. Man is carnal unique bearing an image of God.

    There are two elements that determine life carnal and spirit; awareness and influence. Carnal awareness is always referenced from each who share’s point of view outward, which all children of Man can mutually relate to. Spirit awareness is referenced to the whole inward, which is how God is omnipresent to be aware and influential to the whole and simultaneously equal to the least receptive member. This is understood when being with and in He who is related to in the Bible as the Holy Spirit (Spirit of truth), who was once seen as appearing and descending like a dove. All children know as one in and with their heart, soul, strength, mind the same Advocate as does the Father.

    Each of temporal Man (carnal), who each was graced the image of God (spirit), will have their first carnal death, where their elements of physical life (awareness and influence) returns to the earth. According to Christ there is no certainty of a second death when one is united in the oneness of love for all life, enough so as to forgive those who mount them on their cross. I believe, though it is truly not significant here, unless one of us is a Sadducee or a Pharisee that is, that Christ was dead for three days, carnal and spirit, with no awareness and no influence in this world or the kingdom at large. It is not significant because obviously, for students (disciples) of the Messiah, awareness and influence can be reconnected in both carnal and spirit. In spirit, although, the heart, soul, strength, mind of each of us judged to die does not lose awareness and influence by going back to God, but has no opportunity to be aware and influential when permanently separated from sharing with and in God. I understand that love unites while influencing to divide is movement away from love, eventually to find oneself alone forever. In Christ we are never left alone and orphaned.

    There is an eternity left to learn and share for all of God together as one. My 73 years of incubation are comparatively nothing of what my Father and my Brother Jesus has already experienced, learned and are ready to share as each of us can bear.

    Thank you Saffire Gal for offering me cause to think and share out loud! Love you!

  • Ron McPherson

    Yet you still read Ben’s blogs and keep showing up on this site.

  • saffiregal

    Thank you too Herm. I enjoy reading your posts.

  • I never miss Ben’s points. They are transparent.
    Who teaches a God of fear anyway? It wasn’t how I was taught.

  • Yes I do and I will continue to answer blasphemy when I encounter it.

  • Herm

    John, my snipe was meant to illicit, “I don’t quite understand“. You responded and I thank you for that.

    The point made is that it is not quantity but quality that is a more fair determinate of value to readers of posts. Percentage wise there are more people in Bones’ audience that are receptive to his message than are to your audience.

    The snipe was directed toward your implying that random internet posting has any significance at all in our shared quest to learn working truth. Who works full time, in one direction, on a regular schedule, to share their heart and mind with their fellows of Man?

    You are an animal, so are we, born first aware and influential as physical beings of the species mankind.

    I don’t see, could be my blindness, where Bones’ comments are not looking for honest discussion separate from the traditions and brainwashing that defines people by dogma of carnal community birth. Bones, and I, are looking for honest discussion employing empathy, compassion, tolerance and forgiveness for all within the fragmented animal species mankind (carnal) and all of the united spirit body of God. That you do not see to value that is of concern, to both of us, for all we love.

    Your humility is admirable but your choice to omit Bones’ efforts, as not of sufficiently reasoned value to consider why he might be spending effort in response to your reasoning, is your loss and the loss of those who your errors in reasoning might influence, not Bones’.

  • Herm

    Saffire Gal, the scriptures do not enlighten those who refuse to consult with the Spirit of truth. The scriptures have been used to justify the crucifixion of many children of God by those who took it seriously.

  • Herm

    That says much relative to what little you comprehend. Thanks for the illustration.

  • Herm

    Bob, you even have learned to speak like your twit…… and chief.

  • Herm

    Caiaphas answered the blasphemy of the Son of God he didn’t understand, also.

  • John

    Simplistic, aggressive, and insulting statements often get lots of agreement; just look at Donald Trump.

    I would caution equating upvotes with quality.

    With that said, you have no problem with childish name calling? No problem with degrading insults? Really? I thought better of you herm.

  • Herm

    John, don’t put me on a pedestal. I am only an infant child of God, as is Bones who I consider a beloved sibling. Do Bones’ comments actually cause you to lose self respect to the point of humiliation (degrading)? Did Jesus lose self respect or is He ever depicted as being humiliated from insults? What if you feel the way you do because you are not ready to accept that Bones’ responses to you were fitting?

    The difference between Donald Trump’s simplistic, aggressive, and insulting statements and those from Jesus is that one is founded on lie and the other on truth.

  • Ron McPherson

    Lol

  • Ron McPherson

    “I never miss Ben’s points.”

    You seem to have missed this one.

  • Ron McPherson

    It gets back to nothing can be learned if it challenges my belief system

  • Herm

    What’s that attitude say if the ultimate challenge is believed to be an eternal life of experiencing, sharing and learning with and in one another that which none of us knows because it is yet to come? It takes a lot away from God when we assume They must know it all when it all hasn’t happened yet. The most fun begins with the anticipation and continues to mount through the entire journey, just in finding what challenges there are to our belief system that did not include what is just around the next corner, while the final destination is always comparatively anticlimactic. Life is not over for God, the journey continues, and measured on a scale with no end it is just beginning. God loves challenges, why else would They spend so much valuable time with us?

  • Herm

    … only to those who cannot value truth.

  • Herm

    … then you don’t understand the difference between moving forward toward more perfect union of mankind to that of moving backward to when the world was great (again).

  • John, my deepest apologies and hope that my mistake did not disrupt any of your clarity. Working on numerous article sites at one time, I indeed did send you a message intended for someone else on another article.

    Again, apologies…I must have appeared as a goofball giving you a message that had no content or reference to the article…
    BJA

  • corky

    You still believe in a god then? And what about the thousands that have been worshipped in human history? I am struggling to find any sense in religion at all anymore, How does one equate a loving god with the 9 million children a year that die before their 5th birthday from starvation and disease as well as the other unlimited natural disasters, accidents, illnesses etc etc

  • corky

    So at what point in evolution did Adam and Eve exist?

  • Markee B

    Just about everyone Bob. Here on Patheos Christian, Liberal, Progressive, Evangelical, Mormon, etc. blogs and others such as Atheists, Hindu, Buddhist are dozens if not hundreds, perhaps thousands of posts and testimonies of real human beings damaged by myriads of harmful Christian teachings that almost always are rooted in legalistic, authoritarian, fear of the Almighty who punishes sins, mistakes, failures of not only unbelievers but of born again believers as well. I’m a recovering soul of the “Word of Faith”, “Name It-Claim It”, “Faith Confession”, “Prosperity Gospel”, “Charismatic/Crazymatic” movement. We have so many descriptors because our “doctrines” are soooo changeable. What makes you think that everyone is taught as you were? Or that you were taught the most perfect and proper Gospel that so many of us missed out on? You seem to be voicing the same arrogant pride that you’re accusing Ben Corey of. Glancing thru this posts comments, you don’t seem to have much uplifting, supportive, encouraging or instructive to share, so I don’t get ya. I hope you can find a more productive place to operate from that will actually bless and inform the rest of us. Until then Brother, may you find Father’s Unconditional Love in Christ.

  • If God is not some kind of an evil clown, why does he act like one in the Bible?

  • John

    No worries, have a good one.

  • Thanks Markee. I would just say that I survived being a Catholic for 18 years. I received a wonderful education but later learned that many of their their doctrines are man made not God made. I was able to shake off their indoctrination.

    As to Ben he has a much higher burden that us as he teaches and influences others – so he has to be careful – but he is not.

    I make my points as I see them. I get attacked and I attack back. It’s that simple. I did not know that I have an obligation to be supportive or uplifting.

  • John

    Basic decency isn’t a pedestal, it’s a basic expectation of discussion.

    Also, don’t confuse his intent to degrade with me actually feeling degraded. As I said, he’s some guy online. He has no power over me. My self-worth is found in the truth I know, not the opinions of rude people on the internet.

    The only appropriate response to insult (like being called a clown, for example) is to walk away.

  • Bones

    Lol…..

  • Bones

    So when are you going to learn that ALL doctrines are man-made.

    Lol at doctrines that are God made….

  • Bones

    Lol……you’d like to see your Jesus torture me….

  • Bones

    Lol….how’s that Russian Trump thing going Bob….

    First charges in Mueller investigation into Russia meddling have been filed
    https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/27/special-counsel-robert-mueller-is-preparing-to-file-charges-in-russia-probe-report.html

    But….but Trump didn’t have Russian help according to Bob, who’s still digging around for Obama’s birth certificate.

    It’s so sad that people have to make up their own messiahs.

  • Bones

    Not to you anyway…..

    You speak out of both sides of your mouth.

  • Bones

    Nah…..conservatives see challenges to their belief system as a threat.

    After all your eternal future is dependent on it.

  • Bones

    ANd the nutters have come out to give poor John a hug…..

  • Bones

    Is that why you’re sooking on here about mean ol Bones???

    Poor John,,,,,wants to attack progressives and gay people and somoene calls his shit out…

    There, there John, it’ll be alright….Jesus will get ol Bones in the end…..

  • Bones

    What’s that saying about if you can’t stand the heat…..

  • Bones

    Everyone on here are people online.

    Including the gay people you and your mates like to denigrate and degrade.

    So stop being a sanctimonious sook and f*** off.

  • Bones

    Lol…..you’re funny.

  • Bones

    THis from the guy who appointed Trump as the new Messiah…..

  • Bones

    Opinions ar elike arseholes, we all have them….

    Just that mine is more informed.

    Your opinions are just presumptions and assumptions. I mean who still has their wife cover their head ffs…..

  • Bones

    Done……

    It’s like the narrow gate saying….the wide path to destruction was the literal burning of Jerusalem.

  • Bones

    Lol…..in Judaism long heavy hair for men was a sign of vitality ergo Samson

    Ancient images of Jews have them all with long hair…..

    http://www.britam.org/HebrewTypes.html

    Let’s go over that again…..

    Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a woman to pray to God [with her head] uncovered? Yes…..they do it everyhwere.

    Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him, 15but if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her? Paul, dude, Jesus had long hair…….No it doesn’t. Not only Jesus, but Moses, Abraham, David…..

  • Bones

    In what sense do you think YHWH was married to Asherah?

    It seems early Semites needed a male AND a female god.

  • Bones

    Probably the most productive thing you’ve said…..

    At least you’re not lying about women who died having abortions.

  • Bones

    Lol……you can only educate those who want to leave their ignorance.

    In your case education’s a waste of time.

  • Bones

    Some of John’s amazing quotes…

    “The pope is a socialist, and based on how much he talks about it, it’s more important to him than his religion.”

    “Yet you’re dumb enough to think that everything inexplicably came into existence. (That sure sounds like magic to me)”

    “You really are childish, aren’t you?”

    “You’re sure stupid for discussing, then, aren’t you?”

    Btw this wasn’t the first time I encountered John….He regularly posted his anti-gay, anti-equality and anti-progressive nonsense.

    He’s just your standard conservative sook.

  • Bones

    Physician, heal thyself!

    Some of John’s amazing quotes…

    “The pope is a socialist, and based on how much he talks about it, it’s more important to him than his religion.”

    “Yet you’re dumb enough to think that everything inexplicably came into existence. (That sure sounds like magic to me)”

    “You really are childish, aren’t you?”

    “You’re sure stupid for discussing, then, aren’t you?”

  • Powerful, difficult questions.

    I don’t categorize my current thinking as “believe,” not in the sense that I once believed that Jesus is the image of the invisible God.

    Maybe some definitions are needed first and caution.

    #1 God: I use the term in the sense of the first definition of Merriam-Webster Dictionary: God: “1 capitalized :the supreme or ultimate reality”

    Contrary to the claims of many atheists, I don’t think that existence is “meaningless” and “purposeless.” Nor do I think that ethics are only “subjective” preferences and cultural constructs. Or that all humans are “puppets” of cosmic determinism.

    I do think that beyond finite human understanding, it appears that there is essential or transcendent or inherent reality.

    Exactly what God–“ultimate reality” is like, I don’t know.

    I speculate that maybe brilliant thinkers such as Alfred Lord Whitehead, the famous mathematician and philosopher, some cosmologists and astrophysicists are possibly on the right track–that the nature of reality is “panentheistic.”

    Or maybe some form of engaged deism (like Enlightenment leaders such as Thomas Paine wrote about) might be partially true.

    But I don’t know.

    What I do understand is that the deep structure of the universe is real (what is often called ‘natural laws’),
    that math is real (otherwise NASA scientists couldn’t have calculated and sent a probe on a 10-year mission to Pluto and have it arrive there)
    that ethics and human worth
    and human rights are real.

    Meticulous honesty, justice, fidelity, equality, etc. are good,
    and dishonesty, cheating, injustice, inequality, racism, abuse, etc. are always wrong
    for everyone.

    And where ever in the cosmos there are other intelligent, aware, ethical species they also will oppose slavery, rape, slaughter, torture, and support compassion, altruism, generosity, and so forth.

    As for whether or not God (in the M-W first definition sense) is “loving,”
    it doesn’t seem so. All of history, the billions of humans suffering and getting slaughtered, starving, dying of plagues, cancer, etc.
    would seen to
    counter any “loving god.”

    Scientists such as Albert Enstein, who weren’t atheists, who did think the universe and existence are meaningful,
    thought however
    that the ultimate nature of reality isn’t concerned with individual humans.

    Humans have inherent value, but reality doesn’t love us like some Christians believe.

    I think that is probably true.

    I think we humans ought to seek what is transcendent, what is rational, what is good, what is just, what beautiful.

    I’ve never put much stock in most organized religion and never believed in the creeds of the Christian Church.

    But I do think some of the ideals of human leaders such as Jesus, Thich Nhat Hanh (nominated for the Nobel Prize), Martin Luther King Jr. (despite his very real unethical behavior and disloyalty to his wife),
    the founders of Amnesty International,
    Doctors Without Borders, etc.
    are true.

  • Bones

    Oh dear someone didn’t like having their bs exposed…..

  • Herm

    Bob, name me those many, many places, please.

  • Herm

    Give me an example, please.

  • saffiregal

    Herm- Re your first sentence. That was my exact point in my previous comment. Reading the scriptures with an open mind and heart one can learn truth.

  • saffiregal

    You are very rude.

  • saffiregal

    He wasn’t in any sense. Yahweh condemned Asherah worship. Unfortunately there were times when the Israelites fell into idolatrous worship.

  • Bones

    Lol…it was common in the ancient world to believe that gods married and even bore children.

    This is an Israelite cult stand from the 10th C BCE. Yahweh’s consort Asherah, represented by the tree of life, appears on the first and third levels flanked by lions. Lions were often symbolic of ancient Near Eastern goddesses. The top level depicts a winged sun-disk riding a horse.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0097944437e40f7e00e4c67e951b948ba273a5e047fb0ca5149dc369956c5c45.jpg

  • Bones

    I think its rude to make your wife cover her head in submission to you.

  • Herm

    Saffire Gal, I don’t get the sense that you understand I was not speaking of an open heart and mind but literally a fully filled, immersed, and whelmed (baptized) heart and mind with and in the Spirit of truth.

    “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

    John 14:15-21 (NIV2011)

    “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

    John 16:12-15 (NIV2011)

    The Teacher, the Holy Spirit, must be our Guide or we read scripture according to the traditions of our communities of carnal birth, as did the Sadducee, Pharisees and the high priest and his council. Caiaphas had access to counsel with the Holy Spirit behind the curtain of the Holy of Holies, but instead relied on his council to pass judgment on the Christ in the name of God.

    If your point was that our hearts and minds must be seriously open to the leading and council of the Advocate, to be enlightened into the truth when reading scripture, then I would agree. Acts 4:31 tells us, by witnessed example, that we don’t need scripture to speak the word of God but we do need to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Jesus did not begin His ministry until He was filled with and in the Holy Spirit, appearing as a descending dove who remained. That was when our Father first openly broadcast to the world that Jesus was His Child whom He loved.

  • Bones

    At the point of walking talking snakes, Corky…….

  • Bones

    You people can’t lie straight in bed….

    What Margaret Sanger Really Said About Eugenics and Race

    http://time.com/4081760/margaret-sanger-history-eugenics/

    Martin Luther King on Margaret Sanger

    ““There is a striking kinship between our movement and Margaret Sanger’s early efforts,…Margaret Sanger had to commit what was then called a crime in order to enrich humanity, and today we honor her courage and vision.””

  • Bones

    Complete right wing bs…..

    I’ll let Martin Luther King speak for me.

    Martin Luther King on Margaret Sanger

    Family Planning — A Special and Urgent Concern

    by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

    Recently, the press has been filled with reports of sightings of flying saucers. While we need not give credence to these stories, they allow our imagination to speculate on how visitors from outer space would judge us. I am afraid they would be stupefied at our conduct. They would observe that for death planning we spend billions to create engines and strategies for war. They would also observe that we spend millions to prevent death by disease and other causes. Finally they would observe that we spend paltry sums for population planning, even though its spontaneous growth is an urgent threat to life on our planet. Our visitors from outer space could be forgiven if they reported home that our planet is inhabited by a race of insane men whose future is bleak and uncertain.
    There is no human circumstance more tragic than the persisting existence of a harmful condition for which a remedy is readily available. Family planning, to relate population to world resources, is possible, practical and necessary. Unlike plagues of the dark ages or contemporary diseases we do not yet understand, the modern plague of overpopulation is soluble by means we have discovered and with resources we possess.
    What is lacking is not sufficient knowledge of the solution but universal consciousness of the gravity of the problem and education of the billions who are its victims.
    It is easier for a Negro to understand a social paradox because he has lived so long with evils that could be eradicated but were perpetuated by indifference or ignorance. The Negro finally had to devise unique methods to deal with his problem, and perhaps the measure of success he is realizing can be an inspiration to others coping with tenacious social problems.
    In our struggle for equality we were confronted with the reality that many millions of people were essentially ignorant of our conditions or refused to face unpleasant truths. The hard-core bigot was merely one of our adversaries. The millions who were blind to our plight had to be compelled to face the social evil their indifference permitted to flourish.
    After centuries of relative silence and enforced acceptance, we adapted a technique of exposing the problem by direct and dramatic methods. We had confidence that when we awakened the nation to the immorality and evil of inequality, there would be an upsurge of conscience followed by remedial action.
    We knew that there were solutions and that the majority of the nation were ready for them. Yet we also knew that the existence of solutions would not automatically operate to alter conditions. We had to organize, not only arguments, but people in the millions for action. Finally we had to be prepared to accept all the consequences involved in dramatizing our grievances in the unique style we had devised.
    There is a striking kinship between our movement and Margaret Sanger’s early efforts. She, like we, saw the horrifying conditions of ghetto life. Like we, she knew that all of society is poisoned by cancerous slums. Like we, she was a direct actionist — a nonviolent resister. She was willing to accept scorn and abuse until the truth she saw was revealed to the millions. At the turn of the century she went into the slums and set up a birth control clinic, and for this deed she went to jail because she was violating an unjust law. Yet the years have justified her actions. She launched a movement which is obeying a higher law to preserve human life under humane conditions. Margaret Sanger had to commit what was then called a crime in order to enrich humanity, and today we honor her courage and vision; for without them there would have been no beginning. Our sure beginning in the struggle for equality by nonviolent direct action may not have been so resolute without the tradition established by Margaret Sanger and people like her. Negroes have no mere academic nor ordinary interest in family planning. They have a special and urgent concern.
    Recently the subject of Negro family life has received extensive attention. Unfortunately, studies have overemphasized the problem of the Negro male ego and almost entirely ignored the most serious element — Negro migration. During the past half century Negroes have migrated on a massive scale, transplanting millions from rural communities to crammed urban ghettoes. In their migration, as with all migrants, they carried with them the folkways of the countryside into an inhospitable city slum. The size of family that may have been appropriate and tolerable on a manually cultivated farm was carried over to the jammed streets of the ghetto. In all respects Negroes were atomized, neglected and discriminated against. Yet, the worst omission was the absence of institutions to acclimate them to their new environment. Margaret Sanger, who offered an important institutional remedy, was unfortunately ignored by social and political leaders in this period. In consequence, Negro folkways in family size persisted. The problem was compounded when unrestrained exploitation and discrimination accented the bewilderment of the newcomer, and high rates of illegitimacy and fragile family relationships resulted.
    For the Negro, therefore, intelligent guides of family planning are a profoundly important ingredient in his quest for security and a decent life. There are mountainous obstacles still separating Negroes from a normal existence. Yet one element in stabilizing his life would be an understanding of and easy access to the means to develop a family related in size to his community environment and to the income potential he can command.
    This is not to suggest that the Negro will solve all his problems through Planned Parenthood. His problems are far more complex, encompassing economic security, education, freedom from discrimination, decent housing and access to culture. Yet if family planning is sensible it can facilitate or at least not be an obstacle to the solution of the many profound problems that plague him.
    The Negro constitutes half the poor of the nation. Like all poor, Negro and white, they have many unwanted children. This is a cruel evil they urgently need to control. There is scarcely anything more tragic in human life than a child who is not wanted. That which should be a blessing becomes a curse for parent and child. There is nothing inherent in the Negro mentality which creates this condition. Their poverty causes it. When Negroes have been able to ascend economically, statistics reveal they plan their families with even greater care than whites. Negroes of higher economic and educational status actually have fewer children than white families in the same circumstances.

    Some commentators point out that with present birth rates it will not be long before Negroes are a majority in many of the major cities of the nation. As a consequence, they can be expected to take political control, and many people are apprehensive at this prospect. Negroes do not seek political control by this means. They seek only what they are entitled to and do not wish for domination purchased at the cost of human misery. Negroes were once bred by slave owners to be sold as merchandise. They do not welcome any solution which involves population breeding as a weapon. They are instinctively sympathetic to all who offer methods that will improve their lives and offer them fair opportunity to develop and advance as all other people in our society.
    For these reasons we are natural allies of those who seek to inject any form of planning in our society that enriches life and guarantees the right to exist in freedom and dignity.
    For these constructive movements we are prepared to give our energies and consistent support; because in the need for family planning, Negro and white have a common bond; and together we can and should unite our strength for the wise preservation, not of races in general, but of the one race we all constitute — the human race.
    About two weeks after the award ceremony, Dr. King wrote the following letter to Cass Canfield, chairman of the Executive Committee of the PPFA — World Population Emergency Campaign:
    Dear Mr. Canfield:
    Words are inadequate for me to say how honored I was to be the recipient of the Margaret Sanger Award. This award will remain among my most cherished possessions. While I cannot claim to be worthy of such a signal honor, I can assure you that I accept it with deep humility and sincere gratitude. Such a wonderful expression of support is of inestimable value for the continuance of my humble efforts.
    Again let me say how much I regret that at the last minute urgent developments in the civil rights movement made it impossible for me to be in Washington to personally receive the award. My wife brought glowing echoes of the wonderful reception and impressiveness of the total occasion.
    I am happy to be the recipient of the Margaret Sanger Award and I can assure you that this distinct honor will cause me to work even harder for a reign of justice and a rule of love all over our nation.
    Sincerely yours,
    Martin Luther King Jr.

    It’s the height of hypocrisy how people like yourself don’t support Black Lives Matter and don’t give a flying f*** about the number of black people living in poverty.

  • Bones

    I’m not watching a 2 and a half hour video based on falsehoods.

    eg

    afa 21: Black Genocide in 21st Century America is an anti-abortion documentary film made in 2009 by pro-life activist Mark Crutcher to turn African Americans against Planned Parenthood.[1] The film, which has been enthusiastically received by anti-abortion activists, argues that the modern-day prevalence of abortion among African Americans is rooted in an attempted genocide or maafa of black people.[2][3] The film is part a campaign aimed at African Americans, to argue against abortion and birth control.[1][4][5][6]

    The film repeats elements of an American conspiracy theory called black genocide, using many of the same arguments as black separatists such as the Black Panther Party in the early 1970s.[5][4][6][7][6] The film alleges that the eugenics movement targeted African Americans in the 19th and 20th centuries, that this was the basis for the creation of the American Birth Control League (now Planned Parenthood) by Margaret Sanger, and that this kind of race genocide continued in the form of the abortion-rights movement of the 20th and 21st centuries. The film puts forward the idea that Sanger was a racist who worked to reduce the population of blacks, and that Planned Parenthood is continuing this program.[5] Sanger is implicated as an ally of Nazism and Adolf Hitler.[4][8]

    Critics have countered many of the film’s points, arguing that Sanger was not a racist, that the eugenics movement was not especially focused on African Americans, that black women were largely in favor of birth control and were having abortions long before it became legal, and that instead of being a plot by Planned Parenthood, the high rate of abortion among African Americans comes from a correspondingly high rate of unplanned pregnancies.[5][8][9] Esther Katz, director of NYU’s Margaret Sanger Papers Project, has stated that the film presents a false depiction of Sanger’s views and works.[5]

    I’ll just let Dr King speak for me…..

    Oh and……how the anti-abortion movement dishonestly lies about Margaret Sanger…..

    Published Statements that Distort or Misquote Margaret Sanger

    Through the years, a number of alleged Sanger quotations, or allegations about her, have surfaced with regularity in anti-family planning publications:

    “More children from the fit, less from the unfit that is the chief issue of birth control.” A quotation falsely attributed to Margaret Sanger, this statement was made by the editors of American Medicine in a review of an article by Sanger. The editorial from which this appeared, as well as Sanger’s article, “why Not Birth Control Clinics in America?” were reprinted side-by-side in May 1919 Birth Control Review (Sanger, 1919b).

    “The Mass of Ignorant Negroes still breed carelessly and disastrously, so that the increase among Negroes, even more than the increase among whites, is from the portion of the population least intelligent and fit, and least able to rear their children properly.”

    Another quotation falsely attributed to Margaret Sanger, this was actually written for the June 1932 issue of The Birth Control Review by W.E.B. DuBois, founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Taken out of the context of his discussion about the effects of birth control on the balance between quality-of-life considerations and race-survival issues for African Americans, DuBois’ language seems insensitive by today’s standards.

    “Blacks, soldiers, and Jews are a menace to the race.”

    This fabricated quotation, falsely attributed to Sanger, was concocted in the late 1980s. The alleged source is the April 1933 Birth Control Review (Sanger ceased editing the Review in 1929). That issue contains no article or letter by Sanger.

    “To create a race of thoroughbreds…”

    This remark, again attributed originally to Sanger, was made by Dr. Edward A. Kempf and has been cited out of context and with distorted meaning. Dr. Kempf, a progressive physician, was actually arguing for state endowment of maternal and infant care clinics. In her book The Pivot of Civilization, Sanger quoted Dr. Kempf’s argument about how environment may improve human excellence:

    Society must make life worth the living and the refining for the individual by conditioning him to love and to seek the love-object in a manner that reflects a constructive effect upon his fellow-men and by giving him suitable opportunities. The virility of the automatic apparatus is destroyed by excessive gormandizing or hunger, by excessive wealth or poverty, by excessive work or idleness, by sexual abuse or intolerant prudishness. The noblest and most difficult art of all is the raising of human thoroughbreds (Sanger, 1922 [1969]).

    It was in this spirit that Sanger used the phrase “Birth Control: To Create a Race of Thoroughbreds,” as a banner on the November 1921 issue of the Birth Control Review. (Differing slogans on the theme of voluntary family planning sometimes appeared under the title of The Review e.g., “Dedicated to the Cause of Voluntary Motherhood,” January 1928).

    “The most merciful thing that the large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.” This statement is taken out of context from Margaret Sanger’s Woman and the New Race (Sanger, 1920). Sanger was making an ironic comment—not a prescriptive one—about the horrifying rate of infant mortality among large families of early 20th century urban America. The statement, as grim as the conditions that prompted Sanger to make it, accompanies this chart, illustrating the infant death rate in 1920:

    Deaths During First Year

    1st born children 23% 7th born children 31%

    2nd born children 20% 8th born children 33%

    3rd born children 21% 9th born children 35%

    4th born children 23% 10th born children 41%

    5th born children 26% 11th born children 51%

    6th born children 31% 12th born children 60%

    “We do not want word to get out that we want to exterminate the Negro population.” Sanger was aware of African-American concerns, passionately argued by Marcus Garvey in the 1920s, that birth control was a threat to the survival of the Black race. This statement, which acknowledges those fears, is taken from a letter to Clarence J. Gamble, M.D., a champion of the birth control movement. In that letter, Sanger describes her strategy to allay such apprehensions. A larger portion of the letter makes Sanger’s meaning clear:

    It seems to me from my experience…in North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Texas, that while the colored Negroes have great respect for white doctors, they can get closer to their own members and more or less lay their cards on the table…They do not do this with the white people, and if we can train the Negro doctor at the clinic, he can go among them with enthusiasm and with knowledge, which I believe, will have far-reaching results…His work, in my opinion, should be entirely with the Negro progression and the nurses, hospital, social workers, as well as the County’s white doctors. His success will depend upon his personality and his training by us.

    The minister’s work is also important, and also he should be trained, perhaps by the Federation, as to our ideals and the goal that we hope to reach. We do not want word to out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs (Sanger, 1939, December).

    “As early as 1914 Margaret Sanger was promoting abortion, not for white middle-class women, but against ‘inferior race’—black people, poor people, Slavs, Latins, and Hebrews were ‘human weeds.’”

    This allegation about Margaret Sanger appears in an anonymous flyer, “Facts about Planned Parenthood,” that is circulated by anti-family planning activists. Margaret Sanger, who passionately believed in a woman’s right to control her body, never “promoted” abortion because it was illegal and dangerous throughout her lifetime. She urged women to use contraceptives so that they would not be at risk for the dangers of illegal, back alley abortion. Sanger never described any ethnic community as an “inferior race” or as “human weeds.”

    In her lifetime, Sanger won the respect of international figures of all races, including the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.; Mahatma Ghandi; Shidzue Kato, the foremost family planning advocate in Japan; and Lady Dhanvanthi Rama Rau of India—all of whom were sensitive to issues of race.

    The Rising Tide of Color Against White World Supremacy

    This is the title of a book falsely attributed to Sanger. It was written by Lothrop Stoddard and reviewed by Havelock Ellis in the October 1920 issue of The Birth Control Review. Its general topic, the international politics of race relations in the first decades of the century, is one in which Sanger was not involved. Her interest, insofar as she allowed a review of Stoddard’s book to be published in The Birth Control Review, was in the overall health and quality of life of all races and not in tensions between them. Ellis’s review was critical of the Stoddard book and of distinctions based on race or ethnicity alone.

    https://www.trustblackwomen.org/2011-05-10-03-28-12/publications-a-articles/african-americans-and-abortion-articles/26-margaret-sanger-and-the-african-american-community-

  • Bones

    That you’re a liar, yes…..

  • Bones

    Oh dear….look at the bloke behind this abysmal pack of lies…..no wonder you like him….

    Who Is Mark Crutcher?

    Crutcher Declared Obama Is “Thoroughly Evil” And A “Morally Defective” Marxist. From a November 5, 2008, post by Crutcher on his blog, Mark’s Blog:

    Besides being a Marxist, Barack Obama is the most rabidly pro-abortion, morally defective and completely unqualified person to ever be given the keys to the Oval Office. This man is thoroughly evil and I have little doubt that we are likely entering into the most dangerous period in the history of our country.

    Crutcher: “Godless Left” Is “Lying Through Their Teeth” In Saying “That Abortion Will Not Be Covered Under Obamacare.” From an October 5, 2009, post by Crutcher on his blog, Mark’s Blog:

    Crutcher Derides White Voters Who Supported Obama To “Purg[e] Themselves Of The Guilt Of Slavery.” From a December 1, 2009, post by Crutcher on his blog, Mark’s blog:

    Crutcher Recorded Fake Calls To Hundreds Of Planned Parenthood Clinics “Featuring Women Posing As Pregnant Minors.” As reported by the Los Angeles Times:

    https://www.mediamatters.org/research/2011/02/01/who-is-mark-crutcher/175838

  • Daniel Fisher

    The only way to see what God is like, is to look at what Jesus is like.

    The same Jesus who said, “I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him”?

  • Daniel Fisher

    Jesus, for one?

    “I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him”

  • Bones

    Steve Crowder – Hitler was a liberal socialist…..the AIDS epidemic didn’t happen because the victims were homos and Haitians….

    Lies about being punched….

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJboMQhYh1k

    According to Dr King, not only was Sanger not a racist, she was a hero to the black people.

    I’ll take his word over liars.

    The thing is, you people don’t give a shit about poor blacks.

    And Crowder is a liar too like his disgraceful Muslims wouldn’t sell him a birthday cake fiasco when he impersonated a gay person. (The Muslims he videoed said later that they would sell a gay person a birthday cake or they didn’t make birthday cakes….for anyone)

    Birds of a feather – flock together

    Why do you people have to lie????….all the time???

  • Bones

    Hmmmm who’s word do I take Dr King or internet liars…

    That’s a tough one.

    I think I’ll go with the good Doctor…..

    Maybe you can find a video on how Dr King was a racist…..

  • Bones

    There is no fact in anything you’ve posted.

    You’re a lying piece of shit.

    Lol that Dr King would accept an award from a racist……

  • Daniel Fisher

    Sir,
    If I may humbly clarify a common misperception – the Modern English Bible translations as we have them did not come about by being translated from the original languages (Greek, Aramaic, Hebrew) into other languages, and then into the King James, and then modified by NIV, etc. The NIV and the other modern translations you note are direct translations of the earliest extant Greek manuscripts. At most they may have used the King James, and other earlier language translations, as additional information or perspectives. But the translation is from the copies that are in the original language. There is no “translation of a translation of a translation…” process going on.

    Granted, those manuscripts, especially of the NT are numerous, and have numerous discrepancies, but the numerous copies provide all the more data to work with in order for textual critics to determine the original text with significant accuracy.
    John is correct that all the earliest texts of the passage in John 8 are missing the story of the women caught in adultery, and practically all textual critics agree the story was thus not in the original text of John’s gospel.

    But the same science of textual criticism that lets us determine with near certainty that this story wasn’t original is what gives us a similar confidence that what we have in the rest of the New Testament is extremely close to the original manuscripts.
    For what it’s worth.

  • Bones

    Oh yeah…

    Rosa Parks you racist……

    DEAR REPUBLICANS: ROSA PARKS WAS ON THE BOARD OF PLANNED PARENTHOOD

    Rosa Parks served on the national board of directors for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

    After the principled pioneer stood up for civil rights in Montgomery, Alabama, she and her husband Raymond both lost their jobs and had to relocate to Detroit. With the help of Rep. John Conyers’ congressional office, Parks and her husband founded the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development which eventually led to the job offer from Planned Parenthood. She also, for a time, served as an aid and receptionist for the Congressman, who is a Democrat.

    So while Republicans spent a good chunk of time assailing and demonizing the women’s healthcare provider and the Democrats who support them, little did they know that the woman they want on our money was a member of their national efforts and also a Democrat.

    This makes for a delicious piece of irony. It also shows how little in depth the Republican contenders can get.

    Their sentiments, while good, show a lack of understanding on their part.

    http://www.ifyouonlynews.com/politics/dear-republicans-rosa-parks-was-on-the-board-of-planned-parenthood/

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5470743131262090bcef4415810f5fb91cfbaef602713ba4d1651010e5845c7f.jpg

  • Ulf Turkewitsch

    I agree with your conclusion. We only see the theory of predestination, not its mechanism, how it operates in human lives. We are assured of the results but dont know the future..So I, for one, must put my trust in my God. As He is supreme, knowing everything.

  • Bones

    Are you saying that the mentally and physically defective are blacks?

    That’s your racism shining through not Sangers.

    The fact is there had been policies in the US from 1907 which enforced sterilisation of “criminals, idiots, imbeciles, or rapists”.

    And btw way after WW2 she changed her mind about that.

    Ultimately though, she was no racist.

  • Bones

    And she was no racist…

    Glad we’ve cleared that up.

    I really don’t know why you people have to lie so much about others.

  • Bones

    Said what?

    That Margaret Sanger is a racist?

    Source…..

    Oh and

    The “Feeble-Minded” and the “Fit”: What Sanger Meant When She Talked about Dysgenics

    To summarize Sanger’s relationship with such heated terms as dysgenics and eugenics is a dangerous task. While she married her social mission to that of progressive eugenicists—primarily in an attempt to garner mainstream support for birth control—it is difficult to easily consolidate her beliefs on this complex issue. What we can deduce from the literature she has left behind is that claims of her racism are misguided to say the least and that her dysgenic aims were colorblind. We can also conclude that Sanger understood the eugenic value of contraception to lie in strengthening and empowering the human race. She believed that “the great responsibility of parenthood” was to help diminish the potential of biological weakness in all people, but such beliefs were tempered by the science and the biases of the day. Moreover, these statements are liable to over-simplify perspectives that were more complex in nature and should be taken as the less than exact overviews that they are. Ultimately, Sanger’s campaign for the eugenic benefits of birth control was a divergence from her core mission: that every woman be freed from the shackles of unwanted pregnancy (Sanger, “The Eugenic Value of Birth Control Propaganda,” Birth Control Review, Oct. 1921, 5).

    https://sangerpapers.wordpress.com/2016/12/13/the-feeble-minded-and-the-fit-what-sanger-meant-when-she-talked-about-dysgenics/

  • Daniel Fisher

    Daniel,

    I wonder if we could at least acknowledge that, if Christians believe in such things, they are at least getting it from Jesus and the Bible; it isn’t like they are pulling it out of the air somewhere or inventing it on their own. Given your perspective, I recognize that you think we evangelicals may have completely misunderstood Jesus’ words, have had a wrong focus on things, sure – but these things aren’t coming up out of nowhere:

    “But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them–bring them here and kill them in front of me.”
    “Fear him who, after killing the body, has power to cast into hell, yes, I tell you, fear him.”
    “There will be great distress upon the earth and wrath against this people.”
    “Bind him hand and feet and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
    “Cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness.”
    “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”

    I mean, even if I as an evangelical am completely in the wrong for believing all these things literally, I hope we can grant that these things aren’t simply some invention of modern American evangelicalism, as if I am completely at liberty to believe in whatever God I choose, and out of some perverse nature in me, I and the rest of us just decided to invent a God who threatened such terrible things.

    In short, millions of other American Christians–like me–avidly embrace such a horrific god of terrible news because, when I read the Bible, and especially the words of Jesus, that sure seems clearly to be there. And I do not believe I am not at liberty to invent a God of my choosing, or select only those parts of the Bible that align with the kind of God I would prefer to believe.
    I may be mistaken, sure… When Jesus told people to Fear God who could cast them into hell, maybe he meant something different, and the threats of wrath against people don’t really mean that, and the threats of binding people and casting them into darkness are allegorical and are really good news for them, and the proclamation of being cast into eternal fire is really very good news, too, etc., etc.
    But for good or bad, right or wrong, millions of Christians like me believe these things because of Jesus’ odd choice of words in describing all this “good news” that awaits those who are cursed. I wonder if we could agree that far, at least?

  • Bones

    You are aware that Sanger didn’t support abortion and this was about contraception eg condoms, chemical spermicides, douches, plugs, sponges, suppositories, withdrawal,
    and the new rubber diaphragm……Those things which we take for granted….

    Hard to believe that wearing a condom was illegal even for married couples in the United States.

    Sanger believed that universal access to birth control would
    Reduce the need for abortion — a common and dangerous method of family planning in her time.
    Save women’s and children’s lives.
    Strengthen the family.
    Lift families out of poverty.
    Increase the good health and well-being of all individuals, families, and their communities.
    Help women gain their legal and civil rights.

    Apparently this genocide was by condoms…..

    Yet again….you and your ‘resources’ have been shown to be liars.

    Let Margaret Sanger have the final quote….

    “I believe that the Negro question is coming definitely to the fore in America, not only because of the War, but in anticipation of the place the Negro will occupy after the peace. I think it is magnificent that we are in on the ground floor, helping Negroes to control their birth rate, to reduce their birth, infant and maternal death rate, to maintain better standards of health and living for those already born, and to create better opportunities for those who will be born (MSPP #28, 2001, 4).”

    “We must protect tomorrow’s Chinese baby and Hindu baby, English and Russian baby, Puerto Rican, Negro and white American babies who will stand side by side to heal the scars of this conflict [World War II] and to bring a promise of a better future. …
    Never before in history have we realized how important it is to all of us that each of these children be born strong and with a prospect of growing into useful and decent
    adulthood (Katz, 1995, 46).”

  • Bravo Sierra

    Psalm 137:9.

  • Daniel Fisher

    Josh,

    For what it is worth, all of us Calvinist types believe God wills “whatsoever comes to pass,” and that includes, well, everything. This is the language of the Westminster confession, after all: “God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass.
    So, this isn’t “hyper-Calvinist” or “hyper-reformed” that would believe God wills (in one limited sense) only natural disasters; this is run-of-the-mill, standard, documented, historic Calvinism that believes God ordains EVERYTHING.

    And, for what it is worth, this isn’t just something we came Calvinists came up with out of the blue. If the Bible didn’t say things like the following, I wouldn’t believe it either:

    ““Shall we accept good from God and not trouble?”
    “You intended harm to me, but God intended it for good”
    “The Lord gave, and the Lord took away.”
    “Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both good and bad come?”
    “Though he cause grief, he will have compassion.”
    “It is for the glory of God.”
    “Does disaster come to a city, unless the LORD has done it?”
    “this happened so that the work of God might be displayed.”
    “those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator”
    “In his heart a man plans his course but the Lord determines his steps”

    Then whole chapters like Isaiah 10, that describe that what people do in war are fulfilling God’s will and purpose, Romans 9 with God’s plans for Pharaoh, the whole book of Job that never shies away from the idea that Job’s sufferings were somehow under the will of God……

    We Calvinists may be wrong, and have misunderstood and misinterpreted each and every one of those passages. But at minimum, I hope that people can grant that this isn’t just something we invented because I wanted to, or because it reflects my preference….. ultimately, I am bound to these doctrines because I believe them true and taught by God through Scripture.

  • Bravo Sierra

    Exodus 13:2.

  • Bones

    I’ve backed up everything I’ve said with facts.

    The only brick wall is you who hates Margaret Sanger because she gave Americans access to contraception.

  • Daniel Fisher

    Daniel,
    I wished to ask you something directly, but please recognize I am not trying to win an argument or win rhetorical points, I really would like to understand your position and experience:
    I trust that at some point you determined these doctrines to be in fact untrue, not simply abhorrent. Granted it may have been a mixture of both, and sometimes our distaste (or taste) for certain ideas allows us to see aspects of their truth or falsehood we hadn’t seen before. I’m wondering if/when, and if so, how, you determined them to be in fact untrue?
    I’m asking because, based on the way you wrote what you did above, you detailed what you didn’t like about these various doctrines, and I appreciate your perspective. But I am always concerned if anyone (myself included) determines what is or isn’t true based on what I do and don’t like, rather than on what is or isn’t in fact true. Not accusing you of such, I just didn’t see it in what you wrote above. And because my bottom line in determining doctrine is always what is or isn’t true, rather than what is or isn’t distasteful, I’m more interested in the intellectual journey by which you determined these things not simply to be abhorrent to you, but actually untrue; would you mind sharing a bit of that?

  • Daniel Fisher

    How many female authors do you know of who wrote the Christian Bible?

    I can’t say for sure who was actually holding the quill and parchment, but there are certainly some parts of our Bible that explicitly declare women as having composed the words, and for which one would think they would rightly be given authorship credit:

    – Mary
    – Hannah
    – Deborah
    – Mother of King Lemuel

  • Matthew

    How can we know that love is good and hate is bad?

  • Matthew

    Why did Jesus say this if Jesus is only about love?

  • Bones

    None……women weren’t allowed to be scribes.

  • Bones

    Ever heard of hyperbole.

    Do you think Jesus is going to resurrect Capernaum (a city which just died out) and burn it to the ground in Matthew 11:23 because it wouldn’t repent?

  • How can I know that equality is good and racism is bad?
    That caring is good and rape is bad?
    That the Enlightenment is good and Nazism is bad?
    That every human has “inherent value”?
    That leaders such as Trotsky were wrong when they claimed that individual human have no inherent worth?

    That all humans aren’t illusions in a matrix?
    etc.

    Good philosophical question.

    Extreme skepticism ends with complete negation.

    Heck, Sam Harris claims that “I” am an illusion.

    I disagree, but I can’t prove it, other than point out that right now I am conscious of typing squiggles and am a published writer.

    But how do I know that? Maybe I am a character in someone’s nightmare;-=)

    All life-stances begin with certain presuppositions.

    Philosophers of science have even pointed out this is true of induction.

    According to them, induction can’t be proven. It is a presupposition.

    I can’t demonstrate that human rights are true, that slavery and racism are wrong, and that compassion and caring are good.

    Like famous Enlightenment thinkers and various human leaders from Thomas Paine to Levi Coffin to Thich Nhat Hanh to Bernie Sanders, etc.,
    we
    BEGIN with those values.

  • ? Maybe I used the wrong term for you when I said “abhorrent”?

    I didn’t mean that I am opposed to all of those because of dislike or “distaste.”

    I am opposed to abuse, rape, torture, injustice, racism, slavery, dishonesty, infidelity, etc.
    because they are evil, because they deny the inherent worth of each individual.

    Enlightenment leaders and others leaders from Quakers to theistic Buddhists such as Thich Nhat Hanh, etc.
    can’t prove
    that compassion, caring, and so forth are good and
    mistreatment, inequality, etc, are bad.

    They begin with those presuppositions.

    Then why do millions–sometimes billions–of humans support what is wrong as being “right”?

    According to human rights advocates (which include me and my wife)
    abusers, enslavers, Muslim jihadists who even give their lives to kill heretical Muslims in mosques, Americans who invaded other countries, and so forth–
    do so contrary to the innate conscience they were born with.

