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Man or God in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #100
Hmm, so, couple o' things I may as well offer.

I don't expect much of anything posted in a context like this forum to be adequate to convince much of anyone of much of anything. It is a decent and frequently fun way to churn ideas, concepts, and challenges around and collect divergent viewpoints. I'd be naive to imagine I could rave about something here and be likely to sway anyone's view significantly. That's not really quite my intention or hope or how I believe beliefs work. So, I'm not surprised or disappointed that any one of the points I may have expounded failed to impress you, Stillness, or anyone else. That's not my primary motivation.

The nature of belief, what we believe, why we need and maintain certain kinds of beliefs, and so on. are far more critical matters in this context, as I have discussed at times. We like to think it's simply logic and reason at the heart of our belief systems, but I see our beliefs resting on a whole lot more than that on any matter of significance. We may fool ourselves why we believe and cling to what we cherish, but I see deep psychological need intertwined in all of it. It's just a part of what we do being humans who are operating in so many ways out of fear. All emotions, motivations, thoughts, emotions, and behavior in human experience can be reduced to either love or fear. I say that most of what we do, think, feel, and experience is based on fear. I know most people might be inclined to disagree with this precept, because the very concept is threatening to part of our sense of self and our autonomy and, perhaps, our accountability.

So, no, I don't expect any minds are going to be changed much by what I can type here, but it can be a rewarding exercise nonetheless. I mostly enjoy it as an opportunity to hone my own thinking and put my words and thoughts together. I'll be writing at least one book in my future. I don't expect anyone here to buy a copy, heh.

...

Regarding Christ preaching to spirits, I found your defense against the very possibility disappointingly watery.

It has been long since i believed in angels as a species, as popular Christian superstition maintains, quite extra-biblically. The word "angel" simply means "messenger." There is no definition of angels as magical, spiritual, other-specied beings. Angels visiting Abraham or Lot are called men in nearby passages, and they are seen and experienced as men. There is actually nothing to differentiate an angel from a man, even if that man comes from a "heavenly realm." I have no problem believing in the activity of human spirits in the "heavenly dimension" interacting at times with humanity.

I think to believe in angels or devils as created spiritual races is the same as believing in gnomes and leprachauns. I ain't never seen any of them myself and see no explanation or requirement of them even in the Bible. I don't believe spirit angels came down and had sex with human women to make some weird half-human species that God somehow saw as a threat. How does a spirit being impregnate anyone, and how or why would God ever permit such a violation of natural law and his creation in the first place? This is like reading fairy tales and believing in them. It's magical thinking when nothing like that is ever observed by anyone you or I ever knew, and there is absolutely no evidence or natural likelihood such a thing ever was. I don' t believe in bizarre magic, bigger than life, epic, mythic things that happened in crude, ancient times to crude, ancient people, but of course no one today or any time in thousands of years of recorded history since has experienced. Ockham's Razor, for crying out loud. What is the most logical explanation screaming out? It never happened, and things like that aren't really what happens in the world or what God did or does in the world.

Most of angel mythology is not based on the Bible, including the especially amazingly flimsy "lucifer" myth, which I have discussed elsewhere around here not long ago, I think. That Christians buy into angels and devils without really examining their own experience and what the Bible actually has to say about them indicates how easy it is to pass on silly superstitions even despite what the Bible does not say about them. Most of what is believed and assumed about them is entirely extra-biblical.

I'd challenge anyone to show me why "angels" would have to be anything other than living men in some cases or the spirits of men in other cases, just as ghosts can be contacted in the spirit realm. Scriptures talk about heavenly hosts, and there are many messengers of various kinds in scripture, but never are they defined as a created spirit race who normally are said to be eunuch-like or gender neutral...except when they seduce and rape earthly women, evidently. I think it's a waste of energy to believe into something that is never demonstrated to be remotely an actual part of your own life, circumstances, or experience. And is just plain silly besides. If God wills a thing, and it is done, like when Jesus told the centurion, "Your daughter is already healed this moment," why the hell is a literal race of little invisible errand boys required to dispatch and execute the will of God. We might as well have a million little hamsters running around the center of the earth to make it spin.

What I do believe in in particular is the tremendous power the human mind has to project believed realities into actual being, at the least on the personal level of perceived experience. People with "devil-exorcising" ministries may really start to see "devils" after a time, because they are obsessed with and focusing on the belief in and expectation of them. You can create a seeming reality for yourself, especially when a group of people intently are projecting a collective reality. These things magically go away when you stop thinking about them and obsessing over them. Your satan only has as much power as you give it. Like I said, I ain't never seen anything that I can't describe as human agency at work. I won't argue about whatever a person may claim to have "seen" but I might question what power shapes what that thing the person is seeing looks and feels like. Just because someone sees an angel doesn't mean they "saw an angel" especially considering that spiritual language is so highly symbolic and visions are typically couched in deep symbol, ala John's way far out super-psychedelic Revelation.

It's hard for me not to want to poke fun at so much magical thinking Christianity embraces so unquestioningly, when all their own real life experience shows no trace or hint of such realities, and there is a complete lack of evidence to the effect. God must have become a mighty mundane, tired, boring old dude to have done so much far out cool stuff millennia ago, but has virtually retired from all this mystical, magical amazing, bizarre display that used to get him off. I feel sorry for the Christian, because (s)he is left with a God Who has nothing truly special for them in their day. The subconcious effect this must have on one's sense of value and importance in the eyes of God I think is likely significant.

-S-

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A4 ItemsA4 SingletonG4 ItemsG4 ForgingG4 Infiltrator NR Items The Lonely Celt
Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Man or God in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #94
Well, you keep believing that with all your heart if it gets you through. The older I get, the more I experience how many ways there are to be mistaken about just about anything, how many ways there are to see a thing from a whole new light. For any truth grasped or perceived, there is a higher level of truth that nearly renders irrelevent a formerly embraced truth, and I believe the nature of God's universe is that there is actually no end to this kind of increase and evolution in understanding.

To pin one's belief and life to one book with one frozen way of grasping it seems to me, well, self-limiting, closing oneself off from other possible vital and liberating perspectives, as well as leaving oneself vulnerable to terrible chagrin or disappointment one day when that narrow requirement for a text fails you and is shattered.

Once you survive a shattering of your mindset and see what emerges on the other side, you might find that you come to look forward to having the experience repeatedly. It is like a mollusk shedding its skin or shell in order to expand. You're all tender and vulnerable for a bit after going through it, but your whole world gets bigger as a result.

Locking any spiritual text down too rigidly feels to me like wanting to stay in nursery school forever. God is full of endless mind-blowing surprises if we dare continue to venture in and not pitch camp and stop somewhere.

-S-

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A4 ItemsA4 SingletonG4 ItemsG4 ForgingG4 Infiltrator NR Items The Lonely Celt
Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Why I Will Not Play Avernum V in Avernum 4
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #39
"Why you will play Avernum V."

I think Avernum V is going to go a long way to redeem the fans who were less than enthralled with Avernum IV. V has returned a number of features that were missed in A4 such as elevations, using the keyboard to target and move (and something else even more surprising!), as well as adding the very cool new Battle Discplines. The story is quite engaging and intriguing. The settings are varied, largely new, and pull you along. You will try the demo when it's available, and you may well find that you feel like you are being visited once again by someone more like the Uncle Av you once so enjoyed. Jeff has been listening to the fans, and has done much to make A5 a great game.

-S-

[ Friday, September 14, 2007 06:33: Message edited by: Synergy ]

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A4 ItemsA4 SingletonG4 ItemsG4 ForgingG4 Infiltrator NR Items The Lonely Celt
Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Man or God in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #90
quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

Synergy,

How was the date?


It was mentally highly energized. She loaned me the book "Conversations With God," of which I had only heard vague reference previously. I devoured it last night, because I was unable to stop reading it. My paradigm has just expanded and been challenged another order of magnitude, but I was perfectly ready for it, and there is no chance, and there are no coincidences. It also, incidentally, leaves me nearly wholly disinterested in following up on anything further here, though. I am chewing on something that has me in a fever at present.

-S-

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A4 ItemsA4 SingletonG4 ItemsG4 ForgingG4 Infiltrator NR Items The Lonely Celt
Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Man or God in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #75
Apologies for another round with the teleophone pole. Brevity has never been one of my strong suits, partly due to the earnest desire to do as much as I can to be clearly understood.

Stillness wrote:

“It did apply to the end of the Jewish system of things. Here is where the Bible gets deep though and you begin to see God’s wisdom – some prophecies have dual fulfillments. So well after 70 CE the apostle John received a revelation of the last days that would involve the complete destruction of all wickedness and the ushering in of a thousand year reign under Christ. That hasn’t happened yet. 66-70 C.E. was a minor fulfillment. What’s coming will be on a worldwide scale like the deluge, but more thorough. (Mat 24:21, 22, 37)”

I can readily see that prophecies have layers of meaning. A lot of prophecy in the OT read on a spiritual/symbolic level has rather lovely and hopeful implications. Symbology, like dream language, is really the language of prophecy anyway. The degree to which scriptures are actually useful and viable to modern man is the degree to which spiritual truths are veiled in the seemingly literal. Ezekiel’s vision of a temple on a hilltop from which water runs to the four corners of the earth, ever growing deeper, and healing the world could be equivocated with the spiritual symbology that others focus upon as the age of Aquarius, who pours the water of the Spirit out upon the earth. It would also represent the spiritual fulfillment of the third major Israelite feast of Tabernacles, the full harvest taken in. On literal levels, these things in the Bible are curious, but quite useless to my daily life or hopes or dreams.

What I don’t see is Matthew or Luke talking remotely about anything except what is to come to pass in that generation. Jesus said, "This generation would not pass away before these things came to pass." John, in the very beginning of the Revelation says these things “which must shortly come to pass.” Shortly meant imminent, not 2000 years in the future. And tell me why God would see fit to burden us with prophecies of earthly kingdoms and natural catastrophes (which are absurd,) when the whole message of and tone of the NT was a spiritual, inner kingdom Christ came to demonstrate?

Another thing the very first verse of Revelation gives is that it is a vision “signified to John” which means literally it is sign-fied...put into signs. Nothing in the vision is literally what it appears to be. Moreover, the meanings of nearly any sign is Revelation is already defined or implied through OT prophecies. I suggest again that any real merit in Revelation is looking past the bizarre and fearful imagery to a potent, timely, and ongoing spiritual message of the unfolding of the “revelation of the anointing” in the people of God, and the inner spiritual processes it requires to become “an overcomer.” A mountain will fall into the inner sea of your life and turn its formerly productive waters to blood. Hail will mow down the grassy works growing in your inner world. The horseman, who is the Christ, not an antichrist, rides through your earth in four roles, to ultimately plow you anew for a fresh crop of good fruit to be borne. The means may be fearful, but the purpose and outcome is glorious. There are great losses and sacrifices to be suffered to press on into God, Who is a consuming fire, setting alight all who enter in. And on and on.

