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  1. #7261
    Astonishing Member Powerboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kirby101 View Post
    What a horrible story. Just for taunting, and I don't care if it was Elijah or God himself, these children are torn apart by bears? A horrid death for speaking in a way God didn't like. That is not a "loving God", that is a cruel, thin-skinned deity. If a king were to act like that, he would be remembered as an evil ruler.
    There have been studies done showing that when you present a story like that openly as being part of a person's religion, they will try to find ways to justify it. But if the story is disguised just enough and presented as being from some other culture and some other god, not theirs, most people will find it horrible and incomprehensible how any decent person could worship such a god. It's about justification of what you believe in your own religion.

    "God" has children ripped apart by bears for childish taunting instead of, say, directing some adults to talk to them and explain why it's wrong or, gasp, give them the chance to grow up and realize why it was wrong. Guess they won't get that chance what with the bears.

    I really do try to be decent and try to refrain from saying much in this thread anymore but holy fraggin mackeral. How much of this barbaric disgusting excuse for a god can people rationalize away? Obviously, it's without limits. And don't tell me, let me guess. Who I am to question [you're savage, barbaric tribal Bronze age joke of a] God? Clearly, it's really all justified but my limited human mind just can't quite grasp the superior wisdom of [a savage Bronze age tribal] God. Yeah, shove it! Anybody who justifies this absolute s**t from an allegedly superior love incarnate god just to hide in their prehistoric comfort zone doesn't deserve any more courtesy.

    By the way, I get that it was s story written in a Bronze age society FOR a Bronze age society. The disgusting part that it shows us about human nature is that there are so many people today would would not only justify but admire such a disgusting and cruel display by their "god" as if it it were something to be admired.

    It's sort of like modern products that have to be compatible with the previous version, I guess. Instead of just throwing out the "God" of thousands of years ago and replacing the ideas about him with a new, updated "God" representing the best ideals of the modern world or even the world of two thousand years ago, they have to make him compatible and pretend the God of the NT is really the same being as the savage petty god of the OT and they have to pretend that the God of Love Incarnate is really the same as the NT God.

    Pfft. "God" will never be love incarnate until the people making him/ her/ it up want it to be that.
    Last edited by Powerboy; 07-14-2018 at 05:08 PM.
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  2. #7262
    Jesus Christ, redeemer! The Whovian's Avatar
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    Today's Devotion:

    Mighty Warrior For Jacob
    https://www.todayintheword.org/
    Favorite Artists Right Now: Ivan Reis, Andrea Sorrentino, Stuart Immonen, Jason Fabok, Olivier Coipel, Nick Dragotta, Kim Jacinto, Patrick Gleason, Jorge Jimenez, Greg Capullo, Jerome Opena, Steve McNiven, Kev Walker, Steve Epting, Sean Murphy.

    "I am a mad man with a box!"--- The Doctor

    Jesus said unto her, "I am the resurrection, and the life. He that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever lives and believes in me shall never die."--- John 11:25-26

  3. #7263
    Astonishing Member David Walton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Powerboy View Post
    Pfft. "God" will never be love incarnate until the people making him/ her/ it up want it to be that.
    Paul's "let God be true and every man a liar" comes to mind.

    Basically, I'm arguing that our opinions about God don't have any bearing on who He/She/It actually is, but it is possible to direct our thoughts in such a way that we sometimes get things right. Not everything, of course--I don't believe any human being is capable of grasping the Infinite. But the struggle is worthwhile. Theologians have made great progress over thousands of years.

    Whenever we discuss God, I think it's worth noting that humility is probably the most important of all Christian virtues (and no, I'm not arguing it's exclusively Christian, not by a long shot). It's said that Satan, the ultimate evil, fell because of his pride. It doesn't really matter what he was proud about, does it? Anyone who thinks they 'know' God to the extent they can belittle others for their honest and deeply felt opinions is tapping into that same dark gravity that brought the prince of lies crashing from heaven.

    And we're all susceptible. Even the apostle Paul has an almost comical tendency to brag about himself while pretending not to!

  4. #7264
    Astonishing Member Powerboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Walton View Post
    Paul's "let God be true and every man a liar" comes to mind.

    Basically, I'm arguing that our opinions about God don't have any bearing on who He/She/It actually is, but it is possible to direct our thoughts in such a way that we sometimes get things right. Not everything, of course--I don't believe any human being is capable of grasping the Infinite. But the struggle is worthwhile. Theologians have made great progress over thousands of years.