    Every child’s conscience can be twisted by his fanatical parents, his dysfunctional or evil culture.

    And there is the anthropological data that shows humans have been seeking across many thousands of years to move from basic self-centered survival
    toward
    good ethical values.

    I was an anthropology major at university.

    Also, check out various books written on the subject of human progress including the powerful one by Steven Pinker
    Better Angels of Our Nature.

    You asked about my intellectual journey.
    Best answer to that is to check out my website where I have written long explanations of my own intellectual journey from a
    fundamental Baptist childhood,
    through secular universities
    encounters with many different philosophical and religious views overseas and here in the U.S.,
    and so forth.

    I have a number of websites. My nonfiction one is:
    http://infiniteoceanoflightandlove.blogspot.com/2017/10/to-live-in-light-to-act-truly-human.html

  • Matthew

    Why?

  • I was imprecise. Ben is describing real, visceral fear of a nature that affected him to this day. That is unusual to say the least.

    “In fact, my fear of God began the day I was introduced to him as a kid. I was the depraved sinner who was so bad inside that I had earned an eternity of torment– even though the brain that governs my decision making hadn’t finished developing yet.

    I had deep fear of God and supposedly, that was the “beginning of all wisdom.” However, instead of that fear being the beginning of wisdom it actually marked the day that functionally ended the very thing I was taught I had been created for: to have a relationship with God.”

    Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. It is necessary to understand there are consequences for breaking God’s commandments. That is something that almost no one on this sites understands in the slightest.

  • You wrote, “Christians believe in such things, they are at least getting it from Jesus and the Bible;”

    They aren’t getting it from Jesus, and there is a question if they even are actually getting it from the Old Testament.

    However that is a very complicated scholarly historical question.

    I won’t try and summarize many thousands of pages of reading in a comment:-), but many scholars think that Augustine didn’t ‘get’ his determinism from the Hebrew Bible or from the New Testament but that he brought that mindset to the Scriptures and interpreted passages by it.

    For instance, with the possible exception of one or two, nearly all Christian leaders, all early Church fathers before Augustine didn’t subscribe to determinism. It was just the opposite.

    #2 As a very young Christian, even at 11 years of age, I learned that the Old Testament includes very contradictory views of God and of what is right and wrong, good and bad. Beginning then, I struggled to understand, BUT I was helped by the very anti-Augustinian Baptist worldview I grew up in.
    (Later I learned, of course, that our deep Christian faith was an anomaly, nothing like Reformed or Roman Catholic Christianity. Heck, one famous Evangelical theologian told me personally that I was not, nor ever had been a Christian.)

    That still didn’t solve such issues as the Bible slavery one. I especially struggled with that one through my teen years. And later learned much which helped me see why Christians were mostly accepting of slavery for the last 2,000 years.

    One of the best Calvinist defenses of slavery was Southern theologian R.L. Dabney’s biblical defense of slavery which he published AFTER the Civil War.
    Also a class in American Intellectual History taught by our professor who earned his PhD in American Calvinism.

    And insightful books such as God’s Almost Chosen People: A Religious History of the American Civil War by George C. Rable

    And encountering that Calvinist leader when I was 16 or so who “proved” from the Old Testament that I ought to do what is immoral, because if God orders it no matter how bad, then, the action is no longer wrong.

    Thankfully, I didn’t agree then, nor do I agree now. I’m more of the sort who agree with John Wesley who wrote that he would rather be “an atheist” than believe in such a god.

  • Thanks for asking.

    As for Jesus’ controversial statements which appear to contradict his other views (such as the Sermon on the Mount, the Good Samaritan, his statements about children, and so forth):

    your quote:
    “But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them–bring them here and kill them in front of me.”

    This verse is from one of Jesus’ parables. Jesus also compared himself to a thief and God to an unjust judge in parables.
    That didn’t mean that Jesus was a “thief” or that God is “unjust” or that everyone ought to support thievery and and injustice!

    I’m a retired literature teacher. Parable AREN’T to be taken literally. Their details usually have NOTHING to do with their point. Jesus’ point wasn’t that he was for massacre or that he was to become a vicious, cruel king, etc.

    On the contrary, all of that entirely misses his point.

    Some of Jesus’ other controversial statements do appear to contradict his central teachings.
    I still remember one of our favorite Baptist preacher’s insightful sermon series on the Controversial Saying of Jesus.

    Jesus wasn’t a systematic or logical thinker. He spoke in paradoxes, made points in context, depending on the situation and with whom he was speaking.

    Jesus, mostly, wasn’t talking about judgment for not believing doctrine, but for humans choosing unjust and immoral actions.

    I agree with you that Jesus had a lot to say for judgment, including Gehenna, which does seem contrary to Corey’s article.

    Also, Jesus was much more complicated than what any denomination believes about him.

    I realize from hindsight now, that not only have other denominations shown only a portion of Jesus, and hidden or passed by other aspects of his teaching, so did my own childhood denomination.

    BUT, I don’t think by any stretch of the mind can Jesus, even with his most controversial texts, be fit into
    the Calvinistic system of TULIP.

    Of course that is my own judgment. However I have read many thousands of pages of Calvinist texts, many of the most famous including Jonathan Edwards, R.L. Dabney, a little John Owen, the Synods of Dort, many modern Calvinists, etc.

    And I’ve personally dialogued with a few famous American Calvinist leaders.

    And encountered thousands of Calvinists in the last 50 years.

    In NONE of them do I see the Jesus presented in the New Testament texts.

    Next to being aware that I am alive, and that I live on the planet earth, I am more certain that Reformed theology is a distortion and reversal of all that Jesus stood for.

    Thanks for the dialog,

  • Asking that about presuppositions is like asking what is north of the north pole or what did you think about before you had a brain;-)

    A PRE-supposition is exactly that. Nothing can come before it, not even why.

    Thomas Jefferson said they were “self-evident.”

    Other thinkers have stated that ethics are innate in humans like language and math, only waiting there to be learned and used, or misused.

    I do think that ethics, human rights, value, worth are inherent in human beings.

    Heck, I was almost born with a ‘why’ in my mouth:-) but I don’t question why we humans ask why,
    other than to acknowledge that asking questions is one of the essential characteristics of rational, ethical species.

  • Herm

    The LORD said to Moses, “Consecrate to me every firstborn male. The first offspring of every womb among the Israelites belongs to me, whether human or animal.”

    Exodus 13:1-2 (NIV2011)

    1,400 years later:

    At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do. “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

    Matthew 11:25-30 (NIV2011)

    2,000 years later:

    ” Today, my eyes are finally opened– it’s as if for the first time I see what God is like, because I finally see what Jesus is like.”

  • Herm

    Remember, LORD, what the Edomites did on the day Jerusalem fell. “Tear it down,” they cried, “tear it down to its foundations!”

    Daughter Babylon, doomed to destruction, happy is the one who repays you according to what you have done to us. Happy is the one who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks.

    Psalm 137:7-9 (NIV2011)

    Did God act like a clown or did one of mankind release their grief in prayer to a God they did not know?

    Why do you attribute this at all to the acts of the God Christ exampled?

    “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

    “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

    “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

    Matthew 5:33-48 (NIV2011)

    For your edification each of the “You have heard that it was said” were relating to Old Testament quotes.

    Quote from the testimonial words of the Messiah where God, the Father, mother, and children, act like an evil clown, please. That is the point of the article being responded to summed up in, “Today, my eyes are finally opened– it’s as if for the first time I see what God is like, because I finally see what Jesus is like.

  • Matthew

    I believe both an ethical conscience and a heart and mind that desires to love and do good comes from God. Love lived out in peace is the absolute supreme ethical and moral standard and such is written on the hearts of all human beings. Sadly though, we often do not choose to submit to this absolute standard which is why there is so much sorrow and suffering in the world.

  • Herm

    Daniel, none of the Bible books are credited to women authors and only one accepted Gnostic Gospel is accredited to a woman, Mary. This we know for sure today.

  • Bravo Sierra

    Mark 11:14, Judges 21, Numbers 31:17, 1 Samuel 15:3, etc.

  • $144948586

    “and any comments about the afterlife are pure speculation.”
    Forgive me, I must’ve been mistaken when I thought Jesus, John, Peter, Paul and the other apostles spoke with authority.

    “Is Jesus going to continue the holocaust against gay people as conservatives believe?”
    There are atheist conservatives, too. Don’t make such a mistake, please.
    Second, Jesus never gassed anyone.

    “Do victims not go to hell?”
    I don’t know; I’d assume they do though–doesn’t mean there’s not “many rooms” to hell.

    “I find the whole thing a bit rich…. that God allows the Holocaust then
    is going to glorify himself by finally getting around to doing
    something about it…..”
    If you want to blaspheme, that’s fine. You can accuse God of being wicked due to horrific things occurring in this life all you want. Just know that Jesus has said that it will not be forgiven in the age to come.

    “A shame that God can’t do that.”
    I’m sorry that you’re comfortable enough to blaspheme: accusing God of not doing what Jesus did do, specifically: forgive.

    What I think we will all come to realize is that forgiveness doesn’t occur in this life for most of us. I don’t think we’ve come to proclaim the Atonement in right fashion. God didn’t kill Jesus out of a wrath he had for people; people killed Jesus out of a violent nature. Jesus asked forgiveness of God for them, because in that moment He had every right to spare His son in every manner that a father does when his child is violently attacked. God isn’t the accuser, the devil is. God is the judge, and His judgment is mercy. And His mercy was taking the violence upon Himself so that we place our cares–those things that make us compromising, fallen, and violent individuals–and place them on the Christ. Upon Him was laid our iniquity, and God forgave us of that. Most of us will have to wait to experience that beyond this life, not because God is waiting, but because we don’t understand the atoning work of Christ (or even know of Jesus).

  • If you mean God in the sense of the first definition of Merriam-Webster dictionary: God: “supreme or ultimate reality,”

    I completely agree. Humans receive their identity, their conscience, their true ethics–all from God.

    However, there are many different definitions of God:-(

    Jewish rabbis claim that God created both good and “evil.”

    Creedal Christians claim that God will/foreordains/plans all evil actions and all evil disasters, all diseases, etc.

    Muslims, also, believe that Allah “wills” both good and evil.:-(

    So much of this depends on what a person means by the word “God.”

    My understanding is that God is Good.

  • Bravo Sierra

    Except Exodus 13: 15 makes it pretty clear that they’re talking about making a human blood sacrifice.

  • Matthew

    Every good and perfect gift comes from God.

  • Herm

    So? What does this have to do with ” Today, my eyes are finally opened– it’s as if for the first time I see what God is like, because I finally see what Jesus is like.”?

    What point are you trying to make relative to the article that all threads are meant to be responding to? … I mean, after God allowed the sacrifice of His first blood born?

  • Herm

    The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it.

    Mark 11:12-14 (NIV2011)

    Read the article by Dr. Corey. We are talking about how mankind can present God as vindictive, full of wrath and to be a feared taskmaster, while the Messiah presents God, today, as loving all in Their image, humbly serving all mankind and willing to die for even those of mankind who know not what they do, to stop all blood sacrifices for all time in God’s name, even in place of the scholars who subscribed to the misrepresentation of God found in the tenets of the Pentateuch and the Torah that authorize the crucifixion of God’s Son in the name of God.

    Tell me where you find the God of Jesus the Christ acting like an evil clown, please. Mark 11:14 doesn’t meet my sincere request.

  • Daniel Fisher

    “They aren’t getting it from Jesus.” I promise, cross my heart, honestly and sincerely, I am getting it from Jesus’ words. I may be mistaken, I may have misinterpreted Jesus’ words, but I promise, as honestly and truthfully as I can search myself – I am getting it from Jesus’ words. maybe we are talking past each other? Let me explain:

    I comprehend someone saying, “OK, yes, I see where you could get ‘fear him’ out of Jesus’ words when he said, ‘fear him,’ but you must understand that when Jesus said ‘fear him’ he didn’t really mean ‘fear him.’ ” I disagree, but I can grasp that. Is that what you mean?

    Because I simply can’t even make sense of the idea if someone says, in effect, ” ‘Fear him’? ‘Fear him’? Where in the world did you ever get such an idea?? Jesus never said anything remotely like that….”

  • Daniel Fisher

    Daniel, this is helpful. Thanks for the thorough thoughts, much appreciated.

  • Daniel Fisher

    Concur – there is legitimate fear of God, and then there is the kind that is counterproductive in every way, makes people think that God would never accept them. One of my favorite Christian authors said it this way:
    “they could not sincerely devote their mind to the worship of God, unless they had been assured of his benevolence; because voluntary reverence springs from a sense of, and confidence in, his goodness.”
    I fear (*ahem*), though, that Dr. Corey is throwing the proverbial baby of genuine, right, and honorable fear of God – which Jesus enjoined toward our salvation and which is the beginning of wisdom, out with the bathwater of the kind of ugly fear which is, sadly rampant in many fundamentalist churches to this day, and which I concur must be combatted with the deep love and mercy of God as presented in the Bible.

  • Hmm…maybe we aren’t understanding one another?

    I DO think that when Jesus said, “Fear him” that’s what he meant.

    As I recall, Jesus spoke more about hell than heaven. His speeches are filled with warnings.

    Maybe you are confusing me with Ben Corey’s views?

    Where I disagree with you (and many other Reformed, Augustinians, etc.) is that
    I don’t think one can get such Christian determinism from Jesus, nor do I think Jesus’ warnings were his central points, nor were they based in a negative view of reality.

    Even though after dealing with Calvinism for 50 years, I finally came to the conclusion that Christianity can’t be true,
    I do think that the central view of Jesus is worthy.

  • Bravo Sierra

    Luke 14:26, Matthew 10:35 &36, Matthew 24:37.

    By the way, you keep moving the goalposts. Your first request was that I provide evidence that either one acted like an “evil clown.” Also, I think the problem of evil leaves a big enough question about the nature of god in most people’s minds.

  • Bravo Sierra

    My main point is that we don’t have to imagine to follow a bloodthirsty god that some bronze age tribe made up and Constantine co-opted to unite the Roman Empire.

  • “Outside of time,” that’s a rather abstract philosophical concept. What makes you think God exists outside of time? Time seems to be an integral part of his operating procedure. For example. God changes his mind in response to human activity: Jer 18, 26:3, Gen 18, he regrets decisions: Jer 18:7-10, Jonah 3:10, Gen 6:6. Immutability of character (God is Love, for example), does not mean he does not react to human events, or change direction in his unyealding love for us. Classic theodicy is more an outgrowth of Hellenistic philosophy and Enlightenment scholasticism than anything else.

  • That is the problem with believing in a God who is ultimately responsible for everything, both good, bad and indifferent. This is the classical theodicy of conservative Christianity, as well as other major religions. Things are bad, it must be God’ fault. If God is all-powerful, he would MAKE us all get along. He’d MAKE use stop killing each other. He’d MAKE us share our resources with the poor. Trouble is, we’d be robots. Love does not coerce others, it does not seek to control. This is the love Jesus showed us. He presented to us the face of the Father, non-controlling, self-sacrificing and loving. He showed us how to live a cruciform life, how to enter into partnership with God to change the world for the better. This, however, is not the path the church has taken historically. Instead, the church has emphasized the world as unfixable apart from a violent destruction and remaking in which God destroys billions of humans, the majority of whom we are taught he detests because of their sins. No, God has shown us the Way, we must follow in Christ’s footsteps. It is up to us to change things. We can’t blame our troubles on God.

  • Herm

    Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

    Luke 14:25-27 (NIV2011)

    “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven. “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn “ ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law— a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’ “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it. “Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”

    Matthew 10:32-42 (NIV2011)

    Is it an “evil clown” omipresent school master who insists that his students must hate all the traditional misconceptions taught by their limited perspective familial influences? Does the God of Jesus know more than you, your family, your church, your tribe and your species as to what is good for all mankind and what is evil for all mankind? Does the God of Jesus want to teach you for all time what is the truth in what is good and evil for you and all of mankind, more so than your family?

    “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

    “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

    Matthew 24:36-44 (NIV2011)

    Did you notice that Jesus only spoke to the lack of warning for those struck by the flood? Jesus never attributed the flood to God. You will die, you do not know the time and not because God decreed it to be so as people first thought in the story of the Garden of Eden. The Garden of Eden was a metaphor for the transition of the species mankind from hunter/gatherers to farmer/ranchers in the Fertile Crescent 9,000 years ago. God knew that while 2,000 years ago mankind could not even bear the fact that the heavens did not revolve around them or that the earth was not flat. 2,000 years ago mankind was ready to be introduced to God in person, for all of mankind, in the image of God, to begin know the real spirit God of Jesus, rather than continue to let the evolution of familial fantasized teaching that painted a picture of God to fit the animal image of Man.

    I have not moved the goal posts. I can read and understand the Old Testament as well as you. There is only one God with all authority in heaven and on earth and They are the God portrayed by Jesus, not portrayed by the Levite priests, Moses, King David and any of the other human celebrities in the Old Testament.

    I am sorry that you don’t see to know and accept the teaching offered you by God directly. You have been misled by the influences of Dr. Corey speaks about that fathers and mothers, wives and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life that teach God as an “evil clown”.

    If you don’t believe in God that is okay. That does nothing to stop you from, in everything, first doing to all others of mankind as you would have all others do to you. If you transgress that sum of the law then you are evil (destructive) to the survival of mankind. If you live up to that sum of the law then you are good (constructive) to the survival of mankind. That is all that God asks of us.

    One must not miss the irony of the climactic moment when God’s true character was revealed to humanity: instead of inflicting upon us torture and torment, he let us do it to him.

    That is God’s true character that Jesus teaches today through the Spirit of truth to the children of Man born of the Spirit to be our Father’s beloved children. You need not be a child of God to be good. After being whelmed by the Teacher I truly don’t know how I could have become as good as I am without His guidance. I don’t judge you except by your fruit. What fruit of mine do you judge me by and/or my God, the God of Jesus?

    The goal posts are not changing for the God of this 14.5 billion year old cosmos, especially in a mere 9,000 years.

  • Bravo Sierra

    Re: “Is it an ‘evil clown’ omipresent school master who insists that his students must hate all the traditional misconceptions taught by their limited perspective familial influences?”

    I don’t understand why you stuck the term “omnipresent” in here, other than to confuse. Bu otherwise yes, yes it is. A school master who tries to drive a wedge between families and cultures is both unwise and ineffective.

    Re: “The goal posts are not changing for the God of this 14.5 billion year old cosmos”

    My assertion was that YOU were moving the goalposts. This merely reinforces my impression that your god is merely an extension of your ego.

  • Herm

    I don’t follow the god of Constantine, especially since my God does not share thrones with Man. The Bible, though only a small portion, is a pretty sure chronicle of Man’s relationship with God as seen from Man’s perspective. Relationships unfold and abilities to convey spirit from a carnal view is improving as we mature.

    If you follow all my points throughout this blog you will notice that I only point to the Spirit of truth to follow; not me, not family, not church, not nation, not mankind. Only with and in Him as the Guide do we know for certain that God is what Jesus was and is like, today.

    I would wholeheartedly agree with your main point if you hadn’t introduced Exodus 13:15 as apropos to my questioning: “Last you said, ” Today, my eyes are finally opened– it’s as if for the first time I see what God is like, because I finally see what Jesus is like.” God says differently in many, many places; but wait, you don’t believe in those parts of the bible. Really?

  • Herm

    I don’t understand why you stuck the term “omnipresent” in here, other than to confuse. Bu otherwise yes, yes it is. A school master who tries to drive a wedge between families and cultures is both unwise and ineffective.

    This judgement of “unwise and ineffective” can only come from your allegiance to your mortal family’s limited perspective over eternal truth relative to the whole. You cannot be a child in all allegiance to God and a child in all allegiance your carnal family, either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other.

    The goal for some of us is a familial relationship with and in They who were before the birth of the cosmos, are now and will be together bound in all love without end.

    There is only one divine family that insists that all within must in everything do first to all others as They would have all others do to Them. They are not evil clowns but many family’s of mankind are.

  • Let’s play the little “game” Brian Zahnd plays in “Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God.”

    “Did God tell Abraham to sacrifice his son? You say yes? But hastily add that God didn’t actually require Abraham to go through with it—it was just a test of faith. All right.
    Next question: Did God command Joshua, King Saul and the Israelites to kill children as part of the ethnic cleansing of Canaan?

    Is that a hesitant yes I hear, like walking in untied shoes?
    My next question is simple and straightforward: Does God change?

    I sense your confident answer of no to this question. A cornerstone of Christian theology has always been that God is immutable—that is, God doesn’t mutate from one kind of being into another kind of being…

    Next question (brace yourself): Since God doesn’t change, and since you’ve already acknowledged in times past God has sanctioned the killing of children as part of a genocidal program of conquest, is it possible that God would require you to kill children?…
    Last question: If God told you to kill children, would you do so?

    I know, I know! Calm down of course, you answer without hesitation that under no circumstances would you participate in the genocidal slaughter of children. (At least I hope that’s how you answer!)

    Yet, in answering with an unequivocal no to the question of whether you would kill children, are you claiming a moral superiority to the God depicted in parts of the Old Testament? After all, the Bible says God commanded the Israelites to exterminate the inhabitants of the land during their conquest of Canaan, including children…right? Yet (hopefully) you find the very suggestion of participation in genocide morally repugnant. So what’s going on here? Is genocide something God used to command but now God has reformed his ways? We already agreed that God doesn’t change, God doesn’t mutate. So if God used to sanction genocide, and God doesn’t change…well you see the problem. You’ve been painted into a corner.

    So where do we go from here? Our options are limited. We really only have three possible courses.
    1. We can question the morality of God. Perhaps God is, at times, monstrous.
    2. We can question the immutability of God. Maybe God does change over time.
    3. We can question how we read Scripture. Could it be that we need to learn to read the Bible in a different way?” (Pp. 24-26)

    The problem historically for the church, both Catholic and Protestant, is that they believed God does, indeed order the killing of infidels, children, witches, American Indians, Anabaptists, Catholics, Mormons, Protestants, Jews…the list goes on and on. We can thank Augustine and his flat understanding of Scripture for a great deal of the deadly actions perpetrated in the name of God.

    This is a far cry from the Jesus who requires us to love our enemies if we wish to be sons and daughters of our father in heaven (Matt 5:43-48). Why would he require us to love our enemies if the Father himself cannot? There is a cognitive dissonance present when we declare God does sometimes order genocide, that the wanton murder of children is not always immoral.

    We need to understand that the human understanding of who God is evolves over time within Scripture and that it is Jesus, as the true Word of God that determines our understanding of God and Scripture.

    “This is the theme of John’s majestic gospel as he asserts over and over that it is Jesus who finally and fully reveals to humanity what God is really like. The incarnation is the ultimate act of divine self-disclosure. It’s Jesus, not the Bible, that is the perfect revelation of God.” (Ibid. pp.28-29)

  • Herm

    That excerpt, as you present it, has a much different significance when Luke 12 is taken in context. The same would be for Matthew 10 from which an excerpt was taken out of context earlier.

    What is your point, cmdr?

  • Herm

    … and we are not ever left orphans when we accept to be filled with the Spirit of truth. All previously unknown and surprising facts (revelations) are made known to us, daughters and sons of the Father, by the Holy Spirit we are immersed in as we can bear. The Advocate enables us to boldly speak the word of God to all receptive others, without the Bible.

  • Thanks podnuh…

  • OK, Daniel I appreciate your commentary, but hopefully you are not saying that the NIV has not changed words and meanings versus the KJV, as it has innumerable times…

  • Daniel Fisher

    NIV has had numerous editions and revisions, the most recent being 2011 (and a rather major one at that). These are done, though, not in an evolutionary manner, as if each subsequent edition is making changes upon changes upon changes from what came before it, without reference to the original language. Rather, each new edition of any Bible translation is done by re-examining those original language manuscripts, and determining, given the way the English language evolves, if the way something was worded is still the best way to communicate what was in the Greek or Hebrew to modern English audiences. That is the theory, at least, in principle .Something being a “revision” and not a “new translation” is sometimes a bit arbitrary.

    Personally, I think the 2011 NIV to be SO very different from what preceded it that it certainly deserves a new name… and I personally think they kept the “NIV” name for marketing reasons, but that may simply reflect my cynicism. I was a huge fan of the 1984 NIV, but the 2011 is so very different (and not in good ways, in my opinion) that I gave it up and moved to using an ESV.

  • $144948586

    Hi Daniel,

    I appreciate your words.

    Thanks for clarifying some of these things for me.

    “But at minimum, I hope that people can grant that this isn’t just
    something we invented because I wanted to, or because it reflects my
    preference….. ultimately, I am bound to these doctrines because I believe them true and taught by God through Scripture.”
    I understand and can grant you that. I’ve no problem with understanding that believing them is not something you can “choose” in the sense that you cannot choose to stop believing them one day. I also don’t have an interest in making you stop believing them.

    I think mostly what’s at issue is the affirmation of these things among the laity. That is, just because something is theologically defensible (as I do believe in an all-powerful, omniscient God who knows the destiny of this world) doesn’t necessarily mean that I should then speak to the idea that He will save whom He chooses to save and thus chooses whom he won’t save, at least I wouldn’t speak to it to a non-believer. For what it’s worth, I can understand it in the sense that perhaps this is the way it is and I can understand the argument for it. However, I’ve never met a Calvinist who ain’t elected. And, I can sympathize that the emphasis of God is willing to not save folks is, quite frankly, appalling to many ears. For the laity, it comes down to a cosmic chess match of God winning very few souls in the end (if one is a Calvinist who believes in limited election).

    Lastly, I’m OK with understanding suffering in this life being under the will of God, because I’ve come to trust in a God much bigger than this life. He’s bigger than our times present and our times future, and the fact that he holds these both and is able to restore all things is what gives me hope for a better tomorrow, for the believer. As to that, I would say Calvinism might be a discussion worth having among Christians, but to a non-Christian it can just be another reason to not be attracted to Christ. After all, I don’t really know that God wills only some to be saved; their might be scriptural evidence for it. However, if I’m asked about Calvinism I will state that I find the idea of limit to be something I’m unsure and even discontent with and that God could will horrific torture in this life or even that God willed Adam and Eve sinned (which ultimately resulted in torturous things occur in this world like ISIS), but I will respond that I believe God wills to save all people just like I, no matter what terrible things my children might do, would save all of them.

  • Agreed, but unfortunately for many Christians, an inerrant Bible has replaced the work of the Holy Spirit. For some the Trinity has grown into a foursome!

  • $144948586

    There’s nothing to interpret figuratively as opposed to literally. Jesus was just speaking directly to disciples in regards to their coming persecution if the “head of the house has been called Beelzebul”.
    If you run to progressive views in this because this is a hard thing to hear, then perhaps you might need to ask yourself: what’s my motivation for doing such a thing?

    What He was saying is that, “This life isn’t worth fearing to lose. The best they can do is kill you from this earth. Thus don’t fear them. Fear God, because He does have the power to kill you completely.”

    Bear in mind, I’m not saying God does this. But if you’re going to fear losing your body, you may as well put it in perspective: God can take your life.

  • Bones

    As horrific as this sounds but none of the gospel writers knew anything about the afterlife.

    It’s highly doubtful any of them even met jesus. Paul certainly didn’t beyond his vision.

    They know as much as you and me.

    As for jesus not gassing gay people, you realise that’s better than the torture ss gruppen fuhrer jesus is going to do to them.

    And who told you there’s many rooms in hell.

    Yet again people making bs up.

    If your God can’t handle honest questions but sees them as a threat then maybe that says something about you.

  • Herm

    Kirk, you do know that the Trinity is not from the Bible, errant or not, but originates purely from church doctrine attributed to early church fathers, don’t you? I hate to start a theoretical argument but God knows of no trinity relative to Them. There is no record of Jesus ever expressing God as composed of three persons, any where, at any time.

    If this offends you, I am sorry but there is a record of Christ being immersed/whelmed by the Holy Spirit. The trinity concept is from mankind alone.

    As the early church spread, there
    was a practical need for a statement of
    faith to help believers focus on the most
    important doctrines of their Christian
    faith. The Apostles’ Creed is appropriately
    named not because the original
    apostles wrote it, but because it
    accurately reflects the teaching of the
    apostles. Church fathers Irenaeus,
    Tertullian, Augustine and other leaders
    had slightly different versions of the
    Apostles’ Creed, but the text of Pirminius
    in A.D. 750 was eventually accepted as
    the standard form in the Western church.

    https://www.gci.org/files/3creeds.PDF

    To quantify God “to help believers focus on the most important doctrines of their Christian faith” denies the inerrant influence, the uniting function and the eternal baptism of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, to the entire body of God. God is spirit. God’s body is spirit. Mankind is carnal. Mankind’s body is carnal. Mankind as one body (physical) was made with the image of God as one body (spiritual). This and more relative to the numbers of members who make up God’s body and Man’s body is documented biblical history, without being fundamentalism, chronicled to the best of mankind’s ability as each scribe could bear to understand at the time. Children of God born of the Spirit (sisters and brothers of Christ Jesus, then and today) were and are not left orphaned only because we are immersed in the Holy Spirit. We are in Jesus and Jesus is in us, as well as we are in the Father and the Father is in us. That concept, which we can bear today, is from the Teacher and is written in the Bible. There is only one Father for the children of God and there never has been any other authorized fathers of Jesus’ church, which is built on the Holy Spirit but not on any church doctrine or creed. The Spirit of truth works perfectly well to guide us into all truth without any help from any of mankind.

    I do not want to hurt your feelings but your last sentence, in response to me, seemed a bit pointed, yet cloaked. If you disagree with what I am sharing here, please, ask God directly or boldly share why you differ in relationship with God. If you agree, I am not certain what you were trying to share by, “For some the Trinity has grown into a foursome!

    I am not pinning you into a response. You will not lose my love or respect should you remain silent on this subject. I do not judge you. I do ask that you focus, in direct one in one relationship, on the very real Spirit of truth in your midst for your source of directed truth, as you can bear, and not on the undocumented, uninvited, and unauthorized help the “church fathers” offer for the believers to focus on their faith. Really, truly, relationship with and in God doesn’t require any more focus of believer’s faith than your, which you probably took for granted without quantifying, relationship with and in your carnal family whom you believed in for your survival (including all blood relatives) as a child.

    Bless you and love you!

  • Bones

    Yeah because Capernaum is going to have a fate worse than sodom…Matt 11:23-24

    Guess what? It didn’t.

    It’s all figurative language.

    What the gospel writer was doing was encouraging his community in a time of persecution.

  • Matthew

    I´m wondering how you understand the verse in the Bible that talks about God being able to throw a body and soul into hell (Matthew 10:28).

  • Bravo Sierra

    Re: “This judgement of ‘unwise and ineffective’ can only come from your allegiance to your mortal family’s limited perspective over eternal truth relative to the whole.”

    No. It comes from the practicality of running a multicultural school and empathy with people from different cultures, including evangelicals. You’re the one stuck in the myths that your family gave you as a child, calling them “objective.”

    Imaginary friends are okay, but I’d prefer to have a relationship with real people, whether I agree with them or not.

    Can we dispense with calling others “evil clowns”? I’m not sure how that term came up, but it makes me uncomfortable when you apply it to real people.

  • Bravo Sierra

    Re: “I don’t follow the god of Constantine, especially since my God does not share thrones with Man. The Bible, though only a small portion, is a pretty sure chronicle of Man’s relationship with God as seen from Man’s perspective. Relationships unfold and abilities to convey spirit from a carnal view is improving as we mature.”

    So in other words, you just cherry pick the verses you like? Which parts? How do you decide which is which? And so why do you trust any part of the bible?

    Re: “If you follow all my points throughout this blog you will notice that I only point to the Spirit of truth to follow; not me, not family, not church, not nation, not mankind. Only with and in Him as the Guide do we know for certain that God is what Jesus was and is like, today.”

    So you pretty much make it up as you go along?

    Re: “I would wholeheartedly agree with your main point if you hadn’t introduced Exodus 13:15 as apropos to my questioning: ‘Last you said, ” Today, my eyes are finally opened– it’s as if for the first time I see what God is like, because I finally see what Jesus is like.” God says differently in many, many places; but wait, you don’t believe in those parts of the bible. Really?'”

    I enjoy reading the bible, much as I enjoy reading the Illiad, Beowulf, the Aeneid, Gilgamesh, etc. The bible exists; I just don’t take it literally. Besides, you yourself said that you cherry pick some parts to believe in literally, and some you dismiss as just a “chronicle of Man’s relationship with God as seen from Man’s perspective.”

  • Herm, I take no offense, nor am I absolutely invested in what I know to be a developed teaching of the early church fathers, who quibbled over the doctrine of the Trinity for some time. As I only started to deconstruct my belief system fairly recently, and still work full time, the reconstruction process is slow. I can only tackle one thing at a time. I have spent a full year in just coming to grips with human sexuality and the myth of “Biblical” marriage. This past year has been devoted to reading and studying what the Bible has to say about “God as Love” and the cruciform witness of Christ. I am just getting around to, and beginning to have an understanding of the failings of the orthodox teaching on hell and “eternal” punishment. I am looking into universalism, which I lean towards.

    When I started this leg of my journey 6 years or so ago, I agreed with God (I am sure he chuckled), to put everything on the table, that includes all doctrines. Nothing is off-limits and no doctrine is sacrosanct or presumed. Is the Son eternally subordinate to the Father? Is his authority derived? There are questions still to be pursued when I have time. I am looking forward to my retirement next year. I will be able to spend more time reading and blogging about my journey.

    A word on creedalism or confessional theology: I came to faith in a non-creedal, Pentecostal environment, so my theological structure tends towards pietism and intensely personal relationship rather than confession of the various church creeds and historical traditions of the Early Church Fathers or even the Reformers. Much of the development of church dogma was politically motivated, and the result of power struggles within a church that was anything but catholic or universal.

    As for my comment on a foursome rather than Trinity, I meant only to imply, that for many, scripture has been placed on an equal level with the Father and the Son. Indeed, for many, the doctrine of inerrancy of scripture places it above the work of the Holy Spirit, relegating the work of the Spirit solely to illuminating the Bible to us and convicting of sin. The Bible becomes THE supreme revelation of God, rather than Christ. My current use of the Trinity is merely pragmatic until I have time for further study.

    Thanks for your input. I appreciate it.
    God bless.

  • $144948586

    “As horrific as this sounds but none of the gospel writers knew anything about the afterlife.”
    That’s OK, ’cause neither Paul nor Peter were gospel writers–and then, of course, there’s John who saw the end of the world as we know it and the beginning of eternity.

    “It’s highly doubtful any of them even met jesus.”
    “They know as much as you and me.”
    I’m not willing to make such bold claims.

    “you realise that’s better than the torture ss gruppen fuhrer jesus is going to do to them.”
    I don’t know where you’re getting your stories or why you allow these hang ups in dialect to dictate your thinking. There is scholarship available to explain “what was really being said”–this exploration might be quite surprising.

    “And who told you there’s many rooms in hell.”
    I’d presume I’m not going to the same hell as, say, Ted Bundy–or that Ted Bundy’s many victims are going to the same on as Ted Bundy…of course, I don’t know that Ted Bundy went, but the point can still be made.

    “Yet again people making bs up.”
    Says the guy who is literally questioning the tradition of Canon.

    “If your God can’t handle honest questions but sees them as a threat then maybe that says something about you.”
    I don’t know where you get this idea that mine can’t.

  • $144948586

    “Yeah because Capernaum is going to have a fate worse than sodom…Matt 11:23-24”
    Yet, I was quoting Matthew 10.
    Yet, have you received some Divine affirmation that such day of judgment has come?

    “What the gospel writer was doing was encouraging his community in a time of persecution.”
    It sounds to me like this is what Jesus was doing in a place he departed from before denouncing those cities.

  • Matthew

    Paragraph 4 ……. 2 thumbs up!!

  • Herm

    I can see we are not communicating. You speak of God as a study to be uniquely considered among many cultures of mankind. I am speaking of God as a single divine familial relationship which was called an “evil clown” by Ian, not I. Apparently you do not have any sense of God as any more than imaginary friends. There really isn’t any common ground from which we can share if you cannot accept that God is real and alive as spirit that we can be immersed in today. I can share from the plane of practical human logic but that is not the focus here. You see, to me, there is only one mankind of which I do have empathy, compassion, tolerance, and forgiveness for each member and all fragments of segregated cultures (tribes) as I do myself, no more and no less. What you are telling me is that you won’t understand one God with each member united with and in one another bound in all love for each other.

    You are clear, thank you, when you are not uncomfortable when the term “evil clown” is applied to God. God is my family who is spirit. I am no less uncomfortable when ignorant children call my family an “evil clown” than when such was done to my carnal mother and father. My carnal mother and father were, also, not real to those on my elementary playground so the antagonists, trying to illicit a fight, had no empathy for them either. I will walk away from you and Ian as I did them, shaking the dust off my feet.

  • Herm

    I take this literally:

    “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

    John 14:15-21 (NIV2011)

    … and this is literally true for me:

    “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

    John 16:12-15 (NIV2011)

    I could read the entire Bible to you as the pointer to those tested facts. Do you know of any human written document that you would accept as inerrant truth in it’s entirety? Have you enjoyed reading any document worthy of mankind putting a pen to that was not pointing to something real, that led you down new paths toward a unique destination you had not considered prior? The Bible is a document segmented into to eras of testimony relating for a, maybe up to 340,000 year old, carnal life species in their intelligent, inquisitive and growing relationship with an intelligent spirit life with no beginning and no end. To have been inspired to take the time to chronicle their observations into testimony they first had to sense there was value in doing so, not the perfect truth but they knew they were on to something important.

    I don’t cherry pick but I do test to see if what was so important to the author stands the test of time. It took 50 years of my testing time on earth to realize, to see, to accept the Holy Spirit as literally real. You do not for you literally cherry pick from an infinite reality only what you can bear in the moment, and a budding relationship with a spirit God is not one. How apropos that we discuss this just preceding mankind’s celebratory annual moment of All Hallows’ Eve, when they face the evil spirits together, trick or treat.

  • Herm

    Kirk, wow, thank you for sharing your journey with us!

    I did not connect the “inerrant Bible” concept with the “foursome” picture. I agree that the Bible of human testimony has been destructively elevated in authority to equal status, as that of our Father, our Lord and the Holy Spirit, by those who just have to trust the Teacher’s user manual with as much, or even more, faith than they give to the Teacher in their midst (who is clearly explained in the user manual).

    I cannot speak to the directions you are being led out of relative to your past belief system. I can speak “to put everything on the table” directly with God. It works! That is my testimony.

    Love you and I am very happy for you!

  • StevenHaupt

    “Kirk, you do know that the Trinity is not from the Bible, errant or not, but originates purely from church doctrine attributed to early church fathers, don’t you? I hate to start a theoretical argument but God knows of no trinity relative to Them. There is no record of Jesus ever expressing God as composed of three persons, any where, at any time.”

    Are you Mormon or Jehovah Witness? They also deny the Biblical doctrine of the trinity.

  • Everett Kier Jr

    Seems you have simply replaced Scripture as the 4th member of the Godhead with yourself–at least your enlightened thoughts and impressions that interestingly affirm what you want to believe.

  • Herm

    Steven, thanks for the question. No, I am not, I am merely a little sibling of Jesus, the one Instructor (the Messiah) of my one Teacher (the Spirit of truth).

    What I just shared with you, relative to my full relationship with and in God, is directly biblical and literally written. Could you share what makes you apparently consider the trinity concept a “Biblical doctrine” authorized in any way by He with all authority in these things of the Spirit in heaven and on earth, please?

  • Herm

    No, Everett, only what I am taught by my one Teacher sent by my one Father, as it is clearly written in testimony captured in the Bible. Would you like me to share the literal scripture with you?

  • Bravo Sierra

    That’s a whole lot of word salad.I wish you a Happy Halloween,too. Watch out for Satan, though. He might get you. ;-)

  • Bravo Sierra

    Re: ” uniquely considered”

    Not really unique at all; the same as any other god throughout history.

    Re: “God is my family who is spirit.”

    Say “hi” to your imaginary pops for me.

  • Herm

    Thank you for your concern!

  • Herm

    Find one god, in all our past human experience, that died for their love of their enemies. Find me one god throughout history that teaches that the greatest among us will be our servant.

    He knows and thanks you for your blind humor!

  • StevenHaupt

    I know of no Christian denomination or church that denies the Trinity.

    Please name those that do. I would be quite interested in knowing about those.

    Just some of the Bible verses that teach the Biblical doctrine of the Trinity:
    Matthew 28:19, Matthew 12:28, Luke 3:22, John 14:26, John 15:26, John 1:4-5

  • Bravo Sierra

    Re: “their enemies”
    Logically, an onmiscient/omnipotent creator god would only have enemies if he made them and then chose to be enemies with them.

    Re: “He knows and thanks you for your blind humor.”
    You even presume to speak for your god.

  • Herm

    Thank you for your work, I appreciate your effort very much. These are the verses that you gave me supporting a doctrine that states that God is comprised of three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit

    But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

    Matthew 12:28 (NIV2011)

    When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

    Luke 3:21-22 (NIV2011)

    “All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

    John 14:25-27 (NIV2011)

    “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me. And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.

    John 15:26-27 (NIV2011)

    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

    John 1:1-5 (NIV2011)

    These are some of the verses which teach us that God is comprised of more persons than three and are growing:

    He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

    Matthew 12:48-50 (NIV2011)

    “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

    Luke 14:26-27 (NIV2011)

    Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.

    “Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others.

    “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

    Matthew 23:1-12 (NIV2011)

    “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

    John 14:15-21 (NIV2011)

    “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

    John 16:12-15 (NIV2011)

    According to the next witness the Spirit of truth came long before there was New Testament scripture and hasn’t left in the 1,485 years since:

    After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

    Acts 4:31 (NIV2011)

    On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

    “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

    He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

    “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

    Luke 10:25-28 (NIV2011)

    Only the children of God, born of God immersed with and in the Spirit of truth, will inherit eternal life. The same Advocate who appeared to descend on Jesus during His baptism (baptism is the same as immersed, whelmed and filled with and in water or the Holy Spirit).

    The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

    John 1:9-13 (NIV2011)

    Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.”

    John 1:32-34 (NIV2011)

    Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

    John 4:23-24 (NIV2011)

    Anything physical (carnal) touted as sacred on earth, including creeds, theologies (studies of God without relationship in God), and dogmas are craven images of the only church of Jesus which is spirit. The rock that Jesus’ church is built on is the Spirit of truth, the one who told Peter that Jesus was the Son of God, not Peter who denied Jesus later. We, in Jesus’, our high priest, flock, do not worship in repetition, by rote, by creed, by dogma, by theology or even out loud but only in the Spirit and in truth.

    I am not cherry picking, as you did to support the trinity doctrine which you were taught by traditions of mankind not the Spirit of truth, to share the truth that even by scriptural testimony from mankind we know for certain that God is, today, at minimum comprised of the Father, the Son, the mother, and all the siblings of Christ. It is only our Father’s will that remains forever supreme and only our Lord Jesus’ authority that is all authority in heaven and on earth for all of God. We, though daughters and sons of Man, as Jesus remains the Son of Man begot by the Spirit of God, are not of this world but we love our good neighbor as ourselves and our we love our enemy enough to die on the cross we carry.

    Is this more than you are ready to bear?

    Jesus’ church denies the Trinity!

    The Holy Spirit permeates all hearts, souls, strengths, minds by immersion eternally bound in all love each for another of God as one; beginning with the Father, our Father who is in heaven, we are in, and He is in us by way of the Advocate He sent when the curtain to the holy of Holies was torn top to bottom. Do you know of any Christian denomination who would accept this. Jesus’ church does and so much more as we each can bear.

    Love you!

  • Herm

    God’s enemies presumptuously crucified the Son of God in the name of God.

    You presume to deny God.

  • Bravo Sierra

    If it was a necessary sacrifice, it was a good thing. In that case, they weren’t enemies; they were instruments.

  • Bravo Sierra

    I don’t deny Yahweh any more than you deny Odin.

  • Jacob King

    There are a few contemporary denominations that deny the trinity as well as a long tradition of churches that goes back to the reformation and earlier. I am a Christadelphian and we reject the trinity as do the Jehovah’s Witnesses and obviously the Unitarians – there are others but I can’t recall any names right now. One problem is that for mainstream churches belief in the trinity forms part of what defines a Christian so your position that you know of no Christian denominations that reject the trinity could be considered a tautology. Many Christians would not acknowledge that I am a Christian.

    As an anti-trinitarain Christian not one of the verses you mention even gives me a moment’s pause. Of course I believe in Jesus and the Holy Spirit and God (as per Matt 28:19) I just don’t agree that they are one and three simultaneously. None of those verses “teach” the trinity they instead provide support if you come to them already believing in the doctrine. Nowhere in the bible is any passage or verse from which the idea of the trinity could be reconstituted by someone whose only contact with Christianity came from the bible. The trinity, as far as I am concerned, is a clever answer to a third century theological crisis that has long outlived its usefulness. It has also been used as a weapon and an excuse for Christians to murder and persecute their brothers and sisters from the third century right up into the reformation and beyond so there is that.

    Christians who deny the trinity believe that making Christ into God devalues the death and resurection by making Christ’s sacrifice a symbolic exercise rather than a genuine act of faith. If Jesus didn’t truly die (because how can God die?) he couldn’t be raised from the dead and if there is no resurection of the dead our faith is in vain. The humanity of Christ is the cornerstone of Christianity. Obviously trinitarians have an answer to this but I find it hard to follow without getting cross-eyed.