The last message God appeared to deliver to Israel on natural kingdoms was to Daniel while in Persia, the end of which promises that there will be no more world empires after the Roman Empire breaks up, except the kingdom of God which will swallow up the whole earth like a great mountain. “And of the increase of the kingdom of God there shall be no end.” This is a very hopeful promise and should scuttle any of the foolish speculation on future one-world governments, if one claims to live on the word of Bible propehcy.

Taken as a spiritual message to a blossoming church age, Revelation is a timely, relevant, and beautiful book that has absolutely nothing to do with the kingdoms or physical state of the outer world. You can live your life in worry and endless speculation about the very silly and never-fulfilled dire predictions with which Christians love to drive themselves (and anyone else who will buy into the nonsense) into a fearful frenzy, but I assure you it is energy wholly wasted, and counters the spirit of love, which is to cast out fear, not promote it. It speaks very poorly of a would-be agent of God. Christians are some of the most negative, pessimistic, fear-mongering people on the planet. By their fruit ye shall know them. I want nothing more of the gloomy, childish, ignorant reasoning of mainstream Christendom. Its message and concept is hopelessly infested with tares destined to be burnt and plowed under in due time. The tares here represent wrong idols of thinking, not persons.

“Confusion could come from Satan’s lies. It could also come from a lack of understanding. “

Isn’t your claim about Scripture that God gave us a clearly understandable, accurate, reliable, and literal book, so that you don’t have to be a scholar of Greek and Hebrew and ancient world cultures to even begin to have a hope of appropriating its contents properly? Does the God Who arranges this onerous condition for properly grasphing all the essential spiritual truths by which to live seem particuarly brilliant, thoughtful, merciful, purposeful...or sovereign to you? The fact that Christendom is hopelessly divided into myriad camps of belief against itself based upon that very book simply proves that it is not clearly defined truth anyone can read and comprehend at face value. And most of the world was not and much still is not literate to even begin to ferret out nuance. What of them? The “God and Truth by proxy of Perfect Book to humanity” theory is insulting to most time and place.

I propose, that just as earthly children truly learn by the modeling and attitudes of their parents far more than by anything they say, so too does the spiritual child learn of God by modeling after what he is able to observe in those who are spiritually more mature and demonstrate the character of God in the world. That’s how humans really learn, and the western world is infatuated with books and head knowledge. The recent development of fanatical Bible-worship I think plainly reflects our cultural values and our concept of education, which is woefully astray in various ways today.

“If you want to understand the you might do actual research or ask someone who knows...You would also not be critically searching for disharmony.”

Wait...where do you get these additional stipulations for how God unfurls his truth in scripture? You are making this up yourself as an apology to your claim that Scripture plainly communicates and instructs us....therefore we are accountable to it and God, because He has given us all we know.

Which do you think impresses God more...a critical mind who accepts nothing foolishly as hearsay or conjecture and reasons, debates, and inquires after truth until it demonstrates itself sufficiently...or the typical religious person who merely assimiliates whole belief systems, interpretations, customs, rituals, and lifestyles based upon mindless masses who went before and likely have perpetuated increasingly gross errors for centuries?

“The Bible is clear that his spirit and his representatives are always involved in understanding his message. If you don’t have the right attitude he simply will not bother with making you understand.”

So, the millions of Christians who are all at doctrinal odds with each other in all those competing denominations clearly don’t have the right attitude toward the scriptures, or God would have made the truth more clear to them. I would actually agree with the main tenet here though. I would say that spiritual truth comes in a deeply symbolic, metaphorical package that is designed to keep out the uninitiate by its very nature. To whatever degree revelation of God is in the scriptures, it is there in a form to exclude, not readily to cast pearls before swine, so to speak. Jesus spoke in parables that even his own dull-witted disciples rarely comprehended. Jesus said it was not given to the masses to understand. The divine is protectected from the profane by virtue of their being no easy shortcut into it.

If one can surrender the notion that God owes it to humanity to give them a textbook to reveal Himself and His truth to all (which absolves the lazy Christian from having to be a living testimony to the world if you follow the implication), then perhaps it is not so difficult to embrace the universal reality that spiritual understanding is not something casually happened upon. It takes seeking, discipline, and as Paul stated it, “the mind of the spirit knows the things of the spirit, but the carnal mind knows carnal things.” (And never the two shall meet.) Only the diligent and genuine and disciplined are likely to truly uncover spiritual truths in any communication that is of God, so to speak. This protects the truth from the casual uninitiate. The NT is full of “mysteries” which are designed to conceal, not reveal their truth, if you have ever studied the cultural context for a “mystery.” The fact that so much of Christendom mangles the book of Revelation along with most of the rest of the scriptures in so many ways says a lot about the power of the book and seeking in the pages of a book alone to know God and truth. Ironically, Christians are some of the most exempt people from seeing the truths of God, because of their attitude and expectation of that book, I would dare say.

written September 11, 2007 12:52 PM                      

quote:

Originally written by Thuryl:
Are you saying you don't have a problem with beating one's slaves as long as the intention is not to kill them?

I don’t have a problem with any kind of discipline for anyone as long as it’s not heavy handed. Israel used corporal punishment not just for slaves, but also for anyone disorderly. It also used monetary punishment. I don’t really like to speak against my government, but fines and beatings are far superior to imprisonment IMO, which did not exist under Jewish law. You don’t get criminals that hurt society and then make them a further burden in to society prison.

quote:

Originally written by Synergy:
Christendom is typically very good at not looking at its more problematic material. It quietly sweeps most of it under the rug. All of it that I experienced, and it was a decent diversity, didn’t remotely begint to foster critical thinking or the asking of those annoying kinds of questions I like to pose. It wants to hand pat answers and to pretend that it is all tidy and long ago concluded.

Christendom is not one united entity. But in general, I agree with you. I could not be in such a faith. What I do has to make sense and have real meaning. Much of Christendom’s faith is of the God-is-a-mystery-don’t-question-the-Bible type.

quote:

I’d apply your quote from Peter about the “last days” not to the modern world today, 2000 years later, but the end of the age of the law which occurred in 70 A.D. when Titus sacked Jerusalem. Those were the last days of which so much was prophesied in the first century in Matthew and Luke, and in Jesus lamenting that not one stone of the temple was going to be left upon another.

It did apply to the end of the Jewish system of things. Here is where the Bible gets deep though and you begin to see God’s wisdom – some prophecies have dual fulfillments. So well after 70 CE the apostle John received a revelation of the last days that would involve the complete destruction of all wickedness and the ushering in of a thousand year reign under Christ. That hasn’t happened yet. 66-70 C.E. was a minor fulfillment. What’s coming will be on a worldwide scale like the deluge, but more thorough. (Mat 24:21, 22, 37)

quote:

You say confusion does not come from God’s word? So what happens? God wrote a clear, unconfusing book, but if someone reads it, satan runs up and scrambles someone’s brain? Explain the process.

Confusion could come from Satan’s lies. It could also come from a lack of understanding. For example, if you live in western culture and “house” to you means “building that your immediate family lives in” and you don’t take the time to actually use a dictionary and see what the second definition is, find out how other cultures (in particular Eastern or African ones) use the word, or how the Bible itself uses the word in other places, then you will be confused. This also goes toward motivation. If you want to understand the you might do actual research or ask someone who knows, instead of getting information from people who hate the Bible and/or don’t have a clue about it themselves.

You would also not be critically searching for disharmony. If you and I are having a conversation and I’m hanging on your every word with the intent of catching a contradiction, I’ll miss your meaning. You also may not care to share your meaning with me since I’m not listening anyway. Which brings us to the most important factor in understanding – God himself. The Bible is clear that his spirit and his representatives are always involved in understanding his message. If you don’t have the right attitude he simply will not bother with making you understand.

Acts 8:29-31 So the spirit said to Philip: “Approach and join yourself to this chariot.” Philip ran alongside and heard him reading aloud Isaiah the prophet, and he said: “Do you actually know what you are reading?” He said: “Really, how could I ever do so, unless someone guided me?” And he entreated Philip to get on and sit down with him.

Mat 13:10-15 So the disciples came up and said to him: “Why is it you speak to them by the use of illustrations?” In reply he said: “To YOU it is granted to understand the sacred secrets of the kingdom of the heavens, but to those people it is not granted…For the heart of this people has grown unreceptive, and with their ears they have heard without response, and they have shut their eyes; that they might never see with their eyes and hear with their ears and get the sense of it with their hearts and turn back, and I heal them.’

House
1. a building in which people live; residence for human beings.
2. a household.
3. (often initial capital letter) a family, including ancestors and descendants: the great houses of France; the House of Hapsburg.

quote:

God suddenly seemed a whole lot less interested in killing all the opposition in the A.D. years.

The whole “New Testament” is about God’s kingdom under Christ that is going to do that very thing. In fact, that’s what the whole “Old Testament” is about. What book are you reading where you’re seeing something different? God is the same from cover to cover. He works off of the same principles. He has the same standards for his servants. His personality is exactly the same. The distinction is imagined.

Your comments are making me think you’re saying God doesn’t do the exact same thing all the time so he has changed. I don’t think that’s logical. In fact, you could make the same distinction between books within the so-called Testaments if you wanted to. It’s imagined though. I could give you hundreds of Christian Scriptures that mention vengeance, destruction, and judgment and hundreds of Hebrew Scriptures that talk about God’s love, his feelings being hurt when people do bad, his joy when he sees goodness in someone, his patience, his forgiveness and mercy. I could also say that sometimes you talk about video games, at others you talk about social issues, or science, or spirituality. Should I conclude that there are different Synergies or that there is one Synergy with a multi-faceted personality and interests?

The major change is Jesus presenting God more clearly. That means his love becomes more evident. That is his dominant quality. But it always has been. How many times does God forgive Israel before he gets fed up and then he still forgives them some more. How many times does he forgive really bad mistakes when a person is repentant in the Old Testament? If you know the Bible as you say then you probably know it’s difficult to count.