    Whenever we discuss God, I think it's worth noting that humility is probably the most important of all Christian virtues (and no, I'm not arguing it's exclusively Christian, not by a long shot). It's said that Satan, the ultimate evil, fell because of his pride. It doesn't really matter what he was proud about, does it? Anyone who thinks they 'know' God to the extent they can belittle others for their honest and deeply felt opinions is tapping into that same dark gravity that brought the prince of lies crashing from heaven.

    And we're all susceptible. Even the apostle Paul has an almost comical tendency to brag about himself while pretending not to!
    Oh I get that there's a lot of rationalization. As mentioned, studies have shown that you can take atrocities in the Bible sometimes ordered by "God" and get Christians and Jewish people alike to be horrified by them and condemn them and utterly unable to fathom how anyone could worship such a monster *IF* you can pull off changing the names and giving them the impression that this story was from some other religion or just a made up story. You can do that with any religion. It's just the plain and simple desire to hold onto what you believe and whatever it gives you.

    But I'm not going to play the game of pretending that I'm making the same mistake as the mythical devil because I'm horrified and condemnatory of a story about a god that is okay with children being torn apart. Nor am I going to play the game of how I'm being prideful because I don't think that what is in reality a Bronze Age tribal deity that was made up thousands of years ago just doesn't meet any advanced standard of goodness and because I won't pretend that that said deity has some secret well of wisdom beyond human comprehension when he was obviously made up by humans and humans of a long gone time at that regardless of the "public relations job/ theology" that has accrued around that basic Bronze age mythology through the millennia.

    On the contrary, the arrogance is in people deciding that their beliefs and the need to cling to them trumps evidence, facts and even their normal standards of basic decency. In other words, for most people, if there was a story about something like that in any religion but the one they are indoctrinated into, they would not hesitate to condemn it.
    Superman was a beacon to the world.

  5. #7265
    Astonishing Member David Walton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Powerboy View Post
    But I'm not going to play the game of pretending that I'm making the same mistake as the mythical devil because I'm horrified and condemnatory of a story about a god that is okay with children being torn apart. Nor am I going to play the game of how I'm being prideful because I don't think that what is in reality a Bronze Age tribal deity that was made up thousands of years ago just doesn't meet any advanced standard of goodness and because I won't pretend that that said deity has some secret well of wisdom beyond human comprehension when he was obviously made up by humans and humans of a long gone time at that regardless of the "public relations job/ theology" that has accrued around that basic Bronze age mythology through the millennia.

    On the contrary, the arrogance is in people deciding that their beliefs and the need to cling to them trumps evidence, facts and even their normal standards of basic decency. In other words, for most people, if there was a story about something like that in any religion but the one they are indoctrinated into, they would not hesitate to condemn it.
    I think there's been some kind of misunderstanding? It was never my intention to accuse you or anyone else of arrogance. I was speaking of the universal temptation to pride.

  6. #7266
    Astonishing Member Powerboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Walton View Post
    I think there's been some kind of misunderstanding? It was never my intention to accuse you or anyone else of arrogance. I was speaking of the universal temptation to pride.
    Sorry for the overreaction then.

    In biblical passages, God says and does certain things. Are you approaching this from the view that these are just stories or a point of view and they have nothing to do with who or what God really is? That religions and what they say about God are just human opinions like everything else?
    Superman was a beacon to the world.

  7. #7267
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    I have a question for Christians here.

    How do you feel about homosexuality, transgender and gays? Do you think it is a sin?

  8. #7268
    Mighty Member Iron_Legion87's Avatar
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    Hey everyone! Sorry I been M.I.A for the past few weeks/ months been super busy with life. But I am glad to see this thread is still up and you guys being respectful for the most part.

  9. #7269
    Astonishing Member David Walton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Powerboy View Post
    Sorry for the overreaction then.

    In biblical passages, God says and does certain things. Are you approaching this from the view that these are just stories or a point of view and they have nothing to do with who or what God really is? That religions and what they say about God are just human opinions like everything else?
    I believe, as Paul says, "we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code." I believe in the authority of scripture, but not its inerrancy. I believe every biblical book has to be considered on its terms (is it mythology? history? poetry?) while also taking in the tone and temper of the Bible as a whole (especially where contradictions regarding God's character arise).

    But most of all, I believe that Christ died, Christ is risen, and Christ will come again.

    Beyond that, we can get into a lot of different biblical stories and I'd have a different answer for every one as to the truth/bias ratio. I think even stories that seem to offer a horribly flawed vision of God have something significant to say about Him. It's all there for a reason. God's mercy and His justice are both absolute but there's not really a way to express that in human terms. We tend to think of it as either/or in any given moment, or at least one quality winning out over the other.