  • StevenHaupt

    I’m sorry, I didn’t see where you listed the Christian denominations and Churches that you know of that deny the Biblical doctrine of the Trinity. Would you please name them for me?

    I gave you several verses that teach the Biblical doctrine of the Trinity. Perhaps you are a new Christian and don’t see the Trinity in those verses. Is that so?

    Here again, are the verses: Matthew 28:19, Matthew 12:28, Luke 3:22, John 14:26, John 15:26, John 1:4-5

    If you still don’t see the Trinity in those verses, may I help you?

    I really would like for you to name those Christian denominations and Christian churches that do not teach the Biblical doctrine of the Trinity.

  • Herm

    … and you don’t know either. God knows no spoken or written name. Immersed in the Spirit we don’t have carnal mouths, ears, eyes for we are aware and influential simply with our reaching out and accepting via our hearts, souls, strengths, minds. God is spirit. Children of God are spirit. Spirit is the image of God graced mankind that was not graced any other animal on earth. Mankind is the only species on earth who is aware and influential within spirit. All other animal and plant life, composed of elements from the earth, are no more aware or influential than within the confines of the temporal carnal. Why would you assume that I deny Odin, or Allah, or any maturing sense of spiritual relationship?

  • Herm

    It wasn’t a necessary sacrifice but could only proceed because God’s designated people did not recognize the presence of God in their midst. The one person, Caiaphas, who was granted permission by God to consult with the Holy Spirit behind the curtain of the Holy of Holies did not do so. Instead, Caiaphas consulted with his political council to judge Christ as a blaspheming heretic. Would any of Man crucify the Son of God if they knew He was the Son of God? Neither Jesus, nor His Father, nor the Spirit of truth told the high priest to crucify the Christ. All children of the Father carry their own crosses so Jesus’ crucifixion was not a once and for all time sacrifice for the enemies of God.

  • gimpi1

    I’m looking forward to “Unafraid” for the reasons stated in this post. I can never understand how a loving being could torture anyone, let alone most people, for a minute, let alone forever. That’s not love, by any definition. I’ve got my order in with B&N!

  • Herm

    Steven, you didn’t read what I wrote, you only looked for an answer to your question. If you would have read everything you would have noticed that I clearly said no Christian denomination or Christian church is Christ’s church. There is only one Teacher.

    Why do you insist on giving authority to any carnal church when our Father is worshiped only in the Spirit?

    I am a past seminarian and have much more official training and experience in all organized by mankind church doctrine, dogma, theology, creeds, ritual and sacraments than you indicate you have. Read what I wrote you or by your own will you will remain blind to the Spirit of truth:

    the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

    John 14:17 (NIV2011)

    You demand that I answer your questions regarding the members of God supported by only the authority of the world and not the authority of my Lord and Brother Jesus. If you cannot accept the Holy Spirit, as Caiaphas could not accept the Holy Spirit when readily available to him, you, too, will remain in the worldly crowd yelling to free Barabbas and crucify more children of God.

    God is aware and influential. Jesus is alive and influential. The Advocate is alive and influential. All are readily available to consult with you if you are sincere. There are many children of God walking this earth today who boldly speak the word of God filled with the Holy Spirit. Read what I wrote if you really care. I took hours to put that together because I care, and my Father supports my caring, that you find the truth from the only reliable source. I don’t earn a thing for what I offer in service to you, nothing.

    If you would have taken the time to notice, I spelled out each and every verse you offered me. I read them all. You did not read what I wrote you apparently because your mind is made up and you are satisfied with whatever Christian denomination or church supports your argument. Good luck, so did Caiaphas.

    If I sound angry I am. You gave me the impression that you wanted the truth and nothing but the truth. It really hurts to see that all you wish to do is win a debate founded on only your rules. I am not the truth or authority for the answers you seek but I know who to point you to, and I did.

  • gimpi1

    Some of it may reflect the ancient and medieval world. Many of the ways people speak and relate to God in Jewish and Christian writings are much the same as they would speak as relate to a king or liege lord. Any writings will be filtered by the times they were written. Today with our modern concepts of individual rights, justice and a government responsible to its people, these ancient ideas look pretty awful. And, you know what? That’s good! It means we’ve grown and our society is better.

    At least that’s how it looks to me.

  • gimpi1

    When a group almost unanimously follows a leader that violates their most basic rules, openly lies, engages in fraud, defaults on debts, and appears to have the empathy of granite and the social grace of skunk cabbage, and they seem to have embraced him in order to have power over others, it’s hard to see them as pure. I,don’t believe in a devil, but if I did, I would see climbing into bed with President Trump as pretty close to making a deal with said devil.

  • gimpi1

    The didn’t. Genesis is metaphor , poetry and mythology, but it’s neither science or history.

  • StevenHaupt

    Why do you refuse to answer such simple questions? You deny the Trinity but you won’t give me the denomination or any denomination that agrees with you. I know of no Christian denominations or Christian churches that deny the Trinity. Please name some.

    You have clearly stated that you deny the Trinity. Are you the only one that you know of or associate with that also denies the Trinity? Do you attend a church that denies the Trinity or do you attend a church that affirms the Trinity and you just don’t make your lack of belief known?

    The Trinity, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit is taught in those verses I gave you. Here they are again:Matthew 28:19, Matthew 12:28, Luke 3:22, John 14:26, John 15:26, John 1:4-5

  • Thanks Herm, I love your spirit! It’s interesting that Jesus promised to send “another comforter” to “teach us all things” (John 14:16). He didn’t say, “and the Father will send you and inerrant written word which will teach you all things, and will send you inspired church fathers to teach you correct doctrine.” It is the Holy Spirit of God and the manifest witness and life of the Son that teaches us AND stands above the written witness of what came to be called the Bible. If we place the Bible above Jesus we are creating an idol. This is exactly what we are doing when we look for scriptures to condone violence to our enemies, or to support violent visions of God our Father. We do so in direct opposition to Christ’s teachings to love our enemies and do good to them.

    As I get more involved in church history, a different picture of what I’d always been taught is emerging, and it’s not necessarily a pretty picture. The church has taken a pretty steep departure from the teachings of Christ from Augustine on, particularly in the area of violence to one’s enemies and the coercive nature of the powers of the church hierarchy. Church creeds, dogma and tradition, are for some, an idol as well. Just talk to the average hyper-Calvinist and that becomes abundantly clear.

    Love you, brother, peace

  • Stephen, although as I have stated to Herm, my conclusions on the Trinity are not absolute yet. But I wonder, when you state to Herm, that the “Bible teaches the Trinity,” you actually know the history of Trinitarian doctrine or what orthodoxy teaches the Trinity is. Personally, I could care less what denominations teach it, and am not quite sure why that is important to you. Church history is resplendent with denominations quarreling amongst each other at times even fighting and killing each other.

    First off, the term “Trinity” is found nowhere in Scripture. It is a theological term meant to stand for a rather abstract philosophical construct developed 300 years after the birth of the church. If Scripture clearly taught it, it wouldn’t have taken the early Church Fathers a few centuries to come up with the precise wording they did after the council of Nicea. No church leaders were trinitarian prior to that council.

    Secondly, the doctrine is not explicit, but an implicit deduction arrived at after much debate among leaders within the 4th century church, and primarily as a reaction to Arianism, which taught that Christ, as the Word of God, was created rather than eternally preexistent. There is just no way one can look at the scripture references you’ve given and jump to the conclusion that the members of the trinity are by necessity coequal, and share the same “essence” (Homoousion) without appealing to church creeds and councils (which may explain why you are so keen on identifying which denominations teach something other than Trinitarian dogma).

    Thirdly, scripture mentions all three, at times in the same sentence, which neither Herm or myself deny, but also talks about the subordination of the Son, his authority is of a derivative nature. Christ’s authority is given to him by the Father (Matt 11:27; see also Matt. 28:18, Eph. 1:21, Phil. 2:9, John 3:35, John 17:2, 1 Cor. 15:24). In these scriptures it is clear that Jesus Christ is subordinate to God, receives authority, not inherently, but receives it from God, and after all is accomplished returns it to God.

    Now, a number of passages talk about Christ bearing the image of God, or being the likeness of God, but, again, one could interpret this as representational. It is not entirely clear, for example, in John 1:1, if “the Word was with God, and the Word was God,” should be understood as the Word was a God (secondary), or translated best as the Word was divine. The proto-orthodox Fathers were not of complete agreement how to translate this.

    The statements of John about the Word of God, or logos, are most likely an attempt to make the Gospel relevant to a culture steeped in Neo-Platonism.

    Please note, I do not claim to have all the answers on this issue, and probably never will, but I do have questions.

    That Jesus represents the Father, does his will and shows us what God is like, I would in no way deny. This is the revelation of the Gospel. If you want to know what God is like, look at Jesus. I just find your statement that the Bible teaches the Trinity a bit over simplistic, that’s all.

  • Herm

    These are denominations that agree with me relative to the trinity:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nontrinitarianism

    There are denominations that claim authority for many conflicting dogmas all selling their authority.

    There is no carnal church on earth that is Christ’s church. I gave you the scripture to that affect and you ignored it. I pointed to the Spirit of truth and you turned your back on Him. You deny an offered relationship with and in God in favor of mortal authority.

    You would do yourself a great favor if you realized that all children of God today are of God as one with the Father and our Brother the Instructor. I do not deny my direct relationship with and in God.

    God including the brothers, sister and mother are taught in this scripture:

    He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

    Matthew 12:48-50 (NIV2011)

    Jesus’ Father is my Father, as He is the one and only one Father of all children of God in the Spirit:

    “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

    “This, then, is how you should pray: “ ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

    Matthew 6:5-10 (NIV2011)

    You don’t know our Father for if you did, as I and many more do, you could not place your trust in Man’s fragmented and segregated denominations in His place.

    One last time, it is not too late to read your verses in context with the additional verses above that I shared with you. It is worth investing your short time on this earth.

    I worship only in the Spirit and in truth!

    God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

    John 4:24 (NIV2011)

  • Bones

    It’s highly doubtful that the first Christians were Trinitarian.

    If anything they were Adoptionists.

  • saffiregal

    Like I said in another comment that was tradition years ago.

  • Bones

    Aaaaand????

    It makes Paul’s comment no less ridiculous.

    Judge for yourself….ergo use your brain.

  • saffiregal

    That proves nothing.

  • StevenHaupt

    Herm, I asked you three times to give me Christian denominations or Christian churches you knew of that deny the Trinity. You still have not given me any. Now you give me a wikipedia source and say “These are denominations that agree with me relative to the trinity:.” Herm, they are not “Christian” denominations as you yourself indicated. They are not recognized by Christianity as being Christian. Jehovah Witness and Mormon are on that list. They are not Christian.

    You refuse to give me the name of the denomination, church, organization or similar designation that you belong to. Instead you write as though you don’t associate or belong to any, which leads me to believe that you don’t associate or attend meetings with your like minded people.

    I’m a member of a Baptist Church, I’m not ashamed to say so. Would you do me the courtesy of telling me who you identify with? It seems to me that it would have to be on that Wikipedia list you brought forth.

    The Trinity is taught in the Scriptures. The Scriptures are and should be the authority for Christians, not the doctrines of men.

    The Trinity is taught in those Scriptures I previously cited. I’m am going to plainly show you the Trinity in Matthew 28:19:

    “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,” Matthew 28:19 NASB

    There the Trinity is clearly seen. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. You see that, right?

  • saffiregal

    Maybe Herm should educate you – or will you say he has no brain?

  • Ron McPherson

    Why are you so insistent upon Herm naming a Christian denomination or church that aligns with his view? Whether you agree with him or not, he is saying that our authority as Christians is not derived from an official denomination or church construct of man, and thus it is irrelevant with him. He is speaking from a point of Spirit, not carnal. Hope that makes sense. Ironically though, the concept of the Trinity seems to have been a “doctrine of men” formalized centuries after the risen Christ. FWIW, I affirm the divinity of Christ, so I’m not arguing one way or another. I’m pretty much where Kirk is on all this. But badgering Herm into supplying you with an answer on which denomination teaches what he believes is meaningless in the grand scheme of truth. Peace

  • Herm

    “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

    John 14:15-21 (NIV2011)

    Steven, where does Jesus Christ, or any of the apostles of the Messiah, say anything about a trinity, or apply any significance to be drawn relative to how many there are of God? You are aware that to be baptized means no more than to be immersed in, to be filled by, and to be whelmed by, aren’t you? Do you accept the Holy Spirit, is He with you and in you?

    I can count. The scriptures teach nothing regarding anything called a “trinity” or any numerical quantity of God. The brothers, sisters, and mother of the only begotten Son of God expand the family, headed by the will of our Father, well beyond a simple three persons.

    “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

    John 16:12-15 (NIV2011)

    Who is guiding you into all truth, the only Teacher authorized by God for the sibling disciples (students) of Christ or your Baptist denomination? Who has all authority in heaven and on earth for all in the Spirit, Jesus the Christ or your Baptist synod. Who lives to Instruct and serve you as the Lord your God, Jesus Christ who was baptized by John the Baptist by water and the Holy Spirit by He appearing as a dove, or John Smyth who performed a radical and considered scandalous act of baptizing himself by pouring water on his head, to then baptize Thomas Helwys who established a Baptist congregation in London 1,577 years after Jesus ascended into heaven with all authority in heaven and on earth? Which of your leaders was baptized (whelmed) with the Holy Spirit and which was baptized only with water? Are you still proud to be filled by the Baptist church with no room left for the Spirit of truth?

    What denomination were these people of:

    After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

    Acts 4:31 (NIV2011)

    Name me one denomination of God’s chosen people who recognized the Son of Man as filled with the Holy Spirit from God; the Pharisees, the scribes, the Sadducee, the high priest???

    You, as a soldier for your church, usurp the priesthood and authority of Jesus Christ in Christ’s name. Soldiers acting under the authority of Rome, serving the judgment of Caiaphas (the high priest of Jesus’ denomination), supported by the vote of the crowd of God’s chosen people, crucified the Son of God on his cross in God’s name.

    And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

    Luke 14:27 (NIV2011)

    Do you carry your own cross to be crucified in God’s name that God’s enemies might learn to live? Do you forgive those who know not what they do?

    Are you a student of the Baptist church or a student of Jesus Christ? You cannot serve two masters.

  • Examples of Christian denominations that deny the Trinity:

    Some of the Early Church Fathers!
    Christian philosopher Dale Tuggy (PhD Philosophy, Brown University, 2000) teaches philosophy and religious studies at The State University of New York at Fredonia.”
    Check his website where he regularly posts articles on some of the early Church Fathers who WEREN’T Trinitarian.

    also:
    Church of God General Conference, present day, headquarters in Georgia

    Unitarianism, very large denomination in 19th century New England

    Some Brethren Churches

    Socinians

    United Pentecostal

    etc.

  • Matthew

    Can someone from the progressive side of the tent please explain how they understand Matthew 10:28? If Jesus is God, and if God is unequivocally love, how could
    Jesus say such a thing? I cannot wrap my head around this one. Sorry.

    Bones … I got your explanation, but quite honestly I couldn´t follow the context you offered up. Thanks anyway.

  • Herm

    Matthew, do you consider me from the progressive side of the tent?

    Lately, people who don’t accept to even reply with full in context references to my Bible references accuse me of cherry picking. Below is Matthew 10:28 in context to avoid any cherry picking, unless there are those who would prefer I just cut and paste the entire Bible. The audience Jesus is speaking to is His twelve disciples which, today, would be applicable to all of Jesus’ disciples’ today, born of the Spirit of truth to be in Jesus and Jesus in them. I will highlight portions relative to the fear spoken of in verse 28.

    Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.

    Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts— no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep. Whatever town or village you enter, search there for some worthy person and stay at their house until you leave. As you enter the home, give it your greeting. If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.

    I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues. On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

    Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. Truly I tell you, you will not finish going through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

    The student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for students to be like their teachers, and servants like their masters. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household!

    So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

    Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.

    Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn “ ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law— a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’

    Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.

    Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”

    Matthew 10:1-42 (NIV2011)

    Matthew, after reading who and what to fear in context what might there be that you have yet to wrap your head around?

    Love you!

  • Herm

    All students of Christ are applauding! Thank you!

  • Herm

    Everett, are sisters and brothers of God’s Son of God, also, with the same Father? There is only one head of God whose will is our direction, our Father.

  • StevenHaupt

    Herm, you are quite wordy. It would take way too much of my time to respond to all your statements and beliefs so I will only respond to a few. I’m a straight talker, I try not to ramble and get off into the weeds or be vague about what I believe.

    You wrote: “Steven, where does Jesus Christ, or any of the apostles of the Messiah, say anything about a trinity, or apply any significance to be drawn relative to how many there are of God?”

    Jesus never mentioned a lot of things we know to be true about who God is. For instance Jesus never directly said that practicing homosexuals will end up in hell but we know that 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 makes that clear. And no, Jesus never used the word Trinity, but the doctrine is there in the Scriptures as I showed you ,and you did not refute me or make any attempt to.

    Christians can differ on some things, but not that which is clearly taught in Scripture. The cults such as the Jehovah Witness and the Mormons deny the Trinity. The truth divides people, that’s a fact. The cults are divided from Christianity.

    When one denies the clear teachings of God’s word then that one is clearly making himself the judge of Scripture and by extension calling God a liar.

    You asked me “Are you a student of the Baptist church or a student of Jesus Christ?” I’m a student of Scripture and by extension a student of Jesus Christ because Jesus is God as well as the Father and as well as the Holy Spirit, and that’s the truth that Scripture teaches. Baptists recognize that truth as does all Christian denominations and Christian churches. Baptist didn’t invent the truth of the Trinity, Baptists recognize and preach the truth of the Trinity that is clearly taught in Scripture.

    I hope you will one day see and adhere to the truth of the Trinity that is taught in Scripture and that all Christians accept.

  • Daniel Fisher

    I’m happy to be enlightened. Tell me, what does “Yes, I tell you, fear him” really mean?

  • Herm

    … and none of the disciples in Christ and Christ in them accept any association with a trinity godhead. Our Father’s will is our head, our Brother Jesus is our Lord and with and in the Holy Spirit we are all of God.

    Are the sisters and brothers of God’s Son, also, children of Christ’s Father today?

    How do you read, as a student of scripture, John 14:15-21?

  • Herm

    Meanwhile, when a crowd of many thousands had gathered, so that they were trampling on one another, Jesus began to speak first to his disciples, saying: “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.

    I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

    I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever disowns me before others will be disowned before the angels of God. And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.

    When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”

    Luke 12:1-12

    You are going to die physically, with no longer any physical awareness or influence on earth. Many follow the hypocrisy of mankind’s authorities only because they fear dying physically. There is only one authority who can take all awareness and influence from each of us on earth, spirit and carnal, to become forgotten forever more. If you are to be persuaded which competing authority, only out of fear, which would you follow? To the Father and our Lord there actually is nothing to fear by choosing Them for, to Them, you are worth more than many sparrows. Did Jesus fear Caiaphas or Pilate who took His life, more than He feared His Father? Do we carry our crosses out of fear of mankind, or out of love for mankind and our God? Some may carry their sacrificial cross, or suicide vest, out of fear of their god which is greater than their fear of mankind.

    You can see my response to Matthew on the very same subject, similar wording but different scripture, at: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/no-god-isnt-like-stephen-king-character-supposed-fear/#comment-3593720005

    I hope this helps your happiness! I live to serve!!!

  • Ron McPherson

    I’m thinking denominational Christianity ceases if everyone who claimed to be a Christ follower actually took to heart Jesus’ greatest commandment. Aside from this, what doctrine or theology is a hill to die on? The fact that there are reportedly some 40,000 different denominations (or variances of) kinda says it all I guess. The early church got this great commandment thing. And lo and behold, we read in Acts where God added to them because of it, which goes precisely with how Jesus said it would work in John 13:35, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” Yep, it was pretty easy to figure out back then. Of course mankind put a system to it over the years and just thoroughly messed it all up afterwards ha.

  • Ron McPherson

    “…Jesus never directly said that practicing homosexuals will end up in hell but we know that 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 makes that clear…”

    But the problem with this is that you’re placing more emphasis on Paul’s letter addressing issues to a church situated within a Greco-Roman culture than on Jesus’ very direct words to Martha of, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.”

    Jesus didn’t put a caveat in there declaring that he didn’t really mean what he said, that ‘everyone’ doesn’t really mean ‘everyone.’ Jesus didn’t say, now Martha there is a group of people that my words do not actually apply to, so you need to stick around for another 25 years cause there’s gonna be this guy named Paul who will write a letter to a church in Greece, and he’s going to set the record straight on this, so consult with him before drawing any conclusions to what I say now. He didn’t say, now you or your friends or your loved ones may be left out in the cold for living a certain way, but I’m not going to tell you why. That’s Paul’s job. And he never said, there is going to be a lot of people who put their faith in me in the first couple centuries who will not even have access to Paul’s letter, so if they hear about what I said here, they will be mistaken for just taking me at my word cause Paul won’t be there to clarify who it doesn’t really apply to.

    We run into stuff like this by trying to “systemize” every biblical writing to make it a cohesive whole. After years of trying, I gave up. I spent umpteen years and countless hours of study attempting to do that very thing. But it always came back to this: I had to change Jesus’ own words to make it work. No longer will I do that because it always felt contrived and pretentious.

  • Daniel Fisher

    Perhaps I am just dull and not following. “Yes, I tell you, fear him” means “Don’t be afraid”?

  • Herm

    Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

    Luke 12:7 (NIV2011)

  • Herm

    You’ve been paying attention to your lessons. Did you notice that mankind’s church very quickly evolved to be “a system” more like…

    Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others.

    Matthew 23:5-7 (NIV2011)

    …than…

    The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

    Matthew 23:11-12 (NIV2011)

    …when the greatest among them at the time was the Messiah?

    Which system judges to place people on the cross they carry and which system demands that their people carry their own cross?

    People who depend on and defend their denominational Christianity to know Christ, to learn from Christ, don’t know Christ. It slipped right by Steven that studying scripture to know God’s will is not the same as learning directly from the Spirit of truth with and in Steven.

    I love you always, thank you!

  • StevenHaupt

    “and none of the disciples in Christ and Christ in them accept any association with a trinity godhead.”

    Huh?

    “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,” Matthew 28:19 NASB

    There the Trinity is clearly seen. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

  • Herm

    Steven, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 isn’t nearly as clear as you might think, and it is significant that it was not written by, or is a witnessed quote of, Christ. Sin is the transgression of divine law. The sum of the law is in everything do to others as you would have others do to you. To inherit eternal life no more is required than to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, with all your mind and like that love your good neighbor as yourself. Homosexuality practiced between consensual adults transgresses none of what Jesus taught as a prerequisite to inheriting eternal life as His sibling, or transgresses divine law.

  • Daniel Fisher

    Herm,

    This is almost like the “who’s on first” routine. I hear what you’re saying but maybe you’re missing my difficulty. Words have meanings. Jesus said two things:

    A) “Yes, I tell you, fear him.”
    B) “Don’t be afraid.”

    And what I read you as saying – you’re telling me that what Jesus **really** meant was B, he did *NOT* mean A. OK, fine, but he said A. He used the words. And if words have meaning at all, then “yes, I tell you, fear him” does NOT MEAN “Don’t be afraid.”

    Are you are saying that Jesus said something he did not mean? Was he confused? did he misspeak? Did he mean to say those words? if so, are his words meaningless? mistaken? a copy error? mistranslated?
    Words have meanings. and it just doesn’t do for us to claim that a person means the complete opposite of what his words convey. That way confusion lies.

    I DON’T WANT TO HEAR ANY MORE OF YOUR OPINIONS ON THIS MATTER.

    And by those words, of course, what I mean is that I look forward to hearing your response.

    (See how confusing that gets if we let words “mean” the opposite of what they say?)

    :)

  • Herm

    I find John 14:15-21 clear, do you?

    The will of My Father is that I not worship any trinity.

    Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

    Matthew 7:21-23 (NIV2011)

    Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.

    John 4:23-24 (NIV2011)

    By your fruit we know you are not worshiping in the Spirit! Jesus doesn’t know you and you do not know Him.

    Tell me what you derive from the scripture John 14:15-21, please?

  • StevenHaupt

    Sorry Herm but I’m not interested in chasing rabbits with you. My interest with you is the Biblical doctrine of the Trinity.

    ” But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” Matthew 12:28 NASB

    “But if I” I is a pronoun. The I is Jesus, Jesus is God the Son. “The Spirit of God” is the Holy Spirit, God the Holy Spirit. ” The kingdom of God” God the Father.

    We have here in one verse, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. One, two, three. “God in three persons, blessed Trinity”

    I love to sing this Hymn:

    Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!
    Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee.
    Holy, Holy, Holy! Merciful and mighty!
    God in three persons, blessed Trinity!

    That hymn has been sung in Christian churches for over 150 years! I know all the verses by heart, one of my favorites.

    Notice the Holy, Holy, Holy! Three, the Trinity! Praise God !!!

  • Herm

    Daniel, Cmdr., have you ever heard of any authority who contrasted one perceived threat to another by saying something like, “you think that knife wielder you see is scary consider (s)he, who you can’t see, who can send a nuclear warhead to detonate just above your front lawn”?

    If doing what the potential knife wielder demands is in direct opposition to the demands of the potential nuclear wielder which one do you follow? If the knife rules by subjugation of your temporary life and the nuke rules by service to support you in eternal life, even if your physical life was in jeopardy, who do you follow?

    Jesus Christ, by example, chose to follow His Father’s will that He carry His cross to die for those who knew not what they were doing.

    And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

    1 John 4:16-18 (NIV2011)

    The difference between fear him who can do this and don’t be afraid, is one is a considered potential of what could be done, who God has the power to be, and the other is what God is doing, who God is.

    I understand your confusion only if I focus on one phrase in its simplest form compared to the other phrase in its simplest form. When I take both together in full context of the entire moment of teaching I really don’t have any confusion as to what Jesus is saying and why.

  • Dean

    “You have elevated yourself above God deciding what is right and what is wrong just like Adam and Eve; but you can’t see that. The evidence of that is what you write in these blogs. It is all your personal opinion cloaked in your “Jesus” theory that comes from the bible; a book you do not respect outside of the verses you choose to accept. Notice that for all your studies, translations, articles and blogs, it is your decisions that you promote.”

    Bob, we all do that, the difference is that some of us admit it. You think something like Calvinism is a real thing? It is made up from whole cloth, it is not in the Bible at all, yet you can have millions of people say “God’s ways are higher than our ways”, “I submit to the teachings of the Bible”, “I have a high view of scripture”. It’s all 100% baloney. Everyone just picks and chooses what they want and pretend they don’t. I’m not saying you are a Calvinist, I’m just saying all Christians take in information from the Bible, from their relationships, from their experience, then they form an opinion about God and how best to follow Jesus. That’s just part of being human. This direct access to divine commands that you seem to have is not Christian at all, it’s gnostic.

  • The Greek word pseuche and the Hebrew word nephesh are both translated as “soul.” Both of these words mean a living, breathing creature, in reference to man or animal. Soul doesn’t mean an immortal part of man. This would be a Hellenistic concept foreign to Hebrew thought. It refers to a living, breathing being, human or otherwise. Body refers to the physical, with soul referring to a body with the breath of life in it. The modern concept of man being comprised of body, soul and spirit is non-Biblical. Man, when alive, is a body with life in it. Remember, salvation into aeon life is a gift, not a given (Eph. 2:8). The question, of course, is whether Christ’s sacrifice merits the gift of aeon life for all, or just some. In the context of Matt. 10, is Christ saying be afraid of God because he may throw you into hell (Gehenna), or is he merely alluding to the fact that we are all in the Father’s hand, reliant on Him for our salvation, and therefore we should not fear those who can kill our body, but have no say in our resurrection?

    As a progressive I am aware that Jesus gave warnings, often in parable form, about missing the resurrection to the “Coming Age” (aeon). I am not adverse to the understanding that Jesus taught there were good and bad consequences to, either living for the Kingdom, or fighting against it. How we understand this passage depends largely on whether one believes scripture teaches annihilation, universal reconciliation, or a combination of both. I lean towards both. To “destroy” both body and life (pseuche) to me, seems pretty fatalistic and final. It is not being tortured for eternity, dangled over the flames like a loathsome spider, but simply destroyed, this is the “second death.” (Rev. 20)

    On the other hand, there seem to be a number of parables that imply one can physically die and be left outside the coming millennial reign (wailing and gnashing of teeth, the foolish virgins, the older brother of the prodigal son, etc.). Note, none necessarily have to be interpreted as God torturing someone (which would be against his nature of love), but, nevertheless, imply that missing the resurrection to the coming aeon would not be pleasant.

    The majority consensus of the early church Fathers up to, but not including, Augustine, was universal reconciliation. There are at least 3 dozen passages that strongly suggest the consumption of the age will result in ALL of creation being reconciled to God. Just how to reconcile this with passages that teach destruction I am not sure of at this time. Perhaps Herm or someone who’s looked at the issue longer than I can shed some light?

  • Herm

    John 14:15-21 has nothing to do with “Biblical doctrine” of those in relationship in God?

    You don’t care at all about truth in the Bible regarding relationship of disciples with and in God, do you? You don’t choose to be a disciple of Jesus but love to sing a 150 year old song as a disciple of your Baptist nation.

    You are blind to the kingdom of God in your midst. Jesus is a theory to be bantered about not a relationship for you, not with you, not in you. Your god is not real, just as Caiaphas’ god was not real. Caiaphas judged to crucify the Son of God in his god’s name. How many children of God do you think you have crucified in your god’s name?

    You get off on singing a 150 year old song when Jesus was given all authority in heaven and on earth over God’s kingdom over 1,983 years ago. If you truly want the truth then beseech the Holy Spirit to guide you personally as you read John 14:15-21 and 16:12-15.

    If you knew the Teacher you would be certain that a trinity concept for God is a fabrication of Man to maintain some simile of one God for the organized religion of Christianity. Those that did so did not accept the Spirit of truth or they would have known that when immersed in the Holy Spirit God is one, no matter how many are of God.

    You are blind. You are not receptive to the real live God in your midst. You know not what you do. I shake the dust from my feet. Bye!

  • “Anything physical (carnal) touted as sacred on earth, including creeds, theologies (studies of God without relationship in God), and dogmas are craven images of the only church of Jesus which is spirit. The rock that Jesus’ church is built on is the Spirit of truth, the one who told Peter that Jesus was the Son of God, not Peter who denied Jesus later. We, in Jesus’, our high priest, flock, do not worship in repetition, by rote, by creed, by dogma, by theology or even out loud but only in the Spirit and in truth.”

    Nailed it! Love it!
    Something you said about God being “comprised of more than three persons and growing,” really struck home. Jesus prayers that we would be “one with each other, as he is with the Father.” (John 17:21), that we would be in the Father as he is in the Father. There are a number of verses that talk about our union with Christ and God. In Patristic teaching this is “Divinization.” We are becoming, in Christ, and through Christ, “godlike,” sharing in the divine, so to speak. Something akin to my limited understanding of Mormon teaching on this. Interesting!
    Blessings

  • “Are you a student of the Baptist church or a student of Jesus Christ? You cannot serve two masters.”

    Amen!

  • Daniel, what Herm is saying is that we are not to be afraid of God, for perfect love casts out fear. The word here means respect for. We are to have a healthy respect for God and desire to please him. That is why Jesus says, do not be afraid, you are worth more than many sparrows. He can’t be both telling his disciples to be afraid of God, and at the same time do not be afraid. On the other hand, for those who are perishing (1 Cor. 1:18), it is all foolishness and ironically, they do not fear God. Make sense?

  • Herm

    Thank you, thank you!

    Love is the bond that makes us one, both as of God and as of Man. I’m only just beginning to be able to define love in some words of mankind beginning with empathy. When we can actually feel to understand another’s pain, joy, depression, post traumatic stress, etc. we are closest in carnal oneness that relates to complete spirit oneness when the Holy Spirit is with and in each of us of God. The goal of little children of God on earth, disciples of Christ, who are adult children of Man is to be able to help others to define God’s love by our example. We, as little children of God, are not to exalt ourselves. We are servants, not of our Father (who serves us for He is greatest among us), of those of mankind who know not what they do, as well as our own of Man and God in need as led to by the Spirit.

    Blessings to you!

  • Daniel Fisher

    Kirk, thanks – this, and Herm’s response below, do make sense. It was just the initial phraseology of “Yes, I tell you, fear him” means “don’t be afraid” that was making me feel part of a twilight zone episode…. :O

    And I in general concur with you both, and have embraced and taught this myself – I read your earlier comments on Mt 10 and Herm’s below, and in general concur – we should “start” with a recognition that God is someone who is fearful, in whose hands we live, “it is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” etc. but then when we see the character of God, in his love and kindness and we learn to trust his heart, that terrified fear – that we would have simply by recognition of his raw power and his status as our judge, is cast out in the face of his overwhelming and sacrificial kindness and depth of mercy. And, as Herm noted before, consequentially, to have no fear of what mortal man can do to me. That I can make sense of.

    I doubt we line up exactly, since I take his words in Lk12 and Mt10 as a genuine and serious threat about hell, but the basic sentiment of moving from what we should be afraid of – because of his raw power and the genuine danger – to having absolutely no fear because we have been rescued from that danger by such a sacrificial committed love, is very dear to my heart, and I find it in some of my favorite Scripture studies and music. But part of the reason, at least, that fearing God in the former sense is so precious to me is that, the more clearly I see that kind of danger, the more precious is my relief and rescue from that fear. This movement is a theme I’ve found throughout my evangelical upbringing:

    ‘Twas Grace that taught my heart to fear. And grace my fears relieved.
    How precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed.’

    How much we appreciate God’s love is conditioned on how much we fear him. The more we see God in his infinite majesty, holiness, and transcendent glory, the more we will gaze with wonder and amazement upon his love poured out at Calvary.

    To be so completely guilty, and given over to despair,
    To look into your judge’s face, and see a Savior there!

    Aslan is a lion- the Lion, the great Lion.” “Ooh” said Susan. “I’d thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion”…”Safe?” said Mr Beaver …”Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good.

    But the hands of an angry God are pierced and bleeding, as he embraced all heaven’s wrath upon the cross.
    And the hands of an angry God still reach out pleading… for he came to seek and save those which were lost.

  • Daniel Fisher

    Now this makes sense, and is appreciated, I wrote more above in response to Kirk’s note as well.

    I especially like your language here of “The difference between fear him who can do this and don’t be afraid, is one is a considered potential of what could be done, who God has the power to be, and the other is what God is doing, who God is.”

    This to me is rather reminiscent of the line in the song I quoted above:

    To be so completely guilty, and given over to despair,
    To look into your judge’s face, and see a Savior there!

  • Daniel, we do share the same love for God, appreciation of his mercy, and are amazed by the fact that he reached out to us long before we reached out to him. Our views and understandings of atonement are not identical, nor necessarily have to be…but I would like to suggest some books that challenge you to think beyond PSA, penal substitutionary atonement, which, unfortunately has become the “go-to” explanation of salvation for evangelicals:

    Bradley Jersak, “A More Christlike God, a More Beautiful Gospel”
    Gregory A. Boyd, “Crucifixion of the Warrior God,” 2 (thick) Volumes
    Both deal extensively with the “cruciform” nature of God

    As for dealing with the violent God that Christianity has portrayed over the last 1500 years:
    Derek Flood, “Disarming Scripture”
    Rob Bell, “Love Wins”
    Peter Enns, “The Bible Tells Me So, Why Defending Scripture Has Made us Unable to Defend it”

  • Sacrifice is not a Godly instinct, but a human one. Scapegoating, murdering enemies, blaming other races, ethnic cleansing, Nativism, racism, nationalism, American exceptionalism, Nazi Germany, Manifest Destiny, war…all are related to, in one way or another, sacrifice. It is what we seem to instinctively do. Since it is our nature to blame others who we perceive as “different,” substandard, or our enemies, we sacrifice them for our own selfish desires. We imagine God must think like us, therefore an intire sacrificial system was devised by the Jews (as well as Pagan cultures) to please the gods who must think like us.

    The crucifixion was both man’s terribly misguided attempt to appease God (and the Roman occupiers) and, more importantly, God’s resounding NO to sacrifice. And this is what, unfortunately, most Christians do not understand: God did not desire sacrifice, nor did he desire his Son be “sacrificed.” WE desired sacrifice. It’s how we do things. It makes us feel we have somehow appeased this angry God figure, who, in our imagination, looks and acts suspiciously like us. By taking the path of non-violence, by willfully allowing himself to be the victim of our violent scapegoating and ritualized killing, Jesus shows us the futility of this kind of lifestyle. He also shows us the nature of God himself: Self-sacrificing, loving even enemies, non-violent and merciful. This is the nature of the Kingdom Jesus preached and died for.

  • Herm

    Thank you Daniel, thank you very much!

  • Bones

    Lol……someone’s jealous.

  • Matthew

    Thanks so much for the comprehensive response Kirk. I appreciate your viewpoints and your honesty. That said, I´m still not convinced and I greatly struggle with this verse as I attempt to consider a true God of ultimate love who does not toss people into hell (gehenna).

  • Bones

    I’ve been singng along to this lately…..

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUgwM1Ky228

    I’m tryin’ to tell you somethin’ ’bout my life
    Maybe give me insight between black and white
    And the best thing you’ve ever done for me
    Is to help me take my life less seriously
    It’s only life after all, yeah

    I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains
    I looked to the children, I drank from the fountains
    We go to the doctor, we go to the mountains
    We look to the children, we drink from the fountain
    Yeah, we go to the Bible, we go through the work out
    We read up on revival, we stand up for the lookout
    There’s more than one answer to these questions
    Pointing me in a crooked line
    And the less I seek my source for some definitive
    The closer I am to fine
    The closer I am to fine
    The closer I am to fine, yeah

    Btw I never get why people are so defensive about the Trinity.

  • Bravo Sierra

    I like your interpretation of Christianity. It seems somewhat kinder than what most Christians go around preaching to their congregations.

  • Bravo Sierra

    Re: “It wasn’t a necessary sacrifice”

    Then why be a Christian if it wasn’t even necessary?

  • Bravo Sierra

    So you think all theistic religions worship the same god?

  • StevenHaupt

    Wow! Such venom, such vitriol toward me!

    Earlier, you wrote:

    To inherit eternal life no more is required than to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, with all your mind and like that love your good neighbor as yourself.

    What is your plan B?

  • Daniel Fisher

    Kirk, already read four of the five you suggest, and found them seriously wanting simply in terms of just basic logical fallacies. Look, my bottom line is epistemology – I want to know if someone’s approach can actually help me arrive at real, genuine truth about God. My impression leaving all those other books you mentioned (with the exception of Boyd’s which I haven’t read) was that I learned tremendous amount of what these authors preferred to believe about God, and why they didn’t personally like alternate views, but I found no confidence in their method or approach that could convince me that their method would actually arrive at genuine, bona fide, truth.

    One example I recall – Enns (I’m oversimplifying) spent the whole book telling me why I shouldn’t take the Bible at face value, I shouldn’t necessarily trust the image or approach to God that the bible presents, the Bible presents a variety of points of view about God, etc., etc….. and then spent one big section of the book telling me that the perspective of Job and Ecclesiastes presents the right view…. HUH?

    Wait, didn’t you just tell me that the view of Job and Ecclesiastes are just “perspectives”, reflecting “diversity” of opinions about God throughout the Bible, no more authoritative than the Pentateuch or history of the conquest, etc. But all of a sudden he wants me to embrace “his” view as the “correct” one, that happens to be supported by Job and Ecclesiastes, which are all of a sudden the right true, inspired, correct, and dare I say infallible perspectives on the topic.

    Why? Why, given everything you just told me you believe about the Bible, should I start trusting this particular part of the bible as the “true” way we should approach God, simply because you like that perspective better than all the others?
    The logical gymnastics that one must go through to get from his premises to the conclusion he offers I found stunning. And the other books, I recall, suffered from similar problems.

    Listen, I am DELIGHTED to discuss these things – and you have always been cordial and kind in your approach, and I truly enjoy such constructive dialogue, as it often sharpens me – if you’d like to take one of those books you mention in parituclar (let’s skip Boyd’s, it sounds big and it is the one I haven’t read), and I can discuss in detail my specific problems, I’d be happy to. My problem really isn’t in the conclusion they reach, it really is at core that the premises that are laid out simply don’t lead to the conclusions they want to arrive at – the way I noticed with Enns book. For instance, I have similar disagreements with Roman Catholics, with Mormons, with Muslims, but all of them I would acknowledge that, given their basic premises (the authority and revelatory of God’s truth through the church, of Muhammad, of Joseph smith), I concur that their basic premises lead to the concluding beliefs and theology about God. The question is the soundness of those premises.

    But when I read Flood, Jersak, Enns, Borg, Tony Jones, Kenton Sparks, McLaren, Stark, and others in that general model, my bigger question is that of the logic and epistemology – the approach, as I unfairly represent it, I often find to be some variation of “No, the Bible shouldn’t be trusted as authoritative to give you truth about God. Follow my baseless opinion instead…”

    But I would be delighted to dive in further with one particular book of your choice (except for Boyd’s, it sounds big, and I have other things to do in life), and we can together work through and analyze the actual logic, I can explain my difficulties and concerns, and you can show me what I misunderstand or where my own fallacies lie.
    Although I would prefer a different venue – I’d genuinely love to do work a polite study like this with you, but don’t want to commandeer Dr. Corey’s comments for his blog in order to do so. Any thoughts?

  • Ron McPherson

    excellent post

  • Ron McPherson

    Keep in mind also that Gehenna was a literal valley which would have been known to Jesus’ hearers. It symbolized a place of judgement. It’s OT use was one of human sacrifice to false gods. So Jews looked at it as a rather vile, despicable area. Reared under traditional evangelicalism, I have to guard against reading a presupposition back onto the text (i.e. that any use of the English word ‘hell’ represents a place of unending conscious torment). Hades, Gehenna, Tartarus have all been rendered as ‘hell’ in English translations. This seems to be rather subjective on the translators end. I’m very skeptical that they would have meant the same thing to original hearers. And I also believe that much of Jesus’ warnings in reference to Gehenna were in view of the pending destruction from Rome against Jerusalem. Just my two cents.

  • Matthew

    I get that most of Jesus´warnings were in reference to the pending destruction of Jerusalem Ron, but this particular verse???

    You believe in annihilation … right Ron? I trust all is well with you :-).

  • Herm

    Because God, by example, is prepared to sacrifice for mankind first with and in the Son of Man called Christ, the Messiah. I am not a Christian, anymore than Jesus was a Jew. I am a sibling student of Jesus Christ born of the Spirit immersed with and in me. Today, I do not study God, as I did when my sense of God was based on theology looking in. I am taught by God now and forever more as my sense of God is direct relationship with and in all of God. Truly, does that make any sense to you from your perspective?

  • Herm

    I think (with more certainty than the word implies) that all members of theistic religions worship by inspiration of the same image of spirit God in all of carnal Man. As children we are dependent on the nurture our carnal community/family/tribe of our physical birth to survive to propagate the species mankind. As adults of our temporal species, we are dependent on the nurture of God to seek the spirit of no beginning and no end that we sense beyond the sure beginning and sure end of our carnal life. Life being defined as awareness and influence, individually and collectively, applying to both carnal and spirit life. Through Jesus’ instructions we have learned that we have the opportunity to become an eternal awareness and influence in God as Their infant in spirit children. Through our Father’s grace and the love of the Son of Man, our brother, who has both carnal and spirit awareness and influence, we, today, can transcend our earth bound cocoon to become one with God, whose life collectively is made up of each familial member’s spirit heart, soul, strength, mind, all filled with and in the same Holy Spirit, bound and growing for all time by all love for one another.

    Would it not be heaven for you if all, in everything, first did to each other as they would have all others do to them? That is the will of our one Father of God (by any name) I know. God who together as one is the creative source of the human race, the world and the entire physical cosmos we see, who transcends, yet is immanent, in the world … theism.

  • Herm

    I cannot control nor devise a plan anymore than I could as an infant in my carnal world. I accept God’s, comparatively infinitely more mighty than I, plan or I cease to be aware and influential and will be forgotten for all remaining time with no end. Jesus told us then, and me now, that if I do according to Luke 10:25-37 that I will live, no more and no less.

  • StevenHaupt

    Herm, have you judged anyone other than yourself as having loved God with all his heart, with all his soul, with all his strength, with all his mind and his neighbor as himself?

  • Realist1234

    Indeed.

  • Realist1234

    I take your point Ron but Jesus also clearly called on people to repent from their sins. As Ive said before, Jesus made it clear the only acceptable sexual relationship was marriage between a man and a woman – I do not see how you get around that given that He was, amongst other things, a 1st century Jewish rabbi. He would have called for someone in an unacceptable sexual relationship to repent of that and follow Him. Just in the same way the rich young man was expected to give up his wealth and greed before following Jesus. If we come to Him with an unrepentant attitude (ie the opposite of the repentant tax collector), does He accept us?

  • Herm

    It is not mine to judge, nor do infants ever have the capacity necessary. I know from Spirit feedback whether or not I love God with all I can.

  • StevenHaupt

    You mean you can’t speak for yourself? You don’t know if you have loved God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength and your neighbor as yourself?

  • Ron McPherson

    I’m not discounting repentance. But to say categorically that practicing homosexuals will not inherit eternal life is another thing altogether. So a ‘believer’ can ‘get in’ with certain sins like pride, materialism, greed, etc., but a ‘believer’ who is in a same sex marriage cannot? I realize you’re not saying this, but the poster I responded to essentially was. And there’s the rub. And that doesn’t even get into whether or not one even needs to repent of a committed same sex relationship in the first place. Those clobber passages are considerably debatable.

