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OfflineMarkostheGnostic
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Re: From athiest to christian... [Re: Frog]
    #2225148 - 01/07/04 07:30 AM (18 years, 23 days ago)

The Adam, Eve and the serpent mythos (some of which parallels the Babylonian Gilgamesh epic which is older still) derives from the Old Testament. Jewish theology understands that humanity has 'an evil inclination,' or the 'yetzer hara,' but Christianity took this evil 'tendency' and expanded it theologically into the doctrine of 'Original Sin,' in which we are ALL inherently depraved from birth. This is supposedly the result (spiritual inheritance? Karma?) of the original sins of Adam and Eve. Christianity HAD to come up with this doctrine because it makes the appearance of Jesus Christ that much more critical. If we are ALL depraved, we ALL need a Redeemer - despite that verse in which Jesus says 'I have come not for the righteous, but for the sinners,' implying that there are humans who are righteous in the eyes of GOD.

GOD did not change the rules, men changed the doctrines and their understanding of 'how it all is.' The "rules" or Nature of GOD is not changeable, it is the perception and comprehension of mankind that changes. Being in Christ allows Grace, or the Holy Spirit to operate in the human heart, and this was available before Jesus Incarnated - not only to Jews, but to all who sought GOD and holinesss.


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γνῶθι σαὐτόν - Gnothi Seauton - Know Thyself


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Invisiblejpod
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Re: From athiest to christian... [Re: MarkostheGnostic]
    #2225278 - 01/07/04 09:32 AM (18 years, 23 days ago)

Yes. God says, "I Am". He is the eternal, the unchanging. Men may twist their interpretations of his Word, and preach this, but this is no longer the Word of God, it is now the words of men. The distortions of God's Word run strong and leads to much confusion of the truth.

Some verses which directly reference the topic of righteous men: Matt 9:13, Mark 2:17, Mark 10:45, Luke 5:32, Luke 15:7. These are just a start, the answer is there for those who seek Christ.


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OfflineFrog
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Re: From athiest to christian... [Re: jpod]
    #2225410 - 01/07/04 10:46 AM (18 years, 23 days ago)

Thanks, Markos, and jpod, for posting.


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The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.  -Teilard


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OfflineHidingInPlainSight
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Re: From athiest to christian... [Re: jpod]
    #2225417 - 01/07/04 10:52 AM (18 years, 23 days ago)

Quote:

jpod said:
Yes. God says, "I Am". He is the eternal, the unchanging. Men may twist their interpretations of his Word, and preach this, but this is no longer the Word of God, it is now the words of men. The distortions of God's Word run strong and leads to much confusion of the truth.




Right on.  :cool:


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OfflineStrumpling
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Re: From athiest to christian... [Re: HidingInPlainSight]
    #2225605 - 01/07/04 12:13 PM (18 years, 23 days ago)

"but this is no longer the Word of God, it is now the words of men."

There are many who feel its ALL been words of men


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Insert an "I think" mentally in front of eveything I say that seems sketchy, because I certainly don't KNOW much. Also; feel free to yell at me.
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Invisiblejpod
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Re: From athiest to christian... [Re: Strumpling]
    #2225634 - 01/07/04 12:29 PM (18 years, 23 days ago)

Yes, I realize some believe that, but that is beside the point I was making. I was simply giving a response to those posts which I feel were lacking in knowledge of what the Bible actually says, and instead remarking on what is commonly taught the Bible says.

I am not looking to debate on the seperate subject of the origins of the Bible at this moment.


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InvisibleSwami
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Re: From athiest to christian... [Re: Strumpling]
    #2225635 - 01/07/04 12:29 PM (18 years, 23 days ago)

Blasphemer! Start a pyre...


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The proof is in the pudding.


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: From athiest to christian... [Re: Frog]
    #2226065 - 01/07/04 03:47 PM (18 years, 23 days ago)

Quote:

Well, think about it. Stealing, murder, lying, cheating, etc. etc. etc., ad nauseum. Assuming that God is perfect, we are way less than perfect, and we are sinners, and if God created us, then we deserve to burn in hell for not being perfect, as He is.