    So you get stories where God seems angry, even though He doesn't fluctuate between emotional states like a human being. But it's an important starting point to help us understand that God takes sin seriously. You can't really build toward an understanding of grace without that. But it's problematic when believers get tripped up on the idea that if God is said to approve horrendous acts they must be okay. You can accept a Batman story on its terms, for instance, without thinking the real world application is a stamp of approval on vigilantism.

    I tend to think the gospels attempt to chronicle a more accurate history than, say, Genesis, which isn't to say they're unbiased or infallible.

    In closing, I love this quote:

    "Sad, indeed, would the whole matter be if the Bible had told us everything God meant us to believe. But herein is the Bible greatly wronged. It nowhere lays claim to be regarded as the Word, the Way, the Truth. The Bible leads us to Jesus, the inexhaustible, the ever-unfolding Revelation of God. It is Christ "in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge," not the Bible, save as leading to Him."--George MacDonald
    Last edited by David Walton; 07-17-2018 at 07:51 AM.

  10. #7270
    Astonishing Member David Walton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iron_Legion87 View Post
    Hey everyone! Sorry I been M.I.A for the past few weeks/ months been super busy with life. But I am glad to see this thread is still up and you guys being respectful for the most part.
    Great to hear from you again, Iron_Legion87!

  11. #7271
    Mighty Member Iron_Legion87's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Walton View Post
    Great to hear from you again, Iron_Legion87!
    Thanks David!

  12. #7272
    Jesus Christ, redeemer! The Whovian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iron_Legion87 View Post
    Hey everyone! Sorry I been M.I.A for the past few weeks/ months been super busy with life. But I am glad to see this thread is still up and you guys being respectful for the most part.
    Hey Iron Legion, good to see you
    Favorite Artists Right Now: Ivan Reis, Andrea Sorrentino, Stuart Immonen, Jason Fabok, Olivier Coipel, Nick Dragotta, Kim Jacinto, Patrick Gleason, Jorge Jimenez, Greg Capullo, Jerome Opena, Steve McNiven, Kev Walker, Steve Epting, Sean Murphy.

    "I am a mad man with a box!"--- The Doctor

    Jesus said unto her, "I am the resurrection, and the life. He that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever lives and believes in me shall never die."--- John 11:25-26

  13. #7273
    Jesus Christ, redeemer! The Whovian's Avatar
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    Today's Devotion:

    TREMBLING AND TAUNTING
    https://www.todayintheword.org/issue.../devotions/19/
    Favorite Artists Right Now: Ivan Reis, Andrea Sorrentino, Stuart Immonen, Jason Fabok, Olivier Coipel, Nick Dragotta, Kim Jacinto, Patrick Gleason, Jorge Jimenez, Greg Capullo, Jerome Opena, Steve McNiven, Kev Walker, Steve Epting, Sean Murphy.

    "I am a mad man with a box!"--- The Doctor

    Jesus said unto her, "I am the resurrection, and the life. He that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever lives and believes in me shall never die."--- John 11:25-26

  14. #7274
    Jesus Christ, redeemer! The Whovian's Avatar
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    Today's Devotion:

    DELIVERANCE FROM CERTAIN DEATH
    https://www.todayintheword.org/issue.../devotions/20/
    Favorite Artists Right Now: Ivan Reis, Andrea Sorrentino, Stuart Immonen, Jason Fabok, Olivier Coipel, Nick Dragotta, Kim Jacinto, Patrick Gleason, Jorge Jimenez, Greg Capullo, Jerome Opena, Steve McNiven, Kev Walker, Steve Epting, Sean Murphy.

    "I am a mad man with a box!"--- The Doctor

    Jesus said unto her, "I am the resurrection, and the life. He that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever lives and believes in me shall never die."--- John 11:25-26

  15. #7275
    Jesus Christ, redeemer! The Whovian's Avatar
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    Today's Devotion:

    BEHOLD YOUR GOD
    https://www.todayintheword.org/issue.../devotions/21/
    Favorite Artists Right Now: Ivan Reis, Andrea Sorrentino, Stuart Immonen, Jason Fabok, Olivier Coipel, Nick Dragotta, Kim Jacinto, Patrick Gleason, Jorge Jimenez, Greg Capullo, Jerome Opena, Steve McNiven, Kev Walker, Steve Epting, Sean Murphy.

    "I am a mad man with a box!"--- The Doctor

    Jesus said unto her, "I am the resurrection, and the life. He that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever lives and believes in me shall never die."--- John 11:25-26

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