    There is also the matter of repentance vs. the fruits of repentance. The former can be argued that it is a matter of an altered mindset; the latter the results of that altered mindset. This gets very fuzzy when speaking to classes of people who won’t inherit eternal life because of a biblical passage here and there somehow trumping everything Jesus said.

    Also keep in mind that when John the Baptist preached on repentance, he was referring to that which characterized living in the kingdom of heaven (which had come at the onset of Jesus’ ministry). When queried about just what that looked like, John didn’t give a laundry list of stuff like don’t drink, or chew, or go with girls who do. In other words, it wasn’t a list of thou shalt nots, but rather how we are to treat others (like seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with thy God). This seemed to be the essential features of the kingdom message preached by both John and Jesus.

    For instance, in Luke 3,

    “7 John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. 9 Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”
    10 And the crowds asked him, “What then should we do?” 11 In reply he said to them, “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.” 12 Even tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, “Teacher, what should we do?” 13 He said to them, “Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you.” 14 Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what should we do?” He said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages.”

    Again, I don’t discount the importance of a holy lifestyle (however that may look for certain individuals), but our evangelical brand of Christianity often boils down to ‘asking Jesus into your heart,’ do your daily bible reading, go to church, and avoid sin (well, only certain types that is), instead of how Jesus defined his followers, those who focused on kingdom living which essentially boiled down to loving God and our neighbor.

    One last thing. I think it behooves us to proceed with caution in reading ‘eternal life’ as ‘going to heaven.’ While I definitely believe that those in Christ will abide with him forever, the Jews (at least as I understand it) divided time into two eras (I realize I may be overly simplistic here). There was the present evil age if you will, and the messianic age. It bears consideration that eternal life as they understood it may have conveyed the sense of being rescued from the present evil age and entering into the messianic age (or the age to come). Just a thought.

  • Ron McPherson

    Yes, everything fine with me, thanks. Again sorry I haven’t gotten back with you on the other yet. I’m way behind on some stuff. My dad has been in the hospital over a month now and we’re looking at long term care, getting business affairs in order, etc.. So my time has been eaten up a bit, naturally.

    At any rate, yes, I lean towards annihilation. I grew up under the traditional eternal conscious torment perspective. But have moved away from that for a number of reasons: 1) God’s character as revealed in Jesus, and 2) the biblical record itself. I’m open to universal reconciliation but I’m not there yet.

    Hope all is well with you and yours in Germany.

  • Questioning

    Nowhere does the verse say or even allude to “God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.” Sorry, but you added that part. The verse merely references 3 entities. As for me I am not concerned about the Trinity because…. nowhere does the Bible instruct that I have to believe in a Trinity. Not sure why you are so hung up on it. Just sayin….

  • Realist1234

    Re John the Baptist, in Luke 3 that you quote, yes it is about treating others properly, but in the examples John gives that is accomplished, at least in part, by not continuing to sin against those people. He tells them to STOP their sinful behaviour, ie STOP cheating people out of their money, STOP your extortion of others with your threats and false accusations etc. The Gospels are full of repentance from sin, and on into Acts where Peter explicitly says to his hearers ‘Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins’.

    As for ‘eternal life’, yes we shouldnt always assume this means ‘going to heaven’ but nevertheless it was Jesus who said those who believe in Him shall never die, ie are given everlasting life. I would also argue that this current age seems pretty ‘evil’ still.

  • Herm

    Would not the ultimate living hell possible, from our perspective, be an eternity of those who could not trespass the sum of the law (Matthew 7:12) having to eternally mingle with whose who could not keep from trespassing divine law, sin?

    Would not, from our perspective, the most divine solution would be to isolate those who could not keep from sinning from both their destructive (evil) selves and those who constructively (good) live in love with their neighbor as themselves? The first death is a given for all that is physical life will die and all elements will be returned to the earth from whence it came. The second death is directed at spirit life, the image of God who is eternally spirit without beginning or end, and is not necessary except when determined to be so by our Father’s will and our Son of Man (carnal)/Son of God (spirit) Lord’s judgment, given all authority in heaven and on earth. The determining factor will be, in love for all, what serves to unite spirits of good with and in God for all time with no end, while separating all spirits of evil from any “awareness and influence” (effective life) from all life forever more. The elements of uniquely recognized individual “awareness and influence” is responsibility to each their own spirit heart, soul, strength, mind. Those elements cannot be returned to a source as can carnal elements. Those elements can be isolated all awareness and influence (somewhat like physically being placed in a totally dark room, with no sound, nothing to feel, nothing to see, nothing to taste, no one to share with; in essence nothing at all to sense with no ability to change anything and left forgotten) Ecclesiastes 9:5-6 and Job 21:21. The opposite is full and complete, forever growing, learning, experiencing, savoring and sharing in and with God, wholly united with equally shared awareness and influence through the Holy Spirit, securely bound in all love of our Lord who first serves all as He would have all serve Him, and like that all, including our Father and our Lord Jesus, love their good neighbor as themselves.

    God values all lives, good and evil, too much to ever consider tossing anyone, for any reason, into eternal torture as an evil, wrathful and vindictive child of mankind might consider. God does not demand we serve Them for we can offer only what a mortal infant can offer in service to its parents, love and awe. In spirit we begin only with and image of God. Within the constraints of a carnal responsible awareness and influence we only get 120 years maximum to learn to accept our God’s nurture in spirit. In a physical cosmos greater than 14.5 billion years began and nurtured by a God, with no beginning and no end, we human kind have virtually nothing to offer in return for God’s graced opportunities. God is still growing in love, will never cease growing in love, for every new association in shared experience with another increases God’s collective ability to expand Their boundaries of love. Bound by eternity there is no ultimate love for God. God loves us, mankind, to a limit beyond what we can bear and/or return.

    Matthew, I hope this little glimpse helps you to consider our true God’s love and why evil cannot be allowed to continue forever, as you can contrast the consequences by the mix of good and evil you perceive on earth around us today. Let the Teacher give you the peace and joy as you seek to overcome the great struggle you are aware of and trying to influence for good.

  • StevenHaupt

    I don’t see how you could possibly say that unless you are totally unaware of the many references in Scripture where it is evident that the Father is God, the Son is God and the Holy Spirit is God. Time and space prohibits me from explaining all that to you.

    You could do a google search ” the Biblical teaching of the Trinity” and you could find out for yourself that the Trinity is Biblical doctrine.

    Regarding your last statement. The Bible is the revelation of God to sinful man. We would know very little about God without Him revealing Himself to us by way of the Scriptures. The Trinity is who the God of Scripture is. To reject the Trinity is to reject God.

    The Bible tells us how we be made right with God. Myriads of people think they can be made with God by being a good person and doing good works. They are dead wrong!

    Recently, I had a conversation with someone who believes that he has eternal life because he thinks he loves God with all his heart, mind, soul and strength and his neighbor as himself. He has been greatly deceived.

    Good works and being a good person will not get you eternal life and into heaven.

  • Bravo Sierra

    So, yes?

  • Bravo Sierra

    So if I were to ask you to check a religion box on a form, which would you pick?

  • Ron McPherson

    But how are two people loving one another sinning against one another by doing that?

  • Herm

    I have no longer have any religious affiliation, such as with a group with a common belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods. I am a little child of, with and in God. I have much more faith that my divine Father and family will provide for me in all things than I did my carnal parents and family (… and they did a great job). Neither my relationship within my carnal family, as their child then, or my relationship within my spirit family, as their child now, can be considered a religion.

  • Herm

    No, the single inspiration for worship cannot be considered the same as the variety of focus in worship.

  • Herm

    Until the age of consent can an infant speak for themselves or are they dependent on the mature judgment of adults? The Spirit in my heart,soul,strength,mind gives me the peace to believe I do love the Lord my God with all I am capable. I know for certain that my good neighbor is as much of value to me as myself, and that I value my enemy, most who know not what they do, enough to carry a cross that they might be forgiven by my Father to live beyond their trespasses.

  • StevenHaupt

    Herm, I don’t believe you are going to answer my simple question. Perhaps you want me to go first thinking that was a trick question.

    I have not loved the Lord God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength or my neighbor as myself.

    Have you Herm?

  • Herm

    Why do you insist it is a simple question when your order of the elements of spirit you are capable of and responsible to love with is not heart, soul, strength, mind? You are a bit reckless with your study of scripture?

    I very definitely do love the Lord my God to the very limit of my capability as a small spirit child of God. You seem to believe there are simple answers that little children are capable of answering fully. Clearly, you do not know God in you much less with you. Can you understand how I might be able to make that observation?

  • If you feel that scripture is 100% baloney then how do you learn about God?
    I criticize Ben because he is a Red Letter bible believer. In my view it is illogical to accept the words of Jesus in the bible as accurate while equivocating about the rest.

  • Bravo Sierra

    You obfuscate your answers very well.

  • Questioning

    “I don’t see how you could possibly say that unless you are totally unaware of the many references in Scripture where it is evident that the Father is God, the Son is God and the Holy Spirit is God. Time and space prohibits me from explaining all that to you.”

    There is no such evidence without reading something “into” the scripture that is not clearly stated. Is Jesus God? Is God Jesus? I don’t know and I don’t waste a lot of time thinking about it. What the scriptures do clearly state, over and over, is that Jesus is the Son of God and that we need only call on His name. We do not call on the trinity, nor are we required to believe in a trinity.

    “To reject the Trinity is to reject God.”

    These are the words of a man, not of God nor of scripture. I am a recovering Baptist so I clearly recognize all of the unfortunate characteristics. Baptists can be puffed up, haughty, self righteous, roped and tied by legalism, and the worst thing is they often do not even realize it. Sadly your writing seems to follow this pattern. For example, you mentioned good works, yet you require me to believe in a trinity, which is not a biblical requirement, before I can qualify as a Christian. Both are forms of legalism and one is just as bad as the other.

    I don’t have a problem with you believing in a trinity, just don’t try to tell me I have to, because you will get no traction with me.

  • StevenHaupt

    Herm, you are greatly deceived. You have sinned just like all mankind which means you have not loved the Lord God with all your heart, mind, soul, body and strength and your neighbor as yourself.

    You earlier hateful response to me proved that. You are not perfect, far from it.

  • StevenHaupt

    I can’t have a fruitful discussion with anyone who does not believe that ALL the Scriptures are inspired of God and are without error.

  • Herm

    … only to those who are unable to see the point.

  • Herm

    Steve, what you say is hateful is no less true of you than what Jesus spoke of the Pharisees and scribes who, also, were blind and not receptive to God in their midst.

  • StevenHaupt

    Are you going to publicly deny that you are a sinner and that you have not violated the greatest commandment?

    You cited the standard that Jesus requires for eternal life yet you don’t live up to it. What is your plan B?

  • Thanks Daniel, I think your idea is a good one. And, I believe Enns would be a great one to discuss. The book is short and, I believe, fairly easily to follow. Just not sure the best way to go about it. I do have a blog of my own, I could start the discussion there, perhaps this weekend?

  • Herm

    This is right off the top of my heart and I abide fully in it, because it is indelibly written in my heart and mind, and is verified by the Spirit of truth with and in me always, without pause. If you knew the Lord my God, who is infinitely beyond your theology that guides you, who is real, who is in me and I in Him, who kept His promise as witnessed, quoted and testified to in John 14:15-21 and 16:12-15, which you ignore in defense of your blind presumption that My God, who I am of as a little child, is only three persons, you too would love Him with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, with all your mind, and like that you too would love, as my Lord God exercises even more capacity to love, your good neighbor as yourself, as I love my neighbor, as I love the Lord my God. With the Holy Spirit as my guide I first do, in everything, to others as I would have others do to me.

    Do I make ignorant errors? … yes, all children of Man and God do. I have an eternity to learn to be all right and I intend on taking the entire time graced me, I got a late start. Do I trespass against divine law? … no, I do not. Before I was filled with the Holy Spirit, for all time, at the age of 50 I could not say what I just publicly said to you. Without being immersed with and in the Advocate I was incapable of living up to the sum of the law and prophets and fully honoring what all the law and prophets hang on.

    The following is not off the top of my heart or mind. It is a copy of the prerequisite contract I honor to have become a student (disciple) of Jesus, the Messiah, my Lord, my Brother:

    “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

    Luke 14:26-27

    I hate the teachings of carnal familial traditions that you judge by that are not from my Teacher, from my Instructor, or from my Father. I do carry a cross that you might be forgiven, by my Father, for what you don’t know that you are doing.

    You see, it is not your plan that matters at all in God’s kingdom. It is not my plan that matters at all, either. It is the will of my Father who is in heaven, who is in me, and I am in Him, that matters as to whether any of us lives. If you do not accept the Guide you will not know the path through the narrow gate. You don’t accept Him, because you neither see Him or know Him, as it is written of your world.

  • Bravo Sierra

    I’m going to ask the question again: Do you or do you not think all religions worship the same god?

  • Matthew

    Thanks so much Ron :-).

  • Ron McPherson

    To be fair, Questioning never said the scripture you referenced contained errors , but rather that you are reading something onto the text that isn’t there. That isn’t an issue of inerrancy, but interpretation. But aside from that, why can’t you “have a fruitful discussion” with anyone who doesn’t believe in inerrancy of all the scriptures? Do all the scriptures include books of the apocrypha? If not, why not, especially considering that the canon was assembled by man. I would think you would hold then a very negative view of the reformer Martin Luther as well, considering that he believed several NT books should be omitted from the canon. I’m not trying to be argumentative but to just show that you’re elevating a doctrine (inerrancy) above anything the scriptures themselves say. Nowhere do any of the books of the canon tell us which books should be considered authoritative. Man decided that. Nowhere do the scriptures claim upon itself that they are inerrant. Man decided that. Paul does tell Timothy that all scripture is inspired, but that word is not synonymous with inerrant. Plus the NT didn’t exist when Paul wrote those words so the best we can even do there is speculate he may have been referring to the Hebrew Scriptures . Again, just trying to show that we must caution against elevating doctrine as if it came straight from God.

  • StevenHaupt

    Herm you wrote: “Do I trespass against divine law? … no, I do not”

    That’s breathtaking, especially after the venom and vitriol you directed toward me.

    Herm, you are a sinner. Everyone is a sinner. You are not the exception. That may sound harsh to you but it’s the truth. You have broken the greatest commandment, the divine law to love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength and your neighbor as yourself when you made those hateful comments to me. No mortal man has ever kept that divine law.

    You have not attained sinless perfection to gain eternal life. Do you have a plan B?

  • Realist1234

    But those examples from the Baptist hardly cover all sin. Remember he was beheaded because he dared to speak against Herod’s inappropriate sexual relationship. So John clearly saw that as sin.

  • Daniel Fisher

    Sounds fine – I found your blog so I’ll drop a comment over there and we can so proceed however you recommend.

  • Herm

    BS, I am answering the question, again, but from a different angle.

    I know that all spiritual worship on earth is inspired by the same God and Their image within all of Man. I know that most, if not all, organized Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Confucian, Islamic, and many more separate religions administered by mankind are focused, in their spiritual worship on the god they defined and designed, usually to fit themselves. Their guide in each case is dependent on a commonly accepted, but subtle to distinctly unique from other differing religions of spirit, ritual, dogma and theology external from each member’s heart, soul, strength, mind of spirit for their focus.

    This is not true for a disciple of Christ, nor any of Man throughout this world, who accepts the same Guide (by any name that mankind could append) to be fully filled (immersed) with and in their heart, soul, strength, mind. Since the time of the Messiah the one God, the one source for all spiritual inspiration not found in any others species of life on earth, is only worshiped in spirit, in the Spirit, and the Spirit in them. Worship in the Son of Man’s church is administered only by the high priest, Jesus, and by no other of mankind. Religions do not worship, their members do. Jesus Christ’s church is not a religion but is a relationship with and in the Father we worship.

    Do you find this still to obscure to your understanding?

    I would think, normally, that your questions are simply prompted by a joy of dazzling with profound BS, but in your case, here, I don’t believe you would be wasting your time if you did not have a point to make or a direction to find. That point will not be made through questions with loaded words like all, religions, worship and god when each means something different within each culture and tribe of birth. There are no simple answers to begin from the origin of Man and arrive at the destination of God. We are dependent upon a faithful guide to fill our need to find our way. Is that who you seek?

  • Ron McPherson

    Yeah I get that. He stole his brother’s wife

  • Dean

    I think as with most of these discussions, we read what we want into what other people say. I didn’t say scripture is 100% baloney. I happen to have a high view of scripture (I’ll let you decide what you think that means). I just meant that the typical person who says they have a “high view” of scripture is just as prone to do violence to the text as the folks they criticize. An easy example is how literalists handle the book of Revelation. I’m sure you are familiar with the Left Behind Series. That is emblematic of how ridiculous a path a “literal” interpretation of the Bible can lead you. Now you might say that your reading of the Bible is nothing like that, but what gives you the authority to say that? What has always puzzled me about inerrantists is what is their basis for claiming inerrancy?. There is simply no biblical basis for it, and conceptually, how could there be? The Bible was cobbled together by the early Church. The books were independently written by different people in different times. The concept of inerrency is completely contrived on it’s face, it’s a faith statement. Which is fine, but something you take on faith can’t be shoved into someone else’s face by it’s very nature.

    My point is that it’s crystal clear to me that the authority of the Bible comes from it’s ability to change people’s hearts and minds, it’s a pragmatic one, not an ontological one. Once you look at it that way, it frankly doesn’t matter what kind of theology you or I have, all that matters is whether we can find some basis for it in the Bible and that it works for a particular community. If you keep digging, that’s where you end up. The problem with inerrantists is they are afraid of the consequences of that truth, but just look around you and look at 2000 years of Church history. That’s the best evidence I have: reality. Neither the real Pope nor the paper one you seem to pledge allegiance to have ever exerted the authority that you seem to claim that it should, and the funny thing is, the Bible doesn’t even claim to have that kind of authority. So where exactly are you coming from? If you’re now wondering how we learn about God, my answer is the same as yours: we read the Bible in a faith community. Just because some of us come up with different answers doesn’t mean we’re wrong and you’re right. I just find it odd that so many Christians have such little epistemological humility. The chances of us living in a universe where you and your “group” happen to be exactly right about any particular issue and everyone else is wrong is very very low. Do you get where I’m coming from?

  • Herm

    I wrote to you, “You are blind. You are not receptive to the real live God in your midst. You know not what you do. I shake the dust from my feet. Bye!“.

    But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.”

    Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand? And if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

    Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can plunder his house.

    Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

    Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

    Matthew 12:24-37 (NIV2011)

    Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?”

    He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”

    Matthew 15:12-14 (NIV2011)

    Did Jesus sin due to “the venom and vitriol” He directed at authorities like you? Do you even see the pit?

    the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

    John 14:17 (NIV2011)

    You are blind because by your fruit it is clear that you are not from the vine of Jesus but are from the vine of your Baptist denomination. The Spirit of truth does not live with you and is not in you, forever more, without pause.

    Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.”

    Mark 3:28-29 (NIV2011)

    Is the Holy Spirit real to you, fills you, as your Guide into all truth, Comforter, and Advocate this moment, today, and faithfully to be wholly trusted for eternity?

    The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.”

    Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.”

    John 1:29-34 (NIV2011)

    But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because people do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.

    John 16:7-11 (NIV2011)

    What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

    Romans 6:1-14 (NIV2011)

    Have you died to sin? I sinned before being immersed in the Holy Spirit. Since the Holy Spirit has filled me, whelmed me, I have not sinned for He leads me away from sin. I died to sin when I was born in the Spirit. I am not a slave to sin as you seem to be. I am a slave to becoming more perfect in righteousness as I learn from my one Teacher and not from the theorizing of any denomination of mankind’s religious schools as you seem to be a disciple of adhering to your Baptist theology.

    Everyone of Man, separate from God, dependent on mankind for their survival has sinned, as have I, for I first learned only from the traditions of my tribe of birth. Contrary to your spiritual misconception no one filled (baptized) with the Spirit of truth transgresses divine law, the law that God and Man, each in their entirety, is subject to, as like Man, in their entirety, is subject to the law of gravity on earth.

    As an infant child of God, nurtured by God, I will not reach perfection in anything until the end of eternity. It is God who always seeks a more perfect union by in everything each of us does to all others as we would have others do to us. We do that by sharing together, each heart, soul, strength, mind filled and joined by the Holy Spirit bound in love, in the adventure and savoring of life (awareness and influence) as we each learn from each other. Those who die the second death lose all awareness and influence of and over anyone else, and are forgotten.

    You know not what you say and you certainly know not what you do when you ignore the opportunity to be one with God with and in the Spirit of truth.

    Do you, this moment, have the reality of faith, derived from your studies in the Bible, in Their love for you, and Their availability to you, to approach God directly and beseech Them to protect you, to provide for you, to nurture you, and teach you as Their little child? Can you bear to live as member of God’s family subject only to the Father’s will and our Lord’s judgment, separate from any of mankind’s religions? I have and I do.

    If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet.

    Matthew 10:14 (NIV2011)

    Are you listening? You are not welcoming even though you came to my home administered by Dr. Corey, my brother in God. You judge me to death with even less authority and education in scripture than did Caiaphas judge the Christ in God’s name. What is your plan founded on and subject to? Ours is founded on the Spirit of truth and subject to the will of our Father.

    Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

    Matthew 7:1-2 (NIV2011)

  • Herm

    coveting!

  • Herm

    Jesus was born in the first century into a Jewish tribe. Jesus was a teacher (rabbi) to many only after the Holy Spirit descended upon Him and remained. Jesus was never an official teacher recognized by the Jewish tradition that crucified Him, as you seem to have heard it said.

    There are only two direct references regarding The Law that Jesus taught that we are all, Man and God, subject to. Mutually consensual adult intimacy and civil contracts do not fall within the purview of either as a transgression of divine law, sin.

  • Herm

    Matthew 7:12 and 22:37-40 covers all law that the transgression of is sin.

  • Ulf Turkewitsch

    Time is an integral part of his operating system when it comes to mankind, of course. However he must stand outside of the realm of “space/time” as the physicists call it. The creator is greater than his creation ,just as the sculptor is greater that his work. Also he must be seperate from his creation. That is just simple logic, not gnosticism.

  • D.M.S.

    With that kind of veiw about the inerrant word(s) of God/Jesus.
    Anyone can pick any part of scripture of anyones kind of bible to believe.
    I guess you must be a
    Moonies Jehovah Mormon Catholic. Right?

  • D.M.S.

    Since you stated earlier that we can’t really count on New Testament scripture being accurate by what Paul stated because the New Testament hadn’t been written yet. Then how can you believe what Christ Jesus states in the New Testament since it hadn’t been written when He stated it either?

  • StevenHaupt

    You don’t really think I’m going to read that do you?

    You are a sinner just like everyone else Herm, and no, you have broken the the greatest commandment just like everyone else. And no, you don’t have eternal life because you think you have not broken the greatest commandment and sinned against God.

    The main purpose of the law was to show sinful man that he can never be made right with good by doing good works or being a good person.

    Please do a google search asking “how can sinful man be made right with God.” There you will find plan B.

    I pray that you will.

  • Herm

    If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet.

    Matthew 10:14 (NIV2011)

    Are you listening? You are not welcoming even though you came to my home administered by Dr. Corey, my brother in God. You judge me to death with even less authority and education in scripture than did Caiaphas judge the Christ in God’s name. What is your plan founded on and subject to? Ours is founded on the Spirit of truth and subject to the will of our Father.

    Added to that, you are truly slothful.

    I shake the dust, one more time, off my feet.

  • Bravo Sierra

    I’m not “seeking” anything. I just ended up here because I’m still getting used to the new format of Patheos. I made a comment, and you responded.

    I’m just surprised and mildly entertained at the convoluted way you answer my questions. I’m thinking your response can be summarized as “yes, with some caveats.” I used to think the same thing, and it echoes what Rumi once said: “There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.”

    I enjoy studying and thinking about how people feel about religions. Thank you for the explanations, and good luck in your search for what’s meaningful and true in life. Keep looking and learning. You have a wonderful imagination.

  • Herm

    Thank you for your time!

  • I have had these discussions prior. Who wrote the bible, when was it canonized, etc. That is not my point as I expressed it above.
    Although the bible states that it is not for private interpretations, it is the basis for many things in our society such as our laws. Without God expressed through the bible you would have no way to discern right from wrong. The point is not to try and teach others your ideas and tell people it is from the bible when you really mean sometimes it is and sometimes it’s not.

  • Everett Kier Jr

    What? Can’t make heads or tails of this.

  • Dean

    “The point is not to try and teach others your ideas and tell people it is from the bible when you really mean sometimes it is and sometimes it’s not.”

    I can agree with that. Do you find that progressives are typically guilty of this? I rarely hear a progressive Christian conflate their own person opinions about what the Bible says with THE WORD OF GOD. In fact, when you remove inerrancy, I’m not sure you can even make such a claim anymore. The point I was making is that your statement above is something that conservatives do all the time and really gets on my nerves. Just because you happen to think the Bible says this or that, doesn’t mean it does, it’s what you think the Bible says. Unless maybe you’re the Pope, but protestants don’t believe in the authority of the Pope. It’s even worse when they say GOD says so and so. Talk about having a God complex. No, I have never heard a progressive use that kind of language, this is exclusively the realm of fundamentalists. So I’m not really sure what you’re complaint is. This is my point regarding epistemological humility.

  • Herm

    He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?”

    Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

    Matthew 12:48-50 (NIV2011)

    Does that help your focus to answer my question?

    What exactly is a “Godhead“?

    Perhaps, you might be able to make heads or tails of this:

    “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

    John 16:12-15 (NIV2011)

    Is the Spirit of truth leading you into all truth, as you can bear?

  • Thanks for the thoughtful replies.
    I agree that Conservatives would be the likely culprit.

    In so far as I have seen all religions including Catholic, Protestant, et.al. is man made. So what they teach has to be proven point by point. And they certainly are guilty of teaching error in so far as they have mislead billions of adherents.

    Ben is not to my knowledge the de facto leader of a religion or group. But in his blogs he often uses the bible to prove or disprove his points. For example, he stated the Book of Revelations was a “local Book” not about the future but about the events around the time of the Apostles circulated and read by the local churches. This because he does not believe in the violence associated with the “non-violent” return of Jesus Christ. I simply point out his more outrageous claims but I don’t expect anyone on the site to necessarly agree and believe me they don’t.

  • Questioning

    Why do I suspect that your definition of a “fruitful discussion” would be a tad bit one-sided? Is that really why you came here… to have a fruitful discussion? Or was it to rebuke, correct, and instruct the heathen? You can consider that a rhetorical question. I am not really interested in the answer, just thought you might want to examine your intent.

  • corky

    And what about other religions and their truths? Or is Christianity the be all and end all of the universe. So many thousands of gods over the eons of human history, but only those who have lived since Christ can be saved? So many creation stories from different cultures, gilgamesh etc. where is the truth? And Mohammed flying to heaven on a winged horse and splitting the moon, are we just as naive?

  • corky

    So what is your definition Bones?

  • corky

    lol Bones, well said, my remark was meant to be facetious

  • corky

    And all this discussion while 9 million children around the world every year don’t live to their fifth birthday along with all the other tragedies daily in the world. And Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, primitive tribes etc are all going to “burn in hell forever” because they have never heard of Christ? And Matthew 27;52 where holy people have already been raised from the dead?

  • D.M.S.

    Yeah the catholics have got it pretty good (sarcasm ) they have figured out that even after you’re dead that your family can pay the roman catholic church to pray you into heaven.
    And they’re just dumb enough to believe it.
    LOL.

  • Bones

    Yeah I know Corky……

    Q….What do you call a walking snake?

    A….A lizard…..

  • Bones

    Well given that we can now observe the outer limits of the Universe, the facts tell us there’s not much of the God of the gaps left.

    Now if God is eternal, life giving and omnipresent, that sort of limits it to one thing in the Universe that we know of.

    Energy……..

    The idea of a personal anthropomorphic god is just nonsensical and is more in the realms of wishful thinking.

  • corky

    Yes science and religion are irreconcilable although plenty seem able to entertain both views.

  • Bones

    Then maybe the problem is with you…….

  • Bones

    Lol…..you mean like you do…..

    There’s a reason why we ‘study’ the Bible.

  • Bones

    And they’re as dumb as you.

  • corky

    Truly I tell you, you will not finish going through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

    So how do you make sense of the above?

  • Bones

    You are the aware the gospels weren’t written by eyewitnesses, right.

    Why does Matthew change some of Mark’s verses?

    That’s probably too hard for you.

    It would’ve been much easier if Jesus actually wrote something down.

    He didn’t.

  • Herm

    If you take the same message Matthew heard to chronicle and compare it to what Mark heard to chronicle you might be able to make more sense of it.

    “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. Truly I tell you, you will not finish going through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes. “The student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for students to be like their teachers, and servants like their masters. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household!

    Matthew 10:21-25 (NIV2011)

    “If the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would survive. But for the sake of the elect, whom he has chosen, he has shortened them. At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time.

    Mark 13:20-23 (NIV2011)

    It was a very short time when Jesus spoke above and then spoke of what was to happen after He had to leave:

    “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

    John 14:15-21 (NIV2011)

    and

    “All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them. I did not tell you this from the beginning because I was with you, but now I am going to him who sent me. None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things. But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because people do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.

    I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

    John 16:1-15 (NIV2011)

    They did not finish going through the towns of Israel, alone, much less all nations making disciples, before the Spirit of truth came to fill all who boldly spoke the word of God, as told Him by the Son of Man and the Father.

  • Desiderius Erasmus (mark)

    You are dumb enough to believe the garbage that you have been taught.

  • D.M.S.

    Back when I was still political. I thought the same thing about obama.

  • D.M.S.

    Who comes first God/Jesus? Or our children?

  • D.M.S.

    The bible is the inerrant word(s) of God/Jesus/ HolySpirit.
    We Christians worship Him.
    Not the bible. The bible is where we learn about God/Jesus.
    Where else are we Christians going to learn about God/Jesus?

  • Ron McPherson

    I wondered if that was DMS who had been responding to me. I finally just blocked him weeks ago so when he responds it just says “This user is blocked.” I like wasted a month of my life responding to him.

  • The Scriptures tell us we must fear God, but that doesn’t mean we have to live in terror of him. “The fear of the Lord,” which is “the beginning of wisdom” (Prov. 9:10) is a healthy, life-transforming respect for his authority. Hell is real, though references to flames are figurative. The agony of hell is being separated from God eternally, which is contingent on a choice all of us have to make. The sense of guilt, shame and terrible loss (since God extends his invitation to each of us to join him for eternity) are what make hell what it is. It is believed that there is an age of accountability, though Scripture makes no reference to it. But at a certain point each person (no matter his cultural milieu, upbringing or whether s/he has heard the gospel) has a conscience. Acting against that inner voice (which is the fingerprint of God inside each of us) will bring about judgment unless we repent at some point in our lives. Judgment and hell are very real, and we’re not doing people any favors by giving them false comfort. The good news is that we all have a choice, and Christ has taken our punishment, if we will only receive Him.

  • gimpi1

    Mr. Obama has declared bankruptcy repeatedly to dodge creditors? He’s divorced two times, and bragged about his infidelity? Did he mock, insult and lie about those that opposed him? Did he sneer at the values his base claimed to cherish? Did I miss all that?

    Mr. Trump has done all this, and his supporters not only don’t seem to care, they cheer him on. I find that both hypocritical and appalling. I see no realistic comparison to anything in the Obama administration .

  • D.M.S.

    You sure did. But most liberal are blind to their liberals lies.

  • Desiderius Erasmus (mark)

    Like: most fundamentalists are too ignorant to recognize their ignorance?

  • Daniel, I’ve created a spot for discussion on my blog now where we (and anyone else interested) can discuss Enns and his views as presented in “The Bible Tells Me So.” Feel free to bring your questions and critique of Enns here:

    https://weseeinamirrordarkly.com/2017/11/04/the-bible-tells-me-so-so-whats-with-pete-enns-and-progressive-christians-anyway/

    Thanks!

  • gimpi1

    What lies? Your response makes no sense.

  • gimpi1

    I would argue that they had many reasonable options that they ignored. They chose ‘Info-Wars’ propaganda over reality. They chose to believe nonsense about Ms. Clinton out of willful ignorance and a bad habit of following their leaders – in this case, off a cliff. Good intentions only count for so much, when people choose to ignore facts. Ms. Clinton adheres more closely to traditional Christian value than Mr. Trump does. Christians who ignore that confuse me. I’m not going to accept this hypocrisy without calling it out.

  • gimpi1

    Many Christian denominations do accept both legal abortions and same gender marriage. Are you unaware of that? It’s a mistake to assume your view of your faith is the only valid one, don’t you agree?

    Ms. Clinton worked to forgive her spouse and save her marriage, a Christian act. She has been active in her Methodist church. She has made helping the sick and poor a large part of her priorities, a traditional Christian value.

    I don’t claim she is an icon of Christian values, but by most reasonable measures, she reflects those values better than Mr. Trump.

  • gimpi1

    And you’re fully entitled to that view.

    I’m curious, however, about why you have such a negative view of planned parenthood. Less than 3% of their practice is abortion, and they’re the largest providers of prenatal care and cancer screenings for low income people. Were you aware of that?

  • Corky, you are right. There IS no difference between conservative Christianity and other religions. Most present us with a god that needs to be appeased, that needs sacrifice to stave off his anger. Orthodox Christianity is no different. Jesus came to destroy that myth, by suffering violence at our hands without returning violence he proved the futility of violence or returning violence for violence. We sacrificed him, not God. God abhors violence and sacrifice. It accomplishes nothing. The truth of the gospel is that Jesus shows us the true nature of God: sacrificial, loving, forgiving and completely non-violent. Unfortunately, that is not the scenario much of the church has been mislead to believe.

  • Daniel, spot’s open on my blog, just waiting for your questions to get started. Thnx.

  • Markee B

    Well, the supportive – uplifting part comes from Jesus’ Command to Love one another as He has Loved us. It’s a common obligation for all of us that we consistently fall short of especially in a heated “discussion”. As a pre-kindergartener and beyond, my grandparents took me and my brother to a nearby church (Conservative Baptist) most Sundays for Sunday school, which was wonderful, then to the adult service which consisted of an hour of hellfire and brimstone screaming at the top of the preacher’s lungs that was absolutely terrifying and gave both of us quite a conflicted image of a supposedly Loving God that was horribly pissed off at the same time. Nice stuff for 4-7 yr. olds to imbibe. Often we came home in tears, finally our dad put a temporary stop to this, and we chose to go to Sunday school and be blessed instead of “big” church and be terrorized. Both of us have turned out to be committed Christian believers, but it wasn’t easy to learn to trust in the love of a “bipolar” god. I disagree with you about Ben, but so what? We each have our peculiar perspective. Grace and Peace upon you and your Loved Ones.

  • Bones

    And I was quoting Matthew 11.

    The writer is obviously using hyperbole. Capernaum isn’t going to suffer any judgement…the city died out. Perhaps you can offer some divine wisdom on the judgement of Capernaum.

    And you need to read the context of the whole chapter and surrounding chapters eg

    Matthew 10:23

    “10.23 When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next; for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel, before the Son of man comes. ”

    Why do you take one verse literally and not the others around it?

    And no, Matthew was not an eye witness to Jesus.

  • Bones

    John didn’t see anything. He was writing an apocalyptic judgement on the Roman Empire. He knew nothing about the Afterlife and neither did Peter nor Paul.

    It’s not a claim. It’s reality. Not even Paul met Jesus.

    I’m sorry but you obviously can’t explain how SS Gruppenfuhrer Jesus is any better than the SS. At least the SS only tortured gays for a finite period of time.

    Lol….now you’re making up crap about different hells……this is just ridiculous.

    Lol I don’t question the tradition of the canon. I read the bible in context. U like you who has imagined different hells.

    It’s quite obvious that your god is threatened by honest questioning.

  • Bones

    Lol……Some of our most ancient Israelite relics have YHWH’s wife.

  • Bones

    “I’m curious, however, about why you have such a negative view of planned parenthood.”

    Because Margaret Sanger campaigned for poor people to wear condoms……

  • It is just a matter of continuing to study the bible. Be like a Berean – search the scriptures to see if theses thing are so…
    Use Ben’s blogs as a bible study to see if you can prove his points. Until you can prove his points rather than just accept his points you don’t really know if they are correct. I read his blogs because Ben gets almost nothing correct and provides for many “teachable moments.”

  • $144948586

    You write, “John didn’t see anything.”
    Revelation 1.
    [I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet 11 saying, “Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.”]
    He saw something.

    You write, “Not even Paul met Jesus.”
    Acts 9.
    [As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
    “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.
    “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”]
    He met someone.

    “I’m sorry but you obviously can’t explain how SS Gruppenfuhrer Jesus is any better than the SS. At least the SS only tortured gays for a finite period of time.”
    Does your Jesus do this? Appalling.

    “Lol….now you’re making up crap about different hells……this is just ridiculous.”
    Well I don’t know of anywhere that it is attested that hell is the same for everyone–as if Hitler and Anne Frank or Bonhoeffer would not be separated. The claim that everyone suffers the same hell would be just a ludicrous.

    You write, “Lol I don’t question the tradition of the canon. ”
    You also write in a previous statement: “And no, Matthew was not an eye witness to Jesus.”
    From Wikipedia and reported also by NPR
    “The tradition that the author was Matthew the Apostle begins with Papias of Hierapolis” well before official canonization.

    “It’s quite obvious that your god is threatened by honest questioning.”
    I’ve no idea what the merit of this statement is. What questions are you asking?

  • $144948586

    “Capernaum isn’t going to suffer any judgement…the city died out.”
    So that’s it then, huh? This life and this death is all there is to it?

    “Perhaps you can offer some divine wisdom on the judgement of Capernaum.”
    “With God, all things are possible.”

    “When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next; for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel, before the Son of man comes. ”
    Just a musing, but: the Son of Man did come–for each of these disciples before they made it to all the towns of Israel:
    https://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-plans-11-new-towns-in-negev-desert/

    “Why do you take one verse literally and not the others around it?”
    I take it all seriously; I just don’t give God’s judgments or workings the limit of taking place in this “space-time”. I take it seriously that God is bigger than this universe and this life, and I take it seriously that God will fulfill what He has promised.

  • saffiregal

    Herm- First an open mind and receptive heart with the desire to want to understand Gods word and will are necessary. Then He gives the enlightenment of His Holy spirit. Can we end the discussion now?

  • Herm

    I disagree from experience. The only livng word of God on earth comes from the mouths and pens of those filled with the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth. Much has happened in the 1,947 years since the last book of testimony was written.

    You can end any discussion at any time. Thank you for your indulgence this long! Love you!

  • saffiregal

    Once again, there were times the Israelites fell into idolatry. I don’t endorse every bible subject on the linked site, but they got this article correct. Have a good day Bones.
    http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/god_have_a_wife.html

  • Dean

    Fair enough. It just irks me when people talk about the Bible having some sort of inherent authority. In reality, the Bible has the authority that we give it. So to say something is “biblical” and therefore it should be accepted and believed is tautological. We believe things because we find them to be true, and we believe things are true by being persuaded, which is directly linked to our experience (either with reality or with the person doing the persuading). I’m tired of people saying you’re right and I’m wrong and he’s wrong and they’re right. I find theological positions convincing and non-convincing, that’s all. I find it hard to believe that a futurist reading of the Book of Revelation is accurate, simply because 2000 years have passed. Be honest Bob, this is the only thing in the world that hasn’t happened after 2000 years that you still think is going to happen, in any other context you’d say, yeah, it’s not happening. I get the need to read it that way, but trying to accommodate reality in order to fit a theological position is usually a losing endeavor, it’s basically the foundation of the YEC movement and those folks are just categorically nuts.

  • saffiregal

    I couldn’t not answer as I am rather confused by your response. Disagree with what bro Herm? That reading scripture with an open mind and receptive heart is needed, and to know and understand spirit and truth He will give us the free gift of the Holy spirit to enlighten us? Of course the living word of God is in the Holy scripture from those who were inspired to pen Gods word since they were the writers He the author. Did I ever deny that? And yes much has happened since the last book, I believe was John 3 by the Apostle John. – In Christ.

  • saffiregal

    Your first sentence is right out of a Right wing conspiracy site.

  • Herm

    Ah, do you understand this in your Bible?

    “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

    Luke 14:26-27 (NIV2011)

    From your response I do not believe you do.

    You speak as growing up in the traditions of your church, as did the Sadducee, and the Pharisees, dependent upon the scripture beyond what it is, simply a testimony of Man with God, from Man’ perspective. Yes, every word written and even those changed by the scribes later were inspired by God, from Man’s perspective. Every word written since Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindi and so many more are inspired by God. Just getting in touch with the image of God in all of us inspires us to speak and write about God.

    This was witnessed as coming from God …

    After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

    Acts 4:31 (NIV2011)

    … before any of the “New Testament” was compiled into any form. The Holy Spirit has not stopped filling children of God. With and in Him, I testify, that all truths are made clear from any document written by mankind as He guides me and I can bear. There is no point in proving the Bible is written or its validity is controlled by God when the Word is with and in you. God did not write or put Their stamp of approval on any of the Bible, with the only exception being the Decalogue if it was translated correctly.

    This is exactly what Jesus tells each of His students (disciples) even today as He did then:

    … they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others.

    But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

    Matthew 23:6-12 (NIV2011)

    The greatest among disciples then, and more so in disciples today, is our servant, our Brother Jesus and our Father. We are in Them and They are in us for they too are with and in the Spirit of truth.

    “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

    John 14:15-21 (NIV2011)

    “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

    John 16:12-15 (NIV2011)

    To believe you can only find God, to know God, to accept God with and in you by first reading the Bible is wrong. It really places the Bible up on a level with God that God never intended, worshiped as our Father is worshiped. There is only one way to worship God and that way in no way includes anything at all carnal.

    Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

    John 4:23-24 (NIV2011)

    To elevate the testimony of God by Man to sacred and the only way to God comes only from mankind’s familial traditions. If, as was testified to in your Bible, The Holy Spirit is alive and well, ready to guide you into all truth, then what can a two to six thousand year old document teach, relevant to this moment, that the Spirit of truth cannot? Do you really think there’s a Bible in heaven? God is here and ready to nurture, protect, provide, and teach you if you only hate all familial traditions of mankind and accept to be whelmed, 100%, by the Spirit of truth as was Jesus at His baptism. Then you, too, hear, “You are my daughter, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

    God, at most, authored only the Decalogue and that is written in your Bible. This writing, and your writing, is inspired as was all testimony in the Bible by our quest to relate to and with God. Since the period of the New Testament we are even more attracted to becoming one with and in God because we know for certain They are willing to die for us first.

    I truly hope this begins to make some sense and helps to remove your confusion. You clearly want the truth. He is in your midst.

  • Ok. So yesterday I received a notification from Disqus that I’d received a response here on my “Let’s play a little game” comment below. Sorry for lengthy post. Apparently the responder had second thoughts and deleted it, as I looked for it in vain. Since he deleted it, I will refrain from posting his name, but having checked his profile, can assure you it represents his character well. I will, however post it and my response, as it represents everything wrong with the classic evangelical justification for a violent God:

    Him:
    “LOL “God has sanctioned the killing of children as part of a genocidal program of conquest”. What bunk. I sure hope you haven’t been unleashed upon unsuspecting innocents as some kind of “teacher.” The Canaanites worshiped Molech and incinerated children in perverted acts of worship which God considered to be a profanity (Lev 18:21) and which were absolutely detestable to Him, which He emphasized in the strongest terms (Jer 32:35). During the 4 centuries of Israel in Egypt, this brazen infanticide continued unabated, while the sins of these wicked people piled up along with the ashes of the incinerated children. Talk about depraved. What God did was to use Israel to exercise His righteous judgement on a people who lost any right to mercy a long time ago. While these passages may offend some, it’s probably best to understand that had these depraved people lived and continued to reproduce and pass on their utterly worthless and indefensible religious practices, Satan’s control over this world would be nearly absolute. And if life was even still possible on the planet (which is far from certain), it would be literally a hell-on-earth with wickedness everywhere.
    Come to think of it, God has destroyed every civilization that I know of that practiced this type of obscene murderous depravity. Incas called child sacrifice “Qhapaq hucha” and the Aztecs of course were destroyed by the Conquistadores. Speaking of Cortez and his ragtag band, instead of bemoaning about a coffee named “Conquistador” as Brian Walsh does (“Truth is Stranger”, 1995), we ought to be happy that God stepped in and destroyed these so-called “civilizations” (which were anything but civilized) before their toxic influence spread.
    The Mayan ritual was particularly obscene. One source notes “slaves, criminals, bastards, orphans and children made up the bulk of the sacrificial victims. Children were desired because of their innocence, and they would sometimes be abducted or purchased from neighboring cities. The purchase price was paid in red beans.” Red beans, that’s nice. I’ll remember that next time I order red bean ice cream after eating sushi (hopefully not the same beans). Apparently “the victim was led to the summit of the pyramid and laid over a stone altar. Then with his arms and legs firmly held by the chacs, the nacom cut open the chest and tore out his heart…. Next, the heart was handed to the high priest, and the body was thrown down the temple stairs…. Other methods of sacrifice included drowning, beating, mutilation, and arrow sacrifices. In the arrow sacrifice the victim was painted blue, and tied to a stake while dancers took turns trying to pierce the victims heart.” Thankfully, this cruel inhumanity ended with their “civilization”, and fortunately their ideas didn’t gain too much traction. So I’m not going to cry over a few thousand depraved souls whose offspring would have, by today, ensured a world filled to the brim with pure evil and the most heinous wickedness, had they lived. BTW perhaps this postmodern culture should stop fetishizing these civilizations, as they were nothing to admire. They prove the postmodern lie that all cultures are equal.”