One of my favorite sections of scripture is Ezekiel 16 where God illustrates how he feels about Israel. He paints a picture of himself as a man that finds an abandoned baby girl just born. He takes her under his protection and pampers her and provides her with love and the best things life has to offer. When she is of age and beautiful because of his care he takes her as a wife. Then she betrays him and commits adultery with partner after partner and even becomes a prostitute. After all of that he promises that he will forgive her and conclude an eternal covenant with her again even though she broke the first one. He makes this promise while she is an adulteress and a prostitute, not after she comes back to him. I seriously doubt most people would forgive their mate so graciously if at all.

I think people tend to be focused on themselves and humanity and what they think God should be doing for them, while failing to see things from God’s perspective, which he readily and abundantly provides in the Bible. So no, I don’t see your point. Not even a little bit.

quote:

Lot’s wife may have been stupid, but it is an arbitrary and capricious God who says, “Don’t look back at the amazing, massive, noisy destruction of the city you spent your life in, because I will for no good reason punish you with it for death.” Would you really trust this kind of guy with your life and love and loyalty? Scares the hell out of me. You never know what He’s going to do or why. There’s no reasoning or mercy with the God of the OT.

Why aren’t Lot and his daughters killed then? Why did they have no problem obeying God? Why do you think disobeying God is not a good reason to die? Do you think he owes something to humanity or the other way around? Do you think when God says something is important he’s just playing a game or his words are to be taken lightly as if it’s not the Ruler of the Universe speaking? I really don’t get your perspective.

God protects them from a city full of men trying to abuse them. He compassionately drags them out of the city so they wouldn’t die. He tells them to take anyone who will leave with them out of the city as well and go to the mountains. When Lot says, “Please don’t make me go to the mountains. I want to go to a city.” God allows it and promises not to destroy that city and says he won’t act until Lot is safe. All he asks is that Lot and his people keep moving and don’t look behind. Just small things to show their obedience and support of his exercise of judgment against these very wicked cities. Her disobedience revealed that she was not on God’s side but that her heart was with those cities in which the men raped strangers who passed through. Also very telling is God’s discussion with Abraham in chapter 18:20-32 in which Abraham “reasons” with God about destruction of the city. If you can read this account and see God as unreasonable and merciless, then we’ll probably just have to agree to disagree. I think you want a lax God who never punishes wrongdoing. I thank God that he’s not that way and you reject him because he is. I personally think you fail to realize the very terrible repercussions if the God you wish for was God and also doubt that you are able to reconcile this being with reality.

quote:

I am wicked. You are wicked. Israel was endlessly wicked. Why are we all not put to death for our wickedness, for surely we have earned it?

So you aren’t going to die then? By what means are you going to live forever?

quote:

If the children of God are such wayward bastards, then God is a mighty poor, inept, and ill-prepared parent.

It’s true that Satan corrupted 2 of the 3 true human children of God have graced this planet, but that’s not God’s fault. He gave Adam and Eve everything good and they chose to abuse his gift. He also has heavenly children though. So when you look at the big picture most of God’s children are loyal. As for the rest of humanity, they are not God’s children. (Deut 32:4, 5) Good point though.

quote:

Rahab was a mythological sea demon from ancient Semitic culture. That the book of Psalms refers to Rahab as an actual creature God dealt with is not dismissable as something we have not found yet that once existed. How about the flying fiery critters? Explain the laws of physics that enable an animal to breathe fire?

This, my friend, is not a good point. There are myriads of myths about all sorts of creatures, from pigs, to rats, to crows, and fish that perform all manner of fantastic acts. Are these mythological animals?

Do you know what a fire ant is? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_ant Do you think it’s called a fire ant because it breathes fire? What about the bombadier beetle who is able to “fire” at its enemies and kill or incapacitate them? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombadier_Beetle Very little from the animal kingdom surprises me anymore. If certain books of the Bible taught animal worship like in certain religions I would be concerned, but the fact that it refers to creatures you think never existed or that have myth surrounding them does not worry me. It’s not even a good argument.

quote:

I also believe studiers of linguistics and language development would be highly insulted to be asked to believe that all languages instantly came into being about 4000 years ago in Mesopotamia.

I didn’t say that, nor does the Bible claim such a thing. It says that at one point all people could communicate and then God confused their languages. Of course other dialects would develop later.

“(The Bible) reliably conveys God’s message so that a person can know God and what he wants from them.”

Aren’t you contradicting yourself here? Show me how the Bible has reliably or with any remote consistency been comprehended and employed in the last 2000 years? Even in the first century A.D. Peter and Paul taught opposing gospels and had a controversy with one another. So much for God guaranteeing that His truth was clearly and “reliably” communicated to humankind. Even the saints had their differences. Peter and the 12 taught grace and works as necessary for salvation to the Jews. Paul, who spent three years in the desert receiving his revelation, preached a beautiful word of universal redemption based on grace alone to the rest of the world.

...

I still maintain my assertion that in the NT we have no picture of God seeing it necessary to slaughter anyone, but instead instructs us to love our enemies, not kill them for their wickedness, and this is very different behavior, focus, and instruction from what we are given in the OT. The God of the NT stopped giving endless prophecies about all the woeful things coming to all the wicked nations of the earth too. You don’t find this radical shift in focus and concern by God to be a bit suspect at best? All credibility goes out the window here, because in my opinion this demonstrates complete capitulation of one’s critical reasoning.

Again, God destroying Lot’s wife for wanting to look at the most amazing and irresistible thing she’d ever see in her life is such an unbelievably pointless and stupid test and punishment to inflict upon a simple soul, that it screams absurdity. I can’t find it in my heart to allocate one drop of awe and admiration for the wisdom, mercy, and purposefulness of such a purported God. The story is rubbish.

All this harping about phsyical death being the wages of missing the mark shows how carnal-minded we are, concerned with our physical being. The death that comes from living disconnected from the Source and living by our own fashioned conscience judging good and evil is our spiritual death, which physical death merely corroborates. The spiritual death is the tragedy though.

“It’s true that Satan corrupted 2 of the 3 true human children of God have graced this planet, but that’s not God’s fault.”

It most certainly is. According to Christian mythology, God created an angel who became satan or directly created satan. Either way, sovereign God is responsible for His creation doing exactly what He designed and created it to do, including us.

“Isa 54:16 Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the fire of coals, and bringeth forth a weapon for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy.”

Isa 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil. I am Jehovah, that doeth all these things.

Isa 46:10: “My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure”

Psa 90:3 “ 3 Thou turnest man to destruction, And sayest, Return, ye children of men.”

Seems to me the message is that Jehovah does all he pleases and desires, holds the reins and makes the moves...with either His right hand of favor, or His left hand of disfavor/correction. He creates the evil and the waster to destroy. Your God, Stillness, is not sovereign, and is not in precognition or control of His own creation-and therefore is no God at all. The adversarial agencies that the ancient archetype of satan represents cannot be other than the very left hand of God Himself, serving His will at all times. No loose cannons on the deck. God cannot be surprised or foiled by His own creation. Thuryl is repeatedly attempting to make this very plain, salient, logical point, which I would imagine any child could understand before being made sevenfold a child of the devil by being indoctrinated with the most foolish concepts of God by others...who mean well, God bless them.

...

Your questions. I didn’t see where you asked any of these previously, by the way:

“How does suffering fit in with your concept of God? Does he allow it? Is he powerless to stop it? Does he cause it?”

I think I answered this in my last post, but the short answer again, is God has subjected the creation to futility and promised its entire redemption, just as Paul said. Therefore, He is the One Who chose this path of suffering and futility for us at this time. He is not powerless to stop it, just as a control-freak parent could lock his child up in the basement so that it never comes into contact with a dangerious world, but that would not be wise rearing of one’s child now, would it. Because we are meant to be strong to face and overcome the traps of the world. An exotic plant in a greehouse dies readily when placed outside in the real storm. Adam and Eve in the garden = an exotic plant in a greenhouse with no backbone and no teeth. You can’t govern the universe, let alone yourself, as an ignorant, untried, inexperienced, unwise babe. I have no problem seeing the purposefulness in God subjecting creation to this path. Again, you can look at the scriptures I quoted here or others like it to get an idea how actively God seems to think He takes part in evils and destruction and the agnecies of destruction upon the earth.

“1 Why should anyone get to live if they’re not willing to cooperate with God?”

Would you put your child to death for being a rebellious teenager? If you are a good parent, you have better means at your disposal to work on the behalf of the bettering of your own flesh and blood than ending its existence. God doesn’t have to put anything to death for its waywardness. The wages of sin, of missing the mark of perfection, simply is death, and spiritual death at that. God is in the resurrection business though, so even death need not be the ultimate end of the matter. The provision had been made even before the foundations of the world were lain...so sayeth the holy writ.

“2 Are you anti-death penalty, anti-war, anti-abortion?”

Let the dead bury the dead. I wish to have nothing to do with the governmental policing and punishing of citizens in this life. I seek to employ my energies more effectively being pro-stance, not anti-stance. For all my devil’s advocating and penchant for challenging norms in a forum like this, I most like to advocate for what I do see and believe in and hope in. The world will do what it does, and I am here to contribute what I can to help add pieces toward building a better world, and I see this role as one of be-ing and modeling, rather than through the politics of the earthly. I think war is absurdly tragic, abortion sad, and death penalty an unfortunate reality of where we are at, since we have yet to learn well how to turn lives around or demonstrate the kind of grace, forgiveness, and restoration the gospels are about and promise. If Christians had done a better job being in spirit what they have sought to inflict by force and politics upon the earth in this age, I expect we’d see a lot more progress in all this ongoing death we continue to reap. It is not my place to judge or condemn anyone for their behavior, but I can be revulsed, outraged, and heartbroken to observe it. But I will let the dead bury the dead.

“3 Explain how you harmonize the suffering that exists with your God who is much smarter, much more loving, and generally better than mine.”

I think I already did that. This isn’t a pissing contest about whose God is better, really. I mock, believe it or not, with underlying affection, but I do mock what I see as absurdity. My point, as I would put it, is that God must be and certainly is much more sovereign, purposeful, wise, meaningful, and balanced, than I feel the mainline dogma of Christianity you are defending can ever possibly hope to present. There is a reason the majority of the world has ultimately rejected this messy and revulsive vision of God they are presented, both in the message, and even moreso in the fearmongering, judgemental message-bearers the typical Christian tends to be.

Great big baby in the bathwater, but man the bath is sullied. And that too is a part of the Great Plan, rather than representing another something that got out from under God’s will and purpose for us.