Some say the glass is half-empty, others say it's half-full.  Besides, I've never murdered anyone.  I've never stolen anything.  I've never cheated on a test, or on a significant other, for that matter.  Granted, I do tend to lie sometimes, but if the people I lie to can forgive me, why should it matter?  And to me it sounds ridiculous to say that because we're not as perfect as God that we deserve to burn in hell.  :wtf:

Quote:

But why can't you get past that? Why can't you get to the part where God forgave us in spite of our sins, and is letting us go to heaven in spite of ourselves?



Why can't you get past the bad side of humanity and see that we are all good as well as bad.  And if God were to forgive us, he wouldn't need to send his son to die in order to do so.  He's all-powerful.  Why can't he just forgive us unconditionally?  Instead he has to say, "Ok, I'll forgive you for not being as perfect as me so you won't have to be burned and tortured for all eternity, but only if you read this here book and believe every last word of it without question, even the parts that contradict each other."

Quote:

That's the part I don't understand. You guys don't understand me for believing the way I do. Well, I don't understand why anyone would not.



Because if this all-powerful God were as forgiving as you say he is, then he wouldn't have created Hell in the first place, and wouldn't make such a shady deal for forgiving us.

Quote:

I said, "What if you die, and find out there's really a God? If you don't believe in Jesus, you will go to hell. But if you believe, just on faith, and there's a God, you will go to heaven. But if you believe, and there's not God, what did you lose by believing?"



What will I lose?  My pride, my dignity, my self-respect.  I don't take kindly to threats, even ones from an all-powerful God.

Quote:

I don't see God as mean, or vengeful, or whatever. I see God as a loving father. Just because you guys see God the way you see Him, and therefore refuse to believe, doesn't mean that I am wrong for believing. It also doesn't mean that you are right about God.



If God is not mean and vengeful, then why did he create Hell?  If I understand Christian theology well enough, then God created everything, and that would include Hell.  Why?  Whey can't he accept us along with our faults and forgive us unconditionally?  That's what you do when you love someone.  I'm able to do it.  Why can't God?

Quote:

Everyone sees God differently. What's interesting to me is ... Why do I see Him as a loving God, and I believe in Him, and you guys, who don't believe, see Him as a mean God? Very interesting.



I don't see God as mean.  I see the Judeo-Christian God as mean, and there's plenty of evidence in the Bible to back that up.


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"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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OfflineAlan Stone
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Re: From athiest to christian... [Re: silversoul7]
    #2226087 - 01/07/04 04:00 PM (18 years, 23 days ago)

Jesus didn't die to have man's sins forgiven, he died on the cross as a last scapegoat, to try and change the way Jewish society worked, to be once and for all rid of the blaming-one-individual-for-all-humanity's-sins routine. He was more of a political, a sage and a philosophical rebel than anything, if you ask me.
'The Bible' is not one book, it's two different ones. The Jewish God mentioned in the Tenach has a bit of a vengeful desert God how-bout-I-smack-you-some theme going on, but the God in the New Testament is different.
On hell: more informed (Christian, for instance) Bible readers, could you please correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Hell is a mythological addition added later to Christianity, with no basis in the Bible.


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It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

- Aristotle


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: From athiest to christian... [Re: Alan Stone]
    #2226095 - 01/07/04 04:02 PM (18 years, 23 days ago)

Quote:

On hell: more informed (Christian, for instance) Bible readers, could you please correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Hell is a mythological addition added later to Christianity, with no basis in the Bible.



I believe there are references in the Book of Revelation to a "Lake of Fire," which awaits non-believers in the afterlife.


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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Invisiblejpod
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Re: From athiest to christian... [Re: silversoul7]
    #2226152 - 01/07/04 04:20 PM (18 years, 23 days ago)

I can certainly understand why one would see the Christian God as mean. All of the things you have mentioned are certainly very valid viewpoints.