    Me:
    Dear wanna be Christian, usually I’d respond with “your thin Jesus mask is slipping,” but since you didn’t even bother to put it on, I’ll forgo that. Besides dripping with hatred and a disturbing relish for gruesome details, this disgusting display of sadism doesn’t pass the WWJD hermeneutic. The main problem with your assessment is twofold: God is IMMUTABLE (Malachi 3:6, Psalms 102:27, Hebrews 13:8,) and Jesus said we are to LOVE OUR ENEMIES (Matthew 5:43-48).

    Since Jesus said we are to love our enemies as God loved us first “while we were yet sinners” (Romans 5:8) and that Jesus is said to reflect God’s character (John 4:9, Col. 1:19, etc.), you have presented us with a God that has either changed his mind on child killing, or has an entirely different character from the Son. What you HAVE presented is a God that was used by the Nazis as an excuse for killing millions of Jews, Whites massacring thousands of Native Americans, including women and children, the Church burning heretics at the stake and the Spanish Inquisition.

    This viewpoint of yours was adopted by the church as soon as it experienced the heady rush of power when declared the official religion of Rome. Instead of the pacifism of the early church, as soon as they were no longer persecuted, the church became the persecutee. With all the power and coercive might of the Roman military machine behind them, the church became unchristlike rather than reflecting Christ’s use of non-violence towards enemies.

    This Janus faced god you worship reflects YOUR fallen violent tendencies, NOT God’s. It also shows us your idolatry: you worship a book above God. You have created a graven image in your own likeness in placing a wooden, literal understanding of Scripture above the teachings of Christ.

    The problem with the cult that we call Calvinism, is that it’s view of the total depravity of man, and limited atonement creates a monstrous god who can and does murder infants. The enthusiastic acceptance of the OT views of a warrior God who slaughters Israel’s enemies, fueled the broken treaties, and subjugation of American Natives as God’s “Manifest Destiny” for Whites in the New World. It also provides White Christians with Carte Blanche to do just about any morally depraved thing in the name of God.

    This unresolved and conflicting view of the OT warrior God explains a great deal about the current state of White evangelicalism; their love affair with the “Second Amendment,” the rancid racism that has dogged the SBC, homophobia , mysogeny towards women and xenophobic attitudes towards other cultures.

    You have shown a total lack of understanding what mercy is. How can “who lost any right to mercy a long time ago,” reflect mercy if mercy is somehow “earned” or “lost?” It would not be mercy then. It is telling that you conveniently catalogue the atrocities of non-Christian cultures but turn a blind eye to the atrocities and barbarism of White Imperialism and of the church historically. What hypocrisy! And you “LOL” me! How absolutely disgusting!

  • Dean, my problem with Ben is not just his biblical interpretations. His position is logically flawed. You cannot believe in the words of Jesus and maybe/maybe not believe the other parts of the bible. Why is one recorded correctly and the other not. As to Jesus, most believe He is returning. Relevation gives details about that return. Of course I believe He will return. If not there was no reason for Him to come in the first place.

  • gimpi1

    Really? Some site was truly slamming Mr. Obama for Trumpian style bankruptcies? Oh, that’s just hysterical … do you have a link?

  • saffiregal

    Whatever!

  • saffiregal

    If you show indisputable proof of all those Obama claims I would consider them as fact.

  • gimpi1

    I’m sorry, I must not be making myself understood. I was replying to D. M. S., who had referred to Mr. Obama having some sort of scandalous past, similar to Mr. Trump. I was asking him if he had any real incident on Obama’s past that compared to the known actions of Mr. Trump. I was referring to Trump’s bankruptcies, infidelity and deception. I took your first response as referring to some “Info Wars” style site you had seen and we’re pointing out that my parody had been stated seriously by someone. That’s why I said it was hilarious. Sorry for the confusion.

  • saffiregal

    Thanks for setting the record straight gimpi. I believe we are on the same page. After coming back and forth on this site things get kind of hair raising.

  • It’s interesting that sacrificing children to the God Molech God found to be “profane and detestable,” yet had the Israelites slaughter children to keep the Canaanites from spreading. Perhaps God was jealous that the children were sacrificed to Molech and not him? Or perhaps he wanted Israel to slaughter the children so they wouldnt be sacrificed? Head bashing being more humane than burnt alive?

  • saffiregal

    Samson was a Nazarite, hence why he did not cut his hair or drink intoxicating wine. Christ was a Nazarene who was allowed to cut his hair and drink wine.

  • saffiregal
  • Well, I can at least partially agree with you. Although hell and eternity are not found in the original languages, separation form God, sitting outside when the coming age comes is mentioned in scripture. I don’t know about age of accountability, I tend to think our moral compass is based on our being created in God’s image, and the work of the Holy Spirit in each of us, but yes, there are consequences for wickedness, not in the Calvinistic sense (which renders the term wicked meaningless), but in the general sense of living wickedly. I would disagree as to Christ taking our “punishment” as a primary understanding of atonement, as we killed Christ, not God. God does not delight in our sacrifices, remember? He desires mercy from us, which is exactly what we did not show Jesus. I feel your definition of the fear of the Lord as a healthy respect for is spot on, but is tarnished by your dependency on eternal punishment as a fitting response from a loving Heavely Father to our rebellion. Calvin’s understanding that Christ’s sacrifice was sufficient for all but effective for only a few solves one problem but presents a myriad of new ones. When Jesus said on the cross, “Father forgive them,” did he? Or was it a rhetorical question?

  • Bones

    Yes, your apologetic article says that Asherah was God’s wife.

  • saffiregal

    The Lord God, through Moses, forbade the worship of Asherah. The Law specified that a grove of trees was not to be near the altar of the Lord (Deuteronomy 16:21). Despite God’s clear instructions, Asherah-worship was a perennial problem in Israel. As Solomon slipped into idolatry, one of the pagan deities he brought into the kingdom was Asherah, called “the goddess of the Sidonians” (1 Kings 11:5, 33). Later, Jezebel made Asherah-worship even more prevalent, with 400 prophets of Asherah on the royal payroll (1 Kings 18:19). At times, Israel experienced revival, and notable crusades against Asherah-worship were led by Gideon (Judges 6:25-30), King Asa (1 Kings 15:13), and King Josiah (2 Kings 23:1-7).

  • xstaticprocess

    There is no “separation” from God because God is in all things, through all things, round about, above, below, and the end and beginning of all things. It is the spark of Light (God) that quickens each of us and is within each of us. How can God be separated from God? Hell is on this earth, not some far-away black hole where God drop-kicks those who don’t follow a list of rules. And there is no “punishment” needed for Jesus or anyone else to take. No god worthy of my worship would create a system whereby torturing someone (human sacrifice to the ultimate) is somehow necessary for Him (or Her) to fully embrace his creations. That’s a monster.

  • xstaticprocess

    “They are not recognized by Christianity as being Christian. Jehovah Witness and Mormon are on that list. They are not Christian.”

    Who is the “they” that gets to determine whether or not someone believes in/accepts Jesus as a Savior? Who is the Great Judge over the earth that sits with a clipboard, making judgments about other people’s beliefs? Sounds like usurping God’s authority to me.

  • Bones

    Most significant, though, in demonstrating Israel’s association of Asherah with sacred trees are biblical materials that describe the asherah (singular) or asherim (plural), the cult object(s) that are associated with the goddess Asherah more than thirty times in the Hebrew Bible. These cult objects are generally described as being in the shape of a pole or stylized tree. Like a pole or tree, they can be said to be planted, stood up, or erected. Conversely, when destroyed, these cult symbols can be described as being cut down, hewn down, or uprooted; they can also be said to be burned, overturned, or broken. Both the Greek and Latin translations of the Bible, moreover, render the words asherah and asherim as “grove” or “wood.”

    According to the biblical record, these sacred poles or stylized trees associated with Asherah were erected by the Israelites throughout most of their history, especially during the premonarchic (tribal) period (Judg 6:25–26, 28, 30)) and during the period of the divided monarchy, both in the northern kingdom of Israel (1Kgs 14:15; 16:33; 2 Kgs 13:6; 17:10, 16; 23:15; and parallel references in 2 Chronicles) and in Judah, in the south (1 Kgs 14:23, 15:13; 2 Kgs 18:4; 21:3, 7; 23:6, 14; and parallel references in 2 Chronicles). These sacred poles were situated in various locations. In Judges 6, a sacred pole of Asherah is said to have stood beside the altar of the Canaanite storm god, Baal. The Bible also connects sacred poles with the “high places” (open-air cult sites?) and frequently mentions that they stood “on every high hill and under every green tree” (1 Kgs 14:23; 2 Kgs 17:10; 18:4; 21:3; 23:13–14; 2 Chr 14:3; 17:6; 31:1; 33:3, 19; 34:3; Jer 17:2). Both of these phrases are stereotypically used by the biblical writers to describe sites of idolatrous worship, implying, as does Judges 6, that the worship of Asherah was an apostate behavior in Israel and improper for followers of YHWH.

    Yet despite these and other references associating Asherah with apostasy (for example, Exod 34:13; Deut 7:5; 12:3; Judg 3:7; 1 Kgs 18:19), and despite the fact that the Israelites are explicitly forbidden in Deut 16:21 to erect one of Asherah’s sacred poles beside an altar of YHWH, there are multiple indications in biblical tradition that many in ancient Israel did regard Asherah’s cult icon as an appropriate sacred symbol within the religion of YHWH. For example, one of Asherah’s sacred poles stood next to YHWH’s altar at Bethel, one of the two great cult sites of the northern kingdom of Israel (2 Kgs 23:15). Another of Asherah’s sacred poles stood in that kingdom’s capital city, Samaria. The sacred pole of Samaria, moreover, which was erected during the reign of King Ahab (reigned 873–852 b.c.e.), was allowed to remain standing by the reformer King Jehu (1 Kgs 16:33; 2 Kgs 13:6), even though Jehu was generally at pains to remove all non-Yahwistic cults and cult imagery from the land. This fact suggests that Jehu perceived the sacred pole as appropriate in the worship of YHWH.

    Archaeological discoveries from the late 1970s and early 1980s have further indicated that, at least in the opinion of some ancient Israelites, YHWH and Asherah were appropriately worshipped as a pair. From the site of Kuntillet ‘Ajrud, in the eastern Sinai, come three ninth- or eighth-century b.c.e. inscriptions that mention YHWH and “his Asherah” (meaning YHWH’s companion [consort?], the goddess Asherah) or “his asherah” (meaning YHWH’s sacred pole that represents the goddess Asherah and that sits in his temple or beside his altar). An eighth-century b.c.e. inscription from Khirbet el-Qom, about twenty-five miles southwest of Jerusalem, contains similar language in 1 Kgs 15:13 and 2 Kgs 18:4, 21:7, and 23:6 (with parallels in 2 Chronicles) indicate that at least during certain points in the ninth, eighth, and seventh centuries b.c.e., Asherah’s sacred pole was perceived as an appropriate icon to erect in Jerusalem, even in YHWH’s temple. Also, vessels in the temple were used to make sacrifices to Asherah (2 Kgs 23:4), and in a compound within the temple’s walls, women cult functionaries wove garments used to clothe Asherah’s cult statue (2 Kgs 23:7). Thus it appears that, although generally the biblical writers—especially certain prophets (Isa 17:8; 27:9; Jer 17:2; Mic 5:14) and the authors responsible for Deuteronomy, Judges, 1 and 2 Kings, and 2 Chronicles—regarded Asherah worship as inappropriate, at least some and possibly many in ancient Israel incorporated the goddess’s cult imagery and ritual into the cult of YHWH.

    Unfortunately, our sources do not provide enough information to identify definitively which Israelites were particularly attracted to the worship of Asherah or the reasons for this attraction. One possibility is that in royal circles, especially in the southern capital city of Jerusalem, the cult of Asherah was particularly attractive to the king’s mother. Not only was the queen mother’s position in the palace generally paralleled by Asherah’s position as mother goddess in the heavens, but also the queen mother’s status as the wife of the king’s father suggests an affinity to Asherah’s cult. This is because southern royal ideology typically described the king’s metaphorical father as YHWH. For those ancient Israelites who saw Asherah as YHWH’s consort, this should suggest a correspondence between the queen mother, the wife of the king’s biological father on earth, and Asherah, the wife of YHWH, who was the king’s metaphorical father in the heavens.

    Whether women, more generally, were more likely to be devotees of Asherah’s cult is unknown. There is some biblical evidence that does see women as particularly attracted to goddess cults (for example, women’s role in the cult of the queen of heaven, according to Jer 7:18 and 44:17–19, 25), and the various female figurines found in domestic contexts at multiple Israelite sites might also suggest this, assuming, as many scholars do, that women played an especially important role in family-centered religious activities. Nevertheless, the presence of Asherah’s cult in the Jerusalem temple and in the cult city of Bethel indicates that worship of the goddess was also appealing to men, given that it was an all-male clergy that officiated at these (and at every) Israelite religious site.

    The presence of Asherah’s cult in Israel also raises questions about the nature of the monotheistic confession that is often assumed to be a core principle in Israelite faith. Generally speaking, biblical scholars assume that full-blown, radical, or philosophical monotheism came to Israel fairly late in its history, during the time of the exile in the sixth century b.c.e. Prior to this, we have abundant evidence that other gods and goddesses were worshipped in Israel in addition to (or sometimes instead of) YHWH. Yet even in these earlier materials, we sometimes see evidence of a phenomenon that comes to dominate in the exilic period: the impulse to assimilate the attributes of the many gods and goddesses of older polytheistic systems to the one god, YHWH. Language that speaks of God as mother, for example (as in Deut 32:18; Num 11:12–13; Isa 45:9–10, 49:15; 66:13), probably represents the assimilation of Asherah’s maternal characteristics to YHWH.

    https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/asherahasherim-bible

  • Bones

    Lol…..complete nonsense. All ancient images of Ancient Israelites depict them with long hair.

    Wtf thinks that men with short hair is unnatural?

    Apart from Paul.

    Nearly all ancient images of Ancient Israelites show them with long hair.

    http://www.britam.org/HebrewTypes.html

    Not to mention what this says about other cultures which didn’t cut their hair.

  • Bones

    Yes that’s the bizarre ‘logic’ of fundamentalists. They killed their children to stop them sacrificing them!!!! And the further logic is, Lebanese people only exist today because the Israelites didn’t completely annihilate them as God commanded.

  • Bones

    Corky, that’s called the Good News.

  • Bones

    What sort of a God expects you to make that decision?

  • Bones

    I think you’ll find you’re the logically flawed one.

  • Bones

    Matthew, do you think Jesus is going to raise Capernaum to obliterate it worse than Sodom?

  • D.M.S.

    The only GOD/Christ Jesus the Son of God the Father.
    Mathew 10: 32-39.

  • Bones

    Um no.

  • D.M.S.

    There is only one
    God/ Jesus/ HolySpirit.
    Everything else is Satan.

  • Matthew

    No … I don´t think so.

  • Bones

    So that means you’re satan then….

    Cool thinking bro.

  • Bones

    Why not?

    Matthew 11

    20Then He began to denounce the cities in which most of His miracles were done, because they did not repent. 21″Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had occurred in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22″Nevertheless I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in [the] day of judgment than for you. 23″And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will descend to Hades; for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day. 24″Nevertheless I say to you that it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in [the] day of judgment, than for you.”

    Seems to me you’re picking and choosing which verses to take literally.

  • Matthew

    Wasn´t Capernaum already judged? Good points Bones.

  • Bones

    Well it’s punishment was hardly worse than Sodom.

    It just died out centuries later after people left it.

  • D.M.S.

    You know what I meant.
    You’re just twisting it for your own amusement.
    Where is the glory to God for that?

  • D.M.S.

    Should the Israelites of annihilated the Lebanese as they were commanded?

  • “[W]orthy of my worship…” This is the height of hubris. Do you really believe you’re in a position to judge the worthiness of the Being who made this universe? If you do, you’re mad.

  • xstaticprocess

    Since I don’t believe “the Being who made this universe” is a monster who would intentionally destroy His/Her children with natural disasters, nor do I believe (S)He hurls people who don’t believe the right stuff into a black hole called “hell,” your comment is a moot point. No being that would do such things would be worthy of my worship. Yours or whomever else’s, maybe. But no thank you, I’ll pass.

  • Bones

    Sanctimonious Mouse worships Pennywise.

  • Bones

    What do you think?

    ANy god who commands genocide is not worth being followed.

    But that’s the god you follow. The hater of humanity.

  • Bones

    No…you aren’t god therefore you are satan.

    I agree.

  • Bones

    I always find it ironic how these nutters claim you can’t judge their ‘God’ while they judge other peoples.

  • Bones

    I wasn’t aware you’d made yourself God.

    Everybody welcome the fourth member of the Trinity.

  • Bones

    There was no bible for umpteen years.

    How did they get on?

    And yes you’ve elevated the Bible to Godhood.

    Of course if it was so important that things had to be written down maybe Jesus Himself might have written something.

  • Bones

    Why does Jesus want to kill people?

  • saffiregal

    The only time a male Jew was required to have long hair was when he had taken a Nazarite vow. During this vow he could not touch the fruit of the vine, or a dead body, during the days of his separation (Num 6:1-21), his “consecration (separation) of his God is upon his head” (Num 6:7). And, anyway, the vow was temporary and when the days of his vow were accomplished he “shall shave his head” (Num 6:9), which indicates that long hair was not the norm for men.
    Jesus was never under such a vow. He did grow up in Nazareth, fulfilling a prophecy that He would be called a Nazarene (Mat 2:23; Mar 1:9; Luk 1:26; Joh 1:45). This is why early Christians were sometimes referred to as Nazarenes. However, neither of these words has anything whatsoever to do with a Nazarite vow. This is a gross misinterpretation that Jesus had taken a Nazarite vow. BUT, Jesus was NOT a Nazarite, He was a Nazerene because He lived at Nazareth. They are two different things.
    Those under a Nazarite vow could not drink wine or touch a dead body, BUT Christ did drink wine (Mat 11:19) and, on occasion, touched a dead body (Mat 9:25; Luk 7:11-18). Had He been under a Nazarite vow, He would not have done either of these things.

    Look up the scriptures for an understanding of sense.

  • D.M.S.

    Type to your hearts content. You’re just another one of satans minions that wants to reek havoc in the Christian world.
    Goodbye.

  • StevenHaupt

    Actually no.Jehovah Witness and Mormon do not accept and in fact reject that Jesus is God. Now they have other heresies as well but that one commonality alone proves they are not Christians.

  • xstaticprocess

    Again, I ask, who on the planet is *the* judge that gets to declare who, in their heart, loves and follows Jesus or not? Who gets to read into another’s heart what their discipleship is? I thought only God could know the thoughts and intents of the heart. Sounds like people are usurping God’s authority.

  • xstaticprocess

    lol

  • xstaticprocess

    Funny how fanatics stop responding when their own answers backfire on them. All of a sudden it’s about “twisting the words.” It’s laughable.

  • StevenHaupt

    A Christian’s authority is the Bible, the word of God. If you don’t adhere to the doctrines of Scripture, you are not a Christian. Why is that difficult?

  • xstaticprocess

    And which version of the Bible is the “right” one? There are so many to choose from. And if you tell me which one is the right one, tell me how you know that. And how do you account for the hundreds of years after Christ when there was no Bible? Were those people not Christians? And which books of the Bible trump other books? Do we follow the lists of rules in the Old Testament? Or is that magically “not applicable.” (except for the parts about homosexuality, of course. Those still apply because … reasons.) How does one claim to follow every single item listed in the Bible when there are literally tens of thousands of things you could find to adhere to? And what about Jesus’ summary of the whole of the gospel: Love God and love thy neighbor as thyself. “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples: If ye have love one to another.” Jesus makes it clear what it takes to be his disciple: love. Does that come into play? Or are we really just worshipping the Bible itself?

    Explain those and then tell me (I ask again) how any person can claim to know what is in the heart of another person, when THE BIBLE clearly states that only God knows the thoughts and intents of the heart.

  • xstaticprocess

    I would extend your statement a little bit to say that *christians* can be puffed up, haughty, self righteous, roped and tied by legalism, and the worst thing is they often do not even realize it. Just on this thread alone, the amount of self-righteous, holier-than-thou commentary and sweeping judgments of people is disgusting. People like that are why christianity has almost become a joke.

  • xstaticprocess

    People like that don’t really want a respectful, “fruitful” discussion. They want to shove THEIR dogma down everyone else’s throat, they want to be RIGHT and make everyone else WRONG in the process. It’s one of the most disgusting “fruits” of religion.

  • StevenHaupt

    Sorry, but you don’t want to get. I can do nothing about that.

  • xstaticprocess

    I knew I would get a (non) response along those lines. So typical of religious BS, can’t even answer a few simple questions that challenge your mind a little. Stay happy in your ignorance.

  • D.M.S.

    We will know them by their fruits!

  • D.M.S.

    Back at you ‘ lol ‘

  • D.M.S.

    Then you would be wrong. Because God/Jesus did destroy all of those people.

  • D.M.S.

    We will and you can do the same.

  • JD

    So, god/Jesus is a megalomaniac.

    Good to know.

  • StevenHaupt

    I can’t explain anything to a closed mind. If you want to know the truth read the Bible. I don’t think you have any desire to know the truth.

  • xstaticprocess

    Actually you are the one with a closed mind. I asked you a bunch of questions from an inquisitive point of view. You didn’t even answer one of them, not even the one about Jesus’ summary of the law in love. Are you afraid of asking yourSELF those questions?

  • D.M.S.

    Do you actually know Who you’re dealing with?
    I don’t think that you do.
    The book of Revelation is pretty clear on what is going to happen in our near future, for non-repentance of sins.

  • D.M.S.

    I’ll follow the great Love of God/Jesus for eternity.

  • JD

    I repeat, your deity is a megalomaniac.

  • D.M.S.

    That’s fine with me….

  • Bones

    Yes….you’re fine following a benign evil Dictator far worse than a million Hitlers.

    Why am I not surprised.

  • Bones

    Yes, we’re dealing with you.

    Should we be afraid of you?

    The Book of Revelation says absolutely nothing about the future.

    It’s all based in the first century.

  • Bones

    No….you don’t.

  • Bones

    And your fruit is rotten.. You are of the same leaven as the Pharisees.

  • Bones

    Well he actually did….you don’t question anything.

  • Bones

    I wasn’t aware we were basing biblical exegesis on nineteenth century hymns.

    “But if I” I is a pronoun. The I is Jesus, Jesus is God the Son. “The Spirit of God” is the Holy Spirit, God the Holy Spirit. ” The kingdom of God” God the Father.”

    What complete and utter bs….

    The Kingdom of God is not God the Father…..

  • Bones

    Lol see how the conservative sooks and spits the dummy when his bs is exposed.

    You bet I’ll keep posting.

    And you’ve already posted that you’re satan.

    and I agreed with you.

  • xstaticprocess

    The Book of Revelation is not to be taken literally. It’s written in allegory. Taken literally, it describes a monster god. If the gospel is not looked at through the lens of love it’s not the gospel.

    And what “sins” are we speaking about? Greed? Hoarding money? Not giving to the poor? Religious fanaticism? Lack of love? Or is it just about “the gays” and abortion? Jesus had quite a bit to say about love, being puffed up and broadcasting how good you are (“they have their reward”) and not helping the poor. He also said a lot about those who walked around broadcasting how they followed the law but called them “full of dead bones” because on the inside they were all hot air. Just like most of christianity today — walking around telling people how good you are, condemning everybody who doesn’t believe the same way you do, making judgments about who is going to “hell” (which doesn’t exist) and who isn’t.

  • xstaticprocess

    Says who? O yea. The “inerrant bible.” The 4th member of the Trinity. It’s sad that you worship such a monster.

  • xstaticprocess

    Don’t you know? God is a Republican and doesn’t care about children once they’re born. Only making sure that abortion doesn’t happen. And the way it works with hell, (so-called), is that anyone who doesn’t believe the same way the person speaking or typing believes is being sent to hell. It’s so puffed up and self-righteous that it’s laughable. Don’t believe the same way I do? You’re burning in hell. That, as Bones said, is the “good news.”

  • D.M.S.

    The entire bible is to be taken literally. The monster is NOT GOD.
    It is Man’s defiance to GOD, that is the true monster, Man.

  • D.M.S.

    He’s staying happy in his ignorance. That’s good to know

  • xstaticprocess

    All taken literally, really? I’ll ask another question then: Who made that rule? Let me guess…..it allegedly says so somewhere in the bible. Talking snakes, talking donkey, I guess you believe the earth is only 6,000 years old as well, despite evidence to the contrary. I presume, then, that anyone who doesn’t take the entire bible literally is “not a christian” or follows “a cult?” Am I warm?

  • D.M.S.

    Everything is possible with the Lord.
    Including talking snakes and talking donkey. That man can travel by whale. The earth may only be 6000 years old? It may be a little older.
    Dinosaurs could of been here 600 years ago. Are we sure they weren’t?
    We either choose to serve the Lord or we don’t it is our choice.
    But all choices have consequences.

  • D.M.S.

    Yes you are..,,

  • Bones

    Yeah like Mohammad flew to heaven on a winged horse.

    Use your brain dumbarse. These are legends. They weren’t written by eye witnesses.

    Dinosaurs 600 years ago?

    Now you are showing how stupid you are.

    The choice is stupidity and ignorance or truth and facts.

  • Bones

    BS……

    Your god is the monster.

    He wants to kill me….and gay people …and other posters who aren’t like you….

    Because you’ve made god in your image.

    And just to show how monstrous your god is, he will cause infinitely more suffering and punishment to gays and JEws who perished in the holocaust.

    At least their suffering ended in a gas chamber.

    Your God will continue his holocaust against humanity for eternity.

  • Bones

    That doesn’t even make sense.

  • Bones

    What’s that satan?

    Oh yeah just spreading lies, deceit and hate like you normally do.

  • Bones

    No, you’re the ignorant stupid one.

    You are incapable of critical thought.

  • Bones

    That doesn’t even make sense.

    It’s no surprise that people who take the bible literally have appalling language skills.

    Ffs if you can barely write coherently, you sure as shit can’t interpret thousand year old documents….even literally.

  • Bones

    So who’s authority was the first Christians while they were waiting for the Bible?

    Your authority is actually your interpretation of the Bible…not the Bible itself.

  • Bones

    The first Christians such as the Ebionites weren’t Trinitarian and denied the deity of Christ.

    They worshipped as messianic Jews.

  • JD

    So you’re perfectly fine being a prisoner.

  • Bones

    For starters no scholar uses the New Living Translation which is fundy nonsense.

    And I have no time for people who claim that we are all born ‘evil’. To think that babies are ‘evil’ is frankly obscene.

    Finally he takes biblical verses out of context.

    It’s complete and utter rubbish.

  • Tim

    One of the best statements about salvation and God’s character I have seen was here: http://unfundamentalists.com/2015/01/eliminating-evangelical-double-speak-about-salvation/

    To quote the most relevant bit:

    “The basic problem, as I see it, lies in how evangelical Christians like Warren understand Christian salvation.

    What if, instead of the way they view it now, evangelical Christians thought of salvation in terms of “healing” and “wholeness” and “liberation”—as salvation is, in fact, primarily depicted in the Gospels?

    What if evangelical Christians thought of salvation as the reclaiming of original blessings, rather than as forgiveness for original sin?

    What if salvation was experienced as a process of growth in love, rather than as a reward for believing a particular doctrine about Jesus?

    Then Christians like Warren might actually experience the extravagance of a divine grace that reaches every person, not just those who conform to their own belief systems.

    Then Christians like Warren would realize that they have already been forgiven, and have always been loved with an eternal love. Instead of worrying about believing the right things (and getting other people to believe the right things) in order to secure forgiveness and go to heaven, they could revel in a radical, unconditional forgiveness already theirs, accept their friends of other faiths as truly their sisters and brothers, and spend the rest of their days talking about how good God is, instead of how punitive.”

  • Tim

    Even Paul says that any separation from God is only in our minds.

  • xstaticprocess

    This conversation is ridiculous. I’m done trying to reason with a fanatic who is so unstable in what they believe that they can’t even answer a couple of simple questions. Enjoy your talking snakes and donkeys. Goodbye.

  • D.M.S.

    Everything is possible with God/Jesus and only true Christians believe that fact.
    Your world can ridicule us true Christians for our belief all that you want, but it won’t change us.
    Blessings.

  • D.M.S.

    You’re just as fanatical with your non-belief in God/Jesus.
    Why is it that people who don’t believe in God/Jesus are so fanatic to change those True Christians who do believe in God/Jesus?

  • D.M.S.

    No, I’m actually a slave for God/Jesus.
    And I’m happy to be one.
    Blessings.

  • D.M.S.

    God is ‘ NOT ‘ a republican.
    God is HOLY.

  • D.M.S.

    You’re welcome to call me anything you like, Bones.
    God/Jesus loves you, as He does everyone.
    Christ Jesus is Lord of Lords
    and King of Kings.
    Blessings.

  • D.M.S.

    Yes it does.
    He’s a fanatic, just like you are.
    I’m a fanatic for God/Jesus and His great Love for us all.
    Blessings.

  • D.M.S.

    Having fun….. I am.
    Christ Jesus is Lord and He loves you.
    Blessings.

  • D.M.S.

    Can you prove that dinosaurs weren’t here 600 years ago?
    The truth and fact is that Christ Jesus is Lord and He loves you. And He loves all of us.
    Blessings.

  • JD

    You don’t have a choice to be anything other than a slave, do you. Try to change and it’s off to hell for you.

  • D.M.S.

    Yes I do. I have free will just as you do.
    Jesus died on the cross for all of our sins. I thank Him for making that sacrifice for all of humankind,
    I’m ready to serve Him, and to serve others.
    Blessings.

  • JD

    Do you really have free will, DMS?

    Can you really walk away and not go to hell?

  • D.M.S.

    Yes, I can.
    But, I don’t want too.

  • Bones

    Yes…..Most 10 year olds can answer that. people were alive and writing in the 1400s…

    I think we’d know if they encountered T-Rex’s.

    Plus I was recently digging marine fossils in Inland Australia which was mainly desert and underneath metres and metres of layers we were finding extinct fish and prehistoric turtle fossils.

    You realise your message is pointless when the person presenting it is ignorant and arrogant to facts.

  • Bones

    Yes you’re having fun by making you and your God look like complete morons.

    Carry on.

  • Bones

    I’m not a fanatic. I’m on a search for truth.

    There is none in you.

  • Bones

    Anything you say is irrelevant because you are ignorant and arrogant.

    You don’t get that do you?

    Through your ignorance and lies, you void your own message.

    The Jesus Christ I read about is nothing like you nor your demon.

  • JD

    So you can walk away from Christianity and not worry about going to hell, yes?

  • D.M.S.

    No. I can walk away from doing God/Jesus work.
    But the HolySpirit is in me.
    I can leave, but the Lord won’t leave me.
    Even if I go back to the world.
    The Lord will not leave me.

  • D.M.S.

    I love you too, Bones.
    Blessings.

  • JD

    So you can completely ditch Christianity and your deity will still be with you, yes?

  • D.M.S.

    Christ Jesus is the truth.
    Blessings.

  • D.M.S.

    God/Jesus is also your God.
    Blessings, Bones:-)

  • D.M.S.

    You’re not presenting GOD’s facts.
    Only mankinds Pride filled ignorance.
    Jesus loves you:-)
    Blessings:-)

  • D.M.S.

    Yes.
    Because I did, walk completely away from God/Jesus for 20+ years.
    I sinned everyday, in almost every way.
    I returned a few years ago.

  • D.M.S.

    Yes….:-)

  • JD

    And if you hadn’t returned and you died? Wouldn’t you go to hell?

  • JD

    So, all this talk calling non-christians evil minions of Satan when many of them were once Christian is a load of bullsh!t.

  • Ron McPherson

    Apparently to DMS the only deal killer is being gay. Like one can turn their back on God and go to heaven PROVIDED they’re not in a same sex relationship. Or something like that. It’s all very confusing

  • Ron McPherson

    To those who believe in eternal conscious torment I have posed this scenario to them: What is more merciful for the 13 year old Anne Frank? Languishing 6 mos in Hitler’s Auschwitz/Bergen-Belsen or being scorched alive for eternity in hell because her parents raised her in the Jewish faith? They won’t answer it because the obvious answer is that the innocent child would have had it better in a concentration camp.

  • D.M.S.

    Yes, probably.
    But by what scripture states.
    On how we are supposed to live. Yes.

  • D.M.S.

    Tell Ron since he doesn’t recieve anything from me anymore. That yes it is quite confusing and NO it’s not only because one is gay.
    Scripture states how we True Christians are to live our lives for God/Jesus.
    I was a drunkard for twenty plus years and scripture states that drunkards will NOT enter the kingdom of God.
    I’m not a bible scholar.
    I’m a learning Christian.

  • D.M.S.

    No.

  • D.M.S.

    Obama is a liar and two-faced.
    But guess what President Trump gets to repent of his sins like everyone else.
    If a person is sorry for their past.
    Are we still going to condemn them?

  • D.M.S.

    Yes I can, walk away, but I will be condemned to hell for now serving Satan.
    But The HolySpirit doesn’t leave me. He’s always urging me to come back.

  • D.M.S.

    We are either serving the Lord Christ Jesus.
    Or.
    We are serving Satan.
    Those are our only choices.

  • Ron McPherson

    Jurassic Park meets Christopher Columbus

  • D.M.S.

    No. The HolySpirit will always be with us, asking us to come back.
    But we will be condemned for serving Satan now.

  • gimpi1

    This reply is to D.M.S. below: Mr. Obama has shown his basic honesty and dignified grace many times. Mr. Trump has lied so many times that the mind boggles. However, since you are willing to claim God’s forgiveness for Mr. Trump, why wouldn’t you extend it to Mr. Obama as well? The only reasons that come to mind are neither nice or honorable…

  • JD

    Seems your holy spirit is useless if it can’t keep one pesky demon at bay.

  • JD

    So in reality your holy spirit is nothing more than a warden of a prison. It left the front gates open for you but if you walk out it’ll have you shot dead. Thus you have no free will and are indeed a prisoner.

  • JD

    You are judging people who have the holy spirit.

  • JD

    Thus you have no choice to serve your deity or go to hell.

    You are indeed a prisoner with no choices whatsoever.

  • JD

    So you converted out of fear of hell.

  • JD

    If you are not sure then why the hell are you judging other people?

  • D.M.S.

    I said yes. Had I died when I was a drunkard, I would of went to hell. By what scripture states on how we are to live as Christians.

  • D.M.S.

    No I didn’t. I converted because I believed what Christ Jesus did for all of us on the cross.

  • D.M.S.

    And a willing prisoner.
    Hallelujah!

  • D.M.S.

    Who has the HolySpirit.
    You?

  • D.M.S.

    You would like to believe that wouldn’t you.
    If we are not serving our Lord Christ Jesus.
    We are serving Satan.
    Those are the only two choices that we humans get.

  • JD

    Am I supposed to believe you do only because you say you do? And thus only you have the power to judge other people?

  • JD

    So free will is nothing but an illusion.

  • D.M.S.

    Lol…

  • JD

    And hell had nothing to do with it.

    Not.

  • JD

    You said ‘yes, probably. ” That denotes a sense of uncertainty.

  • D.M.S.

    It did come straight from God.

  • JD

    BTW, not downplaying here journey to sobriety. I grew up with two alcoholic parents. I know how difficult the road of recovery is.

  • JD

    Those are not choices. Those are threats. You are not free. You are prisoner.

    That is terrorism.

  • D.M.S.

    Not when I converted.

  • JD

    Why can’t it?

  • D.M.S.

    We have the free will to serve Christ Jesus or serve Satan.
    Those are our only choices.

  • D.M.S.

    We Christians are allowed to judge righteously.

  • D.M.S.

    Those are also your choices.
    There is no way around those choices,
    They are for everyone.
    You can balk at them all that you want.
    But you have to make a choice on who you are going to serve.
    Blessings.

  • JD

    So humanity is nothing more than cattle bred to do one thing and one thing only: to please their master.

    Those who fail to make the cut and fall short of breed standards are deemed useless and are slaughtered.

  • JD

    You judge people you don’t even know. You have no idea what they’ve been through. All you see is the label of non-Christian and see them nothing but evil Satan spawns.

    Not only is that ugly, it is ignorant hurtful, callous and unkind. You made Christianity look like something Hitler would have come up with.

  • D.M.S.

    By what scripture states.
    Drunkards will not enter the kingdom of God.
    I was a drunkard for 20+ years.
    On 1/11/18 I will be sober for 4 years.

  • Bones

    There’s only facts……No different types of facts…..

    Your ‘facts’ are no different to Muslims….

  • Bones

    Your god is not mine.

    Yours is a demon.

  • Bones

    It’s a tragedy that Jesus Christ is reduced to a meme or a cliche.

    You live in lies, deception and falsehoods.

  • Bones

    Well we’ve already worked out that you are serving satan….in fact you are satan by your own words.

  • Bones

    The choice is to be like you or not.

    That’s an easy choice to make.

    Now f*** off.

  • Bones

    You aren’t going to hell for getting drunk dumbarse.

  • Bones

    So you weren’t always a dishonest merkin….

    Religion made you that.

    Good witness dude.

  • Bones

    No….we can choose to live in ignorance or in truth.

    You’ve chosen ignorance.

  • Bones

    You’re a prisoner to your own mind.

  • Bones

    Lol…..

    And all people are allowed to judge deceit, hatred and ignorance.

    That’s what we see in you.

  • Bones

    That’s what the pharisees thought…..

  • Bones

    Just standard anti-gay conservative rubbish.

    His ‘social justice’ arguments are complete nonsense. But then I know gay people who were tortured to stop being gay in our Çhristian society’ and that didn’t even work.

    And bizarrely after writing that makes claims that future advancements in understanding of homosexuality won’t change his mind because of how principled is.

    It’s the ol: When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do sir?

    Well in this case: nothing.

  • Bones

    Of course it begs the question, if dinosaurs were around 600 years ago, why aren’t they around now?

  • D.M.S.

    Yes… I enjoy my ignorance.

  • D.M.S.

    I love you too, Bones.

  • Bones

    No you don’t.

    Sucking up doesn’t make up for your abject ignorance and hatred of others.

  • Bones

    Yes, we can see that.

    You really are impressing yourself…..to everyone else, including Jesus, you’re a d**k.

  • D.M.S.

    Jesus loves you….

  • gimpi1

    Yes, we can prove “…dinosaurs weren’t here 600 years ago…” Because we understand things like geological structure, radio-metric dating, plate tectonics and principles of biology. We, as a species, have learned a great deal about how the universe works. You appear to have missed a great deal of that knowledge. Why doesn’t that concern you?

  • Ron McPherson

    Which is flabbergasting when Jesus, the one he claims to follow, says you shall know the truth and the truth will set you FREE. But people trapped by their own religious ‘theology’ avoid truth when it brings tension to their belief structure. There is a big difference between actually searching for truth versus merely searching for CONFIRMATION that my pre-existing beliefs are true. When I was mired in conservative evangelical doctrine I read and studied only those works that already supported my belief system.

  • Bones

    It’s not love if he wants to kill me for not believing the same as you.

    That’s abuse.

  • Bones

    No you don’t.

    And I’m not interested in what you call ‘love’.

  • D.M.S.

    Whose Mohammed? He’s no more a god than you are.

    Christ Jesus is God.
    And He’s the same God that you call a monster.

  • Bones

    Yeah I’ve heard about these types who use their ministry to hook onto gay men.

    Also people can change who they are under all sorts of pressure….especially when threatened….many don’t though.

    Heck there’s a gay evangelical on here who won’t get into a relationship because jesus will send him to hell.

  • Bones

    He”s like Scientologists.

    He thinks being batshit crazy is being an effective witness to his religion when it just turns most off.

    Like the jw guy who was telling us how wonderful his temple was until you scratch below the surface.

  • Bones

    Sucking up doesn’t change that you are an ignorant, lying hateful merkin.and that’s what you think your God is like.

    It’s like the abusive husband who says he loves his wife after beating her up.

    It’s shallow and manipulative.

  • D.M.S.

    No you can’t.
    You believe in evolution.
    I don’t.
    You believe the earth is millions of years old.
    I don’t.
    Maybe 50,000, but nowhere near a million.
    I was raised as an atheist.
    I swallowed all of the evolution mythology until I became a born again Christian as an adult.
    I don’t believe any of man’s conception of the world anymore.

  • Bones

    Ffs….Mohaammad believes the same shit as you do.

    He believes only people who listen to him will get to heaven and no way will gays will get there. Even down to the drunkards can’t get to heaven nonsense.

    Your Jesus is a demon who wants to kill people who don’t have a correct cognitive understanding of who he is.

    Totally unlike the gospels.

  • D.M.S.

    That’s correct. Jesus will send him to hell for the sin of homosexual intimate relationships.
    But Jesus will still love him when he sends him to hell.
    At least he realized under his mental illness of homosexuality, that he can still be saved if he doesn’t succumb to his prideful desires.

  • D.M.S.

    Yes…I do.
    Jesus commanded genocide of the Lebanese ancestry.
    I still love Yeshua.

  • Bones

    You’really f###ed in the head.

    Hey Lebanese you should all be dead because my god said but I love you.

    Your God is detestable.

    So are you.

  • Bones

    Yes thanks for showing that jesus is worse than any Hitler and then adding that jesus is torturing them because he loves them as the ultimate in stupidity.

    Once again you show how hateful your religion is.

  • Bones

    It’s ok gay people….Jesus still loves you as he tortures you forever….

    It’s obvious who has the mental illness here. The same one who believes the same as the Pharisees and extremist Muslims.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ff3d531778abe351a3515c33abc51b2d934ed646a5c2cb9ac0d010d03f71a5fa.jpg

  • Bones

    No you don’t.

    Neither am I interested in you.

  • D.M.S.

    We have a choice Bones.
    Either serve our Lord Christ Jesus and give up our pride filled sexual lust. And many other kinds of sins.
    Or.
    Choose to serve ourselves
    ( i.e. Satan ) and spend eternity in hell.
    Which one should we choose?
    I’ll choose serving Christ Jesus.
    Blessings.

  • D.M.S.

    What gospels?
    What pagan religion do you adhere too?

  • Brad Denham

    To the writer of this article,
    Pure Marcionism.
    You do not understand the holiness of God.
    When you make the fatal mistake of divesting God of Holiness and believe only in His love, you end up with license to sin (which offends God/Jesus)
    When you make the fatal mistake of divesting God of love and believe only in His holiness, you end up with license for all kinds of atrocities (which offends God/Jesus).
    God and Jesus are one and both Holy and loving simultaneously (among other things) from eternity past to eternity future. To separate God (Holy) from Jesus (Love) does violence to the character of God.
    Explains why you also do violence to the scriptures and downgrade the fear of God while elevating the love of God at the expense of the holiness of God.
    Explains why you do not understand how God/Jesus act historically and currently, emphasizing sometimes holiness and at other times love (but never one without the other).
    Progressive Christians should really call themselves by another name. They are neither progressive nor Christian. You believe only in the love of Christ and have diced him up into “another Jesus”
    which He himself warned us about.

  • D.M.S.

    What’s a merkin?
    What gospels?

    John16:27. (” For the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from GOD.
    Blessings.

  • D.M.S.

    AMEN….

  • D.M.S.

    Dinosaurs were here less than a thousand years ago.
    Why do our historians keep lying to us?

  • D.M.S.

    I’m wondering who’s next to attack our Lord Christ Jesus from formerly fundie.
    It started with JD a couple of days ago and now you.
    Who’s the next nutcase that’s going to jump into the mix?

  • Brad Denham

    Thanks D.M.S
    I see that you have been taking it on the chin from “Bones” and others. Good for you.
    I decided to block him out and do not read his comments. I understand his position and respect that so the invective is only repetition. Funny how he spews hatred after accusing us of believing in a hateful God.
    Having said that, the logic of the Atheist sometimes makes more sense than progressive christianty.
    The best lie is the one that is closest to the truth without being the truth.

  • Ron McPherson

    I finally just had to block him. It seemed like practically every time I countered him with logic, or even the very words attributed to Jesus as recorded in the Bible, he would just say I was of the devil and I was twisting scripture.

  • D.M.S.

    Now that I know what a merkin is. It’s obvious that you have very strange since of humor.

  • saffiregal

    Wanna’ give proof of your first assertion?

  • JD

    Well of course you’de ‘choose ‘Jesus for you don’t want him to torture you for all eternity.

  • D.M.S.

    What the heck is
    God/Allah/Deity
    and there’s more than just the Trinity?
    Has Herm brought all of you a brand new way to worship God/Allah/Deity?
    What planet did you people fly in from, you surely are not from earth.
    Maybe you’re all part of the body snatchers society, lol.

  • Bones

    Wtf is this mumbo jumbo?

    I’m pointing out your religious beliefs are no different to other extremists.

    Once again, why does your jesus want to kill people?

  • Bones

    It’s aussie slang for a moron and a shitty person.

    Merkin.

  • Brad Denham

    Good discernment D.M.S.
    Herm is a christian mystic.

  • Bones

    The only nutter here is you.

    You really are an appalling human being.

  • Bones

    No.