-S-

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Man or God in General
Shaper
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Profile #64
quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

If you want to use the biblical account to blame God since he created man with the capacity to rebel and allowed it to happen I don't really have a big problem with it.
Stillness, my friend, I think you really should have a big problem with it. Christianity can't make up its mind or reconcile how sovereign God actually is, and you just can't have it both ways. Sovereign God must be given credit for the existence and proliferation of what we call evil.

The fact that the travail of good and evil is our human experience, and by the nature of the God I can say I know to the degree I know God at all, I know that what is transpiring is not a creation that got away from God because God gave us free will. There are no loose cannons on the deck of God’s ship. A child doesn't even really have free will. A parent has so much more maturity and capacity to use myriad ways to direct, shape, and manipulate a child. The child has scarcely a clue what is going on in the mysterious minds and intentions of Mom and Dad. God has even more such capacity of will and intention if God is God at all. It requires no coercion upon will at all. If we are suffering the travail of going our own tumultuous course in humankind, it is because God willed that it be our experience, seeing a higher purpose and ultimate benefit from our having done so. I also see that it is a progressive, unfolding experience that will take us where we are going in due time. We haven't seen the end from the means yet by which to pass our judgement from our premature vantage point.

The bottom line for me is that God is very mysterious and unknowable and huge to me. God is also intimately intertwined with each of us and readily accessible within our very being, which I think someone like Jesus or Paul sought to demonstrate and teach, assuming we have true accounts of their words and teachings (obviously someone had these ideas for them to be written at all.) Jesus said, "The Kingdom of Heaven is within you." God is in a metaphorical sense the Father of all, and is a perfecty apt and capable and wise Father from whom nothing has gone awry. The adversarial opposing force represented by the archetype of satan is a much a part of God and His will as the divine sacrifice for the redemption of all.

As Love and Rockets once proposed, "To go against nature is part of nature too." For humankind to fumble and stumble and suffer through many evils caused by the selfishness and myopia of our collective youth is a necessary part of our growing up. Failure is a necessary part of the truest success. The God I know, love, admire, and embrace, is in control, yet needs to "control" nothing. The spiritual laws ordained already reflect and execute the will of God. He doesn't have to pull strings. God is freely available to any who seeks diligently. There is a reason a secular or Christian healer alike can tap into seemingly mystical powers to invoke changes we may call supernatural. It is not by rote formula or subscription to the proper God or incantation. It is the power innate in us precisely because we are the children of God embued ultimately with God's nature and capacities to create and speak things into existence...so to speak. Belief/faith and collective strength in what we will are keys to being effective. It is handed to us with the capacity to be selfish, temporal, and destructive, or to serve the greater good of the many in a more mature and lasting fashion. We are struggling in the realm of both.

I have personally experienced a "miracle" to my own body, though I don’t say so with the expectation that any skeptic would be convinced by my simple assertion. I watched and felt my right leg grow a half inch longer at the age of ten while being prayed over by a Christian minister named Derek Prince. It was medically verified subsequently that my legs were no longer of different lengths afterward. This no longer proves the Christian God or worthiness to me specifically, because many cultures and religions have found ways to tap into such "otherworldly" practice where wills unite through the gifted or honed. I believe in a God, who, as Scriptures state, "rains on the just and the unjust."

[quote]Thinking that the only two possibilities are God making a mistake and God wanting humans to be evil is also flawed.[/quote]You have overlooked the very reasonable possibility, likelihood, or really, if your God is truly sovereign, the necessary answer that God wholly intended for us to experience struggling through good and evil for a season, even if it is a very long one, and that other promises and implications of the nature of God to resolve, heal, reconcile, and enlighten all things in due time, is yet destined to come to completion, but is surely a work in process.

The bottom line to me is that I trust God and in the ultimate goodness and purposefulness of God. I can’t see how any Christian who settles for such a mishmashed, self-conflicting explanation of God can truly embrace God, trust God, or love God in the deepest core of their being. I am convinced that at the deepest level, there is a revulsion and withholding. Anyone who “resists God” is only resisting a false image of God, for there is nothing the remotest bit resistible about God as God is...which is so largely out of our sight and grasp, yet readily viewable within your fellow human being, if you are not tainted by an evil eye that sees us as wretched sinners deserving of slaughter for being ignorant children. The children will grow up, and grow up well. I trust the Father. The Christian scriptures say that He holds the keys of death and hell. All negative agencies of God serve His purpose and have their end. At the end of the Revelation, John in his vision (or psychosis-you decide) sees death and hell cast into the lake of fire (and destroyed), declaring afterward that “there is no more death” and that all eyes are dried of tears. If God declared that the consequences of going our own wayward way as untried and immature children is death, then even death ultimately has no sting, because He is master over life and death, and all serve His will and purpose.

The mechanics and timeframe of how all this unfolds is beyond anyone and any religion to comprehend or commit to paper. Christianity has its role in acknowledging and tasting facets of the realities, but are not exclusive participants. God’s not the kind of God Who lets anything slip through the cracks ultimately. As the Scriptures depicted, He is the good Shepherd who leaves the 99 sheep behind in the fold to go actively collect and carry back the one last lost sheep. That’s the kind o’ guy “He” is. Too bad Christendom lost the vision it was probably given of the true sovereignty and universality of God’s will and purpose.

For God’s will to outrank and ultimately overrule ours does not require fear, force, or coercion (though it does take fire, a fire that purifies and transforms elements, rather than torture or destroy.) It merely requires Him to be smarter and more able than us. Like I said, I think it’s no trick at all to have someone fall forever in love with God if they get a true glimpse. God is not in the business of revealing too much prematurely, because, I suppose, it would circumvent the very necessary messy process we are in right now, plus, our capacity of the children of whatever age we are renders us incapable of grasping much of what we might see. The onus and burden of proof of faithfulness and worthiness and loveliness is wholly on God, the Father (Who is also the Mother and everything else to us). God is to be demonstrated actively to your life for your desire and conviction to be unleashed.

In real life, we do not require someone to place faith in someone they have not personally been able to experience and verify as faithful. Why do some demand faith and trust in a God not known or seen by the masses in order for God to show them any grace or favor? Faith requires personal experience, not hearsay. The Bible, as wonderful as many of its contents are, is merely hearsay.

I dearly love God, as unknowable as God is to me in so many ways. What I do know and sense in my whole being, is lovely indeed and wholly trustworthy. I am learning to trust in that which I do not know or understand. I trust in the nature I see. And i see the nature of God in the best of human capacity and expression, through a glass darkly. And so I dearly love my fellow human being, because I see God in you, the vessel housing and expressing God to me. I might add, I do so in great imperfection more often than not, but that too, is okay, rather than a cause for grief or derision or loathing. Much of Christendom sees humankind as evil and condemns it accordingly. I don't. I can't. To do so is to call God evil.

It is a great mystery, but God, Whose ways are said to be higher than ours, can use what we deign evil to work good and not be at fault for it. Like I said, we are not fit to judge until we have seen the conclusion, and methinks we are scarcely past the beginning of the beginning of our experience as spiritual beings in human bodies. As youngsters, we are both immature, and likely to draw all kinds of erroneous conclusions.

-S-

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Episode 4: Spiderweb Reloaded. Something like that anyway. in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #110
S is for Subversive.

-S-

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Episode 4: Spiderweb Reloaded. Something like that anyway. in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #108
I got mentioned not so surprisingly not at all.

:P

-S-

[ Sunday, September 09, 2007 16:58: Message edited by: Synergy ]

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I'm not sure if anyone has noticed but... in Avernum 4
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #1
Are you sure this is new? Mac testing has been going on for three weeks. It's possible more testers are needed at this point.

-S-

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Heads will roll in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #8
BOB and the Church of the Subgenius covered this territory better.

-S-

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Demo questions in Geneforge 4: Rebellion
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #11
Hmmmm. >:/

Ya know...no matter what you do with purchased copies of a SW game, assuming you did legally acquire them, SW will not lose money. If two copies were bought, you would have bought one for yourself, and whomever you give it to may or may not have bought one. Either way two were bought, which may be one more than would have been bought normally. Something sounds screwy here.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Episode 4: Spiderweb Reloaded. Something like that anyway. in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #97
quote:
Originally written by Nikki xx:

the other people are random bored members.

FYT

...

The kittens could use some salt.

-S-

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Key V in Nethergate
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #4
There's more than one way to skin a Selkie. There is a very different way to get into that treasure room. Have you explored the whole dungeon?

-S-

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Key 6 and other stuff in Nethergate
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #1
QUEST ITEM: Gryphon Feather (catch Gryphon Feather: Need 6 Dexterity with one PC). What is the highest Dexterity one of your PCs has? Have you actually met the gryphon who drops the feather? You didn't describe what you are trying or what is or is not happening. Hard to help you more specifically.

Regarding the cliff in the east...have you been to the Vale of the Sould yet?

-S-

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Key V in Nethergate
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #1
It's not a bridge. It's an opened up wall granting you access to a chamber immediately to the east of where you are talking with the Selkie chief. Check the bodies which were closed up in there and you will find what you are looking for.

-S-

P.S. Doing the quest for the Selkies is the only way to get Key V in the game, no matter which side you are playing. There is nothing stopping you from doing the Selkie quest first, then doing the Hags' quest immediately or any time afterward. Have the best of both worlds. If you like efficiency, do it all on the same visit...in the correct sequence.

[ Sunday, September 02, 2007 18:32: Message edited by: Synergy ]

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Man or God in General
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Profile #53
Stillness, thanks for taking up the challenge to address so many specific points. I appreciate that.

You do realize I didn’t construct that list or its arguments myself, right? I would make my arguments in some cases differently, but I was still interested to see how you perceive and reconcile the passages cited. I also, as a one time Christian, know how I would have been inclined to counter many of these points myself, because as a worshipper of the Bible-god, it had to be the case. More interestingly to myself, I rarely heard any of these points addressed in a Christian context. Christendom is typically very good at not looking at its more problematic material. It quietly sweeps most of it under the rug. All of it that I experienced, and it was a decent diversity, didn’t remotely begint to foster critical thinking or the asking of those annoying kinds of questions I like to pose. It wants to hand pat answers and to pretend that it is all tidy and long ago concluded.

I am playing devil’s advocate here. Not all views expressed necessarily reflect the views of Synergy, Inc. or its affiliates.

To step back into the Christian context, I’d apply your quote from Peter about the “last days” not to the modern world today, 2000 years later, but the end of the age of the law which occurred in 70 A.D. when Titus sacked Jerusalem. Those were the last days of which so much was prophesied in the first century in Matthew and Luke, and in Jesus lamenting that not one stone of the temple was going to be left upon another. Assuming those prophecies were made as written, they foresaw the terrible end to many centuries of a Jewish way of life...far more relevant and timely for the Jews than something happening in the distant world millennia later. We like to think everything’s about ourselves, a foolish conceit of every generation, if you ask me.