I don't expect many to agree with my perspective, but I do feel it is a valid comparison to a parent punishing a child for disobeying them. I imagine a child who is made to sit in the corner, or who is given a spanking, feels their punishment and parents are mean and unjust in most cases. However, a loving parent must discipline their child occasionally. A parent who has set rules for their child must take some sort of corrective action, ideally for the good of their child. Most people will agree with this.

Certainly we are like children when compared to an all-powerful and all-knowing God. How then, when we disobey the rules He has set for us, are we in a position to question the punishment? Thought it may seem harsh, it can only be we who are the ones who lack understanding, not Him. Is a child knowledgable enough to question their parent?


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: From athiest to christian... [Re: jpod]
    #2226164 - 01/07/04 04:23 PM (18 years, 23 days ago)

Sure, a parent may have a child sit in a corner or spank them as punishment. But we're talking about all eternity here. I imagine it wouldn't take very long in Hell for a sinner to learn their lesson. So then how come they still have to remain there for the rest of eternity? If a parent spanked their child for the rest of that child's life, I believe that would be considered severe child abuse.


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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Invisiblejpod
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Re: From athiest to christian... [Re: silversoul7]
    #2226184 - 01/07/04 04:32 PM (18 years, 23 days ago)

Like I said, a child really is not necessarily given to understand the the reasoning behind or the nature of their punishment. I will not pretend that I have all the answers or a full understanding of why this is the punishment God has chosen. As a mortal human being by definition I cannot understand the full nature of an infinite God. I do however have enough faith in Him to accept that if this is what He has chosen, then He has chosen it for a reason, and this is all I need to know. I would not expect a person without full faith in my God to be as accepting of this, however.


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OfflineMarkostheGnostic
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Re: From athiest to christian... [Re: Alan Stone]
    #2226298 - 01/07/04 05:13 PM (18 years, 23 days ago)

All of the major world religions contain teachings about Hell. The Old Testament writings do not much focus on individual post-mortem conditions - it is the condition of Israel as a whole that has precedence. The notion of 'Sheol' as a kind of shadowy post-mortem condition is mentioned but not explicated into complicated celestial and infernal hierarchies as the Catholics did, or reiterate "lake of fire" imagery from Matthew or John like Protestants like to do. The mention of the smoldering fires of "Gehenna," in the NT refers to a place where garbage was burned.

The Book of Daniel speaks of resurrection either to righteousness or to "contempt" (KJV), and illustrates the later Pharasaic notions that Jesus Himself picked up on, but again, there is no notion of a human being who is tortured eternally in burning brimstone (sulphur). Volcanic, sulphurous, underworld imagery would resonate with the common 1st century mentality who held to a flat Earth, a pre-Copernican 3-tiered cosmos which included a subterranean underworld, flat Earth at the center of God's universe, and a domed heavens in which the physical lights were confused with metaphysical Light of Heaven. In like manner, in the language of mythos, in which cosmic principles are anthropomorphized, it was reasonable to imagine a spiritualized corpus of Jesus, enthroned next to a Zeus-like YHVH, with a White Dove hovering between their forms. Fundamentalists of the 21st century still harbor pre-Copernican views, and mythic anthropomorphisms, and have complete tantrums when more learned folk refuse to believe in their childish literalisms. Hell may be quite real in the metaphysical sense. The religious mind recognizes that all Earthly phenomena have roots in Divine Reality. I for one reject any image of the metaphysical, while acknowledging the possibilities and living accordingly.


--------------------
γνῶθι σαὐτόν - Gnothi Seauton - Know Thyself


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Offlinecatalyst777
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Re: From athiest to christian... [Re: MarkostheGnostic]
    #2226341 - 01/07/04 05:31 PM (18 years, 23 days ago)

Very insightful post, Markos...