    You are a curse.

    You’re a fart in an elevator.

    The parts in the gospels where jesus kills people, moron.

  • D.M.S.

    Just because you think you can prove it. Doesn’t mean that I have to believe it.
    It’s just like bats are birds.
    Mankind doesn’t get to change what GOD made.

  • Bones

    Any religion is better than yours.

  • D.M.S.

    Want?

  • Bones

    No…the choice is ignorance, lies and hate or enlightenment, facts and love.

    You’ve chosen the path of ignorance, lies and hate like so many others….

    And you think you’re so special because you have.

  • Bones

    Yes…

    Is that too hard for you?

  • D.M.S.

    You and I will both bow before Christ Jesus for our sins.
    That’s a fact.

  • D.M.S.

    First to the American public you can keep your doctor.
    Second ” Affordable Care “.
    There’s nothing affordable about it.

  • corky

    Well said, I do wonder what’s going to happen to all the unwanted children as a result of this stance. I am not pro abortion but if people shouting the loudest aren’t willing to raise these children what hope is there for them?

  • D.M.S.

    He doesn’t want to kill anyone.
    The world won’t repent of their sins. He has no other choice.
    He’s bound by who He is.

  • D.M.S.

    So you want to be tortured in hell for eternity?
    Or you don’t believe that Christ Jesus is our Lord and Savior?

  • D.M.S.

    God/Jesus is not hateful at all.

  • gimpi1

    I answered you above. For some reason it showed up there. See the post just above yours for my response.

  • D.M.S.

    I’m nothing like that.
    Repent soon Bones.

  • D.M.S.

    Your guru, Herm.
    States this as his belief on patheos.
    All of you bow down to him for his teachings. I’ve been on here conversing with all of you for 4 months. All of you depend on each other and I’ve seen it time and time again.

  • gimpi1

    The ACA is far more affordable than insurance for people with pre-existing conditions was before it. The “doctor” quote reflects misunderstanding, not deception. Mr. Trump’s “my rallies/inauguration/tax cuts are the biggest ever” are easily disproved lies. Or ‘alternative facts’ if you like. Then there’s his bankruptcies, his defrauding contractors, his infidelity . .. it goes on and on. Again if you grant God’s grace to Mr. Trump, why do you withhold it from Mr. Obama.

  • D.M.S.

    Where does it state that babies are ‘ evil ‘? I’ve never read that in any Christian scripture.

  • D.M.S.

    I’m the ‘ nutter ‘ lol.
    I’ve been attacked by over 30 people from formerly fundie or their friends for the past 4+ months. Because of my beliefs in Christ Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

  • D.M.S.

    All of them have refused to repent of their sins and have taken the mark of the beast.
    They have condemned themselves as soon as they take that mark.

  • D.M.S.

    That’s an absolute LIE.
    There’s nothing affordable about ACA.
    It should implode pretty soon.

  • gimpi1

    And the Southern Baptist denomination was founded to defend first race based slavery and later Jim Crow segregation. Is that still their purpose?

    Groups change over time. Now, I doubt the central reason for developing birth control was eugenics, but even if tsome of its developers were involved with the eugenics movement, that doesn’t mean anything about PP today, any more than Baptist churches want to enslave people.

  • gimpi1

    No, it’s not. People with pre-existing conditions often faced bankruptcy because they were uninsureable. They also died, when they couldn’t buy insurance and couldn’t afford treatment. Before the ACA, the AMA estimated that 5,000 Americans died each year for that reason.

    The ACA’s costs were pretty well controlled until the current administration started working to undercut it. If they succeed, we will go back to 30,000 uninsured and 5,000 unnecessary deaths. And you appear to desire that.

  • D.M.S.

    You’re an absolute LIAR.
    Well controlled my moose.
    You desire to lie.

  • JD

    If your deity and Jesus are one and the same, then no.

    In the bible your ‘lord’ is a megalomaniac responsible for the deaths of millions including children and babes in the womb. It invented the concept of wholescale genocide.

    So, no, I will not spend eternity with your ‘lord’.

  • Bones

    No….the beast in Revelation is Nero.

    Ffs grow up.

  • Bones

    No, you’re a nutter because of your nutty beliefs; which includes your many lies against other people here and your abject hatred of gay people and others who aren’t like you.

    You came on here to attack others and you’re moaning about being attacked.

    F*** off.

  • Bones

    It’s called Original Sin…..

    You know the nonsense you believe that everyone sins because of Adam.

  • Bones

    I have no guru.

    And I don’t bow down to anyone…least of all a deceitful ignorant clown who believes his opinion is the same as God’s.

  • Bones

    You are like that.

    You won’t repent because you like being a complete arse.

    It makes you feel good and then you justify it by saying people are attacking Jesus when it’s really just you being a prick.

  • Bones

    Your god is a hateful merkin.

    He will torture gays for eternity…..unlike Hitler who actually only tortured them over a few years.

    In fact he’ll do that to everyone who doesn’t believe the same as you.

  • D.M.S.

    Why are you afraid Bones?
    Jesus wants you to recieve Him and repent of your sins.
    What are you afraid of Bones?

  • Bones

    BS.

    Of course God has a choice.

    He creates people knowing that he is going to torture them. What sort of a stupid obscene theology is that.

    In fact it’s clear from the Bible itself that God changes his mind a lot.

    Your god is not worth following.

  • Bones

    No…that’s not a fact.

    That’s a subjective interpretation.

    Just like Muslims believing that we’ll all be judged by Allah.

  • D.M.S.

    God/Jesus is Holy.
    God/Jesus can’t go against that.
    What pagan god do you adhere to?
    It isn’t the only Lord and Savior In our universe, you’ve already said that.

  • D.M.S.

    No he isnt! Mohammed was a bi-sexual pedophile.
    Like most of the mentally ill lgbt.
    He’s already in hell.
    But the lgbt still has a chance to repent for their sins, before its to late to do.

  • D.M.S.

    Scripture doesn’t state that babies are born evil nowhere.

  • D.M.S.

    Everyone is a sinner, including the lgbt and me.
    All of us need to repent of our sins.

  • D.M.S.

    Not unless there’s a Nero in our future. The tribulation and the great tribulation are in our very near future.
    I hope you realize that and repent before its to late to do so.

  • D.M.S.

    Yes God/Jesus did that. So what.
    They would not quit sinning,
    They paid the price for there defiance.
    Are you going to do the same thing and be defiant as well?
    It’s your choice.

  • D.M.S.

    If obammy would of had his way every manufacturing company would move out of the U.S.
    So obammy could put everyone on the welfare teat, to control the masses.
    Hitlery would of done the same.
    That’s why president Trump was elected. He’s not a politician and that what we the people want.

  • D.M.S.

    Is Mr. Trump allowed to change?
    The person I was 30 years ago does not exist today,
    I’ve changed.
    Are we not allowed to change?

  • Bones

    None of the Book of Revelation is in the future…..It is a polemic aimed at Imperial Rome.

    If I don’t repent and become like you, your god is going to torture me.

    You can take that god and shove it up your arse.

  • Bones

    No….that’s the thing….your god will kill people for being who they are and who he created them.

  • Bones

    Derp you just posted “Everyone is a sinner,”

    It’s called Original Sin…..

    FFS grow a brain…..

  • Bones

    Mohammad is no different to you.

    Notice how you go apeshit when you are in essence the same as him.

    There is no such thing as hell.

    So your scare tactics are a waste of time.

  • Bones

    That’s exactly the same god as the pharisees.

    Its bizarre because according to your theology god needed have bothered coming at all.

    And for most people the cross was an abject failure.

    What’s clear is that according to you Jesus and God are NOT the same.

    One embraced sinners, the other hates them.

  • Bones

    Except it’s clear that he hasn’t.

    No surprise that morons like you would follow him.

  • Bones

    Lol…..still hiding from Bones, Brad……

    Your god hates us so much it wants to torture us…..you claim yourself that god cursed women with pain from childbirth,,,,you lie about science…and don’t have the balls to face those who expose your lies and deceit.

    And your lies are all over this thread.

  • Bones

    I can see why you’re so scared of your god…he curses women with pain….wants to kill every person ever born unless they bow down to him…..he seeks to torture people worse than a million hitlers….

  • Bones

    And like Brad, your god seeks to hurt and kill people.

    You two idiots are made for each other.

  • Bones

    And you a fundamentalist moron, cut from the same cloth as the Pharisees.

  • Bones

    Your god is a murderer, like the Muslim god.

    You know that. In fact you celebrate that.

    No, the choice is ignorance v Enlightenment.

    I choose enlightenment.

  • Bones

    Wtf….bats aren’t birds…….

  • JD

    Babies too, DMS? Unborn infants?

    Really?

    I’ll choose to completely ignore all of your horrible religion.

  • D.M.S.

    I truly do feel sorry for your hatred towards your Savior.
    I hope you realize just how loving He truly is someday soon before its to late.

  • D.M.S.

    Yes they are..,,

  • JD

    A deity that exterminated millions including babes in the womb and infants, AND will kill you for not worshipping it is not ‘loving’.

    That is a monster.

  • JD

    It is difficult to hate something that never existed.

  • JD

    Btw, please tell me what possible evil sin could babes in the womb have committed that would warrant being murdered by your deity.

  • D.M.S.

    That’s God’s call not ours.
    He created us.
    It’s His will, what should be done.
    We Christians don’t question His authority.

  • D.M.S.

    God exist. You’re just to ignorant to know it. There’s millions just like you.

  • D.M.S.

    Not as far as we Christians are concerned.

  • D.M.S.

    Your enlightenment is your ignorance.

  • D.M.S.

    It’s very clear that he has changed you’re just to blind with your hatred for conservatives to see it.

  • D.M.S.

    God/Jesus are the same.
    God/Jesus hate sin.
    Christ Jesus gave all of us a way out from sin thru His Father.
    You’re just to blind to see His salvation for all of us.

  • D.M.S.

    Hell is a very real place.
    Most human being will end up there.

  • D.M.S.

    Read scripture so you may grow a brain.
    Babies are born into sin.
    They haven’t sinned until they have reached the age of knowing.

  • D.M.S.

    A Holy God did NOT create any of the lgbtpnb. All of them chose to become that way.

  • D.M.S.

    All of the book of Revelation is in our future.

  • Ulf Turkewitsch

    Right on Brad. Many modern so called christians misread the scriptures, then they focus on one part of God to the exclusion of all other attributes that make up God. This is pure emotionalism. A bad way to understand scripture. They think that puny humans can understand the totality of God, and can judge Him. They are just fools and have no wisdom .
    They really come across as little children.

  • JD

    And that’s my point. You have no choice but to worship it or it will kill you too. You worship a tyrant, a megalomaniac, a monster. You have no choice but to worship it.

  • JD

    Millions your deity can’t wait to kill apparently.

  • JD

    Well of course not. You have to worship it or it will kill you too. You are trapped and you dont even realizing it.

  • JD

    Bones, what saddens me is they absolutely have no idea how they portray their deity as a complete monster. They can’t see the that fear, hatred and death is the main ingredient of their religion. How when one tries to point that out they clap their hands over their ears call you Satan spawn. It’s all very illogical, unhealthy and sad.

  • D.M.S.

    That’s right. So you get to still choose. Eternity in Hell or serve Christ Jesus.
    It’s your choice.
    I’m going to serve our Lord.

  • Brad Denham

    Thanks Ulf,
    They impose a postmodern interpretation on the bible that allows them to make scripture say what they want, and tell God what should be, and them call it christian.
    That is why so many are so confused.
    Bones is a perfect example of the confused. We are supposed to love as Jesus loves yet only hatred is evident.
    I guess he has taken the title of the authors new book “Unafraid” and used it to justify being unafraid to hate.
    Or was the hate already there and given license to vent?
    Either way, the contradiction is obvious. Maybe he wants to narrow down the justification to hate to biblical Christians only??

  • JD

    Turn or burn are not choices. Worship me or I’ll kill you are not choices.

    THAT is a hostage situation.

    THAT is terrorism.

  • D.M.S.

    No that’s the other way around thoses million like you and me choose where we go. Either we serve our Lord Jesus and try to live as much of a sinless life as possible and have an eternity in heaven with our Lord.
    Or serve the world, and your selfish ways as you like and spend eternity in hell.
    It’s our choice.

  • JD

    Turn or burn are not choices. What part of that is so difficult for you to understand?

  • D.M.S.

    No I’m not trapped.
    I enjoy doing the Lords work.
    I used to be just like the rest of the world.
    I enjoy helping people, now.

  • JD

    Helping people avoid Christianity you mean.

  • Ron McPherson

    Perhaps today one of the biggest impediments hindering people from coming to God is the witness of those who claim to follow him. It was the same thing during Jesus’ day when he battled the condemnatory message of the religionists. I fear not much has changed in that regard. Pharisees were all into the thou shalt nots of the OT, but not so much into acceptance and love. They hated the fact that Jesus chose to hang around the outcasts because it didn’t align with their conception of God.

  • D.M.S.

    You’re so smart that you’re going to choose to burn in hell for eternity.
    But it really doesn’t matter what you choose
    You have to be sincere with wanting to serve our Lord Christ Jesus. It’s not really just a choice. You have to want to repent of your sins. The Lord has to know that you want to repent of your sins and you want to serve Him because the life that you have been leading is wrong,
    And you want to become a Christian. Knowing full well that you don’t deserve to be saved and you’re a dispicable person for even asking the Lord to forgive us.
    It’s only by Gods grace and great love that we are allowed to be saved.
    God chooses all of us that want to be saved.
    Some are brought up in the Christian faith by their parents and reject Gods love and grace.
    Do you want to be saved JD?
    Blessings.

  • gimpi1

    That’s the most childish nonsense I’ve ever had the misfortune to read. Your use of babyish name-calling and foolish statements that are totally ridiculous makes it clear there’s no point in continuing.

    By the way, no one is “attacking” you as you claimed downthread. People are disagreeing with you. That’s not an attack, it’s a viewpoint. If you want to talk to people outside your bubble, you should learn the difference.

    You, on the other hand, calling people liars when they are either stating verifiable facts or giving their opinions stated as such, are being rude. I don’t waste my time rude people. Good bye.

  • JD

    You just don’t see it, do you. *sigh*

    Here, let me show you how you present your deity and religion.

    Once upon a time a deity created humans for the sole purpose of having them worship it. Not sure why it created humans for this deity already had a whole host of higher celestial beings worshipping it for all eternity. Perhaps it just wanted lesser beings as a sort of pet to lick its feet too, but I digress…

    Now. Humans didn’t always mingle or behave well. They squabbled often, even killing each other on occasion. So this deity had to exterminate several misbehaving humans over time to keep them in line. It completely killed entire groups at points, including pregnant females and suckling young, perhaps to better the breed. It even taught some to kill other humans on command. But that didn’t always go well. On occasion the deity had to kill its trained killer humans for they failed in following its command and didn’t completely kill all those the deity wanted dead.

    At one point, fed up with misbehaving humans, this deity decided to mate with one of the females and thus was born a human-deity hybrid.

    Now this hybrid became the deity’s the favorite human, even though it wasn’t really completely human. This hybrid behaved better than most humans and was able to train several humans to be obidient and worship the parent deity.

    But, alas, that didnt last long and the hybrid human was killed. But since it was the deity’s favorite it joined the deity in the celestrial realm. Now the deity not only wants itself to be worshipped it wants all humans to worship its hybrid offspring. Anyone that refuses will either be killed where their spirits will be horrible tortured for all time or the deity will let them die naturally and then punishing them for all time.

    Now, this is a rather tamed down telling. Your version, DMS has your deity much more violent and bloodthirsty. Either way makes your deity look like a petty genocidal megalomaniac who created humanity just to worship it or be eradicated.

    And that is certainly not a deity worth worshipping or even believing it actually exists.

  • gimpi1

    We’re simply going to have to agree to disagree here.

    I don’t share your faith, so I can’t speak to “…grieved(ing) our Lord…) but I don’t view preventing life as any problem at all, rather a medical decision the people at hand make, and I don’t view early-term abortions as “exterminate(ing) life” at all, in part because early-term failure to implant or miscarriages are so common as to be statistically more likely than successful implantation and early-term carrying. In other words, more than 50% of all fertilized ovum either don’t implant or miscarry shortly after implantation. That leads me to believe nature does not view those ovum and fetuses as life yet. I understand you don’t share this view, and I respect your right to that belief.

    I was addressing your idea about Planned Parenthood being involved in eugenics when I discussed the Southern Babtist genesis as a pro-slavery denomination. They (presumably) have changed. So, even if you were right about their early existence, (and, frankly the evidence for that is spotty,) it would likely have no bearing on their beliefs or action today.That was my point there.

    Relating to your downs syndrome example, I can’t regard that as a tragedy. I took care of my father, who suffered an industrial accident that caused brain-damage. It’s a hard life for all concerned to care for someone afflicted with a cognitive disability, and I understand why people don’t want to endure that struggle, especially since the U.S. provides very poor support for such families. I speak from first-hand experience here. We stink in that regard. I don’t regard aborting an early Down’s syndrome as killing them – since I don’t regard an early term fetus as alive in any meaningful way. I understand we disagree about that.

    I rather resent your “Left(ist)” comments. I’ve tried to be fair, to explain my positions, to understand yours, and to avoid stereotyping you. I really think you might consider returning that favor?

  • D.M.S.

    That’s what your master Satan would have you believe.

  • D.M.S.

    Good bye. I’ll see you in the funny papers:-)

  • gimpi1

    It’s not a matter of belief. I’m not a scientist, but I married one. A geologist, in fact. Traveling with my husband, I’ve learned to read road-cuts, understand stratification and how strontium-radiometric dating works. I don’t “believe.” I see. I have learned. understand. I also have an entire bookcase full of mineral specimens, i.e. rocks. Marriage to a geologist is a two-edged sword:-)

    If you reject physical reality in favor of myths about how the universe formed, how old it is and how earth and life developed, because you like the myths better – that’s your choice. It’s also factually, provably wrong. The computer or phone you’re corresponding on, the antibiotics you’ve no doubt take at some point in your life, the GPS that helps you find addresses are all based on the same physics, chemistry, biology and geology that prove the earth is 4.5 billion years (and change) old, that life evolved from common ancestry and, yes, that dinosaurs went extinct around 65 million years ago, likely as a result of an asteroid strike.

    One view of reality works and can actually produce things like technology, space travel and lifesaving drugs. One doesn’t and can’t produce those things.

  • D.M.S.

    You just don’t see it do you….
    Like I said the other day.
    I truly do feel sorry for the hatred that you show for your only Lord and Savior in the world.
    But why do you want me to hate something that you don’t believe even exit?
    Why would you want me to burn in hell with you?
    Do you hate my belief in our Savior Christ Jesus?

  • gimpi1

    Bats are mammals. They don’t lay eggs, they nurse their young. They don’t have feathers. They are flying mammals. They fit every category of mammal, and none of birds. This isn’t “changing” anything. It’s understanding what something is.

  • D.M.S.

    You want me to believe what you believe. That’s not going to happen.
    You believe that GOD is a myth.
    When it’s GOD Who created your science in the first place.
    Your kind manufacture a machine that carbon dates by what you say only. I no more beleive that your kind can date anything that’s a thousand to lol a million+ years old.
    There’s nothing you can state to change that fact.

  • D.M.S.

    Bats are birds as far as scripture is concerned.
    Pagan mankind doesn’t have the authority to change that fact.
    Your hatred of Christian scripture and what it states is quite evident.

  • JD

    Sorry, that would be the adversary in your belief system, not mine.

  • D.M.S.

    Yea of little faith.
    Satan has completely engulfed your entire world and your hatred of GOD is to blind to see what Satan has done to you.
    That is satans job to turn as many people away from GOD as he can.
    You are another one of satans success stories.
    The best part of all is that he’s made sure that you don’t believe in him either.
    That’s why our Christian scripture describes Satan as the great Deciever.

  • D.M.S.

    What’s really sad is how deluded the two of you are.
    God/Jesus is real.
    God/Jesus has more love for humanity than two of you will ever be able to fathom.

  • D.M.S.

    Why are you fighting so hard to take me away from the great love of our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus?
    When you don’t believe in Him at all.
    I can’t understand why you want to ruin my life.
    I’m happy with our Lord and Savior.
    Why are you trying to take my happiness from me?

  • JD

    It’s foolish to hate what isn’t real.

  • D.M.S.

    What you consider isn’t real in this case, I’m going to love and serve.

  • D.M.S.

    No that’s man changing what God made. Just because mankind doesn’t think so. Doesn’t mean that I have to believe what mankind perceives.

  • D.M.S.

    Your god Obama is an America hating person and he did everything he could while president to tear down America. He also a racist, he hates the white race.

  • D.M.S.

    Having fun….I am.

  • D.M.S.

    It’s very difficult for you to understand, that’s a fact.

  • D.M.S.

    Duh, better weapons.

  • D.M.S.

    It doesn’t matter she recieved both.

  • JD

    You can’t do it, can you, DMS. You cannot think outside your little box. Its got you so hemmed in. You see enemies instead of neighbors all based a fairy tale of deities, demons and demi-gods. It has you believing that anyone that doesn’t like you must be of your devil. It is all so fear-based. It instills in you mistrust of anyone that doesn’t think like you.

    Such a shame.

  • JD

    The love of your deity is based upon fear and terror. For those who do not love your deity will die and go to hell. All for the failure to believe in the correct belief system.

    That isn’t love, DMS. That is brainwashing.

  • JD

    Why are you fighting so hard to instill terror of your deity?

  • JD

    You can love and serve all you want. But you don’t have to base it off the terror of going to hell if you don’t do it just right.

    Free your mind.

  • JD

    You enjoy telling people they’re of the devil? You have a twisted sense of fun. Frankly it’s quite ugly and unkind. All you’re doing is making you religion look more and more distasteful and ignorant.

  • JD

    It’s quite easy to understand. Fear based religions are just that; fear-based. All very unhealthy.

  • JD

    And yet your deity saw fit to kill babies on a regular basis. Even unborn babies.

  • JD

    The level of your ignorance is astounding

  • JD

    Is becoming a Christian mean I have to become as ignorant as you?

  • D.M.S.

    Why? Because I won’t allow what the world believes .

  • D.M.S.

    Being with our Lord is where I want to be…..

  • D.M.S.

    Is that a term of endearment

  • D.M.S.

    It doesn’t bother me.
    But you want to make sure that it does or you wouldn’t repeat it so much.
    Considering that I’m pro-life.

  • D.M.S.

    I don’t enjoy it. It’s a warning, that they ( you ) don’t see.
    True Christians would try to stop it if they even thought they were living for Satan in any way.
    But the Corey crowd thinks everyone else is crazy for living their lives for Christ Jesus.

  • D.M.S.

    I’m not going to hell. As long as I don’t turn into people like you, Bones, Herm, Ron, TSawesome, etc.

  • D.M.S.

    Because it’s the truth…most people want to hear the truth.
    No one at the B.L. Corey crowd does.
    They call the Lord, terror.

  • D.M.S.

    I’m going to enjoy Christ Jesus and all of his truths until I’m taken in death.
    Blessings.

  • Brad Denham

    I somewhat agree with the sentiment of this statement but you left out the reason why Jesus rejected the Pharisees condemnatory religion.
    They were self-righteous. It is not that they held to a standard (God’s law) but that they thought they could keep the law and hence had no need of Jesus for salvation.
    The outcasts on the other hand realized their need for someone like Jesus to gain salvation for them.

    Corey’s cute little formula – Jesus is God, and they are love, and that’s all we need, so nothing to fear – is a gross over-simplification and leaves people with a false security and caricature God of the OT as hateful, fear based and a lover of death and torture. I would not worship such a god.

    God of the OT is to be to be feared.
    He is hateful of sin.
    And death results from sinners (like me) willfully rejecting the God of life.
    I choose to have life restored to me by faith in Jesus Christ giving me the righteousness (His own) I could never earn on my own.
    I now work out my salvation in fear and trembling.
    I have gone from death to life.
    I now have the love of God in my heart rather than hate.
    The God of the OT is God the Father of the NT.

  • JD

    And yet all you show about your deity is how it’s going to kill and torture you for all eternity if you fail to worship it just right.

    I am left with the conclusion that your deity is nothing but a megalomaniac and your religion is fear-based.

  • JD

    And that’s the only reason you believe: it is because you are afraid of hell.

  • JD

    You put as much faith in your demon as you do your deity.

    Once again you just don’t get it.

    You present your religion as one of terror and fear where its main deity would rather torture you for all eternity if you don’t worship it just right. The only reason anyone could convert would be out of fear, not love.

    Yours is a wholly unhealthy belief system that needs to just fade away from the world.

  • JD

    You cannot be pro-life when you believe your deity kills babies.

    Clearly, DMS, you are insane.

  • JD

    And yet you believe bats are birds. Your insanity is deep and your ignorance overwhelming.

    Seek help.

  • JD

    There you have it folks. Ignorance is a requirement to becoming a Christian.

  • Ron McPherson

    The Pharisees were not ignorant of the concept of God’s grace, even forgiveness of sins. Yes, they were self-righteous religionists, but it stemmed from their assumption that somehow God’s favor on them exceeded that of the ‘outcasts.’ They stressed behavior management and external avoidance of sin, which in their mind meant they had standing before God that the ‘sinners’ did not have. That’s why they rejected Jesus and his message, because his focus rested squarely on love of God and neighbor. In fact, he summed up the entirety of the OT on that singular principle. And he received pushback from the religious elite because of it.

  • D.M.S.

    Lets hope and pray that some day very soon that you will be as enlightened as I am in our Lord Christ Jesus.
    That He is our Lord and Savior.
    Blessings.

  • D.M.S.

    No not really.
    The bible is our main authority on all subjects and always has been.
    Our secular science which doesn’t believe in a form of God or any god for that matter. Decided a long time ago that they would be the brainwashing authority in all of our learning institutions. And have society change to their way of thinking. After 60+ years of being told in our schools what they want us to think that is the way most of us think. We’ve been indoctrinated and we still are……. Now our school are teaching our children that it’s good to be lgbtpnb. That conservatism is bad and should be destroyed.
    Ignorance of the world that your kind is trying to force on all of us is not what will be striving for.
    But telling people of the brainwashing that your society is forcing on everyone will make sure that I stay a dissident to your culture.

  • D.M.S.

    I answered this comment above your last blasphemy.

  • D.M.S.

    Oh, yes I can.
    God/Jesus commands us not to Murder.
    And abortion is premeditated murder.

  • Brad Denham

    Hi Ron and Thx for your response,
    That is a good summary and I agree.
    When you say that the message of Jesus focused and rested squarely on love and God and neighbor I also agree, but does that mean he more or less jettisoned behavior management and avoidance of sin? Was not Jesus teaching that our external behavior should reflect an internal love for God and neighbor, i.e from the heart?
    To me, the golden rule so to speak, the sum of the law, when spoken of as “a sum” as a singular principle, does not reduce what God expects from us, to just “love” everyone.
    It would be like saying E=MC(2) is now a singular principle and all the previous 10 chalkboards full of math formulas that were used to arrive at the sum are now irrelevant.
    This may be a poor example.
    But all too easily it seems we can take the principle to love one another as justification for allowing any kind of behavior and think God will bless it.
    Possibly Anti-nomianism. (no moral law)
    Can you see my point?

  • Bones
  • Bones
  • Bones
  • Bones

    But you’ve already admitted that you are satan…

    and we agree.

  • Bones

    Rofl

    From the clown that says bats are birds and dinosaurs were around 600 years ago.

    You’re a dumb troll.

  • Bones

    No it isn’t.

    In fact the False Prophet was Paul…..and the synagogue of Satan were gentile Christians.

    The author of Revelation would have no bar of you. He was a messianic Jew.

  • Bones

    That is correct.

    The DMS character is just trolling and taking the piss.

    Communication with him is futile.

  • Bones

    Yes he did.

    He even gave them lust.

  • Bones

    Derp you wrote ‘Everyone is a sinner”

    Your words derpaderp.

  • Bones

    Nope.

  • Bones

    It’s clear he hasn’t.

    No surprise that people like you fellate him.

  • Bones

    YEs you hate the black man.

    What’s new?

  • Bones

    YOu and your mate are the racists.

    Btw you’re also a mass hypocrite crying about being attacked while attacking others.

  • Bones

    You are the LIAR here.

  • Bones

    Bats are Mammals

    Bats are Mammals. A long time ago, people used to think bats were birds without feathers. But now we know that there is no such thing as a featherless bird. We know that bats are MAMMALS, just like people.

    Some of the things that tell us bats are mammals:

    bats are warm blooded
    bats nurse their babies with milk
    bats have fur
    But bats are very special mammals. They are the only mammals that can fly (without an airplane!) Flying squirrels are mammals too, but they don’t really fly. They jump from high in a tree glide through the air like a kite. Bats flap their wings and fly like a bird.

    Scientific Information: Bats make up the order Chiroptera.

    http://www.kidzone.ws/animals/bats/facts1.htm

  • Bones

    Any chance any mods can piss this dms troll off?

  • Bones

    And that ain’t changing…

    Especially when we have lunatics claiming dinosaurs lived 600 years ago and bats are birds.

    Thank God science saved us from religious dogmatism and superstition.

    But then this is the science that saves lives and puts spacecraft beyond the solar system.

    No wonder you hate it.

  • Bones

    BS…..

    Mesozoic Era: Age of the Dinosaurs

    During the Mesozoic, or “Middle Life” Era, life diversified rapidly and giant reptiles, dinosaurs and other monstrous beasts roamed the Earth. The period, which spans from about 252 million years ago to about 66 million years ago, was also known as the age of reptiles or the age of dinosaurs.

    Boundaries

    English geologist John Phillips, the first person to create the global geologic timescale, first coined the term Mesozoic in the 1800s. Phillips found ways to correlate sediments found around the world to specific time periods, said Paul Olsen, a geoscientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University in New York.

    The Permian-Triassic boundary, at the start of the Mesozoic, is defined relative to a particular section of sediment in Meishan, China, where a type of extinct, eel-like creature known as a conodont first appeared, according to the International Commission on Stratigraphy.

    MORE
    Mesozoic Era: Age of the Dinosaurs
    New research suggests that reptiles that lived during the Dinosaur age were hard-hit. Here, the carnivorous lizard Palaeosaniwa chases a pair of young Edmontosaurus while the snake Cerberophis and the lizard Obamadon look on.
    Credit: Carl Buell
    During the Mesozoic, or “Middle Life” Era, life diversified rapidly and giant reptiles, dinosaurs and other monstrous beasts roamed the Earth. The period, which spans from about 252 million years ago to about 66 million years ago, was also known as the age of reptiles or the age of dinosaurs.

    Boundaries

    English geologist John Phillips, the first person to create the global geologic timescale, first coined the term Mesozoic in the 1800s. Phillips found ways to correlate sediments found around the world to specific time periods, said Paul Olsen, a geoscientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University in New York.

    The Permian-Triassic boundary, at the start of the Mesozoic, is defined relative to a particular section of sediment in Meishan, China, where a type of extinct, eel-like creature known as a conodont first appeared, according to the International Commission on Stratigraphy.

    The end boundary for the Mesozoic Era, the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary, is defined by a 20-inch (50 centimeters) thick sliver of rock in El Kef, Tunisia, which contains well-preserved fossils and traces of iridium and other elements from the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. The Mesozoic Era is divided up into the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods.

    Life and climate

    The Mesozoic Era began roughly around the time of the end-Permian extinction, which wiped out 96 percent of marine life and 70 percent of all terrestrial species on the planet. Life slowly rebounded, eventually giving way to a flourishing diversity of animals, from massive lizards to monstrous dinosaurs.

    The Triassic Period, from 252 million to 200 million years ago, saw the rise of reptiles and the first dinosaurs, the Jurassic Period, from about 200 million to 145 million years ago, ushered in birds and mammals, and the Cretaceous Period, from 145 million to 66 million years ago is known for some of its iconic dinosaurs, such as Triceratops and Pteranodon.

    Coniferous plants, or those that have cone-bearing seeds, already existed at the beginning of the era, but they became much more abundant during the Mesozoic. Flowering plants emerged during the late Cretaceous Period. The lush plant life during the Mesozoic Era provided plenty of food, allowing the biggest of the dinosaurs, such as the Argentinosaurus, to grow up to 80 tons, according to a 2005 study in the journal Revista del Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales.

    Earth during the Mesozoic Era was much warmer than today, and the planet had no polar ice caps. During the Triassic Period, Pangaea still formed one massive supercontinent. Without much coastline to moderate the continent’s interior temperature, Pangaea experienced major temperature swings and was covered in large swaths of desert. Yet the region still had a belt of tropical rainforest in regions around the equator, said Brendan Murphy, an earth scientist at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Canada.

    Extinctions

    The Mesozoic Era was bookended by two great extinctions, with another smaller extinction occurring at the end of the Triassic Period, Olsen said.

    Around 252 million years ago, the end-Permian extinction wiped out most life on Earth over about 60,000 years, according to a February 2014 study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). At the end of the Triassic Period, roughly 201 million years ago, most amphibious creatures and crocodile-like creatures that lived in the tropics were wiped out. About 65 million years ago, a giant asteroid blasted into Earth and formed a giant crater at Chicxulub in the Yucatan Peninsula.

    Because the fossil record is incomplete, it’s difficult to say exactly what caused the extinctions, or even how rapidly they occurred. After all, certain species or traces of catastrophic events could be missing in the fossil record simply because the sediments may have disappeared over tens of millions of years, Olsen said.

    “Nature is very efficient at getting rid of its corpses,” Olsen told Live Science.

    However, there are a few prime suspects in each of the extinctions.

    At the end of the Permian, the Siberian Traps underwent massive volcanic eruptions, which most geologists believe caused the world’s biggest extinction. Exactly how, however, is up for debate.

    The volcanic eruptions caused a spike in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, though the 2014 PNAS study suggests that the spike was brief. The eruptions may have increased sea surface temperatures and led to ocean acidification that choked out sea life. And another study published in March 2014 in PNAS proposed that the eruptions released huge troves of the element nickel, which fueled a feeding frenzy by nickel-munching microbes known as Methanosarcina. Those microbes may have belched out huge amounts of methane, superheating the planet.

    Most scientists agree that an asteroid impact wiped out the dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous Period. The impact would have kicked up so much dust that it blocked the sun, halted photosynthesis, and led to such a huge disruption in the food chain that everything that wasn’t a scavenger or very small died.

    https://www.livescience.com/38596-mesozoic-era.html

  • Bones

    No, you’re a liar and a particularly stupid deceptive troll.

    Five Reasons Why Evolution Is Important

    Today is the 201st birthday of Charles Darwin. It is worth celebrating this anniversary not only because of Darwin’s great contributions to science, but also because of the practical ways his theory of evolution improves our lives today.

    Here are five reasons—drawn from medicine—why evolution is important:

    1. H1N1 & Emerging Diseases
    The outbreak of the H1N1 “swine flu” in 2009 reminds us of our vulnerability to emerging diseases. Like SARS in 2002, H1N1’s abrupt appearance emphasizes the fact that viruses evolve, producing new and potentially pandemic-causing contagions. In our highly mobile world, new viruses can jump continents in mere hours via planes. Rapid evolution combined with rapid travel mean that emerging diseases threaten human health as never before—and therefore, understanding how these diseases evolve is vital as never before.

    2. HIV
    One reason no vaccine against HIV has yet been found is that HIV is one of the fastest evolving entities known to science. HIV’s rapid, “Borg”-like adaptability means that the key to defeating this scourge may lie in better understanding of how viruses evolve.

    Evolution helps us understand HIV’s origins. Because we know that HIV and SIV (simian immunodeficiency virus) share a common viral ancestor, this opens other avenues of research into ultimately defeating HIV.

    The technique of applying drug cocktails to HIV-infected patients has proven remarkably successful. The evolutionary idea with drug cocktails is that because HIV evolves so quickly, one single drug will usually leave some surviving viruses; a multi-drug approach has better success. Moreover, periodically switching the cocktail’s components helps eliminate viruses which have evolved resistance. All of these techniques rest upon a scientific understanding of evolution.

    3. Vaccines
    With the exception of clean drinking water, few technologies have improved human health more than vaccines. While misinformed celebrities may peddle long-discredited superstitions about links between childhood vaccines and autism, the truth is that untold millions of adults are alive and healthy today because as children they received vaccines. Vaccines work so well, in fact, that today the horrors of smallpox and polio epidemics are fading memories.

    Vaccines exploit the efficiency of our own immune system to recognize and eliminate microbial threats that have been previously introduced into our bodies. Because these threats evolve, vaccines must change too. The flu shot you received this year will not protect you against next year’s bug because flu viruses evolve quickly. Evolution makes sense of the need for a new vaccine every year, and point the way toward developing it.

    4. Antibiotic Resistance
    Penicillin was once a “miracle” drug, but today medical professionals find a host of diseases—from staph infections to tuberculosis—evolving resistance to antibiotics.

    The origin of antibiotic-resistant organisms is a textbook example of natural selection. Patients infected with a diverse population of bacteria are given an antibiotic that wipes out almost all the bacteria. If they start to feel better and do not finish the full course of antibiotics, what is left behind are those bacteria most resistant to the drug. Those survivors then become the nucleus of a new, resistant population. Understanding this evolutionary process is an important part of modern public health.

    5. Drug Development
    New drugs must be tested for a variety of safety factors, yet we cannot simply give unknown drugs to human test subjects and hope for the best. Because we know from evolution that we share a common ancestor with animals such as mice, dogs, and macaques, we can test drugs on these animals without endangering humans. The billions of dollars spent by pharmaceutical companies on animals testing depend on a practical application of evolution.

    Evolution has also helped scientists identify sources of lifesaving drugs. The Pacific Yew tree, for example, was once the only source of Taxol, a remarkable drug used to fight ovarian, lung, and breast cancer. This endangered tree grows very slowly, however, and 4-6 trees would be destroyed to produce just one dose of Taxol.

    Evolution came to rescue. Scientists used the evolutionary history of the Pacific Yew to trace back other trees in its family line, discovering Taxol-like compounds in more common trees. Evolution guided scientists in finding a replacement to the Pacific Yew, thus dramatically increasing the supply of Taxol available to cancer patients. Evolution saves lives.

    These are only a handful of the reasons why evolution is important to medicine (and more information can be found here and here). There are a host of other applications of evolution—agriculture, forensics, bioengineering. But the importance of evolution extends beyond its practical side; evolution explains the diversity of life on this planet, shows us our connection to other living things, and reveals profound insights into the processes of nature.

    Today, on Darwin’s 201st birthday, take a moment to reflect on the importance of evolution.

  • Bones

    Can We Really Believe the Dating Systems?

    We have covered a lot of convincing evidence that the Earth was created a very long time ago. The agreement of many different dating methods, both radiometric and non-radiometric, over hundreds of thousands of samples, is very convincing. Yet, some Christians question whether we can believe something so far back in the past. My answer is that it is similar to believing in other things of the past. It only differs in degree. Why do you believe Abraham Lincoln ever lived? Because it would take an extremely elaborate scheme to make up his existence, including forgeries, fake photos, and many other things, and besides, there is no good reason to simply have made him up. Well, the situation is very similar for the dating of rocks, only we have rock records rather than historical records. Consider the following:

    *There are well over forty different radiometric dating methods, and scores of other methods such as tree rings and ice cores.
    *All of the different dating methods agree–they agree a great majority of the time over millions of years of time. Some Christians make it sound like there is a lot of disagreement, but this is not the case. The disagreement in values needed to support the position of young-Earth proponents would require differences in age measured by orders of magnitude (e.g., factors of 10,000, 100,000, a million, or more). The differences actually found in the scientific literature are usually close to the margin of error, usually a few percent, not orders of magnitude!
    *Vast amounts of data overwhelmingly favor an old Earth. Several hundred laboratories around the world are active in radiometric dating. Their results consistently agree with an old Earth. Over a thousand papers on radiometric dating were published in scientifically recognized journals in the last year, and hundreds of thousands of dates have been published in the last 50 years. Essentially all of these strongly favor an old Earth.
    *Radioactive decay rates have been measured for over sixty years now for many of the decay clocks without any observed changes. And it has been close to a hundred years since the uranium-238 decay rate was first determined.
    *Both long-range and short-range dating methods have been successfully verified by dating lavas of historically known ages over a range of several thousand years.
    *The mathematics for determining the ages from the observations is relatively simple.

    Augustine wrote about people like you:

    ” Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens and the other elements of this world, about the motions and orbits of the stars and even their sizes and relative positions… Now it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of the Holy Scriptures, talking nonsense on these topics, and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn.”

  • Bones

    Actually we study it and read it honestly.

    Unlike people like you who twist each book in the Bible to make it conform with your own ideology.

  • Bones

    You impose a dishonest deceitful fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible.

    Just like the Pharisees.

    And no surprise that you are a judgemental prick like them.

  • Bones

    Look, it’s Pharisee Brad of the Shammite school who put Jesus to death.

  • Bones

    That would mean some form of lobotomy.

    It’d rather die than become like you.

  • JD

    Actually, your deity supported abortion.

  • JD

    You’ve lost all credibility with your archaic belief that bats are birds.

  • JD

    No thanks. I have no desire to make myself dumber.

  • Bones

    Your god is too wrapped up in sin.

    That’s what Jesus came to expose.

    Lol that God is into ‘behaviour management’.

    And of course Christians want to manage the behaviour of others….but not themselves of course.

  • Bones

    And how similar that is, Ron, to Evangelical Christianity. and its Catholic parent.

  • D.M.S.

    You can’t get any dumber than you already are now. We only get smarter when we accept the gift of salvation from our Lord Christ Jesus.
    Here’s praying that some day that you get that smart.

  • D.M.S.

    Like I care about your acceptance of me. You’re more than welcome to despise and ridicule me to your hearts content.
    I just hope some day when our Lord presents salvation toyou that you’re smart enough to accept His gift.

  • D.M.S.

    So what, if He has.
    We’re commanded not to murder.

  • D.M.S.

    20 fits of atheist gibberish deleted in seconds……ahhhhhh.

  • D.M.S.

    Any one in there right mind would be afraid of going to hell.
    That leaves you out. You’re not in your right mind.

  • Ron McPherson

    I would suggest that if we’re trying to justify “any kind of behavior” using love as the premise to do it, then either we’re not truly loving as Jesus commanded, or the behavior is not sin to begin with. In other words, how can one genuinely be loving another as Christ commanded but yet still sinning against them too?

  • D.M.S.

    You are one very sick deranged individual.
    But that is how most of the world is, I should be used to such viseral hatred of Christian conservatives that you and your kind have.

  • D.M.S.

    God/Jesus created all of those stars , universe and this earth.
    And He will destroy this earth soon and create a new earth.

  • D.M.S.

    Evolution is a complete crock of ????

  • D.M.S.

    Scripture states bats are birds.
    Sinfilled man doesn’t get to change what GOD created.

  • D.M.S.

    I’m allowed to have an opinion about someone.
    I love everyone.
    I don’t like everyone.
    Obama did everything he could to try and destroy this country.
    If it wasn’t for the House of Representatives and the Senate.
    And GOD, he would of succeeded.

  • JD

    No one in their right mind would buy into fantasies where you have to believe bats are birds and gods kill babies.

    Seek help.

  • D.M.S.

    You’re of the world and I’m not is why. 1 John 2:15-17.

  • JD

    Except when it commands you to kill.
    Face it, your deity is a monster.

  • Bones

    Ffs speak English.

  • D.M.S.

    Doubtful……. A few years ago yes.
    The HolySpirit had everything to do with that :-)

  • Bones

    Trump would hang his ol fella out and you’d say how marvellous he is.

    Your hatred for all of humanity is here for all to see.

  • Bones

    Nah, that’s bs.

    Science actually advances society. Gives us all sorts of breakthroughs in medicine and technological advancements.

    Religions like yours hinder society..

  • Bones

    Nothing…

    In fact our understanding of evolution helps to save lives…unlike your religion which destroys lives.

  • Bones

    Scripture is wrong.

    Bats are mammals. Birds are not.

    How stupid are you?

    Elementary school children know that.

  • JD

    Clearly you’ve abandoned all reason and logic for a highly paranoid and unreasonable mythology where deities kill babies and bats are birds.

    I’ve no need of such idiocy.

  • Bones

    Lynch da black man….You don’t ‘ love’ everyone. You are a hateful sanctimonious prick

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2516e3321524f2bee5c3e059383f6849405d6c053057b504fbe55096bc30d231.jpg

  • JD

    I’ve no need of such paranoid mythologies.

  • JD

    No hun. You live in a mythological fantasy world where deities kill babies and bats are birds.

    I’ve no need of such foolishness.

  • D.M.S.

    I don’t need to do anything to Mr. Obama the Lord will take care of all he has done against His chosen people.

  • D.M.S.

    You have all the idiocy that you brought down on yourself from your own choices.

  • D.M.S.

    Elementary school children have been brainwashed by mankind. Mankind thinks that they rule this earth and that’s quite laughable.

  • D.M.S.

    Actually you’re the one who lives in fantasy land, along with all your fundie freinds.

  • JD

    Says the one who refuses to accept science, facts and reason.

  • JD

    I don’t reject reality for paranoid and primitive mythology. That would be you.

  • gimpi1

    Thank you for the retraction. I appreciate that.

    You certainly have the right to your views, as do I. I am always happy to engage in a discussion with someone who can disagree without being disagreeable. I often learn things that way. If you’re up for it, I have a couple of questions:

    Since you are so uncomfortable with Planned Parenthood, have you given any thought to how you would fill the void in medical care, should you get your way? Texas has seen a jump in both maternal and fetal death rates when they cut funding to PP, since they are the principle prenatal care provider for many poor people. They have also seen rises in late-detection of cancers due to loss of screening that PP does as part of routine care. That hardly seems ‘pro-life.’ How would you solve that?