You say confusion does not come from God’s word? So what happens? God wrote a clear, unconfusing book, but if someone reads it, satan runs up and scrambles someone’s brain? Explain the process. And if it helps, I am not under the conviction that God owes humanity a book at all or that any spiritual writing is supposed to be written plainly as a textbook. Conversely, I see spiritual communication as highly figurative and symbolic, like dream language, and not readily literalized and pinned down. I’m engaging an assertion that we are obligated to the contents of the Bible for our eternal destiny, and therefore everything rides upon our clear understanding of it, that’s its testimony is that its divine author is perfect and maintained it with a purpose in mind. Did He achieve that purpose, and did He do it well...at all?

Do you truly see God’s activity and personality as being uniform in the OT and NT? Yikes. How come he didn’t send Israel out to slaughter the Samaritans and purify the Promised Land again? Or the Romans? Jehovah determines it is wise and loving and good and true to slaughter all heathens to the man, woman, child, and animal in the OT. God suddenly seemed a whole lot less interested in killing all the opposition in the A.D. years. That’s not a little tiny bit different in focus, activity, and personality to you?

“If the slave did not die immediately, that would indicate that the master did not have murder in his heart.” I must disagree with this logic. A master could just be very bad at actually killing someone in a rage as intended. The implication is that Biblical law treated slaves as disposable property of lesser or little value, much as it did women. This is reflective of partiarchal ancient cultural values very nicely, but not of the God of the NT whom you claim authored everything in the OT with the same mind and heart and intention. God seemed awfully behind the curve on His own enlightenment in OT times. He had no problem with slavery and polygamy and animal sacrifice and wholesale slaughter in the OT. In the NT it’s “forgive your enemies.” Oh, we are to forgive our enemies, but God gets to slaughter or broil them? Do as I say, not as I do.

OK...if you will...God is not a “murderer” by your definition, but He is a mass-killer far beyond the scope of Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Countess Elizabeth Bathory, and Vlad the Impaler combined. God takes away life from a hella lotta people, and in a most savage, unmerciful fashion, nicely justifying so very many a bloody campaign ancient Israel embarked upon to expand their holdings. Why has God stopped slaughtering the wicked inhabitants of the earth as He did in so many ways in OT times? God figured out it wasn’t working and had to scrap up something new to try?

Lot’s wife may have been stupid, but it is an arbitrary and capricious God who says, “Don’t look back at the amazing, massive, noisy destruction of the city you spent your life in, because I will for no good reason punish you with it for death.” Would you really trust this kind of guy with your life and love and loyalty? Scares the hell out of me. You never know what He’s going to do or why. There’s no reasoning or mercy with the God of the OT.

Which reminds me of this fantastic short story I read in a Reader’s Digest as a kid in which two archaelogists discover the preserved body of Lot’s wife in a foreign storeroom, indeed yet a pillar of salt, and she is lovely. They realize only they have figured out who and what she is, that no one else realized what they had on their hands. They put her in the back of their truck to smuggle her out of the country, gleefully rubbing their hands at their amazing discovery. They are crossing a border in a fierce storm at night for cover, and are afraid they are being caught when the guard goes back to open the back of their truck. They crouch in front, expecting quick arrest or worst, but the guard waves them on, miraculously, apparently not discovering their purloined artifact. They can’t believe their good fortune. They drive into the next country. It is only when they finally open the back of the truck themselves to extract their treasure, when they realize, with horror, what has occurred. There is no Lot’s wife in the back of the truck. She has dissolved into nothing in the rain that has blown inside. It was a great short story. Back to the matter at hand.

Are you saying the God of the NT who instructs us to turn the other cheek and to forgive your brother 70 x 7 in a day, if necessary, is the same who has 3000 men slaughtered for not keeping a vow and 42 children mauled for making fun of a prophet? You don’t see the disconnect here? Do as I say, not as I do? Random, capricious determination how I will deal with wickedness today? God seems awfully moody and unpredictable. Is this the same guy who gave “an eye for an eye?” How is being mauled to death as a child the just price for making fun of someone’s bald head? If you justify it, I hope to never meet you and that you never find yourself in a position of power to judge or legislate anything in this world. Christians scare me, because they operate by the frightful kind of God they think they known through this Bible, a hopelessly conflicted and angry God who broils His babies for being bad, but puts His own son to death in the largely misplaced hope to redeem all his children.

I am wicked. You are wicked. Israel was endlessly wicked. Why are we all not put to death for our wickedness, for surely we have earned it? God arbitrarily selects some here and there, now and again for slaughter in the vain hope that it will terrify the remaining into being a bit less wicked for a little while?

“So if you interpret the scriptures as you have and find conflict and wickedness on God’s part, then know that it is only your interpretation in which these things exist.”

I am, I believe, a reasonable man, and I would suggest that many who find contradiction and outrage in the messages of the Bible are also reasonable people with good hearts, even hearts made in the image and substance of the true God that actually is. We are beings said to be the children of God and made in His image. This means the essence of our nature and heart is akin and of the kind that is God’s. How we are best able and inclined to love and protect and wisely raise our children is reflective of the nature of God and how He regards and loves and protects and seeks to wisely raise His children. So how come God’s so inept at raising his own children to understand, love, obey, and honor Him and better themselves?

In the natural, when children go astray, I see the onus as being upon the parents, not the wayward children. If the children of God are such wayward bastards, then God is a mighty poor, inept, and ill-prepared parent. If a supposed “satan” can so easily seduce and steal away the vast majority of God’s own children out from His own house, then God is a father children are eager to abandon. What earthly children with a good father do that??? What’s wrong with this picture? In familes where parents and children are well-bonded, where siblings have bonded, good luck at anyone coming in to tear that family and its loyalties apart. Look what the Italians achieve in family loyalty in their ungodly waywardness and wickedness. It puts what Jehovah was able to achieve with Israel and Christendom to shame. The sovereign, ominscient, bringer of all things into being according to His will and calling it all good...this God as depicted and interpreted in Scripture is an abysmal failure. By definition, a God with an unstoppable and uncontrollable cannon on the loose deck of his own ship which He is fighting against but either cannot or will not defeat...is no god at all.

Rahab was a mythological sea demon from ancient Semitic culture. That the book of Psalms refers to Rahab as an actual creature God dealt with is not dismissable as something we have not found yet that once existed. How about the flying fiery critters? Explain the laws of physics that enable an animal to breathe fire?

Floods are common, overlapping ancient tales, common to any place that had rivers, and ancient civs were formed along rivers. Floods would figure prominently in their tales of old. Noah’s flood as it is found in the Bible is hardly “corroborated.” All that is corroborated is a common ancient mythology built out of flood tales, of which Noah’s story is predated. I also believe studiers of linguistics and language development would be highly insulted to be asked to believe that all languages instantly came into being about 4000 years ago in Mesopotamia.

Again you assert the Bible is “reliable.” Please define in no uncertain terms what that means by your definition...reliable. And reliable to accomplish what? If God acted supernaturally to give, maintain, and preserve His vital handbook from heaven, as I believe you assert, how many errors could, would, or should this God be inclined to permit for us to consider it still preserved and reliable to His satisfaction? If God were involved at all in this remarkable supernatural, interferatory fashion, why would it be less than perfectly done? God does things halfway, halfheartedly? Carelessly? I would say you seem content to be satisfied with a most careless and unimpressive God. The Bible gives no appearance of any special creation or preservation at all. It’s riven with all kinds of messy and problematic stuff, like all other human endeavors carried out by many persons over disparate times and places.

Where do the evil nephilim giants keep coming from? God sent a flood to wipe out all these nasty evil beasts from the earth, but I guess they came back? Mutated? Evolved? Demon spawn? What’s your theory about these bizarre, recurring beings that have now completely once again disappeared, despite not having been done in for good by the flood?

If you read the book of Jashar, which is referred to twice in the OT as another apparently respectable accounting of Hebrew exploits, well, in Jashar you will read exploits of the most absurd mythological proportions to show how ridiculous it is to take ancient Hebrew stories seriously as historical accounts. The sons of Joseph are strong enough to leap over the high walls of a city in a single jump, etc., just like Superman. If the God of the Bible inspired all its words and keeping, why did He permit reverential references to Jashar in it? God’s omniscient and God is the supernatural keeper of the sacred text. Why would God have his text refer to a much more plainly embellished and unbelievable book?

Jos 10:13 And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, Until the nation had avenged themselves of their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jashar? And the sun stayed in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.

2Sa 1:18 (and he bade them teach the children of Judah the song of the bow: behold, it is written in the book of Jashar):

Have you ever read Jashar to see how absurd it is, and how it steals credibility from the OT texts that WERE deemed canon?

So, are you saying that in the Bible, I’m not ever easily to know what “house” is supposed to mean in any context, because it may or may not mean a house/household? But I am supposed to base my eternal fate upon my clear understanding and following of the very sloppy, slippery communicator who gives me this sort of loaded fare to do it by? Is that best you expect of the fashioner of 100 billion galaxies and 100 billion souls? Where there is smoke there is fire, and where there is mud...what?

Please explain to me how I am supposed to know when to take God’s words literally and when not. Cuz, like, you know, it seems kinda important when not knowing for sure can get me savagely mauled by beasts, drowned in a deluge, or sawed up by Godly Hebrews. If God did not mean that he would forever blot out the remembrance of someone when He says so in those words....I dunno man...again, abysmally poor and unpredictable communicator. What a loser. I can write circles around God if I really want to communicate something succinctly. Matters of life and death deserve the u t m o s t o f c l a r i t y . Ya think? God’s got a wickedly perverse sense of humor, it would seem.

God has to protect David from being influenced by satan? But in Job, satan is not able or permitted or even thinking to do anything to Job until God suggests it. Seems to me more like satan is God’s puppet to carry out His will. Nice theory that “God allowed satan to do it” but it reads: “2 Sam 24:1 And again the anger of Jehovah was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them, saying, Go, number Israel and Judah.”

“He moved” is not passive, it is active and direct, and this satan is nowhere in sight. Exceedingly poor communication if God meant to suggest satan did it, not Him...ya think? Is God far sloppier than any copy editor today would permit?

There is also a huge difference between God permitting people to believe lies and “causing a lying spirit”. The words sure read direct...or is this yet another of myriad examples where mighty Jehovah says one thing, but really means something a different collective of words would have communicated about a thousand times more accurately?