Hell is something any Christian or Gnostic must come to terms with.

Thank you for giving me some food for thought.


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Facts do not cease to exist just because they are ignored.

Aldous Huxley


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InvisibleSkorpivoMusterion
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Re: From athiest to christian... [Re: catalyst777]
    #2226384 - 01/07/04 05:52 PM (18 years, 23 days ago)

The only "Hell" is the one us humans create--here on this planet.


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Coffee should be black as hell, strong as death, and sweet as love.


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: From athiest to christian... [Re: jpod]
    #2226413 - 01/07/04 06:02 PM (18 years, 23 days ago)

Quote:

Like I said, a child really is not necessarily given to understand the the reasoning behind or the nature of their punishment.



Maybe so, but the fact is that some people are just bad parents, and both child and outsider can see that. Spanking may be ok, but beating a child senseless is clearly not just punishment. Granted, if there is a God, then he/she/it is beyond our understanding, but if that's the case, then it's useless to argue over whether he/she/it is mean or forgiving, because we can never know. For all you know, God could be a sadistic asshole.


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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OfflineStrumpling
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Re: From athiest to christian... [Re: SkorpivoMusterion]
    #2226460 - 01/07/04 06:19 PM (18 years, 23 days ago)

"The only "Hell" is the one us humans create--here on this planet."

and I'd add that the only "Heaven" is the one we could build right here on this planet


--------------------
Insert an "I think" mentally in front of eveything I say that seems sketchy, because I certainly don't KNOW much. Also; feel free to yell at me.
In addition: SHPONGLE


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Invisiblejpod
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Re: From athiest to christian... [Re: silversoul7]
    #2226641 - 01/07/04 07:18 PM (18 years, 23 days ago)

Quote:

Maybe so, but the fact is that some people are just bad parents, and both child and outsider can see that.  Spanking may be ok, but beating a child senseless is clearly not just punishment.




I certainly agree that as adults, we can see clearly that this would not be just punishment.  As applied to the previous posts however, I still believe that we are not on level with God and are therefore unfit to deem whatever punishment he may have as unfair.

Quote:

Granted, if there is a God, then he/she/it is beyond our understanding, but if that's the case, then it's useless to argue over whether he/she/it is mean or forgiving, because we can never know.  For all you know, God could be a sadistic asshole.




While I do believe that the full nature of God is beyond our understanding, my faith in Him also leads me to believe that parts of His nature have been revealed by His Word, i.e. the Bible.  It tells me that He is love, not that He is a "sadistic asshole".  I don't have the answers to all of the why's and how's, but I have faith in the truth of this.

BTW, I hope I am not coming across as argumentative, this certainly is not my intention.  I am simply trying to let my point of view be clearly known to whoever may be interested.  I respect all viewpoints though I may disagree.  :smile:


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: From athiest to christian... [Re: jpod]
    #2226656 - 01/07/04 07:28 PM (18 years, 23 days ago)

Quote:

I certainly agree that as adults, we can see clearly that this would not be just punishment. As applied to the previous posts however, I still believe that we are not on level with God and are therefore unfit to deem whatever punishment he may have as unfair.



It just seems to me like a cop-out to go with the old "God works in mysterious ways," argument. I mean, sure we can't fully understand it, but we have a thing called reason, which allows us to have a sense of fairness. To say that because we are not on God's level(IMO we are and don't realize it) that we can't say his judgements are unfair is bullshit. Besides, children can sometimes be right about their parents being unfair. It think you give children far too little credit.
Quote:

While I do believe that the full nature of God is beyond our understanding, my faith in Him also leads me to believe that parts of His nature have been revealed by His Word, i.e. the Bible. It tells me that He is love, not that He is a "sadistic asshole". I don't have the answers to all of the why's and how's, but I have faith in the truth of this.



That same book also tells you that he murdered all the first-born of Egypt, that he sends people to Hell if they don't believe in him, and that he's homophobe. Sounds like an asshole to me.


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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