    Also, how do you feel about the rate of failure to implant and early miscarriage. I haven’t seen a call in right-to-life circles for a funding and research drive to address what I would imagine they would view as a health-crisis. Far, far more fetuses fail to implant than are aborted. What are your views on that?

  • Brad Denham

    Not sure I understand. Am I the subject of “we’re” in your first line or are you? I am responding as if I am the subject.

    Are you saying then, that warning people who are comfortable and warm in the lounge of the Titanic, of impending death if they do not get into a cold lifeboat is unloving because the premise (love) is not truly loving? The justification (for the required behavior to get up and save your soul) for warning people is demanded by love.
    It is the only genuine loving thing to do. It would be sin not to warn them.

  • Ron McPherson

    “Not sure I understand. Am I the subject of “we’re” in your first line or are you? I am responding as if I am the subject.”

    Maybe you could answer that better than I could. I was merely responding to what you had written (quote below) where you used the “we.” I guess it applies to any of us, no?

    “But all too easily it seems we can take the principle to love one another as justification for allowing any kind of behavior and think God will bless it.“

    “The justification (for the required behavior to get up and save your soul) for warning people is demanded by love.
    It is the only genuine loving thing to do. It would be sin not to warn them.”

    Yeah I get what you’re saying, but the problem often comes down to who is the one defining the sin in the lives of others? It’s the speck and log thing. As an American Christian I could rail all day long on the sins of others but it looks silly when I’m wealthier than 99% of the worlds population and Jesus spent so much time warning about the perils of greed and materialism. Like with so much junk in my own life, why would I sit in judgment of others about the thou shalt nots when I grossly miss the mark myself? First we gotta get down the greatest commandment (love God and neighbor) in our own lives before focusing on cleaning up everybody else. At least that’s my take on it.

  • Brad Denham

    Yes, “We” does indeed apply to any/all of us.

    And I can relate to your further comments. I have logs that need to be dealt with.
    Regarding wealth, it’s a matter that “if riches increase, do not set your heart on them”. Some saints were wealthy and it was not sin, although I again understand how greed and materialism can make us candidates for hypocrisy.
    But if we wait for perfection in ourselves before we “sit in judgment”, it will not occur and “we’ll all go down with the ship” so to speak.

    My take, ugly as it can get, is to let the Word of God (starting with Jesus’ sum to love God and neighbor) define what sin is, first in ourselves and then graciously and lovingly in the lives of others (who are willing to listen if so inclined).
    I don’t want to open up a can of worms in what exactly “The Word of God” says and so in a general sense appreciate your kind attitude and desire to love.,

    Contrary to what some say about people like me, the bible is not the 4th person of the Trinity, nor a stick used to club others with (a wooden literal thing) although I hold to inerrancy and a plain commonsense reading of the text. That statement alone will bring condemnation upon myself from those who disagree. Fair enough. I hope you understand my reason for making the comment. I do not desire a debate over how we interpret the bible.

    Otherwise, thanks for your comment and humble approach to what is a difficult issue.

  • D.M.S.

    Only by the mercy of God.
    Is medicine and technology allowed to advance.

  • D.M.S.

    Be careful of Ron. He and Herm are birds of a feather.

  • Bones

    Hey Satan, tell us again how bats are birds.

  • Bones

    Lol……
    No.

    When you have a quadruple bypass it will be science saving you.

    Not god.

    It’s religion which holds science back.

    As we see from your posts.

  • Bones

    Tell us how bats are birds you loon.

  • Bones

    Piss off, troll.

  • Bones

    In other words nothing.

    But hey you love the serial molestor.

    Yet again showing what a massive hypocrite you are.

  • D.M.S.

    Scriptures states it to be so.
    Mankind ( science ) doesn’t override GOD.

  • D.M.S.

    Okay, merkin :-)

  • D.M.S.

    We’re only allowed to breath because of Gods infinite mercy and great love for all of us.

  • Ulf Turkewitsch

    Bones. I think that your assessment of my “ideology” as you put it may be a bit premature. I have not mentioned anything related to ideology in my post. However reading history or philosophy or theology honestly is very good.

  • D.M.S.

    Scripture is right.
    Science is wrong.

  • I wasn’t dispensing insults. Please hear me: 1) There is a God who made all this. 2) He isn’t a lump of Play-Doh that can be reshaped to conform to our personal sensibilities. 3) He doesn’t need counseling on his methods and isn’t going to “reform” based on our criticism of him. 4) Each of us will stand before him and answer for our lives and conduct.

  • Brad Denham

    Maybe so.
    But, I do respect the tone of their responses, and dialogue communicated respectfully is a better method than constant sarcastic barbs. (at least for me).

  • gimpi1

    Well, in fairness, Ireland has a basic national health plan and good parental leave, something the U.S has steadfastly refused to provide. One of the reasons Planned Parenthood has such a large footprint here is that much basic care like simple physicals, cancer screenings and prenatal care is almost impossible to get, if you don’t have a good private insurance plan – and sometimes if you do. U.S insurance policies until very recently often didn’t cover many basic services, especially for women. Planned Parenthood has stepped up to fill the gap, offering cancer screenings, prenatal care and basic medical care in addition to reproductive services.

    In fact, being European, you may not understand some of the frustration some folks in the U.S. feel for the pro-life stance. You see, people who consider themselves pro-life in the U.S. do not support providing prenatal care, parental leave, medical care for poor children, or any financial assistance to struggling families. In fact, one of the biggest complaints I heard from our generally conservative pro-life people in the U.S. about the Affordable Care Act (our attempt at making medical insurance and therefore care more accessible to everyone) was that it mandated maternal, well baby and prenatal care – something many insurance companies had not been offering. Yes, people who claim to be pro life were against pregnant women getting the care they need to deliver healthy babies and their infants getting needed care at birth. It’s one reason U.S. pro life groups are sometimes referred to wanting to protect life from conception to birth, and not giving a damn about the kids once they pass out of the birth-canal. It’s also one reason our infant and maternal mortality statistics look a bit, well, third world. We simply don’t take very good care of our people in the U.S., and many people who call themselves pro-life not only like it that way, they want to make it worse.

    If we had a better health-care delivery system, we might not depend so much on organizations such as Planned Parenthood, either, but, we simply haven’t gotten there – and removing what is the care-provider for basic healthcare, cancer screenings and prenatal care has had devastating results in the region of the U.S. that tried it. Just something to consider…

  • Bones

    Bats are mammals. Birds are not.

  • Bones

    I think we get the point. Your hatred of liberals gave it away.

  • Bones

    Nope.

    We breathe because of our respiratory system.

  • Bones

    God is wrong then…

    bats are mammals, birds are not.

  • Bones

    Good.

  • D.M.S.

    That’s one of the many ways that Satan lures in his prey.
    Be very careful.

  • D.M.S.

    Having fun….so am I :-)

  • JD

    Brad, sounds like you converted because you didn’t want your god to hate you too.

  • Brad Denham

    I have read your some of your comments and don’t think we will see eye to eye on pretty well anything.
    I will leave you to duke it out with D.M.S.
    Good luck,as he seems as resolved as you in your opinions/beliefs.

  • JD

    Thanks for at least replying.

    Peace.

  • D.M.S.

    I’m presenting you with another merkin not your slang term from Australia.

  • Bones

    No doubt you’re wearing it.

  • Bones

    Tell us how bats are birds?

  • D.M.S.

    Scripture states it. Any true Christian believes that to be true.
    Are you a Christian?

  • D.M.S.

    That God created…

  • Ron McPherson

    Brad,
    Thanks for your kind reply. I blocked DMS a couple of months ago, something I’ve rarely done. I won’t go into all that he has said, but suffice to say that much of it was downright horrifying. I just couldn’t have any meaningful conversation with him because he just kept repeating the accusation that Satan was my master, in spite of my repeated testimony that I desire to follow Jesus, the risen Savior and Lord. There are numerous other terrible things he has posted, which, to be honest, was anything but Christ-like in my opinion. No doubt I could (and should) have exhibited more grace to him in some of my responses. I actually think he believes what he posts and thinks he’s doing the work of God. At any rate, no need for you to reply. Just wanted you to be aware of where I’m coming from. I don’t mind disagreement at all. In fact, I believe we can all learn things from one another with the right spirit as motivation. At any rate, peace.

  • JD

    Why do some Christians get all bent out of shape when another Christian decides to focus on the love of god? It’s like they get all pissy because they don’t want you to forget that god hates too. And hates alot.

  • Brad Denham

    Hi JD,

    I hesitate to get into this love/hate thing but since you asked I will try and give my perspective.
    If I seem to be more hating than loving, then please forgive me.
    It has been hard responding to some as I honestly have had a hard time discerning the difference between who is an atheist and who is a progressive Christian and who is a conservative etc. (I would probably answer a little differently to each).

    It seems to me that some are atheistic towards the deity described in the OT and yet believe in and focus on the love of Jesus.
    That is a foreign concept to me and I struggle with emphasizing the love of God at the expense of the moral codes/laws given in both the OT and NT.
    It seems to me that many are advocating loving one another (and i am all for that) but naively believe thats all there is to it.
    If we just love like Jesus does, then all the ills in society will just somehow go away. I don’t think it is that simple.
    I think that confronting someone sometimes is the most loving thing we can do.

    The whole problem of pain and suffering and sin and justice and forgiveness is complex.
    I don’t think love simply eclipses hate.
    To make matters more complex, love’s opposite is not necessarily hate but fear. Throw that into the mix and it even gets more confusing.

    I probably have said to much but hope that helps a little.
    We can alway use more love and I will endeavor to speak the truth in love as best i can. (Eph. 4:15).

  • Bones

    “It seems to me that some are athiestic towards the deity described in the OT ”

    You mean like Jesus…..

    “I think that confronting someone sometimes is the most loving thing we can do.”

    Must be why you’re running away from me, hey Brad?

  • Bones

    Which is the same as all terrestrial species.

  • D.M.S.

    The fish here aren’t biting today. Go to another lake.

  • Bones

    Lol…you’re in my lake.

  • JD

    Brad, thanks for replying.

    My simple question is this: Why do some Christians fixate on god’s hatred instead of his love?

    There are posters here who constantly post ‘god hates the wicked, god hates gays, god hates non-Christians,’ etc. They make your god look like ~and pardon my colorful language~ a total a-hole. It boils down to either believe and worship this god or it will hate you, kill you and send you to hell. Why would I want follow such a deity or religion based upon hatred and fear?

  • Brad Denham

    A simple straight forward answer to your first question is that they are zealous (possibly to much so) to defend God’s Holy character (not that He needs defending).
    There are examples in the bible where Jesus rebukes his disciples for “calling down fire from heaven” upon some Samaritans. Luke 9:54.
    Maybe some need the same rebuke.
    Yet, there are examples where people zealous for righteousness, who spoke of sin and God’s judgment, were considered faithful witnesses. John the Baptist is one.

    I am not going to lie to you about what I believe. There is a time to hate and a time to love. Discernment required.
    We are to learn to hate what God hates and learn to love what God loves.
    In the process of learning, sometimes we Christians zig when we should zag and vise versa.

    In a nutshell…

    God created everything for His own purposes and glory.
    His character is undefiled and pure.
    He is all knowing, all powerful, all wise and all loving.
    He is truth.

    He allowed sin to enter his once perfect creation for reasons we can only speculate about. (free will??)
    Sin, as defined by God (anything that does not conform to His Holy character) separates us from God.

    We have a problem. We are justly separated from God because we willfully sin against him from our hearts. (Our behavior only reflects our hearts condition).
    Death is the penalty. No moral code can save us.

    But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive by grace.
    He did this by dying for us. Not just as an example but in our place.
    I know there are some who hate this idea and equate it with child sacrifice. Pure blasphemy. Jesus willingly, in agreement with our Father God, laid down his life for our sake as planned from eternity past.

    Those who recognize the mercy, love and grace of God and repent of their sinful hearts, and place their faith in Jesus are no longer separate from God but united to him. They are redeemed, reconciled and restored to God as children of God in Christ.

    I do not deny that the gospel of Jesus is offensive. It offends our pride.
    Many will be offended by these statements. Progressives paint Jesus in such a light so as to remove the offense and refuse to equate him with the OT deity.
    It is not my intention to offend but to speak the truth and hope some will be reconciled to God through faith in Christ.

    And I only do this to point out to you there is a flip side to your statement that god is (made to look like) a total a-(you know what).
    He is merciful, gracious, slow to anger, loving, kind and compassionate etc.
    So I do not follow a deity based on hatred and fear but of mercy and grace and love, though I cannot deny aspects of hatred (of sin) and fear.

    God is extending His same mercy and grace to every person including the wicked and gays (who are no worse than anybody else) and non-Christians, as he did to me, a sinner.

    So we believe and so we speak. We are not ashamed of the gospel.
    Yes, we are to speak as graciously and lovingly as we can but if we sanitize the gospel of the offensive parts then it is no longer the gospel. If we remove the offense of the gospel it then becomes a sentimental emotional appeal that lacks the power to change anything.

    I understand progressives see things very differently.
    I understand I am in the minority and will be accused of being a dinosaur from the outdated, ignorant, unintelligent anti-intellectual institutionalized religious past.
    I can hear Bones as I write.

    Please know, I do not wish to offend you personally.
    I am only trying to give you honest answers to your questions with an explanation (possibly far to long winded).

    Blessings.

  • JD

    Thanks for taking the time for a reply, Brad. Let me try to tell you how your religion looks from this side of the street.

    In the bible it is obvious mankind was created for for only one thing; to worship god for all eternity. There is no other choice in this. Failure to worship god properly often resulted in god killing you in some fashion. The hatred god shows towards  humans was quite horrific. It often wiped out entire groups of humans including babes in the womb thus creating the concept of genocide. Ever counted each and every death in the bible at god’s hands? You may want to some day; it’s quite the eye opener.

    Later this god uped the ante by mating with a female human to birth Jesus, a god-human hybrid.  This complicated things further. Now you have to worship god AND its demi-god son. By this point god seems to no longer bother killing humans outright but waits til they die and damns them to hell for all eternity for failing to properly worship both itself and Jesus.

    You say there is something called free will. That humans are free to do whatever they want to. But really does it truly exist? When your choices are believe or burn is there really any free will here? Worship a deity you don’t believe in or go to hell. Are those really choices? Or are they death threats?

    No. In the bible humans are no more than cattle or pets, specifically designed to do one thing and one thing only, to worship god. Failure to worship god and it’s hybrid son will result in death and Hell. There is no choice in this.

    That makes the god in the bible more of a petty tyrant or a megalomaniac, one that demands worship or it will punish its pets with death and damnation. 

    That’s the hatred I’m talking about. God hates the wicked. The wicked being basically anybody that doesn’t bow down and worship it. Does it matter if you’re decent human being in any other culture for if you don’t worship this god you will go to hell.

    That is hatred. It cannot be translated into love no matter how it’s spun. The whole ‘god so lived the world that it sent his only begotten son’ is bogus. How could a god love its creation only to discard them if the failed to worship it? How can you love something that will rather kill you if you choose another path?

    Its simple: you cant.

    Therefore this isn’t a relgion at all, much less one of love. It is a hostage situation.

    It is terrorism.

    Sorry if that offends but that’s the way I see it. I cannot love a deity that has killed millions for simply being of another religion. I cannot worship a deity that hates people that won’t worship it. Being a decent human being means nothing to your deity if you’re not worshipping it or its son. It’s petty, it’s megalomanical, it’s insane.

    I do have one more question for you Brad. You said you are to hate what your god hates.

    So Brad, who do you hate? Gays? Non-Christians?

    Me?

  • Bones

    Lol…God created me to punish me for eternity….

    Wow, thanks….what a wonderful merciful god….

    Any more good news, Brad.

  • Matthew

    Have you heard of R.C. Sproul? He passed away this week. Literally nothing about this in the progressive blog-o-sphere I don´t think.

  • Brad Denham

    Thanks for your response and stating clearly what you believe,

    In answer to you’re question, no, I do not hate gays and non-Christians or you.
    You may consider that a contradiction but remember, within my belief system it is God who is the final judge as He has the right, not me.
    And being a judge requires justice. Can you imagine a world w/o justice? It is obvious you believe in some kind of justice.
    If God, not being the source of sin, judges sin justly, who are we to say he does not? And to step it up, if he is willing to take upon himself the just penalty due to us, who can claim injustice on his part? You may say that allowing sin in the first place is unjust and therefore he is guilty for not preventing sin.
    But that is more of an argument that should revolve around why he allowed sin and not whether he is just or not.
    (not meant to offend but societies only go from bad to worse when unleashed from God’s revealed will and ending them is only merciful)
    (and yes, small c christianity can go from bad to worse when authority and threats are abused for personal selfish gain)

    And about being a megalomaniac. God does not need us to worship him. Worshiping him is for our benefit, not his.Same with giving him glory. He does not need it. It only results in our voluntary desire to give thanks and honor him for what he has done for us. A tyrant demands worship and gets feigned obedience. A gracious God receives worship for he is worthy, from subjects who love him with no coercion.

    Can I ask you what you believe in then (if anything)?
    Your side of the street does present some problems also.
    For instance, if we have only evolved, then we cannot account for free will and there is no good or no bad. Pure determinism and the right to kill or be killed, just like the rest of the animal kingdom. Love is only a survival technique. Who is to say what is right and wrong and where did the concept come from anyways? Government and social constructs in that belief system are relative and we are deceiving ourselves in my opinion.
    I sincerely ask, so I can understand better, what drives you to take the time to refute what I believe?

    If you believe in love, is it’s source Jesus as you understand him? Is there anything metaphysical that gives you any hope beyond the grave?

    Look forward to your response and thanks again for at least being polite.

    Brad

  • JD

    Going to see if Disqus has a load limit…

    Brad: “And being a judge requires justice. Can you imagine a world w/o justice? It is obvious you believe in some kind of justice.”

    Of course. Yet Justice does not require  belief in mythology or deities.

    Brad: “If God, not being the source of sin, judges sin justly, who are we to say he does not?”

    I do not subscribe to the concept of sin the bible. Sin in the bible can be anything from mixing fibers to working while you’re menstruating to eating shellfish. Those are not sins as much as they are paranoid superstitious taboos. They have no real place in the modern world.

    Brad: “And to step it up, if he is willing to take upon himself the just penalty due to us, who can claim injustice on his part? You may say that allowing sin in the first place is unjust and therefore he is guilty for not preventing sin.”

    Did he really take it? No, not really. As Ive said earlier all l he did was now give you 2 deities to worship instead of 1. Failure to do so will result in you going to hell. He just won’t kill you but wait til your dead then damn you to hell.

    Brad: “not meant to offend but societies only go from bad to worse when unleashed from God’s revealed will and ending them is only merciful”

    We’re going to completely disagree on this one. There is nothing ‘merciful’ about  killing babies. There is nothong ‘merciful’ about whole scale genocide. You are saying babies deserved to die; that women, elderly, whole entire tribes  were eradicated for god deemed them unworthy for some reason or another. That makes Humanity no more than properly like cattle or dogs.

    It is this very mentally that was used to justify the genocide of the Native Americans and all indigenous cultures Christianity ran into. Did you know for example the church veiwed Native Americans as only a 1/3 human? Negroes were considered 1/2 human.
     
    The concept that a god  has the right to commit wholesale genocide upon people because it deems them unworthy is heartless and utterly wrong. It reduces Humanity down to nothing but property. It’s an ugly concept that throughout history allowed the justification for genocide of indigenous peoples all over the world by the church. So, no, Brad. I will not agree with this one in any sense of the word.

    Brad: “For instance, if we have only evolved, then we cannot account for free will and there is no good or no bad. “

    Why cannot free will still exist? Who’s to say that god didn’t use evolution to create the world and humans? Why is that so hard to accept?

    Free will is still in play. It’s not about following one belief system over another. Its not about heaven or hell. It’s not about who’s set of deities and mythology is the right one. It’s not what is right or wrong or what is good or evil.

    No. It’s about what is healthy. It’s about being mature and rational. It’s about being a decent human being.

    And you know the best part of being a decent human being?  You do not need to believe in any mythology  to be a decent human being. Mythology doesn’t need to apply when looking at things healthy or unhealthy. One does not need a belief system or any set of deities to make healthy and mature decisions.

    And I know right there you’re probably gasping and saying to yourself: “Omg, this one doesn’t believe in heaven or hell!!”  And you’de be correct.

    One does not need the concept of Heaven and Hell, of living a certain way or be punished for all eternity, to be a decent human being.

    Brad: “Love is only a survival technique. “

    Love is all there is.

    Brad: “Who is to say what is right and wrong and where did the concept come from anyways? “

    Over time it has come from rational, mature human beings. People who have learned from many sources including belief system what love is, what Justice is, what being a decent human being means. And it doesn’t require belief in any particular mythology.

    Brad: “Government and social constructs in that belief system are relative and we are deceiving ourselves in my opinion.
    I sincerely ask, so I can understand better, what drives you to take the time to refute what I believe.”

    You are relying upon an ancient collection of fragmented text filled with tales of demons, deities and demigods from ancient and paranoid superstitious warring tribal peoples as your source of moral justice. What makes yours anymore better than anyone else’s? And don’t say because of Jesus because believe it or not there are many other belief systems that have demigods as well, several which mirror the virgin birth story. Jesus isnt unique in that aspect.

    Brad: “If you believe in love, is it’s source Jesus as you understand him?

    Which version of Jesus? The one where the OT God and him are one in the same? You lnow, the one that’s a petty megalomaniac that likes to kill an entire tribes of people? Is it the Jesus that has promised to come back and wipe out every non-Christian once and for all? Or is it the Jesus that is all about peace, love and rock and roll? Is it one of them?

    Why would you need a deity to comprehend love in the first place?

    Brad: “Is there anything metaphysical that gives you any hope beyond the grave?”

    There are a myriad of mythologies of what happens once you die. Which one you would you suggest I solely believe in? Should I believe in yours? Should I believe in the Native Americans? Should I believe in Wicca? Or Buddhism? Or not in any of them and be atheist?

    Of course you’re going to say yours. But what makes your so special? Because you have a demigod? Many belief systems have a demigod.

    And, why would one need a belief system in the afterlife to make moral decisions here and now?

    Answer: You dont.

    And that’s the beauty of it. Love does not need be based in mythoology. Neither does justice, common sense and decent morals. Oh, we can look to these myriad’s of mythologies and glean some wisdom from them, sure. In fact many can be quite inspiring. But they don’t have to be literal. As a Native American Elder once told me; “I don’t know if this story really happened, but it is true.”

    Truth is everywhere. Wisdom can be gleaned from many sources including the natural world, stories of deities and fantastic beasts, and legends of the past.

    Yet it is Love that drives us all.

    However, once you turn a philosophy into religion you’ve already lost the point. You do not need to take the Myriad of Legends of demons, deities and demigods as literal fact to be a decent human being.

    A question for you Brad: what are the greatest Commandments as Jesus taught them?

    Brad: “Look forward to your response and thanks again for at least being polite.”

    As do I.

  • Bones

    “I do not hate gays and non-Christians or you.”

    but his god does.

  • Brad, thanks for the comment on Marcionism. It brings up a problem the early church faced. The Heavenly Father that Jesus introduces us to in the Gospels, and indeed, the character of Jesus himself is dramatically different to the OT accounts of Yahweh and the warrior-god image presented in the Canaanite genocide. While Jesus told us to love our enemies if we wanted to be children of the Father, the OT belief was that God protected his obedient children by DESTROYING their enemies. Quite a difference.

    Marcion was not the only early church leader to struggle with this discrepancy. Most of the Early Church Fathers did. The Western church from Augustine on basically did not try to reconcile the problem, but let the image of the OT God and the NT God cohabitate, eventually blending them into a somewhat schizophrenic deity.

    The problem is not the human propensity towards violence, but the moral problems that arise from a flat reading of scripture. Unfortunately we have a good 1600 years of church precedence of supporting and practicing violence in the name of God. The American Civil War is a great example of what happens when an inerrant, literal reading of the text is used to support immoral behavior: Those defending the Bible end up hurting people. Throughout church history the treatment of Israel’s enemies in the OT has given Christians carte blanche for treating others in the same manner. Modern evangelicalism is merely a continuation of those policies with it’s support of just war, capital punishment, racism and white nationalism.

    So the basic problem I see with your understanding of scripture is a hermeneutical issue. You except the violent portrayal of God in the OT uncritically, and if you are like most evangelicals, allow that violent portrayal to interpret God’s actions and character in the NT. Instead of allowing Christ’s teaching on moral behavior to interpret how we understand scripture, most evangelicals interpret scripture through the lens of inerrancy, a well-intentioned doctrine that has had terrible effects throughout history.

    Unfortunately the “fix” is not an easy one for American evangelicals. A simple name change, dropping the term “evangelical” as some concerned evangelicals have suggested will not fix the image problem now facing American evangelicals. Evangelicalism is different in other parts of the world than the American variety. I suspect the reason behind this is that Europe is post-christendom…basically the church needed to die before arising out of the ashes as a more authentic Christianity. Evangelicalism is on a death spiral in America, it’s just that evangelical leadership is not willing to face it…too much at stake.

    There are post-conservative evangelical attempts to salvage the brand, but I’m not sure they realize the depth of the problem. To achieve an authentic Christianity, Bible idolatry in the form of inerrancy and literal hermeneutics needs to die. Evangelicals need a new, deeper, more cruciform understanding of atonement (drop penal substitionary atonement) and for the love of God, get rid of dispensationalism! The whole “Left Behind,” violent reading of Revelation needs to be buried, as it totally misrepresents the Gospel and God’s design for His creation.

    God bless

  • Bones

    Which one….the old nutter who doesn’t think domestic and sexual violence is grounds for divorce or his wife bashing son who gets done for drunk drinking with his kids in the car and who visited Ashley Madison’s adultery site and rails on about other people’s sin????

  • Bones

    So the same as Islamic extremists then…..

  • Not a fan of the Chicago Statement on Inerrancy, which he sponsored. Typical Calvinistic stuff. As stated elsewhere, the doctrine of inerrancy has done great damage to the witness of `the gospel. Hopefully as the old guard passes on to their heavenly reward the church can rediscover the gospel Jesus preached.

  • Brad, how does “eternal torment” equate with justice? How does loving someone equate with eternal punishment? How can God require we love our enemies, yet not do so Himself? When Jesus cried “Father forgive them,” did he?

  • Brad Denham

    Hi Kirk,
    Just read your reply to me on another string and will respond to that sometime (Trying to relax a little – you guys make me think hard, and that is good)
    Just quickly though in response to your question here…
    Does not justice demand a payment?
    And in the case of God, being infinitely good, any transgression against him results in a corresponding infinite punishment. That is why I disagree with the premise of this post: that we need not fear God.
    I shudder at the concept of hell. I wish it was not so. I would not wish it on my worst enemy. I understand how people struggle greatly with it and can only conclude that it in no way can be related to a God of love.
    Having said that, why did Jesus talk about hell himself as if it was very real?
    We are indeed to forgive our enemies as God has forgiven us. But he did say we are to leave the judgment up to God who will render to everyone according to his deeds. Romans 2:5-6.
    Forgiveness does not mean a lack of justice.
    And when Jesus cried “Father forgive them,” I would like to presume he did. But having said that, unless they repented, maybe not.
    Thanks for your thought provoking perspective. As mentioned, it makes me reevaluate my position and adjust accordingly.

  • 13th century concept of punishment. Murder of a slave is lesser evil than murder of a nobleman. Based on belief that punishments ramp up based on caste system. The problem with the entire medieval and reformed theological framework is that, contrary to evangelical belief, it is a legal framework, not based on grace. Coincidently, you cannot have both grace and justice. Grace is pardon, forgiveness. Justice is upholding law. Calvin was trained in the law, and it shows. Thomas Aquinas basically gave us a God with a fragile self esteem, easily offended in his infinite holiness by puny, finite men sinning against him. Totally the opposite of the excruciating torment Jesus endured at our hands, yet forgave us.

    Jesus never mentions hell, as hell is not in the Bible. I recognize a few English translations render Sheol, hades and Gehenna as hell, but the translation is based on an agenda, not linguistics. Nor is it uniformly translated thus, even in the same translations. The teaching of hell came primarily through Augustine and later church Fathers as Rome and the Catholic Church sought a means to control the masses.

    Jesus does teach that there will be those who miss the coming Kingdom, but this is a different subject than the orthodox teaching on hell. Contrary to popular evangelical teaching the gospel is not about avoiding hell and going to heaven. It is about partnering with God in bringing about the Kingdom of God, here and now. Jesus basically says of heaven, don’t worry about it. God will take care of you. The Gospel message is very earthy, very Jewish, very practical.

  • Matthew

    Thanks so much Kirk.

    I´m a bit torn honestly. On the one hand, I am thankful that men like R.C. Sproul were around when I first became a believer. On the other hand, it´s obvious that I´m in a different place these days and that there is much about his realm that I have problems with theologically speaking. I´m just not sure how to deal with our Calvinist brothers and sisters these days.

    On another note …

    Do you think justification by faith is preached in the Gospel accounts, Kirk? (This was a question that Scot McKnight asked someone in an airport (I think))

  • Matthew

    The father, Bones.

  • Bones

    I doubt most people know he is. His theology was your usual Reformed fundamentalist rubbish.

    American Reformists are pretty irrelevant around the world.

    Btw 133 850 people died today. Not much about them in the progressive blogosphere.

    http://www.worldometers.info/

  • Matthew

    I just thought even in the progressive theological world (in America at least) he would have received a mention. We shouldn´t throw the baby out with the bathwater …

  • Bones

    Such as…….

    Reformed Theology is born out of medieval Catholicism.

    Some of the most vindictive Christians I’ve known are of the Reformed variety.

    Honestly they hate everyone….especially other Christians who don’t subscribe to their view of Bible.

  • Matthew

    Do they really hate other Christians?

  • Brad Denham

    Hi Kirk,

    Straight to the point – I could not disagree more.
    I will agree it is a hermeneutical issue. I subject any and all ideas to the bible as God’s inspired inerrant Word. You subject the bible to all of man’s ideas.
    And the outcome is a denial of simple, easy to understand essential doctrines that the church either stands on or falls apart on.
    No fall, no need for penal substitution for atonement, no justice, just “love”. (justice and grace can coexist if penal substitution is true).

    You cannot quote Jesus in anything he said in this environment for you are not sure he existed historically.
    The bible is not the word of God but contains the word of God. It’s now up to scholars to tell us what the writers of the bible were really trying to say and every subjective opinion is then thrown into the mix creating confusion like I see in progressive christianity. Bible believing Christians become the scorn of all.

    Sorry for being so blunt but the atheist makes more sense than one who thinks the bible is written by men. If it is, I want no part of it.

    As I said to JD, (who makes more sense with the conclusions he draws), I will politely bow out of this conversation as I know only ridicule awaits.

    Respectfully,
    Brad

  • Bones

    Yeah because the idea that the Bible is inerrant isn’t the idea of men……..

    Seems like someone’s making up their own bs.

    “Sorry for being so blunt but the atheist makes more sense than one who thinks the bible is written by men. If it is, I want no part of it.”

    What a bizarre comment.

    Of course it was written by men.

  • Bones

    Yep…liberals, charismatics, Pentecostals….

    Most of those heresy hunting sites are by Reformed Christians.

    Start pulling on the strings of their theology and it comes crashing down.

  • Matthew

    Hate is such a strong word … isn´t it Bones?

  • JD

    Brad, I see by my emails you first replied to my post post then seems you delete it. I still have questions I would like you to answer.

  • apoxbeonyou

    I blocked that piece of fecal matter.

  • apoxbeonyou

    Wow. This is a FANTASTIC summation. Love it. Thank you.

  • apoxbeonyou

    LMFAO!!!!

  • Brad Denham

    Not deleted – detected as spam – not sure how to solve problem
    Hi JD,

    I think that we will have to agree to disagree. I say that because it is clear we will not arrive at any kind of consensus when you see the bible as myth.
    My whole worldview is shaped by a simple straight forward reading of the bible as God speaking to mankind. I respect you’re views, for I myself would have similar
    “beliefs” if I took you’re approach.

    I will briefly touch on a couple of issues (5) if I may.

    1. Sin in the bible which you don’t agree with. Mixing fibres etc. was only given to the nation of Israel to separate them from the surrounding nations to set them apart unto God as unique. Only then could God fulfill his promises to Abraham and his descendants including not just blood descendants but those who believe in God through faith. Those requirements (mixed fibres) are not applicable to the church. Sin, very simply, is any disobedience to God’s revealed will.

    2. Did he really take it? Absolutely. He accomplished to work the Father gave him to do. (not 2 deities but 3 in one Trinity)

    3. About killing babies. I suspect you restrained your language somewhat as I realize you are passionate about this, as you should be.
    You stated “There is nothing ‘merciful’ about killing babies”. I would say there is something merciful about stopping the killing of babies.
    And related to this issue, in no way was there any license given by God for genocide committed against Native Indians or justification for slavery by the church.
    Those in the church who twist theology to justify such crimes against humanity are accountable for mass murder.
    I understand this will enrage people who consider most religions the source of wars etc. There is sadly, a lot of truth to that and they should be upset.

    4. Although I do not believe in (macro) evolution, I know there are committed Christians who do.

    5. Myths, legends etc,… I believe they are all distortions of the one true faith that various cultures incorporated throughout history.

    To end, if love is all there is, I suggest you need a better or more concise definition of love than simply being mature and decent human beings.
    Mankind will not agree on what is mature and decent and the wars will start. First between individuals and then groups.
    Out of the heart comes all manner of sin Jesus said.
    What mankind really needs is “righteousness” which is rooted in and derived from God’s loving character and given as a gift to those who place their faith in the only one who lived a righteous life.

    That was long, thanks for hearing me out. I know you disagree.
    As stated, our foundations for understanding life are very different and we will not see eye to eye, so I will politely excuse myself from this type of conversation.
    That does not mean I do not respect your right to form your opinions and thank you for the challenges you have presented me with.
    I may respond if you so desire to ask questions about my faith, but decline to simply go in circles trying to prove each other wrong or right.
    Thanks JD,
    Brad

  • JD

    It was there and now gone again.

  • Brad Denham

    Do you mean Mods as in modulator? If so, how to reach?

  • JD

    Mods as in the ones that monitor this thread. ,I was hoping there be reading our conversation and chime in so we csn figure out why your post is keeps disappearing.

  • JD

    It’s back!

  • Ron McPherson

    Nailed it!!

  • Ivan T. Errible

    Church is boring.
    And the Fundiegelicals and the “Progressives” are still going after each other, hammer and tongs.
    Pathetic.

  • Ivan T. Errible

    You and he hate each other.
    Pathetic.
    No wonder religion is shrinking away faster than a pizza put in front of Michael Moore.

  • Ivan T. Errible

    Why not be hopeful that the churches shrink faster than they already are?
    Lots of people get more time to spend on their own projects instead of bawling hymns and paying some idiot in a dress to pretend to talk to someone who’s invisible?

  • Bones

    Join the club,

  • Brad Denham

    I tried again in comment above

  • JD

    I will reply to it but probably not tonite. It’s late, I just got back from work and I’m bushed.

    G’nite Brad.

  • Brad Denham

    Ron,
    He nailed the coffin shut on objectively and properly understanding anything God said in the word.

    I have responded to Kirk but the modulator seems to be deleting it.
    Will post it here, hope you don’t mind.

    Hi Kirk,
    I changed my mind and have chosen to respond at least one more time.
    The heart of the gospel is at stake.
    You claim the reformers (whom I don’t always agree with) et al., were heavily influenced by the surrounding culture and developed their theology accordingly. They therefor are reading into the bible concepts foreign to it.

    I claim that you and progressives are doing the same. You just think you have that much more knowledge and scholarly work done in the meantime to back you up and therefor you now understand the truth about God. I “read” NT Wright between the lines and possibly a large dose of Barthian Neo-orthodoxy. I see the influence of postmodernism (a non-philosophy) and existential subjectivism.

    Yes, I too am influenced by my own subjective worldview and surrounding culture. But I at least acknowledge the only hope for any truly objective truth, unhindered by anything else, is for God actually to speak into our confused realm. And what he has spoken does not change.

    The reformers at least recognized this. Hence Sola Scripture, the most basic truth one needs to believe in to understand God (if indeed he has spoken – which he has).

    What I believe the reformers nailed (to use Ron’s expression) in my opinion was the doctrine of Justification.
    This, as you know, was the key difference that the reformers had with the existing Catholic church. It is the one doctrine that really matters in the end.
    And this doctrine, according to your interpretation, you have jettisoned. That to me is beyond tragic. (it is why I felt compelled to write once more).

    You could say Aquinas (though this is an unfair assessment in my opinion) started the ball rolling when he relied to much on Aristotle for reason alone.
    And rationalism now is the reigning underlining man-made philosophy practically everyone is using to undermine faith in a supernatural communication from God to us.

    So, you end up not able to understand that the grace and justice of God are perfectly expressed together at the cross where Jesus suffered at the hands of an “easily offended God” to take the penalty for us – GRACE – and at the same time satisfy the righteous requirements of a Holy God – JUSTICE.
    Jesus willingly, in an agreed plan with the Father/God of the OT before time began, suffered at the hands of God to provide a way of justification.
    That is what the reformers nailed and that is what you (and Wright) and many others are redefining and essentially expunging from the bible.

    You are ripping out the heart of the gospel. No, it is not love. Love is the basis for why God/Jesus did this and it is fundamental to it, as is the Holy character of God.
    But love does not replace the need for God to save us his way – at the cross, not just as an example but as Jesus taking our sins upon Himself – penal substitution – and thereby atoning for sin, without which we stand condemned before God. God becomes our father if we simply believe this by faith.

    And you say Jesus never mentions hell. Whether he used terms like Gehenna etc., is almost irrelevant. He most certainly did claim that those who do not receive him as the Messiah/Savior (as described above) will end up in a very bad place to put it mildly. Missing the kingdom, as you put it, is the equivalent of a “hell” type place.

    The gospel message is only earthy in the sense of it being a communication to us we can understand. It is very heavenly, supernatural and also very rational.
    No, we bible believing Christians don’t jettison our minds. We use our God given minds to understand what our puny wisdom cannot. (Revelation)

    If we are to follow your hermeneutic, we will have to admit that the next earthly philosophy, and the next top of the charts scholar will provide a better explanation (than yours) of the bible and destroy it completely. It makes the bible a fluid thing in the hands of men who make it say what they want it to say.

    Inerrancy is no idol. It is the only way to understand what God is saying without diluting it eventually to an anemic “love-fluff” one-sided message that misrepresents God.

    Brad

  • Ron McPherson

    From what I’ve read of Kirk’s stuff, he seems to have a really good grasp of the conservative arguments. So from that sense, I actually think his conclusions are a result OF his objectivism. Instead of just toeing the conservative, or fundamental, or contemporary evangelical party line (many of us here can probably spout the sound bytes off in our sleep), Kirk has set them aside in FAVOR OF objectivity. That requires taking a hard look at what the biblical authors were actually trying to say to their original readers (and how those original readers would have understood it during biblical times), rather than just swallowing what tradition has told us to believe (ie how those original meanings came to be altered over centuries). I used to never, and I mean NEVER read anything that would push against my pre-existing beliefs. It was too uncomfortable because it felt like my whole faith structure might crumble if I happened to be wrong. So objectivity wasn’t even on my radar. And I’ve found that many of our conservative brothers/sisters who flatly reject any sort of progressive thought seem to be at times the least objective among us. At least that’s just my take. But I can be wrong a lot too

  • Brad Denham

    My responses are disappearing. Will try again.
    Thanks Ron,
    I totally believe in taking a hard look at what the authors were actually trying to say to their original readers (that they would understand). That indeed is being objective.
    But all to often they seem to draw conclusions at variance with the obvious truth being expressed that seems to fit a fluid theology rather than universal and timeless, propositionally stated truths that are gleaned from the text after considering the time/culture/language etc..
    They are objective in analyzing the text but subjective in drawing conclusions.
    I am not fearful of reading anything that does not harmonize with my pre-existing beliefs because I can always go right to the source and either confirm or deny whether something is true or not. (Bereans). I too can be wrong of coarse. But scripture is not written in code. God did not mumble and tell us we need scholastics to understand the simple basics. A child can get the basics. Gnosticism not required. Deeper, never ending knowledge and wisdom – yes! But it seems there are points where progressives cross boundaries and start to question and then outright deny simple but major doctrines (if I can use the term) that cut the feet out of the foundations of basic Christianity.
    And when they do, thinking themselves more enlightened and objective, and so more sure of their position, turn the bible into an unintelligible and unknowable (except to the scholar) book written by men and we have to listen now to the scholar to understand “what God was really was trying to say”.
    They have come full circle to something akin to trusting a Pope or some other authority like conservatism. They end up where they say inerrantists ought not to end up, trusting in their own wisdom rather than God’s easy to understand gospel. They claim inability to grasp truth and yet claim it at the same time.
    Postmoderism at it’s finest.
    Thx for listening,
    I am learning.

  • Brad Denham

    My comments are constantly disappearing.
    Was hoping to hear your latest question.
    Brad

  • Ron McPherson

    “But I at least acknowledge the only hope for any truly objective truth, unhindered by anything else, is for God actually to speak into our confused realm. And what he has spoken does not change.“

    But the point is the interpretation of what is written. For instance, Jesus talked a lot about the kingdom. To a first century Jew, the kingdom was a world characterized by a new age such that Israel would be delivered from its enemies and would be a light to other nations proving that Yahweh was the one true God. But traditional evangelicalism reads the kingdom as some celestial, other-worldly place. So through our contemporary lens we read the gospel as if it’s a heaven or hell issue. Plus, once that new era or age came to fulfillment, those in God who had died would be resurrected to new life to share in that new creation. The OT didn’t picture some sort of endless torture for those apart from God. In fact, the grave awaited everyone.

    But Jesus came on the scene preaching resurrection. Only those in Christ will enjoy eternal life. The fate of all others, according to Jesus, is death. He never said that everyone gets eternal life, that some have a good one and the rest have a bad one.

    Many of the same people who claim inerrancy will actually change the meaning of the word perish in order to fit their theology. It’s funny.

    Also, conservative evangelicalism preaches the gospel message with the motivation of avoiding a fiery hell. But Jesus didn’t preach that. Neither did Paul for that matter. In fact, I can’t think of a single instance from the Bible where someone converted to Christ using the threat of hell. So from just this alone, one can see how concepts totally change over time. This is why it is so vital to study what the biblical authors’ words meant to their original audience.

    Ultimately, it’s the Spirit of God who gives us truth. The early church didn’t even have a bible. People were added to the church and were drawn to it because early Christ followers exhibited radical love. And Jesus said that’s how people will know if we’re his followers. It wasn’t about toeing a doctrinal line. It was about following the risen Savior, the actions of his followers being governed by the kingdom principles (healing, peace, mercy, compassion, justice, forgiveness) espoused by Jesus during his ministry.

  • JD

    Its there, ive just havent had a chance to sit down long enough to reply…

  • Brad Denham

    I agree with some of your statements but not those regarding the kingdom and hell.

    Just to elaborate, how does one eliminate the eternal aspect of hell/gehenna after reading Jesus’s words recorded in Mathew 25, verses 41 and 46,
    not to mention John the Baptists warning in Mathew 3:12?

    I quickly checked my concordance with 3 different words: hell, fire and torment. Many uses of these 3 words in context speak of judgment, often eternal, either implied or emphatic.
    Notice, I did not consult any conservative position. Straight out of the bible with a common sense reading of the text.
    There are many passages and they correlate well to give no doubt as to the commonly held understanding in conservative circles that hell is a very real place.
    It does not thrill me that hell (at least to me) appears to be a real place designed for those who reject Christ for eternity. I recoil big-time at the thought. But I cannot change the fact it is there and so I trust that God knows what he is doing.

    Removing the concept of hell as a place of judgement, is a concept more inline with trying to make the gospel more palatable to unbelievers in my opinion, which might only confirm them to think they are “in Christ” when in fact he (Jesus) will say he never knew them, when judgment does happen.

    Radical love – absolutely. I sincerely hope I am not unloving making these statements but trying to be faithful to the truth which is not so pleasant sometimes.

  • Ron McPherson

    Brad,

    It doesn’t matter whether you agree with the concept of the kingdom as to what it meant to first century Jews, Jesus’ hearers. Jesus’ audience did not think in contemporary evangelical terms. I’m not trying to be difficult. Study up on first century Jewish thinking. You don’t have to take my word for it.

    Also, when Jesus used Gehenna (oddly translated as hell in the English), the Jews could look southwest of Jerusalem and see the literal valley. It was the place where people were sacrificed to false gods in the OT. And God detested the practice then.. To first century Jews, that area represented God’s judgment, exclusive of his blessings. And much of that judgment came at the destruction of the temple in 70 AD.

    Do you not think it weirdly ironic for God to hate the practice of people being burnt to death (suffering for moments) in the OT, but yet condone an infinite torturous existence in the afterlife? And to use that very valley as a metaphor to boot? Why build a theology derived from parables, symbolism and metaphor instead of just taking Jesus at his literal word when he says that only those who believe in him will never die. Why not take him at his word when he gives two fates in John 3:16? Those who believe in him will have eternal life. Those that don’t will perish.