My conclusion is that the bar for God’s specificity for so many is so low, no one could limbo beneath it to save their life.

-S-

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The Sky Is Falling...? in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #249
There is no wholly "reliable" source. The question should be, are significant statements such as the following true, and how hard are they to verify. Get to it, sciency sorts. Are the main assertions of the following two sections true, the first on the so-called "consensus" and the second on how climate models, upon which so much global warming hysteria rides, are fashioned? One of my biggest reasons for not being concerned about CO2 is that I think our computer models "proving it" are complete bunk based on very unscientific assumptions. They are fashioned to generate the intended results (water vapor = a positive reinforcment, etc.)

"In identifying the burning of fossil fuels as the chief cause of warming today, many politicians and environmental activists simply appeal to a so-called “scientific consensus.” There are two things wrong with this. First, there is no such consensus: An increasing number of climate scientists are raising serious questions about the political rush to judgment on this issue. For example, the widely touted “consensus” of 2,500 scientists on the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is an illusion: Most of the panelists have no scientific qualifications, and many of the others object to some part of the IPCC’s report. The Associated Press reported recently that only 52 climate scientists contributed to the report’s “Summary for Policymakers.”

Likewise, only about a dozen members of the governing board voted on the “consensus statement” on climate change by the American Meteorological Society (AMS). Rank and file AMS scientists never had a say, which is why so many of them are now openly rebelling. Estimates of skepticism within the AMS regarding man-made global warming are well over 50 percent.

The second reason not to rely on a “scientific consensus” in these matters is that this is not how science works. After all, scientific advances customarily come from a minority of scientists who challenge the majority view—or even just a single person (think of Galileo or Einstein). Science proceeds by the scientific method and draws conclusions based on evidence, not on a show of hands."

,,,

"report—that every major greenhouse computer model (there are two dozen or so) shows a large temperature increase due to human burning of fossil fuels? Fortunately, there is a scientific way of testing these models to see whether current warming is due to a man-made greenhouse effect. It involves comparing the actual or observed pattern of warming with the warming pattern predicted by or calculated from the models. Essentially, we try to see if the “fingerprints” match—“fingerprints” meaning the rates of warming at different latitudes and altitudes.

For instance, theoretically, greenhouse warming in the tropics should register at increasingly high rates as one moves from the surface of the earth up into the atmosphere, peaking at about six miles above the earth’s surface. At that point, the level should be greater than at the surface by about a factor of three and quite pronounced, according to all the computer models. In reality, however, there is no increase at all. In fact, the data from balloon-borne radiosondes show the very opposite: a slight decrease in warming over the equator.

The fact that the observed and predicted patterns of warming don’t match indicates that the man-made greenhouse contribution to current temperature change is insignificant. This fact emerges from data and graphs collected in the Climate Change Science Program Report 1.1, published by the federal government in April 2006 (see www.climatescience.gov/Library/sap/sap1-1/finalreport/default.htm). It is remarkable and puzzling that few have noticed this disparity between observed and predicted patterns of warming and drawn the obvious scientific conclusion.

What explains why greenhouse computer models predict temperature trends that are so much larger than those observed? The answer lies in the proper evaluation of feedback within the models. Remember that in addition to carbon dioxide, the real atmosphere contains water vapor, the most powerful greenhouse gas. Every one of the climate models calculates a significant positive feedback from water vapor—i.e., a feedback that amplifies the warming effect of the CO2 increase by an average factor of two or three. But it is quite possible that the water vapor feedback is negative rather than positive and thereby reduces the effect of increased CO2."

-S-

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A4 ItemsA4 SingletonG4 ItemsG4 ForgingG4 Infiltrator NR Items The Lonely Celt
Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
The Sky Is Falling...? in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #247
http://www.hillsdale.edu/news/imprimis.asp

-S-

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A4 ItemsA4 SingletonG4 ItemsG4 ForgingG4 Infiltrator NR Items The Lonely Celt
Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Man or God in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #39
Stillness wrote:
"The arguments about the Bible passing through human hands is only valid if God doesn’t exist or if he didn’t mean the Bible to be given to humans. If he exists and wanted the Bible to be, then he certainly can protect it."

Did you actually read the article on year mistranslation or just my blurb about it? Quote and contend something from the article.

"God preserving it doesn’t require that humans not make mistakes. It requires that we are able to sort them out"

wtf??? That's your definition of God protecting and preserving His perfect Word? He carelessly, partially, arbitrarily protects it from error? So, tell me, whose opinion on what the correct sorting of these kinds of mistakes are we supposed to believe? How do you personally know what God originally said and meant through the myriad errors and contradictions and literal absurdities? Please do elaborate.

"Just because an animal doesn’t exist now doesn’t mean it didn’t exist in the past."

I don't believe we've found any giant, dragon, or unicorn skeletons yet, which shouldn't be hard to do considering they should be 6000 years old or less.

""When Jesus was crucified, there was three hours of complete darkness "over all the earth." It is strange that there is no record of this extraordinary event outside of the gospels. 23:44-45"

So you conclude it did not happen because you don’t know of any other record? Is that logical? Also, it would be dark already in other places on the globe. But,most likely “earth” here means “land” as Matthew and Mark’s accounts indicate."

I would think Josephus, at the very least, would have recorded such a hugely witnessed supernatural event during that era. The fact that virtually every such assertion of magical earthly events is never corroborated by any other ancient record is highly suspect at best, ya think? The sundial turning back some hours? The sun standing still? The plagues of Egypt? Nothing on record anywhere. Heck, they can't even find definitive proof that King David ever existed or that Israel wielded the power and influence Scriptures claim during his era.

Stillness, you won't be permitted to dodge salient points in this one and just move on with a casual dismissive wave of your hand and contradictorty reassertion that somehow God created and preserved His perfect word, except it's not perfect or reliable actually, but that doesn't actually matter. I want you to address any number of apparent contradictions or impossibilities in Scripture. Try http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/donald_morgan/inconsistencies.html for the moment. Actually engage the material specifically. I want to see how you have actually addressed, handled, justified, and dismissed any seeming problems Scriptures like these raise.

Here. I'll help you out by selecting just a few to address, because I doubt you really will on your own. Please explain these, since God has given you everything you need to know what He meant to communicate.

GE 6:19-22, 7:8-9, 7:14-16 Two of each kind are to be taken, and are taken, aboard Noah's Ark.?GE 7:2-5 Seven pairs of some kinds are to be taken (and are taken) aboard the Ark.

GE 6:4 There were Nephilim (giants) before the Flood.?GE 7:21 All creatures other than Noah and his clan were annihilated by the Flood.?NU 13:33 There were Nephilim after the Flood.

GE 12:7, 17:1, 18:1, 26:2, 32:30, EX 3:16, 6:2-3, 24:9-11, 33:11, NU 12:7-8, 14:14, JB 42:5, AM 7:7-8, 9:1 God is seen.?EX 33:20, JN 1:18, 1JN 4:12 God is not seen. No one can see God's face and live. No one has ever seen him.

EX 12:30 The Lord kills all the first-born of Egypt and there is not a house where there is not at least one dead. (This means that there was not a house in Egypt that did not include at least one first-born---a most unusual situation.)

EX 12:37, NU 1:45-46 The number of men of military age who take part in the Exodus is given as about 600,000. Allowing for women, children, and older men would probably mean that a total of more than 2,000,000 Israelites left Egypt at a time when the whole population of Egypt was less than 2,000,000.

EX 17:14 God says that he will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek. ?DT 25:19 "... you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven; you must not forget." ?(That remembrance is now permanently preserved in the Bible.)

2SA 24:1 The Lord inspired David to take the census.?1CH 21:1 Satan inspired the census.

1KI 8:13, AC 7:47 Solomon, whom God made the wisest man ever, built his temple as an abode for God.?AC 7:48-49 God does not dwell in temples built by men.

1KI 15:14 Asa did not remove the high places.?2CH 14:2-3 He did remove them.

1KI 22:23, 2CH 18:22, 2TH 2:11 God himself causes a lying spirit.?PR 12:22 God abhors lying lips and delights in honesty.

James 1:13 says "..for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man."
Gen 22:1 says "And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham..."

God is ignorant?

Lev 11:20-21: "All fowls that creep, going upon all four, shall be an abomination unto you."
Fowl do not go upon all four.

Lev 11:6: "And the hare, because he cheweth the cud..."
Hare do not chew the cud.

Deut 14:7: " "...as the camel, and the hare, and the coney: for they chew the cud, but divide not the hoof."
For the hare this is wrong on both counts: Hare don’t chew the cud and they do divide the "hoof."

Seriously, man, just tackle these and explain away how God divinely inspired these things and preserved them to properly guide us for all time?

-S-

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A4 ItemsA4 SingletonG4 ItemsG4 ForgingG4 Infiltrator NR Items The Lonely Celt
Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Man or God in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #37
And a relative point made earlier, but ignored, which I think may be the most basically central to the whole concept of God delivering a book to humanity...what an inept author. That "His" writings should inspire so much confusion, division, contrariness, splits, denominations, bickering, wars, and evils shows how wise and capable the Christian God is of delivering clear instructions and intentions to humanking. That people worship this pathetic communicator unquestioningly shows how low the bar lies for qualifying to be God. I hold the bar a bit higher if God is going to claim to author a book to save humankind and deliver it into His Kingdom of love and perfection. If you look at it historically, what a colossal failure. 2000 years later of Bible inundation, and the world seems little closer to the promised Kingdom of God swallowing it up. But Jesus is of course coming back this year, and if not this year, then the next, and the next after that...hold on just a little longer folks. It's never here, but always just around the corner.

-S-

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A4 ItemsA4 SingletonG4 ItemsG4 ForgingG4 Infiltrator NR Items The Lonely Celt
Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Man or God in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #35
quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

So if the Bible was from an wicked source it would instruct one to do wicked deeds. Does it? My examination tells me no. On the contrary it elevates thinking and morality.
The Bible is not one book. It all depends which book and which portion you choose to focus on. The God of the Bible condones slaughter, torture, use, misuse and discarding of women, cutting them to death with saws and knives, burning with fire, ad nauseum. The God of the Old Testament has almost nothing to do with the God of the new and in fact the OT came within a hairbreadth of being discarded from the canon of Christianity at an early point.

I am especially impressed with the loving and merciful Jehovah who had 42 children mauled and killed for making fun of Elijah's bald head. If it was your child who Jehovah slaughtered for this grave offense of doing the silly things children do, I bet you'd have a different opinion of "Him. and his lovingkindness. It is not hard to see how Christendom has justified its witch burnings, Jew persecutions, tortures, and crusades. Jehovah was a bloodthirsty, capricious favortist, quite at odds with God of the NT. That Christians have little trouble marrying the two shizophrenic characters and calling both loving, merciful, and just to me says something about credibility and power of critical thinking in choosing a deity to worship.

"It is a fact that in the Bible, words having to do with killing significantly outnumber words having to do with love.

GE 3:1-7, 22-24 God allows Adam and Eve to be deceived by the Serpent (the craftiest of all of God's wild creatures). They eat of the "Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil," thereby incurring death for themselves and all of mankind for ever after. God prevents them from regaining eternal life, by placing a guard around the "Tree of Eternal Life." (Note: God could have done the same for the "Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil" in the first place and would thereby have prevented the Fall of man, the necessity for Salvation, the Crucifixion of Jesus, etc.)

GE 4:2-8 God's arbitrary preference of Abel's offering to that of Cain's provokes Cain to commit the first biblically recorded murder and kill his brother Abel.

GE 34:13-29 The Israelites kill Hamor, his son, and all the men of their village, taking as plunder their wealth, cattle, wives and children.

GE 6:11-17, 7:11-24 God is unhappy with the wickedness of man and decides to do something about it. He kills every living thing on the face of the earth other than Noah's family and thereby makes himself the greatest mass murderer in history.

GE 19:26 God personally sees to it that Lot's wife is turned to a pillar of salt (for having looked behind her while fleeing the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah).

GE 38:9 "... whenever he lay with his brother's wife, he spilled his semen on the ground to keep from producing offspring for his brother. What he did was wicked ..., so the Lord put him to death."

EX 2:12 Moses murders an Egyptian.

EX 7:1, 14, 9:14-16, 10:1-2, 11:7 The purpose of the devastation that God brings to the Egyptians is as follows:
to show that he is Lord;
to show that there is none like him in all the earth;
to show his great power;
to cause his name to be declared throughout the earth;
to give the Israelites something to talk about with their children;
to show that he makes a distinction between Israel and Egypt.

EX 9:22-25 A plague of hail from the Lord strikes down everything in the fields of Egypt both man and beast except in Goshen where the Israelites reside.

EX 12:29 The Lord kills all the first-born in the land of Egypt.

EX 17:13 With the Lord's approval, Joshua mows down Amalek and his people.

EX 21:20-21 With the Lord's approval, a slave may be beaten to death with no punishment for the perpetrator as long as the slave doesn't die too quickly.

EX 32:27 "Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor.

EX 32:27-29 With the Lord's approval, the Israelites slay 3000 men.

LE 26:7-8 The Lord promises the Israelites that, if they are obedient, their enemies will "fall before your sword."

LE 26:22 "I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children."

LE 26:29, DT 28:53, JE 19:9, EZ 5:8-10 As a punishment, the Lord will cause people to eat the flesh of their own sons and daughters and fathers and friends.

LE 27:29 Human sacrifice is condoned. (Note: An example is given in JG 11:30-39)

NU 11:33 The Lord smites the people with a great plague.

NU 12:1-10 God makes Miriam a leper for seven days because she and Aaron had spoken against Moses.

NU 15:32-36 A Sabbath breaker (who had gathered sticks for a fire) is stoned to death at the Lord's command.

NU 16:27-33 The Lord causes the earth to open and swallow up the men and their households (including wives and children) because the men had been rebellious.

NU 16:35 A fire from the Lord consumes 250 men.

NU 16:49 A plague from the Lord kills 14,700 people.

NU 21:3 The Israelites utterly destroy the Canaanites.

NU 21:6 Fiery serpents, sent by the Lord, kill many Israelites.

NU 21:35 With the Lord's approval, the Israelites slay Og "... and his sons and all his people, until there was not one survivor left ...."

NU 25:4 (KJV) "And the Lord said unto Moses, take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the Lord against the sun ...."

NU 25:8 "He went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly."

NU 25:9 24,000 people die in a plague from the Lord.

NU 31:9 The Israelites capture Midianite women and children.

NU 31:17-18 Moses, following the Lord's command, orders the Israelites to kill all the Midianite male children and "... every woman who has known man ...." (Note: How would it be determined which women had known men? One can only speculate.)

NU 31:31-40 32,000 virgins are taken by the Israelites as booty. Thirty-two are set aside (to be sacrificed?) as a tribute for the Lord.

DT 2:33-34 The Israelites utterly destroy the men, women, and children of Sihon.

DT 3:6 The Israelites utterly destroy the men, women, and children of Og.

DT 7:2 The Lord commands the Israelites to "utterly destroy" and shown "no mercy" to those whom he gives them for defeat.

DT 20:13-14 "When the Lord delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the males .... As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves."

DT 20:16 "In the cities of the nations the Lord is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes."

DT 21:10-13 With the Lord's approval, the Israelites are allowed to take "beautiful women" from the enemy camp to be their captive wives. If, after sexual relations, the husband has "no delight" in his wife, he can simply let her go.

DT 28:53 "You will eat the fruit of the womb, the flesh of the sons and daughters the Lord your God has given you."

JS 1:1-9, 18 Joshua receives the Lord's blessing for all the bloody endeavors to follow.

JS 6:21-27 With the Lord's approval, Joshua destroys the city of Jericho men, women, and children with the edge of the sword.

JS 7:19-26 Achan, his children and his cattle are stoned to death because Achan had taken a taboo thing.

JS 8:22-25 With the Lord's approval, Joshua utterly smites the people of Ai, killing 12,000 men and women, so that there were none who escaped.

JS 10:10-27 With the help of the Lord, Joshua utterly destroys the Gibeonites.

JS 10:28 With the Lord's approval, Joshua utterly destroys the people of Makkedah.

JS 10:30 With the Lord's approval, Joshua utterly destroys the Libnahites.

JS 10:32-33 With the Lord's approval, Joshua utterly destroys the people of Lachish.

JS 10:34-35 With the Lord's approval, Joshua utterly destroys the Eglonites.

JS 10:36-37 With the Lord's approval, Joshua utterly destroys the Hebronites.

JS 10:38-39 With the Lord's approval, Joshua utterly destroys the Debirites.

JS 10:40 (A summary statement.) "So Joshua defeated the whole land ...; he left none remaining, but destroyed all that breathed, as the Lord God of Israel commanded."

JS 11:6 The Lord orders horses to be hamstrung. (Exceedingly cruel.)

JS 11:8-15 "And the lord gave them into the hand of Israel, ...utterly destroying them; there was none left that breathed ...."

JS 11:20 "For it was the Lord's doing to harden their hearts that they should come against Israel in battle, in order that they should be utterly destroyed, and should receive no mercy but be exterminated, as the Lord commanded Moses."

JS 11:21-23 Joshua utterly destroys the Anakim.

JG 1:4 With the Lord's support, Judah defeats 10,000 Canaanites at Bezek.

JG 1:6 With the Lord's approval, Judah pursues Adoni-bezek, catches him, and cuts off his thumbs and big toes.

JG 1:8 With the Lord's approval, Judah smites Jerusalem.

JG 1:17 With the Lord's approval, Judah and Simeon utterly destroy the Canaanites who inhabited Zephath.

JG 3:29 The Israelites kill about 10,000 Moabites.

JG 3:31 (A restatement.) Shamgar killed 600 Philistines with an oxgoad.

JG 4:21 Jael takes a tent stake and hammers it through the head of Sisera, fastening it to the ground.

JG 7:19-25 The Gideons defeat the Midianites, slay their princes, cut off their heads, and bring the heads back to Gideon.

JG 8:15-21 The Gideons slaughter the men of Penuel.

JG 9:5 Abimalech murders his brothers.

JG 9:45 Abimalech and his men kill all the people in the city.

JG 9:53-54 "A woman dropped a stone on his head and cracked his skull. Hurriedly he called to his armor-bearer, 'Draw your sword and kill me, so that they can't say a woman killed me.' So his servant ran him through, and he died."

JG 11:29-39 Jepthah sacrifices his beloved daughter, his only child, according to a vow he has made with the Lord.

JG 14:19 The Spirit of the Lord comes upon a man and causes him to slay thirty men.

JG 15:15 Samson slays 1000 men with the jawbone of an ass.

JG 16:21 The Philistines gouge out Samson's eyes.

JG 16:27-30 Samson, with the help of the Lord, pulls down the pillars of the Philistine house and causes his own death and that of 3000 other men and women.

JG 18:27 The Danites slay the quiet and unsuspecting people of Laish.

JG 19:22-29 A group of sexual depraved men beat on the door of an old man's house demanding that he turn over to them a male house guest. Instead, the old man offers his virgin daughter and his guest's concubine (or wife): "Behold, here are my virgin daughter and his concubine; let me bring them out now. Ravish them and do with them what seems good to you; but against this man do not do so vile a thing." The man's concubine is ravished and dies. The man then cuts her body into twelve pieces and sends one piece to each of the twelve tribes of Israel.

JG 20:43-48 The Israelites smite 25,000+ "men of valor" from amongst the Benjamites, "men and beasts and all that they found," and set their towns on fire.

JG 21:10-12 "... Go and smite the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead with the edge of the sword and; also the women and little ones.... every male and every woman that has lain with a male you shall utterly destroy." They do so and find four hundred young virgins whom they bring back for their own use.

1SA 4:10 The Philistines slay 30,000 Israelite foot soldiers.

1SA 5:6-9 The Lord afflicts the Philistines with tumors in their "secret parts," presumably for having stolen the Ark.

1SA 6:19 God kills seventy men (or so) for looking into the Ark (at him?). (Note: The early Israelites apparently thought the Ark to be God's abode.)

1SA 7:7-11 Samuel and his men smite the Philistines.

1SA 11:11 With the Lord's blessing, Saul and his men cut down the Ammonites.

1SA 14:31 Jonathan and his men strike down the Philistines.

1SA 14:48 Saul smites the Amalekites.

1SA 15:3, 7-8 "This is what the Lord says: Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have; do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass ....' And Saul ... utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword."

1SA 15:33 "Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the Lord ...."

1SA 18:7 The women sing as they make merry: "Saul has slain his thousands and David his ten thousands."

1SA 18:27 David murders 200 Philistines, then cuts off their foreskins.

1SA 30:17 David smites the Amalekites.

2SA 2:23 Abner kills Asahel.

2SA 3:30 Joab and Abishai kill Abner.