    Why was the threat of a torturous hell never used when others were converted to Christ in the biblical record? It wasn’t used in the OT. It wasn’t used in the NT. In fact , on one instance where Jesus used Gehenna, he actually stated that God could destroy both body and soul there.

    You mention that you’re trying to be faithful to the truth, and I believe you’re sincere in doing that. But it is truth as you interpret it. Same with me. However, if you approach the scriptures objectively, I believe you’ll find that the preponderance of the biblical record suggests death, not infinite torture.

    People who believe in eternal conscious torment point to certain passages to support their views. I get that. But Universalists can do the same to support their view. Annihilationists can do the same (in fact, there is literally a ton they can point to).

  • Brad, indeed, the heart of the gospel is at stake. The question is WHAT gospel is at stake: a magical inerrant “book” or the “WORD” sent from God, Jesus Christ. It is not merely “hermeneutics,” but certain presuppositions about “truth” that most evangelicals apply to scripture that shoehorns God into a being that looks and acts much like we do: vindictive, violent and capricious. At risk is the Heavenly Father that Jesus introduces us to in the Gospel narratives, reinforced by the writers of the Epistles, replaced by the Zeus-like god evangelicals would have us worship.

    The basis for the evangelical hermeneutic of scripture is, as you’ve alluded to, Aristotelian logic. The basic premise is that God “wrote” scripture, in the sense that he “spoke” into the writer’s minds the exact wording of what he wanted to reveal to mankind. Since it is believed that God cannot err, simple logic would deduce that (A) if God cannot err, and (B) God wrote scripture, then (C) scripture must be without error.

    Unfortunately, that God “wrote” scripture does not seem to be apparent from even a cursory reading of the Bible, nor does it follow by necessity, that because God “inspired” men to write these letters, he would have to “over-ride” their finite abilities to reason, resulting in a “docetic” text that was only appeared to be “human.” In reality, the texts appear to be VERY human (perhaps to throw the ungodly off track?). I understand the very human “need” to have a rock-solid, inerrant foundation, but the reformers looked to the scholastic argument of an infallible text instead of to Christ for that foundation. In essence, modern evangelicalism is not Christ based, but scholastically based.

    Certitude is based, not on an unshakeable foundation of Jesus Christ as the Son of God, but on the shaky grounds of an inerrant Bible, one that does not behave as such. For better or for worse, what the history of the church has given us is a gradual “weaning” away from a Christ based religious experience, which I suppose, seemed too subjective to church leadership, to one based on the propositional statements of a supposedly infallible written Bible. Like Aaron’s golden calf, a concrete Bible is easier for many to relate to than a reliance on the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth.

    To put it bluntly, Christianity is about a PERSON as God’s final, definitive revelation of himself and not about the Bible. Post-reformation scholasticism’s view of sola scriptura has become way too focused on defense of scripture as an infallible sourcebook of propositional truth. We take our eyes off Christ when this happens and we end up defending our pet theologies of inerrancy, ending up with a legalistic religion devoid of heart.

    Additionally, evangelicals have created a false narrative where the Bible is either ALL TRUE or ALL FALSE, an odd requirement that bears no resemblance to any other literature, nor reflects the practical epistemology of day to day truth determination. There is a propensity among evangelicals to see the Bible as not only “containing” propositional truths that by definition must be true, but that these truths add up to ALL of scripture being propositionally true. This where Enns and other progressives part ways with most evangelicals. It is one thing to claim Jesus was infallible or had “…access to supernatural knowledge, such that what he spoke about these things actually corresponds to actual truth – and thus, by definition, they are “inerrant,” and another thing to broaden that to include the biblical writers, whom I suppose we can agree on, were solidly human, not divine.

    There are negative consequences as well that derive from the inerrancy mindset. Most obvious is illustrated by the attitude of inerrancy supporters such as yourself. To claim the Bible inerrant, then to develop so-called “Biblical doctrines,” based on what one believes to be Biblical truths, confers inerrancy to the developers of said doctrines. A good example can be found in the evangelical defenses of slavery leading into the American Civil War. It was “simple, easy to understand essential doctrine” of scripture. God allowed slavery, made rules surrounding it, and Paul even sent the runaway slave Onesimus back to his master. Attempts among more progressive-minded Christians for abolition of slavery were meet by scorn by these evangelicals. The plain, literal meaning of the text prevented a more nuanced and thoughtful approach to understanding that slavery was not God’s idea. Unfortunately, evangelicals learned little from the Biblical debate surrounding slavery: the lesson that a flat, literal propositional understanding of scripture often leads to hurting others. Instead evangelicals chose to paint the abolitionist position as an attack against the inerrancy of scripture.

    Evangelicalism cannot reform when inerrancy is thus conferred onto all of its systematic theology. As Roger E. Olson has stated it: “…it leads to confusion between the Bible itself (or revelation itself) and a particular interpretation of its message. Many postconservative evangelicals believe this tendency appears in the ways Grudem and other conservative evangelicals view their own theological affirmations; they present them as if they were not interpretations but simply restatements of the content of revelation itself. That leaves no room for disagreement without charges of heresy immediately resulting.” (1)

    So, if we don’t have an inerrant text to base our certainty on, what do we have? You need to remember, the NT was not compiled for a couple hundred years. Some books, like James and Revelation were still being criticized in the 16th century. Other church traditions include intertestamental books as well as the Gospel Of Thomas, etc.. The promise of certainty, of truth, came with the Holy Spirit being sent, not an inerrant Bible miraculously appearing.

    John 14: He, the Holy Spirit, is the Spirit of Truth. Jesus does not comfort his disciples by promising an inerrant book, nor does he refer to the OT as the source of their comfort or certainty. Realize, these men have been with Jesus for three years. They know his character and his love and loyalty to them. They’ve seen miracles performed and Jesus confound the religious leadership of the day. Yet they are totally unprepared for what us about to transpire. They will scatter and hide after Christ’s crucifixion. It takes the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ, to turn things around. That is what bears witness to the certainty of Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of God. Through the Holy Spirit Christ is revealed to us.

    It seems to me, that in much evangelical thinking the work of the Holy Spirit has been sidelined, replaced by a “magical” book. Instead of faith in Christ, through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, instead of Christ believers, we have “Bible believers.” To me this smacks of idolatry, worshipping a concept of a series of books, poems, songs and stories about God on the same level as worshipping the Son of God.

    I have certainty in Christ, not because I believe the Bible to be inerrant, but because the Holy Spirit bears witness with my spirit that Christ is the Son of God and we are children of God (Romans 8:16). That may not be enough for you, and you may need some further focal point of certainty, but it is enough for me.

    1 Roger E. Olson, Reformed and Always Reforming, p. 161.

  • saffiregal

    Oh get real! It’s a darn sight more affordable than what Trump has in mind. Btw I kept my doctor because of my healthcare selection. The majority of people who already had health insurance were not affected by the ACA.

  • D.M.S.

    Obama is the absolute worst president this country has ever had.

  • Ron McPherson

    Superb analysis!

  • Excellent! “It cannot be translated into love no matter how it’s spun.” Priceless.

  • Yeah, I blocked him some time ago. Not worth listening to. Nothing constructive to add.

  • saffiregal

    Blah blah blah.

  • Ron McPherson

    Thanks Brad. Appreciate the comments. I’ve had to re-think a lot of dogma that was ingrained for decades within the fibers of my soul. I’m still learning. We all are, I suppose. The truth of the matter is that none of us really know what exactly lies on the other side. Either way, I’m trusting in Christ Jesus, the risen Savior and Son of the Living God to take care of me. Wherever he is, that’s where I want to be.

    I agree that Jesus was correcting kingdom views among the Jews, but I believe it had more to do with what their view of restoration actually looked like. The OT stories reflected God rescuing Israel from its enemy nations. To the Israelites, that was salvation. So naturally, first century Jews expected corporate salvation in a similar sense (i.e. the kingdom to come) to be along the lines of rescue from Rome and the corrupt Temple practices of that time (extortionist religious leaders). But Jesus spends some time showing the people that the kingdom was at hand, where its subjects (Christ followers) were to practice forgiveness of enemies, peace, justice, mercy, compassion. To the outcast already suffering oppression, this provided some hope (forgiveness was a big deal because it showed God hadn’t forgotten them). To the religious elite, it was not so appealing. A religious caste system had been established separating the religious leaders from common Jews. But accepting Jesus’ message meant leaving their present world system of wealth, power, self-righteousness, and influence ,in favor of identifying with the common folk. That posed a not so appealing choice for the wealthy religionists who seemed to have it pretty good at the time.

    Jesus spent a great deal of time modeling kingdom living for those who wanted to be a part of it. Also, I think a case could be made that the term eternal life, in the original Greek, could be translated as life of the ages. It was the next age, or era, in whatever way that was to come about. There was the present evil age, and there was the age to come (the Messianic age where Israel would be restored; whether that’s literal Israel or spiritual Israel is for another topic). To the Jews, this coming age aligned with the Messiah ushering in his kingdom. So Jesus the Messiah shows up. The kingdom is at hand. But Jesus showed them that his kingdom didn’t involve military overthrow. Instead, it was radical love. He perfectly manifested the character of God. God desired mercy, not sacrifice. And yes, we do read him saying things like, “you have heard it said, but I say,” etc. So in that sense, yes, I believe he was correcting Jewish thinking at that time with respect to the kingdom, but maybe in ways that would still not align with contemporary evangelical views of today.

    Also, I would push back a little when you rhetorically ask, “Could you not say Jesus audience was only Jewish so we cannot understand the whole verse and must redefine it?” It’s not a matter of re-defining anything, but rather seeking to know its original meaning. In fact, the real danger is if our contemporary understanding happens to be the real guilty party that perhaps redefined the original meaning.

    With respect to death being only “a lighter form of punishment” than eternal punishment – if by eternal punishment you mean unending torment, then I don’t follow. For instance, conservative evangelicals would assert that 12-year old Jewish girl Anne Frank is in hell right now because she had the misfortune of her parents raising her in the Jewish faith. However, that would mean that the child actually suffered less (6 months or so) in Hitler’s horrid Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen as opposed to what she presumably has been suffering for the last 72 years in hell.

    With respect to inerrancy, surely you would agree that the bible never makes that claim upon itself. Paul does write to Timothy about all scripture being inspired, but the word for inspiration is not the same word as inerrant. Further, the bible doesn’t even make any claim upon itself on which books (and only which books) are to be authoritative. For instance, when Paul wrote that passage to Timothy, we know he was not referring to a single leather bound volume we call the bible, because the entirety of the New Testament as we know it, had not even been written yet. Now we can speculate that somehow, some way, God used men to kind of bring all these books together over the next couple centuries, and to know which ones to leave out, but we have nothing from the bible to suggest that. We just kinda put our faith in men 17 centuries ago that they somehow got it right. By the way, I’m not even arguing against inerrancy. I’m just saying that adopting that view just means you’re taking someone’s word for it.

    I’ve never seen any authoritative writing of a canonical nature say, “Now there are 66 books which are authoritative, and only 66 books. And just so there is no confusion, they are Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, etc..Jude, and Revelation. There you have it. And just so there is no mistake about it, every single word of these books come from God himself.” It’s just not there. Now we do have Jesus commenting about the jot and tittle thing, and about the scriptures being fulfilled and so forth. So at best we could maybe make the argument that perhaps the OT rises to a supreme level. But that seems to only underscore further his ministry focus on the Jews. Where does that leave the church? What about the NT books? Jesus never talked about those because, well, they hadn’t been written when he walked the earth.

    I say all that to say this. I come from a background that, in retrospect, in many ways, equated a book to being God. If anyone attacked the book, then by extension they were attacking God. I think that’s where many folks are. And looking back on that, I see the danger of it. Many end up worshiping a book (thinking they’re worshiping God). They can’t see the difference (not saying that’s you in any way). And the real danger of that is, by extension, it means that their INTERPRETATION of that book defines entirely who God is, which means God is ultimately defined by what’s in their mind. So it’s not about defending objective truth. It’s about defending their INTERPRETATION of truth. And that INTERPRETATION can be derived from a foundation resting on a faulty reading of the text.

    Anyway, just my 2 cents. Again, I can get stuff wrong, and don’t claim any authority here. It’s just my opinion. Peace and blessings!

  • Brad Denham

    Hi Ron,
    Well written response. Thank-you.
    Not in perfect agreement but that’s ok.
    See my response to Kirk (if it shows) that will explain my thoughts a little more in depth to understand me better if you will.
    Peace to you as well.
    Brad

  • D.M.S.

    That’s exactly what we got from Obama.
    I’m glad that you know it too.

  • Bones

    Many progressives simply don’t go to church.

  • Priceless!

  • Yes, Jesus came onto the scene at a very tumultuous time for Israel. Israel was under the thumb of Caesar. A number of revolts had been brutally squelched by the Romans. It was a powder keg ready to explode again. The Sanhedrin, the Sadducees and the Pharisees used the situation to curry favor with the Roman government. In exchange for maintaining an uneasy peace, the Jewish religious leadership became very, very wealthy, while the average Jew lived in poverty. Jesus called the Jewish leaders out on this disparity, earning their hatred. This had the immediate effect of undermining their control over the masses, and thus endangering the cozy relationship with Rome. Jesus had, in the minds of Jewish leadership, a destabilizing effect on the situation. This fear was not without merit, as the populace in general misunderstood Jesus’ agenda as well, still longing for the promised messiah that would overthrow the yoke of Roman rule.

    But, Jesus begins his public ministry by quoting a well-known passage from Isaiah chapter 61. “Today this scripture is fulfilled…to declare the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:16-30) Notice what he leaves out of the quote: “and the day of vengeance of our God.” Jesus comes in peace, to show God’s love, to dispense peace, comfort…but with a stern warning. Love your enemy, Rome, or things will go very badly for you (Gehenna awaits the Jews who use the sword to attempt to overthrow their captors). Ironically, the destabilization the Jewish leaders feared of Jesus could not be further from the truth. In fact, it was their obsession with wealth and power, at the expense of the masses, that fueled popular resentment of Rome and led to the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70.

    That Jesus’ warnings about Gehenna were about more immediate concerns than “hell,” is lost on most evangelicals. Likewise, Jesus gives warnings in a number of parables about the Kingdom, warnings about missing out, of being caught outside looking in. Sometimes it is in reference to individual consequences, sometimes he is referring to Israel as a whole (the Gentiles entering that Kingdom before the Jews, Luke 16:19-31). The parable of the rich man and Lazarus is misinterpreted consistently by evangelicals to be an accurate description of hell.

    You’ve hit the nail on the head here. It would seem extremely odd that Jesus would begin warning the Jews about “hell,” a place and concept not mentioned once in the Tanahk. Instead he talks in terms of the coming Kingdom, or two “aeons,” ages…something the Jews COULD relate to. But inclusion in the Kingdom of God comes by spiritual rather than political/military means, something lost at times even on his followers. The gospel message about being a part of that Kingdom, of experiencing “aeon life,” is much more immediate and practical, both in terms of personal peace and in terms of preventing the destruction of Jerusalem, than being couched in terms of avoiding eternal punishment by God.

  • Ron McPherson

    Beautifully stated!

  • I think it’s a problem with the way Disquis “refreshes” pages. Sometimes the missing posts reappear when I refresh the page or restart the browser. Other times I simply have to rely on the Disquis notification in my email. It’s frustrating.

  • It’s a frustrating problem I’ve run into many times with the way Disquis refreshes pages. Sometimes restarting my browser restores the missing stuff. Sometimes the missing posts just fall into a dark hole never to see the light of day. BTW, I enjoyed your latest post to me (that fell down that hole). I see you’ve reposted it to Ron. Will work on a reply as time allows (on vacation with inlaws and my wife and my mom at the beach). Guaranteed pandemonium later today when my daughter and grandkids arrive for the day. Thanks for a thoughtful, civil conversation. Much appreciated.

  • Brad Denham

    Thanks Kirk,
    I am glad you enjoy it as I can be overly assertive sometimes to put it lightly.
    I did reply to your last post to Ron and hope that gets through.
    I also enjoy this type of conversation.
    Have a good holiday!

    try again…

    Hi Kirk, Again, my post was “Flagged as Spam” and they are “working on it”. Not.

    Just a quick line as an intro. I have reread your (and Rons) stuff and one thing I noticed is that you understand well the immediate context of Jesus words and give insight to what he meant to the Jews in particular. Where I think we fail to see eye to eye is I also interpret and understand the lessons in his words to be applicable universally to all. (You do but differently) And when you say he missed that portion in Isaiah “and the day of vengeance…”, I understand that as something to be fulfilled when he returns a second time.
    Jesus is both a lion and a lamb. Lamb the first time, a lion the second. This accounts for much OT stuff that is yet to be fulfilled. That is also why we cannot jettison the OT God of wrath. Grace now and judgement by God later with Jesus at the lead.

    Here is my previous reply…

    We all have our presuppositions.
    I do not see Aristotelian logic as the basis for evangelical’s hermeneutic. Aquinas, from what I understand did so and the Catholic church to a large degree. The reformers did buy into the idea of using our minds rationally as opposed to a quasi-spiritual approach the church used to hide/keep truth away from the masses resulting in ignorance, superstition and authoritative abuse by the church.

    From my perspective, I see (at least some) progressives doing the same thing (using our minds) but with a twist which results in a different gospel. You’re reliance upon the Holy Spirit to teach you Logos/Jesus is sound but without the bible understood as revelation of the source of all truth – Jesus, you also rely on “magical” impressions as your subjective mind informs you what the Spirit is saying. Your subjective mind becomes the medium rather than the bible.
    Aquinas swung the pendulum back to reason, the so-called enlightened capitalized on that resulting eventually in philosophical rationalism and naturalism only, which results in biblical criticism which results in separating reason from faith which in turn ends up with mystical (Charismatic etc.) interpretations of who Jesus is. It seems to me the Progressives are the last in line to date. It sounds rational and scholarly but is in fact rationalism (which sees error in scripture) combined with mysticism (Spirituality not informed by scripture).

    I would equate your epistemology to: Jesus Christ/Father (no OT God) revealed by spirituality, subjected to and understood by way of man’s rationalism.
    Mine is: Jesus Christ/Father-God of OT, revealed by the indwelling Holy Spirit using God’s written revelation, appropriated and understood by our God given reason to understand and believe.

    It seems to me that in your system you have no truth to hang your rationalism on, only your spiritual impressions understood within a naturalistic framework no matter how much you claim the Holy Spirit as guide.
    What did Paul do? In Romans he appealed to reason found in the historical scriptures to settle arguments. You’re system appeals to the scriptures after you decimate their validity and historicity by rationalism (not reason).
    The bible is indeed not the 4th person of the trinity but neither is your rationalism.
    I give you credit for scholarly aptitude and knowledge (you have more than I) but in my opinion, the end result is you end up “shoehorning” truth into a framework built on the pride of men who exalt their wisdom above that of God’s revealed truth (Jesus/Logos) in an inerrant Word. To be sure, so do some evangelicals. And so has the church at various times, who misinterpret what different forms of slavery (as an example) have meant and used it to oppress others contrary to God’s law to love.
    I am a slave to Christ and thus free. The biblical concept of slavery is just that – become slaves of Christ and be set free from slavery to men and your own personal lust.

    We are to worship God in Spirit and Truth. You seem to want to worship in Spirit only (truth seems elusive) and so feel certain.
    I believe it is much more certain to be led by the Holy Spirit to understand who Jesus is as the Spirit uses the scriptures to testify of who He is (Propositional Truth) and not my rationalism. 1 Cor. 2:13 – And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.
    I realize much of 1 Cor. 2 could support you’re perspective also.

    It surprises me that you believe in miracles. Really? I have a hard time understanding how you believe in miracles when you subject the bible to your rationalism and philosophical naturalism (or so it seems) which deny miracles.
    Maybe I have lumped some progressives unfairly into something they are not. I will do my best to reconsider what you say.

    One final thing about the quote from Roger Olson. Systematic theology is only a summary of how one interprets the scriptures. They are not scripture so I partly agree with his complaint. But I think progressives are also developing their own systematic theology albeit fluid or reforming. Such a system, though it is denied to be a “system” is systematic and doctrinal no matter how much that is denied.

    I may sound overly polemical. Just trying to contend for the faith once and for all delivered to the saints.
    I suspect you are simply doing the same and I respect you for that.

  • JD

    Brad, haven’t forgot about you. I’ll try address your post sometime today.

  • Brad Denham

    No worries, i have enough with Kirk/Ron on my hands LOL

  • Brad Denham

    Edited comment below as one final attempt to respond.

  • Brad Denham

    Tried to edit response below…

  • Not to worry. It has shown up in my email, as well as your repost to Ron. I am working on (the usual) lengthy response. Grandkids arriving in about 10 minutes. Will pick up on things this evening when the little terrors are gone.

  • Brad Denham

    okidoki
    Be nice :)

  • saffiregal

    Why aren’t you being Christlike?

  • D.M.S.

    Even scripture tells us to stay away from evil.

  • D.M.S.

    Mankind doesn’t get to change what God/Jesus made.
    Bats are birds..

  • D.M.S.

    4.5 billion years old,lolololololololololol

  • “Jesus is both a lion and a lamb. Lamb the first time, a lion the second. This accounts for much OT stuff that is yet to be fulfilled. That is also why we cannot jettison the OT God of wrath. Grace now and judgement by God later with Jesus at the lead.”

    One of the cardinal doctrines of the dispensationalism that undergirds much of modern evangelicalism (not so much classic fundamentalism like Carl Henry, B. B. Warfield who mistrusted it), is solving the problem of God behaving badly by saying God behaves differently according to whatever dispensation we are talking about. Instead of seeing the Bible as presenting us with an “immature” view of God in the OT, that Jesus “corrects” in the Gospels, the discrepancy is solved by saying God behaved violently in the OT because the Jews were under “The Law.” God is playing nice now because we are under the “time of the Gentiles,” under grace. (Although you will still burn in hell eternally if you die “without Christ”).

    The unintended result of trying to neatly compartmentalize God’s interactions with mankind, is that evangelicals tend to understand God’s ontology in terms of the OT rather than through the lens of Jesus. Feeding into this is the fundamentalist search for “end times” clues hidden in scripture, an obsession that began in the late 19th century. The result is a pissed-off God who is just waiting for the fulfillment of the gentile age so that he can give “the wicked” their due.

    I am going to switch gears a bit here and instead of concentrating on inerrancy and the epistemological assumptions that lead us astray, will float some ideas past you. Rather than argue about the ontology of the Bible let’s concentrate a moment on the imagery scripture gives us concerning God’s attitude towards mankind. I think we can agree that despite being written over a period of hundreds of years, by a bunch of guys who didn’t know each other, there are definite themes that run through scripture. Is this “inspiration?” I believe so. I happen to prefer the “sufficiency” of scripture rather than inerrancy…but that is not the direction I wish to take the conversation this time.

    I mentioned a “magical book” a couple of times in my past post. Bad choice of words. My bad. Progressives have a much higher view of scripture than evangelicals give credit for, but comments like mine don’t help with that perception. I tend to overreact to evangelical attitudes on scripture by overcorrecting. The Bible still is the most challenging and inspiring book I have ever read. And without it I would know very little about the Son of God.

    So, moving on, scripture has a number of themes running through it. A major theme is that of love…the love of God towards Israel, the love of God towards sinners and the love of God for his church. As we travel through scripture it becomes very clear that the writers understood that God is the “pursuer” in the love relationship, not Israel…not mankind. Israel is pictured as the unfaithful wife by the prophets, yet God still pursues her. She goes a whoring after other gods, God, as husband brings her back. The longing, and tragedy of this loving nature of the Father is succinctly summed up in Jesus response before his entry into Jerusalem: “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.” Matthew 23:37. This describes the heartache of God, the existential problem of the God-mankind love relationship.

    The so-called “wrath of God” concept prominent in evangelical teaching is best understood as UNREQUITED LOVE, not the results of a legal transaction gone bad. It is a matter of perception, but makes, I believe, an important distinction. That love never, ever fails. God’s love remains even when we refuse to accept it. It is not that God rejects us, but that we can (and often do) reject him.

    This, then takes us into new territory. God pursues an unrepentant Israel and eventually brings her back. He restores her to her former glory. Unrequited love has an eventual happy ending. All of creation groans for, not just justice, but for full restoration. Restoration: reclaiming what was lost or corrupted is yet another theme in scripture. Just how, and to what extent is perhaps a topic for a different discussion.

    Merry Christmas
    Kirk

  • Brad Denham

    (Hope this post makes it)

    Hi Kirk,

    I regards to your first 2 paragraphs and how the unintended result is an overemphasis on an angry God, I have to admit that is all too often true. We should be better at emphasizing the love of God (but not without the holiness of God). See, I did it again. I will try and bring that balance back into my views. Maybe my concern is that reciprocally, if we emphasize love without at least mentioning there are indeed consequences for rejecting it, we are also failing.

    I do like your comments on inspiration/sufficiency and maybe we are closer together than at first glance.

    And, in regards to progressives having a higher view of scripture than evangelicals give them credit for, I would again plead guilty. Maybe I have read into some of the comments on this article things not intended and made some false assumptions. (though some are downright nasty)

    So, “moving on”, I see in yourself and Ron (even possibly JD) an emphasis on the Son of God and his love for mankind. I admire that.
    I will gladly join you in that proclamation though we have differences elsewhere.

    No doubt that God pursues unrepentant nations and people (like me) like the hound of heaven (Francis Thompson). For that I am grateful and I am grateful for your reminder also. To what extent is indeed a different discussion.

    Peace and love to you sir and your family,
    Merry Christmas,
    Brad

  • Matthew,
    Justification by faith. I think perhaps, what you are getting at is the age old disagreement of works vs faith. The efficacious nature of Christ’s sacrifice as opposed to grace plus works. It really depends on what Christian tradition we are talking about. There is no exact agreement among Christians. I understand Christ’s sacrifice first in terms of God’s rejection of the whole sacrificial system and scapegoating. Secondly, his sacrifice is sufficient for all. Thirdly, works are an outgrowth of Kingdom living, not an attempt to earn God’s favor. Justification is totally a work of God’s grace. No one has enough faith to merit justification. Justification does not come from filling out a “decision card” after an altar call. Hope this helps. Merry Christmas
    Kirk

  • D.M.S.

    I guess repentance is allowed by liberals.

  • Matthew

    Thanks so much Kirk and Merry Christmas to you as well.

    It seems that many evangelicals get stuck in only the Epistles and seem to almost worship Paul. Paul´s declaration of justification by faith IS the Gospel for most of them and in some respects they ignore the Gospel as it is illustrated and declared in the Gospel accounts themselves (which seems to be a declaration of the kingdom rather than simply justification by faith).

    I don´t, personally, see justification by faith being preached in the Gospel accounts but a lot of evangelicals seem to think it is … as though Jesus couldn´t possibly preach something different than Paul.

    Did Jesus preach something different than Paul? Also … how do you think a person is justified? How were you justified?

  • Matthew, excellent observation. The gospel accounts, especially the Sermon on the Mount, don’t fit the classic Reformed or dispensational frameworks, so are downplayed. Keith Giles explains it this way:

    “To me, Jesus, the Head of the Church, is the ultimate and final authority on God’s Word. In fact, as we all know from the first chapter of John’s Gospel, He is the ‘Word of God’ who was ‘made flesh and dwelt among us.’ Therefore, Jesus is the plum line with which everything else must align.

    But this is not the view of the majority of Christians today. Instead, most evangelicals tend to adopt a ‘Flat Bible’ approach which views the Old Covenant Scriptures and the New Covenant Scriptures on equal terms. Those who embrace this view tend to focus more on the writings of Moses (in the Old Testament) and Paul (in the New Testament). They usually do not except the idea that a Christian can actually put the commands of Jesus into practice. They often over-emphasize man’s sinful nature and view man as being helpless when it comes to things like loving their enemies, turning the other cheek, and blessing those who curse you.

    Because of this, many ‘Flat Bible’ Christians tend to downgrade the teachings of Jesus, especially the Sermon on the Mount, and see most of His commands as being unattainable in the here and now.

    Some even go so far as to say that Jesus’ message about the Kingdom was for a future time, after the second coming or in the New Jerusalem.

    ‘Flat Bible’ Christians tend to emphasize grace and forgiveness while ‘Jesus-centric’ Christians most often emphasize submission to Christ and daily obedience to Him.

    ‘Jesus-centric’ Christians believe that the Gospel is about the Good News of the Kingdom. They believe that being a Christian means following Jesus daily, taking up your cross, and putting the words of Jesus into practice with the help from His Spirit. Historically, these sorts of Christians were called ‘Anabaptists’ in the 16th century, for example. They were devoted to a radical reformation that exceeded that of Martin Luther and John Calvin and sought to return the Christian faith to a time where Jesus alone was the final authority and allegiance to Christ was paramount.” (1)

    This “Flat Bible” view and view of the Sermon on the Mount, was EXACTLY how I was taught in the Assemblies of God. It was also the view I ran into with almost every Baptist I have run into over the years. By the time of the Reformation, the Sermon on the Mount and the Beatitudes were hotly contested with radically different views as to the Kingdom ethics espoused by Jesus between Lutherans, Calvinists and Anabaptists. It is interesting to note that the ethics presented in the Matthew account WERE the ethics practiced by the early church before Thomas Aquinas:

    “Prior to the medieval period it is clear that the Sermon on the Mount was viewed as a straightforward presentation of Christian ethics. Beginning with the Didache through the apostolic and post- apostolic fathers, this teaching was held to represent the Lord’s expec- tations of his disciples. Much of the discussion focused upon Jesus’ relationship to the OT law, but regardless of how one might answer that question, and irrespective of the exegetical method used (whether Chrysostom’s Antiochene straightforwardness, or Origen’s Alexan- drian allegory), there was no suggestion that Jesus’ teaching was unrealistic, or that it might relate only to some future era of the coming kingdom.” (2)

    Much of the aversion to seeing the Gospel message of Kingdom ethics as impractical stems from the rejection of justification/salvation through good works. I suspect, though, the real reason for the later Christian movement away from the Kingdom ethics of Jesus is the merger of political power with the church. This of course came with Emperor Constantine’s “conversion” after he determined the Christian God had helped him win an important battle. Once Christianity had been co-opted by politics, it quickly became clear that loving one’s enemies was incompatible with the affairs of state.

    Since Jesus died, “once, and for ALL,” his sacrifice, his cruciform life, proves we have no need of sacrifices. As Jesus himself said, “I desire mercy not sacrifice, go learn what this means,” we ARE justified. This is what atonement is all about. There is nothing we can ADD to that. “It is finished” was Jesus’ cry on the cross. Either Jesus died and wiped away all of mankind’s sin or Satan has won. One of the glaring tragedies of Reformed theology is that, in terms of numbers, God is the loser, as only a comparative handful of true believers inherit eternal life and the resurrection. “Hell” is simply engorged with billions of “the wicked.” The cross is a failure then.

    Either the Cross shows us the folly of sacrifice as a means of currying favor, or it shows us the path we are all to take. Loving enemies, giving sacrificial and showing mercy. But this is not the path the church as a whole has taken historically. American Christianity is, unfortunately, a clear example of the rejection of cruciform living in favor of a blend of political power, Nationalism and religiosity.

    Paul, and his understanding of salvation by faith, not works, needs to be understood as his rejection of the Law as the justification we rely on. He is definitely correct in his understanding that we are justified through Christ’s works, not our own. The trouble begins, however, when we elevate our “faith” above the Cross, when we make faith the determining factor to justification. I think this is more a result of misrepresenting Paul than an actual conflict between Paul and Christ. This is the problem with much of the “born again” thinking of modern American Christianity that sprang form the revival meetings of the 19th century.

    Hope this helps,
    Kirk

    1 Keith Giles, Jesus Untangled: Crucifying Our Politics to Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb, pp. 37-38.

    2 https://faculty.gordon.edu/hu/bi/ted_hildebrandt/ntesources/ntarticles/ctr-nt/crump-sermononmount-ctr.pdf

  • Matthew

    Thanks so much Kirk.

  • Matthew

    What do you think about God’s wrath, Kirk?

  • Packin’ Up the truck to return home from the Holidays. It may take a day or so to get back to you on this one. I think it’s Enns who I agree with on this one, but need to get home and do a little research, but I’ll leave a hint: it’s the Gospels that reinterpret the OT concepts of a wrathful warrior God, not other way ‘round.

  • Matthew

    Thanks Kirk. Look forward to a more detailed response :-).

  • Brad Denham

    Hi Mathew,
    I hesitate to “jump in” at this point but would be interested in giving you another opinion on the doctrine of justification as understood by R.C. Sproul.
    I will only do so at your agreement as I see you addressed your question to Kirk.
    I too, am thankful for men like Sproul, and also do not agree with him on some issues. But he was very passionate about the doctrine of justification and was very good at explaining what it is and what it is not. He no doubt says if you get this doctrine wrong nothing else matters. In other words – it is the gospel.
    I think I can at least correct some common misunderstandings “evangelicals” are painted with and at the same time express where “evangelicals” disagree with progressives.
    (I express the term “evangelical” in quotations because the term means to many things to to many people)

    It is very interesting indeed that the word justification is rarely used in the gospel accounts. Does this mean the Gospel message itself is something different? I think not for some basic reasons and will mention them here.

    In Genesis 3:15 God promises a person born of the woman who would defeat Satan (who is the source of sin that corrupts God’s perfect Kingdom taking mankind down with him so to speak).
    Mankind needs this promised Messiah to save them. They cannot do it themselves.
    All through the OT there is progressive revelation about this Messiah and many prophets prophesied about him and stories recorded in the bible alluded to him.
    The main point, through all the various covenants and laws was that mankind cannot save himself as he has a sinful heart.
    Abraham was saved by faith in God’s promises. That’s the correct pattern. Grace.
    The law given to Moses is the best example of how men cannot save themselves. If they misinterpret the laws intent and try and use it as a means to save themselves by keeping rules and ceremonies they become self-righteous and refuse to acknowledge they need God to save them.
    Even within the law we see the idea clearly expressed – animals losing their lives as sacrifices to atone for sins of men (though animal sacrifice cannot take sin away).

    Fast forward to the Gospel account of the life of Christ. His birth, death and resurrection prove he is the very Messiah prophesied all through the OT.
    God fulfills His promise to save mankind by giving us His Son whose death is the perfect sacrifice that is the only means by which mankind can be restored to fellowship with God in his kingdom. It is the gospel – good news!

    Subsequently, in the NT epistles, Peter, John and Paul expound on what this all means. They use words like justification/righteousness and sanctification to clarify more precisely how the gospel as described in the Gospel accounts is simply a fulfillment of OT promises and are explained more clearly to the Church, as opposed to Israel.

    In this way, the gospel accounts themselves are not elevated above any other portion of scripture (The flat view Kirk speaks of).
    The gospel accounts to be sure are central. Without the life, death and resurrection of Jesus all the rest makes no sense. Conversely, all the rest makes sense in light of the life of Jesus as our Messiah.

    And the key is this: If someone thinks they can be reconciled to God by simply obeying the commands of Jesus (in the gospels) they are missing the point and are not understanding that faith in the death and resurrection of Christ and what that means is the only way of entering God’s kingdom.

    The OT correlates perfectly with the NT when both are understood in light of what Jesus did for us as described in the Gospel accounts.
    And, justification, then simply means we are declared righteous before God the Father on the basis of us placing our faith in what Jesus has done for us – something we could not do for ourselves.

    One quick example from the Gospels to give some color to this concept is the tax collector in Luke 18:13-14.

    13. But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

    He went down to his house justified because he realized the only hope for him was the mercy of God shown to sinners.

    The mercy of God is applied to us who place our faith in Jesus, whose righteousness is imputed to us when we place our faith in his death and resurrection and what that accomplished. We receive new hearts and become sons and daughters of God and dwell in a spiritual sense in His kingdom.

    I understand how progressives elevate the gospel accounts and downplay the OT god of wrath and even discard him altogether. To me, when we understand the OT and the NT in light of God’s revelation of himself in Jesus Christ, the whole bible becomes one book that correlates very well together and is the key to properly understanding who God is and how to know him. In agreement with Kirk, the Holy Spirit is our guide, without which we cannot understand the bible properly.

    Thanks for your time Mathew,
    It is not my intention to offend anyone although the true gospel does offend people.

    Brad

  • Matthew

    What would you like say Brad Denham?

  • Ron McPherson

    Thanks so much Eva. And you as well!

  • Bones

    I think we need to realise that the gospel writers weren’t necessarily writing the words of Jesus, but their own take on things.

    So the idea that Jesus said “………….” is in most cases a fallacy.

  • Brad Denham

    Added my reply to message above.
    My replies often end up removed.

  • Yes, theology takes a lot for granted and “fills in” a lot of details. The Bible, and the Gospel accounts really, really resist a neat organization into anything resembling a timeline. The trouble is they are composed of snippets of various stories about Jesus, rearranged to get certain concepts across.

  • Matthew

    Thanks Brad. I hope others will join the discussion as well.

  • apoxbeonyou

    AoG, like Carman? I grew up IPHC (Pentecostal Holiness). Pretty much the same thing.

  • Bones

    Stephen Fry (who’s being investigated for blasphemy in Ireland) – “If there is a god what sort of god is it? A monster…” Q. “Do you think you’re going to get in? Answer: No. And I wouldn’t want to….and I wouldn’t want to get in on his terms…..”

    https://youtu.be/-suvkwNYSQo

  • Matthew

    Hello Ron :-):-):-) Happy New Year!!!

  • Matthew

    They had an alternative Eva … it’s called the write-in vote :-):-):-)

    Happy New Year Eva :-)

  • xstaticprocess

    1) I agree, to an extent. 2 & 3) Man has made God in his own image since the dawn of civilization: “I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.” –Susan B. Anthony 4) I agree with accountability and recognition of how our choices have shaped outcomes, but I do not believe in a courtroom-type setting with God sitting on a throne, clipboard and red pen in hand, going down a list of dos and don’ts, taking notes with a stern face, and then hurling people into hell (which doesn’t exist) who don’t make “the cut.”

  • Bones

    Yeah that seems to be a common excuse for why Christians follow dictators.

  • Ron McPherson

    Hi Matthew,
    Hope you and yours are having a wonderful holiday season

  • Let me fire off an introduction to the concept of God’s wrath, as seen in the OT.
    Matthew, the question is, I believe, what does the phrase “wrath of God” mean, and does it reflect a different belief about God depending on who’s using it? Certainly when the Hebrew writers referred to it, they believed God was angry, and that anger was a terrible thing. His anger was seen as ordering wholesale destruction of tribes: men, women, children and animals. Plagues and the resulting deaths of thousands of Israelites were also interpreted as the result of an angry God. In some cases the Israelites viewed the wholesale slaughter of indigenous people as God’s wrath being carried out by themselves: they were the hand of God’s anger. In ancient times, God was seen as immediately involved in all events, both natural and carried out by human instrumentation. Successful battles and material gain were seen as the direct result of God being happy with individuals as well as the nation. Conversely, if a battle was lost or a person was sick, it was because God was angry with the sin of an individual or the nation as a whole. Repentance was called for, and if the sinful person was found, they were killed to appease God’s anger.

    As you’ve probably figured out, American evangelicalism reflects much of these same ideas in its concept of America being in a Israel-like covenant with God (a Christian Nation). The Nation is seen as being in a state of apostasy, and needs to repent, go back to a halcyon time when White evangelicals controlled things…or face dire consequences: God’s wrath. In conservative evangelicalism this “God’s wrath concept” continues into the NT. While most progressives would concede that there are negative consequences for living a life not worthy of the Kingdom, the concept of God’s wrath is interpreted differently. The results of a “life of sin” are seen as the logical results of a person’s actions, not punishment from God.

    I will cover the reasons for interpreting it that way in a future post.
    God bless, and Happy New Year!
    Kirk

  • Bones

    Carman? Now there’s a blast from the past.

    That guy is nuts.

  • Matthew

    Thanks so much Kirk. Happy New Year to you as well :-)!
    How do you interpret 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10? These verses have been troubling me.

  • Matthew

    Regarding God´s wrath:

    Can someone from the progressive side of the fence, who clearly believes God is only
    love and doesn´t judge, please help me to understand these words from Paul in 2 Thessalonians 1:

    “All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.”

    The only explanation I received is from someone in Mennonite/Anabaptist circles who simply said that Jesus is the final revelation of God, not Paul´s words, therefore if Jesus was completely non-violent then these words from Paul must simply be incorrect.

  • Bones

    If we believe God is love and doesn’t judge then there is no wrath. It’s a silly question. Where was the wrath of the Father of the Prodigal….and why do people think that God thinks like humans?

    Also you seem to think that because the Bible says something that we need to follow suit. We aren’t fundamentalists and are quite happy to disagree with texts and authors (like we do with pastors today)

    “He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.”

    Why?

    So God is worse than any Concentration Camp Commandant? Actually read in context , the author is condemning those who persecuted believers and encouraging believers who have suffered persecution.

    eg the verses before hand make it clear

    “therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure. 5 This is a plain indication of God’s righteous judgment so that you will be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering. 6 For after all it is only just [c]for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7 and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well ”

    Once again, it’s a text written in the context of vengeance during persecution. Reminds me of my parents who hated Japs for what they did to their siblings in WW2. Texts written during persecution are incredibly subjective eg texts written by Palestinians about Jews.

    And is the author saying that persecution is a sign of righteous judgement for which which people are considered worthy of the kingdom of God?

    Do you know any non-believers, Mattias? Do you think God wants them to suffer for eternity or destroy them or whatever? Do you think Jesus wants non-believers to be punished? Why?

    In fact I deny a personal god at all.

    And 2 Thessalonians wasn’t wrtten by Paul.

  • Matthew

    Thanks for your thoughts Bones. Do you think God gave, say, Hitler a pass? Is it wrong for, say, Jewish people to want vengeance against their persecutors?

  • Bones

    Well Matt, if we were born in early 20th century Germany would we have been any different. In fact, some Nazis in Nuremberg claimed what they believed about Jews came from Martin Luther himself and that he should be on trial. Hitler was the end product of anti-semitism in Europe. (Don’t forget many European countries cooperated with Hitler’s persecution of Jews – except, bizarrely, Muslim Albania which was the only European country whose Jewish population increased).

    Would we not have fought in religious wars in the medieval ages if we had lived then?

    Would we not have killed the indigenous people of our lands as savages in the nineteenth century when we came to take their land?

    I mean how is God going to see your indifference to suffering around the world? Let’s face it. Most of us in the West really don’t care about the rest of the world (or people in our own country). At least when they’re not bothering us. The genocide happening in Myanmar might be lucky to get a mention in the middle of the news if it’s lucky. Most people wouldn’t even know where it was or who was persecuting whom.

    Do you care that many of your products were made by exploiting poor people? Do they cry out for vengeance as western companies make obscene profits by paying them tuppence?

    As for vengeance, well that’s an understandable human condition.
    I totally understood my parents hatred of Japanese. Both lost siblings fighting the japanese including in dreadful Changi prison.
    But I didn’t hate Japanese. In fact I told my mother many of her appliances were made in Japan. And you’d have the same experience about Germans in WW2 and Germans today. It’s entirely understandable for people who have been hurt and persecuted to seek vengeance.

    Now there’s what we call justice which is a human term. I mean will there be vengeance on the US for arming states like Saudi Arabia to blow up poor people in Yemen and for arming the Israeli military in its occupation of Palestine and actively persecuting Palestinian Christians. Where’s the justice there?

    Should God exact vengeance on the US and the people who support it?

    If you think God exacts vengeance then it will be on all of humanity – regardless of creed.

    If there is a God it is more like the energy which lives in all of us and sustains the universe.

  • Matthew

    Thanks Bones.

    Have you read “The Prophets” by Abraham Heschel?

  • Bones

    Unfortunately no.

    Can you give us a rundown?

  • Matthew

    Wow Bones … I´ll have to pass on that one. The book is so philsophically rich and deep that I simply couldn´t do it justice here on the forum. I´m only to the second chapter and I´ve already hit the “WOW!” factor.

    It´s great to get insight into the prophets of the Old Testament from a Jewish perspective I think.

  • You completely misunderstand the God presented in Scripture. All the acts of judgment by God in the Bible have been redemptive, not retaliatory. Surrender is a heart attitude. God is looking for humility and faith. He’s not holding some point-by-point knuckle-rapping session. Think of judgment as amputation. Evil is an infection that has to be incised from time to time to prevent it engulfing the whole world. The picture of God presented in Scripture is one of astonishing grace and mercy. The final judgment is just that — final. It’s the last resort for people (and nations) that persistently choose evil and wickedness. But make no mistake: God is the Judge, and we’re all going to have our day in court. The best thing we can do is prepare for it.

  • xstaticprocess

    “God is the Judge, and we’re all going to have our day in court.”

    I couldn’t be happier since I shed that awful belief.

  • But will you be happy in the next life?

  • xstaticprocess

    I’ll answer that by quoting John Lennon:

    Imagine there’s no heaven
    It’s easy if you try
    No hell below us
    Above us only sky
    Imagine all the people LIVING FOR TODAY

  • Bones

    So no mercy then from your god……which is a bit like….

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5lQA3bipHc

    Schindler: Is that why they fear us?

    Goethe: We have the f***ing power to kill that’s why they fear us.

    You really are a whole heap of contradictions….

  • Bones

    The Evangelical god be like these people…..

    Parents accused of torturing 13 kids dreamed of reality show
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2018/01/22/parents-accused-torturing-13-kids-dreamed-reality-show/1056366001/

    Interesting how that horrifies most people yet when it’s attributed to god it’s like that’s just the way god is, because god is good.