2SA 4:7-8 Rechan and Baanah kill Ish-bosheth, behead him, and take his head to David.

2SA 4:12 David has Rechan and Baanah killed, their hands and feet cut off, and their bodies hanged by the pool at Hebron.

2SA 5:25 "And David did as the Lord commanded him, and smote the Philistines ...."

2SA 6:2-23 Because she rebuked him for having exposed himself, Michal (David's wife) was barren throughout her life.

2SA 8:1-18 (A listing of some of David's murderous conquests.)

2SA 8:4 David hamstrung all but a few of the horses.

2SA 8:5 David slew 22,000 Syrians.

2SA 8:6, 14 "The Lord gave victory to David wherever he went."

2SA 8:13 David slew 18,000 Edomites in the valley of salt and made the rest slaves.

2SA 10:18 David slew 47,000+ Syrians.

2SA 11:14-27 David has Uriah killed so that he can marry Uriah's wife, Bathsheba.

2SA 12:1, 19 The Lord strikes David's child dead for the sin that David has committed.

2SA 13:1-15 Amnon loves his sister Tamar, rapes her, then hates her.

2SA 13:28-29 Absalom has Amnon murdered.

2SA 18:6 -7 20,000 men are slaughtered at the battle in the forest of Ephraim.

2SA 18:15 Joab's men murder Absalom.

2SA 20:10-12 Joab's men murder Amasa and leave him "... wallowing in his own blood in the highway. And anyone who came by, seeing him, stopped."

2SA 24:15 The Lord sends a pestilence on Israel that kills 70,000 men.

1KI 2:24-25 Solomon has Adonijah murdered.

1KI 2:29-34 Solomon has Joab murdered.

1KI 2:46 Solomon has Shime-i murdered.

1KI 13:15-24 A man is killed by a lion for eating bread and drinking water in a place where the Lord had previously told him not to. This is in spite of the fact that the man had subsequently been lied to by a prophet who told the man that an angel of the Lord said that it would be alright to eat and drink there.

1KI 20:29-30 The Israelites smite 100,000 Syrian soldiers in one day. A wall falls on 27,000 remaining Syrians.

2KI 1:10-12 Fire from heaven comes down and consumes fifty men.

2KI 2:23-24 Forty-two children are mauled and killed, presumably according to the will of God, for having jeered at a man of God.

2KI 5:27 Elisha curses Gehazi and his descendants forever with leprosy.

2KI 6:18-19 The Lord answers Elisha's prayer and strikes the Syrians with blindness. Elisha tricks the blind Syrians and leads them to Samaria.

2KI 6:29 "So we cooked my son and ate him. The next day I said to her, 'Give up your son so we may eat him,' but she had hidden him."

2KI 9:24 Jehu tricks and murders Joram.

2KI 9:27 Jehu has Ahaziah killed.

2KI 9:30-37 Jehu has Jezebel killed. Her body is trampled by horses. Dogs eat her flesh so that only her skull, feet, and the palms of her hands remain.

2KI 10:7 Jehu has Ahab's seventy sons beheaded, then sends the heads to their father.

2KI 10:14 Jehu has forty-two of Ahab's kin killed.

2KI 10:17 "And when he came to Samaria, he slew all that remained to Ahab in Samaria, till he had wiped them out, according to the word of the Lord ...."

2KI 10:19-27 Jehu uses trickery to massacre the Baal worshippers.

2KI 11:1 Athaliah destroys all the royal family.

2KI 14:5, 7 Amaziah kills his servants and then 10,000 Edomites.

2KI 15:3-5 Even though he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, the Lord smites Azariah with leprosy for not having removed the "high places."

2KI 15:16 Menahem ripped open all the women who were pregnant.

2KI 19:35 An angel of the Lord kills 185,000 men.

1CH 20:3 (KJV) "And he brought out the people that were in it, and cut them with saws, and with harrows of iron, and with axes."

2CH 13:17 500,000 Israelites are slaughtered.

2CH 21:4 Jehoram slays all his brothers.

PS 137:9 Happy will be the man who dashes your little ones against the stones.

PS 144:1 God is praised as the one who trains hands for war and fingers for battle.

IS 13:15 "Everyone who is captured will be thrust through; all who are caught will fall by the sword. Their infants will be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their ... wives will be ravished."

IS 13:18 "Their bows also shall dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eye shall not spare children."

IS 14:21-22 "Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers."

IS 49:26 The Lord will cause the oppressors of the Israelite's to eat their own flesh and to become drunk on their own blood as with wine.

JE 16:4 "They shall die grievous deaths; they shall not be lamented; neither shall they be buried; but they shall be as dung upon the face of the earth: and they shall be consumed by the sword, and by famine; and their carcasses shall be meat for the fowls of heaven, and for the beasts of the earth."

LA 4:9-10 "Those slain by the sword are better off than those who die of famine; racked with hunger, they waste away for lack of food. ... pitiful women have cooked their own children, who became their food ..."

EZ 6:12-13 The Lord says: "... they will fall by the sword, famine and plague. He that is far away will die of the plague, and he that is near will fall by the sword, and he that survives and is spared will die of famine. So will I spend my wrath upon them. And they will know I am the Lord, when the people lie slain among their idols around their altars, on every high hill and on all the mountaintops, under every spreading tree and every leafy oak ...."

EZ 9:4-6 The Lord commands: "... slay old men outright, young men and maidens, little children and women ...."

EZ 20:26 In order that he might horrify them, the Lord allowed the Israelites to defile themselves through, amongst other things, the sacrifice of their first-born children.

EZ 21:3-4 The Lord says that he will cut off both the righteous and the wicked that his sword shall go against all flesh.

EZ 23:25, 47 God is going to slay the sons and daughters of those who were whores.

EZ 23:34 "You shall ... pluck out your hair, and tear your breasts."

HO 13:16 "They shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up."

MI 3:2-3 "... who pluck off their skin ..., and their flesh from off their bones; Who also eat the flesh of my people, and flay their skin from off them; and they break their bones, and chop them in pieces, as for the pot, and as flesh within the caldron."

MT 3:12, 8:12, 10:21, 13:30, 42, 22:13, 24:51, 25:30, LK 13:28, JN 5:24 Some will spend eternity burning in Hell. There will be weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth.

MT 10:21 "... the brother shall deliver up his brother to death, and the father his child, ... children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death."

MT 10:35-36 "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 family."

MT 11:21-24 Jesus curses [the inhabitants of] three cities who were not sufficiently impressed with his great works.

AC 13:11 Paul purposefully blinds a man (though not permanently)."

-S-

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A4 ItemsA4 SingletonG4 ItemsG4 ForgingG4 Infiltrator NR Items The Lonely Celt
Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Man or God in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #20
I have ittle, if any disagreement or problem with your point, SoT. The point of this topic is whether or not the Bible is God-given and perfect/infallible, not what Bible fallibility, if accepted or proven implies for Christians, or that it negates God or Christianity. My own shift in how I regard the Bible has not destroyed my belief in God. It has dramatically affected how I assume God is apprehended and experienced and how God interacts with the world. Whatever God is exactly. That too is now, necessarily a question, because I don't trust the ancient Hebrews to have an insider handle on that issue any longer. If you no longer see God as having actively directed the contents of the Bible, pretty much anything goes and you have to come up with how to decide how to deal with everything within it, piece by piece if necessary. Or maybe you could just set it aside and seek your God yourself and see if God has anything relevant to say to you today. That would be a lot more useful than reading what reprimands Paul had for the church at Ephesus 2000 years ago.

-S-

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A4 ItemsA4 SingletonG4 ItemsG4 ForgingG4 Infiltrator NR Items The Lonely Celt
Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Man or God in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #17
But dude, I've lived the elephant and have known a few gazillion people who live the elephant. The topic is whether or not the Bible is man-made or God-made, which, I believe I have been addressing with relish, as I greatly enjoy the role of gadfly and devil's advocate where sacred cows, if not elephants, are concerned. So, what's your point, anyway? That many Christians don't really live by the Bible as their guidebook of God's truth handed to them? Point out the sect or denomination. Historically, it is woeful what worshipful committment to that book as An Absolute has wrought.

I await anyone's explanations how the Bible's plain self-contradictions, errors, and mythological references do not serve as examples of Bible "imperfection", which is my main interest in addressing this topic. I am seriously interested to see how people justify this stuff when faced it with directly. The point is that as a Christian, you rarely, if ever, are faced with this kind of tedious, yet critical minutae and examination of Bible conundrums. So, if you finally are forced to look, what do you do with it...and what does it do to you?

-S-

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A4 ItemsA4 SingletonG4 ItemsG4 ForgingG4 Infiltrator NR Items The Lonely Celt
Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Man or God in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #15
As a fan of fantasy/mythology, I especially appreciate these references in the Bible, which of course, is the all-knowing truth from God and an accurate, scientific, historical account.

Job:

"I will make mention of Rahab"
Rahab is a sea-demon or dragon from ancient Jewish folklore. 87:4

"Thou hast broken Rahab [the sea monster] in pieces." 89:10

Isaiah:

"And the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den." A cockatrice is a serpent, hatched from a cock's egg, that can kill with a glance. They are rare nowadays. 11:8

God will punish the leviathan ("that crooked serpent") with his own sword and will kill the sea dragon. 27:1

Among the many strange creatures mentioned in the Bible that no longer seem to exist is the "fiery flying serpent." 30:6

"And the unicorns shall come down with them." 34:7

Dragons and satyrs may not seem real to you, but they did to the author of these verses. 34:13-1

Dragons and owls will thank God for irrigation. 43:20

Amos:

God destroyed the Amorites who were a race of giants as tall as cedars and as strong as oaks. 2:9

God will "slay the last of them with the sword." Any that try to escape by diving to the bottom of the sea will be bitten, at God's command, by a sea-serpent. 9:1-4

Habakkuk:

The Chaldeans' horses were faster than leopards and more fierce than wolves. 1:8

And slightly off theme, but I have to toss it in:

Luke:

When Jesus was crucified, there was three hours of complete darkness "over all the earth." It is strange that there is no record of this extraordinary event outside of the gospels. 23:44-45

Surely the Chinese or Incans or Indians or...uh, somebody...would have made a note about the day the gods were angry and caused all the world to go black for three hours.

Bible...accurate? reliable? truth? factual historical account? scientifically correct? reflective of a loving, purposeful, all-knowing God -or- reflective of the mythology, superstition, beliefs, ignorance, thinking, limitation, and culture of the day? You, decide, discriminating viewer.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Worst product name ever in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #2
Hey!...I get it.

-S-

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